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The Client

Headquartered in Austin, TX, Intertek Alchemy (Alchemy) is an integrated training solutions provider for the Manufacturing, Food, and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) industries. Their solutions ensure that the relevant workforce is equipped with the right know-how and confidence to perform their jobs efficiently and correctly.

Acquired by the Intertek Group in 2018, Alchemy’s cloud-based products help drive client productivity, safety, and operational excellence by plugging skill gaps within frontline operations with targeted learning solutions.

Alchemy’s subscription-based courseware is purpose-built for the Manufacturing, Food, and EHS personnel with flexible delivery methods, always available cloud-based technology, audit-ready reporting, and novel customizations. As a result, more than three million people across fifty thousand locations use Alchemy’s targeted training solutions to eliminate food wastage, reduce workplace injuries and drive operational efficiencies.

The Challenge

A string of acquisitions adds complexity and diversity to Alchemy’s technology landscape. Alchemy needs help understanding this landscape and simplifying and standardizing to drive faster development and shorter time-to-market.

Alchemy and Excellarete collaborated to migrate ‘Alchemy Manager’ to a more modern platform to rationalize this technology landscape. Other products in the client’s portfolio depend on ‘Alchemy Manager’ as its core backend. The Alchemy Manager manages all employees and organizes them into workgroups. It also generates reports and creates learning plans for employees and provides an e-learning interface for individual employees.

The admin portal and the end-user portal form core parts of Alchemy Manager. While Alchemy’s in-house teams are migrating the end-user portal themselves, they need help to accelerate this process. On the other hand, the admin portal has more content, features, and complex functionality. Excellarate professionals are helping Alchemy chart an optimal modernization path through this complexity.

Apart from the technology migration of Alchemy Manager, Alchemy also needs to build and launch its Zosi platform from scratch. Zosi is a first-of-its-kind online community and learning ecosystem for the EHS industry. Alchemy needed a partner that could fuse decades of industry experience and regulatory knowledge of Zosi’s subject matter experts with the technical chops to design and build a state-of-the-art technical resource for its clients. This portal would provide EHS professionals with time-tested, sustainable, and practical solutions to complex industry and regulatory problems.

The Solution

Dealing with technical challenges and complexity is what Excellarate does best. Using Agile methodologies, the team has been consistently helping similar clients make sense of their existing landscape and boost their current development efforts to reduce time to value for its end customers.

The Excellarate team has accelerated the client’s migration of its Alchemy Manager product to newer technology and platform. Along with developing additional core application features and migrating parts of it to newer platforms, the Excellarate team helps Alchemy with internal usage tools that help automate and accelerate some of the yak-shaving during the migration process.

The team also helps Alchemy automate and test the application and its subsequent migration. This testing includes writing unit tests, integration tests, and API tests for connecting with the reporting backend. An Agile methodology prevents any failed test cases from being released in the production versions of the product.

For the Zosi web application, the Excellarate team implemented a React + node.js frontend with a serverless AWS lambda backend using microservices.

Excellarate professionals use AWS products for the infrastructure featuring single accounts for each environment type (Dev + QA, Staging, and Production) and unique and independent runtime environments within the same account managed by name scopes where necessary.

“When it comes to a true partnership and willingness to understand the business, culture and products; Synerzip (now Excellarate) exceeds our expectations. They provide cost effective, top talent to meet your business needs. They listen and understand the opportunity and can adapt and develop a team that will get your product to market faster and with precision.”

Philip EdgeVice President, DevOps & CSO, Intertek Alchemy

The Outcome

Some of Alchemy’s customers have been waiting for a significant amount of time for features to be available in the product. Excellarate professionals set up a 24×5 development plan that works in tandem with the onshore delivery team to speed up the release of these sought-after features.

Alchemy could also migrate and maintain legacy products in record time, primarily due to the immediate availability of AWS expertise and expanding development expertise with experience in new technology platforms. This talent scalability helps the client save hiring costs and affords them the flexibility to scale up and down technological ability as and when required while still meeting tight go-to-market timelines.

Zosi’s phase 0 is complete. A proof of concept followed by an MVP is now available for restricted internal distribution within the client’s stakeholders. Phase 1 is currently in progress with Zosi’s distribution across the enterprise. A mobile app and feature upgrades such as the individual purchase of content and live content are scheduled for phase 2.

AWS Chime integration with Zoom is also underway, allowing Alchemy to conduct online classroom-type training shortly.

Tech Stack

  • Frontend – ReactJS + Material UI Components
  • Backend – PHP, API Gateway and Lambda, Node.js
  • Database – MySQL, Postgres, Redshift, Snowflake
  • DevOps – AWS, Lambda functions
  • QA – Supertest,, PHP, Selenium-WebDriver, Browserstack, Blazemeter
  • Tools – Github, VS Code, MySQL Workbench, SQL Workbench, Docker, JIRA, Practitest, Confluence, Zeplin, Redmine

AWS Stack

Alchemy Manager: EC2, RDS, S3, Cloud Front, Cloud Formation
Zosi: Lambda, Step Functions, RDS, S3, API Gateway, Cloud Front, CDK