Objective: More IT resources
BTC is a provider of software solutions to the automotive retail sector. This business had its own software development team; a team of 6 of its own developers. The problem was they had simply run out of resources and were unable to meet its own customer requirements because of a lack of capacity and some skill gaps in its UK team. There were also several large projects which they had committed to getting out at fairly aggressive timelines.
Their choice was either to expand their UK development team themselves by bringing in contractors or full-time staff, or to outsource. They were given a strong business case which said: if you outsource to Portcullis Digital, you have a higher likelihood of delivering on time and budget, and a higher likelihood of achieving the technical standard that you’ve set for the project.
Portcullis Digital provided .NET and SQL Server specialists, in addition to a hosting resource to enable the product to be not only developed but also hosted for BTC. This solved several problems at once. The agile methodology with an iterative approach. There were several controlled iterations and at each iteration Portcullis Digital were able to deliver a working software which the guys at BTC could get their hands on and implement and try out.
One of the reasons for the more iterative approach was BTC had a less specific idea of what they wanted. It’s almost ironic that more IT competent business sometimes have less of an idea about what they wanted than other business who are not nearly as IT competent. This demonstrates how essential it is to have a project manager who can translate your business needs into IT solutions and a process that allows users to trial software before completion to ensure their needs are being met.
Client: Lifescan/UK Healthcare Provider
Objective: Less IT resources
Several years ago they wanted to upgrade their website by adding an online patient booking facility. This was a time when online, self-service patient bookings in the health sector were unusual.
Their IT infrastructure was created by several different third-parties. There was a practice management and clinical records system and an existing website that had been set up by different organisations. These organisations were not confident in developing a secure easy-to-use patient on-line booking solution.
Lifescan sought the assistance of Portcullis Digital whose team undertook the project. The goal was to develop a piece of software which would connect the website and the practice management system. Working together Lifescan and Portcullis Digital created a patient self-service portal where patients anywhere in the country could log onto the website, decide which of the centres in the UK they wanted to visit and what service they required, and then make a booking. Their appointment would be inserted automatically into Lifescan’s/UK Healthcare Provider’s practice management system, and a reservation made in the diary for that particular health centre. All of this was completely electronic, a luxury we expect as standard today.
During the course of this project Lifescan and Portcullis Digital worked directly together to fine-tune the specification, and to agree a realistic project plan. Then the software was developed, more or less without a hitch, and delivered on time.
Only a very small amount of fine-tuning was required, and the system went live and was accepting patient bookings, from genuine patients on the morning that it went live, which was a remarkable achievement.
Objective: Secure management software
Security of sensitive information and integration of different services. This client is part of the nuclear industry and deals with the storage of waste materials. Portcullis Digital have engaged with them to provide an interface between highly secure third party systems that they have nothing to do with and have no knowledge of, due to the nature of the data being processed.
Portcullis Digital provide them with a web-based system that enables them to track assets and materials using satellite tracking systems. This means they are able to control, plan and monitor activity from the point at which a customer asks them to become involved to removing that waste for long-term storage.
This involves linking Portcullis Digital’s expertise of web-based systems, transport management systems and the tracking of assets using either satellite or GPS. Portcullis Digital had to come up with some very sophisticated interfaces to keep all of the secret information entirely separate from all of the public information that’s necessary to manage the movement of goods and the relationships with third parties.
This demonstrates how Portcullis Digital can be trusted with something very sensitive and secure, and be relied upon to deliver it at a particularly high level.