What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
The original timeline estimate was for six months, which we thought was optimistic. Ronas IT eventually finished the website in about a year. We tend to expect developers to take 3–4 times as much time as they estimate, so the fact that Ronas IT came in at just twice their estimate pleased us!
More importantly, the website quickly grew in traffic to four million visitors a month and withstood the heavy load. It’s a sophisticated, database-driven website. We’ve experienced some performance issues, but Ronas IT jumped right on and fixed those. Overall, we’re pleased with its performance.
We since have had them upgrade the site and work on another website for us. I’m really pleased with them and glad we found them. I’d be happy to recommend Ronas IT to other people who want to use them.
How did Ronas IT perform from a project management standpoint?
They’re very responsive to our requests. Ronas IT’s engineers are very talented and capable, and they have very good English writing skills. We don’t speak very often; instead, we communicate in writing over email and our project management system. We’re using their system this day. It’s been helpful to control the project; it opens tickets and lets us communicate with the Ronas IT team. Occasionally, we’ll text over Skype or SMS messages, and if something’s very important, I’ll talk to them on the phone.
Are there any areas they could improve?
We had one issue with an engineer that wasn’t doing what he was supposed to be doing. We turned that over to the project manager; they were clearly angry with the developer, didn’t charge us for those hours, and reassigned a new engineer. I was pleased with that.
However, Ronas IT also hasn’t upgrade servers to the latest version, which they probably should have. I asked them to because I was concerned about security. They turned down the request because we had a firewall and were unlikely to be attacked. Down the road, we found out that we wanted to use some new features on our website that weren’t available on older versions of our server software. I wonder if it was because we were on a tight development schedule, and that would have pushed our timeline. But I wish I could better understand their thought process.
Any advice for potential customers?
Things have gone smoothly for us, obviously. We’re still using them after over 10 years. I’d advise customers that are using them for sysadmin tasks to make sure they update your server applications.