Custom software development that makes you happy

Sombra is a web and mobile development company from Ukraine with a single and very clear goal: that each of our clients will be completely satisfied with our work. Our services include embedding developers to customer's team, business analysis, creation of MVP’s for startups and businesses, implementation of web solutions and mobile solutions.

In order to maximize performance and offer competitive pricing, we have assembled a team of the most talented young developers around. Sombra employees are motivated, productive, and proactive.

We recognize the value of our clients' time and work diligently to provide our clients with the services they need in a timely manner. If you feel that our specialized team can benefit your company, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Technology expertise:

  • Java
  • AngularJS, ReactJS
  • Cordova (PhoneGap), Ionic
  • SQL/NoSQL DB's

Our services:

  • Custom web development
  • Dedicated/embedded teams
  • Mobile development
  • MVP
  • Business analysis
 
$10,000+
 
$25 - $49 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2013
Show all +
Lviv, Ukraine
headquarters
other locations
  • Halytska St.
    Ivano-Frankivsk 76018
    Ukraine

Portfolio

CXM | Creating Customer Experience Management System

About: Any customer transaction is associated with an expectation and an experience. CXM shows the gap, so customers can adapt their business. CXM is a solution that measure users' experiences of their companies. We provided an app which measures customer satisfaction by sending SMS’s and emails. These ways are very customized so that it allows to users work with the system faster and get right to the customer experience index.

Technologies: Java, AngularJS, Twilio API, Stripe API.

 

You could take deeper look at CXM case

 

STUDIONINJA CRM | How to create custom CRM for certain niche

About: The goal was to create a SaaS platform which can be very specialized for photographers. So, StudioNinja is a management software for photographers (CRM) that helps grow business, frees up time, and automatically keeps in touch with photographer's clients. This project was created from scratch. We have developed the frontend and backend and have provided requirements and project management services.

Technologies: Java, AngularJS, Stripe API, Google Calendar API.

 

You could take deeper look at StudioNinja case

CLIQUED | Connecting groups of people within the same area

About: The app is created to allow friends easily form a group of two to six people and find other groups in the area. The application’s purpose is to facilitate the initial connection, providing a means for the two interested parties to communicate.

Technologies: Ionic, Cordova, Gulp, Firebase, Facebook API, Google Cloud Messaging, Google API, Pushbot.com.

 

You could take deeper look at Cliqued case

OnCFO | Finance planning and analyzing platform for businesses

About: OnCFO is a modular financial platform providing functionality such as budgeting, forecasting, KPI tracking, dashboarding, commission management, and cap table management. OnCFO replaces the majority of XL-based sheets, templates and models for SMBs (<$50M ARR). The platform features a financial planning & analysis platform that uses 100% Excel syntax to ensure maximum ease of use.

Technologies: Spring MVC, Spring Data JPA, MySQL, Apache POI, AngularJs, Bootstrap, Metronics UI.

 

You could take deeper look at OnCFO case

 

 

WEB REPORTING SYSTEM | Reports' generator and analytical tool for eCommerce

About: Web application, which generates marketing reports based on information from uploaded .xls files, Google Analytics, input information and data from eCom platforms and ERP systems. Main features of the system are: 1) Visual reports and tables; 2) Highly customizable system for certain client; 3) 3 sources of information: imported files (by user), manually input information (by user), Google Analytics information (automatically), eCom platforms and ERP systems (integration through API and Web Services); 4) Daily email reporting module.

Technologies: Java, Spring, Hibernate, MySQL, Quartz, Google Analytics API, Apache Tiles, Twitter Bootsrap, Phantom.js, morris.js, flot charts etc.

 

You could take deeper look at Web Reporting System case

SPRAVY.COM.UA | Management system for lawyers

About: The main goal of this webapp was to help law companies in Ukraine to automate their processes and relay as much routine work to the webapp as possible, so that lawyers could concentrate on their actual work. This system lets law companies store all lawsuit-related information securely in the system. 

Technologies: Java, Spring, MySQL, HTML5/CSS3, GWT.

 

You could take deeper look at spravy.com.ua case


 

eSENSE | Measure your skin temperature & skin conductance with the microphone input of your smartphone

About: eSense is a mobile app which is used for medical purposes like stress tracking and monitoring. The main goal is to reduce anxiety and relieve stress by measuring a temperature of our hands and skin conductance response.

Technologies: Cordova, Ionic, Node.js, Gulp.

 

You could take deeper look at eSense case

CONCIERGO | Virtual concierge services

About: Mobile app which is used by hotels to make virtual concierge services. With the app, visitors could know where they can go for a taco or get a taxi. It saves time for visitors and hotel administration. The challenges were to use native mobile platform features for the app created using PhoneGap in order to save development time.

Technologies: Cordova, YELP API.

 

You could take deeper look at ConcierGo case

VIVUSO | Communication tool for your portal with all social media inside

About: Vivuso is an innovative platform gathers and displays your online brand presence and user-generated content. It collects all social channels, online mentions, reviews, industry trends, and more, into great looking widget on your website. It boosts conversions and enhances every online business. Additionally, users are able to communicate with other users to create own community.

Technologies: Java, Spring, Hibernate, Quartz, GWT, Facebook API, Twitter API, YouTube API, Pinterest API.

Reviews

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UI/UX Redesign for Tourism Booking Platform

“They’re some of the best developers I have ever worked with.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sombra is finalizing the redesign of a bespoke travel and tours website, focusing on discount and promotional features. They also handle development, project management, and quality testing.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Australia
Callum Goodall
Managing Director, Everything Travel Group
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Thanks to Sombra’s expertise, the improved website is expected to differentiate the brand from competitors and generate more revenue. Their efficient project management and unrivaled customer service continue to inspire confidence.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I am the managing director of a booking agency that sells adventure activities and sightseeing tours in New Zealand and Australia to domestic and international travelers. Our online business is a one-stop shop for travelers to book all their tours.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Sombra?

In recent times, the focus in tourism has shifted to discounts and deals, so we needed to find a better way to promote these offerings to our customers.

What were your goals for this project?

We needed a robust yet simple and user-friendly website that allowed customers to navigate the deals easily. Tour operators would also use the site to manage and promote their offerings. Everything needed to work as well, if not better, on mobile devices as it did on desktop.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

Local developers were prohibitively expensive, so we looked abroad. Sombra was recommended by a third party who had engaged their services before and spoke highly of their ability to deliver a quality product at a reasonable price.

Can you go into detail about the services they provided and the scope of the project?

They designed and developed a brand-new online booking portal utilizing software tailored to meet our exact requirements. The project began with an initial consult, allowing us to explain and detail all the specifics of the build thoroughly. Then, they presented workflows and mock-ups to us for approval. They worked in two-week sprints with continuous review and feedback from us and expert suggestions from their experienced developers.

What was the team composition?

The team was made up of about seven full-time staff, including frontend and backend developers, bug testers, and designers. It was headed up by a project manager who made sure everything was on time.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?

The website will allow us to stand out and be relevant in an extremely competitive industry. It is due to be finalized next week after a four-month build. We’re confident that it will be delivered on time and within budget.

How was project management arranged and how effective was it?

The project was managed by the same person throughout the entire build, allowing for consistent and clear communication. We were in touch via Skype, Jira, and Google Meetings. They always answered questions and concerns immediately and effectively.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

The initial point of contact was always the project manager. However, we were also able to access any of the individual team members to discuss specifics relating to the components they were working on. This made all the difference in ensuring important details were not lost in translation.

What tips or recommendations do you have?

My only recommendation would be to make sure you have a clear picture of what you are trying to achieve so you can convey that as accurately as possible to the team before starting your project.

5.0
Overall Score They’re a fantastic team with incredible attention to detail and communication skills.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The project manager accurately scheduled and estimated workflow.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was not cheap, but it would have been prohibitively expensive if we tried to undertake this in Australia.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’re some of the best developers I have ever worked with. The quality is first-rate.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I will absolutely refer Sombra to friends and colleagues.

Software Development for a Telecommunications Firms

"They’re personable, efficient, and attentive to smaller customers."

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

Sombra supplements resources for third-party development projects. They use a range of coding languages to lead the projects’ technical and organizational components.

The Reviewer
 
Germany
CEO, Telecommunications Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team delivers on time and within budget. They approach the development process in an efficient, flexible, and personable manner. Customers can expect a positive experience with attentive service and Java expertise.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO of a software company. We do custom software development and programming related to phone systems, voice, fax, and emails for business customers in the telecommunications market.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sombra?

We sometimes need to outsource development resources. We hired Sombra as an offshore vendor to help us build our software.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We’ve done multiple projects with Sombra. We send the client requirements and they then set up a team to manage the project’s technical and organizational components. We use Jtwig, databases, SQL servers, JavaScript, Angular, TypeScript, and Amazon Web Service (AWS).

What is the team composition?

I talk to Viktoriia (Project Coordinator, Sombra).

How did you come to work with Sombra?

We found them on Upwork and started the partnership with a simple, small project.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent $60,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in January 2017 and the partnership is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Sombra is our main development partner and the relationship has been a positive experience. Their solutions have a huge impact on our clients’ business.

How did Sombra perform from a project management standpoint?

The team has marvelous timing; they are fast, flexible, and always on the budget. We communicate primarily via Skype.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their project management, speed, and communication skills are absolutely professional. They have a large number of developers that specialize in Java. They have a nice company culture as well.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The developers’ communication skills could be better. However, we don’t want to hold them to the same communications standard as project managers.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Go and hire them. Sombra is the perfect size—neither too big or too small. They’re personable, efficient, and attentive to smaller customers.

5.0
Overall Score I’m very happy with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

UI Developers & Java Resources for Dev Team

"Every project they’ve worked on always gets really positive feedback from the clients that are utilizing our solution."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Apr. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sombra acts as a resource team, offering solutions in Javascript programming and microservices. Other products, such as an Angular-based annunciator type screen, are developed to improve user interface.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Lane Cove West, Australia
Technical Director, Healthcare Communications Solution
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sombra’s innovative programming has resulted in positive user experiences. The team possess an upbeat attitude, has forged steady communication in product development and fosters a mentoring structure if problems were to ever arise.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a manufacturer of critical messaging systems for the aged-care and health industries. I am the technical director.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sombra?

We engaged with them to assist us in Javascript programming. That's how our system is primarily written.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They assisted us with the microservices of our system. When dealing with the infrastructure of the microservices, they always handled the frontend work. This included the user interface of the microservices. Sombra allocates the resources to us and then we directly manage it.

They also were able to develop an annunciator type screen through Angular. It was high definition with a lot of graphics and with rendering. The annunciator was then interfaced into the existing system.

What is the team composition?

They work as a resources role for us. We project manage them ourselves and work with our own developers and engineers. With Sombra, we talk about a project in very general terms, work out deliverables' estimated time, and then decide whether it's a single resource or multiple resources. This is where their Java team comes in and they have plenty of Javascript guys on their books.

If we need extra resources, they understand the skill set that we require and are very good at matching our needs with the right skill set. It's always just been a seamless process that we've had. It's a great relationship actually.

How did you come to work with Sombra?

I found them on Freelancer and then did a lot of independent research on their business. We had an interview with the business development manager, ran a trial with them, and since then, we’ve had an ongoing relationship.

How much have you invested with them?

We spend $2,000–$4,000 per month with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working with them since April 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Overall, we’ve had great traction in the market. Every project Sombra has worked on, always gets really positive feedback from the clients that are utilizing our solution.

When it comes to the user interface layer, our clients say it's a very easy product to use and operate. Across the different types of user tiers, they’re able to use the interface without any issues. I guess that in turn is a nod towards Sombra's work.

The quality of work has been second to none. We've actually had their code reviewed by third parties for comments on structure knowledge of Javascript, and it's all come back with five stars.

How did Sombra perform from a project management standpoint?

Their team has this sort of magic formula. All the guys on their teams have this really positive attitude that creates a good team environment. It’s certainly evident in a lot of our calls, which were communicated quite regularly via Skype, that they've got a really good team.

They’re are also really good at mentoring. Sometimes if there’s a technical issue, we talk aspects on how we want to tackle a problem and then come up with some ideas. Their mentoring structures are great.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We were really impressed with the annunciator they created. It was created on a blank page, outside the normal scope of work, and it turned out to be an amazing product for us.

Also, from a management perspective, they're very cooperative and understanding. More importantly, they’re responsive regardless of whatever the outcome may be.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Because the culture between Australia and the Ukraine is quite different, don't be ambiguous in your conversation. Be straight to the point. That takes out the nuances with language and culture, and that's all I can recommend.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended them many times already.

Development of Video Streaming Distribution Platform

“Within the last year, our users haven’t had any crashes, even when there were high traffic loads.”

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

Sombra used existing code and user feedback to update a video streaming service. New features include a broadcast scheduler and improved ability to stream across platforms. They also make routine updates.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Eyal Menin
Director, Uvision Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sombra’s coding skills and thorough testing have eliminated crashes due to usage fluctuations on the app. Their developers are quick learners who ask questions when necessary and strive to make the product as good as possible. They’re responsive and their results always match project objectives.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m one of the directors of a cloud-based streaming service. We specialize in taking one stream and restreaming it across multiple platforms as needed. It allows you to distribute streams in order to get around bandwidth limitations, like when you’re in a trade show or using your phone to make a broadcast in public. We also offer the ability to add custom advertising layers to your live stream content.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sombra?

They took the core code we’d built in-house and added new features and functionality to our platform so it was more up-to-date.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They initially built our scheduler, which allows customers to schedule live streams so the platform will start broadcasting automatically at a designated time while a user is producing content. Since then, they’ve continued building or enhancing existing platform components for us. They also perform bug fixes and feature request updates for us every couple of months. All of the work Sombra’s done utilizes streaming and real-time messaging protocols, which allow us to transform the content for iOS, Android, and streaming TV devices. The whole platform was built using Amazon Cloud Services.

What is the team composition?

I work directly with our project manager, who then assigns us one or two developers based on the size of each project.

How did you come to work with Sombra?

I found them on Upwork.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $50,000–$100,000 so far.

What is the status of this engagement?

They started working for us in January 2016 and they’re still developing for us.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

When we develop the product, we measure capacity by overloading the system in our staging environment and fixing any errors that occur. Once that code is ready, we push it over to our production environment, and if it’s not right you’ll see the same errors reappear. Within the last year, our users haven’t had any crashes, even when there were high traffic loads. We’ve only found one issue with database capacity and it was due to us not anticipating the demand on it, but that was due to insufficient server capacity, not any error on Sombra’s part.

How did Sombra perform from a project management standpoint?

We start the week by calling the project manager to map out the scope of the upcoming week in terms of development, and at the end of the week, we do another call to assess their progress. We connect online via Skype or Google Hangouts to examine code and we’ll touch base via email throughout the week if they need any clarification. This system has worked well to help me assess how much more work is needed at any point so I can manage customer expectations regarding new feature availability.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They learn very quickly. I searched at length for developers with the right expertise and I tried two or three in the US, but it was difficult for them to accomplish the work. With Sombra, it doesn’t matter if the developer is already familiar with our projects or brand new—they’re able to assess what needs to be done and gain enough familiarity with our service that they’re comfortable suggesting additional improvements. It’s the reason I’ve kept up our partnership for so long.

I also appreciate their commitment to communication and quick response times. They’re willing to ask questions until they fully understand a project. There are sometimes language difficulties, but they’ll persist until they’re sure we’re on the same page. They always bring us code that’s exactly what we asked for, and I pay a fraction of what I would if I’d used local developers.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be very open with your project requirements and be upfront about your budget so they can accommodate you. If you aren’t sure they have the expertise to work with all the technologies you need, ask. Whenever they weren’t familiar with a particular coding language, for example, they were willing to learn and work with whatever third-party developer I hired.

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

Java Development for E-commerce Workflow Automation

"They're always trying to find the best solution for us."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Apr. 2017 - Apr. 2018
Project summary: 

Using the Java architecture created in-house, Sombra developed an e-commerce web solution to automate seller workflows on Amazon and eBay. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Tel Aviv, Israel
CTO, Drop Shipping Business
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The platform enables an effective workflow and the internal team is highly satisfied. Sombra goes above and beyond to accommodate all needs, while their commitment and ability to work as part of an in-house team contributed to the ongoing relationship.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the CTO at a drop shipping business.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sombra?

We were looking for a company to develop a web solution for our marketplace workflow automation.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Sombra helped us develop an e-commerce tool to automate the workflow with Amazon and eBay. We had the initial code that was designed on Java, so they used part of it, developed it further, and turned it into a working web solution. As the product evolved, we added more features, such as order and vendor management, financing, and monitoring.  

What is the team composition?

We’ve worked with one full-time developer and one UI designer.

How did you come to work with them?

How much have you invested with them?

We've spent about $70,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in April 2017 and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Simply put, our business model wouldn't work or wouldn't be effective without the workflow automation that Sombra developed for us.

How did they perform from a project management standpoint?

We were not entirely satisfied with the first developer they assigned to us, so we addressed that issue with their management. They were very cooperative and immediately gave us another developer, who's been amazing. In addition, they gave us one free month of work to make up for the inconvenience. We usually stay in touch via email and phone.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Everyone from their management to the design house is pleasant to work with. They're always trying to find the best solution for us. They're very invested and view our success as their own success.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Maybe their rates could be a little lower.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be as clear as possible about your goals, expectations, timeline, and budget. Also, discuss what kind of support they'll provide after the development is completed.

5.0
Overall Score I had a very good experience.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I'd use them again for another project.

Hybrid App Development for Biofeedback Device

“They’re great people and do excellent work. They know what to do, understand the technology, and are communicative.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2016 - Jan. 2017
Project summary: 

Sombra developed a hybrid app for a medical engineering company. The app uses PhoneGap and Ionic technology to interface with biometric sensors compatible with Android and iOS smartphones.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Gronau, Germany
Niko Rockensüß
Founder, Mindfield
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Results are positive and requisite sensor purchases along with app downloads total over 1,000. Sombra assigned strong developers and always had an expert available to answer questions. They provided detailed reports and made unique suggestions.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a mid-sized medical engineering company that specializes in bio- and neurofeedback for the psychosomatic and psychophysiology field. We design products for clinical therapists and university research. I am the founder and CEO.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sombra?

We wanted to develop a hybrid app for our eSense devices. We had existing iOS and Android apps but wanted to simplify development. We wanted to work with a PhoneGap and Ionic technology expert.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They developed our new eSense app that works in partnership with a hardware device. Two sensors measure skin conductance and temperature and connect to a smartphone via the microphone input.

Skin conductance relates to sweat glands in our palms, which are innervated by the autonomous nervous system and react to emotional stress and anxiety. The sensors take measurements and feed them back to the user in real time. Sombra developed the app and made changes.

What is the team composition?

We worked directly with one full-time developer. Once the first hybrid was done, they introduced a new layer of management. We spoke with the manager about timing or planning, but usually interfaced with the developer.

How did you come to work with Sombra?

I posted a development job on Upwork. Sombra applied for that job and we started working with them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent about $20,000 in the first phase of app development and about $60,000 overall.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in Autumn 2016. They delivered the hybrid app at the beginning of 2017, roughly 6 months later.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I mainly use the tools provided by Google and Apple to determine how many people are using the app. We sell around 1,000 sensors per year and have seen 1,000–1,500 app downloads. The old, native apps are still available in the app stores and are still in use, too, though Sombra didn't develop those.

How did Sombra perform from a project management standpoint?

We used Upwork tools for scheduling and work summaries. We chatted with the developer over Skype on a daily basis and use Trello Boards for to-do lists, comments, and resolving issues.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They really get into a topic. We liked our first developer but were assigned a new one partway through the process. The second developer was even better than the first. They’re great people and do excellent work. They know what to do, understand the technology, and are communicative. I get daily, detailed reports and they made unique suggestions to solve problems. They have a large team of developers, so there is always someone to answer our questions. I’m very satisfied.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I was skeptical at first when they added the management layer but it was a good addition. We switched from Upwork to Trello and have a direct contract with them. We have a better rate and no longer need to pay Upwork platform fees. We also reduced our weekly hours, which helped us stick to our budget. All these improvements were instigated by the contract manager. If we need a new feature, we ask for another developer and they provide the help we need. They’re very flexible and I have no complaints.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Have a staff conference with their developers to describe your company, project, and goals. They will find the best developer and can make custom suggestions to meet your needs.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Timing occasionally took longer than expected, but that was because we added features.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Java Based Online Reputation & Marketing SaaS MVP

"They asked smart questions and understood what I wanted to do."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb. - Sept. 2015
Project summary: 

Sombra developed a web-based B2B sales platform that used social tools to help small businesses market themselves. They worked in collaboration with the product owner and worked from provided wireframes.

The Reviewer
 
Sole Proprietor
 
Tel Aviv, Israel
Fmr. Founder, Vivuso
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sombra earned a high degree of trust by being honest about what they could and could not do. Their expertise lay in Java and in Agile development. Unlike other remote providers, Sombra stayed in constant communication.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Vivuso was a company dedicated to making a B2B sales platform which used social tools in order to leverage marketing for small businesses. It was user-generated, with social media posts, RSS newsfeeds, Q&A and review content for advertising purposes. I decided to close the company for business reasons.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sombra?

I needed help designing the whole project.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I acted as project manager, defined the project, and worked in collaboration with Sombra. We developed the product A to Z and created a production version. I used Balsamiq and provided Sombra with wireframes of what I wanted to build. From there, we discussed the details of the project.

I didn’t define 100% of the scope from the beginning, but I had discussions with Sombra’s team. They asked smart questions and understood what I wanted to do.

The product was a Java-based web application with AngularJS or a similar framework on the frontend.

How did you come to work with Sombra?

I found them on Upwork or a similar marketplace, but worked directly, outside of the platform. In the beginning, I talked to Sergii [Miakshynov], one of their founders, and he gave me a lot of confidence. He was honest with all his answers and told me what Sombra could and couldn’t do. For example, they specialized in Java, and not in other languages. This reassured me that, if Sombra promised to deliver something, they could do it.

How much have you invested with Sombra?

The cost of Sombra’s work was around $10,000. I used a dedicated frontend developer for half the price of the other developers.

What is the status of this engagement?

I started working with Sombra February 2015. The project ended in September.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

When building a responsive site, it’s difficult to have a good outcome on the first try, but most of the work turned out well.

How did Sombra perform from a project management standpoint?

The communication was generally good. Something I don’t like about remote work is the lack of responsiveness from the partner’s side, or having them disappear for a few days. This never happened with Sombra. We had clear communication constantly, and, anytime I had a question, I received a response. Their English skills were very good. I also had another project and would have wanted to work with Sombra, but it wasn’t possible since they’re strictly a Java team. If I ever have a Java project in the future, I will contact Sombra.

They were professional in working with our repository and implementing the Agile methodology. Sombra is not just another development company.

What did you find most impressive about Sombra?

The easiest thing for an outsourced company is to say yes to work, even if they aren’t sure what the customer wants, and give a price estimate (usually a high one). I have asked for very difficult or even impossible tasks, and Sombra’s team told me so every time. We achieved around 95% of what we wanted to do.

Are there any areas Sombra could improve?

I know that no one’s perfect, but I can’t name anything that Sombra could improve. They did the job well.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were always available.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I’m not sure what their current rate is, but the cost was very good. I was paying around $20 for the backend developer, and around $5 or $10 for the frontend one. The estimates were always fair.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I only have good things to say about Sombra, and I’ll use the team again if the opportunity arises.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended them to some friends, and I would do so again for anyone.

eCommerce Marketplace Integrations for Digital Storefront

"They’re great and loyal people, going above and beyond in order to help the client."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jun. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sombra fixed a messy backend operation left by a previous developer. They also built databases and expanded the architecture for API integrations for several vendors on the eCommerce platform.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Founder, eCommerce Hub
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sombra is highly adaptable and flexible. The team is dedicated to their projects, often working weekends and taking care of emergencies quickly. Though they could work on getting new resources fully up to speed before putting them on complicated projects, they’re communicative and reliable.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a data-driven ecommerce company selling a variety of niche products in multiple marketplaces. I am the founder.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sombra?

We’d had a bad experience with a development company a few years back, and were looking to improve our backend operations. Our initial company didn’t do a good job, and produced a messy result.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Sombra was brought in to fix our existing issues, as well as move forward and expand our architecture for operations, reports, integrations and so on. Back then, we were building a number of databases, running scrapers and different API integrations related to our marketplaces. Sombra was tasked with taking API connections and building databases around them, improving the speed of our applications and scraping on Amazon, Sears, Walmart, and other big ecommerce platforms.

We have relationships with many vendors, and wanted to integrate each one with their own tweaks. There is a level of sophistication in each case, and we’ve had to adapt those settings to our systems. Sombra is continually working on integrating vendors’ product inventory and many other variables.

I believe that the coding is done on Java, and we have a MySQL database. We use Jenkins for task management, and GitHub for deployments.

I’m currently working with three members of Sombra’s team, each with a wide range of capabilities. Our tasks can range from uploading a new vendor, to improving trading reports, and all the way to integrating a new marketplace. Each member of Sombra’s team should be able to handle these tasks.

I work closely with Sombra’s founder as well as with their CTO in case anything’s needed, I need to add a new person to the team, or have big-picture issues to discuss. I’m also considering getting one of Sombra’s project managers to help me with scheduling, tasking and prioritizing.

How did you come to work with Sombra?

It was a straightforward process. One of my consultants posted on oDesk (now Upwork), and we interviewed Sombra, along with a few other agencies. We felt very comfortable with them and their experience. We had a trial period and solidified the relationship. We’ve been working together ever since.

How much have you invested with Sombra?

The cost of Sombra’s work has been around $125,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Sombra in June 2015.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Every time we’ve brought in a new vendor and integrated them into our system, that vendor generated new sales. This may not be specific to Sombra’s involvement, but they are helping our company grow by improving integrations. Without our system, we wouldn’t have been able to scale. We have eight-figure yearly sales.

How did Sombra perform from a project management standpoint?

They’ve been very communicative. I talk to Sombra’s team on a daily basis, and they’ve been flexible with timing, adapting to our time zone. They’ve helped during emergencies, working over the weekend. We use Asana for project management, in which we create tasks for each member. We also use Skype for discussing timelines and so on. I am currently acting as project manager.

What did you find most impressive about Sombra?

They’ve been very flexible and adaptable. I’ve been able to get close to our founders and team, and they have visited us in the U.S. They’re great and loyal people, going above and beyond in order to help the client. This is something I appreciate, and it’s why we’ve been able to build such a great relationship. I trust Sombra, and never have to overthink our work.

Are there any areas Sombra could improve?

Sombra is close to university areas, so they can bring in a lot of college talent. Those resources are good, but they sometimes need a bit of work. There can be a ramp-up period for a person to become comfortable with the necessary skills for a project, or with their understanding of the requirements. It would be nicer to have more ready-to-go people, but this is asking for a lot.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We communicate on a daily basis, discuss tasks, and I receive a daily report of Sombra’s accomplishments and upcoming game plan. If I ask for something to be done, it will be done immediately.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The cost is good, but it’s also relative. Sombra is competitive compared to the Eastern Europe market, but the cost has been slowly going up. It would be very hard for me to find the same quality of work for the price I’m getting, so I can’t complain.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’ve been able to take a broken product and not only fix it, but also expand it. Sombra is very flexible in its ability to increase team members, as our company has grown. They’re loyal, trustworthy and always available in times of emergency.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would highly recommend Sombra.

Java Expertise for Software Defined Networking Solution

"[T]hey especially stand out in terms of [Java] subject-matter expertise."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
July 2015 - Ongoung
Project summary: 

Sombra provides a dedicated team of backend Java experts to work on a software-defined network solution. Other relevant technologies include Scala and Play frameworks, as well as ReactJS and MongoDB.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Hyderabad, India
Founder, Software Provider
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sombra stands apart from other offshore teams for their excellence, from coding to communication to project management. They have become a trusted part of the client’s core operations.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We are a startup company working with software-defined networks. We work predominantly on automation and rudimentary machine-learning around analytics and statistics.

What is your position?

I am the founder and CEO of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Sombra?

We were developing our high-level solution for software-defined networks. We needed some additional firepower on our team; specifically, we needed experts in Java. We came across Sombra, and they have become a part of our team.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail.

Sombra is working as a dedicated team of resources for us. They are predominantly working on Java-based technologies, including the Scala and Play frameworks. We have also used ReactJS for a brief time. Sombra also helped us with some MongoDB activities but to a limited extent. Their work has been predominantly on the backend.

How did you come to work with Sombra?

We found Sombra by chance while we were looking to outsource the extra work that our internal team couldn't handle. We found them to be consistent and professional in their returns. It took us six months to build enough trust in order to bring in Sombra as part of our core team.

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

The cost of Sombra has been between $100,000 and $150,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Sombra in July 2015.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We haven't consciously tracked any metrics. We are still operating in startup mode and have a continuous scrum process.

How did Sombra perform from a project management standpoint?

Sombra has had outstanding performance. We initially saw them as another offshore team, but have come to have very high expectations from them. We treat them as our own employees.

What distinguishes Sombra from other providers?

Sombra has a combination of good-quality work and communication, but they especially stand out in terms of subject-matter expertise. They have helped us improve our internal team as well.

Is there anything Sombra could have improved or done differently?

When we started, there was a bit of a gap in the communication. Sombra had a good approach to fixing this; I don't think that our relationship would have continued otherwise. Looking back two years, compared to now, Sombra has gone through a phenomenal effort in this regard.

5.0
Overall Score I have no complaints.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Sombra has rarely missed deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Sombra is definitely affordable, relative to the quality they're delivering. They're a profitable choice for us.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Quality has always been amazing. Sombra's members have always been subject-matter experts. These days, we don't even check their recommendations.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SMS Platform and Web & Mobile App for Experience Measurement

"Sombra has the capability to translate business understanding into technical language."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Aug. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sombra designed a software platform with SMS and email functions for soliciting easy shop or call-center client feedback. The developers supply ongoing support and will assist with a new venture. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Denmark
Henrik Andersen
Founder, CXM Business Services
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The platform has expanded in complexity but preserves a simple and clutter-free UI. Sombra communicates well and seeks clarification whenever necessary, ensuring minimal product errors or workflow issues. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We are a developer and vendor of software for commercial customer experiences. Our solution allows clients to provide quick feedback from their experience with a shop or after a call-center session through the push of a button. The questions asked are tailored based on whatever the companies want to measure. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Sombra?

I needed to build my company's platform. 

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail.

Sombra developed my platform. It has SMS and email functionalities and can deliver questionnaires. We've also developed the ability for the software to run unsynchronized, without an internet connection, after implementing it in a shop with a very bad connection. The platform has become much more complex over time in terms of functionality, although it continues to be easy to use and unobtrusive from a customer’s perspective.

How did you come to work with Sombra?

I have worked in software development for 10 years, using sites like Elance (currently Upwork) and contracting people from India, Pakistan, Canada, or the US. I came across Sombra on Upwork and have stuck with them for the last couple of years.

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

The cost of Sombra’s work has been around $40,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Sombra in August 2015. They continue to provide development support, and I am looking to start a new venture with Sombra for another company. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

Any issues with revenue are my responsibility, so I can't comment there. We do have one bug which seems to bother me. We have an Agile process for fine-tuning the platform, and that issue pops up with every iteration. I don't know if it's related to improper management on Sombra’s part, but they need to make some manual configurations to address this. It's a small drawback.

How did Sombra perform from a project management standpoint?

Sombra has been very good at requesting requirements upfront, especially compared to other companies I've used that started development regardless of missing or unclear details. Sombra communicates well, without requiring daily updates. One nightmare situation with another company was having to spend an hour each day in order to manage their work. I've been able to get away from that with Sombra.

The collaboration is positive in general. We don't use any project tracking software like JIRA, at least not in the collaboration with me. I can break down functional requirements, while Sombra will put together timelines in a pure-text email. That's what we use generally, and it works well.

What distinguishes Sombra from other providers?

Sombra has the capability to translate business understanding into technical language. They've bridged this quite well, and it's the biggest reason I've stuck to Sombra. They can understand what I'm trying to accomplish, so if I suggest a solution, they will give me insight into it. It's more than developing up to requirements and leaving it up to me to get the solution working.

Is there anything Sombra could have improved or done differently?

We've had some discussions around working through a fixed scope, but this is just a financial issue. 

4.5
Overall Score Everyone can improve, but it would be hard for me to specify how.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Things could always improve, but they could also be worse. Sombra has been available whenever I've needed and met our timelines. The limitation is Sombra's inability to provide a complete project plan. I don't personally need this, but another client may.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    There's a good match between price and quality.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I'm not too keen on giving perfect scores, but Sombra deserves it, given all that they've done.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer