Posted on February 09, 2012
Susco Solutions and Touch Studios are two sister software companies based in downtown New Orleans. Due to the increasing local demand for custom software development, both companies have plans for growth in 2012. One of the main goals of the growth plan is to add new sales associates to the sales team. The sales associates will be employed by both companies, selling similar services, but different technologies. Susco Solutions develops internal business applications whereas Touch Studios builds social applications and games.
This sales associate position is a great opportunity for someone beginning a career in sales for several reasons. First and foremost, it is a chance to work in the high-tech industry. High-tech sales is a very interesting and rewarding career. Not only is it one of the most rapidly growing and lucrative industries, but it is also never stagnant. Sales associates are constantly challenged to learn new concepts to keep up with the evolving technologies. Second, sales associates will have the opportunity to work directly with the CEO of both companies. He has extensive experience in software development and sales and is a great resource. Third, sales associates will gain experience in all levels of the sales cycle. From working with the contacts database, to qualifying new leads, to drafting estimates and proposals, to participating in client meetings, they will develop advanced knowledge of software sales. Lastly, Susco Solutions and Touch Studios have a great office and friendly work environment. The companies were just recently nominated for the New Orleans City Business 2011 Best Places to Work award.
The ideal candidate for this position holds these qualities:
Eagerness to learn
Likes working with computers/internet
To Apply: Please email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on September 18, 2011
I won’t go in to too much detail, but just thought someone might be interested in the evolution of the Finch icon. Thanks to Josh Hano for all the artwork below. If you haven’t got your copy yet, check out the Finch website!
Second set of sketches:
Defining Finch’s shape:
Defining Finch’s character:
First pass render:
Second pass with dark lines removed (they didn’t read well at small sizes):
“Rounder” version to be more appropriate for an icon:
Final icon with texture and shading for v1.0 and v1.1:
Version 1.2 icon. Renders better at smaller sizes (like in the mac app store) Blue works better with sky theme:
Posted on August 12, 2011
If you need work on a Mac all day and need to track your time, I strongly recommend you keep reading:
About 2 years ago we were discussing how difficult it was to track time for the projects we’re working on. As I’m sure many of you in the design / development space know, when you’re working on multiple projects for different clients during the day, it can be a hassle tracking your time while you work, an absolute hair-pulling nightmare to allocating it correctly at the end of the day.
When we were first looking at options to get around this, the closest thing we saw was Boss Everywhere – an app intended to basically track every window the user open and how long they were on it for. The end result was a spreadsheet, which allowed their boss to review their actual time usage to make sure not too much time was spent shopping online, or IMing their friends. We also couldn’t find any apps for Mac OS (of course) as the ones already created were clearly intended for corporate monitoring for larger employee bases.
There was clearly need for an app which monitors what you’re doing for your benefit – allowing you to assign the different window titles into buckets you define, and allow for a clean reporting interface – and we were committed to developing it – but as with many firms that develop their own IP and do professional services, it got backburnered… until now.
Why now? A nexus of rapid changes, really. I’m going to go into much more detail in a later blog but let’s just say with a staff of 12 developers on the combined Susco Solutions / Touch Studios team, efficiency in workflow is a must for us. We’ve already integrated the flow of Sales data to our PM system all the way through billing, which leaves us with the biggest pain of all… timekeeping! And with 12 developers screaming bloody murder when you ask for daily task level tracking, something has to be done.
That, combined with the fact that Apple wanted to make a big push with the Mac App Store by bundling it into Lion, made our choice clear – it was time to hatch Finch!
Download it for Mac here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/finch/id456099613?mt=12
It’s really easy to use, download, install, and once you open it you can immediately see where your time is going. Make tags to cover the “buckets” in your life you need to group – “Sales”, “Redesign Apple’s Logo”, “Whatever you need to group things by”. Then make the reports you need by those tags.
Try it out and give us feedback! As we get traction on the Mac, lookout for a PC version and more features..,
Posted on June 10, 2011
We can’t tell you how much confusion is out there regarding mobile application development. Perhaps this is due to the huge surge in demand… or the fact that the iPhone SDK has only existed since 2008. We’re going to take a crack at providing some clarity to this seemingly opaque space.
There is a lot to cover here so in this post I’ll be addressing the “How to get an App made” aspect of making an app. In Part II we’ll be discussing the “Why get an App made” (i.e. to make the next Angry Birds, or to increase branding, etc.)
PLEASE comment and let us know anything we missed or <gasp> got wrong.
Potential Client: I have a great idea but am concerned that if I share it with a potential developer, that they may do it on their own without me.
Neel Sus: We understand. Just so you know, our rapid growth is due to a combination of referrals, great public relations, and educational seminars we do. We wouldn’t be in business very long if we were associated with stealing ideas. That being said, you have a valid concern, so before we discuss the idea let’s sign a bi-directional Non-Disclosure Agreement.
PC: Great. That’s a relief. So how much does it cost to make a typical iPhone App?
NS: Think about it like construction. If you want a 1,000 sq. ft. townhome, it costs a lot less than building a mansion. Simple custom iPhone apps with limited content and functionality (say 2 – 4 screens) can run as low as $3,000. Apps which are connecting to a database on the web and that allow for individualized user data (like Facebook’s app does) generally start at $10k. The sky is the limit from there. “Anything is possible when developing software… with enough time and money!”
PC: Speaking of money, how does this work? Is it a one-time fee or ongoing fees?
NS: Those are all great questions. Generally speaking, you pay us a one-time fee for developing the app and publishing it to the store for you. If your iPhone app requires a connection to an online database (like Facebook’s app does) then you also will need to get a traditional web hosting service which we can facilitate. Unless you have 100,000’s of users (which would be great!) the monthly hosting will probably run around $50/month.
PC: Do I have to buy special software to create the app?
NS: No we handle all of that for you (I’m staring at the 10 iMacs we have in our office as I type this
PC: So how do I get a price for development cost?
NS: Before we can determine the price, we need to understand the scope of work, which we refer to as the “Discovery” phase. Before we do any coding, we need to first understand exactly what you’re envisioning your app to be. Some of our Clients come to us with a 2-4 page document explaining what every screen does and drawings of their apps. Is this case we’re able to take what they’ve given us, come back with a few questions, and in short order we can give them a fixed-price contract to approve to start work. However…
Most clients come to us with an idea of what they want the app to do, but need a lot of help actually nailing down the details of how their app works. Within one call or meeting we can usually flesh out the details enough to provide a fixed-cost contract, but sometimes a project is so big it’s better to just formally engage in an extended “Discovery” contract, where we do a deep dive with you over the course of a week and come out with the software equivalent of architectural drawings called a Software Specification. This document itself has value because then any development shop can look at it and quickly give you a precise estimate and timeline.
PC: So what is your hourly rate?
NS: We generally do fixed price contracts so hourly rates don’t come into play directly but ultimately we’re in the business of selling labor (when we’re not selling our own products, that is). We have a 100% Greater New Orleans / Southeast Louisiana based development team and when we do Time & Material work we charge anywhere between $90 – $125/hr. depending on the experience level of the team member and the nature of the work.
Not often, but sometimes we’ll get this – PC: Seems expensive. Am I better off using a freelancer, elance, or outsourcing?
NS: Using us, of course! No really, you have to decide if you want to pay “software firm” rates, like ours, or freelance/outsource/etc. rates. Obviously, there is potential to save money that way. There is a lot of upside of using a firm with a high quality local team: first, there is a lot less project risk, as established firms tend to be financially stable. Second, when a team member gets stuck on a problem, there’s a 90% chance he/she can poke their head in a teammates office and find an answer because it’s been solved on a prior project. And third, if one of us gets hit by a bus, your project will still get completed!
Firms are also better suited to hit tighter deadlines because more resources can be put on a project as needed. We actually also work normal business hours (well, maybe not during Mardi Gras) and you can always swing by to check-in on things.
PC: So… how long does it take to develop an app?
NS: The time required to develop an app scales up with the cost, consistent with the construction metaphor I made earlier. Very limited apps can be completed in a month or less, but we’ve also worked on big projects which required an iPhone app and complementing Android and web applications, which can go well over 6 months.
PC: Wow, quite the wide range. Once you’ve finished making an App for me, how do I get it in Apple’s App Store?
NS: Before you can get an App in the store, you have to create a developer account with Apple, which takes about a week or so and requires a $100/year fee, paid directly to Apple. You can do this at any point before we finish developing the App for you. Once it’s ready, you’ll temporarily give us access to your Developer Account and we’ll then submit the App to the store for Apple’s review.
PC: How long does Apple’s review process usually take?
NS: We can’t control how long Apple takes to get around to reviewing our app (I’m still trying to get Steve’s cell number, no luck yet), but nowadays it takes about a week or so. Sometimes Apple won’t like a certain feature in the app and we’ll have to submit for you, which adds another week. We tell our clients to plan on having the App approved a month after we finish the development.
Many of our clients, including LSU Football, The Gambit Magazine, and GNO, Inc. elected to publish under our developer account, and as long as you’re not making a paid app or one with in-app purchases this tends to be the easier route.
PC: That brings up a good point. How do I get paid from having this app in the store?
NS: There are a couple ways. You can charge for the app, in which case Apple takes 30% off the top and the rest is deposited to your banking account once a month. You can also put in “in app” purchases in the app. The way these work is that the user clicks a button in the app to unlock a feature or buy something from you and they are prompted to put in their iTunes password (just like when they downloaded the app). Apple takes the same 30% when you use “in app” purchases.
PC: Ok, I think I can charge $0.99 for this app and be the next Bejeweled, how do you feel about taking a reduced fee and being my partner on the deal?
To be continued in Part II
Posted on January 04, 2011
Touch Studios offers your company the latest way to communicate and touch your customers – via their mobile devices. Smartphones and readers are part of everyday life and you need to reach out and connect with your customers on a new level. Touch Studios develops custom apps for iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, & iPad; Facebook programs; and Games.
Touch Studios offers your company the latest way to communicate and touch your customers – via their mobile devices. Smartphones and readers are part of everyday life and you need.