The client is a pioneer in cash management solutions across USA and Canada. They serve their clients with the help of 13000+ hardware assets customized for their needs. All the machines are connected through IoT to a centralized monitoring platform, which was a third-party software that was not exclusive for the client. So, the client wanted to build their own IoT agent that connects all their hardware assets, provide data privacy and monitors user behavior.
They found the third-party platform limited in terms of data acquisition and asset health monitoring. So, the mission is to create a smart, secured, and user-friendly agent web-platform for the client.
Cash Recycler & Dispenser
Size of the firm:
Large Cash Management solution provider serving over 250 retail giants across America and Canada with 8122 assets placed in over 8000 locations.
The client’s hardware assets were connected through a third-party agent, which was a legacy software itself but was being maintained by the vendor only to support the aforementioned client’s system connectivity. The client also wanted to collect, process, visualize and display all the collected data on a web platform and their agent did not support the data dashboard features. When the client realized it is a very costly affair to get the agent upgraded, they started exploring options to build their own agent and enable dashboards. In this Cloud Transformation Case study, we showcase how Qentelli has helped the client.
Need of the hour
Reconditioning the client’s Legacy system into a multi-container application moved to the cloud and enabled Asset connectivity through IoT for remote access for monitoring and maintenance.
After detailed research, we realized the legacy infrastructure client had been using is not relevant anymore. We proposed to build their own Information Management Platform that can fetch data from all the devices and display their key performance indicators (KPI), metrics, and key data points to monitor the health of the machines and connections.
Since the previous Agent was outdated, we proposed to build their own agent that can connect every device that is placed in their customer’s location to a web platform through cloud infrastructure. This transformation was intended to enable an IoT Agent and remote access to the system. We also recommended to create customer portals with restricted access so the end-user can monitor the device health and access allowed data.
What Qentelli Did
The entire project can be divided into two phases.
Phase 1 Data-rich, User-friendly Dashboards
The Cash Recycler is an embedded system based on Windows OS and backed by Microsoft SQL Server Express. The application on the client’s device is designed to control the user interface and supports other functions that serve to secure the machine while allowing for monitoring and remote maintenance when needed. While the recycler is designed to function independent of internet, it does require a connection to the Internet to support monitoring, alerting, remote management, and reporting. All the data accumulated will be processed, visualized, and displayed in a customized Dashboard which can be remotely accessible. The animations and parts of UX elements in the device and the application contained Flash plug-ins. Since Flash’s EOL is announced by Adobe, we had to convert all the animations into HTML5 using Record and Republish strategy to avoid chances of incompatibility in the future.
Post the exit criteria for Phase 1 was successfully met, we commenced the next phase of development.
Phase 2 Remote access system / IoT Agent
A secure machine agent was built to communicate with the device and monitor its health. It is protected with a firewall and strengthens with HTTP Strict Transport Security. Any remote access to a cash recycler is negotiated through REACH’s Cloud Service using a secure VPN connection with complete tracking and logging of activities. Key functionalities of the Agent are:
Anti‐malware, Patching, and Configuration Management
We leveraged the latest anti‐virus and anti‐malware tools to mitigate unauthorized attempts to the environments. These tools are patched regularly and kept current. We also ensured all publicly known vulnerabilities are prioritized, planned, and remediated based on level of known risk and severity. The latest version of client’s application uses a monthly/quarterly patch schedule based on industry recommended updates. Microsoft’s Office 365 update channels were used for relevant patching and local machine agents distribute non‐Microsoft patches and updates.
User Task completion steps reduced by 72%, increasing CSAT scores by 44% and reduced Data Harvesting time by 70%
$400,000 saved per year by reducing need for Onsite Troubleshooting
80% Reduction in tickets due to proactive monitoring and patching through a Centralized System Health Monitoring Dashboard
40% Cost reduction in moving from Thick Client (Desktop Application) to a Web Application