What was the scope of their involvement?
They have worked on multiple projects. We initially engaged them for maintenance, but after a few years of working with Solid Software, we developed bigger features and increased the feature set with them. Now they’re taking on larger pieces of work and working on longer-term projects.
One project was a business operations platform, or a bespoke ERP [Enterprise Resource Planning] system for a global platform within the travel industry. This involved supporting multiple businesses and optimizing the business operations all the way from defining a product, building it, launching it, upgrading it, and then handling any exceptional business events that happen. Solid Software contributed to the frontend and backend systems, web-based user experience, and the workflows. It was a full-spec development.
Another project was increasing search results for flight booking. Our reservation agents often couldn’t find a good enough option to give our customers, which was impacting business. This also increased internal calls to our air department, which we couldn’t do through the software. So, we were either turning away our customers, or we were increasing overhead and having to contact our air department to find a good enough flight.
Solid Software took this problem that the reservation agents had and drilled down to what the actual issues were. With easy metrics to measure (whether we were still increasing the number of good flights or not), they started improving the software bit by bit. They spoke to the people on the ground that were using the software to find out when and whether things were improving. That project was all about improving the quality of the flight results so that we could book them for our customers.
They also helped us with a pricing bundle feature. In order to sell our tools and flights, we had to bundle up the price, not show flight-to-flight results separately. That was very time-sensitive; we did it in a month or so.
Solid Software also built a product from the ground-up, a content platform that basically distributes tour information to third parties so that our resellers can effectively sell our products. They’ve been enhancing that ever since.
Beyond these projects, Solid Software is a team of people that can understand network issues and that can administer Linux machines. They’re not software developers who just throw their hands up; virtually nothing is beyond their expertise. There’s always someone at Solid Software that will pick something up who’s an expert in something else.
They produce really good reports for us, they’ve done research, and they’ve even done some work in artificial intelligence [AI]. They looked through our historical data to find patterns in our customer behavior. They showed us where our customers, for example, canceled some of our products or wouldn’t continue with the booking process.
They understand the business aspect of our company, and they like questions. They’re not afraid to ask the right questions. They challenge us. If we come up with something we want them to do, they’ll question it and try and find a better way, or they’ll try to prove that our way works best. They won’t just accept something as given. I really like the guys.
One more project they did that was technically challenging, as well as challenging in terms of getting a handle on the business requirements, was a coach touring product. This is where you can book a trip from Los Angeles through a bunch of countries throughout Europe with the help of coaches. The hotels are organized, supplies and payments are managed, and the scheduling is done for you. Every single little aspect is scheduled and managed. The backend operational systems for this product are phenomenally complex. Tomasz [Founder & CEO, Solid Software Solutions] and his team deepened and improved the whole system. They had the knowledge, experience, and the ability to understand it, implement solutions, and make appropriate adjustments.
Solid Software is currently assisting us with a very discreet global initiative in the financial services space. They are involved in very advanced modern technologies, including things like AI and blockchain. I can’t give any more details as it's confidential, but we’re in the midst of some very cool stuff.
What is the team dynamic?
They had the full gamut of people you’d expect on a development team. They had an architect, team manager, full stack enterprise developers, backend specialists, testers, analysts, and data analytics expertise as well. The sweet spot is really the experienced enterprise software developers. They worked on international solutions, multi-language, multi-currency, and multi-tenanted solutions, cloud-based solutions, everything.
How did you come to work with Solid Software Solutions?
Tomasz used to work for this company here in London. He moved back to Poland, created Solid Software. We go back a long way and we didn’t want to lose him. He’s grown it from a couple people to the size of the team he’s got now. It’s great to have been part of that journey from day one.
How much have you invested with them?
It’s significant; I can’t disclose that. They work at a massive scale, but they can also work on a pure startup initiative as well. They can run the gamut all the way from a startup team to a serious multi-million-dollar deal.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together about nine years ago, and the work is ongoing.