Upgrading to Sitecore 10 For a Better Customer and Employee Experience

NW Natural website on laptop

NW Natural is Oregon’s largest natural gas utility, with more than 2.5 million customers worldwide. The company is responsible for distributing natural gas to commercial and residential sectors.

NW Natural

The Challenge

NW Natural needed more stability for their existing implementation of Sitecore. Another Sitecore partner had installed it, but problems were showing, and performance was suffering. Additionally, the platform had grown outdated and needed to be upgraded to newer versions of Sitecore 10.

The Solution

To address all platform and website issues, Oshyn created a list of work items that included upgrading their Sitecore instance, implementing recommended architecture and platform related updates, detecting and diagnosing other performance issues, and removing unnecessary code.

Oshyn began by addressing several architectural and platform-related problems. The continuous integration process was examined as part of the issues, and the code was finally removed. Several performance issues were addressed, custom code exceptions were removed or enhanced, and log running processes were fixed. Also, unnecessary dependencies on third party code was removed, a CDN was added for the Media Library, production cache settings were adjusted, and a switch from Azure Search to Solr was implemented.

Other steps taken by Oshyn to address the issues included:

  • An upgrade from Sitecore 9.02 - 10.1 and ultimately 10.2
  • Upgrading code, jobs, scripts, and security patches within the platform
  • Building new Environments using Kubernetes/ARM Templates and CI/CD implementation in Azure DevOps

Oshyn achieved all this through daily scrum communication with NW Natural, utilizing Sitecore, web development, and project management best practices. Highly skilled developers and technical architects developed a project schedule to address all work activities, iterate in two-week sprints to achieve measurable results, and locate and address issues NW Natural pointed out and some they hadn’t yet seen.

NW Natural website on laptop screen

The Outcome

For each two-week sprint, Oshyn had a clear action plan and a complete list of backlog work items to prioritize and complete during each sprint. There was also a weekly status report, daily scrum calls, and clear and efficient communication to maintain client expectations.

NW Natural now has an outstanding web application and platform that runs with increased efficiency, reliability, and improved performance, including faster page loading. With all the improvements, Oshyn continues to work with a happy and confident NWN IT and marketing team.

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