Client Success Story
We interviewed Hans Egger of 3x FinTech award finalist, Astute Wheel, to find out more about his business and his experience building tools with YTML's Highlighter team.
Founded in June 2012, and based in North Sydney, AstuteWheel provides a set of online client engagement tools. These are a range of information gathering tools, visual presentations & modelling calculators; that allow an adviser to articulate what they do and how they can add value for their client.
YTML: What were you using before Highlighter?
Hans Egger: Before we moved to YTML and highlighter we were with a different development company and they used Kentico as their platform
YTML: What types of issues were you having?
Hans Egger:: Prior to using highlighter we would build a prototype of our tools in excel spreadsheets to provide the development team with an understanding of what was required, their programmers would then use our formulas to rebuild the modelling calculators in a format for the AstuteWheel website. This was an expensive and time consuming process prone to errors in the communication of what was required to be built. These issues would also occur when enhancements or changes were required for a tool.
YTML: What other solutions did you consider for these problems?
Hans Egger:: We didn’t really consider other issues as we just accepted that this was the way software is developed
YTML: Why / how did you decide to go with YTML?
Hans Egger:: When YTML explained the benefits of highlighter we realised that the excel spreadsheets that we were developing in-house would become the actual basis for our modelling calculators (not just a prototype) and that would provide us with greater control and flexibility both in the original build and any further enhancements or changes. Through Highlighter our in-house resource building excel spreadsheets also became part of the development team creating efficiencies and cost savings.
YTML: When did you deploy our solution?
Hans Egger:: The highlighter version of our modelling calculators were released in June 2016 when we rolled out our rebuilt software (V2) and then 2 years later in June 2018 we rolled out another rebuild (V3).
YTML: How did it go?
Hans Egger:: On each rebuild we made substantial improvements to the software and they were well received by our users. The first rebuild was extensive as it involved a new platform however the second rebuild was easier as the platform remained the same and we were able to roll out the improvements in less time.
YTML: Were there challenges?
Hans Egger:: The main challenge for AstuteWheel was that our in-house developer (building the excel spreadsheets) was now a true part of the development team and so he had to not only learn some of the disciplines associated with developing and releasing software, he also took the time to understand the way Highlighter works so that he could assume more responsibility in the development process.
YTML: How did we address those challenges?
Hans Egger:: Our in house developer worked closely with the YTML developers and we implemented a project management and issue tracking system within AstuteWheel so that the in-house developer was treated the same as we would treat an external developer. We have also introduced a second member (part time) to the in-house development team as our corporate knowledge expands.
YTML: What advantage did our solution give you?
Hans Egger:: There are two main advantages that we have realised from the Highlighter solution. First we have found that fixing software bugs is much quicker and simpler as the person who built the excel spreadsheet can fix the bug immediately on the spreadsheet (rather than find the issue, fix on the spreadsheet, relay the problem to another developer, test the fix and finally release to live). The second advantage is that we are able to build new tools and get them to market far more quickly as the Astute in-house development team and the YTML development team are working closely together and have a great working relationship and understanding of our software.
YTML: How did it make work life better or easier?
Hans Egger:: The relationship between Astute and YTML is now a true partnership with YTML invested in the success of Astute and vice versa, we are transparent in our long term business planning and the regular development meetings have a feeling that we are not a client but part of the same team with shared interest in each other’s progress and success.
YTML: Was there a measurable ROI or other quantifiable results we can mention?
Hans Egger:: In late 2018 as a result of the Banking Royal Commission we realised that an aspect of the client engagement process was about to be targeted by ASIC as they had identified advisers (across the board) were not complying. We researched the issue and determined that a Fintech solution could solve this issue and we were able to quickly design and build appropriate tools and get them to market in early 2019. This would have been a much more expensive and time consuming exercise had we not been using highlighter.
What are the top three reasons you would recommend YTML?
- If your business does not want to employ a development team in-house but want more control than just handing over a concept to an external development group then highlighter and YTML will provide that interim solution.
- If your business has an excel based software solution and has a champion in-house then they can become a pseudo developer and you will grow a strong corporate knowledge across both your business and the development process.
- By paying a licence fee to YTML, they become a true partner in your business rather than just a transaction based external developer of software.