The five employee self-services in MINDEF and the SAF comprise Leave Applications, Transport, Meal, Medical and Dental Claims. These were previously available to Full-time National Servicemen (NSF) via the intranet desktop only. DSTA expanded the accessibility of these services by making them available on the Internet and mobile applications, while retaining the information database on the intranet.

These pioneer mobile applications allow NSFs to apply leave and submit claims using any mobile phone and tablet with Internet access. The complexity lies in ensuring seamless information exchange and transaction integrity between the core Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system residing in the intranet and the mobile clients on the Internet. Through this project, the team established the baseline system architecture and enterprise infrastructure required to enable other employee self-service applications to be accessed via the Internet.

To keep pace with evolving mobile technologies, the DSTA team explored, evaluated and adopted a cross-platform Mobile Application Development Framework to enable users to access the applications on different mobile operating systems such as Apple iOS and Android. Mobile applications developed based on this framework are deployable across different mobile operating systems with only one iteration of development. Typically, the same applications have to be developed multiple times for different operating systems.

Taking a user-centric design approach in developing IT solutions, the team engaged NSFs to study their behaviour and obtain feedback in order to achieve an intuitive user interface. A pilot trial was held with a selected group of NSFs to test the systems and fine tune the applications prior to the roll-out to the masses. The result is a solution with a seamless interface across the core ERP on the intranet and mobile applications on the Internet, allowing the new generation of tech savvy NSFs to complete their transactions in under a few clicks, anytime and anywhere.