Social relationships are the lifeblood of community and stakeholder engagement. Mission-driven organizations, such as nonprofits and NGOs, want digital interactions easier for their stakeholders and chapters: connect in real-time, create ad hoc teams, update project channels, connect via in-app messaging, and share collaboration content.
Our client, an NGO SaaS Startup, conceived a platform tailor-made to simplify digital adoption by charities and NGOs. It featured a modern, versatile front-end app, leveraging data, and cloud infrastructure all founded on the economics of SaaS. Organizations targeted were as diverse as Red Crescent/Red Cross groups in Africa to European Chambers of Commerce.
In the digital economy, affiliate and mission-based organizations face the threat of erosion and fragmentation at the hands of social media tech giants. They lack infrastructure and technical resources to build and run modern data and cloud platforms. The NGO SaaS Startup wanted to meet the challenge with a highly adaptable front-end and back-end that could avoid imposing undue burdens of customization on their NGO customers, including
- Versatility across a wide variety of use cases
- Common services from coherent onboarding to billing and metering
- Secure identity management
- Tenant and platform Analytics
Our NGO Startup client needed CloudGeometry to design, build, and operate a versatile end-to-end architecture. Their vision was to serve end-users ranging from occasional volunteers to first responders to association administrators – all of whom could drive momentum in their mission by digitizing personal and organizational productivity. CloudGeometry laid out technology strategies and design patterns by relying on best practices outlined by the AWS SaaS Factory. Key features of the solution:
- Robust identity management is essential to flexible, cost-effective SaaS. Fine-grained user credential structures make authentication seamless across different application services from in-app chat to fundraising. This works by binding data operations for each user to a unique token. This in turns binds the appropriate security and identity access roles through to that NGO’s unique platform services. That securely routes any request across different functions to each isolated tenant-specific database.
- Multi-tenancy delivers another complementary benefit: each tenant NGO gets its own unique admin dashboard. Power-users and analysts get direct insights into how their end-users take advantage of digital connection and interaction.
- CloudGeometry’s SaaS Multi-Tenancy Architecture also delivers automated, granular management processes, built-in. Routine operations, from new tenant deployment to publishing custom mobile apps to the App Store set up for reusability. Each new tenant is deployed with its own incremental database instance on Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL. The RDS database is cloned and pre-populated with active application data, ready-to-consume for tenant app administrators. Using Amazon RDS slashes administrative costs, as DB instances are pre-configured with parameters and settings. Frictionless automated backup frees up precious data management resources for value-added tasks like end-user analytics.
- Consistency across the data environment also simplifies subscription administration. CloudGeometry created a flexible approach to billing and metering services. As a result, the NGO Startup could evolve its SaaS business model by learning from its customers’ real-world experience. Ultimately, the best mix turned out to be a blend of the number of user queries per tenant, a monthly fixed fee, and variable pricing per customer application features deployed.
Backed by CloudGeometry architecture and implementation expertise, this NGO Startup lowered the barrier to digital community building in markets as diverse as Kenya and Korea. Tenant applications are easily customizable, readily configurable across a broad range of use cases – accelerating SaaS platform pay off faster as new opportunities for growth emerge.
Customizable mobile app experience
End-to-end app creation & product management; prototyping, A/B tests, feature iteration, full QA process
SaaS management & operations
Automated infrastructure management rolls changes simultaneously across all tenant environments.
Billing & metering
Integrated subscription management combining application enablement, content operations, and multi-tier sub-accounts