MVP for Software Development: Bring Your Idea to Life with Minimum Efforts

In a software world, an MVP became a very popular and effective instrument for launching new products. To ensure a minimum viable product of a high quality, Appservice provides the customers with the most effective MVP service solutions during all stages of development.

Why is a Minimum Viable Product Important for Software Development Projects?

What is an MVP?

Creation of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the easiest way to prove the viability of a business idea. It is a simple version of a new product that includes just essential features to meet the needs of early adopters. An MVP enables companies to start a product faster with fewer expenses, making improvements after gathering user feedback.

There are 3 main objectives of an MVP:

  • Viability verification. An MVP defines if the product you offer meets market and user demands before the final solution is released.
  • Cost and time reduction. Focusing only on core product features, this approach enables introducing a product quickly with fewer efforts, allowing developers to make adjustments step-by-step.
  • Feedback analysis. When the final product must satisfy all users, an MVP is built for early adopters only, thus gathering feedback from them ensures all adjustments will be made according to reviews of real people.

An MVP for Software Development

In software development, an MVP can be any product: a website, an application or even a CRM-system that is released with minimum efforts and time. An MVP development becomes the most effective way to start any project, as it envisages agile development cycles. The users get it faster, express their opinion and enable improving the product in the next development cycle.

Taking the above into account, here are the main points of an MVP for software development:

Advantages of Using an MVP programming for startups

In today’s world, 9 from 10 startups fail. Here are the most common reasons why it happens:

  • lack of budget
  • lack of market demand
  • development of user-unfriendly solution
  • ignoring customer feedback

When creating an MVP for an app or website, it is rather crucial to define target audience and conduct market research first, then focus on potential problems for future development. Therefore, building MVPs for startups helps companies to find their place in the market and make a profit.

As a part of product development strategy, an MVP programming can help to:

  • Define target audience and find early adopters. Building an MVP for a startup with a ton of features makes it harder to make adjustments in the future. Later, based on user feedback, you can add the desired elements during next steps of an MVP development.
  • Save time and money. An MVP leads to early learning and release with a minimum budget. In the future, you can invest in further product development when the project brings first profit.
  • Attract investors. Despite the final product may look ideally on paper, an MVP is more likely to attract investors as it is still a functioning project.

Therefore, in a world where almost all new projects fail just after their release, building MVP for startups enables companies to avoid risk of negative feedback, reduce costs and save time.

Need MVP?

Getting Started with Creating an Effective MVP

Although an MVP project has fewer features than fully functioning system, it still requires some serious steps to take:

1. Conduct market research

Start with checking if your idea meets the needs of the market and early adopters. Ensure your project is innovative and interesting by interviewing potential users, and don’t forget about competitors – conduct market research to analyze your closest rivals’ strengths.

2. Define MVP key feature list

List all the features users may need and divide them based on priority. Further, leave only crucial features vital for performance of the initial version and move forward to MVP programming.

Later, more detailed feedback from users is required, so you need to:

  • Choose users
  • Make a list of core features
  • Prepare CustDev questionnaire

After the evaluation, you can move on to build an MVP.

3. Begin MVP software development and testing

Creating a basic prototype is critical here, as it shows whether users really want to install the app on their computers or mobile devices. After CustDev is ready, the development team prepares Technical Specifications and provides a clear picture of the product, as well as estimates cost and timeframe for development.

Basically, MVP development consists of interface design, front-end and back-end development. The aim is to get a high-fidelity interactive prototype of the product, which allows users to navigate through the app/website. For apps, you can choose one platform for development (iOS or Android) or select a cross-platform approach.

When the customer is in touch with the development team at every stage, the process becomes more productive due to immediate feedback and prompt actions towards adjustments. That’s why the use of Scrum is preferable here, as it allows finding product weak points at early development stages. The customer and the development team perform each task from sprint together to monitor the results efficiently and provide proper MVP service solutions during the development process.

4. Learn from feedback

As an MVP for software development is a long process, it should be tested on a regular basis. The aim of it is to collect feedback and make appropriate adjustments to the product in the future.

Crucial mistakes in MVP software development

A minimum viable product creation is about sticking to a plan. Here are common mistakes made when building an MVP for software development:

1. Disregarding market research

One of the biggest mistakes many product owners do is ignoring target audience demands and market peculiarities. Lack of proper research can cost huge financial losses, not to mention time and efforts spent on MVP development.

2. Unprofessional Development Team

No matter what creative technology you use, if you don’t have an experienced and skilled development team the project is likely to fail. To create a strong MVP, your team should consist of professional designers, developers, QA engineers, and PMs to provide effective MVP service solutions, otherwise you may face with the following problems:

  • Missed deadlines
  • Hiring additional specialists/another development agency
  • Poor feedback analysis
3. An overloaded MVP

Adding too much into your project may cause huge money and time losses and the entire process of development becomes meaningless. If it’s hard for you to choose key features, follow an Agile methodology – divide the complex requirements into several simple features and set a deadline for every feature you have.

4. Ignoring the prototype creation

You should provide the users with a functioning product, so it needs to be user-friendly and appealing. Thus, the app/website should have an interactive prototype, reflecting the product information architecture and including interactive elements.

5. Disregarding User Feedback

User opinion determines whether the product will be in demand or not. You should take it seriously: it’s not about simply gathering information, but also reaching proper conclusions. Reviewing user feedback ensures making appropriate adjustments to the project and satisfies user needs.

Wrapping Up

Today, an MVP software development becomes the best method to find out whether the product will be successful on the market or not. Building an MVP means finding a balance between minimum efforts spent and creating a functioning product. Appservice enables project analysis during all stages of development, providing assistance based on the established strategy.


How to Build a Succesfull Dedicated Development Team: an Ultimate Guide

Today, outsourcing has become extremely popular: striving to reduce time-to-market, streamline the development and find cost-effective solutions, increasing number of companies choose to hire dedicated software development team.

Dedicated Team Model: the Meaning

The dedicated team model is an example of cooperation between a customer and a software development service provider, where the second party provides a team of skilled and experienced technical experts to work on a customer’s project on a full-time basis (that’s what dedicated means here) under the guidance of a client.

When hiring a dedicated team, a client must bear in mind the project tech stack and the skills the recruited specialists should possess to perform their functions properly.

How Does it Work?

This model of cooperation consists of the following stages:

When the Dedicated Team Model is the Right Decision

Choosing this model of cooperation, you get a team of our specialists fully devoted to your project. It enables you to concentrate more on working processes and the most important tasks, when the vendor is in charge of the recruitment, selecting the most appropriate candidates just to address your business requirements. So, you would probably like to use this type of cooperation if:

  • You want to enter a new/unknown market. The team you hire already has specific experience working with projects that might be unfamiliar to you, thus helping to avoid risks of possible issues in-house team may face.
  • Your in-house development market is small. Talents are everywhere – with a remote team, you are not limited by a region you work in and can look for necessary specialists across the world.
  • Cost of local software developers is too high for you. In certain regions, for example in the United States or Western Europe, salaries of engineers are quite high, especially for small businesses. Outsourcing enables you to choose the team size within the planned budget.

In-House vs. Dedicated Team

Despite hiring local specialists may look like an easy and painless process, here are the cases why you may find it less relevant in comparison with the offshore dedicated development team.

  • You have time and budget limitations. In general, small or medium businesses and startups’ budgets are limited, thus they might find it expensive to hire local software developers — For example, in the USA or Western Europe salaries of skilled and experienced specialists are very high, along with the recruitment process and other administrative expenses, such as HR and IT support. Moreover, since finding right candidates for a specific project can take quite a lot of time, especially for complex projects. That’s why the dedicated team approach is the best here — you don’t have to be concerned about search and hiring, as the recruitment process is carried out by the vendor, enabling you to have all potential candidates in the same place, ready to start working on your project as soon as possible.
  • You need specialists with rare/unique skills. Again, one of the main purposes of the offshore dedicated development team is to suit the demands of a particular project, thus all the specialists must possess specific skills, often unclaimed or unusual for a specific region. Thus, it frequently happens that the local IT market can’t offer right specialists. Global market offers various experts of certain skills and level of competence.
  • You need the team to be fully focused on your project. Another advantage of this model is that the dedicated team is entirely devoted to your project and actually becomes a part of your company, being engaged with your business aims and policy.

Advantages of the Dedicated Development Team

Taking the above into account, here are the main advantages of choosing the offshore dedicated development team model:

  • Cost effectiveness. Apart from salaries of the employees, you may face other considerable expenses when hiring in-house specialists, such as HR support, office space and training.
  • Easy recruitment process. Generally, a service provider already has a pool of candidates you can choose for your project. Together with the vendor, you pick the specialists according to the required skills and experience.
  • Devoted team. With profound understanding of the customer’s project and business objectives, the dedicated software development team is fully focused on the client, striving to deliver the best results.
  • Fast market entry. The hired dedicated team possesses broad experience of dealing with various projects, similar to yours, thus protecting you from potential problems freshmen may face during the development process.
  • Allows flexibility. You can easily scale down the team size of your project, asking the offshoring vendor to add/change/remove staff members upon request. Moreover, you are able to adjust the project in terms of scope and priorities, taking into account constantly changing market or unexpected budget restrictions.

Need Dedicated Development Team?

Time and Material and Fixed-Price Models

The dedicated team model is not the only type of cooperation between a client and the offshoring vendor. Apart from it, we would like to highlight two other popular models — the time and material and the fixed-price. Let’s take a look at them to see the pros and cons of each.

Time and Material Model

According to this model of cooperation, the total cost of the project remains uncertain until it is ready, as the final payment is made according to the actual number of hours spent on development. Although this model enables flexibility in terms of changing the workload and project requirements, it’s still hard to plan the budget, so the total cost might be totally different from the preliminary estimation. Comparing the time and material with the dedicated team approach, the latter allows paying fees to specialists on a monthly basis, allowing the company to allocate the budgets properly.

Thus, the main disadvantages of the time and material model are:

  • It’s hard to estimate the deadline and total budget for the project launch due to flexibility in changing project requirements.
  • The time and material model involves full control on the client’s side to keep pace with all changes made during the development process.

Fixed Price Model

The fixed-price model indicates that the client and the vendor reached an agreement on the time frame and the budget of the project before the development is started. This approach may seem clear and convenient: the vendor takes full control over the development process with minimum supervision and risks from client’s side, however, there is one, but very significant disadvantage — as it’s quite hard to make a precise estimate of project scope, time frame and budget, the development team may face with unpredictable issues during the working process, causing potential risks to miss the deadline and require extra costs.

Here are the cons of the fixed price models:

  • The fixed price approach allows less flexibility than other cooperation models. As the project scope is negotiated beforehand, you can’t change it much. Otherwise, you may face missed deadlines and extra costs.
  • A software development company can overestimate the total cost of the project development in order to cover all potential risks our team may face during the work. As a result, the client might pay more for the project with less actual cost.
  • As the development team must meet the agreed deadline under any circumstances, the end result of the project might сome out of poor quality: when the team is striving to operate on a tight schedule, they often have no time to address the emerging issues properly.

How to Build an Effective Dedicated Team

The process of building a proper dedicated development team can be divided into following steps:

Step 1. Set requirements

Before hiring a dedicated team, you should focus on:

  • Before hiring a dedicated team, you should focus on:
  • Making a project description with main sections and their key functions
  • Choosing service provider
  • Setting a time frame and the budget for product release

Step 2. Create a team

After the draft project plan is prepared, we can move on to team recruitment. The software development manager picks the potential candidates to be approved by the client according to the below requirements:

  • Tech skill
  • Development experience
  • Soft skills
  • General background

Again, the crucial factor here is to find the specialists to fit the client’s project perfectly.

Step 3. Integrate the team into the project

When the team and the roles of specialists are defined, it’s time to integrate them into the project. The key point here is management. You may think that managing remote team work is not as easy as in-house team, but it’s not true — the digital world has no borders, thus you may reach your employees via calls or video conferences on a regular basis, keeping the working processes under close review.

Mistakes you Should Avoid

Having a dedicated software development team at hand may bring huge profit to your software solution and the company in general, although there are still some issues and challenges you should keep in mind if you decide to choose this model of cooperation.

Choose the company without proper research

When you hire a team to develop a massive and complex project, you should be 100% certain that it meets your business demands and objectives. Study the market, make a comparative analysis of software service providers, read user feedback, visit social media pages of the vendors — close examination of the subject will help you to choose the best variant for you.

Limit the search to geographical boundaries

Again, talents are everywhere. Today you don’t have to hire a software specialist just because he/she lives in the same city as you, it would be much better if you expand your search worldwide to find the right person who will perfectly fit to your project. If you are concerned about communication across the team, you should organize calls or video conferences on a regular basis (ones or twice a week) to keep everything under control and create a «being there» effect.

Place price above quality

You should remember one thing: experienced and skilled development specialists cost money, but as a result you will return more than you actually spend. Unfortunately, many companies who search for a development team, frequently look for lower prices. It is not surprising that the outcomes of the developed solution become miserable due to poor performance of the specialists, who often disregard project requirements. Of course, every budget is limited, but remember the purpose you spend the money on — to develop a quality product and gain profit from it.

Lack of motivation

In the light of the above, working with the dedicated software development team is almost the same as having in-house specialists. However, the second type of collaboration allows constant personal communication, so it is no surprise that the remote team may feel abandoned, which leads to lack of motivation. To avoid demotivation in the team, it is crucial to establish contact between the client and the development specialists, paying attention to every employee, remembering names, and making individual plans for development.

Wrapping Up: Key Points

To sum it up, we would like to highlight the following main points of the offshore software dedicated development team model:

  • Offshore dedicated development team has become a great alternative to in-house specialists due to cost-effectiveness and instant access to talents across the world.
  • This approach allows flexibility to project requirements and time frame, but the budget is unlikely to be surprising: the customer pays a monthly fee, formed from salaries of employees and administrative support given by a service provider.
  • The dedicated development team spends all time and efforts on your project, working under supervision of the customer.
  • With no geographical limits, the business owner is able to find the perfect candidates to form the team, bearing in mind the needed skills, years of experience and background.

Appservice: 2020 in review.

2020 brought many challenges this year, urging the world to use more technical solutions than ever before. Our team adapted to all the changes in the new normal and is happy to be a part of a community that provides such solutions.

Facing the pros and cons of remote work, we deepened the expertise in this area to guide our clients through unknown territory. We also welcomed new opportunities to help businesses build the platforms necessary to survive the lockdown.

Throughout, our team continued to grow, as did the business of our clients. While the year was quite tough, there were many bright highlights that we can not miss. Here is a brief snapshot of what kept us inspired and excited for 2021 to come:

Our team has grown

Though this year has cut out some office activities, we’ve managed not only to save the core team but also level up in quantity and expertise. By the end of 2020, our family has grown 2 times. Mobile and QA departments can manage more tasks, thanks to the individual manager’s approach and determining task fulfillment. To deliver cutting-edge products with the highest ROI, we created a small innovation lab where we learn, build, and make technical breakthroughs. Internal project management, agile methodology, and DevOps courses help our team to analyze their work in retrospective, improve the processes, and coordinate future strategy. One of the primary 2021 goals is to have more dedicated people around, so be ready to join our team. We also plan to create educational platform for internal courses to broaden the expertise of our employees.

Company’s expertise expanded

By bringing the best expertise at work, we successfully released 30 international projects. Now the geography of our contracts bounds 7 countries and three continents, including the USA, Asia, and Europe. Our internal processes are fully automated and correspond to Scrum methodology standards. Appservice CEO Valery Semiletau shared his expertise in agile implementation at the IT Home Conference as the guest speaker. We’ve encouraged businesses to adapt to the new reality and go digital. Thus during the lockdown, we’ve helped the local network of healthy food to successfully implement the delivery system within a week. Next year we are planning to produce more turnkey products and broaden our MVP development direction.

Internal CRM system was updated

Developing a customized product is an essential part of company evolution. We released our own CRM system last year. In 2020, during the testing and improvement, we can easily manage contracts, documents, and teams, create marketplaces of service categories, and manage invoices. The product is supported by both mobile platforms and has full functionality as the web version. Next year we are planning to translate the system into English to enter new markets.

New Partnerships were entered

We’ve broadened the partnerships with our American clients, working together on different projects. We also continued to look for new collaborations and opened an office in Russia cooperating with investment company BKS, and released the interstellar Heliosphere website. For this year, we are ready to explore the markets of Europe and open legal entities in the USA.

While 2020 was far from the year any of us expected, in many respects it proved to be a period of growth, learning, and gratitude for what we have. Coming out of it, we appreciate our team, our clients, and the impact of technology more than ever and we can’t wait to carry that spirit through to great effect in 2021. 

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See you next year!


Digital marketing transformation in 2021

2020 showed businesses that being adaptable to changes is the top surviving skill. While the COVID-19 pandemic knocked several industries down, it also boosted digital transformation. A long-term digital strategy for 2021 can help businesses to meet evolving customer needs and expectations. When everyone is online, the question is: “how to spend your marketing budget more efficiently?”

The Appservice team analyzed consumer behavior and took a broader look at marketing trends that will change the marketplace in 2021. 

  1. Mobile functionality first.

Social distancing made it more common for consumers to shop, purchase, and interact with the business via mobile apps. Mobile online traffic share has already reached 76% worldwide. In the US only it makes up around 40%. Mobile app usage has increased to 20% in 2020 and is expected to increase even more. Google and Bing continually update their algorithms, making it essential for websites to be mobile-responsive. Customers would like to have a smooth mobile experience for their needs. 

Helpful advice

Make sure that your business has a user-friendly mobile adaptive website or a mobile app. You can more accurately predict sales from pre-order options in your app. Loyalty rewards, product information, gamification elements, push notifications help a customer to purchase a wider range of products. Don’t forget that consumers use their phones to look up information about something they saw in commercials and when they look for a local business. Double check that your business is easy to find.

  1. Streaming platforms and live-videos

Live-videos and streams are now three times more popular than before. People like to feel engaged with players or people from videos. Twitch – live streaming gaming platform, claimed 65% share of hours viewed (3.1 billion), and 72% hours (121.4 million) streamed against game streaming rivals in Q1 2020. Broadcast presentations of new products or services can be done on Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook. About 73% of B2B businesses use live video to reach their target audience and report positive feedback. Livestream videos are an effective and inexpensive tool that can help you reach your audience, expand your brand, and drive more sales.

Helpful advice

Think of a strategy for your product’s presentation live promotion, prepare the newsletters and announcements. Warm-up your audience in advance by showing the teaser, and then during the stream, provide some giveaway elements to gain more interest. Rehearse your message – it should be clear and catchy. Offer tutorials and how-to videos to help your followers solve a problem in your industry. Interact with your audience as people are more likely to fall into emotional content and try new forms of performance. 

  1. Influencer marketing

Social media use dramatically increased during the pandemic, and this trend will be lasting. 40% of people reported that they bought a product online after seeing it used by an Influencer on Instagram, Youtube, or Twitter. That happens because native advertising is subconsciously taken as a fact, not as a direct ad. Influencers know their audience well and speak the same language, so it’s easier to build trust in your brand. It’s even better to address micro-influencers, as they are more industry-related, and their audience is more niche and loyal.

Helpful advice

Study your industry influencers and think of a cooperation strategy. Build an in-depth portrait of your buying persona and find a platform where these people spend their time. Use automatic helping tools to find the influencers for your business:

Create a content plan for cooperation and maintain your brand awareness through their messages. 

  1. Video marketing

Here is some statistics that shows why should you use video marketing:

  • According to a YouTube report, the consumption of video content grows by 100% every year. 
  • 59% of company decision makers would rather watch a video than read an article or blog post. 
  • 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.
  • Adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%.

Helpful advice

Video content is easy to memorize, it stands out in the newsfeed, and it’s far more viral than text. Make sure to keep your videos in line with your brand strategy. Double-check fonts, colors, logos, and voice. Don’t forget to put the link to your website while using video platforms. Add video to your website, landing pages, and commercial offers that will improve your company SEO value and click-through rates. Use videos to tell the brand story, to introduce a new product or service, to demonstrate full functionality, to invite people to online events, to show educational content.

  1. Audio marketing

While video content is the king for age groups of 18-35, audio content becomes popular among age groups of 30-49. Podcasting increased its popularity in the last two years, and now there are more than 1 mln podcasts on iTunes only. Voice search has never been so popular. Alexa, Google Home, and Siri can help you to find and order whenever you like. Your task is to think about the keywords for the search.

Helpful advice

Lifestyle on-the-go provides an opportunity for a brand to tell a story everywhere and at any time. You may either make a podcast of your own, inviting guest speakers or showing insights of your company, or search for podcasters in your industry and cooperate. Regular content provides a long way to keep people connected with your brand. Link the podcast to your blog or other social channels to increase the reach and participation of your community. Provide an opportunity to ask questions and leave comments, so you may have feedback and QA sessions after.

  1. Chatbots marketing

Chatbots allow you to have a conversation with your potential customer 24/7 without any additional resources. Customers prefer to communicate with a chatbot rather than with a live person because it provides answers quickly and saves the story of your messaging thus users save their time. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have already implemented chatbots of their own. Save your time and resources – add a chatbot to your website.

Helpful advice

Chatbots can be used for different purposes. They can lead a customer through your sales pipeline appointing the time for consultation, narrowing down customer service issues to a specific category, or answering the FAQ. Try to stand out from your competitors by the manner of chatbot communication, set your conversation trees accurately.

  1. SMM

Dynamic growth in social media presence introduced a huge number of opportunities for brands this year. Creative and original ways of communicating with your audience, either in B2C or in B2B segments, help your brand loyalty and awareness. Pandemic moved baby boomers online. According to the Hootsuite research 2020, 70% of internet users aged 

55-64 say they’ve bought something online in the past month, and 37% are planning to continue doing so more frequently when it’s over. Now Instagram and Facebook allow you to shop online, introducing the shoppable posts. So if you still don’t have a social page for your business – stop missing that opportunity.

Helpful advice

Build connections with your customers via your social media. Communicate, fix main complaints, and help your customers to have a user-friendly journey with your business. Engage the audience to generate their own content via challenges and competitions. Bring back some of the fun in the buying process by using Instagram Live or Pinterest as virtual showrooms. Include baby boomers in your creatives without stereotypes. And don’t forget to track the data from your UTM marks to more productive work on your content.

Digital marketing is a new reality for 2021 that businesses should adapt to survive. Fortunately, several companies including Appservice have deep expertise and willing to help whether you’d like to develop a good-looking website or mobile app, implement a chatbot, connect the streaming platform, or any AdTech solutions.

Don’t hesitate to  get in touch.


Service Industry and IT trends 2021

Service Industry adopted IT services for quite a time, which has changed the way businesses work. Document management, supply chain management, operations management were streamlined by software services, which reduced costs, eliminated unnecessary business processes, and enhanced the efficiency of faster decision-making and isolating problems. Now the organizations are focused on Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud (SMAC), which are customer-focused.

According to the Market Segmentation, the following sectors that will have the highest growth rate are Managed Services, Professional Services, and Telecom Services.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused uncertainty and profound shifts on a global level. The crisis brought some challenges for companies around the world; the major one is remote work. During the rush of transmitting the workflow from offices to homes, IT departments deployed technologies to maintain business processes during the global health crisis. The massive move will continue to make waves, as many companies reopened the opportunities of flexible working arrangements.

Adopting digital workflows, optimizing business operations, and bringing innovations to meet the needs of a new market will continue to drive businesses around the globe. Flexible work policies necessitate additional technology investment. Modern communications are vital for businesses to function efficiently. That means investment in tech is essential for maintaining productivity levels.

Company size will be one of the significant factors in IT budget planning for 2021. Small and mid-size businesses (up to 1000 employees) will concentrate on upgrading outdated infrastructure and supporting a remote workforce. They will focus on industry-specific apps development, such as catering, education, healthcare. While enterprises will contribute to business operations to support their needs as changing regulations, recent security breaches, communications, and productivity software.

IT investors deprioritize employment sectors as pandemic cuts the hiring need for many companies. Ed-tech, on the other hand, will continue to grow in favor of more pressing needs such as employees’ training, support for remote workers, and distance learning.

Pandemic is driving new business needs to the service industry, thus holding the revenue of digitized businesses within 80% compared to 2020. IT now plays a vital role in connecting the client with the service, including web and mobile apps, educational and sharing platforms, loyalty programs.

Thus software providers may see the increasing business needs of their domain and try to identify the interest in their products and services. The right time and the right message will deliver your offer to the end customer, and Appservice may help you with software development. Appservice company has deep expertise in software development for the Service industry and may help your business become a success.

Have an idea?

Feel free to get in touch.


Top five tech trends during the second wave of COVID-19

COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest challenge the world has faced in many years. It impacted every industry, transforming people’s lives and businesses, and altered the course of companies development. In this article, we are going to outline increasing IT tech trends for 2020-2021 and how businesses can use this information for investment. 

Gartner’s research forecasts a decrease in IT spending to total $3.5 trillion in 2020, a decline of 7.3% from 2019. 

But the pandemic didn’t stop, which means that all industries will tend to evolve to have less physical experiences. People in 2021 will rely more on digital technologies in their day-to-day operations. Therefore companies should integrate emerging technologies to stay competitive in the market.

Lockdowns all over the world made millions of employees continue to work remotely. Anywhere operations are vital for businesses. Service should be accessed, delivered, and enabled anywhere where your customers or business partners are. That trend encouraged several industries’ growth.

1. Project management tools.

Many industries now use CRM and ERP systems to manage the workflow and track the time employees spend at work. The more customized solution is the more likely the industry would like to use it or develop its own. Agile methodology and cloud-based solutions help to bring new technologies into the trend. Personalized customer experiences and eliminating redundant tasks through automation boosts productivity. Easy access from desktop, mobile, or tablet makes it possible to work from any place and improves flexibility. For the software providers that open new markets like platforms for distance education, telemedicine, church and prison management, HR, and marketing tools.

2. Cloud-based solutions.

Cloud-based solutions are a must in post-COVID reality. All the important data can be stored securely in the cloud with shareable access. The backup option, provided by cloud storage, allows your documents and files to stay safe when your computer crashes, servers fail or you can’t get to the office. It also saves money, as you don’t store anything on physical devices, so you don’t have to maintain or replace them. Besides, now cloud-based solutions are customized and continuously evolve bringing profits through subscription-based models. Developers can design client-oriented products, building a stable subscriber base, and increasing productivity and efficiency.

3. E-commerce.

Service industries became much more tech-savvy because of lockdown and social distancing. Now app-based ordering, online tracking, voice ordering, and user ratings are a part of everyday life. Delivery and peer-to-peer platforms are now changing the landscape through innovative product offerings. Amazon’s online grocery sales in the second quarter of 2020 tripled year over year. Self-quarantine brought the elderly segment to the market. More than a million new users of age group 65+ entered online shopping. That means high demand for UX and UI designers and more user-friendly interfaces and marketing funnels as convenience beats price.

4. Artificial Intelligence.

AI uses algorithms to solve tasks by studying large amounts of data to make conclusions or statistical estimations. Data processing, face and speech recognition became possible due to AI. We use AI in neuron networks, chatbots, analytical tasks for financial services. User-friendly services will invest in chatbot development for online retail, banking, property, insurance, financial and legal advice markets. AI-as-a-service platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud give a boost to the popularity of machine learning among the developers. AI algorithms in 2021 may help businesses to organize effective logistics, provide 24/7 customer support, and post visual content on social networks.

5. Cybersecurity.

The amount of data in cyberspace provides a possible threat of cyberattacks. Next-generation firewalls, malware protection, DNS filtering, antivirus software, and email security solutions are rapidly evolving to protect data from leakage. Data-driven technologies require a high level of cybersecurity as thousands of people are working remotely and the volume of data is enormous. Cybersecurity is a must in such spheres as file storage, intellectual property, stock trading, crowdfunding, legal services.

COVID-19 pandemic not only restricted some companies from IT spending but also created long-term trends that may significantly transform many industries both inside and outside the technology sector.

The tools for the implementation of new trends demand reskilled specialists for the job. Have a closer look at the most emerging and popular tech skills for 2020. Thus businesses can plan their scaling and restructuring, taking into account all the factors of the upcoming year.

Appservice company has deep expertise in the above-mentioned technology stack and may help your business become a success.

Planning to scale your business after the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic?
Feel free to get in touch.


Proven Tips to Avoid Ineffective Marketplace Development

Online platforms (marketplace) is one of the booming business trends since the dotcom era, they consume more market value each year since 2015. The research of the world platform market in the sharing economy segment predicts the annual turnover of industry for 335 billion till the end of 2025. The idea of sharing goods and services among individuals and businesses either for free or for a fee is becoming increasingly popular. You don’t have to store the goods, just be an intermediate between the customer and contractor. The accessibility of mobile technology and the Internet lets us manage share-based transactions smoothly. Most popular marketplaces are Uber, Airbnb and Amazon.

Ready to build a peer-to-peer marketplace?

Even though building an online marketplace from scratch requires much time, effort, and expense, it gives you unique business logic and original user interface and user experience.

Take a look at Karzal, for example.

Karzal is a digital renting platform for machinery, equipment, household appliances, and other goods that we recently developed. It’s an excellent example of how genuine your marketplace can look. Unfortunately, the product owner missed some pain points, we’ll discuss them further.

As well as outstanding appearance, your marketplace can also have the architecture that will suit your application best. It will be more flexible than a platform-based product, allowing to change more code for better performance. You are free to choose the technology stack for your project, which makes your product more scalable.

The number of new marketplaces is steadily growing. However, in reality, only 1 or 2 out of 20 of them work successfully. Most of the problems come from poor planning and management.

Appservice team has a three-year experience of building online marketplaces from scratch. We prepared a list of problems and solutions based on our own development experience.

1. Scattering across key features.

Many startups seek to cover a wide range of services from the very beginning. Thus target audience, product placement, and market capacity become unclear. That leads to an enormous marketing budget that some companies can’t afford. Small companies without brands will be destroyed by competitors.

Solution: Find and sell niche products, they are targeted to a specific group of buyers. Focus on several key features for promotion and development to cover a narrow category of customers and increase your revenue. Thus you reduce your costs for development and launch a product getting user feedback for further improvement.

2. Wrong market placement.

Building a brand from scratch is a hard job to do. To get first loyal customers and make people aware of your product you’ll need a solid marketing budget. Don’t try to work internationally from the beginning. It will take extra costs and bring you more competitors.

Solution: Mind the MVP basics and try to deliver the product fast and cheap. Operate in one or two cities to estimate the scale of demand for your services and advance your product functionality. It will help create your own local brand and build a base of loyal customers without taking risks.

3. Charging high transaction fees

The transactional business model is one of the ways of monetizing a marketplace. Offering contractors a platform for selling goods and services, startups charge either a percentage of the total amount or a fixed fee for each transaction conducted on their website or app. To maximize profit and recoup production losses for 1-3 years, they impose huge fees of 10-20% and, therefore, lose a lot of their clients.

Solution: Combine various business models to monetize your marketplace. In addition to charging a 3-7% fee, allow your contractors to promote their products and services by publishing ads on your marketplace or charge them fixed subscription fees. It will help you increase your revenue and grow a massive base of contractors.

4. Engaging too many contractors 

Due to lack of experience, many marketplace owners want to collaborate with as many contractors as they can. It leads to high competition for a potential client’s order on the market. As a result, both customers and contractors slip away because the former is not able to make a choice and the latter experience low conversion rates.

Solution: Make sure the number of contractors you plan to work with is sensible and meets your business capabilities. Furthermore, you can limit the number of customers’ responses to an application in order not to spam clients. Calculate your potential orders the number shouldn’t be less than 10-15% of the whole value. The average profitable conversion rate is about 2-3%. 

5. Offer unnecessary functions to attract clients

Many startups choose to develop customer account functions into apps and websites instead of integrating convenient and functional CRMs. It takes lots of time for analytics and resources. As a result, they develop a raw version of a customer account that is not adaptable to the client’s business needs. Besides, many clients use their own CRMs, and it is impractical to duplicate the information.

Solution: Find out what CRMs most of your contractors use (Zoho, Pipedrive, Oracle, Salesforce) and integrate them for efficient customers’ orders accumulation and management. It will enable your contractors to provide services to their customers using their usual software. You can make the service fee-based.

6. Ignoring the entertaining features.

New marketplaces are coming to the market every day. You have to be different or outstand somehow. Make a research in popular trends. Maybe you’ll find something that entertains your customers or makes their life easier.

Solution: Go beyond allowing clients to order a service. Better create additional functions like an Instagram mask or integration with other apps as a supplement to the service instead. It will help you promote the service you sell and attract new customers.

Why choose Appservice?

Appservice is experienced and knowledgeable developing different kinds of platforms based on sharing economy principles. We’ve built and smoothly run peer-to-peer marketplaces. We can re-use existing functionality and adapt the custom features for your platform, due to our expertise in this domain, allowing you to save time and money. We’ll help you to develop a functioning marketplace that will generate traffic, boost your sales, increase your conversion rate, and help you build a solid base of loyal vendors and customers.

Planning to build a successful marketplace? Feel free to

Get in touch


MVP – AppService guide to product development

If you’re planning to launch a new product, you’ll need an MVP. A Minimum Viable Product is a tool to determine a product’s potential on the market. The MVP model can be used to develop any product, including mobile apps and websites.

Even though an MVP only has a basic set of features, when applied properly, it can help you scale your business. One of AppService’s business focuses is creating an MVP together with our clients to transform their ideas into a businesses and get users’ feedback. Below is our guide to MVP creation milestones.

Identify and evaluate the problem

The idea of product creation generally evolves from a hobby or professional activity. As the sphere is well-known, it’s easier to identify the pain or solution. It’s extremely important to test the idea for market demand beforehand. Interviewing potential customers is the easiest way to get relevant feedback. Additional tips include:

  • Dividing the audience into product users and customers who pay for it. These roles are not always the same because motivations are different (e.g. employees will actively use corporate software but the CEO will decide to purchase it)
  • Evaluating users’ interest
  • Testing a user-friendly business model

Make a list of MVP features and pare it down

The most in-depth, high-quality feedback will determine the product’s functionality and its main advantages. At this stage, it’s crucial to:

  • Define a basic set of functions
  • Select users
  • Identify goals and objectives for CustDev analysis
  • Prepare CustDev questionnaire (forms for analytics, a system for automatic analysis)

As a result, consumers will evaluate the idea and it will be easier to determine the next steps.

Begin development and testing

After CustDev is conducted and development decisions are made, the next phase is SOW creation and basic product architecture prototyping.

Working with the development team on the first stage means having functional requirements set out and a basic prototype created by the beginning of the second stage. The team creates Technical Specifications following the results of CustDev, so you can see an accurate, complete image of the product together with the estimated time and cost of development. After that, the working team is created.

MVP development itself includes interface design, and front-end and back-end development. When a customer is in contact with the development team at every stage, communication is more efficient because the client:

  • Follows the development steps and can make changes to the project in real time
  • Can monitor results
  • Helps solve project issues on-the-spot

It saves significant resources and has a positive impact on future cooperation. For those reasons, the use of Scrum is preferable.

The Scrum framework allows us to identify all the weaknesses in the early steps. That’s why it’s better to plan sprints together with the customer to estimate the implementation period and track the overall result of each sprint. The number of sprints should be agreed with the client, and a certain amount of resources allocated. In this way, it’s possible to predict and monitor the budget and timeline.

Launch an MVP and get feedback

After development is completed, the product will be launched. The landing page, promotional pages in stores, banners, presentations — everything should be ready to attract the first early adopters.

Some projects promote their betas before an official release. It helps to see real feedback and transform the features of the product beforehand.The support and development processes are carried out throughout the life cycle of the product.

AppService has developed MVPs for websites and applications. We offer full consultations for minimum viable product development. We not only help in the implementation of the idea at each stage, but we also form a cohesive team that will launch the product on time and support it throughout the life cycle. As a result, in 3 to 12 months of collaboration, the product will be launched and the idea will become a business.

Are you interested in developing your MVP with us? Don’t hesitate to

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Dedicated Development Team

Businesses who need to quickly ramp up their development, cut the costs and reduce time to market use different models of cooperation between the customer and the contractor.

There are four most common models of such cooperation:

Outstaffing – remote employment, when a hired person carries all the duties for a certain company, being employed by another company.

Outsourcing – hiring a party outside a company to perform services and separate business processes.

Turn-key development – hiring an experienced development team for a project. The team fully designs and constructs the project for the customer (you’ll find more information in our MVP development article).

Dedicated development team – hiring a team of developers who work for the customer’s tasks only. The customer is a part of a workflow in this case.

Dedicated development team combines outsourcing and turn-key models of development. In this article, we will take a closer look at this particular model.

Dedicated Development Team

Dedicated development team model builds a team for the project’s needs from scratch. The customer actively participates in team-building and communication processes for the whole project. The work can be split into 3 steps: drafting of the project plan, team-building, product development.

Step 1 Project plan drafting

  • define the main product sections
  • determine the functions of each section (better to form functions as user stories)
  • set the date of the final product release
  • make a plan of sprints including the priority features
  • choose a contractor
  • define the technology stack
  • make a resource plan, specify which resources do you need to fit the date.

Step 2 Team building

When the project plan is ready, we may form the team. This step is crucial for both sides. The contractor should choose the candidates for the project, the customer should negotiate the final team. The most important criteria are:

  • professional experience of candidates and their stack expertise
  • experience in the field of development
  • personal characteristics of the candidate for the team and project manager

When choosing a team, you have to define team roles. After that, you should start properly to get the successful implementation of the product in the end.

Step 3 Product development

We recommend having 3-4 weekly sprints for the final team formation. During the sprints, you’ll form the project environment and release 2-3 main functions. Thus you may define the team roles and switch team members if necessary.

During the workflow, you may change the original plan. The main reasons for that:

  • user feedback makes you change the functionality of the project
  • the need to expand or narrow the functionality after release
  • sprint review to change the priorities of the market or Product Owner

Project plan review involves some risks:

  • timing change
  • cost of project implementation change
  • the functionality of the product change.

The product owner is the key team member who is responsible for revision management.

While the workflow changes, the project plan has to be adjusted after every sprint. In other cases, it doesn’t work. For the plan adjustment it is necessary to involve: Product Owner, Scrum Master (or Project Manager), Analysts, and Architect (or Tech lead).
The customer or his representatives take an active part in the work of the dedicated development team. The customer representatives have the right to initiate team review, change the goals and functions of the project, etc.

Advantages of the dedicated software development team

In-house development or dedicated development team?