What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
They were a part of a larger team, so it’s hard to provide metrics. There were about 25–30 engineers on the entire team, of which Auriga was augmenting 5–7, or about 20–30%. We view the entire billing and payment system as a success.
I can’t comment on the entire Auriga team because I only know the people I worked with personally. Hiren was a smart individual, and I would be glad to work with him again. He’s actually become a good friend after the engagement, and has continued to work on other assignments.
The system does about 10 million billing transactions in a month, so it’s a pretty high-volume system. Hiren built the foundation and core of the system that we’re able to build on top of today. Any software product that can live 4–5 years and handle evolving from 10 to 10 million transactions in a month is impressive.
How did Auriga IT perform from a project management standpoint?
I was very insistent on how we would interface, and they were flexible enough to provide what I was looking for. Their environment revolved around project management.
We did a short project off-site to see if it was something that would actually work. I gave them a small task for them to build and show to us, and they did a reasonable job. Their professional ethics were in the right place, and I didn’t have to worry about their development or billing process.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I’ve worked with many developers, but had consistent trouble finding someone who could work within ShopClues’ small budget while remaining effective. Out of all the vendors we’ve worked with, Auriga was the best out of all of them. Their engineering quality is really high, and they became part of our overall plan. Our goals and their goals became synonymous, and we shared the objective for our company to become successful. We’ve come a long way, and Auriga definitely helped us get there.
Are there any areas they could improve?
At one point, they became very critical of what ShopClues was trying to do. I wanted there to be a certain transfer of knowledge between our teams to avoid delays in development. We wanted to avoid the scenario of only 1–2 people knowing how to handle certain areas. For example, Hiren was the critical resource responsible for building the billing system, so if he would have disappeared one day, I would have had a big issue.
They also viewed their employees as their employees and not an extension of my team. At some point, it’s important to give their clients the comfort that they’re not going to go out of business. I wanted to create a certain amount of transition so the continuity of business could be maintained. Due to this disagreement, we gradually ended the engagement and brought all of our systems in-house.