Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
Simpalm is a niche mobile app development company based in the USA with offices in Washington DC and Chicago Area. We were incorporated in 2009 with the vision of bringing more mobility in the World. We provide full end to end app development services including UIUX design, app development, backend development and web app development. Since our inception, we have delivered 250+ mobile apps for enterprises, start-ups, non-profits, and government agencies.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
My vision for founding Simpalmwas was to bring more mobility to the world. Back in 2009, when smartphones were becoming popular, companies and startups didn’t have the technical know-how on how to build mobile apps. I quit my job and started with two developers to start building mobile apps. We have grown steadily and build a team of 35 engineers, designers and project managers with expertise in mobility.
What are your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
All of our team is in-house, which includes designers, developers, testers and project managers. We have three locations: Maryland, Chicago, and India. We offer onshore model and global shoring model to clients. Depending upon the client's requirements and budget, we come up with the right engagement model.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
We provide a unique global shoring model to companies based in the USA. Global shoring model thrives on having senior team onshore, in direct communication with the client and developers being offshore, working behind the scene with the onshore team. The onshore team consists of Project Managers, Technical lead and UX Designer and offshore team consist of software developers and testers. The model provides the value of an onshore company and pricing of an offshore firm.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive?If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?
We serve all different industry verticals including healthcare, education, startups, fin-tech, non-profits, Inc 5000 and Fortune 500 companies.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
Timeframe to develop a mobile app depends upon several parameters such as design, number of features, backend development, third-party integration, the complexity of the features and MVP model. We spend time to analyze the client’s requirements and come up with the estimated timeline.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile app?
Developing front end always require more time than the backend development. If it takes three months to do the front end, backend generally can be done in 2 months or less. We do the front end and backend development simultaneously so that the overall delivery time is shorter.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
It depends upon the complexity of features, design intensity and budget. If the app requires very complex functions such as Bluetooth integration, we always go for native frameworks. If the design has a lot of interaction/animation, we still prefer native over the cross-platform framework. If the app is simple, doesn’t require sophisticated features and has a simple design, then we opt for cross-platform tools like ReactNative. If the budget is tight and the client wants to do both iOS and Android Apps, we go for ReactNative.
Which platform do you suggest your clients to begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
We always recommend starting with the iOS App since iPhones are still more popular in the USA compared to Android. iPhones also provide a better ecosystem to test the UIUX of the app.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
Native vs. Hybrid really depends upon what types of the app we are trying to build and what is the budget the client has. If the app has very complex features like BLE integration or require a very high custom design, we always recommend the native approach. If the app is relatively simpler in design and functionality, we recommend the Hybrid Approach. Also if the budget is tight and the client is looking for both the platforms, we go for the Hybrid approach.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
Our pre-sales team thoroughly analyzes the client requirements and do several brainstorming sessions with clients to understand the proper scope of the project. We consider several factors like design, type of functionalities, number of features, backend development and integrations to determine the time and cost. We always make sure to have a lean product with higher ROI so that the app can be launched with the least money and timeline. Once we have a scope defined, we have our Technical Leads review the range and come up with a time and cost estimate.
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 typically follow Pay per Milestones and Time & Material.
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?
Our minimum budget requirement is around $10000 for a new project. For an existing project, we can begin at $5000.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2018?
Our price range varies depending upon the engagement model we have with our client; typically it ranges from $30-$60 per hour.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
I always recommend the monthly subscription as the best business model for mobile apps, since it allows you to offer certain features for free and then charge a monthly subscription.