Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company.
The company is a mobile app development agency located in Omsk, Russia. We started our business in 2010 and the idea behind it was to help young talent become a part of a larger team to tap into their skills and contribute to full-scale mobile development projects both locally and internationally. We wanted to help people choose their walk of life which would constantly bring them joy and satisfaction resulting in higher quality of the final product we develop as a company. I guess this is what our clients can capitalize on.
Right now we have an outstanding team of 25 professionals whose expertise lies in developing Android & iOS mobile applications. We offer a full set of services including complete design, coding, back-end development and quality assurance as well as our assistance in submitting the applications to the respective app stores. Actually, most of our clients come to us with a rough idea and concept of the product or service they want to develop. We help them build the specifications, make the analysis of the market and only then we start with the implementation of the project. If necessary we also provide maintenance and enhancement services to our clients.
I am the director of Rosberry and I also take an active part in managing the projects and other business processes that happen in our company.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
First of all, we try to understand whether the concept or the idea of the application is marketable and whether we are ready to work together with a client on this. We generally dedicate around a week to get a more accurate idea of what a client wants to develop and what his/her requirements are. After this, we are able to narrow down further technicalities for the project and come up with the timeline for the development of the application.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile application?
Well, it all depends. At times we develop client server applications and in other cases we engage with stand-alone apps. When it comes to client-server applications, it generally takes one third of the entire timeline to develop the backend and two third is dedicated to the front-end. So to build a top-notch application one should invest a good amount of time to get an enjoyable and user-friendly interface and front-end.
What is your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors / outsourcing?
We have a complete in-house team and do not outsource any of our work. Our team consists of back-end developers, designers, Android developers, iOS developers, QA engineers and some managerial positions. We are all located in the same open space office which proves to be really effective while working on projects.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
Our analysis of the current market trends shows that most of the clients are confronted with the problem that before embarking on a project, development companies are striving to know the budget and the requirements behind it to fit themselves into this very scope. So, the question arises: ‘If a client has to provide all that, what value does a developer add to the project?’ We have taken a different tack. We do not ask our client for any of such details. We aim at understanding their idea and concept and try to give suggestions based on that. We care about the project and to deliver a top-notch application is our responsibility and a final goal as we usually showcase all applications as part of our portfolio. We want to be proud of everything we do.
What are the industries that you cater to? What ratios of your clients are repetitive?
We are open to all sorts of applications belonging to different industries. So far we have worked on B2B, B2C and entertainment projects – photo and video editing apps, health and fitness apps, food delivery and taxi-hailing apps, etc. We have successfully retained around 80% of our clients who are coming back to us to work on other projects as well.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
It depends on the business model of the project, demographic and the geography it is going to finally target. For example, 5 years ago the Russian market was completely owned by the Android devices. So it made more sense to invest in publishing an Android mobile application first and later take on the development of an iOS application. On the other hand, in the USA the market is predominantly captured by the iOS devices. So it makes sense to publish an iOS application in such a region first. The statistics show that iOS users are more willing to spend money to purchase applications as compared to the Android users.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
Again, I have already mentioned that we are not trying to push and persuade our clients. To suggest a platform, we need to understand the project premises first, the requirements, the geography and demographics. Even more important is the value the application will bring to the final users. If all that is at hand and properly understood we can suggest a particular platform to develop the application on.
Though we develop only iOS and Android-based applications, we never try to talk a client into going native if we clearly see that the project can succeed and be more cost-effective with hybrid solutions used. Usually, hybrid applications are good for small-scale start-up projects which do not require smooth and snappy user interface or great runtime performance. In case of hybrid approach, we recommend that a client finds a different contractor to best meet his/her technical and budget requirements.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
Basically, each and every factor is considered while deciding the cost of an application. We talk to our client, we understand his/her needs - the starting point. We try to puzzle out what is it that we are going to get in the end and do our best to be on the same page with a client making his/her involvement as meaningful as possible.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients?
There are 2 types of payment models that we use at Rosberry to bill our clients – Fixed Cost model & Hourly model (T&M).
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement?
We do not have a basic budget requirement as such. Our main focus is on the idea and concept of the application to be developed. We study the idea with our team with the client actively involved and then come up with the timelines and approximate cost of the project. At times, the clients want a prototype or an MVP, which usually doesn’t cost more than US$7000. If it is more than that, then one needs to reconsider the vision of the MVP.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2015?
Minimum was around US$15000 and maximum was more than US$120,000.
Which business model do you suggest to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
I strongly believe that if it is a brand new application to be launched for the first time, one shouldn’t publish it as a paid app otherwise very few users will download it. The app should be free as such with some in-app purchases. The in-app purchases should be really smart, they should fit the situation and the users shouldn’t get annoyed because of it.