Exceptional Software Know-How

Ascendle is a contract software engineering firm specializing in building custom web and native mobile applications. Ascendle also provides Agile coaching, and has led Agile transformations at companies ranging from startups to multi-billion dollar enterprises, bringing their software development teams to a world-class level of performance.

We leverage years of experience building and leading software development teams and creating award-winning products to make your company more successful. 

 
$25,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2012
Show all +
North Hampton, NH
headquarters
  • Ascendle
    44 Lafayette Rd, #232
    North Hampton, NH 03862
    United States
    603.369.6325

Reviews

Sort by

Cloud Development for Mortgage Loan Provider

"We were impressed by the open and honest communication from Ascendle’s upper management."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Nov. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Ascendle developed a complex custom mortgage banking software application that is interactive and responsive to different questions/answers; it also comes in multiple languages.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Boston Metro Area
Derek Malila
Managing Director, PerfectLO
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The software has proved to be very durable and powerful, impressing both users and trade show attendees. The client highly praises Ascendle for carefully building the software from the start so that it would be robust, and their project management is very systematic too.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

My company develops software for mortgage bankers. Our software is unique and helps everyone involved in the mortgage process become more efficient. It builds a financial checklist as the customer fills out the application, asking the hundreds of questions that a loan officer should or normally would. Loan officers can invite their customers via a web link (this link can live anywhere, website, email signatures etc) or they can fill out the application with the customer present.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ascendle?

We’re mortgage guys, not software guys, so we hired Ascendle to develop our idea and turn it into cloud-based software. There are several things happening in the background while the questionnaire is being completed. It is also written in a multi-language translated code.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Ascendle had to develop the software from scratch. It was unique, so it was somewhat challenging for them. Our software uses a kind of TurboTax approach where it asks 1 question at a time and then branches off to different questions depending on the answer you give it. A big part of the challenge on our side was getting all the roadmaps correct in order for them to build what we wanted and account for all the possible answers. It’s not cookie-cutter software.

How did you come to work with Ascendle?

We found out about Dave and Ascendle through conversations with local residents who had hired him. We interviewed and discussed our idea with Ascendle and found that their thought process seemed to be 2 steps ahead of everyone else. They weren’t the least expensive, but if we had gone with a cheaper option, we probably would have ended up spending a lot more or having a product that we couldn’t sell to banks (sexy and secure).

How much have you invested with Ascendle?

We have invested $200,000 to $1 million with Ascendle.

What is the status of this engagement?

We probably started discussing the project in November or December 2015, and they started working on it in January 2016. We’re still working with them on some tweaks and updated versions.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We haven't had any crashes. They built and tested the software as they went. They were very conscious of building it correctly from the beginning, not skipping steps along the way so that it would be robust, durable and powerful. The feedback has been positive from both newer and older users, and it wows at trade shows. People are impressed by its power.

How did Ascendle perform from a project management standpoint?

Ascendle has been impressive from a project management standpoint. Their team is put together in a systematic way, so everything is handled properly and there is no miscommunication between my ideas and the end product. When the software goes live, it’s exactly what we anticipated. We also have monthly meetings with Ascendle where we can see the progress they’ve made and what everything looks like. We can test it out and make changes to color, font, etc., as it is being developed.

What did you find most impressive about Ascendle?

We were impressed by the open and honest communication from Ascendle’s upper management. I’ve never called or emailed them and not gotten a call or email back. We can tell they truly do care about us and our product. They want to build it correctly. They have pride in their work, and they care about our project as if it were their own.

Are there any areas Ascendle could improve?

I’m not a software guy, so I find it frustrating that something can’t be changed instantly. But I understand it’s not that easy and that after they make a change, they have to test it.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Ascendle?

Like with anything, knowing exactly what you want before you go into the project is going to get you the most accurate time and cost estimate. Being prepared will save everyone a lot of time and money, so get everything thought out and mapped out as best as you can beforehand.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Development for Surgery Consultation Provider

"I've appreciated the fact that Ascendle's approach is centered around business, not IT."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Mar. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Ascendle was hired to design and build a responsive web application for the client, whose idea is an Uber-like platform to directly connect patients and surgeons without all the current bureaucratic delays. Work began in March 2016 and is ongoing.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 employees
 
North Andover, Massachusetts
Paula Muto
Founder, Muto Surgical
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client is extremely pleased with the work done by Ascendle so far, which has been under budget and ahead of schedule. Ascendle is particularly praised for being business savvy as well as technically capable, understanding the need to market the product successfully by addressing both patient and doctor needs.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

‎I am the founder/owner of Muto Surgical, where we are building an app called UberDoc that allows patients direct access to surgeons without referral or authorization for a transparent, affordable price. We want to create a directory allowing patients to find a doctor easily via phone or on the web and contact them directly. The medical system is broken at the moment, which means that patients will have to wait for a long time and pay a lot of money for care. Our group is made up of surgeons, and we're always available. We based our platform on the Uber model, offering direct access to services without intermediaries.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ascendle?

I am a surgeon with an active practice, and I come from a family of surgeons. I'd had this idea for a while and got in touch with an entrepreneur to get the business started. The tech person I was working with at the time was a specs builder rather than an architect. We had a great idea that doctors were interested in, but we had no one to build it.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Ascendle built a responsive web application for our company. This approach gives us much more flexibility than building native apps for specific platforms. We will eventually build downloadable apps as well.

How did you come to work with Ascendle?

I play squash with a friend who happens to be related to Ascendle's owner. She offered to run my idea by her brother, which turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. Working with Ascendle was night-and-day compared to my previous attempt at building this. The project involved surveying the land and figuring out the ins and outs of how we would be building the platform. It was a completely new concept, and I was entirely foreign to it, but I knew enough to know that Ascendle's proposition sounded right.

They put a beautiful proposal in place, which talked us through the process in a transparent way by explaining the Agile process, the storyboards, and communication. I sent the material to my nephew, who is a computer science major, at each step of the way, and he approved every time. He has tried to build his own app, so I know that there is a lot of risk in this field, including being led down the wrong path and overcharges. Not being familiar with software development, I didn't want to hand out a bunch of money to a company and come back in 6 months to see a result, which is what other developers seemed to offer. Ascendle also had reasonable pricing.

How much have you invested with Ascendle?

The cost of our project with Ascendle was $175,000, not including HIPAA [the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996] compliance work, which added another $60,000. Along with all other additions to the software, the cost was between $260,000 and $350,000.

We've been under budget and ahead of schedule so far; for example, Ascendle estimated additional frontend user experience work at $25,000, but it ultimately cost $15,000. Members of Ascendle have also invested in our company, helping offset our initial costs. We're now close to having raised the money we wanted for the initial launch. Ascendle has been a great strategic partner for us. By comparison, the original estimate from the other company we contacted was $400,000, along with 50% equity in our company.

What is the status of this engagement?

We had our first board meeting with them in March 2016, and Ascendle was engaged in April.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Other than the fact that, as a surgeon working within a team, I have nothing to compare Ascendle to. They assigned a project owner from the beginning, who was completely binary and organized. She has been in communication with me every day, even attending trade shows with us. We've joked about the fact that we have no scope creep, but this is mainly because Ascendle has given me yes-or-no choices, which hits well with my way of working as a surgeon.

Our product owner has a degree in business management and has given us free advice, which I found to be even more important than the app itself. Knowing how to sell the product was the bigger issue, and Ascendle has communicated this very openly. Ascendle was always supportive and excited about our sprints, down to the coders. I've met with our quality technician and 2 developers virtually every 2 weeks.

Ascendle created an alpha version of the site which we could send to users as a sneak peek. We received a lot of feedback from people, and Ascendle took all of those suggestions, prioritizing what we could work on and when.

How did Ascendle perform from a project management standpoint?

Any results that are under budget and ahead of schedule are a good thing. Ascendle has taught me about the process, and everything they've done has had a reason and explanation behind it. We've been able to forge ahead, and Ascendle's principal has been directly involved as one of the architects.

What did you find most impressive about Ascendle?

I've appreciated the fact that Ascendle's approach is centered around business, not IT. We were building a tool for the business, not a high-tech structure that is sophisticated to the point of being non-functional. We've had to solve a problem on 2 sides, for patients and doctors respectively. In my experience, the debacle of medical records is getting increasingly complicated, with companies having no regard for the end user. Going to the doctor has become like going through TSA security. Ascendle kept reminding me about the ultimate purpose of our system and who the end users were. We aren't building art for art's sake. We need the technology to be standalone.

Are there any areas Ascendle could improve?

Ascendle could even move a little slower. I've struggled on the other side to connect with the appropriate team members on the marketing front. There are many healthcare providers who have invested in our project, and I feel obliged not to waste their money.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Ascendle?

I have no particular advice. There's been no stress in this collaboration, which is always important.

5.0
Overall Score Even though I don't have experience in this field, there are people on my team who do. They've been extremely impressed with Ascendle's ability to stay on track.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Ascendle is way ahead on this front.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I received another estimate which was twice as high to what Ascendle charged us, and they've been very transparent.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Yes, as long as they don't take Ascendle away from me.

Web & App Development for Infrastructure Asset Tracker

"Ascendle  is very good at listening and working with clients."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Sept. 2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Ascendle was hired to transition the client's PC-based software to web-based and create an app for data input on mobile devices, a process that was essentially starting from scratch. The work began in 2013 and is ongoing.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 employees
 
Topsfield, Massachusetts
Jeff Pollock
CEO, International Coding Technologies
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client is very impressed with the new system, which has continued evolving and is well received in the market. Ascendle was particularly praised for their attentiveness and ensuring that their software development followed business needs.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the CEO of International Coding Technologies (ICT), which provides SaaS [Software-as-a-Service] for tracking information about concrete products used in infrastructure construction. We are located in Topsfield, MA.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ascendle?

Our legacy product was PC-based; we needed to overhaul it to reside on the web as well as develop mobile technology for input of the information through an app on tablets. We hired Ascendle to do this in 2013 and have continued to outsource our software development to them since.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

In the process of transitioning the PC-centric software to the web and creating the app, we were essentially starting from scratch. Ascendle managed every aspect of this in concert with our business objectives.

How did you come to work with Ascendle?

Dave Todaro was recommended to us for his good work prior to starting Ascendle.

How much have you invested with them?

We have spent close to $600,000 over three years.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started in 2013 and our work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that demonstrates the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?

The most fundamental achievement is our working system that has continued to evolve and is very well accepted in the market. Without Ascendle, we would have nothing.

How did Ascendle perform from a project management standpoint?

Excellently. Ascendle is very crisp in managing development through its two-week sprint process. We have a sprint review meeting at the end of each one so we are quickly aware of slippage if any. At times, when I have expressed concern about efficiency, the company was immediately attentive and proactive about fully understanding my concerns and addressing them when necessary.

What did you find most impressive about Ascendle?

The top three are: 1) Ascendle's operating practice of having software development follow business needs; 2) Client attentiveness; 3) Their quality of work.

Are there any areas Ascendle could improve?

The usual complexities of working with developers overseas sometimes hamper the pace of development a bit. The only issue I've expressed is concern about the pace of development slowing from too much time spent on bug fixes rather than new development.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Ascendle?

Communicate your needs clearly. Ascendle is very good at listening and working with clients.

5.0
Overall Score Excellent experience, for all the reasons above. They have been very flexible and accommodating.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    It would be 5 if not for the bug fix issue mentioned above.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They do good work and are excellent in attending to customer needs. There is a very positive, can-do culture that is essential for any start-up or growing business.

Web Development for Document Management Software Provider

"Ascendle wasn't afraid to put up a stake in the ground and promise an exact delivery time."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. - Sept. 2016
Project summary: 

Ascendle was hired to provide development guidance to the client, such as evaluating documentation and determining how to improve performance while reducing costs. The work began in April 2016 and was completed in September. The client may re-engage with Ascendle in 2017.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 employees
 
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Steve Tentindo
President/CEO, Treeno Software
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client was very satisfied with the work done by Ascendle, noting how internal communication became more transparent and company trust has improved. Ascendle was particularly praised for being timely with project deliveries and highly professional.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Treeno Software is a developer providing document management and workflow process solutions. We work within a host of environments and verticals, including financial services, education, third-party administration, manufacturing, and so on.

I am the president and Chief Executive Officer of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ascendle?

We are a small software company and were behind in delivery schedules for a project. Our product is very flexible but still needs tweaking in order to work in the way that the customer requested. The delay created cash flow constraints, and we needed help with cloud architecture, given that we don't have a lot of networking and hardware expertise. I felt confident in Ascendle's level of knowledge in helping us move forward in the right direction and keeping our new and existing customers as happy as possible.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Ascendle made an evaluation of our documentation and processes, determining areas where we needed to upgrade and optimize in order to improve performance and reduce costs associated with development and quality assurance. Ascendle laid out a plan and a set of tools that we needed to use in order to continue with growth and to maintain the integrity of everything being built. We also had Ascendle perform a review of our coding, making sure that all parts were as efficient as possible.

We don't host our cloud solution, instead, we use 2 different providers. Ascendle performed an evaluation for both of them, letting us know where we should or shouldn't move and which platform in particular customers should be using.

We're a cloud-based, web-based mobile app developer, and it's becoming ever more important to our client base that we can provide the best technical knowledge possible for creating sophisticated solutions.

How did you come to work with Ascendle?

Ascendle's owner is well known as an entrepreneur. He has developed several products in the past and has a great reputation in terms of being a true professional. He's built a fantastic organization, according to the people I spoke to about Ascendle. I reached out to them because of the recommendations I received.

How much have you invested with Ascendle?

Sorry, this is confidential. Every project is different, and we're usually unable to offer pricing based on summary requirements. There are a number of different modules and customizations that a product can have.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Ascendle in April 2016. Several of our projects were completed in early September. We need to stabilize and ensure that we're managing the processes that Ascendle helped us with. There is potential to re-engage Ascendle for our goals and objectives for 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

By the end of Ascendle's engagement with our company, internal communication became completely transparent and there was more clarity and willingness to be open and honest within the team. Real trust took roots within the members across the company, as products and services began to be delivered with increased predictability and reliability. We're moving faster now than ever before, and the company functions as one cohesive team more than ever before. Our members are volunteering to take on additional responsibilities, which has been a refreshing attitude, especially for me. People have recognized the fact that I want to grow the company in the right way and build a foundation for a long-term presence.

How did Ascendle perform from a project management standpoint?

Ascendle did a great job in this sense. We had weekly meetings with their personnel on-site who participated in our own scrums and guided us, helping our team become more proficient and independent in doing things that had never been done before. Ascendle's project managers were right on and communicative. They put out minutes from the meetings, listing what our accomplishments and next steps were.

What did you find most impressive about Ascendle?

I've worked with different types of outsourcing companies. By comparison, Ascendle never dragged out a project. They set their own goals with us and let us know what would be accomplished within the next periods. Ascendle wasn't afraid to put up a stake in the ground and promise an exact delivery time. Their communication and professionalism were unmatched, as far as I was concerned.

Are there any areas Ascendle could improve?

I don't have anything of this sort to put out.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Ascendle?

Clients should feel confident when engaging Ascendle.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Development for Bank Services Provider

"Ascendle performed great, applying their own methods and tools to managing our project."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Mar. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Ascendle was hired to assess and train the client's team in establishing a functional Agile process for development. Work began in March 2016 and is ongoing as Ascendle continues to provide development assistance.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 employees
 
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Scott Cornell
CEO, SilverCloud
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client is extremely pleased with the work done by Ascendle, especially the Agile and scrum coaching. The client particularly appreciates how Ascendle was able to help the existing team produce much higher quality code simply through reassessing and teaching them.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

SilverCloud provides customer and employee service software for banks and credit unions. We serve up information and answers for consumers on digital channels and internal employees, offering them whatever they need in order to get their job done.

I am the Chief Executive Officer of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ascendle?

We needed to increase the productivity and overall morale of our development team.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our first project with Ascendle involved a 1-2 week assessment of our team and company by interviewing employees and management and looking over our processes. Ascendle provided input on where we were and what we should do.

Our larger project involved Ascendle recommending some changes and helping us implement them. Over the course of 3 months, Ascendle helped us establish a functional, Agile process for development.

How did you come to work with Ascendle?

I had met Ascendle's principal on a couple of occasions and was familiar with what he did.

How much have you invested with Ascendle?

Our first engagement with Ascendle had a cost below $10,000, while the second one had a cost of between $50,000 and $200,000. We've recently had a follow-up training session with Ascendle which had a cost of around $2,500.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Ascendle in March 2016. Our second project started in the second quarter of the year.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We had some productivity challenges in getting out new releases of our software. We weren't able to effectively measure what progress the team was making, what amount of work was being done, or even how large our projects were. The biggest problem was that we weren't making any releases either. Ascendle helped diagnose some of our problems and verify that we had a great team of people. We didn't need to make any personnel changes or additions, but simply didn't have the right process and training in place. Within a couple of weeks, Ascendle put a foundation of what we needed in place.

Over the course of 3 months, Ascendle continued to work with us, coaching our team on the Agile processes and methods necessary and made sure that we had the right platforms in place for managing our project. Ascendle helped us scope out projects and participated in all of our scrum ceremonies. We quickly started making immediate progress and produced much higher quality code. At the end of every sprint, we actually had demonstrable, deliverable software. In the course of 6 months, our team was able to completely rewrite and deliver a new platform into our product line, which was fantastic.

How did Ascendle perform from a project management standpoint?

Ascendle performed great, applying their own methods and tools to managing our project. Everything went smoothly.

What did you find most impressive about Ascendle?

I appreciated the immediate, dramatic results that we saw simply by utilizing the resources that we already had on hand.

Are there any areas Ascendle could improve?

Our team utilized them on an ongoing basis after the delivery, but there isn't anything major for Ascendle to improve.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Ascendle?

Clients should put their trust in the process and in their team. We had to let go of the reign and allow the process to run its course. Ascendle quickly turned things around for us.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    It all fell into place.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    In retrospect, it was money well spent, but the cost was a bit hard to swallow upfront.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The results speak for themselves.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I wholeheartedly would.