This review was updated on October 17th, 2019, by the client. The original star ratings were: Overall – 4, Quality – 5, Schedule – 3, Cost – 5, NPS – 5. New content is below.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
Julliard is a New York-based performance school with three main divisions: music, dance, and drama. I’m Zhaodong Zheng, a senior web development specialist who manages some of the projects for our enterprise applications group.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
What challenge were you trying to address with Merixstudio?
When we first got in touch with Merixstudio, they helped us develop a custom event calendar to schedule our student’s recitals. It was a public-facing ticket selling platform that allowed audiences outside of campus to attend performances.
Since then, we’ve re-engaged Merixstudio to iterate on the solution through additional projects, integrating it with other internal systems. The most recent release was for a recital management system, which is an extension of the event calendar.
What was the scope of their involvement?
At Julliard, students are required to perform at least once to graduate, which amounts to over 300 events each year. We’ve partnered with Merixstudio to build a new recital management system that would help us stay on top of those requirements.
By facilitating the performance scheduling process, the system allows us to coordinate recital logistics between several internal departments, including the Concert Office, Registrar Office, and so on.
Students can also submit their recital materials, describing what they plan to perform during the event. The system will then automatically schedule for the performance to be recorded.
What is the team composition?
On our current project, we have a project manager, 2–3 developers, and a tester. It’s a small but efficient team.
How did you come to work with Merixstudio?
Our CTO hired them before I started my role at Julliard.
How much have you invested with them?
I don’t have the overall amount that we’ve spent with them, but this current development phase has cost about $45,000 so far. We’ve spent more than that over these past few years.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started in 2014 and have just released the fourth build of the app. For the most recent version, their involvement started in May 2019. We plan to continue working with Merixstudio for the foreseeable future.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
In the past, we’ve only been able to schedule a portion of our total yearly recitals due to the specific workflow requirements of each performance type. We anticipate that this upgrade will let us schedule 2–3 times as many performances this upcoming year.
Having just started the scheduling process a week ago, we’ve already received about 100 recital applicants on the first day of booking. End users have complimented the system, too, which we consider a success.
How did Merixstudio perform from a project management standpoint?
They’ve performed well on several fronts. In terms of cost estimates, they’ve been fairly accurate. We’re about to meet the minimum amount that they’d initially quoted at the beginning of the project, which is great for our budget. They’ve also had no problems sticking to our deadlines.
As for communication, they’re great about coordinating with us. Even though there’s a time difference, Merixstudio’s team is responsive to our needs. They typically fix urgent issues within a day of us reporting them.
What did you find most impressive about them?
There are several advantages to working with them. Not only do they do high-quality custom work at a very good price, but they also have a versatile skill set. Their programmers are knowledgeable enough to handle whatever we throw at them. When they don’t know something, they’re willing to dive into a new area and learn to complete the task.
Are there any areas they could improve?
There have been some suggestions that we’ve made in the past about their scheduling and budget estimates. But, they’ve improved a lot since our last project. In the next development phase, I’d suggest that we put together an overall roadmap for the application so that we can discuss long-term goals.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Rather than coming in with a strict idea of your solution, give Merixstudio’s team enough room to provide suggestions. I know that I’m not always familiar with the boundaries of a specific technology, so there might actually be a better solution that I haven’t thought of before.
Instead, provide them with a high-level overview of your requirements. They’ll work toward gaining a strong understanding of your needs before developing the solution in an efficient and logical way.