Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
I think probably the best time for us to answer that will be toward the end of the year. We've done some alpha testing with a BI [business intelligence] component of our solution and received very positive responses. We do expect that the volume of work that we'll be able to handle, and the performance of this new system will be orders of magnitude more scalable than anything that we've been able to produce before. It's a paradigm-shifting platform, so it's hard to put direct numbers on the product until we're actually out in the market with the customers.
How did PSL perform from a project management standpoint?
We're very pleased with their approach to project management. Our organization has been going through what I would call a business transformation, moving from a traditional waterfall approach to a more agile approach to business. It's been beneficial to gain experience from the PSL project management team. Our scrum master, for example, is an expert at that delicate balance between process and diplomacy and has done a very good job of helping a number of people on the Xtiva side of the equation pick up and learn the agile process in a practical way.
I have to say that Jorge [Aramburo], the founder of the company, and Alejandro [Vasquez], our relationship manager, are really good, really responsive. They understand the software industry and how to help companies who are in the service of other companies like ourselves develop a platform and adapt new technology. There was a good chemistry from the beginning.
What distinguishes PSL from other providers?
There are a couple of things I'd like to highlight. One is I think they've been extraordinarily flexible in working to adapt to Xtiva culture. Often in working with other third-party sources, we've had issues in communications or in synchronization internally versus externally, and PSL has turned out to be very easy to work with. They've helped introduce some best practice and been very patient while we go through growing pains on the Xtiva side. That's a big plus.
The other is that the culture is very positive. The organization seems to do a good job of engaging and retaining its staff. There's a lot of focus on training and camaraderie among the staff, so there's a nice family feel to the culture at PSL. They're not as sterile or corporate or hyper-devoted to the process as we've seen in other organizations. They do a nice job of importing the Colombian culture, to the team, and that's been very beneficial. It helps with cohesion in the team and supporting one another to achieve some very challenging goals.
Is there anything PSL could have improved or done differently?
I would say that we've worked with them to embed the team into our organization I think to a deeper level than they might've been used to. Exporting that idea to other engagements will be good. I think that the Xtiva engagement has been a bit unusual in that regard, but I think that by applying that, they'll actually be able to serve even broader groups of people.
It's always a competitive recruiting environment. We've come to them from time to time to help scale up, for example, and sometimes that can be a challenge because we typically are looking for very senior skill sets, and often in specific niches of the technology. We've pushed the envelope on resources in that regard and, as long as they continue to grow their tech resources, they'll end up being unique in the Colombian market in terms of some of the technical skills that we're developing there.