Transforming workplace well-being management

Firstbeat Technologies

NordHero upgraded DevOps routines, helped set up systems for continuous improvement, and assisted Firstbeat in launching and running a game-changing corporate wellness solution, Firstbeat Life.

The Hero

Launched in August 2020, Firstbeat Life is a subscription-based corporate wellness solution for modern workplace well-being management. The solution offers companies the means to monitor company-wide health and wellness and identify potential risks.

From a technical perspective, Firstbeat Life is a full-blown serverless solution running on the AWS cloud. It combines smart reporting for managers, sensors for HRV, and motion tracking, an app that provides stress and recovery insights and personal coaching for additional support and advice. The solution enables staff to monitor their sleep, recovery, stress, and exercise as often as they want and receive helpful insights on the effect of their daily choices and improve their well-being.

The Challenge

In late 2019, the leading provider of well-being and sports technology, Firstbeat Technologies, had implemented significant business changes. The company had renewed its product and the entire Wellness Services -business strategy from a single-purchase model to a subscription-based SaaS-model.

The team had worked vigorously with the development since late 2018. In early 2020, while approaching the commercial launch, they decided to hire more (hands-on) technical development resources to increase the development velocity to secure a successful launch. Furthermore, to genuinely transition their operations to the cloud, the team wanted to enhance its AWS and SaaS-business expertise.

Firstbeat benchmarked half a dozen companies who could do the job and ended up choosing NordHero to help with finalizing their solution.

The Work

From analysis to a prioritized plan of action

NordHero began their work by taking a deep-dive into Firstbeat’s solution architecture, AWS-environment, and team’s current processes. After an in-depth analysis, we compiled a prioritized list of actions that needed to be deployed before the solution could be launched and run before the deadline.

Setting up new processes and routines that support continuous delivery

Our first task was to assist the development team in transforming their weekly routines. The 11 member team needed to shift from a development mindset to a DevOps focus to running the production application. That requires practice even from a talented group of professional developers like the one in Firstbeat. Together with the team, we started to build (DevOps) processes and create routines that allowed the team to release as frequently and as quickly as possible. Our job was to support the team in making continuous delivery a habit of creating a feedback loop where the team would get real user data and feedback from internal users and pilot customers as quickly as possible.

Hands on technical development and implementation

We also worked together with the team to solve technical issues. We helped improve information security with data and communication encryption and helped set up an appropriate firewall solution. We also solved issues related to error management, technical monitoring, proactive problem management, and alert systems.

Setting up KPI -metrics, and dashboards to support continuous improvement and drive customer engagement

In addition to working side-by-side with the developer team in solving tasks before the launch, we helped set up systems that allowed the team and business to monitor and analyze user data once the product was running. Firstbeat had already defined the need for user notifications, emails, and other means to help users get the best out of the solution and increase usage. We helped the team bring these ideas into reality by setting up AWS-tools, KPI -metrics, and dashboards that allowed the team to gain insights from real-time user data/analytics of how the solution was being used performing. This effective feedback loop will enable Firstbeat to improve its service as well as drive customer engagement continuously.

The Outcome

Secure and timely product launch

With the help and assistance of NordHero, Firstbeat was able to launch their solution securely and in time. We were the backup that ensured the solution was both controllable and safe to use for it’s users.

Improved functionalities and systems

Due to our broad experience and understanding of running cloud-based production solutions, Firstbeat improved solution functionalities.

DevOps routines upgraded

We helped the team to learn new routines and processes that enabled continuous, quick delivery. We set up appropriate systems and showed the team how to monitor operations, capacity, and development cycles.

Business meets technology insights and ideas

We shared Firstbeat our best-practices and business insights on how to combine technology and business best. We gave our ideas on controlling roadmaps, creating release plans, and helped define the issues that need to be addressed to best combine technology with monetary business goals.

What was said?

We have been extremely pleased with NordHero throughout our continuing collaboration. Early on we realised that NordHero had just what we needed: outstanding competence and a correct business mindset! They can deliver both technical expertise as well as business and technology insights. They helped and mentored our team to perform better and have shown exceptional commitment towards us and the solution.

- Ilkka Korhonen, CTO, Firstbeat Technologies.

- Ilkka Korhonen, CTO, Firstbeat Technologies.

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