For this client, we performed multiple projects during a long-time cooperation.
2001 – 2006
- Chrome OS & Android
Client’s country: Poland
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I was working at GoMobile in Poland when I had my first contact with Gecko Dynamics. GoMobile was a small company of 70 people, and I was the sales director and one the founders of the company. I also worked with them during my time at Konductor Software, where we developed SMS platforms XM SMS Pro and Fun Billboard.
Right now, I work and live in Gdansk, Poland, for a company called Powel. We are a large company, with approximately 450 employees worldwide. I am the Managing Director of the Polish branch, where we have 72 employees. My current company does not currently work with Gecko because we have no need at the moment.
Opportunity / challenge
What challenge were you trying to address with Gecko Dynamics?
We were selling our services to the biggest GSM [Global System for Mobile Communications] operator in Poland. Gecko Dynamics worked in collaboration with GoMobile to develop part of the platform.
What was the scope of their involvement?
The code name was GoSMS, but we were selling it under the brand SMS Enterprise. It was a hybrid platform because it wasn’t completely online. Customers could connect their business processes to an SMS gateway and send automatic SMS notifications to their customers and coworkers.
The largest and most successful project we did was for a Polish airline, LOT. A GSM operator delivered the platform, but we developed it. It was a very nice internal communications system, and it worked there for several years. It was the main crisis communication system in this company at the time used to immediately notify people about any incidents on airport premises.
The app had a certain logic which required a reply using certain characters within 1 minute of receiving a notification. This meant that the notification had been received and that the necessary services were taking place. If nobody answered, the message would be sent to a person higher in the hierarchy and would keep moving up until someone took care of the problem. This was a perfect system because the person who confirmed the SMS was also the person responsible for taking action and involving other people.
We served around 200 smaller and very big enterprises in Poland that were using this SMS Enterprise platform as well.
What is the team dynamic?
We had anywhere from 5–15 team members. My point of contact was usually the CTO, but I spoke with the CEO and several others as well.
How did you come to work with Gecko Dynamics?
I found them through my brother, who lives in Vancouver, Canada. He had his own IT company there, and since I was looking for developmental resources, I asked him for help. He referred me to Gecko and told me they were a great team located in Kharkiv. He had been working with them since the mid-90s.
How much have you invested with them?
The project cost $400,000 USD.
What is the status of this engagement?
I first started working with them in May 2001 and ceased working with them at GoMobile in May 2006. I continued cooperation with Gecko working on some new communication products and SMS platforms during my time at Konductor Software.
Results & feedback
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We had a unique product, and it was a scalable platform. It was a bit smaller than the cloud-based services offered now. It was something that was very transparent for our clients because they could integrate their big IT systems with strict security, and then connect their interfaces through our SMS platform.
It worked for both big and small customers, and it ultimately made our business very successful. We were able to hire more people, and we were making more money. The GSM company was also very satisfied with our services, so we view the project as a triumph.
Between 2003–2012, around 180 million text messages were sent through our systems worldwide.
How did Gecko Dynamics perform from a project management standpoint?
Their project management was amazing. The response was really fast, and we used both phone calls and email to communicate. If something was very urgent, I could call any of their team members and receive a quick response.
My experience with working with them has always been very positive. They delivered projects on time, and the code quality was really high. After receiving our specifications, they would suggest technical solutions that saved us time and money, which our customers also appreciated.
Their reaction time was always perfect. They had around 17–20 people in the office in Kharkiv, and even if the person in charge of the product couldn’t help me, there were several others who could. If we ever had an urgent request or a situation with our customer, Gecko was always very responsive. I have absolutely nothing to complain about.
We visited each other several times, and our day-to-day communication was perfect. We didn’t have to use in-person meetings in order to communicate. Our companies have similar mindsets, which also aided in our great collaboration. Gecko proved to be an extremely reliable, friendly company. I can’t recall any issue where we didn’t agree on something when a conflict arose.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I worked with them for several years, and only had good experiences. When I founded my own company, Konductor Software, with my brother, I didn’t think twice before asking Gecko for help. They were my first and only choice. I continued for several more years in cooperation with them to develop other software solutions involved with SMS communication.
I can’t tell you how they compare to other providers because I didn’t have to find other providers. I’m happy with their service, and with over 10 great years of cooperation, they’ve proved not only to be friends, but reliable partners who I can completely trust. There were times when I couldn’t pay them on time, and they were always understanding.
After 9 years of continuous cooperation, I can recommend Gecko as one of the best business partners I’ve ever worked with.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I can’t recall any issues. They communicated well, and we were both satisfied with the collaboration. We have had a very close business relationship, and it’s almost like we work for the same company.
There were some team members who didn’t speak fluent English, but we were able to communicate in Russian, so it wasn’t an issue.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
The people who work for this company are trustworthy, serious, and reliable. We trusted each other so much that most of our business was conducted through emails and phone calls. We didn’t have to rely on a written contract.
They know how to deal with other people. If there is an urgent situation, they try their best to understand and take ownership. My customer was also their customer, so I didn’t have to explain to them how important it was to find a solution to a problem. They would even work throughout the evening to fix bugs.
On time / deadlines
Value / within estimates
They were much cheaper than programmers in Poland at the time.
Service & deliverables
Willing to refer
This is a great company. I would recommend them.