Furbaby Tracker Cross-Platform App
Rapid cross-platform mobile/web development with React/Native.
CLIENT Furbaby Tracker, LLC
Allow pet owners and caregivers to communicate more quickly, conveniently, and cost effectively.
A new cross-platform app with e-commerce capability, integrated with veterinary PMS software.
A fresh concept in veterinary care.
Non-medical services for pets such as pet sitting, pet health insurance, pet spas, and pet grooming are considered the major growth factors which are driving the pet care market across the world.
MARKETWATCH, JULY 2019
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), Americans spent approximately $70 billion on their pets in 2018. They estimate that 85 million families – 67% of all households – own at least one pet. So it's no wonder that there are over 120,000 veterinarians practicing in the United States today.
Furbaby Tracker is a completely new product created to take advantage of a current void in today's pet care market. The app itself was the brainchild of a marketing executive with almost two decades of experience in the business. Having worked with vets for many years, she saw that there were gaps in the care experience which could be filled with a well-designed and executed app. By connecting vets directly with their customers – and providing peace of mind during and after a visit – Furbaby Tracker reduces needless data entry, lost business, missed appointments, and customer attrition.
Hitting the onramp at speed.
With a project like this, being first to market is absolutely critical. As are complete confidentiality and a rock-solid systems architecture plan with minimal up-front cost of ownership. To make sure that the FBT app met all initial business requirements, a billing and subscription model also had to be identified. Redsqware worked with the FBT team to create in-depth user stories based on the business plan provided by the client. These initial stories included not just pet owners and vets, but clinicians and office administrators, too.
Once the initial wireframes were complete, a simple prototype was assembled to guide Alpha development. within 10 days using user interface components created in Sketch, with version control handled in Zeplin.
Due to their shared library, native behaviors, scalability, and performance, React.js and React Native were a natural choice for this project. Because cost of acquisition and ownership were both upfront concerns, our engineering team has recommended Amazon Web Services and a serverless infrastructure; capable of scaling to enterprise volume with minimal attention; as the final production environment. An experienced project management and sales team was also put in place to make sure FBT's customer pipeline was strong from the very start. Pre-sales began at industry events, and demand was exceptionally strong.
In part, this was because the app uses an innovative pricing and onboarding model that charged on a per-use basis. Customer charges were automatically added to the bill whenever a pet case was closed, which means that the FBT service allows care professionals to offer a user-friendly, on-demand service that pays for itself immediately.
Integrating leading Practice Management Software with Google Firebase
To be a viable product, FBT needed to prove that it could integrate with veterinary Practice Management Software (PMS) systems currently in the marketplace. When a new case was opened in the PMS at the point of care, it needed to automatically populate the data in the mobile app, with updates and status changes synced across the enterprise. To streamline and enhance that progress, the team leaned on rock-solid third-party infrastructure. Google gave us the ideal tools to build, validate, optimize, control access, and monitor performance before and after deployment.
Web services of the app responsible for retrieving and storing data from the eazyVet API are developed and deployed on the Firebase platform. Redsqware used the Cloud Functions service of Firebase for fetching data, and all calls made to the PMS API are made from Google's security infrastructure. Once the data is fetched, it's processed within the VPC and the processed data is stored with Firebase's Realtime Database. Multiple front-ends (mobile and web) can then access data from secure web services with authentication by Google's Firebase Authentication service.
FBT is just one example of how Redsqware is giving startups and smaller organizations the same powerful intelligence – and dramatic cost reductions – available to large enterprise; using AWS and Google infrastructure.
JON GIFFORD, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, REDSQWARE
Supporting pre-sales and lead generation.
Building buzz for the release of the app required doing pre-sales at industry events. In addition to strong sales materials developed by the customer, Redsqware specified demo hardware for use at trade shows, and put together a working front end build of the app that gave users the experience of using it while the back end systems were still being built. The strong response and investor attention generated by doing so set the stage for a public deployment, and gave the development team even stronger motivation to deliver a strong release candidate.
As interest grew, a production build was rolled out for unit and business testing ahead of schedule. This gave participating clinics and QA specialists extra time to gather results, helping to ensure a better product. This is typical of our highly motivated teams – they frequently deliver quality work in advance – regardless of project complexity or process roadblocks. Fairness and attention to detail are core values at Redsqware, because they mean real world benefits for everyone involved in a project. By strongly incentivizing and empowering all team members, we strive to create a work environment where everyone feels a genuine sense of shared success and ownership.
Real world testing for success.
A solid test plan that accounts for both the operations and technology requirements of the enterprise is essential to success. We approach testing as a continuous undertaking that begins with writing a test plan in parallel with the development process. As things progress, the plan is refined, stratified, and augmented to account for the shared understanding of the project. Part of the proof of any product's viability lies in its ability to pass business testing. Only under real world conditions can we truly know how it will perform. By using Firebase to monitor our results, we were able to gather quantitative feedback to better inform the responses recorded by our dedicated QA and analytics teams.
Cost effective infrastructure that's powerful and scalable.
The serverless architecture of the FBT app means that it can scale exponentially; and at minimal cost, to match emerging demand. It also makes that enhancements – like adding new features to support pet boarding services – simpler to deliver as part of the continuous improvement process. By observing use over time and carefully observing overall performance, the FBT customer service and sales teams have the all the behavioral data they need to focus their efforts. Ongoing optimization includes the user interface (UI) and experience (UX) elements of FBT's systems. By imbuing key objects with event-driven KPIs, a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis of the app can be conducted at regular intervals. For new enterprises, controlling costs and maximizing ROI are critical pillars of successful operation in the early stages. Redsqware has made sure that FBT has all the tools it needs to deliver on the promise of its founders' original vision.