What was the scope of their involvement?
Last Call Media was outsourced for helping us with the initial development of the website's Drupal infrastructure. Last Call Media took part in everything from the discovery process, through to the planning and development. We handled the design internally, also taking care of the content architecture. Last Call Media worked within our pace, in order to get those elements taken care of. It was a collaborative effort, with Last Call Media taking care of all technical efforts.
We built a way of presenting all available university majors, minors, PhDs, and so on. For each area of study, we showed all the available degrees that a student could enroll for. In order to pull all the content in the format that we needed, from a design standpoint, we needed to build an API which connected the front-end to the back-end. It was an impressive piece of technology.
Last Call Media helped us restrict the types of content we were creating. Based on their previous higher education clients, they helped us avoid creating too many types of content, which would have become hard to manage over time.
Last Call Media assigned up to 5 individuals at peak capacity, including 4 developers (2 senior) and a project manager. We met with all of the resources beforehand in order to understand their approach and vision. At the project start, we already knew everyone who would be involved with the project.
How did you come to work with Last Call Media?
We reviewed 3 candidates, with their location being the main factor. I wanted to work with a development company in our area so that we could have in-person meetings. We didn't look outside of Massachusetts, but we found 3 good options in the Boston area, as well as Last Call Media, in North Hampton. We offered each candidate the same opportunities to present their services and understand what we wanted to build. We looked at each company's portfolio, talked to their past clients, ultimately selecting Last Call Media based on their experience and passion. The other partners had a more out-of-the-box approach; they weren't as agile and adaptable to our needs. At that point, we had more of a concept, so we needed some flexibility from the developer's side in changing our path and adding things that we hadn't considered. Last Call Media has a relatively young team, which could work with us long-term.
How much have you invested with Last Call Media?
The cost of Last Call Media's services was in the low 6-figure range.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with Last Call Media in July 2015, with an initial discovery process for the technologies we would be using. The planning stage and development started in the winter of 2015. Our minimum viable product was built in June 2016, after which we had 2-3 additional sprints of one week each, and a training period for our internal team. Our goal was to manage code for ourselves. The site was launched in August 2016.
Last Call Media has remained a consulting partner for us. We go to them whenever we are unsure of how something should be built. Last Call Media will either handle the coding or guide us in implementing the necessary changes. We've made many improvements since the site was launched, creating new features, content types, and views.