Web & Mobile App Development, Blockchain, IoT

Zfort Group is a Full Service IT provider building custom software projects and dedicated teams for hundreds of customers since 2000. Our 18 dedicated teams work for the world's leading brands. Over the past few years, Blockchain Development has become one of our core competencies.

 
$5,000+
 
$25 - $49 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2000
Show all +
Kharkiv, Ukraine
headquarters
other locations

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Online.io, EzyMath LLC, CharityCheckout, SystemHUB, PlumbingSupplyNow, NOVA Scripts Central, Smooch.com, PrimaryDrive, Dream Careers, iNet Guardian.

Online.io | Blockchain Development

The Online (OIO) token is a unique digital asset that will unleash the Internet from ads, malware and tracking software, leading to a more enjoyable and secure browsing experience, with sizeable benefits for both web operators and end users. Read more here: https://online.io

SMOOCH.COM

The free dating site Smooch.com (https://www.smooch.com/) has all the tools you'll need to help you date. These include an efficient, fast search facility, fully detailed personals, free emails and free private chat, a photo gallery, a picture rating feature, a contact filter, and your very own hotlist to compile.

View Case Study here: https://www.zfort.com/frontend/featured-project/smoochcom

GOTTA HUNCH?

"Gotta Hunch?" is a free iOS app - fun way to express yourself. You can unleash your inner intuition and use your hunch to predict what you feel will happen next with day-to-day news, friends stories, events, favorite TV shows, and any other type of story. You can also craft your own story, let other people hunch it and reward you with more tokens, so you can keep on hunching and top score your friends.

View the app here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gotta-hunch/id1215244632?mt=8 

FREE AND SINGLE

Free and Single (http://freeandsingle.com/) is an aggregator of several dating websites, a family of dating communities, each tailored towards different lifestyles, values, and interests.

​PLUMBING SUPPLY NOW

Plumbing Supply Now is a diverse wholesale distributor of plumbing supplies, heating supplies, pipes, valves and fittings, waterworks and drainage, faucets and fixtures, tools and other equipment as well as many other specialty products within the industry. We have several locations totaling close to 500,000 square feet of warehouse space.

​NOVA SCRIPTS CENTRAL

NOVA Scripts Central’s mission is to provide quality integrated pharmaceutical care and medication access to the low-income uninsured children and adults of Northern Virginia. The company envisions pharmaceutical services as an integral component of primary care for all patients.

DREAM CAREERS

Dream Careers (https://www.summerinternships.com/), formerly University of Dreams Inc., was founded in February of 2000 and hosted its inaugural internship program at Santa Clara University. The first program was comprised of 73 motivated college students from top universities around the country, all looking to enhance their academic experience by challenging themselves with a competitive internship.

CHARITY CHECKOUT

CharityCheckout (https://www.charitycheckout.co.uk/) enables your charity to receive recurring tax-efficient donations online and set-up custom payment pages for specific campaigns. There are well over a thousand charities using Charity Checkout and many more joining each day. Charity Checkout has clients such as Harrison's Fund, Tourettes Action, MTV Staying Alive Foundation, and The Royal Society of Arts all using the platform on a daily basis.

SYSTEMHUB

systemHUB is a SaaS: Online SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) software. A system where an organization can document its processes. Established in 2009, Melbourne SEO Services started off as (what would be considered) a "traditional" SEO company, with phenomenal results being achieved for both internal and client sites.

Reviews

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Web Development for Housing Review Platform

“I gave them a rough idea of what I wanted and they did a great job translating it into a finished product.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
July 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Zfort Group designed and developed a website, managing both front- and backend. The website is built in PHP and is hosted on Amazon Web Services.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York, New York
Justin Lam
Founder & CEO, RealNYC
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The website functions as expected and the internal team is happy with Zfort’s efficiency and commitment. Going above and beyond to meet all needs, Zfort remains highly responsive and resolves issues immediately despite a time difference.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the founder and CEO of RealNYC. We're a review website for New York City property.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Zfort Group?

We needed a company to help us develop a website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They developed a website in PHP, based on my instructions. They managed the design and added maps, review buttons, and star ratings on the frontend. They also developed the Admin console on the backend. It's now hosted on Amazon Web Services.

What is the team composition?

I mostly work with their business development representative and a developer.

How did you come to work with them?

I was looking for Eastern European developers and I interviewed five or six of them. Zfort Group was the most responsive and dedicated in terms of the resources.

How much have you invested with them?

We've spent about $20,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in July 2018 and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The website is live and I'm very happy with everything. They're very responsible, professional, and have reasonable rates. Also, they work very efficiently. I gave them a rough idea of what I wanted and they did a great job translating it into a finished product.

How did they perform from a project management standpoint?

They're very responsive despite the difference in time zones and resolve urgent issues immediately, even when it's the middle of the night for them. We usually use Slack, Jira, and email to communicate.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their prices are reasonable and they're very responsive.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The design could be slightly improved. Also, there was a language barrier, so I had to change some terms and phrases. But we overcame that challenge successfully.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They're a good team and I'd definitely recommend them.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're a small company, so it takes them some time to prioritize the work.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Custom Development for Ad Tech Tool

“Zfort Group helped me think more precisely about my objectives as the product owner than I normally would.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb.. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Zfort Group conducted the end-to-end development process for the MVP of a digital advertising tool. They formulated the scope, designed the layout, and built APIs for Facebook, AdWords, and Google Analytics.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Norway
Co-Founder, Advertising Platform
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Zfort Group delivered an intuitively designed MVP that will prove useful for soliciting user feedback. The team excels at affording close attention to incremental aspects of the project to find areas for improvement. They offered insightful contributions backed by technical knowledge and expertise.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the founder of a company that's building an ad tech tool for digital advertisers who work with platforms like Facebook and AdWords. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Zfort Group?

I needed a development team that could take direction well, solve problems, and function independently. I didn't have enough time to continually follow up on their work. My co-founder, who had been the technical expert, left the project and I didn’t have any other development resources. Rather than detailed instructions, I provided an overview highlighting my priorities for Zfort Group to build upon.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Zfort Group worked remotely and completed all the development for this project. I contributed wireframes for the design and explained our business idea during the first few meetings with their business associate. He wrote detailed specifications that described each feature and its intended function. During the second round, I designed new wireframes, and we adjusted the scope slightly. Taking my total budget into consideration, we cherrypicked functionalities to include in the MVP.

From there, we arranged the order in which to develop and implement each aspect of the platform. Zfort Group used APIs from AdWords, Google Analytics, and Facebook. They integrated the platform with AWS. I offered pointers for platform options but had their developers make the final decision, so they had full ownership of the final product. I gave them general directions and had them fill in the blanks based on their technical expertise.

What is the team composition? 

We’ve worked with many people from Zfort Group at different points. In the beginning, we were most closely involved with the business analyst and relationship manager. Three developers worked on our project during the height of development. We’ve scaled down to a core team of two engineers supplemented by the occasional email from either the business associates or client relationship and sales resource. 

How did you come to work with Zfort Group?

I initially found a project manager based in Romania. I tasked him with the heavy lifting of creating a development team that had a good track record of working together. He chose Zfort Group based on their comfortable dynamic, and I approved his decision. 

How much have you invested with them?

We've spent between $25,000–$30,000 so far. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We held initial talks in January of this year and officially started the project in February. Our project is currently ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our MVP is live, but it's not quite ready for primetime yet. The platform Zfort Group delivered is suitable for beta testing. This process will help me cultivate a better understanding of the product. I've let our beta testers know that the platform is still a work in progress. It’s not a tool that I can charge money for yet; that's a bit further down the pipeline. 

I don't have the capacity to conduct a code review, but the MVP looks like a solid deliverable. Zfort Group defined the specifications based on my requirements and wireframes and worked cooperatively. They delivered what they promised to complete, and I'm very happy with the result. We haven't tested the scalability yet to see how it will perform when we have 10,000 clients. As far as the core functionality and the user experience, they've met all my expectations. 

How did Zfort Group perform from a project management standpoint?

My project manager in Romania was Zfort Group's development team's day-to-day contact. He also took care of the testing. I typically provide the requirements and track their work using Jira. We communicate using Slack. They translate the features I request into tickets. The developers help me refine our prioritization and timelines. I have the option our area of focus going forward. 

I started this engagement expecting to work using Agile. Since Zfort Group is working remotely, we're using a method closer to waterfall with shorter increments than usual. It’s been working very well. Running Agile with an external team is extremely difficult, but we're starting to segue into that style of development.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Zfort Group is very process oriented. They have a better sense of detail than I do. Interfacing with the business analyst was especially useful. He asked insightful questions that I hadn't considered. Since my specifications were somewhat vague, they made sure to ask the right follow-up questions to stay on track. Zfort Group helped me think more precisely about my objectives as the product owner than I usually would.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I'd like more insight on their processes, but I can't fault the team for this since I've never requested it. Right now, I don't have anyone on the internal team who could who could provide that level of information. Going back to the work method, maybe I should have made sure they were comfortable using the miniature waterfall style in the beginning. I've seen the benefits of working this way with an external team, but I know they have a preferred method. 

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Zfort Group set up a schedule and proposed the best way they thought the project should be done. They've stuck to that timeline since we started.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Custom Software Development for Market Research Company

"Zfort is the best team that I've ever worked with."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. 2015 - Feb. 2018
Project summary: 

Zfort worked in conjunction with a consumer insight company to create custom market research software for a third party. Zfort continues to serve as a development partner on other projects.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Alexandria, Kentucky
Michael Sack
Managing Director, Emotional Positioning System LLC
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The delivered software has been praised for its visual appeal and successful integration with existing technology. The team’s high level of engagement was apparent, with management consistently available despite being located overseas.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the managing director of Emotional Positioning System LLC. We are a marketing services company that primarily focuses on consumer insight and its applications. We create market research software and license it to larger companies.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Zfort Group?

I worked exclusively with Zfort on software development for a recent project.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They built the market research software for my most recent project.

What is the team composition?

I worked with a terrific client services manager and an even more terrific project manager. I have also communicated with many of their developers through either the client services or project manager.

How did you come to work with Zfort Group?

The company that hired me chose Zfort for the project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked on this project from January 2015–February 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Right now there are two pieces of evidence that point to success on this project. First, the third party who hired us to create the software already has a massive amount of technology in place, and Zfort has been able to insert my products directly into that system. Second, we have received comments that the product is easy to understand and visually appealing.

How did Zfort Group perform from a project management standpoint?

Zfort was great at communicating even though they are headquartered in Ukraine. I am lucky to get ahold of some of the market research companies I work with past close of business hours, but Zfort answers practically any time of day or night. We worked primarily through a proprietary project management system, but I often spoke with them over the phone.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I have been either writing or commissioning software since 1968, and—in terms of personality and skill—Zfort is the best team that I've ever worked with. The difference with Zfort is that they care about the quality of the work and whether it meets your needs, and they continue to care about whether or not you're succeeding with the outcome of their work.

Additionally, because English is not their first language, they go the extra mile to translate back and restate your requirements so that there is a higher level of clarity at each step of development. I have dealt with a lot of people over the years, some for decades, and they never engaged as strongly as the Zfort team.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

It is necessary to do the planning step with the project management. That is when the clarification and back translation happens in order to overcome any cultural assumptions, and to ensure your understanding of what you need matches their understanding.

5.0
Overall Score They are the best team I have worked with since 1968.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They are usually ahead of schedule and waiting for our third party contributor to catch up.
  • N/A Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They put the work in upfront to understand what they need to deliver.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Dating Portal Web Development

"They are an amazing team."

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

Zfort Group has completed a variety of projects, including end-to-end development of a web-based dating portal and set of APIs. The team uses primarily LAMP and HTML technologies for front end and mobile work.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
CEO, Big Data Analytics Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Zfort Group delivers consistently high-quality results. The team excels at project management and communication, and they are proactive in identifying and discussing problems that arise. They are professional and resolve issues quickly.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your main goal or objective for working with them?

The reason used is there’s normally a cost, normally cheaper and easier to find. There’s more stuff than in the UK. We did find that, in this case, they were exceptionally good. We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars. We've been quite happy with their results.

SOLUTION

Can you speak a little more on the projects themselves?

The whole thing. From design to back end and front end. I kind of led the specking and the designs of the product, but they put it all together for me.

What specific technologies were used in the project?

I think they were mostly LAMP. They did some front end and some mobile work for us that was done in HTML. Full for mobile. However, that was about three years ago.

How long ago was the most recent project completed?

About six months ago.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

How happy were you with the results?

Very happy. Always happy with them. They are an amazing team.

Is there anything that stood out to you as being unique or special when working with them compared to other developers you have worked with?

They're extremely good at project management and their developers are competent communicators, too. If there’s a problem, they let you know about it because sometimes the client is sitting there waiting. They were very proactive about identifying and discussing problems.

Also, they are very professional. They thought the issue out pretty quickly in a professional manner without getting personal and pointing fingers.

Looking back on the work that they’ve done for you is there anything that you’d do differently a second time around, or think they could improve on?

I think I’ve been pretty lucky in having a really good experience with them. I haven’t had any negative situations.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re slightly more expensive but amazing value for the money.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • N/A NPS
    Willing to refer
    Yes, absolutely. I do. I’ve sent them a lot of business.

Language Testing Web Development

"They are able to really put themselves into the customer's shoes."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
n/a
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
2011 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Zfort Group implemented a CMS into a complex, outdated, hard-coded website. The team spent hours analyzing the structure and code before providing a solution. They now maintain the system.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Leipzig Area, Germany
Owner, English Language Tutorial Online
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Zfort Group was responsive from the beginning, remains dedicated to quality, and goes out of their way to provide excellent customer service. The team is able to translate development language into layman’s term for clear communication. They conduct testing and provide improvement recommendations.

BACKGROUND

Can you provide some background information on what your company does?

We are an English-based team, and we offer English training programs to individuals
as well as companies. In 2003, we started a platform called English-Test.net, which is the
largest platform for people who want to test and improve their English. This is the largest collection of free interactive exercises and materials catered to people who want to prepare for tests, such as the TOEIC or TOEFL test.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

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

Since I am not a programmer, I had to employ programmers to build our website. Unfortunately, when the website was built in 2003, there were not many content management systems available, so they hard-coded the website. This meant, at some point, we needed professional help. We used Elance, and hired a number of companies using their services in maintaining the site, as well as creating new applications. In 2011, I finally found Zfort, and it has been the perfect match.

SOLUTION

What the process for discovering and choosing Zfort to work with?

I placed a couple of ads on Elance and got several responses. In order to see what the response was, and also to see what these companies were capable of, I gave them mini projects. Zfort was very responsive, and also dedicated to quality. Everything that I was looking for, I found with them.

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

Well, that's not easy because the website is very complex and, unfortunately, there is not much documentation. It means is that you have to dig deep into the code, and you have to get an understanding of the server structure. Not many companies can do that. What they usually do is just look at the site and say  "it's too complex and too difficult for us to maintain. What we can offer is we can rebuild it from scratch."

But, this was not a viable solution for me because this would have meant rebuilding from scratch, I needed to keep the existing site up and running, and at the same time, then I have to think about how to rebuild maybe a new site. Most companies took a look after I gave them access to the server, and said, "Unfortunately, we are not able to guarantee that the site will be running. It's too difficult a job for us to undertake."

Zfort was a company who spent hours analyzing the structure and the code. They came back with a solution whereby they said that it will take a certain amount of hours per month to keep the site up and running, and to fix certain things. At the same time, they made an offer as to how the site can be rebuilt. So, that's why they were my choice.

Can you give a general cost estimate for the project? 

So far, I've spent probably $12,000 in total with Zfort, but it's now close to the $20,000. That includes the maintenance, which is one of the ongoing projects and it's a great challenge, as well as some new projects. It's been roughly 1-1/2 years so far.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

It sounds like you're pleased with the results so far?

Absolutely. Yes.

When working with Zfort, is there anything that you find unique or special compared to other developers that you've worked with?

I would say they go out of their way. They are able to put  themselves into the customer's shoes. There is a saying in English that goes, "You don't know what you don't know." I've probably worked with a dozen IT companies. With all of them, on various levels, the problem was always that they said, "You have to tell us exactly what to do." For me, without an IT background, we speak different languages. I speak, let's say, a user's language, so I describe to them what I want. Then, usually, they would come back and would say to  break it down into all the steps so that our developers can do these tasks.

With Zfort, I could talk to them in my language. I can tell them what the problem is from my perspective, and then they translated it into developer-speak. Then, the developers can work with what kind of documentation Zfort creates for them. This is very important for a company like mine where, as of now, I don't have my own IT development department. So, it's very simple. I can send them an email, and I can speak to them, I can tell them what the problem is, and then they come back, and they offer me a variety of solutions that I can pick. Also with them, they sometimes tell me things – they test the site, they test a few things, and tell me what could be improved, and I don't have to see these things myself, which is also very important.

That is something you usually don't find with an IT company. They expect you to have documentation, to have a project description, and then they do exactly what you describe. But, sometimes, it's impossible for you to describe everything, so you leave certain things out, or it's not clear enough, and they would not ask. With Zfort, there's a task that I describe, and they say, "Do you really mean this and have you thought about this?" So it's really more a partnership, rather than a customer-client relationship.

Is there anything that you'd do differently a second time around, or you wish they could improve upon?

That's really a difficult question because, as of now, they really have been the best company I've
been working with so far.

Because most of their clients are B2B clients, they work with Web development agencies and larger companies – big companies where you have a budget maybe of $50,000 and more. They'll usually have a technical department that can already describe the project on a large scale. Sometimes, this is something that I have problems with, and they've been doing an excellent job.

But, maybe, what they could do is if they also target consumer companies, like myself, then it would be even easier. I'm helping them now with German clients, and there is this communication thing where the Germans usually don’t speak English while, at Zfort, they speak very good English and also Russian. Other than that, it's really difficult for me to say what I would do differently.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I know German prices, I also know the prices that American-based companies charge, so absolutely a five. Very good.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • N/A NPS
    Willing to refer
    Absolutely. That's what I've been doing. I have found, I think, six companies now here in Germany.

White-Label Dating Web Development

"Extremely technical developers, very hardworking, conscientious, and at the fraction of the price."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
n/a
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2008 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Zfort Group quickly developed a white labeling system for a large top-10 dating website. The system allows administrators to instantly create live websites to reach wider and more specific audiences.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Bath, United Kingdom
Chief Executive Officer, Online Marketing Consultant
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Zfort Group continues to update and maintain the system and has completed subsequent projects, providing permanent programmers.  The team remains professional, flexible, and responsive to specific demands. They understand needs and intent and deliver clear, intuitive, and instant communication.

BACKGROUND

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

There’s more than one company. We run a dating site including two top-10 hit-wise dating sites, the last of which we sold in May of last year. Zfort had been working on that for us and, more particularly, on a white labeling system for that. That went with the company. That’s now owned by a different company. That’s something they built for us and ran for us during the period of a couple of years. That was a big dating project and needed to be white labeled rapidly, especially since we could just decide on a URL, decide on a type of user we wanted to segment in our large dating database, and within seconds, we could have a new dating site live. It might be a dating site for divorcees, for instance. Then, we can automatically segment the database and, in hours, completely reformat the site. We color the site, have some graphics throughout, and all of that will be much of the bridge.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Is this basically to expand into different markets?

Yes, it’s exactly that. To be able to deliver more specific offering to people who wanted it. That was done, and it’s now live with many sites, running off of that platform. It’s now owned by Global Personals Ltd, who is the largest white labeling company in the world. They still have the team that we built with that for. We have more than one team. So. they effectively bought that team from us, and run the team with Zfort.

SOLUTION

How long ago was the project completed?

It never really is completed. It’s an ongoing thing, competing with other dating sites. It’s constantly being upgraded. But it was launched about a year ago.

Can you provide a little more information on the technologies used?

The technology we’ve used for most of the stuff we’ve done with them has been the same. There’s another company we’ve built with them that is a real-time market research business. That had been incredibly robust because third parties plug in varying API, and call the site for every page that they render on their own websites. So, it gets vast amounts of traffic. For every page called on any one of our partner sites, we effectively serve the load. So, we also are an aggregate of all these sites. They’re vast sites, too. We have a large newspaper company in the United Kingdom that’s 250 sites, and various other companies that are connected via this API, and delivers real-time market research via these networks of sites. So, when someone asks a survey on Usurv, it’s distributed across the network, and they get instant results. That’s a project that we’ve been building for the last two years. We launched that at the beginning of last year. It’s doing very well. That, and the dating stuff was all built on .NET SQL and Microsoft SQL IS. They’re also working on a project for us now, another dating project. That’s the PHP/MySQL project.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

It sounds like you’re pretty happy with the results so far?

Yeah, we’re very happy. I think we’d been working with them for as long as five years now. We had many bad experiences with outsourcing before. In fact, we’ve pretty much given up on outsourcing. I think we’ve spent probably in the region of $100,000 to $120,000 just testing the water with outsourcing with three companies. We have never used anything that these companies have done for us because, ultimately, it was not of sufficiently high quality.

A friend had been using Zfort and said we should give them a try. I was unsure because I’ve had some bad experiences. But, as that I had a very strong recommendation, I tried them. We’ve had a very positive experience. We employed a number of teams. We employ permanent programmers with them. That’s our approach. We don’t do it project by project. That’s pretty much all I can speak to because that’s my experience with them. Extremely technical developers, very hardworking, conscientious, and at the fraction of the price.

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

Compared to other outsources, they produce stuff that we could actually use. That’s not the result of about everybody we’ve had previously. They were very professional from day one. They were flexible. We had very specific demands. For instance, I wanted to be able to talk to all of my programmers even though they’re based in the Ukraine. I don’t speak Russian. These men had to provide us with English-speaking programmers. They did so in so far as they were able to, and they hired after that. They found us several English-speaking programmers. The hiring process cost us nothing. We didn’t have to commit to six months or a year of business with them in order to get them to hire these guys. They were their employees. They had the responsibility for them. We had our 30 days’ notice, so from our point of view, an incredibly flexible position to be in. They were doing lots of work, taking lots of responsibility to get us the people we wanted. The cost and responsibility to us if we had done that in the U.K. in terms of employee responsibilities, legal responsibilities to employees, hiring cost, and HR cost would have made that whole process massively more expensive if we hadn’t liked the developers.

Is there anything you’d do differently a second time around or that you think Zfort could improve upon?

We need to improve upon some stuff. You kind of have to learn how to work with outsourcers. It isn’t the same as having guys in your office that you can shout across the table at. You have to explain things in more detail. It becomes less true if you’re using a team like we are, because just like having guys in your office, they just get used to your ways, and what you’re doing. So, now my head programmer over there, I’m going to talk to all the programmers, but my head programmer over there is like my right-hand man. I barely need to finish a sentence before he knows exactly what I want. It took a while for him to get to that point, of course, just as it would with an employee. But, we got there. So, now the communication is super rapid.

We very foolishly took an approach early on, not deliberately, that they were kind of black box. We typed in to Skype our instructions, and then these instructions were carried out by robots at the other end. We didn’t really think of it as these people are employees; they’re totally devoted to us, working on our projects. We never bothered at that stage to try to get their buy in to the projects, which is really naive of us. As soon as we did, as soon as we worked that, everything was perfect. They started to care. They’d start to come back to us with ideas that were more than just developers. They were then part of our team.

We were the kind of clients that never tell them anything, expect them to work really hard, and treat them like they’re robots. They’re not. They want to get excited about their job. When they do, they’ll reward you.

5.0
Overall Score I couldn’t lower the slight pricing issue.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We’re not project-based. I’ll constantly change what it is I want them to do according to whether or not a client is demanding something. So, I can answer more broadly in that they get done what I need when they say they’ll do it.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re great, but I mean, I’ll always be happy to pay less. The thing is there are a lot cheaper options out there...I think they’re really, really good, and they know it, and they’re charging more for that.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • N/A NPS
    Willing to refer
    Yeah, I do all that time. As I said, I’ve worked with them for five years. I couldn’t be happier...They would always come up with the goods.