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    Re-engineered a collaboration platform for superior business outcomes

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    business outcomes

    One of Cygnet's existing clients from Australia had an enterprise-level product that needed to be re-engineered.

    The client revealed his struggle to manage the product and the existing infrastructure that continued to grow in scale and complexity, resulting in growing customer escalations and overheads. The product urgently needed to be optimized with scalable and flexible infrastructure to continue fulfilling its commitment without risking competitive edge.

    The product

    A real-time collaboration platform for the construction industry in Australia enabling builders, contractors, suppliers and jobs (contracts among builders and their vendors) to coordinate and exchange mission critical documentation using web, mobile and API services on a single platform. The objective was to bring in efficiency in construction tasks management.

    The need to re-engineer the product

    Software Solution was operational for more than 8 years. It had sustained critical technology transformations, advancements and ad-hoc maintenance interventions. However, aging infrastructure demanded systematic transformation of the existing Software Solution into a new form to realize quality improvements in operation, system capability, functionality and performance without putting the existing customers at any risk.

    Another important aspect of the product was its integration with a wide range of web services, which the existing infrastructure was struggling to cope with, risking performance, security and efficiency to service the customers. Thus,

    • Different supplier systems struggled to integrate with Cygnet's client’s product
    • Servicing individual requests increased overhead
    • Lapse in data control affected consumers of data
    • Due to inconsistent and unplanned downtime, the documents exchange and communication between builders and suppliers resulted in lost order or forgotten follow-up
    • Addition of features over the years complicated the usability of the product resulting in unsatisfied customers

    Our client brought these concerns to the table, and wanted Cygnet to re-engineer the product and automate business-critical modules without changing the inherent functionality and purpose of the system, and deliver a web and mobile (iOS, Android, Windows) solution that could enable builders, contractors and suppliers to coordinate and eliminate loose-paper-headache through a single platform.

    Analysis

    During the initial IT infrastructure review,

    Cygnet identified that the existing servers, network, storage and user interface of the product needs to be aligned with the growing business needs. The existing database was not scalable or flexible and had limited capability to support new initiatives. In addition to that, the old infrastructure resulted in higher maintenance cost, increasing inefficiencies, complexity and security gaps.

    The project initiation

    Right from the outset, we were determined to deliver connected systems and mobile devices, analytics-driven business processes, and ease of accessibility to drive superior business outcomes. Also, act as a catalyst to support business process transformation to regain the trust and confidence of customers.

    We analyzed the existing technologies and proposed new technologies for long-term.

    Technology overview

    Existing technology stack Proposed technology stack  
    .NET framework 4.5 Front End : ASP.NET MVC 5.0, AngularJS, Twitter Bootstrap
    Front End : ASP.NET MVC 4.0, JQuery, Twitter Bootstrap Service Layer : Web API 2.0 with ODATA
    Service Layer : Web API 1.0 with ODATA Back End : SQL Server 2008 R2
    Back End : SQL Server 2008 R2 Version Control : Bit Bucket
    Build Server : Team City with continuous integration Unit Testing Framework : NUnit
    Deployment : Amazon Cloud EC2 Mocking Framework : Rhino Mocks
    Version Control : Tortoise Hg – Kiln Logging Framework : NLog
    Bug and Project Tracking : JIRA Dependency IOC container : Microsoft Unity
    Documentation : Confluence Deployment: Amazon
    Mobile technology: PhoneGap, HTML5, JQuery Mobile UI, CSS3

    Critical modules that needed to be re-engineered included;

    • A role-based Job creation, allocation & management module with email notification facilities
    • Account Management module with billing and invoicing facilities along with user authentication management
    • Integration of Google Map API to attribute and map tasks with construction sites
    • Contract Documents and Job Information Management module to enable seamless coordination
    • Mobile apps for Android, iOS and Windows operating systems using PhoneGap
    • Several independent APIs to integrate with third-party systems
    • Chargify payment gateway integration to subscribe for different service plans of the solution
    • A front-end interface design for both Web and Mobile version of the solution

    Considering project requirements, we deployed an experienced team of 14 over a period of 2 years. The team comprised of one Business Development Director, one Technical Director, one Business Analyst, two UI – UX Experts, five Developers, two Testers, one QA and one Implementation Expert. In addition, we also put engineers on stand-by to accelerate development as and when required.

    We adopted an incremental development approach to ensure re-engineering is carried out in stages without any downtime, and the end-users can gradually adapt to the new form of the product. We also ensured we utilize existing components and stick to the business rules. After the initial technical, business and risk analysis, a detailed project roadmap was established along with a risk mitigation strategy. On agreement with our client, we started planning milestones in a way that could ensure faster development and deployment. Our team,

    • Adopted a highly agile development methodology with 2 weeks of sprint
    • Used rapid development tools and smart frameworks developed in-house
    • Redesigned the architecture to accommodate rapidly changing business requirements
    • Automated unit testing implementation and continuous integration
    • Documented each functionality in the form of technical diagrams that eliminated individual dependency
    • To ensure timely deliverables, daily stand up, sprint plan, status and retrospective meetings with our client were conducted for higher degree of efficiency

    During the entire re-engineering journey, it was critical for our team to ensure rapid development and interim releases to optimize business performance and accommodate needs of the growing customer base.

    To achieve this, testing was critical.During the initial analysis phase before the development, our testing engineers validated and verified the existing application and reported issues in UI and several functionalities that included -  add a purchase order, delete an attachment, add role, create jobs, etc., in different environments. Based on the analysis, a test plan was prepared with detailed test cases and test scenarios. Once the development started, our testers parallelly kept testing the application to ensure it comes out as a consistent and effective product.

    Developers performed unit testing by isolating each component to avoid the development risk, and save time and money in having to go back and undo fundamental problems. After unit testing, testers started testing different components of the application and their interface with other modules. Once this was achieved, system testing of the entire application and then acceptance testing was performed for final approval. In the end, we successfully re-engineered the product to deliver a web and mobile solution.

    Overall, the solution benefitted builders, contractors and sub-contractors’ in terms of lowering the overhead expenses, improving communication and on-site production while keeping IT overheads low. As an end-to-end enterprise mobility services provider, we helped the client to capitalize on the existing product by gradually boosting it with new and improved technologies for long term market relevance.

    To summarize this is what we provided to our client;

    • End-to-end enterprise mobility services under a single roof
    • Freed our client to focus on improving customer relationships and marketing of product
    • Helped reduce development cost significantly
    • Ensured quick turn-around time for deliverables
    • Managed skilled resources and ensured their sustainability
    • Effectively managed cost, quality and timely deliverables
    • Ensured maintenance and support throughout
    • Accelerated project execution whenever required

    If you are looking to transform your business with smart and scalable   mobility solutions, Contact us now.  We implement best techniques and smart frameworks to deliver web, custom mobile (native, cross platform) application development services that ensure rapid roll-out.

     To get a quote for your project, please drop in your enquiries at inquiry@cygnet-infotech.com

About Cygnet

Our motto ‘IT is About You’ is more than just a tag line – it is the very heart of Cygnet. We always ensure the continued success of our clients and employees by placing problem solving ahead of anything else and walking the extra mile when needed.