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Catch App concept catches on



At Aman, we pride ourselves on supporting our employees’ career progression and nurturing their initiative, often with incredible results. In one recent instance, this approach resulted in a shiny new app that not only revolutionized our own employee portal, but is set to do the same for our clients.

Arik Israel has worked at Aman since November 2015. In his initial role in quality assurance, he got to know many of the systems that we use. In March 2020, looking for a new challenge that would stretch him and further his career, Arik had a chat with Matan Sharon, our CTO. Part of Matan’s job is to research new technologies and see how it can be used by Aman. Arik’s interest presented the perfect opportunity to swat up on Flutter, a relatively new and fresh software development kit developed by Google in its easy-to-learn programming language, Dart.

Catch App

Getting to grips with Flutter

With Flutter, not only is one code sufficient for any tech platform that exists today, it is also very intuitive to use. A comprehensive range of tools and features enables content and apps to be developed in a fraction of the time, and also ensure that Flutter apps imitate their native components, looking and behaving naturally on each platform.

Arik took two online courses in Flutter, putting into practice what he learned by building a digital piano, BMI calculator and a card game. These small projects enabled him to explore the different capabilities of the language, and how its functions could serve Aman. He then taught it to a teammate, who picked it up very quickly, even though his experience was in a different language and technology. It was clear that there was great potential in Flutter, and we were keen to start using it.

Putting new tech to good use

Inspiration came in the form of project we had recently closed with a client to build them an organization portal. We ourselves already had a web portal where employees would log in to perform a range of admin tasks, such as claiming expenses, or declaring sick days and time off for reserve military duty. They could also look up special
offers that the company had negotiated for staff on products and services. But, with Flutter, we could modernize the portal, turning it into a lively, attractive mobile app that our people could use from their phones, incorporating Aman branding and a range of new features that would make it even easier to use.

Sample new features:

  • 01


    If something new is added to the portal – a new benefit, or a new message from management, for example - users receive a notification. Clicking on the call to action opens the page with the new content.
  • 02

    Groups & Professional Forums

    Reaching out across the organization, employees can create global groups of mutual interest. For example, a manager may create a group for employees in different development teams so that he can send out posts containing tips for using a certain platform, news of a new technology, or even general house-keeping, to them all at once. On the social side, someone may start a cookery group where recipes can be shared, so employees can interact and get to know each other beyond their working relationships.
  • 03

    Tailored benefits

    Aman negotiates deals for staff on all kinds of products and services, such as car rental overseas, gym membership, concerts and more. In the final steps of registering for the app, employees are asked about their interests. They then receive push notifications for benefits that are relevant to them.
  • 04

    Dynamic forms

    Any time an employee has to fill in a form – perhaps to register for a course, or a company social event, this can be done quickly and easily within the app, using a selection of drag and drop components. Thanks to Flutter, these forms can be used successful in Windows, iOS or Android.
By way of a pilot, we invited 200 people in the development department to try out Catch App, so that we could iron out any bugs and make sure that it was stable. This was followed by a second test group of over 300 additional employees across the company, after which the app was launched in the App Store (Apple) and Play Store (Android). Today, 1300 of Aman’s 2000 employees are active users.

Next steps

Having established Catch App to be a huge success, we are now preparing to roll out a white label version of the app for two large Israeli companies, each branded accordingly, and with the specific features the organizations want. “Often there is some reluctance to adopt new technologies, as businesses prefer to stick to what they know and has been proven to work,” says Arik
a full-time Flutter developer at Aman. “Investing in this new product ourselves has enabled us not only to improve the portal used by our own employees, but also to offer our customers a tried-and-tested solution that they can off their own staff with complete confidence.”

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