Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
S Media Link is a leading software development company headquartered in Houston, Texas with operations in Russia. Our core business is operating as a Dedicated Software Design and Development Centre for business and Startups worldwide. We are a team of enthusiastic and experienced developers and designers who collaborate to turn their knowledge, creativity, and passion into spectacular projects for clients.
We do mobile apps and websites. I’m the CEO and one of the co-founders of S Media Link.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
We wanted to start an IT-company with the best client service and the best employees to make modern apps and websites of high quality.
What are your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
We do everything in-house; we have almost 80 people now, but some of the engineers are working remotely.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
Our primary purpose is to solve a client’s problem. We’re not just a contractor; we’re also technical advisor like CTO. And we can consider any idea and suggest solutions to the client. We also offer consulting services: we analyze a customer’s business processes, find weaknesses, and suggest ways to fix them. Plus, we have all in-house staff: developers, designers, QA engineers, project managers, etc. that’s why we can create a product from scratch only by ourselves.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive?If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?
Our prime industries are education, media, finance, health, real estate, security, and logistics.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
The time frame depends on the functionality and complexity of the app.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile app?
It depends on the design of the app and its features. Usually, front-end and back-end are equal in terms of time, and it’s about three months each. It could be more or less, depending on the application.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
We define the target audience of an app and then suggest a platform that is more relative to that project. We pay a lot of attention to the basic idea and problem fields that the projects plan to solve. We can also try and understand ROI customer planning and strategic targets.
Which platform do you suggest your clients to begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
Both of them have pros and cons. Most of the customers prefer to start with iOS if they want to gain some financial results, because iOS users are ready to pay more. Other starts with Android to get a vast number of the first users.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
We usually recommend native applications, no matter iOS or Android. Hybrid ones are hard to update, going forward, because a lot of bugs tend to appear in future versions. We recommend hybrid platforms when clients wish cheaper MVPs with a faster development cycle. But then, customers have to be ready to spend more in the next development phase.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
• Essential MVP features
• Number of screens
• KPI of the app: scalability, expectations about peak loads and number of active users
• Design and animation desires
Our specialists provide estimation based on their experience and similar projects. We work on an hourly basis, so the cost depends on the time of the project.
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 work on Scrum methodology, so the whole project breaks into sprints (usually they take two weeks) and clients pay per sprint.
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?
The starting budget of the project is $15000.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2018?
The price range of the projects was from $15000 to $630000.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
The business model can be different and depending on project aims, target audience, and owner's strategy. It could be a free or freemium model. Sometime we will create complex schemas of monetization. Like freemium model is suitable for clients, who want to attract active users first for a minimum cost. We can work on premium features during project promotion and add it to the paid plan.