Takamol B2B
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3 weeks ago
Egovernment

Takamol B2B Online Marketplace:

Takamol is a Saudi Arabian government owned limited liability company incorporated to provide services for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and thereby contribute to the development of the non-oil economy in the country. Takamol was owned by Ministry of Labor (MoL), Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) and Technical and Vocational training Corporation (TVTC) which are collectively known as MoLPlus.

A key element of their strategy was creation of an On-Line Marketplace for SMEs to trade amongst themselves. The On-Line Marketplace aimed to bring in a set of efficiencies into the market by helping buyers and sellers find each other easily, enhance credibility of buyers and sellers through a registration and neutral party  verification system and an online order management system for ease of buying and selling.

The website handles contents of two different languages - English and Arabic which is essential for a B2B site.

English:

Takamol Engishl

 

Arabic:

Takamol Arab

Web URL: https://www.910ths.sa/ (The website has undergone further modifications since our engagement with them was completed in early 2016)

Year: 2015

A detailing of the On-Line Marketplace we built is presented below.

Broad user epic(s) : B2B service primarily constitutes of companies within Saudi Arabia to register on the 9/10ths portal in order to help them Buy and Sell products or Services.

Broad User Epics

There are two main user roles to take into consideration in this service; Buyers and sellers. Buyers are companies trying to find product/services in Saudi Arabia and Sellers are companies trying to find customers in Saudi Arabia. The following are brief outlines of the epics of features implemented for this service.

1. For a Buyer

  • Creating a Request
  • Browse products
  • Contact potential suppliers
  • Receive interest from potential suppliers
  • Watch list
  • Rate products

2. For a Seller

  • Creating a product/service catalogue
  • Browse requests for quotation
  • Contact potential customers
  • Receive request from potential customers
  • See similar opportunities
  • Check competition
  • Display related products to main products
  • CRM

3. Common features for both Buyers and Sellers

  • Social media Sharing
  • Create a team profile
  • Auto-matching
  • Tag companies
  • Rate companies

Why was Drupal chosen? An ecommerce solution must incorporate a robust content management system if it is to provide a platform for ongoing success.  Drupal is secure, scalable and flexible by default. This is why most government websites including the whitehouse, india govt., australian govt., etc have used Drupal exclusively for their official and internal sites. This is why TakaMoL also went with Drupal. 
This project is a very large and complex one requiring features like multi-lingual support, multi-domain, SEO, high traffic and so on. Also, Drupal is a CMS with framework like features and it is easy to build anything over it by extending it’s core features. This is why Drupal 7 was chosen.  There is no other CMS framework providing all these features out of the box.

Architecture solution and delivery methodology adopted

Platform and tools: Drupal 7

Modules Used: Entity, ECK, Drupal Chat, Media, Rules, Apache Solr, Facet API, Voting, Fivestar
Third Party Integration: Apache Solr.

Development Infrastructure: LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP); 2 webservers and 2 database servers were used for load balancing.

Delivery Methodology: Continuous integration with Jenkins build server

Development Model: We had used Agile methodology in this project as there were high degrees of complexity due to which requirements could not have been elaborated upfront and aggressive deadlines were to be met.
Here the Product Owner was the Client Engagement Manager from Takamol who was responsible for maintaining the Product backlog which initially contained the prioritised, high level user stories. These high level user stories were broken down into smaller well defined user stories in a series of workshops, onsite at Saudi. The unclear requirements were pushed to the back of the backlog and developed into smaller user stories in an iterative manner throughout the project. A scrum team consisting of 1 business analyst, 7 developers and 2 testers was constituted and was led by Zyxware project manager/Scrum Master. The sprint cycle was 3 weeks. The cycle started with the sprint planning session and ended with a client walkthrough/demo and a sprint retrospective meeting. During the sprint planning session, story points were assigned based on the relative complexity of the user stories. During the build, while the developers worked on the build, the testers designed the test cases. As and when user stories were completed, testing was done and defects were addressed. Daily scrum meetings were conducted. After the first sprint the team capacity was determined via velocity which helped in sizing the future sprints. After each sprint, an incremental piece of the product was demonstrated to the customer for feedback. Any new requirements were added to the product backlog and prioritised.

Duration (calendar months) of the project : 5 Months

Approximate person months in the project:

Project Manager 5 Months
Assistant Project Manager 3 Months
Business Analyst 2.5 Months
Solutions Architect 2.5 Months
Technical Architect 5 Months
Developer 50 Months
Tester 20 Months

Summary of Deliverables:

Responsive Theme :
The portal has a responsive frontend which will help users to view the portal in different devices - desktop, tablets and mobile phones

Content Management:
Ability to create and manage product catalogues.
Option to create and display information regarding trade enquiries, events, exhibitions, trade fairs in different products in India and abroad. 
Option to send business enquiries for a product/catalogue and ability to view the enquiries. 
Ability for rating of products and companies.

Multilingual Content:
The website handles contents of two different languages - English and Arabic which is essential for a B2B site.

CRM:
B2B Portal Admin can,
view Requests they have posted. 
view the request detail page which shows the ‘Request Details’ and ‘Responses’ from different companies as separate tabs. It also shows the ‘Similar Requests’ and ‘Qualified for this Requests’ as separate tabs.
B2B Portal user can view similar opportunities details and competitor details,on opportunities detail page.
flag opportunities as leads
view their own leads
manage leads by changing its status, stage and adding remarks.
generate quotes for customers from the leads
view statistics like number of opportunities, leads, closed leads.
manage watch list by viewing all items in the list and can remove items from it.
view contact list of companies and customers contacted to them as separate tabs.
manage approval of pending requests.

Custom Multilingual Search:
Apache Solr is used to index the content in the website to provide faster searching. To enhance this search with filters, we use Facet API.

Multilingualsearch

Social Media Sharing:
The company profiles, products/services and requests can be shared to social media – Facebook, twitter and so on.
 


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