SPARGO, America's largest independently owned, full-service event management company, wanted to improve the performance of its hotel reservation system - JEMS - to open its API to third-party developers. Spargo also wanted to solve continuous integration challenges by migrating on-premises applications to AWS.

Modus' consultants worked closely with SPARGO to successfully perform AWS migration, introduce CI/CD system, and restructure SPARGO's API to make its application 50 times faster.

Our Work Involved

  • Caching with Redis
  • Async messaging with RabbitMQ
  • SQL query optimization
  • Migration to Github
  • Jenkins build & test pipelines for C# apps
  • Daytime deployments with load balancer
  • Multi-tier application - Cookie Cutter refactoring

Impact

  • Ability to host 2000 simultaneous users
  • Faster app performance due to AWS migration
  • Facelift of JEMS application
  • New CI/CD system
  • Reducing errors by eliminating late-night deployments

Outcomes

%

Improvement to average operational time

X

Improvement to application speed and performance

Founded in 1973, SPARGO, Inc. is the largest, independently owned, full-service event management company in the United States. It organizes over 120 events and generates over $100 million in sponsorship revenue every year. 

SPARGO’s event management solutions include exposition management, housing, registration services, revenue generation, and strategic event management. It leverages industry experience and the latest technologies to drive engagement for its clients. 

SPARGO got in touch with Modus to improve the performance of its hotel reservation system: JEMS, and to solve continuous integration challenges with its existing software.

largest, independently owned, full-service event management company in the United States.

Engagement Goals

1

Improve application speed

2

Open API to third-party developers

3

Migrate on-prem apps safely to AWS

4

Create an updated JEMS application

The goal was to improve the performance of the reservation system by making it much faster than before. 

In the first phase of the engagement, a senior architect conducted interviews with the SPARGO team and an assessment to understand the technical challenges and then creating an actionable plan to achieve the achieve the project's goals.

Redesigning the API Implementation

Modus Create's consultants used tools such as New Relic and JMeter to find the bottlenecks in Spargo's multi-tier applications. This involved not only researching the existing API's capabilities but also drilling into what was happening under the API. Doing so allowed us to re-architect the API implementation.

SPARGO and Modus worked together to change the culture of late-night big-bang deployments by introducing the load balancer facilitated blue/green deployments. This boosted overall team satisfaction and reduced the probability of human errors. 

Our team also performed an application facelift for the JEMS hospitality system. Starting with the solid foundation of their GitHub organization, our engineers built a new CI/CD system using the Jenkins GitHub Organization plugin and an Infrastructure as Code approach.

Migrating the Application to AWS

After successfully finishing the first leg of the engagement, it was now time to move the application to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Our team worked with SPARGO's internal engineers to execute the migration following the best practices in Agile collaboration. The team utilized tools such as JIRA, Microsoft Teams, and Confluence to collaborate closely during each stage of the migration.

The AWS migration decreased SPARGO's reliance on the old Jenkins server and allowed them to use AWS standard tools such as CloudFormation to manage the build, deployment, and testing of their JEMS application through a set of lower environments in multiple AWS Organization accounts.

Impact on Business

The first stage of the engagement reduced the average response time of the JEMS application by 10X. It also allowed it to sustain more than 2,000 simultaneous users, twice the capacity of the original goal.

Quote from Angela Smith, SPARGO, Inc.

The AWS migration helped achieve further improvement by bringing the average time for most operations (including room reservation) to 20% of their previous numbers. In the end, SPARGO's initiative and culture for improvement combined with our technical expertise helped make the application 50x faster than before.

SPARGO's story is a great example of how a business adopted digital technologies to radically improve the experience of its customers. If you'd like to learn more about how Modus can help elevate your business, get in touch with us.