Do you have any statistics or metrics to track improvement from the project?
When we started with Mobiversal, we had rudimentary iPhone and Android apps. They came in and saw what we had. They understood our vision, and they revamped everything. Not only did they revamp the apps, but the most important part is the backend system. That is where all the data is collected from the users in real time, crunched, and sent back to the people who are in the right areas, giving them correct and timely alerts. In our business, alerts have to be timely. If we make a mistake, or if we don’t get the alerts in time, somebody will get a ticket or have an accident, and that’s bad for business.
The system has to be tested thoroughly. When we first started using them, the backend system was very clunky and filled with spaghetti code; everything was duct-taped. They looked at it and put all that aside. They built it from scratch in a brand new way, with a better vision and a solid foundation. They took us from about 100,000 users to supporting more than 2 million users. Customer satisfaction has been very good. They were very good at listening to the customers, noticing what people had problems with, and practically fixing everything as they went.
Do you feel you made the right decision to develop on iOS and Android?
Yes. If you want to do apps, you have to do Android and iOS. There’s no other way now. Of course, there is BlackBerry and Windows. BlackBerry is dying, and we didn’t get along with Windows because of some issues we had with four senators who are against our product. They sent a letter to Apple, Google, and BlackBerry. Apple and Google said they had to review it and make a decision based on the merits of this company. They gave us a chance to explain ourselves and justify our presence. On the other hand, Blackberry yanked us off the market without asking us any questions.
Android is a must, and we also do some GPS navigation apps. We had to double up for Garmin, TomTom, and Magellan. We licensed our database to a lot of other mapmakers, so we have to have an API, and give our data to these mapmakers and developers. They also helped us build our API.
Is there anything unique about them that really makes them stand out, compared to other companies?
The most important thing is that they deliver. Secondly, they know what they’re doing. The third thing is that they will work with you, understand your mission, and they have enough people there who are business developers, programmers, and debuggers. They have the whole team in-house to work on your project. They just don’t build something, they make it work. If it doesn’t work for the customer, just because you built it, it doesn’t mean they’ll come.
That’s what Mobiversal does; they make sure it works. They’re affordable. If I were to develop my apps here in the U.S., it would cost twice as much. You want to hire somebody who’s going to be around. You need to iterate with your project, program, business, and apps, and you need the person who looked at it the first time to be the person who keep improving it at a reasonable price. Bringing in other people or a new team is very expensive.
I’m a small business, and we live and die by how we spend our money. We’re not allowed to waste even a penny. A penny saved is a penny earned. The wrong developer can destroy you. I’m happy with Mobiversal.
Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or that you might do differently?
Yes, I wish they’d stop taking other clients. I would like to have them for myself. Whoever is going to hire them, is going to be very happy. These are qualified people, and they’ll tell you the truth. They won’t promise you everything and then nickel and dime you to death. They know how to manage expectations; they know how to write up the project, and they know how to stick to it.