Digit IT Magazine recently met up with Andy Miller, the Chief Technology Officer of CompareNetworks, at Calcey premises in Colombo, Sri Lanka. They asked Andy for details about CompareNetwork’s relationship with Calcey, as well as his general opinion about offshoring with a Sri Lankan IT company.
Digit IT Magazine: Thank you for giving us this opportunity to speak with you, Andy. What is it that CompareNetworks focus on?
Andy Miller: Our business is a collection of websites and mobile applications that focus on highly technical marketplaces like Life Science, Dental, and Ophthalmology. These are our marketplaces where websites bring buyers and sellers together. We also produce mobile applications that serve a variety of purposes from sales productivity, all the way to end-user training in the same marketplaces that our websites serve.
Digit IT Magazine: Why have you selected Calcey? How did the partnership begin with them?
Andy Miller: Oh, I guess, partially by chance, CompareNetworks, one of our other co-founders knew the founder of Calcey, Mangala. We started with some very small projects with Calcey back in 2005, and it just grew from there, we found great success in our early projects that were very much focused on content and developing content for our websites. And we moved from that into engineering, and slowly over a period of time transitioned our engineering firm in-house to fully here at Calcey.
Digit IT Magazine: What were the reasons for not hiring talent from Silicon Valley itself to execute the projects?
Andy Miller: So right now it’s actually very difficult to hire engineering talent in silicon valley, we are competing with companies like Apple and Google for top engineering talent, and for a small company like ours, it’s very time-consuming and expensive to find and retain engineering talent.
Digit IT Magazine: How has the partnership with Calcey been? How effective are they?
Andy Miller: Our partnership has been great with Calcey. We started off with content development and moved into engineering very quickly, and one of the strengths that we recognized very early in working with Calcey was Calce’s ability to not only follow the instructions that we were providing but to also understand our business and make day-to-day decisions based on their deep understanding of our business needs.
Digit IT Magazine: Your “ImSmart” app has been named the fastest-growing product in CompareNetworks history. Tell us about it.
Andy Miller: So the “ImSmart” app started actually as an internal concept, an app that we were going to use for our own sales team, that was a productivity tool for them to manage their marketing assets. So, we developed it for our sales team to use for their own productivity, to store PDF files or any other materials that they might use in the field.
We quickly realized that a tool like this could easily be used for any of our customers as well, as our existing customers for our websites. So we began to develop a pilot project for one of our customers, again a sales productivity tool to manage marketing assets for their sales team, and it took off from there.
Digit IT Magazine: Traveling from the US to Sri Lanka, how are you finding it, enjoy the time spent here.
Andy Miller: I love coming here; I love seeing Colombo and eating spicy food and it’s a treat to visit and also to work with this great team of people. I’ve really come to build relationships with the people here at Calcey and I really enjoy working with them.
Digit IT Magazine: Any words for other Tech companies in Silicon Valley to work with companies in Sri Lanka?
Andy Miller: I would encourage anybody to work with a company like Calcey here in Colombo. We’ve had great success, it’s been very efficient for us to get the work done that we need to get done, and I’ve no regrets at all it’s been a great experience.