Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
OptiSol is a new age technology company providing digital products for Enterprises and Startups worldwide. We are a team of 250+ working on AI/ML, Cloud, Mobility, Devops, and Automation.
I am one of the co-founders of OptiSol. As a Director of Operations, I work with my team to strategize, develop, and implement digital products and services for our clients worldwide. The products are multi-channel with web and mobile clients.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
I co-founded OptiSol with two of my business school friends in 2007.
We started the company with a vision to be a corporation built with empowered human capital that engages in challenging opportunities across knowledge-based business practices.
Our mission is to be an outsourcing services partner providing optimized business solutions with delivery excellence to enterprises worldwide.
We are grateful to our clients, partners, and fellow OptiSolites for having grown from a two-member company in 2007 to a 250+ team of empowered people helping our clients innovate with Digital Products and Services.
“Joy Through Gratitude” is our mantra. We have groomed a talented team with a strong culture focused on learning, sharing, and customer success.
What are your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
We develop our products and solutions in-house. We have digital talent at all levels, Product Managers, Scrum Masters, Technology Architects, Developers, Testers, and Devops, etc. We are an agile company focusing on product approach in delivering our digital solutions to Enterprises and Startups.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
Trust and partnership are the key foundation of our engagement with our clients.
We have a proven methodology to launch MVPs. Our three-pillared approach of Design Thinking, Agile Processes, and Tool Driven development and collaboration ensure maximum success to our customers in implementing digital solutions.
We look for value creation and value addition in all the deliverables to our clients. In fact, our deliveries are measured through value addition rather than activity completion.
Our business model ensures maximum RoI for the clients as we help launch digital solutions quickly with the ability to iterate and scale based on the changing business scenarios.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive? If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?
We are a technology-focused company with the ability to provide digital solutions to various industries. Process industries like Chemical, Waste Management, Manufacturing, Construction, Media, and Entertainment are some of the industries we served.
Customer Advocacy is the key factor in our growth. Customer References and repeat businesses have kept our new business flows stronger. About 60% of our clients are from repetitive customers. In the rest 40%, about 20% are from customer references and 20% from our inside Sales team.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
B2B or B2C apps, AI/ML requirements, Cross-platform or native developments, dependency on third-party tools and SDKs, and dependency on backend API layers are some of the key parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
We promote launching a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) quickly to get end-user feedback and then build iteratively, adding more value to the products. On average, we launch MVPs in 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the complexity of the solution.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile app?
Frontend is a key component in mobile development. Story-boarding, custom controls for better navigation, UI/UX for better end-user engagement takes a major part of the app development.
The backend implementation is equally important, especially if it involves ML models, microservices, etc. On average, we can say about 60% of the time would be spent on frontend development. This is true in the case of a JS-based web client as well.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
Android and iOS are popular platforms. Most clients prefer both the platforms for B2C. A study on end-user behavior and the type of devices that they use will be helpful in choosing the right platform. A B2C app with the scalability of worldwide reach would require efforts to be on both platforms. With BYOD, both platforms are essential in the B2B world as well.
Which platform do you suggest your clients to begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
This depends on the solution context, target market, end-user behavior analysis, etc. But it is always a good idea to start with one platform, run a couple of sprints and then follow with the other. This way, we wouldn’t need to retrofit code in both the platforms or tests in multiple devices and OS but focus on getting the functionality right.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
Hybrid platforms, like React Native and Xamarin, have great features, are quick to build, and save about 30% of time and cost compared to building on native iOS and Android. So, we definitely give a lot of thought in developing on hybrid platforms so we can launch on both iOS and Android with a single code base.
We insist on Android or iOS native if the launch is going to be on only one of the platforms, for obvious reasons. In addition, we should also consider third-party integrations, SDKs, and their compatibility before deciding on hybrid platforms.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
The obvious factors are the time and effort required to build the application, considering the applicability of components. However, the most important factor to arrive at the cost is to figure out the value the application can add to the users.
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 start out with a fixed cost for the MVP release. A typical MVP release is 6 to 8 weeks with 3 to 4 sprints. Each sprint is a milestone, and the clients are billed per milestone. Further to the MVP, we plan for each version or release on a fixed cost basis. In some cases, we go on a month on month support and development mode where we fix up target releases per month.
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?
A minimum project requirement is about 10000 USD for developing apps on both platforms. This will vary based on the complexity and context of the application.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2018?
We have created applications with a minimum budget of 15000 USD for both platforms, and the maximum budget is about 150K USD.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
Freemium models with in-app purchases is a good strategy to generate revenue from mobile applications, especially in a B2C scenario. Subscription models with monthly/yearly commitments are a good bet for B2B and content-oriented apps.
Demonstrating Value to the end-users and keeping them engaged will be a key attribute to keep the business on mobile applications. Using proper analytics tools to evaluate application performance, usage and user behaviors, making frequent updates for matching user expectations, are key to keeping up the value and revenue from mobile applications.