Protecht

Protecht

4 Dec · 4 min read

Challenge: To extend its software development team with highly skilled personnel at a reasonable price

Solution: Hotovo’s development services produced quantifiable cost savings for Protecht of around 35% compared to if they hired a local team in Sydney

User Group: Protecht

Protecht is a major Australian company that helps organizations through deep understanding, monitoring, and management of risk.  

For more than 20 years Protecht has been providing the complete risk solution, comprising world-class enterprise risk management, compliance, training and advisory services to government organisations, key regulators and businesses of all sizes across the world.  

Challenge

Protecht needed to extend its software development team with highly skilled personnel at a reasonable price because they were looking to expand their product’s scope and their customers were experiencing delays in product releases. 

Protecht's development progress had become stagnant and there were further challenges with the documentation, product management and communication inside the development team.  

In addition, they suffered from undefined  development and testing processes. 

Enter Hotovo

In 2010, the CEO of Hotovo Marian met with representatives of Protecht and agreed to create a small development team, which has since grown to a team of almost 20 members working not only on development, but also on product architecture, testing/QA, support, UI/UX design and BI/reporting as well. The team is based in Slovakia.  

Hotovo was also tasked with formalising their development and product management processes. 

10 years of collaboration between Protecht & Hotovo 

Hotovo was entrusted with the development of Protecht’s core products. 

Hotovo tackled the issue of product quality and insufficient requirement specification by extending the development team with a proxy product owner sitting with the development team. A local product owner had the responsibility for general product backlog management and overall team coordination. 

The responsibilities of the Slovak team slowly started to include analysis of requirements from customers, processing of change requests, UX design, the definition of technical architecture, and design with the final approval done on the Protecht side. 

After some time the Slovak team was also in charge of the development of new features as well as the support and maintenance of the current product releases. 

Increasing demand for the usage of mobile devices by Protecht's clients led to the establishment of a new sub-team, focused on the development of a native mobile application on iOS and Android. 

Hotovo was also in charge of hiring additional outside personnel, whom they assigned to the migration of certain front-end libraries. 

Communication & Security Questions

To improve team cohesion and facilitate bonding between people in Slovakia and Australia who worked together on a regular basis, we organized regular visits in "both directions" - Slovak team members visited Australia and the Client's team flew over to Slovakia.  

Data security is crucial for Protecht because their client base almost universally requires that no data can leave Australia. 

Since Hotovo was working mostly on applications that related to data, and we were unable to use them, we had to invest more effort into problem analysis, implement comprehensive logging, etc. 

Results

  • Hotovo’s development services produced quantifiable cost savings for Protecht of around 35% compared to if they hired a local team in Sydney.
  • Protecht’s development was stagnant > Today it’s greatly accelerated by Hotovo’s 15-person team in Slovakia
  • The product owner at Protecht was a bottleneck, communicating with each developer individually > Hotovo started a regular sync meeting between the product owner and proxy who distributed work and clarified requirements
  • Missing or poor specification, leading to poor quality of product > Hotovo created clear specifications, straight development process with predictable outcomes and quality
  • No formal testing process > Hotovo implemented a formal testing process, reports, growing set of properly defined test cases, test automation
  • Unsuccessful implementation of Agile (Scrum) methodology > Hotovo introduced a proper SCRUM methodology, which they constantly adjust and fine-tune to the specific needs of Protecht

The Future of Protecht & Hotovo Collaboration

Today Protecht is expanding to the EMEA market with an initial focus on the UK. Privacy and security regulations require that support for the already established customer base is provided from within the EU. This means that the team at Hotovo is starting to provide first-level support using the existing testing personnel with the aim to establish a dedicated support team once the work volume increases.  

Release management and scalability are the next big challenges for Protecht. The transition from bare metal infrastructure to cloud (AWS) is underway and Hotovo is becoming involved with the related new technologies.  

Protecht also plans to introduce the "next phase" in development that will include substantial changes such as architectural improvements, cleaning of technical debt, moving to the cloud, containers, scalability enhancements, etc. 

Hotovo needs to do its best to facilitate those changes in the smoothest way possible. 

Lastly, Protecht is ISO27001 certified. Hotovo had polished its internal processes and successfully passed the certification for ISO 27001 to provide support for European customers with the same standard as Protecht. 

Technology and Tools Used

  • Java, Spring MVC / Core / Integration, JSP/servlets JS, GWT, SENCHA GXT PostgreSQL, Apache Cayenne React Native, jQuery mobile Maven Bitbucket Agile, SCRUM
  • OKR
  • Atlassian
  • Jira
  • Confluence

Team size 

  • Local Product Owner/SCRUM master
  • UI/UX designer
  • 9 developers (front-end, back-end, mobile)
  • 4 testers (manual and automated testing)

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