Give us a quick overview on Tkxel. When and how did you begin this journey and what were your motives to be successful in app development?
Tkxel is a full-service software engineering company with customers across the globe - predominantly in the US. Our innovative services include but are not limited to software development, solutions implementation and cutting-edge technology areas like AI/ML, IoT, RPA with mobile and app development being just one area of our software development journey. We started our journey from a university lab in 2008 and now in 2021, have grown to a team of more than 300 people with offices and dev teams in the United States, Poland, and Pakistan.
Our customers range from startups, SMBs to Fortune 100 companies.
What is your role in the management and development of Tkxel?
I am the founder and CEO of Tkxel. As the CEO, my role revolves around developing the vision for the company along with my team and then strategizing business activities to achieve that.
Laying down the 5 or 10-year roadmap for the company is like moving from the balcony to the playground; being one with the team to make sure they execute the strategy and then taking a higher view of things to figure out the overall play is right and that things are moving in the right direction.
Tell us about your biggest achievement in the industry
Our biggest achievement essentially lies in making our customers' businesses successful and that in turn drives success for us.
Over time we have created software that either brought millions of dollars for the companies in the top line or helped them achieve it by improving bottom lines. Our biggest success is that our customers have grown tremendously during this time using this software and we have managed to retain them on average for more than 5 years.
Our software solutions for our customers got featured in Forbes, Financial Times, Fortune and Bloomberg Businessweek.
Moreover, in the startup segment, recently two startups for which we are developing platforms secured their Series A and are now marching towards Series B.
How do you schedule the development phases of the apps to promise the timeline to your clients?
Depending on the nature of the product, we define the phases accordingly. There are two types of development methods, fixed cost and staff augmentation. For fixed time and fixed scope, we primarily have 3 phases. The first phase is the discovery, followed by development and support.
Before we start with any development, we carry out a detailed discovery to understand the problem statement and underline the goals. Then we make the prototypes and write those user stories. After that development phase, we work in an agile fashion with scrums, 2-week sprint sessions, sprint planning meetings and retrospective sprint demos etc. to meet customer needs.
In the staff augmentation development method, we become a part of the client’s development team and follow their scrum practices as per the need..
How do you help your clients in choosing the right yet profitable platform for app development?
It depends on the nature of the project. If it’s like a greenfield project, then we see if it's data oriented and then accordingly we suggest the frameworks and the technologies. If it’s a mobile application that involves hardware interaction, then we suggest native mobile app development. We follow the same procedure if we have to do some enhancement on an existing project.
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?
A successful business does not depend on a native or hybrid app. Native app is a technological manifestation of what you want to accomplish. What really important is what the business is about. If the business idea is relevant, then an app is just a way of technically presenting that idea. The idea itself needs to be well thought-out for which the market has a need.
Moreover, choosing the tech depends on the type of app or the type of industry you’re operating in. If it’s high-performance like games, then we go with native but if we’re looking for something that’s portable, simple, cross-platform and fits within budget constraints then hybrid is the way to go. At the end of the day, the kind of business will determine what kind of app or technologies you’d like.
Native apps are typically done when the application is large scale or there is hardware interaction, lots of modelling, 3D graphics, image manipulation, AR/VR. Hybrid is when it is data oriented and the applications are not as hardware intensive per se.
How do you scheme your pricing model? How do you fix your budget?
In order to determine the pricing, we carry out the discovery to ascertain customer needs. When there are SaaS companies that have evolving products, then we don’t suggest fixed cost because we understand that the requirements are constantly changing.
How helpful are the mobile apps developed by your team, for enhancing your clients’ business?
Here are a couple examples. In the case of SKGF, a US-based IP Law Firm, their lawyers were previously using a very cumbersome docketing system to schedule tasks that lagged their response time and they suffered from a latency problem. Our application enabled them to overcome this problem and increased their response time as well as accessibility and ROI. Similarly, for Reidmark, our team helped them to ensure business expansion, increase ROI and drive customer retention and productivity.
What according to you are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?
We have this glass wall visibility philosophy which essentially means that the customer has access to the team 24/7 via Zoom, Slack etc. We are powerhouse users of Jira and that constantly keeps the client in the loop through regular sprints, scrums and more.
How do you update your business system to be in pace with the technological advancements?
We organize regular expert groups for knowledge sharing sessions. We invite industry experts from large corporations to startups so that we can have insight into the problems and processes of enterprises as well as the latest trends and frameworks adopted by people across businesses of all sizes.
What are your thoughts about AR, VR and Internet of Things (IoT)?
All of these areas are great and will become bigger and bigger. However, AR/VR has not dominated the world in the way that they were all hyped up initially. In my opinion, they will continue to grow and expand with more and more stuff coming with AR specially. Similarly, with IoT, 5-10 years from now we will be living in a world of smart stuff and its capability will only be enhanced further by AR/VR.
What do you think will be the future of Mobile technology?
It’s like having been asked 30 years back what do you think will be the future of desktop applications. It’s not going to be something that will take over the world, the world is moving towards more and more mobility and everything needs to be on the go. However, more and more mobile stuff will come in, cellphones will become more powerful and AR/VR, IoT and the handset you’ll be carrying will be a very powerful machine that will give you access to a lot of information to make life more convenient and faster.