Revamping EchoVision's Enterprise SaaS Briefing Management Platform for Fortune 100 Clients

case-study

Behind the scenes with EchoVision

Seeking assistance in 2012, EchoVision, a US-based briefing and event management software provider in its early stages, encountered a critical challenge that posed a risk to its relationship with enterprise clients. 

Their flagship product, BriefingSource, takes centre stage as their SaaS platform. Originally developed and maintained by a previous outsourcing partner, it suffered from severe performance issues that made it unreliable and prone to inaccuracies, and posed a significant risk to EchoVision's reputation.

In this fiercely competitive and rapidly expanding market, it was imperative for the client to take immediate action to safeguard their business and establish a strong foothold. 

Recognising the urgency, the client turned to GoodCore for assistance, seeking a two-fold solution: to stabilise their product initially and subsequently unlock its full potential through advanced customisation, flexible integration, and enhanced security features.

Unlocking reliability and success with GoodCore

Getting to know BriefingSource

BriefingSource is a multi-tenant SaaS-based platform designed to empower briefing managers with comprehensive tools to effortlessly handle all aspects of high-visibility briefing events. From managing agendas and speaker schedules to handling invitations, logistics, and catering, BriefingSource provides managers with the necessary resources for seamless event operations.

However, a range of challenges significantly impacted end users and their critical business operations, leading to user frustration and decreased confidence in BriefingSource. Consequently, there was a high risk of losing EchoVision’s enterprise clients.

EchoVision approached us with a version of their product suffering from the following:

  • Poor code quality, lacking organisation, consistency, and adherence to best practices, which made it difficult to understand, maintain, and extend the code

  • Absence of modularisation and documentation

  • Poorly designed architecture leading to performance and accuracy issues

  • Incomplete or poorly implemented functionalities impacting user experience

  • Lack of consistency and intuitiveness in interface design, which made it hard for users to navigate and effectively interact with the product

  • Performance issues caused by inefficient code and inadequate data handling practices, which resulted in slow loading times, crashes, and unresponsive interactions

Retaining users through a stabilised version 2

​​To address these challenges, we developed a gradual approach to refine and upgrade the product. Our roadmap included:

Improving code quality by refactoring the codebase to improve its organisation for better maintainability.

Enhancing user interface and user experience for enhanced navigation and element interaction by incorporating user feedback to guide design decisions.

After conducting load testing and performance profiling, we redesigned the architecture to address performance and accuracy issues and introduced scalability measures to accommodate future growth.

Conducting comprehensive testing, including functional, performance, usability, security, compatibility, regression, integration, and accessibility tests to ensure the high quality of the product.

Enhancing features, by prioritising and addressing incomplete or poorly implemented functionalities.

Implementing code documentation to enhance understanding and maintainability.

After completing an extensive technical refinement process by early 2013, we successfully achieved a stabilised and consistently functioning Version 2 of the product. This milestone catapulted BriefingSource to become the leading player in the field by 2017.

Soaring to new heights with version 3

Soon after, we realised that the true essence of BriefingSource resided in its user experience. This realisation sparked an ambitious undertaking: the development of a new, feature-rich version of the product. Leveraging a modern technology stack, this innovative approach enabled us to make significant advancements in security, customisation, accessibility, and scalability, bolstering the overall capabilities of the product. 

Our journey to refine and expand BriefingSource continues as we remain dedicated to meeting the evolving needs of our valued users.

GoodCore came in and stabilised the existing platform. They pretty much saved our product. After that, we moved all of our development resources over to their firm, and they pointed out a fair amount of problems that would affect the longevity of the product. After a year of working with them, we decided to have GoodCore rebuild the entire platform.

David Walford, CEO & Managing Member, EchoVision



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The BriefingSource product these days

BriefingSource is an ultimate enterprise briefing and event management designed for executive centre staff, HR managers, and account representatives to offer a shared infrastructure and comprehensive features to simplify your event planning and execution. Thanks to its customisable and dynamic nature, BriefingSource streamlines the management of various events, from employee briefings to corporate gatherings and webinars, catering to the unique needs of every organisation.

With robust security measures in place, BriefingSource safeguards sensitive data and ensures partial compliance with GDPR and SOC2/Type2 regulations, providing peace of mind to its Fortune 100 clients such as Zoom, Meta, Visa, LinkedIn, Phillips, RedHat, and others.  

BriefingSource has all the necessary features for a hassle-free and effective briefing and event management for any type of business and organisation:

Role-based access control

BriefingSource enables secure user authentication, registration, and permission management, allowing controlled access to specific functionalities based on user roles.

Calendar

The calendar functionality in BriefingSource offers versatile views, including day, week, and month, enabling event organisers to assess resource availability, track engagements, and allocate speakers and rooms efficiently.

Briefing program workflow builder

Offers an intuitive platform for managing program workflows and creating event agendas using drag-and-drop and import features.

Dynamic form builder

Provides users with the flexibility to create and manage event-specific forms, allowing customisation with multiple modules and the option for single-step or multi-step forms.

Advanced BI features

Gives users the ability to independently generate insightful reports, conduct data analysis, and uncover valuable event performance insights using customisable reporting and visualisation tools, all without relying on the development team.

Customised integrations

Seamlessly integrates with popular and niche external services and applications through APIs, enabling data exchange and interoperability with platforms such as Google Calendar, Salesforce, Office365, and custom services.

Customer experience portal

A personalised and mobile-aware customer experience portal for external guests attending briefings, providing access to agenda, feedback, surveys, and connection with briefing staff

Communication and collaboration module

Facilitates efficient communication between briefing managers and event participants, including pre-built email templates and file-sharing capabilities for seamless information exchange.

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Under the hood of BriefingSource

To deliver a tailored experience for BriefingSource users, we used a number of best practices, including:

  • Workflow customisation through a visual workflow designer with drag-and-drop functionality for program and event management.

  • Building modular backend services to support plug-in/add-on development and add modules based on specific user requirements.

  • Supporting integrations with third-party systems that EchoVision’s clients use in their daily operations to make their experience with the app smoother and the adoption of the systems easier, by employing RESTful APIs, webhooks, or message queues for secure and scalable data exchange.

  • Responsive web design with a fluid grid layout, flexible media queries, and CSS3 media queries to create a responsive user interface to seamlessly adapt to different screen sizes, resolutions, and orientations, providing a consistent experience across devices.

  • Mobile-friendly UI enhancements; we introduced mobile-specific navigation options and optimised form input for touch interaction to enhance usability on mobile devices and enable efficient user interactions on smaller screens.

  • Cross-browser and device compatibility, achieved thorough testing on multiple web browsers, including popular choices like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge; we also performed testing on various mobile devices with different screen sizes to ensure compatibility and a smooth user experience across platforms.

To ensure optimal performance and scalability, BriefingSource incorporates the following approaches and procedures:

  • Horizontal scaling: As our client and user base expanded, we implemented horizontal scaling by adding more servers. This distribution of load and increased processing power enhanced scalability and performance.

  • Caching: Extensive caching, including the use of content delivery networks (CDNs), significantly improved performance. Caching commonly accessed data and static content reduced the need for repetitive database queries and resource-intensive operations, resulting in faster response times. BriefingSource plans to implement a more advanced and faster caching system in the near future.

  • Database optimisation: To address the growing client and user base, we optimised database queries and utilised indexes to enhance performance. Load distribution techniques, such as stored procedures and sub-queries, offload processing load to code and database servers, improving efficiency at the query level.

  • Asynchronous processing: Resource-intensive tasks in BriefingSource are handled through job queues, enabling asynchronous processing. Offloading time-consuming operations to background workers or message queues ensures the system remains responsive and can efficiently handle concurrent user requests.

  • Performance monitoring: Robust monitoring tools and performance metrics are implemented in BriefingSource to track application performance and identify bottlenecks. Extensive logging solutions and application monitoring tools like Laravel Telescope provide insights into response times, database queries, and other performance-related metrics. Regular review and analysis of this data allow us to proactively address performance issues. Additionally, we utilise CloudWatch, as well as an in-house built API Traffic Monitor, to monitor and optimise system performance.

Through our expertise, BriefingSource sets the bar high for data security and privacy, instilling confidence in users and maintaining compliance with GDPR and SOC2/Type2 regulations. To comply with GDPR, for example, BriefingSource provides options and APIs for data removal or anonymisation upon user request. Key security requirements are implemented through various measures such as authorised access and single sign-on (SSO) mechanisms, identity management (via integrations with SAML 2.0, LDAP, Okta, and Azure), data encryption, access controls, regular security audits, quarterly penetration tests, and privacy policies.

We implemented an automated single-tenant architecture to ensure that each EchoVision’s client enjoys a separate deployment and database, guaranteeing data isolation and security.

Automated CI/CD pipelines enable seamless deployment of BriefingSource to the AWS Cloud across different environments. With dedicated pipelines for development, staging, and production, deployments are efficiently managed and consistently executed.

We also prioritised the safety and continuity of BriefingSource data. Through regular automated data backups and a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, we ensure that your information is protected against loss or system failures. Our redundant systems, off-site backups, and efficient restoration procedures guarantee swift data recovery in any unforeseen event.

With these strategies in place, BriefingSource is equipped to handle increasing user demands, deliver optimal performance, and provide a secure and seamless experience to their valued clients and users.

Key drivers behind the solution development

To accommodate the dynamic and fast-paced nature of the BriefingSource project, we embraced an agile methodology. This allowed us to adapt quickly to changing requirements and deliver incremental value throughout the development process. Our team followed a structured approach that involved detailed project planning, resource allocation, milestone tracking, and regular progress reporting. By combining agility with effective project management practices, we ensured smooth execution, maintained project timelines, managed risks efficiently, and delivered the solution within budget.

Managing various stakeholders, including the EchoVision team and BriefingSource end-users, was crucial for project success. We established a feedback loop to gather input, prioritise requirements, and promptly address concerns. Thus fostering a collaborative and productive partnership. This approach ensured alignment with company strategy while continuously improving the user experience.

We prioritised open and consistent communication with our client, utilising weekly sync-up meetings and monthly progress reporting. These channels allowed us to keep stakeholders informed about project progress, milestones, and any changes or updates. Additionally, we utilised real-time messaging to promptly report urgencies and critical updates, ensuring efficient communication between our team and the client.

Throughout our 10-year collaboration, we experienced team growth; expanding to a team of 13 members. To ensure each new team member had the skills and expertise needed to deliver a high-quality solution, we prioritised staff onboarding and training. We implemented ongoing training programs and knowledge-sharing initiatives to equip our team with the necessary industry knowledge. Additionally, our project leadership actively participated in industry-related events to stay updated on the latest trends and best practices. This commitment to staff development empowered our team to deliver innovative and effective solutions for BriefingSource.

The communication is outstanding, especially if I compare them to our previous development team. We had a long history with another development firm—we’d been using them since 2007—and one of our major difficulties with them was communication. We struggled to share ideas and come together on decisions.
The time zone difference has never been a factor, which says a lot about their flexibility.

David Walford, CEO & Managing Member, EchoVision

EchoVision and GoodCore: A decade of success and innovation

Initial state of the product:

  • Unstable SaaS platform plagued by severe performance issues

  • Poor reliability leading to potential inaccuracies

  • Threat to end users' vital business operations

  • Inability to scale and grow the business

  • High risk of losing inaugural enterprise clients

End results and achievements with GoodCore:

  • Successfully stabilised and upgraded the product to Version 3, ensuring reliability and stability

  • Retained and delighted inaugural enterprise clients

  • Compliance with GDPR and SOC2/Type2

  • Established EchoVision as a trusted provider, surpassing competitors like Nexus, VisitOps, and BriefingEdge, and attracting renowned organisations as valued clients

  • Optimised operational processes for stable growth and quick response to market changes

EchoVision's remarkable progress is highlighted by the recent successful onboarding of esteemed Fortune 100 companies, including industry leaders like Zoom, Visa, LinkedIn, and others.

In a 10-year-long journey, we dedicated ourselves to stabilising and upgrading the software, resulting in a remarkable transformation. Today, we stand as a trusted technology partner, offering a more reliable, customisable, and secure product.

GoodCore’s work is directly related to the success of our product. Without their ability to answer our questions, move forward with ideas, and deliver on requirements, we wouldn’t have achieved the success that we’ve seen.

David Walford, CEO & Managing Member, EchoVision

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