We're passionate about building great software

Sphere Software has built innovative software solutions for industry leaders since 2005.  With headquarters in Chicago and regional offices in New York, Miami, Buenos Aires, and Eastern Europe, Sphere is a global company with a local focus and a national presence.

Sphere routinely helps a wide range of clients from start-ups to Fortune 100 by transforming initial visions into effective technological products.

 

Our consulting and development services include: CTO Advisory, Technology Strategy, Enterprise Architecture, Agile Mobile & Web Custom Applications, DevOps Engineering, Atlassian Service & Support, Solution Architecture, Staff Augmentation, Cloud Solutions, Big Data Analytics, NetSuite implementation, Chatbot Development, and UX / UI Design.

Our technology expertise includes: Ruby on Rails, Python, Go, Scala, Java, React.js, Node.js, .NET, Clojure, PHP, Kubernetes.

We believe in the unlimited potential for new uses of open-source technologies.  And we are true evangelists of a modern agile methodology that guides every step of our hybrid software development model.

 
$10,000+
 
Undisclosed
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2005
Show all +
Northbrook, IL
headquarters
  • 2121 2ND STREET
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    United States
other locations
  • Evkentiya Hvoyka street
    KIev 03134
    Ukraine
  • Rokosovskogo street
    MInsk 220094
    Belarus
  • 1 Mark Square, Hackney
    London EC2A 4EG
    United Kingdom
  • 701 Brazos St
    Austin, TX 78701
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Buzzfeed, Tumblr, Nokia, Subway, Land's End, Sears, Bass Pro Shops, Beachbody, Morningstar, Groupon, ING Bank, Delta Dental, Gett, BluVector, Berlingske Media, Chicago Stock Exchange, Kuoni, Enova, Ideeli, OneMain, Fuse Universal

Reviews

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Software Dev for B2B Marketing Agency

“They listened to what we needed and proactively took charge of the project.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Feb. - Jun. 2019
Project summary: 

Sphere Software conducted an audit of a company’s technology assets, evaluating the quality and cost of each product. They interviewed customers and reviewed code to ensure the technology met expectations.

The Reviewer
 
11-50
 
Aurora, Illinois
CEO, B2B Marketing Agency
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sphere Software maintained clear communication and had excellent project management.  They worked quickly and thoroughly, providing numerous services in a short period of time. Their work will most likely save $750,000 in an acquisition negation, making the partnership well worth it.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO of a marketing agency that mainly does B2B lead generation for technical companies.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sphere Software?

We were considering acquiring another agency with a number of technology assets, and we wanted a partner who could conduct our technical due diligence and ensure we were getting what we wanted.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a general understanding of the technology owned by the company we were acquiring, but Sphere Software came on as the technical brain to establish the credibility of our management team. They conducted research to determine how the products were built and what it would cost to maintain and grow them. They provided estimations on what it would take to integrate the products with our own technology and even evaluated the quality of the existing code. They collected as much information as possible, including through customer interviews and an audit of the other agency’s books.

Their code review was comprehensive and thorough, evaluating the code of multiple applications and in various languages, such as Ruby on Rails and Elixir. Their valuation also probed the database and a number of web agents, ensuring that what we were buying from the company would be able to do what they said it could.

What is the team composition?

We worked with numerous individuals, including a technical lead and experts in frontend development, databases, mobile apps, UI, and Jira. We also hired a few business analysts.

How did you come to work with Sphere Software?

I’d heard about them before and knew some of their previous work. When we started this project, we had a conversation, and they seemed like a good fit, so I hired them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent about $65,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project lasted from February–June 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Based on the due diligence they performed, they found that the other agency’s valuation expectations were far too high. They pulled together a number of red flags, which we’ve been able to reference in our negotiations with the other company. As of now, it looks like Sphere Software will end up saving us about $750,000 when the revised acquisition is finalized.

How did Sphere Software perform from a project management standpoint?

We had no issues with their project management; they were always spot on. We used Jira, Slack, and Confluence to communicate and manage the project.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They listened to what we needed and proactively took charge of the project.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of any ways they could’ve improved.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

If possible, hire someone on your end to be solely dedicated to interfacing with Sphere Software. We didn’t have a position like that, so I often delayed their progress because I had my daily responsibilities as well.

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

Custom Software Dev for Financial Services Company

"Their deep understanding of the financial industry was impressive and unique."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
July 2015 - Jan. 2016
Project summary: 

Sphere Software provided development for a custom software project. They built both the front- and backend and created features for calculation and languages.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
CEO, Financial Services Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The development was completed on time and according to existing requirements. The business has seen great success since finishing the collaboration. As a team, Sphere Software was insightful and intelligent on relevant industry information. The engagement was seamless and productive.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO and founder of a financial services company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sphere Software?

I hired Sphere Software to help with custom software development.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They created the backend and frontend for a consumer finance app based on wireframes we provided. Within the platform, they built the tool for calculating interest and regulation languages. Our customers can now use and apply for services within the app.

What is the team composition?

They provided a project manager and 1–2 developers.

How did you come to work with Sphere Software?

When I was working at my previous company, I had worked with Sphere Software. When this project came up, I knew I wanted their expertise so I contacted them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent around $500,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from July 2015–January 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’re still using the platform they helped us build. Since then, we’ve generated a significant amount of revenue and have grown our company. Sphere Software has definitely contributed to our success.

How did Sphere Software perform from a project management standpoint?

They managed the project very well. Their team worked with us every step of the way. Our primary forms of communication were phone and email.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their deep understanding of the financial industry was impressive and unique. We valued that they had relevant information when working on the backend.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Although they still completed the project quickly, they anticipated it taking 4–5 months but it took 5–6 instead.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Partner with Sphere Software and allow them to help with project management. If you collaborate on the work, you’ll avoid any miscommunications.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were great at scheduling with us.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality was great.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Custom Software Platform UX & Dev for Title Lender

"We could not have achieved these positive results in the specified timeline without their help."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2011 - 2014
Project summary: 

Sphere Software augmented resources for a web platform project. The team used Ruby on Rails and provided full-stack development resources.

The Reviewer
 
501-1000 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Former Director of IT, Financial Services Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team created value with skilled resources and quick deliveries. Working on site, Sphere Software was instrumental with design and architecture planning. The platform’s potential profitability became readily apparent as the engagement progressed. Expect them to have a flexible approach.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I was the director of IT for a financial services company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sphere Software?

The company was a division of a title lender with a brick and mortar presence. They wanted to launch an online division and brought us in to build the web platform from scratch. We needed to augment our development staff with Ruby on Rails resources. Since the language was in demand at the time, we needed an affordable vendor that could scale staff as needed.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Sphere Software provided full-stack Ruby on Rails development for the web platform and accompanying mobile sites. Some of their resources worked on site in our Chicago office.

My involvement ended when our parent company, which was based in Georgia, relocated the project to their headquarters. None of our team wanted to move to Georgia.

What is the team composition?

The 4–6-person team mainly comprised developers and a few designers.

How did you come to work with Sphere Software?

The parent company recruited our team from another firm that had partnered with Sphere Software. Since we had a good working relationship, we decided to use them for this project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them from 2011–2014.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Sphere Software provided quality engineers and moved quickly. That efficient service benefitted our parent company, which supported the project with no incoming revenue from the platform. Importantly, the team got the solution up and running to demonstrate the potential ROI. We could not have achieved these positive results in the specified timeline without their help.

How did Sphere Software perform from a project management standpoint?

They became a true part of our team after onboarding. We didn’t treat them any differently than in-house employees. Our team included Sphere Software in every architecture and design planning meeting.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Sphere Software was flexible, readily working on a variety of tasks and processes both remotely and in person. Unlike other offshore developers that rely on smart junior developers, the team leveraged senior-level engineers. That investment in resources contributed to the project’s success.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Occasionally, they needed additional resources for certain tasks and scaling the team took extra time. But that’s not a complaint as we went through the same process on our side. They had a deep pool of qualified developers to select from, which was advantageous for the nature of our collaboration.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Plan ahead as much as possible. Realizing that the engagement requires more resources than expected can be one of the biggest pain points for any development project. It’s wiser to pay more for senior engineers because they maximize value. When staffing the team, ensure that every developer comprehends the business goals and challenges thoroughly. That level of understanding can make a good developer a great developer.

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

Mobile App Development for Salad Company

“They actively suggested ways to improve the project, but they didn’t push us to take their advice.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Mar. 2016 - Jan. 2018
Project summary: 

Sphere Software completed the Android version and fully developed the iOS version of a report-sharing platform to help a salad company share information both internally and externally.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Harleysville, Pennsylvania
Lauren Pupillo
Marketer, Salad Bar Tenders
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The application improved internal operations and client relationships, providing a secure channel to distribute information. Sphere Software managed the project efficiently, consistently responding to concerns within a day. They delivered a high-quality product using their knowledge and skill.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I’m a marketer at Salad Bar Tenders. We’re a salad manufacturer and distributor, and we also train supermarkets in how to properly maintain a salad bar.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Sphere Software?

We were using carbon paper to collect reports on what our employees were doing at our client’s supermarkets. One copy was filed in our office, one was sent to our customer’s headquarters, and the final one stayed in the store. We wanted to automate this process, so we needed a solution that could generate, distribute, and organize the reports.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted to allow both clients and employees to see reports so they can be sure any problems are being addressed. If upper management had access to the reports, we could create a system of accountability for customers and staff.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

We started the project with a different vendor, but there were a lot of problems. We decided to find a new company, and we came across Sphere Software.

Describe the project in detail.

We provided Sphere Software with the Android app we’d started with the previous vendor. They fixed all of the issues and provided me with an improved solution. Then, we started working on the iOS version. Now, the report-sharing platform is accessible for all of our clients and employees.

What was the team composition?

We worked directly with a project manager and two developers.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

Our employees are more efficient because they don’t have to carry around paper anymore. We have more confidence in our reporting process because we have a secure way to distribute information to everyone that needs it and collect instant feedback. We’re also helping the environment by eliminating our paper waste.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

They were great in terms of project management. We agreed on a 24-hour response time at the beginning of the engagement, and everyone respected that rule.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

They actively suggested ways to improve the project, but they didn’t push us to take their advice. I wasn’t aware of the latest technology, so I was thankful that they shared their knowledge.

Are there any areas for improvement?

I would like a bit more step-by-step explanations of their process so we could keep a closer watch on their progress. We weren’t given access to their project management software, which I don’t completely understand.

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

User Portal Tool Dev for 401k Servicing Company

“The system makes it easy to have uniformity across our websites and also reduces design costs.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
June - Sept. 2018
Project summary: 

Sphere Software worked on a user portal, updating the design and UX/UI. They implemented a new design component system and integrated a new admin reporting tool into the platform.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
California
Executive, 401k Servicing Platform
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sphere Software had hardworking developers and created customized solutions tailored to the project needs. Their communication was sometimes lacking, but they worked hard to keep it consistent and effective.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the director of product management at a 401k servicing platform that enables small and medium-sized businesses to offer a 401k plan to their employees. We provide our clients with investment advising, plan administrations, and recordkeeping services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sphere Software?

We had a good user portal for our customers, but we needed to improve the UX/UI.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Sphere Software developed a design component system, an infrastructure that allows us to store and easily access all of our design components in one location. In a sense, they helped us rebuild the foundational blocks of our portal. Two different types of clients access our system: employer administrators who manage all of the employee plans, and individual employees who want to access their 401k information. Sphere Software helped create a new admin reporting tool that provides the plan administrators readily accessible reports.

What is the team composition?

We worked with 2–3 engineers. One was in the U.S., and the others were in Ukraine.

How did you come to work with Sphere Software?

I worked with them at my previous job. They did good work and understood project requirements, so we hired them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from June–September 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The system makes it easy to have uniformity across our websites and also reduces design costs. Sphere Software met all of our goals.

How did Sphere Software perform from a project management standpoint?

We were happy with their work. They were great at understanding and executing on our requirements. They presented various solutions customized to our partnership and specific needs, which we appreciated.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The engineers were diligent and hardworking. Our account manager was always in touch with us to make sure things were going well.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Communication could’ve been better, but that’s always a concern with overseas teams. They could’ve been more proactive in setting clearer expectations.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

Give them clear requirements. Don’t assume that they know exactly what you want.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I'd definitely recommend them.

Team Extension Services for Video Learning Company

“Whenever we need engineering talent, we know we can count on them to provide it.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sphere Software collaborates with an in-house development team to create e-learning technology. Using Ruby on Rails, they implement and test new software features. They also developed native mobile apps.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Brijesh Sagar
VP Engineering, Fuse Universal
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Their engineers have embedded well into in-house teams and their service has been vital to bringing the software out of MVP stage. They have a deep bench of talent and are easily able to scale up for large projects. Developers are engaged, easy to work with, and deliver strong results.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the VP of engineering at Fuse Universal. We’re a market leader in delivering next-generation e-learning experiences. We primarily serve B2B customers, including several large telecom clients, but our primary audience is small to medium enterprises.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sphere Software?

We initially hired them to refine the MVP of our product several years ago and wanted to keep them on as a continuous engineering provider to supplement our in-house team.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They currently help us develop and refine features on our e-learning platform. They built the majority of it with us, so they handle the development needs as those arise. The platform’s primarily built with Ruby on Rails, but we’ve also developed native mobile apps for iOS and Android. Since they’ve helped us build the platform from the ground up, they generally take the lead on developing solutions for it. We provide them with the design and explain what kind of functionality we want, but they create and implement the technical solutions.

What is the team composition?

We work with between 20 and 30 developers, including team leads, senior developers, and test engineers.

How did you come to work with Sphere Software?

I believe we were introduced to them by another development partner based here in the UK who’d been working with us on our MVP.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in 2011 and they’re still with us.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They’ve become a core part of our team. They’ve had a huge impact on the way our product has developed, especially in how they implement new features. They’ll go all-in to help us meet deadlines and they offer suggestions on where to go next.

How did Sphere Software perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re embedded into our teams, so we’re constantly communicating. They’re involved in building the Agile practices for software engineering. We have regular meetings with everyone on the development team. In addition, the headquarters responds quickly whenever we need to bring on more engineers. They also react promptly if we have issues with an individual developer, either working with that person or swapping in someone else.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their ability to scale has been invaluable. Whenever we need engineering talent, we know we can count on them to provide it, even if we need a large number of people. The developers who’ve come in have all been highly engaged with the work and are easy to work with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The only issue we’ve run into is that they could vet their developers more thoroughly. We’ve occasionally received people whose skills didn’t line up with what they promised on their resumes.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Make sure your development stories are very clear and work with the developers to ensure that everyone’s on the same page in terms of understanding what to do. I’d also recommend being diligent about deadlines so everything stays on track.

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

Blockchain & Chatbot Projects for Fintech Startup

“They’ve had a high impact in a specific field.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sphere Software provided chatbot development and implementation, and blockchain-run smart contract development. Their work included UI/UX, blockchain, AI development, and QR, among other features.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Montreal, Canada
Executive, Fintech Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Both services produced excellent results, gaining positive feedback from customers, the in-house tech team, and relevant stakeholders. They are knowledgeable, skilled, and dedicated to delivering quality, quickly rectifying any issues and making a strong contribution to the company’s growth.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the executive chairman of a fintech startup. We have operations in Brazil, focused on providing unsecured personal credit and financial literacy tools to the Brazilian middle class.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sphere Software?

We had numerous challenges, including the security of customer information, and our operational efficiency, in terms of providing a seamless and fast customer experience. We also wanted to always be at the forefront of technological innovations. Finally, we were concerned about cost efficiency. We didn’t want to do things ourselves when we can get it done better, cheaper, faster elsewhere.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We first worked on a chatbot. The challenge was efficiency, cost, and automation. Around 80% of our calls make up for 20% of possible questions, and those can often be basic—many of the questions are easy and quick to answer, but there’s a high volume of them.

We decided to automate one part of our customer service using a chatbot implementation. Their team helped us structure a knowledgebase, which was later automated on the messaging platform via a chatbot. For instance, a customer could open a chat with us asking about their next due date. We would ask a couple of ID validation questions, and the chatbot would return an answer.

They also helped us develop a smart contract. Sometimes, our customers will either forget or intentionally challenge the fact that they took out a loan, in order to avoid paying it back. We’re an online fintech, so we’re not going to send out paper forms for people to sign, as that would be hugely inconvenient, expensive, and time-consuming. On the other hand, we needed something that was digital, yet still enforceable in a court of law.

We’ve come up with a smart contract that runs on blockchain. The lending contracts are registered, and they’re provable, using blockchain. They can be easily exported into PDF format and validated by anyone. This represents a huge step forward for us, both in terms of ability to enforce contracts and in leveraging blockchain as a real tool.

What is the team composition?

I usually work with 2–4 people from their team, depending on the exact nature of the task. When we need more development talent and UI people the team may expand to four people. On the smart contracts, the team was around three people.

How did you come to work with Sphere Software?

I’ve known Leon (CEO, Sphere Software) for a long time now, and it’s why I turned to him to meet our needs. The company I used to work also used their services. I always heard excellent feedback from my tech team about them, their quality, and their cost.

Leon has a unique structure, which I call “onshore/offshore”, whereby he’s sometimes able to make available offshore people who are onshore for specific amounts of time. This is cheaper, but it also enhances the skillset and knowledge of those people. I thought that it was a rather unique business model, which had a number of advantages.

What is the status of this engagement?

Within my current startup, we started working with them two years ago.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They’ve had a high impact in a specific field. We have our own in-house tech team, so we don’t rely on them to run our entire tech stack. However, the things we’ve asked them to do were very important for the growth of our business and its cost control. We were able to outsource those tasks and see good results.

In terms of quality, we look at whether the deliverables were done on time and budget or below. From a qualitative or customer perspective, we check if the products work as they need to, if they break or if people are complaining, and if the tech team reports any problems with the build. I’ve only heard the best types of reviews. The chatbot worked, and any issues were fixed by the Sphere team. The smart contracts work, and we’ve demonstrated them to the central bank. It’s important for our company’s credibility, and they delivered.

How did Sphere Software perform from a project management standpoint?

They’ve always been very good from a project management perspective. They responded within the limits we agreed to. Some of their people would be working from Ukraine, so their hours would be different, but we were able to set up chat sessions that overlapped with our schedules.

Whenever I needed to discuss something more strategic or high-level, I’d get a hold of Leon or his COO, and they’d always make themselves available. They've always provided excellent quality of service.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We were able to leverage a number of specialists within Sphere—we were given access to an impressive variety of specialists, including a top UI/UX designer, a blockchain expert, someone specializing in chatbots and AI algorithms, and a developer who worked on a small QR piece of code. The sheer scope of talent and knowledge they were able to deliver was really helpful.

The other part is that Sphere was able to provide near-onshore quality at near-offshore prices. The value for money is really high with them, as opposed to some of the alternatives.

Are there any areas they could improve?

It’s hard to think of any glaring problems.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

My advice to a Sphere client would be the same as for the client of any other outsourcer: that they should try and understand what they want to get out of a certain process before making the decision of outsourcing. Once the decision to outsource is made—because of any number of issues like cost, time, efficiency, and so on—they should be specific as to what needs to be done, and spend a little time thinking about the project, the budget, and timelines. They should also discuss what’s going right and what’s going wrong on a periodic basis with the relationship manager.

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

Backend Receipt System for Transportation Service

"They take ownership from the beginning and they have a good ability to hit deadlines..." 

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. - Mar. 2018
Project summary: 

Sphere Software developed a third-party payment receipt system. They created a micro-service that interfaces between an external provider and existing business systems. The system only consists of a backend.

The Reviewer
 
1001-10,000 Employees
 
Israel
Engineering Manager, Transportation Service
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Code quality is strong and bugs are not an issue. Sphere Software is highly communicative and provides a strong pool of resources, which makes them ideal for ongoing partnerships. Although individual resources can always improve, they are dedicated to success and employ a collaborative work style.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the engineering manager at a transportation service. We provide taxis, delivery, and shuttles to private users and companies.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sphere Software?

We work in diverse markets, ranging from the U.S. and U.K., to Israel and Russia, so we need to create software that can work in both robust, and not too robust, online environments. It also has to be able to handle market changes, differing sets of regulations, and fluctuating costs.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

There was a new regulation in Russia that required us to integrate our payment receipt system with a third-party vendor, because of specific formatting issues. Every time someone pays us, we email them a receipt which shows the amount, so it was going to affect all of our projects and transactions. They developed a backend only, micro-service to handle all of that logic, which we integrated into our system.

What is the team composition?

I have two people from Sphere on my team, and one of them worked on the receipt project with us.

How did you come to work with Sphere Software?

When I got here, they were already working with the company. I was very happy with the initial developer we got from them, so I went ahead took another one. I interviewed their selections, both technical and personally, to make sure that I'm getting the right resource. They seem to have a very strong pool of candidates.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked on this project from January until March 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

In terms of quality of code and number of bugs, they’ve been very good. We measure them by the same standard we use for our own employees internally.

How did Sphere Software perform from a project management standpoint?

They take ownership from the beginning and they have a good ability to hit deadlines, communicate, respond quickly, and collaborate. They have great teamwork.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their commitment to finish the work, and putting in the extra effort to finish everything, stood out to us.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Since we work with individual employees, they’re very independent, so I don’t have feedback as a company. Everyone can improve themselves, but it’s all person improvement. I don’t have anything in general.

Any advice for potential customers?

If you pick someone up, be ready with everything they need to complete the work, like technical design documents. Otherwise, they might be idle as they wait for the definition of the work.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    On average, in terms of internal engineers, they're very good.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’m very likely to refer them.

Software Platform Dev for Retail Electricity Supplier

“Sphere is always able to find an expert, no matter the technology.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Summer 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sphere Software developed a software platform within six months. After the platform’s launch, the company fixed bugs and performance issues as they arose. A Sphere developer continues to support the platform.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Founder, Retail Electricity Supplier
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

By providing a development team with a variety of expertise, the Sphere team was able to work in-house to complete the project on time and under budget. Their receptivity to feedback also means they can fix small problems quickly and always find solutions for the ongoing project.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the co-founder and president of a retail electricity supplier. We buy energy on the wholesale markets and deliver it to our customers over their regular power lines, based on their specific energy usage.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sphere Software?

Sometimes we need to supplement our team with an experienced individual with specific expertise, but don’t have the time to find a permanent employee. When Sphere provides us with the expertise we need, we’re able to balance cost, speed, and quality. We’ve been able to use them for several different projects now.

For one project, in particular, we needed to find people skilled in .NET. We do most of our in-house development in Ruby, but we found a source code to a system in .NET that was affordable, so we bought it. We didn’t necessarily want to keep it long term, but we needed someone's expertise to help figure it out. We brought Sphere in to find someone who knew .NET and SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) quickly because we didn’t have any documentation, all we had was a source code that didn't run well.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I don't view our work with Sphere on a per-project basis. It was an undetermined project from the beginning, but it involved data migration and required mastery of various technologies. We were able to get the software platform up and running quickly. After we switched platforms, we spent a few months fixing bugs and addressing emergencies as they arose.

In addition to getting SSIS running, a big part of this project was creating documentation so that when we ultimately need to replace it, we already have a document explaining how it functions. When there's a new implementation, we don't need to dig through the original implementation and can instead leverage that documentation to rewrite it. We're doing that now and it seems to be moving at a good pace.

What is the team composition?

We have a project manager and two developers working on our projects, who were a core part of our team.

How did you come to work with Sphere Software?

A colleague recommended Sphere to me in 2005 when I worked for a different company and were trying to build a platform from scratch. After I started to work on the project and quickly realized we needed help, so we brought them on. Sphere became the group’s go-to partner, but I continued to partner with them when I worked with different companies and thought of them immediately for our current work.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began work on the project in summer 2016, migrated the following December, and then spend a few months fixing bugs and other problems. We still have one developer working on it.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We'd been paying an external vendor about $50,000 a month, but when we brought on Sphere we were able to bring the project in-house. When we stopped working with the external vendor, the project was completed in about six months, which meant the work was completed more efficiently and without the same financial burden.

However, my biggest concern is always project performance, and whether or not that performance can be maintained. Sphere is able to create a well-functioning product, and I consider that successful.

How did Sphere Software perform from a project management standpoint?

We even created internal email and chat accounts, so not only were they available to communicate, they could also be a more prominent part of the team.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Sphere is always able to find an expert, no matter the technology. If I need somebody that knows a particular technology, I can have a few qualified candidates within a couple days, which means I can find a good fit for the project all the sooner. It's important that we're able to leverage new technologies without needing to rely on in-house expertise.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They're very receptive when I ask for something to be fixed or adjusted, but I don't know how much they solicit feedback from other clients. I've worked with them long enough that it's easy for me to immediately tell them what works and what doesn't, but I don't know if that conversation happens as easily with other clients.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

It's important to keep in mind you're working with people in a different time zone and with a different holiday schedule.

Clear communication is also important, particularly if the team isn't local. When software projects fail, it's usually because they didn't communicate requirements or gather necessary information before the project started. Often, we don't communicate certain ideas or concepts because we assume certain knowledge is obvious, but that's not always the case, especially when working with a company overseas. Continue to make incremental improvements so you can learn from what you've already built.

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

Ruby System Dev for Online Lending Company

"We get a consistent number of quality senior engineers."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Using Ruby on Rails and a PostgreSQL database, Sphere Software is developing an online lending platform. The tool is used to transfer funds, manage accounts, and store customer information.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
CIO, Online Lending Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sphere Software ensures total code coverage, documentation coverage, and adherence to company standards. The team constantly takes feedback to improve their workflow and deliverable quality. They provide accurate estimates and learn from any errors.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the CIO of an online lender that offers installment lending and lines of credit.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sphere Software?

We needed to get a new platform up and running quickly, so we contracted some senior engineers through Sphere Software. They built it to our specifications and under our guidance.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Sphere Software developed our online lending platform. They were responsible for everything except the financial internals, which we handled ourselves.

They built the system we use to acquire and store customer information, the system we use to interact with financial institutions and move money, and the system our customer service representatives use to manage customer accounts and deal with customer requests.

We use Ruby on Rails on a PostgreSQL database. They used AngularJS on part of our system, along with CoffeeScript and sundry technologies.

What is the team composition?

They presented resources and we managed the project internally. Sphere Software offers project management, but we didn’t enlist them for that. Our team ranged between three and four offshore developers.

How did you come to work with Sphere Software?

I found them because my boss from another company had a relationship with them. It was essentially word of mouth. We worked with them at prior companies and were satisfied with the resources they found.

What is the status of this engagement?

The current project began in early 2014 and the collaboration is ongoing. They built the system from scratch. We were up and running in a few months, but we’re constantly building and changing lots of things.

Our team included people with whom we’d worked at prior companies. They knew the lay of the land, understood the puzzle we were attacking, and quickly started work with that team.

As they came and went, we brought in new people. Sphere helped us maintain a continuum from that first team. They had good, solid knowledge of what the system does, how to navigate it, and how to change it, which has been good for us.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We review every line of code they write and ask them to make corrections when they do something we don’t want. We educate them on our standards. By and large, they adopt them.

The quality is as good as we can get. We demand 100% code test and documentation coverage, and they give us what we ask for. No code moves to production until this happens. 

We review the quality of their design work. When they create something that could be terribly inefficient in production, we tell them. They learn, improve, and they never do it again.

We generally choose self-driven engineers. We don’t simply take what Sphere Software puts on our team. They hand us candidates, we interview them, and we decide whether we want to work with them. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

We get a consistent number of quality senior engineers. Occasionally, we get some true gems who are really good. I can’t characterize it better than that. Sphere Software secures some very good developers. Not all of them are the best fit for us, but we work them out through the interview process.

They also all speak English well. Some are extremely fluent, while others are good enough to get the job done. We don’t have any complaints.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Contractors and employees make the same effort to improve. We monitor and correct reversions to bad habits as they come up. We remind them to break down and estimate their work. Not many teams do this well, so we have to constantly remind them that it needs to be done. They do it and get back on track.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

To get good value from the collaboration, be actively involved. Choose team members rather than just taking what’s available. Be on top of everything I’ve mentioned. There is no magic solution. No contractors can deliver the best team in the world. You must work to make that happen.

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