Martin Goffman – CEO, SequenceBase
Azati Software helped develop algorithms and gather data to ultimately create a comprehensive research website and portal for a worldwide genetic database.
Azati Software excels in learning and understanding end-goals. They meet expectations without the need for frequent feedback or supervision. They’re professional and timely, always anticipating concerns and delivering within budget.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Introduce your business and what you do there.
The company is SequenceBase Corporation. We produce a database of worldwide genetic patented genes. Users are generally from drug development companies, biotech companies, etc. I’m president and CEO
What challenge were you trying to address with Azati Software?
We needed a comprehensive website and portal to use as part of our ongoing business.
What was the scope of their involvement?
Azati developed our website, which is a research portal. They put together data from 20 to 25 different sources. They put it in a form where users would be able to read and manipulate it very readily. In addition to that, in order to search genetic sequences, there’s an algorithm that’s used. They were able to develop additional algorithms that work very fast and more accurately than what we had before. Our users seem to love it. When a potential customer comes to the site, we can put together a trial and show them what we offer. They can try it out and will hopefully sign up for a subscription.
Once they have the subscription, they’re able to search genetic sequences and see if they’ve been patented anywhere in the world. They can export the report, manipulate it, add additional generic profiles to it, and then enhance the report or whatever they want. This is a difficult subject dealing with bioinformatics, or more specifically genetics, DNA, nucleotides, and proteins, and not many people know this area of expertise. I was happy with Azati because they were able to step up to the plate and put everything together for me in a pretty good fashion.
How did you come to work with Azati Software?
I had a previous business called Patent Value Predictor that they developed a web portal for. For that one, we had an algorithm that would put a value on a patent based on certain parameters. We were pleased with the work they did for that portal and, when I started SequenceBase, I knew who to turn to. I knew I could give them a complex project that very few people would have a background in and they would be able to create a knowledge base and move forward fairly quickly. I found them easy to work with.
How much have you invested with Azati Software?
We have spent between $200,000 and $300,000 over the course of our relationship.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with them in 2012 or 2013, and the work is ongoing.
Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
We have customers and we’re profitable, so that’s my bottom line. Our users love the portal which is the reason we’ve been successful. Our web portal is workflow-oriented. They create a project and have certain steps they follow. Azati was able to make a web portal that follows the way any research scientist or attorney would work without any prior training.
We don’t offer much in the way of customer support because it’s self-supporting. There’s a user manual as well. I don’t have a lot of time to handle a lot of customer inquiries. Wherever a customer might run into a problem, there’s a question mark and they just click that and there’s content-sensitive help that gives them the answer to the question. My goal was to have very little support needed from me, and Azati was able to accomplish that. Customers like it because they don’t have to learn a new way to work in order to fit their workflow into our web portal.
How did Azati Software perform from a project management standpoint?
They’re really easy to work with. I don’t have a lot of time to manage, so I only want to see the end result and they’re able to produce that with very little input on my part. Everything was delivered on time and within budget.
What did you find most impressive about Azati Software?
They have the ability to learn a fairly complex subject very quickly. Bioinformatics is not an easy topic and there’s not very many people around. If they couldn’t have learned it, they couldn’t produce the end product. There’s very few people that have coding experience and are able to develop a web portal that would have a bioinformatics background. We continue to move forward as they enhance the product.
Are there any areas Azati Software could improve?
I’ve never had a problem.