Situation

A leading solutions provider of high end software design and IT application development to companies worldwide, Augmentum stands out for its ability to develop exceptional user experiences on the Microsoft platform. This ability, allied with the professionalism and caliber of its development team, was a key factor for Wynn Macau selecting Augmentum to develop an enterprise wide system. Now deployed, this solution will empower Wynn’s people to connect across the organization’s integrated casino, restaurant, retail, and hotel operations.

“Our approach to the Wynn project and to business software development in general is to focus on the user experience. People are more productive when the business applications they use are as engaging, intuitive, and interactive as the video games they play for fun,”says Wayne Hom, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President, Augmentum.”We are fairly unique in bringing the user into our development process at a very early stage.”

Solution

This approach requires a cost-effective development environment that allows the early creation of prototypes of agile, feature-rich applications with visually rich interfaces.

Benefits

Prototype Modeling For Early User Input

“The Microsoft development platform provides a visual experience much earlier than is possible on other technologies, allowing us to bring users into the design process at a very early stage and ultimately facilitating user satisfaction,”explains Hom.

At Augmentum, Expression Studio and Visual Studio serve as a prototyping, modeling and storyboarding tool. Users look at a real prototype of the application on screen, rather than read a lengthy document about it. This makes it much easier for them to accurately communicate their requirements to the design and development teams.

Fast, Cost-effective Development

The Microsoft environment also directly facilitates fast, cost-effective development.

“This is a very productive development environment, with integrated toolsets, common programming models, complete end-to-end scenarios, and plenty of online support materials,”says Hom. “And this means faster time-to-market and lower costs for our customers.”

In fact, the development of high-fidelity user interfaces used to be cost-prohibitive for enterprises.

“The visually rich video game-quality 3D interfaces that were once the preserve of large teams of hardcore developers can now be built rapidly and cost-effectively with WPF, making them affordable for the enterprise,”he continues.

The Wynn Macau solution was developed in just 6 months. It runs on 64-bit SQL Server® and Windows Server® with Active Directory® , and SQL Server Express on the desktop.

Software Solution To Meet Business Need

Wynn Macau had a number of requirements that Augmentum was able to successfully deliver via its Microsoft development environment and integrated methodology:

  • A rich user experience in two languages — English and Chinese;
  • A rapidly adaptable and extensible solution;
  • A highly secure service-oriented architecture; and
  • Ease of use and minimal training.

“Staff required weeks of training on Wynn Macau’s previous software system. In contrast, the new solution requires only 60 minutes training and does not warrant a user manual—and yet staff members now make far fewer data input errors,”concludes Hom.

“This is a great example of what’s possible when developers, designers, and users come together and really understand one another.”