Soaq, a tech startup from Montreal, set out to solve one of the biggest challenges that large organizations face: employees gloss over memos, ignore video training, and generally fail to engage internal corporate communications.

Getting thousands of employees on the same page is a bit like herding cats, but Soaq CEO Daniel Wolfe believed things could be different. He and his fellow co-founders were convinced that an intelligent video platform with the right features could make content “sticky,” boost employee engagement, and align entire organizations.

The Challenge: Making the Vision a Reality

The Challenge: Making the Vision a Reality

Daniel and his team are “idea” people. It was 2015, and they were witnessing the rising popularity of YouTube, Vimeo, and Snapchat.

They knew video could revolutionize corporate communications, but only if the platform were uniquely designed for the demands of big business, with features like:

  • A highly usable interface that employees would enjoy using
  • Machine learning that recommends relevant videos
  • Tracking to ensure employees watch mandatory videos
  • Flexible access and permission systems
  • Powerful search filters so end-users can find relevant content
  • Tools to easily segment videos for departments, teams, and other groups

Soaq had the vision, but they needed a technical partner to build the platform. Enter Net Solutions.

Could Net Solutions build Soaq’s Flagship product… from another continent?

Could Net Solutions Build Soaq’s Flagship Product… from Another Continent?

Daniel and his team came to Net Solutions because they needed technical partners who could work side-by-side with them brainstorming, planning, and implementing elegant solutions for the innovative features they dreamed up. They also needed a partner with the capacity to scale up resources as their business grew and market expectations evolved.

One concern Daniel had was whether they could work efficiently and effectively with a team on the opposite side of the world, but those fears quickly evaporated.

Despite the time differences between Net Solutions’ offices in India and our offices in Montreal, they still were able to accommodate us by working closer to our hours and ensuring the communication channels were going to be open for us.

Daniel Wolfe

Daniel Wolfe

CEO, Soaq Soaq

Two Phases for Building an Intelligent, Flexible Platform from the Ground up

The architects, designers, and engineers at Net Solutions understood that, in order to build a platform that “sticks”—one that people use, love, and recommend—they couldn’t start blindly coding. Instead, they took a systematic approach toward building a product that Soaq’s customers would come to love.

Phase 1: Discovery

Phase 1: Discovery

Net Solutions assigned a Business Analyst (BA), a User Experience (UX) Analyst, and a Technical Architect (TA) who each worked with Soaq to clearly identify and document the scope of the project. Deliverables included the following:

  • High-level Release Backlog: The UX team created an Excel document that listed general steps in the user’s story (e.g., login, sort videos, play videos) based on in-depth interviews with Soaq. Net Solutions then received Soaq’s buy-in to ensure accuracy
  • Design Framework: Net Solutions produced a complete collection of screen mockups for every step in the user experience, presented as a flow chart to demonstrate where each click leads. This was an iterative document, so the UX team and the BA worked hand-in-hand with Soaq’s team to get it right.
  • Application Architecture & Technology Stack: The TA worked with the BA and the UX team to determine the technology and procedures they will use to create a fully-functioning Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The application architecture chart identifies things like 3rd-party integrations along with browser, database, and server requirements.
Phase 2: Development, Release, and Continual Improvement

Phase 2: Development, Release, and Continual Improvement

Net Solutions then presented a Proof of Concept PoC to Soaq, outlining the proposed UX, design, and technical specifications required to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

Once the PoC was approved, the team began development using Agile and Scrum methodologies, which means eventually releasing an MVP to the market, gathering feedback, and continually improving the product with each iteration.

A Dedicated Resource

Rather than hiring developers on a per-project basis, Soaq prefers to use Net Solutions’ dedicated resource model, working with the same professionals who know their product intimately. This allows them to continually improve their product and capture greater market share.

Soaq prefers to use Net Solutions’ dedicated resource model, is that we were able to build up a team at Net Solutions with skills and expertise that we really needed. As we come up with new ideas and new iterations, we’ll keep working with the same people at Net Solutions, and that’s perfect for us.

Daniel Wolfe

CEO, Soaq

The result: An innovative Product that Companies Love

Soaq’s collaboration with Net Solutions resulted in the world’s first intelligent, widely-adopted enterprise video solution, which made Gartner’s 2018 List of Cool Vendors in Content Services.

Soaq’s Video Player Features...

Soaq: An ever-evolving product

Soaq: An Ever-evolving Product

Over the years, Net Solutions has continued to improve Soaq’s product based on end-user feedback to include features such as

  • Powerful Administrative Tools: Allowing managers to send quizzes to endusers, ensuring they viewed and understood mandatory content.
  • Better Options for Live Streaming: Integrating a live stream through Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Wowza, with the option to save and replay content later.
  • Support for Multiple Languages: Making the platform completely configurable for multiple languages through language pack functionality.

Working with Net Solutions for the past 5 years has reinforced our decision to not only outsource some of our software development but also to continue working with them as our partner. I recommend Net Solutions without hesitation to any team who is looking to scale their team & increase technical capabilities.

Daniel Wolfe

Daniel Wolfe

CEO, Soaq Soaq

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