1. Situation Summary

Andy Hilliard, of Accelerance shared information with Michael Perry of InfoSwarm Labs the week of December 7, 2015.

Company Background

InfoSwarm Labs is an e-commerce incubator. They have some companies that they own and operate - www.clubsgalore.com www.mackinleymanor.com - and some that they partner/incubate - Chick Starter, Project Night Club/Nomadic Entertainment Group, Northman Co, Havana Central, Go Charity, and others.

They assist/develop/deliver the following: Business and Financial Operations, Management Oversight, Web development and design, product design, consumer experience, as well as product procurement and warehouse fulfillment.

Current Configuration

Right now for software they have use 2 people who have helped them with overseeing the software development. One was very limited - strictly WordPress and struggled with the nuance of membership v. subscription v. single purchase platforms. The other is more of a pure technologist, has some code background but does a lot more with hardware than software.

They have tried to use both of these folks to help outsource and they have had mixed results. The bottom line is that the first guy was limited (as detailed above), the second guy is a bit unreliable, and the team he used didn't speak english, and they do not have French or Flemish capabilities. This caused a lot of bottle necks, etc.

On the software side they need support in building digital assets - websites/apps/other? for clients that they are engaging. Sometimes is it is more of a branded site, like the folks at Go Charity, and sometimes it is a bit more complicated like ClubsGalore or Northman.co, having an e-commerce functionality as well.

They also need to develop data reporting and analytics packages for the e-commerce clients, basic shopping card data is fine for some, but not for all.

They are also setting up a warehouse and may need support in developing software solutions for inventory tracking (for us and client), shipping interface, etc.

Pain

They have a few projects that are about to kick off and they do not have a trusted resource (as detailed above). Northman, Go Charity are kicking off in the next 2 weeks. ClubsGalore will under go a rebuild starting in January.

Technology

Web design and development resources, perhaps database architecture and build, for the project duration.

Desired Partner Attributes

Michael wants a group that they can get comfortable with and come back time and time again. He would prefer that the lead and her/his one-down speak English. They just went through the issue with the Belgian team, where the lead on their end, was the only one to communicate and that caused a big issue for them.

Vison
Michael thinks this would be more project based, as not every project has a software component. He would also like experience with e-commerce as well as consumer facing sites.

Time Frame

ASAP - we have a project kicking off (discovery) this Friday (12/11/15)

Preferred Locations

Michael has limited outsourcing experience. He worked with people in Vietnam - OK, lead was limited to WordPress.

Decision Process

Mike and Ruben Garcia

Impediments to proceeding?

For Go Charity (this week) they think they are good to go. They are meeting with them on 12/7. Northman.co they are nailing down scope next week, so that will kickoff soon.

2. Objectives & Selection Criteria for This Engagement

Specifically, your objectives are:

  • Flexibility:  Rapid ramp-up of an outsourced team – as dictated by your current and anticipated future development needs.
  • Technical Expertise: Technical expertise in developing custom applications suited to your business goals and requirements and according to the client's specific technical requirements as they exist.
  • Capabilities: Beyond technical expertise, you want a Partner whose teams can handle the full cycle of software development, doing so in an independent, collaborative and flexible manner.
  • Methodology:  Experience with Agile methods in Software Development – documented and experienced best practices utilizing an Agile Framework and able to produce and achieve reasonable time estimates for sprints.
  • Talent:  Access to a reasonably deep talent pool as dictated by the relationship needs, with the help of a Partner that will increase the speed of ramping up of the kind of team you seek, utilizing a proven HR and training process.  The composition of any team must be able to reasonably flex as needs dictate.
  • Cost Efficiency:  While not the only top priority, this is an important driver:  cost savings are expected but not at the expense of work quality.
  • Location & Time Zone:  Nearshore due to better collaboration.
  • Timing:  ASAP
  • Cultural and Language Alignment: Excellent communication and problem solving skill

3. Introduction to Accelerance's Recommendations

Accelerance has considered the your objectives and vendor selection criteria in the context of all members in the Accelerance Global Partner Network. Accelerance is delighted to recommend Kambda (Costa Rica) and Tekton (Peru) as our top aligned choices and great matches for your needs.

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Kambda
AGP Matrix Score *

736

Country
Pros
  • Excellent skills match
  • 100% work day overlap
  • Easy close location for visits
  • Partner since 2005
  • Tremendous communication skills throughout teams
  • Fast and flexible ramping model
  • Great pricing
Cons
  • Pricing will be higher than Asia (low-mid-30's/hr)
Tekton Labs
AGP Matrix Score *

735

Country
Pros
  • 5 years Accelerance Partner with spotless record across dozens of clients
  • Focus on Startups and smaller teams that flex fast
  • B-B and B-C experience with strong retail and eCommerce focus
  • Great pricing
  • Teams and resources travel frequently to meet and work with clients
  • Excellent communication skills
Cons
  • Pricing will be higher than Asia (low-mid-30's/hr)

4. Partner Information and Other Relevant Materials

Accelerance gathers and compiles relevant due diligence information on our Partners to share with you. This includes presentations, Assessments, blogs, and Accelerance Video Interviews of Partner leaders discussing topics of outsourcing interest. To review information and other relevant material for your top aligned Accelerance Partners, click on the links below.

Contact Information

Accelerance Quick Take

What Kambda says about InfoSwarm Labs

Hi Andy, we are definitely interested in this opportunity and we believe we have the necessary skills to solve InfoSwarm Labs current problem.

To this effect, we have significant web development experience using many of the modern programming languages and technologies. We help our clients in projects using any CMS such as Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, etc. or in more complex web applications using the popular Ruby on Rails programming language or Microsoft .NET.

On the backend, we have experience building Restful APIs, Django admin panels, .NET webapi, etc.

We are a company based in Costa Rica that currently have developers supporting other clients with the skills required to do this job but also have access to many more qualified developers in case you need to scale or need support in other technologies.

Our CTO also has significant experience in web development using a wide array of technologies and with every new client, we always analyze your needs first, determine what needs to be done, discuss the possible solutions with the client and assign the job to one of our developers to implement it. We always suggest our clients the most cost-effective route to accomplish their goals since our main objective is to build confidence with our clients in order to help them out in all of their current and future software development needs.

We would love to jump on a call with you to discuss more thoroughly the problem you’re having and how Kambda can solve this problem.

Artifacts

Click the link below to review information and other relevant material compiled during the certification process carried out by Accelerance for this partner:


http://bit.ly/1x7X43H

Show more...Show less...

Contact Information

Accelerance Quick Take

What Tekton Labs says about InfoSwarm Labs

This is a great match for Tekton! We specialize in agile software development and apps (mobile and web) using several tools and technologies as:

  •                Open Source Platforms: We customize for different objectives (E-learning, Ecommerce, landing, Facebook App and others) using Drupal and Joomla
  •                PHP Frameworks: We use this tech for Backend and Front Ends for Enterprise clients using Laravel and Symphony and HTML5 for front-end.
  •                Ruby on Rails: We use this tech for Backend and Front Ends for Enterprise clients
  •                Mobile Development: We create native applications for Android/iPhone that interact with backend’s and/or web services.

Also we have several ready to go modules that we use for our projects that we create an adapt for different purposes that improve the time of development and quality this is a great help for startups and product development.

We have experience working with many B-C and B-B startups over the years. At the moment, for example, we are working on projects in North Carolina for Startups with focus on Mobile Apps (Paradine) and Kogeto in NY; in Europe we are working 321Market in London and two startups in Scotland (Kirkwall and D-Health).

Our areas of expertise are the following:

  • Education: We create a CampusERP for Latin America and several E-learnings for Oil Training in the US
  • Mobile Development: Several types of Apps for iPhone and Android
  • Digital Marketing: Applications for the marketing campaigns
  • Retail: B-C applications with eCommerce and dbase driven architecture with modern UX/UI.
  • Startups MVP: We apply Scrum and Lean Startup in order to help companies to launch their products we also use Product Discovery as key part of our process
  • Enterprise Development: Mostly Back-offices or integrations with legacy systems for finances and insurance.

Our team has experience working with US clients with almost 70% of our projects for the US or UK. We use the agile philosophy and Scrum framework for our work because we understand that development speed and communication is a key ingredient for the success of any project and this allows the flexibility that clients needs.

One of our main areas of focus is the recruiting of people. We establish partnerships with the best universities in Peru in order to have the best students but on top of that we perform several technical test to the participants simulating real scenarios of work, in order to see if they are the right fit not only on the technical side also in the cultural side because they must like the culture of the company and the believes that we have. After these first steps are passed, they work on internal products or projects where they receive the training and later on move forward with projects.

Artifacts

Click the link below to review information and other relevant material compiled during the certification process carried out by Accelerance for this partner:


http://bit.ly/1rbjA6n

Show more...Show less...

Contact Information

Accelerance Quick Take

What Tekton Labs says about InfoSwarm

Artifacts

Show more...Show less...

5. Additional Information About Our Selection

Since 2001, Accelerance has curated detailed information on more than 6,000 global software development firms. We have assessed more than 1,500 of these firms at a greater detailed level.

 Accelerance deeply assesses all of our partners on multiple operational and develop based levels, including site visit assessments before admitting them into the Accelerance network. We continue to monitor, assess and consult with ongoing partner-client engagements to assure development and relationship success. As part of our evolving partner relationships, we continually update our knowledge of our partner's capabilities, strengths and successes and we produce content for clients to dimensionalize these partner facets.

 Currently, 50 software development partners in 30 countries have been fully vetted extensively on site and over time to earn our designation of Accelerance Certified Expert (ACE) Partner. Learn more about our assessment process here.

6. Ramp-Up of Your Outsourcing with an Accelerance Partner

After you review this proposal please revert with your feedback and questions so that we can clarify your needs and preferences.

If everything is good, the next recommended step is to have brief (<= 1-hour) video calls with one or more recommended partners using a simple agenda below. You will use the calls to validate shared information while exploring other related topics like how they work with clients and how they would create and ramp up your team, what software development methods they use with clients, case studies, metrics, etc... You can choose to keep the call at the business level or you can make it more technical.

The call(s) enable you to benchmark and validate some basic principles and to get a feel how each Partner relates and fits to your working environment. In other words, it takes this process from the theoretical to the actual, with a small but important investment of time.

My assistant Yael Passarelli will set up the call(s) for us.  

Partner Intro Video Call - Recommended Agenda

  • Quick overview of your goals and reasons driving this desire to bring on a partner 
  • Quick overview of the Partner, 5 – 10 min, size/scale/location/#clients, ability to support your software development needs
  • Key competencies, 5 – 10 min, what are the unique attributes that differentiate Partner
  • Partner Case study: 15 – 20 min, walk through of a recent customer project (ideally similar to you) including
    • Project objective & timeframe
    • # resources on both sides
    • Technologies used
    • Key challenges and how they were addressed
    • How was the project managed, kept on track, stakeholders notified, etc.
  • How were risks identified & mitigated
  • In retrospect, what were the lessons learned by both sides.
  • Next Steps



7. On-Going Support from Accelerance

Your on-going relationship with the Accelerance partner of your choosing will be direct and participation by Accelerance is not required. For example, your signed agreement for deployment of your programming team, rates, terms and conditions will be with the Partner.

However, Accelerance is always available to you for advice and guidance of your global outsourcing relationships. In fact we will check in with you from time-to-time to ensure things are going well with your outsourcing.

Beyond the assessment that Accelerance performs on each global partner to validate their overall effectiveness and track record in delivering software development services to U.S. clients, Accelerance also uses a sophisticated set of metrics and alignment steps to ensure the recommended partner is the best fit to meet your short and long term needs.

Accelerance continues to serve both parties to ensure a successful launch and long term engagement after the initial introductory call:

  • Accelerance works with both parties to agree on equitable contractual arrangements based on industry best practices.
  • Accelerance provides feedback and guidance on the Governance Models based on industry best practices.
  • Accelerance continues to assess, monitor and report the performance and satisfaction levels of each party, independently, throughout the initial years of a relationship in order to provide key guidance and feedback to best ensure a healthy, ongoing relationship.

Our clients have found that continued involvement by Accelerance helps ensure an exceptional outsourcing experience. We hope you will join them and select one of our top choices as the recommended Accelerance global partner for your outsourced software development.