Bluegrass Digital delivers Veza tool for Corruption Watch


Bluegrass Digital delivers Veza tool for Corruption Watch


Corruption Watch (CW) selected Bluegrass Digital, an innovative software engineering company, to develop the new Veza platform after winning the Google Impact Challenge Award in 2018.


This new interactive open data tool was inspired by engagements with communities experiencing police violence and was developed in response to the many complaints received on police corruption.


Veza, meaning ‘expose’ or ‘reveal’, is a first of its kind in South Africa and will improve transparency in policing in the country. It will place the power back in the hands of the public to hold the South African Police Service (SAPS) accountable. The tool provides information at national, provincial and district level.


Corruption Watch head of stakeholder relations and campaigns Kavisha Pillay says the launch of the Veza tool signifies a new era for Corruption Watch as we explore how transparency, big data and accessible technology can be used to combat corruption and advance broader social justice issues.


Since Corruption Watch’s inception in 2012, innovation has always been central to our approach in addressing systemic and pervasive corruption in South Africa. Public adoption will determine the power of this tool, the more it is used and information shared, the more involved they will become in how their communities are policed and protected around the country.


Bluegrass Digital CEO Nick Durrant is upbeat about the potential of this innovative tool. “This is an exciting innovative project to be part of which has so much potential. Nothing like this exists on the African continent and from our research not many countries around the world have platforms for their citizens to access information like this.


Veza offers so many features including integration with Google Maps allow us to use geolocation with various data sources to plot police corruption trends and hotspots as well as information about on all 1 150 police stations across the country such as contact information, resources, budget and personnel.”


The Veza tool also enables users to rate and review police stations based on personal experiences, to compare resources of up to four stations, to commend honest and ethical police officers, and to report incidents of corruption and police misconduct that are immediately geo-located through the tool.


Pillay expressed his gratitude to Bluegrass Digital for the impeccable and professional service that was provided throughout the development of this project. “We collaborated, exchanged ideas, brainstormed and debated extensively during this process and I am really proud of the product that we have.”


“The service and engagement that I had with the Bluegrass Digital team was amazing. Regardless of the time of day, they always responded to any queries, they were extremely patient and always delivered on their promises. We are so grateful to the entire team for working tirelessly to get the project completed,” she explains.


“As a very satisfied customer, this has been a truly inspiring experience and I look forward to working with Bluegrass Digital on adding new features and improvements,” Pillay concludes.


The Amazon app has more than 700 million users across the globe, nearly five times more mobile customers than all its competitors combined. It’s unbeatable deals, app-only promotions, exclusive mobile product launches and the promise of on-time delivery has changed the ecommerce market forever.


In our new agile working world, mobile apps are the future, business leaders need to leverage the benefits of mobile applications to promote their business online and provide improved customer experience. From retail to finance, every business needs an ecommerce site to unleash the potential of mobility.


There’s an untapped online retail market, businesses need to develop mobile apps and ecommerce sites in order to compete in this growing economy. The massive upsurge in the smartphone market has given birth to many new always-on ecommerce sites experiencing around the clock sales with global prospects. These consumers are also constantly sharing personal data and preferences, making it so much easier to enable targeted sales.


Mobile apps and ecommerce sites are the gateways to connect to buyers across the globe. Through a seamless mobile experience on these platforms, businesses can easily understand the consumer’s needs and then drive customer loyalty. Many businesses are missing out on the golden opportunity to engage with online consumers across their buying journey.


It’s quite obvious that an ecommerce strategy is a catalyst for success in a complex customer acquisition process and there’s a lot to benefit by developing an ecommerce mobile app. But where does one start when building a mobile ecommerce platform? It’s not only about the look and feel, but rather understanding the business requirements, the apps performance and how to keep it flexible enough to add new features.


Determine the viability


One first needs to determine the viability of building an ecommerce presence. This will depend on the specific industry and the demand experienced from existing customers. If existing customers are already demanding online shopping, it is worth considering building a mobile ecommerce app.


Analyse the audience


By conducting a thorough audience analysis, new strategies for connecting with customers will be unlocked. The new platform will likely offer more than just products and services, the analysis will help define the entire roadmap. When designing these apps, one needs to learn as much as you can from the customer and not assume you know their requirements.


Knowing the customer is critical, it enables businesses to develop experiences that relate to the voice and emotions of the user. One needs to create a user persona that represents the ideal customer, this can be done based on market research and existing customer data. This is a complex task and will take some time to develop, but it is essential. These personas can change as the business and customer base evolves.


User experience (UX) is key


The most daunting challenge for any business is to create a lasting bond between a brand and its customers. Mobile apps and websites need to improve the customer’s online UX and also have the ability to attract new business. Therefore, design is critical for every stage of the sales cycle.


In order to succeed in today’s fast-paced ecommerce environment, business leaders must exceed customer expectations. This could be the greatest challenge and can only be achieved by giving customers more than they expect. Understanding UX and designing the entire UX towards exceeding them will certainly increase conversion rates.


UX design has become a critical part of business, it helps define customer journeys that attribute most to business growth. Engaging customers isn’t an isolated event, it is part of a multistep process that only requires one bad designed touch point to lose a customer.


The look and feel


Mobile apps are designed to make communication more effective and mobility more powerful. Apart from the benefits to consumers, mobile apps are far more engaging and interactive than older business websites. With a visually appealing mobile app that is easy-to-use, it is easy for businesses to stay ahead of their competitors.


Choosing the right development platform


A growing number of popular apps in the app stores have been built on React Native, these include Facebook Messenger, Facebook Ads Manager, Airbnb, UberEats, Bloomberg, Discord and Instagram. With React Native, one app will run on all three platforms, it’s no longer necessary to create three different apps for Web, Android and iOS. This will enable the business to reach the widest audience possible.




It is critical that the website or app is as available and responsive. Also, when deploying app or website, it is important to consider the right pricing tier. A growing number of businesses are using Azure to build applications faster and are using smarter tools to manage performance. Microsoft Azure is designed for developers to build the most innovative apps and is one of the best cloud platforms.




When embarking on any new business venture, understanding the market and competitors is crucial. However, it’s not only about understanding where you stand in relation to your competitors, but ensuring you are better in all aspects. It is therefore important to know what has worked for your competitors when developing your app.


Analyse your competitors’ reviews and learn from their feedback and incorporate this into your app. Find out how apps have helped competitors grow their business, this could help you deliver a product that consumers would love to engage with.




It is also critical to understand what strategies have helped boost online sales, typical challenges your business has faced in the past, customer acquisition cost, revenue per visitor and conversion rates. One also needs to identify where new orders are coming from versus returning customer orders. This can certainly give business leaders insights that are valuable when designing their mobile ecommerce app.


For example, if customers don’t complete orders after browsing for a considerable time, it could either mean they cannot find what they are looking for in the search options or they are struggling to process the payment. It is therefore critical to discuss in detail the use of analytics and tools with your developer.


Apps versus websites


The biggest advantage of building an app is the speed and ease of connecting to customers in real-time. About 80 percent of time spent on smartphones is consumed by apps. So by tapping into this trend, it will help your business improve customer interactions and more importantly, boost revenues.


The largest portion of internet traffic comes from mobile, this means business websites are mostly accessed from smartphones. The fact is, apps run faster than even the most responsive websites and the user experience can be that much better. This means app users don’t have to download data from servers each time they open the online store.


Apps are faster and more convenient and this is prompting consumers to browse content on apps as opposed to mobile websites. Despite these benefits your strategy should support multiple channels giving users choice on connecting with your business in the most convenient way, even if it is via your mobile app, website and appropriate social channels.



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