Custom-Made Slides Deck Solution for Semper Constantia Bank

Semper Constantia Bank is a well-known Austrian bank, located in Vienna. As of 28 September 2018, Semper Constantia Bank has become part of the Liechtensteinische Landesbank (Österreich) AG. The acquisition of Semper Constantia enabled the LLB Group to establish Austria as its third important home market and grow its range of services across another border.

With its strong position in the private banking sector and the custodian bank, investment fund, and real estate business - Semper Constantia has proven to be a smart investment for the LLB Group. The takeover has provided the Group with a golden asset that can only be described as “well-oiled machinery”.

The Problem

Last year, we were approached by a couple of representatives of Semper Constantia Bank with a request to build them an app for their sales presentations. The idea was to create a system that will help them unify the look and feel of their sales PowerPoint presentations.

As they explained to us, most of their salespeople were making presentations on their own which sometimes resulted in a look that felt “off-brand”. The way information was formatted wasn’t defined and uniformed, and the visuals were not in line with the brand's identity.

Semper Constantia Bank wanted to put a stop to this and they reached out to us to help them create a system that will allow their salespeople to create presentations only from predefined slides.

Of course, their request wasn’t that simple. Apart from the system that would help them unify their sales team output, the Semper Constantia Bank representatives also wanted us to create an option that would allow their salespeople to upload their own slides to existing presentations (of course, after the slides get approved by the management).

To sum it up: the client needed a tool for creating slide decks that also allow users to import template slides as cover, category, contact and disclaimer slides. The system had to support uploading presentations and users had to be able to select and reuse slides for their own presentations.

The Solution

Considering the fact that this needed to be a part of the SharePoint intranet portal and that we needed to build a system that will help us organize different PowerPoint presentations and slides, it was logical that we use .NET to build this. However, we also needed a third-party library to help us run this kind of system quickly, without glitches.

After a lot of research, we figured out that Spire.Presentation for .NET was not good enough. Even though we tested it while we were still in our trial phase, it just wasn’t working right. So, we asked people from Spire to extend our trial license and help us overcome some issues we were experiencing. The issues were mostly connected to their library. We found some bugs for them, which they really appreciated. They’ve shown their gratitude by providing us with developer licenses for free.

After a couple of weeks of work, we created a system that enabled us to separate and combine PowerPoint slides. It was ready for testing. We decided to implement it in the app we were building for our client and give people access so they can test it.

At this stage, we needed to decide on the technology we were going to use for the front end. Everyone in the team liked VueJS because it is very light but also powerful enough to render the components we were planning to use.

So, the final architecture of the app was:

.NET library component for splitting and combining the slides Web API for storing and retrieving slides to and from the SharePoint library VueJS app as a presentation layer to combine Web API and .NET Library we built

The Results

Thanks to our approach and a very clear communication with the client, we ended up with a very intuitive app that had very few options, but was powerful enough to completely satisfy our client’s needs.

Our solution has the ability to compose presentations out of hundreds of different predefined slides from various categories. It has the power to sort, filter and build “on-brand” presentations in record time just by recycling existing slides. After you build a presentation out of different templates and slides, you are given the option to customize the first slide.

All salespeople have to do is change the name of the presentation, add their name to it, download it, and send it to their target. Their final version of the presentation will be saved in SharePoint, so that the management can keep track of their output. It’s a sweet little system that resolves a pesky problem and automates a mundane task that really shouldn’t take too much time out of salespeople’s day.

Since salespeople aren’t graphic designers and don’t necessarily have a developed sense for aesthetics and visual balance, this is a practical solution that ensures consistency for the brand of Semper Constantia Bank. The app is straightforward and easy to use, and more importantly - it eliminates confusion and ensures the client is always properly presented by their salespeople.