Personal Group Uses Outsystems to Develop ‘Hapi’ Employee Engagement Solution

Personal Group was impressed by the Outsystems low-code development platform owing to its large user base and use cases including creating enhanced digital experiences.

(Image from Personal Group’s “Work Happy” publicity campaign.)

Personal Group PLC, a London-based provider of employee benefits and insurance products, has used the OutSystems (Atlanta) low-code development platform to create what the vendor characterizes as an innovative employee benefits platform named Hapi.

Ashley Doody, CIO, Personal Group.

The Hapi platform is designed to make staff happier and more engaged at work through a suite of HR services and employee benefits, with the purpose of improving morale and productivity and thus benefiting both employee and employer client. The solution provides employees with a single point of access to a range of different services and third-party solutions. Currently, Personal Group works with more than 2 million U.K. employees across 550 organizations providing a range of services to improve happiness and productivity in the workplace, Outsystems reports.

In the past, Personal Group had depended on third parties to provide a white label platform that it could resell, according to an Outsystems statement. However, Personal Group wanted greater control over the development effort. Personal Group’s IT team typically worked in a Microsoft development environment and coded in C# ASP.Net or Delphi, but opted this time to upgrade its development environment using a modern low-code approach.

Outsystems says that Personal Group chose the vendor because company leadership was impressed by its large and successful user base that displayed a wide variety of use cases including creating enhanced digital experiences.

A Technology to Realize Hapi’s Full Potential

“From the outset, we had a clear vision in mind and we wanted to work with a technology partner who could help us realize Hapi’s full potential,” comments Ashley Doody, CIO, Personal Group. “We wanted to accelerate the development of the platform while leveraging the skills and capabilities we had in-house and minimizing the amount of additional technology recruits needed to get the platform to market quickly. We also needed to ensure the platform could service a high and growing number of customers and users. OutSystems and a low-code development environment was the perfect answer.”

Richard Tilbury, Director of Development, Personal Group.

Personal Group plans to expand on its success with public sector organizations, especially within the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) and local government, where the company reports that the new platform has been very well received by HR departments. The company is preparing an initiative to create a mobile app, using the OutSystems platform to simultaneously develop a solution for iPhone, iPad and Android. Personal Group plans to launch the app in the third quarter of 2017.

“With OutSystems we have a development platform that produces a solution that scales across multiple servers without the need to specifically code for this,” comments Richard Tilbury, Director of Development, Personal Group. “Low-code, while initially scary for some developers, is a win for us. The tool is visual, the developer works with flowcharts, and this makes the usual troubleshooting of issues much quicker, as the developer is not having to read through pages of code. OutSystems allows us to turn around new developments quickly.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For over a decade he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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