UpTech Team has taken over the development to improve the stability of two mobile apps that were poorly constructed by previous companies. They also work on a third Android app to develop features.
They have reduced crashes on one app by over 20% and have improved performance overall. UpTech is the only outsourcing company that the client feels is on par with US resources. They provide useful suggestions and high quality solutions.
"I have referred them. It’s very difficult to find guys you can count on."
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I have 2 companies that they do work for; both are mobile software companies. The name of the app they do the most work on is Geeking App. The app is pretty large.
We’re 2 people right now. I’m one of the partners.
What challenge were you trying to address with UpTech Team?
We had previously done all our development in-house. I’ve been doing software for a long time so we did it domestically over the years. We didn’t have enough work nor did we want to spend as much as was necessary to have a full-time US-based person. Our part-time US-based guys were not readily available. That’s the main reason we tried to find a company to help us.
What was the scope of their involvement?
UpTech Team is doing mobile Android and iOS development for me. They’re doing the same thing for both companies. They’re only doing Android for 1 company, while they’re doing Android and iOS for the other one. They didn’t start anything from scratch. They took over existing stuff. For 1 company, they took over a fairly complex iOS app that we had been developing for 3 or 4 years. The app was complicated because it was very deep and very messy. The Android app was also pretty poor. It had been developed initially by a different overseas firm that did not do a good job, and then it had been hacked together by various other developers. They jumped in on that, which is always stressful and challenging.
We’ve done 2 projects with them and they continue to work on the same apps. We don’t develop new stuff but we do develop new features. The biggest thing they did on one of the apps was revamping the Android app. Now, it uses the latest Android user interface guidelines and Android methods. It was very out of date, so that was a substantial project. It was behind the scenes stuff, although the UX did get updated so users saw that. But most of their work was on improving the stability and performance of the app.
We tend to have 1 person who leads the project. There’s 1 person that oversees. We have had times where the person we used got busy on another project because we don’t have anyone dedicated to this full-time. We’re not guaranteed a certain person indefinitely. Sometimes we do 40 hours a week, sometimes we do 80 hours a week, and sometimes 20 hours a week. If that person gets allocated to another project, then they’ll put someone else in. That’s happened once or twice.
How did you come to work with UpTech Team?
I didn’t go seek them out. There’s a guy in LA who is a broker for them. He introduced us to them and he takes a fee from that deal. So, they met us through him. I don’t really have to deal with him now as I work directly with UpTech.
How much have you invested with UpTech Team?
We paid $60,000 for their services.
What is the status of this engagement?
We’ve been working about 9 months with them. It started in February or March of this year.
Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
They reduced the crashing on the Android app massively. It was just a very poor app. They’ve reduced it down to 98.7% non-fatal crash on a daily basis. We were probably 75% prior to that.
How did UpTech Team perform from a project management standpoint?
We mostly speak through Slack and we use Pivotal Tracker to assign them tasks. Occasionally, we have Skype calls to go through larger scope things. I’ve been developing software for 20 plus years and I’ve outsourced big projects to other countries maybe 10 to 12 times. They’ve been total disasters 11 out of 12 times, or at best they barely skate by. UpTech Team is the only company I’ve ever used in my entire career that was as good as someone I’ve used here in the US. My only concern is as they start taking on more clients, they won’t have time for me. They know we’re one of their earliest clients and I think they want to take care of me because we’ve been a good client. It’s very difficult to find international developing firms that actually know what they’re doing.
What did you find most impressive about UpTech Team?
They’re good at understanding what the spirit of the action item is and then recommending an alternative solution if that’s not the best way. At best, most developers will do exactly what you ask for. A lot of developers will do way worse than that, meaning it won’t even be what you asked for. But the best developers will develop the best solution for what you ask for. That means they’re not going to do exactly what you said; they’ll suggest a better way of doing it. That’s what really good developers do and that’s what UpTech Team does. It’s a rare find.
Are there any areas UpTech Team could improve?
They’re not on US hours so it sucks. I have to wait. It takes longer to get things done than having someone in my office. But that’s not them specifically, it’s just the nature of outsourcing internationally. We have 1 person, so we’re subject to that person’s availability. They work full- time. But based on the speed they get things done, I suspect they’re probably not working every single hour on our project. The speed is acceptable for what we’re attempting to do, so I’m OK with that.