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Envoc Gets Spotter App to Market Faster With Windward

"Windward helped us meet our customers’ specific reporting needs and get ourproduct to market faster." — Barbara Lasseigne, Product Manager, Envoc


Full-service digital agency Envoc got their new mobile inspection-process application to market faster by implementing Windward, and the company was better able to serve their customers by providing them with highly customized reports.

The Company

Envoc is an award-winning full service digital agency and the maker of Spotter, a customizable mobile app for iPad and Android tablets. Spotter streamlines the inspection process by capturing inspection information in the field for immediate analysis and reporting. With Spotter, clients are able to create and manage their own inspection questionnaires and put all of their valuable inspection information to use as it is captured.

Spotter was designed for industrial users, including those in the oil and gas, chemical, work boat and manufacturing industries, to help improve safety and reporting, asset management, compliance audit performance and overall efficiency and cost savings. Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Envoc was founded in 1997 and customers include Calumet Specialty Products Partners, Quanex Building Products and Lamar Advertising Company.

The Challenge

During the early development phases of the Spotter product, Envoc established the following requirements for the application. Spotter must be able to handle:

  • Signature capturing
  • Access to previous inspection answers for reference
  • GPS location capturing and tracking
  • Routing of inspections between users
  • Text and email alerts on flagged questions, including photos, descriptions and GPS location
  • Follow-up editing for clean reporting
  • Follow-up attachments for work orders, repairs, etc.

One of the challenges Envoc faced was to create or identify a reporting component that would allow for several of these key features. In addition, Spotter customers likely would have specific, mandated template and report output requirements, and the reporting feature must fully address those needs. Envoc was using a basic solution that wrote HTML or HTML-to-PDF reports, but the process was time consuming and the output was less than ideal.

The Solution

Envoc Founder and President, Calvin Fabre, conducted research with his team and narrowed the selection process to three options. The team decided upon the Windward Solution because of three main factors:

  1. Speed to market. Envoc specializes in a wide range of custom software development, but reporting applications are not a part of their core competency. By outsourcing the reporting component, Envoc was able to embed reporting capabilities into the Spotter application quickly and get the product to market faster than would have otherwise been possible.
  2. Ease of integration. “Windward was really easy to integrate into the Spotter code,” said Product Manager Barbara Lasseigne. In order to integrate the Windward engine into an application, all that’s required is to embed just 14 lines of code.
  3. Specific output capabilities. Envoc customers require output that allows for embedded photographs, is formatted so that it meets government regulations, and is customizable so that management and customers receive reports and documents in the exact layout they need. Windward allowed Spotter to meet all these requirements.

Envoc integrated the Windward .NETStandard Server Engine (2 cores) and the.NET Test Server Engine, and the companyalso invested in 2 template design tool licenses. Envoc programmers create the templates in the Microsoft Office add-in AutoTag, and the templates can then bemodified depending upon the individual customer’s needs.

“Our developers and our Q&A staff find the template design tool very easy to use,”Lasseigne said.

The Results

After implementing Windward, Envoc was able to:

  • Design and modify templates quickly and easily. Because AutoTag is an add-in for Microsoft Office, Envoc developers can easily build and edit report templates using a design tool they’re familiar with. AutoTag is so easy to use, some Envoc customers are using the tool to modify reports themselves.
  • Display photos, digital signatures and other vital customer assets in reports. One of the selling points of Spotter is that the application allows Envoc customers to include not just text but other types of information, such as photographs and digital signatures, in reports. Windward enables Envoc to marry all that information in one place.
  • Generate reports in the exact layout required. Thanks to the flexibility and customization allowed when designing reports in AutoTag, Envoc customers are able to meet a variety of government, internal and customer report layout requirements.
  • Create PDF outputs using Microsoft Word. The Windward solution can generate reports and documents in a variety of outputs, including Office formats, HTML and PDF.

“When we built Spotter, we had specific reporting needs that our customers required,” Lasseigne said. “Windward helped us meet those needs and get our product to market faster.”

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