Exclusive Interview with Alexey Shevchik – CEO, SoftTeco on “Top App Firms”
In this exclusive interview, He shared his experiences in IT and several more things. Let’s check his success story and thoughts.
1.Tell Us about yourself how you start your career in IT Sector?
I’ve started taking interest in computers and programming back in the 80s. I remember the huge computers of the 80s and the first PC that I worked on was the Soviet “ISKRA-226”.
I used it to write my first-ever program in Basic – this program calculated the roots of quadratic equations. Then I worked with a marvellous and PC-compatible Amstrad system and with the most amazing color EGA-monitor.
This allowed me to try TurboPascal 5.5., I completed the Borland Pascal 7.0 courses while being in the 8th grade, and participated in programming competitions. Oh, and I have also created my first computer game at around that time!
The first commercial program that I got paid for was a graphic interface of an academic paper for analyzing the quality of a low-voltage network. Then I have done a paid internship where I wrote my own SCADA system (on Gnome/Linux, C++) and gradually I built my way up to founding a software development company.
2. Tell us in brief about your company and the leadership.
SoftTeco was founded in 2008 by Serge Zenevich and Alex Kutsko. SoftTeco started as a Java development house and after 13 years has become an international software development
The core technologies that the company works with are Java, .NET., front-end development, and mobile development. However, we strive to provide a variety of software development services, and thus we constantly master other technologies, including IoT and Machine Learning.
The company’s management adheres to the policy of transparency and trust both in the client-company and company-employees relationship. This approach helps SoftTeco grow in a consistent manner and remain a trusted business partner for clients across the globe.
3. What is your outlook for 2021?
In recent years, the company has been actively growing: we have opened development centers in Poland and Ukraine and our team grew significantly.
Hence, our goals for 2021 are related to these events: we plan to hire more talented professionals to work on the projects and we’d also like to expand the geography of our services. Besides, the 2020 year helped us learn how to manage remote work more efficiently so this will contribute to our expansion as well.
4. How do you assess the role of research agencies like Top app Firms in bridging the gap between clients and service providers?
I think such agencies as Top App Firms are great in helping clients find trusted development companies in a quick and easy manner. Considering the number of options available, it can be hard to select the agency that will be just the right fit for your project.
So agencies like Top App Firms do a great job in bridging the gap between a client and a service provider by doing extensive research on every provider and presenting only reliable options.
5. Any particular technology or industry you would be targeting? How do you plan to prepare your workforce for the upcoming technology upgrade?
We plan to continue developing our core technologies (Java, .NET) since we have the most expertise in them. We also plan to focus more on working with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and hope to find new projects in this domain.
6. What all services do you think you would add to your offerings in 2021?
SoftTeco is now gaining more expertise in Data Science. This is a very promising domain and it can bring significant benefits to our clients. Thus, we plan to add Data Science to the list of
7. What are the challenges you see in the outsourcing industry and how much you’re prepared to face those challenges?
I believe that one of the greatest challenges in the outsourcing industry is a transparent communication between a client and a company. Most often the client is located in a different country than an outsourcing company and this means different time zones, different working schedules, etc.
At SoftTeco, we place emphasis on establishing a structured and transparent communication process so our clients always know what is happening with the project. For that, we implement regular reporting, use specialized tools, and always assign a dedicated specialist (a business analyst, a project manager) to a project.
8 . How helpful are the Web and mobile apps developed by your team, for enhancing your clients’ business?
In order to deliver the maximal value to our clients, we thoroughly collect their requirements and hold several meetings before starting any work in order to understand their vision of the final product. In this way, we ensure that expectations meet reality.
As well, we always prioritize security, quality, and usability. At SoftTeco, we understand the importance of data security and the impact of a web/mobile application on a business so we approach the development process in a very structured manner.
9. What according to you are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?
In my opinion, it is absolutely a must to adhere to set requirements and to constantly keep the communication going. If a client has a change of mind, wants to implement any changes, or has second thoughts about something, you need to learn about it and make the corresponding adjustments to the product.
And obviously, you should always provide a high level of quality. We had cases when a client came to us after an unpleasant experience with another development company – needless to say, that this company lost its clients. Therefore, always pay attention to quality and never neglect testing at all stages of product development.
10. Tell me about your some successful project?
Via is a ride-sharing application that is an environmentally-friendly and more affordable option than most of its alternatives since it promotes sharing rides with other commuters.
It consists of the following components: Drivers’ mobile application, Riders’ mobile application, a business portal, and an online registration portal for drivers. Via has all the functionality expected from an app that connects drivers and passengers.
The app uses GPS to detect a commuter’s location and recommend the nearest pick-up point while the drivers receive real-time notifications about the nearby commuters. The SoftTeco development team developed not only the front-end part of the product but worked on the backend infrastructure as well. In this way, we ensured that all components of the app function smoothly.
As a result, Via is used across Europe and the US and is continuing to expand its presence around the world.
11. How do you help your clients in choosing the right yet profitable platform for Web development?
First, we collect the requirements to get an understanding of the client’s vision and the desired functionality. Then we thoroughly analyze the requirements with the help of an experienced Business Analyst.
At the same time, we research the market and see what options are available and how suitable they may be for the client. Finally, we compare the possible options against the client’s budget and come up with the best solution.
12. What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2021 after COVID 19?
After COVID-19, we developed several pro bono projects for the Red Cross organization and for UNICEF. The pandemic made us re-evaluate the importance of such projects and we sure plan to do more in the future.
As for the price range of the projects, it did not grow much. In 2020, we signed up a few projects worth several hundred thousand dollars which is about our average price.
13. Please describe the operational structure of your company- from the moment a client walks in, to the product deployment.
A sales representative is usually the first point of contact. This specialist can describe our services to the client and get an understanding of what the client wants. We then connect the client with our Business Analyst.
Together, they talk about the project requirements that will later be passed to the project manager. Depending on the requirements, we assemble the most suitable team and present it to the client.
Throughout the development process, we constantly communicate with the client and let them know what is happening on the project.
This is very important as good communication impacts the product quality (no guesswork and we always know what the client wants). As well, we do continuous testing to ensure that the product performs as expected.
When the product is ready for deployment, we do final testing. We also offer post-development support in case it’s needed. In this way, SoftTeco offers a full-cycle development process that we are proud of.
14. After service is a necessary part of development. How do you provide customer support to your client?
Depending on the client’s requirements, we have supported systems with tens of thousands of daily active users, at the same time granting 24/7 support with the guarantee of the system’s 100% up-time. However, support and maintenance terms will depend on the project requirements heavily.
15. Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
We believe that in order to successfully reach your customers, a modern business should have both iOS and Android mobile applications. But again, there is no definite answer to that question since every project has different requirements and budgets.
At Softteco, we have experience with both native and hybrid mobile app development. Sure, native mobile applications display seamless performance and great UX/UI but their development is more costly than the development of hybrid apps.
And I say that it’s possible to achieve a high level of performance for a hybrid app too if you use the right tools.
What we recommend before starting a new project is to do a thorough analysis and market research in order to understand who your target customers are and what platform they use the most.