E-learning is of crucial importance in our changing world. Demands are increasing on corporate governance and digital transformation whilst skills shortages and changing needs are challenging almost every industry. Me Learning tackles these challenges head-on and is now reinforced by CAPSiDE’s focus on automation, operations and reliability on AWS.

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About Me Learning

For over 10 years, Me Learning has been providing engaging, informative and clearly explained e-learning materials in a flexible format for its learners.

The award-winning company has won hundreds of organisations as clients, been used by hundreds of thousands of satisfied learners and was recognised in 2015 and 2016 as a winner in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

Me Learning’s products enable training managers to up-skill their teams, individual employees to acquire extra knowledge and skills, and job seekers to improve their CVs. The online library of more than 120 courses has all been CPD Accredited.

The specialist and devoted team offer the very best in online learning – up-to-date materials and a personal service, powered by the latest technologies.

Reliability on AWS, Me Learning - CAPSiDE

The challenge

It is widely recognised that the well-being of the UK’s economy and its citizens demands ongoing investment in skills. The future of our digital economy means that our workforce requires many brand new skills. In addition, the pace and quality of learning experience will need to increase for both existing and newly created job roles.

At the same time, learners are becoming increasingly demanding about the quality of their online experiences. These expectations are shaped by the services they receive from online consumer services such as social media and online retailers that are dynamic, focused on user experience and often highly personalised.

Therefore, Me Learning strives to meet these needs by focusing on the learner’s user experience in the delivery of high-quality training material.

In order to do this, Me Learning continue to make significant investment in the development of Me Learning’s Blue Learning Management System (“Blue LMS”). Built on the solid foundations of a LAMP stack – Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP – the key focus of Me Learning’s development team has always been on continually improving user experience and training material while meeting the tailored needs of large customers.

Me Learning has been pioneering in its approach of harnessing Amazon Web Services (AWS) to underpin its Blue LMS, providing for resilience, security and scalability, but had outgrown the capability of the current services partner.

As a result, the IT management and operations teams were spending more time than necessary considering the design, management and operation of their cloud platform and middleware.

In a world increasingly conscious of data protection, particularly for some Me Learning clients with more sensitive data; and with the business growing fast, Me Learning needed a strong partner. The partner would need to take ownership to ensure reliability on AWS.  Both platform and middleware components would need to be rebuilt and maintained for stability, scalability, resilience and security; so that the Me Learning technical teams could focus on application innovation within their Blue LMS platform.

Reliability on AWS, Me Learning - CAPSiDE

The solution: reliability on AWS

A cloud Managed Service Provider was required to help Me Learning continue their mission to improve their e-Learning operations. Led by Arif Govani, Chief Digital Officer, they undertook an analysis of leading AWS Partners. Arif explains,

Our key requirement was to find an AWS MSP Partner with an industrialised 24×7 operational capability for critical systems, not ‘just a consultancy’. We were looking for leadership in terms of ongoing reliability engineering, to help us implement the right kind of automation and to continually optimise the platform. It was clear from the first discussion that this is where CAPSiDE really excel.

The people, process and tools that comprise CAPSiDE 24×7 operations service have been refined over 16 years of experience. In order to realise the new industrialised managed service model for Me Learning, CAPSiDE began to walk the journey of change with Me Learning as partners. Matthew Larder, CAPSiDE’s UK Engagement Director explains the solution design phase:

Sharing skills and knowledge is one of our core values and we’re an official AWS Training Partner, alongside our cloud managed service operation. However, sharing skills and knowledge is about our culture of working as well. From the very first Cloud Workshop, we tailored our standard engagement framework to give maximum learning opportunity for both parties. This enabled us to define project, technical and service designs to minimise risk and maximise the opportunity for improvement.

Initially, Me Learning and CAPSiDE expected the incumbent cloud-managed service provider to migrate applications and data to an environment on which CAPSiDE could take control. When it was later identified that this would not be possible, the value of the solution design phase was abundantly clear. Arif Govani says,

CAPSiDE were the only party with the expertise to handle the migration and enable service take-on. Because of their diligence in documenting the information known, they were able to use their experience to cater for the unexpected and ensure the burden did not fall back onto Me Learning. For us, this is proof of valuable partnership.

Onboarding services and enabling new levels of proactivity with CAPSiDE’s 24×7 systems management, monitoring and optimisation were really just the foundations. Both parties were driving towards a strategic plan for empowering Me Learning developers with DevOps practices and tools. Arif Govani says,

CAPSiDE’s team share our developers’ passion for leveraging modern technology to best meet demands for fantastic user experience.

Reliability on AWS, Me Learning - CAPSiDE

CAPSiDE and Me Learning worked together to define the model for increasing the pace of the continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) pipeline, and most importantly to improve the frequency, security and reliability of deployments into production.

The model leverages CAPSiDE’s ENZiME product for orchestrating full-stack AWS deployments into test and then production following a blue/green methodology. ENZiME also exposes an API that allows Me Learning to integrate such deployments into their CI/CD pipeline in a fully automated way, using tools like Jenkins and others. Matthew Larder says,

We share Me Learning’s appreciation of the importance of data protection and reliability of services for customers with sensitive data – and of course for all customers. Therefore, as we develop Application Release Automation products such as KARBON, REPLiCA and ENZiME, we think not just about digital natives further increasing their agility to release reliably and often but about the control, governance and security that can be achieved through well architected blue/green deployments.

As CAPSiDE supports Me Learning in its cloud-enabled e-Learning journey, the engagement encompasses multiple lines of collaboration. Arif confirms,

Our developers feel well connected with CAPSiDE SysOps guys during day-to-day operations whilst the governance model means we have flexible but rigorous service management. On top of all of this, they offer expert input on more challenging aspects of our IT initiatives including compliance and cybersecurity. We have a partner that really helps us unlock the true value of cloud to help us lead our field in e-Learning.

TAGS: amazon web services, aws, e-learning, me learning, reliability on aws, success story

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