Established over 34 years ago, humm group specialises in bigger ticket transactions for consumers and SMEs and has more than 2.7 million customers across Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland. In FY23, humm group delivered 75m in normalised cash profit (after tax).
humm group’s core product offering includes point of sale finance, credit cards and commercial lending.
Technology capability underpins humm group’s services and products. Historically the business has grown through acquisition and success in-market, so it inherited complexity across the technology, process and product layers of their business.
Over the last six years, a focus on simplification has reduced the product offering (from 27 products to 6), expanded into new global markets and scaled up technology platforms to support hundreds of transactions a minute
For FY24, simplification continues to be a top priority to ensure continued growth of the business is tightly coupled with foundational and operational capability. Customer experience remains at the heart of everything.
By consolidating assets and streamlining processes to be more in-line with the end-customer humm group will develop a more robust, profitable and scalable business – A key component being the adoption and consolidation of platforms and operational capabilities on cloud, at scale.
Since October 2022; CMD Solutions, an AU/NZ based AWS Premier Partner and the AWS Partner of the Year has partnered closely with humm group to provide industry leading cloud and digital expertise that will accelerate the modernisation and simplification journey on AWS.
Andrew Mason (Head of Infrastructure): Our requirements and expectations over time have changed in-market due to our continued success and growth, but our foundational and technology base lagged behind.
- Disparate and duplicate systems and lack of unified platform, causing implications and risks associated with security, operations, resiliency, scalability and cost
- Increasing operational complexity driven by limitations of on-prem environment, coupled with increasing customer expectations driven by business growth
- Highly complex modernisation on AWS requirements, e.g. on-prem Oracle databases supporting key functions of BNPL and Cards platforms
- Lack of people capability, knowledge and experience in AWS to ensure rapid modernisation aligned to best practices and security/compliance requirements
Key Strategic Drivers
- Customer experience and satisfaction
- Product simplification and innovation
- Regional growth and profitability
- Foundational and technology simplification through adoption and modernisation on cloud
- Business resilience and scalability
- Security and compliance
In collaboration with the team at humm group, CMD Solutions have taken a phased approach to simplifying operations and platform capabilities on cloud. This included:
- Exit of core functions from the New Zealand Data Centre
- Removal of legacy technologies, infrastructure, and related costs
- Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platform modernisation on AWS to assist global roll out and growth of related payment plan products
- Consolidation and uplift of platform capability encompassing: automation, scalability, security, compliance
- Ways of working: adoption of new modes of working to align with newly formed foundational capabilities
Key AWS Services
- Amazon EKS
- AWS Control Tower
- Amazon RDS
- AWS Security Hub
- AWS Network Firewall
- AWS GuardDuty
- Amazon Kinesis
Rhys Deimel, Lead Engineer CMD Solutions: These technologies have not only streamlined operations but also empowered us to innovate and scale with agility. It’s gratifying to witness how these AWS services have become the cornerstone of their success story.
Due to the scale, complexity of the programme of work and criticality of the core product offerings undergoing transformation, pilots and POC’s were executed to validate assumptions and identify risks/learnings. For example, at the very beginning of the CMD and humm group partnership – a POC was performed for their Cards platform to demonstrate the migration and transformation of this platform. Subsequent pilot phases were executed, prior to transition to production.
“Together with the humm team and S2M (Select vendor), we created a proof of concept (PoC) in AWS using AWS Relational Database Service (RDS) for Oracle integrated with S3 and EC2 instances. The goal of the PoC was to prove that we could replatform Select and Oracle from on-premises, which was running on Solaris, to an x86 architecture and take advantage of AWS RDS for Oracle, which would allow us to reduce the risk of their mission-critical workload. The PoC was successful and deployed using Terraform for IaC (Infrastructure as Code).” Lee Drew, Lead Engineer, CMD Solutions
Andrew: Through the abundance of services and capability AWS provides, we’re able to build and assemble our infrastructure to match our business. In other words, this flexibility means we don’t need to rework our world to get value from AWS – and AWS’s global footprint also aligns to our growth initiatives that span UK, Ireland, and Canada.
Tony Hallworth, Lead AWS Engineer/Architect CMD Solutions: With the implementation of AWS EKS to host containerised workloads we were able to utilise the EKS Blueprints to configure complete Kubernetes Clusters as Infrastructure as Code (IaC) with security and best practices bootstrapped and standardised across deployments. This enabled development teams to deploy across multiple environments with minimal differences on the infrastructure platform.
AWS Control Tower offered a straightforward way to set up and govern an AWS multi-account environment. AWS Control Tower orchestrates the capabilities of several other AWS Services including AWS Organisations, AWS Service Catalog and AWS IAM Identity Centre to build the landing zone for humm group to access AWS.
Beyond engineering build activities, it was essential to the success of this programme of work that we embedded ourselves with humm group technology and operations teams. This allowed us to de risk transition and handover phases of the engagement by performing iterative skills/process uplift activities whilst delivering towards the core deliverables and outcomes of the programme.
Through adoption and modernisation of cloud at scale humm group have been able to attain the following outcomes,
- Product growth: Underpinned by newly developed capabilities in AWS, lowering the cost of experimentation and global expansion. humm group now has the capability to deploy in a new region within 6 weeks.
- Foundational capabilities: Unified and single platform capability that meets current and future business requirements powered by automation and AWS global infrastructure.
- Security and compliance: Codified security and compliance aligned, ring-fenced environments, architecture aligned to AWS best practices and business objectives.
- Operational efficiencies and simplification: build of standardised and pattern-based architectures, pipeline driven environments.
- Governance: Real-time performance and cost visibility, guardrails embedded in pipelines
Vaughan (CIO): “One of the outcomes we are most proud of is the growth of our people. Through modernisation of our key digital and infrastructure we are now able to remove roadblocks and provide tools that enable our people to move faster, experiment and bring new ideas to market at speed and lower cost.”