The art of accelerating your systems

Johannesburg, 03 Aug 2020
Read time 5min 20sec

After so many years in the industry, you start to notice trends in what your clients are looking for. BBD found that, consistently, their clients were looking to quickly integrate disparate systems, save costs and have the flexibility to scale up or down as business needs required. Clients want simplified architecture, integrated functionality, synchronised operations and happy customers.

Ripping and replacing legacy systems not only carries a negative connotation, but the realities of such projects are that they are costly, take time to implement, lose momentum over the duration and are prone to scope and budget creep. Because of this, projects of this nature often fail.

Vanguard was born from this collective need to quickly implement solutions that offer sustained and real business value, without the risks of ripping and replacing working engines where not necessary. These underlying legacy product systems require a slower pace of change when compared to the front-end channels, where customers have a much higher expectation of service and a higher rate of change. As an international software development firm, this vertical approach gives BBD’s enterprise clients the ability to rapidly service customers in new and exciting ways.

As their core business automation, case management, integration and workflow framework, Vanguard uses specific design patterns and approaches to meet the needs described above, while maintaining system integrity and quickly allowing BBD’s clients to meet changing market needs.

“At the heart of this framework lies powerful and customisable capabilities, or building blocks, that allow us to adapt the framework to each business and their omni-channel strategy. It is these building blocks that give us the ability to successfully implement the solution across numerous industries,” explains Andre de Witt, executive and member of BBD’s strategic leadership team.

Streicher Stegmann, an executive and technical lead at BBD, adds: “As with all BBD IP, we’ve taken a dynamic and fluid approach to Vanguard – developing and extending the capabilities as technologies evolve.” He reveals one such example is where Vanguard’s workflow and orchestration capabilities were re-implemented and enhanced using cloud technologies.

So what can Vanguard do?

In a nutshell, Vanguard can automate businesses and facilitate the enhancement and advancement of systems through:

  • Seamless digital delivery to customers;
  • An integrated and intuitive ability for self-service;
  • Consistent customer experiences across life cycle;
  • A human-centric approach to services; and
  • An inherent and essential ability in systems for adaptability, flexibility and speed.

Meeting customers with good service

Leveraging the depth of their industry experience has allowed BBD to tap into market needs and best understand what enterprise clients are looking for. De Witt points out that as customers around the world steadily grow to expect seamless digital experiences, organisations have to evolve to attain and maintain a competitive advantage. This is where Vanguard really comes into play.

With cost saving and efficiency just the ticket to the digital transformation game, customers are placing a high value on service when making decisions, meaning that good, human-centric service is essential in today’s digital products and services. This is not just in the initial sale or interaction, but also in how quickly inevitable issues can be resolved. Through its capabilities, the Vanguard framework automates processes, meaning that servicing staff are able to focus on value-adding activities and exception handling, while the system provides a consistent, secure and personable customer experience. “By allowing customers to feel valued and heard, we help increase customer satisfaction while arming organisations with holistic data and speedy issue resolution,” reiterates Stegmann.

When is Vanguard the answer?

De Witt notes that when chatting about Vanguard, BBD is often posed the question: "How do I know if Vanguard will work for my business?" If nodding along to any of the following questions, then the answer is Vanguard.

  • Are your customers looking for speed and efficiency that your current product delivery cannot meet?
  • Is your system architecture overly complex?
  • Are your systems disparate, inflexible and not agile?
  • Do you have a greenfields solution that requires a complex compilation of solutions?
  • Do you need a common front-end that consolidates data processes from multiple back-end systems?
  • Does your process include multiple actions, various systems and many users for each client interaction?

But does it work?

Yes. Vanguard has been successfully implemented across various industries and will continue to scale and balance workloads as these projects need it to. Stegmann knows facts mean more than them just saying it does, so:

  • For a new digital bank, BBD built an end-to-end service capability in three months while facilitating new customer onboarding in under five minutes.
  • For a large services business, Vanguard creates over 145 000 cases, averages more than 300 000 workflow step transactions and handles tens of thousands of attachments on average per day.
  • For a border control agency, Vanguard facilitated a full travel permit application-to-delivery process that increased turnaround from months to days.
  • For a revenue service, with Vanguard, BBD enables more than 8 500 users across 98 offices.

What about the tech stack?

Stegmann explains the Vanguard framework comes with a diverse technology stack that is powered using a containerised, microservice-based architecture that is cloud-ready and built on open standards using modern tech approaches.

The stack includes Angular 8+ SPA or WPF and .Net UI framework. It is IdentityServer4, .Net Core, OAuth 2.0, OpenID Connect compliant and has a Python 3 service and orchestration layer. Vanguard has an extensible UI for bespoke modern integration and is database and cloud agnostic.

Vanguard rapidly accelerates business growth, efficiency and delivery through customisable, flexible capabilities. It artfully integrates and synchronises processes while allowing businesses to adapt and scale at speed. If you’re interested in learning a little more about Vanguard and what it can do, watch BBD’s demo at:


A leading provider of software development and application design solutions, BBD’s over 35 years of technical and domain expertise spans the education, financial services, insurance, gaming, government and telecommunications sectors. BBD is an international software development powerhouse employing over 800 highly skilled, motivated and experienced IT professionals. BBD is a 51% black-owned and level 1 B-BBEE partner, with a 135% B-BBEE recognition.

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