What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
The quality has been great. We have been very happy with them. They did the photo sharing in a low-cost, agile way which made it possible to go live with a large solution for little money. It was impressive that they could handle the Bookatable site from end to end. They made a great service that also became extremely popular. They worked on it for many years, and after 6 years, it was decided the technology should be taken in-house on that project. They handled everything to run a full-fledged web service.
Occasionally, we had an issue with a few developers, where someone was not performing well enough. They replaced them with someone else, and they compensated me. Of course, in all projects there will be issues or problems, but in general, they are very good at handling the issues. We didn’t have any huge issues resulting in more time or cost than agreed upon. There have been a few times when things turned out to be lighter than first anticipated. In general, it was handled well.
How did Melon perform from a project management standpoint?
It was very easy to communicate. It was nice that we were in the same time zone. They gave me direct access to developers and others in case there was something requiring urgent attention or if it was just faster so I didn’t have to wait for the project manager to reply. Their English was also very good compared to other outsourcing companies that I have worked with.
What did you find most impressive about them?
The CEO is a very amiable person who is nice to do business with. He’s reasonable, pragmatic, and solution-oriented. When there were issues, there was good communication; I could speak very directly and we worked toward solving the issues together.
The first time I met them, when we went over the specs and the ideas, I liked how they responded. I like that they take part in the early phases of writing the specifications of the work. They had very good ideas, and they were able to think independently. This was a loose idea at the moment, and they were able to work on an idea level. This is something I have appreciated with them on other occasions too, that they can think for themselves. They’re not just doing whatever the specs are saying. Right now, I have another project that we plan to use them for. They are part of the planning for what we need. I don’t need to do so much on my own. I can send them brief material, and they can develop ideas out of that. Then we discuss it and decide if it’s something we want to move on with or not. I like this way of independent thinking.
I also liked the idea of having access to a huge network of different people because they have a lot of different skills within the company. They do programming, QA, and many platforms and languages, etc.
Are there any areas they could improve?
It’s been a couple of years since I worked them, but I don’t know if they are on top of all technologies. Some projects are relevant to do with them, and other projects are less relevant because their competencies are not as strong in those areas.