Interview with SergiiTymchuk, CEO - Computools

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CEO, Computools

Give us a quick overview on Computools. When and how did you begin this journey and what were your motives to be successful in app development?

Since I was 12, I’ve been utterly fascinated by computer programs and other forms of IT. It was so interesting for me to explore how sophisticated software is developed, how to automate daily processes and business operations, by means of innovative technology. When I was 14, I started working in the agriculture sector. The idea of developing special technology for automating agricultural processes kept me up thinking about solutions all the time. It was then that I set a goal to build my own company specializing in custom software development.

In 2013, with just 4 programmers onboard, I founded Computools. Now I’m the CEO of a global company represented by 200+ talented IT engineers with more than 200+ successfully implemented projects for clients and partners all over the world. Dreams have a tendency to come true if you work tirelessly and strive to grow each day.

What is your role in the management and development of Computools? 

Being a leader means you hold the highest responsibility for the success and well-being of each and every client, employee, and partner. Day after day, I strive for new ways to improve working conditions and take Computools to the next level. Alongside working conditions, I make it a mission to promote prosperity for our clients’ businesses through the development and support of digital products.

Tell us about your biggest achievement in the industry 

I think our biggest achievements in the industry have been working with clients like Visa, Dior, IBM, Epson, Bombardier, and other famous companies as their custom software development provider. Over the years, Computools has gained expertise, becoming a top-rated software development company. We’re also pretty proud that Computools was included in the 2020 Global Outsourcing 100 List, according to the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP).

How do you schedule the development phases of the apps to promise the timeline to your clients? 

Computools engineers conduct a discovery phase where they clarify the requirements and calculate the expected scope of work, like creating an architecture and carrying out the initial design. Using what the team learned, they set the timeline and price.

However, there are always potential risks. Computools uses an iterative development model (mathematical model), which allows us to plan each phase in detail, understand its place in the overall project, and see potential deviations in the early stages. This allows us to react quickly and take corrective action.

During the discovery phase, Computools strictly fixes the budget and the deadline. Work is described in key points, which gives certain flexibility during iteration. The team analyzes the risks and forms a strategy based on probability and potential consequences. We always develop strategies for reducing and preventing risks.

How do you help your clients in choosing the right yet profitable platform for app development?

Computools builds cross-OS apps with multiple functions and a client's audience in mind. Features and functionalities vary based on a client's business needs but are always focused on improving engagement, enhancing efficiency and productivity, and increasing a product’s reach. Apps developed by Computools are powerful tools clients can use to boost revenue, increase ROI, and scale their businesses.

Which would you suggest for a successful and profitable business progression, Native or hybrid apps? How do you define the factors that influenced you to make this choice?

The route you should take depends on the size of your company and industry you’re in. Narrow niches and large enterprises need native apps, while small to midsize businesses benefit greatly from hybrid apps.

There’s been a rapid growth in hybrid apps over the last few years, and it’s not surprising. Hybrid apps are designed for mass markets, which mostly consist of small to medium-sized businesses. Companies focused on developing mass-market apps are typically startups or established companies that don’t have a big budget for honing in on a particular type of user.

A hybrid app is a great solution if a client needs a composite application consisting of many small modules. We can simply isolate necessary modules and put them into another app, duplicating this feature. Hybrid app development is cost and time effective as it allows a company to achieve sizable results for less money due to the opportunity to build an app once for one OS and just compile it for another OS. Also, take into account that the average cycle for rewriting (updating) a mobile application is once every 2 years, and for owners of hybrid apps, this process is cheaper.

How do you scheme your pricing model? How do you fix your budget?

The cost of a mobile app is based on the functionality’s implemented volume and complexity. First of all, it’s necessary to create a full picture of the functionality and organize all the documentation about the project. Both the client and our team should have the same understanding of the future product.

Computools takes an innovative approach to getting everyone on the same page from a product standpoint using interactive prototypes. To start, the business analyst collects client requirements and conveys them to the UX designer. Then the UX designer visualizes all requirements with the help of special programs, which approximately demonstrate what the future product will look like and how it’ll work, including an arrangement of elements, the transition between screens, and calls to action, etc.

Eventually, Computools’s team presents a ready prototype to the client for a discussion and final approval, creating a technical specification which is then passed to our leading experts for further evaluation.

How helpful are the mobile apps developed by your team, for enhancing your clients’ business? 

We here at Computools aim every day to help our clients improve their businesses through customer-focused mobile applications. Every client can have goals that vary, but the company always applies an ROI-oriented approach: the investment that a client puts into their application should pay off. New projects are treated just as they are – unique – meaning we’re always researching the latest trends in technology to be able to specifically choose the best-fitted approach to projects, taking into account the client's plans for the future. 

Find direct feedback from both current and past Computools clients by visiting our website and checking out our use cases.

What according to you are the best practices to attain client satisfaction? 

We try to listen and pay attention to the client, understand their true intentions and goals, and suggest the best options for achieving those goals. To maintain quality and transparency, we use Agile development methodologies that give our clients the ability to track their project’s development at any time and adjust the vision (something that often alters during the development phase). This allows for the implementation of additional functionality without compromising what has already been developed. Our main goal is to help our clients achieve their goals. When they’re satisfied, we’re satisfied.

How do you update your business system to be in pace with the technological advancements? 

In our business, we use management systems based on the practice of setting OKR goals, organizing business processes and agreements with employees using Key Success Factors; analysis of solid, complete, comparative, and timely information for each project and Computools as a whole.

We use third-party software for business process automation, such as G Suite, Jira, Redmine, Basecamp, Zoom, Skype, Slack, etc. In addition, we use our own bots – software robots that collect and analyze company data and automatically sort and organize various key factors.

Since we’re an innovative software development company, some of our key success factors are precisely aimed at researching best practices from both a technological and management point of view. Computools prides itself on using those best practices and approaches to create innovative products for our clients.

What are your thoughts about AR, VR and Internet of Things (IoT)?

AR & VR technologies are literal keys to the future in all aspects, from entertainment to marketing, and training, so it’s not surprising that many companies develop innovative solutions to various problems using these technologies. Computools started working with AR & VR in 2019 when it acquired a company specializing in the field. Now you can find many videos on YouTube from Computools with examples of how we use these technologies in developing solutions in various industries, for example, retail. 

IoT is the technology we’re all leveraging today. Almost every new home, apartment, office, factory, etc., is already implementing IoT to be able to control the unit remotely using a mobile device. I would call IoT the “new norm,” just as computers and cell phones once were. Computools started the development of IoT solutions back in 2015. Examples of our work can be found by reviewing our IoT case studies.

What do you think will be the future of Mobile technology?

The smart phone, as Elon Musk said, is like an extension of a person. You’ve probably noticed yourself, the missing limb syndrome we all face when we can’t find our phones. Until an alternative is invented that can perform all the functions that our smartphones perform today – mobile devices and their market will remain unthreatened. Really, I don’t see this happening very soon. Therefore, I consider the mobile market to be quite stable: every year, the technology in this market is improving and helping users solve business problems faster and faster. For example, Flutter, a recent technology that’s taking root, allows us to develop mobile applications for different platforms in one place. I consider Flutter to be one of the most innovative in terms of hybrid mobile app development right now. Since it appeared, we’ve already developed several Flutter-based applications for our clients.

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