Kindly share your feedback on how GoodFirms has been doing so far in increasing your visibility among potential clients.
During the first months, GoodFirms, has been driving steady traffic to our website. Unfortunately, that is not the truth since the beginning of this year. We are looking forward to a more active partner in the future.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
Bianor was established 22 years ago by two young software engineers, enthusiasts, and visionaries, whose aim was to create software solutions that bring real value to the users. Solutions that empower people around the globe to interact visually, engage, collaborate, and enjoy technologies tailored to their needs. Our main goal still is to create IT solutions that free people to access information, work efficiently, and flawlessly collaborate wherever they are, whenever they need to.
What is your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
We have always been working in the sphere of software outsourcing. Either by running an in-house team or customer dedicated teams in the office or at their premises. Now, we believe that the most cost-efficient model is establishing dedicated teams. They could work in the office alone or along with our customers' engineering teams as an extension to the core of their product development team. What we always aim at, though, is establishing long-term partnerships, as they bring excellent know-how, trust, respect, and efficiency. The fact that we have over 10-year long relationships with some of our clients proves this is an effective model.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
Our model, with dedicated teams, especially when applied long-term, brings many benefits for the customers. As I already mentioned above, we consider it as the most cost-efficient. What it provides the customer is a better understanding of the overall task and the whole product idea. We get to understand the customers' needs in-depth, thus reaching a point where we can suggest meaningful ideas and enhancements of the products, and bring added value to the final result.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive?
For over 20 years in the business, we have had customers coming from a great variety of industries. However, the largest number of clients are IT companies - software product developers, Telcos, and Digital Media. We have a unique niche specialization in the development of software solutions for the Defense Industry. In the last ten years, we have focused a lot on solutions for video streaming and live broadcasting, naturally attracting customers with such product requirements, regardless of the industry.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing software.
It all comes to communication - proper, timely, and effective two-way communication with the customers. We work together to understand their goals and objectives. It is crucial to have a clear understanding of customers' priorities, time-to-market, and phases. Together we align their roadmap with the team on our end and identify the delivery schedule. This way, we can adapt based on market needs while remaining flexible. The dedicated team model allows the customer and us greater flexibility. We are free to change priorities without going through a tough change-request management process.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of software?
First and foremost, we work heavily on describing the requirements and the exact needs. Once we have all of them set, we jump into development. Depending on the project, we could dedicate more effort to the front-end or the back-end. Sometimes the back-end is much more complicated than the front-end, and we spend more time on it. But in other cases, we need very smooth usability and impeccable user experience, which turns the front-end into a priority focusing more efforts on it. After all, the front-end is what the end customers see, and it has to look nice. However, we want to make sure we have a stable back-end to ensure flawless operations.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right framework for developing software?
Choosing the right framework could be crucial for product success. This is why we have to consider several variables when selecting them. For example, we always have in mind the time-to-market, the budget as well as the current state of the product development.
Stability and reliability are other parameters that we have to consider, especially when dealing with critical software solutions related to the defense sector or live streaming to millions of people. In such cases, it is not a good idea to experiment with exotic frameworks and programming languages. With R&D projects, we can allow being more flexible and even exploring new platforms.
We always look forward and need to consider how the product will be supported, is there a community you can count on, etc. Of course, we always think of the customer's requirements, especially if they have a fixed tech stack. This is even more valid for the defense sector, where we can't afford much creativity, and everything follows strict standards. Another essential parameter we need to acknowledge is the know-how - knowledge, and understanding of the internal team vs. the customer's needs.
Which languages & frameworks do you prefer to use in development of software?
We believe that programming languages and frameworks are just the tools to get a job done. Of course, there is always this moment, in which the team is more productive with particular languages and frameworks. Depending on the needs and complexity of the solutions, we always adapt to reach optimum effectiveness. Our engineers feel comfortable with Java, C/C++, Python, ReactJS, Go, etc.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of software?
We usually try to stay away from the fixed price model. However, when we need to estimate such cost, we take into account the following: statistical data gathered from similar projects, the team structure (seniority), duration of the project, the complexity of the solution, technologies used, security requirements, the scale of usage etc.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients? Is it Pay per Feature, Fixed Cost, Pay per Milestone (could be in phases, months, versions etc.)
We prefer to use the T&M (times and material) approach where we bill the customer monthly for the services provided by a dedicated team. In case we are talking about fixed-price projects, we usually get an advanced payment to start the work and get the customers' commitment. The rest of the compensation we demand on delivery of the complete product. This approach works for small-scale projects.
For larger fixed-price projects, we split the payments into smaller transfers. We break the project into several phases, starting with a Business Analyses phase, where we estimate the first small stage. While working on the first stage, we get to know the system, and provide an estimate for the second phase, etc. The problem with this approach is that we cannot have a price estimate for the complete project. To mitigate this, we usually work for a while on detailed requirements gathering, specification so that we can create a more accurate cost estimate.
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement? If yes, what is the minimum requirement? If no, on what minimum budget you have worked for?
We have a threshold of at least $50K projects, and as I mentioned above, we do not seek a one-off project, rather long-term relationships.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2019?
The projects we have worked on in 2019 varied from $70K to $1.5 million for one year.