In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the quality of their performance or the long-term success of your engagement together?
Probably the best quantitative information is the activity on our grantee portal, which supports approximately 3,000 grant applications a year. That means we have at least 3,000 unique, active users coming into the portal. But, that understates the situation because there are many people that come to our portal and initiate an application, but never actually finish it because they realize it's not a good fit, that we require too much information and so forth. The grant-making process is rigorous. When they're on the portal, they may spend hundreds of hours completing their applications.
From a project management perspective, Zivtech's estimates are usually extremely accurate. I've never been unhappy with any of their estimates or their project management.
When working with Zivtech, is there anything that you would consider unique about their practice that distinguishes them from other vendors?
Their ability to not just do Drupal work, but things that integrate with Drupal, add-on to Drupal, or regular development work – all are very good. Most of the other projects we've had them work on have been more standard Drupal development projects, and they were great on that. Only on one of them did we have them doing the graphic design. From a technical standpoint, these guys are really spot on.
In retrospect, are there areas in which you think they could improve as a service provider?
In the very beginning, their tracking of how hours were spent was a little vague, but they implemented a new project management tracking system that gives us much better numbers, so that is not an issue anymore. We had given them some feedback on that issue, and it was something they recognized they needed to do. It's just another example of how flexible and accommodating they are with clients.
What advice, if any, would you give a future client of theirs?
From our experience, I would recommend documenting what you want, your business requirements, business documents, and process. Give them as much information as possible because then their estimating, design and architecture will be much better suited to what you're trying to do. I believe that is one of their strengths. They are very good when it comes to taking something from a business process or design view and building it. They're also good when the customers don't really know what they want; however, in situations like that, accurate estimates are extremely hard to make.