We co-founded the Association of Software Agencies ASWA
Our goal is to advance the software development industry and improve the quality of digital products. We will help with procurement and educate the public and private sectors.
There is a famous quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world”. We believe in that message and we want to see changes in the advancement of the software development industry and the creation of the best possible procurement environment. So we co-founded the Association of Software Agencies ASWA. What are its goals?
Applifting, Cookielab, Futured and SYNETECH . These are, in alphabetical order, the agencies that jointly founded the Association of Software Agencies, which will help state and public companies with software contracts. Why? Because we want to improve the quality of digital products and create a fair environment in the IT business.
Few contracting authorities understand this sector, and this plays into the hands of suppliers - who can unfortunately often be dishonest. They can often set unrealistic conditions or prices (undershoot the offer and subsequent "fixes" on multiple jobs, create vendor-lock in…) and in the end they often create a product that users can hardly and do not even want to use. And as a result, our entire industry can seem very confusing.
Correct ordering? 99% success
Current tenders are usually conducted by contracting authorities writing a one-page brief and selecting the cheapest supplier. But this is not the best solution. The cheapest bidder will become very expensive in 9 out of 10 cases. The company is usually unable to deliver the order for the promised price, and the lack of quality of the hastily "stitched together" product will show over time.
From our CEO Vratislav Zima: "For the development of software the phrase:" We want an application such as Uber." is not enough. It is about the whole preparatory phase of the project and the proper formation of the product. We want to help define the correct structure and roles within the team (such as analyst, programmer, supervisory advice) and market analysis to ensure that the product responds to the needs of the user and has appropriate functions."
The preparation of a product requires time and the right approach, but as a result, the higher the quality, the better it will attract suppliers. However, entering the creation process does not necessarily mean that the client must know exactly what features they require and what the product should look like. Exactly the opposite.
"Ideally, the client comes to us with a problem that they can describe and specify which target group it should help and why. The IT solution itself should then be left to professionals who have experience," adds the SYNETECH CEO.
The educational role of the association
We know that our field is not one of the easiest to understand, so we strive to educate the private and public sectors about it. It is important for us that the clients putting out tenders do not only look at the price, but also at the quality of the solution. It is important to understand that in software development, the customer is not buying a finished product (it is this idea that is often a stumbling block in app development), but usually a team of experts who are continuously developing the product to improve it.
Comments from another of the founders, Vratislav Kalenda (CEO Applifting ), "I would like to increase the success and implementation of quality products and increase the joy that is felt by all parties involved in the creation. I think of it as a way to give back."
If ASWA is a consultant, we do not participate in the selection
How can we help contracting authorities as an association? We will explain to them how to write their assignment correctly. We will advise them on setting up their team and what individual roles are important. We will describe the possibilities of development, the advantages and disadvantages and we will also recommend quality criteria according to which it is good to choose suppliers. When necessary, we can also act as a double check of the quality of ongoing tenders and projects.
To ensure objectivity and transparency we do not participate in the tender. "We have one fundamental rule," explains Synetech CEO Vratislav Zima, "Whoever helps with the assignment must not participate in the tender. Whoever participates in the tender must not help with the creation of an assignment."
In addition, we also teamed up with the law firm KROUPAHELÁN, which focuses on IT law and public procurement. Therefore, we can also offer contracting authorities control of orders from a legal point of view.
We accept other members with a moral code
ASWA is open to new members, we will be very happy if other fair-minded studios expand our ranks. Our goal is not to build a favorable environment for ourselves. Instead, we want to level the market and give a chance to suppliers who think morally and are not just interested in profit.
"What connects us ultimately is the fact that we want to 'do good'. I know it sounds like a cliche, but it's really important for us to do software development well, within the best of our knowledge and conscience." explains Lukáš Strnadel from Futured.
That is why we have set the conditions for joining the association. Each member should have an income from the public sector of less than 30%, turnover for the last calendar year being at least CZK 15,000,000 and also at least 50% of the company must be Czech owned.
Meet bright IT tomorrows
The companies that are part of ASWA do not see generating profit as the main benefit of their work, which however, certainly does not mean that these are not heavy weights on the Czech technological scene. On the contrary, 3 of the member agencies (one of them being our SYNETECH 😊 ), got selected into Deloitte’s Fast50, which is a ranking of the 50 fastest growing technology companies in our country.
However, we all want to give back something to the environment in which we live.
We have years of experience with IT and nowadays our field is becoming more and more important. We are trying to bring this world closer to the general public, change its stereotypical perception and set fair and pleasant business conditions within it. This can help both contracting authorities, who will build more of a know-how and therefore have the courage to negotiate with suppliers, and the developers themselves to create quality and useful products.
In short, we hope that together we will create a better digital Czech Republic! So we welcome anyone who has a similar mindset and is not afraid to come along with us.
Want to learn more about ASWA or become another member? Take a look at the aswa.cz website and be sure to write to us.
You can read more about the association in an interview with the founders for Lupa.cz or at Médiář.