In this 4th industrial revolution age, one would be wrong in believing that digital transformation only concerns large organizations with substantial means: all can, and should, benefit from this wave of modernization which is sweeping at full speed.
For example, consider Dorys Langlois, a renowned coach in Québec specializing in running for more than 30 years. Inspiring and motivating, he trains hundreds of runners of all levels by creating and personalizing plans adapted to respective needs.
For several years, our trainer has been preparing such plans, generally covering 8-week periods, using Excel spreadsheets manually converted into a printable format and sent by email to the respective athletes. Considering various adjustments to plans along the way – a runner gets injured, gets tired, learns humility and reassesses his ambitions! – it was a rather clerical process which, although initially reasonable for a small number of athletes, ended up being very time consuming when repeated for hundreds of individuals. It goes without saying that with his solution, Dorys and his team were running less and less but kept on sweating! A digital transformation was of the essence.
Larochelle had the opportunity to help an SME not only in gaining operational efficiency but also in enriching its customer experience, by replacing an artisanal solution with some digital service available on the Web and functioning anytime, anywhere.
However, several constraints had to be addressed, in particular:
- The right solution could not represent substantial investments in computing infrastructure or software: Dorys Langlois did not have and would not have a server room or IT department to support its regular activities
- The solution had to be economically viable and could not entail too high recurrent costs
- The solution should be both easy to use by runners, who would access it from various and often mobile devices, and user-friendly for coaches, who would not be satisfied in replacing a manual process with some tedious exercise
- The solution had to be accessible from everywhere in Québec, even worldwide.
A Larochelle team has in a few months designed and developed a modern solution developed with C #, HTML5, CSS3 and ES6 and composed of:
- A first Web application enabling coaches to configure various exercises, create trainee profiles according to individual objectives and edit and publish corresponding plans, on a workstation or a mobile
- A second Web application allowing athletes to consult their respective training plans via most modern browsers
- A collection of HTTP-based RESTful APIs meeting the data requirements of the applications above.
Thanks to the use of storage, security, network and compute resources available on Microsoft Azure, the solution is hosted and self-administered for a few tens of dollars per month.
In addition, because the solution developed by Larochelle is based on a multi-tenant model that is generic enough to support several other types of periodic training such as cycling, rowing, swimming… with minimal effort – for developers, not for athletes! – would we go so far as to pretend that Larochelle is on the way of becoming a front-line player in the digital transformation of sports training in Québec?
To learn more about the solution developed by Larochelle, the Microsoft technologies used and the advantages of a digital transformation supported by cloud computing, download the electronic book available soon.