A successful two-year engagement to completely reimagine and revamp architecture, DevOps, applications, and more.

Herff Jones is a nationally recognized marketer and manufacturer of student achievement products, including yearbooks, class rings, graduation accessories, and more. All meaningful items that create memorable experiences for young people. Over the last century, Herff Jones has successfully built a sprawling network of manufacturing facilities, sales representatives, and school partnerships. However, aging legacy technologies and applications jeopardized operations and revenue. They needed to take immediate and profound action.

CleanSlate was called in to ensure Herff Jones could celebrate another hundred years of success. Over the course of a two–year engagement, our partnership would completely modernize and transform an aging platform and suite of applications.


There were many challenges for CleanSlate and Herff Jones. But, the following four were mission-critical to ensuring a future for the company.

Substandard DevOps and Automation Practices

Client was continuously missing product delivery deadlines and declining code quality and deployment success causing delays and poor customer experiences.

Questionable Legacy Systems

Capacity constraints were limiting much-needed non-production environments, which reduced work that could be completed in parallel. And with multiple projects being launched, Herff Jones needed to discover what they had and what they needed.

Imminent Failure of Application Generating a Large Percentage of Revenue

Herff Jones flagship application – a web-based digital designer – responsible for the lion’s share of revenue was at the end of life. Twenty years old and relying on Flash, the app lacked scalability, the ability to support new features, and a modern UI/UX. It was just a matter of time before it imploded.

Aging, Failure-Prone Data Center Scheduled for Decommission

The on-premise and aging Oracle database contained over 20TB of data. The database was beginning to fail because the web-based designer application created a high load of uploaded images and multiple inputs from different users. The slow process times and poor reliability impacted customer satisfaction.


Migrated Legacy Systems to AWS

CleanSlate containerized the application so it could be deployed on-premise and within AWS. To mitigate stress on the aging infrastructure, we migrated the application to AWS and then modernized it.

Introduced Modern Cloud DevOps and CI/CD Processes

CleanSlate implemented a new DevOps process focused on automation. In addition, we also:

  • Enabled the ability to have an unlimited number of scrum teams deploying and building code daily.
  • Built and deployed processes and integrated with appropriate tools.
  • Implemented automated deployment processes for each application suite.
  • Created automated build processes for each application type.
  • Provided a self-services website so development teams could launch code builds and deployments on-demand and troubleshoot build issues.

Application Modernization

CleanSlate built a cutting edge SaaS application to enable a community driven application approach to enable Herff Jones to continually compete in the competitive market.


1 Hour

For new non-production environments


Database Migration


Data loss in migration process

CleanSlate successfully implemented the new cloud architecture and migration, minimizing impact to business operations with no production outages. And by introducing automation, Herff Jones can create new non-production environments in as little as 1 hour, enabling multiple teams to work in parallel for significantly increased productivity. Previously this process would have taken 4-6 weeks.

CleanSlate successfully implemented an AWS DevOps pipeline which enabled developers to run applications locally and in the cloud without concern of installing all necessary dependencies. The standardized and automated CI/CD processes made build and deployment status transparent.

The 20TB database migration was completed within the expected schedule without unplanned customer downtime or outages. There were zero data loss or data integrity issues. The migration happened “behind the scenes,” reducing the involvement of key client resources from other projects.

And perhaps, most important, the kids. The new state-of-the-art and user-friendly web-based design application ensured that future generations of students could memorialize, celebrate, and share some of the most important years of their lives. While most of the technology and inventive problem-solving may be hidden, it’s what you can see – the smiles – that make us most proud.

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