Your Digital Advantage

Our mission is to elevate the human experience through technology one custom designed software product at a time. In 17 years we have launched over 300 products with ambitious clients in industries like financial services, healthcare, education, media, energy and retail.

We have a proven record of creating game-changing value for clients, including Flex, NRG, The City of Houston, McCoys, Cost Plus World Market, Sysco Foods, The University of Texas at Austin and Keller Williams.

  • We helped NRG generate $80M in new revenue
  • We helped the City of Houston save $20M 
  • We helped Brief Media acquire 600,000 daily active users 
  • We helped Interactive Health Technologies scale to over 1M users

With hiring and culture as top priorities at Praxent, you will work with...

  • a UX Strategist that is highly experienced in combining business strategy and lightweight user research to identify and validate the business problem we aim to solve
  • a UX/UI Designer that will pair consumer grade creative with intuitive interaction design to elegantly produce design solutions that engage 
  • a Solution Architect that architects your product with the right tools and technologies balancing pragmastism with modern tools
  • a Business Analyst that ensures you have complete visibility into the health and progress of your project while keeping a focused eye on timeline and budget
  • a Development team that brings your digital product to life with an uncommon level of responsibility and a keen eye for quality

... each of them handpicked to serve with zero attitude with a commitment to Clients First - our first core value and our promise to put you first in all we do.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2000
Show all +
Austin, TX
headquarters
  • Praxent
    1701 Directors Blvd, Suite 780
    Austin, TX 78744
    United States
    512-553-6830

Focus

Service lines
  • Custom Software Development
  • Web development
  • Mobile app development
Client focus
  • Midmarket ($10M - $1B)
  • Enterprise (>$1B)
  • Small business (<$10M)
Industry focus
  • Business services
  • Education
  • Health care & life sciences
Mobile platforms
Mobile focus
Frameworks and CMS
Programming & scripting
Ecommerce systems
Application platform

Portfolio

Key clients: 
  • Keller Williams
  • McCoys
  • University of Texas
  • Sysco Foods
  • Cost Plus World Market
  • NRG - $80M in new revenue
  • The City of Houston - saved $40M 

Custom Kiosk Software for Experiential Marketing

Our solution helped Photomadic evolve into a software company with recurring revenue 

We developed a custom photo booth solution and new Wave app that solved Photomadic's connectivity and customization woes. Our solution did much more, providing Photomadic with an opportunity to move from being a product company with one-off sales to now thriving as a software company with recurring revenue. Read more.

Workflow Management Software for Improved Contractor Management

We helped First Crush Tastings move from just another industry player to a proven game changer

We created an automated job scheduling and data collection app that powered 400% growth for this point of purchasing marketing company. The results were so dramatic that marketing the technology that makes it possible is now a major new focus of their business. Read more.

Drupal Upgrade + Healthcare Software Development

We successfully upgraded Corepoint Health's site from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7, built in an eCommerce registration tool, improved the content management interface, created a landing page solution, improved their site's multi-content type search, and increased social sharing and video capabilities. Read more.

Custom Mobile Application Development

Our updated, mobile application of the handbook used by 94% of veterinarians transformed how small animal and rural practitioners access drug data.

Created for busy veterinarians and pharmacists, Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs is the new digital resource for accessing up-to-date veterinary drug information. Read more.

Scalable Web Architecture for Certification Management

A faster, safer way to the playing field for 18,000 athletes

TYFA needed a web-based application that was scalable – capable of processing up to 4,000 participants at a time. Second, it needed to work anywhere, in a gym or on the field, and run efficiently on any computer or mobile device. Third, there was little time for training, so the user experience had to be intuitive.

We created a scalable web architecture so that volunteers could check birth certificates, complete profiles, take photos, and print photo ID cards reliably and efficiently. The system also sends guardians a waiver, which they sign electronically. The process for certifying players has never been so smooth. Read more.

Custom Financial Dashboard Software for City of Houston

$40 million savings in its first year

Well within the Mayor's deadline, we delivered an online purchasing information portal the city calls its E-Catalog. This powerful tool helped the city dramatically increase government accountability and citizen participation—while saving taxpayers millions. Read more.

Custom Reporting Software for Business Process Automation

SimpleNumbers is a web-based financial reporting and decision making tool for entrepreneurs to gain critical insight into the health and performance of their business. The app synchronizes with customers’ QuickBooks software and automatically updates. Read more.

Salesforce Enablement App

We built NRG SunLease a cloud-based portal for generating estimates and processing financing applications. It made creating customized solar installation bids incredibly quick and easy for sales reps. The instant results offered homeowners easy-to-understand financing options in an aesthetically professional package. Read more.

Environmental Compliance Management Software

We created a site that provided small businesses with a certification process to be recognized for eco-friendly business practices.

The advanced information architecture leads prospects along a self-guided discovery path that drives high conversion rates. A searchable directory helps eco-conscious customers find GBB members to do business with, and an e-commerce engine automates new member on-boarding and renewals. Read more.

Wearable Software for Schools

Custom app became the linchpin of Interactive Health Technologies

Deployed in school districts in over 30 states, IHT has revolutionized K-12 Physical Education with its suite of game-changing software that enables students, teachers and parents to actually measure class time activity and effectiveness. Read more.

Customer Service Management Software

Our custom portal cured NORCAL's customer service request overload

We developed a mobile responsive web-portal to enable insurance brokers to perform customer service for their accounts, reducing the call volume on NORCAL’s over-taxed billing department. Read more.

Our website solution reduced overhead and increased pipeline

Banker’s Toolbox needed their website to reposition them as a cool, youthful, and friendly tech company. Our redesign kept the user experience fresh while maximizing the readability of each page. And most importantly, the new site was designed to more effectively convert visitors into prospects for the firm to follow up with by phone and e-mail, and transformed the website from a passive brochure to a valuable source of new business. Read more.

Reviews

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iOS/Android App Dev for Veterinary Media Company

"I've really come to view their team as an extension of our own."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Praxent created a digital platform to host an online, subscription-based reference book. They incorporated enterprise solutions for IP authentication and built corresponding apps for both iOS and Android.

 

The Reviewer
 
50-100 Employees
 
Tulsa, Oaklahoma
Natalie Williams
Director of Audience and Technology, Brief Media
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

In its third year, the product’s subscriptions continue to increase, with revenue growing by 72%. Surveys show users extremely satisfied with the product’s easy-to-navigate layout, and Praxent’s personable team has made them a long-time partner.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the director of audience and technology for Brief Media, which produces clinical journals focused on the veterinary industry. We’re based in Tulsa, Oklahoma and have a staff of 50 employees.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Praxent?

We had acquired the rights to a well-known veterinary reference book called “Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs,” and wanted to transfer this to a digital space for paying subscribers. This was our first foray into digital publishing, and we needed a reliable development agency.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Praxent essentially built the digital space from scratch. We provided consultation on issues specific to our industry and they created a clickable prototype for test purposes.

From here, they created a responsive website to host the reference book’s content. They worked out the payment functionality, incorporating enterprise solutions with IP authentication, and built corresponding apps for both iOS and Android.

What is the team dynamic?

We meet with a dedicated project manager and a developer on a biweekly basis.

How much have you invested with them?

Post-build, we pay approximately $100,000 annually for site maintenance.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in 2013 and our relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The app and website allows veterinarians to quickly access information regarding things like proper prescription dosages. We've timed users, and found they can typically find what they’re looking for in less than 30 seconds, saving them the trouble of combing through a hard copy textbook.

The design and functionalities met our expectations. We’re in the product’s third year, and 2017 has seen a substantial subscription increase, resulting in revenue growth of 72%. According to our subscriber surveys, over 90% of our customers report being extremely satisfied with the product.

How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?

They’ve been great partners. We communicated daily during the project’s development and continue to have biweekly meetings that coincide with their sprint schedules. We also rely on a ticketing system and have access to their developer should any issues come up between our scheduled meetings.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I've really come to view their team as an extension of our own. We recently planned our 2018 product roadmap, and Praxent really worked with us on ideas for optimizing user experience. They even offered insight on the business end, providing suggestions for subscriber acquisition and retention.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They could have given us more pushback during the early stages of the project. We put forth some competing demands that slowed our otherwise efficient progress. At this point, they’re comfortable enough to tell us if a request will affect scheduling, but they were more hesitant to do so in the beginning.

Advice for potential customers?

View them as a partner and let them in on the challenges you want to address. I never give them specific instructions for solving a problem. Instead, I explain our goal and let Praxent’s team return with recommendations for accomplishing that goal. We find better solutions when we work collaboratively.

5.0
Overall Score From their CEO down, everyone is responsive to feedback.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    It's normal for small issues to arise in any project, but communication is key.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    An in-house maintenance team would be cheaper, but I'm happy with the value of their service.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They've been a great partner and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.

Systems Integration for Supply Chain Company

"I’ve been in this industry for 42 years, and have yet to find anyone as responsive and communicative as Praxent."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
May 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Praxent created an integration solution for a startup’s technology infrastructure. The team created a solution that allowed for tracking of each piece of merchandise from receipt to resale. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Austin, Texas
VP of Quality and Compliance, Logistics and Supply Chain Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The project was delivered before the deadline and went through a smooth user-acceptance process. Praxent was able to come onto the project and immediately understand the business problem and goals. They adjusted to any changes in scope in a reliable and efficient manner.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the vice president of quality and compliance for a global electronics wholesaler; we are a startup. We source end-of-first-use electronics from around the world, intake and process them for data-clearing, as well as functional and cosmetic evaluations, and sell them to a wide variety of channels worldwide. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Praxent?

We had a large customer who wanted full integration with our technology infrastructure. That meant that needed to launch a 3-month project with that partner, in order to integrate our IT systems into theirs, at very specific points in the lifecycle of the transactions. We don’t have an in-house IT team, we only use outsourced resources. This meant that we were looking for a third-party integrator who could work with us and our new customer on the full scope of the project—the technical underpinnings and software development work. It was all done within a tight and closely managed project plan, managed by our customer. We had to take great care in selecting a partner who represented what we wanted because it was a customer-facing role. We needed to call in the professionals.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The integration work was focused on product intake in our facility—what was inbound, how it was processed, and the timely nature of how it was processed, the cycle time for all the different work-in-progress steps required, from receiving and registration, testing and wiping, to the equipment sale. All of these were touch points along the way, which had to be fully-integrated with the customer’s systems. All of this was tightly-managed and delivered by Praxent.

How did you come to work with Praxent?

We had already identified an outsourcing partner, and they had begun the process of engaging with the customer in the planning phase of the project. It was not meeting the expectations of my company nor our customer, so we started to look for someone who could step in and transition in a very seamless and non-transparent way for our customer. Praxent was recommended by common acquaintances. Austin is a fairly small technology community. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Praxent in May 2017, with the initial project lasting 3 months. However, the collaboration is ongoing. The result of our initial engagement led to a wide variety of increases in scope and to other work we have planned.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The project is on the verge of going live, so we don’t have metrics to share at this point. We do have high expectations and have completed all user-acceptance testing, which all went incredibly smooth.

How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?

We met and exceeded the timeline set for the initial project. There was a bit of scope expansion during the project, but we delivered in less time than was expected, and to an incredibly satisfied customer. I’ve been in this industry for 42 years, and have yet to find anyone as responsive and communicative as Praxent. We have regularly-scheduled meetings, either in-person or by phone. We also use email and probably over-communicate some.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their seasoned view of the business problem. Praxent has an experienced understanding of business problems and can turn them into solutions. As I said, they took over a role which was already outsourced to another vendor and did so very diplomatically by grasping the business issue quickly. Praxent stepped in silently and efficiently, in order to pick up the project and deliver it with high marks from the customer.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Based on our experience to date.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It’s a bit too soon to say, and we’ve only worked on one project.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    It was too short of an engagement to give them a 5.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    This was one of the best collaborations/IT projects I’ve taken part in, to the point of inviting Praxent back for more work.

Web Dev for University Research Database

"They do what we ask them to do and they do it quickly."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2011 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Praxent designed and developed a database platform to store large amounts of data for teaching assessments. The team created multiple custom features and data-entry options for this large research project. 

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Texas
Institute Director, University
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The quality of the site meets the original specifications and integrated 7 different data sets. Praxent is extremely responsive and generally finishes deliverables before the timeline. The team’s project management is exceptional, with minimal turnover or issues that affect clients.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the director of an institute at a university. We have a state grant to perform a state assessment on a series of teaching programs across Texas.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Praxent?

The State's assessment project would have ongoing cycles of anywhere from 18 to 29 universities working with teachers throughout Texas, which would mean anywhere from about 700 to 1,300 teachers in any of the two-year cycles of this funded project.

The main challenge was to be able to collect data that could be easily and safely put into a repository and extracted as needed. It needed to be able to collect certain pieces of data in real time, and other pieces in deferred time, all while keeping it safe. Some of the data is numeric and some of it is alpha-data, like online reflections and interviews that have been transcribed as Word documents.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Praxent built the data-collection site for us. Initially, it was housed here at the university, but in the years since we’ve been working with Praxent, we’ve gone cloud based. They did all the technical work to make the site, as well as the user interface, following our specifications. We would tell them where we’d want a button, a drop down menu, a color to change, etc. We drove the design process and they implemented it. They created a total of seven data areas, some of which talk to each other and some of which don’t. A few examples of these data areas and their functionalities are below.

One functionality they produced on the site allows teachers to go to a predetermined URL and enter an anonymous code to then answer a series of reflections. There’s no way to connect them in any way to who they actually are. Using that code, they enter in their reflections, and another database allows them to take a pre- and post-assessment test. Those scores are then entered here at the university so that we have a numeric, pre-content understanding. 

We had had another company build an app allowing observers observe teachers and note information about what’s happening, which then ties into the site Praxtent built, becoming numeric and is put into the database when the observer clicks 'submit'.

We also have a silo for concept maps that allows teachers to do a pre- and post-concept map. Those are graded numerically and get put into the database.

Lastly, we have people who perform interviews over the phone at the end of the cycle they participate in. That is sent off to a transcriber and they come back to us as Word documents and those are put into the system. For any one teacher, you could get all of that information with the new site.

How did you come to work with Praxent?

Because this is using state money from the federal government, there were a lot of precautions we had to go through in terms of getting bids from different companies, making sure that the companies all met the state standards. Knowing that there was a vetting process that whittled us down to a subset of companies that could do the work.

Then we narrowed it down to about three companies. The way Praxent did their interview is for a flat fee, you could work with them for a full day. We went to Austin and five of us from four different locations around the state met with them all day long. We described what we thought we needed. We talked about what services they’d already done for people and how it might look. We did a similar kind of process with two other companies and we chose Praxent. We just clicked with Praxent.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together 7-9 years ago and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The site is only used by teachers and the project directors themselves; it’s not an open URL. We don’t check to see how many clicks or whether people go from one location to another location. The quality of the site has met our expectations.

How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?

They perform very well. They respond almost immediately to any issues. They always respond with a time frame that it will take for it to be fixed. They email me again to let me know when it’s corrected or if they need more information.

During the first two or three years, we met every other week virtually. That became less and less over time and now all the work is done through email. They do what we ask them to do and they do it quickly.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I’ve never done anything like this before; it’s a totally unique situation for me. So I have nothing to judge them against. I’m impressed with their timeliness.

I also find it amazing that when their designers go on vacation, they cut them off from being able to work, they can’t even get into their emails. They always assign someone else. That is such a wonderful thing. I wish everybody in the US would do that. That being said, it never interrupts my work. If I send an email while our contact is away, somebody else will have already been assigned to our account. It gets put through the system just as quickly.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There’s always room for improvement. The place we fall down on sometimes is that they're a group of young, techy people trying to communicate with somebody who has none of that same vocabulary. They did a very good job of trying to hear what was being said, but that’s weak place in the relationship. One member of our leadership team is highly technical and understood the project and the federal regulations. So he often acted as a translator for what the leadership team was saying and what Praxent did or didn’t hear us say. That will most likely always be a problem. As these young people get older, they will talk a language that’s totally different from their clients.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I have no idea because this is brand new, but we’ve been satisfied. As you can tell, I don’t give 5s.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Truth is, I don’t know anybody else. They’re the only company like this that I know. If anybody asked me about a company, they’re the only one.

Marketing Tool Dev for Food Product Company

“What I’ve seen so far is top-notch … [they] delivered things we didn’t even ask for that turned out to be necessary.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jun. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Praxent is enhancing the UI of a procurement platform, migrating it to another cloud computing service, and implementing marketing features. The team is working with internal developers and external designers.

The Reviewer
 
10,0001 + Employees
 
Houston, Texas
Dawn Fitzgerald
Senior Director of Marketing, Sysco
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team is thorough and proactive, implementing functionalities outside the original scope that improve the platform. As a result, the product is bug-free and has received positive feedback from test users. Praxent also excels at project management and customer service.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the senior director of marketing services for the largest food distribution company in North America. We have over 400,000 customers.  

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Praxent?

Praxent was brought in to help us improve a tool that lacked many key features. It was built several years ago without usability or an underlying database functionality in mind. We were originally only going to have a user interface facelift, but our internal IT group does not have the in-house skillsets to support the current system. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Praxent is performing a complete overhaul of our current on-demand tool and rebuilding the user interface from the ground up. Praxent is also moving the platform to AWS [Amazon Web Services] from a different web service provider. They added many new features built around the database.

It’s a marketing platform for our customers and the internal organization, including salespeople from our operating companies. During multiple workshops, we identified what we were looking for. We interviewed our customers and users.

Praxent is helping make the new frontend more intuitive and customer-friendly. For example, they put in a video that shows users how to build a menu. They can enter all of their recipes and menu items on the platform. 

The new platform also has customizable templates for background designs. For example, Mexican or Italian restaurants can select and customize one of our designs. They can also get matching marketing materials such as napkin dispensers and inserts that announce back-to-school specials and other events.

We’re also in the process of integrating a third-party print-on-demand service. Once that’s done, all of the marketing materials and menus can be automatically transferred to the printer, who will then ship them to customers. With Praxent’s help, we’re building and integrating these functionalities into a one-stop shop.

What is the team dynamic?

Praxent is working with our in-house IT on the integration and security points. Praxent is also collaborating with another external team, Slide UX. Praxent is in charge of development while Slide UX handles design.

How did you come to work with Praxent?

Slide UX recommended Praxent. Slide UX, in turn, was vetted by our internal organization. We made a background research on Praxent, as well as checking all of their references. After looking at internal and external partners, Praxent came to the top of the list.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Praxent in June 2016. The collaboration is ongoing. We continue to talk daily with their team. They’ve been a great partner, so they’re getting our business for the next fiscal year.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Praxent has built a strong tool. The platform hasn’t been launched yet, but the development work has been largely bug-free. We’ve just started user testing, and all the feedback has been positive. 

How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?

I come from an IT background, and this has been the first time I’ve worked with a group that’s completely on top of their game when it comes to project management. So far, Praxent has delivered when they said they would. If something was awry, they let us know.

The communication was done over Skype and email for the most part, but we also meet every 1–2 months in person. Praxent is based in Austin, while we’re in Houston, so one of our teams will visit the other.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We’re impressed by their customer service, responsiveness, and attention to detail. Praxent is a joy to work with, and it has been a great relationship. They’re thoughtful, methodical and conscientious. I can’t say enough about Doug Wilson, their solutions architect. He’s the main person I work with, and he’s top-notch.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There is always room for improvement, but I can’t think of anything off the top of my head.

5.0
Overall Score They’re a great group of developers.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Praxent has managed to meet the timelines every time throughout this collaboration.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’ve been reasonable, compared to the other quotes we’ve received. Praxent wasn’t the lowest nor the highest offer, but it was fair.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    What I’ve seen so far is top-notch. Praxent delivered things we didn’t even ask for that turned out to be necessary.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have referred them to others. Our IT department is looking at projects they might give to Praxent.

Web Dev for Digital Transformation Company

“They’ve gone above and beyond our expectations from previous web agencies in all aspects.”

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

Praxent performed a deep dive into the backend of a previous website to identify bugs, then redeveloped the UX for a homepage and blog to optimize consistency across the board.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Palo Alto, California
Senior Manager of Marketing Operations, Digital Transformation Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Praxent’s unbroken communication, adaptability, and dedication to finding solutions were all key in this client’s success. Their keen attention to the customer experience is invaluable.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

 

I am senior manager of marketing operations at a digital transformation company. We mobilize applications for clients with their CRM platforms and some of their other custom homegrown systems.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Praxent?

We needed to find a web developer who was able to implement what we wanted to do. We needed them to be strategic and proactive about providing recommendations in optimizing the site.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a couple high priority items when we began working with Praxent, including a technical overview to identify issues on our current site. Our development and production environments are very different, so our workflow was time consuming because we had to replicate everything and fix bugs in both systems.

Praxent did a deep dive into our system to identify the issues, and they worked hard to replicate everything across the board to retain consistency. We also had a couple web development projects, including the redesign of the homepage and of our blog, which are now both live.

They provided a lot of expertise on the UX and redeveloped the entire website. They worked with the design partner we had on board to make sure everything functioned well together.

After they pushed everything live, one of the big challenges was that our systems weren’t aligned, and the first deployment uncovered a lot of discrepancies. They worked hard to make everything consistent. Our prior agency hadn’t deep dived like Praxent did, but instead only built on top of what the previous developer had done. Praxent actually came in and took the initiative to do that technical work, which really helped make all of our deployment successful.

What is the team dynamic?

We have a project manager and a developer.

How did you come to work with Praxent?

A client of our SEO company had heard we were looking for a new web developing agency and refered them to us. We met with Praxent and had a couple conversations with our sales team and one of their technical resources to understand how they could help from both a system and development perspective. We were impressed with their 24/7 support for website issues and the level of work they’d done with our design partner.

How much have you invested with them?

Around $7,500 a month.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together February 2017, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

A lot of the success is based on the content we provide rather than the work Praxent did. Our internal team members, customers, and partners have all told us the homepage was a huge upgrade. On mobile devices, a lot of people are happy now that we have consistency across the board regarding font sizes.  

They’re somewhat small things, but from a design and user perspective, we’ve had great feedback, especially on the blog that we deployed last week. Our internal design team was very impressed, and everything is working just as we hoped it would.

How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re great, and we’re very close in communication constantly. We have weekly meetings on Wednesdays to review current projects and to discuss our upcoming pipeline. Our project manager is very proactive about getting requirements and making sure they are ready to start the next Sprint. As far as response time goes, it’s very quick as well.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their most unique attribute is that they have customer success in mind. I’ve worked with many web development agencies in the past who would just do whatever we said and never had any input about what was best for the UX.

With our blog, our main concern was that it would load quickly from a SEO perspective. Praxent recommended we do infinite scrolling instead of having to click to the next page to enhance the UX. It’s that kind of thing that really makes them stand out against others. They think about everything holistically on the development and user side, and they make sure they’re meeting our needs as a company.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They’ve done a great job in all aspects, honestly. In the beginning, one of their developers left and we had another one come on board. She was very quick in picking up and analyzing what our system was like. They filled that gap quickly, and I’m very happy with the resources we have on the account now. We have had a couple issues that were out of their control, but they did a great job in making sure that we were still on track with our timelines.

5.0
Overall Score It’s been one of the best working relationships I’ve had with a vendor. We work closely together, and we’re always communicating. We’ve made so much progress as a team thanks to them. It’s been a very great experience for me.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There’ve been times our team needed to push projects live asap, and they made sure we had resources available. They bent their own rules to help us hit our deadlines, and we’re greatly appreciative.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They are honest about their hours, and came in at the same price as the last agency. They go over their billing invoice monthly, and if they overestimated, they’ll correct it. This level of honesty puts them above some other vendors we’ve used.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’ve gone above and beyond our expectations from previous web agencies in all aspects. Their communication, overall work, and expertise have been so great.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I don’t know if Praxent does a lot of web development work as opposed to building up custom software applications. I would definitely refer them to anyone that’s looking for a web agency.

Custom Software Dev for Equipment Manufacturer

"They embraced our vision and tried to do everything in their power to make it happen."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Jan. - Dec. 2016
Project summary: 

Praxent developed the UI and UX for a highly efficient custom analytics kiosk for an inspection equipment manufacturer.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Texas
Director of Operations, Equipment Manufacturer
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Praxent remained adaptable and communicative throughout the entire project, and dedicated specific members of their team to each task. They were consistently informative and committed to the company’s vision and needs.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I am the Director of Operations for a company that manufactures inspection equipment for the oil and gas industry. 

Specifically, our equipment does an inspection process where it uses permanent magnets to saturate metal plates in order to detect volume loss created by corrosion. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Praxent?

In our industry, all of the software is very technical and difficult to use because it requires a lot of effort and thought. The problem is that the equipment itself is used in very intense environments where it is extremely hot or extremely cold. So, in order to get the people using it in and out of the tank quickly, we were trying to take something that required a lot of attention to detail and streamline it as much as possible.  This required the most user-friendly technology that also allowed being able to quickly enter as few inputs as possible. We believed this would cause a better overall quality inspection improvement.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail.

It was about a 7-9 month long scope project. We were attempting to do something that really had not been done before in the industry. We had to use Toughbook because we needed something that was rugged for the environment, but one of our goals was to make it feel like you’re using an iPad application. We wanted it to be highly responsive. We also wanted to develop a dedicated software that basically ran in kiosk mode. Our previous software was a Windows program that the operator would click on to get it to engage and operate, and would then navigate from there. However, he had to deal with saving files to different folders. We were trying to move away from the headaches involved with Windows. We wanted this to be in kiosk mode where the only purpose of that computer was to run our equipment. That’s what we worked with Praxent to achieve. 

Praxent essentially developed the user interface, which handled mapping and recording, that then displayed this feedback for the user. There were a lot of aspects to the process. Praxent also had to deal with the data acquisition. We were recording data every millisecond. There was a lot going on and we had to make sure we weren’t losing data, and that everything was displayed properly and was repeatable. Trying to get it to be easier to use and running by itself, while not displaying too many screens, was important to us.

One of the first people Praxent brought on was a graphic artist named Nick [Graphic Artist, Praxent], who was pretty incredible. It’s difficult to have that artistic flair that a lot of the big companies have, but Nick was very big in basically looking at what color schemes we were going to use. He was asking questions as far as, “Okay, where are they using this? If they’re inside this tank, is it dark in the tank? Is it bright in the tank? What’s the level light like?” They were very conscientious of the color scheme and how it looked relative to how it fit our brand as a small company. I did a lot of the initial artwork, like our logo and color schemes, thinking that I'd need to give them this. I didn't realize how involved they would be in the process, which impressed me, because it showed they cared about the presentation.

After that, they started asking some of the technical questions about what we are trying to accomplish with each screen, and then trying to figure out the least amount of data that we needed to get the final product. After all the mapping and data recording is complete, it generates an inspection report.

We had our own plan for Praxent to execute on the technical side, but they took care of the details and how it presented itself. A bulk of the project was planned to a T but there was a big 10% on the page that was just a question mark, and Praxent had the experience to come up with good solutions to those problems. Sometimes they would try something, and if it didn’t quite work the way we wanted it to, they’d try something else. They were definitely involved in jumping over some of the hurdles we ran into. It felt like they were there to help us get what we wanted, instead of them telling us what we need and want, and then us having to try and get them to listen to us. They embraced our vision and tried to do everything in their power to make it happen. 

How did you come to work with Praxent?

I had to look at many options locally on the East and West Coasts, as well as Texas. We were looking for companies and navigating through their websites, trying to get a feel for what they could do. We had to make sure we weren’t engaging a software company that’s used to dealing with a $20 million project, but instead look for someone who works with small businesses.

When we met with the team at Praxent, Tim [Owner, Praxent] was extremely helpful in the interviewing process. He demonstrated not only what the company had done, but when we asked questions, he was very responsive and showed us software capable of doing exactly what we needed. Moment to moment, he was improvising the presentation, and it was very clear that he was listening and was onboard with what we were trying to accomplish. We were willing to spend more money to work with someone if we felt they were at least listening to what we had to say. It was important to us that the company we chose was affordable and were going to do what they said they would. 

Working with Praxent was the first time we actually outsourced a company. Previously, we worked with an individual who helped us move from a physical electronic LED display to a computer system. We did as much as we could with that, and he did a really good job on the software, but he could only take it so far. 

What surprised me the most with Praxent, was the start of the process and how they were able to really get a good idea of the look and feel. When we went through the quotation process, they gave us an actual working quick model of the software. It allowed us to actually click through the screens and show how it would feel and look, which was very impressive.

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

The cost of the project was about $340,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them February 2016 until December 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

The feedback we get from companies has been extremely positive. The owner of the company started going back to trade shows and commented that it was the most well received product we’ve ever released, which is impressive because the previous model was also very well received. You could see in his expression that he’s actually excited to go out there and present this product, which is good for the company. We’ve pre-sold dozens of them and we are on track to have a strong sales year. There are no negatives to the quality of the product. The biggest things that did occur, as far as the scope of the project, was that it took longer than expected and costed more. However, we attributed a lot of that to what we were trying to accomplish. It wasn’t like we had a software, and said, “Just make it this.” We were trying to add features and maybe trying to be a little bit too ambitious with what we were trying to do.

How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?

Once we established what we wanted, and how it was going to look and present itself, we communicated on a weekly basis, if not more regular. We were constantly meeting to deal with any issues that came up. That’s a big difference between using a single person who we would give a project to and not hear back for two or three months. He’d come back with something, and it might be 90% of what we want, but the other 10% was a little too late to fix because he had already gone too far.

With Praxent, it felt like we had the ability to navigate, and if there was something wrong in the direction they were taking, or if it was taking too long, we could change directions. It felt like we were in control of the development process. We could actually fine tune it as it was being developed. The idea of meeting with teams of people was new to me, but I felt like it was extremely effective. They had a main Software Programmer, a secondary Software Programmer, and a guy who was just doing design work and graphical presentation. They had probably two people who were handling the logistics of the features, and also guys who were managing the overall project.

They were conscientious of whether we were getting behind schedule, and always let us know. It felt like we were able to make informed decisions throughout the entire process. We might have hoped something would take a little less time, but it didn’t, and we knew that going into each phase.

What distinguishes Praxent from other providers?

Now that we have the software designed, one of the things that has come up over time has been issues with bugs, and Praxent has been extremely responsive. The thing I like most about Praxent is that I feel like I can hand off the issues that I have and say, “Look, here’s the list of the problems,” and they get it done. They give us an update for our software, and it’s in a timely fashion. I feel like you can just describe what the issue is and they can get it done. We were concerned about their ongoing support after the product was created, but they have been really good at remaining responsive.

Is there anything Praxent could have improved or done differently?

No, I don’t know of anything they could have done to improve. The biggest thing I had to try and figure out was the budget issue, which doesn’t completely fall on them.

5.0
Overall Score We are going to be using them again for other products. Even though we were over budget and took longer than expected, the outcome has been so positive that there’s no question whether we’ll be using them on future product software development.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    It’s very impressive.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Flagship Product Dev for Alternative Energy Provider

"They had a desire to look at the bigger picture, and not just nuanced details."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Dec. 2010 - Mar. 2012
Project summary: 

Praxent developed a self-service quoting engine for dealers, salespeople, and customers in order to shorten the sales cycle. They began with an MVP and enhanced upon that after receiving initial user feedback.

The Reviewer
Former SVP, Operations & IT
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The tool created by Praxent increased company success and empowers dealers and salespeople, driving sales up while delivering 20% under the established budget with no major issues or delays. The team’s problem-solving capacity is outstanding, anticipating potential issues in order to save time.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I was the SVP of operations and IT for a company that was an owner and operator of residential solar installations. Instead of paying upfront for solar panels, homeowners would only pay their electric bill, while our company handled the installation and sold power to clients.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Praxent?

We were building new platforms from scratch and were looking for a nimble and talented team that could work with us. We got in touch with Praxent’s team and found a good synergy of personalities.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Praxent worked with us in bringing our vision to life. They developed the business-critical quoting engine used by our dealers, salespeople, and customers. It’s a self-service application for generating quotes.

One of the key elements we put forth when we started the company was to shorten the sales cycle and empower agents to self-quote by entering a few pieces of information that would produce a binding quote which didn’t require additional signoff by our layers of management. This is what Praxent has built for us.

We created an MVP [minimum viable product] and got it out to market. We continued to add enhancements and features to it, adjusting the tool to newer sales models, different security hierarchies, and so on. We went out with the MVP on purpose, given that we needed speed to market in order to obtain real feedback. Praxent worked with us through my entire stay with the company, and possibly later on.

I worked closely with 3–4 members of their team, but I know that there were more backend developers doing additional work. Tim Hamilton [Founder, Praxent] acted as my project lead and I also worked directly with a tech lead.

How did you come to work with Praxent?

I believe that we found them through a referral. I don’t know if we considered other companies.

How much have you invested with Praxent?

The cost of their work was between $500,000–$750,000 during my involvement.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Praxent in December 2010. The project continued for the next 18 months, at which point I left the company, in early 2012. I believe that the relationship continued.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our company was successful and this tool was a critical element of that success. It was the main tool with which we drew sales. The best indicator of Praxent’s efficiency is that we were 20% under budget for the deployment.

How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?

We developed all our systems under the budget and under the timeline. This was a huge win for us. Communication was done through email, phone, and in-person.

What did you find most impressive about Praxent?

The level of sheer intellect shown in their way of thinking about problems added tremendous value and saved us time. Praxent thought through all issues ahead of time before letting us run into them. Beyond this, there was a lot of dedication to the customer.

Never was there a time when I couldn’t get a hold of someone when I needed them. They had a desire to look at the bigger picture, and not just nuanced details. This is how I think about problems and how I like to run a company. There is a lot of commonality here, which I very much appreciate. This willingness to engage at this level is not necessarily common for consulting and development firms. Most want to take requirements and execute versus really helping us question them.

Are there any areas Praxent could improve?

They were growing at the time, but I left the company 3 years ago, so I’m not sure how Praxent has changed since then.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We knocked the cost out of the park.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    In hindsight, given the direction our product took, I would’ve built it on a different platform. The decision would have been a challenge for anyone at the time.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Custom Dev for Ticketing Platform

"[They] were probably one of the fastest companies to go from a concept to a rough prototype."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
July - Sept. 2016
Project summary: 

Praxent delivered a custom-coded web service for inventory listings, using open-source tools to scale the existing system, remove bottlenecks and encourage productivity.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Austin, Texas
Former CTO, Online Marketplace
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The updated resource became the point of access for all data entering the pipeline, which allowed larger suppliers to join the platform more easily and further augmented sales. Praxent’s helpful code demos and structured workflow promoted great efficiency, despite their higher cost. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I was the chief technology officer for an online marketplace based in Austin, Texas. We connected buyers and sellers to offer a kind of standard retail experience. We internally ran all retail e-commerce, wholesale, and inventory management, and we had a full integrated supply chain with about 2,000 brokers uploading items to us for inventory. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Praxent?

We hired Praxent because we had a couple of projects that we wanted some help with. They were able to help our internal team with our supply chain in order to speed up throughput and process some CSV [comma-separated values] files.  

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Praxent ended up delivering a web service that became the new entry point for all inventory coming into our system. The system existed before, but it wasn’t scaling. We were only able to take an inventory update from each individual supplier every 5 minutes, but Praxent helped us remove that bottleneck altogether.

How did you come to work with Praxent?

If I remember correctly, I came across Praxent while looking at different consulting firms in Austin. They had something on their site that mentioned expertise in open-source tools, which was a conscious decision that I was taking to move my team away from the Microsoft stack. We were considering other companies at the time. I can’t remember which ones those might have been, but I know that we did talk with 3–4 others.

There were two factors that ultimately sealed our decision. One was when I first sat down with Kevin [Managing Partner] from Praxent, he seemed to have a good sense of the scope of what we were trying to do, and I think he had a good perspective on trying to control that scope and not let things get out of control. I think he also saw quickly what I did, which was that if we address this particular service properly, we would essentially set up an entirely new architecture and data pipeline that we would be able to evolve the overall architecture of the business onto.

How much have you invested with Praxent?

We invested more than $75,000 but less than $100,000 with Praxent.

What is the status of this engagement?

I think the project took us 3–4 months over the summer of 2016. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I don't know how I could quantify Praxent’s success. I actually left the company at the end of March, so I'm fairly disconnected from the current results. There was some tweaking after their delivery on our side to get it exactly where we wanted, but I think it helped us bring on more and bigger suppliers. Their work certainly helped augment the overall inventory for sale.

I think Praxent was probably one of the fastest companies to go from a concept to a rough prototype. It only took them a few weeks, and that was a collaborative effort between our teams. We had an extended day or two at the frontend, and then we would check in every other day. They were trying to get to the point where we had something working. Once we had that, we realized the model would work going forward, and it was just a question of fine-tuning it and working out all of the deployment issues.

How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?

I think we had 2 people from Praxent’s side working on the project, plus administrative folks, so you could probably call it 4 altogether. We interacted with them probably 3 times a week. They had a project lead named John. We used Slack and JIRA to communicate, and I thought both were pretty effective. I like how they did a code review every week of what their changes were; after the review, they showed us the working code in demo scenarios every week, and that really allowed us to iterate quickly. We could say, “Okay, I see what you did there. What if you did this?” Both I and my team liked that and thought it helped a lot. Chris, the project manager we were working with, did a good job of setting the scope for the next week at the end of those sessions. Collaboratively, we would agree on the priorities for the next 5 working days, and then we’d come back and see where they got based on that feedback.

What did you find most impressive about Praxent?

I think Praxent was as good as or better structured than anybody else I've worked with. I’m not sure if that makes them unique, though. I didn't have a lot of visibility into the other parts of their business practice, so I can't say for sure.

Are there any areas Praxent could improve?

We probably should have done more load testing on the frontend to validate the model because there were certain things they implemented that we had to change internally after the fact to get them to work.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Praxent?

Maintain daily communication until you have a working prototype. I would also recommend limiting the scope of the project as much as possible to get to that first working prototype. In subsequent engagements, I’ve seen the scope creep so much that you don't actually ever get to anything working. Nearer-use cases that will solve the majority of the problems you're trying to fix. 

4.5
Overall Score I think the challenges that we had lay on both sides, and I certainly take some responsibility for the scope not being right. But, I also think there are probably things they could have done on their end to anticipate that as well.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We definitely went over timelines, and we had to cut scope on a few things. Anecdotally, I know that since I left the company, they have kind of been working through some scope changes with Praxent on a current project. It’s a little over schedule.
  • 3.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were a little on the high end.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Praxent built what we asked them to build based on my expectations and the architecture and scope we came up with. However, what we asked them to build was inadequate for the scenario. We didn't realize that until we did more testing.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend them.

Subcontracted Product Dev for Media Company

"It really felt like a partnership and not a vendor relationship."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
July 2013 - Jan. 2014
Project summary: 

Praxent created a digital veterinary publication with gated/free-access content for users. The project team strategized carefully before committing to ClickModel prototyping, and UX/UI design. 

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Digital Media Consultant, B2B Publisher
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The interactive product now supports 600,000 daily users, extending the sales audience to large and private veterinary organizations as well as students. Praxent’s attention to detail, personal approach, and willingness to educate contributed to a rewarding collaboration.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re a B2B publisher in the veterinarian industry. We were primarily print. We have three journals in print with a corresponding website, newsletter, and social media.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenges were you trying to address with Praxent?

The project that we worked with Praxent on was a little bit out of our wheelhouse from what our in-house team had done. We wanted to take a book that has been published for almost 30 years and make it into something digital. There had been a static PDF and printed book available. There have been some various forms of digital incarnations done on Drupal and other technologies when the content had been partnered with a different media company; however, none of them had been successful.

When we stepped in as the media partner, we wanted to do it in a new, different way. We really wanted to do something that the industry had never seen before that could be used every day in the veterinary office and also extend to the human pharmacist office. That’s how we came about working with Praxent: once we found the content we needed, we needed someone to help us bring it to life, which we didn’t feel comfortable doing in-house.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

A new version of the book was being published. Our basic goal was to scrap all the old technology—and my company hadn’t worked on any of the old technology, so we didn’t have a relationship with it—and start from scratch. We sat down with the author of the book and talked about what his goals were and where he’d like to see the product going in the future, which would be constant updating, long-term maintenance, or maybe at some point phasing out the book. At the same time, we wanted the product to be a partner to the book as well because we knew that’s what our audience wanted. What we were able to do was to create two sides to it: one side where you are not subscribed and a gated website that was subscriber-based. We used Recurly for our e-commerce solution. They would pay the fee, and then they gained access to the website.

We wanted Drupal to be the database since Drupal was the CMS [content management system] for our in-house websites. At that time, we wanted it built on a technology we were familiar with. It was really about having an easy CMS. In retrospect, since we never brought it in-house—we maintain a retainer with Praxent—I might have chosen something different, but it’s worked out well. We also used a few other technologies.

When we did the requirements, we thought about how it was going to work in correspondence. We had to make some tough choices. When you work in technology, you have to decide on cost, time, and quality. We made the decision that the responsive website would come out first because that would give access to everyone.

In veterinary industries, sometimes the technology is a little bit behind, so we wanted something that would be available, no matter what you had. Once we released it, it was definitely confirmed through our audience research and communication with our audience that they really wanted the iOS app; in our other digital products, iOS is more prominently used. We rolled that as our second, and then the third went to Android, which had a much smaller audience.

Some of our developers did change. Chris was really good as a project manager with communicating as we moved to this phase. Because we maintained the project manager, the handoff remained consistent, which was great. Tim [CEO, Praxent] had built out our original requirements, and I maintained a really strong working relationship with him, as did our president. He would reach out to us on a monthly or bi-monthly basis to make sure things were good and we were feeling confident as we went through the various phases. Doing multiple launches and also maintenance is a different way for a lot of agencies to work. Traditionally, they launch a project and walk away. We've been together for a long time, and that was from the investments on their end and ours. We maintain our websites internally, so there was a learning curve there. For the most part, it went well.

How did you come to work with Praxent?

Mickael, who was our director of technology at that time, had set out to find an agency. He brought back three agencies for me to make a decision about. I interviewed all three. The other two were the standard high-quality, very talented agencies, of course. Why I chose Praxent was because of their ClickModel prototype. I was quite nervous about that idea because we wouldn’t really see the cost or the timeline until we did the prototype. We had an upfront investment. However, after meeting with Tim and his team, I could see that they were really invested.

Also, within six weeks or less, I was actually able to see a working model of what our website was going to be. That was a game-changer for us. I work with veterinarians and a lot of non-techies. When you start describing something with words, everybody sees a different picture. When you show them the prototype and what we could send to our author, we can quickly make big decisions and show that we thought through our personas properly, we thought through our content architecture, or there's a glaring problem right here. We would not have been able to do that without the ClickModel prototype. That was a risk, but it was worth it. We implemented it internally. We changed how we did our own projects. We went from just wireframing to doing HTML prototypes to get client buy-in on things faster, and it worked internally for us as well. We borrowed a lot of their great ideas.

What was fascinating about this project was that when I’m normally going out to choose an agency, I’m looking at what is their cost, can they do it, have they done something like this before, and do I trust them to deliver on time. When we started working with Tim, it became so much bigger than that: they could deliver on time, they could meet my budget, and they could do quality work. The bonus was that was that they also invested in our company. By that, I mean their project manager was attending a conference in Austin and said we should come. I took my project management team down there. While we were in Austin, we got to hang out with the Praxent team, but we also got to learn project management together. After that, Chris took time, on his own, to really invest in us and communicate pros and cons. That’s above and beyond. You don’t get that everywhere, and it totally changed and shaped the way that we worked as a company and made us much more efficient. Now, I am an Agile scrum evangelist thanks to them. I never loved waterfall anyway, but now I have a reason I can say I don’t love it.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started investigating agencies in March/April of 2013, made the decision for Praxent and worked on the prototype in July, and launched in January of 2014. Six months later, the iOS launched, and then the Android app launched. It was a quick six months once we agreed to work with them and get through the prototype. Because we had a tight timeline, having the ClickModel prototype allowed us to make some big decisions quickly. Everyone had these fun features and things that they wanted, but since we also had an extremely tight timeline, being able to see the prototype showed us at what stage could the product be good enough to go to market. It was incredible when we went to market. Since we were doing scrum, we were doing releases every two weeks to have continual updates and add features. That helped us to prioritize and stay on schedule. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We have 600,000 veterinarians engaging on a daily basis with this product. They were selling between 20,000–30,000 print copies, so that has greatly grown. It’s phenomenal. You were only able to sell print copies before; through this, we were able to work with some of the larger veterinarian corporations, individual small practices, and students, giving them all access to the information.

We've also built relationships on the human pharmacy side. One of the fascinating things is now you can get your dog’s medication filled by a human pharmacist. They may not have learned about that at school, so this gives them access to the information so that they can fully know that these are the right medications the same way that they would know on the human side.

The best stat for me is that we came in on time and within budget with quality. I always joked with my internal clients that you can choose two out of three: cost, time, or quality. With Praxent, I didn't have to choose; that was the most amazing part. Due to the project management, the ClickModel prototype keeping us on task, and the clear requirements from the beginning, we were right on budget within a dollar or two, launched on time that day (we could have launched earlier but wanted to do quality control since we’re a print company), and didn't have any major bugs. I appreciate Praxent so much because we were launching at the largest veterinary conference in the world on a weekend. I was really nervous about that, as you can imagine. Praxent doesn't work weekends; they’re not a 24/7 team. But, they had their developer and project manager on call for me from the moment we released until I felt like we made it through this release.

How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?

We did an on-site visit. We went to the project management conference that I mentioned and met with the team. We also flew down and took the key members of our team and met with them for two or three days in Austin. Tim came up once or twice, and I had him meet with all of our players. That helped to build the relationship. In addition to that, we did weekly calls with the project management where we walked through the timeline and progress reports. I loved that process. When they were developing their stories on scrum, they invited our tech people to that process. For the most part, once we grew trust with them, we knew that they understood the stories well enough, which helped us when they would tell us what the points were for something. We could trust that they were right. We totally invested, and that was the key I learned on this project: the president of the company has to be as invested as anyone else. We were fortunate because both Tim and Praxent and Elizabeth at Brief Media were invested in not only building their relationship but also making sure that the project stayed on track.

There were a few staff changes. However, if there was ever a hiccup or something, they could reach out. We did a lot of video conferencing, which I loved. Even though Jane, who is one of our developers, might be working at home, we would see her on the screen. Then, when we were transitioned maybe to one of the other developers, we got to meet that person since we were video conferencing. You can have that human connection, which I personally enjoy. If things are going right, it's much easier to challenge or ask questions if you have a relationship.  

I have worked with a lot of agencies, and I have never been on a video conference with my software engineers and developers. Normally, it's just the frontend faces of the team—project managers and such. I think Praxent did this because we have technical skills. They also knew that we were quite curious. We wanted to know and understand intimately how things were coded and why it was put together that way.

What did you find most impressive about Praxent?

I felt like they listened. Early on, one of the things that we were working through with the designers was we had our own design style. Every time you work with a designer, they have their own feel and touch. It was a little off from what we were used to. One of our designers comped something up to show to their designer, and then they geeked out on the video call. Designers sometimes have egos, but he did not have an ego. It did not get in the way. He listened to the ideas and adapted. That was really nice.

All along the project, we worked with Matt [Web Developer, Praxent], who really helped us. One of the areas that I was concerned about was customer service. Launching a product like this with 70,000 practicing veterinarians in the United States, I didn't know how much customer service was I going to need. What happens if credit cards don't process? These were things I did not have experience with. Matt, who had a great deal of customer service experience with e-commerce, spent time with me outside of building the project to talk through things he had done in the past. These are just things that other agencies I have worked with didn’t do. They told me, “We’re here to do your development, not your entire project.” It’s always nerve-wracking to admit I’ve never done this before. I’m not sure how to go about it, but they made it very safe and comfortable about not being sure. I loved the fact that they would let me talk to their other client because there’s some security in talking to someone else who has been in your shoes.

Over the time that we worked with Praxent, it really felt like a partnership and not a vendor relationship. It has never felt like they were just an agency and we were the client. Tim came to our office and helped us strategize, prioritize, and work through things. We’ve worked very closely with our project manager, Chris. We loved how he worked so much that we overhauled our entire internal technology team to adapt his Agile and scrum methodologies. We took many of their workflows and decided to do them internally. We got to know them all on a very personal level because we spent a lot of time working together, and you can’t build a partnership if you’re not willing to invest.

Are there any areas Praxent could improve?

For us, the only area that we ran into challenges was when we went to the retainer part. We’re a company that maintains all of our products. We’re used to constant releases and prioritization. Once we went to the retainer part of the agreement, it became a little messy. I think that’s because we had been off to such a great start that when you go into a two-week cycle, it’s not the same as when you’re having six months and a big release. There was a learning curve on both sides. We struggled internally with keeping our priorities straight and determining what was really an issue or not with a bug. We had great clarity but then became a little hodgepodge. We had this strong sense of urgency after releasing, and we wanted everything faster. Since they had delivered on-time quality at cost, all of a sudden, we expected to see the same thing that took six months every two weeks instead. In reality, for a sprint that lasts two weeks, you’re not going to have much stuff releasing. There was a learning curve going from release to the two-week schedule, but we worked through it. 

5.0
Overall Score It’s not just because of the product that we were able to create together; it’s also because of what we learned. It’s so rare that you get to sit down with another technology team and get inside each other’s head. It’s fun.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We were right within budget. Where costs started to fluctuate was after we’d released. We were a little disorganized on our end. We had some disagreements about who should pay for which bugs. Once we worked through that, we were back on track.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The clear requirements made it easy for them to provide that deliverable. It was easy for me as the lead to cascade that to all the stakeholders to get a quick buy-in. Because we had clear requirements and a prototype, we were able to move fast.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would love to find another project to do with them.

Platform Redevelopment for Health & Wellness Startup

"They instill this level of passion that I've never seen with any other development company."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Praxent audited an existing platform before concluding it required a complete overhaul. The project team remains focused on the new system and expects to achieve major milestones in the coming months.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Austin, Texas
VP, Business
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The project has taken a life of its own thanks to Praxent and their contributions. Assigned resources bring superior expertise and steadfast dedication to client success. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We have a health and wellness platform providing useful health information to consumers. It’s a data-driven solution. I'm the co-founder and VP of business.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Praxent?

We engaged them to build some of our backend and frontend software.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We just delivered the requirements, and they assembled the team themselves. I wasn’t actually involved in that initial meeting, but we just told them what we wanted to do and they knew who to put on that project. The important thing when you’re hiring these types of companies is you need to be specific with your requirements. From that, they’ll know who their best guys are and put them on it.

We had a working demo platform, but we ended up using what Praxent came up with. We showed them what we were doing. They tore it up and said, “We don’t need to use any of your original code. We can do this whole thing ourselves and come up with a much better approach.”

The platform had a whole new set of features. They looked at what our demo version was doing in terms of functionality and user experience. They included some of the features in our demo, but they built that code from scratch to deliver the identical features that we wanted just using better code, technology, and software. They delivered a whole set of features that we wanted that we hadn’t been able to get before with the other developers that we had hired. None of our original code has been used to date.

There are three main software developers, a project manager who’s not writing code but driving this through to completion, a user design/user interface expert who codes the user experience, and then there are two other developers who are doing most of the coding in terms of functionality of the actual technology. There are four people (software developers and project manager) that are doing most of the work, and then there are a few other people that will pop into meetings here and there to discuss an issue. It’s been the same team the whole time.

How did you come to work with Praxent?

I think we found them on a Google search, but I actually don’t know. I’ll have to ask the founder because he's the one who found them. We are based in Austin, and their headquarters are in Austin, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we found them just by searching local software development agencies, where they would certainly be at the top.

We implemented a very sophisticated approach to sourcing developers. We retained a better end software developer just to help us assemble the team because what we’re doing is really complex. We had a guy that we hired to help us source experts in very specific coding and software development, so we had assembled this whole team in that way. In doing that, they still couldn’t come up with what we wanted. But once we started working with Praxent, they were able to do it. In addition to their skill as developers, their CEO really cares about their brand, what they stand for, and how they communicate to the world who they are.

What is the status of this engagement?

We have been working with them for about two months.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We define success with them in terms of whether or not they program, develop, and engineer this software according to the specs. We had a very specific functionality that we look for. So if they deliver that functionality, that’s a huge success. We’re now at the point where we’re testing the software over thousands of use cases. If the software works on a huge data set, that’s success for us. They’ve been able to deliver all the time. We were shocked because they are building it from scratch. We gave them enough so that they understood the concept and the idea, but they ended up taking it in a whole new direction. They’re really sophisticated in what they do.

There aren’t any bugs that aren’t detected by them. Last week, we spent the whole day testing the software over many use cases. We were in a room in Austin working with their developers. Everyone on the team is connected—if not in person in the room, then connected by video feed. We were testing the software and data was being put to the server. As the data was coming in, they were fixing problems right there on the spot. It was pretty incredible.

For software development, you’re going to release an update, and there might be something wrong with it. When we released the first version, all of us on the team would test it and take screenshots of the error message we got, and then they would fix it. When we notice errors, we just tell them about it, and they fix it.

How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?

They have their own project management tool that they use that broke this entire project down to the very small actual steps. Each step is put into a column. For example, if we’re starting a project today with twelve steps, all twelve steps are put in the first column. They have a system where step one might be set up a database, so the first step in that process is something like identify the appropriate database structure. Once that step is done, it’s moved into the next column. Each step moves across a column based on how far along it is to be completed. Every morning, we can see each step and where it’s at in terms of completion. With every step, they identify red flags or anything that they need from us. If there’s a red flag with something, it's an issue that they’re currently working on, so they share that with us. We know with every step how far along it is to be completed, what red flags exist if any, what they’re doing to resolve those red flags, and if it’s information they need from us, we know we have to provide that.

They have a very clear process where they manage every step of the project and we get those updates every morning in our 10-minute stand-up meetings. Every week, we have a weekly one-hour progress update where we review the accomplishments from the week before and what the objectives are for the week ahead. The agenda is all dictated by them based on the requirements that we give them. We’ll comment that this isn’t a priority anymore, so we can move that to a later technical spike. Everything is broken down into technical spikes. It’s a really meticulous process.

What did you find most impressive about Praxent?

If they take your project, they’re really good at not only owning the project, but they get so passionate about what they do and solving problems. Their entire mission is to fix the problem that you’re having or deliver the piece of technology that you’re asking them to deliver. They even make suggestions when appropriate if they think we’re way off base on something. They instill this level of passion that I've never seen with any other development company, and I've worked with a lot of them. Everybody on our team has been working for some Silicon Valley startups for a long time. Their whole modus operandi is we want to help you disrupt your industry, we want to help you be the industry leader, and they bring that level of passion to your project. We get up every morning and feel like they’re a part of our team.

Are there any areas Praxent could improve?

That’s tough. I don’t have a lot to comment on that. So far, we’re right on track on what we’re trying to accomplish.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We’re up against some tough deadlines as well in our company, so we’re serious about our objectives. We’ve been through multiple agencies that we’ve ended up firing because they just couldn’t deliver. That says a lot.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer