Please introduce your company and your role within the company.
My name is Baati Mittal and I am currently I am working as Vice President at OnGraph Technologies. I am responsible for handling all the delivery operations across all our development centres in Noida, Delhi and Jaipur.
OnGraph was established in 2007 and has been in the web and mobile application development space. We have been working and developing applications on various domains like construction, real estate, automotive, education, healthcare, music, audio/video, games, e-commerce and retail. Our focus is both on delivering services to customers as well as building our own products. When I say products, these are both web products as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android. We also have our sales offices in USA, UK and Malaysia.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app
We follow a high-level work breakdown structure where we access what features are needed in a particular application and then try to come out with an estimate of every feature. Then we do a top-down approach to aggregate all these figures to basically arrive at a figure for the entire application development. Since the estimate is done feature-wise, at a very granular level, the figures come out to be much accurate as compared to a ball-park estimate just looking at the entire bunch. This is done for both the processes: the back-end work involved in an application in the form of an admin panel or the APIs as well as for the actual front end of the application development.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile application
It all boils downs to the type of application. For example, if I take a chat application into consideration then a lot of complex work is involved on the back end side like making the chat server, or in case of a video-streaming solution the bulk of the work would be on the back end side in setting up the streaming server, setting its frequency, the connections and similar things. So these are back-end intensive applications whereas in case of front end extensive applications a lot of business rule processing is required on the application side, like a audio/video processing on the application side with just minimal interaction with the back-end. Then there are apps like a regular social networking site where every action on the app is having an associated action on the back end. So at those places the effort would be like 50-50. 50% effort on the app side and 50% on the back-end side.
What is your company’s business model–in-house team or third party vendors / outsourcing
We do not outsource our work. We have a development team in-house spread across the development centres in Noida and Jaipur.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
It’s the product-psyche inbuilt in every single person working at OnGraph. We develop our own products as well as provide services to the customers. So this is a very rare combination because since we develop our own products, we understand what a product manager goes through, what the product life cycle is and ultimately what is the goal for any business to succeed with a product? So developers have been accustomed to work in that mode. The project managers, team leads, and delivery owners all of them know and can keep recommending features as what to do and what not to do depending on their learning from products which they have developed for OnGraph. So that’s a very unique thing which OnGraph is able to offer to our customers. A customer for us is not just someone who comes in with a requirement, we would develop and give it back to him and he goes. Because of our product development expertise background, we are able to provide suggestions (like don’t go for this feature or if you are thinking about this feature, pause here and add this additional feature or have you thought about these problems which might come up in a later stage). We have gone through all this so we are able to bring them upfront and go hand-in-hand with the business owner to ultimately develop product of his requirement.
“Android or iOS – Which platform is better to built an app first and why?” Share your thoughts on the statement.
It depends on what the target market is and what is the product catering to? For example, if the target market is India, I would say go for Android first because penetration is huge but if the target market is US, UK, Australia then go for iOS first. There are multiple other factors to be considered in this regard like in-app purchase, etc.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
The platform whether it’s going to be iOS or android, the screens like is it just for mobiles or for tablets or both, the orientation - portrait or landscape, how much security does it require, is it a standalone app or does it require back-end integration, is it an MVP or is it a refined product.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients?
We follow both T&M structure and Fixed Price Structure depending on customers comfort level and depending on how well the requirements are organized. A lot of times, customers come to us with just one or two line of idea, so in those cases we work with them to define the requirements and hence the engagement goes more towards T&M as the requirements are not well defined. If the scope is fixed, we do take up a fixed price structure.
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement?
A lot of customers come through references so for those customers, there is no budget requirement. In other cases, we do not take up projects below 10,000 US$.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2015?
Least would be 500 US$ and maximum is hard to say because there are generally large T&M engagements running for more than a year.
Which business model do you suggest to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
In-app purchases, light and pro versions of the application where one is free with limited features and other is paid with more advanced features. Even, subscription models works well wherein the user is subscribed to receive some content.