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Part 3: Developing our Software-as-a-Service solution in collaboration with our customers
As the previous part of our blog series revealed, in response to the COVID epidemic, the exact design and framework of our first Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based product was completed in May this year. From discussions with our customers, it has become clear that there is a need for a digital customer-side application that can provide direct information, as well as be quickly deployable and cost-effective. The popularity of the concept was shown by the fact that two of our partners immediately agreed to work together as pilot clients to develop the exact functionality of the application and the related contracts.
As our explicit goal was to create a solution tailored to the needs of financial institutions, we managed the product development as well as the introduction to our pilot customers at the same time. With this, we had the opportunity to shape the solution to the expectations of capital market participants through continuous interactions. In order to adequately cover all relevant areas, we have set up 5 task forces:
- Legal group for the precise drafting of contracts
- Business team to finalize functionality
- Design and marketing team to personalize and brand the product
- Back-office and business group to determine the exact of data set to display
- IT Security, Legal and Compliance Working Group to examine data protection issues
After initial consultations with each working group, it became clear which issues would require more time: clarifying privacy issues related to SaaS and defining the data set to be displayed. Both were previously untouched areas, and the project has given rise to a number of questions that have been swept under the table for a long time. Answering these questions helped our clients ’daily lives after the project.
Data protection and IT security issues related to SaaS were a new area for both to our customers and us, but as we delved deeper into the topic, the right answers emerged. During our work, we have found that guidance from relevant legislation and regulatory recommendations adequately covers business needs and that all technologically and contractually sensitive issues can be fully addressed.
The data set to display in the application has drawn attention to other types of problems. Readers will surely have a lot of experience with problems with data that can be extracted from legacy systems. Just think of a mandatory report or extraordinary data request when working with poor quality, duplicate or missing data from many systems. It is necessary to load data into our SaaS-based application in a predefined structure, so it is essential that all data is generated automatically and in the right quality.
In parallel with the discussions with the groups, we developed our application with great effort. As a result, the non-customized SaaS-based application was completed in just 1 month, and by the end of month 2, a 95% version was available with the functionality and design required by our customers.
We viewed the design and customization of the application, as an investment throughout the project. Looking back, we are pleased to have put 2 months of intensive work and resources from many areas into the project. Thanks to the lessons learned, the solution will be available to our new customers within a 3-4-week project period, and we have also paved the way for the SaaS-based implementation of our other digital solutions.
After a successful 2-month development period, we were ready to Go Live with the application at our customers in July, but then we encountered unexpected obstacles… Our next blog episode reveals what these challenges were and how we tackled them.
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