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How Wiley Education Services Empowers Students with Docker Enterprise

Staff - January 17, 2020
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We sat down recently with our customer, Wiley Education Services, to find out how Docker Enterprise helps them connect with and empower higher education students. Wiley Education Services (WES) is a division of Wiley Publishing that delivers online services to over 60 higher education institutions.

We spoke with Blaine Helmick, Senior Manager of Systems Engineering about innovation and technology in education. Read on to learn more about Wiley, or watch the short video interview with Blaine:

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On Wiley's Mission…

Our mission at Wiley Education Services is empowering people, to connect people to their futures. We serve over 60 higher education partners around the world, and our role is to connect you to our higher education partners when you’re looking for a degree and you’re frankly looking to change your life.

On Innovation at a 200 Year Old Company…

Wiley has been around for over 200 years. One of the really amazing things about being in an organization that’s been around that long is that you have to have a culture of innovation at your core.

Technology like Docker has really empowered our business because it allows us to innovate, and it allows us to experiment. That’s critical because experimentation and being allowed to fail is what allows us to innovate and learn.

An Architecture that Wouldn't Scale…

Our business first looked at Docker right about when I joined in late 2016. Our marketing solution for higher education partners was running on two VMs in AWS, including the database, and it just wasn’t scalable. We just didn’t have the ability that we needed to quickly adapt and evolve to meet the needs of our higher education partners. If we wanted to stay competitive we were going to have to make some architectural changes.

And a Memorable Outage…

A memorable experience at Wiley for me was when we had a huge outage on the servers that ran our core service. We were down for a good three days while we essentially rebuilt our infrastructure. It led to an epiphany about the analysis we had done of our infrastructure. Our partner had already recommended Docker, but it hadn’t coalesced yet. That was the moment it did.

On How Docker Helps Wiley Achieve Their Mission…

Docker helps us make good on the mission at Wiley by reducing the amount of time that it takes for us to get one of our websites out in the marketplace to help and empower students. If we can make the connection to students faster and deliver new information that helps connect those students to our higher education partners, that’s incredibly important. Closing that gap is what empowers us and ultimately empowers those students to succeed.


On Innovation without the Cost…

Docker has been eye-opening for me. One key benefit that we got immediately with Docker Enterprise was speed — how quickly we can create and publish containers, test them, and bring them back down if they don’t work without the long cycles we needed before. That’s huge, because it lets us innovate quickly.

The second thing that it brought us was cost savings. The ability to bring up new tech rapidly without necessarily having to make huge investments has been tremendous.


The Future of Wiley Education Services…

Now we’re looking to bring Docker throughout the organization so that we’re not just taking what we have and putting it out into docker containers, but also introducing things like microservices, or being able to take multiple datacenters from around the world and orchestrate our containers so we have full redundancy.

But it isn’t just about redundancy. It’s about meeting our students — and customers — where they are. So having the capability that Docker and Kubernetes provides will let us take our marketing sites and move them throughout the world so we’re reaching students where they are. That’s what allows us to reach those students faster.

To learn more about Wiley’s story and how Docker can help you innovate:
This post was originally published on September 19, 2019 on the Docker blog.

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