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How Apperon Switched from Internal Data Onboarding to 100% Customer Self-Service

Find out how Apperon successfully introduced a self-service data onboarding model.

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Contract signed, and your new client is ready to use your product? Unfortunately, reality often falls short. The process of preparing data for migration to the new system involves tedious and manual tasks to clean and reformat messy data. This inefficiency not only hinders company growth but also leads to frustration among clients.

Apperon was well aware of the challenges involved in data onboarding. Instead of accepting this situation as the norm, they made a bold move to shift their data onboarding process from fully internal implementation to a 100% self-service model for both SMB and enterprise clients. How did they achieve such a transformation? Let's explore the details.

Where it all started

Apperon empowers companies to create unique field service apps without developer resources. But before their application becomes valuable to their customers, lots of data must be imported into it.

File-based data plays a significant role in Apperon's business. When onboarding new clients, they often receive multiple large files in diverse formats and structures, making it impossible to establish a standardized import process in-house.

To get the data into their application, Apperon's internal teams developed custom data converters for each new import case. However, the data mapping script required approximately 10 minutes to run, and in the event of errors, manual reformatting was necessary to fix the issues before rerunning the script. Once the data was successfully mapped to the target schema, it was sent to the customer for validation. This process often involved multiple iterations, including clarifying errors and requesting missing data from clients. Therefore, taking days or even weeks to complete before new clients could use Apperon. 

The procedure proved extremely time-consuming and unsustainable for Apperon, especially considering their high growth. More importantly, the customer experience was not up to their standards. The Apperon team swiftly realized that data imports were a major problem, resulting in customer dissatisfaction and creating bottlenecks that hindered company growth. It was evident that the process needed to be improved quickly. 

To build, or not to build: That is the question. Or is it?

For Apperon, it was clear from the start that they needed an external solution to address their data import challenges. "The question is not if my team is capable of building a good data importer. They could do it. Nevertheless, our team's focus and resources must be dedicated to our core business. Importing data is not that. ", says Alexander Heinrich, CEO of Apperon. "Developing a tool to cover all our different import use cases would essentially mean creating a second product, requiring additional development and maintenance to handle new edge cases," Heinrich adds.  

To scale their data imports and achieve a rapid go-to-market, Apperon decided to implement nuvo's Data Importer. Data privacy was a crucial factor for Apperon, particularly due to the sensitive nature of the imported data. With nuvo's solution, all data processing happens within the front end of the target application. This unique approach ensures that no sensitive data is processed through nuvo's servers at any stage, providing complete assurance that the data remains confidential.

“Our team's focus and resources need to be dedicated to our core business. Importing data is not that.”

Alexander Heinrich
CEO, Apperon
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How was the implementation process of nuvo? 

Apperon was pleased with the swift and straightforward implementation of nuvo's Data Importer. Setting it up only took a few days. "The installation itself took just a few minutes, and then I was able to start using nuvo. Adjusting the importer to meet our specific requirements and cover different cases took a few additional days." Heinrich explains.

During the initial weeks of using nuvo, they identified a need for some minor adjustments in the target data model. Nevertheless, they were surprised by how quick and hassle-free the implementation was. Apperon received prompt support from the German-based team, addressing any questions or concerns.

Apperon's user interface team was pleased with the full customizability. The data importer is seamlessly embedded into their solution, providing an intuitive and user-friendly experience. Heinrich further emphasizes, "It's so well-integrated that our customers think we developed the data importer ourselves!"

The shift from implementation service to self-service

Apperon turned to nuvo for guidance in transitioning their data onboarding process from an entirely internal implementation to a fully self-service model for both SMB and enterprise clients. They valued the opportunity to learn from best practices observed with other nuvo clients who had successfully shifted to a self-service model. This allowed them to understand how different steps in the import process could be customized and automated based on their needs. 

To ensure a smooth transition, Apperon started a proof of concept with a single client. This allowed them to assess the client's experience on the front end and gather valuable feedback. Encouraged by the positive results and feedback, Apperon quickly rolled out the new self-service model to all their clients.

What are the clients' thoughts on the self-service model?

At first glance, transitioning to a customer self-service model may seem the opposite of delivering a great customer experience. After all, it means shifting the responsibility of data imports from the service provider to the customers themselves. Understandably, Apperon had initial concerns about how their clients would perceive this new data onboarding model. However, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Previously, Apperon's clients had to reach out to the company whenever they wanted to update their data, resulting in waiting times for Apperon to process the request. This process often involved multiple iterations, including error clarification and requesting additional data from clients. With the implementation of nuvo's Data Importer, clients now have the ability to instantly update their data as needed. This possibility offers immense value for Apperon's clients, particularly those working with time-sensitive data.

Apperon’s clients value the convenience to fix the data directly during the import.

What does the data onboarding process currently look like?

Apperon and their clients are delighted with their streamlined data onboarding process. What was once a complex and nerve-wracking experience is now simple and effortless. Apperon's clients, regardless of their technical proficiency, now have the power to quickly and easily onboard their data, even in the most complex cases.

The automated data validation and cleaning functions nuvo provides play a vital role in Apperon's import process. The capability to perform callback functions to their database has significantly enhanced the data quality. Moreover, the instant feedback provided to users on the importer interface, allowing them to address errors or add any missing information inside the importer, has proven to be a substantial time-saver.

Apperon doesn't have to worry about dedicating their own resources to data imports anymore. The dev team used to be heavily involved in data imports, but now, they are fully focusing on the core product and developing it further.

Apperon takes great pride in delivering an outstanding onboarding experience to their clients. Moreover, the remarkable increase in efficiency has paved the way for their accelerated growth. "We are able to onboard three times more customers using the same resources we had before", Heinrich confirms. Apperon is very satisfied with nuvo and would recommend their solutions to anyone who wants seamless and scalable data imports.   

By using nuvo, you can easily implement the strategies we've outlined and unlock the benefits of efficient customer data onboarding just like Apperon. Sounds good? Then talk to our team today.

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