Reviews

Messaging CMS & Keyboard Apps for Brand Engagement Firm

"TechJini also gave us a really great Android developer, specifically having understood our in-house capabilities at the time."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
Confidential
 
July 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

The partnership provided resource flexibility in support of messaging apps and widgets for Fortune 500 brands and expanded into the development of new features for both iOS and Android flavors.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
New York Metro Area
Austin Bone
Chief Creative Officer, Snaps
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Pros include the ability to place TechJini resources in client-facing roles as needed. Communication has been consistently good. While the client is not aware of the exact project costs, he is very satisfied with the quality of service compared to other resources their team has used.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Snaps is a platform for branding messaging. We build conversational UIs [user interface] or Chatbot solutions, sticker pack syndication, and white labeled Android and iOS applications like an emoji keyboard or an iOS 10 sticker pack for brands to engage with their audiences in the messaging space.

I am chief creative officer. I’ve been with the company for the last six years.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with TechJini?

We started working with TechJini a little over a year ago. We needed additional support on iOS and Android development. We contacted TechJini and they’ve been a great partner for ramping up our team. They actually brought resources to the US to build out our team here, ranging from backend developers, general web, and full stack engineers to specialized iOS and Android developers.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our first resource was for the backend CMS [content management system]. As I said, we’re a platform for messaging, so our applications all link or tie into this backend system where clients can update and manage content real-time, send out push notifications, and track analytics and reporting. We started working on what we call the “dashboard”, the client dashboard or CMS. Then, as we were ramping up on projects, we realized that we also needed iOS and Android development. We had a dedicated iOS resource that actually moved on-site and worked from our office for six months. He just finished his six-month stint here and is now working remotely. We also had a dedicated Android resource who worked remotely for the last four months in addition to our onshore or in-house developers that we have. They were super flexible in the staffing and support, knowing that we ultimately wanted to bring some more talent in-house to focus on new products in addition to the keyboard.

We work with some of the world’s largest brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Bud Light, etc. TechJini acted as a dedicated resource to the backend and the iOS and Android development. They helped us launch a suite of global apps for Pepsi that had very specific privacy updates that they needed for the keyboard extension for the Android operating system. That was a really big project that they worked on, which consisted in updating the code base for the Android keyboard for Pepsi to roll it out globally.

How did you come to work with TechJini?

At the time, our chief technology officer was searching for partners. I believe he had worked with them in the past and had a working relationship with them. He came on board in the summer of last year and suggested a few potential partners for technology resources. They were one of the partners that we ended up going with.

How much have you invested with TechJini?

This is confidential.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started a year ago. It was probably mid-summer of last year, so either July or August [2015].

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I don’t have any metrics that I can make public. They worked on projects that had ultimately tens of millions of branded engagements in market that are still in market. In total, they probably worked on 15 to 50 applications. It was a wide range of applications for the world’s largest brands.

How did TechJini perform from a project management standpoint?

I’ll talk about the Pepsi execution because I think it’s a great one to talk about. They gave us a resource who was challenged with updating a code base from a previous developer. It was a hand-off and he was charged with taking that code and updating it to a master branch style for the Android application in addition to updating it to address a security scan. We did weekly sprints with them that weren’t necessarily build-to-QA, but there were very thoroughly documented weekly status reports. The resource didn’t need a lot of micromanagement. He managed himself and stayed on target, and ultimately delivered a great product that we were able to roll out, which made Pepsi very happy and obviously satisfied their security requests. We ended up using that updated code base to lay the groundwork for our Android master branch application.

Throughout the process, that resource was incredibly communicative. We had weekly sprint calls and we also had a weekly status update document that he would provide. If there were road blocks or instances where things were taking a little longer, he communicated that. In some cases, he definitely worked beyond the normal hours and over holidays and weekends just to make sure that we have what we need and that our clients are serviced and happy. That resource in particular has been really great to work with.

TechJini also gave us a really great Android developer, specifically having understood our in-house capabilities at the time. It was a great matching that they were able to provide to us, having understood where we had come from and where we were in the market and what we needed.

What did you find most impressive about TechJini?

What I’ve been satisfied with most with this team is that their level of communication is really, really high. If necessary, they can provide technical resources that are able to be “client-facing”, and communicate complicated technical questions to a non-technical person or a technical team member. It’s important to have someone you can trust to put in front of a client’s tech team. I think they’ve totally satisfied that for us by being not only great communicators in terms of timelines and where they are in their build process, but also in explaining things to clients when necessary.

The other thing that I think they’ve been really helpful with is flexibility. As I said before, over the last year and a half we’ve been growing our team. They’ve been patient with us, allowing us to move as slow or as fast as we want in terms of resourcing. They’ve been really flexible in terms of giving us great resources and assets, and understanding what our needs are as we ramp up and down. I think they’ve been really strong in both communication and flexibility.

Are there any areas TechJini could improve?

No. I think they’ve definitely provided what we’re looking for. I’ve been really satisfied with their partnership to date.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were keen to work with our schedule. They put resources in our office or on our time zone that were able to communicate with us effectively. They were available on holidays and weekends during emergency requests. They were great at communication.
  • N/A Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    There’s always a little bit of room for improvement.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    The only reservation is that I don’t know how the cost compares.

Custom CMS & Portal for Benefits Enrollment Platform

"At every point, they had good recommendations about how to make the admin portal easy for the user. I really liked that."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Feb. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

After passing a trial project, TechJini was brought on to build internal and external facing portals for a benefits administrator from scratch.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
New York Metro Area
IT Director, Benefits Administration Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client is especially pleased with TechJini's project management professionalism. They were able to break out their work in weekly sprints and kept the client updated consistently with the status of deliverables. They did not impede access to the client's code base like a previous provider.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our company specializes in providing administration and enrollment services for individual disability benefits to our clients.

I’m the director of IT. I manage the technology infrastructure projects as well as provide support to the business for technology solutions.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with TechJini?

One of the services we provide to our clients is enrollment services. There are two ways to enroll. One way is web enrollment. We engaged TechJini a couple of years back to build out a whole new platform for plan enrollment. We used to have a platform, but it was quite old and looked quite dated and didn’t do everything that we wanted it to do. We have built everything from the ground up and we are continuing to work with them to enhance it and customize it for our requirements.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

There are two portals in the web application. End clients use the front-end portal to view their benefits, view enrollment options, and submit applications. The backend piece, or admin portal, is used by our internal staff. The front-end portal is totally customized for each of our clients via a custom built CMS [content management system] platform that was all built by TechJini. Our staff uses that to create a very custom front-end portal for every enrollment we do for our clients.

We totally outsourced the development to TechJini and just have an internal resource for management. TechJini provides a senior developer who is working full time on our project. Then, there’s a project manager who dedicates 25% of his time to our project. We have weekly calls. They are typically half an hour to an hour long calls. We check in on every activity that is going on. Often, we will all jump on a call immediately if something needs to be worked on right away. They also have a portal called Assembla where we log every ticket, any change requests, and any bugs that we identify during our testing.

How did you come to work with TechJini?

We had been working with a different group local to New York City for a long time, but we were not getting the same sense of urgency on items and we were having some difficulties with them delivering things on time or delivering what they said they would deliver. So I was looking to make a change.

At that time, I got a call from TechJini in September of 2013. We arranged a couple of meetings. We spoke with the representatives here and we were quite skeptical because we didn’t know if we should go from working with a local group, to someone who has a development center in India. We were having other challenges, so I felt like we could start with a test project. We gave them a very small test project which had no specific deadline and was not totally client driven. We had them work on that and I really liked the transparency. The process is very important. The project management aspect of how they manage everything is important. The put everything on Assembla and they make all the code available on GitHub, and we are the owner of those repositories. Previously, with this other group, we had the challenge where they would keep ownership of the code. They had their own GitHub account where all the code was posted. When we moved to TechJini, I had a lot of trouble getting back ownership of the code. In that respect, I liked the way TechJini is set up.

How much have you invested with TechJini?

We have invested $50,000 to $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started around February of 2014. They’re still providing maintenance for us.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We worked on getting this enrollment portal done from scratch. They came through really well on that. Their people have very good ideas. We hired a different design agency to design the screens. Then, we had TechJini build out the screens and functionality. At every point, they had good recommendations about how to make the admin portal easy for the user. I really liked that.

What did you find most impressive about TechJini?

Overall, I feel like their project management piece is what makes everything go smoothly. They communicate well, and most of the time, they deliver things on time. They take the whole project and break it down into sprints. We insisted those sprints be on a weekly basis. You see the progress, you see what things are being built, and you have a really clear understanding of how things are going along the way. You don’t find out at the very end that five things are missing.

Are there any areas TechJini could improve?

Because they’re in India, it has, in many situations, worked in our favor but there have been a couple of situations where it hasn’t. There’s a huge time difference. Most of the time it works out because when things have to be pushed into production, we want that to be done late at night. In the last 2 years, it might have come up less than 5 times, where we wanted a certain change to happen immediately, but because of the time difference, we had to wait for them to come back to work.

5.0
Overall Score I’m very thrilled I made the change. All the challenges we had with the previous group are gone.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There’s always a little bit of room to improve. They have always been on time because they break everything into small chunks.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The cost and value are great.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Nothing is perfect.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer