Project Name: WPA
Project Type: CRM System
Project Scale: Enterprise
Client: Western Provident Association
Technologies: Flash, .NET, MSSQL, XML, PDF
Project Name: WPA
Without a doubt, this was the most complex and ambitious project we’ve worked on, a complete bespoke CRM system designed to be used by hundreds of people simultaneously in an enterprise environment. The system had to be very fast (as many operations had to be done with the customer on the phone), extremely reliable (downtime or data loss were unacceptable), accurate (millions of pounds were at stake when calculating premiums and such) and easy to use (had to be usable for data entry officers with limited training) as well as power users.
Our company was in charge of the front-end logic. After trying several technologies, from ASP.NET to XUL/AJAX, we settled on building a complete high-performance Actionscript-based infrastructure that would allow us to build several extremely complex client modules that would contain hundred of windows each and thousands of components, from text fields to datagrids and complex client-side logic. The clients were communicating with the server via a XML-based web-service architecture that allowed us to load, process and save huge and intricate data structures.
While we were not in charge of the server-side architecture, we were often called to fix, modify and improve the web services, so we had to use our .NET/C# and MSSQL skills in all areas, from simple data retrieval to reporting or PDF letter generation.
The system went live in 2005 and it was a huge success, enabling the client company to cut down response time in half and improve the overall operational efficiency by an order of magnitude. By outsourcing the development, WPA was able to develop the complete system at 1/5 of the cost a UK contractor would have asked, while not making any compromise in quality.