How a cybersecurity startup went from plan to prototype in just three weeks

Situation

Cyvatar is a cybersecurity-as-a-service (CSaaS) startup based in Southern California. Its senior leadership team needed to prove to early-stage investors that the company could deliver on its mission to democratize cybersecurity by making the best protection accessible and affordable for any size organization. They wanted to show investors and prospective customers alike that Cyvatar was more than just a great idea, that it was a viable and scalable business.

To do so, Cyvatar Vice President of Platform Stephanie Simpson was charged with building a working prototype of an all-in-one platform customers could use to manage their security investments -- including Cyvatar CSaaS. It had to operate as a single pane of glass and it had to integrate easily into most existing security environments. And the prototype had to be built quickly.

Importantly, the company wanted to ensure it used investor dollars wisely. They didn’t want to spend time and money hiring a huge internal development team; instead, they wanted the flexibility to ramp people and skills up and down as the business needs demanded. Hiring and firing staff meant a much longer time to market to deliver their CSaaS offering, so Cyvatar looked for a design and development partner to help them ramp fast.


Desired outcomes

  • High quality prototype 
  • Beautiful, intuitive UI
  • Scalable architecture 

Solution

Cyvatar Platform

“We've had a fantastic partnership with Hello Iconic, up until now it has been an incredible design and development partner for us and I've learned a lot through the process as has the team”. - Craig Goodwin

We first met with the Cyvatar team to capture the scope and vision of the project. Cyvatar needed assessments containing hundreds of questions distilled into a set of user-friendly templates and capabilities built on consumer-facing best practices from StixFix and others. We wanted to validate Cyvatar’s value proposition by ensuring the prototype could ingest and filter data from all of the probable sources Cyvatar was likely to need. We started with one to prove the concept worked then added others as the project moved forward. 

Our team covered finely tuned UX and UI requirements in addition to all of the rapidly scaling integrations so that users would have an easy, enjoyable experience from the outset, rather than just a technologically sound solution peppered with friction and other evident flaws. We also built short- and long-term roadmaps to ensure Cyvatar could introduce new platform features and upload new technology integrations on a launch-when-ready basis. The approach meant the prototype was releasable out of the gate, which built a tremendous amount of trust with Cyvatar.


“They have a highly skilled team with great talent at every level of the company! Unlike the other providers we talked to, Hello Iconic was a perfect culture fit for the Cyvatar family. They have an amazing work ethic with motivated self-starters on every team; they also take ownership of their projects and full accountability every step of the way. Without Hello Iconic, we couldn’t have made our tight launch deadlines, and we sure wouldn’t be able to keep on top of our ongoing feature additions and enhancements!” - Stephanie Simpson.

The Cyvatar team liked our technological flexibility: Cyvatar could make changes and updates quickly without cumbersome processes or bureaucratic red tape. We were also willing to share the risk that often comes with such rapid changes: Strong communication channels enabled both sides to evaluate change management opportunities on the fly and agree to trade-offs (speed to market, for example, could introduce a bug that would have to be worked out upon release) when necessary to keep the project on track. 

And when the organization hit a speedbump, we were quick to own the outcome and take responsibility for moving the program down the road, an approach, not every partner would embrace but one that strengthened the foundational trust between Cyvatar and our team and enabled us to evolve and grow together.

Importantly, we went straight to the working model, rather than building out the prototype on paper, to help meet Cyvatar’s rapid time-to-market goals. In just three weeks, we built a beautiful, intuitive CSaaS platform. We delivered the working prototype Cyvatar required including all wireframes, visual designs, architecture, and code in less than a month. To keep it vibrant and relevant, we continue to develop new platform features, technology integrations for Cyvatar partners, and continuous improvements on existing features, all in two- to four-week sprints.


“The Cyvatar CSaaS platform gives us complete visibility into all of our security tools so we can better protect customer information,” said Circa Resort & Casino Manager of IT Network Engineering, John Palma. “Cyvatar fully integrates all of our many disparate systems so that everything works seamlessly--even our existing tools!” 


Results

  • Eight gold award wins for best technology CSaaS resulting from Cyvatar platform success
  • 2.5 launches per month 
  • 22 total launches to date
  • 230 Cyvatar members active on the platform in first nine months

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