What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
The revenue we have on the media side, for all our properties, is powered by the CMS developed by Arkenea. For the past two years, we’ve had our own engineering team manage the platform, and it continues to be the core of our business. I don’t know if I'd be able to provide any metrics or statistics to support this though.
We haven’t faced any issues in terms of downtime over the last three years. We don’t have a lot of traffic, given that our audiences are very niche, but we have close to 200,000 page views per month, and we haven’t seen any issues in terms of site performance.
How did Arkenea perform from a project management standpoint?
Their project management was quite good and I never saw it as a challenge. We kept coming up with new ideas all the time, and there was a lot change in management for Arkenea to deal with, but they handled it all really well. I believe they used Jira to manage the project, but we also had an entire infrastructure for uploading code and testing it in a sandbox server. Overall, they had sprints defined and, more often than not, they met the deadlines they committed to in terms of releasing new features.
What did you find most impressive about them?
One of the things we really liked about Arkenea was that they had a strong business analyst. They were able to capture our requirements well to begin with, and they were also able to apply their own experience to recommend any kind of change, identify bottlenecks, as well as anything else we had missed, which they felt would have an impact at a later date.
We haven’t worked with companies in the same space as Arkenea, but we have tried to work with development companies when it came to workflow automation and management information systems automation projects. Many of these other development companies had worse performance in terms of timelines, and there would be a lot of compromises in terms of functionalities, as well as the UX never turning out as it was supposed to. We even had to abandon some of these projects. This may have been a function of our own internal maturity, but, all things being the same, Arkenea was able to successfully deliver a CMS that is a core platform driving multiple properties for us.
Are there any areas they could improve?
They’ve probably evolved since our project two years ago, and they’ve probably grown their team size as well, but there were no major issues. This was probably the most successful development project we’ve had over the years, or at least one of the most successful ones.
There’s nothing I could complain about. They did run over on the timelines, but this may have been related to the changes we brought to sprints, as well as to incorrect estimations on Arkenea’s end. I don’t hold this against them though since the spillover wasn’t great.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
Customers should simply be clear in terms of what the requirements are, and set realistic expectations. Other than that, I don’t really have a comment. Arkenea is a good firm to work with and has a good set of people. They’re particular about the people they hire. We haven’t faced a situation of needing to change members of our team.