What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Most users are happy with it, the feedback has been it has been great.
How did smartData Enterprises perform from a project management standpoint?
From a functionality perspective, they've done well and have been very accommodating.
When we started we didn't have any developers ourselves, but since then we hired three developers and smartData works really well with them, in terms of orienting and getting them up to speed. This is important to us because sometimes you have developers in multiple places and the team changes.
They have been very flexible, using any kind of task management or messaging system that we have asked. Additionally, they have been accommodating by using the technology we’ve needed and meeting all requirements. Initially we were using Skype and Basecamp to communicate. Then we switched for a little bit to JIRA, but most of the work now is happening over a combination of Skype and Asana. Due to the time zone difference, this makes the most sense.
For the majority of the contract there was a project manager that was involved part-time who had an excellent command of English language and would make sure the project was running on time and hitting the various milestones. We’ve now moved more towards contracting developers directly and we're doing product management ourselves so we now have a slightly different contract with smartData.
I think one of our shortcomings as contractors was that we had not mapped out the functions and design as well as we should have. They did a great job of trying to do their best to meet our needs. Since then, we have done a front-end redesign and that's going well. There's been no major issues and they have been pretty quick in terms of resolving bugs and issues that come up.
What did you find most impressive about them?
The biggest thing is that they have a lot of in-house expertise, especially with building apps. When we've needed network help there has always been somebody who's good at that database or specific kind of frontend design. They can provide options and help with choosing components and APIs, which makes it easier for us.
They have a number of people working on coding internally. Along the way, as needs came up, they always had someone who could jump in and help with our specialized tasks. In my opinion, that's difficult to get with local developers because they work on specific skill sets when you only have one or two people.
Are there any areas they could improve?
They were extremely keen and they worked hard. It's not anything that they would have done differently, but we should have had better designs and a more concrete idea of what we were looking for. That would have made it a lot smoother, but they work hard to do best by us as much as possible.