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Machine Learning & AI / Case Study
Innovation and Collaboration at a Global Data Company
Kyckr provides real-time access to legally authoritative global company data via a single platform by connecting customers to over 300 company registries and 120+ million legal entities across 100+ countries. Information from Kyckr is used by major financial institutions in meeting anti-terrorism, anti-money laundering regulations as well as providing data for financial compliance initiatives. Kyckr is a publicly traded company on the Australian Securities Exchange with operations in Ireland, the UK and Australia.
When Kyckr approached Daemon, the company was undergoing a transition from an existing development partner and wished to join previously separate software engineering domains (API and web portal) under the responsibility of one technology team.
The absence of a coordinated team meant that differences in development and deployment between the two teams had resulted in a significant tech debt backlog in addition to the existing business as usual (BAU) activities. The maturity of the software engineering capabilities at Kyckr covered a wide spectrum, with some modern projects observing better patterns and practises than other “legacy” projects. The result of this drift between technologies and teamwork was impacting both the customer experience and capacity for the engineering team to develop new products and features.
With the introduction of Daemon to Kyckr we replaced the previous segregation of responsibilities between web portal and API teams with a single engineering organisation.
Engineers are encouraged to communicate and share knowledge between any and all team members. The removal of technological gatekeeping between the previous teams has resulted in team members who participate in cross-functional activities, observing and hosting discussions and debates on problems and solution design across all of Kyckr’s tech landscape.
While some of Kyckr’s engineering organisation is made up of Daemon consultants there is no “us” versus “them” - we are all part of the same team, working on delivering value according to a shared product roadmap.
As part of the plan to align Kyckr’s engineering efforts across the entire organisation Daemon put in place a principal consultant acting as Kyckr’s Head of Engineering, responsible for formalising team roles and re-structuring the existing team to support the expected deliverables.
In addition to the structural changes above, Daemon also took the lead on facilitating the Agile sprint ceremonies, adjusting the existing practises in accordance with feedback from the entire team. This included the introduction of a sprint review, as well as backlog refinement sessions where the team started estimating the size of work items for the first time. The establishment of reference stories and multiple refinement sessions helped create a consistent approach to providing story estimation, aiding the tracking of team velocity in each sprint.
Daemon’s engineering leadership at Kyckr also includes ISO audit preparation, customer support and incident response and participating in other senior management team activities.
Software Engineering Innovation
Daemon’s software engineers at Kyckr assumed responsibility for a wide range of existing applications and services as well as spearheading the development of new products and features. Daemon lead the design and implementation of a brand new web portal, and enhanced Kyckr’s existing API capabilities.
In addition to upgrading the existing applications, Daemon was also instrumental in providing production-ready experiments and proof-of-concept services, ready for extension to support increased workloads.
In addition to application development Daemon was also instrumental in stabilising the existing cloud infrastructure and managing a migration from a legacy virtual machine environment to Azure managed services.
We initiated a transition from classic build and release Azure DevOps pipelines to the Microsoft recommended multi-stage pipelines, introducing test automation and static analysis as part of CI and CD.
Daemon widened the use of Azure Application Insights for logging and observability across all environments, as well as introducing metrics dashboards and automated alerts on specific Azure resources.
As part of our commitment to strengthen Kyckr’s core engineering capabilities Daemon is also involved in transitioning Kyckr away from a majority consultant team to a majority Kyckr full time employee (FTE) team. Daemon’s engineering leadership at Kyckr is actively involved in establishing relationships with recruitment agencies, the identification of role requirements and active participation in interviews and assessments on behalf of Kyckr.
The consolidation of engineering organisation to “one team” has increased team morale, and promoted collaboration between previously segregated functional areas.
Where previously new API integrations took 3 months, they now take 3 weeks, using a repeatable, templated process.
Daemon’s updates to Kyckr’s Azure cloud infrastructure has resulted in an a platform which features more visibility and much improved alerting and monitoring capabilities.
Recruitment activities on behalf of Kyckr have yielded an increase in the FTE engineering team headcount, including successful placement of a first-party Kyckr Head of Engineering.
Together, Kyckr and Daemon have deployed many successful new products and features!
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