Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
Shockoe acts as a digital consultancy, providing customized strategy, design, and development solutions for external clients regarding their mobile technology. I’m the CEO and Technical Lead.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
Back in 2008, when Apple started giving developers the opportunity to create their own apps, I figured we could provide services to companies and individuals to make their lives easier, faster, and better with mobile technology. So, I went ahead and started to learn how to design and develop mobile apps.
What is your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/outsourcing?
As a consulting services company, we produce all of the work that’s required to provide our client with the best solutions possible in-house. We don’t outsource our work.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies models?
Most companies have their teams and could potentially create their own apps, but technology changes really fast and some of them stay behind. This is where we provide the most value. Our teams have the experience of moving old products/tools to new technologies and frameworks. We provide a training budget, allocate practice development time, and prioritize our Research & Development program for each employee every year so they can constantly stay up to date with the newest technologies.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive? If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?
We focus on 3 different verticals: Brand & Customer Loyalty, Inventory & Asset Management, and Mobile Workforce, that allow us to work with different clients and even different verticals within these clients We’ve retained almost 90% of our clientele and have only lost the remaining 10% because we’ve provided training to their internal teams in order to continue their roadmap.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
When you are trying to get your user base to be more efficient while on-the-go, at home, or at the office, then you need to find “mobile” solutions. These can be, mobile web, mobile app, AR - VR, and even voice. Anything that can help your employees or users to do things easier, faster, and better.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile app?
The usual answer is “It depends.” We have been working on mobile solutions for over 10 years and it is still hard to determine at simple view of how long it will take to create an app.
We have seen a range of efforts falling anywhere between 3 weeks to 1 year.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
There are a few ways to determine when to use one technology or other. We try to get as much info as possible from the beginning. How/when/who/where are the initial questions that will help determine if a client really needs a Mobile solution, then other parameters such as hardware integrations (bluetooth, headsets, etc) are determined.
Remember, anything that will make the user’s work/life easier, faster, and better is the ultimate goal.
Which platform do you suggest your clients to begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
The question is not iOS or Android. If you want your idea/service to be successful, you need to incorporate both. There are certain variables that are constantly changing, usually in enterprises.
The best way to start is by understanding the goal and knowing the actual business objectives, understanding what’s scalable and what isn’t, and going from there.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
All of them. There are caveats to both. Developing a cross-platform solution is more time-efficient and cost-effective because you’re only writing one code vs. two dedicated native teams, but native has its perks as well. It’s more customizable, quicker to adapt updates, and can integrate more advanced features. It just depends on what you’re looking for.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
Infrastructure, number of users, integrations (APIs), back-end development, user experience capabilities, or platforms.
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.)
Usually time & materials, but sometimes a client can go the route of a fixed cost, which would also be based on phases. For maintenance, we bill at a monthly rate and if it becomes something long-term, we bill by the number of resources needed.
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 usually look for a few other things aside from budget. If a start-up comes to us, we usually research the team, who is funding them, the business idea, etc. You certainly can’t create a business with $20k.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2019?
The range is between $50K to $2M.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
You can’t truly profit from a mobile app by selling the app itself. Providing subscription services or loyalty programs is the smarter way to go.