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Covintus is a custom software designer that delivers uncompromised quality, speed, and value, leveraging the best of the human cloud concept. Chris Trebour, one of the co-founders of Covintus, in an interview with the CIOApplication editorial panel, spoke about the quality, workforce, and methodology the company follows to give itself a competitive edge in the software development market.
Could you give us an overview of Covintus?
We are custom software developers. But the way we develop software is our differentiation factor. Covintus started leveraging the human cloud concept over ten years ago. We have a very substantial human cloud of pre-vetted software developers that we can tap into at any moment to pull into a project. Covintus is comprised of three partners, two of us have a recruiting background, while the other had expertise with software development lifecycle through his experience with IBM and others.
What are the major pain points you see in the industry currently?
We’ve been in this business a long time and the two biggest challenges to custom software development still persist. First is finding the right resources with the right skill set at the right time for a project. Our Human Cloud solves that challenge by putting a wide array of resources at our fingertips at any given moment. The second issue is that the final deliverable often does not properly match the organization’s goals and objectives. We have solved this in three different ways. Our Delivery Managers are great at working with the client and presenting ideas before any coding even starts to make sure the project is best for the business and fits the budget. Then, once the project is underway, we use a modified agile development methodology so we can stay on the same page as the client and make adjustments on the fly as needed. And the thing that brings it all together is our platform we call Covinity.
What are the major technological trends emerging in the industry that help tackle these challenges?
We have been working as a globally remote workforce since we started over 10 years ago. One of the things we learned early on was the importance of excellent communication. Communication with the developers and also with the clients.
Once the client approaches you with the challenge, what are the step by step methodologies that you follow?
One of the most important factors for us was to take care of the whole project. When someone comes to us with a project, our Delivery Manager will meet them, and we scope it out, also help them to figure out exactly what it looks like, what it needs to do, how it needs to operate and integrate with other applications. Once that is defined, then the Delivery Manager determines what tasks need to be done and what resources are required to complete those tasks. Then, the manager will identify developers with the proper skill sets in our human cloud and put together an ad hoc team to build the applications for them. We then use a modified agile methodology to work with the client to build the project.
Could you mention any particular customer success story where your client approached you with a unique challenge and how you went about helping them?
We have a client who is a nationwide franchisor based in Chicago. They wanting to remodel their whole management system. We gave them a bid, and they got a lowball bid from an offshore company that was less than half of our bid. They decided to go with the other company, and we talked about it and respected their decision. A year and a half later, the company came back to us and said the project was six months past the due date, they had spent more than the original bid and they had nothing that was worthy enough to be used in their system yet. So the company came back to us, and rescued the project and completed it within the revised time and budget, and ever since then, they have been one of our best, long term customers. We have actually done quite a number of project recoveries for other clients as well.
We have a very substantial human cloud of pre-vetted software developers that we can tap into at any moment to pull into a project
What are the factors that differentiate your company from the rest?
As with anything else, it comes down to our people. Our Delivery Managers (who are full time Covintus employees) are truly passionate about their projects and really enjoy creating something new and outstanding for our clients. Our developers are literally some of the best in the world. They must be competition winners before we even start the vetting process to accept them into our Human Cloud.
The Human Cloud is pre-vetted and this allows us to scale up for a project very quickly. Many times, in days or even hours where others may take weeks or months to put a team together. Also, this diversity allows us to be technology agnostic and handle most any technology (new or old). The Human Cloud also keeps our overhead down because we don’t have to pay for a non-productive bench of developers and we can pass this savings on to our clients.
Next is our process. There are many advantages to leveraging the gig economy but it is not as easy as a quick trip to Upwork, especially if the project has any amount of complexity. We have been evolving our process for 10 years and we are still tweaking it today. It is very important to us that each project has a dedicated Delivery Manager so the client has one point of contact throughout the entire project. The Delivery Managers are responsible to the client and for the success of the project.
Finally, our work is fixed bid and guaranteed. If you don’t like our work, don’t pay us.
Could you elaborate on the company’s future roadmap?
We are based in Richmond, Virginia, but we have clients nationwide, along with a few international clients. We all work remotely so our client’s location is irrelevant. Our growth has been mostly organic with the majority of work coming from existing and referral business. We are currently building our expertise and would like to do more projects leveraging new technologies like voice control, blockchain and IOT. We have always been very involved with the startup community and will continue our work there.