Apriorit was first approached to develop a custom ERP solution and the successful launch of that system led to the remote staffing engagement that exists today.
Accountability, project leadership and access to a wide range of technical skills were all cited as major strengths.
"From end to end, they take projects on and don't allow for gaps or miscommunications. From our business analyst to the quality assurance tester, Apriorit makes sure that the cycle is consistent and well planned."
Please introduce your business and what you do there.
We are a software development company working for fulfillment-based businesses, specifically those handling installations and sales. This can include direct TV, security systems, and so on. I'm the vice president of development.
What business challenge were you trying to address with Apriorit?
We needed to find a group of engineers that could work on our products. We have our own United States-based team, but wanted another one within a different time zone, that could work on issues through the night. We were trying to improve our efficiency by adapting that method but didn't want to go through the process of hiring new on-site staff for those off-hours. Outsourcing seemed like the best alternative.
What was the scope of their involvement?
Apriorit helped us with all sides of development. We are working with a business analyst from Apriorit who is in charge of our designs. We hire out developers and project managers from Apriorit as well as quality assurance testers. At peak capacity, we've worked with 13 to 15 resources from Apriorit.
We've worked on multiple projects with Apriorit, all for the same software platform. We have developed an ERP [enterprise resource planning], data-driven, software-as-a-service solution. It does everything from inventorying to HR, payroll, and job management. It integrates with other providers and runs billing for customers, acting as an end-to-end solution.
Apriorit is in charge of integrating APIs [application programming interfaces] based on the requirements set by our internal team. Apriorit doesn't work directly with third parties.
How did you come to work with Apriorit?
We tried multiple different solutions, and Apriorit's was the first one that worked for us. We spent two weeks on-site with their team two years ago. After an initial six-month collaboration, we saw that we would have a successful relationship and decided that it would be advantageous to meet the engineers and project managers from Apriorit in-person. It was beneficial to us to understand their culture. We plan to visit Apriorit again in October .
Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?
The total development cost with Apriorit so far has been around $1 million.
What is the status of this engagement?
We have been working with Apriorit for three years.
Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
Apriorit has a dedicated, hardworking team. They're always willing to work extra hours and work on holidays if we have an issue. I have nothing but great things to say about the engineers and our project manager from Apriorit. Whenever I bring something up, such as performance issues with a certain resource, Apriorit will be quick to either fix the situation or find another person for our team.
Apriorit keeps internal metrics on engineer productivity, which is quite astounding. They work hard to ensure that every member is productive. Apriorit definitely does not like not having enough work. We have dedicated developers who we engage for a full month, regardless if we have enough work for them or not. Our project manager has been good at pushing us to provide enough work to fill those resources' time, so no one will be idle, even though we pay for that time just the same.
Apriorit writes good-quality code. Our business analyst in particular is absolutely amazing. She is dedicated, driven, and I couldn't ask for someone better. The amount of story points that we've gotten every month, compared to onshore engineers, is much higher at Apriorit. Their velocity and capabilities are excellent.
How did Apriorit perform from a project management standpoint?
Apriorit's team speaks English well, which allows me to talk to every one of our resources at least three times each week. They're able to collaborate with our user acceptance tester and our agile support manager about every issue.
We have safeguards on our side through which we ensure that schedules are kept. Our work cycles are only two weeks long, so we're a very rapid deployment company. There has never been a big solution that took Apriorit six months to complete before we saw anything. They've always been very good at staying on time. We use a ticketing software called Countersoft and also have a homegrown solution for project tracking.
What distinguishes Apriorit from other providers?
From end to end, Apriorit takes projects on and doesn't allow for gaps or miscommunications. From our business analyst to the quality assurance tester, Apriorit makes sure that the cycle is consistent and well laid out. This has been the biggest difference between them and other companies. Apriorit has never let the ball drop and always made sure that the solution was ready. Apriorit's team has a lot of pride in their work, which has shown.
Is there anything Apriorit could have improved or done differently?
We always experienced issues, but this is the nature of the business. Every month, we have a retrospective meeting with Apriorit, talking about development environments and the cycles themselves, and how they could have been made better. We consistently make changes, and Apriorit has been very adaptive and open to talk about problems they've seen from their side, coming up with solutions for this. We have worked together collaboratively in order to make sure that we have the best environment possible. Particular engineers have performed below the level we expected. Apriorit was quick to resolve the situation.
Clients looking to work with Apriorit should consider shorter release cycles and constant communication with engineers. The biggest reason for our success has been that we haven't simply thrown Apriorit a project and walked away from it. We have an agile support manager and have daily standup meetings with Apriorit, involving our onshore engineers, product managers and the agile support manager. We never simply throw Apriorit a project and walk away. We have resources dedicated to managing the relationship, ensuring that the standard agile practices are in place.