Digital Business Automation in Action.
Seamless Systems Integration and Development of Robust Software to improve efficiency, productivity and customer retention.
Daisy Group were formed in 2001 and are now the UK’s largest independent digital provider of end-to-end business communications and managed service solutions. Daisy have over 60,000 direct customers, 1,700 partners and 3,700 employees operating from 30 locations nationwide and needed help with systems integration.
The Roar Software team of developers have provided technical consultancy to Daisy for over a decade, supporting them through a variety of digital business automations and systems integration challenges as Daisy have achieved huge growth.
Projects Roar Software have worked with Daisy on include:
- Integrating billing, CRM, Direct Debit and accounting systems resulting in huge efficiency savings
- Providing customer services with easy access to account financial history
- Allowing customers direct access to invoices
- Developing automated dunning systems and direct debit notification letters that integrate with external printing services
- Providing the ability to brand all material appropriately for the different Daisy divisions from the same software platform
- A workflow system for sales staff, including ‘click to dial’ using VOIP services, and easily accessible call recording
- Design and implementation of the financial aspects of a Virtual Reseller ‘bureau’ platform
Digital Business Automation and Systems Integration – An Example
As part of the development of the automated dunning system we looked specifically at how direct debit cancellations were dealt with. Previously, if a direct debit was cancelled someone would have to manually pick up the information and communicate that to invoicing. Invoicing would then have to manually make several changes to the customer account on the invoicing system. Someone else would also have to communicate with customer services who would manually make several changes on the customer services system and try to make sure the printer was loaded with the correctly branded letterhead before sending a letter to the customer.
Roar built robust software that integrated all these systems and automated a number of processes. Now when a Direct Debit cancellation message comes into the Daisy system it is automatically picked up by the software developed by Roar. This software then pushes the event into the invoicing system and triggers it to do three things: change the payment type; add a charge to the account for non payment of direct debit; and change the bill to include a remittance slip for an alternative payment method. At the same time, the event is pushed into the CRM system where it automatically obtains the primary contact for the account, generating and sending both an email and a branded letter. The accounts system is automatically updated as well.
Under the previous system, there was the potential for 4 systems to all hold different information about the same customer and there were unavoidable delays between a direct debit being cancelled and all necessary actions being taken. The new system is zero touch ensuring that all departments have near real time information on customers. The scope for errors has been reduced drastically. The new system allows customer services to respond quickly to whatever caused the direct debit cancellation in the first place and aids customer retention.
This was just one part of a much larger programme of systems integration. The real strength of the Daisy projects Roar Software work on is that they are easily maintained by Daisy in-house and the platform can continue to be extended to suit growing company needs.
Roar Software developed strong working relationships with Daisy staff ‘on the coal face’ from the outset and have continued to develop and maintain those relationships across all departments.
At Roar, we understand that for any system to be successful, it must be easy to use. We strive to take an agile approach to software development and value user input as being crucial to success.
Developing Bespoke Software to improve security and Integrating Existing Software
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is an African organisation established in 2006, their purpose being to strategically plan how to improve African citizens’ quality of life through the leadership and governance of each country. They believe that Africa has got a wealth of resources to make political and human rights progress, but to reach this potential they need strong governments to bring it into fruition in a way that is sustainable for the long term. The foundation encourages African leaders to assess and prioritise the challenges they face, such as corruption and poverty, and implement possible solutions with the wealth they have in order to enhance their citizens’ quality of life.
The Ibrahim Governance Weekend is the foundation’s flagship event, hosted every year in a different African country. This year, it was held in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, where Roar Software were invited to work at the event.
Over three days, African political and business leaders came together with representatives from the civil society, regional institutions and Africa’s international partners to debate the continent’s most critically important issues. There was a Leadership Ceremony in which various African presidents and prominent politicians made speeches: this was opened by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Ibrahim Prize winner and former Liberian president who led Liberia to recovery after it’s horrendous civil war. One day of the weekend was dedicated to a high level discussion around tackling the challenges faced by Africa and its citizens, called the ‘Ibrahim Forum’. The event concludes with a public concert to display the best performers the continent has to offer.
In Rwanda, Roar Software worked alongside an events management team called Barefoot Live Ltd. They are a specialist production company that work with clients to make sure that the live events they’re hosting run as smoothly as they possibly can, and have worked on several large scale projects around the world.
Barefoot were working with existing software to produce passes into the event, and we extended and maintained this for them. We added barcodes to the passes and developed a unique system that takes a photo of the delegate on a webcam, so that when the barcode is scanned, security staff can see the photo of the person the pass has been issued to. This meant that they could easily identify who was coming into the building. We also improved the synchronisation of the delegates’ information with Barefoot’s customer relationship management system.
While on site, it became clear that one of the limitations with the existing software was that if you had a particularly long name, it would not fit on the pass due to an issue with a standard system library routine. We produced an innovative solution to this problem in a short time frame.
After a query from KCC Security, we created a screen on which the security staff could search for specific delegates and be able to see information such as the time that the person entered the building. We were able to draw on our team in the UK to deliver this quickly while allowing on-site staff to concentrate on system administration and user queries. We also made several other minor improvements to the system while we worked on the project.
Over 2,500 passes were issued for the event, which were successfully scanned approximately 6,000 times with very few difficulties over the weekend.
Price comparison website buyitnowsearch.com
Ruby on Rails website
At Roar Software we also work on our own products and projects alongside client work. This provides the opportunity for the team to continue to learn and develop, gaining experience of different techniques, platforms and languages. One such project is buyitnowsearch.com
Have you ever found yourself looking for a second hand item, for example a bike, or a child’s bed, and looking on ebay, and then looking on gumtree? Have you found yourself in need of a piece of electronics, say a printer or a cable, and searching amazon, and ebuyer, and ebay? buyitnowsearch.com searches these sites for you and compiles the results into a single list. It provides the ability to specify distance from your location in your search (for those bulky ‘pick up only’ items) and to set the minimum and maximum price.
The chosen sites are searched in real time and the results compiled into a list which can then be ordered and viewed in either grid or list form.
The site was built using a Linux / MySQL / Ruby on Rails / nginx stack.
An App to read barcodes and search for the product in buyitnowsearch
Roar Software are currently looking for a graphic designer who can work in HTML and CSS to collaborate with us on this project to improve the app aesthetic. Get in touch if you are interested!
At Roar Software we also work on our own products and projects alongside client work. This provides the opportunity for the team to continue to learn and develop, gaining experience of different techniques, platforms and languages. One such project is the barcode reader app for buyitnowsearch.
The barcode reader app was built to demonstrate Roar Software’s ability to develop integrated cross platform mobile apps. The app reads a barcode, looks up the product in an open online database of UPCs and searches buyitnowsearch.com for products with that name. The idea is that if you find something you like in a shop, and wonder how cheaply you could get it online, you simply need to scan the barcode and online results will show.
This app was built using Apache Cordova. It is tested on both Android and iOS , but is currently only available on Android due to the pricey nature of registering an app on the App Store!
Club Management Web Portal
Helping Small Businesses
A problem encountered by small, independent gyms is that they often lack the finances to invest in systems to manage everything digitally. We have developed an interactive web portal for our client which enables gym management staff to manage all of their members and classes in the same way larger organisations do, for a reasonable subscription fee. Gyms can register themselves, their classes and members onto the web portal and organise them from there. We have enabled social logins with OAuth, so that members can login with already existing Facebook and Google accounts.
The Mobile Phone App
The web portal is connected with a mobile phone app that we have also created. The app was built using Apache Cordova which allows it to work across multiple formats, so it can be used on both Apple and Android devices. Roar Software worked with a third party graphic designer chosen by the client to improve the styling and aesthetic of the app. It can be used by members to book onto classes and also class leaders to take attendance registers and cancel classes among other functions. Members can turn on push notifications and receive messages from our app, so they can be easily informed of changes, such as if a class they are booked into is postponed or cancelled.
This is an ongoing project that should be launched in the near future.