App development - AI, AR, VR, IoT and Blockchain

The progressive tech and growth company specialising in the building and commercialisation of successful web and mobile applications that harness practical value from:

  1. Artificial Intelligence
  2. Virtual Reality
  3. Augmented Reality
  4. IoT
  5. Blockchain
 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2007
Show all +
Horsham, United Kingdom
headquarters
other locations
  • The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Rd
    Croydon, LND CR9 2ER
    United Kingdom
  • Wellington House, East Rd
    Cambridge, CAM CB1 1BH
    United Kingdom
  • 500 Grant St Suite 2900
    Pittsburg, PA 15219
    United States

Reviews

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Database Migration for Theater Publishing Firm

"Their work has been a huge step forward."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
April 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Automation Squared created a new cloud storage system to replace an existing Access database and uploaded existing records. Features include a payment processing system and support for user inputs.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Horsham, England
David Waters
Managing Director, Stagescripts
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Automation Squared delivered a solution that improved payment processing and workflow efficiency. It offers better support for user accounts and expanded access for internal users. The team worked without user requirements, maintaining a flexible style to accommodate new change requests.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the managing director and owner of Stage Scripts Ltd, a niche theatrical publisher and licensing agent. We contract with writers of plays and musicals to publish scripts and license performances under copyright laws.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Automation Squared?

We had been using an outdated Access database for licensing purposes. It needed to be more organized to facilitate better customer interaction and minimize time offline. To replace this version, we hired Automation Squared to develop a cloud-based system.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Automation Squared uploaded 50,000–100,000 records from the existing database into a new cloud version they developed in PHP with a Laravel frontend. Many of the tables in the Access version were linked incorrectly, so they created new and improved ones. We also reviewed all the input forms from the old database to ensure they could be reproduced.

The most complicated task Automation Squared completed was replicating the quarterly payment process. We use the database to pay our client writers every three months. They developed a system to support user account creation and inputs.

What is the team composition?

We started off with just one person from Automation Squared who has served as my main contact. They assigned us a second member a couple of months ago to speed things up.

How did you come to work with Automation Squared?

I mainly chose them because they were local. There were one of few companies of their kind in the area. I found it easier to hold face-to-face conversations at an office, so I wanted a partner I could visit onsite to directly explain our highly complicated business needs.

We needed a flexible partner with an interactive process, Automation Squared offered exactly what I wanted. Their ability to develop my product without a user requirement saved us time.

What is the status of this engagement?

We hired Automation Squared in April 2018 and our engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Automation Squared developed a functional mechanism for the output of the database, namely the payment system. I know that it will pay clients correctly if we get our inputs right. Their work has taken us a huge step forward. Their ability to develop my product without a user requirement saved us time.

The database will also save us time by allowing customers to create accounts and type information in themselves rather than having us transcribe it. We’ll simply check it and send out their quotations back by email automatically, at the press of a button. We no longer have to print out about 300 sheets of paper each month, fold them all up, put them in envelopes, and send them to people. Our expectation is that the database will eventually be accessible by any staff member anywhere in the world.

How did Automation Squared perform from a project management standpoint?

We had a discussion about that late last year. They weren’t providing the communication I wanted, but they’ve gotten a lot better since. The communication is okay now. They share updates via Trello and use Slack to ask questions and stay involved.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I appreciate the flexibility Automation Squared has allowed me. I’ve often changed my mind from one week to the next, and, even though it cost me, it was my prerogative. Having more user requirements and version control would have complicated everything. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

Not at the moment. I asked them to keep me better informed, and they did that.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

It’s important to meet with the provider and have face-to-face conversations.

4.5
Overall Score They’re lovely people to work with, and they make me a nice cup of tea every time I walk in.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Their scheduling has mostly been good.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I’ve found their prices reasonable.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    It’s mostly been okay, but occasionally their demonstrations don’t work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Dev Support for AI Software

"They're very experienced and offered the right solutions."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Mar. - Dec. 2018
Project summary: 

Automation Squared augmented an internal hardware team to create AI applications. One allowed data to be gathered from videos and shared among users, while another used the same framework to create data visualizations.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Brighton, England
Simon Clarke
Chief Product Officer, Emteq
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Automation Squared was experienced in unique problem solving, consistently delivered within tight time constraints, and generated new revenue. While their initial collaboration processes needed improvement, they were communicative, quickly addressed the issues, and improved their process in the end.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m chief product officer of a startup called Emteq. We make wearable technology that can measure human emotion.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Automation Squared Ltd.?

We're a small team whose expertise is in hardware development and the creation of new technology, not writing software applications. We were looking for a company that could supplement our own team and help us quickly build software apps.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They've done two projects for us using the same core architecture. The first project was a web-based healthcare app where medical clinicians receive patient information and videos. They built in quality control for the data being received, as well as an AI component that interprets emotions from facial expressions in the videos.

Together we reused that first framework to build a unique data visualization app. It’s an analysis tool that takes what we built in the first project and combines it with data visualization tools to present meaningful content and graphs. Similar functions included uploading data and video, but the main functionality was analyzing and summarizing the data into easily readable graphs. For example, a user could upload a video of themselves watching a movie, and the app will track a user's facial expressions, like when the user laughs at a certain scene. Ultimately, the app produces a graph of emotions throughout the movie.

Automation Squared used Laravel as the overall framework, and we developed an API together to push data in and out. For the database visualizations, they used a Laravel plugin. We used similar plugins for video management.

What is the team composition?

There was a team of developers working on the projects, any of which could ask us questions. But we had a dedicated project manager that I could contact with questions or bug reports.

How did you come to work with Automation Squared Ltd.?

We listed the job on a U.K. job board, a marketplace for software development. We selected Automation Squared because they fully understood what we were trying to achieve. It wasn’t a common or simple project. They were also one of the few companies that were confident that they could deliver in the tight timeframe.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent approximately $27,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The projects lasted March–December 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The healthcare platform enabled us to get our first customer. We needed that platform to deliver on the first sale we had with that client, and we couldn't have done it without Automation Squared. They stuck to the tight timeline, delivered a great product, and our client is still using it. We’re releasing a second version of the app in April, which we can do independently with the core framework that Automation Squared produced.

How did Automation Squared Ltd. perform from a project management standpoint?

Communication was always good. They were willing to meet us face to face and were very communicative on Slack channels when working remotely. In terms of documentation, we lacked a common code repository at first. But implementing GitLab for the second project improved documentation and bug reporting, and it established a shared resource for checking progress. We saw great improvement in that area of project management.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They were very experienced and offered the right solutions. With any roadblocks that came up, they had someone who’d been there before and could resolve it. They've always been very responsive and able to deliver quickly.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Their workflow management for bug fixes could be better. Before they implemented GitLab, we were working on spreadsheets together, and it was difficult to understand our project status. Once we had GitLab, we could work in real time and get a clearer image of progress.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They have very transparent pricing; we always knew where we were at any point in time.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They're very capable developers; they have a broad range of skills.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer