Alpha Software | Case Study: LifeStatus360 Financial Company

 

LifeStatus360 Financial App Case Study

Financial Services SaaS Company Dramatically Reduces Time to Market and Costs with Low-Code Development Platform with Built-in Security



LifeStatus360 Reduces Costs, Develops Faster and Easily Passes Critical Security Audit 

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"Alpha Anywhere made it easy for us to build an enterprise level, highly secure, Software as a Service platform with minimum effort. It's key to expanding our services and gaining new, larger clients."

- Chris Scaramastra, President, Life360

LifeStatus360

LifeStatus360, based in Concord, California, offers death and life audit services to its customers. It provides pension funds, retirement systems, trusts, and insurance companies with information about people's life statuses, including date of birth, address, social security number, obituary information, and location of beneficiaries.

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Speed to Market

Sophisticated app built in hours

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Security

Robust security framework built-in

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Mobile Features

Rich mobile device capabilities including location and image capture

Business Challenge

LifeStatus360's customers subscribe to the service in order to keep down pension costs, ensure compliance with the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) which sets standards for pension plans, to find unclaimed property, and to maintain accurate lists of people's current life statuses. To meet its customers' demands, LifeStatus360 must provide that information speedily and accurately. It subscribes to death information from states' Vital Records departments, and to the Social Security Administration's Death Master File (DMF), and must adhere to very strict privacy requirements. 

The company was using technology powered by Microsoft ASP.NET to run its web site and provide information to customers on a previous Web site called SmallWorldSolutions (www.smworldsolutions.com). It found ASP.NET slow, cumbersome, inflexible, and difficult to work with. 

"We made the decision to rebrand and retool," says LifeStatus360 President Chris Scaramastra. "Our goal was to bring in technology including HTML 5 and CSS 3 that would let us keep up with changes on the Internet, include a built-in security framework, allow for easy updates, and let us offer mobile apps on smartphones and tablets. We were looking for a solution that would let us grow by breaking out of the pack and providing customers with a new way of interfacing and working with PII (personally identifiable information) data."

"Alpha Anywhere is far superior to our previous way of doing things. For example, we can build prototypes and go into production now far more quickly. Alpha Anywhere is constantly upgrading, providing new functions and features, interfaces with multiple data sources (such as SAS, Siebel, and Salesforce)."

Solution

LifeStatus360 chose Alpha Anywhere because of its speed and flexibility for building apps and web sites, ability to quickly make updates, security capabilities, and ease with which it can build web and mobile apps for multiple platforms. 

"Security is built right into Alpha Anywhere," says David Wiley, head of Information Systems & Operations for LifeStatus360. "Beyond that, Alpha Anywhere is far superior to our previous way of doing things. For example, we can build prototypes and go into production now far more quickly. Alpha Anywhere is constantly upgrading, providing new functions and features, interfaces with multiple data sources (such as SAS, Siebel, and Salesforce). The agile development process lends itself well to Alpha Anywhere. With it we can organically develop our solutions to evolve the technology quickly based on our customers' needs, the requirements of the market and government regulation. " 

LifeStatus360 selected Steve Wood to develop the entire application using Alpha Anywhere and MySQL, while following a strict Agile Methodology to control the development process. Because the application required very fast results when searching more than a hundred millions rows of data, Wood deployed a third party indexing utility called Omnidex, from Disc, Inc. Steve has built several dozen applications using Alpha Anywhere and believes this is an ideal route for small, large and enterprise web or mobile applications. 

"Alpha Anywhere gave me all the tools I need in a single, easy-to-use platform," he says. "Particularly useful was its fast prototyping, because we went through many iterations of the Web site before we came to exactly what LifeStatus360 wanted. Moving from prototype to production is very easy as well." 

LifeStatus360 customers use its Alpha Anywhere-created Software as a Service (SaaS) system to get comprehensive information about people's life statuses on a secure web site. They can get the information fast and more easily than with the previous SaaS platform, with a high degree of security. 

The system receives data from LifeStatus360 customers via the company's LS360 File Format. LifeStatus360 developed LS360 File Format Analysis software to assist its customer with data transfers.

"Alpha's built-in security helped us to pass the AltiusIT web application security audit. AltiusIT is an independent third party security audit firm, and this security certification is different from a SOC/SSAE certification because it ensures our data security protocols are the highest in the industry."

Results/Benefits

LifeStatus360 has gained significant benefits from the use of Alpha Anywhere, including reduced costs and faster development time. 

"We would have had to hire additional developers if we had created the new SaaS platform with a different tool," says Wiley. "We did this work with just a two-man shop. With a different tool we would have had to outsource development and hire an entire team. So it saved us a great deal of money." 

Alpha Anywhere also cut the amount of time it took to build the new SaaS platform, reducing the time to market. LifeStatus360 showed versions of the service to its customers, and used their feedback to upgrade the system in weeks. "In our old system, we couldn't have made even those kinds of simple changes in six months," Wiley says. 

Scaramastra adds that with Alpha Anywhere, they were able to build a more modern-looking web site with a far better user interface than if they had used the ASP.NET. 

"One of the great things about Alpha Anywhere is that now that the Web site is finished, it will be easy to port it as a mobile app to Android and iOS," he says. He also says that LifeStatus360 is targeting larger customers, "and because of the software and engineering environment we've built with Alpha Anywhere, its built-in security and its development flexibility, we know we'll be able to easily do that." 

"Alpha's built-in security helped us to pass the AltiusIT web application security audit. AltiusIT is an independent third party security audit firm, and this security certification is different from a SOC/SSAE certification because it ensures our data security protocols are the highest in the industry. AltiusIT doesn't merely do a penetration test, as some of our competitors do, but they do a thorough web application security audit, which was more important to our company."

"We would have had to hire additional developers if we had created the new SaaS platform with a different tool," says Wiley. "We did this work with just a two-man shop. With a different tool we would have had to outsource development and hire an entire team. So it saved us a great deal of money."

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