Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
Our ability handle user data has increased exponentially; we can upload and process significantly more video than before. Every new update we make brings a smoother, faster, and more efficient platform.
How did Utility perform from a project management standpoint?
I am not used to working in the tech world; I don't know how long things should take and how the process world. Utility has been instrumental in translating what we were asking for into an actual product, but also providing some education to us as far as how things are built and what the timelines are. From a responsiveness point of view, Utility was always there for us, making progress and keeping us updated about it.
We've had a big launch with a partner, and needed to make sure that the latest update would be up and ready. It was for the NFL's on-location experience within the travel arm for the London Games. We had to make sure that we'd be ready prior to the event, so Utility worked round the clock for weeks - maybe even a month - getting our platform ready in time. Never along the way was I concerned that we wouldn't be making the target. Utility gave me feedback and progress reports, letting me know if we needed to push harder on something or if we needed to make different choices based on our timeline. Utility always made us a part of the process.
Utility uses Trello for tracking progress and sharing feedback and ideas. I can use it to drop in priorities or tasks which can be put in the backlog. From a communication standpoint, it's great.
What distinguishes Utility from other providers?
The other developers we spoke to tried to tell us how our product needed to fit in the space. Utility really listened to what we were going for and tried to make the space fit with our product, if that makes any sense.
We created a platform that transfers video from place to place and has an internal marketplace where freelance editors can come in and select projects to work on. They can download and upload material, as well as use a communication platform between them, the producers and the customers.
We wanted to use our entertainment industry perspective on how workflows should be, from a creative and communication standpoint. Utility was very open about learning that and making sure that they created something that coincided with what we were looking for based on our past experiences.
Is there anything Utility could have improved or done differently?
The criticism is not a fault of Utility's. In any business, we will only be able to move at a certain speed. We can't make computers render work faster, and there are other limitations. It's simply a fact of being used to working in a certain way; timelines don't translate from industry to industry. Utility needed to educate us on this front. How they've approached everything has been good for us.
Early on, I didn't find the design of the platform to be as good as it could be. During our process, Utility brought on some new people, and the design elevated from our starting point.
Do you have any recommendations for others considering working with Utility?
If the client has worked with agencies like Utility before, the process is not going to be something new. It's a function of the business. In the edit bay, I can ask someone to finish a task in one hour that should have taken three hours and they can do it, because a human can work faster, compared to putting the work into a box and asking it to render.
If design is a critical aspect, I would explore where Utility is at the moment. Clients may want to bring on a designer who can liaise with Utility if their skills are not up to the standard. Everything else, in terms of workflow, efficiency, and functionality, is top notch.