1. Reviews and References
People you know personally or people from your professional network are some of the best sources to ask references from. Additionally, scout B2B review and rating sites such as Clutch, Glassdoor, Sourcelysis, AppFuture, etc. would be very helpful in painting a picture of how well the company has handled similar projects in the past. Browsing through official social pages (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) of the companies would also not be a bad idea, as it will give you an idea of the company, culture, knowledge capabilities, etc. And most importantly, never forget Google. Sometimes, a simple Google search might tell you what no one or nothing else can.
2. Check their Portfolio
A company’s portfolio is always a good confidence builder for a service seeker. Enquire well about the previous projects, challenges faced and problems addressed to understand the scope and capabilities of the development team. Aside from completed and deployed projects, also request a peek into projects currently under development, as the technology scene keeps changing all the times and you will need a partner who can keep up and adapt. Many companies maintain a blog on their website. Reading through the blogs and other content on the company website will give you a fair bit of idea of the company’s technical knowledge and expertise. The company’s social media pages are a good indication of how well the company keeps up with the latest happenings in the industry, news and trends, etc.
3. Requirement Understanding
When you are pitching your requirement to the development partner, ensure that the delivery partner shows you a user story for your requirement. An ideal development partner will analyse your business needs by evaluating the gaps, problems and pain points, and discussing the possible solutions with you. This will give you confidence that the potential vendor has understood your requirement.
Before moving things ahead, insist on an NDA, which protects the confidential information that will be shared during the project. Your data, which is your intellectual property, would be handled by the vendor, and its confidentiality is of utmost importance.
Your custom software development partner and you must be on the same page when it comes to the size and cost of your project. Decide the deadline for the project and insist on making it a part of the contract. Ensure that the partner is agreeing to the deadline, but also giving your team enough time for orientation and onboarding, to get used to the new system.
Similarly, your partner also needs to understand your budgetary requirements and limits. Before approaching a company to partner with, consider the cost of the project and its implementation, and how much ROI you can get from it. Stay away from companies that compromise on quality to offer their services at a lower cost, as well as from companies who bloat the size and price of your project with unnecessary add-ons.
7. Methodology and Workflow
Instead of going for a full and final delivery system, pick a company that does sprints. If a company has divided a project into sprints, it would be able to demo it to you in phases. This allows you to chime in with important inputs/suggestions on the go. And for this reason, a company that follows agile or similar delivery models is a preferable choice, as it makes easy for them to adapt to changing requirements without losing out on the delivery deadlines, while also maintaining a clear channel of communication with you.
Understand from the service provider the tools they use for internal communication and project management. You will be able to gauge the level of sophistication and transparency the vendor brings to the table. If your prospective business partner uses industry-standard or higher tools such as:
i) Slack or Skype for communication
ii) Balsamiq or Proto.io for wireframe design
iii) Trello for project management
iv) Buffer or Hootsuite for digital marketing
v) Apple, Adobe, Google or Microsoft Suite of products, etc.,
then you can rest assured that the project is in good hands.
9. Security and Communication
While sprints can have deadlines and budgets can have limits, there can be no quantification of a company’s trust factor. While you have to go with your gut and experience on that front, there are a few steps you can follow. Ensure that you pick a software delivery partner who has regular security and network audits in place. The partner should be able to keep your data safe and private. Additionally, an ideal partner would provide you with a single point-of-contact (such as a dedicated account manager or a project manager) to ensure regular and transparent communication between both the parties.
10. Support and Maintenance
As is the nature of the universe, nothing is perfect. Neither will your custom-made software be. To ensure continued service after deployment to fix bugs, maintain and upgrade systems, enquire well about a post-deployment service and maintenance contract.
Why Telemerge Is Your Ideal Bespoke Software Development Partner
Telemerge IT Services empowers businesses by designing and building custom software solutions that align with your business goals and requirements. At Telemerge, we steadfastly believe in delivering quality solutions through our trademark mix of agile approach and flexible delivery model with real and measurable results. With Telemerge as your custom software development partner, you can be assured that all the above checkboxes will be ticked. Link to bespoke.
To get your custom project started, get in touch with us now.