What was the scope of their involvement?
Dedicated has done all the backend work for two vertical products. I started by writing a functional specification of what I required for both product sets. One is for small and medium business owners, and the other one is for management consulting practices. I tend to not pursue business with larger firms.
Basically, these products automate the business analysis process and allow other consultants to use my software. They can complete early analysis, figure out what the business is missing, and determine its needs by benchmarking it against best practices. It’s a white label model that other consultants can use under their own brand. They can use the software to perform business analysis on potential clients without revealing that a third party is involved.
The second product is an educational tool focused on students who are completing state exams in Ireland. They designed a backend system that will protect the copyright of the materials that we produce and allow us to fulfill customer orders without any human intervention. I’ve automated that whole process on both of those products.
We just upgraded the education system’s backend with a brand-new dashboard and a whole new set of metrics. They build templates that allow me to build add any WordPress website to the existing infrastructure using a turnkey turnaround. I have another e-commerce website that incorporates full reporting capabilities. That’s built into the application.
They’ve integrated our product log-ins with the backend of multiple WordPress sites. Right now I have two trading entities on that platform, but there are no restrictions on the amount that I can have.
They also integrated a new payment gateway with Stripe. I’ve been with PayPal before and I don’t like the way they operate.
What is the team composition?
I tend to work with 2 or 3 core developers within the firm. The project manager on the business side, Vikas [COO & Co-Founder, Dedicated Developers], was my main contact if I had any development issues. When we were scoping out and pricing the project, I always dealt with Vikas. I worked with their lead developer on a daily basis.
How did you come to work with Dedicated?
I built earlier versions of my products in Ireland, which was expensive. I paid Dedicated 20% of what development would have cost in Ireland. They were prepared to step into projects that had run into some difficulty. The providers could not give me the functionality that I wanted or ran up very large time and materials bills to complete the product. Dedicated offered me a fixed price for development. We obviously had to pay for extra features that we decided to add later.
I met Eben Pagan, who teaches various online marketing skills, at a conference in California. Dedicated is quite friendly with him, and he gave them a high recommendation. I met them at one of his events.
While talking to Vikas’ brother, I mentioned that I had spent a lot of money on one piece of software. He offered to acquire the project, fix what was broken, and deliver the functionality that I needed. Very few software companies are willing to take on someone else’s code and all the accompanying issues.
They were prepared to commit to a fixed price and a fixed schedule, which I’d never seen in the Irish software industry. It’s always based on time and materials here, and the time element is almost infamous. It’s caused me a lot of grief in the past.
How much have you invested with them?
$35,000. In Ireland, we would have paid five times that.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together in 2015 and the work is ongoing.