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Employee self-service portal for a global retailer

6 minutes read

Our client, a multinational retailer, is committed to streamlining its internal communication. Their current system was outdated as it relied on printing paper documents. The client lacked the technical expertise to carry out the digitization process on their own and was looking for a partner to create a solution that could be integrated with the existing employee platform.

VirtusLab built an internal self-service portal where employees can access all relevant information regarding their compensation, benefits and additional services. This solution increased the security of the client’s sensitive data, saved operational costs and reduced paper waste, which translated to lowering the client's CO₂ footprint by 255 tons per year.

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The challenge

Our client, a multinational retailer employing over 330,000 people globally, is committed to streamlining its internal communication infrastructure. Their current system was outdated as it relied on paper documents to convey information on employee-related matters, such as annual financial statements and seasonal brochures. The documents had to be rewritten and printed every quarter, generating unnecessary waste and manual labor.

To access information about corporate matters and benefits, employees had to browse multiple internal portals. They were running on a legacy CMS and APIs such as REST, SOAP and GraphQL. Also, they had inconsistent UI.

Our client needed an internal self-service portal designed for employees to access information easily and where every announcement could be distributed instantly. They also needed to digitize their annual statements and brochures. Lacking the technical expertise and manpower to build a suitable solution themselves they looked for an experienced partner.

The solution

Our client contacted VirtusLab for help, given our successful track record with their previous projects. Our engineers created a robust internal self-service portal as a part of the existing employee platform. They used TypeScript and Modern JS tech stack to achieve performant and maintainable code, and implemented Strapi CMS for more intuitive UI. 

The client's employee platform operated as an independent entity in 7 countries, which meant that updates and bug fixes had to be applied separately. To simplify maintenance, VirtusLab adopted a monorepo and shared packages. 

The existing version of the employee portal was designed mainly for desktops. However, the data suggested that employees were using it mostly on tablets and smartphones. Our engineers designed a new portal with a mobile-first approach in mind. 

Replacing the paper documents

The client analyzed their needs regarding internal statements and documentation. They set out their expectations and parameters that engineers converted into technical solutions. There were two types of documents that needed to be digitized:

  • Annual statements regarding employee’s individual compensation including salary, bonuses and other benefits.
  • Seasonal brochures including services that employees could purchase (like insurance). These were usually printed once a year, or whenever the client ran a marketing campaign.

The paper statements already had their design, but it was on Virtuslab’s end to turn it into a functional UX. For example, the seasonal brochures were replaced with a carousel visible on the portal’s display.

Also, due to client’s new security policy regarding application’s architecture, the entire infrastructure was migrated from AWS-based Aurora to Microsoft’s Azure. 

The results

The new self-service portal was completed in 4 months. The client noticed the following benefits:

  • Using monorepos and shared packages streamlined maintenance and improved scalability of the employee platform. Now, the client adds new countries without disrupting the UI.
  • Using Strapi CMS allowed business teams to deliver content updates without the involvement of the engineers rapidly.
  • The new self-service portal optimized the management of employee benefits. For example, employees can request a discount card by filling a form online, instead of calling the service desk.

By digitizing paper statements, the client replaced unnecessary printing estimated at around 3 million pages annually, which consumed 220kWh of power and 13.5 tons of paper. It helped the client reduce the CO2 emissions by about 255 per year. 

The client’s new digital statements were awarded for its simple design and user experience by two national awards, recognizing innovation in business.

The tech-stack





Language and typing


Containerization and Deployment




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VirtusLab's work has met the mark several times over, and their latest project is no exception. The team is efficient, hard-working, and trustworthy. Customers can expect a proactive team that drives results.

Stephen Rooke
Stephen RookeDirector of Software Development @ Extreme Reach

VirtusLab's engineers are truly Strapi extensions experts. Their knowledge and expertise in the area of Strapi plugins gave us the opportunity to lift our multi-brand CMS implementation to a different level.

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Leonardo PoddaEngineering Manager @ Facile.it

VirtusLab has been an incredible partner since the early development of Scala 3, essential to a mature and stable Scala 3 ecosystem.

Martin OderskyHead of Programming Research Group @ EPFL

The VirtusLab team's in-depth knowledge, understanding, and experience of technology have been invaluable to us in developing our product. The team is professional and delivers on time – we greatly appreciated this efficiency when working with them.

Michael GrantDirector of Development @ Cyber Sec Company