Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
Two years ago, when we brought our new site live, it replaced the old system overnight. In doing so, given that everything was new, I expected the house to be on fire for weeks. Everyone was on-deck, ready to jump in at any moment. When the site went live, everything worked. We did find a couple of bugs, but everything was fully-functional to the point of making me think that it was offline, given the lack of issues.
I've done this for a long time, but our site was the biggest turn-up that I've been a part of.
Another factor of success is that, with Wide Open Technologies' help, we have implemented some world-class metrics and analytics through which we run the business on a day-to-day basis. Because of the way in which we architected the site, we can see every detail of our business, and take action on it. I am willing to put our analytics against anybody else's, including much larger companies. This is in great part because of Wide Open Technologies and their efforts in helping us get the work right.
How did Wide Open Technologies perform from a project management standpoint?
We have implemented some processes in working with Wide Open Technologies, which have been helpful. We have an Agile scrum methodology, tracking and iterating tasks together with Wide Open Technologies. This enables us not only to make things happen, but also to manage the project. I have weekly calls with our project manager from Wide Open Technologies, during which we review the week and talk about the priorities for the following one. From a project management point of view, we've been very pleased.
What did you find most impressive about Wide Open Technologies?
Our CEO is the person who engaged Wide Open Technologies. He's somewhat of a dreamer, so as I said, we didn't work off of specs, but rather had many discussions and made multiple changes. Wide Open Technologies' ability to listen and help us create a product has been notable. Any development company can take up a task when they're told what to do. With Wide Open Technologies, the differentiator was that they understood our business to a level at which they could offer both taking a hill, if that's what we wanted, but also going around it, if that was the easier option. Because they understand our business, Wide Open Technologies can think of the right answer, instead of just listening to what we want them to do. We can be wrong, but Wide Open Technologies is very consultative in helping us at those times.
Are there any areas Wide Open Technologies could improve?
Anything that I could say about Wide Open Technologies, I could say about anyone else.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Wide Open Technologies?
Whenever a client works with a third party which is outside of their company, there will be specific issues. The vendor's team will not be 100% dedicated to our needs, so we have to be sensitive to the fact that we can have our heads deep into a problem which needs solving, but our partner may need to jump off and solve other people's problems for a while.