Please describe the scope of their work.
They bridge the gap between UX [user experience], UI [user interface], and then development. More often than not, we like to do the UX and UI here in-house, and then we work with XTOPOLY to get it produced. We have a limited number of developers in-house and, sometimes, we can’t hire quick enough, so XTOPOLY acts as an overflow department. They do the technical architecture, some UX-based on project basis, and full-development cross platform. That could be app and mobile Web, or it could just be mobile Web. They’ve also produced rich media banners for us in the past.
What was your process for selecting XTOPOLY with which to work?
We triple bid everything, that’s what we’re mandated to do. With XTOPOLY specifically, we launched a strategic partnership with them three years ago. It was mutually beneficial for both companies, and we promoted this in the press. Within that partnership, we have a preferred rate, so that gave them a competitive edge financially.
Can you provide a ballpark dollar figure for the size of the work that they’ve done for you?
They’ve been involved in maybe 10 projects over the course of the last two years, and the spectrum of costs has been very broad. The median is around the $30,000 mark. They have done projects more than $100,000, and they’ve done projects as low as $6,000 or $7,000.
Is the relationship ongoing?
It’s as healthy as it’s always been. We take the strategic partnership very seriously. We spend a lot of time as two companies working together, and things are great. We don’t have anything bad to say about them.
It’s been a relationship that has been mutually beneficial. We treat them like a partner, they treat us like a partner, and we trust them. We trust their development capabilities, and their process. They run a very agile shop. They are much more focused on experience than pure development. We wanted a company that would really approach every individual project almost from fresh, add an additional layer of insight behind user behavior and best in class UX, and then build from those standards versus just building a templated version of what they had.
We were very impressed by their process. We were very impressed by their focus on creative, on user experience, on what delivers the best value to the user, and their ability to get the job done in-house versus outsourcing to one of these countries that we see development shops use.