The past few months have, without a doubt, posed unique challenges on industries and economies. At the same time, we have also seen moving examples of altruism and communities coming together in collective action to help out those in need. SAP partner, Clockwork, generously offered the native iOS app development skills of their on-the-bench consultants to build the GENYOUth Resource Finder mobile app, bringing free resources to millions of US citizens in need. The app is now available on the App Store. Shaun Heneghan, Director of SAP + Apple Alliance GTM for North America, sat down with Clockwork President and CEO Mike Roach to learn more about their experience building the app on SAP Cloud Platform.
Volunteering technical skills to give back in times of need
When a number of talented employees suddenly had less work on their plates because of the pandemic slowdown, Roach and team saw an opportunity to apply their skills towards pro bono projects that give back. An employee-based system integrator, Clockwork is located in Toronto, Canada, and has been an SAP partner for the past twenty-two years. “We have a shared responsibility for the communities that we do business in,” says Roach, former SAP employee. Looking for a potential native iOS app project, they learned about the SAP4Kids initiative: SAP’s partnership with GENYOUth, the child health and wellness non-profit, which brings together community-based resources for families in need across the United States.
With over 123,000 school closures across the United States, 54.8 million students and their families have been impacted. SAP worked with GENYOUth to create the SAP4Kids Program, helping families find food and other resources during the crisis. The resulting SAP4Kids web application built on SAP Cloud Platform maps free nearby resources, such as food, housing assistance, healthcare, financial assistance, and workforce assistance. Upon learning about this project, Clockwork saw an opportunity to expand the reach of SAP4Kids further through an iOS app.
From idea to prototype in 4 days
In just four days, the Clockwork team went from ideation to a working prototype of the GENYOUth Resource Finder app that they pitched to SAP and the team at GENYOUth. To maximize creativity, Clockwork called an internal hackathon to generate app prototypes. Three teams came forward, each building out a completely distinct UI approach: skeuomorphic, flat, and neumorphic. “Apps need to be easy to use and intuitive,” says Roach, and the three pitches were then evaluated from the perspective of an end-user, with ease of use being the key consideration. The flat UI approach was selected as the overall winner, and the best features from each team were also incorporated into the final prototype – a true cross-team collaboration.
“We have a shared responsibility for the communities that we do business in”
Roach – Clockwork
A consumer-grade experience through iOS
Built on SAP Cloud Platform, using the Mobile Software Development Kit (SDK) for iOS, the GENYOUth Resource Finder mobile app will extend the free community resources to the fingertips of millions of iPhone and iPad users in the United States — making them accessible from virtually anywhere. “There is an ever-increasing demand for a consumer-grade experience when it comes to mobile apps,” says Roach, explaining that the beauty of developing on SAP Cloud Platform using SAP Fiori for iOS is the flexibility that it provides for developers. The available pre-built components ensure that the app will be reliable and stable, allowing developers to focus on features and functions while using any creative approach they like.
“We’re doing our part through these challenging times to help, but admit that we are standing on the shoulders of giants,” says Roach humbly, speaking of the close collaboration with SAP and GENYOUth in building the iOS app. The GENYOUth Resource Finder app by Clockwork is now available for free on the App Store, bringing vital resources to the hands of millions of Americans.
Download the GENYOUth Resource Finder app by Clockwork
Learn more about Clockwork