What was the scope of their involvement?
We split the development effort with Iconic Solutions, so the whole process was extremely collaborative from the beginning. We came to them with a general design of what we wanted and worked together to finalize the initial scope. The platform’s first version morphed out of this process and was brought to market after only four months of development. Providing more than just development work, they were integral to the app’s frontend design as well. The current platform is highly sophisticated considering we’ve continued to build onto it for nearly a decade. Each app has strong native and web components. For example, all user activity data and authentication features are driven and stored by web services.
As an automotive content business that enables customers to look up vehicle values, our strength is in the wholesale market. To best serve our users, they utilized APIs written in C for iOS and Java for Android. The APIs integrate highly compressed data files to be stored on the app through a property compression routine. At this point, the platform holds nearly 40 years of car values within two megabytes of space. Building the apps in this way allows users to operate them without an internet connection.
While the platform consists of a multitude of features, most revolving around vehicle evaluation, Iconic Solutions is responsible for coding one of our more complex functionalities. They developed a scanning feature that operates through the mobile app. The feature enabled users to scan barcodes on cars to bring up the vehicle’s value. While we’ve since acquired a scanning software to iterate the feature through new platform versions, they did an excellent job designing the initial build. It was advanced enough to take pictures of a barcode and interpret information regardless of the vehicle’s wear and tear.
They’ve gotten accustomed to compiling the statement of work documents for us over the course of the relationship. We usually call them to lay out our plan for a new release or functionality and they’ll respond to us in a few days with their estimated project cost. They’re flexible to a certain amount of scope creep, but we’ve also had to amend agreements to better reflect changes in the project. However, as an agile shop, we’d usually push the extra work to the next iteration. We worked with Iconic Solutions to release a new version of our software every 6–12 weeks for several years.
What is the team composition?
They allocated roughly 3–5 resources to each of our projects. These teams included an assigned project manager, a lead developer, designers, and core developers.
How did you come to work with Iconic Solutions?
They were referred to me by a colleague. I called them up and we met face-to-face. Their portfolio was impressive and they were willing to work at a fast pace. Hiring them was the right decision.
How much have you invested with them?
We spent anywhere from $100,000–$350,000 per year. I’d say we’ve paid over $1 million in total.
What is the status of this engagement?
They’ve done a lot of projects for us, but the majority of our business relationship took place from May 2011–April 2016.