The project got off to a good start, and we’re planning to roll out new features and enhance the user experience. In particular:
#1 Public Platform for Citizens and Business
- P2H enables digital transformation of the national labor market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) by developing one-stop e-government platform for businesses and citizens.
- Industry: Government and semi-government organisations of KSA
P2H assisted with an important mission — digitizing public services related to KSA’s labor sector. The government-initiated digital transformation of the human resources, employment, and social development sectors was gathering momentum. Our team was responsible for building a product that would make a difference in this process. Combining forces with our local partner, we improved the provision of social services to all categories of citizens, expats, companies, and government agencies. A robust, high-load sustainable platform geared toward both government initiatives and public and business demands was central to success. The platform became the country’s number one paperless solution, serving over 5.5 million users seeking access to hundreds of e-services.
The platform’s three-tier concept allows to group functionality, services and operations around three categories of users:
The platform offers comprehensive e-services to any company registered in Saudi Arabia. Business owners can track and change their legal statuses, apply for
licenses for particular activities or work permits, manage the statuses of their employees (both Saudis and expats), and much more.
Signing up on the platform, individual users have control over their profiles featuring detailed information about their occupation, career, and employment rights and obligations. The platform also offers a range of services and tools to help citizens and expats navigate the Saudi labor market.
State regulation and management become easier with the platform that has integrated government registries and services. For example, the platform facilitates visa issuing procedures, improving the interaction between companies, citizens, and the Saudi Council of Ministers.
Results for the people and business
Government services have been made convenient to nearly 1.5 million active users, around 10,000 citizens use the platform daily.
50,000 companies are registered consumers of government e-services.
Public services are more accessible to all citizens, including those living in remote rural areas.
The platform provided technical support to the country’s goal of increasing women’s participation in the workforce.
Thanks to Labor Office, citizens with limited physical abilities or those without access to digital devices or technologies can now access top-quality services.
It helped tackle youth unemployment: while young Saudis mostly turn to their network of family and friends for career advice and information about jobs, less well-connected graduates are disadvantaged when entering the labor market. The platform became the most reliable source of employment-related information.
By simplifying auditing, reporting, and tax filing, the platform made business accounting more convenient.
Here’s the functionality we delivered in terms of the platform’s core engineering. Every service on the platform can use it. Stability, security and scalability are the main characteristics here.
We developed a single sign-on (SSO) solution to provide users with a simple, secure way to sign in to all the platform’s services.
Integration with state registers
To extract the required user information, we developed an API to integrate with government registries directly.
User verification via MoI registry
Now that we ensured integration with state registers, we proceeded with the user verification mechanism to get the user’s digital identity through the registry of the Ministry of Interior’s digital services portal.
Building a multi-tenant system architecture, we allowed users to choose different companies to work for by moving around different workspaces.
One user identity may be attached to several roles. For instance, an individual might perform a function of an owner, co-owner, or employee in three different companies. So, we added different roles to each tenancy to enable user and permissions management.
Working further with role-based authorization, we allowed business owners to grant certain authorities to individuals other than their employees.
Upon the client’s request, we added subscription functionality to the platform, as users must pay an annual fee to access and use it.
Management of users and permissions
According to the system’s logic, a subscribed company owner with full role-based authority can grant their employees a limited-authority subscription.
We added notification functionality, including SMS, emails, and web notifications, to effectively exchange information.
P2H team built a series of basic features for all categories of users: Establishments, Employees, and Government. For the first time in the history of Saudi labor relations, we helped our client to move related services to digital space. This way we contributed to the ambitious goal of reducing bureaucracy and adding transparency and convenience to both business and social relations.
Using this service, business owners can issue or renew work permits for expatriate employees. Expats, in turn, can monitor the status of their documents.
It’s a large set of services related to issuing Saudi business visas.
Hiring an individual, a company initiates the change of occupation, submitting the required documents and undergoing the legal procedures. The employee can monitor the process and accept or reject changes to their occupation status.
The company can use the services of this set to see how well it complies with labor laws and regulations. Based on this data, it can draw up a plan of what actions it should take to improve its status. The higher the status, the more privileges the company gets when it comes to issuing visas and work permits or other employment – related procedures.
This service set is designed to provide access to the services to all categories of citizens and expats including people with limited access to the Internet or digital devices.
It’s a one-stop-shop service provided by labor relations agents in offices across provinces and major cities. The agent logs into the system on behalf of a particular citizen or expat, letting them access all the services available in their case.
end of service calculator
home worker transfer
Challenges we faced
Creating a well-thought-out strategy for an efficient project
In 2018, client asked us to take over the project from one of their previous vendors. It had a look but didn’t work at all. We had to build strong architecture and processes to lay solid foundation for the platform itself and efficient collaboration with other vendors in the future.
Accommodating fast-changing business priorities and specifics of the government domain
A public service platform is a long-term, multi-layered project. Priorities constantly change, interfering with long-range planning, and there’s always an urgent need to roll out new features and updates. It’s a marathon with multiple sprints inside.
Working on a project in the public sector, you must be deeply aware of local governance practices and stay flexible. You have to stick to particular legal and business frameworks and, at the same time, think creatively about technological implementation. Throw in the communication challenges —along the chain of the stakeholders and decision-makers—and you’ll see why it took an extra effort to get all the feedback, approvals, and updates in good time. We had to map out specific project management strategy to deal with that. Last but not least, there was a cultural gap to bridge. On-site visits, intercultural competence practices, and transparent communication are the ways we adopted among many others.
Integration with government registries and services
There were two types of existing services and data bases we had to use: outdated ones and those under works. So it was never a fact we’d get an expected response when you call those. Meanwhile our task was to build a robust and accessible solution capable of serving up to 100,000 requests per hour and grant flawless experience to the end users.
Initial deliverables and our approach:
- The first goal we helped our client achieve was to impress government stakeholders with the platform’s prototype. In two months of our work a working prototype was successfully presented to the ministry and got the green light for at least two years of further platform development.
- Afterwards, the P2H experts were tasked to develop the platform’s core. Up to the present day, P2H remains the only vendor responsible for all the system- and business-critical features under the platform’s hood. Over 10 P2H teams have been working on developing and integrating various services added to the platform’s core. Each services is a separate product covering a particular purpose: Visa Issuance, Work Permit Issuance and Renewal, Change Occupation etc. Each service is a stand-alone project independent of the other ones.
- The client gave us the credit to assist new vendors onboarding and team coordination. When it comes to DevOps and GItOps practices, we introduced CI/CD pipeline to ensure any team’s ability to write and integrate the code, run tests, release and deploy changes to the platform collaboratively and real-time.
- As firm believers in the Agile values and principles, we used them in project management, adopting Scrum for a smooth development process.
Project duration and team composition
Project initiation4 Teams
Pre-launches in production6 Teams
Official release8 Teams
analYsIs and improvement13 Teams
Project support, new features implementation15 Teams
Standard team (FTE):
Agile Project Manager
Manual QA Engineer
QA Automation Engineer
Tech stack and processes
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