Appify is a rapid application development platform that enables companies to build applications that benefit their organization and avoid the use of internal technical team resources. Organizations come to Appify to build tools that deliver new experiences for employees, user-friendly apps for partners, and new product offerings for customers. Companies come to Appify for a variety of reasons since Appify allows for easy integration with legacy software while offering a modern interface and a suite of capabilities. Appify can enable your company to solve problems big and small across your organization. In many cases, clients come to Appify not to fix situations as they crop up, but to make a major shift in their company’s performance, which can lead to major savings and interesting solutions that will carry them into the future!
Below, we explore how an enterprise electronic manufacturer leveraged Appify to build 4 innovative applications that improved both the employee and customer experience, all while saving $1M+ in development costs in the process.
Electronics manufacturer sees need to improve employee experiences
The large enterprise doesn’t have the resources to allocate towards an extensive build yet innovation was a top priority for their organization
In 2019, Appify was approached by a leading American electronics manufacturer. As a top choice in its industry and one of the world’s largest providers of measurement equipment for electronic design, the client was looking for an application platform to add to its innovation and technology toolkit. This would help improve its processes across internal teams and customer experiences.
The company’s VP of Innovation, responsible for overseeing all of the company’s apps and digital customer experiences, had a hunch harnessing the speed and agility of a rapid app development platform like Appify could help the company make a big difference in its user experience.
How can an electronics manufacturer improve internal employee experiences with an app?
For many companies, the employee’s internal engagement with company software and equipment is crucial to the end result. In this case, the company had some technology that was not only slowing staff down, but also keeping them from sharing leads, sending quotes, and doing other aspects of the business efficiently.
How can an electronics manufacturer improve the customer experience with an app?
The customer wants a process that is user friendly and engaging, but also gets the job done. By using apps instead of (or in addition to) existing tech, the VP of Innovation hoped to speed up and improve the customer’s experience with the firm.
Appify’s Flex Connect enables new technology and innovation on legacy technology
The VP of Innovation had come to Appify at a crossroads moment. After a C-suite directive to upgrade technology across the board and deliver a customer experience original enough to drive competitive differentiation, the company was undergoing a major transformation. But how could it rise to meet these challenges quickly, without compromising the effectiveness of everything it had done so far?
As an organization with roughly 14,000 employees, $3 billion in yearly revenue, and hundreds of homegrown applications, the size of this manufacturer posed a problem. Like many companies of this size, its infrastructure consisted of large systems of record like Salesforce and Oracle E-business Suite, as well as others that it had acquired through acquisitions and in-flight migrations. While the organization was finding these aging technologies hard to manage, it couldn’t afford to decommission this legacy technology that was embedded into its day-to-day operations.
With its existing stack difficult to maintain, let alone modernize (thanks to frequent updating and outdated skills) the company needed a new solution. In order to provide new capabilities to business counterparts without a costly or time-consuming digital transformation project, change needed to happen – and fast.
Innovation leader seeks speed, simplicity, and capabilities in a rapid application development platform
The VP of Innovation had a lot on their plate. The project they had in mind needed both initial speed for project deployment and ongoing speed so the company wouldn’t wind up behind the curve again a few months later. It also needed to leverage the company’s existing data sources and logic. After seeing Appify’s presentation, they were intrigued but skeptical: would rapid application development work for a company this large?
After spending years building and optimizing its databases, organically fixing and stabilizing issues, and scaling, the company wasn’t about to rip out and replace existing tech and migrate all the data. “We’ve built tons of stuff,” the VP of Innovation told Appify; “it’s all been time-tested.”
As for the final product, the company wanted a horizontal solution not built for any one industry or function. It needed to be deployed on the same platform in numerous use cases, and since the company also had a strong ongoing relationship with Amazon Web Services, the VP of Innovation wanted the control and security of deploying any new solution on its existing cloud infrastructure.
This was a problem the VP of Innovation hadn’t been able to find a solution to anywhere else. Could Appify deploy in a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) on AWS?
Electronics manufacturer builds 4 applications on Appify
With 4 apps in mind, the client chose to test the idea with a low-risk, high-impact use case first. At the time, the company had a clunky and difficult to use lead capture experience that didn’t work well on mobile devices. The company’s team felt that with an easier experience, employees would be much more inclined to share leads with the sales team that they discovered while on a customer site.
Appify enables electronics manufacturer to build on-site lead capture application for employees in the field
Using Appify’s easy drag-and-drop Studio, they created something new: a simple lead capture app that lets an employee visiting a customer quickly enter in a potential lead via a simplified process. The app has since been rolled out to the US, China, Japan, and Korea, where its ease of use has improved compliance for 300-400 users worldwide.
Appify enables electronics manufacturer to build new sales reporting on top of Oracle Incentive Compensation for internal teams
With the success of the lead capture app under their belt, the VP of Innovation’s next project was modernizing an older product used by the sales team. Oracle Incentive Compensation was a tool their Information Technology (IT) team had been painstakingly customizing for quite a few years. With the incentive compensation program, the company’s managers have the data to sit down with employees and review quarterly numbers. This allows them to view how each team member is compensated holistically, using SPIFs — Sales Performance Incentive Funds — to measure areas where leadership wants the team to focus.
It worked in its existing form, but the interface was ‘from 1996’ and the user experience, according to the VP of Innovation, was ‘painfully terrible.’
Employees had been asking IT for a more modern and user-friendly platform, which left the company with a couple options. It could rip it out and spend a year or more deploying something new or stick Appify on top and create a modern experience without replacing the core data. It chose the latter. With Appify connected to the Oracle Incentive Compensation system, the team created 3 apps for goal setting, compensation reporting, and back office management.
The launch was a huge success. With a far superior UI, mobile, iPad, and desktop functionality, it extended the life of the Oracle product, so the company can retain all the data and business logic history while enjoying a better user experience. Employees felt like they had gotten a brand new product and IT didn’t have to spend years deploying a new solution.
Appify enables electronics manufacturer to build innovative customer experiences for field technicians and clients
On the heels of such a big success, the company was eager to take on another project — this time, with apps meant to help digital transformation orphans.
In previous years, the company’s VP of Innovation had decided to replace Siebel with Salesforce. It was a large digital transformation project that involved a tremendous amount of change. Most of the functionality of Seibel was easy to translate into Salesforce, but there were a few orphaned processes that Salesforce would not be able to handle. The first one on the company’s list of priorities was a high volume contract and quoting management function.
The function, which was critical to field technicians as they worked onsite, was used to develop bids for customers. Using Appify, the client’s team created a quoting app that could collect thousands of parameters and develop a quote for their solution. These parameters are collected into Appify through an Excel upload that allows for up to 100,000 rows.
The Appify system further expands its functionality by hosting a customized function that connects to the company’s proprietary pricing engine and determines the project bid pricing. Since the Appify app connects into Salesforce, all the data collected, calculations made and action taken during the visit are stored back into the customer’s Salesforce record. When this process was run through the Siebel system, it usually took 30 days to return a project quote to the customer. With Appify, it takes around 30 minutes.
Being able to create this app not only allowed the company to retain an important process that would not have been covered by the upgrade to Salesforce, it also sped up the process substantially. Now the company has the tools to manage any gaps between the two systems, and do so at a speed it wasn’t capable of before.
Appify empowered innovation through rapid application development – what can Appify for your enterprise?
In all three projects, Appify was able to meet the needs of a large company by allowing it to serve its external and in-field teams, its internal teams’ collaboration, and its customer experience. This large electronics manufacturing enterprise was able to build 4 applications and save $1M+ in development costs. Beyond that, Appify allowed the organization to have the choice between legacy and new – protecting its successful past while helping it plan out an even more innovative and empowered future.