We turn ideas into digital reality

intive is a global digital powerhouse headquartered in Munich, Germany. With a challenging, exploratory and agile mindset and international teams of software, design and business experts, intive partners with market leaders in accelerating digital transformation for products and services of tomorrow. intive’s solutions driven by world-class innovation add value along the whole application lifecycle – from product conceptualization to its maintenance.

The company’s operations include 14 development centers and 8 design studios in Germany, Poland, the UK, the USA and Argentina, as well as regional offices in France, Spain and Sweden. intive won the trust of the world’s largest companies such as Audi, BASF, BMW, Credit Suisse, Discovery, Disney, Esprit, Facebook, Google, ING, Viacom and Vorwerk. Learn more at www.intive.com 

 
Undisclosed
 
$50 - $99 / hr
 
1,000 - 9,999
 Founded
1999
Show all +
Wrocław, Poland
headquarters
other locations

Portfolio

Key clients: 
Audi, BASF, BMW, Credit Suisse, Discovery, Disney, Esprit, Facebook, Google, ING, Viacom, Vorwerk

Reviews

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Prototype Development for Consumer Electronics Startup

"We have come to consider BLStream as a branch office of our own company."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
Project summary: 

BLStream supplemented a smart hub development team. They created iOS and Android apps with an already-assigned project manager and design team.  

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
San Francisco Bay Area
Director of Hardware Engineering
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team delivers project goals on time and makes recommendations to improve products. BLStream adjusted well to the new company culture and project management style. They have become a part of the in-house design and development team. 

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a smart hub developer based in Silicon Valley. Our first device is a smart nightlight with Wi-Fi connectivity. It can be plugged into an outlet and paired with a smart device, giving the user access to sensor readings like temperature, humidity, and smoke alarms. The color and light of the device can also be controlled. I'm the Director of Hardware Engineering for the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with BLStream?

For a startup company like ours, it can be hard to find ideal engineers in a short time. Our human resources department was under a lot of pressure, given that we had a fixed launch date, but not the power and resources to finish tasks. It was at that point that we decided to partner with an external provider so we could get access to the technical skills we needed. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

A few months before the product launch, we started our collaboration with BLStream. They have provided us a team in Poland working on our Android and iOS mobile apps. We have added numerous features to the product using BLStream, as well as fixing various bugs before the launch.

We have worked with 2 Android and 2 iOS developers, 3 auto testing engineers, one quality assurance tester, and a project manager from BLStream. We have in-office engineers whom we consider to be the architects of the product. They have worked closely with our design and marketing team in considering the needs of the customer, designing the structure of the product. We have a well-defined technical structure and keep a project manager for tracking our schedule and milestones. We add the BLStream engineering resources into our development, assigning tasks to them. It's our company's responsibility to monitor the overall structure and evolution of the project. BLStream provides their highly-skilled engineers to help us finish tasks.

How did you come to work with BLStream?

We considered a number of contractors and consulting firms. BLStream was referred to us by a friend of the owner. We made some comparisons between them and individual contractors. From our side, it took a smaller amount of work to collaborate with one giant company, compared to working with several individual contractors.

How much have you invested with BLStream?

The development cost is confidential. BLStream's price has been attractive, compared to hiring the same number of engineers in Silicon Valley, in terms of salary as well as the onboarding process and human resources effort required. BLStream has been more attractive in terms of cost, workload, and schedule.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our product was launched in October 2015. BLStream's engineering team has helped us improve our product since the launch.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

There was a ramp-up stage at the beginning of the collaboration with BLStream. We have our own company culture and project management style. For the initial 2 weeks, we maintained daily communication with BLStream in order to make sure that we understood each other and to make sure that they were fully aware of our full product story, not just the specific tasks. After this, everything worked perfectly.

We have measured the performance of BLStream's engineers' work through internal releases. We defined the scope of a workload at the start of a week and closed it out by the following Friday. We made sure that we received a release for our internal testers and quality assurance engineers. If everything turned out fine, we'd do a public release. After the ramp-up stage, it was very rare for BLStream to fail on an internal release. It only happened once or twice, because of discussion problems or other issues.

Delivering on time was an important factor in evaluating the performance of engineers. So far, we've been very satisfied with BLStream's performance.

Our internal engineers have acted as architects in order to define technology requirements like tools and coding language. From time to time, BLStream's engineers have provided useful and valuable suggestions to us in terms of various third-party services that we could use. We valued BLStream's feed-back and often took their suggestions. We've had open discussions with them and often found that their approaches were better than our initial ones.

Through our monthly fee, BLStream assigns us engineers who will only work on our project within that period of time. Unlike other contractors, who will do a set amount of work based on what they're being paid, BLStream's team has been aggressive in wanting to deliver good work. They have ownership for our product, which is hard to find.

How did BLStream perform from a project management standpoint?

We used Jira and Confluence for communication and tracking daily tasks. We also used Wrike from time to time, through which we created Gantt charts and logged milestones. We use work control software like GitHub and we rely on Jenkins for continuous integration. We use Autotask for regression testing.

What did you find most impressive about BLStream?

We have come to consider BLStream as a branch office of our own company. We give BLStream access to our internal Jira platform and collaborate with them regularly like they were a part of our family.

Are there any areas BLStream could improve?

One thing to consider for any company collaborating with a consulting firm is communication. There needs to be smooth and clear contact, and we need to make sure that the vendor is on the right track. On the kick-off meeting of a sprint, even if everyone agrees on the tasks and goes off to do their work, we can't expect to have success if there isn't proper communication. There need to be daily chats, not only through email but also phone calls, with the engineers on the other side.

There was one issue with communication which caused an issue with an internal release. We were expecting something completely different than what BLStream had understood. We figured out by the end of the first week that, even though what they were working on was great, it wasn't what we were looking for, which caused a delay, making us extend the sprint from 2 weeks to 3. BLStream is capable of doing the job and they're skilled in terms of coding, but we need to make sure that we're working on the same tasks. Our project manager's responsibility is to keep up with the status tracking and make sure that everything is working.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We missed deadlines on 2-3 occasions, but I can't blame BLStream entirely for this.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    BLStream's cost is attractive, but especially during tight deadlines, it can be more efficient to have developers come to our offices and work directly from here.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    BLStream's iOS team is awesome, but the Android team is not as good, although they are still very competent.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would only recommend BLStream to friends who already have an in-office engineer resource.

Custom Android Development for Technology Services Firm

"BLStream made an effort to find local resources for us to work with and they were always responsive."

Quality: 
3.5
Schedule: 
3.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
3.5
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
June 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

BLStream augmented an Android equipment manufacturer. The team provides native Android coding and executes design tasks using Java. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
United States
Lead Product Manager
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

BLStream has been great in terms of being able to scale up and down on staff as-needed. The team was consistent and had few unanticipated issues. They were proactive in finding resources, although could improve on planning and lead time. 

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are an OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] of Android smartphones. We have customized our own version of Android, adding apps on top of it. I am the lead product manager of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with BLStream?

We needed to augment our team. Our company consists of only 30 people and we needed to upgrade our app ecosystem in order to support the iPhone.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

BLStream has primarily been in charge of coding. We started out with a team of 3 engineers, a quality assurance tester, and a project manager. Design resources were added on later. At its peak, our team reached around 25 people.

BLStream is primarily handling execution based on our requirements and designs. The selection process depends on the stage of the project and the position of the engineer. For the most part, we review the resources. We haven't actually turned anyone down so far.

BLStream has built the foundation for our launcher, camera, and gallery apps for the phone. BLStream has provided us native Android development using Java.

How did you come to work with BLStream?

BLStream was referred by a design partner. We looked at 3-4 third-party development agencies in total, selecting BLStream in the end.

How much have you invested with BLStream?

The total cost of our development with BLStream has been close to 1 million dollars.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with BLStream one year ago. We have an ongoing relationship.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

BLStream has been most successful for our company in being able to bring in a team and scale it up or down, as needed. BLStream made an effort to meet our requirements in this perspective.

How did BLStream perform from a project management standpoint?

Because we work with technology, budget and schedule will never be perfect. We gave BLStream very loose requirements. The product was launched successfully, meeting our goals, but it will never come out completely as expected.

We never had any unexpected turnover on BLStream's side, but the complexity of what we're working on has given us a very aggressive timeframe.

We primarily used Atlassian tools for our collaboration, namely Jira and its wiki, as well as HipChat.

What did you find most impressive about BLStream?

I have worked with many developers, so I have high expectations. BLStream made an effort to find local resources for us to work with and they were always responsive to our concerns and questions. I wouldn't necessarily say anything was surprising about them.

Are there any areas BLStream could improve?

With work in general, everyone can benefit from better planning, more lead time, and more solid requirements.

3.5
Overall Score We continue to work with BLStream and have gotten good value from them. BLStream hasn't underperformed, but they're also not hitting homeruns every time.
  • 3.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We scaled the team quite a bit because of our ambitious goals and had a rocky start, but we closed it out very well.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    BLStream's cost was very good. It is relative to geography, but I think that we received a good value.
  • 3.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    BLStream excelled in certain areas, but I never give perfect ratings.
  • 3.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Giving a recommendation would depend on what that person is looking for. I would definitely recommend BLStream for low-end Android development, but they haven't reached a good point in terms of creation.

iOS and Android Development for Management Consultancy

"They adhere to good work processes, having an agile practice that they actually care about."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
Project summary: 

intive (formerly FDV Solutions) collaborated with the client on the refinement and implementation of an iOS app. They worked on the code, Ruby on Rails elements for API integration, additional features, and bug fixing.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Owner & Founder, Management Consultancy
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The mobile app has not been launched to the public yet, but the initial feedback has been positive. intive (formerly FDV Solutions) were able to deliver work within the allocated time and budget. They are reliable and accurate on their estimates.

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

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I am an independent consultant working with various entrepreneurs.

What is your position?

I'm the founder.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with FDV Solutions?

I worked with them on behalf of a client in implementing an iOS app for their company.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

I managed the communication of requirements with FDV Solutions, working directly with their developers in order to manage the implementation of our product. Being a server architect, I developed the APIs [application programming interfaces] that their team was developing C code for.

Early on in the project, we also worked on some Ruby on Rails elements with them for API integration. This included geospatial queries and integration as well as customer-facing web development.

At this moment, bug tracking is handled by my client and me. Our relationship entails that, if we find bugs in their work, they're obligated to make fixes within a period of time. We've almost surpassed that period, so the code is now our responsibility. If we were to need additional feature implementations or found defects outside of this warranty period, we would let FDV Solutions bid on the work and would probably give it to them.

Our product is unusual in that it is a kind of blank version of Uber. It requires both a driver app and a user app. Debugging it involves a deep understanding of our requirements. There is a two-way exchange, and there are web socket elements between the two parts. Because of this, I would want the same developer to work on the code, instead of someone else. Working with FDV Solutions in the future would depend on the availability of our original team.

How did you come to work with FDV Solutions?

A colleague had come into contact with them and introduced us. There was also another project on which I worked, with which FDV Solutions was involved.

They were chosen by my client. I did participate in the selection process. I met with senior members of FDV Solutions and reviewed the project with them. Out of the two or three development shops we considered, we found FDV to be most competitive in terms of pricing and flexibility while also having a good understanding of our business requirements.

With offshore development, language is often a challenge. This was not the case for FDV Solutions. Their internal staff had good English language and general communication skills. They were also located in a reasonable time zone, compatible with our working hours.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

The total development cost was around $40,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project lasted for about four months [since the fall of 2015].

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

I enjoyed working with FDV Solutions. Given the clarity level of our requirements, they did a better than average job. I would definitely work with them again. We're still in stealth mode for the product. The business is still being built, and it hasn't been released.

How did FDV Solutions perform from a project management standpoint?

They were always able to deliver their work within the allocated time and budget. We worked primarily through the issue tracker on GitHub. They use JIRA internally for maintaining their sprint backlog. At certain moments, I collaborated with their developers using Trello Board for tracking more idea-based elements.

What distinguishes FDV Solutions from other providers?

Compared to other offshore development operations, I've found FDV Solutions to be much more reliable and accurate in their estimates. There was more integrity within their company than what I've encountered in other offshore shops in terms of representing their staff's ability and skill sets. They adhere to good work processes, having an agile practice that they actually care about.

I've found working with the management there to be an easy affair. The discussions that we've had unfolded well: we adjusted scopes and dealt with various issues. It was a friendly and good experience.

Is there anything FDV Solutions could have improved or done differently?

The only drawback I've had while working with them was having to wake up early as FDV Solutions is five hours ahead of us. 

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

Team Augmentation for Marketing Technology Firm

“They do great work, keep up with our schedule and constantly come up with new ideas.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2011 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

intive (formerly FDV) is providing a staff augmentation team to lend support on various tasks which involve web and mobile development and CRM integration using technologies such as PHP, JS, MongoDB, and MySQL.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
New York City Metro Area
Co-Founder & CEO, Marketing Technology Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

intive (formerly FDV) excels for their communication and responsiveness which has allowed them to provide satisfactory services even at short notice. The team’s technical knowledge is reflected in their products which adhere to specifications, are completed within deadlines, and are frequently bug-free.

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

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We're a marketing software platform in the CRM field. We work in the music, sports, entertainment, and consumer brand categories.

What is your position?

I am the CEO [chief executive officer] and co-founder.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with FDV Solutions?

We were looking for someone who could work with our existing full-time engineering team to develop additional code on our website and our product stack. We didn't have enough internal resources to address everything we needed to do. FDV Solutions helped us accelerate our roadmap.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

The technologies we use are PHP, JavaScript, MongoDB, and MySQL. They also provided us data analysis expertise to assist us in building new tools.

Mobile applications were also an important topic. FDV Solutions built our mobile app for Android and iOS, also working with our API [application program interface], to ensure that it would synchronize with the desktop login.

The size of the team they have assigned for our work has varied throughout the years. The typical number is between 7-10 people at any given time, which can scale up whenever we work on something complex, like a mobile app. It can scale down if we're between project cycles. They also help in a recruiting capacity. We started building a dedicated team in Argentina for which they helped us source talent.

We predominantly communicate with the project lead. Communication depends on the project type. If we had very clear specifications, then our head of technology would work directly with their project manager. The ground teams would sync among themselves. I personally got involved in newer products, rather than iterations of existing ones. If we're trying to bring something new to market, our organization will adopt a more inclusive approach. I would work either directly with the project manager or within a small committee.

How did you come to work with FDV Solutions?

The first step for us was to talk to other co-founders, investors and executives at the other portfolio companies. We wanted to know whom we should contract for recruiting and development support. We also had local contacts from previous hires. As we started to triangulate and see examples of work, we eventually reached FDV Solutions. We considered two or three other companies in their region and decided to work with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working together for five years.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

Internally, the biggest feedback that I've received for their work, including how they synchronized to our team, was that their communication was excellent. They do great work, keep up with our schedule and constantly come up with new ideas.

Early on in our relationship, we decided to give them more responsibility because we could have a conversation with them. FDV Solutions could build a specification from the ground up around our ideas, and come back with proactive questions around those specs. We had the same expectations from them as we did from high-end in-house engineers. We realized that they could serve as an exoskeleton to our team, which we could attach quickly and reliably. As our relationship grew, the internal feedback continued to be similar.

There were elements of their design process which we wanted them to modernize. FDV Solutions invested in the resources and training to strengthen that area. They've always been open to feedback.

A second perspective comes from the client side. The best reflection I've received is in the form of satisfaction scores with the technology. There have been almost zero bug complaints on either platform, which is incredible. The apps also have seamless integration with the API, giving us low downtime in terms of latent data. FDV Solutions took the time to create careful architecture in terms of experience and underlying backend. This enabled us to ensure customers that they could use the application from day one, without having it feel like a beta version.

FDV Solutions helped us devise segmentation strategies and build specialized tools around them, for video and other applications. This also had a direct impact on client satisfaction and feedback. As with mobile apps, the feedback was that the solution seamlessly integrated with what we were already providing, and didn't feel like a third-party product.

A third perspective on their work is from an executive standpoint. For me, it was a relief to see a team with strong arms that could hold its weight. My biggest fear in moving our development to outside resources was that this wouldn't be the case. Based on other feed-back and my own experience, it became clear that FDV Solutions are vested into what they're building, they care about the relationship, and will go to where they need to be to make sure that each project is a success.

They were also cost-effective. From the perspective of someone with a fiduciary responsibility, there's always a trade-off between productivity and quality on one end, and price on the other. FDV Solutions strike a balance of offering the same output as an in-house team, but with a discount. It made sense to scale with them.

The benefit of only having a one hour time difference between our companies is also significant.

How did FDV Solutions perform from a project management standpoint?

They are in charge of project documentation, which is a great service, especially since our in-house efforts are lacking. The tools we use for project tracking are Pivotal Tracker, Trello, Asana and Jira.

They offer 24-hour support. If we need to, we could send something over and have someone develop into the night if necessary.

Our collaboration was initially limited to us giving them work that we didn't have time for. It extended to using them for core projects on which we wanted additional reviewers for code, basically another set of eyes to look at the work from a different perspective. That is the moment when time became an issue. They were always responsive, but we wanted more than that. If everyone had to work until midnight, then that is what they would have to do. FDV Solutions' reaction was excellent. They stepped up their effort and we worked out a structure by which we wouldn't exhaust their developers.

What distinguishes FDV Solutions from other providers?

Their attention to detail is excellent. They have a proactive tendency to reflect what they're working on from a real world perspective. FDV Solutions also has a willingness to learn and improve their skill sets based on feedback. Any team will have its own strengths and weaknesses. Whenever you need a strength, it's best if you can train people for it, rather than hiring. FDV Solutions is continuously improving the bar as a whole. They continue to bring in talent that heightens their capabilities. As a partner, they're a growing pool of resources.

A lot of times, when looking at local or external partners, I found what I would call a PR [public relations] or agency model, whereby the firm will highlight the very smart and seasoned partner who has worked on amazing things and has a global experience, making you feel that he is the person who will be working in the trenches. The reality is that he will disappear. He's basically a business developer. You will then get introduced to his "colleague", and the service will become a code farm, essentially. This happens both in the US and abroad. It creates a lot of slowdown for companies like us.

FDV Solutions, on the other hand, is willing to move fast, and the people you're talking to are actually involved in the project. The quality and caliber of the work is higher than I would expect from any non-internal party.

Is there anything FDV Solutions could have improved or done differently?

There was a period within our first year and a half of working together when we wanted them to improve their design chops. They started bringing in new designers, which solved the problem. The software itself has always been a strength for them. Working with different backend enterprise technologies, they were already on the edge.

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