Össur Unlocks Data Potential and Continues Growth with Hybrid Transition to Azure Integration Services

With BizTalk coming to an end in 2030, Össur is migrating to Azure in a phased approach that safeguards the organization’s future by utilizing data potential and enabling growth.

  • Solutions in this case

In previous years, Codit helped orthopaedic prosthetics’ manufacturer Össur to clean up their backend and integrate their applications using BizTalk 2016. Since then, Microsoft has announced that BizTalk will be coming to an end by 2030 and that companies need to prepare for the move to Azure Integration Services (AIS). This will help Össur to continue to grow, to unlock the potential of data, to avoid duplicating data and to become more efficient. However, this had to be done with as little disruption as possible.

Photos courtesy of Össur
  • Challenge
  • Approach
  • Results

The Challenge

Codit originally set out to help Össur to integrate newly acquired business legacy systems with their own. This was after rapid growth and acquisition resulted in a heterogeneous application landscape. Codit helped to streamline this operation through BizTalk and Sentinet, to keep up with the rising demand of interoperability and the systems introduced every year. Now, as BizTalk comes to an end, the challenge is to transition these processes to Azure Integration Services.

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Össur needed to continue to integrate their legacy systems, whilst also beginning to unlock the potential of data for growth. However, it was imperative that this transition had as little effect on Össur’s everyday business processes as possible. 

Previously, developers in the integration team at Össur had a range of expertise. The problem with this was that if a developer left the company, the flows would fall apart because of inconsistent technologies. The challenge was to create a centralized platform on Azure, governed by Codit, which could be accessed by others on request. 

Codit has great integration expertise. There is a wealth of knowledge within the team that means they can always provide us with a solution. Having a knowledgeable partner that we can rely on and save us time like this is pretty valuable.

Gunnar Sigurðsson Software Developer at Össur 

The Approach

As BizTalk won’t be coming to an end until 2030, it was important not to rush the transition and Össur opted for a hybrid approach involving both BizTalk and Azure. This involved several steps.  

The first step was to transition to later versions of BizTalk. In 2022, Codit helped Össur to move to BizTalk 2020. As everything related to BizTalk deployment had been automated previously, this was achieved in only a few months. 

Codit then helped to build a governance layer. This is a centralized, service-orientated architecture with only one master, which has sole charge of monitoring and keeping everything up-to-date, ensuring that no two integrations are doing the same thing and that time isn’t wasted.  With this service layer in place, Codit helped Össur to transition to Azure on a case-by-case basis. The first flows have already been set up.

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The “master” in the governance layer is the application responsible for particular data. For example, the master responsible for all data related to customers is the CRM application. This means that if another application needs to access data about a customer, Össur can do this through the CRM. This also unlocks the potential of using the data for further growth, as it enables anyone within the company to generate integrations without needing direct access to the data themselves. This is a major step towards future-proofing the organization. The controlled access also makes sure the data is more secure behind the services layer. Finally, the service layer helps the Codit managed services team, with whom Össur has a longstanding relationship. It allows them to monitor the integrations even more closely, lowering the risk of human error.  

Once Össur decides that a flow needs to be changed to Azure, the application is checked to see if it is nearing its end-of-life. If this is the case, it can be kept on BizTalk until it’s time to pull the plug. Size is also considered. If the flow is small, the migration can be made immediately and with little disruption. If a flow is larger, the current situation is assessed. The migration is also an opportune time for any changes to be made. Once the migration to Azure has been made and tested, and the app is decommissioned in BizTalk. 

All of this is done with little disruption on Össur’s end. They can proceed with business as usual, with orders coming in in the same way. At most, they may have to change the address of a web service. The advantage of the service layer is that it removes the need to change customer details in various applications. Difficulties with connecting on-prem applications in Össur’s data centers can also be resolved by virtual network integrations, which allow access to the resources as if they were running in the cloud. If there are authentication issues, this can be solved in the backend application with the use of new credentials.  

The Results

Since their work together started, Codit has helped Össur to migrate to both BizTalk 2016 and BizTalk 2020, and now to a hybrid infrastructure.

The biggest result of this is the ensuring of a future-proof application landscape that will help Össur to grow through both the unlocked data potential and increased business efficiency. The hybrid approach taken will help them to make the move to Azure gradually and carefully, with the continuing working relationship between Össur and Codit as strong as ever. 

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The Azure integration work between Össur and Codit is still in its early stages. However, as an example of how the flow can be moved to the cloud without any performance impact, Össur recently asked for Codit’s help with their warehousing application. This is the application through which repair requests for defects with prosthetic limbs are sent. Requests currently go through BizTalk, but Codit will soon migrate the flow to Azure. It is important that the machines involved keep running, but as they don’t have a big flow, the migration should be relatively easy and cause as little downtime as possible. The potential for projects like this is vast and ongoing. 

A word from the client

“The future is Azure. The logical step was to take old solutions to Azure, giving us time to make the transition without panicking. Back when we first met Codit, the writing on the wall was that BizTalk was out, but Codit had a plan. We trust them.”

Gunnar Sigurðsson Software Developer at Össur 

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