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Arturai
Case Study

Arturai

Billing customers made easier for Arturai

Challenges

Create a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) that could handle billing and invoicing procedures. This brought an added challenge as a software that handles such responsibilities can’t leave almost any margin for error.

Services

Heavily invested in understanding and interpreting the client’s needs and problems, successively alternating between the user experience, prototyping and development stages.

Outcomes

This project has successfully reduced the relative time spent on billing drastically. It also managed to greatly increase the quality and reliability of the generated data.

Arturai
Who is Arturai

Arturai is a specialized cloud security and web performance consulting company

Arturai has been partners with Akamai since 2001, which has been instrumental in ensuring their leadership in the field of IT consulting for the delivery of content, performance and web security for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

They have a deep understanding and knowledge of the market’s challenges, as well as recognized skills in the optimization of cloud and security applications. This is what makes them leaders in helping online businesses achieve an optimized and secure user experience. Businesses they work with report great improvements in digital performance (up to 200%), which translates to better revenue and spending per transaction.


Their portfolio includes over 2500 websites and web apps, a vast knowledge base of Akamai infrastructure and proven CAP (Customer Assurance Program) methodology. Akamai is the largest and most reliable cloud networking platform in the world, and Arturai works with the widest range of quality cloud products and services.


You can find additional information about their great work right here.

App screens
Context

Arturai deals with particular products with an enormous volume of distinctive configurations

Since Arturai is a reseller of Akamai products, they are dealing with very specific products with an enormous volume of distinctive configurations. This makes it difficult to ascertain what should be paid back to Akamai, resulting in a morose process for all those involved.


One of the initial requests for Untile’s project was to digitize all of the company’s internal processes. However, as the process evolved, it became clear that billing was the one single pain point that had to be addressed first and foremost. The billing process could take over two weeks per month and involve multiple workers, which was blocking the company’s ability to grow, thus fixing this became the first priority.

Arturai identified the following difficulties:

Ascertaining consumptions

Difficulty in ascertaining the consumptions to be paid to Akamai and consumptions per client (i.e. a customer contract can be related to several Akamai contracts).


Customers’ bills

Difficulty in processing customers’ bills


Complex contracts

Difficulty in processing quite complex contracts, with plenty of specificities and variations

Modernizing the aesthetic

The base of the 2016 website had a dated graphical look and even obsolete features. The visual image needed to be more appealing


Scattered documents

Arturai had a complex filing system, with information spread out across a number of (mostly) Excel files that were shared among the team and used for several processes, such as statistics, invoicing, commercial analysis, etc

Challenge

Simplify the billing processes by reducing repetitive tasks

There were a number of difficult tasks to fix what was, admittedly, a complex situation, so one of the first jobs Untile’s team faced was developing a clear and actionable description of issues that our solution needed to address, if we wanted to reduce the time spent on billing.

That was not it, however. They needed a site that would significantly improve the entire experience for their users and customers. They wanted something with impeccable UI and UX, on browsers, tablets and phones. The site needed to reflect their values, the experience should be humane, simple, fluid.

Simplify the billing processes by reducing repetitive tasks

Here’s a recollection of what we arrived at:

No more manual data entry

No more manual data insertion. That process needed to be automated.


Automate repetitive tasks and processes

Create space for the business to scale with automated processes and no more time-wasting with repetitive tasks, which would also allow for a better allocation of resources.


Database reliability

Manage a safer, more robust, and more reliable database than a set of Excel files


Transparent billing

Customer billing needs to be entirely transparent;


The first of many modules

Ability to grow and evolve to add extra modules, such as commercial management, proposal creation, customer management, etc.

Replace excel files

We had to develop a CRM tool that would replace all the information being managed on Excel sheets in an orderly way.


Multiple access permissions

Develop a CRM tool that would replace all the information being managed on Excel sheets in an orderly way.


Flexible to handle an endless range of products

Support the whole typology of Akamai products that will allow for the automated creation of contracts that demonstrate what the product is, how much it costs, why it is needed, etc.


Export all data

All kinds of data need to be exported so as to confront it with physical documents;

Prototyping a functional product
Services

Prototyping a functional product

To achieve this, we had to create an action plan with several services made available to Arturai aside from building the app itself.

Our wireframes were vital in ensuring the product contemplated all functional and usability issues.

This was a very experimental project, where plenty of new technologies were used by our team, with a clear separation between API (node.js, PostgreSQL database) and frontend (React).

When it came to the platform’s UI, we opted to use an existing framework (Ant-Design) to reduce costs and speed up implementation, despite some usage limitations.
Wireframe

Identifying problems & needs

We ran a longform workshop with the Arturai team (about two weeks, eight hours a day) to identify all problems and needs. This wasn’t just about billing either, it was about developing a macro analysis of the company’s internal processes from beginning to end, from the moment a customer is approached to when the contract is produced and the invoice issued;

Minimum viable product

After there was clarity regarding the needs and problems, we mapped and structured what we would be developing. This included defining an MVP (minimum viable product) with an allotted budget that could add value quickly. It was impossible to solve all the issues raised, but all decisions were made with the full understanding of what was needed;

Data sharing

All work was developed between the Untile team and Arturai’s product owner. His knowledge and availability were instrumental in reaching a final solution;

Backlog developing

A backlog was developed based on all ideas raised during the workshop process to ensure future work was completed in line with the evolution intended (i.e. worker contract management, vacation scheduling, etc.);

Focus on UX

A greater focus was put on UX instead of UI so as to deliver a fully functioning solution that added value for the customer;

Custom API

A totally custom API was developed to better serve the client;

System uniformization

A system was developed to allow for flexible conversion and uniformization of all data transfers between Akamai and Arturai products.
Arturai dashboard
Outcome

Time & financial savings that returned the value invested in the app

After successfully completing and delivering the solution, we kept in touch with Arturai, to understand whether it had worked and how well. Arturai did a really good job of keeping records and were able to provide us with some cold hard data about our solution, as well as some qualitative feedback.

Here are the highlights:

Time & financial savings

Time savings of over 50% during the billing processes. These savings have also translated into financial savings that have immediately returned the value invested in the app.


Effective optimization

Simple activities that used to take 2 to 3 minutes are now reported to take 10 to 15 seconds, which is an effective optimization.


Improved data reliability

The invoices’ transparency and quality have improved thanks to better data reliability.

Direct management

Direct management of customer contracts is now possible for all Akamai products;


Customer expenses by period

It is now possible to directly show a customer what they have spent on a product on any given period of time;


New way to bill

Arturai can now, at the end of the month, head to the billing section of the app, select a customer, their contract, and issue their invoice. This was not possible before.

Results for Untile


We always focus on the results that these projects bring for our team, as well as what we deliver to customers. In this case, the Untile team learnt two very important things:

  • We learnt a great deal about this very specific business sector;
  • We realized throughout the process that we had wasted a significant amount of time by not fully exploring the Akamai API, to learn about its mistakes and problems. We don’t believe our final solution would’ve been any different, but it is undeniable that we would’ve saved a lot of time that was spent figuring out things for ourselves.
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