Compliance Tracker v2
After a disappointing Far Eastern experience, Compliance Systems found the perfect software solution closer to home.
Offshoring software development may appear attractive, but for Philip Blunt’s Compliance Systems, the answer to their needs ultimately lay just down the road, with Evergreen’s experienced team and a world-class performance from start to finish…
‘Evergreen really made this a remarkably easy, professionally-managed software development project from start to finish, and one of the best investments I’ve made in my business,’ says Philip Blunt, founder-owner of Compliance Systems with many years’ software development expertise.
Simple management of repeating actions
Philip’s Compliance Tracker software simplifies life for organisations managing repeatable actions where compliance must be tracked – such as care homes, property management and accountancy practices.
Before meeting Evergreen’s Andrew Cope at a business networking meeting, Philip had, for
historical reasons, been using a Philippines-based software house to develop Compliance Tracker.
A terrible offshoring experience
‘Although initially the company seemed to be able to offer a cost effective solution, a number of challenges quickly became apparent: the time difference was the first hurdle as it was slowing the process down considerably. In addition, I had built up a good working relationship with a particular developer who really understood what as required and the level of precision and subtle nuances the system required. Without notification she left, and her replacement did not have the same level of expertise and spoke very little English, so communication proved extremely difficult. The only solution they were able to provide was for me to relay everything through a team leader. However, vital information was being lost in the chain of communication and with no viable alternative, the project was fast becoming untenable. After the software reached a point where it could be released, I cut ties with this organisation, despite having a programme of upgrades and further functionality I wanted added in. At that point, having met Andrew, I took the decision to go for a completely new version for Compliance Tracker v2, on a different platform with the development to be undertaken in the
As the two got to know each other through local business network events, Philip saw examples of Evergreen’s software development. The appeal of geographic proximity, a ‘no nonsense’ approach and their policy of keeping all development in-house grew.
Philip continues: ‘Based on user feedback, we were ready to develop Version 2 which would
offer much more functionality whilst also moving the software to an open-source platform. Evergreen’s proximity would also give me reassuring control. The only downside was that their rates were three times what I paid in Manila…’
However, as the relationship progressed and the second version of Compliance Tracker took shape, the qualitative and quantitative benefits of the new partnership became clear.
‘We started the process with an extensive briefing during which I took them through the design for the new software. They understood what it was I wanted, and challenged me where there were any grey areas or where they could suggest a better way of doing what I wanted to achieve. That they understood my requirements and followed this up by producing their interpretation of what I wanted was tremendously reassuring.’
Additionally came the realisation that, despite higher rates, Evergreen worked so much faster and more efficiently that their input actually cost one-third of their offshore predecessors! Philip Blunt again: ‘Now the project is live, I have compared costs and time spent and the difference is remarkable. Add in the peace of mind, reduced hassle and the pleasure of working with Andrew, Simon, Martin and Josh, and the project has been overwhelmingly positive.’
Philip’s clients love Evergreen’s work too
‘I check-in regularly and their feedback is unanimously positive. Comments such as “for us
it’s a 100% improvement,” “the response is much faster,” “it’s much quicker to apply updates,” and “now everything works so much better and slicker” are the norm.’
So what’s it been like working with Evergreen since 2018? ‘They’re a small, friendly, responsive team who always do what they promise,’ says Philip. ‘When the inevitable bugs came out during the testing phase, the response was always fast and efficient. The fact that they’re based less than an hour’s drive away has meant we can always get together for a face-to-face conversation if there is anything requiring clarification.’
A helpful advocate
Something else that impressed was how Evergreen’s project manager acted as ‘advocate’ for Philip. ‘Not that there was any cause for concern, however it was reassuring knowing that Simon would constructively challenge and sense test the team’s recommendations.’
'Another time, regarding changes to Compliance Tracker’s important alerting system, Simon put forward some suggestions which ultimately resulted in a substantial time-saving enhancement. Had the relationship not been built, I would have rejected these suggestions, I’m so glad I went with their expertise on that.’
Great ongoing support
The new version of Compliance Tracker, on its future-proofed Laravel PHP framework, went live in February 2019 to the delight of Philip and his clients, who noticed significant improvements.
With the new release now live, the relationship with Evergreen continues: ‘If there’s an occasional post-launch bug they fix it quickly; in any case, there’s a reassuring three-month warranty and I’m confident that if anything major came up after that, they’d help me out. I’ve also got the peace of mind of Evergreen hosting the software on their secure, UK-based servers with a reasonably priced hosting support package.’
The ‘Wow!’ moment
Looking back on the development project, it’s clear that Evergreen impressed Philip from the start. If pushed to identify one ‘Wow!’ moment, when the wisdom of his decision to appoint Evergreen really struck him, what would it be?
‘There have been many positive moments,’ explains Philip after a moment’s thought, ‘but the one that stands out was during our testing phase. Using a data migration process written by Evergreen, I migrated one of our live systems from the old system to Version 2, so I could run them in parallel and do some serious testing. The system sends out alerts in an overnight process, and it sent out some 35 alerts from the old system for this particular client. On checking the new system, the exact same alerts had been generated. At that point I knew they’d cracked it.’
Disproving the offshoring myth
It’s just over two years now since Philip ceased working with the previous software development company in the Philippines. His clients are delighted with the new release and the new functionality it brings. ‘I’m delighted with Evergreen for what they’ve achieved and for me it has disproved the myth that offshoring is always more cost-effective for developing sophisticated bespoke software.’
I’ve already recommended Evergreen
‘Based on my experience, I have already recommended Evergreen to others and will continue to do so.’
A very good investment
‘This has been one of the best investments I’ve made for the future of my business and I will be working with Evergreen again for any future developments.’