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Case Study – Enterprise Integration

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How Smart Data’s Expertise in Back-end Integration Led to the Successful Launch of Davey Tree’s MyDavey Portal

Smart Data was tasked with allowing customers to interact with Davey online by building a customer portal that gives them access to their account information. The customer portal would be built using data from a CMS, Proposal, Appointment and Account data from MS Dynamics and Services data from SAP. It would also integrate CIAM solution so that there is SSO set up with WebAR (self-serve invoice payments) solution.

Technologies Used

Technologies Used

Technologies Used

Technologies Used

Technologies Used

Technologies Used

Founded:

1880

Location:

Kent, OH

Start Date:

2020

Project Timeline:

5 Months

About Company:

Davey Tree was founded in 1880 and provides scientifically-based horticultural and environmental services.  They are Ohio’s largest employee-owned company and the eighth-largest in the nation.  They were named by Forbes as one of America’s best employers.  Davey Tree has multiple brands and operates throughout North America.  

The Problem:

Davey Tree does not have a customer portal to allow users to view and review the properties being serviced by Davey and related proposals and services.  Davey does have an existing online payment portal, which allows users to see invoices related to accounts and make payments, but it does not allow customers to view and manage the services for each property.   Generally, Davey’s customer profile trends towards an older age range, but technology has really become part of everyone’s lives, regardless of age, and demand from customers for more tools to interact with Davey online have been increasing.  Further to this, an online portal is also expected to reduce calls to customer service lines and allow Davey’s marketing teams to further engage with customers via the new portal, “MyDavey Portal”.     

The existing systems:

  • Davey has a variety of systems that are used to store customer-related data and content.  These include Microsoft Dynamics CRM (cloud), SAP ERP (ECC on-premise migrating to S/4HANA),  and Umbraco CMS in addition to the existing CNBS WebAR online payments platform.  
  • Davey had also been reviewing SAP’s Customer Data Cloud solution for Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) and had selected it as the platform they wanted to use for the new MyDavey Portal.
  • The goal is to have a seamless and streamlined experience for customers, including single sign-on with the bill payment system.

Solution:

  • Smart Data proposed to build a responsive web-portal running on Azure with CICD using React and .Net Core as the main platform for MyDavey.  
    • For SAP integration, Smart Data would build oData services hosted in SAP.   
    • For Dynamics CRM integration, Smart Data would work with Davey’s CRM team and Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM API in order to pull and post data as needed.  
    • To incorporate web content from the CMS system into the new portal, Smart Data proposed to work with Davey’s existing CRM vendor to develop an API that would allow profile information to be sent from the new portal and customized content to be returned for display.    
    • For SAP Customer Data Cloud, Smart Data proposed working with an experienced SAP CDC vendor that was a partner of ours for the back-end CDC configuration while we manage the front-end integration.
    • Finally, Smart Data also proposed utilizing an existing partner and expert design company with customers around the globe to help with the customer experience.  
    • Further to use, Smart Data built wireframes as part of the proposal to help build the story of how we intended to incorporate all the various components into a single, cohesive and pleasant user experience for Davey’s customers.

Davey Tree Portal Screenshots

Key Issues/Challenges:

  • Since their customer base trends older, this needed to be considered from a user experience perspective.
  • Smart Data did not have experience with SAP Customer Data Cloud.
  • Davey was looking to have a single vendor manage the entire implementation.  

The Results:

  • After being selected to implement the MyDavey Portal Smart Data planned, organized and implemented the entire project including managing all external partners.  While being transparent about our use of partners when we feel it best serves our clients, we maintain sole responsibility for delivery of all aspects of the solution, even if they are provided by a partner.  This provides clients a single point of communication and responsibility and simplifies project management.  Davey Tree themselves provided an application architect that worked directly with the Smart Data team and helped facilitate access to resources and personnel within Davey.   
  • Mid-stream in the project, Davey felt it was important to provide MyDavey portal users with the ability to have direct communication with local branch managers.  Although this feature was not part of the original proposal, Smart Data’s agile practices allow for introducing changes and features through-out the development process.  Therefore, we were able to accommodate Davey’s request and introduce a new messaging feature to the platform.
  • An interesting feature of the MyDavey portal is that it has no dedicated database.   Through real-time integration with SAP Customer Data Cloud, MS Dynamics CRM and SAP’s ERP, all data is pushed into and out of these systems.  
N

Good support from management: With the management support and encouragement when team had faced struggles due to limited technical knowledge and slowly client got confidence about team improvement.

N

Post deployment support: The Post deployment support as discussed above is the added advantage they got from us.

N

Successful on-time delivery: Finally, as an outcome the project succeeded to be delivered on time to their client having them happy with quality and functionalities required.

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