A team of Waverley engineers helped build a web-based SaaS data-driven product for Marketing Departments that automates budget planning and tracking. Waverley’s development efforts helped our client secure seed funding from two major investment firms.
Back in 2019 Waverley was contacted by Plannuh, a Boston-based company building the first AI-driven automation of marketing strategy and tactics. In 2021 Plannuh was acquired by Planful, who continued working with Waverley on the budgeting platform, but within Planful’s ecosystem. Planful is the pioneer of financial performance management cloud software. The Planful platform is used by the Office of the CFO around the globe to streamline business-wide planning, budgeting, consolidations, reporting, and visual analytics. The software solution consolidates marketing plans, budgets, and metrics into a single cloud-based system to guide business decisions based on market trends. A single cloud-based system, the product can be accessed from anywhere for full team collaboration. In 2020 Plannuh raised $4M from Glasswing Ventures and Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture fund.
The project was a referral from the former executive at Plannuh, who used to work with Waverley on multiple projects in the past. The company didn’t have an in-house development team and were looking for a partner to help build their signature SaaS platform in AWS, utilizing Angular for the frontend and Python for the backend. At the time, the client had already created a prototype to validate the idea and needed our expertise to turn the prototype into a full-fledged product they could present to customers.
Waverley assembled a team of software architects, front-end, back-end, DevOps and QA engineers, a Designer, Project Manager and a Business Analyst. We started by evaluating the client’s legacy system. After the assessment, we suggested improvements to ensure system performance and the ability to handle the increasing load of new features. The initial version needed more scalability, lacked the necessary decomposition of components and comprehensive data division into entities.
In order to expand the number of features and improve performance, we created an architectural vision for the technical model, suggested approaches for data storage, and data processing. Throughout our work on the project, the team conducted the refactoring of several parts of the product, simultaneously supporting the old version. The team grew significantly over time and the scope of our work expanded. We rapidly added new functionality to help the client keep up with market demands and investor requirements. Waverley has become a trusted development partner for Plannuh’s and then Planful’s engineering needs.
To increase software maintainability and streamline the development process, our team moved the whole system from on-premise servers to AWS. We migrated the code base, introduced new deployment models, build automation, and transitioned all system components to the cloud. The system now leverages a variety of Amazon’s services as well as Gitlab for Continuous Integration & Continuous Deployment. We are currently investigating the possibility of automating user management and authorization processes and getting ready to move the system to microservices architecture.
The product’s back-end is based on Python 3.7. On the back-end side, our developers started by migrating to a new API, which made the code better structured, more comprehensive, and easier to maintain and connect with the front-end. We also still support the old product API which was developed using Django Rest Framework, updating the Django version from 1.7 to 3.2. The Django-API core was enhanced and decomposed by other microservices, integrations, etc. Some of them use FastAPI.
In addition, we introduced automated documentation (Swagger documentation generation process), which allows easy use of the new API. Our engineers optimized many requests that helped improve page loading speed and general performance. In order to ensure better search experience and reduce the size of the database, we moved Audit Logs from the database to ElasticSearch.
Since the marketing budget system is already used by multiple customers, our engineers work under tight schedules, rapidly implementing new features. For example, we developed a massive expense tab that supports complex data processing and visualization, calculation of marketing budgets, and the creation of charts. Our team delivered the feature in a limited time and ensured high-quality performance.
On the Front-end side, we transitioned the project to a newer version of Angular (when the client turned to us, the system used Angular 4.3, which was no longer supported after the release of version 8). To keep up with the client’s release schedule and make investor milestones for additional funding, our team rapidly delivered a number of large-scale data processing features:
Waverley’s QA professionals were in charge of manual and automated testing of the application UI and API. The team adhered to the main phases of the Software testing life cycle:
Waverley’s development team in Ukraine conducted status calls with the client’s Product Management staff. In addition, they had occasional calls with the client’s CTO to discuss upcoming features and how to prepare for them.
The project team tried several approaches to counting sprints until they settled on a method that satisfied all parties: working in four-week time-bound sprints that end in a demo and product releases to the stage, where the results of the sprint are accessible for the client to review. This way our engineers delivered working versions every four weeks.
Before every sprint, there was a meeting for planning and estimation. All reporting was conducted in JIRA. Code commits and changes to the development lifecycle are performed automatically with the help of pull requests managed by Gitlab.
Plannuh started working with Waverley in March 2019. After their acquisition by Planful we continued providing software development support on this project. Over the years of cooperation, about 17 various specialists from the Waverley side were involved in this project. The system is currently part of Planful’s larger solution for corporate finance management which is used by over 1,300 companies worldwide.
To find out more please see the client’s review on Clutch.