What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We reached our first milestone—introducing a pilot phase to a few users—in January 2019. Using their feedback and some other ideas, we’re further developing the application and preparing to scale it for use by hundreds of users.
How did Sophilabs perform from a project management standpoint?
Based on agile methods used by other companies, I expected to be in daily scrum meetings, but Sophilabs proved early on that they work well with little supervision. It was evident that I didn’t have to be that involved, which allowed me to tend to other tasks. If Sophilabs ran into any issues, they communicated those to us. We still meet weekly and provide feedback. I’d say we have an appropriate amount of touchpoints.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Halfway through our engagement with the vendor that made our prototype, I was convinced that the firm was not going to be able to deliver what we needed. That’s when I engaged with Sophilabs, and within 6–8 weeks, they delivered a version that was already superior to the first vendor’s. Sophilabs presented us with a product that we were proud to show people.
Sophilabs showcases increased attention to user experience and usability. They’ve identified elements that we hadn’t thought about. They think through features end-to-end. They’re also unafraid to push back when they feel they need to. Our team entered with preconceived notions of how the app should function, but they made a strong case for why it wouldn’t work that way. They’ve challenged us to think about problems in a different way.
Further, I appreciate how well Sophilabs handles their business. I’m impressed by how they manage internal processes, onboard staff, and gather information. Other firms talk about their success in those areas, but it’s just lip service. Sophilabs delivers on what they say.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Most software developers will have an inception workshop, and I believe the best ones are held over multiple sessions with different stakeholders. Sophilabs’ workshop was two sessions and didn’t allow us to be as in-depth as we would have liked.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
I think there’s definite value in selecting the right developer. Future clients should evaluate the maturity of an offshore developer—the amount of rework necessary and the gaps in communication will end up making offshore resources costlier unless the partner has good internal processes and a mature software development lifecycle. Sophilabs is mindful of doing things well the first time.