This is a report of business activities in 2013. (Similar to the report for last year, 2012).
My employee MartinL (software development) has remained with me for most of 2013, although returning to university in the latter half of the year. New employee DavidZ (software development) has joined.
I have been getting into outsourcing for a few years. Not for the obvious reason of reducing customer costs (that's just a side-effect), but for the fact that good people in Vienna are often already engaged. I don't want to have to tell my customers "We can do the project, but only in 6 months.." so I've had to look for other alternatives. We've had some good and bad experiences (as it to be expected), but now I have at least one person who delivers excellent quality and is very reliable.
I have also started to do basic websites, based on WordPress. This is not the most lucrative line of work, and I'm not sure if it's a good direction to go in, but it seems to be what the market demands. And I don't like to say "no" to customers :-)
A sadder note in 2013 is that I've started to use KSV (debt collection agency) to collect money from some of my customers. It seems there was a lot of unwillingness to pay by some of my customers (not all!). Henceforth I shall be taking a harder line; any customer with any debt will not be able to order new features at all (even if they are very persuasive salespeople).
We have taken the following software online for our customers 2013:
- firstbird has been architected and programmed by myself and the team. This was a major undertaking, over 1.5k hours of effort. Companies can post job openings, Employees of the company can recommend people for the jobs. Companies can rate and hire candidates. Employees are kept in the loop all the time via feeds and various email notifications. Employees get points, monetary rewards and badges for their efforts. Information posted and captured from Facebook, XING, LinkedIn and Google Contacts. PDF CVs automatically generated from XING and LinkedIn information, etc.
- mobilreport imports mobile phone bills and analyzes them. We have 40+ paying customers; big companies in Austria and Germany with large phone bills covering up to a few thousand employee mobile phones. We take the call log data from the mobile provider and parse them. Often these are very nasty formats, e.g. CSV files where certain cells contain unescaped "," characters, i.e. parseable only by heuristics. The operators have no desire that you parse their data, apply learnings from it to save yourself money. So they're not keen to fix such bugs. We now support the following formats: A1 AT (EGN and 2 Landline formats), COLT AT Landline, Telering AT, T-Mobile AT, T-Mobile DE (CSV and EDIFACT), Vodafone DE (EDIFACT).
- For one major customer in Austria we extended mobilreport with the facility to calculate employee limits (i.e. employee gets a phone from the company, may use up to €20 per month, the rest gets deducted from their salary; bosses may use up to €100, various calls don't count). They are informed about their limit exceedance via SMS.
- mobilreport now has the facility for employees to log in and see the calls they've done with their company mobile phones. SSO from the company's intranet to our system means the employee doesn't have any extra passwords to remember.
- Demonstration for a major Austrian vendor of a "command and control" center for police, with various projectors, controlled via iPads. A "game" was described in XML (firstly this scene, then if the user selects "send car" then this scene..), this is parsed on the iPad, commands sent via XML over HTTP to VLC instances connected to the projectors. Used web-technologies; written in GWT by MartinL and myself.
- Extended a PHP system, back-end for an iPhone application for authorization and location tracking, with various pieces of new functionality (DavidZ)
- Matchmatrix event site (alas the event was a failure so website was taken offline and I was never paid; case is with debt collection at the moment.)
- Calendargrads website was implemented in WordPress for under €500 (logo was not done by us)