The proliferation of mobile devices and ubiquitous social media has brought with it a general acceptance of computers and a demand for real-time access to information by nearly everyone. This saturation of the general public with data and access puts more pressure on business platforms to live up to those higher expectations regardless of the underlying complexity...
A few years ago B/E Aerospace was asked by their customers to provide near real-time updates and details of orders they has placed. Despite having dedicated customer service representatives and phone coverage the demand for direct, digital access had arrived. B/E contacted us and asked to build just such a system.
The challenge in this system's design was the collection and consolidation of distributed but critical data elements into an accurate, cohesive message. When a customer service specialist is tracking down an order's details there is little difficulty in checking several, internal systems or making a phone call to determine the current state of a given order line. Coming close to providing all of the same data without the human component to aggregate and coalesce the relevant details proved interesting.
Technically, this system required heavy system integration and data aggregation coupled with an extra layer of data security. Admittedly, we had the benefit of knowing this client's internal processes and preferences by working with them on a previous "Buyer-Supplier Portal" project focused on increasing efficiencies in their supply chain, but we were able to deliver the Customer Portal solution from start to finish with just 12 weeks of effort from a single developer.