Please introduce your company and briefly describe your role within the company.
Computools is a one-stop company to outsource software development with it’s headquarter in Unit City, Kiev. Being a company leader means the highest responsibility for success and well-being of every client and employee. Day after day, I find out new ways of improving the working conditions and moving our organization to the next level. At the same time, I follow the mission to promote the prosperity for customers’ businesses through full-cycle servicing of innovative software development, enabling customers to concentrate on their core tasks.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
From the age of 12, I was utterly fascinated by computer programs and other IT innovations. It was so interesting for me to explore how complex software is developed, how to automate daily processes and business operations by means of innovative technologies. When I was 14, I started working in the agrarian sector. The idea of developing special technology for automating agricultural processes didn’t give me any rest. Exactly at that moment, I set a goal to build my own company which specializes in custom software development. In 2013, I founded Computools, having just 4 programmers aboard. Now I’m a CEO of a global company represented by 90 employees with more than 250 successfully implemented projects for clients and partners all over the world. Dreams have a propensity to come true if you work tirelessly and strive to grow each day.
What is your company’s business model–in-house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
Computools has the in-house team. We grow the own dedicated professionals.
How is your business model beneficial from a value-added perspective to the clients as compared to other companies’ models?
Our business model is focused on 2 areas: reduction of time and costs, and quick launching. We recommend our customers to choose an innovative MVP approach to enter the market in just 60 days, going ahead of their competitors. The concept of the minimum viable product allows getting rid of extra expenditures, as you receive a ready product with the most important features after 2 months. Not wasting money on office rent, the arrangement of workplaces and special equipment, you can rely on a more modest budget, and make investments in strategic issues. Another advantage comes from our innovative philosophy that we never stand still. We strive to constantly grow and develop together with our customers, mastering new technologies and ways
of thinking. All that we offer is not a stagnant resource. What we offer is a valuable product of continuous learning.
Moreover, with our high-performance standards, you’ll effectively be supported in the field of risk management. Illness or any other unforeseeable exceptional circumstances towards our employees, - Computools ensures the instantaneous replacement. Such approach provides stability and continuity of your project in legal and business terms.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive? If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?
Along with hundreds of business partners, customers, and friends, our internal teams successfully develops innovative software solutions in the fields of gaming, leisure, fintech, e-commerce, retail, media, entertainment, software, hi-tech, real estate and property, healthcare, life science, education, and human resources. We’re focused on long-term partnerships, so the majority of our clients refer to us to implement new projects for their businesses.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
The time frame of developing a mobile app depends primarily on the volume and complexity of the desired functionality. Then, if there are certain technical risks, for example, if a client wants to build an innovative app which has no equivalent, our team will conduct deep research. Another critical parameter is an abrupt change of requirements. It takes time to adapt to new tasks and development approaches. Also, the time frame depends on how well the interaction with a server (API) is documented and worked out. Eventually, the complexity of UI/UX design and a list of supported versions influence the length of the development process. It’s pretty difficult to support the old versions.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the frontend and backend of a mobile app?
This question doesn’t assume the definite answer. It’s tantamount to asking “How long will it take to build a house?” The only fact is that everything depends on the requirements and volume of functionality.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
Before selecting the right platform for a mobile application, we take into account the requirements of performance and responsiveness of the app as well as the complexity and originality of its design. A functionality that works with API of the device is also a key parameter.
Which platform do you suggest your clients begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
We recommend our clients choose the definite platform considering geographical location of their target audience. For example, in the USA iOS is the most widespread platform, while in China users adhere to Android.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
There are a rapid growth and increased popularity of hybrid apps, and it’s not surprising. The hybrid apps are designed for the mass market which majorly consists of small and medium businesses. A hybrid app is a winning solution if we need a composite application consisting of many small modules. You can simply isolate necessary modules and put them into another app, duplicating this feature. Moreover, take into account that the average cycle of rewriting (updating) a mobile application is once in 2 years, and for hybrid apps, this process is cheaper.
However, if we talk about a large enterprise which requires a reliable app for automating business processes or performing tasks of high complexity, a native app is the only option. If you plan to have a stable performer, it’s recommended to start building a native app due to its clear code. A developer will always be able to understand any line and function.
As you can see, the choice of a platform depends on a sphere and industry you work within. Narrow niches and large enterprises won’t go without native apps, while for small and midsize businesses hybrid apps are the most optimal solution.
The second question is Android or iOS. Nowadays, both of these platforms are great. I’ll just repeat that make a choice according to the location of your target audience. Monitor the market and figure out what platform your potential users adhere to.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
The cost of a mobile app is based on the volume and complexity of the functionality a client wants to implement. First of all, it’s necessary to create a full picture of the functionality and make up the project documentation. Both a client and our team should have the same understanding of the future product. Our innovative approach to solving this issue is that we use interactive prototypes. The business analyst collects client requirements and conveys them to the UX designer. Then the UX designer visualizes all requirements with the help of special program which approximately demonstrates how the future product will look like and work, including an arrangement of elements, the transition between screens, and calls to action. Eventually, we present a ready prototype to the client for discussion and final approval, creating a technical specification which is passed to leading experts for further evaluation.
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.)
Our company is pretty flexible, so that we can consider any billing options, preferring Time & Material and Pay per Milestone (in phases) payment structures. At the same time, Computools is the client-oriented company which tends to remove all possible risks.
That’s why we also use Fixed Cost, as it ensures the safety of customer’s budget.
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?
Generally, we take Fixed Cost projects from $20,000 and Time & Material projects from $40 / hour. At the same time, we can work on single tasks or provide support services under contractual terms.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2016?
The minimum price range of a project we worked on in 2016 was $20,000. Our most expensive project reached $500,000.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
The choice depends on a type of the app. For example, it’s very profitable to introduce paid subscriptions into a music player app. The region should also be taken into consideration. Anyway, we suggest our clients to connect a paid subscription or provide free basic features with a paid Premium functionality.