What was the scope of their involvement?
Our solution has several major components. We found Artezio to build one of them. It’s a publishing tool that allows our brokers to take data from their system and build brochures or microsites that they can use to interact with their customers. The product team in Belarus, which is managed by Artezio, is in complete control of the development and the solution for our publishing piece.
We built our legacy solution in-house, completely on the Microsoft platform, so it was native CRM. We wanted to build our own, more feature-rich and interactive solution, and integrate it with multiple CRM systems. This would allow us to have the same code base that works for both Microsoft and Salesforce, and be on our own platform instead of having three different solutions.
When our software was still in the early stages of development — just a little bit past beta — we called on Artezio to prepare for release to a large number of users in Asia, which presented a lot of challenges with multilingual reporting. There were two or three things our project needed for success, and if we couldn’t do the publishing side, the project would have failed.
Artezio had a model that was being used by several of our clients, but their solution was completely built from scratch.
What is the team dynamic?
We currently have 12 members on our team at Artezio, but just a few months ago we had 25. Part of the reduction was because we finished some of our projects, so we didn’t need as large a team.
We interact with them every day through Visual Studio. We have our standup meetings on a daily basis, product pitch points with them at least twice a week, and asynchronous email-type conversations throughout the day.
Artezio team members are an extension of our team. Though Artezio is the actual employer of the team, they act as if they’re our team members. They have our email addresses, and they check in code to our TFS. It’s very integrated.
How did you come to work with Artezio?
We have developers, but they’re almost all service consultant developers and work with customers.
We have engaged offshore companies for many years in different regions and with different cultures. We’ve tried China, Argentina, Mexico, and India. We found success in Eastern Europe, first with developers in Ukraine.
We wanted to expand beyond Ukraine. This was in 2014 when the conflict there was heating up, so we wanted some geopolitical balance in case the situation worsened. Since we were building a new product line, it was the right moment to consider looking outside of Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.
When we wanted to expand into other markets, we looked at Belarus and did some online research. I located five or six groups in Minsk, and after reading their proposals and conducting telephone interviews, I went to Minsk and visited the two finalists in person. After that, I did reference calls.
While it was a tough decision, Artezio’s references were deeper and more thorough, and they had a longer project history.
How much have you invested with them?
I'd rather not disclose any financial information.
What is the status of this engagement?
We began working together in August 2015, and the work is ongoing.