means faster time-to-market - Fileburst by okyestao


									Mobile and Cloud technology
      means faster time-to-market
The Neat Company, a leader in digital filing systems, in partnership
with ThoughtWorks, delivered new mobile and cloud-based apps using
a hybrid technical approach that meant faster time-to-market and                      Highlights
lower development costs. Custom software puts Neat’s capabilities
into a Cloud-based service, and gives customers ubiquitous access
                                                                                      ThoughtWorks helped The Neat
from their own wireless devices as well as desktops. This expands                     Company design, build and launch
The Neat Company’s market and provides a new recurring revenue                        a new line of mobile, web and
stream from service subscriptions.                                                    Cloud-enabled products to quickly
                                                                                      fill a strategic need. The products
                                                                                      create a new market, as well as
                                                                                      opportunities to cross-sell more than
                                                                                      one million current Neat customers.
                                                                                      NeatCloud service subscriptions
                                                                                      create a recurring revenue stream
                                                                                      in addition to the one-time product
                                                                                      sales price.

                                                                                      ThoughtWorks’ large-scale
                                                                                      Distributed Agile, Continuous
                                                                                      Delivery, and hybrid native/mobile
                                                                                      web development approach all
                                                                                      contributed to the fast launch of
                                                                                      multiple complex products.

Neat has created a new way for small businesses and consumers to transform
analog data into digital information. Neat’s unique combination of software and
                                                                                      Ruby on Rails
hardware scanning solutions use optical character recognition (OCR) and patented
parsing technology to read information on receipts, business cards and documents
and store them in a digital filing cabinet. Neat solutions simplify paper-intensive    Android
processes and enable users to easily organize, store, retrieve, secure and use        Chef
information.                                                                          AWS services for infrastructure

The Neat Company’s products, including scanners and the desktop filing systems
for both Windows and MacOS, were already market leaders, but sold only on a
one-time license fee basis, and didn’t offer customers access to their information
over the internet. The company had a vision for an expansion product line to run on
both consumer desktop and mobile devices including not only Macs and Windows
PCs but also the iPad, iPhone and Android devices. The new products would let
customers perform typical functions from any device, anywhere, connecting via
the internet to Neat services and the digital filing cabinet running in the Cloud.
New software would turn iOS and Android devices into scanners
using the built-in cameras, take advantage of the new Cloud
services, and enable synchronization between all devices so
that a customer’s information could be accessed anywhere,
no matter where it was acquired. The Cloud services would be
bundled on a subscription basis, providing a significant recurring
revenue stream.

This new product line would broaden the market for The Neat
Company, fill a gap in the existing line for those users wanting to
backup their data and have remote access, and create the first
subscription revenue model—all important strategic moves.

The need for speed: Offshore
Distributed Agile combined with
Continuous Delivery leads to                                         The offshore approach is not always seen as a good model,
                                                                     especially when working with complex products such as this.
a faster product launch                                              What made this work was ThoughtWorks’ experience with
                                                                     large-scale Distributed Agile, and the use of communication
Needing to bring the critical new product line to market as fast     and collaboration techniques that overcome inherent difficulties.
as possible, The Neat Company called on ThoughtWorks as its          Technical and business staff from Neat, including the CTO,
software development partner. ThoughtWorks is experienced in         the chief architect and the QA manager, travelled to India to
creating sophisticated products for the web, Cloud and mobile        spend time with the ThoughtWorks team there. Key staff from
platforms, and in getting brand new products developed and           Pune rotated on-site several times during the course of the
launched fast using Lean Product Innovation techniques such          project as well. This cross-pollination gave the offshore team a
as Continuous Delivery.                                              real understanding of the business vision and value of all the
                                                                     project components, while Google hangouts and Skype for video
The joint partnership of Neat’s development team and                 calls were among technologies that facilitated the high level of
ThoughtWorks based the new product architecture on Ruby on           collaboration that made the project a success.
Rails for that platform’s development speed. A small team of
ThoughtWorkers engaged continuously with The Neat Company
technology and business users on-site, while a deep talent
pool that grew to 25 developers, business analysts and quality
assurance specialists worked from ThoughtWorks’ Pune, India
                                                                        For The Neat Company mobile apps, user login and access to
                                                                        camera functions to take pictures in place of scanning required
                                                                        low-level access to services for the various device platforms.
                                                                        These aspects of the applications were written as native
                                                                        applications. But large parts of the mobile device applications
                                                                        functioned by connecting to the new Cloud-based services over
                                                                        mobile internet. Those parts, which included pushing and pulling
                                                                        images to/from the Cloud-based filing cabinet, OCR processing
                                                                        and other components, were able to be coded in JavaScript
                                                                        with almost all of the code shared across device platforms.
                                                                        Development and QA time were significantly reduced, and
                                                                        ongoing costs will be lower for the client.

Sharing is caring: A hybrid                                             The Future:
app+mobile web development                                              Over the last year ThoughtWorks helped The Neat Company
                                                                        design, build and launch the new NeatCloud and NeatMobile
approach saves time and money.                                          products. The products present opportunities and benefits
                                                                        that will bring in new customers, but are also perfect add-on
Mobile apps for iOS and Android devices were an important part          products for the more than one million current Neat customers.
of the new product line. The team used a hybrid development             They will bring in recurring revenues in addition to the one-time
model to save time and money.                                           product sales price.

Cross-platform development tools do exist, and promise to solve         ThoughtWorks is continuing to work with The Neat Company to
the problem of redundant coding and increased support cost              deliver more features in subsequent releases, with all the work
and logistics. But while examples such as Java have succeeded           now being done offshore, by the team in Pune.
on the server side, such solutions on the client-side (and
particularly within the mobile space) have historically failed.

HTML5 is becoming widespread and robust across many mobile
phones, and it gives businesses a new way to develop mobile
                                                                          “     Neat is proud to release NeatCloud,
                                                                          a new product line which includes a Cloud platform,
                                                                          mobile software, and updated desktop software.
apps. ThoughtWorks’ experience with HTML5 and JavaScript
                                                                          ThoughtWorks helped us scale our development
development for phones and tablets shows that the mobile web
can provide a user experience on par with native apps—for the             team faster than we could have done through
most part. It takes expertise and experience to know how to               internal hiring and greatly helped us deliver and
blend native development and mobile web to create a hybrid
model, using each where the business value demands it.
                                                                          launch this complex software product.
                                                                                              Rick Carragher, CTO, The Neat Company

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