Supporting the complex, growing operational requirements of an entire Laravel ecosystem.
Worcester Bosch is the UK’s leading manufacturer of boilers and water heating products. As their extensive digital ecosystem has grown throughout the years, they required support to ensure that their platforms could continue delivering long-term value for the business. Cyber-Duck became the lead agency for Worcester Bosch’s entire ecosystem of Laravel applications, supporting its ever-evolving requirements and realigning their digital roadmap.
reduction in downtime
Worcester Bosch have an extensive digital ecosystem built on the Laravel framework; it consists of multiple websites, portals and applications, providing business-critical information and services across their complex operations. This includes their customer-facing website where customers can search and compare boilers and products; a professional installer portal, with more advanced product literature; a spare parts portal; the Excelerate loyalty scheme portal; the back-office system handling enquiries and content management, a staff discount portal, and MyBosch where end users can find guarantees, manage appointments, and undertake other tasks related to their products’ upkeep.
Due to the way the application had evolved iteratively and scaled in size from its original requirements over the initial 10 years, they needed a team of experts who could breathe new life into the ecosystem and ensure it could continue delivering value for the business into the future.
Cyber-Duck was brought on board to become the lead agency for Worcester Bosch’s entire ecosystem of Laravel applications, supporting its complex, growing operational requirements. The main goal was to realign their digital roadmap through industry-leading Product Management, Agile Delivery, Laravel Application Upgrade and Maintenance, and AWS DevOps infrastructure management.
Our first step was to complete a technical audit of the entire digital ecosystem, so we could understand and identify the bottlenecks and areas to improve. Our technical audit identified potential risks around long-term stability of the hosting infrastructure to enable the future vision of the application.
From a project delivery perspective, we worked in close partnership with the internal Worcester Bosch team, helping to streamline the delivery process and maximise value at all stages.
We put new Agile methodologies in place and helped establish a new DevOps culture, complete with training for the team.
To underpin this way of working, we also established a bespoke documentation system including implementation of and training on the ticketing system, which greatly enhanced communication and empowered the team to resolve tickets quickly and efficiently.
All of Worcester Bosch’s different sites, apps and portals were built using Laravel, and all were contained in one large monolithic codebase. This codebase had expanded tactically in line with business requirements over the years. Best practice in refactoring has evolved since the days the initial code was built, the application was moving towards reaching its limit for expansion and improvements.
We carried out an application upgrade to Laravel 9 (which necessitated a parallel upgrade to PHP 8; due to high team efficiency we were able to upgrade to PHP 8.1).
This upgrade gives Worcester Bosch a stronger foundation on which to build and expand.
The QA team worked closely with the client to rewrite outdated test cases; as a result, QA efficiency was improved, fewer bugs being reported and time required for user application testing (UAT) was reduced; regression testing became 4 times faster.
This work also improved resilience of the application during periods of heavy load. All of this stabilised the application and provided a solid foundation for renewed growth.
In parallel, we also investigated the hosting infrastructure, and recommended a ‘lift and shift’ of their application In line with their corporate guidelines to improve hosting costs, sustainability and overall resilience.
Due to the complexity and interlinked dependencies of the ecosystem, there were lots of pieces of software running concurrently that had to be moved, with minimal (ideally zero) disruption to business, professional and consumer users.
The Cyber-Duck team planned and carried out an entire reprovisioning in AWS and migration of the entire ecosystem in just 3 months.
Following this migration, we allocated (and still run today) a dedicated team to manage the everyday requests of the platform. This includes a 24/7/365 monitoring, penetration testing and updated automated tests to ensure continuous uptime and availability of the systems.
After the full migration to AWS hosting, Worcester Bosch experienced a 95% reduction in downtime and incidents on their Laravel platform. Since we’ve implemented improvements, we have increased the reliability by 32 times and reduced the average page load time by half.
This AWS migration and the application upgrade to Laravel 9 / PHP 8.1 enabled Worcester Bosch to resume business as usual and restart their roadmap delivery, launching three main new projects in the first year of our agreement.
We’re delighted to continue working with Worcester Bosch: making sure their Laravel application is up to date, patching vulnerabilities found through pen testing and code audits, improving performance and security. On the latest pen test, there were no ‘Normal’ or ‘High’ priority issues.
This ongoing maintenance work and fixing of pre-migration bugs will help the application reach its full potential, delivering on the diverse needs of Worcester Bosch’s internal and external stakeholders and their innovative product roadmap.
Besides our technical achievements, we are deeply proud of the strong working relationship we have built with the Worcester Bosch team. This project called for not only our technical abilities in Laravel development and DevOps, but also for project and stakeholder management, product management, and knowledge sharing on Agile methodologies. All of this is underpinned by a commitment to total transparency in our communication and documentation practices. Our strong understanding of Worcester Bosch’s business processes, and their understanding of our approach, are helping us to work efficiently and make a real long-term impact.
The latest iteration of this project is a refresh of the main Worcester Bosch website. The parent company, Bosch Group, have developed new branding, and our developers are applying new templates throughout the website. As part of our commitment to accessibility by design in all our work, we completed an accessibility audit on their components, identifying some areas where accessibility could be improved. We took these findings to the Central team, and most of our recommendations were implemented. The Bosch Group are applying our recommendations to all their going ahead, meeting WCAG accessibility standards and setting their platforms up for increased SEO benefits.
We look forward to telling you about what the next phase of the journey holds for this newly energised Laravel project.
reduction in downtime
Whatever the project or particular challenge you have in mind, we’re here with the right people, process and technology to help deliver the transformation you need.