Customer story

Red Hat Managed Services Power Up ETA’s Application Development

Electrical Training Alliance

Based in Maryland, Electrical Training Alliance (ETA) is a joint training program between the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) that specializes in offering training to electrical workers, and supports them in achieving certification. It is the leading publisher of educational materials for the US electrical industry.

ETA wanted to modernize its systems so that it could reuse learning resources to support electrical workers in a variety of ways, without having to duplicate them. It also wanted to ease reporting and rapidly develop its client service offering. The organization’s small IT team needed Red Hat to operate as a full-service manager that would allow ETA to grow and differentiate itself from its competitors.


Searching for a quicker, smoother experience

ETA holds a large number of learning resources, designed to support electrical workers in gaining accreditation, and was looking for the fastest path to monetize these assets. In doing so, it was also looking to modernize its systems so it could reuse these learning resources in multiple ways without having to duplicate them.  


ETA also needed to create an online application that would make reporting easier and help it  deliver a large range of customized courses for its clients, quickly and effectively. To avoid using precious in-house time and skill on managing its infrastructure, ETA chose to consider externally managed and hosted solutions. 


Directly supporting over 230 training programs, ETA's main strategy was to develop reusable microservices to centralize, integrate, and speed up communication between training systems and provide a smoother experience to trainees, training centers and IT operations. Using microservices would make the business more agile and responsive, increase developer productivity, and accelerate application delivery. 


“Our registered training programs have to use administration software to track everything: hours, job training assignments, their grades when they go to school,” said Stephen Boyd, IT Architect, Analyst and Developer at ETA. “We needed a way to create an online application that requires a lot of information collection and tracking.”



Scaling according to changing needs

ETA’s original database solution had worked well for smaller customer teams and sites, but, as the business grew, it needed to develop a more flexible environment, without a large IT investment. ETA knew that a monolithic approach would be unsuitable, favoring a solution that would be easy to support and allow individual microservices to scale as needed. To optimize resources, ETA chose a containerized approach that would allow services to be spun up and closed down in real time, according to their specific requirements.


Conscious of needing to manage valuable in-house resources effectively, ETA engaged Red Hat Consulting and decided on a fully hosted and managed approach with Red Hat’s portfolio. It chose Red Hat OpenShift API Management, part of Red Hat’s portfolio of fully hosted and managed cloud offerings, to modernize its architecture, and Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated and Red Hat OpenShift API Management to allow the ETA team to focus on application building rather than the migration process. 


The product suite enabled ETA to deploy an API-first approach to building reusable microservices-based applications, giving the business the necessary flexibility and agility to compete effectively against tough competitors.


Business outcome

Increasing productivity and delivering improvements

ETA can now focus on application development, rather than managing an infrastructure. Red Hat hosts, manages, and provides dedicated support for both OpenShift Dedicated and OpenShift API Management. Red Hat teams oversee daily processes such as configuration, maintenance, and upgrades, delivering a simplified environment for ETA to modernize its systems, increase developer productivity, and bring new applications to market faster.


Training systems and services now enable microservices to be integrated together to create the services ETA offers their clients. Red Hat OpenShift API Management enables ETA to access APIs that provide a smoother experience for training centers and trainees. In particular, curriculum tracking, access to services, and performance speeds have also recorded significant improvements.


The upgrade has also enabled simpler operational processes for internal personnel and training centers, resulting in improved accuracy and the organization of trainees’ data. In addition, the new influx of data has given ETA opportunities to improve its reporting capabilities and benefit from new insights to customize and improve its training and educational materials.


“Partnering with Red Hat has revolutionized ETA’s ability to provide quality training and education management for the next generation of electricians, and overhauled our digital transformation journey as a whole,” said Boyd.

Icon-Red_Hat-Media_and_documents-Quotemark_Open-B-Red-RGB Partnering with Red Hat has revolutionized ETA’s ability to provide quality training and education management for the next generation of electricians, and overhauled our digital transformation journey as a whole.

Stephen Boyd

IT Architect, Analyst and Developer, ETA

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