What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
While we do have technical metrics and other data, I’d attribute those to our combined effort rather than to just our team or just theirs. However, we've seen growth in installation velocity and the number of measurements we receive (which means more people are using the apps), and we needed those things to happen. Aside from the product work, the GDPR tasks allowed us to stay in business, which our partners were worried about.
We’re happy with the job New Line has done, as well as the price we pay, so we’ve transitioned into a standing engagement. It would be difficult to manageably recreate the expertise and support that New Line provides. They offer a diverse set of resources that enables us to worry much less about project and resource management than we used to.
How did New Line Technologies perform from a project management standpoint?
It’s been a bit of a mixed bag. The SDK and updated infrastructure were ready before the final date but it would’ve been nice to have them one week before the launch. However, it didn’t result in any serious consequences for us.
The GDPR project ran a bit off-schedule relative to our expectations. New Line could have been more knowledgeable initially about the project's challenges but that would have been the case with anyone else, given how new GDPR was. On the other hand, they discovered something I'd missed during the planning stage. I give them credit for discovering that, proposing a solution, and getting it done. Even though we were late, we didn’t miss any hard deadlines.
New Line sends us status reports on ongoing issues and keeps me in the loop regarding where we are. If something needs a deeper investigation, they’ll prod me along to make sure it happens. Sometimes we have to make decisions quickly, which happens best on our side given that we have more experience in certain areas. That being said, since we need to react quickly and often work without the most detailed functional requirements, I’ve encouraged New Line’s managers to help us develop solutions instead of expecting us to reassemble the results on our side.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Our CEO describes them as “get-stuff-done people," and I’ve been quite happy with New Line in this regard. I understand that ours isn’t the most optimal setup for a service provider (the customer not committing to full-time resources), but they’ve handled it very well. Their overall response time is also fantastic.
Are there any areas they could improve?
It would've been lovely if they were able to onboard faster and gain a better understanding of what we’re trying to achieve, but this is wishful thinking given the type of provider they are. We also would’ve liked to have a person on their side be ready to talk to us, understand our business needs, and come up with a solution based on them. This would’ve made my life easier, but it’s hardly realistic. In this case, New Line would’ve charged much more, and the overall level of engagement would’ve been fundamentally different.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
Theoretically speaking, someone could be unhappy with what New Line offers if they came in with the wrong expectations. If they’re looking for a service provider that can supply resources, stick to the initial tasks, provide clear visibility regarding how their team thinks and what side-effects and consequences they see coming in the future, they’ll be fine.