What was the scope of their involvement?
We wanted to build a multi-phased approach to a platform that would first allow customers to purchase a policy, and then, over time, also build a customer portal for the customers to manage it. We eventually went on to build an internal portal for our administrative employees to help support customers and manage their insurance products as well. It’s an ongoing project. It started off as a fairly fast paced Agile project that addressed some key functionality and grew from there. Currently, the project is in a maintenance and enhancement mode.
We built the entire project on Microsoft Azure platform with a SQL database. We used a lot of aspects that Microsoft brings including workflows, worker roles, and integration points with several different applications. We have a backend accounting/insurance management system that we had to connect to and then we use a variety of integrations for things like tax calculation, email, document generations, and various other things that are not part of the application but need to be done. We wanted to use the Agile framework to do the basics of what we needed to do to sell a product, and then eventually move into administering it and giving customers access to it and having them self-manage.
How many resources were assigned to your project?
The first team was six. Everyone but our account manager was based in Mexico.
How did you come to work with Scio Consulting?
We did a thorough RFP process and evaluated 8-10 firms mostly near shore. We wanted real-time interaction through phone and Skype. We wanted to the ability to visit the development center and have them visit us. We stayed with Central and South American regions. Of the companies that we evaluated, six or seven responded to the RFP. The choice was based on the amount of effort and thought they put into the response. It was an RFP with more than 30 pages and we got some responses that were just an email, or a page or two. Scio’s response was very thorough. We met with the three finalists and Scio seemed to be the best partner. The experience has been good. It lives up to the way we wanted to run the project. We wanted a reliable team that was dedicated. We’ve had challenges but we accomplished everything we want to do. The costs were in line with what we expected. The quality of the team has been better than we expected compared to other experiences I’ve seen I my previous jobs.
How much have you invested with Scio Consulting?
We have spent between $500,000 and $750,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with them in March 2014, and the project is ongoing. The team is half the size of what it used to be but it’s still going.