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iDPARC: Bringing citizens and governments closer together with support from Google Cloud

About iDPARC

iDPARC is a Swiss company from Bern and creator of DocGenie®, a SaaS solution for government agencies, law firms, and insurance companies to efficiently digitize their applications and claim processes.

Industries: Technology
Location: Switzerland

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A Swiss company leverages Google Cloud capabilities to store and process data locally and focus on innovating workflows for customers, helping citizens to receive essential services faster.

Google Cloud results

  • Empowers internal engineers to complete 80% of platform migration within days with intuitive tools and thorough documentation
  • Frees up developers to focus on added-value tasks instead of managing infrastructure with GKE managed services
  • Speeds up onboarding processes from one day to one hour with access to working apps through Google Workspace
  • Simplified product architecture and supported 10X more customers with same number of employees
  • Has saved the company one day of work per week, which is now used to develop the product and focus on customer needs

6.7x faster recovery speed in failover scenarios

In times of social distancing, many relationships move online, and those between citizens and public service providers are no exception. So when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Switzerland, more than 167,200 companies applied for 1.76 million workers to be furloughed, local government agencies needed to quickly adjust to supporting its citizens virtually. PDF forms were too simplistic because they could not calculate and validate the eligibility of applicants’ claims. Complex insurance rules were therefore encoded into an Excel sheet that applicants needed to download, fill out and send in via email. This led to version discrepancies and increased fraud due to some applicant’s modifying the model to get favorable outcomes.

Thanks to iDPARC’s DocGenie® Platform, the entire application process was rethought, implemented and delivered in only six weeks. Those Excel-based models were easily translated into a DocGenie configuration, without any coding, and thus business as well as workflow rules could be enforced across the entire application process. Thanks to the fact that the DocGenie Platform was already operational on Google Cloud in the Zurich region, the entire project could be prototyped, implemented, tested, and rolled out within six weeks.

“We’re a small team focused on simplifying complex bureaucratic processes for public service providers. Google Cloud lets us focus on that with managed services and the option to locate our applications in Switzerland so we can meet the latency, availability, and security requirements of our customers. It made perfect sense.”

Tanju Erinmez, CTO and co-founder, iDPARC

Technology can help organizations to solve this challenge during busy times, which is one of the reasons why COVID-19 acted as a wake-up call to push investing into end-to-end digitalization.

For a decade before the pandemic, Swiss company iDPARC had already been aware of the important role digitalization can play when it comes to simplifying and improving bureaucratic processes, so it developed its flagship solution, DocGenie. It has a mission to help local public service providers to deliver services to citizens faster and hassle free. Today, iDPARC helps government agencies, law firms, and insurance companies to create more efficient administrative processes by automating document creation, consolidating the administration of documents in one central location to simplify correspondences with customers, and implementing security best practices throughout all respective business processes. As Tanju Erinmez, CTO and co-founder of iDPARC, says, "Nothing makes me happier than knowing I'm radically simplifying the professional lives of my customers."

Because iDPARC places data privacy and security at its heart, when Switzerland reinforced its Federal Data Protection Law in March 2019, the engineer knew that he couldn't store his SaaS platform anywhere other than within Swiss borders in order to serve his local customers. iDPARC also knew that selecting the right infrastructure partner would be critical to boosting its development. As it gained new customers, the company struggled with the investment associated with managing and scaling its former, on-premises infrastructure. So it began looking for a more cost-effective infrastructure that could support the business expansion with managed services, while still storing customers’ data locally in order to comply with data sovereignty requirements. iDPARC turned to Google Cloud, which had just launched a region in Zurich that same year.

“We’re a small team focused on simplifying complex bureaucratic processes for public service providers. Google Cloud lets us focus on that with managed services and the option to locate our applications in Switzerland so we can meet the latency, availability, and security requirements of our customers. It made perfect sense,” explains Erinmez.

"The level of engineering of GKE impressed us immediately. Combined with Google Cloud Regional SSD, we got low latency, high throughput, and high availability. Our recovery speed improved by six times, and GKE also freed us from management tasks with auto-scaling."

Tanju Erinmez, CTO and co-founder, iDPARC

Giving customers control over their data with local storage

Ten years after its launch, iDPARC had started redesigning DocGenie into a containerized platform in order to increase speed and control liabilities in case of updates. But as iDPARC gained new customers, its small team of developers quickly realized that managing each container manually wasn’t going to be a sustainable solution. Looking for a more efficient way to orchestrate its containers, iDPARC turned to Kubernetes. Impressed with the open source solution, Erinmez and his team sought to go one step further and experiment with ways to automatically deploy, manage, and scale Kubernetes. This led iDPARC to consider migrating from its on-premises infrastructure to Google Cloud in order to free up its internal resources from managing infrastructure with Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).

Meanwhile, because DocGenie provides essential services to customers, downtime is not an option. So iDPARC tried pushing the computing power of its previous infrastructure to its limits with multiple failover scenarios between multiple availability zones, and used a similar use case as a proof of concept to determine whether the migration would be an improvement. When recovery would take about 100 seconds in its previous infrastructure, the iDPARC team was impressed it took only 15 seconds with GKE.

Speed is not only essential in case of recovery. Erinmez saw also the potential to delegate the failover system to Google Kubernetes Engine altogether and deliver a more reliable SaaS solution for customers while reducing complexity in the product architecture. "The level of engineering of GKE impressed us immediately; combined with Google Cloud Regional SSD, we got low latency, high throughput, and high availability, a game changing proposition; it was easy to get started with single-click regional clusters and not only did our recovery speed improve by six times, GKE also freed us up from management tasks with auto-scaling," says Erinmez.

Thanks to the detailed documentation, the iDPARC team was able to complete 80% of its infrastructure migration to Google Cloud in a matter of days. Soon enough, iDPARC started leveraging Google Cloud Regional SSD together with Cloud Key Management so that data is automatically encrypted at rest while addressing the different customer needs for owning encryption keys. iDPARC’s support team is now freed up from managing all those infrastructure aspects and constantly performing security-related tests. This alone, Erinmez estimates, has saved his company one day of work per week, which his team now dedicates to improve the DocGenie product and focus on customer needs. Testament to this success is the fact that iDPARC has 10 times more customers compared to two years before the migration, without having expanded the team.

Bringing team members closer together with security and agility in mind

Erinmez also shared how Google Workspace has made a difference to the company’s growth. With the ability to manage all the roles and access permissions in one place with Google Workspace security and trust tools, developers and support staff are free to collaborate even across Google Cloud resources in real time without the risks of deleting company data or sharing it with the wrong person. And because Google Workspace has made application provisioning easier and faster, by giving team members access to their work tools through just one Google account, onboarding processes that used to take one day now only take one hour.

But knowing that DocGenie is used to handle sensitive data of individuals or companies, iDPARC takes the responsibility of keeping this data secure very seriously. So iDPARC employees can only access their work tools with a two-factor authentication which involves a personal physical security key that automatically signs the URL the browser sees, and sends this to the Google servers that verify this circumstance. This makes phishing attempts with bogus websites impossible. iDPARC’s journey towards a zero-trust security model is leading the company towards the ISO 27001 (information security management) certification.

Offering new premium services without additional development needed

As a company that focuses on solving business challenges with intelligent and innovative solutions, it didn’t take long for iDPARC to look for more opportunities to leverage its new infrastructure in order to further improve its way of working.

Selecting BigQuery as its new data warehouse, iDPARC removed the need for a bespoke system to analyze activity indicators for reporting purposes and started to enable customers to view their own data reports by plugging the data warehouse to a Looker Studio connector.

“It’s never been easier to empower customers with an overview of their own activity and for us to execute further analysis, all in one place. When customers realize how easy it is to access their data via these customizable reports and dashboards, they ask us for more, and that’s the best feedback we could have hoped for,” shares Erinmez of his experience.

Spurred by the positive feedback, iDPARC is considering the possibility of using Looker as its new business intelligence platform to offer customers an even more elaborate, white-label dashboarding interface in the future.

“In two years, we doubled our Google Cloud investment but saw a big increase in business with our new ways of working. We’re more secure, collaborative, and agile, and we serve 10 times more customers without having grown our team. And this is just the beginning.”

Tanju Erinmez, CTO and co-founder, iDPARC

Looking forward to bringing more innovation to customers worldwide

Erinmez and iDPARC have already proved how being innovative and agile about product development and business decisions can lead small players to compete with local industry leaders.

Next, iDPARC plans to expand internationally, starting with Germany, where Google Cloud has one region to meet growing demand for cloud services in the country. Meanwhile, from a technology point of view, Erinmez has already started investigating with his team into Google Cloud AI capabilities, which could level up DocGenie's game with image analysis to help customers boost efficiency and quality control when reviewing documents.

“In two years, we doubled our Google Cloud investment but saw a big increase in business with our new ways of working,” says Erinmez. “We’re more secure, collaborative, and agile, and we serve 10 times more customers without having grown our team. And this is just the beginning.”

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About iDPARC

iDPARC is a Swiss company from Bern and creator of DocGenie®, a SaaS solution for government agencies, law firms, and insurance companies to efficiently digitize their applications and claim processes.

Industries: Technology
Location: Switzerland