Situation

Kelly Services, a global leader in providing workforce solutions, provides a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing solutions. For their customers, one of the biggest challenges is determining how much to a pay a particular resource based on both their skill set and the location where they will be working. Kelly identified this challenge and decided to create an innovative solution to help their customers offer winning compensation packages based on a mix of variables including: role, industry, skill, and location.

From Kelly’s perspective, they saw this as a problem that they were uniquely suited to solve. With a global presence and unparalleled depth in competitive industries such as Energy, Life Science, Financial Services, and Manufacturing, they knew they had the underlying data required to power such a solution. At the same time, however, they recognized that software development was not their core competency, and that launching a new Engineering / DevOps organization within Kelly was not really feasible.

Solution

After evaluating their Build versus Buy options, Kelly selected KMW Technologies to develop an Apache Solr-based search solution for ingesting, normalizing, and visualizing labor trend data. This solution utilizes NLP and Deep Learning techniques to enrich data and power the search-based analytics dashboards.

Given KMW’s deep expertise in the latest Open Source Search and Big Data technologies, this made perfect sense. KMW focuses on application development and does not provide managed services, application hosting or offer 24/7 support– so KMW recommended that Kelly Services enter into a complementary partnership with SearchStax.

From KMW’s perspective, this also made perfect sense. Kelly Services, being a Microsoft shop, wanted their solution hosted on Azure. In addition to having deep competencies in both these areas – Solr and Azure – SearchStax’s Solr-as-a-Service offering on Azure would be able to automate much of the work required to provision new environments; deploy configuration changes and hot fixes; and setup monitoring and log analytics.

Kelly agreed and, as a result, KMW and SearchStax were able to accelerate Kelly’s time to market, taking the project from inception to alpha to beta in just under 12 months. The KMW and SearchStax collaboration allowed for rapid prototyping of the product and ease of deployment. By accelerating the development and review cycle Kelly was able to provide frequent feedback which led to lots of improvements and focused attention on the product roadmap and high value features. The resulting product has since gone on to differentiate Kelly in the global workforce solutions market, opening doors into several targeted multinational accounts.

SearchStax Managed Services

Today, Kelly Services’ Market Rate Index (MRI) product is running in production on SearchStax. While KMW focuses their efforts on continuing to build out Kelly’s long-term product roadmap, the SearchStax Team is monitoring and maintaining system performance and reliability; provisioning new non-production environments; and providing 24x7 production support with a guaranteed uptime of at least 99.95%.

Under SearchStax’s Managed Services model, Kelly and KMW route all of their DevOps requests through SearchStax’s support portal. Once received into the queue, support tickets are triaged and assigned to the appropriate SearchStax Engineer for speedy resolution.

For Mark Hemingway, Director of Technology & Product Management at Kelly - Services, this was the exact three-way partnership he was envisioning.

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