International digital partner settlements based on the Hyperledger Fabric for HLB

Smart experiment of blockchain network implementation with chaincode usage.

Goals
  • Smart experiment of blockchain network implementation with chaincode usage.
  • Proof of concept to make process transparent and structured, semi-automatization.
  • Use existing Microsoft SharePoint based app.
  • Integrate smoothly new technology into existing process.
approach
Approach
  • Integration with existing app.
  • Data storage in HLF network.
  • Smartcontracts to change statuses and issue invoices.
  • Status changes presented in the SharePoint app.
  • One source of truth with immutable data history.
  • Automated status change following the chaincode executing tasks.
  • Java, Docker, HLF.
  • No fronted, backend only.
Results
  • Integration with Microsoft SharePoint.
  • Users can use the same UI they are used to.
  • Reduced amount of actions that require manual work.
  • Application automatically sets statuses.
  • Ready for the process of receiving the referral and creating referral already received by the receiver.

What was the industry context?

HLB is a global network of independent advisory and accounting firms. They have a history of innovation, collaboration and helping clients grow across borders.

Currently they have independent branches across 157 countries with combined staff of 38 732 professionals – combining local expertise and global capabilities.

Each HLB branch is a separate organisation. As all solutions it has its pros and cons. It is easier to manage smaller organizations and follow local compliance and audit rules for branches.

On the other hand organizing cross-country projects and infrastructure requires synchronization in many aspects and it is close to impossible to make each branch equally engaged and responsible.

Creating decentralized system treating each organization being a part of the network makes cooperating with new members easier. As everyone plays with the same rules enforced by the system and the trust is build into the solution.

Why did HLB choose blockchain?

HLB already had a working system – one global SharePoint instance for referrals.

However HLB needed a transparency of referrals to be increased thanks to the more standardized referral handling and tracking processes. There was a need to make possible adding new referrals using the “old” Sharepoint interface, but being able to track deals’ statuses based on data points collected from various sources (project orders, invoices, payments etc.).

In blockchain users operate in the transparent and secure environment, where activities are tracked and transparent. It guarantees HLB that every branch in the world will have a full copy of the data.

What was the role of Espeo Blockchain?

We began our work by consulting and defining the scope of the project, as well as selecting the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology which would fit the HLB project best.

The main purpose was not to touch the fronted but focus solely on backend. The reason for it was an already existing Microsoft SharePoint based app that has been in use for some time. The role of Espeo Blockchain was to integrate it smoothly with the new blockchain technology into existing process.

We have started with creating a proof of concept to make process transparent and structured, semi-automatization.

As a result the data now is being stored in HLF blockchain network which serves as the one source of truth with immutable data history. We have also automated status change following chaincode executing tasks.

It’s also worth noting that not all data should be accessible to all. Only the member firms that already have referral relationships will be able to access data on their mutual clients.

Smart contracts are of course one the factors that introduce trust and automation to the referral handling process.

When the system will evolve, smart contracts will help in governance of the referral process between HLB branches, but may be also used to automate the govern the agreements with HLB end clients.

What technologies did we use?

Java – mature and well-established technology best used for REST API and core backend development.

Docker – Docker containers give us the possibility to setup the environment on the local machine which is equal to the production env. This helps avoiding problems that appear only after production deployment.

Hyperledger Fabric – blockchain permissioned network composed from peers, orderers and CA servers. Each of the components has its role. Peers store and synchronize the data.

The ordering service implements the consensus protocol to maintain one version of true. CA service stands for Certificate Authority, which provides features such as: issuance of certificates (ECerts) certificate renewal and revocation.

technologies

How does the digital settlements platform works in the app?

New blockchain backend is a game changer in terms of transparency. It’s because only the verified, approved and standardized data points will be added to the blockchain ledger. At the same time users still use the same UI they are used to.

The system provides all members of the blockchain network with an instant access to the data, however without being able to modify it. Having a high quality master data repository (the single source of truth) enables member firms to access and verify referral and project data in real-time. It eliminates the need for a siloed process of reconciliation, which makes settlements far simpler and more reliable. Application automatically sets statuses for example depending on timeline.

It’s also worth noting that not all data should be accessible to all. Only the member firms that already have referral relationships will be able to access data on their mutual clients.

Smart contracts are of course one the factors that introduce trust and automation to the referral handling process.

When the system will evolve, smart contracts will help in governance of the referral process between HLB branches, but may be also used to automate the govern the agreements with your end clients.

Project summary

Connecting Microsoft Sharepoint technology that users are used to with transparent and immutable layer of Hyperledger Fabric.

  • One data source decentralized, not dependent on one managing organization.
  • Seamless transition for users.
  • More repetitive manual tasks eliminated.
  • Speed up settlement and payment process (automatic invoice issuing).

Do you want to gain a competitive edge through a digital transformation of your company?

We have been helping various businesses with digitalization for over 10 years. Contact using the form below and one of our experts will get in touch with you.

Check out other case studies
monethero

Monethero case study

Crowdlending e-commerce fintech platform based on the Hyperledger Fabric for monethero Build a decentralized platform that would allow the lending process based on blockchain. Download

Read More ➜
HLB logo

HLB case study

International digital partner settlements based on the Hyperledger Fabric for HLB Smart experiment of blockchain network implementation with chaincode usage. Download PDF Goals Smart experiment

Read More ➜