Cintas Now Mobile App
OVERVIEW : Cintas wanted a simple messaging platform on which to push Cintas press releases and related updates to their smartphone-using employees. Cintas currently utilizes Twitter as well as various other social-media platforms, so we designed this new medium to integrate those existing channels while also allowing for customized corporate messages currently nonexistent on other media platforms.
CHALLENGES : In the timeframe of only a few weeks, this Cintas’ project required Centogram to build native apps for both Android and iPhone smartphone users. The new application should allow Cintas administrators to quickly perform three tasks: 1) select from among Cintas' various social messages; 2) syndicate those social messages directly to Cintas employees; and 3) create custom notifications intended only for Cintas app users. The customized app must poll for new messages pushed via services such as Twitter and then feed those directly into the Cintas-messaging stream. Once the administrator has scheduled any message for delivery, app users should immediately receive notification through Apple’s Push Notification Service or Google’s Cloud Messaging; unread messages should then appear as a badge number attached to the icon.
IMPLEMENTATION : The “look and feel” design was done by Mike Zitt Inc, but to implement Cintas’ solution, Centogram utilized three major technologies: Drupal, Parse, and Appcelerator.
First, Centogram employed Drupal in order to feed content from various social mediums and to serve as the administrative portal allowing Cintas to manage all aspects of the application. Then, via Parse, the backend feeds Cintas' content to the enterprise datacenter hosted on Amazon Web Services—a cloud solution that permits Cintas to instantly syndicate news, events, and press releases to its 30,000+ employees.
Finally, Appcelerator enabled Centogram to use only a single development team and only a single codebase to build native applications usable on both iPhone and Android. By limiting the number of teams and the number of codebases, Centogram finished this project in half the time using half the resources. Ultimately, by utilizing Appcelerator, Centogram cut Cintas' costs in half.