Services

All the cogs working in unison

E-accent’s projects are collaborations between our team and yours. Most of our software has to work alongside or replace existing software, or sometimes a combination of both. So we understand the complexity you may be facing.

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Web and software development

E-accent have extensive experience managing large and complex projects.

We offer full-stack web-application development, either independently or in partnership with another similar team.

We have developed content management, resource planning, ecommerce and business process management software for publishing, healthcare, professional services and non-profit organizations.

Many of our clients rely on our software to support their core business activities – serving customers, managing critical information, handling payments and collaborating internally. Having all these functions together in a single, bespoke platform gives them a unique advantage that competitors can’t easily emulate.

We can host your software for you, or you can choose another hosting supplier if you prefer. As consultants, we can take on full project management, carry out code audits, or just offer a second opinion.

We work with firms of all sizes in a wide range of sectors, based anywhere in the world.

Our approach

Our applications meet high-level business needs, providing a genuine competitive advantage without locking you into expensive licensing contracts. We custom-build for the way you work, with all the features you need and none of the ones you don’t.

We think about every brief on a business level, not just in terms of technical features. We can often suggest value-adding features or approaches, based on our experience as both a developer and a successful business.

We work flexibly and efficiently, keeping our designs and processes as simple as possible. All our code is produced according to industry best practice and peer-reviewed daily against our own coding standards, which are documented in our online handbook.

All communications are completely transparent, giving you total visibility and control over time spent and cost incurred.

The end result is a bespoke, easy-to-use and affordable software package that fits perfectly with the way your business operates.

This is what you get:

  • Full application source code: Including the unit, functional and integration tests that safeguard long-term stability.
  • Deployment and server configuration scripts: Help the operations team launch the application in minutes.
  • Developer documentation: Describes features and coding standards, to help new developers to familiarize themselves with the code.
  • Operations manual: Explains how the software is deployed and how it should be maintained.
  • List of 3rd party tools and licenses: So that you can renew any 3rd party subscriptions on time and stay on top of legal compliance matters.

Managed hosting

We will monitor and maintain your software, add the latest security updates as they're released, and make sure your data is safe. Often, we’ll take action before you even know there is a problem. You can relax and get on with running your business, knowing we have your software covered.

The main benefit is that the team who developed your software will be around to solve any issues that come up when you start using it. Although we test thoroughly, no amount of testing can foresee every situation that will arise when large and complex software applications are used in real business situations.

There are very few hosting companies who can offer the same level of service in terms of troubleshooting your software. You are more likely to find a provider who will maintain the server and the operating system or the software environment, but not a custom-built application. Splitting hosting and software maintenance between two companies can also cause confusion or disagreement over who ‘owns’ a problem.

Learn about our safe, sensible approach to security here.

Another reason is cost. It is nearly always cheaper to retain us to maintain your software rather than employing your own system administrator or developer. Because we manage multiple applications, we can achieve significant economies of scale – for example, applying security patches to multiple systems at the same time. If you leave those issues to us, you free up management time and save cost too.

Our approach to hosting

We achieve 99.97% uptime on average and take extensive measures to protect your data against loss.

Hosting companies can sometimes carry out daily or continuous backups, but only at the level of the file system rather than at the database transaction level. This means that, while a copy does exist, it might end up being corrupted by the same problem that affects the original data.

We install a hot standby that replicates the whole of the database from the main system in real time on a completely different server at a physically remote location, giving excellent protection against data loss and downtime. If the main server stops operating for any reason, we can switch over to the backup system within 20 minutes.

As an extra safeguard, we also carry out a full nightly backup to yet another data centre located off-site.

Our approach delivers excellent uptime and insurance against data loss, in all but the most disastrous situations.

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Infrastructure automation

Are you managing your servers, or are they managing you?

Commissioning and maintaining a web application involves a range of infrastructure tasks such as ordering servers, configuring applications and plug-ins, deploying software modifications to servers, maintaining data sets for testing, enabling and testing 3rd party integrations, regular maintenance checks and vulnerability scans, and so on.

It’s essential work, but it’s repetitive and fairly mechanical.

Often, it’s done manually by developers — but that means a constant drain on time and resources, plus the risk of human error. Overall, infrastructure tasks are prime candidates for automation.

Many tasks, one click

With automation, all the key infrastructure functions can be completed by automated scripts that run at the click of a button. It’s more reliable, and because machines don’t get tired, you can replicate the exact same process as many times as you want.

Saving time and money

The most obvious benefits are time and money savings. New applications can get to market sooner, new functions can be added more quickly, and the hours that developers used to spend grinding through regular site checks are simply not needed any more.

These aren’t just incremental gains: time savings of 50% or more are quite realistic.

Less hands-on work translates directly into lower costs, which frees up budgets and developers’ initiative for more constructive and creative work, like adding new features or streamlining user experience.

In terms of maintenance, you face a choice between putting their resources into regular manual maintenance or setting up automation, so the investment decision is easy to make. It’s a one-time cost that pays off immediately, and continues to pay off month after month.

Eliminating vendor lock-in

Infrastructure automation liberates you from vendor lock-in. As site owners will appreciate, moving between data centers is a major, time-consuming operation that’s fraught with risk. Automation makes the process much more manageable, which gives clients more flexibility and bargaining power.

Speeding up disaster recovery

Automation also helps with rapid disaster recovery, whether from hardware failure or cyber attacks. If your data center suffers a sustained DDoS attack (like the attacks on Linode in December 2015), you urgently need to get up and running with a replacement. A manual disaster recovery where servers need to be configured from scratch by hand can literally take days. With automation, it can be done in minutes.

Time to automate!

Automated infrastructure has become increasingly popular over the last decade. All major software companies use it, and more and more medium-sized enterprises have made the switch too. The tools used for automation are reaching maturity, and there’s a growing body of best practice to follow. So if you’ve been thinking you should look into infrastructure automation, there’s never been a better time.

Our approach

An infrastructure automation project begins with a conversation with management and your development and operations team.

Based on that conversation, we can get you a fixed-price proposal to automate your infrastructure.

We automate part or all of your infrastructure using Ansible, the industry leading infrastructure automation platform. If you like, we train your team on the job, so that they know how to work with Ansible in the future.

We can also offer a support package to help your team through the tail of the transition to Ansible, until the team has gained full confidence that they can do it all on their own.

Price

We usually work with a fixed-price approach, based on the specific needs of your company (and your in-house team). We assist for exactly as long as needed, then get out of the way.

To give you a ball park figure: our average price of an infrastructure automation project is approximately US$20,000.

Get in touch!

To talk about the possibilities for automating your infrastructure, just get in touch. We’ll be happy to have an initial chat without obligation.