Case Study: Mobile Tools For A System Of Contingent Workforce Management
Building software products for large companies very often means building just a part of the whole mechanism. Yet it has to run clockwork. It has to be reliable. When the software product is not the core business, very often there's no specification, and you have to bring your own ideas to the table. That's what we always do, and that's what we did here. This project consisted of two mobile apps for the Provade Vendor Management System - a rather huge enterprise-class solution for effective contingent workforce management, which is currently provided as Software-as-a-Service.
Thus, this is software for the corporate segment, available to companies that purchase Provade services. The monetization is left to the whole pack, while these apps are created to 'mobilize' and 'popularize' the main product and increase the competitive advantage of the company, making their services more convenient and expanding the audience of potential customers.
Apart from the functionality, our goals included connecting the Client's backend to the project, and achieve maximum simplicity of UX/UI for both products and both platforms (iOS/Android).
PROVADE VMS WORKER
This app allows end users (workers in contingent labor programs) to remotely log their time of daily completed work and their expenses. Then the data is submitted for review to Approvers (another user role in the system) and further maintained as the history.
The Worker app is designed for both iOS (5.0 or later, for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) and Android (4.0.3 or later).
PROVADE VMS REQUESTER
This app allows hire managers to create requests for human resources, review and select candidates. The other part of functionality concerns receiving and approving timesheets and expenses from the existing workers. Another feature is access to standard reports through the Business Intelligence (BI) tool. There are 4 user roles overall (Coordinator, Supplier, Submittal Requester, and Approver).
The Requester app is designed for both iOS (6.0 or later, for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) and Android (4.0.3 or later).
Provade VMS Worker & Requester for iOS:
- • Frameworks: Security, DropboxSDK, AudioToolbox, MessageUI, iAd, QuartzCore, UIKit, Foundation, CoreGraphics, MobileCoreServices, SystemConfiguration.
- • KissXML
- • SVProgressHUD
- • AFNetworking
- • EGOTableViewPullRefresh
Provade VMS Worker & Requester for Android:
- • Java
- • Apache Commons
- • SocialAuth, SocialAuth-Android
- • kSOAP2-Android
- • Google Play Services
RESULTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
The main challenges of the project were quite basic: the Client's third-party API and absence of specification or any documentation. This led to several issues that we had to resolve, such as lack of UI tests and automation tests that would check API requests, construction of logic for timesheets/expenses user input validation, and proper support for iOS 5, 6, and then-current 7 (that's not to mention Android). Deadlines were there as well, of course.
Yet nothing could prevent us from delivering an implemented pack of apps and linking them for actual work within a complex system in time. For a timely delivery, it's effectiveness and attention in continuous communication that matters. The Client valued our efforts and suggestions that helped put forth the functional requirements, and that worked well for both products.