What was the scope of their involvement?
We outsourced all the development to Norbsoft. I didn’t give them wireframes or documentation for the app. Some of the content was there in terms of my reviews, but that didn’t give them any guidance for the UI [user interface] or navigation. I had an app that I had worked on previously with other developers, but for the existing app, they completely redid it. Even following the old format, the old app wouldn’t have worked. This new app has so much more functionality, including the barcode reader and label optical scanner. What they also did was provide a way for users to submit wine labels that are missing. We still approve of them as wine experts on our end to make sure we’re not getting junk in there. The app gets better because of that ability to submit correct or missing labels for wine.
Norbsoft worked well as a team, which is good. They dealt with a lot of backend issues themselves. From my perspective, what was ideal was that I was always dealing with one main person. There was Paul, who owns the company, and then the lead tech person, who I was always dealing with. And then he, in turn, would deal with the developers in the iOS and Android team. I liked that they were quite well coordinated.
They put me in touch with a couple of writers who wanted to review apps, so I was happy to act as a customer success story. That wasn’t part of the contract. That was just a bonus, and it was nice of them to do.
How did you come to work with Norbsoft Mobile?
The challenge in finding an app developer, apart from reasonable cost and good technical expertise, is that can they handle both iOS and Android. There tends to be a lot of specialists mostly on iOS, but I wanted both. I originally also had BlackBerry, and from talking to BlackBerry, they recommended Norbsoft because they had originally been able to do all three platforms: Blackberry, Android, and iOS. I decided not to do Blackberry and focus only on Android and iOS. There were other companies I looked at alongside Norbsoft, but nobody except Norbsoft could bring together reasonable cost, technical expertise, and the two platforms.
How much have you invested with Norbsoft?
For the most recent one, their cost was about CA$25,000-$30,000 [Approx. $18,700–$22,500].
What is the status of this engagement?
Norbsoft Mobile has done two iterations with the app, and the most recent one was to add the label reader. They completely overhauled the app and added the barcode reader. That was iteration one which was a few years ago, but the label reader was a nine-month project that took place in 2016.