Recently we completed a very interesting project with one of our major clients to develop a Firefox Plugin to give an alternative channel for information for the clients members. Some more details on the Press Release and here is a link to the actual plugin on the Flybuys Website.

During development process and promotion into production a number of points became very clear to us

  • Its Easy! – Fundamentally writing plugins / widgets etc is very straightforward, with lots of documentation and samples available on developer forums and websites. If you are comfortable with a bit of Javascript and a small amount of AJAX then you should have no problems getting a plugin up and running in a short amount of time
  • Its Only Easy on a good architecture… – We were in a fortunate position to be building upon a modern architecture designed by ourselves which had all the important attributes like security and clean interfaces already available to us. The system already has interfaces in place for IVR, WebServices, Public Website and so piggy backing on top of these ensured that the project only ran for weeks and not months
  • Multiplatform – The pluging has been sucessfully tested on Linux, Mac and Windows – and the great thing is that this is a single build that works unchanged across all platforms as it relies on all the hard lifting being performed by the Mozilla community and the Firefox platform. And as predominantly an Enterprise Java Company its interesting there isnt a single line of Java code…
  • Its Fun.The plugin has created alot of interest and sparked more ideas about how best to maintain relationships with your clients. For too long large institutions have relied upon single channels of communication – usually a single monolithic website – but the landscape is changing with channels such as Mobile, Interactive TV, Blogs, Forums etc becoming the norm for an increasingly savvy internet generation. We had a great time working with the marketing department on this one and are looking forward to version 2!
  • In summary, we are very fortunate to be working with such a forward thinking organisation who are willing to try new technologies and different approaches to their members. Using this and building upon a solid architecture with a bit of creative thinking has led us to a product which hopefully is useful to thousands of Flybuys members.

One comment

  1. It’s a neat, elegant enhancement. And a novel way for us members to interact with FlyBuys. Some of us can be serious, if not
    serial points collectors.
    We’ve been used to points info being “pushed” to us quarterly (points statement), or monthly if we like it (email newsletter), and of course websites and call centres allow us to “pull” info whenever we want. But the plug-in – a subtle ever-present reminder – provides a incrementally interesting experience altogether.

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