Beautiful Software Products for Web & Mobile

Monterail is a close-knit team of 80+ experts offering Web & mobile development for startups and businesses.

In 2016 & 2017 we were recognized by Deloitte as one of the fastest growing tech companies in Central Europe recording instant growth since the company set up.

For over 7 years now, we use Ruby on Rails and JavaScript frameworks (we’re true Vue.js enthusiasts) to deliver beautiful web applications. As we highly value efficient solutions, we build hybrid & cross-platform mobile apps with Ionic and React Native technology. IoT is our thing. In our portfolio, you may find projects delivering insights from the physical world to connected devices.

We’ll act as your technology partner, to help your business thrive and succeed.

 
$10,000+
 
$50 - $99 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2010
Show all +
Wroclaw, Poland
headquarters
  • Monterail
    Olawska 27-29
    Wroclaw 50-123
    Poland
    +48 533 600 136

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Merck, Cooleaf, University of Wroclaw, Xchanging, Teambook, WFC, Innovestment.

Check our portfolio and case studies here.

Cashdeck

Application letting you control all your financial accounts (bank, credit cards, mortgages, super and more) from one portable place — mobile, tablet or desktop.

Range

From its conception to first users, and then the beta version, we designed and built this team scheduling software for agencies and studios.

Merck Unite

Merck Unite, an online platform enabling Kenyan doctors and healthcare providers to share knowledge and gather statistics related to community health threats such as diabetes.

Kastio

Providing a smooth webcast experience for rich and sophisticated content.

DealGlobe

DealGlobe launched in China and Europe in early 2015 with the objective of helping more Chinese businesses undertake and succeed in cross-border M&A.

Reviews

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Development of Browser-based Email Automation Tool

“The open line of communication…allowed us to forge a great relationship, and a really good friendship.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sept. - Dec. 2017
Project summary: 

Monterail developed a browser-based email tool. After performing an initial code audit, they restarted the project from scratch, using Ruby to develop a Mailgun API integration and Summernote as a text editor.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
Casey Schuck
Co-founder, Bluevogel
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

A few hundred people have used the tool to send around 30,000 messages. Monterail overcame challenges inherent to outsourcing by using multiple communication channels. Although they weren’t experienced in sales acceleration, their work exceeded expectations and they fostered a friendly atmosphere.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the co-founder of Bluevogel. We’re in the sales acceleration space so we allow people to send personalized or tailored emails faster. We’re similar to a mail merge, but more personalized.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Monterail?

We were, at the time, a team of three: my co-founder and I, and an internal developer. We were looking for a team that could build the software from scratch for us.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

When we initially went with them, we had some front- and backend code in place, so they did an audit and determined that it wasn't very functional. They started from scratch and genuinely built out every piece of the software. They’ve done the front- and backend development and set up our systems, which run on Amazon Web Services. They’ve also taken on development operations as well. They’ve basically been the entire I.T. department for the company.

The tool itself is entirely browser-based, and works with Mail Gun, our mail server. It allows users to create the content of the message, through a text editor called Summernote, and upload a list from Excel, which is supported by an API integration.

What is the team composition?

We had a dedicated project manager and worked with two developers on the backend and one on the frontend. We also had a QA resource, as well as a floater who would do design work. There was also a salesperson available to answer any related questions.

How did you come to work with Monterail?

My co-founder did some internet research, and may have actually found them on Clutch. Monterail was pretty highly rated, and we ultimately decided to go with them after reaching out to several companies.

Prior, we had been working with a Boston-based company, because we were concerned about communicating with an offshore firm, but we hadn’t had the best experience. This time, we looked for someone in our general price range and we were geography-agnostic. Another big thing for us was website quality, since we were a web-based company. Monterail’s website gave us the most confidence, and then speaking to them on the phone solidified that choice.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $70,000-$90,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from September to December 2017, where they delivered the beta version. We’ve continued to fix bugs and add additional features since then.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We had a few hundred people sign up, and have had 30,000 emails go through the platform. They exceeded our expectations in what they were able to build. It didn’t scale quite how we had hoped, but that isn’t a reflection on Monterail in any way. We’ve had some success and we’ve seen benefits, even for ourselves as users. From a business standpoint though, we just weren’t able to drive it forward.

How did Monterail perform from a project management standpoint?

They used the Scrum methodology to work through the project, and we communicated over Trello and Slack. We also had weekly calls through Google Hangouts, and during the brunt of development, those happened multiple times a week. Sometimes we spoke with just the front- or backend developer, but other times it was the entire team.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their communication really stood out to us, which was probably our biggest hesitation in going with an outsourced firm. The open line of communication, using the combination of Trello and Slack, and really sticking to the weekly calls, allowed us to forge a great relationship, and a really good friendship, with their team and the developers on it. We obviously didn’t work with everyone over there, but the people we did interact with did fantastic work.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I don't think so. There were certainly things where their lack of experience in the sales acceleration space slowed things a little bit, but that's something we saw with other companies we’ve worked as well. I don't think it's a reflection on them at all.

Any advice for potential customers?

The location of a company doesn’t end up mattering as much as you think it will. As long as the company has good communication, which Monterail does, you can get a great product out there. In terms of working with Monterail, remember that they know how to do things, and that they’ve been doing it for a while.

5.0
Overall Score It really has been a pleasurable experience for us.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There are times where it would be convenient if somebody is in your time zone, but that’s just something to be aware of.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They do fantastic work, and what you get is well worth the cost.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend anybody to go out and use them. It really is a great team that they have.

Rails Development for Curated Shopping Recommendation Engine

"They’re responsive and take proactive steps to address any minor issues that arise. We couldn’t ask for more."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
May 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Monterail assists with the front- and backend development of a shopping platform. Built with React.js and Ruby on Rails, the solution compiles complex data to give tailored recommendations to individual users.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
CTO, Product Curation Site
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The platform performs with an impressive 80% user engagement rate. Monterail’s personable team has a broad skillset and adjusts to preferred work methods. Unlike other vendors, they care about project success over a paycheck and offer flexible costs to account for exchange rates.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the co-founder and CTO of a company that builds technology to help users find retail products that fit their individual requirements. For instance, a jogger, a DJ, and a gamer could each use our platform to find the best headphones for their respective needs.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Monterail?

Having written the initial codebase ourselves, we hired Monterail to scale up our offering and speed up development.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They’ve helped develop the complex React.js frontend of our web application. It features a responsive design that adjusts for differences in desktops and mobile devices. We also have an intricate Ruby on Rails backend. We use Amazon CloudFront and EC2 to scale the platform and host Elasticsearch.

We partner with publishers and utilize questionnaires tailored to particular product categories. We embed custom assistant components based on the product type—fitness trackers, headphones, juicers, etc.—and this requires a machine learning component to pair individual users with relevant content. The platform monitors the effectiveness of those suggestions for future adjustments.

In addition to human-based questions, the platform collects as many data points as possible, while also taking semantic data like user reviews into account. Suggestions also consider pricing, comparing results against a number of retailers.

Every question compiles the expertise of authorities in each product area to determine what factors are important for individual users. When a user selects a product, they can see a set of scores against all relevant options in our database.

What is the team composition?

We work with five or six people on average, though the team size varies depending on our needs. They provide a project manager, frontend and core-app developers, and infrastructure experts.

How did you come to work with Monterail?

I did extensive research on offshore vendors, and we ended up focusing on Ukraine and Poland because companies in those countries tend to specialize in Ruby on Rails. We eventually ruled out Ukraine because of its greater time zone and cultural differences.

I researched a number of Polish vendors by reading Clutch reviews and conducted Skype interviews with every candidate. After narrowing the list to five, my co-founder and I traveled to Poland to meet each vendor in person.

Monterail exhibited the ideal combination of technical expertise, professionalism, and flexibility. While the other companies seemed more focused on their own bottom line, we found Monterail’s team to be highly personable and interested in our success. They were also a decently-sized company with a broad skillset and the ability to scale up if needed.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent around €450,000 ($550,000 USD).

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in May 2016 and our relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We have a range of metrics related to conversion and engagement rates, all of which are very positive. Around 80% of users interacting with our questionnaire go all the way through, which is a very high engagement rate for our industry.

How did Monterail perform from a project management standpoint?

I’m a very hands-on person, so I’ve played an active role in management. While they typically use Jira, we rely on Trello since I prefer its lightweight, visual approach. We have a number of boards and process items into a completed task board, with each column representing one week. We use Slack heavily for communication and met in Poland during the initial stages of the project.

Monterail’s team is efficient, reliable, and works to maintain our specific processes. They inform us of any changes in staff or upcoming holidays. Plus, they’re willing to work with us on costs to account for the exchange rate.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Monterail’s founders are understanding, conscientious, and passionate, and these traits have permeated across their entire company. They care about our success and make us feel like partners, rather than clients. I also appreciate their inclusive atmosphere. We’ve worked with a nice balance of both men and women.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They’re responsive and take proactive steps to address any minor issues that arise. We couldn’t ask for more.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

Visiting them in Wroclaw can be a positive and beneficial experience. The team is hospitable, and a face-to-face meeting can help build a strong relationship moving forward.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They work hard to meet our needs.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re not the cheapest option, but they provide excellent service.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already recommended them.

Vue.js Development Resources for SaaS Product

"... [T]hey also take an active role in contributing to the open source community."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2016 - Nov. 2017
Project summary: 

Monterail developed a frontend application for an existing API. It is designed to visualize the functionality of the API, providing a user interface for administration.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Stuttgard, Germany
CTO, Accounting SaaS
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Monterail relied on their expertise to suggest unique solutions, creating an add-on that functions to exact specifications. Frequent communication made them a transparent outsourcing partner. Their flexibility allowed them to scale up and down when necessary.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CTO of a software development and consulting startup. We provide accounting solutions for leasing companies, banks, and other financial institutions.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Monterail?

We needed frontend support to highlight our API for clients. We had an existing interface, but lacked the in-house resources to expand it.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our clients tend to be visual learners, so we needed a more market-oriented solution. We provided interface specifications and discussed priorities for the coming months. Monterail then worked closely with us to develop an add-on for our API that allows administrators to manage tokens.

What is the team composition?

We were assigned a project manager who conveyed our priorities to a developer and a tester. A fourth individual was in charge of code reviews, and an additional programmer was assigned when we needed to speed up the project. Szymon (Co-Founder, Monterail) also got in touch occasionally to ask if we had any concerns.

How did you come to work with Monterail?

I saw them mentioned on Twitter in connection with the Vue.js framework. Their skillset matched our technology stack, and we were also impressed by the fact that in addition to delivering our software, they also take an active role in contributing to the open source community.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between €35,000–€40,000 ($43,000–$50,000 USD).

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in October 2016 and the collaboration finished in November 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

They provided us a fully functional frontend for our sales and marketing. Through the application, we are able to demonstrate the value of our software in a visually appealing manner.

How did Monterail perform from a project management standpoint?

We had difficulty outlining the project, but Monterail helped us find solutions, bridging any technology gaps. We communicate through Slack, GitHub, JIRA, and video calls.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re transparent and communicate frequently. They’ve also been flexible enough to scale with our needs and budget.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We had a brief pause between the first and second phase of the project. During this time, one of their programmers left, meaning we had to onboard a new developer when we started the project back up. Still, the process was quick and she ultimately did a good job.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

It’s important to have a detailed plan when working with outsourcing companies. The project would have gone smoother had we realized this in the beginning.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The first phase went smoothly, though we had to postpone later work.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re more expensive than some competitors, but the quality is worth the price.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Ruby On Rails Development for Performance Management Platform

"The senior leadership’s responsiveness was phenomenal."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2017 - Jan. 2018
Project summary: 

Monterail provided full-stack development services on an interim basis for a responsive, multi-tenant web platform MVP using Ruby on Rails and React.js.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Pennsylvania
CEO, Performance Management Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Responsiveness from the C-suite down helped make this a generally successful engagement. Backed by an impressive body of work, Monterail’s commitment to quality shone through here as well. Communication across oceans can be tricky, but given clear direction, they deliver top-notch products.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m CEO of a startup that’s making a technology platform.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Monterail?

Our team didn’t have the technical competencies to build a minimum viable product (MVP) on a limited budget. Speed to market was also essential; we wanted to introduce the product in short order. We needed temporary offsite talent while we looked for in-house software development resources.

 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our multi-tenant web platform needed to be mobile-compatible. Collaborative coding ensured that the design supported sophisticated algorithms; they weren’t the only ones writing code. We also requested a backend built on Ruby on Rails and a React.js frontend, so that we’d be using a technical stack that would be relevant in the market while we looked for talent.

What is the team composition?

We worked with a project manager, one frontend engineer, and one backend engineer. A designer worked in the early stages on an ad hoc basis.

How did you come to work with Monterail?

We found them on Clutch. We liked that the company and their engineers were quite active in the development scene, were contributing to open-source projects, and had visible work samples. It was easy to get a feel for what they’d actually manifested in the market before. Plus, the price point was competitive with everyone else in their sphere.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent around $80,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Work started in May 2017. We transitioned completely to in-house engineering in mid-January 2018.

 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

They met the launch deadline and delivered a mostly functional MVP.

How did Monterail perform from a project management standpoint?

Project management was one of their strongest suits. While we spoke with the project manager daily, beyond that, they were extremely communicative and responsive. They reacted quickly when problems arose, always acting appropriately. Using Jira to track progress and Slack for quick communication helped immensely.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The senior leadership’s responsiveness was phenomenal. The CEO reached out when we experienced some issues, asking what they could do differently. Subsequently, the team made adjustments in short order. As one of their smaller accounts, we appreciated that effort.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We’re on the East Coast and they’re in Poland. We anticipated logistical challenges, but still had problems despite their accessibility on communications platforms. This issue was the biggest only because their quality of work, organization, and tools are already strong. They should align working hours to their clients’ schedules. However, such a change might disrupt the employees’ work/life balance, potentially making them less competitive as an employer in a highly competitive field.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They produce better products with clear and standardized requirements from the client. Thorough instructions will help bridge the language gap.

 

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’m very comfortable recommending them to others.

Ruby on Rails & AngularJS Work for Software Startup

"This was not just another job for Monterail—they really wanted to understand what we were trying to achieve."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2015 - May 2015
Project summary: 

Monterail augmented an internal development team to build a resource management tool for businesses. They focused on frontend work and built the solution with Ruby on Rails and AngularJS.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Nyon, Switzerland
Founder, Resource Planning Tool
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Monterail provided a dedicated team of genuinely interested developers. They went the extra mile to understand company vision, and communication was easy. Although they could do better about providing progress reports, they went above and beyond without focusing on charging more.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a web software company developing a resource management tool for small and medium businesses, allowing them to establish resource allocation for customer projects, look at the utilization and profitability of their teams, and understand who is available for new jobs. The company was started in 2014.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Monterail?

We are a small web shop, and we were looking for additional technical skills in order to increase the development team. The labor costs are particularly high in Switzerland, but we needed a good partner for developing our solution within good quality standards.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We wanted a partner for the frontend development, as well as some components of the back-office elements. Our solution was built with Ruby on Rails and AngularJS. These skills are particularly difficult to find in Switzerland.

Our CTO managed most of the project. From what I remember, Monterail assigned one team leader who oversaw the progress of our work, as well as two or three technical people in charge of the day-to-day work. We also had a part-time project manager from Monterail.

How did you come to work with Monterail?

What really impressed us was the ease of doing business with Monterail. I was able to get in touch with their founders quickly, and found that they were truly interested in the project. This was not just another job for Monterail—they really wanted to understand what we were trying to achieve, and what our company’s vision was. From that point, it was easy to do business with Monterail. We had a lot of confidence in them, and our CTO was able to ask a number of qualifier questions. We gave Monterail a try, and expanded their involvement after the initial success.

How much have you invested with Monterail?

The cost of Monterail’s services was around $15,000 per month, for a five-month duration.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Monterail in January 2015. The project ended in May 2015.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

The only reason for not continuing the work with Monterail after our five-month project was that we had a change of strategy. We were a part of a bigger company which has been acquired, so we’ve had to stop Monterail’s services.

How did Monterail perform from a project management standpoint?

Monterail’s approach was to our satisfaction. We were able to leverage web-conferencing tools as well as GitHub and collaboration software in order to collaborate efficiently, despite Monterail’s remote location. We had virtual standup meetings every morning.

Monterail didn’t put an emphasis on charging us for every additional hour spent on the work, and they were always willing to go the extra mile. We appreciated this, since they were really willing to dedicate themselves to the work without necessarily looking at the cost. Monterail ensured that what was delivered was up to our quality standards.

What did you find most impressive about Monterail?

Monterail was always willing to go the extra mile. They were growing as a company, and were keen to put their new junior staff on our project, but we weren’t charged for them. That was a part of Monterail’s investment to ramp up those resources and onboard them. We would have expected to be charged even for those, but Monterail was very accommodating in this sense.

Are there any areas Monterail could improve?

It would have been nice to get reports on where we stood in terms of progress.

5.0
Overall Score I have become an investor, and I have introduced Monterail to one of the ventures I’m interested in. I have worked with many suppliers in my career and, by comparison, Monterail has a willingness to go the extra mile.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I never had an issue with Monterail. The work was delivered as expected, and they also came up with suggestions which we wouldn’t have thought of.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    As a Swiss company, using a developer in Poland was a very cost-efficient solution for us. The local labor costs are very high. We also preferred using a nearshore company.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Monterail has very good testing and QA processes. We never had a complaint from our internal development team over the stories being delivered by Monterail. They made sure that what was being shipped was the final version.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Ruby Expertise for UI Design of a Network Web Application

"[B]efore any code was implemented, they ... tease[d] out the overarching business value and the workflows which we needed to solve."
Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Oct. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Monterail provides expert UI resources for a web-based network management application, adding up to 9 resources concurrently to expand and expedite deliverables.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Development Director, ICT Provider
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Outside experts affirmed that Monterail’s high-level designs conform to best-practice standards. Their detailed brainstorming in the project’s early stages struck a professional balance between asking thoughtful questions and offering guidance.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We build low-level software (or middleware) and high-performance hardware for networking.

What is your position?

I am the director of software development for the company. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Monterail?

My company wanted to build a product with a web-user interface. We wanted to implement best practices, but our resources are more focused on the low-level stack. We needed expertise for building that piece, without hiring in-house people. 

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail.

We wanted to build a new web UI application which was different from the typical SaaS [software as a service] model employed by other companies. We still wanted to deliver a traditional application server from a computer and provide a good UI experience. Monterail has its own design team which specializes on that side of things, so before any code was implemented, they put together scenarios, stories, user-mapping, and mockups in order to tease out the overarching business value and the workflows which we needed to solve to come up with what we intended to do. In comparison to other consultancy models, by which we would simply dive into the implementation, Monterail wanted to create some preliminary designs and storyboards together, before they committed to any code. This gave us an upfront view of what we were getting.

Monterail put together a team, advised us on our initial plan, and added resources to speed the process up as we got to the crunch. Monterail assigned a project manager for work coordination, a technical lead, and a number of backend, frontend, and UX design engineers for our initial 6-month run of the project. Our initial project lead left the company but was replaced quickly.

After the initial UX design phase, we determined that the scope was more complicated than anticipated. For the last cycle during 2016, we ramped-up the team in order to deliver a much more complex UI. For our current cycle, the size of Monterail's team reached its peak capacity, numbering around 9 members. We're looking to undertake some side projects which wouldn't impact the core development, but which could deliver separate bits of value.

How did you come to work with Monterail?

It was suggested that we evaluate some nearshore options from Eastern Europe, where there is a slightly lower cost-base and a good talent pool. We put together a rough scope and evaluated a number of consultancies. There are a number of companies in Poland specializing in web UI Ruby development, and we narrowed the search to 4–5 companies there out of a list of 10, whittling them down based on near-term availability and on-site discussions. We wanted to see if there was a fit and whether they could do the job.

We put together a detailed brief, based on which Monterail had a conversation with us, trying to determine what we were aiming to solve. Those initial meetings gave us a sense that there was a real capability on Monterail's part for grasping the challenge, even though they weren't necessarily domain experts in it. They were able to get up to speed effectively and to start asking questions while also providing their own input into what we could try. We want to work with people who, instead of agreeing with us, will provide insight into how something should be done.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

The cost of Monterail's work has been around $1,000,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Monterail in October 2014. We will always want more after achieving an initial application. The product is still in its infancy, but we've gotten quite a lot of feedback from the field, which we've used for reworks and additional feature development. The product has turned into a feature-rich, complex application from multiple points of view. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

I don't have any specific metrics for the software. In terms of speed of development, I will always want the work to get done faster, if possible, but I don't have a comparison that could give me a better idea of Monterail's performance. We've made some audits of their code implementation since we are quite invested in using Monterail on an ongoing basis. The people who've looked at their work have confirmed that Monterail is using best practices.

The overall product development is being driven by us, so delivering the wrong UI would be our fault. In terms of working based on our high-level mockups and designs, Monterail has executed in conformance to best practices.

What distinguishes Monterail from other providers?

Monterail continued to dig in, ask questions, and do what a good consultancy is supposed to do—namely, dig deep into the customer's needs. As a consequence of this, we're getting a better product.

Is there anything Monterail could have improved or done differently?

One of the challenges of software development is testing. As a company, it's our reputation, products, and brand on the line, so we have to ensure a high standard. It would be nice to see Monterail develop more capabilities in that area, instead of employing the standard approach in web development of probing features and removing the ones which don't work. Enterprise applications have less of a chance of reverting changes and need a much higher test bar. Monterail does have continuous integration and automated testing in place, but they’re not enough for the quality we need. 

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We can get to a deadline, but it won't necessarily include the quality we need.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Monterail has done a pretty good job in executing what we're asking for, but some of the work could be faster and higher quality. I do have a manager's optimism bias. The lack of want from our side to seek out better services reflects Monterail’s work.
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    This is the first time I've done this kind of development, so I don't have a comparison. Another of the companies I evaluated may have been better, but I have no way of knowing.

Networking Website Redesign for Exclusive Clubs

"Compared to projects we have worked on with other firms, they were extremely well-organized and communicated really well."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Aug 2015 - 2016
Project summary: 

The project centered on redesigning and developing a freemium platform connecting venues with travelers and club goers.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Zurich, Switzerland
Fmr. CMO, Niche Social Media Platform
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Website engagement and time on site increased as a result of the redesign. Monterail's transparent proposal and execution made them a great partner to work with even though they didn't provide a dedicated team.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a social network that owns several subsidiaries. One of them is a group which provides a membership that allows people to get special access to the best clubs around the world. I no longer work with this company, but I was the chief product and marketing officer.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Monterail?

We needed to build a new website for club subsidiary.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

It was a Ruby on Rails development effort. There were maps and modules integrated into the site, but there were no other third-party integrations. The website explains the services and allows users to find clubs that are in the network. Members can also see what events are there and book them. There are different levels of profiles, including free and paid [with varying privledges].

How did you come to work with Monterail?

We had an RFP [request for proposal] that we sent to a dozen partners that we knew. Those included personal contacts, companies that had been recommended to us, and companies we had found doing Internet research. We sent all the requirements and designs to the companies and asked them what their approach would be, their price, and their turnaround time. Monterail responded quickly to our first contact and showed interest. We shared the requirements with them and we were impressed with the very detailed proposal they sent back. They had different options described and estimated in their proposal.

How much have you invested with Monterail?

We spent approximately €100,000 [approximately US$106,000] on this project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in 2015 and the work was completed in 2016. We continued to work with them on additional features after the product was delivered.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Users stayed longer on the new site and looked at more pages. We also received positive feedback from them. There was one issue with the SEO component and we lost some traffic because we didn’t properly migrate a few aspects. That was something that was our fault and not Monterail’s.

How did Monterail perform from a project management standpoint?

As usual in IT, things take longer than expected, but they managed the project extremely well. There were no surprises. Whenever they ran into something that took longer or wasn’t going to work, they communicated with us and we decided together how to proceed. They were extremely open to suggestions. We had a project manager who took care of the coordination, but I always worked directly with the developers when it came to discussing details of an implementation.

What did you find most impressive about Monterail?

Compared to projects we have worked on with other firms, they were extremely well-organized and communicated really well. Most importantly, they were honest and open about project status. Other firms would tell us the project would be done the next week and that would go on for months.

Are there any areas Monterail could improve?

One of the issues we had was they don’t do "body leasing" where they give you specific team members. They tell you how many developers you get for backend and frontend. We had some issues with resources that were transitioning in and out, but they treated us very fairly. During those transitions, they only charged us for one person and they made sure the new person was updated before the transition. Of course, we would have preferred to keep the same person throughout the project.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re not particularly cheap for that region of the world. But considering the quality, it’s a better deal for the client than dealing with someone that has lower per hour cost but ends up using a lot more hours.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    It was close to perfect except for a few issues.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d recommend them to anyone wanting to do something similar.

Ruby on Rails Development of e-Book Publishing App

"Compared to other agencies, they delivered a lot in terms of the budget. Other agencies were twice as expensive."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Dec. 2011 – Dec. 2012
Project summary: 

Monterail produced an MVP in JavaScript and Ruby on Rails that enables bloggers to publish ebooks efficiently in the cloud.

The Reviewer
 
Entrepreneur
 
Berlin, Germany
Stefan Wolpers
Consultant, eBookMakr
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Monterail developed a functional proof of concept within their stated budget to the client's satisfaction. Though the project was not a commercial success, the entrepreneur intends to work with Monterail again soon.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m an Agile coach and do a lot of consulting work. On the side, I’m developing software for my own purposes in the publishing space including content management systems and a cloud-based editor for e-books. I’m an independent consultant.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Monterail?

I wanted to create a typewriter in the cloud for e-books because I had a lot of blog posts I wanted to compile into an e-book. I found out it’s complicated to turn a blog post into an e-book. I was looking for someone to create an app that could do that.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I provided the concept and the mockups, and they built the application. I completely entrusted them with creating the tech stack. I was familiar with Ruby on Rails through other projects, but they came up with the idea to have a JavaScript application because I wanted to have some features that would require some drag and drop functionality. I was looking to them to provide the best tech stack and I told them to go ahead and build the app in JavaScript. It was built on BackboneJS and Ruby on Rails.

How did you come to work with Monterail?

They were a reference from a friend. I was talking to three or four agencies, but Monterail made the best impression on me.

How much have you invested with Monterail?

I spent between €30,000 and €35,000 [US$32,000 and $37,000] on the project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working together in December 2011 and the project was completed in December 2012.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We invited several people to test the MVP [minimum viable product]. We wanted to test the market to see if they would be willing to accept a cloud-based solution instead of homegrown content management systems. We created a WordPress plug-in for the application. You could pick the blog posts you wanted to convert to an e-book. A lot of people liked that because it was a way to monetize their blog.

As far as the publishing side, they couldn’t warm up to the idea of putting their valuable data in the cloud. We underestimated how publishing houses keep track of their back catalog. They don’t have electronic copies of those, and from a technical perspective, it was a nightmare. But this was an easy tool for an individual to use in order to turn something into an e-book. From a publishing company’s perspective, they would have to set up a new channel. But this was nothing that Monterail did wrong.

How did Monterail perform from a project management standpoint?

We used Trello to communicate and manage the project. They would release versions that could be tested and what I enjoyed was the responsiveness of their team. The process was very lean and simplistic.

What did you find most impressive about Monterail?

They were very economic. Compared to other agencies, they delivered a lot in terms of the budget. Other agencies were twice as expensive. The quality I received was good given the circumstances. I was completely satisfied with their service.

Are there any areas Monterail could improve?

No. We met several times in person and they’re pleasant to talk to. I’m currently talking to them about another project.

4.5
Overall Score I really like the team.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were generally on time. With just one developer working on the code, if he’s gone, the project stops.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was within the expected parameters and they were fair.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I wouldn’t talk to them about another project if I didn’t like working with them.

Outsourced Development Team for HR Software Platform

"The team is very young, so they are very energetic and dynamic."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Sept. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

A two-year-old HR platform has relied on Monterail's outsourced development team since the HR software startup's inception.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 Employees
 
Switzerland
Co-founder, HR Software Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client is excited by the speed with which Monterail defines and delivers technical specifications. Both sides have worked on communication and are committed to the other's success. The client notes the team's youthfulness may also be to their detriment slightly in terms of experience.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are developing a web platform to manage human resources and administration in small companies in Switzerland. The company was started almost 2 years ago. I’m the chief executive officer and co-founder.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Monterail?

We wanted to find a development team in Europe that had enough qualified resources available immediately at a reasonable price.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They began working with us at the very beginning of the project. We prepared the specifications ourselves but they’ve been very helpful in defining the scope of the project, building the right team, and working on the project. We work in an Agile way and include the feedback of the customer as well. They make the onboarding smooth for any new resource that joins the team.

How did you come to work with Monterail?

Monterail was recommended to us.

How much have you invested with Monterail?

We’ve spent $300,000 with Monterail so far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with Monterail in September 2015 and the project is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We deploy new features or updates every 10 days to 2 weeks. We have more than 350 companies using the beta version of the app. Even though we’re not done with the development, it’s good enough to use today.

How did Monterail perform from a project management standpoint?

In terms of tools, we are using JIRA for our internal project management. We use Slack for communication. We used Basecamp at the beginning to share documents and define the scope of the project.

The role of the project manager at Monterail is crucial and he is doing a fantastic job facilitating communications and making sure the project runs smoothly.

What did you find most impressive about Monterail?

What we’ve appreciated is feeling that we had a team on site. They are not only looking to deliver the solution, but they want to understand the business model. They are very much involved in the success that we have as a startup. They are very communicative. They’re not just a number on a spreadsheet; they are a part of our team. Their development work is great as well.

Are there any areas Monterail could improve?

The team is very young, so they are very energetic and dynamic. They always have good ideas and are willing to learn, but they don’t have senior members with 20 years of experience to train someone coming on the team.

4.5
Overall Score There is always room for improvement. On both sides, we’ve learned to work together and we are extremely good at communicating and building the project together. We work as a team.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They are efficient, but because of the complexity of the project, things can get delayed.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    You can always find very cheap development teams, but for the quality that they are delivering, they are super fair. When they bring someone new to the team, they take time to make sure the person is really efficient before charging us for them.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The project is complex and they've been doing a very good job, not only in terms of quality but also in terms of efficiency.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already recommended them to a few companies.

Ruby on Rails Development for Crowd Funding Platform

"They were transparent about what was best for us even though it wasn’t in their best interest."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Sept. 2013 - Mar. 2015
Project summary: 

Monterail enhanced an existing Ruby on Rails crowd-funding site that has a large presence in Germany.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 Employees
 
Berlin, Germany
Christin Friedrich
Managing Director, Innovestment
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The integrity and general helpfulness of Monterail's team was very impressive and contributed to a strong partnership.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are an equity-based crowdfunding platform based in Germany. I’m the managing director.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Monterail further developed our platform which was originally coded in Ruby on Rails. We already had an online investment process as an auction model, and they reprogrammed it to a first-come, first-served model. They helped us develop a CMS along with other features for the platform. We had an in-house graphic designer, so we were using their team exclusively for the development of this project.

How did you come to work with Monterail?

I met them in Berlin at a conference. Six months later when we needed someone, I contacted them.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

We spent between $30,000 and $50,000 on the project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them from September 2013 until March 2015.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I feel an important part of the relationship was that I trusted them. Monterail suggested we find an agency in Berlin because of plans we had for our product which is why the relationship ended in 2015. It was important to them that we were successful in our development and that we are happy. They were transparent about what was best for us even though it wasn’t in their best interest.

How did Monterail perform from a project management standpoint?

The communication was very smooth. We found a process, and it was enjoyable to work with them. If there were any changes in resources, the process was always smooth. We used Trello to manage the project which is easy for a non-IT person to use.

What did you find most impressive about Monterail?

They perform quickly and were always accessible. The developers really think about what they’re doing. They give recommendations for the project. It’s important for developers to be able to use language a non-technical person can understand.

Are there any areas Monterail could improve?

They had shifts in the team, but I think that’s normal. It was always smooth, so there isn’t anything negative I can mention.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The relationship was very transparent. They were very fair and sometimes they did more.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They met our needs.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer