SaaS-based CPQ Product Development for US Security Management Leader

The CPQ that catalyzed M&A by Fortune 500 giant

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Customer location
  • USA USA
Project duration:
  • 1+ year

Client and Business Goals

The Client is a large US-based enterprise founded in 2005 currently counting 10,000+ employees. They specialize in security management and law enforcement equipment and software, with a mission to ensure safety and security of the officers, their families and communities. The company’s impressive suite of products and services includes license plate recognition and facial recognition software and equipment, ballistic analysis equipment, and crime and incident mapping technology.

The client’s customer base was growing exponentially and eventually it became clear that the existing CRM system could no longer meet the needs of the fast-growing business. So, the client turned to Symfa for a total CRM overhaul. The reason behind their choice was in our hands-on experience in complex CRM and ERP systems and extensive business process automation expertise. Thus, we embarked on this challenging project to rewrite the code using up-to-date technologies, boost the system efficiency and grow its functionality.

Challenge

The project initiation phase brought about several challenges for the team, both in terms of technical implementation and workflows.

  • The project delivery workflows needed regular finetuning to meet the ever changing project dynamics. What started as a legacy CRM remodeling was growing into an elaborate sales activation instrument by leaps and bounds as the project proceeded. The client never ran short of ideas, which required new delivery approaches and deeper knowledge of peculiar areas on our side.
  • After the turbulent project kick-off phase, our team grew technically stronger, better organized and as tight-knit as ever. This proved useful during the no less turbulent release phase that was postponed due to a force majeure. After the project was resumed, it became evident that the complex integrations became obsolete due to the major platform upgrades and API updates. Our team worked 4 months under the greatest pressure to bring the project back on the right track.

Solution

The resulting solution is a complex CPQ system integrated with the enterprise’s CRM and ERP systems. At the project initiation phase, the client planned to build a Quote Builder to help streamline the sales within their company. By the release date, we delivered to the client a CPQ system with robust functionality which transformed a day in the life of a sales professional — from quote building, to proposals to contract signing and sales orders.


CPQ Functionality

  • Quote Building. The system provides the salesperson with easy access to accurate information about products, services, clients and partners.
  • Proposals. The CPQ allows creating visually appealing and engaging proposals. The salesperson can add documents, images, videos to create a truly personalized client’s experience.
  • Contracts and Agreements are stored in a library-based storage. The salespersons now can search, view and download any company contract within seconds.
  • Analytics, Additional Visibility Layer (Days to Purchase, Client Outreach, Product Margins, and more), and detailed reporting features provide extra insights for a 360-degree business view.
  • Industry agnostic. The system was designed with ‘Black Box’ Plug-N-Play product configurators, which makes it easy to adjust it to the needs of any business or industry.
  • User management. The solution offers a complex network of access levels (admin, sales manager, salesperson, order support, OR manager, standard).
  • Sales order generation. Accurate quote-based sales orders generation in one click. Customizable modules. Fields auto-population (CRM-synchronized).
  • E-sign. The system features an e-sign feature via HelloSign service (PC, mobile and tablet compatible).
  • Bucket/Tier pricing. The platform allows using complex pricing strategies to accommodate distributors, resellers, dealers, etc.

QA Highlights

  • For this large scale ongoing project it was decided to apply automated testing. The huge scope of work was impossible to test diligently using manual practices only given the constant tight deadlines of the project.
  • On the AT projects, we use only open-source software which eliminates extra license costs for the client.
  • Our functional tests are written in the Gherkin format. This means that our autotests also serve as documentation on the project, as we use human-like language to compose them.
  • On the projects with intensive API testing, such as this one, we use our custom JSON query templates and modify them as needed. For automated API testing we also use custom classes and custom objects.
 
  • We have a custom-built test automation framework which we apply in our in-house projects – HQ ERP and Parrot Chat (includes mobile extensions for Parrot chat). So we offered the client to run it on their project and in time we developed a custom framework specifically for this long lasting project.
  • We opted for large open-source software that develops dynamically and has great community support. It makes lives for our AT engineers easier.
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Technologies

  • ASP.NET
  • .NET
  • ASP.NET Core
  • Entity Framework
  • Jenkins
  • Angular
  • Docker
  • MySQL
  • Hangfire

Results

The project underwent a complete revamp. Code refactoring and a new technology stack enabled the team to dynamically advance the product further by constantly improving its functionality and adding new features. All the data was migrated to a new server, which resulted in a faster data management and overall better system performance. After the successful system commissioning, the client made a special offering for their Partner Network who also implemented it to activate their digital selling.

After five years of hard work, previously an eyesore is now an eye-candy with a user-friendly UI, clean and maintainable code and rich functionality. Moreover, the system is designed to allow building plugins for each corporate client. This means any business within the Client’s Partner Network may add tools to modify prices, add new data to the sales documents or easily implement a fully-featured multi-page module. With time the Client decided to transform the CPQ into a SaaS solution and released as such seeing great commercial success.

The solution revolutionized the sales activity within the client’s company, which was acquired by the Fortune 500 giant soon after the CPQ launch. After the M&A, we continued working on further product enhancements.

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