What was the scope of their involvement?
Consagous Technologies picked up where our previous developer left off. Our number one priority at the time was to build a chat integration for the Android and iOS apps. They created this, as well as push notifications, so that our buyers could communicate with sellers, and notify them whenever there is a job opening.
We had been using Stripe for in-app payments. The functionality had been hardcoded into the software, but there was a Stripe API update. Because we’re a marketplace, we have what are called connected accounts. Our original developer had put defaults on those accounts, but the payments being made were actually going to his account. We had Consagous go in and remove his account, setting up our own as the default.
We are now starting the third phase, namely building booking and ratings for the app. We will be able to set up appointments and sync calendars, and allow buyers and sellers to communicate through platforms like Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, and so on.
Once the service is completed, the buyers and sellers will be able to rate each other, similar to how an Uber driver can rate a passenger, and vice versa.
Consagous has done some work on our website, implementing a Stripe Connect button on it, which allows people to self-sign-up to our platform and perform payments at the same time. It was predominantly mobile development, though.
We ultimately chose the technology to be used. For example, we use Twilio for chat, as it was already in place for SMS logins. The continued development made by Consagous gave us chat and push notifications. On the last piece, the ratings and booking functionality will be custom work, but we might look at an API tool like Calendly.
Our primary use communication channels were Skype and email. There were 4 people participating in our chats, assigned from Consagous. I’ve mostly dealt with 2 main contacts.
How did you come to work with Consagous Technologies?
Before Upwork came to its current form, it was 2 separate platforms. I had used one of them 5 years ago, when I needed to have an e-commerce website created. I sent out a job, received some replies, and happened to choose Consagous. I believe that Mukesh Kumar Singh might have been the one coding my website, before he became the CEO of the company. When our in-house developer quit more recently, I started thinking about whom I could replace him with, and went to Mukesh.
How much have you invested with Consagous Technologies?
The total budget we have is $50,000, but the current work has amounted to $11,500. The full scope will probably be $25,000-$30,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started the current project with Consagous Technologies on April 1st 2017. We plan to start testing and launch the platform to users, which will hopefully be the end of the collaboration. We aim to sustain the product through our own efforts, but we don’t have our own developers, so we might use Consagous for follow-up support. They’ve done pretty good work so far, and we’ve been on budget.