What was the scope of their involvement?
We determined that the most effective solution for us would be to do something in-house, for both addressing our needs and being more cost-effective. We have basically a cloud-based solution that we’ve been working on for about four years with Dikonia. They implement everything we need behind the scenes. We tell them what we need done or features we need incorporated based on our own experiences and feedback we have from our staff.
We developed an in-house piece of cloud-based software that allows us to better interact and manage our day-to-day HR needs. It doesn’t remove the need to meet with people, but it streamlines the process in HR management, makes it more transparent in terms of visibility up the line to managers, supervisors, and even company directors if they choose. On the other side of that, it empowers our people by providing individuals and team leaders with visual transparency about their projects, how their financials are operating on each project, how teams are operating in terms of usability, availability, and how each project is performing financially. That then rolls up to each individual geographic location for each of our directors.
It’s a multi-scaled tool that provides a high degree of user functionality. We’re currently completing what we hope will be the last major development of that platform, which is about to start next July. We’re currently preparing the brief for that.
We wanted to create a piece of software that no one had to read a manual to use. We knew that, if you had to read a manual, it’s probably going to fail. Users can go on the platform and work it out without a lot of training, although we do have an induction process. It is very simple and intuitive to use. It does a lot of things behind the scenes that are semi-automatic. When somebody enters data into the HR platform, or a manager responds, automatic notifications can be set up to be sent by email to the right people. People are aware of things happening in the business that should happen, so it takes away a lot of the pain of calendar reminders and checking up on things.
On the other side, it just gives us an ability to actually see information that we previously couldn’t at our fingertips. We can run a multiple of reports on clients, projects, individual and team performance with the click of a button. It does a lot of things we used to try to do in Excel, but not very well, as we grew. It also makes sure that, across a company that’s spread into five physical locations, all the information we get back at head office is always consistent. It’s really about transparency and consistency.
For our very first release of the software, Dikonia did the design. Subsequently, we modified that and took it to a slightly more of a user experience with a graphical interface. It looks like what you’d expect software to look like today. Our first release four years ago was very simple. It was still very functional, but it didn’t have the kind of interface we have today. I believe it just uses PHP and MySQL.
We have some slight latency issues with some of the data that’s presented graphically, as it’s pulling a lot of data off the cloud and trying to generate graphs and image-based data. We’re looking at maybe converting it to a different platform, and the developers told us in the very beginning that might be needed if it got to a scale where the database was very large. After several years of use, we have quite a large database.
The platform has API interfaces so we can get data straight out form our platform to our accounting software. Dikonia also developed mobile apps for various components of the software that we have not launched yet. It’s not just a desktop interface. Although the mobile apps are not actually launched, you can actually get the Android app, but not the Apple one yet.
How did you come to work with Dikonia?
We located them online. They were open and very easy to talk to and collaborative. They understood our needs.
How much have you invested with Dikonia?
We've invested approximately $40,000 USD to date.
What is the status of this engagement?
We began working together in October of 2014, and the relationship is ongoing.