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Three powerful examples of application modernisation

Advania - App modernisation use cases
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App Modernisation Use Cases

The need for technology that just works has never been more vital. Navigating the pandemic is hard enough, without clunky apps and convoluted processes getting in the way of us doing our best jobs. They suck our time, frustrate us, and impact profits.

A study by VMware found that modern applications are helping organisations succeed during the pandemic. At Advania, our mission is to help our clients succeed; here, we tell three true stories of app modernisation work we did earlier this year. 

We’ve anonymised our clients’ names to protect their confidentiality. They’re all well-known multinationals turning over multi-millions, and they all had itches they needed us to scratch.

Cue Chris O’Brien, our Products and Services Director and Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional). Chris and his team specialise in revolutionising how companies work and delight in making the lives of professionals like you easier.

Read on to learn how we helped:

  • A pioneering tech brand to modernise its app for internal IT requests.
  • A government contractor to transform its app for reporting phishing emails.
  • Build an app for a telecommunications giant which enabled it to integrate Salesforce with Microsoft Teams.

Tackling the universal hatred of form filling and bad process

ACME Technology – the story before

There are times when even world-famous companies at the cutting edge of technology need help to modernise their apps. When ACME’s employees needed something, they completed an electronic form for their line managers approval.

There were four e-forms in all, spanning the sorts of things that keep a business ticking: PO requests for IT, setting up new users.. You get the picture.

The trouble was these forms, in polite parlance, were far from user-friendly. Along with being a pain in the proverbial to complete, they frequently went to the wrong people for sign-off. And this was a growing headache for ACME Technology, as dozens of new requests sank into an amorphous swamp every week.

Fundamentally, ACME’s legacy app was poorly implemented and decaying by the day. And because those originally responsible for it had moved on, finding and fixing the issues was a headache.


ACME Technology – the story after


ACME forms and processes


Using Microsoft’s Power Platform – in this instance, Power Apps and Power Automate -we took ACME Technology’s forms and:

  • Rolled all four forms into one, with a wizard-like interface for fast and intuitive completion.
  • Ensured the new, single form was highly configurable. If management wants to change it in the future, it’s as straightforward as editing a Word document.
  • Crucially, allow people to fill out the form on a mobile device, from anywhere.
  • Enabled the approval process to be done via any device, including a mobile, too.

And because the sign-off process was also clunky, we implemented something in Office 365 called ‘Modern Approvals’.

A traditional approval process typically involves an email with a link, taking you to another system. The elegance of the modernised app is that the approve and reject buttons are right inside the email.

And the result? Having been consolidated and simplified, ACME Technology’s once ugly forms and processes are a thing of beauty. And with the increased efficiencies, it’s estimated our client is saving between 24 and 40 hours a week and will recover the costs of the app modernisation within two months.

Reporting phishing emails before the bad guys do damage

ABC Security – the story before

Our client is an instantly recognisable name employing over 50,000 people. Their primary income – which runs into tens of millions – is from contracts delivering various government services. ABC Security operates overseas too.

The protection of ABC’s data and systems is paramount. A security breach could spell untold embarrassment and disaster for the company, and harm those whose personal data it processes.

As part of its cybersecurity regime, ABC had an app on its intranet so employees could report phishing emails.

Unfortunately, the take-up of the phishing reporting tool was extremely low. People either forgot it existed or there was too much friction. Often, workers didn’t have the time to jump from their email to the intranet every time a phishing email landed in their inbox.

ABC Security – the story after

Using an Outlook add-in and Microsoft Azure, we replaced the legacy app on ABC’s intranet with a custom button in Outlook.

Now, when an employee receives a phishing email, they needn’t go to another system to flag it. Instead, they report it from Outlook by pressing a custom button at the top of their screen. And it takes seconds.

Like our first app modernisation example, users on mobile devices enjoy the same comfortable experience and functionality. Furthermore, the new app recognises where in the world the user is, so the report goes to the security team in their region to investigate.

And the most satisfying part of this app modernisation use case? Reports of phishing emails have leapt from 35% to 71%, with compelling evidence that the new app is helping ABC to repel some potentially very harmful attacks.

Integrating Salesforce CRM with Microsoft Teams

XY Telecoms – the story before

XY Telecoms is an enormous household name in telecommunications. Its B2B sales team manages extremely complex, six figures plus opportunities. Planning for these sales opportunities involves scores of non-sales colleagues, who require early visibility of the sales pipeline. The company’s legacy CRM system was no longer fit for purpose, and it decided to move to Salesforce. XY also needed a cost-effective way of surfacing the sales opportunities in Microsoft Teams to all relevant staff.

XY Telecoms – the story after

With Teams App Development, we custom-built a Microsoft Teams app to surface information from Salesforce inside Teams. Once a sales opportunity reaches a certain probability, the details automatically appear inside a Microsoft Teams channel. And they’re displayed in the same way as Salesforce; logically presented and updated in real-time. While some out-of-the-box CRM integration apps are available, there’s nothing in the marketplace that would give XY Telecoms’ people the same richness or depth of detail. And because the information is in Teams, it enables seamless collaboration around the opportunity, giving everyone the tools they need to take it forward.

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