What was the scope of their involvement?
The general process begins with us identifying the need for development in one of our applications (either pre-existing or a new development requirement), and we develop the requirements internally. Once we determine that we need external support, we discuss the project with Softwire and, if the price and schedule fit, they begin the design or development work. Additionally, they provide background support for applications they have developed.
Most of our applications are web-based; however, our main asset management system, which Softwire helped develop, is tablet-based. Our field agents go to rail depots, which are mostly located in remote areas without Wi-Fi or 3G/4G signal, and inspect the depots and trains. When they return to a location with service, they download the information for our analysis and tracking.
What is the team composition?
We work with different team members depending on the project, sometimes one developer, sometimes a team. Regardless of who we work with, I’ve been impressed with their development knowledge and talent.
How did you come to work with Softwire?
One of my colleagues was in charge of development when we hired them several years ago. I know that we were looking for external development support and contacted a number of companies. Softwire was the one that best met our specifications, and we continue to work with them because they produce good results.
How much have you invested with them?
The most recent project was around £200,000 (approximately $255,600 USD), and in our years working together, we’ve spent somewhere between that and $1 million.
What is the status of this engagement?
I believe we began working with them in 2012, and we are still working with them.