De Digitale Gesprekscyclus, abbreviated as DDGC, is an e-HRM solution that provides support for over 4,000 teams in individual performance management. This Dutch software company has been utilizing an AWS environment for both development and production purposes for several years. To manage the operational aspects of the system, TechNative was brought in, and recently, the AWS environment was migrated to a private cloud. The primary advantage of this migration is the ability to exercise complete control over all data and ensure maximum security.
DDGC simplifies processes related to objectives, performance, assessment, competencies, and employee development for organizations. This SaaS solution helps customers transform their organizational goals into individual agreements and tangible objectives. Marten Wilmink, the product manager and one of the founders of DDGC, explains that as HR experts, they realized many customers were attempting to streamline HR processes and competency management using tools like Excel or Word. DDGC believed it would be more practical to consolidate information and create an interview file within a dedicated application. While some larger parties offer similar solutions, they are usually part of a comprehensive package, whereas DDGC provides a standalone application. Initially targeting educational institutions, DDGC has now expanded, with approximately half of its customer base consisting of companies.
DDGC transitioned to an AWS environment a few years ago. However, as developments progressed rapidly around 2015, the company found itself unable to rely on a single developer and sought external assistance. “An external party took over both the hosting and support, but as the hosting became increasingly complex, they advised us to work with another provider.”
Discussions with TechNative commenced in early 2022, and two months later, the migration process began, involving the transfer of all assets to a new AWS environment.
Marten and his team decided to transition from a multi-tenant environment to a dedicated environment. “We wanted our applications to run on an environment exclusively for us, granting us complete access and control. In a multi-tenant environment, changes made by other customers affect your setup, and you lack full access and control.”
This level of control is crucial for DDGC, given that they operate an application in the cloud involving privacy-sensitive data. Achieving GDPR compliance swiftly was a priority, and now they have the desired control over the security of their environment. Additionally, they can continually enhance and refine it iteratively. Another advantage is having the entire environment consolidated in one location, which provides the flexibility to migrate to another provider if necessary, although that may not be the case.
Managing a private environment like this does involve inherent complexity. “From the initial exploratory discussions, TechNative demonstrated their expertise. Although a relatively young company, it is led by seasoned professionals who understand the specific requirements of our organization. They presented a concrete action plan, which is vital for this type of undertaking. We invested significant effort in documentation before the migration to ensure they had ample information to proceed. This has resulted in an excellent collaboration.”
The next phase of this partnership involves containerizing the applications using Docker. Containerization involves packaging applications, including libraries and dependencies, making it easier to develop and deploy them. By sending everything as a single package, compatibility with any machine, regardless of its settings, is ensured.
“We strive to keep up with current practices and adopt the best approach for each moment. Containers are emerging as a new standard, and although we don’t blindly follow every trend, we are keen to embrace this one.”
Even after this process, TechNative will remain involved in infrastructure maintenance and monitoring. “We now recognize that major changes are necessary every few years. If the need arises, we will collaborate with TechNative for such transitions.”