"This project has shown that the Agile Platform lives up to its promise. Improvements can be seen happening before our eyes during development. From the progress in performance to the navigation improvement and new functions, we now have a system that's really working for us!"


João da Câmara Manoel
CIO | APS

Challenge

The Portuguese Association of Insurers (APS) is a non profit organisation that gathers insurance and reinsurance companies operating in the Portuguese market.

The APS' activity is naturally based upon its associates, and its main goals demand closely working with all of them and with actors in the insurance field in general.

In this scope, APS has a Portal designed to position itself as one of the preferred contact points with all those who interact with APS, externally, but also for the general public via internet. It also intends to be the tool chosen by internal employees to facilitate, guide and streamline the different daily activities and responsibilities.

In order to accompany the changes in terms of business requirements, the Portuguese Association of Insurers needed to develop its Portal, originally built with the first version of OutSystems' Agile Platform. As time went by and the usage and data load increased, the APS Portal accumulated some signs of outdatedness in terms of IT, which were felt mainly in the system's answer speed and in the subsequent break in usability, and the productivity of the affected tasks.

 

Solution

In order to realign the Portal according to the new business needs, increasing its performance and usability and effectively giving new life to the application, the NOESIS OutSystems team identified a set of areas where functional and technical improvements could be implemented.

Thus, NOESIS participation was based on two distinct interventions:

  • The execution of an audit, that comprehended the existing application's components and the infrastructural components, and which allowed for identifying the most critical problem areas of the Portal.
  • The implementation of a set of improvements considered a priority, specifically selected for having greater impact on the users' daily experience and the Portal's general operation in particular, and the OutSystems' Agile Platform operation in general.


The selected areas fully covered the major functional sections available on the Portal:

  • Contact Management, identified as one of the most worrying modules in what regards performance issues
  • Directory, affected by a non optimised data gathering process and by inadequate search filters and procedures
  • Communications, a module with severe performance issues, and an excessive resource usage, as well as dysfunctional filters
  • Content management, Documents management, Appointments Management
    and Meetings Management, all modules facing usability and function issues
  • Intranet Personal Area, Extranet and Academy, modules facing problems related to the use of non optimised processes for obtaining the data shown
  • Site, where several excessive resource usage situations and unnecessary accesses to the database were detected, having direct impact on the module

All these interventions result in a Portal that allows the APS to render the excellent service advocated to all their stakeholders, and hat is always subject to a continuous improvement Process.

 

Results

The APS currently has a modern, flexible, streamlined, appealing, dynamic, robust, versatile and reliable Portal, with remarkable improvements on the users' experience.

Apart from solving the specific issues of each module, technical improvements have been identified and implemented in all the lists available on the Portal, with impact on usability and in terms of the time needed to make the information available to the user.

The current perspective of APS concerning the Portal is based on the direction of its intended evolution, for example, at the level of content management, to facilitate the work of several content suppliers and, at the same time, make the supply uniform and disciplined.