Have you ever watched a live broadcast of a surprise event happening on the other side of the world? In Aria! is an Italy-based company that powers a global media network of broadcasters delivering HD-quality content to TV stations and other media channels in need. The platform solves a major business problem that many broadcasters face: direct and immediate access to a one-stop provider at any location who can deliver ready-to-air quality content.
To take their services to the next level, the company needed to build a seamless system for creating and maintaining relationships between the video providers and the clients. The requirement was to introduce a space where both sides could negotiate the deal, as well as safe closing and payment procedures.
The project was appointed by two main factors: budget and deadline. From the start, In Aria! was set on using Bookly, one of WordPress’s most popular booking plugins. The company already had one development team in Poland prior to this project. Still, they’ve decided to partner with MPC as the team already had experience with the product and was able to customize the code to meet the client’s needs.
At first, the deadline was relatively short, while the business requirements involved a lot of custom code. We quickly decided on building an MVP that’d focus on the core functionalities, like custom user roles and provisional invoices for the end customers.
A Space For Negotiations
The crucial part of the initial idea was to include a space where customers and providers could negotiate deals. As Bookly’s ready-made solutions didn’t involve this feature, the team at MPC custom-coded a way to achieve this goal.
Now, before the deal is closed and awaits payment, a customer can reach their prospective vendors and discuss any details individually. This feature allows both parties to meet in a financially satisfactory place. Also, the customer has a separate list of vendors’ offers that’s easy to access and manage.
To support this functionality even further, payment gates such as PayPal and Stripe were added, enabling delayed payments. We’ve combined this solution with the custom-coded provisional invoicing for maximum efficiency.
Further Custom Development
As time passed, the project evolved, giving us more time to work with. We stepped further and further away from Bookly’s core, creating a product that’d truly meet In Aria!’s requirements and visions. This, however, meant extra development for features like payments – once we’ve meddled with Bookly’s code, the default payment plugins stopped working, giving us no choice but to hand-code them ourselves.
At this stage, we’ve also decided to remove some of the functionalities that wouldn’t be used – this step was necessary to introduce a lightweight, user-friendly product. In the end, the team has changed nearly the entire flow of the base app. Steps were added and extra fields were coded to get the necessary details of a deal, such as specific streaming equipment or the customer’s budget. On top of that, a custom tool for commission rates was added; the figures are automatically updated throughout the entire app.
Focusing on the core aspects meant compromises elsewhere. In Aria! has decided to go for ready-made design that met their requirements of a streamlined, intuitive UI. This allowed the team to invest more time in custom coding and tailoring the initial plugin to meet the client’s needs.
Communication-wise, we’ve introduced a transparent model that involved weekly meetings. During these, the team was focused on showing the newest development stage and gathering feedback. Each week was topped out with the release of the new functionalities to the staging environment for further tests & discussions. Other meetings were added as necessary.