Category Archive : Blog

Metrics.Consulting is an Adobe Solutions Partner

Metrics.Consulting is pleased to announce that we have recently been accepted into the Adobe Solutions Partner program as a bronze-level partner!

This partnership will give Metrics.Consulting access to a wide array of resources from Adobe that will allow us to improve our solution delivery in a variety of ways and for a variety of products, especially in our core Magento Commerce Cloud practice.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your Adobe product solution needs.


Migrating to a Private Cloud

“Cloud” has been a buzzword for years. What does it actually mean? A half-joking definition might be simply “someone else’s computer”. You click a link and you’re magically connected over the internet to a server and software housed in a data center…somewhere. The big names, like Amazon, Google, eBay, etc, have data centers all over the world in order to provide improved performance by locating closer to the originating client, but also for redundancy in case of a disaster or outage in one particular area. For the most part, you don’t have to worry about any of that. You just go about your business or pleasure utilizing the application, API, or other hosted services.

Here at Metrics, we’ve been going through a concerted effort to remove our dependence on commercial cloud solutions. We’re moving many of our applications to a private cloud. Examples include our git repositories, groupware solutions, and ERP.

“Why?” you might ask. The simplest answer…control.

Essentially, moving to a private cloud means we can offer and make use of similar (or in many cases, identical) software and services as commercial offerings, but retain complete control over aspects like provisioning (how much hardware or other resources to commit to a particular solution), authentication and authorizations (how you log and what features you have access to), security standards, performance, and many other aspects. An added bonus, although not fruitful in some instances, is cost savings that come from not having to pay a vendor for a software or service that we can provide for ourselves.

As with anything, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution here. It may make perfect sense for a company to pay for infrastructure or software “as a service”. In fact, many, large enterprises have been doing the exact opposite by moving their internally-hosted applications and infrastructure into the public cloud. The level of savings they’ve experienced is debatable, depending on the specific metrics you use to evaluate the effort. They may certainly spend less on hardware and systems or support personnel by outsourcing to a vendor, but other costs, like subscription and other fees, offset that to some degree.

So, what is involved in moving to a private cloud? For us, it involves the following…

First, network infrastructure. We upgraded our entire network to take advantage of improvements in hardware and software, get better performance, and to improve security. 

Second, hardware. We purchased server racks, servers, drives, and other bits and pieces to tie it all together. In most cases, our hardware was pre-owned and therefore purchased at a serious discount from new, retail prices.

Third, applications. We’re big believers in open-source software, so the vast majority of our applications are free, in terms of cost and liberty. Nextcloud, Gitlab, SQL-Ledger are all in use, along with other, server-based components like Apache web servers, MySQL and PostgreSQL databases, and Node.js. We also stand up client-facing applications for development, testing, and, in some cases, production instances, e.g. Magento.

There’s another aspect to migrating to an internal cloud environment that, as a consulting company, we get significant value from. That’s training. It takes specific knowledge and extensive experience to recommend software applications or to design, deploy, and support solutions. We can much of that knowledge and experience by scratching our own itch. We take what we learn from our successes, and more importantly our failures, and bring that to bear on our client projects.


Significant SAP Vulnerabilities for Multiple Products/Platforms

There have been significant vulnerabilities uncovered in a variety of SAP products that could allow for arbitrary code execution. The threat assessment to customers using the listed SAP systems has been labeled as “high”. Please see the following article for details and recommendations.

Multiple Vulnerabilities in SAP Products Could Allow for Arbitrary Code Execution

We’re Here to Help

These are strange and trying times, especially for small businesses. There are many caught unprepared for the challenges of remote work, supply chain issues, and general business disruption brought on by the global pandemic. Let us help!

As a company, we’ve worked remotely for more than a decade. We’ve helped countless businesses improve their processes, overcome obstacles, and take charge of their destiny in times of crisis. We can do the same for you. Even better, your initial consultation is FREE!

There are many tools out there that can help with the technological challenges. Applications like Slack, Teams, and Zoom are essential for group communication, meetings, and presentations. While these are well-known and free to use, there are many other open-source and low-cost options that can help your business navigate these troubled waters we know find ourselves in. Whether it’s secure, remote, VPN access for employees now working from home or easier information sharing through “the cloud” (either a public option like AWS or a private solution like Nextcloud), we can help you quickly make the transitions you need to survive and even thrive.

Don’t “go it alone”…reach out for help. We’re here and ready to assist.

The Why? It’s Customer Appreciation…of You!

When people talk about customer appreciation they are typically referring to a business’s appreciation of their customer(s). That’s an important topic, but not the one discussed below. This post is about your customers and clients appreciating you!

There are several questions that I get asked on a fairly frequent basis that all seek the same answer. The question can be phrased in many ways, but can be paraphrased as “why do you do what you do?”

Up until recently, I would usually dive into explanations of how I love to solve business problems through technology, how building software is like architecting a bridge that you can admire afterward, or how overcoming challenges is rewarding. That’s still all true, but the real reason is much different. A recent example illuminated this perfectly.

I’ve been working with a small-business client who is suffering from a lack of time. There are several, disparate systems in their landscape including some outside their control, e.g. systems maintained by a state agency. Their system of record is older (I would even call it “antiquated”), doesn’t integrate well, and has several other drawbacks. For now, we’re focusing on reducing manual data entry and duplication of effort in order to free up the staff’s (and especially the owner’s) time for more important activities. Things are going well.

The point of this backstory and of this blog post is what happened next.

From my perspective, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible and what I plan to deliver to this client. From their perspective though, we’ve already changed their world in a big way. Out of the blue and after only a few weeks working together, I got a lengthy Slack message containing phrases like…

“I sit here thinking of how grateful I am for you and your services and passion to help us…”


“You truly have given me hope and a new outlook on life!”

and, my personal favorite…

“I trust you 100%!”

As I read through this entire, humbling message, I realized…this is why I do what I do. To completely transform someone else’s perspective, attitude, and outlook on life, through improving the business processes and technology they rely upon, is an extremely satisfying reward. It almost seems unfair that clients pay for these services too. Almost. 🙂

Our customers and clients will always be appreciated by us here at Metrics Consulting, but it’s nice to celebrate the win of customers appreciating you back. That feeling can be a little harder to come by in the enterprise arena, but it’s still out there. Those complete systems, or even small enhancements, that you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into delivering can transform someone else’s life.

That is why we do what we do.

Nathan Leach, CEO


The Best, First Rule of Solution Design? Minimalism.

The blog post “Minimalism — The most undervalued development skill” struck a nerve. You see examples of this all the time in IT. Voluminous documents collecting the requirements and describing the design of some gigantic new system meant to address an important business challenge or opportunity. The solution invariably ends up being 10X the size, complexity, and price of the documents themselves and rarely meets the intended goals. Why?

As the post mentions, there are many intelligent, successful people we can look to who espouse a better solution. Simplicity. A similar, favorite quote comes from Albert Einstein…

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Let’s massage that a little to…if you can’t design it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. That’s especially true in IT projects. Granted, collecting requirements can lead to a huge list of wants and needs. The numbers and types of systems in today’s enterprise, and even small business, environments can be staggering. Those two factors don’t mean that designing, building, and especially supporting huge, complex solutions is a good idea. It isn’t.

While the end result may be grandiose, you can be assured that trying to design, build, test, implement, and support that grandiose vision is most-likely doomed to fail. Before you even get done designing it, the requirements and the underlying business will have changed. Your giant design no longer addresses the need. That’s news that will come as a nasty, expensive surprise to you and your stakeholders when it rears its ugly head in user acceptance testing or some other equally-inconvenient phase of your project.

There is a better way. The “K.I.S.S.” principle…keep it simple, silly. As with tackling any large or otherwise daunting task, e.g. eating an elephant, the best way is to break those requirements down. Take the two or three most valuable (as defined by you and your client/customer working together) and design a solution for those. All the rest of that complexity and expense go into your backlog, to be reassessed and initiated at some point in the future, aka your next iteration, phase, project, or whatever you would like to call it. The benefit being, when you get around to working on the next set of requirements you can discover and address whatever environmental, business, or other changes have occurred since you originally ramped up.

Of course, “real” design here will consider and plan for larger issues beyond your first phase, e.g. scalability, additional features, etc. But, you don’t need to handle every aspect of that right now. Design and build the solution your customer needs today. Get it in their hands as quickly as possible. Then, make adjustments, enhancements, and improvements. The quicker you can turn that challenge or opportunity into value for the client/customer, the quicker you can ramp up the next iteration, and so on.

Meanwhile, that simple solution will continue churning away providing a competitive advantage to your customer and a beneficial, ongoing, business relationship for you.