Pride Wireless - from Zero to Launch
When wireless industry veteran Patrick Adams decided to found PRIDE Wireless, a niche Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) focused on the global LGBTQ and supporters market, he knew that he would need help creating a robust customer experience, high-touch customer service, billing and customer self management system to link to its Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator and Enabler partner (MVNA/E).
Making a Concept a Reality
A Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator and Enabler provides the wireless network access, software, systems, and call centers to assist MVNOs – key components you need from an operational standpoint to run a wireless phone company.
What they DON’T usually provide is the customer experience, inclusive of processes and web functions that both pre-sale prospects and post-sale customers experience. delaPlex Software helped create both the pre-sale and post-sale portion of the software. From e-commerce, activation and registration to billing, access to user usage data, billing information, and customer self-care - all of it had to be built out and kept in sync with Plintron Americas, the T-Mobile MVNA/E.
Therefore, there were a whole host of APIs and integration that needed to be connected up behind what the user sees.
"From the beginning, delaPlex understood what our milestone dates have been, and they've done whatever it takes to get it done." - Patrick Adams
Three Months from Concept to Market
Adams approached delaPlex with a big idea and not a lot of fleshed out details.
“Somehow, we went from PowerPoint decks and complex MVNA/E documentation explaining the APIs in July – none of which we were experienced with - to “go-to-market” in October,” laughs Adams.
Adams reports that delaPlex was very flexible and helpful. Pride didn’t have all of their requirements buttoned down beyond the high level concepts; there wasn’t a lot of “meat” underneath them. Heidi Spencer, their delaPlex project manager, was helpful in getting the requirements “further baked”. Adams says that as an early-stage company, they didn’t really have the resources to pull it all together before engaging delaPlex for the outsourced software development.
“Along the way, they quickly rolled us into their agile development methodology,” he remembers.
delaPlex put structure behind the PowerPoint presentations and rough wireframes PRIDE Wireless provided and helped start making sense of it all in terms of how to actually begin to implement the functionality necessary all while on a tight deadline.
They got it all rolled into the agile development model, got tasks assigned to sprints, and the necessary (and previously nonexistent) documentation was produced.
Furthermore, the delaPlex team stepped up into other areas not originally contracted to address its I.T., networking, and e-commerce needs where other resources were either lacking or not skilled.
Doing what it takes - a 48 hour sprint
Adams says, “From the beginning, delaPlex understood what our milestone dates have been and they’ve done whatever it takes to get it done. When we made the press release for the Atlanta market rollout, the delaPlex team was up for 48 hours straight making sure we had the system ready to go with no complaints. The whole time we were up, developers were up in India, working their overnight to make sure things were getting done.”
Although delaPlex had not previously done a lot of MVNO work, Adams reports that they asked good questions, identified errors that other partners had not identified, and were very flexible and adaptable to adjustments to the road map as the project progressed.
- Customized and integrated Plintron API, QW1 Portal, and JitBit HelpDesk software
- Developed self-service portal (MyAccount) using .NET MVC 5.0 Framework
- Deployed hosted website in AWS environment (Amazon Web Services).
- Designed secure VPN architecture for internal and remote access of MVNO applications
- Customized responsive marketing web site for WordPress.
- Implemented social media logins for Google/Instagram/Twitter/Facebook.
When it's Done, It's Still Not Over
Even after the deployment of the project, delaPlex continues to stand behind PRIDE Wireless as their agile development partner when things need to change, and change FAST. According to Adams, whenever something is critical, delaPlex is right there. PRIDE Wireless recently wanted to run a sales promotion that didn’t quite fit with the feature set of the software as built, and delaPlex worked all night to make the change in functionality in time for the promotional event.
A Partnership Mentality
“From the beginning, starting with delaPlex’s flexible startup contract terms, and continuing through support and development, delaPlex Software has demonstrated adaptability, responsiveness, and a partnership mentality. This team is unstoppable in finding innovative solutions, while working their way around problems rather than pointing fingers,” declares Adams.
Adams continues, “When we look at the level of support we are getting from them - their adaptability and responsiveness - delaPlex has all the ideal traits any startup should be looking for in a development and go-to-market partner.”