When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Eurapco were able to share important news stories with the community. The ability to load content easily from anywhere proved especially important as remote working during isolation became the new normal. Eurapco have been able to keep connected and increase engagement with relevant information for the community.
Cover image courtesy of Eurapco.
Creating a branded financial news app in 4 weeks
Belsoft + Huddo
The app has really revolutionised the way we deliver news to our network. Buzzy’s powerful platform means that we can offer much richer features to users, and with the 'no code' approach, it’s quick and simple to set up.
Panagiotis Veliotes, Marketing Communications, Eurapco
Eurapco distributes news content to its network of around 4,000 finance professionals. Traditionally this was done through an e-magazine, but viewership was falling. Users were starting to give feedback that the e-mag wasn’t new or fresh. So Eurapco decided to create an app to deliver news instead. But after hiring an agency and spending several months and thousands of Euros, the project was failing. Users were invited but it didn’t work. Eurapco’s trusted brand was being degraded through the experience, and the CEO needed it fixed fast.
"One key problem was that it was an app built from scratch. There was no existing platform. That means a lot more work to identify all the problems and bugs, rather than having something that you know works and can customise how you like," explains Panagiotis Veliotes, Marketing Communications, who manages Eurapco’s client communications strategy.
But the biggest issue was that the first app was just an app: there was no online version. People could only see the stories if they downloaded the app. That really limited the audience, because it takes a lot more commitment for people to download an app.
Eurapco is an alliance of eight large independent European mutual insurance companies that operate in 16 countries across Europe. Combined, Eurapco partners insure over 43 million Europeans and employ over 63,000 people.
Belsoft provides expert information technology services to the corporate sector, specializing in customised computer systems focusing on traditional and emerging software technologies. Belsoft has partnered with Huddo (formerly Kudos) to deliver easy-to-deploy apps to customers using Huddo Buzzy as an intelligent instant app platform for HCL Connections.
Eurapco turned to its trusted technology partner Belsoft for advice. Belsoft recommended using Huddo Buzzy, a flexible, powerful and quick app creator, that allows online and offline mobile apps to be created with no coding. Buzzy is an intelligent instant app platform for HCL Connections, providing a better way for users to interact with each other.
"Buzzy was selected because of its proven robustness and its speed to delivery. It has a 'no code' approach to app development which meant the main build could be completed in just a few weeks," explains Andreas Ponte from Belsoft.
Eurapco prepared a table of the mandatory features it wanted, as well as examples of the e-magazine and how they wanted it to look. But once they were shown Buzzy’s powerful feature set - which includes app and browser-based access - this soon evolved into a much bigger product.
"When we realised what Buzzy could do - its flexibility and all the features it offers - we started looking at it from another perspective, and our own feature list exploded. We had an Excel sheet that just kept growing," Panagiotis says.
One challenge that Eurapco faced was with passwords. The app needed to be a closed-off app that only people from its network had access to, so some kind of barrier was needed. With Buzzy, Eurapco was able to use log-in tokens instead of passwords, making access much faster and easier.
"We knew the app wouldn’t be something that people use every day, so they would likely not remember their passwords. Now, every time they access it from a new device, they can just get a new login token. So there’s no problem with them losing their password or account," Panagiotis explains.
Overall development was very swift, even though Eurapco was undergoing a major reorganisation at the time. "It was a very easy process, thanks to the team at Buzzy and our partners at Belsoft. Communication was key - they could translate the different problems into terms that non-programmers could understand," Panagiotis says.
Legal requirement checks, under GDPR and other data laws, were carried out. Eurapco then carried out a testing period to get some feedback, which was provided to Buzzy.
"One of the things that we had to review was the emails that people received and make some minor changes in how they were formatted. The most common feedback was that we were missing a Like button - people want to be able to say they’ve read and liked an article - so we’re now working on that," Panagiotis says.
Eurapco now has a financial news app that is worthy of its brand. It allows them to share relevant news and information to financial professionals that drives a greater level of knowledge, engagement and loyalty to Eurapco. Users have responded very favourably, and particularly like being able to access an online version as well as having the app. Eurapco is on track for the app to reach 1,500 downloads this year.
No training or tech support has been needed to manage the app and put content in - "you just show the platform to someone, and then in a couple of minutes they can do it themselves". It’s also easy to upload content from anywhere.
Eurapco also plans to take advantage of all the other features Buzzy offers, such as being able to publish video content. Another goal is for the app to act as a hub where people can collaborate and get easy access to files.