Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
We haven't launched the app with marketing yet. We just published it and it's out there. But, we never did a campaign. There are people downloading the app and using it. We have a very high rate of usage. We didn't know that it was going to be used so frequently. It was a surprise for us. The end product is very good. I like it. There were two things to improve. One was the speed. Sometimes, when you're working with 3G, because of the architecture, it's a little bit slow. We had two or three issues around the app, but it wasn't Huenei's fault. It wasn't something we needed to record or republish. It was more in the middle layer. It was because of this lack of knowledge of how to deploy the architecture. If we go back in time, that regret is the only thing that's still hurting us today. In the other areas – usage and how it looks, how it behaves, and some comments of the people that use it – we are OK.
What distinguishes Huenei IT Services from other providers?
Huenei IT Services is easy to reach. Sometimes, when you work with developing companies, you only have contact with the programmers. In this case, they have some senior people and also the director of the company [Jorge Attaguile] and the CEO [Gustavo Commisso]. I can call them, they will answer, and they will take care of things. That's a very good thing. You are speaking with business people. They will listen to you and take care of the things that you are proposing. They were flexible with us.
In hindsight, are there areas in which they could improve, or things you might do differently?
In the beginning, they didn't offer guidance as much. But, as time went on, they started to help. In the beginning, if you're going to get an expert in something and you say "these are the sketches I have," you're expecting the transference of knowledge from the provider to you. For instance, "You're going to use APIs [application programming interfaces] but, for what you are going to solve, that's not the best architecture. We can say that this will work better."
In the beginning, we had trial and error, and we learned inside the integration layer how to integrate and how to get the information available for the app and stuff. So, in that process, there was a lot of reworking to be done, and then we had to redefine the contract because that resulted in changing code for the app or changing some services. That's the main issue that I had with them. Otherwise, they're an excellent company. They have people that know how to do things and how to program in the different platforms. They're a good company. They should put more effort in at the beginning to transfer some of the knowledge and to redefine some things. Their approach was, you tell me what you need, and I will build it. We were thinking more of, "Go this way for what you want as far as user experience and the kind of information you want to put in the app. I will suggest you go this way." That didn't happen.
The budgeting issue I mentioned earlier wasn't all on Huenei. We thought it was OK, but when we started working, and we needed to do all the redefinitions and rework, we ended up having half of what we planned for the budget. It was more of a methodology problem. We're developing the second phase, and we changed the methodology, and they were OK with that. We are now going into an Agile way of working. They reshaped their team to work with us.