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British Army Deploys Software AG’s webMethods API Platform

April 11, 2018

Software AG has been recruited by the British Army to improve the way it shares critical information needed to prepare its forces for operations.

Software AG is a lead technology partner of a major multi-vendor open consortium that is improving the Army’s understanding of the readiness of its troops and equipment before any deployment, helping to save millions of pounds.

Like many organisations, the British Army is saddled with a number of overlapping legacy technologies, with information siloed in many different systems and databases contracted to System Integrators. This can lead to long delays in gaining access to data and making changes to the application functionality. The Army has been on a journey to decompose large monolithic internal developed applications to loosely coupled services, designed to be externalised. The Army required an API (Application Programme Interface) Management platform to enable governance, monitoring, securing and support of the APIs. The Army also required a technical solution to be able to integrate with large Defence applications to expose reference data and services.

Software AG was chosen to spearhead the Army’s digital transformation strategy and create an API management platform that will securely connect systems and data and enable integration with legacy systems. The Army’s strategy is based around two key technologies: Software AG’s webMethods integration platform and CentraSite, the API catalogue and services registry.

The use of Software AG’s API Management capability will enable a range of services across boundaries, drawing information from numerous systems to support a range of functions from HR, equipment availability, operational readiness, payment of Reserves and trialling Remote Processing Automation on legacy systems.

The benefits for the Army’s API first strategy include increased interoperability with access to data and services that have been thus far not possible, increased organisational agility and return of investment on provided services. To the users, API Management will enable quicker release of much needed capabilities, reduce siloed systems which require duplication of data and greater ability to expose services to personal devices. The ability to integrate to wider Defence systems with a solution that can be re-used across multiple suppliers has great potential to be able to provide reference data that is need to inform decision making.

“Without effective data and services, it’s very difficult for planners to understand our forces’ state of readiness, or to create much-needed services for our soldiers; this is where the Software AG API suite is adding real value,” said Lt Col Dorian Seabrook, Head of Operations at Army Software House

“We have been very impressed by Software AG from the very beginning: they have a thorough understanding of the challenges we face, and in just three months have delivered a platform which enables us to break down information silos and share information quickly, effectively and, most importantly, securely. We are starting to understand the definitive services and data, and this is proving invaluable from both an operational and organisational perspective,” he continued.

Clive Freedman, Head of UK Public Sector and Alliances for Software AG, said, “Like many public-sector organisations, budget cuts mean that the Armed Forces are being asked to do more with less. The British Army has looked at how businesses in the private sector are using technologies such as Master Data Management and APIs to improve data sharing and visibility, save money, and boost effectiveness.

“We tend not to associate the armed forces with apps, but they are just like other large organisations in the information challenges they face. There is an additional security challenge, of course, but our compliance and assurance team has worked closely with the Army to secure data and access, while also providing penetration testing and ongoing technical expertise,” he concluded.

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