AECOM Protects Complex Salesforce Environments and Accelerates Development with Own
AECOM designs, builds, finances, and operates infrastructure assets for governments, businesses, and organizations. As a fully integrated infrastructure firm, AECOM connects knowledge and experience across their global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. With $20 billion in annual revenue, and 87,000 employees, AECOM provides projects and services across the world.
Delivering clean water and energy. Building iconic skyscrapers. Planning new cities. Restoring damaged environments. Connecting people and economies with roads, bridges, tunnels and transit systems. Designing parks where children play. Helping governments maintain stability and security.
AECOM connects expertise across services, markets, and geographies to deliver transformative outcomes. Worldwide, AECOM designs, builds, finance, operates, and manages projects and programs that unlock opportunities, protect our environment, and improve people’s lives.
AECOM’s usage of Salesforce has grown over the years to support both department and enterprise applications. AECOM stores millions of operational and sales records, including, but not limited to tens of thousands of projects, opportunities, accounts, project plans, contacts, project results, and employees. The complexity of AECOM’s Salesforce environments Includes:
Given the increasing complexity, AECOM had opportunities with both their production and sandbox environments.
Every week, AECOM was using the Salesforce Weekly Export to export .CSV files and metadata to back up their Salesforce environments. This process was time consuming and not scalable as their Salesforce usage and data grew. After noticing the extremity of what could happen in the event of a user-inflicted data loss or corruption, AECOM decided to seek out a more reliable Salesforce data protection and management solution.
"After noticing the extremity of what could happen in the event of a user-inflicted data loss or corruption, AECOM decided to seek out a more reliable Salesforce data protection and management solution."
With multiple full sandboxes, including those which were used for applications critical for project delivery and financials, AECOM was experiencing development project obstacles. Sandbox seeding while maintaining complex data relationships was also a challenge for AECOM. Because of this their development team relied heavily on full sandboxes, which slowed down their development cycles. They needed a solution that would empower them to seed multiple developer sandboxes with clean datasets in a timely fashion.
AECOM leveraged multiple processes and tools to get a handle on their Salesforce environment. Own was a key solution in this process.
Own protects AECOM against user-inflicted data loss and corruption that can occur during large-scale initiatives. With Own, AECOM is now able to back up data and metadata daily, rather than weekly, allowing them to maintain a faster recovery point objective (RPO). AECOM monitors data and metadata modifications using Own Smart Alerts, which notify them of any changes to their Salesforce objects. If something were to go wrong, Own Restore provides a way to granularly recover lost or corrupted data, metadata, and attachments, while maintaining circular relationships. Own enabled AECOM to implement data recovery management as a practice.
Beyond backup and recovery, AECOM leverages Own Compare and Visual Graphs for advanced data investigation. For example, Own is used to understand what happened with their data from a specific environment between a specific date range.
On May 17, 2019, AECOM was notified by Own Smart Alerts of a profile and permission sets metadata change within their Salesforce platform. AECOM was affected by permissions exposure as well as the service disruption. Own support worked with AECOM throughout the weekend to help them access their environment and recover their profiles and permission sets. With Own, AECOM was able to identify, verify, and recover changed permission sets, and stay a step ahead during the disruption.
Own’s R&D team quickly released an update to their data and metadata restore capability, incorporating several enhancements to help their clients streamline the restore process. The release included manually editing the XML before initiating a restore job, warning alerts to help identify problematic profiles that might prevent an accurate restore, and auto-exclude for the restoration of permissions sets for managed packages to prevent restores from failing.
AECOM now leverages Own, an independent web application, to access their data outside of Salesforce in the event a service disruption.
AECOM now has the ability to replicate data to various sandboxes with real-time test data for more accurate development and production success. Since partnering with Own, they’ve gained additional agility in their development and environment management. Instead of having to work in a limited number of development environments, AECOM’s development team can take complex or risky features and push them into a developer sandbox, test them independently, and integrate them back into a full sandbox.