Please introduce your company and your role within the company.
We are Redmadrobot, a mobile app development company. We have delivered over 150 apps since 2008 and have over 130 employees. Our speciality is helping established enterprises achieve their business goals with tools such as personal accounts, financial services, workstations, loyalty programs, and e-commerce.
I am the Global Marketing manager, and in this role, I am responsible for marketing, business development, and partner relationships.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app
When estimating the timeframe of a project, it is important to firstly reach an understanding of the business objectives of the app. By knowing the what, why, and how of an app’s functionality and target user, we can identify which core features should be developed first in order to have a market-ready MVP as soon as possible. This initial stage of creating a defined plan of action is vital, as our development process takes part in sprints which allow for testing and validation along the way.
What % of the time required to develop an app is dedicated for front end development process and back end development process
Since we create customized apps, we don’t have a one-size-fits-all policy towards development- some clients want a full back end system created from scratch, while others simply need integration with an existing system. For a large enterprise app that requires additional middleware to interact with an existing backend, this is usually a 50-50 split between front end and back end development.
What is your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors / outsourcing
At Redmadrobot, we keep the entire process, from business analysis to quality assurance, in house. This allows us to ensure the same standards of quality throughout the development process and provides for a smoother transition between each stage. Clear communication is crucial, and by keeping production in house we maintain tight communication not only between teams, but between us and the customer, who has consistent contact and guidance through the project team.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
We highly value design as a critical component of a quality product; good design better attracts users and increases usage and loyalty rates. Our design is focused on usability as opposed to flashiness.
We also have a strong base of engineers, as our publications and internships have given us a high level of credibility amongst the programmer community and allow us to draw from a wide pool of talent.
Both our design and development have been rated at levels consistent with top European firms, but macroeconomic factors make our prices much more competitive. A large portion of our engineers work in Russia, and due to the devaluation of the local currency, our prices in dollar terms have become on average 2.5 times cheaper; this currency imbalance allows us to provide high quality for low prices.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
The client’s target market is the most important factor to be taken into consideration. It isn’t a secret that iOS is more widespread in the US and Europe with the average user spending more, while Android has a superior market share in the rest of the world. So if a business wants to focus on in-app purchases for the UK, for example, iOS is a better choice, but if the number global downloads is the primary concern, then Android is more attractive.
Clients wanting an app which interacts with platform-specific features, such as Apple Watch or Apple Pay, obviously want to choose the platform which offers the best solution.
Which platform do you suggest your clients to begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
Again, this depends on the target audience of a client, with each platform better serving different audiences. Developing for iOS can offer a slight advantage in that it takes a bit less time, as both design adaptation and app testing take place on fewer devices than on Android. However, Android is more flexible in terms of experimenting with UI/UX platform solutions, so Android has a small advantage if several solutions need to be tested at once.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application
The app’s functions is the key factor in deciding its cost, as planning and developing these functions represents the lion’s share of the entire app development process. Once we know these functions, our designers can determine the number of screens necessary, and our programmers can calculate the efforts necessary to realize the functions. The number of screens serves as a good rule of thumb to estimate overall cost, but functions which require significant back-end work are best estimated based on past experience.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients?
We use Time and Materials when determining a contract, as we calculate our cost based on the hourly efforts of our teams. Before signing a contract, we will use in house calculations and the judgement of our lead specialists to provide a cost estimate which also factors in various development risks.
Our contracts specify how much effort and time will be spent on each step of the overall process (analysis, design, development, quality assurance) so that the client knows exactly where their money is going. Advance payment for each step is to be received before it is started.
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 best work is realized when we develop a complex enterprise apps from start to finish, including programming, support, and development lasting over a year. We can do one-off projects starting from a budget of $100,000, but are willing to negotiate if the project holds strategic interest to us, such as MedTech, FinTech, or IoT.
We are willing to do the engineering for someone else’s design if it is a complex and interesting project with a promising vision. We are also happy to do the design work for startups in order to help them visualize their idea- we have a few programs in place along these lines which are geared towards showing daily results at competitive prices. Our minimum budget for standalone design is $10,000, and for engineering, $50,000.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2015?
We have done design work for as little as $10,000 and have worked on complex enterprise apps totalling over $1,000,000.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
A mobile application should not be seen as a stand-alone gimmick, but rather a natural extension of a client’s business. We have found the most success in mobile apps which streamline existing services, provide for e-commerce and customer loyalty, and cut costs via self-service tools and automization.