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Indigos E-learning Solution

Content Distribution Platform

Customer profile

IBS Group is a leading software development and IT services provider in Central and Eastern Europe. Headquartered in Russia, IBS Group has over 8,500 employees worldwide and delivers complex software solutions to major clients across the world, including blue-chip companies.

The company was the first to establish SAP- and Oracle-based ERP practices in Russia in the early 90’s and is currently the leader in this field on the market of Central and Eastern Europe. IBS Group’s subsidiary, Luxoft, was founded in 2000 and is currently the leading provider of product engineering and software outsourcing services in Russia.

In the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2013, IBS Group reported US GAAP consolidated revenues of USD 870.3 million.

More information about IBS Group is available on the official website: http://www.ibsgr.com/

Project Background

IBS Group initially approached Asapy in early 2013 looking for a team of QA specialists to work on its new Indigos project. After a short, yet rigorous vendor evaluation procedure, the team was assembled and the work on the project commenced.

A few months later, IBS made a decision to expand its cooperation with Asapy by hiring a dedicated development team comprised of experienced .NET engineers to augment the existing pool of service providers and replace them shortly thereafter due to their unsatisfactory performance and quality of work. This watershed moment marked the beginning of tight cooperation between the companies in the field of product development outsourcing (PDO).

The project lasted for 15 calendar months and required a combined effort of 96 man-months.

The key problem that the client faced was finding a team proficient in .NET MVC, MS SQL Server and Chromium Framework, able to quickly complete the knowledge transfer from the previous supplier, and ready to seamlessly blend into the existing development environment.

Solution

Indigos is a complex educational content distribution platform with rich and diverse functionality resembling that of iTunes or Steam. Designed as a client-server solution with a desktop-based end user application, Indigos is intended for preschool and elementary school students and their parents, each having a separate set of permissions within the system.

Users can create a family account, find and categorize the necessary educational content, instantly purchase it, rate materials and leave comments. Students are only allowed to make purchases authorized by their parents.

The purpose of the system is to ignite children’s interest in learning and self-education by offering them access to a wide selection of interactive tutorials, tests, quizzes, simulators, multimedia encyclopedias, atlases, educational games and much more. Over 1000 tasks were posted and resolved in Jira, which covered nearly 100% of the planned functionality.

Some of the key features of the platform:

  • Availability of online, PC and Mac versions;
  • Fast and secure purchasing of educational materials;
  • Support of different user roles and role-based access permissions;
  • Easy-to-browse library of purchased content.

Technologies

Asapy used the most suitable and up-to-date technologies to implement the necessary platform features, including ASP.NET MVC, Mono, jQuery, Knockout, WinForms and MS SQL 2012.

  • Server-end DBMS: MS SQL 2012
  • Client-end DBMS: SQLite
  • Server API: ASP.NET MVC
  • Billing and payments: WCF
  • Business logic: BL Toolkit
  • GUI: WinForms with Chromium, KnockOut, jQuery
  • System load testing: LoadRunner
  • Continuous integration: TeamCity
  • Issue tracking: Jira
  • Code repository: SVN

Development process

The project started with a complete gradual handover of the source code from the former development team and analysis of the work done. Once completed, Asapy ramped up the team and started the active project development phase.

The main challenge that Asapy managed to efficiently cope with was tight cooperation with the remote team of IBS developers in Moscow, alignment of mutual efforts and maximizing the performance of the team within the shortest time possible.

The initial knowledge transfer took place at the customer’s office in Moscow. Asapy suggested using the Kanban methodology with essential SCRUM elements, such as daily meetings, to minimize delays and ensure the flexibility needed to adapt to frequently changing business requirements.

The combination of efficient and transparent project management, fast and high-quality development and attention to detailed shortly enabled Asapy to become the leading and the only developer of the client’s solution and expand the team size to over 10 FTE’s.

In the course of the project, over 1000 tasks were posted and resolved in Jira, which covered nearly 100% of the planned functionality of the Indigos platform. Since Asapy was the backbone of the development and QA force, the company assumed full responsibility for the final result and conducted a number of additional activities, such as consulting and coaching in the field of continuous integration using TeamCity and test automation.

Asapy’s involvement in terms of QA encompassed functional, load and performance testing of the entire solution. The project lasted for 15 calendar months and required a combined effort of 96 man-months.

Screenshots

Indigos project - 1
Indigos project - 2

Result

Asapy successfully delivered the solution to the client, on time and on budget, and implemented a number of advanced features that became the unique selling points of the platform. Thanks to well-defined processes and efficient communications, Asapy’s development team flawlessly handled the initial project handover phase and created a realistic roadmap for further development.

The company’s extensive knowledge of the subject field, instrumental use of modern technologies and ability to work in a distributed agile environment dramatically facilitated the delivery of the required functionality. The customer remained thoroughly satisfied with the outcome of this cooperation, which added significant value to their business and improved their leading position on the market of innovative e-learning solutions.

The key elements of Asapy’s contribution to the project were:

  • Highly qualified development and testing teams;
  • A plan of efficient collaboration between 3 remote teams;
  • A realistic gradual ramp-up scheme for Asapy’s development team that helped deliver the project on time;
  • Selection of development tools and report formats that enabled the client to stay fully updated on the project progress.
  • Cost-and time-efficient knowledge transfer that minimized the product owner’s efforts on communication with the team;

At the moment, the Indigos platform is live and features over 5000 content items from leading Russian developers and publishers of educational materials.

Testimonial