Developing software to manage the capturing of data is a difficult business and even more so when children are involved. Alongside making an application robust and intuitive security is of the utmost importance.

With the Fingertips project we were tasked with numerous challenges, taking a legacy system and integrating with a new platform and ensuring the new platform encompassed all the benefits that modern smart phone technology allowed.

FingerTips Education Software

Legacy Software & a New Direction for a Valued Product

The Project Background

FingerTips is a bespoke CRM web app hosted in the cloud with mobile app connectivity capabilities. It is accompanied by a suite of IOS, Android & Windows applications that allows teachers to record, track and evaluate children's progress using a mobile or tablet device.

The applications are used in 350+ schools in the UK.

FingerTips Screenshot

The Problem the Project Needed to Solve

Focus Education, a Manchester based educational consultancy, had previously developed a desktop software solution for teachers to manage evidence captured, using Windows Mobile devices, of a child's progress. This desktop application required the Windows Mobile devices to be synced via cable to a desktop PC and then to the desktop application whenever a teacher needed to upload the photo's audio and comments they'd captured.

The main issue with this system was that it was inherently brittle and required the absolute correct settings for all involved hardware to be precisely configured and correct. It also excluded a huge section of the smart phone market and as Windows phones were more expensive required a large initial outlay for any school wishing to use the existing software.

This proved extremely difficult for 'none technical' school staff to ensure all hardware was configured as it should be, this further led to more and more support calls to Focus Education from users experiencing the same repeated difficulties.

It was felt by the Focus Education team that a better solution was possible and that by creating IOS, Android & Windows apps the product would be dramatically improved. Sapere were asked to provide a solution which removed all the existing difficulties and improved on the old application in every way.

The Successful Solution

The completed application removed the need for the old methodology of syncing mobile devices via cable and moved all evidence synchronisation to happen wirelessly using IOS, Android and Windows devices.

The new solution replaced the desktop application with a full web based solution too. As this new solution was web based this meant that configuration of hardware was completely removed from a reliance on teachers and support staff and the new systems setup required minimal interaction.

Further, to improve storage capacity and improve redundancy the entire system was built and based upon cloud technology, including cloud storage and cloud databases.

The Completed Technical Solution

These are the technologies & platforms Sapere used to deliver the solution.

The Realised Benefits

  • Installation times were reduced by approx. 90%. We completely removed the reliance on the existing desktop application.
  • Support calls were reduced by approx. 50%. The simpler installation process halved issues.
  • Reporting of data now happens in real-time.
  • Software enhancements are rolled out to one 'place' speeding up the deployment process massively.
  • Management reports generated in real-time in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word
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