David Friedlander

Disruption from Within: Driving Innovation at Franklin American with Docker EE

When you think of mortgage companies, you think of paperwork. You probably don’t think agile and responsive to customers. But Franklin American Mortgage wanted to disrupt that model. With their investments in innovation, microservices and Docker Enterprise Edition, they’ve been able to quickly create a platform to make technology core to their success.

Don Bauer, the DevOps lead at Franklin American is part of an innovation team the mortgage company had established last year to challenge the status quo. Franklin American was doing amazing things and transforming their business — all with Docker Enterprise Edition as the foundation.

Don presented at DockerCon 2018 along with Franklin American’s VP of Innovation, Sharon Frazier. They’ve been able to quickly build a DevOps culture around four pillars: Visibility, Simplification, Standardization and Experimentation. Experimentation is key. It lets them fail fast, and fearlessly.

In an interview at DockerCon, Don explained how they use Docker Enterprise Edition to drive innovation.

“Docker has allowed us to fail fearlessly. We can test new things easily and quickly and if they work, awesome. But if they don’t, we didn’t spend weeks or months on it.” – Don Bauer, DevOps Lead 

For the company, innovation is about more than new technology; it’s about doing something new and relevant for customers. The first challenge the team wanted to address was the company’s competitive position with pricing. The mortgage “lock engine” that sets and locks mortgage pricing is key to maintaining the company’s competitiveness.

Docker Enterprise Edition lets Franklin American move faster in their journey to transform the company.

“I think our biggest win to date was our ability to take an idea from start to finish within a week. We recognized an opportunity and we capitalized on it and we delivered.” — Sharon Frazier, VP of Innovation

Today, the company has a single 40-node cluster that supports development, test, QA and production, with isolated environments for each. They run 20 environments and over 300 services supported by 1,000 containers.

More impressive than that — they move fast. As Don and Sharon explained in their DockerCon presentation, Franklin American’s DevOps team has done well over 10,000 deployments since November 17, 2017 — averaging 200 or more a day.

As Sharon put it in her DockerCon talk, she “runs a ‘startup’ within corporate America, and it’s the best job in the world.” Working with Docker, the innovation team’s charter includes making sure the company remains relevant and competitive 10 years from now.

To learn more about the Franklin American story watch their DockerCon 2018 session:

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David Friedlander

Disruption from Within: Driving Innovation at Franklin American with Docker EE


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