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Learn how the APC implemented a SaaS Continuity Escrow solution
By Evan Lever, Escrow London
The APC implements the Loqus openFleet Platform, a cutting-edge SaaS-based logistics platform backed up with a bulletproof SaaS Continuity Escrow solution.
The Alternative Parcels Company (APC) is the UK’s largest independent delivery network, with more than 100 locations nationwide.
As an overnight parcel delivery company, the APC has experienced immense growth since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. This growth has been driven by a surge in online delivery orders from SME’s and the APC playing an important role in keeping essential items moving and supplying communities with goods they rely on. In an industry that typically uses legacy on-premises technology, the APC management team embraced SaaS-based solutions ahead of the curve to bring greater efficiencies and security to their mission-critical applications.
In deploying a new end-to-end logistics platform, the APC selected openFleet developed by Loqus Fleet as their SaaS-based software partner for this vital application. Loqus Fleet specialises in providing solutions for complex logistics and operations in the supply chain.
With more than 30 years of experience in the sector, the company combines expertise and experience to provide an all-encompassing service to its clients. The combination of its experienced Management Consulting and Software Engineering teams results in a platform that focuses on the full cycle of delivering a parcel from the warehouse to the customers’ doorstep.
“Escrow London’s team’s diligence and attention to detail gives us complete confidence that the APC have chosen a reliable SaaS escrow partner which will stand us in good stead should we ever need to invoke the escrow agreement”
Andy Taylor, Network and IT Director, The Alternative Parcels Company
A major concern for enterprise companies that often blocks the adoption of SaaS-based technology is the question of continuity in the unlikely event that a software vendor becomes unable to support the application. These events are usually due to situations such as bankruptcy, insolvency or major support failure.
As a company that takes business continuity planning (BCP) extremely seriously, the APC surveyed the software escrow market seeking a robust solution that would provide complete continuity in the unlikely event Loqus were no longer able to support their software hosted
within Amazon Web Services (AWS). In evaluating their options, the APC would need a software escrow partner with an extensive skillset including AWS certified cloud architects and real-life experience of deploying and spinning up cloud environments. After a lengthy search and intensive due diligence, the APC management team were most impressed by the multipronged continuity solution proposed by Escrow London. While Loqus is a solid company with an incredible track record of over 30 years of logistics software experience they still understood the concerns of their client and were keen to provide comfort to the APC to further cement their strong and growing partnership.
“As a forward-thinking business, Loqus understands the concerns of our clients as part of their risk assessment when adopting SaaS solutions. We too have concerns over the security of our IP and the process around depositing our code with 3rd party organisations. Escrow London ensured that the entire process was secure, seamless and their consultants demonstrated in-depth knowledge around AWS and the cloud software development lifecycle”
Roland Scerri, Deputy CEO at Loqus Group
The Escrow London team of AWS certified architects and code specialists consulted with the APC and Loqus to implement a bespoke SaaS Continuity solution that best addressed their concerns. The main aim was to provide the APC with multiple continuity options in the unlikely event of a release scenario. Several critical instances needed to be protected and replicated. The final implemented SaaS continuity solution included:
- Complete source code deposit of the Loqus openFleet platform.
- Scheduled deposit of encrypted copies of the application database.
- Deposit of the dedicated APC cloud environment and deployment scripts.
- Comprehensive Build Verification test on the source code to ensure that it could be built into the working application.
- SaaS Release Verification to demonstrate that Escrow London was able to spin up and host a replicated openFleet environment including the database within a dedicated escrow London AWS account.
- SaaS Access Continuity solution including the deposit of access credentials to the AWS production environment.
The Loqus openFleet platform is comprised of several components consisting of a number of backend services, BI and Reporting, Integration, User Interface, Routing & Optimisation engine components and a workflow application for mobile devices.
Escrow London and Loqus collaborated to ensure that all the required source code, databases, deployment scripts, detailed build documentation and AWS instances were available to be securely deposited. An in-depth verification exercise was then conducted as part of the SaaS Continuity Escrow solution to successfully confirm that the deposited source code was full and complete and that the Loqus openFleet application could be built and deployed using the deposited material.
The APC management team has always placed BCP as a critical function within their IT strategy. With an eye on every detail, the APC software delivery group stress-tested the base functionality of the Loqus openFleet platform and mobile app by performing a variety of standard procedures associated with the day-to-day use of the software. The mobile app was tested by APC deploying a compiled APK to a test device. These tests successfully confirmed that all the components were functioning in the expected manner. As SaaS software is constantly evolving, the verification tests will be performed by Escrow London on a scheduled basis to ensure that the escrow deposit is up to date as new versions are released.