We Grow Sharp Web Apps

Experts turn to Caktus for web and mobile tools done right. Our award-winning, co-located team partners with clients to design, develop, and launch custom applications.

We translate goals into technical requirements, use Agile to quickly deliver testable results every two weeks, and build apps that grow with you. Since 2007, our solutions have impacted more than 70 million people on behalf of clients like UNICEF, Discovery, and iN Demand. Tech stack includes Django, Python, RapidSMS, and RapidPro. Additional services: team augmentation, best practices technical consulting.

 
Undisclosed
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2007
Show all +
Durham, NC
Headquarters
  • Caktus Group
    108 Morris St. Suite 2
    Durham, NC 27701
    United States
    919.951.0052

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Caktus clients include corporations, nonprofits, international NGOs, and government agencies.

 

  • UNICEF
  • International Rescue Committee
  • InDemand
  • Cox Media Group
  • Discovery
  • Python Software Foundation

 

Reviews

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Custom Django Development Nonprofit Association

"We liked their approach because we were able to interact directly with their talented developers."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

The client is a nonprofit membership association focused on building and increasing the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. The client sought a technology partner to develop and deploy a custom enterprise application based on their proof of concept. Caktus Group was one of several potential vendors to receive a request for proposal from the client, and they were chosen as the solution partner based on their previous experience and demonstrated technical capabilities. Once commissioned, Caktus Group assumed responsibility for the client's custom application, which required the following: user requirements gathering, project scoping, strategic oversight, data preparation and migration, systems integration and configuration, information architecture, backend Python development, user interface/user experience and performance testing, and ongoing support.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Norfolk, Virginia
Manager of Technology and Community
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client conveyed great appreciation and satisfaction for the work delivered by Caktus Group. According to the client, the successful deployment of their custom application has seen some tremendous results. The client indicates that they've received overwhelmingly positive feedback from end-users regarding the app's flawless functionality and outstandingly intuitive visual design. Caktus Group received considerable praise for their meticulous attention to detail during development cycles, which contributes heavily to the high-quality nature of their delivered code. The client recommends Caktus Group to others without hesitation. 

BACKGROUND

Could you please describe your organization?

I work for a state educational technology directors association and we support state educational technology directors on topics of policy, leadership, and innovation.

What is your position?

I’m the manager of technology and community

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you first approached Caktus Group?

At the time, we were looking to build a new policy and practice database for our staff and members to use. We didn’t have the necessary technical expertise in-house, so we knew we needed to find a qualified partner to build it for us. That was the initial challenge.

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of work in greater detail?

We build a website that had an interactive map that was able to manipulate and present data that had been uploaded. We first structured and cleaned the data, then devised all of the backend logic so that users could manipulate it effectively. It required a lot of custom coding using Python, some information architecture, systems integration and configuration, and testing, and optimization. They also provide ongoing support on an ad hoc basis.

How did you select Caktus Group as your solution partner?

We initiated an RFP [request for proposal] process. I sent them our RFP based on a recommendation from a developer that I’d worked with at a previous organization. I sent the RFP to probably five different companies, and we received proposals back from three of them. We then went through the evaluation process with them and ultimately ended up choosing Caktus Group based on their capabilities and expertise. We felt confident that they’d be able to build our solution within our project parameters.

Could you provide a general cost estimate for this project?

It cost somewhere around $60,000, but I don’t remember exactly.

When was this project completed?

Projected was completed in October of 2012. We’ve done updates since then, but nothing major.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the effectiveness of their work?

We feel like it was a very successful project, and it met the needs of our members and policy makers, all the stakeholders that we thought were going to use it. We have regular visits to the site. There are only around $200 a month, but that’s not disappointing to us because it’s very targeted content.  

They were extremely professional and responsive. We developed the solution using the agile development method, which was difficult at first, but ultimately very rewarding. Feedback has been overall very positive, and we’re very satisfied.

When working with Caktus Group, is there anything you’d consider unique about their approach or development methodology that distinguish them from other vendors?

We like working directly with their developers. Typically with Caktus Group, our main developers sat on the call with us, along with the project manager, so we were able to get work done, versus other, bigger companies that I’ve worked with, where you work with just the project manager and they’re the bridge between you and the developer. We preferred the Caktus approach because we were able to interact with the individual who’d be responsible for building our concept. It really reduces the likelihood of miscommunication and misunderstandings.

5.0
Overall Score I really like them. There has been a little turnover since we worked with them a couple years ago, but I was really happy with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were right on target.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re fair. We work with another company, and they’re about the same price.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    For sure.

Custom Development Integrated Media Company

"...They're able to respond to us so rapidly. They've been outstanding."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

The client is an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media company. Due to limited internal bandwidth, the client sought a technology partner to augment their development team and assist in various custom development and deployment projects. The client was originally introduced to Caktus Group through professional development and networking events. Caktus Group was one of a few potential vendors to receive an inquiry from the client, and they were chosen as the solution partner based on their demonstrated capabilities and relevant experience. Once commissioned, Caktus Group began collaborating closely with the client on a number of projects, which includes the following: user requirements gathering, project scoping, custom Python/Django development, data preparation & migration, systems integration & configuration, information architecture, QA/QC & performance testing, and ongoing support. 

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
Greater Atlanta Area
Chris Heisel
Director, Platform Services at Cox Media Group
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client communicated sincere gratitude for the work delivered thus far by Caktus Group. According to the client, Caktus Group remains instrumental to their ongoing technology projects. The client indicated that Caktus Group continues to meet and often exceed their expectations in terms of both quality and consistency. Caktus Group received additional praise for their flexibility and responsiveness. The client maintains an ongoing relationship with Caktus Group and recommends them without reservation. 

BACKGROUND

Could you provide a brief description of your organization?

We are the strategic technology partners for Cox Media Group, so we’ve got a bunch of TV stations, radio stations and newspapers. Everybody within this group handles everything from website and APIs, down to software that runs printing presses and drives transmitters. My group in particular is the customer services group.

What is your position?

I’m the director of platform services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you first approached Caktus Group?

We have a long history with Catkus group. We’ve had pretty much been the same challenge throughout. We have a certain number of full-time employees, and that can vary depending on the job market and how many people we’re able to hire, and how many people we lose through attrition.

We need help from time to time to get projects done or to take on additional work. I was familiar with Catkus from the Django and python community, which I’m heavily involved in. I’ve seen them at several conferences and talked with them on a few occasions. Not to mention they already have a reputation for high quality work. When we knew we were going to experience some limited bandwidth, I decided to reach out to them and see if we could use their services.

SOLUTION

Could you please describe the scope of your work?

Django and Python software development as well as what I would call client-side development; HTML, CSS, Django templates, and JavaScript work. In most of the projects, they’ve been working closely with at least one person from our team. We generally have one of our developers work with them to help them get up to speed on our code base, our culture, our workflow, and things like that. They also help us with testing and quality assurance.

How did you select Caktus Group as your solution partner for this endeavor?

Because of our demand-base, we’re really always working with various partners. As I’d mentioned, I was already familiar with the Caktus team through the Python and Django community. And I’d had the chance to see a lot of their best work through demos as these conferences and events. Their competence and knowledge was never in question. When we had a need, I reached out to them to figure out if we’d be a good fit in terms of culture, goals, process, etc.

Could you provide a general cost estimate for this project?

We were paying anywhere between $140 and $160 per hour.

When was the project completed?

Our relationship is still ongoing, but we’ve finished several different projects so far. The way we deliver software, it’s nearly continuous. As a result, their developers are completing cards and getting them shipped to production every day.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics or user feedback that would demonstrate the effectiveness of their work?

Their cycle time has always been on par with, or many cases better than, some of our full-time developers. That’s one way to make a comparison, and it’s pretty compelling. The other thing we look for is qualitative feedback from our internal team. One of their developers had worked with us and was so engaged with the team, with our culture and process; he was making process improvement suggestions on a regular basis, which was fantastic. He later rotated to another client project within Caktus, and some of our staff was surprised that he wasn’t a full-timer with us. Can you believe that? He was so engaged and had contributed so much that they thought he’d worked for us directly. That’s the kind of people we like to have for our partners.

When working with Caktus Group, is there anything you’d consider unique about their approach or development methodology that distinguishes them from other vendors?

They’re co-located in the research triangle area in Atlanta, so it’s almost like a branch office. I think that gives them a little bit more visibility into how things are going with developers from their end. I think it's the reason they're able to respond to us so rapidly. They've been outstanding. We’ve worked with other partners where all of their developers are spread throughout the world, and those projects are very different.

In retrospect, are there areas in which you think Caktus Group could improve as a service provider?

I honestly can’t think of anything. They’ve always fulfilled the terms of our contract and they always deliver great work. I have no criticisms.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d be very willing.

Website Rebuild Research Consortium

"They’ve been very willing to work with and accommodate us. That isn’t always the case with IT vendors. We've thoroughly appreciated everything they’ve done for us."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

The client is a leading research consortium that focuses exclusively on semiconductors. The client sought a technology partner to replace their obsolete and outdated site with a new, more flexible Django-based website like Microsoft SQL Backend. Caktus Group was one of a few potential developers to receive an inquiry and statement of work from the client, and they were selected as the solution partner based on their demonstrated capabilities and relevant experience with Python/Django. Once commissioned, Caktus Group assumed responsibility for the client's site rebuild, which included user requirements gathering, project scoping, strategic oversight, custom visual design, backend functional development, data preparation and migration, systems integration, database and hosting configuration, information architecture, user interface/user experience and performance testing, training, and ongoing support. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Triangle Park, North Carolina
Manager of Information Systems & Technology, Research Consortium
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client expressed great enthusiasm and appreciation for the work delivered by Caktus Group. According to the client, their successfully launched site has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both internall staff and external stakeholders. The client indicated that Caktus Group was consistency able to deliver their assigned work ahead of schedule and with apparent loss of quality. Caktus Group was also praised for their flexibility with and responsiveness to client requests. Caktus Group continues to provide ongoing support and ad hoc development services to the client. Caktus Group comes highly recommended. 

BACKGROUND

Could you briefly describe your organization?

Our company is a research consortium. We work in the semi-conductor industry. We have member companies like Intel and Texas Instruments. They fund us by buying memberships in our organizations.

What is your position?

I’m the manager of information systems and technologies.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you first approached Caktus Group?

We had an old website that was really beginning to show its age, both in the technology on which it was built and its visual design. It matched our business needs at the time of its creation, but our business continues to evolve, so over time we had to evolve with it. We needed a new website to meet our upcoming business requirements. We wanted more flexibility and the ability to respond to changing needs.  

We were previously on an ASP.Net-based website, and we brought Caktus in to help us develop a Django-based website. We are still using a SQL server as the database behind it because that was what was in place beforehand, and because we have a number of in-house applications that use SQL to manage our business data. We wanted to deliver that data to the website, so they had to work with both Django and our Microsoft SQL server.

We had pretty much committed to switching to a Django site, and when we found out Caktus had a lot of Django expertise, it made sense to make the move. That gave us the confidence to move forward with this project. At the time, Django was not a popular platform, so finding support for it was somewhat challenging. Fortunately, we got very lucky with Caktus Group because they not only had the necessary skills, but they were also local.

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of work delivered during the course of the project?

They’ve helped us apply relevant business needs to our framework to ensure that we implement solutions that will drive results and value. They’ve often offered suggestions on how to improve the speed, efficacy, or design of the website. They’ve mostly done a lot of custom software development for us.

How did you select Caktus Group as your solution partner?

We spoke to a number of independent contractors and vendors that had experience with Django. We determined that Caktus Group was going to be a better choice because they had more bandwidth had more flexibility. Relevant experience and reliability were very important selection criteria for us.

Could you provide a general cost estimate for this project?

It cost between $80,000 and $100,000.

Do you recall when this project was finished?

Project was finished in June of 2010, but we have an ongoing contact with them, too.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback you’ve received that would demonstrate the effectiveness of their work?

We rebuilt the entire website in about a years’ time, which was probably six months faster than we expected to when we first began the project. They were definitely great at delivering a lot of quality content on and ahead of schedule. As far as figures beyond that, it’s a little hard to say. We’re not really into sales, so we don’t monitor and record those figures. We’re more along the lines of a customer satisfaction business, but it’s harder to quantify.

When working with Caktus Group, is there anything you’d consider unique about their approach or development methodology that distinguishes them from other vendors?

They’ve been very flexible, as our business needs have changed. They’ve been very willing to work with and accommodate us. That isn’t always the case with IT [information technology] vendors. We thoroughly appreciate everything they’ve done for us.

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