Sentiment

Expanding Horizons: Sentiment’s Strategic Development Hub in Sofia

Industry:
Digital Customer Service
Location:
United Kingdom
Number of employees:
11-50
Technologies:
Java,
Scala,
PHP,
NLP,
Design
Table of contents

The Background

Sentiment is a cloud-based social customer service platform uniquely providing marketing, publishing, and customer service capabilities. This has enabled hundreds of major brands across the globe to deliver social marketing and social customer service from a single, integrated app. It allows organisations to prioritise and purposefully engage with contacts at exactly the right time, to ensure that positive perception of reputation is extended beyond the social customer service function to the business as a whole. It delivers a single source of the truth for all social data and provides visibility of when and why social engagement is happening, enabling brands to engage quickly and efficiently.

The Challenge

Sentiment approached Pwrteams in May 2012 when one of their longstanding customers, who already worked with Pwrteams, recommended our services. At the point when they engaged with Pwrteams, Sentiment had two developers in the UK office, led from a technical perspective by the CEO. Both cost and availability of talent in their local area were obstacles to growing Sentiment’s development capability in their UK office. The go-ahead decision for opening the company’s Sofia office with Pwrteams came after a short visit of their CEO to the capital of Bulgaria.

He went to visit Pwrteams for a day to see how the model worked and met a number of current teams and individuals. This convinced him that the Bulgarian market needed the talent and that the integrated model across locations would work successfully without hindering productivity and quality.

“I had had previous experience with Ukrainian and Indian developers through typical outsourced arrangements but measuring cost against quality, as well as the nature of my requirements, did not provide the solution I was seeking to match the growth of my business and the flexibility I needed as our products evolve.”
Leon Chaddock
CEO & Founder, Sentiment

Strategic Partnership

The initial step for opening the Sofia office of Sentiment was very simple. A conference call with Pwrtems was followed by a study tour to spend 24 hours in Sofia. After this the decision to hire the first two Senior Java Developers was taken. The selection process was discussed with Pwrteams recruitment team and a simple action plan that suited Sentiment’s needs was agreed.

Initially, telephone interviews were conducted, followed by face-to-face interviews once a short-list of candidates had been assembled. “I flew to Sofia and spent a day in the office there to interview these candidates before agreeing with the recruitment team as to which candidates I wanted to make offers to and hire” Leon Chaddock remembers.

Once the team was in place they were immediately incorporated into Sentiment’s business and development processes. Working with the current development team, they attend all meetings over video/Skype and have full access to the company’s internal systems so know about all business activity. Over the period since they’ve started, members of the UK team have been visiting Sofia regularly and vice versa, encouraging the integration of the two teams.

The Results

To date, Sentiment has built a team in Sofia of 6 front- and back-end developers. Due to continued rapid growth of the business, we expect our team to double in size. We now have one Development Manager and one Developer in the UK, along with a System Administrator. Collaborating with Pwrteams has proved very successful.

We are completely confident in the environment and well-being of our team in Sofia, allowing us to concentrate on maximizing productivity and delivery, said Leon Chaddock, CEO & Founder at Sentiment. The main areas of success to date have been the cost savings and access to a new talent pool. We have managed to hire senior developers with skillsets of an equal level to the best talent in the UK.

Being based outside of London, but in easy commuting distance, we found it very hard to compete for the best UK talent with the salaries on offer in the City, so by establishing a team in Sofia, we now have the ability to identify and retain market-leading skills and knowledge at a significantly lower cost to what we would expect to pay in the UK for the same level of individual.

“I believe we have achieved a fully integrated development team who all work well together despite being based in different locations.”
Leon Chaddock
CEO & Founder, Sentiment

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