Next Generation Consumer Engagement - Updated

Stephanie Hutchings
06-Jul-2020 10:34:08

In January 2020, Gladstone kicked off a brand new project with an unprecedented investment to completely re-develop its consumer-facing software for online joining and booking. 

Where there are currently three products, Join@Home, Connect and our kiosk software, each using a different code base, we will use the latest technologies to create an entirely new solution.  This new modular development will provide consumers with a seamless journey, from initial sign-up for membership, to making their first activity, or class booking. 

Our vision doesn't stop here. Our new consumer modules will continue to evolve after their first release, connecting previously disparate parts of your customer's journey with the management of your facility; in time, this may include PT bookings or a creche, as well as features like guidance on nutrition, VR and interactive streaming studio classes through a certified marketplace of content and services, such as MoveAnywhere.  We called this special 12-month project, Signify.

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The first objective for project Signify was to reimagine the way consumers complete the join and book process in a mobile first world.  Secondly, it was vital that this new technology would also be compatible with Gladstone's existing signature platform so that all customers could take advantage of it from its first release. 

So, what does this new consumer experience look like - well, a user might be sitting on a train, using a mobile phone when they select and sign up for a membership subscription package, they might be at home on a laptop while they book a yoga class and a creche space for the following day, or they might be in-centre at a kiosk to book and pay for a casual swim.  No matter how they choose to access your services, they’ll have the same smooth and enjoyable experience.

This is such a significant investment for Gladstone, that we chose to go about it in a new way.  To begin with, we created a SIG – or Special Interest Group – that provided us with clear industry requirements.  The SIG is a customer panel, a small group of operators who are involved at every step of the design and development process, ensuring that we get the basics right first time, but also that we future-proof and innovate.  We completed our first round of workshops with the SIG members back in February 2019 and took away detailed requirements to work up.

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Project Signify was the cornerstone of the Gladstone 2025 roadmap to deliver a modern cloud native platform architecture, the first of its kind in Leisure. Given this, the new signify consumer modules are built to fully support a SaaS delivery model and a cloud native architecture as well as, backwardly compatible with today's leading Gladstone signature technology.

To mix these 2 worlds, 'cloud native/SaaS' solutions against the backbone of 'signature Plus2' is a technology masterpiece of software engineering! In order to have both technologies working in sync they need to be in the same place, to seamlessly pass data between the current and new world.  With the Gladstone roadmap firmly shaped towards a SaaS delivery model and all its benefits, our best compromise is the hosting environment - where Plus2/Gladstone360 can happily co-exist with a few database modifications, enabling our best in class signature solutions to work hand in hand with these exciting modern cloud architected consumer solutions.

We’re now running these two development projects in parallel, using our own internal team and the very best external resources to ensure that we deliver world-beating solutions.  We don’t just want good software; we want great software that provides a full self-service experience for your customers.

The consumer modules that we’re building will, of course, integrate with existing solutions like Mobile Pro and newer iterations of Learn2 with online booking, all based around the new SaaS delivery model, with a single database and API at its core.  

Through this development process, we’ll keep providing updates for you here, each time revealing more about the unique features we’re building into these modules, as well as the ‘bread and butter’ functionality you’d expect from a world-class join and book solution built for a mobile first world.Color-ful-black-logo

Project Signify is now branded as GladstoneGo Consumer and will be ready for adoption H1, 2021.  This new architecture is built for modern SaaS delivery via the cloud, therefore it is only compatible with databases that are running in the hosting environment, but don't worry we can easily migrate your existing on-premise Gladstone360/Plus2 database to our hosted environment. 

Get Started with Digital Transformation 

There is no time the present, digital transformation has started.  Right now Gladstone customers are already using the tools and products available now, to help them to streamline their digital customer engagement strategy.

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