Case Study: Omron select Dootrix for remote development team

Rob Borley
by
on 01 September 2014

Download the full Case Study (PDF)

Dootrix develop mission critical software for industrial automation

Founded in 1933 and headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. Omron’s primary business is the manufacture and sale of industrial automation components, equipment and systems, but it is also generally known for scientific and medical equipment.

Globally, Omron employs over 35,000 people. In 2013, Omron was named one of Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators. Omron’s Human Computer Interface (HMI) devices are used in demanding and mission critical industrial environments across many different sectors.

The challenge

Omron have over 100 developers around the world working on various software modules for their products. Departmental head count limits, combined with the high cost of desk space, recruitment & retention were putting a strain on project delivery. In addition, the loss of domain knowledge associated with revolving contract staff were hampering the ability of these very capable teams to deliver further functionality requested by Omron’s customers.

Omron were looking for a partner to work autonomously while completely integrating with Omron’s internal processes. In order to meet tight implementation milestones it was important for Omron to find a partner well-versed in agile development methods and able to provide complete transparency of deliverables and progress.

Furthermore, it was crucial to add additional technical development expertise in both latest and legacy versions of Microsoft’s Embedded and Desktop operating systems. Dootrix also added Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems to complement Omron’s own in-house knowledge.

The solution

Dootrix scoped and provided a remote software development team based from their own offices in Hampshire. This dedicated team included project co-ordination, technical lead, development and testing resource following Dootrix’s mature agile development process.

The team worked very closely with Omron’s own product owners in sprints, delivering working, testable software every two weeks. As requested, Dootrix used Omron’s own Team Foundation Server (TFS) system for source code control and testing.

Dootrix provided further consultancy on the overall approach recommending and defining a multi-layer architecture allowing for sub-components to be swapped out at later stages of development following changes in requirements and advances in technology.

Through constant peer-review and sprint demos, Dootrix spread both the technical and client-specific knowledge across its development and testing teams to ensure resilience and continuity of knowledge.

The team that Dootrix provided was able to work along side Omron’s internal development teams in the U.K., Spain, Holland and Japan as they delivered the next major release of Omron’s HMI technology.

As well as embedded software to power Omron’s bespoke HMI hardware, the Dootrix team designed and developed components for Omron’s sophisticated IDE software running on Windows Desktop systems and companion mobile applications for iOS and Android

Dootrix gathered valuable business insight and domain knowledge which it is now able to apply to other areas of the business helping facilitate Omron as they continue to innovate and add value to their customers.

The results

Omron were able to expand their development capacity in order to meet their customers needs beyond the natural limits that existed for the business. The normal ebb and flow of requirements means that contract staff leave at regular intervals taking with them valuable business technology and domain knowledge. As this knowledge now resides with Dootrix it is not lost for the next engagement.

Building a long term relationship

Dootrix and Omron have built a close relationship. Based on the success of the initial projects Dootrix have taken on projects from other areas of the business including Sales and Marketing.

As a preferred supplier to Omron Dootrix continues to invest time in understanding Omron’s business, its customers, and how new technology can help maintain Omron’s competitive advantage.

Download the full Case Study (PDF)

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