Collaboration and Scaling with Chef at NCR

In today’s always-connected environment, every company needs to have a strong online presence in order to stay competitive. This shift has been keenly felt at NCR, where over a century of innovation has been built on the hardware they provide to their customers. We recently sat down with Michael Hedgpeth, Senior Software Architect at NCR, and he told us that in the digital transformation age we live in, that alone is no longer enough. His team is responsible for ensuring that NCR is able to deliver innovations to their customers quickly and efficiently. Below, you’ll find two videos of Michael talking with us about the role Chef plays in making those goals a reality.

Not Just a Vendor, but a Partner

“What you’re getting with Chef is a lot more than just the checks on the feature boxes…”

Vendor selection processes often involve RFPs or similar feature checklists to help organizations ensure that the software they use meets their technological needs. Some considerations, however, go beyond what you’re likely to find on those lists. Is there a strong community of practitioners supporting the software? Will our vendor help us adjust not only to their technology, but in adopting a culture that will help us move at the velocity we require? At Chef, we believe in building strong partnerships with our customers to use our experience to help them solve existing issues, and prepare for emerging needs. As Michael says, “…that’s not a feature checkbox.”

“Chef Automate, for us, is a place where everybody can come together.”

With Chef Automate, Michael has been able to encourage conversation between a diverse set of teams. With Chef Automate, security, operations, and development teams are all able to access the same view of reality across their projects, and collaborate from a shared foundational understanding of their environments. Because of this, implementing Chef has become a way to foster an inclusive atmosphere, bringing teams to the table and shifting how they work with one another.

Preparing for Game Day

“[Chef provides] a basic foundation of what automation looks like at speed and scale.”

The real value of automation is being able to adapt to the needs of your customers and stakeholders without having to start from scratch with every change. At NCR, they had a recent case where a customer needed a massive expansion of infrastructure to prepare for a Super Bowl promotion they were running. This meant having to effectively rebuild their entire production environment. However, Michael told us, “…with Chef, that wasn’t a dramatic thing… and we were able to deliver that before their deadline.” Strong automation practices can make even high-priority projects predictable and achievable without requiring a frantic crunch. For Michael, “That speed of innovation is probably the best thing we’ve gotten out of Chef.”

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Nick Rycar

Nick is a Technical Product Marketing Manager working out of Chef HQ in Seattle. When he's not busy preparing product demos, he's torturing his colleagues with terrible puns and needlessly esoteric pop-culture trivia. Mostly he's just another confused New York transplant in the Pacific Northwest.