Pro1 Teams with Gorilla Logic to Disrupt the “Comfort Technology” Market
At a glance
Gorilla Logic helps Pro1 develop a highly intuitive IoT mobile application for controlling commercial and residential thermostats – distrupting the “comfort technology” market.
- Front End
- Back End
Leading the “Comfort Technology” Market
As the second largest manufacturer of thermostats in North America, Pro1 is a respected leader in “comfort technology.” They offer more than 45 thermostats from baseline models to IoT devices – all crafted to provide seamless temperature control and maximum energy efficiency.
Pro1 had previously worked with an outside firm to develop a mobile app for customers; however it didn’t produce the desired results. Poor communication during the development process resulted in costly schedule and budget overruns.
Now, with a sharpened focus on cloud, mobility and IoT, Pro1 aims to disrupt the thermostat industry by introducing a next-gen mobile app that greatly improves the user experience. While Pro1 has a highly skilled in-house engineering team, they needed additional application development talent to deliver results quickly. “Our engineering team has more work than they can currently keep up with.
We were looking for a cost-competitive way to augment our team for specific projects,” Alex Jennes, Pro1’s Product Manager notes. Based on their initial research, Pro1 realized that teaming with Gorilla Logic would allow them to deliver on their vision faster and gain critical market share.
Checking all the Boxes
Pro1 found that Gorilla Logic met all of their requirements in terms of time zone, expertise, and fee structure. Gorilla Logic developed incremental statements of work (SOWs) based on their budget and project goals. These SOWs clearly defined the project scope and deliverables – ensuring efficient planning while eliminating time and budget overages.
Having worked with a development team in China, Pro1 was familiar with the challenges of collaborating across vastly different time zones. “When working with our overseas team, there are a lot of emails being sent in the middle of the night.” Alex said.
“We want to avoid talking to people at 9:00 pm. Gorilla Logic’s English-fluent, Costa Rica-based development team works within the same time zone as Pro1, allowing for a more pleasant, efficient engagement.”
Alex Jennes, Product Manager
Ensuring the “Perfect Fit”
Pro1 appreciated Gorilla Logic’s thoroughness when assessing their needs, and providing candidates with the exact skills, experience and work styles they desired. “Since we’re not an app company, we weren’t really sure what to look for in these individuals,” recalls Ryan Pierce. Pro1’s UX Developer. “Our conversations with Gorilla Logic helped us determine the skills and experience we needed to bring on board.”
“The interview process was super easy, knowing that the people had already been vetted meant we could focus on asking technical questions.”
Alex Jennes, Product Manager
Scaling to Meet Evolving Needs
Knowing that Gorilla Logic could provide scalable development talent as needed, Pro1 initially started with one team lead and one developer. This helped set a foundation for success. “We weren’t as prepared as we should’ve been,” says Pierce. Working with experts in the field helped us to move in a better direction.” Pro1 expanded to a five-person team consisting of a technical lead/architect, two senior full stack developers, one senior embedded developer and one QA tester.
Not only did Pro1 work with the Gorilla team remotely, but they also took the opportunity to collaborate with them at Gorilla Logic’s Costa Rica development center. “Gorilla Logic’s Costa Rica development center could’ve been in any tech hub in the U.S.,” Alex emphasized. “We felt comfortable as soon as we walked in. The Gorillas were prepared to make our time productive. We sat in a conference room with a white board and got straight to work – it was easy.”
“The Gorillas have totally been up to the challenge. They know what makes a good app.”
Ryan Pierce, UX Developer
Pro1 wanted to enhance the UX while improving communication between the app and the thermostat. This required rewriting the thermostat firmware, implementing a more robust system architecture, and creating native iOS and Android apps. The team also wanted to pull the backend in-house in order to have control of the data.
Since this was the first project that Pro1 was building using a newly released software stack, Alex and Ryan were initially hesitant about engaging with another outside firm. That quickly dissipated once they experienced the Gorillas’ work ethic and eagerness to learn new technologies. “We have to be really careful how we release a new product version. It’s not just about the app, but how it impacts people’s existing thermostats,” says Ryan. “The Gorillas have totally been up to the challenge. They know what makes a good app.”