About the Client
Downer Group is one of Australia and New Zealand’s biggest business success stories. With a long and storied history that stretches back to the 19th century, the company has grown to have development interests in many industries, – primarily mining and construction – in Australia and New Zealand. The company employs well over 56,000 people across 300 sites internationally, focusing on homegrown development projects in Australia and New Zealand but also growing in areas like the Asia-Pacific region, South America and Southern Africa.
With that many staff, maintaining clear communication between thousands of staff members and the different facets of the company was an ever-present issue. Downer Group required an application to assist in communication with a diverse and geographically distributed workforce. The web application is to provide an – easy-to-use – intuitive application experience for all users on a myriad of devices, allowing employees to stay connected and informed. To ensure that users in remote areas could read content, the application also needed to work in locations with poor or no network access.
It was clear from the outset that an out-of-the-box Content Management System (CMS) would not fulfil the client’s objectives, so we developed our own using Node.js. We custom built a simple CMS for Downer Connect administrators to draft, edit and post new content. The application was also lightweight enough so that it loaded very quickly, an essential requirement for users who had intermittent connectivity in remote areas.
The application is a ‘web app’ as opposed to a ‘native app’ with the significant difference it incorporated technology that will allow the web app to viewed offline. Given the nature of the web app, it is available to all users on any device due to its responsive nature.
The web application allows for Downer Group to communicate effectively and instantly with its employees without the overhead of logins, registrations or user profile management. With PageUp API integration, new career opportunities within Downer were easily imported into the application. The web app utilises push notifications, is intuitive, visually appealing and gives the appearance of a ‘traditional app’.
The project was a great success, with thousands of Downer’s staff using the application within weeks of its launch.