IDEAL BOILERS

A bespoke mobile application and cloud-based middleware for Ideal Boilers, Hull, who aim to use their status as Europe’s 2nd largest boiler manufacturer to enter the Smart Heating space. After analysis of a number of software development consultancies throughout the UK, Ideal Boilers commissioned Sauce in August 2016 to develop a mobile application suite, cloud-based middleware and customer support portal for their new Smart Heating system.

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Working closely with the project team at Ideal, Sauce have balanced the complexity inherent in large-scale IoT services with the ease-of-use required from a product looking for mass-market adoption. By using cross-platform development methodologies, Sauce delivered mobile builds across iOS and Android at all stages of the project, enabling rapid iterations of the UI/UX based on feedback from field-trial users.

Custom APIs were also developed to provide Ideal Boilers with a comprehensive, scalable “middleware” layer, responsible for processing thousands of requests per minute to control their fleet of internet-connected heating systems. Using the Big Data platform Google BigQuery, the Touch middleware stores the results of these requests for later analysis. By creating a “Data Lake” with access to the operational information of thousands of boilers nationwide, we have enhanced their operational intelligence substantially, enabling the use of sophisticated data analysis techniques to predict faults and inform future boiler manufacturing decisions.

CHCP - THE HEALTH APP

The Health App: Developed for the City Health Care Partnership in Hull and the East Riding, this mobile app, released as a Patient Pilot in February 2018, helps increase patient engagement with their own healthcare by prompting them to periodically answer questions on their condition, building a picture of their day-to-day health for clinicians.

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The Health App is delivered to patients as a multi-platform iOS and Android application written in EmberJS and delivered in a “write once, deploy anywhere” fashion via Apache Cordova. A separate Clinician Portal was also developed to enable members of CHCP staff to monitor incoming patient requests and build reports based on their responses to in-app questionnaires.

Due to the sensitive nature of the data processed by this application, a strict consent model underpins the entire backend schema to ensure only named individuals (and members of CHCP staff) are able to access confidential patient record data.

When Sauce were commissioned by the City Health Care Partnership to develop a “health care portal” for their patients, we worked closely with their project team to identify the functionality required. During the User Story Workshops, members of the Sauce team, CHCP staff members and a number of patients broke down the key requirements of the project into several “modules” in order to establish a Minimal Viable Product for a patient pilot programme.

By engaging with both the project team (CHCP) and the end user (the Patients) at this early stage, Sauce were able to clarify a number of key concerns people had about how such an application would work. These concerns were subsequently addressed by developing low-resolution wireframe mockups of the product to enable all stakeholders to walk through the different user-flows within the applications and iterate on the end result.

As development progressed and new versions of the mobile application and Clinician management portal were released to users, assumptions were tested to inform further development sprints. By adopting this process throughout the project from inception to delivery, it was possible to streamline the user workflows and align the system to the end users’ requirements. 

TOUCHWOOD

Touchwood Solihull commissioned Sauce to develop a mobile app to help improve customer engagement within the shopping centre. During this process, location technology was utilised as part of a cross-platform Android/iOS app to track the customer’s location as they move around the centre in order to provide them with custom offers or relevant events.

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GPS and Bluetooth Beacon technology is used extensively in this app, available for both iOS and Android to track users as they navigate around the centre. Each time the user passes a predefined beacon or geozone, the app registers a “location update” with the backend API. This information is then used to construct profiles for the users based on their usage of the centre. These beacons are also grouped together to form “GeoZones” which enable staff within the centre to segment different areas.

Similarly, GPS tracking is used to allow the marketing team to create “geofences” within the vicinity of the centre. This enables the creation of VIP events which are only triggered when a customer has been flagged as being in the area, but also allows them to gain more granular information about things such as where customers have visited shortly after leaving the centre, which entrances/exits are most popular etc.

Location-aware mobile application built in Javascript / HTML / CSS and wrapped in Apache Cordova to help a medium-sized shopping centre increase customer engagement. The app itself integrates the EmberJS Javascript Framework with native Bluetooth Beacon and GPS technologies to track users as they walk around the centre. This real-time location information is then parsed by a backend REST API to segment users (based on groups set up in a custom CRM system) and notify them of personalised Offers / Events.

The client will be able to segment their campaigns to target certain demographics with customisable content. The more the platform is used, the greater accuracy and details the database will have. This offers a profound advantage for the businesses ability to understand and target its customers. Any marketing campaign can be based upon solid, accurate, granular data and can target any demographic to incredible detail. And crucially the results of that campaign can be measured and learned from, and added to the existing data that the project generates.

HULL UNIVERSITY UNION

Winner of Best Mobile App at the Hull Digital Awards 2016, this app for Hull University Union is designed to to improve student engagement via a mobile app. Working alongside the Union design team, we were tasked with creating an app to allow the student population to access information on the Union’s services.

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The resulting app enables and drives student participation, providing everything from fun nights out and enriching days away, to advice on welfare, employment, and charity work. The WelcomeFest app is an intelligent digital portal that will enable staff to better understand students’ needs. This, in turn, will shape the future of planning and communication.

The app is accessible on iOS and Android and users are able to interact with content more easily than through a website or handbook. It will be available to freshers as soon as they receive confirmation of their place at the University of Hull as part of their welcome pack. This will allow them to discover more about their new environment before they arrive in Hull. The app also uses notifications to remind students about events they’ve added to their own calendar a few hours before they start. These calendared events will also give turn-by-turn directions via Google Maps.

The app provides HUU with live usage information such as which sections are popular and how long students are spending using the app. Staff are also able to see which events students are intending to attend, allowing HUU to estimate numbers and respond appropriately.

DISTORTED

Our first client was Distorted, a multi award-winning production and content company reaching over 6 million global customers, working with 350 partner radio stations, with content regularly taking the number 1 spot in iTunes.

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The company is run by a highly creative team of producers, presenters and journalists, each with a passion for making engaging programmes. Following our initial meetings, we designed and developed a new portal connecting artists and brands directly to fans and broadcast across multiple platforms, from traditional radio to on-demand and digital services.

This portal offers an intuitive, easy to navigate way of managing their growing inventory of tracks whilst simultaneously giving their customers direct access to a secure login area to manage their music. This allows Admins to view listener statistics for their entire catalogue of tracks, create new Client users, and publish audio and video files to iTunes and other syndication services. It also allows Clients to have a separate login area where they can view statistics relevant to the audio files they have been granted access to.

SIEMENS GAMESA

Due to the lack of off-the-shelf solutions available to cater for the complex shift-patterns and HR requirements of the Hull plant, Siemens Gamesa commissioned Sauce to deliver the bespoke award-winning “MyTime” Time and Attendance system.

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Originally developed to manage unique shift patterns for over 600 members of staff to ensure 24/7 operations, it has quickly been enhanced to control a number of other HR-related tasks such as Absence Management and Roll-Call, making it essential to the day-to-day running of the plant.

By combining predictive analysis techniques to efficiently manage staffing levels with an intuitive user interface, MyTime was designed from the outset to fit perfectly with the client’s unique set of requirements.

The project was delivered in two main applications:

  • iOS and Android applications for employees to check shift patterns, manage their holiday allowances, view overtime records etc.

  • Web-based HR Management Portal to enable the management team to update staff records and monitor staffing levels.

As the system has progressed, additional modules have been added to improve the utility of both the web and mobile apps. For example, a paper-based roll call system has recently been replaced with an easy to use Roster function for use by team leaders at the start and end of shifts. By systemising key daily tasks like this to interact with a centralised database not only is the administrative burden reduced, but our client is now able to immediately make business decisions based on concrete data.