Evolution1 turns to Coherent Solutions for product development capacity and process expertise in fast growth SaaS healthcare sector.
Out of the gate fast
Founded in 2005, Evolution1 (formerly Lighthouse1) found its stride quickly in the white-hot healthcare industry, learning along the way that early success in any industry is not without its bumps and bruises.
The privately held company quickly captured the attention of the health benefits administration marketplace with innovative products that rode the crest of the hottest trend in health care— consumer-directed health plans such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Variable Employee Benefits Arrangements (VEBA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA). By leveraging a hosted, software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, Evolution1 empowers benefits administrators with its flexible, cost-effective OnDemand system to help manage the many complexities of these healthcare accounts.
Development resources were in short supply
As a startup, Evolution1 got out of the gate fast but quickly learned they had limited resources to keep the new product pipeline flowing and to implement customer integrations. And in the highly competitive healthcare industry, where innovation and time-to-market is critical, the company knew they needed incremental resources quickly. What’s more, Evolution1 was young, with immature software development processes, which drastically complicated the prospect of seeking software development outsourcing partners. Management realized they needed to augment their OnDemand platform with strategic capabilities such as the ability to support Health Savings Accounts, and both time and software development resources are in short supply. That’s when Evolution1 turned to Coherent Solutions.
A new outsourcing model was needed
Peter Jobbagy, product executive for Evolution1, had enough previous experience with outsourcing to know it wouldn’t be easy. “Time zone differences, language issues, and cultural idiosyncracies make it difficult to utilize offshore development resources, and it’s hard to assess progress and overcome distributed development challenges,” Jobbagy notes. “Our lack of development processes further complicated matters, but as a young company, we needed the cost savings associated with utilizing global resources.”
Evolution1 management knew they needed a different model and found it with Coherent Solutions, Inc. Coherent, a technology solutions and outsourcing company, has strong presence in both the U.S. and Europe and specializes in helping software companies save money and bring products and complex applications to market faster by leveraging an outsourced development capability. By building customized development teams consisting of client resources, U.S. Coherent resources, and well-integrated development resources in Minsk, Belarus, Coherent is able to overcome the challenges of utilizing traditional offshore vendors.
Becoming a believer
After meeting with Coherent executives and visiting Coherent’s operations in Minsk, Jobbagy knew he had found a model and partner he could believe in. In fact, early on in the relationship, the Coherent team took a set of draft requirements from Evolution1 and played the leadership role in developing Evolution1’s new HSA product for the OnDemand platform.
Since founding the partnership, Evolution1 has migrated to an Agile development methodology based on Scrum, with support from Coherent. The new approach has further streamlined and solidified a partnership founded in mutual success.
Today the way in which Evolution1 is utilizing Coherent continues to evolve. As Evolution1 has grown, the backlog of customer-driven customizations has grown exponentially. Fulfilling these requests has become critical to maintaining satisfaction among existing customers and has taken on strategic importance to the company as an enabler to signing new large customers. To address this opportunity Evolution1 has leveraged the flexibility of its relationship with Coherent by shifting Coherent’s focus to become the preferred partner for implementing these customizations. “We are very pleased with how our relationship has evolved with Coherent” Jobbagy says. “Process flexibility along with a customized blend of on-site and highly professional global talent—what could make more sense?” Clearly for healthcare industry pioneers like Evolution1, Coherent Solutions’ approach to software development outsourcing is just what the doctor ordered.
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