Applications - Done Right and On Time!

Philosophy

Sofmen chooses projects that are advanced in nature, difficult in scale and likely to be at the cutting edge of the user experience.

Experience

We have recent and significant experience in building web 2.0 solutions with community and social networking and commerce, mobile applications, lead generation platforms, entertainment websites and mobile applications for some of the most successful companies in the world.

Approach

Sofmen starts client engagements at the strategic and architectural level. As a Services partner, we create significant value for our customers by engaging in the early stages of software development.

Clients

We have worked with some of the most technology savvy clients in the world. Here are some examples.

 
$10,000+
 
$25 - $49 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2002
Show all +
Saratoga, CA
headquarters
  • Sofmen
    19413 Kerwin Ranch Court
    Saratoga, CA 95070
    United States
other locations
  • Sofmen
    508, Rafael Tower 8/2 Old Palasia
    Indore, MP 452018
    India

Portfolio

HBA Shelf

Developed Website and iPhone and Apps for HBA Shelf.  HBA Shelf allows independent ( ie mom and pop) store owners to order health and beauty products using the web or mobile app.  System integrates with existing legacy ERP application.

Reviews

Sort by

Mobile App Dev. for Live Restaurant Streaming Platform

“We continue to see steady growth in both users and bars signing up on the app each month.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Feb. 2017 - June 2017
Project summary: 

Sofmen developed a mobile app for iOS and Android, incorporating features such as ad placement and social networking tools. They continue to provide ongoing development and maintenance.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Krissy Schuh
Chief Executive Officer, The Vestigate, LLC
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sofmen successfully delivered a high-functioning, interactive app that continues to attract more and more users each month. Their organized and proactive approach to project management and communication sets them apart.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the CEO of The Vestigate, LLC, a mobile app that allows users to view inside bars and restaurants through a webcam, so they can plan around crowd preferences.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sofmen?

We had been working with an app developer that we weren't happy with, so we were looking for a new developer to take over.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our previous vendor started developing the app for both iOS and Android, but Sofmen took over and expanded on the project by adding different features such as ad placement and social networking tools. They also built the Android version from scratch. Although they had a decent blueprint to work from, Sofmen's team provided additional wireframes as we progressed through the project and added new features.

What is the team composition?

I mostly work with Joel (Account and Business Development Manager, Sofmen), who manages the project. I touch base with him once a week.

How did you come to work with Sofmen?

I searched for developers online and spoke to a few companies before ultimately deciding Sofmen was the best fit for us.

How much have you invested with them?

We invested about $75,000 in 2017.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in February 2017 and launched that June. They continue to provide ongoing maintenance and support—we're constantly developing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We continue to see steady growth in both users and bars signing up on the app each month. We've received a lot of positive feedback and mostly positive reviews in app stores. There also haven't been any major issues with bugs or crashes, so we're very happy with it overall.

How did Sofmen perform from a project management standpoint?

Their team significantly outperforms the previous vendor we'd been working with. Their communications skills set them apart. Joel keeps everything very organized and ensures we're moving along in a timely manner. We mostly track project milestones in a shared spreadsheet and they share demos with us in real time through Webex.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their communication and project management skills are second to none. 

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Trust their approach and follow the project management system they have in place. You're in good hands with their team.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

CRM Consulting & Dev. for Mobile Cleaning Service Company

"Turn-around time was incredibly fast. They understood our business model and created our system perfectly.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Dec. 2016 - Dec. 2017
Project summary: 

Sofmen built out an existing CRM and iOS app using PHP. They streamlined payment processing by developing an automatic invoicing system. Other features include service quoting and scheduling functions.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Melbourne, Florida
Communications Director, Fleet Clean Systems, Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sofmen was able to complete a project within a few months that had been in development by other companies for several years. Their responsive team fixed the mistakes of previous firms and delivered a sophisticated platform. The new developments have increased both sales and productivity.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a former communications director for Fleet Clean Systems, Inc. It’s a mobile fleet cleaning service.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sofmen?

We were trying to develop proprietary software, but our previous service providers couldn’t deliver specific requirements. We needed a skilled development firm to finally complete the project.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our software was partially built when Sofmen took over the project. They further developed our CRM and its invoicing capabilities. They also took over our iOS app and properly integrated it with our business. They built everything in PHP. Specific enhancements include automatic invoicing and functions enabling our salespeople to send quotes and schedule jobs. We upload pictures to the app once jobs are completed so that clients can log in and view the results. Sofmen is currently developing a feature that allows clients to pay for services through the app.

What is the team composition?

I primarily worked with the project manager, but also interacted with their founder, an account manager, and a developer.

How did you come to work with Sofmen?

I wasn’t significantly involved in the selection process when this project began. Sofmen was considered early-on, but another firm was hired instead. We went through two development companies and an in-house developer with little success. We reached out to Sofmen again and hired them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent around $109,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The primary development project took place from December 2016–December 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

They succeeded where other developers have failed. In 3–6 months, they accomplished what we’d been trying to develop for years. The CRM and quoting tool made managing clients and reaching out to leads significantly easier. This enhanced process increased sales by 50%. The scheduling function improved productivity by saving managers at least three hours of work per week. Our previous invoicing process required three employees working nearly full-time to enter all the necessary data into QuickBooks. The new automated invoicing system only requires one part-time employee to manage everything adequately.

How did Sofmen perform from a project management standpoint?

We had weekly phone calls to go over project specifications. The length of the meetings varied relative to the development stage. However, we were practically in constant communication through Skype and Basecamp. I’d post a wish list of developments we needed and a developer would work on those items. This approach enabled me to communicate through screenshots instead of lengthy emails. The time zone difference didn’t hinder the project as they’d respond to correspondence at all hours. Sofmen’s founder and account manager were always available to translate laymen terminology into useful development requirements and articulate that information to the project manager.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their founder is incredibly smart. He grasped our business quickly and easily. I’d often communicate ideas to improve the project and he always expands on them. I was also impressed with how well they cleaned up the low-quality code left by previous developers.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Some aspects of the project weren’t delivered as quickly as we wanted. However, our expectations might have been too high. In reality, their turnaround is faster than that of comparable firms.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

It’s important to have a clear idea of what you need before engaging a developer. Providing Sofmen with as much information as possible will ensure a successful collaboration.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Various Kinds of Development for Health Website

"Their ability to understand our requirements and our objectives was extraordinary."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Mar. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sofmen developed iOS and Android apps and an associated web-based platform to connect health professionals with patients.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 Employees
 
United States
CEO, Healthcare Service
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sofmen communicated efficiently and worked hard to test and deliver a platform according to specifications. The deliverables were stable and scalable.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for a digital health company focused on chronic disease prevention and management. That involves trained coaches who communicate with our clients via our mobile app.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sofmen?

Our overall business objective is to deliver chronic disease management and prevention in the way what’s most convenient for our clients. What’s more, health insurers consider this type of digital engagement to have a positive return on investment.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Sofmen develops iOS and Android apps and the infrastructure that we use to manage the apps, as well as the websites that our coaches use to view patient data and communicate with the end users. We typically handle the design ourselves, although Sofmen sometimes contributes.

How did you come to work with Sofmen?

I had worked with the head of Sofmen earlier in my career. We were at the same company, so I already knew him and thought highly of him.

How much have you invested with Sofmen?

I would say we’ve averaged 9-11 FTEs over the course of the past year.

What is the status of this engagement?

I believe we started in August of 2015.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We’ve commercially deployed the product and we did substantial testing before we launched, but I’m not sure what metrics I can share here.

How did Sofmen perform from a project management standpoint?

I’ve worked with a number of vendors in the past, both onshore and offshore, and Sofmen has unusually clear communication compared to others. Their ability to understand our requirements and our objectives was extraordinary.

What did you find most impressive about Sofmen?

They generally build stable code with reasonable scalability, which is not something you always get from a third-party vendor.

Are there any areas Sofmen could improve?

On occasion, they could do a bit better job of communicating around release timing and release management.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Sofmen?

This applies to anybody working with a third-party team: have very clear requirements, including schematics, wireframes, and mockups, to avoid miscommunication.

4.5
Overall Score This seems fair.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’ve done a good job but no one’s perfect.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    In general they’ve done very good work, but there have been instances of communication challenges.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Software Development for Polling Startup

"We can generate demographic information from our results, and improve our service. This is the main testimonial that I can provide for Sofmen."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sofmen engages with a software-as-a-service client to develop a core polling system from scratch using wireframes provided by the client.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 employees
 
Los Angeles Metro Area
CEO, Polling Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sofmen is complimented for producing a robust system and helping the client fundraise for their startup concept. Sofmen is recommended for startups and others.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We provide a software polling platform, generating valuable data and opinions for clients. I am the chief executive officer of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sofmen?

We needed development resources for our platform.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Sofmen built our platform from scratch, based on the wireframes we provided. For our product to function as we want it, there are QA [quality assurance] and a number of other processes involved. Any issues, improvements or changes are given to Sofmen, who will handle the development side of the work. Sofmen's involvement has been 80 percent development and 20 percent design. Because there are many options in this area, we've preferred to have in-house designers and work closer with them.

How did you come to work with Sofmen?

We were referred one company and found 3 to 4 others through online searches. We looked at the quality of their work, books of business, and pricing. Because part of their team is overseas, Sofmen was able to provide a cost-effective solution, which was what we needed at the time.

How much have you invested with Sofmen?

We spend around $20,000 per year on Sofmen's services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Sofmen 3 years ago [2013] and have an ongoing relationship.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Everything has its ups and downs, and our team has also had a learning curve. I had never done something like this in the past, but Sofmen steered us in the right direction. There were setbacks and things that we wish we could have done quicker. Some of their team being overseas meant that we occasionally had to wait for an additional day if we didn't make a request fast enough. When we were able to deal with this, we got things done in a reasonable amount of time.

We provide simple polls, so users aren't likely to compliment us for them. We can generate demographic information from our results, and improve our service. This is the main testimonial that I can provide for Sofmen.

How did Sofmen perform from a project management standpoint?

Our project manager from Sofmen has been the main reason for our ability to continue the relationship. His communication was there, and he understood what we needed and when we needed it. Having access to a middle person locally has been a big plus for us.

What did you find most impressive about Sofmen?

Sofmen has been willing to work with us as a startup and has supported our fundraising efforts. Going through rounds of investments means that we never know when the money will come in, but Sofmen has provided a payment plan.

Are there any areas Sofmen could improve?

Sofmen could move some of their resources to the United States. Because of our time zone difference, we've had to schedule meetings at 10 o'clock at night, given that that was the only way of getting an issue fixed. Outside of this, Sofmen gave us what we asked.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Sofmen?

Clients should understand what they want, prior to moving ahead with the process. The more details they provide, the more Sofmen can help them understand what the cost and functionalities should be.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Development for Data Security Firm

“We are satisfied with Sofmen's performance.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
Project summary: 

Sofmen is developing the frontend of a data protection and backup solution. The web interface connects with the solution and allows users to manage their protected data from any browser and device.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Seattle Metro Area
VP of Engineering, Data Security Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Before the project’s start, the solution had several deficiencies in its UX/UI aspect which Sofmen quickly addressed. Moreover, the team is constantly on the vanguard of new technologies and delivers timely compatibility updates to access the software on an increasing variety of devices.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

The company is Data Castle. Data Castle is about data protection for laptops and mobile devices. We basically back up all the data, encrypt it, and send it up into the cloud. We have a Web admin front end that the administrator can use with a Web UI in order to administer their company's policies around protection, and to connect to the data. That's the aspect that Sofmen helps us complete.

What is your position?

I'm the vice president of engineering.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Sofmen?

Ultimately, we're about trying to get more deployment and protect more computers and mobile devices. That's ultimately how we make money. We protect a lot of data, so we have terabytes of data under protection. We want to make it as easy as possible for users to get more data under our umbrella.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

Sofmen basically does the Web front end for us. Our core IP [intellectual property] is around the actual data protection, which is agents running on phones and on mobile devices, tablets, as well as Windows and Mac computers. The core IP is essentially a system-level code, which is not what Sofmen does but, in order to administer it, we have a Web interface running on Windows service, and they write all the code, and have essentially built that from scratch. That does all the administration, so that an administrator, an IT [information technology] person from a company that uses the service, can login and say, "I want to protect these types of files." Or, "I only want to use this much bandwidth when all these devices are uploading" – these sorts of things.

It's basically a Web front end where they can go to from any browser, in order to configure these things. Sofmen has built that, and we've gone through various incarnations of that. We had the first version, which solved the overall problem of being able to administer. Then, we made it work in more modern browsers, using newer technologies. Just recently, we also revved it again in order to be able to work well from a Web browser on a phone, so incorporating responsive technology.

How did you come to work with Sofmen?

For the most part, it's that our CEO has worked with them before and had a lot of trust in them. I think that paid off. We didn't go through the reference-type process like you are here, for example. We had already worked with them, they were already reliable, and they've shown that they can deliver. We do consider the Web code a bit more cookie cutter, and not core IP for us, so we didn't want to do it in house. The main choice for us was do it in house and hire people or do it external. Doing it external and ultimately shipping it to India was a much cheaper choice for us.

They've had a number of developers move through the project, and I think they've managed that very well, in terms of always giving us a heads up. There's always been someone there to take over from a person who's leaving, and there was handover – these sorts of things. If we did it in house, it would be a team of maybe only one or two developers for a similar sort of budget, and we probably would have had continuity problems like that when someone was on leave.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

It was from $50,000 to $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The collaboration is ongoing with no plans to stop.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

I'm not sure what I could use in terms of metrics. We used to have this as a real sore point, in terms of we didn't have this user experience at all. We've built a system so that we just had APIs [application programming interfaces] to enable our partners to be able to build this part of it. There was a significant pain point there that was mitigated as a result of engaging them.

We don't see complaints from our customers saying that it doesn't work well. We don't have a lot of bugs that get through to customers that cause them issues. It's a very small number of those things. We do have a lot of bugs in the system, in terms of little issues that we have, but it's extremely rare to have a customer report it, so I think a lot of that gets caught in testing. We've gotten pretty good at identifying what ones may actually cause a customer issue.

I don't think we have what I would call a world-class type website. It looks nice, but I wouldn't call it absolute best of breed. That also stems from the fact that we don't need it to be, so we haven't really invested in trying to do that. It's a conscious decision, but if you were looking for something where the Web experience was the core of your business because the consumers were demanding and it needed to be really slick, we just haven't tested that aspect of whether Sofmen can do that. That just hasn't been a goal of ours.

How did Sofmen perform from a project management standpoint?

We are satisfied with Sofmen's performance. We think we're getting very good value for what we spend. I think, at the start, there was a little bit of getting the communication down pat, and dealing with time zones and things like that, so that if we have issues we're able to find the time so that we can do more than one rev per day. That's probably the most challenging aspect, which I think we're OK with now.

If we had an issue, we'd shoot something to them, and then they don't get it until the next day. Then, we to wait for them to deal with it, which may not be until our next day, so it could take two days. Now, we have a sort of standard time in the evening their time, and early morning our time, which if there's a hot issue we can essentially get more cycles by using up those checkpoints. We don't do that very often, but when do have a hot item, a hot issue, we automatically go into that sort of process.

What distinguishes Sofmen from other providers?

We are using them also for some of our iOS and Android efforts. While we don't have their teams building, they do have expertise that we're leveraging in order to help us out with that. I know a lot of firms do that as well, but it's not just the Web end that we do. I guess we sort of expect that, if we hired someone, we would get someone who knows the technology that we're specifically looking for. When we go with someone external we get that as well as these other practices that they have that we can, from time to time, just pull someone in and get a bit of help. Certainly in the mobile device apps area, they seem to have that. They do well in terms of having someone who is managing it from that end. I think they have value that, and I think that's very important.

In hindsight, are there areas in which they could improve, or things you might do differently?

Not at the moment. We have had times when communication wasn't very clear. I think they've taken the feedback, and I think they're good now. I think we're fine with communicating, and I have someone running the project at their end.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I think most of the time they do, and if they don't, it's something that is normal engineering risk that is part of the way the project works.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We have a constant number of people.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Sometimes when they send us code, we do throw it back. That happens from time to time.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely recommend them.

Web Development for Photography Service

“I've been very happy with Sofmen.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
Project summary: 

Sofmen redevelops a website which had low-quality code to rebuild its features, include additional functionality, and implement designs on the frontend. The project involves coding in ASP.NET and Java.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
San Francisco Bay Area
CEO, Photography Service
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team has demonstrated excellent professionalism and technical knowledge through which they provide high-quality deliverables within deadlines. Sofmen successfully adapts to the task’s requirements and counts with sufficient resources to accommodate strict timeframes.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We're an online Web resource for the school photography market. We have schools, parents, and photographers as clients. We're providing the technology solution for all three of those users.

What is your position?

I am the owner and CEO, and I work directly with the development team. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Sofmen?

I had an already existing site that had a lot of spaghetti code and a lot of problems. I had worked with three different development partners before I began working with them. They're in the process of rebuilding. We've built some functionality, rebuild some functionality, and fixed some disasters during the last two years. 

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

They've provided primarily Web development work. We use ASP.NET, and they've done a little bit of Java work for us. They do the implementation of the design work, and there's been a lot of database rewiring that we've had to do. They've also handled the migration from our previous server onto the Microsoft servers. Currently, they're working on a rebuild of the shopping cart as well.

How did you come to work with Sofmen?

I met with Joel [Pyska, managing partner at Sofmen] at my studio, and I had a consultant who helped me to choose the team, so we did a personal interview. I did call on their references, but when you're hiring a dev team, to a certain extent it's all an act of faith. I'd had negative experiences with previous companies, so this was my third company. I've been very happy with Sofmen.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

We're in the $10,000 to $50,000 range.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

For me, it's been about whether they can deliver on time. Sometimes, things happen faster than I expected and, sometimes, they take longer. Usually, the reason they take longer has to do with scope as opposed to having to redo something again.        

How did Sofmen perform from a project management standpoint?

Recently, I needed to run two tracks at the same time. We were doing a re-skinning while also dealing with some functionality. I was using two resources from Sofmen, where I'm usually only using one and a project manager. My project manager is managing both resources, and he and I report in on what's going on with progress on both tracks. We also ran two resources when we did the server migration, and they've never required more resources than what they estimated.

They fired one guy that was working with me because they didn't think he was doing a good enough job, and that was their monitoring, not mine. They just didn't think the coding was a solid as it needed to be.

We have regular meetings, and they're effective meetings. I never feel like I'm being gouged around time or anything. 

What distinguishes Sofmen from other providers?

My fears in dealing with an offshore company were around concerns that they wouldn't work as fast, or they would be working on multiple projects during the time they billed to me. That has not been my experience with them, and they've been as available, if not more available, as my onshore development team was. They've met the delivery schedule easily.

If I ever had anything I needed to process outside of the development team, Joel's always been available to talk about user interface, or research other possible ways of doing something rather than building it. He's made recommendations of maybe integrating with an existing platform, as opposed to trying to run more programming. I've had a positive experience with them.

In hindsight, are there areas in which they could improve, or things you might do differently?

We use JIRA on their server, and sometimes we've had problems with the stability of that software. We've worked around it, and they've always been very accessible.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Sometimes, things end up taking longer than I initially anticipated. This can be due to changes I've requested, but I think they could do a better job giving me the time estimates for the changes...
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    There's been a couple times they worked with me around payment, and I really appreciate that.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We just did a release, and the number of bugs that we found in the release was totally manageable; however, sometimes, there are some things I think they could have caught.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended them to a few people.