Easter 2020 Update

Hello,

I hope that this email finds you well, safe and happy. In these unprecedented times during the COVID-19 lockdown, I thought it worth taking the unprecedented step of sending an email out to assure everyone that it's fully business as usual at GlobalizeMe Digital.

We're of course all getting used to a new way of working but I wanted to assure you of the following key measures that we have taken to ensure that business continues and that we continue to safeguard the business of our clients and their clients:
Every single one of our 27 team members on the are now working at home; this includes the UK (Chinnor), India (Bangalore) and Spain (La Palma) offices to the person.

All of our team members have great internet connectivity and all are connecting securely to our networks and servers via highly secure VPNs, basically utilising the same levels of security as they would were they in the office.
We're having regular (twice daily) scrum meetings between local teams to ensure that everyone stays on track with goals and targets.
We're also ensuring that everyone works and communicates within their buddy groups (2-3 people) and that they have regular communication within this group to ensure social and mental wellbeing.

As a company, we're also holding regular town hall meetings via Microsoft Teams with the entire company present, ensuring that team members are kept aware of wider company goals at this time, and that every single person in the team feels supported and part of a wider global team. This is after all a global problem and not a local problem and we want everyone to understand this.

Working in this way has ensured a happy and productive workforce, that projects stay on track, that SLAs continue to be met and consequently a client base who continues to be happy with the project work, AWS build and managed services that we provide to our clients - basically business as usual for GlobalizeMe. We know we're not unique and we know that many companies out there are pulling out all the stops to support their clients and indeed there are many people out there on the front line who are risking their lives every day in these strange times. However we wanted to reassure you that things are as normal as they can be here and that you can still trust us to deliver at all times.

Thanks for your time, if you want to know more about what we do and how we do it, please visit our dedicated Digital website https://digital.globalizeme.com where you can delve down into the services that we offer, check out our team and read news and case studies to find out what we've been up to lately. We're particularly proud of our recent involvement with a London based suicide charity for whom we've been building and rolling out containerised, load-balanced, auto-scaling AWS architecture. We've also been providing world class managed-service architecture, build support and development services to clients in the Pharma, Financial Services and manufacturing fields so please do check out the website for more info.

In the meantime, we hope you've had a good Easter weekend and are returning back to the "new normal" refreshed and ready to face the week.

With all best wishes,

Andy Forkgen.


Suicide Charity Architecture, Scaling and Hardening Using AWS

We have recently been working with a suicide prevention charity based in London to help them to keep their websites up and running under unpredictable heavy traffic using load balancing and auto-scaling technologies on AWS.

The Problem:

We were approached by this well-known charity during 2019 as they were having performance and availability issues with their Wordpress websites. Being a major suicide charity, they have a remit keep their chat-based counselling facility and suicide prevention content up and running 24/7 to help vulnerable people at any time day or night. However, the “nice problem to have” was that traffic to their website was increasing exponentially due to some prominent patrons and very high profile events drawing attention to their site and their services.

During times of unpredictable heavy traffic, the website would either slow down to the point of diminished usability or at times would even crash, depriving potential clients of the facilities held on the sites. And when approached after these critical incidents, their hosting company would try to sell them huge, traditional, monolithic server stacks that they would not need 90% of the time and which would not guarantee uptime, the hosting company telling them that “Wordpress isn’t great at scaling.”

The Solution:

We underwent a period of consulting with the client, looking at factors such as the architecture and build of their website, the sources and timing of high traffic (there wasn’t a set time as it turned out!) and the general causes of previous outages. The conclusion was that the traffic was unpredictable in terms of size and timing and there wasn’t too much we could do with their Wordpress site in terms of build.

We therefore implemented some key holistic solutions to ensure high availability at all times under unpredictable load:

  • Implementation of a containerised, template based hosting solution using AWS ECS, Puppet and other CI/CD technologies.
  • Implementation of auto-scaling and load balancing within these containerised clusters, in order to spawn new instances when load hit predetermined Cloudwatch thresholds (and kill the instances when traffic returned to normal).
  • Implementation of segmented, scalable, robust and clustered database technology using AWS Aurora.
  • Re-work of the Wordpress configuration to make heavy use of caching whilst also allowing content to be effectively distributed across all “live” nodes on publishing or on creation of a new node.
  • Hardening of the entire platform, making sure the software layer was protected and also implementing tools such as AWS WAF, Route53 DNS and AWS Control Tower to manage intrusion detection, SSL distribution and general threat management.

Coupled with some load and A/B testing and a gradual rollout across regions plus a rock-solid SLA based support agreement, we ensured that this new architecture worked well and did not introduce more issues than it solved.

The End Result:

We now have a client who can trust their Wordpress implementation and are now confident to market their charity in ways which they never imagined possible, increasing the reach of their work to even more needy individuals. And the proof of the pudding was in the eating: one week after we went live with the solution, a very sad event happened involving the suicide of a prominent celebrity and increasing traffic to the site by over 1000%. The website did not murmur during this time and many more people were helped to make sense of what was going on or to reach out for immediate help.

We have since implemented another similar solution within the Pharmaceutical industry, helping patients with fertility issues to avail of important informational content and book appointments with their healthcare practitioners in response to wide-scale marketing campaigns. This solution uses similar containerised technology but goes one step further, using Wordpress in a headless form, talking to a NodeJS website and also uses low-cost and agile serverless architecture courtesy of AWS Fargate. We hope to implement many more similar solutions in the future for our clients.

If you wish to know more about how we can help you scale and harden and support any website or web technology beyond your imagination, please contact us.


GlobalizeMe Made IQVIA Partner

We're proud to have been made an IQVIA Partner, certified to work with the leading healthcare and life sciences content delivery platform for sales reps and marketing operatives worldwide. Working in conjunction with our agency partner HUG Advertising, we went through rigorous rounds of training and accreditation which included online classrooms and submission of working presentations to the IQVIA platform and after some hard work, emerged with the accreditation which puts us amongst just a small number of UK based IQVIA agencies.

Now as an IQVIA Partner, we are certified to work with clients in the Pharmaceutical, Healthcare and Life Science industries to work on mission critical content provision and provision of technology driven by the IQVIA platform. This follows many years and many projects working both on the Veeva and Cegedim platforms and many years delivering secure, cloud based systems globally.

Here's what IQVIA said to us today:

IQVIA GlobalizeMe

Congratulations, you are now officially IQVIA Certified e-Content Provider!

We are glad to count you as our partner and very excited to start our collaboration with successful project implementations. Quintiles and IMS Health have come together to become IQVIA, The Human Data Science Company. Motivated by the industry we help, we’re committed to providing solutions that enable life sciences companies to innovate with confidence, maximize opportunities, and, ultimately, drive human health outcomes forward.

We provide actionable solutions by tapping into the power of the IQVIA CORE™:

  • Domain Expertise. Institutional knowledge and domain expertise across diseases, geographies and scientific methods.
  • Advanced Analytics. Faster, more precise decision-making generated by advanced analytics designed for healthcare.
  • Unparalleled Data. One of the world’s largest curated healthcare data sources with innovative privacy protections.
  • Transformative Technology. Leading technologies to provide real-time access to operations-critical information.

DevOps Engineer | Chinnor, Oxfordshire | Salary £Competitive

STRICTLY NO AGENCIES AT THIS TIME

ABOUT US

We are seeking an experienced Technical DevOps Engineer to work within our UK Digital team and help us drive our business forward whilst maintaining our already strong processes, technical foundations and client relationships.

Founded in the Netherlands and with regional offices in the UK and India, we’re a growing company with a massive reach. From small beginnings, GlobalizeMe have shown conservative yet steady growth throughout since being formed in 2000. Our focus has always been on honesty in tandem with happy teams and happy clients, as evidenced by our company ethics. This ethos has driven some exciting milestones in our history and has seen us provide services to a range of clients from global tech companies and financial services giants to pharma leaders and SMEs alike. Read more about our history and ethos by browsing this website.

ABOUT THE ROLE

Driven both by growth and an increase in project complexity, this role is a great opportunity for an experienced, forward-thinking DevOps Engineer to grow both personally and in their technical and career goals by being a key player within this diverse and entrepreneurial team. GlobalizeMe have corporate clients worldwide and must follow processes and compliance checkpoints in line with client needs, but the reason for our success is that we’re agile, we’re can-do people, we’re friendly, we go the extra mile to get the job done. This attitude comes from our Global CEO and runs across our flat-structured teams globally.

The successful candidate will be working with our delivery and service desk teams based in the UK and Bangalore and will also have touchpoints with our Netherlands team. Projects are mostly digital in nature, spanning across cloud architecture and implementation, managed services, mobile app development, webapp and website development and multiple other services in between.

This isn’t a traditional DevOps role – but we hope that’s a good thing; duties are diverse and include, but are not limited to:

  • Involvement in pre-sales business analysis, architecture, specification.
  • Project timelining assistance, milestone assistance, budget assistance, client communication.
  • Assistance with service desk escalation issues i.e. if you’ve worked on a project, you’re a stakeholder and have responsibility from cradle-to grave.
  • Involvement in team meetings, team mentoring, adherence to and implementation of key processes including involvement in our quest for ISO27001.
  • As well as the usual DevOps duties including architecture, build, maintenance, support - alongside our existing team based across Europe and Bangalore.

ABOUT YOU

Working at GlobalizeMe is not your normal 9-5. We work hard, but in exchange, all of the GlobalizeMe team work to flexible working rosters that support our strong and professional business ethics but also give priority to family where needed. You’ll be ready for a flexible working environment and will have the following skills / qualities, proven via references and a solid LinkedIn profile:

    Linux

  • Linux OS specifically Amazon Linux, Centos and Unbuntu.
  • Apache

  • Apache including vhost & proxy configuration and .htaccess rules.
  • Threads / Process optimisation.
  • Puppet

  • Puppet configuring servers using modules and hiera data
  • Management of environments using r10k
  • Ability to write/debug puppet modules would be an advantage
    AWS

    At least 2 year's working knowledge of the AWS environment, you will ideally be an Associate DevOps Architect, will have an equivalent AWS accreditation or will be ready to take the exams. Skills should include:

  • Load Balancers classic and application, defining rules for application load balancers
  • VPC networking / internet & NAT gateways, Subnets
  • Security Groups
  • Provisioning of servers using CloudFormation Templates or userdaa
  • AutoScaling
  • Ability to work with and create CouldFormation templates in YAML format
  • Route53 DNS
  • Elastic Container Service
  • Elastic Beanstalk
  • S3
    PHP

  • PHP configuration and optimisation.
  • Basic knowledge of language useful to assist in debugging
  • Shared session handling in multi server environments
    MYSQL

  • MYSQL/Aurora configuration
  • Ability to debug and optimise queries and indexes
    Docker (or equivalent)

  • Knowledge of Docker, ability to control and manage containers
  • Creation of Dockerfiles
    Code Control & Build

  • Ability to work with git and understand the git flow method of working
  • Ability to work with Jenkins (or equivalent) and configure/create jenkins build scripts.
    Zabbix

  • Knowledge of working with zabbix is desirable
    Programming Languages

  • Knowledge of PHP, python and ruby is desirable
    In Addition

  • You will be used to working with corporate clients, many of whom work to extremely rigid security and compliance protocols; you’ll be able to tell us about your experiences during the interview process.
  • You’ll have a sense of humour and will be ready to meet challenges and clients with a smile.
  • You’ll be within a reasonable commute of our offices in Chinnor, Oxfordshire.
  • You’ll have access to transport and will be happy to jump in the car once or twice a month to visit our clients in London and the home counties.
  • You’ll be ready to jump on a plane now and again to visit clients but also to meet with your team mates in the Netherlands and Bangalore, India.
  • You’ll be ready to meet the challenge of joining a small yet dynamic and rapidly growing team with some tough yet rewarding challenges in meeting the needs of our global, high-calibre clients.
  • But above all you will be passionate to know that you’ll be helping the company grow to exciting levels and will be growing with the company.

NEXT STEPS

If we sound like the sort of team you’d be excited to join and are ready to learn more about this opportunity, please send us your CV, current salary and a covering letter to andy.forkgen@globalizeme.com. We aim to place this role by the end of Q12020.


GlobalizeMe Achieve AWS Select Partner Status Again

GlobalizeMe have been confirmed as an AWS Select Consulting Partner and Solution Provider (Reseller) – an achievement that now brings us into our sixth year as an AWS Partner.

We’ve worked particularly hard this year to be re-confirmed as an AWS Partner as the selection criteria has hotted up considerably where Partners need to meet criteria including:

  • At least two Certified AWS Architects on the team
  • At least two Cloud Practitioners on the team
  • At least two Certified Business Professionals on the team
  • At least two Certified Technical Professionals on the team
  • At 5 positive customer survey responses, with surveys being led by AWS and not by us!
  • At least one publicly referencable customer
  • A minimim client spend influence with AWS, regularly tracked and reviewed

Phew! Hard work but we love being part of the AWS ecosystem and delivering secure, scalable, diverse systems to our clients across the globe. For more information, view our case studies in this section.

And if you want any advice at all about how to get your business into the Cloud, please do contact us – as you probably know, we don’t run a sales team and anyone you speak with about our AWS services will be qualified in one way or another to talk the talk AND walk the walk!


Globally Load Balanced, Auto-Scaling CMS & Delivery System

We architectected, built, monitor and maintain a global content delivery system for a leading publishing house. In conjunction with a team of third-party software developers, we built a system on AWS that ingests content authored by journalists, deploys this content across locations based in the US, AsiaPac and Europe and delivers the content using truly elastic cloud based technologies.

Serving over 130,000 concurrent users at daily peak and being fed by extremely viral social media traffic, our system automatically grows itself by building new worker virtual servers at various graduation points, routes traffic strategically to healthy working zones, then closes down virtual servers in an orderly fashion when they are not needed any more. This 'build and dispose' ethos ensures that resources are kept at an optimal level thus saving cost when the systems are experiencing quiet periods.

This system has been a revolution for this publishing house, taking the huge headaches of systems administration away from staff and allowing them to scale exponentially on a global scale without further capital expenditure.


iPad Based Presentation and Business Impact Modelling Apps

We have built various sales and discovery apps for leading global pharma and financial services clients crossing multiple business functions and use cases. Mostly presentational in origin, many of these apps feature rich, retina-quality, adaptive, multi-lingual content as a starting point to a discovery and/or sales process.

The apps then go on to capture analytical data, business impact data and comparison data, most of them then culminating in a report, an interactive graph or any other sort of ongoing engagement. All of our apps are somehow cloud-connected, with content being managed and synchronised, and with analytic and CRM data all being synchronised via secure data feeds. Multiple sales and customer facing teams around the world are using our apps to automate their workloads.


Digital Asset Management System - Various Corporate Clients

Following demand from several clients including leading names in the pharmaceutical and retail sectors, we developed a secure Digital Asset Management System (DAM). The DAM is designed to allow sharing of digital files and documents within a private network between project stakeholders, including clients, project managers and vendors.

The DAM system will typically sit on a secure virtual private cloud within AWS, Microsoft Azure or your hosting platform of choice, is fully penetration tested using third party ethical hackers and features ultra-secure SSL layers for data transmission. We use solid audit trails and logging within the application to ensure that all changes and moves/deletes are fully tracked for compliance reasons.

Other features of the DAM include multi-role and group management, folder creation and allocation to groups, multi-role file view/edit functionality and read/write access specific to folder, group and user. The DAM has streamlined the file sharing workflow for multiple clients and has decreased their dependency on less secure, more commercial SaaS based systems.