What was the scope of their involvement?
Initially, we proposed a scope we’d formed in-house and held discussions to prioritize and plan next steps. Zimalab helped us design each phase of development for the online booking portal. Our system is a web application built on Symfony. They pinpointed which features needed to be active in the first phase of development. Throughout the project, we added new functionalities to the platform.
Zimalab created three interfaces for channel manager systems to ensure we offer a consistent 10% discount compared to major competitors. A hotel's reservation system generates rates and tracks inventory, then sends this data through a channel manager to platforms like ours. This system offers equal access to room availability and pricing metrics. Our product also involves calculating a 10% discount, which requires a slightly different connection than for our competitors. Each one involves a different programming language, so they worked on them one by one.
Zimalab wrote the code in different technical languages for all the functionalities in our booking process. They designed a reporting tool within our system that shows an SME company their total annual spend on hotel rooms. As they created user stories, the team considered the most efficient way to book a hotel room from landing on our site and selecting a location to the next steps in the booking process.
What is the team composition?
Zimalab’s team includes three developers, two designers, a project manager, and the CEO. We started this project with the managing director. Afterward, they assigned us one point of contact. Our project manager was the project lead. She liaised with the rest of the team on our behalf.
How did you come to work with Zimalab?
We found 15 freelance developers from around the world on Upwork.com and held the first round of interviews on Skype. After shortlisting five teams, we had one of our friends who works as a developer join the second-round calls. He asked the right technical questions to determine how well each candidate could develop the type of portal we needed.
After passing our technical check, we chose Zimalab for their strong communication skills including English fluency. We preferred their team of developers to the risk of working with a single freelancer. If that one person gets ill or stops the project, we wouldn’t have a backup. They offer competitive prices compared to teams in the Netherlands and an excellent value.
How much have you invested with them?
At this point, we've invested $30,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We began working with Zimalab in September of 2016. The first version of our platform launched in April 2017.