ERPNext Implementation in iCloak

By George Vyshnya April 3, 2017 ERPNext No comments yet

We at DigithinkIT, Inc. are happy to be the brainpower behind ERPNext implementation for one of our customers – iCloak, Inc.


iCloak  (https://icloak.me) is the innovative cybersecurity software product startup based in Orlando, FL, USA. iCloack Stik Pro+ is their flagship product that delivers the cost-effective online privacy, security, truly anonymous online browsing, and protection from malware, ransomware and viruses. In this capacity it is going to be the excellent zero-maintenance instrument of endpoint security to SME workers as well as the private users.


This is a really good case demonstrating how open-source ERP platform can help the open-security company.

Challenges

As the business of iCloak grew up, it could no more sustain fragmented business operations as well as poorly integrated internal IT systems (QuickBooks for accounting, MailChimp for contact management and Email Marketing, FoxyCart for e-commerce capabilities on the web site, various spreadsheets). The additional requirements were to establish solid CRM workflows as well as streamline fully automated e-delivery of iCloak (both its installer package and license key) under BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model.


Therefore the decision to implement ERP Next was a natural step toward establishing the integrated operations inside and across the company.

Implementation details

We initially launched back-office operations of ICloak (accounting, sales, purchases) using the standard out-of-box capabilities of ERPNext 7.1. This had immediate effect on corporate operations as they obtained the single environment where all of the client reference data and transactions are aggregated together. Slight customizations at this stage were related to setting up branded print forms.


The second phase of the implementation was to add the edge with innovative features as follows

  • Modern website with slick design and mobile-friendly responsive bootstrap-based implementation

  • Custom CRM workflow to support integrative communications with leads up to the point of their conversion to paying customers equipped with iCloak license

  • Integration of E-commerce functions with ERPNext

  • Solid support for SMM/SEO activities for the new web site


This effort faced serious technical risks as

  • The default shopping cart module provided by ERPNext out of the box was not good enough for Western-style online shopping expectations of the potential iCloak customers

  • The project to build Awesome Cart app that introduces one-page checkout experience  to ERPNext platform (see https://discuss.erpnext.com/t/new-app-for-one-page-shopping-cart-experience/13997/1  for more details) required more efforts and time to complete on DTI side, and ERP Next launch for iCloak could not wait for it to be completed

  • Some of the legacy marketing instruments of iCloak (technical demo, press-room materials etc.) were not feasible to leverage to Frappe web site platform easily, and a different solution had to be invented in order to meet the tight timelines with icloak.me re-launch


The approach to mitigate those risks was to

  • Build a quick integration of ERPNext with FoxyCart Backend, using its Web API

  • Set up the additional web server with Apache to host the legacy tools and demo materials (https://tools.icloak.me/demo) , in addition to Frappe bench and Nginx to manage the major web site (https://www.icloak.me)


DTI’s technical implementation included building a totally new custom Frappe starter theme for icloak.me web site (with long scrollable home page) as well as two custom Frappe applications for iCloak.


Application #1 contained iCloak-specific customizations of standard ERPNext  modules (various tweaks to the public website like low-level support to Google Tags Manager and HotJar web service, FoxyCart integration etc.).


Application #2 introduced innovative e-delivery and SMM support capabilities as follows

  • Software license management for paid orders

  • Integrated email communications  workflow with the leads and customers

  • Delivery of installation packages of iCloak and license keys to customers to be able to burn their own bootable USB flash drive with iCloak Stik software (on either  Windows or Mac machine), using the license key purchased

  • Icloak.me web link shortening tool (similar to bitly.com ), to enable additional promotion of icloak.me with social media communications


As a result, the customer was happy to relaunch its e-commerce function and innovative Web presence/marketing tools while starting to do all business transactions within the integrated ERPNext-based backend and frontend environments.


Over time, we smoothly upgraded their ERPNext platform to the latest stable master version of ERPNext 7 (ERPNext 7.2.30)

Future Extensions Road Map

Obviously, this is just a start of the journey. So what’s going to be the next step?

As the client is highly dependent on efficiency of its social media and content marketing efforts to generate new leads and sales, we plan to build additional instruments to further automate and improve blogging, SMM and CRM communications.


Once Awesome Cart app is ready to go live (being in beta testing mode right now), FoxyCart will be replaced with Awesome Cart.  This will lead to the entire e-commerce circuit within ERPNext boundaries. This will add ability to accept payments via Authorize.net gateway (in addition to Paypal and direct CC payments provided by FoxyCart now).


We will be proud of adding innovations to iCloak’s online business via building new exciting customizations to their ERPNext.

George Vyshnya

George is a seasoned Data Scientist / Software Developer with young spirit, passion to build innovative IT products, and more then 20 years of blended industrial experience in software development, IT, business processes & operations, project management/people management, and C-level role playing. He is CTO at DigithinkIT, Inc. At his spare time, he enjoys learning foreign languages, traveling, and playing chess. George volunteers to manage one of the national amateur chess teams at chess.com that competes in the top division of World Chess League.

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