Perhaps the strongest endorsement of the flexibility that Personal Group has achieved is that it licenses a white-labeled version of Hapi to Sage, the global market leader for integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems.
“Sage Employee Benefits is a Sage branded instance of Hapi,” explains Richard. “When you’ve got a 13,000-person global company like Sage using technology developed by Personal Group, that’s a strong endorsement for our development team and the platform.”
Keeping employees’ personal and financial data safe is crucial for Personal Group and its customers. Even though OutSystems already has extensive security built-in to protect the entire app lifecycle, Personal Group chose OutSystems Sentry, on AWS, for extra peace of mind.
With OutSystems Sentry, Personal Group gets all the benefits of OutSystems reinforced with additional security, risk management, and monitoring for a SOC2 Type II compliant cloud platform. “We’re processing personal and financial data for over half a million employees, and hosting on OutSystems Sentry with AWS reduces our information security workload,” explains Richard.
Integrating Retailers with “Route One”
Hundreds of national and regional retailers, including B&Q, Currys PC World, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s, have joined the employee discount scheme powered by Hapi. In the past, Personal Group used an aggregator to connect to each retailer’s discount voucher scheme. This limited choice and diminished profit as the aggregator took a commission on each transaction.
“We developed Route One as a common integration gateway,” explains Richard. “Every retailer works slightly differently, so integrating with thousands of retailers could cause a technical debt headache. Route One largely overcomes that. We can hook in new retailers very quickly. Then Route One provides a consistent API that Hapi consumes without needing to customize the front end. Connecting a new retailer typically takes four to five days, but most of that is testing.”
Personal Group’s Proven Innovation Speed
No longer dependent on external developers, Personal Group has newfound agility. Examples include:
- Cinema Tickets Ecommerce—when a third-party cinema ticket aggregator suffered a data breach, Personal Group was able to sever the connection and integrate directly to cinema chains in three weeks. Hapi app users have a seamless user experience—they can order tickets and refreshments and display ticket QR codes all from the convenience of the app.
- Personalized Geolocation Offers—When visiting connected retail partner stores, Hapi app users can opt-in to receive push notification reminders of saving coupons they can use.
- New Product Line—the company launched “Let’s Connect,” powered by OutSystems. This enables employers to offer employees the latest home technology products through salary sacrifice or net pay arrangements.
- Enabling Rapid Innovation for the Innecto Acquisition—When Personal Group acquired pay and reward consultancy Innecto the company urgently needed to rebuild its “Digital Toolkit.” Read the Innecto case study to learn how the company escaped legacy debt and built a capability for continuous improvement.
Summing up how things are operating today, Richard says, “OutSystems is multi-layered. Less technical developers can still code to a good level, while guru-level developers can work their magic to provide modules or components for others to reuse. OutSystems is a one size fits all development platform for us; we rarely if ever code in C# or anything else.”