What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We’ve done some internal testing, but none externally. The project hasn’t actually gone to market. We are waiting for the patent filing to clear before we release it to the public or any external parties.
The backend is well-developed. There are a few kinks to work through. It’s really a pre-alpha version, but even at this stage, we definitely got what we needed in terms of the complexity of the engine. I attribute a lot of that to their backend team, who has put in a quite a bit of work. Their sheer ability to understand its complexity has really helped.
They’ve done a very good job so far on the frontend as well. At most it’s been tested by 10 people and 1 goal. Based on this small focus group, on a scale of 1 to 10, we are at around 8–9.
It’s been very encouraging to me and my team. We look back on the vendors we looked at and can only imagine how the product would’ve turned out with someone who didn’t understand our needs or have the necessary capabilities. We would end up with a bigger issue at the end of the day.
How did Neoteric perform from a project management standpoint?
The project management has been very good. It’s our first time working with Neoteric, so it took a few months to find our preferred working relationship style. It’s been much better since. Helping them understand the project from our point of view and translating that into an actual product was the biggest challenge for us. We’ve overcome that, but of course not with 100% fluidity. There are hiccups along the way. Even at these challenge points, both parties worked through the issues fairly smoothly due to our close collaboration.
The project manager plays a supervisory role for their team and attends a weekly sprint meeting with us. We also request meetings with him for budgeting or forward planning. We don’t get him involved on a daily basis, and we deal with the other team members on a more informal basis. That’s done purposely, because we prefer to speak directly with whoever is in charge of a particular area. We know the team members very well. Some people might not like such an informal working relationship, but for us it’s built on trust.
They’ve been flexible and fairly adaptive to our needs. Those are plus points. We used to do a 2-week sprint, but we currently are doing a weekly sprint, as well as a daily standup. The communication and collaboration has increased over time. We’re in contact with them on a daily basis via Slack. We also use formal channels like Taiga.
It’s easy to talk to a software development company and a team that speaks the same language. The fact that there’s no language barrier eases the workflow process.
What did you find most impressive about them?
If I needed a corporate website to be coded, I could go with anyone else. It isn’t hard to convey a simple project to most development companies. It’s harder to find a vendor that will take the time to understand the complexity of your project and that also has the development capability and expertise to tackle it.
Neoteric is positioned to serve customers with high-level projects with higher demands. They are able to produce the kind of quality needed. When it comes to complex projects, Neoteric is one of the few we’ve found that can live up to our expectations.
My CTO works closely with them, and he says he’s been very impressed with the speed at which the team has managed to produce the components of our project. Within Singapore, we’re familiar with major development companies. I’m not putting them down, but it’s really hard to find developers who can go above average. It’s hard to find someone who’s as invested in your project as you are. Neoteric has that slight edge. They get people who care about the project.
Are there any areas they could improve?
The workflow itself as well as forward planning could be better. With certain components, future issues aren’t immediately clear. One piece might not be the best fit for the puzzle. It would be helpful for them to anticipate what could go wrong with an approach we’ve chosen. Part of that has to do with the client, so it’s not all on them. We know they can’t read our minds.