Dariel: Taking An Engineering Approach To Bespoke Software Development

Press Release

March 24, 2022, 3:11 p.m.

Dariel, a highly specialised software development firm launched more than two decades ago in South Africa, today announced how it is assisting companies to overcome their business challenges by integrating technology and strategic software engineering skills as key enablers.

"When done within a scientific framework, software development is a craft. When we launched, there were many systems that hardly ever worked optimally. But once creative licence starts dominating, it verges on hacking away at a problem. We saw this as an opportunity to develop software that could do the job right the first time," says Malcolm Rabson, Group Managing Director of Dariel.

According to Greg Vercellotti, Executive Director at Dariel, the organisation focused on three strategic pillars.

"At the core of this was hiring people at the top end of the spectrum. From here, everything we would do would have an architectural focus that underpinned the software development. And thirdly, our methodology had to continually evolve for us to stay current and deliver our software in the most effective way possible," says Vercellotti.

"We wanted to put in place a career path that would enable those in IT to be exposed to different types of industry sectors and experience different technologies. In turn, this would help cultivate the business understanding essential to creating software solutions driven by an engineering-led approach, something which was unheard of then," says Wayne Yan, Chief Technology Officer at Dariel.

Focused on quality

To do so, Dariel embarked on an exhaustive and extensive recruiting assessment of people – something it still prides itself on to this day.

"Once we appoint someone, there is a comprehensive internal training and mentorship programme in place throughout their career. We believe there is no shortcut to gaining experience, so our focus is to enable our employees to get there by giving them the tools and opportunities needed. Yes, this does mean throwing them in the deep end, but we do enough to ensure they swim and do not drown," says Rabson.

Yan echoes this sentiment.

"Dariel was born at a time when so many IT companies overpromised and underdelivered. But we have always prided ourselves in telling customers exactly where they stand. It is not always the easy thing to do, but we are ethically bound to inform them of everything going on. In the long run, this has seen Dariel build respect in the market for our unique approach," says Yan.

For Vercellotti, this also means that Dariel has not become another 'body shop' like so many other software development houses.

"We do not want to simply send a human brain out to work for a customer. We prefer our people to work in teams, infused with our way of doing things, and providing clients with access to the Dariel office of the CTO that includes technology heavyweights that guide and assess risk throughout a project," he says.

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A business built around app development

Dariel focuses on building bespoke applications and performing software integration at a strategic enterprise level. This means that it helps clients gain strategic advantage and employ cost savings initiatives while supporting business growth.

There are three overlays to its custom-built software projects. Firstly, a cloud approach that entails helping clients design for the cloud, transition to the cloud, and builds for the cloud. With Dariel anticipating that most business systems will be cloud-based within five years, it is about assisting clients re-engineer their offerings to benefit from the cloud.

The second overlay is an auditing and review service. This service provides business answers to technical questions such as why a system is performing poorly, how companies can save money on their systems, and so on.

"We can deliver on this because of the expertise and experience of our senior architects. We look at the source code of the databases and talk to the users of the systems. From there, we present a report on our findings and propose how to enhance the environment. So, it is looking at code and translating that to a business-focused answer with data underpinning everything," says Rabson.

The third overlay is a managed service offering the company will be introducing soon.

"Clients do not want to own the cloud. Some also do not have the skills to manage the software we develop for them. This ITIL-based service offering will see Dariel manage the environment in its entirety for clients," adds Rabson.

Keeping up to speed

Rabson believes it is the attention Dariel places on understanding the core building blocks of technology that help differentiate the organisation.

"This enables us to move from the peak of one technology wave to the peak of the next. It is about repackaging our service offering the whole time by continually pivoting and responding to what the market needs. For instance, mobile services used to be a specialised offering. Today it is a standard service. Once the technology is commoditised, Dariel packages it within a solution offering for clients that help them unlock the business value of it," he says.

While technology companies focus on trends, Yan says that Dariel examines the patterns and how technology is used as a business drive.

"The first wave is generally the fun one to be part of. But the second one is where the business value comes in. We tend to ride that wave because we are engineers at heart looking at the most practical and relevant ways of solving business problems," says Yan.

Even though Dariel has multi-faceted industry experience, Vercellotti says that the organisation is focused on several key segments.

"Our strengths lie in banking (both commercial and retail), insurance, healthcare, and hospitality. In fact, we developed one of the first mobile internet banking platforms in the country before the time of smartphones. Dariel sells innovation and reliability. We sell a system that has longevity and can reduce our clients' operating costs. Underpinning this is solidly architected software created by experts in their field," concludes Vercellotti.

About Dariel

Serving the South African market for more than two decades, Dariel is a specialised software development firm providing bespoke solutions that address unique business and industry vertical challenges.

Dariel’s team of highly experienced consultants focuses on putting the perfect architectural structure in place to develop software that does the job right the first time. The organisation has assisted many of South Africa’s top 100 businesses to overcome challenges that hindered their growth


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