UXaaS - How OneBlink Gave Spotto Customers Access To Create For Purpose Interfaces That Weave Spotto’s Tracking Capabilities

Partnering with OneBlink has enabled Spotto’s partners and customers to quickly create for-purpose interfaces that weave Spotto’s tracking capabilities and ease of setup into very specific solutions where the Spotto user interface alone wouldn’t have met the need.

Paul Rusk & Darren Besgrove     |     11th November 2021     |     5 Minute Read

OneBlink’s Low-code Suite on AWS Powers Low-Effort Digital Transformation

Spotto, headquartered near Sydney, Australia, is a startup with a mission to make real time tracking of equipment as simple and cost effective as possible. Traditionally a highly technical market space, Spotto’s AWS-based solution has been installed in large hospitals and aged care homes. What makes Spotto stand out is that those installations are mostly done by in-house facilities staff rather than specialist teams. It’s providing huge patient benefits by freeing up nurse time to spend on giving care rather than wandering around searching for equipment.

Like many startups, Spotto has focused on a particular market and problem even though the technology could be used in many markets to solve many different problems.

Opportunity knocks, but...

Spotto’s ease of installation and flexibility has now caught the interest and attention of potential customers and solutions partners in other markets outside of healthcare. Customers that also see the value in knowing where equipment is in real time, and like the simplicity that Spotto brings to the setup and operation of tracking.

Some rather large project opportunities beckoned, but Spotto kept seeing a pattern. For these big projects the customers mostly want custom interfaces that are suited to their specific use cases. Spotto’s out-of-the-box user interface, whilst very simple to use, isn’t easily adaptable from its healthcare focus to tracking of high value goods in transit for example, and these emerging customers often need additional features to make the solution truly useful.

Temptation (resist it!!)

Startups always want good revenue opportunities and inroads with large organizations, so it’s tempting, , to make permanent product changes that will get a single project over the line. But Spotto wants to keep its product as streamlined and maintainable (by its small team) as possible and can’t afford to create additional interfaces or add product features that may not be needed by a wide cross-section of customers. Experience tells them thiscreates complexity and maintainability issues further down the track.

Alan Williams Spotto

Low-code to the rescue

What Spotto needed was a way to address the specific needs of a particular customer or project without needing to do additional product development. To be able to quickly create custom interfaces that are easily maintainable and cost effective, yet robust enough to roll out across an enterprise. That’s where working with the AWS-based OneBlink Low-code Suite (LcS) came in.

OneBlink’s Low-code Suite

OneBlink LcS allows you to create custom apps remarkably quickly using a very rich toolkit of app building components that almost anyone can drive. OneBlink has focused their product on rapid building of process-oriented apps for government and larger organisations and so it has lots of tools for integrating with corporate systems as well as having features like approvals workflows, user authentication into Active Directory, data-driven formcreation and much more. Features that would take Spotto years to build into their product, even if it were viable to do so.

Creating an ‘instant’ tracked package solution in days

Partnering with OneBlink has enabled Spotto’s partners and customers to quickly create for-purpose interfaces that weave Spotto’s tracking capabilities and ease of setup into very specific solutions where the Spotto user interface alone wouldn’t have met the need.

A great example is a secure satchel company that wanted to use Spotto to provide a low-cost and flexible tracked delivery capability for evidence that moves from crime scenes to labs. Spotto’s great at knowing where something is and what items are together, so it’s really suitable to underpin the project. But the interfaces for the operators at the crime scene that want to register packages to be tracked, and for the administrators that want a console to see every package that’s being tracked and receive alerts when packages are no longer seen or even separated from each other, are way outside of Spotto’s out-of-the-box interface.

Importantly, Spotto knew that its technology would need to be leverageable by others so early on, built its service both outwards and inwards from the API layer. Every feature of the product is available through an open API.

“There’s no way that we can anticipate all of the use cases people will have for Spotto’s tracking capabilities. Partnering with OneBlink opened up multiple major account opportunities for us because we’re able to pilot customised solutions in hours or days.”

Steve Mann - CTO, Spotto

Using these APIs, OneBlink was able to show, in just a couple of days, how you could create a ‘check-in’ interface for the crime scene operators that would run on their phones and query Spotto APIs for what package tags are being seen, register them together as a ‘tracked journey’ and then create a ‘watchdog’ process to monitor them on the way providing custom SMS or mail messages for when something goes missing.

An all-AWS-based partnership where the whole is much greater than the parts

This partnership has now opened up a whole set of opportunities for Spotto that it could never have addressed by itself, and with both OneBlink and Spotto being based on AWS and conforming to best practices in architecture, these rapidly created solutions are secure, scalable and really cost effective.

What this could mean for your startup

The challenge for most startups is keeping focus on a single, maintainable code base that can be scaled. OneBlink is a great partner that can give you the ability to embed your product in customised solutions that your own interfaces won’t suit, without you having to create domain- or customer-specific functionality. You can open up new solution markets rapidly and with the confidence that everything is underpinned by the AWS infrastructure.