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Jesse from Vodeo, ‘Fora Soft is in a perfect spot of good pricing of projects and development.’

Our copywriter Nikita talked to Jesse Janson about his experience of working with Fora Soft.

Jesse hails from the Janson family. Movie nerds might know the family by their brand, Janson Media. After all, they’ve been in the movie renting business since 1989.

Jesse’s app isn’t officially released yet, but he certainly does have something to say about his work with Fora.

Today we have Jesse Jenson with us. Jesse is a CEO of Vodeo, am I correct?

Yes. So my name is Jesse Janson, and I work at Janson Media, which is our TV and film distribution company. I am in charge of acquisitions and business development. And Vodeo is a mobile first video streaming rental service that we worked on with Fora Soft, and that’s a separate company which. Yes, I’m president of that company.

Tell me a little bit about Vodeo. What is it? How did it come to be?

Vodeo is a rental only mobile service, an application that we’re going to launch on iPhones first. The service is different and unique in the sense that the users can rent movies or TV episodes for a limited period of time. And for this, they use a credit-based system within the app, which allows the cost per movie rental or episode rental to be much lower than any other application or video rental service currently available in the market. So, within Vodeo, our users can pre-buy credits within the app that they can then use to rent movies and rent TV episodes. And each credit to the user only costs them about $0.10 right now.

Was Fora Soft your first choice?

I think it was probably our first. Definitely the first company and only company we’ve worked on for Vodeo and for the development of the application. I certainly researched and spoke to other companies as well.

But after speaking with Fora Soft, we decided to work together, and it’s been a good decision.

Tell me why you turned to Fora Soft? Why us?

The previous work that Fora Soft has done was impressive, and that was an important factor in our decision. Also, the communication was excellent. So I understood the scope of the project, the estimated time, work, and costs that it would take to get the project up and developed. And yeah, it’s been really good. The communication mostly. And then also the previous work was a big factor.

Share your before and after working with us, like what it used to be before you worked with Fora Soft and what it is now?

Sure. Well, before the Vodeo app, it was really just an idea on paper and just a concept. So we really needed Fora Soft to help us with an MVP. in the space and get that up and running. And then once we sort of had that tested and we had a first version, we worked with Fora Soft to update it. It’s still private, just for us to look at. And we went through a few versions of that, and that whole process has been excellent. And now we’re pretty much to a point where I believe we are planning to publicly launch this year, so maybe June.

Congratulations on that. So I believe since you haven’t officially launched yet, you don’t have any measurable figures, any amount of crushes or profit or anything like that, right?

No, not yet. Right now it’s very much private, and in beta. We probably have a pool of maybe 20 private users who have been testing the app on their phones – registering, renting movies and making sure everything works properly. And that whole process has been great so far. The feedback has been very good from everyone in our small private circle.

Let’s talk a little bit about difficulties. If there were any difficulties with working with us, please tell me honestly.

Yeah, no, I haven’t encountered any difficulties yet. Working with Fora Soft, every question or product feature that I’ve requested or asked about has been easily addressed by Fora Soft. I never got the impression that Fora Soft couldn’t implement a feature or an update to where we are so far with the app. Even discussing future possibilities of updates and features on our future roadmap down the line. Fora Soft has said all of it is possible, and we haven’t had any difficulties in that regard in terms of the development and adding new features. It’s been excellent.

What’s the situation where you would think like, all right, I really want this feature, but how do I implement it? Can they implement it? And you talk to Fora Soft and Fora Soft was, like, yes, sure. Easy peasy. We can do that.

Yeah, that’s been the case. Sometimes it’s not a quick “Oh, that’s easy”. Sometimes the project manager I’m working with at Fora Soft will have to bring it to the developer team and ask them if it’s a feature that could be done. Then they will come back to me and provide me with an estimate and explain how long it will take to implement the process. So, yeah, it’s been really good. Some features are easy and quick “Oh, yeah, we could do that quickly and easily”. And some are “let me just check with the developers and see if it’s possible”. And that’s always been “Yeah, it’s possible. We’re able to do it”. So it’s been great.

Qualities like determination and communication and professionalism are really important when it comes to project type of work. Can you please rate us on those qualities on a scale of ten and maybe come up with other qualities if you need to.

Yeah, I give a 10/10 across the board on everything. It’s been really great.

I really enjoy personally working with a project manager.

We’ve worked with two project managers so far at Fora Soft. We worked for a while with our first project manager, maybe a year, and she was excellent. And then there was a transition. She left or moved on and we worked with a new project manager, and that transition was super seamless and easy. A new project manager picked up right where she left off.

Working with a project manager and communicating with them has probably been the most valuable to me. Especially because I’m not a developer by any means, and I’m not able to speak developer language, code and whatnot. But working with a project manager helps that a lot. So I can communicate what I would like to see and have done.They know how to communicate with the developers and the designers and then bring that back to me and let me know how it goes.

I’ll make sure to forward this feedback to Vladimir. He’s a cool guy.

Yeah. Excellent.

Okay. And would you recommend Fora Soft to your friends or colleagues?

Yeah, I’d definitely recommend them. I think Fora Soft certainly has the skills and know-how to develop applications like this very well. Also, I felt like the price in working with Fora Soft was very competitive across the market, and that we liked as well. 

There’s a trade-off. Once you go too low in price, usually the quality of the work is reflected and is poor with the cost being so low. Sometimes, when the price is very high, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality will be that much and greated. So, I think Fora Soft is in a perfect spot of good pricing of projects and development. At the same time, they offer very high quality in the work that gets done.

Do you have anything else to add?

No, it’s all been great.

I’m in New York, Fora Soft is in Russia, there’s a time difference. Even with that, the communication’s been great. I don’t feel like we’re that far apart. The work’s been excellent.

It might be around a couple of years of working on this application. We’re pretty at the point where we’re ready to put it out in the public and hopefully get good feedback.

Thanks a lot, as a movie geek myself, I really hope everything will work out. Bye!

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How a Technical Project Manager Saves Your Money and Nerves

it project manager

When entrusting any project to a third party for development, many people have the question, “Why can’t we do it ourselves?” Probably we can, but how effective will it be?

By outsourcing the work to a team of professionals headed by a project manager who will take some of the risks, the business not only saves money, but also gets the expertise and experience of the company. Let’s look at the benefits of such a solution and why a project needs a project manager.

Who is an IT project manager?

A project manager is a person who organizes the smooth operation of all development processes. He ensures communication between the client and the team, translates technical requirements into comprehensive language, plans the development and ensures the timely release of the product to the market.

What tasks a manager performs in Fora Soft

At Fora Soft, a manager is just like a member of a team. Our PM is not really a manager per se, he is a person who deals with processes and communications. Without him as well as without any other team member, it is impossible to imagine delivering a quality product on time.

In our company, the manager takes care of all phases of project life, from initiation to closing and handing over the result to the customer. PM:

  • assembles the team 
  • prepares the infrastructure for the start-up 
  • checks the requirements and thinks over the sequence of tasks to be convenient for the client and the team
  • prepares an IT project plan and schedule, so the team and the client always know the demo dates and the end date of the project in advance 

After the implementation of projects, there usually comes a stage that can be called support. Even after the main work is complete, the project manager stays in touch with the client, quickly answering questions and engaging developers to solve problems if something goes wrong. We care about our customers, so even if a project is already in the live version and the contract is closed, the PM is always happy to help. For example, after finishing one of the projects, a client came to us with a problem that the cost of maintaining the server had increased significantly. The PM assembled a team, the client calculated the cost of moving to other servers and the cost of using them, and then moved the project to the right server for the client. 

Why hire a team led by a PM?

– PM has a technical background and experience in handling projects of various complexity

The managers at Fora Soft understand the technical background of certain systems and have experience in bringing products to the market.

Some IT project managers are descendants of developers and analysts with tech-leadership experience. This makes it possible to correctly estimate labor costs for technical tasks and distribute priorities to achieve the goal.

In addition, our managers are constantly improving their skills in our company: they know how to lead projects according to flexible methodologies Scrum and Kanban, they pump up their knowledge of English, technical skills, analytics and sales. Each manager has their own personal development plan, which includes a set of tools that need to be learned. Once a month, managers invite their colleagues from design, testing, or development to stay up-to-date on current technology and trends.

The output of a project manager at Fora Soft is a versatile professional, who will explain technical points and intelligently communicate with stakeholders to achieve the best result.

– The PM is trained to work with the team and will always resolve any problems that arise within the development team

Globally, the business has two options – to find artists “from the outside” on the freelance markets / through friends, or hire a professional team.

In the first case, the risks for the business will be significantly higher. Freelancers can not give any guarantees of quality work on time, they are their own, and most often do not work in teams, so you need to hire each specialist separately. The designer will create product layouts, the developer will bring ideas to life, and the tester will not miss bugs in the release. You will also have to monitor the quality of their performance, which will require additional time. Such fragmentation can cost a business dearly. 

In the second case, the manager takes care of all team processes. Every project is handled by a full-fledged team which specializes not in a wide range of technologies but in a particular multimedia field where each team member has relevant experience. 

The project manager at Fora Soft manages the resources, intelligently redistributing them when necessary. There is no downtime, every developer works on the project for at least 2 months in advance. The business owner does not have to bear the risks.

In addition, the manager builds relationships within the team, motivates each member to contribute to the success of the product and suggest improvements. The business owner does not have to micromanage-they just bought time to focus on more important things-for example, the global vision for the extension

– PM will help save money and nerves

Any development, especially large and complex projects, involves budgeting and risk. We understand this, so we structure our work in such a way as to make the maximum number of useful features for a minimum cost and meet the customer’s deadlines. Moreover, our certified IT Project managers are always in touch with the client and can promptly answer any questions about the current status of the project. 

In order to understand how a PM can help you save money, let’s do the opposite of what is written above. Let’s stop describing what the project manager does, and tell what can happen if he is not there.

So let’s imagine a team without a manager.

In our hypothetical project, creating an online cinema, let’s assume there is a team of the following IT project roles: three developers, a designer, a tester and an analyst. Each of them does their job.

After a while it turns out that the developer has done the task before his estimates, and not to sit idly by, took in the development of creating a user profile. And we have a team of three developers… All of them decide to do exactly the same thing, forgetting to warn each other. It comes out too late, when QA starts testing the task. QA realizes that testing the task will be difficult, postpones it, and proceeds to what is already ready at the moment. Development has just gone up in price, and the deadline has shifted by a month.

Out comes the need for someone who will maintain a level of transparency in the team so this doesn’t happen again, and everyone is on the same page, following the plan and knowing what “plan B” is at the slightest change.

In order to do this, you need to understand how long a particular task will take. Someone needs to take charge of the planning and accounting for the risks. That’s why you need a project manager for an IT project delivery: to keep the budget from going to waste and lead the product to a successful release. 

Conclusion

So, here is why a business needs a professional team headed by a project manager:

  • IT project manager has specialized knowledge and experience, combining technical and management skills.
  • he’s a single point of contact for all. All information passes through the manager, he is always aware of the project progress and assumes all the IT project risks and resource allocation. 
  • the manager helps to save money. This is not only a financial benefit as a result of competent planning and mitigation of risks, but also saves unnecessary worries that something can go wrong.

By the way, without specialized knowledge in management and technology, all this is quite difficult to do. Our managers have already had prior professional training and “got all the bumps” so that the business does not have to do this. Wanna find out more? Visit our contact page, so our Sales managers can talk to you and explain everything.