Dean McGarry

Lead Infrastructure Architect on the Chime Project at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks.

“The Chime application naturally fits and adopts a number of Microsoft technologies and complimented other technologies that were already in use or established in SSE today, such as Microsoft Active Directory and Intune. Quite early on for me it was clear that the application architecture of Chime complimented and followed these technological approaches which made early adoption and showcasing of the application easy and we could quickly show real benefit of how the Chime application would work alongside some of the other applications in use in SSE today.

“From a scalability perspective, Chime is 100% deployed in MS Azure so that quickly became a benefit for both Clear Horizon and SSE because it gives us the ability to scale the application quickly, in terms of growth or agility or our other needs.

“For example, the application is written in a way in which if additional web servers or other functionality needs to be provided quickly we have the ability to scale that up inside the cloud, but the main benefit and the main context is that Chime’s application allows that to happen.

“Although the technology in terms of Cloud adoption allows for a rapid deployment, rapid agility and growth, it’s also the application’s design and approach that allows Chime to work seamlessly with those other technologies in the Cloud.

“Chime is an application from a security architecture perspective, which also makes use of a number of Microsoft technologies making security architecture integration into any landscape probably more simpler than of those that could be across a mixed environment.

“Chime is written in Microsoft code and naturally adopts and uses a number of Microsoft ‘out of the box’ technologies, underpinned by Azure AD.

“So, when it came to us working with Chime on some of the security requirements Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks had - certainly around HTTPS and SSL security - what could take a number of days to enable that became simply an exercise of hours.

“That meant that quite early on we managed to enable security things like SSL quickly. This was mainly possible because of how the Chime application utilised standard open Microsoft security standards.

“Another benefit from Chime from an SSE perspective is that it enables us to keep our options open. It is written in a way that is agnostic of the operating system on the phone, which means that anyone looking to enable features in the future like ‘bring your own device’, can be introduced as Chime can be easily adapted to work in a containerised manner.

“That means the portability between a corporate and a personal device again becomes one of the more simpler activities without any major re-writes or major re-work on how we might deploy the application.

“So, if SSE wishes to take on board ‘bring your own device’ or personal use consumption the Chime application will simply adopt to those environments and user cases in a quite simplistic fashion.

“Furthermore, Chime’s application is written in a certain way where the ability to release various versions of the application at various stages quickly, apply additional functionality or capability is easily there.

“The provision of a simplified release process is also considered. The Chime application enables us to apply fixes and release quite quickly and utilises a number of techniques which basically means a release becomes more of a simplified process rather than a long task, taking hours rather than days.

“Ultimately, Chime takes a very simplified approach to make an application work. It naturally uses Microsoft technology to enable the rapid deployment and showcasing early on in any business and if I had to summarise it in a couple of thoughts, by keeping it simple and utilising Microsoft technologies ‘out of the box’ enables rapid development, rapid use and rapid deployment of the application.