INTERVIEWED BY APPFUTURA ON MAR 30, 2017
Could you please say the name of your company and your position at the time?
The company is Samsung. I was the head of the deployment. My division was responsible for validating and ensuring that all the software apps and devices that were going to the US market were market and consumer ready.
What was the project about?
Synergo Group was hired to support our efforts in building an inventory management tool. The inventory management and calendar tools focus was to make device launches, app preloads, maintenance releases and preload updates, as well as making the conditions of the apps ready for preload visible.
Thereby, besides the devices, it was essential to also understand the impact of the operating systems and the device feature set differences like screen resolution, CPU type and so on. We needed to manage various metrics here and understand the effect it would have to make any change. Which version is going to be affected, which device is going to be affected, what test do we need to run and in which cases. So the project was about creating this very complex system with 4 essential components: the inventory management, the planning and scheduling tool, the reporting tool and the device inventory in itself.
To what scope extend was the Synergo team involved?
Synergo was involved in the full software spec that we needed.
How did you meet Synergo and why did you decide to hire them?
I had done work with them in the past, so there were two key aspects: I knew how they worked and I was able to trust them. I knew they could even work on weekends if necessary to make sure we met our deadlines.
We interviewed several other companies, including major ones, but ended up with Synergo because of my previous experience as well as the cost they offered. They were not the cheapest, but they were in a good range and it made the decision quite easy.
At the end of the day, it was also a matter of personal preference.
How was their project management?
It was all there. We had the tools in place. We used Redmine, so we were able to understand what tasks were being executed. We had the planning tool in place too. Everything was there.
We used Agile to manage the sprints and manage the rundown on what they were executing. We always knew what we were going to do two weeks ahead.
There were some communication issues in the beginning that improved in time. But I believe that happens in most IT projects and we learned how to manage it.
Was the time and budget for the project the same that was initially estimated by Synergo?
It was all good.
I don't have the exact numbers with me, but we initially had an available budget of around 78K USD that eventually went up to 120K USD.
Within that budget we managed to execute everything that we wanted. Synergo Group was also willing to invest a little bit more time and effort to make some stuff happen that was initially not thought through.
How did Synergo adapt to the dynamics of such a big corporation like Samsung?
That was not really a concern. Our team was quite independent. We were 30 people and we did not have to put up with all protocols and dynamics of the company.
You already mentioned you knew Synergo and was convinced of their expertise. Did they require any specific training for this project?
They managed everything on their own.
Could you highlight the best things about Synergo Group?
Flexibility. The willingness they have to make it work with the client. The willingness to not charge an arm and a leg, but rather complete efforts in a way that they are making sense. They see the project more of an investment on both sides, not just as a client-provider relationship.
Any areas you think Synergo could improve on?
A strong definition of QA. I wish there would have been somebody at the other side taking care of this from the beginning. I feel everyone knew this was something that was lacking.
In the beginning they where reluctant to screen everything right away so there was a bit of back and forth. However, we managed to work things out.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience with Synergo?
All in all, the project was super successful. The Samsung team I left was thriving on the capabilities we had initiated in 2013. Even today, you can still see the impact of that – minus the Note 7 battery issue! Hide extended review