What was the scope of their involvement?
Tivix was given the system requirements and told to come up with an effective design and solution that would be put into service.
The system is a Command and Control system, C2 system, or a C4ISR system. Command and Control is a huge concept. There are a lot of different layers of C2. People typically focus on the operational level, tactical level, or executional level of C2 systems. This is higher up on the stack as it is a planning and coordination tool that effectively allows the user to coordinate any rescue or intervention of a submarine.
It identifies the closest assets to the distressed submarine and coordinates all of the rescue assets, rescue capabilities, and medical capabilities that may be needed to assist with getting people from the bottom of the seabed back to the surface through a series of escapes and rescues.
When I held the kickoff meeting, I needed them to understand why this was important. They needed to imagine that they were in a box with no lights on at the bottom of the sea, and the temperature is going down. They would be developing a system that would give people in dire situations hope.
What is the team composition?
Their team was made up of a sales manager, a product owner, a project manager, they had their principal technical architects and they had two graphic designers and digital designers, and they also have some testers. There were eight full-time developers on the project as well.
When they submitted their bid, they submitted it as being based in San Francisco where they had been based on Clutch. Most of the work has been done through their office in Poland. It is certainly not a problem for us, but the only constraint we had was that all the work had to be inside a NATO country because NATO was funding this. It could not be given to a non-NATO country. We principally have worked with people from Poland although one or two of their staff were based in Vancouver and New York.
How did you come to work with Tivix?
Through Clutch, I identified a couple of companies that I believed could help us with this project.
We had a very short timescale for this and it was a pretty small project. We wanted to find a new company with young, energetic, vibrant, and keen people with a reason to prove themselves for their careers. I also wanted a company that had worked on similarly sized projects.
I identified several companies through Clutch and really did my research. I used Clutch to read the reviews around the company, do my own research, and out of the 10 companies I identified, Tivix was one of those.
I reviewed their catalog to make sure they had done projects that were similar (in terms of size and complexity), and I noticed they had done some work with UNICEF. It had a good design and they stood up well. They appeared to have the quality and the complexity that I was interested in because the ISMERLO system had a very short timescale and it also was very complex.
Tivix delivered their bid to us and I was incredibly impressed from the start. They only had four weeks to come up with their bid and we asked for a lot of details. They were able to come up with a semi-working prototype of the system that we wanted.
They knew that this was a big project that could showcase for future clients, and that was very motivating. They're incredibly motivated and dedicated people to work with throughout.
How much have you invested in them?
They have been paid just south of €500,000 (approximately $600,000 USD).
What is the status of this engagement?
The contract was signed in late December last year, and my first face to face meeting with them was in their office in London in January 2020.
The project is due to be completed in November, and I am going to be in Poland next week with the team running, what we call, train the trainers, which is where we train some of the senior users to be experts in the system so that they can go off and train the community worldwide, and with 41 nations involved in this project, we need to send people all around the world to make sure that people are trained. The idea is to have project closure and final system acceptance in the first week of November. Then we are looking to enter into the maintenance phase of the project.
We are sticking with Tivix for the 2021 maintenance contract, which demonstrates how happy we are with the work done.