Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
The payment app has been doing great, but it’s still in the pilot stage. It’s an enterprise software used by taxi drivers and small merchants, who have been happy with it so far. Since its launch in March 2017, we’ve had 150 taxi drivers using it, and 800 customers have paid them through the platform.
It’s up to us to obtain funding and add more payment terminals, but this has nothing to do with the app.
How did Magnates Technologies perform from a project management standpoint?
For the POS portion, we had a project manager and a lead developer from Magnates’ side. Those were our 2 points of contact with them, but there were around 6 engineers working in the background.
The communication methods varied. In the first stage, when we were building specifications, we worked through web conferences, sharing screens and showing what we wanted. When we got to the development stage, we scheduled conference calls every other day using RingCentral, our internal conferencing platform, most of the time. We also had the option to use Skype.
We worked with Magnates’ team in India, and the collaboration worked beautifully. Evening time in Washington DC is morning time for them, so we could address whatever we wanted to be done by the evening, and, by the time we woke up, see it pretty much done.
What did you find most impressive about Magnates Technologies?
I was a little nervous about how reliable and available an outsourced team would be. At the end of the day, the company is in India, and we can’t just go to their office and meet them. Over the course of these 2 projects, Magnates was able to build trust with us, and we felt comfortable handing over the work to them. At this point, we trust them with maintaining the software, while we still don’t have the technical capabilities to do it ourselves.
Are there any areas Magnates Technologies could improve?
When running a startup, we have to travel a lot. I am running between the Ivory Coast and the U.S., and it’s important for me to have multiple points of contact. Usually, 1-2 contacts are ideal for keeping the information centralized and the line of communication simple, but I wanted to have a personal connection with everyone working on my project. I wanted the ability to call each of the 10 engineers and thank them for what they’ve been doing.
Magnates thought that this could have disturbed the workflow and that everything needed to flow through the project manager. This is their internal process and I can’t argue with it, but, at the end of the day, I want to know who’s working on my software.
We’ve had this conversation with them as well, and they offered to have us come visit their office, and meet everyone working on the project, but, as far as having a personal relationship with the developers, they can still improve. I can’t tell their company what to do, but it would make customers more appreciative of what the team does.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Magnates Technologies?
In order to get the most value out of working with Magnates, the client will probably want to have all their requirements set beforehand and be open to receiving suggestions from the team as well. On one or two occasions, the recommendations which came from Magnates did help a lot. They based the inputs from their past experiences.
Clients can stick to just what they want, but they will probably miss out on opportunities to improve.