IT infrastructure modernisation to enable a digital-first approach

The Company

Abcam is a global life science company enabling scientific breakthroughs. The company serves, supports and collaborates with scientists from the biopharma industry, the research and clinical communities to create next-generation biological tools and solutions empowering discoveries that have the potential to positively impact society.

Accelerated strategic initiatives

In 2019, Abcam launched an ambitious five-year strategy to support the next phase of its growth, and further extend its positive impact on life science research, discovery and clinical applications that have the potential to improve patient lives.

To support its plan and continue anticipating and addressing the rapidly evolving needs of the research community, Abcam initiated a modernisation of its IT infrastructure and adoption a digital-first approach.

“The pivotal question for us was how can we be more innovative with our processes and capabilities so that the 750,000 life science researchers that we support, can also innovate. Connectivity, accessibility and scalability are fundamental for our business, but the existing infrastructure, relying on hand-coded integrations, was not suitable to support our mission. After careful consideration, we opted for an API-led approach using MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform. Coforge (Erstwhile WHISHWORKS) was engaged as a trusted implementation partner to set up the platform and to migrate existing integrations from our legacy system,” said Dan Garlick, Director of Digital Platforms at Abcam.

API-led transformation

Coforge implemented Anypoint Platform and has so far integrated more than 15 systems, applying its own standardised Software Development Lifecyle methodology and quality gates to validate deliverables at each stage. This approach enables faster user acceptance, whilst minimizing the number of code issues during production.

“Coforge set a great example for our team, applying best practice, governance and reusability principles throughout. For example, the API deployed for our employee database is now being reused across multiple projects, like regional payroll applications and our recruitment solution, saving significant time and effort,” Dan commented.

As an iPaaS solution, Anypoint Platform requires much less support. To enable visibility into integrations across their application network in real time, Coforge helped Abcam’s IT team to set up Anypoint Monitoring with tailored dashboards, and they have also integrated system alerts with ServiceNow to automate incident generation.

Coforge also worked closely with MuleSoft to help Abcam establish a Centre for Enablement, providing guidance and artefacts around integration strategy, best practices, API standards, integration patterns etc.

As part of the company’s wider digital transformation initiative, Abcam will work with Coforge to integrate other critical processes across the organisation bringing value to the business and the life sciences community we serve.