Case studies

Employee benefits provider for 1,000,000+ users ditches printed coupons for digital vouchers

When it comes to Finland and employee perks, Smartum was the provider of choice. However, outdated software made it increasingly difficult to scale their business. To continue to grow, they needed complex app modernization.

About Smartum

Founded back in 1995, Smartum is a benefits provider for Finland. Everything started when two brothers Jarmo and Jorma Hyökyvaara came up with the idea to offer exercise vouchers as fringe benefits for employees.

The company’s mission is to support people’s well-being comprehensively. Smartum wants to make sure that employers give their workers the freedom and responsibility to choose what kind of support they need.

To facilitate this, Smartum provides employees with access to an ever-growing range of venues covering not just exercises, but also categories such as culture, commute, massage, or lunch.

Country

Finland

Industry

Technology & Innovation

Timeline

10.2018 - 12.2021

Founded back in 1995, Smartum is a benefits provider for Finland. Everything started when two brothers Jarmo and Jorma Hyökyvaara came up with the idea to offer exercise vouchers as fringe benefits for employees.

The company’s mission is to support people’s well-being comprehensively. Smartum wants to make sure that employers give their workers the freedom and responsibility to choose what kind of support they need.

To facilitate this, Smartum provides employees with access to an ever-growing range of venues covering not just exercises, but also categories such as culture, commute, massage, or lunch.

40,000+

venues across Finland covered

1,000,000+

end-users served

96%

users endorsed the app

The challenge

For many years, the Smartum system was based on printed coupons, which the users presented at the venues of choice. As the company grew, this process proved to be increasingly inefficient. The client decided to switch from paper-based solutions and use QR codes instead.

Besides having outdated processes, the web application was also in need of a technology update. The technology stack was outdated and the code could some refactoring. It all called for a major app modernization effort.

The previous version of the app was not very intuitive and lacked a number of features that could improve user experience, such as the smart venue search system. Employers using Smartum hoped to have more freedom in customizing and branding their company profiles in the system.

In order to create software worthy of their position as the leading employee benefits platform in Finland, Smartum decided to develop new mobile apps and revamp their web application as well.

Partnership goal To develop modern scalable web and mobile apps that could speed up operations and satisfy users better

Before

Smartum knew what they wanted, but they required extra talent and know-how to turn the idea into modern React- and Symfony-based applications

After

The Software House team came up with UX/UI designs and turned them into scalable applications introducing new workflows that allowed Smartum to eliminate printed coupons

The Software House hand-picked professionals who joined Smartum's team under a hybrid model

We worked on

Team formation

Over the three years of our cooperation, Smartum worked with a diverse group of TSH professionals, which included frontend and backend developers, QAs, and Product Designers.

The work on the web application involved our own product designer who provided new designs for a modern and scalable app. The composition of the development team changed over time and included three PHP backend developers specialized in Symfony, a React specialist as well as a QA engineer. The Software House also provided a DevOps engineer as well as its own Project Manager.

Our partnership

The Software House’s team completed a number of projects for Smartum, delivering efficient and scalable apps.

The Software House crafted native iOS and Android applications for end users of Smartum that featured:

  • an intuitive search system that enabled easy venue browsing,
  • a digital vouchers functionality,
  • and a mobile payment system, which made using the apps even more convenient.

The web app we designed included a lot of new features for admins and employers.  The completely refurbished admin panels had dedicated sections for every type of user: employers, employees, venue owners, cashiers, and admins. We also implemented a custom white-label design system, which allowed new clients of Smartum to brand their company profiles in no time.

The process of updating Symfony (to version 3.4) and PHP (to version 7.0) was a big part of the project. This tech stack upgrade was necessary to prevent security threats in the future and improve code efficiency as well as scalability.

Technology choice

Kotlin (Android), Swift (iOS), React with Redux (frontend), PHP with Symfony (backend), behat, phpspec, Flow, Jest

What Smartum achieved

Our work resulted in the release of modernized web and mobile apps that vowed individual end users with intuitive interfaces and satisfied corporate users with new customization options. 96 percent of users rated their experience with the new mobile apps positively.

All of that had a transformational effect on the company, which then could continue to grow and develop new functionalities without having to worry about software holding it back.

Another proof of our successful business partnership was our work for the parent company of Smartum Arantio, which included the development of an intermediary API used as Backend for Frontend – the Arantio Core – as well as other related projects such as Vaana.

Eventually, the web application of Smartum has become one of the many products connected to the Arantio Core.

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That’s what Daniel Miles of Smartum liked the most about the cooperation. Would you like more of the same for your next project? Then…

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