Take a Closer Look at the Work That We Do
At Novilo Technology Solutions, we utilize the latest and most appropriate strategies and approaches to successfully serve our clients in the DC metro area. Explore our work for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on this page.
Agile Development, Operations, and Maintenance
For the Cargo Systems Program Directorate’s (CSPD) ACE program, we provide IT services to develop, migrate, and support cargo system applications, leveraging Agile development methodologies.
The Importance of Efficient Cargo and Trade Systems
The cargo production applications provide direct support to the CSPD’s mission of enforcing trade laws and securing the borders while facilitating legitimate trade.
This means processing over 66,000 conveyances daily, collecting over $30B annually, and meeting the needs of diverse stakeholders, which include:
The CSPD application portfolio includes 105 applications. Our 17 Agile teams leverage advanced DevSecOps techniques to average over 50 noninvasive deployments each month.
This allows flexible mission responsiveness while ensuring the stability and quality of the critical production environment.
Operations, Maintenance, Upgrades, and Enhancements
We manage our Agile teams and individual sprints to balance the capacity for O&M activities and new development initiatives as prioritized by the product owners and program leadership.
We monitor and respond to Remedy tickets submitted to the CSPD applications. Our DevOps team tunes our system alerts from AppDynamics, Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM), and Splunk to provide a high level of coverage across ACE applications.
We enhance automated test coverage for all applications using a dedicated team that drives test automation across all our Agile teams through the development of new scripts and mentoring developers and testers.
The result is a robust set of functional regression tests run daily, with results automatically emailed to our Agile teams.
One of the most important areas of development and maintenance is the interface. We have established and continue to maintain over 45 interfaces between ACE applications and external systems, including ATS.
With more than 30 years of experience modernizing CSPD ACE and PSPD TECS systems, our team has unique subject matter expertise across a broad set of CBP functional processes.
Our proficiency is critical to effective integration and has been leveraged to establish the existing interfaces between ACE and TECS to TASPD to share the data used in downstream targeting.
We have migrated 47 applications to the CBP AWS Cloud East (CACE) environment and 16 applications to CSPD’s Docker container environment. An additional 55 migrations to these environments are planned.
We accomplish these migrations at scale using Agile team and program support engagement, risk mitigation strategies, and proactive communication.
New Developers are assigned to our migration tiger team, where their first assignment is to support the migration of an application out of WebLogic, mentored by our Program Technical Lead.
Once they have gained the needed experience working with the technologies and design patterns, they join an Agile team to apply this knowledge and accelerate migrations.
We established a preproduction environment in CACE and Docker certified to store production data and scaled to handle representative production volumes. We perform a two-part test in this environment before going live.
Our Step-by-Step Process
First, we complete performance testing of the migrated applications to verify performance under production load.
We then perform data comparison testing to confirm that a set of messages processed by both the existing production application and the migrated version of the application return the same results.
To optimize the performance of our Agile teams at CSPD, we established a solid DevSecOps team that is focused on production availability and monitoring, expanding the use of our CI/CD pipeline, and supporting release management.
Organizing these resources in a separate team allows us to improve availability and efficiency and accommodate changing priorities. All teams have fully migrated all ACE applications to automated CI/CD pipelines with code repositories in Stash and/or Jenkins.
A previous migration we completed was for the oldest set of ACE applications, built nearly 15 years ago, which still used Dimensions as their code repository and did not employ automation for deployments.
Our team successfully migrated all the code from Dimensions to Stash, implemented automated build and deployments for all environments, and integrated the execution of automated unit tests into the build process.
Our DevOps team supports our release management process by creating Change Requests (CRs) for upcoming releases and managing the implementation of these CRs during our planned outage windows.
This team has developed a custom utility to automate the creation of CRs by integrating JIRA and Remedy to automatically generate all necessary artifacts. This reduces CR creation time from four to eight hours to minutes.
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Effective alignment to respond to evolving needs is the foundation of our ACE Project Management efforts. Our team has established a culture of collaboration, partnership, and investment with CBP leadership that is operationalized by several critical activities:
We conduct daily stand-ups with the Deputy Executive Director (DXD) and Director of Cargo Systems Development to review any outstanding delivery risks or issues and ensure effective real-time alignment of our team, CSPD, and stakeholders.
We provide briefings to the CSPD Executive Director (XD) and his direct reports to provide an in-depth review of project status, upcoming delivery dates, improvement initiatives, and overall funding status.
We conduct meetings between OIT and the Office of Trade leadership to define and prioritize our program backlog, ensuring alignment on priorities.
We ensure we have the right staff with the necessary skills at the right time. Through close alignment and planning with CSPD and program leaders, we anticipate potential staffing gaps in upcoming increments and staff in advance.
Because of our extensive experience at CBP, we also understand what is necessary to ensure we provide clearable staff.