Össur Harnesses the Power of Integration to Support Rapid Growth

BizTalk integration underpins Össur’s successful development-through-acquisitions and organic growth strategy.

  • Expertise in this case
Executive summary

Össur has maintained a 20% compound annual growth rate since 1999, in large part through their highly successful acquisition strategy. With this growth came multiple applications from the newly acquired companies. The power of BizTalk and API Management has allowed Össur to keep up with the rising demand of interoperability and the systems introduced every year.

  • Challenge
  • Approach
  • Results

The Challenge

Össur has been growing at a rate of 20% CAGR since its initial listing on the stock exchange in 1999. In addition to organic development, much of this growth can be attributed to their competitive acquisition strategy. However, with a newly acquired business also comes its legacy systems and data. Össur has a policy of quickly swapping legacy systems for their own, to avoid adding to the suite of apps they currently run.

A large success factor of the acquisition strategy rests on how fast Össur can integrate legacy data into their own system. To accomplish this task in an efficient manner, their backend system needed a complete overhaul. Rather than hiring someone for the job, the team at Össur developed a policy of choosing to work on their projects with leading and specialized experts. After a short deliberation period they decided to work with Codit as their strategic partner.

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With their competitive acquisition strategy, Össur needed a robust backend system that could easily integrate legacy systems and data from the companies they acquired. Their team decided on Microsoft BizTalk Server as their integration platform, but after a few years, it became apparent this platform required more specialization and focus than the team had time for.

“Össur is in the business of developing, manufacturing and selling products, we’re not in the business of integration. We must focus on our mission,” said Baldur Knútsson Director of Enterprise Architecture and Integration, Össur, “Our current strategy is to work with specialized partners to support our business. We have a number of partners, not only for integration, but also for infrastructure and for first line support. We’re really in the partnering scheme.”

Before Codit could begin with integration, Össur’s backend systems needed to be cleaned up. Their backend servers had legacy code, there was a lack of consistency, there was no uniform logging, automation, or alignment between one environment and the next. All of this spelled a recipe for back-end headaches.

The Össur team was spending unnecessary time cleaning up issues rather than focusing on their core tasks. They wanted to get the system cleaned up once and for all, so they could go forward in a clean, bug-free environment for their integration and API layers.

Össur decided Codit’s expertise in integration made them an ideal partner to take them to the next level.

Before Codit our backend was all over the place – it was a challenging task to guide us out, but they did. They really understand how we work.

Baldur Knútsson Director of Enterprise Architecture and Integration

The Approach

Using the Codit methodology to ensure that Microsoft best practices were being adhered to, the Codit team took a personalized approach to working with Össur.
The overarching goal of the project was to tune down the complexity and make the environment easier for everyone to work in. The first step for Codit was to clean up the back-end system. A migration project was set up to move to BizTalk 2016 and to render the API integration layer balanced and more transparent from a business point of view.

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Codit’s goal was to refactor the environment, complete a major migration project from BizTalk 2010 to BizTalk 2016 and ensure a reliable easy release pipeline for the team to work with. The Codit team also focused on making changes to the environment – while ensuring the change was scoped and didn’t impact the entire operation. It was imperative that the environment became streamlined so that everyone could understand it and work within it.

“Codit have really been cleaning up our skeletons. There was a lot of technical debtand they have really set us on a straight path now,” says Baldur Knútsson Director of Enterprise Architecture and Integration, Össur.

Although Codit and Össur work closely together, the entire solution is Codit developed and Codit run, with Codit Customer Care ensuring a continual smooth operation “I am responsible for the operation but I barely do anything on the integration side. I basically just keep informed about what’s going on. The Codit team do all the heavy lifting.  I have a great deal of trust in the skills of Codit,” underlines Knútsson.

The Results

The initial results were a clean environment and a successful migration project to BizTalk 2016, allowing Össur to continue its upward growth trajectory unimpeded. The biggest result is arguably the continuing working relationship between Össur and Codit, with Codit Customer Care running the solution. There are concrete projects in the works to move from an entirely on-premises infrastructure to a hybrid infrastructure.

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There are no signs that Össur will stop its continued growth, and the team need Codit to continue supporting their integration solution into the future. “The way Codit works is that we always have the same people assigned to our account. Therefore, we get to know them on a first name basis; many people within Össur know the Codit team well. They have become an integral part of our team and really helped us accomplish our goals,” confirms Knútsson.

Codit Customer Care continues to run the solution in the background – ensuring the continuation of Össur’s day to day operations. “Working with Codit Customer Care has been a pleasure from the start. They give us amazing support – they often go above and beyond,” says Knútsson.

The Össur-Codit partnership is set to continue for the long run. In the next 3- 5 years Codit will be working with Össur to extend their integration layer – and service bus – to the cloud. The result being that Össur can migrate the systems that touch their core business, such as ERP, and their sales CRM, into a cloud-based alternative.

Microsoft Azure is also becoming a bigger part of their toolbox, with Össur moving towards a hybrid solution. “I don’t think you can force the transformation, it has to come organically. Our ERP and core legacy systems are currently designed to run only on-premises. Azure is part of our journey into the cloud,” concludes Knútsson.

A word from the client

“We have a great deal of trust in the skills in Codit. We ask the Codit team to behave like employees of Össur because we trust them immensly. Codit is an integral part of our team.”

Baldur Knútsson Director of Enterprise Architecture and Integration

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