Friday 19 June 2020

Argos: a business application
that lends a helping paw

OVERHAUL AND UPGRADES OF THE SPA'S BUSINESS APPLICATION

Since 2015, SQLI has assisted the SPA (French society for the protection of animals) with the overhaul and upgrades of its business application called Argos. This digital platform brings together all actions carried out by employees, as well as the data generated by their actions. Argos is therefore the nerve centre of the organisation's activities.

Argos: an essential application for the organisation's work

Previously, the SPA used a management tool for its operations that was 15 years old and had become obsolete. The animal shelters and head office needed to be able to coordinate all operational activities (including management of the animals, people, care provision, transfers and accounts). The organisation entrusted SQLI with its ergonomic and functional overhaul, with the aim of creating a platform containing the various management modules, offering high performance, reliability and availability.

Availability was a major requirement, in order to ensure constant support for employees in carrying out their daily tasks. It was also essential to ensure reliability, in order to generate quality data, which would then be consolidated and centralised.

Argos: a unifying application

SQLI created the new interface using the .NET MVC framework, hosted in Azure. The choice of a Microsoft environment was based on the technological expertise of SQLI's teams and the SPA's ecosystem, in order to provide homogeneity with its existing tools (mailbox, authentication management, etc.).

Thanks to the overhaul of Argos, data is available in real-time from any site in the network, making it easier for employees to share information. Data contained in Argos is sent to the showcase website for the general public via an API, in order to input information into the animal adoption section, thereby avoiding the need to enter data twice and reducing the risk of errors. Argos was transformed from an application that was showing its age to a shared central tool for the entire SPA, embraced by all users. Not only are automation and digitisation facilitating the work of staff in the field and head office teams (with time savings and reduced administrative workload), and standardising work methods, they are increasing the feeling of belonging and engagement in the organisation. 

An upgradeable future to work more effectively

Today, Argos has achieved the objectives of stability and reliability, making it possible to envisage new upgrades and further enhance the tool. In addition, the SPA is planning to create a user club in order to gather their feedback and needs, and be able to put forward suitable propositions. Ergonomic upgrades are already in the pipeline, as well as new functional building blocks:

  • Volunteer management: internal monitoring to enable the organisation to promote the work of volunteers at the Court of Audit
  • Management of investigations into animal cruelty: centralisation of the 14,000 annual investigations, monitoring of administrative and legal cases, etc.
  • Management of partnerships with local authorities: automation of administrative management, definition of the geographical coverage of pounds, etc.)

 

SQLI's team has also launched an artificial intelligence project with the aim of helping the SPA's employees and volunteers efficiently enter data related to animals received in their shelters. The team is training an AI machine to be able to automatically recognise the species, race and other characteristics of an animal. This recognition is based on a cognitive model (an algorithm is used to train the AI, based on a collection of 60,000 photos).

"A solid relationship of trust has been built with SQLI, which has become an essential partner for us. Their teams show professionalism and responsiveness, and are able to adapt to our priorities. We are fortunate to be assisted by SQLI," states Bruno Lhoste, CIO, SPA

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