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Customer Solution Case Study

Al Noor Hospital Boosts IT Services


with ALM
1.1.1 Al Noor Hospital group
Customer:
Website: www.alnoorhospital.com
Number of Employees:
Over 3500 staff
15 Software Developers
Country or Region: United Arab
Emirates, Abu Dhabi.
Industry: Health Care
Customer Profile
Al Noor Hospital started off as a
polyclinic in 1985, and soon evolved into
a state of the art hospital. Early 2011, the
IT department decided to implement
Microsofts Application Lifecycle
Management in order to get a grip on
their source code and their activities.
Software and Services
Microsoft Visual Studio ALM
-project

Investing in Microsoft ALM means our organization


can now solve issues in-house within a couple of hours
and without additional help from 3rd parties. The
Software Development Manager Abdulwadood Marashi
Al Noor Hospital is a private healthcare group with several branches in the emirate of Abu
Dhabi. It employs experienced healthcare professionals and has state-of-the-art facilities to
offer the best healthcare in the region. Since its inception in 1985, Al Noor Hospital has
seen considerable growth and attained several quality certifications. Realizing the
importance of IT in supporting the groups growth, the IT department underwent a massive
restructuring, starting off with just 2 developers.
Early 2011, the IT department decided to implement Microsofts Application Lifecycle
Management in order to get a grip on their source code and their activities. The first phase
of the implementation ran smoothly and was completed by the end of 2011. Following that
initial phase, the team went on to develop applications based on a service-oriented
architecture, including message-based programmes. Implementing ALM has already
resulted in a 20-30 % reduction in development resources. Significant efficiency gains from
automated testing have also been reported.

Business Needs
In 2009 Al Noor Hospitals kindling ICT
team took over responsibility for the
hospitals IT hardware, software and
communications centralizing services
under a single group. Facing the growing
pains trying to support the user
community and organizing work items, IT
services were inefficient.
For more information about other
Microsoft customer successes, please visit:
www.microsoft.com/casestudies

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES


NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.

Document published October 2012

The IT team had no way of organizing their


work, let alone the support requests from
their user group. The required tools

werent available and so the IT team


struggled to implement system changes
efficiently. Tracking the progress of ongoing projects was not possible; nor were
there any applications to facilitate ITIL
service management processes. Thorough
problem analysis and consistent testing to
enable a smooth transition from
development to production were virtually
absent. With just one shared folder to
store the source code, the growing IT team
was not able to use the software to its full
potential.

Despite their efforts, their work went largely


unnoticed, making some wonder what their
added value was. The team realized that
something had to change. They needed a
tool that would structure their IT assets and
their work.

Solution
The team was determined to find a solution
that would do two things. First of all, they
wanted an application life cycle
management suite that would give them
control over their software. Secondly, they
wanted a tool that would help them
improve the quality of their work in terms of
planning, measuring throughput time and
tracking progress. The team decided to
implement Microsofts Application Lifecycle
Management solution as well as Visual
Studio.
Implementation started in early 2011 with
the dedicated support of a Microsoft
consultant on-site. During the initial phase,
the legacy systems were migrated to the
new ALM environment. The legacy source
code was imported and a framework to
ensure versioning was put in place.
Effectively, phase 1 laid the groundwork for
a solid IT service department. In fact, the
first phase went so well that it inspired
confidence for the following phases.
Since the beginning of 2012, the Al Noor
Hospitals IT team has been focusing more
on the process of the application lifecycle
management itself and on Scrum
methodology as part of phase 2 of the
project.
Phase 3 will see the implementation of
Visual Studios Lab management. The
moment a developer checks in his code, the
build will automatically be triggered, and
can also notify the quality assurance

performance test. This will allow them to


launch a load test or stress test at night.
Thus, more products are delivered, and
delivered faster.

In addition to that, automated testing has


enabled the team to get rid of a large
portion of the overhead costs involved
with manual testing.

Benefits

Source code centralization and safety


The problems that used to hamper the
hospitals software team belong to the
past. Team Foundation Server was
implemented to improve Source Code
Management be storing code files and
database schemas in a central repository.
Today the integrity of the source code is
safeguarded and can be backed up,
recovered and restored easily without any
risk of data loss

Currently, the team consists of 15


developers, and it is now able to follow
industry standards. No one in the team has
to work on the source code itself anymore.
In fact, a key reason for switching to
Microsoft visual studio was the ability to
integrate the development tools with the
quality assurance and testing environment.
Changes to the source code are now
efficiently tested and their go-live is
planned at regular intervals. The
development chain has become a
structured, integrated sequence of events
giving the team maximum control over the
support processes, as well as the system.
Changes are made on a separate
development environment after which they
are automatically exported to the
production source code after testing and
approval.
The release frequency went up from once
a quarter to once a month. Requirements
are communicated in a structured way,
resulting in faster delivery of the requested
functionality to the end users. All work is
being done much more efficiently, with as
much as 30 % fewer external developers
being hired. The Software Development
Manager, Abdulwadood Marashi, explains:

Investing in Microsoft ALM


means our organization can
now solve issues in-house
within a couple of hours and
without additional help from
3rd parties.

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS
SUMMARY.
Document published October 2012

TFSs flexible architecture and powerful


recovery tools had enabled the IT team to
reduce downtime caused by server
hardware failure. Less time is spent on
fixing priority issues, leaving more time for
improvements. Abdulwadood recounts:

This tool is really a business


enabler, as once you manage
your old materials and
maintenance, you are free to
focus on building new solutions
and delivering additional value.
TFSs reporting function allows the team to
log hours spent on projects, changes and
incidents. The reports provide insight into
the teams productivity, projects costs and
how many requests were delivered on
schedule, among many other things. This
gives them the ability to proactively
improve their standard of service, or revise
processes that are inefficient.
Microsoft Application Lifecycle
Management has given developers a sense
of control over and pride in their work.
Over time they have become more
disciplined and started to check their work
more regularly. Moreover, the recovery

feature allowed them to retrieve data and


resume normal operations for the end users
within a matter of hours, instead of the days
or weeks it previously used to take. This has
made a tremendous difference in the
perception of the added value of the IT
team.
Lessons learned
According to Wissam Ismail, ICT Director,
the most important lesson learned from the
implementation of Microsoft ALM is that

You cannot manage what you


cannot measure.
If you have no information on how your
department is performing, you cannot
improve on it either. Microsoft ALM has
created a benchmark against which the
effectiveness of improvements can be
measured. Wissam explains:

Al Noor Hospitals IT department greatly


enhanced their services with Microsoft
ALM. Above and below are some
visualizations of their capabilities.

Without the proper tools you


cannot identify and remedy any
weak points to maximize team
efficiency.
As the team became familiar with the
process and the workloads increased, the Al
Noor IT team realized that despite their
relatively limited size, they were able to
implement and manage an IT system that
they associated with large companies. You
dont have to be a large software company
or have a large budget to implement
innovation in your niche market says
Wissam.
The IT team believes that if they had not
purchased ALM and Visual Studio, they
wouldnt be able to meet the requirements
of the hospital today. More and more they
are succeeding in automating procedures
involving both medical staff as well as
patients, reducing the administrative burden
and facilitating a smooth process for all.

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS
SUMMARY.
Document published October 2012