OnCorps analytics business platform offers senior IT professionals in companies to crowd source data about technologies and IT vendors from their peers in their own or other companies. The objective is to help professionals quickly learn from their peers from experiences they already have through surveys based on use cases and the analytics run on the data captured.
The platform offers a list of use cases, and a global list of vendors. Users can create an account to run a survey based on an existing use case, or create a new use case. This aims to source ratings and evaluation of vendors for technology adoption within an organization or across enterprises.
The customer approached Srijan when they were at the concept stage of the business idea. The CEO and the CTO are based out of different countries. They had evaluated and decided upon Drupal to build the product, and were looking for a Drupal agency to implement the project.
The customer needed an agency that could function like their own engineering team, dedicatedly on the project. The company also wanted to keep their product development costs under control. And hence needed a Drupal development agency that could develop and deliver using the agile methodology.
The customer was referred to Srijan by Acquia. Srijan’s open approach, contribution to product from the business perspective, and consistent delivery earned the trust of the customer team.
Srijan was involved in the product development process right from the concept stage. This started with Srijan offering a roadmap for the visualization of the business idea that the customer had approached us with.
The development team shared wireframes that led to more presentations, and then a concrete picture of how to move ahead with the development process was evolved. An engineering team was dedicated to the project and they followed the agile development process.
A small prototype was built in two months. The company was focused on getting the product tested by real users to ensure that the right features would get developed, and no effort would be wasted in building features which no one would ever use.
This meant Srijan’s team worked on sprints of two weeks, and developed new features in every sprint. The customer would then take the features to end users for feedback. This constant feedback loop optimized the development process.
As the feedback started coming in, it was apparent that the end users of the platform could see more ways of exploiting its potential. The product is now evolving into a platform that enables collaboration not just between the IT processes within and across enterprises, but also other processes. It is now clear that this is product with a huge potential to scale up.
Why was Drupal chosen?
The product platform is not a traditional content or social content publishing website. It has a series of forms, largely with objective single-choice fields that capture data on business use-cases through collaboration among community members within large enterprises. Drupal has been used as a framework on this application, rather than a publishing platform. Data is heavily segmented, so as to be able to build data visualization reports on various parameters. To achieve this Srijan wrote a middle layer based on a ‘custom written data engine’ to save/read the analytics data. This engine can be switched to any storage engine with minimal effort without affecting the frontend rendering.
This product developed in Drupal has evolved steadily based on the process of rapid prototyping → customer demos → introducing new features based on customer feedback. This speed of change was impossible to meet with PHP or Ruby based frameworks.
Since the platform required a common set of features to be made available across different groups of people, within different enterprises (this is a PaaS model) with clear separation of roles, OG (Organic Groups) module served as perfect way to achieve this.
The site is now to be made accessible across mobile devices across platforms. Keeping this emerging audience, a separate version of the site is being developed in Angular.js. The redesigning of the frontend is being done using HAML, CoffeScript and SAAS.
Srijan ensured that it followed its Continuously Improving approach to enable effective adoption of the new technologies. This meant that Srijan needed to train its team on the new technologies and approaches as the product evolved. Srijan ensured that the training happened at its expense well in time. It was only when the resources would be ready to deliver value to the product development that any invoicing would happen. Similarly, Srijan’s agile coach personally monitors this project to ensure adherence to agile principles.
Committed to Continuously Improve: Srijan is of the firm belief that to build the right product, the development team needs to have a Continuously Improving approach without burdening the customer with the costs involved to achieve this. With this product too, Srijan followed this approach, thus displaying its commitment to the success of the product.
Development continuity: Srijan offered a dedicated engineering team to the customer. This ensured the continuity of the product development process and a streamlined communication with the customer.
Thought partner: Srijan works as a thought partner with the customer and not as a development team waiting for client briefings. The engineering team added tremendous value just not in terms of implementation but at the level of ideation too.
Cost savings: With the agile development methodology, the project was invoiced in the pay-as-you-go model. This methodology ensured that unnecessary features were not developed, thus wasting time, effort and costs.
Complete security: Srijan took measures to ensure that the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) of the client was secured and maintained at all times.