What was the scope of their involvement?
About four years ago, when we were trying to figure out our technology direction, we knew we were not going to be hiring internal staff. We needed to have a company to provide end-to-end services. In addition to helping us with the design, build, deployment, and support, we also needed a company that could handle both the backend and frontend well. We learned that a lot of companies were good in one or the other. Given that we wanted our system to be an enterprise-class platform, it was very difficult to find a company who did that cost-effectively.
We wanted to go with a Java backend, so an open stack, Linux, Java backbone. Our frontend at the time was just your standard HTML. We are starting to move towards HTML5, so some aspects of our system have that for a frontend. We’ve toyed with the idea of going with a native app, but that can be expensive and hard to manage on an ongoing basis. We are interested in learning more about Facebook’s new proprietary front-end code for our next generation user experience.
BTC [Boston Technology Corporation] helped us with the functional specification, then the technical design, and the build. We continue to engage with them when we want to do statements of work for enhancements or adding new features. We talk to them at least once a week, and sometimes twice a week. Their service model with us is that their development and QA environments are in India. When any new code passes that, we have a user acceptance testing environment here. That’s where I evaluate the code and approve it, then it goes into production.
When we first started, we had a project manager, a QA manager, a team lead, and two developers. The team lead and developers were really the folks working on the project. The project manager made sure things were on track and served as an escalation point. During the build, we always had the ability to be in touch with the president. Now, on a day-to-day basis, we will work with the team lead as our main contact, and he has someone working with him. From a development standpoint, there are two people day-to-day. Sometimes, the project manager will get involved when we scope out projects, and then we’ll talk to the president every once in a while.
How did you come to work with Boston Technology Corporation?
We found them through a web search. We reviewed many other companies. BTC stood out because they were able to cost-effectively manage both the frontend and the backend, given that our backend was Java and open-source.
How much have you invested with Boston Technology Corporation?
We started with a chunk that was around $50,000. Throughout the years, it’s been in the $100,000–$150,000 range.
What is the status of this engagement?
We began working together around November of 2011, and the relationship is very much ongoing. We depend on them.