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IT / Digital FAQs

Rico is a Vertical SaaS solution focused specifically on planning application workflows. By going narrow and deep on planning, and working directly with planners we minimise workloads for IT / Digital teams while maximising value for planners. 
  • What is Vertical SaaS?
    Vertical SaaS refers to cloud-based software solutions that are specifically designed to serve the needs of businesses in a particular industry or vertical market. Such solutions are tailored to meet the unique requirements and workflows of their vertical.
  • How is Vertical SaaS different from horizontal SaaS solutions?
    Unlike horizontal SaaS solutions, which offer a more general set of features that can be used across multiple industries, vertical SaaS is focused on providing specialised functionality and features for a given niche. In the case of planning application workflows, these are unique in nature, requiring user inputs and discretion at each stage. This has historically made these workflows a poor fit for more generalised horizontal SaaS solutions that do not meet the unique requirements.
  • What are the benefits of Vertical SaaS?
    Vertical SaaS solutions offer a range of benefits, compared to horizontal SaaS solutions. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits to consider: Industry-specific features and functionality: Vertical SaaS solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of a particular industry or niche. This means they often include industry-specific features and functionality and are able to deliver a greater amount of value than more generalised solutions. Cost savings: Vertical SaaS solutions are often less expensive than developing custom software in-house to achieve similar results. They also typically offer subscription-based pricing models, which can make it easier for businesses to manage their software costs over time, vs. having to go all-in on an expensive in-house solution upfront. Minimal configuration required by in-house IT / Digital teams: Vertical SaaS solutions typically cater to a specific use case, providing a better out of the box experience as the software is designed and pre-configured for your specific needs.
  • How much IT / Digital team time is needed to get Rico set-up?
    Often IT / Digital teams are resource constrained and must serve the wider organisation. As is provided in the information above, the majority of configuration is completed with the planning team. For initial set-up SSO is the only requirement and there are no other changes required to existing systems. To unlock further value, integrations with core systems and any other changes in surrounding processes can be developed over time as you have time and resources available. This enables your team to get up and running with Rico and start realising value regardless of capacity within IT / Digital teams.
  • How does Rico fit with existing core systems (such as ERP systems)?
    Relative to existing core systems, Rico goes narrow and deep on a planners workflow for assessing applications and preparing relevant reports - work previously done manually and in MS Word. This means Rico has minimal functional overlap with existing core systems which primarily operate as a source/record of truth. Rico is able to seamlessly support existing core systems in this role as a source/record of truth while requiring minimal changes as it outputs word documents which can be entered back into your system much like they already are. Overall, this allows for a fast initial implementation of Rico with minimal changes required to existing systems, enabling planners can get up and running. Integrations with existing core systems can then be added over time as practical without delaying implementation.
  • How does Rico manage information security?
    Our Security and Privacy Policy are available on our website. Additionally, we have the following internal policies available upon request: Security Incident Response Policy IT Disaster Recovery Plan Third-parties we partner with to provide our service In addition to the above, Rico is working towards the ISO 27001 certification. This is considered the international gold standard for information security management and we anticipate accreditation in late 2024 / early 2025 given the length of the process. We are able to provide progress reports on this on request.
  • How is Rico configured, maintained and supported?
    The vast majority of Rico is configured, maintained and supported directly with planning teams. Work completed with planning teams As Rico focuses specifically on planning, configuration, maintenance and support require both planning expertise and technical expertise to translate this into Rico. Specifically: We require planning expertise from your team to configure and maintain Rico so it is fit for purpose. We have developed a deep understanding of planning so we can work directly with planning teams to translate this into Rico in a way that optimises usability, preferences and utilises technology to its best ability. Configuration Rico requires configuration in the following areas: Integrating local planning instruments Integrating local GIS Setting up planning workflow Setting up report outputs to be generated from planning workflow We are able to configure all of the above directly with the planning team and require their planning expertise to provide the required inputs for doing so. Maintenance To maintain your configuration we generally assign one or more “Workflow Owners” in your planning team. Workflow owners have proven a great means of keeping Rico optimised and up to date with a planning team's specific needs and changes to the planning framework. Some controls are made directly available to users, while any other changes can be made by us with a quick turnaround time through our support desk and/or with input from workflow owners (where required). Support We operate a support desk between the hours of 8:30am and 5:30pm NZT. We respond to these issues as soon as we can with the vast majority being responded to within a few minutes. Beyond a technical understanding of Rico, our support desk is also knowledgeable in planning itself, enabling us to understand the context our customers are working within so we can better solve their problems. Outside of general support requests, if there is an outage or issues that impact variables on our service level agreement, we will provide the required reports to IT / Digital teams so they can enforce compliance with this. Work completed with IT / Digital teams / GIS teams Single sign-on Rico offers integration with single sign-on so users can authenticate with your existing authentication system. Role based access control (RBAC) is available to allow permissions to be configured across your organisation. This is set up with IT / Digital teams and is typically a small job. Rico API We are in the process of documenting our API so that you can integrate Rico with your core systems. This will allow functionality to create projects and populate project fields in Rico. This functionality depends on unique requirements of each customer and further information is available on request. GIS Rico integrates with GIS to retrieve geospatial information relating to planning applications. We rely on planning team contacts and workflow owners to provide us with relevant layers and data points on the GIS to be retrieved and any changes to these as they may update over time. Integrations are handled in different ways according to whether they are public or private facing: Public-facing - we are able to retrieve the relevant layers and data points specified in the step above via public API. Private (authentication required) - we are developing the capabilities to perform an authentication step when accessing private GIS systems to enable information to be retrieved from these into Rico.
  • How does Rico future proof local authorities?
    We understand for many local authorities, Rico fits into a larger technology strategy. Typically we see the following priorities: Ongoing support and keeping systems up to date: Rico is designed to be configured and maintained directly with the planners using it via a no code user interface. This is an innovative approach which greatly reduces feedback loop and speed to get updates made. Updates can be made in the matter of minutes right in front of planners, with various easier settings able to directly configured by planners. Continual innovation: We consider our product to be early in it's journey and are investing significantly in R&D to improve and expand our product. We have a technology roadmap for planned software developments requested by customers and keep a portion of our development resource free to respond to feature requests as they arise. Investing in Rico you are signing up to a product that has proven results with a lot of runway to add additional efficiencies and support wider parts of the planning application workflow. Work alongside and integrate existing systems: Rico has a unique position as a solution that replaces work typically done in word documents and on pen and paper. That means there's minimal overlap with existing systems creating the opportunity to add additional value through technology with minimal disruption to existing systems. Rico can integrate with existing core systems or function as a standalone, giving you the flexibility to add integrations as internal resources come available and run Rico amidst changes to other parts of your technology landscape.

Get in touch today for a no-obligation conversation to see if Rico can improve your planning application process.

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