What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We achieved some pretty high usage of the app — in the hundreds of thousands of active users. Overall, the feedback we received was positive and it was well-received. It was easy to use, intuitive, and it was easy to figure out how to get started and do basic things.
One of the launches was a little rough. It was a classic software situation where we had a hard date. As we were approaching that deadline, things weren’t quite there yet, and we had to make a tough decision to launch a slightly lighter version of it. The lighter version was a little bit lower quality than what we would normally launch. Their response was very quick, and they ramped up the team on it and addressed the issues we had within a month, and were able to resolve them fairly quickly. Overall, they were pretty good with sticking to deadlines.
How did ISBX perform from a project management standpoint?
They were good. There were the usual project management software challenges where things felt slightly too aggressive and on the business side we wanted to be paying less for faster deliverables. One of the challenges — and this is not really a criticism of them — was that the business side would negotiate dates, timelines, and dollar amounts with one individual, but I would do most of my day-to-day conversation with the project manager.
Their internal communication wasn’t transparent for us; however, overall, the outcome of it was fine. Their project managers were always very prompt to respond to any issues. At the peak of the project, we had near-daily communication with them. We most often communicated through conference calls, and emails, and shared a bug tracking system.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Their understanding of technology, awareness of where things are going, and ability to help their customer to understand; essentially, getting a product out there ahead of the curve. Kelly Chu, [Founding Partner, Board Member, and Advisor], was one of the key people involved in that, and he was definitely a big part of our engagement. Our team was thrilled with his work and his vision for the product.
A core part of our engagement was having a team that understood what was going on in the mobile and web application space and being able to architect the solution, and deliver a solution that was in line with what was going on.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Only in terms of some of the transparency of the team, and some of the design work. We didn’t ever communicate directly with the designers. Understanding who the people are that are doing the work, and putting a face to the work is always a nice thing to have.