ETAP® Learning is a true innovator with over 30 years of experience providing the most comprehensive training for generation, transmission, distribution, industrial, transportation, and low-voltage power systems. In short, ETAP has created a unique and impactful way to educate those entering into highly complex electrical management vocations as a leader in modeling, design, analysis, optimization, monitoring, control, and automation software for electrical power systems.
In 2014 ETAP was distributing its full production software via DVD and software demos via digital download. The mix of its delivery processes added significant manual components to its DevOps workflow and was ongoing, resource-intensive, and did not provide granular data needed for marketing to make assessments and track KPIs.
ETAP contacted Solid State Networks, an innovator in API-driven software delivery solutions, to assist with the challenge of providing comprehensive reporting eliminating the need to aggregate data from various manually driven download systems.
The benefits ETAP sought were quickly realized. Solid State Networks Dynamic Delivery Platform (Direct DDP™) was the solution to provide ETAP with the ability to deliver software demos while allowing developers to focus on ongoing DevOps workflows and provide marketing a single view of customer successful software delivery to their customers.
Following this success of this improved software deployment process, ETAP expanded the use of more tools available from Solid State Networks to enable enhanced security, deeper analytics, and a single API automation for its full line of software, resulting in reduced manual processes and labor costs.
Because single file sizes often exceed 4GB, it was critical for ETAP’s software download client to be resilient to overcome disruptions in Internet access, meet their strict security requirements, and make it easier for the DevOps team to automate the software deployment process. ETAP reduced the workflow down to three steps: Upload software files to a CDN environment, enter a unique identifier of the files into the Solid State system via an API, and insert the generated unique URL into their online software download center.
According to Thomas Noack, Director of Integrated Marketing for ETAP, “Our developers really like the DIRECT DDP because it is easy to use, and it took only minutes to integrate the code and create the links to our software.”
ETAP’s customers are notified that a software update is available and directed to a URL in their download center. The DIRECT DDP dynamically generates a unique ETAP branded download manager (DLM) that includes only files entitled to each customer. Each DLM is created with the customer experience ETAP has specified, including multi-language support, specified file load locations, enablement of a file auto-executable, a unique customer EULA, and many of the other options available. In the event the Internet connection is unstable, the DLM client will auto-recover dropped connections and lost packets and validate the integrity of the files to ensure the software is perfect at the byte level. Each DLM sends data to Solid State Networks’ analytics service, and the aggregated data is displayed within a visualization dashboard. ETAP has a single view of file download success/failure, date, time, unique identifiers, and many other data points for customer support, corporate governance, executive reporting, and performance analytics.
Today, thanks to the success of the DIRECT DDP, ETAP has a fully automated download management process that supports continuous delivery best practices, resulting in an entirely hands-off scenario for their team.
As a result, ETAP was able to significantly increase download success rates, improve their customer experience, and decrease bottlenecks in its workflow that resulted from manual operations. ETAP has realized a reduction in resource hours once dedicated to managing its continuous delivery workflow and now has more granular reporting and an almost nonexistent failure rate. Today, ETAP employees can focus on their jobs at hand with little thought or need to oversee the software delivery system.
Thomas Noak added, “ETAP has been a Solid State Networks customer for a long time and never saw a reason to even look at any other providers. Solid State Networks has excellent technical support and customer service, and any issues we ever had were resolved with 100% satisfaction.”
Contact us today to find out how the Solid State Networks DIRECT platform can automate your software download center, increase successful downloads, and provide you detailed, actionable analytics to help you improve your customers’ user experience.