Please describe the scope of their involvement.
They're working on a scheduling application. They are rebuilding one of the modules for the existing application. It's one of the key components. Our product management team, along with UX/UI [user experience/user interface] designers, started on this about a year ago  to re-envision how that part of our system would function. They wanted to find improvements and efficiencies while also looking at how we could make our system work better for some other segments in the restaurant industry, such as quick serve. They basically re-envisioned that particular module and redesigned the user interface and the interactions.
When we enlisted N-iX, that was the project that we initiated them on. We are now about six months into that project, and it's been going very well. It's on track, if not even a little ahead of schedule. We plan to allow some of our customers to start beta testing it in the late November or early December  timeframe.
We specifically designed the composition of the N-iX team. Initially, it was a fairly small team. We decided to get three software engineers, and we wanted one to be fairly senior so they could lead the team, provide some supervision, and do code reviews. Essentially, within that geography, that person would provide leadership to the team that was there. The other two developers are mid-level. Then we also put in two QA [quality assurance] engineers there to work specifically with that team on what they were developing, and those folks are mid- to senior-level engineers.
The initial team composition was five. We've since expanded and been actually augmenting other projects and other teams that we have. Here in Austin, we've been hiring additional team members at N-iX to augment those teams. I think, overall, we've hired four more software engineers, and a couple of those are mobile application developers as well as two more quality assurance. Things are going very well and, if anything, we're expanding with them.
They will go out and hire developers or QA, where necessary, for the position. Sometimes, they have folks internally already, who may not have an existing project, and they're able to reposition into a project of ours. Most of the people that we've hired weren't already working for N-iX. We went through interview processes with those folks. When they'd bring somebody to us, they had a salary expectation for that individual. It's always based on United States dollars, but then paid in local currency.
How did you come to work with N-iX?
From working at other companies, I was familiar with other folks who have used outsourced resources in the past. Eastern Europe seemed to be the place to be these days based on some research I had done. I found a few different companies that looked like good candidates. One thing I wanted to do was find one that either I or one of my contacts had direct experience with. I found N-iX through a company I had previously worked for. I was able to contact a former coworker and get a very good reference for them, and that's what closed me on N-iX.
Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?
I can't give you an exact figure because it's confidential. But, once you factor in N-iX's overhead and fees, things like that, comparing them to the folks that we hire from a cost standpoint, I would say they come in at about two-thirds of the cost here.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started our search at the end of 2014, and we engaged them at the start of 2015. We started interviewing candidates at N-iX in the first quarter of this year, and we actually started the development around April of this year. The work is currently ongoing.