What was the scope of their involvement?
Our platform was based on Python and Django. We were looking for a smaller team of about four people who would be able to do both frontend and backend development, as well as help us maintain the platform. It wasn’t just a single platform; there were a lot of different platforms since we had contracts with various different clubs, for example, Real Madrid in Spain, PSV Eindhoven in Holland, S.L. Benfica in Portugal, and Mario Götze as a player website in Germany. Each of these platforms had different requirements; they all had a slightly different look and feel and slightly different functionality. We also had the constant need to be able to update the platform to meet the needs of the individual marketing campaigns that we were running.
What we were looking for specifically from Develandoo was a team that was able to deliver high-quality results in a very short amount of time. I was the day-to-day manager of the team and it was based on time and materials. We were able to run our Agile development process with them directly, while they had the overhead of an onsite team. They had their own laptops, their own computers, and their own facilities where they would actually be doing the work. We were able to collaborate with them as if they were essentially a dedicated team for us. They could meet our requirements for quality and professionalism and were able to deliver what they had promised on time and per specifications.
They did things I would expect an Agile team to be able to do, but with the added advantage of being able to interact with them on a regular basis. We had our chat channels set up for the developers, so we were in contact all day every day. They were an outsourced bodily team that was able to provide the high-quality services that we were looking for.
How did you come to work with Develandoo?
One of our marketing team members was at a marketing conference in Ireland and ran into Albert Stepanyan, the CEO of Develandoo. He mentioned that we were having problems with an existing team, and Albert said that his own company could be a solution for us.
The teams which we were working with were in Armenia, and there’s a three hour time difference between central Europe and Yerevan, where their team is actually located. Develandoo provides a local manager who, in this case, was working out of Munich and was able to be a liaison between me and the team outsourced in Yerevan. It wasn’t necessarily something which we needed because we have the technical expertise to be able to oversee the process ourselves, but it was nice to have somebody who would be participating in the process. He was present in all of our regular meetings, on our daily calls, our specification sessions, etc. He was able to ensure that the team in Yerevan understood what was required of them and deal with any potential language issues or problems which arose.
Every once in a while, there would be something that I wasn’t 100% happy with, and I was able to address that issue with the manager on site rather than having to go through various hierarchy levels. There was somebody specifically designated as our point of contact for any kind of administrative or operational issues.
The manager, together with Albert, came to meet us in Zurich and sat down with us and discussed the goals of the project. We tackled what we needed from them, the scope of work that we would be looking for, and what kind of resources we would need. With that, they were able to provide an estimate of what the monthly cost would be. Once we had agreed on the financial part of it, we were able to ask them to do some sample work. I provided them with a project that was a mini-implementation of something which had some kind of relevance to our platform. They took that on board and had their senior individual work on it and give us the results. Based on the results, I knew that I would be happy working with them and was confident that they had the level of engineering expertise, experience, and attention to detail that I was looking for.
How much have you invested with Develandoo?
Over the four months, we spent around $50,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with them in January, but unfortunately, the company went out of business in April.