How did you select Abelium R&D and what were the deciding factors?
We scanned the IT-market and other scientific facilities in our region (not just in our country), since we knew that it is important to clearly define project specification, so we couldn’t hire »youngsters« or IT-firms with limited experience in custom software development, or firms with fixed pre-developed.
We knew, we need a custom development, appropriate for our needs, which will then best address the needs of our customers (based on our research and segmentation). And that can be achieved only with an agile, but senior committed team of interdisciplinary experts, that also understand the business side of the problems they are solving.
We selected Abelium through a recommendation from the IT-sector, their clearly presented references, diversified team of PhDs, which impressed us, and proven track record of long-term cooperation – as also applied science expertise knowledge was their biggest advantage in the process of decision making.
After first few meetings we already saw that they are thinking »out-of-the-box« and already started to ask the right question, through which we saw they do want to understand the right problem being fixed, before jumping into documenting and programming a solution we thought we need.
Trust was gained fast and we quickly became a good team, that resulted in agreed partnership also on the business model side and entering in the co-ownership structure. Since we are building an innovation, that can't be put into “bare numbers”.
Describe the scope of work in detail, including the project steps, key deliverables, and technologies used.
As described, through tight cooperation, we defined final business model to serve our USP: » Flexible and reliable as a personal car for the price of a bus, also on long distance routes. « That is why we have hired them to deliver:
- State-of-the-art optimization algorithm using machine learning. Meaning: 1. Dynamic pricing: transferring know-how of low-cost airlines to road transportation and upgraded with big data analytics and probability calculation. 2. Departure time and route optimization.
- Demand-responsive scaling (adding shuttles based on demand).
- Web/mobile sales platform and online access to customers.
- Customer pooling on long-distance – similar routes, similar desired travel time. …and they did. With excellence and also additional services that had emerged and were needed to be handled.
How many people from the vendor's team worked with you, and what were their positions?
As partners we mostly worked with their top-level people, the rest was handled internally on their side, so we are not familiar with the exact numbers (enough, I would say).
Which is again, a great advantage, to have a single-point-of-contact. Or in our case – three: (1) Alen Orbanič, Ph.D., CTO - R&D, mathematics, smart technologies, 12 years in the industry (2) Boris Horvat, Ph.D., CRO - ICT & logistics expert, 13 years in the industry. (3) Primož Lukšič, Ph.D., COO – Operations & payments expert, 10 years in the industry.