INTERVIEWED BY APPFUTURA ON MAY 26, 2017
Please present yourself and your business.
My name is Anand Misir. I have a BSc in Marketing and Finance from University of South Florida, a law degree from University of Stirling (UK), and a Masters of Law from the University of Toronto.
I am President at Infocorp Computer Solutions, an IBM Global Partner. Infocorp provides POS solutions to Governments across the world. I am also Founder at Bounce Technologies. Bounce is a SaaS product that provides SMEs a omni-channel customer engagement platform. Both businesses are based out of Toronto, Canada.
My professional experience is routed in sales and business development. I have no technical background.
Bounce was a project that I had been contemplating for a while, but finding the right technology partner was going to be the key. I had a high-level design in mind and had secured a budget.
Explain what your project was about.
Bounce connects shoppers and local businesses like never before. All from a mobile app, a shopper can locate nearby businesses, shop their inventory and earn perks. They can even purchase in-store and all their available perks are automatically redeemed at the point of sale. Businesses can quickly and easily add items to their Bounce shop, create coupons and rewards programs, and send out promotions on social media or as an in-app message on a shoppers device. Businesses and shoppers can also chat about specific items or orders.
The entire solutions is built on proprietary APIs, which allows for third party developers to create their own white label solutions.
Explain to what scope extend Umbrella was involved in your project.
From design to development, UAT and ongoing support. I have completely outsourced my technical department to Umbrella.
How did you get to meet the Umbrella team and what led you to hiring them?
Coming from a business that sells solutions to Governments, I figured the best way to find the right vendor was to publish a Request for Proposal. The RFP outlined the requirements and was posted on Elance.com and Odesk.com (now both are Upwork.com). I received 100s of responses.
The next step was shortlisting proposals. The primary criteria was a vendors grasp of the concept. Eventually, there was a shortlist of 3 vendors, Umbrella included.
Umbrella was not the cheapest solution, but Stas (the Project Manager and CEO of Umbrella) had a fantastic grasp of the solution I was looking for and even contributed greatly to the overall end design. The entire design phase was pre-contract and at not expense to me, this made sure I had a really good idea what I was going to get prior to committing or spending a dime.
How was their project management?
Over the course of the development process my project manager, assigned to me after executing the contract, was very responsive and consistent with weekly updates over email. He answered every question I had throughout the process. When Milestones were reached, he provided me a link to a staging server and credentials for me to review the work prior to signing off. On several occasions, I had feedback and change requests, which were quickly implemented and re-delivered for a last review.
Was the project completed as expected? Was the time and the budget the same you agreed on?
My solution was delivered on-budget and on-time. Since the first phase of the project I have continued with Umbrella to dramatically increase the functionality of the solution and publish mobile apps – all using my solutions proprietary APIs. As the initial design ensured future scalability, these enhancements were not ‘re-builds’ but rather additional features to the architecture.
Did you find their expertise up to what you expected? Did they require any kind of training from your end to understand your product?
Yes, in fact, their expertise was higher and broader than expected. When we changed our focus to enhance the mobile functionalities of the solution, they introduced a mobile app designer, who ensured the user experience was superb.
No training from my end required.
Please highlight the best things of Umbrella.
They do exactly as they promise! My project was on-budget and on-time. I have been part of many projects over the last 10 years and very few this actually happens. I have been working with Umbrella for 3 years and every phase of this project has been on-budget and on-time.
Is there anything you believe Umbrella could improve on?
At times, language is a barrier. English is not their first language, but I have seen significant improvement with all the resources that I connect with and it is obvious that they are making a serious effort to better communicate in English.
Is there anything else about your experience with Umbrella that you would like to share?
Several third-party developers have integrated to this solution and all have spoken highly of the usability and simplicity of the APIs. Hide extended review
I estimate to have saved over USD $300,000 by partnering with Umbrella, over a North American shop - without giving up any quality or professionalism.