Difrent operates in a world where near-real-time approvals for funding really matters. Having had the original solution for the customer-facing website and the processing back-office built on Sitecore, they quickly found themselves in a place where they were outgrowing the performance, scalability, and cost per application that the platform was set up to handle.
Difrent found us and we instantly saw synergies with what they were looking to accomplish and our deep experience in implementing custom solutions on the Umbraco platform. Add to that, our enterprise experience in migrating solutions from Sitecore to Umbraco, and we were off to a really good start.
The immediate task at hand was to do a deep analysis of the current business process that supports the 100s of applicants per day. Needless to say, the cutover needed to be spotless or the call center that supports the review and approval process would grind to a halt. Our user experience engineers and business analysts went to work interviewing the customer to come up with wireframes and schematics that would guide the development and implementation of the new custom Umbraco back-office.
There are many other custom solutions that we built to make life easier for both customers and application agents, alike. With conveniences such as variable-controlled email templates, Google Address type-ahead for address verification, inline notes for applications to support multi-agent collaboration, and much more. Even seemingly trivial features, like agents being able to resize the panels in the application review interface, go a long way to making the workflow more productive and customizable.
As we were migrating an operational application with lots of traffic, we needed to make sure that pending applications, documents, and users were all migrated successfully at the last minute prior to cut-over. With Umbraco’s standardized .Net user management, we were able to migrate the users from Sitecore and develop a process for existing users to simply reset their password on the Umbraco platform upon the first login, without compromising security.
Of course, as with any financial application, there are integrations. In this case, we are planning an enhancement to build out payment services with FatZebra so that customers can make swift online payments for their rentals. In addition, we have a direct integration with an Australian-based bank statement provider called Illion. As customers go through an identity verification process, they also connect with Illion to allow for the sharing of current financials for review as part of the rental application process. Illion then securely shares these documents and data with our Umbraco app, and we store that in a secure Blob storage container within Azure.
Like all of Scandia's projects, whether migrating an existing platform or building from scratch, the performance of the end-product is of utmost importance. For end-users, this means a smooth and responsive browsing experience. For the back-office administrators and call-center agents, it means they no longer have to wait for 30 seconds to see the pending applications list.
Our engineers were able to optimize the display and rendering of the entire applications list (100,000’s of records) in less than 3 seconds (with pagination, search, and filtering of course). Previously, the agents would have to keep several tabs going due to the slow response of the application, hampering productivity and speed.
Well, I guess the results speak for themselves. In the end, the client ended up with a superior platform that is ready to scale as this business continues to grow. In summary, the Scandia team build out all of the following (did we mention that our timeline was cut short by 4 weeks due to an expiring Sitecore license?):
- Custom Umbraco implementation using custom sections, Angular app enhancements, and performance enhancements.
- Migrate Sitecore content and users, along with application data to Umbraco.
- Implement UI and UX enhancements to the customer-facing product website.
- Implement Angular App within Umbraco structure to avoid iFrame approach in the previous implementation.
- Built out email template (with variables) management to allow content editors to manage email communication from the application process.
- Deploy Azure IaaS infrastructure on the Australia zone to account for performance and data storage compliance. Implement dev/staging/production environments with ContentFlow (uSync).
An aggressive timeline meant that we had to work long hours, but in the end, we got the job done on time and with a smooth transition with no interruptions to customers or agents.