Ameren creates a consistent, structured solution architecture
Bizzdesign has been a game-changer in transforming our solution architecture, supporting us to streamline processes and make high-level views consistent.
Country: United States
Industry: Energy and utilities
Company size: 8,600 employees
Revenue: $6,8 billion
Ameren Corporation is a Fortune 500 company and provides safe, reliable and sustainable energy solutions to 2.4 million+ and 900,000+ natural gas customers across a 64,0000 square mile area. Ameren generates nearly 10,200 megawatts of electricity and owns more than 7,500 circuit miles of transmission lines.
Ameren’s enterprise architecture practice includes 35 architects covering portfolio, solution, domain, and network architecture. Before the solution architecture team was in place, the architectural review of projects was conducted by technical domain architects. Their focus was on engineering and detailed system-level designs, making it challenging to prioritize solution architecture functionality. Manual methods like PowerPoint and Visio were used instead of modeling tools, leading to the late discovery of architectural and design issues and causing delays and budget overruns.
Translating the business needs of the digital organization was difficult, as the task fell upon domain architects with diverse technical backgrounds. The lack of standard deliverables and starting each project from scratch further complicated the architectural process. Capacity constraints prevented Ameren from meeting the demand for architectural reviews, resulting in delays and late problem discovery.
To overcome these challenges, Ameren wanted an enterprise architecture platform that offered standardization, collaboration, and effective communication across architectural domains. After comparing various platforms, they chose Bizzdesign. The first successful project with Bizzdesign involved Application Rationalization and generating valuable reports for leadership.
The next step was to establish the concept of solution architecture. Initially, solution architects were brought in under separate workgroups, but they were later centralized under Enterprise Architecture. Their objective was to get involved early in the project and ensure a consistent and structured approach to solution design and asset management.
The solution architecture process at Ameren follows the team’s technology work assessment (TWA) process. Domain architects determine if a solution architect is required for a project. The solution architect starts by generating a Coach View in Bizzdesign Enterprise Studio for the project. They map a business case to the project and populate dashboards with relevant information.
The next step is to dive into the business process using the Bizzdesign Business Process Management solution. Finally, all the diagrams populated in Bizzdesign are imported to Confluence as a historical document of the current solution developed and saved on their records. Once the TWA is completed, the organizational readiness review board approves the project before it goes live.
The solution architecture process integrates seamlessly with Bizzdesign Horizzon, leveraging tools like ServiceNow for data integration and Azure Active Directory for single sign-on.
Bizzdesign also assisted Ameren in establishing an architecture landing page with sub-navigation in Horizzon for portfolio, solution, and program-level architecture. By selecting the portfolio view, architects gained easy access to relevant Coach Views and reports, enhancing organizational visibility and communication.
Bizzdesign enables us to standardize our roadmaps and provide detailed project information in one centralized location, empowering leaders to view and adapt to changes based on business needs quickly.
Streamlining processes saves time by 35%
Using the templates and Coach View in Bizzdesign Horizzon, Ameren has streamlined the process of importing business cases and generating visual representations. This has resulted in a time savings of approximately 35% compared to manually creating diagrams in Visio. Adjustments and updates are now quicker and easier, improving overall efficiency.
Ability to capture metrics enables informed decision-making
Ameren tracks key metrics, such as the number of projects generated in Coach View, architecture exceptions, and pattern alignment. This helps to identify which portfolios may need investments to reduce solution risk.
Speeding up the architectural process by 10%
Ameren expects an estimated 10% increase in efficiency from speeding up the process by enabling the solution architect to select key parameters of the project and applying the recommended relevant architectural patterns.
Standardization promotes consistency
Bizzdesign has allowed Ameren to standardize its roadmaps, consolidating them in a single location for easy access and adaptability. Leaders can view and analyze roadmaps, including underlying data, attributes, technical details, costs, benefits, and deliverables.
Increased collaboration improves decision-making
Bizzdesign has fostered collaboration among project teams and facilitated a better understanding of projects. An estimated 200 stakeholders can access and use the views during discussion.
Faster onboarding and knowledge transfer by 50%
Ameren is experiencing a 50% time-saving in getting stakeholders up-to-speed with new projects with standardized templates. Explaining projects and sharing information with stakeholders, including cyber & data governance teams, has become more efficient and effective. Meeting reviewing the solution architecture are finishing early instead of running over the allotted time.
Working smarter by reusing existing materials
Bizzdesign’s reusability feature allows Ameren to work smarter by leveraging existing models and artifacts. Every element in Bizzdesign Horizzon is reusable, eliminating the need to create everything from scratch for each new initiative. This is especially beneficial when a new project updates and existing modelled architecture.