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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Faqs

OUR COMPANY

Who is MCSI

Our core team includes Ibrahim and Jamila Malluf. Ibrahim has more than 35 years of software design and development. Jamila has more than 20 years project management, risk managment and client relationship. We have other developers that we sub-contract with when the proposed project is large and requires more staff. We only sub-contract with American based contractors, we do not do offshore period. Ibrahim is also available to augment the needs of other teams on a contract basis.

What is MCSI's client base like

Over the years we have had clients that range from small restaurants like Tesuque Villiage Market or Kabab Bistro to large Fortume 500 organizations like Fiserv, United Health and Kendal International, Governmant Agencies like Bernalillo County, US Beaureu of Indian Affairs, US Interior Department and everything else in between. The Industries we have served include Financial, Health Care, Manufacturing, Petroleum Products Distribution, retail, food service and too many others to include here.

What Capabilities does MCSI offer

Strategy - helping you answer the question, "What exactly should I build?"
Design - creating appealing, easy to use interfaces that delight your users and makes your organization look great.
Development - writing and testing code that runs smoothly, gets the job done and is reliable day after day.
Quality Assurance - ensuring that we're always building the right thing and it works securely and consistently over all of the targeted platforms.
Deployment & DevOps - getting you product to your people with minimum number of issues
Hosting & Monitoring - keeping things running smoothly and securely once it is deployed.
Ongoing Support - keeping your product in top shape and responding to your needs quickly.
 
Oh, and did we mention we are a mostly Microsoft Shop. If it is Net, Azure, Office 365 or any other Microsoft platform you need help with we are one of your best resources. We even do support for legacy VB6 or VBA application.

What MCSI's Strengths and Weaknesses

We are not a Fast Food, uh Software company. We believe that every project we take on has its own set of requirements, features and user stories that have to be ferreted out. And we like to do the ferreting!! In the end we like to provide our clients with the best solution possible for their given business problem. We start that process by asking the client to fill out a Vision statement describing their intent. This helps us determine if we are a good fit or not.
We do best at:
  • New Development "from Idea to Delevery"
  • Providing a dedicated software team
  • Legacy takeover and remodels
  • Project resues and turnarounds
  • Boosting existing teams - augmenting existing teams with shared values.
  • Consulting on areas that we have a specific expertise on.
  • Onsite engagements as independant consultants, not employees or W2 contracts
We do not do the following:
  • Provide warm bodies for companies to fill a seats - find a staffing firm for this.
  • Contract-to-hire engangements - again find a staffing firm to do this. 
  • Department of Defense or Deparment of Energy! - we do not like being in the business of killing people.

Still Under Constuction

 

 

Yes, this page still needs a little more love!

Our Contact to Contract Process

What's the purpose of the first Call?

The initial call is where all parties get to ensure that we are a good fit for each other. Things that are important to us are: a responsible budget, a clear vision and direction, and a full commitment to your project.

Will we sign your NDA?

We hesitate to sign anything, including an NDA before our initial call. It's important that we know enough about the business to evaluate whether there is a conflict with our present or past clients. In addition we talk to many potential new clients over year, it is inevitablke that we hear simular ideas.

Will we respond to your RFP? 

We have done so in the past. But we often find issues with RFPs that can cause problems as the project progresses such as:
  • The requirements in RFP's are often etremely detailed, but usually lack a real business context.
  • The probability of this document containing the optimum feature set is extremely low
  • By agreeing to respond to an RFP, we are relying 100% on someone else's ability to capture the correct requirements. The right features are better learned by the project team through user interviews, mockups, prototyping, releasing actual software, and getting feedback from real users.

So the short answer is that there is a low probabliity that we will respond to an RFP, but it is not an absolute no. We will look at what is entailed in th eRFP and decide at a later point if it is a good fit for us.

Do we do fixed-bid proposals?

We bill hourly. If you want a fixed bid, we will stop work when that fixed price is reached and you get what you get. does that work for you??? We do not think so. We usually decline to do a fixed bid on all but the most simplest of projects.  For example, we have several Dot Net Nuke based packages that we offer with a set price. But we clearly state in those packages that only so many hours at a reduced rate and beyond those hours you have to pay our regular rate per hour. that is about how closw we get to fixed price bids.

Can we take over your existing project?

It depends. We do not claim to be the Jack of all Trades  development environments. We are admittedly a Microsoft Stack kind of shop. If your project is mostly within that boundary then yes we can take over your existing project. 
Our process starts with a live demo of the system and then a code audit. Once we complete the audit, we send you a full report that includes: analysis, recommendations, proposals for takeover(if applicable)

What is our policy on copyright and intellectual property?

Who owns the code and designs that we produce for you? You do! Before we begin work we out into place a services agreement that will assign ownership of all work products and deliverables to you as long as we are paid for the serrvices we perform. Of course this excludes third party libraries and our own pre-existing libraries.

What if you are not ready for development

Almost none of our clients are ready for development initially. We begin by taking the time upfront to help you determine the right thing to build and a reasonable budget to pay for it.

Project Experience

How successful are we with our projects.How do you prevent issues?

Our project success rate over the last 300 projects is over 85%. The mean average success rate for all development comes in at 60.25% according to this Dr.Dobbs published article in 2007. Actualy that's a figure we extrapolated from the survey. In the aritcle itself compared several groups who had a range from 40% success rate for offshore development to 72% for onshore Agile teams.  We do better than the average because we practice stong communication, regular feedback loops and a solid discovery process that gives all stakholders a view into what the proposed project entails.

Have you ever failed on a project?

Yup, of course we have! In almost every case poor communication attributed to those failures such as:
  • Not fully understanding the scope of the project.
  • Misalignment with what was being built versus what was needed.
  • Lack of, or innsufficient, client and team communication throughout the project.

After taking our lumps and doing the best we could to bring the failing project back on track, we improved our processes and training. Some improvements include:

  • A more through Discovery, Design and Planning process.
  • Improved estimation calculations
  • Manadatory training in Agile/Scrum methodology

What Technologies and languages do you work with.

We do not try to be a jack of all trades development languages and tools. We have a strong focus on a set of technologies that center on the Microsoft stack. That is not to say that languages like PHP or Python or databases like Mongo or MySQL are inferior becuase they basically ar not. what we are saying here is that our focus allows us to be experts at the languages we choose and the tools we use. Other shops wil tell you that they do it all....we won't even try.
 
We focus on the architecture of a given project first. Then we apply the appropriate tools to get the job done. With the Microsoft Stack there is a unified environment for almost any solution. Our tools include but are not limited to:
  • Web: ASP.Net/MVC, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, TypeScript, Angular, Node.js, Bootstrap, numerous javascript libraries.
  • Mobile: Microsoft Xamarin (iOS, Android, Win-10 Mobile) and occaisionally Cordova.
  • Cloud: Microsoft Azure is where our expertise lies. We can and will work with AWS as well. But we highly recommend Azure if you have not committed to AWS yet.
  • Desktop: Universal Windows Platform (UWP), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and yes, Windows Forms if you insist.
  • Database: SQL-Server (including SSIS, SSAS and SSRS), Cosmos DB and Oracle.
 

Do we write software for iPhone and Android

YES! Absolutely. We use the Microsoft Xamarin platform for this development so that we can provide a common code base that will compile into a native app for these and other devices. We can deliver mobile apps that will require about 60-70 % of the invesment that would result in doing these on the native Objective C and Java platforms. And subsequent maintenance and improvements will produce the same level of savings.

What industries have we worked with

  • Health Care
  • Finance
  • Petroleum Distribution
  • Resaurants and Hospitality
  • Media and Gaming
  • Manufacturing (ERP and MRP)
  • Government (County, State, US DOI, US BIA)
  • Many Others

Can we share projects we have worked on

We have a public Past and Present Client Projects list where we discuss past projects for you. Other clients are left out because of confidentiality aggreements.

Do you have any experience developing APIs

Yes, everything from Windows COM and DCOM based APIs to cloud based Soap (WCF) and Restful (WEB API) APIs.

Do you have experience with HIPPA and PCI compliance.

We have done several projects that required HIPPA or PCI complience. We stay up to date on these and other legal constraints.
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