KDG builds business-critical application using Catalyst

kdg-label

Kyle David

President & CEO, KDG

“Catalyst helped KDG save money that would have been spent on server management, security, and app execution by running the entire application on Catalyst. The cron-driven application hosted on Catalyst is absolutely seamless and we love the relational database feature, which strengthened our data management in the app.”

 

About KDG

KDG is a software development and project management company headquartered in Pennsylvania, USA. The company specializes in offering software solutions to customers in cybersecurity, accounting, healthcare, business automation, finance, and customer service.

The challenge

KDG serves hundreds of customers, averaging almost eighty customers per week. In order to track the performance and customer satisfaction for each of those projects, KDG needed a system to measure feedback responses from customers from time to time, as well as display those metrics on their website. However, they had a sharp focus on customer experience and didn’t want the feedback system to interrupt the customers’ flow or annoy them, like feedback requests often do.

On top of that, the cost of hosting and managing an application like the feedback system, which was business-critical yet sparsely used, was high. They needed a cost-effective solution to manage the application.

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    The solution

    Catalyst was used to host and run a simple, yet important, client feedback application aimed at improving customer service.

    KDG devised an innovative way of getting feedback from customers by incentivizing the system through donations passed on to charitable organizations for every piece of feedback the customers give. The feedback system was also highly contextual and customized.

    In their search for a robust and effective solution to handle these challenges, KDG discovered Zoho Catalyst. KDG evaluated Catalyst against other serverless frameworks, including Google Firebase, and quickly realized that Catalyst was the only platform that could meet all its needs.

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    Introducing Catalyst

    Using Catalyst, KDG built a system that triggered a feedback requests periodically—ideally every week—to generate regular data and evaluate the course of projects. The staff from KDG can log time in the projects, Zoho Projects in this case, and the time logs are tracked for them. As part of their onboarding process, staff from KDG are given the option to choose the charitable organization they want to support. Feedback emails are then triggered to the customers from an integrated third-party email tool, Sendgrid.

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    Solution Highlights

    • Only contextual feedback requests are sent to customers, so that they’re more customized and relatable.
    • The donations are linked with the charitable organizations’ portals, so that they’re promptly handled.
    • The serverless backend, with its relational database, was better than Google’s flat file database system, with provisions to link tables and perform advanced operations.
    • KDG is charged only when the application uses the Catalyst platform, making it a more efficient way of managing the application.

    User management was easier to use with built-in authentication.

Components used

  • Cron Functions
  • Catalyst Datastore
  • Web Client Hosting
  • User Authentication
 

Cron Functions

Cron functions are used to trigger weekly customer feedback emails through a third-party email application.

 

Catalyst Datastore

A relational database is used to store customer data in a meaningful manner by associating staff and customer data for the feedback requests.

 

Web Client Hosting

An authenticated admin dashboard was developed to analyze and discover trends in the feedback according to multiple parameters, along with custom KPI dashboards using advanced web client hosting provided by Catalyst.

 

User Authentication

The oAuth feature on Catalyst is used to authenticate admin panel logins to ensure that valid requests are sent to customers. This also ensures only validated staff from KDG log into the admin panel to view and access the feedback data.

The benefits and ROI

By using Catalyst, KDG was able to offload the burden of having to manage an application that was sparsely used, yet critical to the business outcome. This meant that they were able to save a significant amount of money on server management and server security costs.Beyond that, they can rest assured knowing their requests for feedback will go out. The application ensures that the feedback system is executed every week without fail, thereby improving the quality of project delivery and customer satisfaction.

Data Store

Catalyst Data Store is a cloud-based relational database management system that helps KDG seamlessly modify and manage customer data in the backend. The feature was highly appreciated by the team due to its structure and constraints, which they found to be much more usable than GCP.

Best DevOps practice

Catalyst places emphasis on projects to hit development and the development process is immutable. This was highly welcomed by KDG as best DevOps practice to use.

Excellent customer experience

KDG found it exceptionally easy to execute and host the application on Catalyst.

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