What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
When we started, we weren’t sure if we’d insource because Accellabs is based in Eastern Europe, and we’re in the UK. However, they’re doing an extremely good job. Their knowledge is excellent and their strategic input is really good. We’ve never changed from them. They’re part of the company for all intents and purposes.
Our customer set has grown; the diversity of industries is much broader. We support multiple languages and operate in different continents, which has respective challenges. There is quite a lot of complexity in the system, but it still needs to be easy to use. Thankfully, ease of use is one of our strengths, along with our ability to rapidly deploy and get sprints out on a timed basis. Out of 60–70 sprints, we’ve only ever had to roll back one. If we have an emergency at 6 a.m. on Sunday, we’ll get a message from the team. Overall, we’re pleased with Accellabs.
COVID-19 has somewhat wiped out our customer base and our business. During this quiet period, we’ve looked at the architecture of the system and done some clever things that we’ve never had the time to do before. That’s been valuable for us.
How did Accellabs perform from a project management standpoint?
We use the Atlassian suite — in particular, Jira — extensively as well as Bitbucket and other tools. We document everything about our designs and then plan everything in Jira. It’s pretty organized.
We know that they’re productive, so we don’t feel the need to spend time analyzing their performance. It never feels like the team is slacking. They’re a trusted part of our organization. That’s not to say we don’t have bugs or make mistakes, but we fix them quickly.
What did you find most impressive about them?
We pay invoices every month instead of through payroll, but we otherwise treat them like members of the company. We know their families, their sporting interests, and their health. It’s really a good quality team that works well. We trust them to deliver the code and help the success of the business.
Are there any areas they could improve?
We’d like a team 2–3 times the current size so we can move faster. I’d also like to bring them into the UK more so we can go out and have a beer with them.