Understand your customers. Build better tech.

GOLD VERIFIED

At Highland, we research, design, and build digital products and experiences for customer-centric companies and mission-driven organizations. For over 20 years, our team of designers, developers, and strategists have helped organizations turn their biggest uncertainties into opportunities for growth.

We've built and launched over 268 digital products, and we'd love to help you take your idea from dream to delivered. Ready to get started? Get in touch.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
1999
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 141 West Jackson Boulevard, Suite 2200
    Chicago, IL 60604
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Mission-Driven Organizations: Thrivent Financial, Morton Arboretum, Make-A-Wish, McGraw-Hill, RefugeeOne, City of Chicago | Business & Manufacturing: American Marketing Association, Creative Group, Greif | Healthcare: Cigna, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Agiliti Health, Harvard University Health Services

Helping professionals land their dream jobs Image

Helping professionals land their dream jobs

We helped Archer create a mobile app to digitize and scale their career advisory services.

Read the case study

Putting a dent in the student debt crisis Image

Putting a dent in the student debt crisis

Thrivent wanted to create new products to help students plan, prepare, and pay for college. We created digital platforms to help students achieve their dreams without debt.

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Developing a no-nonsense banking app Image

Developing a no-nonsense banking app

Highland worked with Thrivent Financial to build Fulfill, a streamlined application to help Gen-Z and millennial bankers make the most of their money. 

Read the case study

Designing experiences that deliver hope and strength Image

Designing experiences that deliver hope and strength

Make-A-Wish wanted to grant even more life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We helped them understand the wish family journey from a new lens, and then created a digital strategy to empower staff and streamline their technology solutions. 

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Mapping the journey of families at the ER Image

Mapping the journey of families at the ER

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin partnered with Highland to understand the ER journey so they could make the hospital experience better for children and their loved ones.

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Transforming an industry through custom software Image

Transforming an industry through custom software

Highland built a mobile-first product for Creative Group that is now bringing customized solutions to market 3x faster than competitors.

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Reviews

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Dev Partnership with Financial Services Firm

"The applications they’ve delivered are efficient and convenient for everybody to use."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
June 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Using OutSystems' IDEs on a Microsoft stack, Highland Solutions is developing several mobile applications. They developed a time tracker app to make it easier to record employee's work hours.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
New York Metro Area
Tech Lead, Financial Services Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The time to market for mobile apps has decreased markedly since Highland Solutions was first engaged. Their consistent communication, responsiveness, and ability to work within strict parameters justify the investment and make them a valuable partner.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a tech lead and I run a team that is primarily focused on rapid application development. The company is an alternative investment firm in the financial industry.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Highland Solutions?

We were looking to get into mobile. We chose OutSystems’ low code platform to do both mobile and web development. We needed somebody that could consult with us as a development partner, as well as get a couple of applications out the door.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Highland Solutions helps us lay down a solid foundation for the future by working on projects that interface with our entitlements and notification services. We analyzed our applications to identify which ones we needed to improve from an operational and efficiency standpoint.

They worked on the time tracker app, which allows users to track down staff and make sure that they submit their works hours on a regular basis. It’s a business critical app that users can access even when they're not sitting in front of a work computer. They use OutSystems IDEs that sit on our Microsoft stack. They also use SQL Server and basic Windows on developer machines. They keep in mind the foundation that we’re trying to build for any future application that we want to make omnichannel.

What is the team composition?

Our main contact is a project manager that also serves as a design resource and a business analyst. Depending on the project, there’s anywhere from 2–4 developers doing the work.

How did you come to work with Highland Solutions?

We asked OutSystems for a suggestion and they referred us to Highland Solutions. We thought they were very professional and organized. They had a good approach to the documentation we’d put together. They analyzed everything and gave us a concise breakdown of exactly where they would spend their time and how much it would cost.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in June 2017 and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our team is now excited to utilize mobile. There wasn't a lot of interest when I first brought up mobile solution as a viable product for our business. When Highland Solutions came onboard, they made it so that people could actually look at these applications and use them for tasks like time tracking. They've helped the firm from an operational standpoint as we start to realize the potential of mobile solutions.

We have 10–12 products out in the market now, and at least that many in the backlog. The applications they’ve delivered are efficient and convenient for everybody to use. From a product standpoint, our time to market is essentially 1/10 of what it used to be, which is obviously a significant improvement.

How did Highland Solutions perform from a project management standpoint?

They involve us with daily standups, which is really helpful. They do a great job analyzing every detail before we get into the actual development so that we're not surprised on timelines and deliverables. Their project managers have become professional friends of mine. They're extremely nice and intelligent people. My experience with them has been very positive.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They work regular U.S. hours, which is rare in their field. It’s great to have the ability to work with them throughout the day. They have a very personal touch that shows they care about their clients. They’ve gone through training with some of my business users. If there’s a bug, they to make sure that they get it back to their developers and fix it. They care about what they do, and they take pride in their work.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Not really. It would be nice to have them implement a 24-hour development cycle. However, I'm not sure that’s possible for their business model.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Make sure to attend the daily standup meeting and listen to everything. Details matter. The more you pay attention, the more specific the product's going to be to your business. Take advantage of tools like Confluence, Slack, and other feedback channels to have an ongoing discussion. For any project, the more that you're involved the better it's going to be.

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

Dev for Travel Incentives Platform

“Compared to similar platforms on the market, Highland Solutions built a fast, competitive version...”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Jan. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Highland Solutions developed a web-based MVP platform from scratch, incorporating some design work and laying out the scope of work in the process.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Schaumburg, Illinois
Janet Traphagen
President, Creative Group
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Highland Solutions delivered a high-quality web-based platform critical to company's overall growth strategy. In addition to delivering on time and bringing a lot of creativity into the process, their team is very easy to work with, transparent, and organized in their approach to project management.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the president of the Creative Group, a company that specializes in performance improvement strategies through the lens of meetings, events, and incentive programs.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Highland Solutions?

We reached out to Highland Solutions to help us develop a new platform for our incentives program.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Highland Solutions is developing our proprietary platform to track users, allowing them to collect rewards for traveling. They conducted a client journey mapping process, developing a strategy and scope of work before going into development. Our team provided much of the design and creative elements, but they've done some additional design work as well. They finished an MVP, and continue to provide ongoing support and development as needed.

What is the team composition?

We work with a project manager very closely, who meets with us in the office once or twice a week. We also work with about 4–5 developers, and the president of Highland Solutions has been more broadly involved to ensure we're happy with their services as the project progresses.

How did you come to work with Highland Solutions?

They had previously worked with us on a completely different project, so we already had an established, comfortable relationship with their team. They were also able to use some of that previous code, which helped save on costs for the new platform.

How much have you invested with them?

We've invested over $1 million.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working on this project in January 2017 and launched the MVP by January 2018. They continue to provide ongoing support as needed, following the completion of the first phase of the platform.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The product Highland Solutions built is a critical part of our growth strategy. Working with their team has elevated the creative process of our own internal teams, pushing us in a more strategic direction. We've received lots of positive feedback thus far, and were very impressed by how quickly they were able to deliver the MVP. Compared to similar platforms on the market, Highland Solutions built a fast, competitive version that will help give us an upper hand.

How did Highland Solutions perform from a project management standpoint?

They have a solid approach to managing projects, guiding their clients through the entire process seamlessly. They're very transparent and organized, utilizing the latest project management software to keep us updated through each phase.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They offer values-driven leadership and manage client projects and expectations extremely well.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. I can't think of anything.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be open to their feedback and suggestions, and take advantage of the project mapping process in the beginning before going into development. It helped inform our design and led to a better end product.

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

Market Testing & Prototype Design for Startup

"Though they are a small firm, they have a diverse, talented group of people with skills that are hard to find in other agencies."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. - Oct. 2018
Project summary: 

Highland Solutions provided design and market testing assistance for various products and services. They contributed from the ideation stage through to developing a prototype based on market research.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Minneapolis, Minnesota
VP of Business Solutions, Non-Profit Financial Solutions Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The testing and development assistance resulted in a stronger understanding of the product’s direction. The Highland Solutions’ team supplied a skilled team of workers to support the project. Their team was crucial in the prototype stage, and they juggled multiple tasks simultaneously.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I’m the VP of business solutions at a non-profit financial solutions startup, connected to our larger parent company. We are in the process of trying new strategies to grow within our market.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Highland Solutions?

We hired Highland Solutions to assist us with in-market testing for our new business strategies.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted to determine our to-do list for potential partners and affinity organizations by testing our strategies. We also wanted them to help with facilitating the planning and execution of our ideas, coming up with solutions and prototypes, and building the final products.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

Our development platform, OutSystems, recommended Highland Solutions.

Describe the project in detail.

Their team helped us with the ideation stage and designing the sprints needed for accomplishing the project. They contributed to creating product ideas and testing methods, as well as prototyping potential solutions. They performed market tests for each product we came up with. Additionally, they implemented UI/UX design into the prototypes.

What was the team composition?

Highland Solution’s provided their team, and we contributed a mix of our own members and our strategic partner’s team.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

We captured key learnings to carry forward in our process. Highland Solutions were critical in finding these results and we now better understand how to continue with our ideas for our products and services.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

The workflow with Highland Solutions was better than we initially expected. Their team took some of the development to an offshore third party and we were concerned about not having local people, but it would out well.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

Though they are a small firm, they have a diverse, talented group of people with skills that are hard to find in other agencies.

Are there any areas for improvement?

It could be beneficial to have more local development engineers to ensure they can handle additional work in busy seasons.

4.5
Overall Score We will continue to use Highland Solution for multiple projects.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Some of their under-capacity issues resulted in scheduling challenges.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their cost is comparable to other agencies of their expertise.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their products are high quality and solid.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've already referred Highland Solutions to multiple potential customers.
Verification

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GOLD VERIFIED
Business Entity
Business Entity Name
Highland Group, Inc. DBA Highland Solutions
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
Illinois
Id
60358966
Date of Formation
Feb 22, 1999
Payment & Legal Filings
Bankruptcy
No
Tax Lien Filings
0
Judgement Filings
0
Collections Count
0
Last updated
Dec 6, 2019
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
33
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
4.9
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
October 20, 2020