Subscribility – a true Cloud Story

Subscribility™ is one of the products developed and launched by EmpireOne in the last few months. Clearly the most sizeable and also expensive to develop for our small company. This meant it required tools to maintain complete transparency over the progress, project goals, and also ensure ongoing feedback on the developed application.

This is the story of how we did it.

Project background

Many organisations use a CRM software to grow their business through new customers. However no CRM helps in understanding your current customers and cementing your relationship with them. Subscribility, by EmpireOne, does exactly that.

It is the only truly customer-centric database and membership management software. It keeps track of all interactions with your customers and turns each of them into a high-value member while facilitating tasks such as tracking of their membership requirements, and your fulfillment their benefits.

In the beginning, there was the cloud

Subscribility™, Simply Engaging, was built in the cloud, for the cloud, using cloud best practices and also cloud-based tools. This allowed the team to have 24/7 access to customer feedback and full transparency over all aspects of the project.

The cloud is made of so many tools
Many tools, many purposes
Even Subscribility™ was created using other cloud-based software.

Everything runs from the cloud

So not only does Subscribility™ run in the cloud, but all documentation, requirements and codebase are also in the cloud. This ensures that the team can be expanded or reduced rapidly and as required, on a weekly basis.

Working off the cloud also means the Subscribility™ staff members can work on the same document at the same time, collaboratively and in real-time. This means no more “version nightmares” or having to keep track of versions, revisions and latest changes. As a result also, future customers who are requesting new features every day, also have complete access to all development communications.

No upgrades or complex software installation

Same as Subscribility™, the cloud tools we use to build the software require no upgrades, updates or even backups. This kind of work is always taken care of completely seamless to anyone using the tool.

Allows the project to adapt rapidly

As a startup project, the cloud also means there’s no longer a need for anyone EmpireOne to do a “software release” hea. Small changes are continuously being rolled out and so there is no need for anyone to hold their breath and be on high alert for days and weeks!

Allows keeping the costs down

Using cloud software usually also means there’s a better control over costs. Often, cloud software is paid for on a month-to-month basis, and based on usage. To all organisations, every dollar counts and software in the cloud allows to pay for software and features that we use. Nothing more.

Cloud software used for Subscribility™

  • Google Docs: allows sharing and working collaboratively on text documents and spreadsheets
  • Assembla: is used for project management, code and changes tracking
  • Heroku: is the server infrastructure/hosting platform, running on top of Amazon
  • Mailchimp: email marketing software, used to communicate with all customers regularly
  • Google Forms: crucial to collect customer feedback and orient the development efforts

Perfect picture?

As a project, is Subscribility™ the perfect example of utilising the cloud? Of course! Was it an easy ride? Hell no! A few challenges have emerged from using cloud software. One of them is the continuous need for Internet access, so working offline has proven a little flaky and led to a few frustrations. However, overall it’s fair to say that more benefits have emerged than drawbacks!

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Written by

Managing Director of EmpireOne Group in Sydney, Sebastien has made a life of understanding both sides of the fence. Born in Canada and educated as a self-started business software engineer, not a single day passes without finding Seb tweaking a process, system or piece of code.