Cloud-based financial platforms
About the client
Siemens is a huge international company in the energy, electrotechnical and telecommunications industries. However, one of its divisions focuses solely on financial services, and this is where our company helps with innovation. A couple of years ago we became a technological partner for Siemens Finance in Poland and we’ve been continuing the cooperation since then. Whenever the company needs to disrupt their processes, their products, or test and prototype their ideas, then eventually develop them into fully commercial solutions, Startup House is the team for the task.
Due to both growing competition and increasing operating costs of the company, in 2016 Siemens Finance decided to digitize the majority of operational and sales processes in order to optimize working time and improve the company's profitability. In addition, the company wanted to invent new cloud-based sales products. For this purpose, Siemens started looking for a new technology partner with a fresh startup-y approach.
In the first phase, taking advantage of the latest solutions in the field of digital product prototyping and Agile methodologies, we carried out rapid prototyping of the ideas submitted by Siemens Finance. Prototypes produced by this process were then evaluated by potential users. In the second phase, we started creating a Proof of Concept using the Agile methodology. During the first three months, the initial version was created and tested by the pilot customer. Based on the pilot customer feedback, the production version of SimplyLease was released within the next three months and integrated with Siemens’ global infrastructure.
Integrating with corporate infrastructure is the hidden problem of digital transformation. It takes time.
So far, we’ve built three products for Siemens which were preceded by dozens of prototypes and even more ideas were needed to be tested. The most important product built is called SimplyLease Online. This is a comprehensive cloud-based financial platform. The aim was to digitize the leasing process for electronic equipment (a popular way of lending to small enterprises in Europe). Then we have SimplyLoan Offline — a tool allowing clients to send personalized offers for medical equipment financing and additionally to get a loan for any other purpose. Finally, we created PLM — a cloud-based web application enabling enquirers to receive a credit decision 24 hours a day and an online conclusion of a loan contract within just 15 minutes on any kind of device. Thanks to these applications, Siemens Finance received an additional source of revenue and reduced personnel costs in the risk and credit decision department. In 2017, Siemens SimplyLease received the Polish E-commerce award for one of the most innovative products of the year.
in the details
All along the design process we had to keep in mind that the apps we were creating would be a part of a larger ecosystem. We had to make sure the solutions and design patterns can be reusable throughout the system.
When working on the project we focused on using the most recent technology pieces.
We focused on keeping the platform easy to integrate into existing e-commerce platforms and keeping it fast not to impact the user experience. The Siemens SimplyLease technology stack is:
- Ruby on Rails
- Google Cloud Platform
- Sendgrid (notifications)
- Rollbar (error tracking software)
- Cloudflare (Protection)
- CircleCI (Integration)
Conversation is one of our most important values and a habit we support at every stage of our development process. Conversation is executed through digital tooling so the context is never lost. We use Slack for chat, Jira for planning, and Github for code reviews and discussion.