Merce

Bespoke application development
  • Value proposition

    We can take up bespoke application development for your organisation, where your risk is capped at the one-time services fees involved. This minimises your investment in in-house resources or computing assets, yet permits you to obtain a first-rate application with a long useable life.

    Our expertise in this area is specially attractive to potential customers because:

    • Variety of experience. We have worked with various customer profiles from various industry sectors for various sizes of projects. Some software services companies pride themselves on their depth in a few verticals. We believe we have a track record of entering a new project in a new industry vertical, figuring out our way through the requirements and delivering a first-rate solution. Our case studies are testimony to this.
    • Infrastructure and application code. Most software services companies cannot assist with production infrastructure and deployment issues for your applications. We have the depth and breadth to tackle the full stack of your deployment infrastructure. We can start with installing and configuring operating systems on your servers or setting up Amazon EC2 virtual servers, and deliver from there till the last layer of your business application.
    • Tight project management. Bespoke applications are generally fixed-price projects where teams need to be managed tightly and high visibility is required for work in progress. We have the experience and processes to deliver on this.
    • Technology strength. There is more to software system design and development than writing code. Our technology strengths go far beyond the development of business applications, as our case studies indicate. This results in better, faster, more stable applications for you.

    The Indian software services industry has grown to its current gigantic proportions based largely on T&M contracts, where manpower is provided and services are billed for on a person-month basis. A different set of skills is needed for fixed-price, fixed-time projects which are typical for bespoke app projects. We are good at this sort of projects.

  • People and processes

    We have the processes and teams which deliver good software systems. We hate to admit it, but we have grown every year both in process maturity and technology depth. With over ten years of experience building, deploying and supporting interesting software systems for very demanding Indian customers, we believe we have what it takes.

    • Our teams. We have stringent recruitment processes and on-job training. Most of the applicants who we cannot accept appear to find jobs in larger software companies, thereby indicating something about our filtering at the input stage. After recruitment, we put our teams through training depending on the projects they are assigned to.
    • Processes. Over the last few years, we have moved towards an adaptation of the agile software methodology. This approach seems to be yielding better results and keeps customer expectations in a realistic zone. We operate tight teams, invest in high communication levels between members, and retain a nimbleness when responding to changes.
    • Tools. Today, processes are no longer merely human processes. Tools and processes must be integrated. We have moved to a project task tracking process which uses online issue tracking systems for each task of each developer. We also use Subversion for source code version management and other industry-standard development environments for coding and testing. Test automation is done using Selenium, and Firebug is used extensively for front-end debugging.

    Wrapped around all these tools and processes is the company culture -- a culture which refuses to let go when the going gets tough. This has been the unifying thread which has brought difficult projects back from messy states to clean deliverables on the rare occasions when things difficult.

  • Work we have done

    We have tackled both conventional and very unusual challenges in the work we have done. Our case studies bear evidence of the variety in our projects. HTTP traffic monitoring, parallel-processing clusters for supercomputer performance, assembly line work tracking are some of our unusual projects.

    We have handled projects of various sizes. Today, the smallest bespoke application projects we engage in are about 8-10 person-months of developer time. The largest bespoke projects can be about 200 person-months.

    We have worked with various technologies. We have developed large systems purely in Perl, Java and have handled PHP projects too. Our core strength is in Unix and Linux environments, though we develop applications on Windows servers too. Most of our applications have been for browser based interfaces. We are beginning to explore mobile application development.

RELATED READING

  • Models of engagement

    We engage with customers in various models, depending on their requirements.

  • Case studies

    A collection of our case studies, indicating the range and depth of work we have done