A Marketing & Database Publishing Application for a UK-Based Technology Vendor

Challenge

A London, UK-based software provider, dedicated to the development of cross-media marketing and database publishing software platform, was looking
for a competent and relevantly experienced development team to take over the implementation of one of their major projects. Envion became the provider
of choice due to our significant relevant experience, and the immaculate project delivery track record we had.

The client’s application is a feature-rich Web-based solution, intended to design and manage, quickly and effortlessly, narrowly tailored and complex-structured cross-media marketing campaigns. The solution is geared toward major retail chains. The application allows employees of retailers’ marketing departments
to easily create supermarket flyers based on a great variety of intricate prefab Indesign templates. Theses templates can be created by the system
administrator using the system’s Administration Module. The templates are flexibly populated with user-entered and data retrieved from the database.

The application’s database stores a wide variety of images, videos, and documents, as well as seasonally varying price and discount data, and other
appropriate information.

It is possible create a high-quality PDF file based on a completed template , and then send the created flyer to a corresponding segment of the company’s customer database using the system’s mass-emailing capability. This e-mailing capability also allows customizing and personalizing the message sent along with the flyer to customers. In addition, the system allows flexibly creating Internet landing pages to support a variety of marketing events conducted
by a retailer, for example, Webinars for customers or market surveys. The application also provides product, publication, and task management functionality.

Solution

Having become acquainted with the undocumented ASPx-based application, originally developed for the client by our predecessors, the 5-strong Envion
project team came to a conclusion that it was more expedient to develop a different version of the software from the ground up. As the client concurred
with his opinion, we guided them through the requirements definition processes, and created a detailed functional specification for the software
to be developed.

During the knowledge transfer, the Envion team received no support from the client’s previous provider. Some additional technical challenges posed by the project included the solution’s integration with in Design and QuarkX. Despite the above hurdles, the Envion, team managed to deliver the fully functional version
of the redesigned application just 10 months after the project’s start. This version went live at a major UK retailer, and has since been continually expanded, enhanced, and customized for the client’s multiple other customers. The extent to which the application was customized has varied in each particular case,
but has largely been limited to the need for custom GUI, or a custom API to allow receiving data on the customer’s multiple brands.

However, some of the individual customization-related projects did pose an entire range of highly formidable challenges. In particular, delivering the system
to one of South-East Asia’s premier retailers included the system’s significant re-engineering to implement Unicode support, Chinese localization, and the need to deliver the project against a very tight deadline of 6 months. Relying on Envion’s extensive previous experience, we succeeded in overcoming all the above challenges in full compliance with our client’s customer’s expectations. The project has been ongoing for over 6 years now. Currently, the Envion team deployed on it is involved in further expanding and customizing the system’s functionality.

Technology Stack

The Envion project team used the following technologies to implement the project:

  • PHP: Symfony2
  • Java
  • Objective-C
  • C++
  • Python
  • HTML: HTML5 & CSS, XML, Twitter Bootstrap
  • JavaScript: Jquery, jQuery UI, DHTMLX
  • Databases: Mssql, Mysql
  • Tests: Unit Testing, BDD
  • ORM: Doctrine
  • Shell scripts
  • JBoss
  • XML
  • inDesign
  • QuarkExpress SDK

Result

Choosing Envion to take over one of their flagship projects has allowed the client to turn what could be referred to as a mediocre software application into
a premium-quality, innovative, and easily marketable solution, significantly improving their customers’ ROI. They have been able to attract several major customers, add to their reputation as a leading provider in their business domain, and establish a growing business presence on the highly promising
South-East-Asian market.

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