Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?
The results were outstanding, The functionality, performance, and stability of the system are outstanding. Our customers, our investors, and our competitors are astounded that in 6 short months we created a system with far more functionality than our much-more-heavily funded competitors have created, especially given that they started many months or years before our project.
I will say that the ownership from our team at Ionixx has been oustanding. We do daily "stand up" meetings - with Ionixx in Chennai our team in NY. The level of detail and understanding is excellent. I believe Ionixx has as much, perhaps even more, pride and ownership in this system than we do. They have regularly pulled all nighters with many, many staff sleeping over night in the Chennai office. I can't say enough good things about the professionalism, technical skill and positive attitude of our team with Ionixx. In addition to an entirely new domain for them to learn (trading, crypto, financial services), the team had to learn several new frameworks (Kenesis, Kafka, some AWS and GCP services) which they did extremely well. We did several comparisons of frameworks, and the team understood the selection criteria and produced excellent documented results supporting their suggestion.
On top of that, as a start up, we would sometimes change priorities significantly in the middle of a sprint. We try not to do this, but sometimes it's inevitable, and the team dealt with these extremely well - quickly moving to the new priorities. Lastly, we're in production beta now and our dev team is also our production support team (for now) and doing extremely well, also providing services off hours.
How was project management arranged and how effective was it?
There is a project and tech lead on the Ionixx team that is involved in every aspect of the project - Baskar Natarajan. He is both the scrum master, technical lead, architect, and owner of all issuers. He has some key senior staff working with him, and several juniors on the team which he and his seniors oversee, mentor, and help along. Ionixx has a significant bench so when we needed specialized technical skill, or UX design, they were always able to accommodate us.
We have a daily 1-2 hour stand up meeting with our entire team in NY (6) and the entire team in Chennai (14) . Each person provides and update. We use Jira to manage the scrum board and issues. We have 3 week sprints, followed by sprint recaps and next sprint planning. As the CTO, I was responsible for the team selection (Ionixx), tech stack, microservices architecture, and all the funcitonal and technical documentation - which was (is) extensive.
We also provided docs on domain knowledge. Our intent was to create a long-term relationship with Ionixx - not just a project, but a forever off-shore team which we consider "our" team. Swathi and Manju, owner/managers of Ionixx, are outstanding the work wtih and meet with us here in NY monthly (Manju flys in from LA, Swathi is based here in NY). We created a structure between our two companies that provides the correct incentives two both firms, and the employees of both firms. The management results speak for themselves - from nothing to production on 6 mos.
What did you find most impressive about this company?
Their range of technical and architectural skills really impressed us. Additionally, owership, dedication, range of skills (depth of bench), attitude, ability to learn new domains, abilit to learn new technologies, attention to detail, flexibility.
Are there any areas for improvement?
Nothing worth mentioning. I have worked with many many offshore and near shore teams, including India, Singapore, Budapest, Poland, Mexico, Tokyo, London, and other locations. A manager must have good management skills with offshore teams to get good results. Clear, complete communication is key - detailed documents, both functional and technical, are key.
Lastly, treat your team with respect. Technical people love to solve problems and more than anything, they love a successful results and to see the application used and loved. A see a lot of companies that try offshore have bad results, including departments within the same companies I've worked for in the past, and mostly it's been a failure on the US-side management, not managing remotely well, not knowing what to look for in a team. Ionixx produced the best results I've ever had in any offshore team.