INTERVIEWED BY APPFUTURA ON MAY 08, 2017
Please present yourself and your business.
My name is Michael Zinniger and I am the Creative Director at Waterstone Faucets in California. We make high-end luxury kitchen faucets and I am responsible for all the marketing material: catalogs, websites, mobile apps... Everything.
Could you explain what your project was about?
We have two aspects of our website. The first is the front-end, just a typical public site. We also have a back-end for sales representatives and kitchen showroom dealers where they can log in to their own account and download marketing materials, find out information about the company and so on.
We also have a rewards program where if a sales person or a kitchen dealer sells one of our faucets we give them a commission. So that person would log in, enter their claim and we keep a record of it on our database and pay them out at the end of the year.
That was the project.
To what scope was Magora involved in the project?
It was pretty database driven as far as the back-end. I knew how to do the front-end, but this was beyond my knowledge. I found Magora and basically hired them to basically do it from scratch.
They were involved from beginning to end, creating a secure log in, creating a database of users, dealerships, regions, territories, sales people... Basically a back end website. They did all the graphics, interface and user experience too.
They did pretty much everything. I kind of gave them an outlined of what I wanted and they just ran with it.
How did you meet Magora Systems and why did you decided to hire them?
We had two bad experiences with developers here in California. The first one just disappeared and didn't finished our project. The second company charged us tens of thousands of dollars and could not get it right and eventually missed their deadline.
Somebody suggested a site called Upwork and I probably interviewed about 5 companies there. Just from the get-go, Magora Systems actually listened, which I thought was key. Once I hired them, they immediately put together a very detailed outline of exactly what I was looking for. They were very methodical and detail-oriented.
They did it in a timely manner too, I was impressed. And they hit their deadlines!
How was their project management?
They did really well. I was assigned a Project Manager from the beginning that oversaw not only the developers, but some of the user experience designers. They had a very methodical outline.
Before we even started, we had a lot of questions back and forth and Skype calls from Russia. From day 1 we wanted to make sure that we were on the same page.
The Project Manager spoke very good English and she was the liaison between the developers and I. It made me feel more comfortable because they didn't just start charging me money and start the project not really understanding the scope of it. They knew exactly what I wanted.
You are in California and they were in Russia. Did you every find any difficulties with time difference?
We had Skype calls with St. Petersburg, which was like 9 hours ahead. We had calls in my early mornings, which is about their 7pm. If we needed to talk with the development team, it was in Siberia, they are 13 hours ahead, so I would talk at 10pm my time, noon their time.
It has never been an issue. Emails a little bit delay because of it, but I have even received emails from them when I know it is their midnight. This means they see my emails and reply pretty rapidly anyway.
Was time and budget as agreed on initially?
Yes. Time wise it was great. They met all their deadlines and each week they spelled out what they would be working on for the next days.
As far as budget, we came out with a set price. The problem was actually on my end where I didn't give them enough details about certain things in my company. So in the end we had to add a few things, but they just re-quoted the project and they stuck to that.
Again, communication is just great with them!
When was the project delivered?
April 1st, 2017. I had a hard deadline and they delivered right on the day.
So it has barely been a month. Are you still working with them?
Yes, I have actually hired them for another project, some improvements on the work done. They did a great job with the first project, so it is now very easy to add features to what has been done.
I did another set price project with them and now I am under an hourly/weekly maintenance contract with them, so I just tell them what I need. It's going to be ongoing and I will continue to use them.
Was their expertise up to what you expected or did they ever require any training?
As far as their development, everything works and works good. I don't really have an insight on their expertise, but the result works so I am assuming everything is cool.
As far as educating them to my business, we had a couple of long Skype calls to make sure everything was understood. There was a little tiny bit of a language barrier, but they quickly even adapted to the lingo.
What would you say are the best things about Magora systems?
I just really like the people that I am working with. Really friendly, really helpful, polite and professional. I have got to know them a little bit personally.
They are a young company, but they are very ambitious and, again, professional. I can't really say anything bad about them. I was really impressed, specially after having two bad experiences with American company.
Is there any are you feel Magora Systems could improve on?
The one thing is that they did exactly what I asked for. Maybe they could have suggested a couple of things that I had missed, but it is really minor stuff. Hide extended review
The time difference things wasn't critical. Of course it would have been better if they were in California, but I don't think it held off the project.
Even with the language and lingo, they just adapted really fast and probably did their own research to.