Mobile Innovation Agency

Gold
VERIFIED

WillowTree® is an industry-leading mobile and digital product agency. 

Since 2007, our team of award-winning mobile strategists, UX/UI designers, and software engineers have delivered over 1000 mobile and digital solutions to the world's leading enterprise and consumer-facing companies, including: 21st Century Fox, Regal Cinemas, Synchrony Financial, National Geographic, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

 

 

Service Offerings

  • Product Strategy
  • Prototyping & Concept Development
  • Product Design
  • iOS App Development
  • Android App Development
  • Web App Development
  • Bot and Conversational Interface Development
  • Interactive TV Development
  • Xamarin Development
  • SAP Development
  • Quality Assurance & Automated Testing
  • Mobile Backend Engineering
  • Security & Compliance
  • App Analytics and Reporting
  • Growth Marketing
 
$100,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
250 - 999
 Founded
2007
Show all +
Charlottesville, VA
headquarters
  • 107 5th Street SE
    Charlottesville, VA 22902
    United States
other locations

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Synchrony Financial, 21st Century Fox, National Geographic, CBC, Regal Cinemas, Alliant Credit Union, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, and General Electric

21st Century Fox  Image

21st Century Fox

CBC Image

CBC

WillowTree partnered with CBC to create an omnichannel viewing experience for visitors to Canada's national broadcasting channel. The platform is usable on a variety of devices and has already more than one million monthly streams. 

National Geographic Image

National Geographic

National Geographic contacted WillowTree to develop an interactive app that could adapt to different versions released in different regions of the world. Since creating the mobile app, National Geographic has seen a 600% increase in the amount of time visitors spent watching videos. 

Regal Cinemas Image

Regal Cinemas

Regal Cinemas asked WillowTree to develop an app that would transform the movie-going experience and create a new loyalty program. Since the app launch, Regal Cinemas saw a 290% increase in mobile ticket purchases. Overall, the app has received positive feedback from users. 

General Electric Image

General Electric

ABInBev Image

ABInBev

PepsiCo Image

PepsiCo

Nestle Image

Nestle

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Image

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Synchrony Financial Image

Synchrony Financial

Reviews

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Development of Customer-Facing Website for Nonprofit

"WillowTree's members are experts at what they do and have a deliberate approach ... "

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
Project summary: 

WillowTree created a custom customer-facing responsive website, for desktops and mobile devices. They designed the look and feel and articulated a value proposition to end-customers.

The Reviewer
 
501 - 1001 Employees
 
Washington, DC
Donna Tally
Director, NeighborWorks America
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

As a result of WillowTree's work, this organization saw an increase of about 70% in the number of new inbound leads. This client compliments WillowTree's willingness to go the extra mile.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

NeighborWorks America is a congressionally funded public non-profit organization supporting and funding over 250 other non-profits across the country, working in over 4,000 communities, developing them in a number of different ways. We receive funding from private sector partners, as well as from federal allocations.

I am the director of the sustainable homeownership project. It's focused on a subset of our non-profit members, helping them move from being social service agencies primarily funded by grants and philanthropy to social enterprises working at achieving a double bottom line of mission and profitability. My unit is focused on enabling moderate income families to become homeowners.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with WillowTree?

As a part of my department's activity, I manage a very big tech project developing what we call the "Shop Tech Suite", which is a Salesforce CRM [customer relationship management] platform. It includes a customer-facing technology called Compass, which was developed by WillowTree.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

WillowTree created our customer-facing technology in the form of a responsive website, accessible on both desktops and mobile devices. WillowTree handled the design work, developed a look and feel, while also helping us articulate a value proposition to customers. They maintained the technology, and as we grew and added new organizations, WillowTree ensured that everyone would adopt the technology.

It's a comprehensive system in that, for the first time ever in the 40-year history of our network, our NeighborWorks organizations now have a way of letting their members create accounts and engage in a virtual relationship with the non-profit's staff, as well as access products and services virtually. In essence, this saves a lot of staff time and it's much more cost-effective for the organization, ultimately allowing them to serve more families.

How did you come to work with WillowTree?

We went through a request for proposal process involving multiple firms. What set WillowTree apart was their attitude and approach to customer service. They had an obvious, deliberate intent to provide value to our organization, doing so beyond the financial arrangement. There have been times when WillowTree has had to make accommodations in order to provide us with the value we needed, putting their bottom line second.

How much have you invested with WillowTree?

The cost of WillowTree's work has been at least $500,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with WillowTree three and a half years ago. It's an ongoing relationship.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We've set up each of our non-profits on Google Analytics, allowing them to see their traffic. One of the things which came out as a result of us working with WillowTree is a significant increase of about 70% in the number of new leads coming into the organization. This is a result of the technology built by WillowTree.

It's big for a non-profit to go from having a paper-centric environment where everything was being done in person, to leveraging technology and allowing a virtual relationship with the customer. That has been a breakthrough for our network of groups, and it's what will set the stage for significant growth.

How did WillowTree perform from a project management standpoint?

WillowTree's members are experts at what they do and have a deliberate approach to high-quality customer service.

What did you find most impressive about WillowTree?

Attitude is everything. WillowTree's willingness to go the extra mile and help us in a bind has been outstanding.

Are there any areas WillowTree could improve?

Not really. We threw a lot of urgent work at them, which created a shortage of resources on WillowTree's side. It was mostly because we weren't able to predict our needs, so the gaps in resources were mostly because our project was like a bullet train. We couldn't make the same predictions as many other companies.

As we grow bigger and bigger in our technology endeavor, I would only hope that the partnerships created with other tech firms will be as solid as the one with WillowTree.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    WillowTree has quality customer service.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Financial Services App Development for Credit Union

"WillowTree's team is down to earth, knowledgeable, passionate, and motivated."

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

WillowTree supported the move from an out-of-the-box platform to a Xamarin-built solution accessible on iOS and Android. They lead the frontend design while the client focused on the backend.

The Reviewer
 
201 - 500 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Program Manager, Credit Union
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Compatibility and fluid project management were the focal points of success in this partnership. WillowTree is complimented for bringing strong strategic guidance and design expertise to the table.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We're one of the largest member-owned credit unions in Illinois and one of the largest in the US. 

I am a program manager for the company's digital transformation initiative, which is a five-year program for shifting the majority of our business practices to the digital space.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with WillowTree?

We had a mobile app which had been purchased through a third party and wasn't customizable. It was a basic platform which we shared with many other financial institutions, and it didn't provide the flexibility and adaptability that we were looking for. We have some internal mobile development expertise, but we figured that partnering with an industry leader would be ideal.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

WillowTree brought the expertise and guidance necessary for building our app from the ground up, based on our specifications. They've worked closely with us through a strategy and design engagement, during which we produced wireframes and prototypes which fit our needs. We worked with WillowTree in building a scalable solution.

Our technology group built all APIs and core backend connectivity, while WillowTree designed the frontend. We've worked together on a day-to-day basis, over numerous brainstorming sessions. WillowTree provided Xamarin development for both Android and iOS.

It was important that we would be able to take full ownership of the app for future development, so WillowTree positioned us in a way that would allow taking the work in-house.

How did you come to work with WillowTree?

We went through an exhaustive RFP [request for proposal] effort, meeting with over 12 vendors across the country in order to determine who the right partner would be for building our mobile app. Some of those options had financial experience, while others didn't. We also wanted to find a developer with Xamarin experience, and WillowTree is a preferred Microsoft partner. WillowTree responded well to our RFP, and we were impressed with their expertise and past projects. We narrowed them down to the final two and made a visit to their office. What set WillowTree over the edge was their hospitality; the company had a friendly and homely type of feel, and their culture worked well with ours. The amount of expertise they had on-staff was remarkable as well.

How much have you invested with WillowTree?

We've made a substantial investment in our mobile platform, but I can't provide an exact figure.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with WillowTree in the fourth quarter of 2015. We've had split design and development engagements, spending the first four months on the design. The development kicked off at the beginning of 2016 and ran for 9–10 months. The relationship is ongoing for continued development and refinements for the app.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

WillowTree's work conforms to our standards perfectly.

How did WillowTree perform from a project management standpoint?

We've had numerous site visits over our 14-month engagement in order to build our team dynamic. We had daily standups, and if someone dialed into the call, they wouldn't be able to differentiate between a WillowTree employee and one of our own.

We've brought WillowTree's team to Chicago for a visit and decided to have a team-bonding experience, so we went out to a Cubs game.

What did you find most impressive about WillowTree?

WillowTree's team is down to earth, knowledgeable, passionate, and motivated. We have like-minded principles and passions, and WillowTree felt more like an extension of our team than a vendor.

Are there any areas WillowTree could improve?

Ours was the first large financial services app built by WillowTree, and it would have helped for them to have a bigger background in this area, more importantly in the credit union space. Credit union products and services, while similar to standard banking, have many nuances. We could have spent a little more time in order to have WillowTree understand our intricacies in the backend, and make the design and development a bit easier. There were some glitches in the project, but we were able to work through them quickly, adjusting and adapting as necessary in order to meet the overall timeline and budget.

4.5
Overall Score Some minor modifications would get us closer to the five, but our relationship with WillowTree is fairly new. We continue to want them as a partner, and I think that the relationship will get a lot better.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Things crept up along the way, which weren't asked for upfront. WillowTree had to adjust, so at the end of the day we met the overall timeline. Still, we've had to rearrange quite a few milestones, making sure that the team was kept fed and fueled.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We've had to make some mutual adjustments around cost.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    There were a few bugs which crept up. From a quality assurance standpoint, they could've been taken out a bit sooner in the process. Some of these were environment related.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

App Design and UX Strategy for Financial Services Firm

"WillowTree's team is open and smart, always on the cutting edge of their field."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

WillowTree delivered native roadmaps for both iOS and Android. The app will be completed in-house but WillowTree lead the charge on performing customer research and designing the UX.

The Reviewer
 
5001-10,000 Employees
 
Stamford, Connecticut
Junie Kim
Digital Lead, Synchrony Financial
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Internally, everyone all the way up to the client's CEO praised WillowTree's design and the research that lead to the design. The client compliments how tightly the project was managed and the collaborative nature of the partnership.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Synchrony Financial is the largest provider of private label credit cards in the United States and works to help businesses and customers finance major consumer purchases and elective healthcare. I work in the Consumer Bank, which is the Direct Bank with $37B in deposits and 500,000+ accounts.

I am the digital leader for the Bank. I lead and manage our online channels, including the website and mobile platform.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with WillowTree?

We needed to kick off our native app project. Our company as a whole is fairly new to this space, so when we were thinking about a partner who could help us think through these strategies and designs, we wanted to find someone who had experience in the area.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

WillowTree took a look at our business and customer journey and incorporated our strategic vision into a roadmap for the native app. They proposed that we develop iOS and Android versions from the start since our customer data showed a 50/50 split between the platforms. WillowTree performed customer research for us, following this with a design phase which was started from scratch.

How did you come to work with WillowTree?

We researched a few options, going through an RFP [request for proposal] process involving three agencies. Each candidate was brought in, given a basic list of our needs, and presented an overview of their culture, style, and what they could bring to the table. We liked WillowTree because the company not only offered design and development, but also an upfront strategy piece. Even though we didn't specifically request this, WillowTree offered to help us with the initial process of determining what should and shouldn't be in the app based on industry trends and other data.

How much have you invested with WillowTree?

The cost of WillowTree's work was between $50,000 and $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with WillowTree in August 2016. The design phase took three months to complete, ending in October. It was collaborative and fast. We have decided to develop the app internally, but have extended a new project to WillowTree for redesigning our website.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Everyone has loved not only the design itself but also how we came to make those decisions. There was a lot of research and data put together to substantiate those decisions, which is important, especially for a company like ours. We've appreciated the rigor and research done for understanding our space.

Everyone internally, all the way up to our CEO, has had high praises for WillowTree's work. We are working with them again and will continue to do so for a very long time. There are a few other teams in our organization using WillowTree, which goes to show what a great partner they are and the compatibility of our cultures.

How did WillowTree perform from a project management standpoint?

WillowTree has come to feel like a part of my team, even though we work remotely. We have calls twice a week and are a synchronized team. WillowTree's team is open and smart, always on the cutting edge of their field. I have a lot of trust in them, which was a key point from the start.

The strategy piece was tightly managed by one of WillowTree's lead user experience strategists. We had organized follow-ups, and everyone in the team was responsive. We used a tool called TeamSite, which I found to be useful and easy to use.

What did you find most impressive about WillowTree?

WillowTree's team is extremely collaborative and open to our opinions. They've taken our inputs and incorporated them in a way which made sense, but also pushed back when it was necessary.

Are there any areas WillowTree could improve?

I wish that WillowTree was closer to us, but we've made an effort to see each other in person. I know that this is impossible, but it would be great to work side by side. Also, the level of project management during the strategy side should be matched with that of the design portion.

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

iOS Application for Large Energy Solutions Provider

"WillowTree employs the latest toolsets, methodologies, and disciplines. They're a young, energetic, and creative team ..."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
Project summary: 

WillowTree developed and designed an iOS app that is programmed to run on Macs in kiosk-like mode. The app acts like a giant tablet for customers at fueling stations.

The Reviewer
 
501 - 1001 Employees
 
Austin, Texas
Engineering Director, Energy Solutions Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app has received high praises from users and leaders in the industry. The UX design is a key standout of the success of the partnership, additionally, the customers rave about the good spirit and pervasive mindset of the WillowTree team.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We provide fueling solutions globally for the retail market, namely gas stations. We offer fuel dispensers and complete site solutions for companies.

I am an engineering director for the company. My focus is on innovation and strategy.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with WillowTree?

We wanted to provide some innovation offerings for retailers, the first of which was a mobile app. Secondarily, we have been working on what we call a customer experience of the future. It's a revolutionary, forward-looking fueling experience which is a game changer for the marketplace.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The fuel dispenser experience is not unlike a kiosk. WillowTree is offering tablet solutions for customers, based on our unique flair and challenge. We have developed an OSX app running on a Mac in kiosk mode, acting like a giant tablet for customers.

How did you come to work with WillowTree?

I was introduced to WillowTree through my connections with another company, who had used them on a similar project. We asked for a bid for a proof of concept mobile app we were building at the time. WillowTree was put face to face with a local candidate, Mutual Mobile. After meeting both teams, getting proposals, and talking about project scope, design ideas, and plans, WillowTree far outshined their competition.

How much have you invested with WillowTree?

The cost of WillowTree's work has been between $250,000 and $500,000, over the course of two years.

What is the status of this engagement?

We have been working with WillowTree for many years.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

The user experience we've designed with WillowTree has far exceeded the expectations of my internal production and management team, as well as those of our customers. People have been amazed at the technological advances and user experience of the app. It's clean, professional, and refined. All use cases have been thought through and implemented well. WillowTree brought its A-game from a design and execution perspective.

The reception of our "customer experience of the future" deliverable wasn't just okay, it was collectively described as the best thing people had seen. A VP from a major oil company gave a quote at the 2016 NACS [The Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing] tradeshow, which is the largest of its kind in the US, saying that it was the best exhibit he had seen there.

How did WillowTree perform from a project management standpoint?

WillowTree delivered on time and on budget through intense deadlines. Working with them has had a very current feel. WillowTree employs the latest toolsets, methodologies, and disciplines. They're a young, energetic, and creative team with a "work hard, play hard" mentality. WillowTree often worked late in order to get things done because they're passionate about what they do.

What did you find most impressive about WillowTree?

The spirit of the company is that life's too short not to enjoy your job, which shines through from the management down. I attended a recent work event with WillowTree's staff in Charlottesville. At these types of events, there will usually be some pockets of resentments from people talking about their bosses, jobs, or clients. I never heard anyone from WillowTree say anything negative. They love their jobs and the projects developed by the company; they feel valued, and it's an unbelievable dynamic, with everyone feeling appreciated and challenged. I told some of them that (especially because they're young) they should realize the fact that not every company is like WillowTree. Having challenging, rewarding, and cool work in cutting-edge technology is a luxury and they can appreciate every second of it.

5.0
Overall Score I can't wait to work on my own project with WillowTree.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Even during the tightest of schedules, people rallied behind the work in order to get it done.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    WillowTree has honored quotes.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    WillowTree is top tier. We've worked on things which were shown to very important CEOs of major oil companies. Everything worked flawlessly every time.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would refer WillowTree with no questions asked.

App Development for Large Hotel Chain

"Their current project management team is strong as well as their current account leads."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
Project summary: 

Over the 6 month partnership, WillowTree delivered both a native iOS and Android app for this global chain.

The Reviewer
 
1001 - 5000 Employees
 
New York, New York
Senior Manager, Hotel Chain
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app delivered by WillowTree has been well received by users and stakeholders, additionally, the app has received industry awards. 

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a leading provider of hotels, with 8,000 hotels around the world. I am the senior manager of mobile product strategy. I’m in charge of the mobile websites and the app.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with WillowTree?

We needed a new app.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They built an Android app and an iOS app in native code from scratch.

How did you come to work with WillowTree?

We used an RFP [request for proposal] process and we were impressed by some of the work they’d done in the past. Their pricing was competitive as well.

How much have you invested with WillowTree?

We spent over $200,000 with WillowTree.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project took 6 months to build but we’ve been working with them for 2 ½ years.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

The app has been well received and we’ve won a few awards as a result of it. I can’t give you any metrics.

What did you find most impressive about WillowTree?

They’re agile and flexible. Their current project management team is strong as well as their current account leads.

Are there any areas WillowTree could improve?

The main issue has been around the two versions of the app being built in different native code. Over the course of the last 2 years, there have been bugs or enhancements in one platform and not in the other. WillowTree is organized by developer type so they’re split into 2 teams. I think that if they could close the gap there, that would be good.

4.0
Overall Score Part of the challenge for us is that we’re a large company, so some of our systems don’t play nice with outside vendors. There’s a technical challenge, but WillowTree has been good at helping to accommodate some of that.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re good about deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality is good on the finished product.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We’ve been happy with them.

App Development for Sports Arena

"They put in their A-team."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
Project summary: 

WillowTree, Inc. ® developed a set of custom apps for Android and iOS that enhance fan experience. The apps are Wi-Fi based, use multicast streaming and 3-D mapping software, and support 5,000 users a night.

The Reviewer
 
1001-5000 Employees
 
New York City Metro Area
Procurement Manager, Professional Sports Arena
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

WillowTree, Inc. ® delivered exceptional results that met an extensive list of requirements. The team capitalized on good Wi-Fi and distributive antenna systems to create robust, user-friendly products. They completed all work in house with little micromanagement and provided personable service.

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

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company.

I work for a real estate development company. We build residential and commercial buildings and across the U.S. Our big project is the high-profile Barclays Center in New York City. This arena is for the Nets who moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn.

We purchased the team in 2003, and we had plans to build the arena in 2006, 2007, and 2008. It was delayed for a while, and we finally broke ground in 2010 with a brand-new arena. We’re going to build the most technologically advanced arena because it’s brand new. We’re going to put the best components in it.

What is your role and responsibilities?

I manage all of the vendors that we have, and there are hundreds.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your process for selecting WillowTree Apps for the work?

I spent a lot of time in the App Store. I looked at other venue applications. There are template apps out there, such as Mobile Roadie. YinzCam has template apps, which venues have gone after because they’re inexpensive. At Barclays, we’re a new venue and a new look, with a new team and a new logo. We wanted a different-looking, custom app. We had to find a developer. I talked to Funware, which did the Florida Hurricanes’ custom app design.

Through my connection at Carbonhouse, they introduced me to WillowTree. Carbonhouse does a lot of hosting for venues. I think they were just acquired by AEG, so they do a lot of website hosting. They introduce me to Tobias [Dengel, WillowTree Apps CEO], and we hit it off pretty well.

Between his team and his design team, they understood what we were looking for. We gave them a design overview, but not exactly a design. We were looking for a company that could go out and design something without needing too much micromanagement. They took a lot of initiative themselves, and that’s what I was looking for. We did a proposal/RFP with them, and they came back with their preliminary design.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their work?

The overarching thing is to improve the fan experience. We created two apps. One is the Barclay Center app, which represents the venue. The Nets are our anchor tenant in the building, but we also do about 220 total events. Out of those 220 events, 41 of them are Nets games. We have all other events, such as concerts, shows, and the circus. We wanted to create an app that helps you inside the venue. Navigating around, ordering food, and getting to deliver it was a must for the app. The stadium uses StadiumVision Mobile, which is multicast streaming via Wi-Fi, which hasn’t been done in another venue. In essence, it enhances the fan experience.

From the Nets application, which we also worked on with WillowTree Apps, the issue was to connect with fans with stats and upgraded seat offers. There are different options in the game that fans like. If you’re sitting in the upper concourse, you can upgrade your seat for $40, and then sit close to courtside. There are definitely enhancements, and that’s our way of connecting with the fans. We can utilize it because we have as good Wi-Fi system, and a good distributive antenna system for cellular connectivity. So, it really comes down to how we’re communicating with our fans.

I commissioned them to  build the Barclay Center App, to build the Nets apps. There was an iPhone/iPad app that controls the TVs in the suites via StadiumVision Mobile, which is our IPTV solution. Fans could also order food and look at the menus inside the suite on the custom iPad.

I gave them a wish list of things we wanted in the Barclay Center, a wish list of things that go in the NetSet, and then a list of requirements that had to be in the iPad app that was in every suite. They took that wish list, boiled it down, did everything from the organization, the structure, the mapping, the wireframes. They sent them all to us, and I loved the first design, so they took it from the first design, they stayed on that. They helped organize everything for the layouts. I gave them specific things.

My boss wanted something easy, like when you go on a plane and get the little Galaxy tablet. You can eat, you can watch TV, so he wanted that same thing. So, when you go on the app, you log on the Wi-Fi, and the app asks you right away what you want to eat. You can watch Interact, which communicates right to the scoreboard, send text messages, and security alerts. Everything that was on my wish list, they put in their wireframes, developed it, and got it integrated in the apps.

There were a couple of things that they integrated into the app, specifically, the StadiumVision Mobile component, which has been done before. They had to work with the Cisco team for that. We flew out to San Jose to Cisco headquarters to work with that team, to integrate with their SDK. We are really proud of that, to be the first venue to roll out StadiumVision Mobile. It streams different content onto your mobile device while you’re in the venue.

We used SDK from Bypass Lane to manage the food ordering; we had to integrate the 3-D mapping software from another company. Ticketmaster integration used SDK integration, which is never that easy. But it really came down to the structure and organization. They understood our requirements fairly well, so they put it in an easily functioning app that’s easy to follow. That all held true for the Barclay Center app, the Nets app, and the iPad app was a whole different animal.

We wanted something easy on the wall that allowed someone to control the TV. The cool thing about that, which is another SDK from Cisco for the StadiumVision Mobile component, is that I can have one iPad in the whole venue control every TV. I can turn every TV on or off at the same time. That’s unique in that it’s from the custom iPad app that they developed for us. All the colors and schemes were from them.

Does the app work for Android?

Yes. We can’t eliminate half our population. For our public-facing Wi-Fi, we have 4,000 to 5,000 people connected a night. I know how many are in the app, what they’re doing in the app, how many on StadiumVision Mobile are looking at the feeds, and I also know what type of devices they have. So, the iPhones are around 30 percent, and the bulk consists of Samsung, Motorola, Nexus, and the other devices that are on there. There’s a huge population. The Galaxy S4 is a huge phone. You have to develop Android. There’s no other way around it, and you can’t just do iOS.

So, they develop both iOS and Android for the Barclay Center and the Nets. The iPad just needed to be iOS, because it’s a custom app that we send out through our mobile device management, the [M Solution].

Can you provide a ballpark dollar figure for the size of the work that they’ve done for you?

Low- to mid-six figures.

When was the latest milestone completed for that work?

The work is all finished. We have a maintenance contract to perform upkeep on the iOS 7 upgrades. I have a retainer with them, because it’s a mobile app. Especially in the sports/entertainment industry, we’ll want to upgrade different features. We’ll want different SDKs to add such as people tracking.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Is there anything unique about them that really makes them stand out, compared to other companies?

I work with Iversoll, IT, AV, and broadcast for the whole arena. I work with tons of vendors, everyone from Dactronics in the Center to the broadcast guys, all the way up to the mobile app. It was good because I spent so much time with everything else, and had limited time to spend with WillowTree. They put in their A-team. Without me micromanaging, WillowTree took a lot of initiative themselves.

You have to look at the team that built it and the guys they put behind it. It’s not one of these big development companies that outsource their work. They did all the work in-house, and I felt comfortable with the team. I got to know them, which helped tremendously. I can’t say enough about the team. They’re solid, and the design team was great.

Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or that you might do differently?

I always look at different enhancements that I wish I put inside the app that we’re planning for now. Also, we want to prove out ROI, which means getting in early with them. We design the app in a certain way, and we have certain goals for each thing, such as enhancing the fan experience. As a sports/entertainment venue, you have to look at how we can sponsor certain areas such as the StadiumVision Mobile feed. Working with them early to build packages to help my sales guys, sponsorship guys, sell the different parts of the app or sell the overarching app by itself would help. That’s something new that hasn’t been done before, and I wish we spent time earlier in the process, when I was pitching the app. I would have had the GEICO/Barclay Center app or something like that.

That’s a specific sports and entertainment arena issue. I’m really happy. I go to events in different venues. When they talk about who did it right, they always reference the Barclay Center when figuring out the mix between the app for the team and the app for the venue.

5.0
Overall Score I’m very happy with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They never missed a timeline.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Anyone can always improve on discounts. That’s me being cost conscious.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve done it many times to other teams and venues.

Field Service Native Mobile Apps

"They stand behind what they do."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

WillowTree, Inc. ® developed and implemented the Android-specific version of a mobile app that allows technicians to communicate their job status. The team has completed two additional versions of the app.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
President & CEO, Mobile App Agency
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

WillowTree, Inc. ® offers extensive knowledge of the Android platform and broad expertise in technology and design. The team provides attentive service and diligently adheres to the project scope from the beginning. They are willing to do what it takes to deliver on their commitment.

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

BACKGROUND

Can you give a brief description of what your company does?

We are focused on the blue-collar field service market. Right now, fire safety protection companies, but ultimately plumbers, electricians, and mechanical folks who show up at a typically commercial realty property, and do some level of facility maintenance and/or repair associated with that. We provide an application that on the mobile side helps their technician communicate their job status using the GPS function, report on the status for the job using photos, audio memos and things like that, enabling them with mainstream market mobile devices instead of specialty devices using Android and iPhone.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your main business goal or objective for undertaking the project?

WillowTree helped us design and implement. We basically delivered the design to them, but they made is specific to the Android platform. We relied on their expertise for the Android platform to deliver this application.

SOLUTION

What was your process for selecting WillowTree to work with?

We went through quite a bit of reference work and due diligence work. We initially started down a path of using non-native toolkit called PhoneGap. PhoneGap’s fine if you’re basically doing a little Web app. But, it doesn’t work well at all if you want to take advantage of rich features set on the device. WillowTree basically did a really good job in our interview and diligence process and, subsequently, did a good job bidding the work. After winning the project, they did a good job delivering it. We’ve continued to use them for multiple follow-up projects since then.

What part of the project was WillowTree involved in? 

Mainly the development. We deliver the design to them, but they did have to do several things to make it specific to the Android platform because the iPhone design doesn’t necessarily translate. A lack of a back button on iPhone, for example, means you do certain things design-wise that you don’t do with Android.

They were involved in all of it, but they did not do the initial design. They implemented our design and updated our design to fit the Android platform.

How long ago was the project competed?

The first one was finished in August of last year, something like that, maybe September. Then, we’ve done a subsequent follow on to that, I think two follow-ups to that initial one.

Can you give a general cost estimate for the project?

It was just a little under $50,000 for the initial project. We subsequently spent more than that with them given the follow-ups that we’ve done.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

How happy are you with the results of the project?

I’m very happy. They’ve been very attentive. I think their technology and design expertise is very good. Mostly, their service is really good. They stand behind what they do, and they’re very knowledgeable. There’s very few surprises. They’ve been really good to work with.

When working with WillowTree, is there anything that stands out as being special or unique compared to other developers that you’ve worked with?

Their willingness to commit to a scope of work at the beginning of a project, and live with that, is and has been the stamp of their expertise. They know what it’s going to take. Even if they’re off on that, they still stand by what they laid out for you because they’re not looking at their first project being the only project that they do.

Is there any area that WillowTree can improve or that you’d do different the second time around?

Nothing right off the top of my head, I can’t think of anything that stands out. It’s been a very successful engagement for them. I think the only challenge that they and other’s face that’s not unique to them is the dearth of Android hardware. Not a specific problem, but a problem for everybody.

5.0
Overall Score They’re very good. I enjoyed working with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were very good. They’re good at what they did. They were on time.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Yes, absolutely. I’m a reference for them pretty regularly.

Direct Marketing Mobile Development

"They have done exceptional work."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
n/a
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
Project summary: 

WillowTree, Inc. ® created an consumer coupon app for iOS and Android. The merchant side allows businesses to track and edit marketing campaigns on the go. The app is also integrated into Passbook for iOS.

The Reviewer
 
1001-5000 Employees
 
Tampa, Florida
Director of Agile Development, Direct Marketing Provider
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

WillowTree, Inc. ® had a thorough understanding of the project’s objectives. The team dedicated a developer for each platform and delivered attentive, professional, and personal customer service. Their level of engagement and investment in project success set them apart from other vendors.

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

Public University Mobile Development

"They brought a fresh enthusiasm to the project."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2010 - Aug. 2011
Project summary: 

WillowTree, Inc. ® built a mobile app for Android and iOS that centralized multiple activities and organizations. The team collaborated in the design process to provide creative insight and technical guidance.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
Charlottesville, Virginia
Director of Web Services, Higher Education Institution
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app has been downloaded over 20,000 times with over a million user sessions. WillowTree, Inc. ® delivered results above and beyond the project’s scope, understanding the need for a unique, distinctive product. The team was accessible, technically proficient, and dedicated to project success.

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

BACKGROUND

What is your position within the university?

I’m the Director of Web Communications and Interactive Media in the Central Office of Development and Public Affairs.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your main objective for developing this application?

We were looking for our university to have a comprehensive mobile app that would be useful and of interest to a wide variety of groups, visitors, perspective students, fans of our sports and of course, students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

I’m assuming you didn’t have any internal mobile application developers for this project?

No. Unlike many universities, we are a pre-decentralized place. There were a couple of small ones that have been developed, but nothing significant.

SOLUTION

What was your process for selecting Willow Tree Apps to work with?

We put together a group of stakeholders—organizations around the university to talk about what we wanted to try to do. We began with the alumni association, student affairs, art group, obviously the technology management group, and variety of others. We talked about the scope of it and what we were looking to do. We looked at other major universities that had apps, and we looked at other major vendors. When we refined what we were actually looking for, over a couple of months, we put out an official word at the state university for a request for proposal. We invited proposals based on the criteria that we spelled out there.

They were located here in town, and we liked that. The bigger thing was that they had a wonderful presentation, and they had an excellent vision for what we could do with it. They went above and beyond what we stipulated, and they brought some creativity to it. They are technically and management-wise very proficient, and we were impressed by all of that. Aside from all of those particulars was that they really got the idea that we wanted to have something that was distinctive among colleges and universities, and they certainly answered that desire.

Could you tell me more about the scope of the project?

As we begin working with them, we were essentially meeting on a weekly basis, and a lot of email and context about the project management system was going back and forth. They were bringing new technologies that we hadn’t even considered such as the augmented reality. That wasn’t the proposal but as we went to do that, there was a lot of joint work between our group and their group. There was also an awful lot of work on their part to make the athletic section of it all work well; that was very distinctive. There were little functionality things that were cool, but we hadn’t really thought of, like having a variety of our fight songs and cheers on the app, which is like a really popular part of it

How long ago was the project completed?

Initially, we just went with an iPhone, or an iOS system, version in 2010. We contracted with them in May and launched in August of 2010. A year later, we launched an Android version, which they also built, so it’s just been the last two years.

Can you give me a general estimate for the cost of the project?

We’re a public university, so it’s something of a public nature. It was about $49,500. We had $50,000 initially, and then we had another $40,000 for the Android version.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

How happy are you with the results of the project?

We’re very happy. A big part of this is that the various stakeholders are happy with the app, and that has certainly been the case around the university. Most indications we’ve had from comments on iTunes, direct communications we receive, is that people like it and its use has continued to grow. I haven’t looked at the stats in the last month or two, but we’re well over a million user sessions now. There are now over 20,000 users who have downloaded the file and the app.

When you’re working with Willow Tree Apps, is there anything that stood out as being unique compared to other development firms you may have worked in the past?

There are smaller firms, and we work with a lot of big enterprise type-vendors. We enjoyed that from a standpoint that it was very easy to reach the principals if we needed to. They weren’t involved in everything, but they were always right there and that was appreciated. It really felt like a partnership. They brought a fresh enthusiasm to the project. That was a great thing from our standpoint. They wanted to see it succeed, and they worked very hard to do that. They met their deadlines and all of those good things. It was a good partnership; sometimes the scope can creep, and the vendors can say that’s going to cost you more money, that kind of thing. We had very little of that in this project.

Do you think there’s any area that Willow Tree can improve or do slightly better in?

I’m reluctant to criticize anything. The result was very, very good. I’d say the one thing maybe was that it was down to the wire a little bit, but we knew it would be that way. The tight timeframe that we were demanding, and they met it. They handled it pretty well.

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

Business Network Mobile Developement

"We are very pleased with the results."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

WillowTree, Inc. ® developed an iOS and Android mobile app that improves UX, connects a database to millions of companies, and is easily searchable. The app integrates GPS and real-time database API.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Columbus, Ohio
Creative Director, Online Media
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The iPhone app is a consistent Top 20 Business App in the iTunes store and is listed by Apple as a “What’s Hot for Business” app. It also includes functionalities such as maps, social media, and a mobile ad server. WillowTree, Inc. ® had an excellent understanding of business goals and objectives.

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

BACKGROUND

Can you briefly describe your company?

We are a leading online community for small businesses, based out of Columbus, Ohio.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What were your goals going into the project?

Since many of our users were accessing our online database through their mobile devices in remote locations, we wished to create a mobile application in order to deliver a better user experience. The application had to connect to our database of millions of companies, and make it easy for users to find critical information on the go.

SOLUTION

How did you discover WillowTree Apps?

We initially searched for mobile application developers locally in the Columbus area. Eventually, we began to look for a developer nationally and narrowed our search to five firms. We chose WillowTree Apps because they had a very good understanding our company's goals and objectives.

What technologies were used?

WillowTree Apps developed a mobile application for both iPhone and Android devices. The application makes use of a real-time database API integration, GPS integration, including maps, social media integration, and a mobile ad server.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Has the project met your original goals?

We are very pleased with the results. Since its launch, the iPhone application has consistently been a Top 20 Business App within iTunes, as well as listed by Apple within “What’s Hot” for Business iPhone apps.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We would absolutely recommend the WillowTree Apps, and would work with them in the future.
Verification

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Verification Level
Gold
VERIFIED
Business Entity
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
Virginia
ID
6794572
Date of Formation
Jun 20, 2007
Source
State Corporation Commission
Last Updated
Dec 20, 2018
Payment & Legal Filings
Bankruptcy
No
Tax Lien Filings
0
Judgement Filings
0
Collections Count
0
Last Updated
Jul 19, 2019
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
20
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
4.9
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
September 6, 2019