Experts in new Microsoft technology

Migrating RAET to the cloud with zero downtime

RAET is a leading international Human Resource and Payroll solutions provider in The Netherlands, Spain and Latin America. In 2017, RAET decided to migrate from Team Foundation Server 2012 to Visual Studio Team Service (VSTS). The benefits of the migration to VSTS were substantial: extensive new functionality as well as the convenience of the 3-weekly updates with the most recent tools and features. Smooth migration without any downtime was of critical importance to the continuity of the work of the company’s 250 developers. The migration itself was performed in a single weekend. Xpirit’s relevant experience, combined with thorough preparation and communications, contributed to a successful project: on the Monday following the migration, all development teams could continue their work without losing a single instant of productivity.

Efficient tooling essential for productivity

RAET is a leading international Human Resource and Payroll solutions provider in The Netherlands, Spain and Latin America. In 2017, RAET decided to migrate from Team Foundation Server 2012 to Visual Studio Team Service (VSTS). The benefits of the migration to VSTS were substantial: extensive new functionality as well as the convenience of the 3-weekly updates with the most recent tools and features. Smooth migration without any downtime was of critical importance to the continuity of the work of the company’s 250 developers. The migration itself was performed in a single weekend. Xpirit’s relevant experience, combined with thorough preparation and communications, contributed to a successful project: on the Monday following the migration, all development teams could continue their work without losing a single instant of productivity.

Efficient tooling essential for productivity

Innovate or die

Gerald Murre, Program Director at RAET, explains: “The migration was extremely important for us, in terms of the new functionality for managing requirements, analysis and reporting, but also because of the convenience of the cloud. It’s a matter of innovate or die. Older versions mean you’re not using the best tooling in terms of your productivity. But your recruitment also becomes difficult. Today’s specialists are choosy, and they don’t want to work with old tooling.”

Xpirit's experience instilled confidence

One of RAET’s concerns was the possibility of downtime after the migration: any interruption to the work of its 250 developers would mean a considerable loss. To ensure a smooth migration, RAET chose to involve Xpirit, a consultant with relevant experience.

Frits Boers, RAET’s Development Manager, describes the choice of Xpirit: “Migration is something you do only once. To get it right the first time, you need someone who’s done it before. There are plenty of consultants around, but there’s not many like Xpirit. Their level of Microsoft technology knowhow is extremely high, and their experience gives you the confidence that they can and will deliver what they promise. Moreover, we only had 13 weeks to prepare and carry out the migration. Xpirit’s Sander Aernout’s experience was essential in ensuring that everything was prepared meticulously, resulting in a flawless migration.”

Communication of crucial importance

Gerald Murre adds: “To minimize the risk for any issue, we intentionally kept the scope as small as possible. For example, we chose to first migrate the TFS App Tier and to migrate to the new build system later. In addition to the thorough preparations, we paid a lot of attention to risk management and communications with our developers. Xpirit assisted us in preparing presentations and workshops to our teams located in The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and India. Everyone was aware of what was happening during the migration weekend, and teams were well prepared. Without this communication, I´m sure we would have run into problems.”

Flawless migration with zero downtime

Frits Boers continues: “Although we were fully confident that the migration was well prepared, we were excited and curious about the outcome. However, on the Monday morning following the migration, everyone could resume his work, without a minute of downtime! And as it turned out six weeks later, migrating to the Cloud was a life-saver. Our old TFS server went down, and if it hadn´t been for the migration, we would have lost a huge amount a work, time and money.”

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Flawless migration with zero downtime

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