“We’ve been in this business for 110 years,” shares Vijay Challa, CIO of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). But big changes had recently taken place at his organization.
In 2018, to become more inclusive, the BSA opened its membership policy to welcome all youth to join, regardless of gender. BSA was also aware that it needed to better leverage technology to serve its membership. Updating its tech stack became a priority, and there was little time to waste.
“The kind of work that BSA is putting in, for the Scouts to evolve in this country, is a great cause by itself,” say Girish Mallampalli, Head of Engineering for The Ksquare Group. When the BSA was tasked with swift migration to a more efficient API, Challa reached out to Ksquare, and Mallampalli was happy to answer the call.
“Any amount of work that we could provide BSA to help achieve that cause,” Mallampalli says, “is of great value for us.”
The fusion of the BSA, The Ksquare Group, and MuleSoft
In MuleSoft’s latest case study, we learned how the right technology paired with the right partner enabled the Boy Scouts of America to align with nothing less than its own motto: “Be prepared.”
See the full video below, and keep reading for the key points of this partnership:
Identify the challenges at hand
“Our team was excited to work on a hot problem,” Girish says, “the problem here being an efficient migration, not just a migration in general.”
Challa agrees, and points out that this was a migration from mountains of technical code to a more logical, platform-like code base. “It was like changing airplane tires, mid-flight,” he says. “It shouldn’t be possible, but that’s the path we were on.”
Line up the right partner
At first, the BSA considered going it alone. But moving away from a legacy platform (Scoutnet) on a fast-tracked timeline and pulling it off with limited resources, on their own wasn’t something they could do.
That’s where The Ksquare Group entered the picture. With a proven track record for digital transformation implementations, it was a natural choice. “We’ve been extremely pleased with what The Ksquare Group has done for us on the API side. They naturally fit in,” Challa says. “I’m impressed with where we’ve come.”
“When you marry the right technology with the right strategy and the right team, you can make a difference in the lives of your customers.”Vijay Challa
Take a scientific approach
Challa and Girish knew the importance of a scientific approach. “We looked at the lines of code, flows and subflows, and different APIs,” Challa says. “Then, we rated each API based on its complexity, and determined what the effort would take. When we understood how many different stages we’d need to transition the effort. We had a pretty good game plan.”
The BSA bought out certain API domains to come, and the other API domains followed. By opting to work on the easier ones at the beginning, they could get started with the MuleSoft platform, and learn things that they didn’t yet entirely understand then.
Schedule and work toward milestones
“Set milestones. If you don’t set milestones, and you don’t have a plan forward – and execute against it – you’re bound to fail.”Vijay Challa
“Every two weeks the groups got together to demonstrate their progress against the milestones we set,” Challa explains.
“(BSA) had a lot of accelerators; they had a lot of processes,” Mallampalli says. His team identified the right questions to ask, and determined how to improve the performance of the BSA’s services once the migration was complete.”
“The right analysis before a migration effort is key to success.”Girish Mallampalli
MuleSoft: A great fit
“MuleSoft serves as an API ecosystem right in front of user interfaces,” Challa says. “When you have a platform like that, it helps us to roll things out a lot more quickly. APIs are it – now and for the future.”
Challa continues: “MuleSoft is the easiest platform in the middle-tier space, with a minimal knowledge curve. It’s a product by itself.” MuleSoft comes with a packaged end-to-end solution, which is great “not just for middle tier implementations, but also for securing endpoints, API gateways, and cloud implementations in general.”
The best part? MuleSoft’s API ecosystem enabled the Boy Scouts of America to quickly shift forward. “As a nonprofit, we couldn’t spend a whole lot of money building a whole lot of products. A platform like MuleSoft helps you build these experiences without the cost of building a whole new product.”
The right technology, strategy, and team
“MuleSoft is one of the easiest API platforms out there,” says Challa. “If you’re serious about an API platform, you should give it serious consideration. From the developer toolset, to how easy it was from a syntactical standpoint, to how much more wholesome it is from an API product standpoint,” he says. “MuleSoft brings a lot of bells and whistles to the table.”
“If you’re serious about an API platform, you should give MuleSoft serious consideration.”Vijay Challa
It wasn’t just MuleSoft that enabled the Boy Scouts of America to achieve the transformation they were after. With The Ksquare Group on board, the BSA was able to make the most of their technology.
In a world where being prepared is a must for 110 more years of developing youth leadership, it was a no-brainer: “(Ksquare brought) a lot of knowledge and experience to the table,” Challa says, stressing his recommendation of both Ksquare and MuleSoft while celebrating their joint success in much the same way that the scout troops were now part of a more inclusive community themselves.
“They were right there with us!”