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Evidate for Tauron

System for technical networks inventory and passportization.
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Details

  • Scope UI/UX design, development, QA
  • Timeframes September 2018 – December 2019
  • Innovation Elasticsearch, web manager, in-house map server
  • Technologies Frontend: React, .ASP, Kotlin

    Backend: ASP.NET Core, Akka.NET, Elasticsearch, Kibana, PostgreSQL, Docker, Identity Server
  • Business sector Technical networks
  • iteo Team 1 designer
    1 frontend/web developer
    1 mobile developer
    1 tech leader/software architect
    2 QA specialists
    1 PM

The system synchronizes automatically which keeps all the data up-to-date. It’s easy to use and works offline which guarantees an all-time efficiency.

Timeline

  • 2018
    September

    The beginning of collaboration and work process

  • 2019
    December

    The end of works 2 release

  • Project’s highlights

    We have created a system for inventory and passportization of technical networks which helps field employees and site administrators do their work more efficiently. We created the concept of a product, UX and UI design of it. The development part was done by a team of Android developers for the mobile app as well as backend and frontend developers for the administration panel.

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    Business needs & goals

    A process of inventory and passportization can be highly challenging, time-consuming, and ineffective when field and administrative employees work using many different tools and various apps.

    It usually requires a broad technical knowledge which makes the whole task much more difficult.

    Our client wanted to maximally facilitate the process of collecting data, managing users’ accounts, and generating reports. The project was divided into two parts – a software and a hardware one:

    1. The company needed a practical app for its field employees and an administrative panel for coordinators. Both were supposed to be simple, intuitive, useful, and time-saving.

    2. Additionally, their method of work required applicable, properly secured devices that could be carried around safely by field employees and simplify fulfilling their everyday tasks.

    Funtionalities

    Application for field employees

    A crucial advantage of the developed app is its intuitive interface.

    We gave it a simple yet appealing look and eliminated all possible distractions or redundant features. Advanced search modules allow an employee to adjust the system according to specific needs and requirements which increases the comfort of use and makes the whole process more efficient. The map display technology is based on the most popular internet maps which has a positive impact on user experience, as well.

    A running application adjusts a map according to an employee’s current geolocation. It effectively speeds up a process of searching for points A and facilitates an action of assigning points. After finding a point A and indicating a point B, you just simply confirm. There’s nothing more to be done.

    After activating the app, an employee is able to download a particular set of data relevant for a specific and previously assigned area. This solution guarantees higher data security, improves an overall work process, and minimizes costs of a data transfer. A user can easily change or reload regions which eliminates technical problems while substituting or sharing an equipment among other employees.

    Administration panel

    The administrator panel’s principal role is to manage users’ accounts.

    It applies to both field employees using the mobile app and regional coordinators. An administrator is able to view information about assignments, correct them if necessary, and control the overall quality of everyday work from the very beginning.

    A table layout is as intuitive as the app itself. It allows seamless sorting, filtering, and searching for points and links between them. Presentation of data is consistent which makes the panel user-friendly, saves time, and eliminates all the inconveniences.

    Another valid feature includes generating reports that summarize users’ activities and share insight about use of individual devices. An administrator can thus monitor and optimize hardware resources having access to various types of reports that help keep track of a project’s progress. The system enables a division of roles, too. It allows tasks assignment, access to individual tabs for precisely defined users, and thereby ensures the highest standard of data confidentiality.

    Tablets with protective cases

    We’ve supplied 500 tablets adjusted to our client’s needs.

    Anticipating potential problems, we suggested a better product in relation to the expected order. Each device had:

    • a SIM card

    • an Android system

    • a big 8” screen

    • a durable battery for convenient field work

    • an attached power bank for charging

    • a soft, protective case with a shoulder strap to carry the equipment safely and comfortably

    To reduce the time spent on first configuration, we’ve created a private Google Play store and accounts for all the employees. After the initial login, a user has access to a configured device and a downloaded app including automated updates. The system needs no further configuration and a field employee is ready to go.

    We’ve also come up with a mobile device management (MDM) for a convenient administration of the devices.

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    Innovation

    Elasticsearch

    Due to the large amount of data a full-text search engine was needed. It enables searching and filtering huge sets of data in real time. The ideal solution was Elasticsearch which coped with this task perfectly.

    Web manager

    We used a web manager framework to assign tasks to resource systems that were supposed to fulfill them at a scheduled time to allow offline operations. It enabled us to plan data dispatch, employ packaging, and reduce the synchronization process time from few weeks to few days.

    In-house map server

    The application is connected to our own in-house map server which allows downloading maps for offline activities with the possibility of displaying electric lines, too. It shows various map styles including satellite maps supplied by an external provider and detector ones prepared completely by iteo. Creating the maps, we patterned them on the most popular internet ones to maintain the best user experience and enable easy and problem-free usage.

    Challenges & solutions

    Short delivery time

    We had about a month to complete all the tasks which was an extremely short period of time and obliged to increase activities. The solution was to work simultaneously on both software and hardware delivery. First draft of an app has been ready after 3 weeks.

    Organizing manual assembly

    We had 500 tablets, cases, and power banks that needed to be put together manually. The assembly took place at iteo. We engaged our team to do all the manual work using velcro tape to assemble the tablets to a special board with an attached power bank. Additionally, every device was separately configured – we employed specific alterations to the Manager, providing the desktop with only one feature – the application for field employees. Next, all the tablets were safely packed and sent to the client.

    Insufficient feedback from untechnical users

    The feedback from untechnical users wasn’t comprehensive enough which resulted in many updates and change requests after the release. Majority of these matters could have been solved during workshops but we couldn’t afford them due to limited time. With the benefit of hindsight we are sure that it would not only be more efficient but also cost-effective. We were eager to solve the problem offering full post-sale support. One of the main requests was adding a broader statistics model with exhaustive analytics and reports. We educated the client’s team about the most optimal use of the app and administrative panel, travelling to Wrocław, Częstochowa, and Kraków for this purpose, too.

    Processing a vast amount of data on tablets

    We faced the challenge of processing a large amount of data on tablets which included hundreds of thousands points from the backend side. We’ve organized inner dedicated workshops on how to do it right. Our part included setting up, configuring, and maintaining a server, too.

    Design

    The interface is clear and allows work without unnecessary distractions.

    Employees can adjust the panel to their own way of working. Transparent table layout along with sorting, filtering, and searching algorithms allow easy browsing of points and links between them. The map display technology is extremely intuitive, too.

    A dedicated logo corresponds with the system’s functionality – it’s a combination of a location pin and a letter V.

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    Outcome

    Interfaces of the application and administrator platform are intuitive and easy to learn for both beginners and power-users.

    It makes them highly convenient and efficient for all the employees regardless of their job seniority and fluency in using IT solutions.

    Data can be entered and edited quickly without the necessity to use a stylus. The system doesn’t need any technical facilities nor network infrastructure and a coordinator module allows seamless localization of field workers.

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