When the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) set out to update their customer service portal, they called on a team of digital experts from inside and outside the government to make it happen. Excella’s Agile engineering experts worked side-by-side with the USCIS team to design and deploy a solution in record time. The outcome is myUSCIS: a groundbreaking new website that is changing the face of government IT forever.
Creating a New Vision for Immigration Services
USCIS has a monumental mission: to protect and promote the American dream. Each year the agency helps over 14 million people around the world by providing information, facilitating immigration to the U.S., and promoting understanding of citizenship. For years this process relied on a complicated system of forms and phone calls, leading to huge backlogs for USCIS staff and frustration for their customers.
That began to change in 2014. Taking a cue from digital experts, USCIS envisioned an integrated online experience that simplified and streamlined the process for their customers. Agency leaders worked side-by-side with their customers to design a solution that was accessible, informative, and highly personal – providing a digital gateway for the next generation of Americans.
They created a team of innovators from both industry and government, including Excella, the National Technical Information Service, 18F, and the U.S. Digital Service to turn this dream into reality. The result is myUSCIS (my.uscis.gov), an innovative website that is designed to change immigrants’ lives and revolutionize the future of government IT services.
Agile, Open-Source, and DevOps Provide a Path to Success
USCIS could not wait years to deliver a solution, making the tools and techniques used to develop the site essential to its success. The agency adopted modern Agile, DevOps, and Continuous Delivery practices to provide value early and often. Excella led development teams to engineer myUSCIS in iterative, two-week sprints while involving customers and staff from across the agency.
Our team used a wide range of open-source and cloud technologies to provide future scalability, including Amazon Web Services, Ruby on Rails, Java, and Chef. We delivered consistent results quickly by automating tests, versioning infrastructure as code, and automating application deployments on cloud resources provisioned on the fly through Continuous Delivery pipelines.
A Solution Built To Serve
Through an understanding of customer needs and a dedication to leading edge technology, the Excella team worked with USCIS and its partners to change how software is developed, managed, and approved at the agency. We believe this type of transformational thinking can impact the way IT solutions are designed and developed across the government – ushering in a new era of innovative services.
Over the coming months the team will continue to deliver new enhancements to myUSCIS that meet the needs of its customers and help welcome the next generation of immigrants to our country. We are honored to be a part of a solution that will have such a substantial impact on the people USCIS serves and this country.