Background and Challenges
Organisations rely on a variety of critical operational information to make decisions, plan, perform work and service customers and the community. This vital information is typically spread across a number of disparate systems and while the structure, volume, size and complexity of this information varies greatly, most organisations still grapple with the same core challenge of how to take full advantage of operational information at hand?
Over and over again, through the years, many organisations have attempted to solve this challenge through the implementation of project based, on-premise solutions. While most had the best intentions, these project-based solutions often had many limitations and did not deliver the desired levels of business impact and value. In many cases -
Large CAPEX budgets were required as organisations needed to invest significant time and resources as part of the implementation phase of the project
It took many months and often years before an outcome was delivered to the business which provided any value
Significant ongoing resources (FTEs) were needed to manage and maintain the solution and any underlying components such as servers and databases which often had their own separate ongoing licensing costs
It was very difficult to aggregate heterogeneous information from source systems and present it in a meaningful way as organisations struggled to integrate different source systems and shoehorn different data sets into systems which were not designed to handle more than one type of data
Tactical solutions with limited exposure across the business were implemented which focused only on a single type/source of information and in turn resulted in the project ending up being just another information silo
Individual point-based solutions were being implemented by different business areas with similar but slightly different requirements and data effectively costing the organisation double
Separate solutions for different stakeholders were being implemented to make the same information accessible to customers, community members and peer organisations
Solutions quickly became obsolete as emerging new technologies such as mobile were widely adopted which changed user expectations and organisations struggled to raise new capex budget to upgrade the solution and stay up to date
Solutions were too complex for general use by non-technically savvy staff having been designed by specialist users for specialist users
Individual users needed to rely on data scientists to pre-define data queries and create specific views of the operational information for them
Everyone had to start the journey from scratch and invest accordingly without being able to take advantage of the existing capability and lessons learnt from other organisations.
The impact of these limitations often resulted in -
A limited impact on improving business operations
High upfront and ongoing costs
Limited reach across the organisation
Reduced user adoption and utilisation
Critical decisions being made on incomplete, unauthoritative or out of date information
Reduced efficiency and resolution times
Frustrated workers and customers.
In many cases, smaller organisations were often precluded from even exploring how to make operational information more accessible and valuable due to budget and resource constraints.
Having lived and breathed this on-premise, project driven mentality for many years and experienced first-hand the frustrations and pain of these limitations, we came to the obvious conclusion that this approach was fundamentally flawed.
There had to be a better way to derive more value of from their operational information by getting the right information to the right person at the right time without costing a fortune and everyone having to be a data scientist.
After many years of/significant research and development, we applied our decades of collective development know-how and operational expertise to give the world the Elafent Cloud Platform (ECP) and help everyone take full advantage of their operational information.
The Elafent Cloud Platform (ECP) delivers a unique capability in the market, empowering our customers to aggregate and correlate large volumes of heterogeneous data so it can be disseminated in a meaningful, intuitive way that is ready for “human consumption”.
We’ve applied our philosophy of liberating information from disparate silos to drive a seismic shift in how organisations operate and engage with staff, customers and peer organisations. By breaking down the technical, usability and budgetary barriers, everyone can experience the value of having a complete operational picture and understanding the sum of the parts through a common cloud platform.
Simply put, the ECP aggregates, correlates and disseminates operational information to get the right information to the right person at the right time so they can make critical business decisions quickly.
How We Fit In
Supporting information of varying structure from different sources e.g. structured, unstructured and semi-structured
Working with large volumes of complex data
Handling high velocity data which is frequently updating via batch, micro-batch or real-time ingestion
Understanding and extracting key elements within operational data
Dynamic correlation of related information across disparate systems to drive intelligent data driven recommendations
Notification framework which understands the changes in data and keeps staff, customers, community members and peer organisations up to date via in-app, SMS and email notifications
Maintaining custodianship, security, currency, veracity and provenance when sharing data between multiple peer organisations
Intuitive user experience which is simple to use on multiple platforms, enabling users to get up and running very quickly with minimal training
Supporting rich visualisations of data that can be refined, saved and shared to support a variety of business functions and internal and external stakeholders
iOS & Android Support enabling a heterogeneous mix of devices in the field as required by staff, contractors and peer organisations
API Support enabling a huge variety of operational information to be efficiently incorporated into the ECP
SaaS based cloud platform enabling organisations to get up and running quickly and cost effectively with minimal upfront effort and investment and ongoing overheads
Support Mobile Device Management (MDM) based deployments to enforce high levels of device security and data wiping should a device get lost or stolen.
High Level Architecture
The diagram below illustrates at a high level, how operational data from different source systems can be efficiently incorporated into the ECP using Elafent APIs -
Elafent takes significant measures to keep customer data and our systems secure through a holistic and multi-faceted approach which is constantly reviewed and updated to align with best practices.
Key areas of this approach include -
The ECP is delivered from facilities located within Australia
All facilities are ISO 27001 certified.
Automated penetration testing and vulnerability assessments are performed continuously
The ECP receives best Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) threat score of "0.0" indicating no low, medium or high severity vulnerabilities.
Customer data within the ECP is segregated by stringent access control measures
All data transferred between Elafent’s services and our customers is encrypted using SSL over HTTPS.
100% of development is conducted in Australia in alignment with OWASP Secure Coding Practices.
Additional information on Elafent’s comprehensive approach to protecting customer data and our systems can be found in the Elafent Security Whitepaper at https://www.elafent.com/security/whitepaper.
By embracing Operational Optimisation and taking advantage of the ECP, our customers have been able to rapidly transform their business and deliver immediate value to their field and office staff, customers, peer organisations and community stakeholders. Key benefits include -
Reduced time spent searching for operational information
Improved quality of operational decision making
Improved levels of customer and community service
Increased efficiency and reduced issue resolution times
Improved data security and work safety
Reduced operational costs
More engaged community members and customers
Improved coordination and collaboration with peer organisations.