Please introduce your company and your role within the company.
I’m the Head of Account Management at Omega-R, Inc., which is an international TOP Mobile Development Studio with offices in two continents, Russia and USA (NYC). We design and develop innovative digital solutions with a focus on mobile app solutions, UX design, responsive web, VR/AR projects and mobile games. The company’s mission is to create the best mobile solutions which grow our clients’ business and increase their revenue.
Our clients come from different sectors and financial background. Therefore we’ve polished our skills to deliver great quality products for all of them, be it a Startup, SME or a Fortune 500 company.
What is your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors / outsourcing?
As our main goal is to develop the application at a highest possible level, we are responsible for the whole process of development. Therefore we never outsource our projects. Every piece of the software is built inside the company by our 55 in-house employees.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
Our business model can be expressed by one word: ‘awareness’. And that is actually the added value our clients benefit from. We never blindly follow the instructions by doing what we are told to do. We must know, WHY we do it and we must believe in what we are doing. That is why we evaluate each RFP against several criteria. The most important one is whether our client and their customers will really benefit from the concept. If we see no point, we would rather pass by this project and not waste the client’s time and money. It may sound like a bit picky approach, but in the end this is the only way to deliver products that are really being used by the target audience.
Once we start the work, we unite completely with the client. We live and breathe to make our common dream into a business solution that brings money to our client and pleasure to the end users.
In short, this is how the workflow looks like:
1) Business analysis: we dive into the industry for insights and ask tons of questions to our client.
2) Creating concept: based on the collected info, our designers produce the first mockups. (And say that they have nothing to do with the final product which I know may be a shock for some of the clients. But since we work in one team with our customer, we have to trust each other).
3) Proof of concept: we give away the first prototypes to the target audience and test-test-test.
4) Adjusting and polishing: now when we have a clear idea of what our end users want, it will save us a huge amount of time and budget. No longer back and forth with the final design.
5) Development and QA: by delivering a playable build on a bi-weekly basis.
Another important practice at Omega-R is, even after the project’s release we stay one family with the client and continue growing our baby.
What kind of industries do you cater to?
We rather cater to creativeness and innovation, regardless of the industry. Therefore, our projects come from various sectors. Our experience covers gaming industry, fitness & health, social network, finance, fashion and traveling, education, music. We are passionate about AR&VR, and not long ago we launched our own startup for real estate architects.
Like kids, we are very curious and love the world with its diversity.
Mention the objectives or parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
There are certain parameters that are critical in determining the time frame of an app development -
1) Target release date - and how critical it is (if it’s tied to an event, holiday, etc.)
2) Scope of work and complexity
3) Budget (we can expand the team and allocate several developers in order to meet the deadline, and they can overwork on weekends)
4) Is our team responsible for all sides of development or do we co-work with another team on the client’s side (in case of second option, the time frames will be extended)
What % of the time required to develop an app is dedicated for front end development process and back end development process?
The time dedicated for development of front end as well as back end can be divided in a 50:50 ratio. As we follow Agile methodology, we have to develop all functions parallel to each other to be able to perform a playable demo after every 2-week sprint.
Which platform do you suggest your clients to begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
It totally depends on each client’s case, type of their project, the client’s final goal and their audience habits.
For non-gaming mobile apps we typically choose native programming languages (Java for Android and Swift for iOS). Based on native languages we can design flexible architecture which allows us to easily customize the app further, if any modifications are required (eg. implementation of new features, even if it is not by our team). As a result you get high-quality and well-commented code, clean and familiar syntax and the most important thing - great performance.
We also use cross platform solutions: Cocos 2d-x for games and Unity 3D for games and AR/VR solutions.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
Several factors are considered before deciding the cost of a mobile app -
1) Scope of work
3) Timeframes (urgency)
4) Client’s awareness (how well they know what they really want and/or if they trust us as experts)
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients?
Practicing Agile approach we split the entire scope of work into 2-week sprints. The SOW for each sprint is discussed and setup together with the client at the beginning of each sprint.
At the end of the sprint we deliver the intermediate results in the form of the intermediate designs / functional prototype / playable build, the report about the work completed and the invoice for the hours actually consumed. Current experience suggests that it is the most flexible and effective approach for the development process.
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement? If yes, what is the minimum requirement?
Like I said, we are pretty picky about the projects overall. Surely, budget matters but it is only one of the criteria. If Coca-Cola comes to us with a small task which is worth $100, we will take it :)
Saying that of course, we’re interested in large-volume project scopes. We do projects worth at least $30k. If client has a small project – we can still take it in. In such cases, it's more like a contribution to the possible profitable cooperation in the future.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to 2016?
On an average, least would be $30k 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 your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
It depends on the kind of product we’re trying to build as each model has its own strengths. In case of mobile games, it’s definitely in-app purchases and ad banners that monetize the best; the same applies to most of the consumer-facing apps we deliver.
In some other cases, subscription models are certainly on the rise because of their ability to provide steady continuous revenue.