Café con Leche: Synapse Studios

At TwoPointGO! we are interested in learning about new technology and companies that are implementing that new technology. We are going to start a new series called “Café con Leche” where we interview a technology company and learn about their products/services. For our first “Café con Leche” we interviewed a company that I am familiar with, Synapse Studios which is based in Tempe, Arizona. I have known one of the partners, Bob Eagan, of Synapse Studios for more than 15 years. Synapse Studios are helping businesses by creating custom web applications to help run their clients’ processes more efficient. We asked them some questions about them and their projects, let us learn more about Synapse Studios.

Can you give me a brief description of Synapse Studios?
Synapse Studios is a “full-stack” web application development shop where everything is planned, designed, architected, coded and tested completely in-house at our offices in Tempe, Arizona. In business since 2003, our team of 20 (and growing!) brilliant developers, designers, managers, and QA engineers are able to build software solutions that are a delight to use, and act as the foundation for of our clients’ businesses, making them happy to work with us and their customers happy to work with them.

What is a custom web application?
Custom web applications are planned, architected and built to meet a company’s specific needs that aren’t solved by a templated or out-of-the-box software solution. Generally, companies that require custom web applications have complicated business logic and workflows it’s trying to simplify, or is looking to increase efficiencies and long-term cost savings by investing in a system that delivers value as the organization scales and grows. Just as it sounds, “custom” means they are tailored to the specific set of requirements the business needs and, in most cases, become the foundation of the business itself.

Briefly describe the last custom web application you developed.
Most recently, we developed several custom applications for a tankless water heater company. The primary tool was a customer relationship management system designed specifically for their installers to receive leads, track sales and convert customers once a unit was installed. After that point, we built the application for their tankless water heater units to be controlled by the customer’s desktop or mobile device, with the ability to send diagnostic reports directly to their installer in the case that the unit needed maintenance.

Briefly describe the web application development process.
Successful web application development projects involve clients, end-users and customers throughout the process. We begin a project with a requirements gathering session from our clients to fully understand the challenges the software needs to solve. From there, we’re able to begin the planning phase where much of the expected functionality will be mapped out in a product roadmap, which provides an expected timeline of features available for whom and when, to begin to deliver value to the business as early as possible. From there, the team works in two-week intervals, with features released at the conclusion of each to allow the client, end-users and customers to provide feedback, ideas and input, early and often. This happens until version one of the product is reached, and can incorporate various alpha and beta launches throughout to bring in additional users and feedback.

How do you keep clients in the loop during the web application development process?
We provide weekly product updates which outline features and functionality that’s been built and includes a project plan for the coming week’s development. This allows our clients to be in the know on exactly what functionality their product now has, what’s planned to come next and allows them to change priorities as needed. We also use various project management tools such as Asana and Slack, depending on each client and their desired level of involvement, to house documentation, discuss questions or assumptions we’ve made and generally communicate with them as the project unfolds.

What is the future for custom web applications?
More “things” are going to be talking to other “things” making custom web applications increasingly complex. Right now, this is an up-and-coming trend in areas such as home automation. Historically, our clients have needed custom web applications that work for their business and their business alone, but as the world gets more connected, this is no longer the case and businesses have to be willing to invest in an unknown and constantly evolving future. Building for connectivity to technology that doesn’t currently exist is something we’re getting tasked with more often, and it presents a really exciting opportunity for the industry that makes our work seemingly endless.

I want to thank Synapse Studios for their time in answering these questions so that we could learn more about them and their projects. As highlighted above, if you are a business looking to have your business run more efficient through custom web applications, look no further than Synapse Studios.