Fast Company describes OpenSky as one of the “50 most innovative companies in the world”. Founded in 2009 as a social network with shopping, OpenSky connects product makers and merchants, to consumers. Their team of merchandisers search the globe for unique products. In the words of founder John Caplan “A kid in London with a keen interest in cricket hooks up with a coach in Mumbai, who directs him to a guy in Brazil who makes the best bats.”
As an online enterprise that brings new and exciting products to market, OpenSky needed a better way for communications between merchandisers. The ability to easily monitor and manage new product ideas and product sourcing was essential to meet higher customer expectations.
With messages coming from email, phone, and SMS, the possibility of miscommunication and product introduction delays increases. The company's manual approach to managing product sourcing prevented merchandising-team members from distributing and accessing important product data in a timely fashion.
According to Andrew Pavoni, when it came time to select a software development company for the Collaboration Project, OpenSky turned to Pasha and Wale Up, LLC.
Wale Up provides innovative software solutions to make complex online, mobile and real time systems more effective. OpenSky had previously engaged Waleup with another project. They knew Pasha was a team player. “He came in and listened to our problem, and made suggestions for what was possible for us.”
OpenSKy immediately began to see returns with the collaboration system. Merchandisers could now review, in real time, all products being investigated and sourced. This enabled the team to access information about sourced products, reducing product launch delays.
When merchandisers are asked a question, or need to resolve an urgent issue, they now have a centralized repository of real-time product data reference, using any Internet connected device.
The fact that they can upload a product image onto the site and everyone can see it, was an important feature. This has allowed OpenSky to improve accountability and avoid breakdowns in communication. The merchandisers work together to help each other expand the merchant base and products offered by OpenSky.
Mr. Pavoni also commented on the high level of system acceptance among its merchandisers. Once they saw how much time and frustration the system saves them, it quickly became a tool to help them do their work much more efficiently and effectively.
When asked about Wale Up and their responsiveness, Mr. Pavoni says the software has performed reliably with no defects since implementation. Three weeks after delivery of the solution, OpenSky signed off on the implementation. During the acceptance testing, Wale Up provided a new key feature not included in the original requirements. He notes that having a seasoned and tech-savvy software development partner has been a big plus.