Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
The reason I accepted to do a reference interview for Integra Sources is that they’ve been very good end-to-end. They were proactive in asking what we wanted and in making sure that we had the right people in the right place.
We managed to create a prototype for our wearable device in only two months, even though we had no experience in the field. It was quite a challenge; the firmware could work fine with a passive GPS antenna, but when we tested it on our side, it wasn’t working for some reason. We needed to use the GPS in remote areas in North America, and Integra Sources proposed using an active antenna and managed to completely revamp the library for this purpose in only a couple of days in time for our client meeting. It’s now working perfectly in the area we’re operating in.
The hardware part has been good as well. The first printed circuit boards worked fine, and we could use the prototype sent by Integra Sources on the field as a trial. I’ve been impressed by the quality of both their hardware and firmware.
How did Integra Sources perform from a project management standpoint?
Integra Sources put a framework and processes in place, which helped us enhance the communication. We were a bit worried about the fact that they are based in Russia and we’re in Australia, and we had had some negative experiences working with other offshore teams. What really struck me, in the beginning, was that Integra Sources put a number of tools in place, including Basecamp, Google Hangouts, and Google Drive. We could talk directly with the project manager and the developers. Integra Sources gave me the confidence that we chose the right team for the job.
We knew exactly how many hours were being spent each day and on what. We were given minimum and maximum estimates for all the code being built and had an Agile approach to the work. We were able to talk to Integra Sources’ team as we would to our regular employees.
Integra Sources has been proactive in terms of budgets and with how many people were assigned to our work. I was expecting to see work being done on weekends near some deadlines, and that is what Integra Sources has been doing. We appreciated that.
What did you find most impressive about Integra Sources?
Compared to other companies in India and China which I’ve used over time, I appreciated Integra Sources’ communication. It’s a key part of working with offshore teams. Just being able to have a direct line to Integra Sources, as well as a project manager who knew what was going on and developers who could reply to very technical questions, was very impressive. Integra Sources felt like a part of our team; they were completely involved and committed.
Their ability to develop good firmware and hardware gave us confidence straight away. They always made sure that the requests were understood and implemented correctly, with all the testing done. Putting test-driven software in place had always been a problem with our other partners, but Integra Sources handled this from the beginning.
Are there any areas Integra Sources could improve?
I had a chat with our account manager about Integra Sources’ ability to scale the team. We had some tasks which required two developers, but Integra Sources only had one available. If we do expand the team, I would like to see a proper Scrum framework. Our process works fine at the moment since we have a small team.
We didn’t have a complete bug tracking system in the beginning, but one has been implemented. I’ve asked Integra Sources to create a test instance of our firmware so that they can push the device to the maximum. I don’t have much to say beyond this. The entire cycle has been good.