Growing organizations often do not have the resources to adequately build a high-quality back office. The option of outsourcing back office support introduces the challenge of maintaining adequate visibility over transactions and defining the service levels. Moreover, current integrated business systems are costly to purchase, implement and operate. AtWork Systems realized these challenges and saw them as an opportunity that could be addressed in the market with an innovative, streamlined, cloud-based solution. They chose ITI to lead the product design and development effort because of its leadership’s years of experience in creating and supporting enterprise back office systems. Additionally, ITI had the necessary expertise in analyzing and designing highly secured networks and the enterprise architecture supporting shared services applications. The product design and development capabilities were expanded to build a platform that addresses these challenges. The results to-date are demonstrating the viability of a streamlined, configurable, integrated solution that can meet the needs of an underserved market. That solution is called OneLynk.
Design Strategy – Solution Architecture
ITI had complete product design responsibility, including market competitive analysis, assessments of infrastructure technology providers, and validation of market receptiveness through focus groups, targeting audiences for each of its supported business areas. OneLynk was designed from the ground up using the service-oriented architecture (SOA) approach. ITI followed a mobile-first strategy that supports today’s flexible, anytime, anywhere accessibility that the targeted business users demand. The enterprise business process modeming (BPM) underpinnings supported end-to-end process modeling of core business transactions. Integration with existing legacy systems allow these transactions to be submitted, validated, routed for approval and processed by the back-office.
ITI used the Shared Services Online (SSO) systems approach to deliver a complete suite of software products:
- Cloud based, integrated web applications and tools for automating back office business transactions including the following: HR, Project Accounting, Expense, Procurement, Project Management, Agreements, Invoicing, Labor Reporting and Proposal Development. These capabilities will be delivered via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The system provides business managers greater insight into their transactions by providing Dashboards as well as tools to improve compliance and to detect fraud.
- Business tools that allow organizations to easily scale their back office support functions while also providing significant productivity gains and lowering operational costs.
- Standardized business processes (using standards-based BPMN2 workflow tools) provide greater visibility and control over business transactions and enables these functions to be staffed based on a shared economy model i.e. the support staff may be in-house or contract employees.
- Mobile web apps that provide functionality which allows managers to have visibility and control over business transactions via Android and IOS smart phones.
ITI publishes APIs for all developed business services to encourage the development of third party integrations and custom capabilities for the OneLynk community. This will also give businesses with systems in place the flexibility to continue leveraging their existing solution in perpetuity or temporarily, while they extend their capabilities through the integration of gap-filling OneLynk capabilities.
ITI’s Development and Delivery Approach
ITI’s development approach is aligned with core Agile practices, utilizing bi-weekly sprints and daily stand-ups to continuously delivery new features for the platform. Its multi-phased roll-out of business service solutions created viable standalone modules at each delivery. Delivery rollout and quality was managed on Development and QA environments, with the first release to Production for Beta users. A series of focus groups provides continuous customer input and validation. Integrated third party solutions, leveraging Rest APIs, allowed ITI to bring Business Analytics and collaboration capabilities onto the platform quickly, leaving more time for focusing resources on features best developed internally.