Bamboo Group developed a gaming application for a major car manufacturer that was aimed at helping kids learn about driving and car safety. They built a cross-platform solution that kids could use in the car.
The app has between 20,000-30,000 downloads since its launch. It has received positive feedback from users and has been included in auto shows in Europe for the past few years. The UI/UX is very intuitive, and the success of the project lead the client to use Bamboo Group for future projects.
"They were very enthusiastic and open ... their suggestions always improved the product."
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I’m a project manager and I’m in charge of the development of connectivity and infotainment for ŠKODA AUTO, which is part of Volkswagen Group. The main objective of the projects I lead is to develop mobile applications which are connected to cars and infotainment.
There was a need to develop a gaming app for Android, iOS, and Windows, which would be able to communicate with an in-car IoT [internet of things] system. The cooperation with Bamboo Group started as a small-scale project which later ended up in long-term mutual cooperation.
What challenge were you trying to address with Bamboo Group?
We wanted to develop an app to teach driving and car safety to kids. We sell additional equipment packages to customers buying Volkswagen vehicles, one of which is a device that can retrieve data in real time. This offers the business of selling connectivity to our customers. For this special equipment, we needed some mobile applications. Our business goal was not to sell the mobile application, but rather to sell the equipment with the car. The mobile applications cover numerous use cases for our customers. Our business concept is highly focused on family. One use case was to bring a mobile game that can be linked to the car for kids, for their entertainment during a drive, to teach, and to build a relationship with our company and our brand. This was the main goal for the development of this application with Bamboo Group.
What was the scope of their involvement?
For this project, we decided not to use native programming, but rather to go with a cross-platform solution. We didn’t have experience with this, but it was a suggestion from Bamboo Group. It has pros and cons, but in the end, we were very happy with the cost-effectiveness of their solution. We were also very surprised with how fast and effective their programming was. On the other hand, cross-platform apps are not as effective as native ones. However, for the use case of this mobile game, I must say we were very satisfied with their work, their flexibility, and the level of their expertise. I believe there were three or four developers assigned to our project.
How did you come to work with Bamboo Group?
The first contact that we had with them was at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona three years ago. They had a stand at the conference, and we exchanged contact information. They were very enthusiastic and open, and their proposal was the best compared to their competition, so we tried this mid-sized project with them.
What is the status of this engagement?
The first project began in June of 2014, and the relationship is ongoing.
Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
The app has between 20,000 and 30,000 downloads. It’s not a very large number, but we are selling this to a very specific range of customers. At the moment, we have about 100,000 cars on the road with this equipment, so it’s a very good number. The app has generally positive reviews in its app stores and has been featured in large European auto shows for over two years. The app has fully met our expectations. It has an exceptional user interface and user experience thanks to Bamboo Group’s expertise in cross-platform programming.
The popularity that the app has among Škoda customers resulted in a major update and renewal of this project for the second generation of connectivity which was introduced in late 2016.
How did Bamboo Group perform from a project management standpoint?
They were a little behind schedule at first, but that has improved. They are basically on time, which is the reason we choose to continue our collaboration with them.
What did you find most impressive about Bamboo Group?
They’re very proactive and even did some development work which wasn’t in the requirements. They integrated a few functions that they thought were more valuable and cool to have. We were very happy with this because their suggestions always improved the product.
They’re located quite far away from us, but they fully managed to lead the development in cooperation with us from a distance, without any major issues.
Are there any areas Bamboo Group could improve?
There’s a bit of a language barrier. Their developer didn’t speak English, so we did have some struggles. It wasn’t serious, but it was a disadvantage. They initially had a lack of expertise in the automotive industry, but that isn’t an issue anymore.