True Interaction is a small technology consultancy that creates and implements frontend user experiences. Optimum Partners helped True Interaction execute several projects that were crucial in serving and retaining critical “bread and butter” clients.
50% of company revenue today can be attributed to Optimum Partner’s work on two key projects.
“When you’re a small company, you focus on what you do well.”
For True Interaction, that’s business strategy and information architecture. Beyond that core focus, the small business and technology consultancy brings in partners for execution to integrate their user mapping work with systems on the backend.
This is the partnership model True Interaction uses for their two biggest “bread and butter” clients, who have accounted for over half of total revenue. At one point, both needed complex multisystem integration support, one for financial and project management, and one for a CRM migration.
“It was a big challenge. Mapping and then maintaining APIs is never easy,” according to Joe Sticca, True Interaction’s CIO/COO.
Joe had worked for a long time with Optimum Partners’ CTO Eyad and his team in the past, when they were both at other companies in 2010. He always appreciated the team’s ability to work outside their specific functions.
“They're more consultative, they’re more thinkers. They’re involved contextually in the requirements and workflow.”
So when it came to these projects, he didn’t put out an RFP to other partners. When picking resources, Joe abides by the old saying: “not the lowest price, but the lowest cost.”
“Optimum Partners is not the cheapest, but at the end of the day, they are the most cost effective.”
This cost effectiveness is a direct benefit of the quality of Optimum’s thinking, which stems from each team member having multiple skill sets. A developer will often also be able to design workflows, which means they can effectively serve as a database administrator as well. And a quality assurance person is likely able to go upstream and interact with clients to do the business analysis and gather requirements. These systemwide skills mean individual team members can cross-pollinate as a team to offer solutions more attuned to client needs.
“They're going to be holistic in their thinking and their approach,” says Joe. “So it's not a siloed approach of specialities, even though they do have specialities.”
One of these clients was not only a large account for True Interaction, but a new one as well. As a result, True Interaction was very aggressive in setting timelines for this first project. And as usual, client requirements shifted throughout. But Optimum Partners was able to deliver: the client has been with True Interaction to this day, after almost five years.
With the other client, the work also involved building new consumer websites on top of systems work. There, Joe welcomed Optimum’s deep cross-project experience in design, which meant the Optimum team could engage in the nuances of certain design decisions that seem small but often end up having a big impact on rework down the line if made incorrectly.
Across both clients, Optimum’s technical acumen made them efficient at project management. Instead of simply pushing tasks, their skills within disciplines let them speak to technical folks in their own language and better relate them. Another commonality across projects was Joe’s trust in OP to interact with clients if he had to miss a meeting, again because of their multidisciplinary skills.
“As account managers, I could trust them. That’s Optimum—even though they were hired as a project manager or developer, they have the mindset of being sensitive to needs and issues during client meetings.”
True Interaction wouldn’t have been able to do these two big client projects—or keep those clients around—without Optimum Partners. What’s more, True Interaction’s margins on those projects would have been tighter, because they would have had to hire more people. Overall, Joe describes Optimum as highly pragmatic, which he defines as a mindset rather than a particular skill. To be pragmatic, projects can’t be treated like just a checklist. The “lost art” must span disciplines and context to look at the bigger picture. That kind of approach is where the efficiencies and innovation happen.
Says Joe: “The work Optimum does transcends projects. Being contextually sensitive to the business as well as technology and bridging the gaps regardless of the time, project, or effort is something they always bring to the table.”