Stories of established companies often account for an interesting read. They inform interested stakeholders about the vision, value proposition and modus operandi of the organization. Account executives at Juggernaut are asked day in and day out about what the company is about, how you work, technologies you use and many related questions. I thought this was a good time to document what we can call Frequently Asked Questions.
Who/What is Juggernaut?
Juggernaut powers On Demand Technology platforms for entrepreneurs and enterprise level initiatives. We are one of the only company that provides full suite of services specifically tailored to On Demand business models. In the past 6 months, we have deployed more than 15 On-demand platforms that have altogether completed more than 300,000 transactions.
Our IP is a robust backend infrastructure which is structured in form of modules geared towards scheduling, dispatching/tracking, matching, allocation, payment and some other core functionalities. These modules help us cater to diverse business models in the On-Demand space. Typical implementation involves plumbing of the modules to create custom front end mobile apps, dashboards and analytics panels.
How did Juggernaut evolve?
The idea was borne out of the fact that there is no specialised platform till date built from ground up to tap this trend. Juggernaut evolved out of Click Labs, our parent company that has had more than 5 years of experience in the mobility space.
We were seeing an increasing number of requests for building platforms in the On-Demand space from entrepreneurs. All along the focus has been on creating a value proposition centered around creating success stories for our customers while optimizing time to market and cost. While we were trying to zero in on the top-down (custom development) vs bottom up approach (SaaS based) to On-Demand technology we soon realized that the differences in business model made it impossible for us to use the latter approach for entrepreneurs and enterprises looking to validate the models.
We have identified the common denominator to help the end platform owners save time and money and allow them to focus on their core product. They can draw comfort from the fact that the underlying technology is already driving successful platforms around the world.
Why it matters?
There are 3 overarching trends that place On Demand platforms at the centre stage for the stakeholders
- Customers expecting an omni-channel treatment
- Crowdsourced or freelance supply becoming a viable option
- Need for businesses to move to a lower ownership model
The industry value chains are being disrupted by the On Demand platforms. What makes these platforms disruptive is the fact that they make an existing way of interaction between the end users and the service providers much more efficient.
But these platforms are complicated entities, and come with a lot of moving parts. Creating the digital infrastructure from scratch needs a long turnaround time, is expensive and a taxing experience. Even when logistics are the core focus of the company, rarely do platform owners have the in-house expertise to create this infrastructure and they would rather focus on building the operational machinery acquiring buyers and suppliers.
We have created the backend technology/PreBuilt IP that helps us build custom experiences while ensuring that we are not spending our energy in reinventing the wheel with every platform.
What is PreBuilt IP?
Pre built IP is structured in the form of backend code blocks. These code blocks power modules identified by mapping the supplier and customer journeys as it applies to different business models in this space. Its constantly evolving with each successful implementation as we uncover different use cases.
For more details on this modular approach refer – On Demand Success Blueprint
How do updates to Prebuilt IP work?
Updates to Prebuilt IP don’t impact any previous implementations. The code blocks become part of your solution in an unbundled format and are completely accessible for further customizations. In addition they still need some amount of work to ensure we are not compromising with the specifics of your business model.
What is the technology stack we use?
We use a nodeJS web services layer that runs over Amazon cloud working with native mobile apps. We have not chosen LAMP because nodeJS has a considerably better performance for high frequency communication applications than PHP.
But what does it apply from the performance perspective –
Node.js is entirely non-blocking and event-based, allowing for true concurrency among requests. Let me use these images to explain what this means.
Source – http://www.hostingadvice.com/blog/comparing-node-js-vs-php-performance/
These graphs state that PHP can handle 1773 requests per second vs Node’s ability to handle 3614. In addition Node is around 10 times faster as compared to PHP when around 1000 requests are thrown at it simultaneously. All this boils down to the concurrent treatment of different requests by NodeJS.
Given that now we have established Node is built for scale, the choice of MongoDB can be attributed to it gelling a lot better with NodeJS as compared to MySQL. In addition, MongoDB has the ability to handle highly diverse data types, and manage applications more efficiently at scale. The biggest advantage is that MongoDB’s flexible data model allows the database schema to evolve with business requirements.
Are there any IP considerations?
At the end of our engagement cycle you are allowed to receive, customize and retain the complete source code. Juggernaut grants to the Client a perpetual, non-exclusive, worldwide, non-transferable, royalty-free license to use its Pre-Existing IPs solely for Deliverables. The only right we retain is to reuse the Prebuilt IP for other implementations.
We take the privacy and IP that is associated with your business model really seriously. That doesn’t imply we don’t learn from each new implementation. But these learnings are centered around how we can make the base IP more generic and robust. Other than that a Chinese wall exists between different projects/teams restricting the flow of information even if we have multiple projects undergoing in the same domain.
While we do entertain requests for accepting non-competes in certain cases wherein the specific business model/vertical under discussion is unique enough to warrant ignoring future business opportunities. But in a lot of other cases it’s difficult for us to ignore the future business altogether. For some verticals it’s synonymous to suggesting a company that just does chat apps, to not make chat apps for anyone else.
In addition, the fact that the front end is developed completely from scratch from designs made specifically for you helps in securing the uniqueness.
What is the engagement model?
We help you take your idea from Point A – Idea/high level business model to Point B – a market ready technology solution. You get a head start at Point A starting from our Prebuilt IP. We keep adding value at each stage based on our experience of what works and what doesn’t, helping you avoid some mistakes, thus increasing the probability of getting many things right in the first version itself.
Other than that the engagement closely follows the standard SDLC. We have a matured communication system that has evolved over more 5 years with a PM being a singular point of contact and using industry standard tools for every stage. (Read Basecamp, Invision, Lighthouse, etc.).
SDLC? Agile vs waterfall?
Most of the new engagements to begin with are fixed time/cost arrangements wherein we agree to deliver an agreed upon scope in a given timeframe.
After many iterations over the previous few years the model that works best in our experience is an hybrid of waterfall and agile.
Under this approach the first half of the engagement concentrates on zeroing in on the specs that go with the high level business model and simultaneously working on the wireframes and designs. The second half is dedicated to bi-weekly sprints involving coding certain parts and high level User Acceptance Testing. The final round of regression testing is reserved for when we already have thrown significant number of these sprints out of the park. The entire process is designed for feedback wherein you as a key stakeholder are constantly impacting the different aspects. In addition this ensures we are not constantly at each other’s necks fighting scope creep.
Once we have delivered on the initial promises most of the engagements go on a retainer wherein we closely follow the Agile methodology in true spirit.
We don’t charge for licensing our Prebuilt IP or expertise in this niche. The costs are calculated at our hourly rates for different resources, which are significantly lower if compared to industry rates. In addition to our experience, it takes us 40% less time to develop the complete solution than what it would have taken, if we were to develop everything from scratch.
The methodology is fixed cost based wherein costs for any overruns with regards to features decided in the agreement are borne by us. The entire cost itself is divided into 4 milestones of 25% each tied to different physical milestones.
Key price drivers?
The fact that there are so many moving parts for these On-Demand platform makes the technology complex and time consuming to develop. We might be dealing with customer side and supplier side apps on multiple platforms and web based versions in addition to CRM/Dashboard/Admin panel components to be developed on top of the backend that gels everything together. The fact that front end is developed natively (to optimize user experience) for each of these components takes time and effort.
Value proposition? What sets us apart?
- Faster time to market
- Lower cost
- Complete flexibility viz. a viz. owning technology and all the data without being responsible for licensing costs
But the biggest factor that sets us apart is We understand On-Demand. Today we are more of a thought leaders in this space that comes from experience doing diverse implementations in on-demand food, delivery, cannabis, carwash, beauty, massage, among others.
How do you compare yourself to other competitors?
If I had to categorize competitors into 2 categories –
A. Custom technology solution providers
We get 2-3 inquiries every week from clients who have spent a lot of time getting technology developed from scratch. Despite spending a lot of time and money the biggest complaint is that the backend just doesn’t work. While most of the ODP’s are able to deliver on front-end promises failing to ensure that the moving parts go well with each other is a recurring issue.
We have already powered through this phase and understand what it takes to make On-Demand work.
B. Script based approaches
We don’t think they are our competitors to begin with. This approach just doesn’t work if you are serious to make your idea work.
This is how the situation unfolds.
- You find a white-label turn-key software provider.
- You quickly launch your solution by branding their solution.
- You find it’s not well suited for your industry and needs so you have to tweak it and customize it (This will be a best case scenario. In most of the cases it will just not work. You will have to hire an in-house technology team. They will keep making tweaks and come to a conclusion that architectural defects warrant rewriting almost everything).
- You find it’s not quite competitive because it’s generic – white label – no different than others in your market segment – so you have to differentiate it… which means customization work.
- After all this customization work and several thousand marketing USDs later it finally gets traction so you start having performance issues and need to optimize for heavy loads.
- While doing that you have user requests and your own ideas how to improve your business – you decide to invest some more USDs and time into further development.
- You slowly come to a conclusion that migrating to a market-proven fully-featured standards-based solution is the only option at this point… if you want to protect your months-long investment of money and time.
- It would be a whole lot easier if you started out which such a solution, right?.
C. Off the shelf SaaS based solution
This works if you are a SMB or just want to discover whether your idea works or not. But again they are not our competitors as once you outgrow these solutions and your business grows and scales you would need a really unique customized solution with good amount of control.
D. Competitor using our specific business model – I am confident a lot of these will emerge over the next year but we have a 2 years of experience to provide you better value as a technology partner.
Cost of all 3rd party integrations?
- For detailed insights into general ongoing costs associated with using the most popular 3rd party integrations required for On Demand Platforms refer this Ebook.
- Bug support – That is covered for 3 months per our contract.
What is the number of transactions on Juggernaut platform thus far?
We have launched 15 and working on another 12 (at different stages of implementation). Most of the deployments have been done in the last 6 months and in total have already recorded around 300,000 transactions in total. As some of the platforms move towards the critical mass we are confident that the numbers will significantly increase.