Clutch.co, a company that identifies leading software and professional services firms that deliver results for their clients, has interviewed Spark Solutions clients and here’s the second review:
The client is an information technology startup offering brand design and IT strategy services to small and mid-sized businesses. Due to limited internal capabilities at the time, the client sought a qualified technology partner to support the functional development of a Spree Commerce website. Spark Solutions was one of several potential vendors to be shortlisted by the client, and they were approached and selected as the solution partner based on their demonstrated technical expertise and competitive pricing. Once commissioned, Spark Solutions began to collaborate closely with the client on the development of their Spree Commerce website, which required custom Ruby on Rails development, user interface/user experience (UI/UX) testing, information architecture, systems integration and configuration, and ongoing support.
The client remains very pleased with the work completed by Spark Solutions. According to the client, Spark Solutions remains instrumental to the successful completion of end-customer solutions, especially when they require a deep working knowledge of Rails and Spree Commerce. Spark Solutions received considerable praise for their meticulous approach to Agile development and for their uncompromising responsiveness. The client maintains an ongoing relationship with Spark Solutions and recommends them highly.
“I would say their disposition and their ability to try to get stuff done in the best way possible is unique. Spark Solutions seems to have the attitude of wanting to make it right together. I think that’s hard to find in developers, especially offshore teams.”
— Founder, Marketing and Advertising Startup
Please describe your organization.
We’re a design strategy firm. We help businesses grow through digital strategy by looking at their business goals, and then creating a design around them, whether it is a new brand, website, or custom application.
What is your position?
I’m the founder.
What business challenge were you trying to address with Spark Solutions?
We were looking for an experienced Ruby on Rails team to support the development of several custom solutions.
Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.
Basically, we collaborate with them. They’re good about sharing their thoughts and working through things, as opposed to just following instructions because we don’t really operate that way. The project that we’re working on is a complex e-commerce platform on Spree, which is built with Ruby on Rails.
We have a main account manager, a main developer, and then we’re also in correspondence with their other developers. We don’t talk to them directly, but I could if I wanted to. I prefer to communicate with our project manager and our main developer. At the moment, we haven’t expanded the scope of their involvement beyond the e-commerce site, but we hope to do so in the future.
How did you come to work with Spark Solutions?
I made a list of companies a few years ago when I had to find a good team to execute a fairly demanding project, and I went back to that list. Their name was still on there, so we reconnected, talked to them, and then we started working together.
Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?
I cost somewhere from $10,000 to $50,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
Right now, we are just working on the one project, but we hope to continue working with them.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
I am the pickiest person alive. I can see one wrong pixel a mile away, and I want to know how everything is done. What I love about Spark is their responsiveness and their internal organization. We used Pivotal Tracker for project management and we were able to walk through the whole process, from creating a concept to the actual development. All the milestones we reached got checked off on a weekly call. I like their complete transparency and organization.
How did Spark Solutions perform from a project management standpoint?
Project management was just awesome. There has been no late work. Right now, we’re working in an Agile way, so everything they tell me they’ll get done, they get done. We have had to adjust timelines, but that’s because I have increased the scope on a few occasions.
No matter which developers I’m working with, being meticulous and detailed is crucial. I don’t expect someone else to carry my load, and I make sure I’m constantly communicating and checking in.
Be really organized on your end because if you’re not organized, no matter how awesome a developer is, it’s just not going to come together.
What distinguishes Spark Solutions from other providers?
I would say their disposition and their ability to try to get stuff done in the best way possible is really unique. I’ve worked with developers across the board, I’ve lead really large interactive teams, and often, the developers would give me delayed or rushed work. Spark Solutions seems to have the attitude of wanting to make it right together. I would say that is very unique to them, and I think that’s hard to find in developers, especially offshore teams.
In hindsight, are there areas in which they could improve, or things you might do differently?
I have a hard time thinking of one, so I guess that’s a good thing.
We have five additional questions. For each of these, we ask that you rate Spark Solutions on a scale of one to five, with five being the best score.
How would you rate them for the quality of their service and deliverables?
Four and a half.
How would you rate them for scheduling, as in meeting deadlines and compliance with a project timeline?
How would you rate them for cost, as in value and conformance with project estimates?
How would you rate your overall experience collaborating with Spark Solutions?
How likely are you to recommend Spark Solutions to a friend or colleague, out of five?
Five, although not likely because I don’t want them to get too busy. I want to keep using them. I suppose if there was no risk of them being distracted from our work, it would be totally fine.