What was the scope of their involvement?
QBurst has been involved in the design, architecture, and overall build of the product. We have an in-house designer who created mockups and flows. QBurst translated these designs into HTML and CSS and engaged a few of their resources to create some assets for our mockups. They’ve continued to provide enhancements for our product.
We have a development office in Bethesda, Maryland that QBurst augments with additional resources in India. They provided our first developers before starting the U.S. office. We have also worked with their architect at the Calicut office, who was involved heavily in ironing out the details of the design and the overall architecture.
The product has multiple features. The first phase of the project involved building a user interface [UI] layer on top of an existing PMS. If the customer has a system in place, they can use our platform on top of their application. We communicate via the services they provide and the end-points they have, exchanging data between our system and theirs.
QBurst built this overlay module, which we call Rover PMS Overlay, as well as the iOS and Android apps that allow guests to look up reservations and send messages.
As we continued to build the product, we added features and functionalities around payments, as well as a standalone PMS. The same platform could be overlaid with other PMS or work as a standalone product, offering features like creating reservations, managing rates, setting up and configuring room types, and publishing them through different channels. Both QBurst and our own team were involved in this process.
What is the team dynamic?
At peak capacity, I’d estimate that we had 30–35 developers from QBurst. Since the beginning, no one left our team unless we decided to let them go because of cost considerations. The team has been stable, and we enjoy working with each other. Not every resource is top-notch, but the team definitely possesses good talent.
Our CEO and I interviewed each candidate based on the project requirements. We were looking for both backend and UI developers, so we gave sample tests. We hired around 25 developers, and then we slowly onboarded architects and development managers in the company, who made hires on the same basis.
How did you come to work with QBurst?
I had worked with them before and knew what to expect, so I hired them for this venture as well. QBurst has a good setup in India with offices in Calicut, Trivandrum, and Kochi. I also come from Trivandrum, so I knew about these places. I was satisfied with the results of our previous projects, so I decided to give them an opportunity to work with us on this venture. We did get quotations from other companies in India and Eastern Europe. QBurst offered reasonable pricing and a solid infrastructure with a pool of available talent, which made me inclined to work with them again.
How much have you invested with them?
We have spent close to $2 million on QBurst’s services in the last four years.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with QBurst in July 2013. I had been involved with them prior to this.