Mobile/Tablet/Web Applications, Cloud Server Infrastructure
Pivit looks to redefine the in store shopping and checkout experience for both customers and store employees. Pivit brings the online shopping and engagement experience to in-store customers while providing best in class tools to store employees and managers to create a seamless and efficient purchasing experience.
A system needed to be architected, designed, developed and validated from the ground up to accomplish a complete revisit of the aging point of sales systems process. Several problems needed to be solved to achieve this goal including creating a mobile application, a web administration portal, a point of sales hardware device and application, and a cloud services architecture to support it all.
Pivit’s customers need a way to engage with the ecosystem while on the go. In addition, stores need a way to identify customers as they enter store premises. Each customer will likely have a different phone with a different operating system that needs to work wonderfully regardless.
To create a cross-platform application that would be fast, easy to use and reliable, we used the Xamarin Forms framework. This allowed us to leverage existing high-level .NET skills to create an iPhone, Android and Windows Phone app that works and feels like a native app.
The application allows for engagement through a loyalty platform, store discovery services as well as push notifications. The location and presence technology built into modern mobile devices allows for another way to passively engage and identify with potential customers.
Pivit’s administrators and operators need a way to manage the many facets of the Pivit ecosystem. Traditional point of sales systems require expensive and cumbersome on premise servers to allow for administration and customizations. Updates need to be faster to roll out and changetts need to be able to be made while on the go.
Building the administration tools as a web applications allows the operators to perform necessary functions on a multitude of platforms and locations. The application was built using a light weight yet robust combination of ASP.NET and AngularJS.
Pivit’s customers and end users need a way to easily perform day to day duties revolving around a point of sales solution. Typical point of sales systems are cumbersome, slow and unreliable. Pivit needs to be fast, easy to use and always available.
By creating the point of sales hardware as a Windows 8.1 application, the range of hardware appropriate for the application is much higher than other alternatives. In addition, similar to the development of the mobile application, the cost of designing and developing the point of sales application was greatly diminished through the use of existing high-level .NET skills.
Consistent updates can be automatically rolled out to the entire install base using tools such as System Center Configuration Manager and InTune. This allows for a greatly decreased cost of maintenance and support as compared to other traditional point of sales systems.
Pivit needs to be extremely reliable and fast. There are also expectations of high levels of security when dealing with any information associated with the point of sales system.
We created a server architecture based in and run almost entirely within the Microsoft Azure ecosystem. Leveraging a micro service architecture, we were able to create a system that can scale to handle peak hours and traffic seamlessly while idling down to save cost during off hours.
Services utilized in the architecture include Azure SQL, Azure Web Apps, Azure Message Queuing, Azure Table Storage and Power BI.