[Xtern Software] Our partnership with Connected Commons

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We've grown the past few years, and along with the growth has come new projects. Although we often work with B2B manufacturers, we enjoy flexing our muscles on diverse custom software projects. 

Xtern Software was founded in 2002 and now has a team of 11. Of those 11, seven are graduates of UNCG, two are spouses of UNCG grads, one an Elon grad, and one attended GTCC

A recent project of note was working with Boston-based Connected Commons on their Agility Accelerator, a rapid organizational network analysis platform. Connected Commons is an intentional network dedicated to developing the research, relationships, and resources that enable individuals and organizations to thrive in the Connected Economy. Over the past 25 years, Connected Commons has engaged with over 300 highly regarded organizations, including Pfizer, Cisco, and General Mills. 

The challenge


Though the team at Connected Commons knew they had a great concept, software development proved to be a challenge. “The initial code was restrictive, and developed without an eye to performance and growth,” says Director of Operations and Applied Research Deb Zehner. “And our initial surveys could only handle 200 participants, which we knew would prevent us from scaling.”

The solution 


Enter Xtern Software. We cleaned up the code, made it scalable, and moved all the data to Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosting. Founder Keir Davis is a certified Amazon Web Services (AWS) Solutions Architect, so he had the training and background to engineer such a move. From there, Connected Commons had the ability to include up to  2,000 participants in an assessment. 

Connected Commons set to work on their largest project yet, with a multinational human data sciences company, only to encounter an unexpected roadbump in early February: the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The project could not get off the ground without an immediate and seamless transfer of the platform from US servers to European servers to comply with GDPR. Otherwise, the project would be shut down. 

Our team worked tirelessly, logging many weekend hours and evenings, to seamlessly move the platform by mid-February – in only two weeks. The system functioned flawlessly with no downtime or disruptions to service. The project launched successfully without delay, and Connected Commons delivered a successful project. 

Xtern enabled Connected Commons to bring an innovative product concept to market, scale it tenfold, and deploy the platform to companies across the world. 

Companies like ours are proving that the Triad can develop and retain tech talent. With highly regarded Computer Science programs at both UNCG and A&T, as well as several community-based efforts to incubate tech startups, the Triad is quickly gaining on that other three-pronged region in NC.