Manos Giakoumakis – project manager at IBM, about the collaboration with Reea


Foreign customers are always delighted to pay us a visit. They discover more than a professional team, they meet a group of welcoming people who are ready to make them feel comfortable.

Manos Giakoumakis, who is a project manager and product owner at IBM paid us a visit to discuss with the Ruby and .NET team developers about the ongoing projects and also to evaluate new potential projects. This is what he said about the Reea – GroupM – IBM collaboration:

“What I love when coming here is the hospitality I get from Csabi and the other people from the team. The first time I came here was fourteen months ago. At that moment, I was working for Group M. But now things have changed with the transition, so I moved to IBM but we still collaborate with Reea as our preferred third party vendor. At the moment, we are in the transition period between Group M and IBM. So all the applications that the guys have been delivering for us are being transitioned to IBM and we continue working with these amazing guys.”

Trust and communication are important aspects

“As clients, what we need and what we believe is a key to success is trustworthiness and communication, and we feel that REEA has both of this elements. We employ a lot of vendors and we don’t see these qualities in all of them. What I mean is that there is visibility of the work the guys are delivering for us and we try to provide visibility on what the business wants to be delivered from our side. In the last two years, the guys have been delivering our strategy in a very nice way, it doesn’t require too much of our attention and effort to get what we get.

All the projects are business critical for Group M. The first project is RiskPlatform, which is a massive application. But this is something that is not really easy to maintain. Csabi is maintaining this platform, it’s Ruby on Rails technology and MSSQL 2012 now, and he has been doing a great job since we switched to Reea because we had another supplier before. We have seen a significant amount of efforts from the guys and, at the same time, we progress really, really fast. And since the business sponsors are happy, we as the middlemen are happy, and I guess the Reea team is happy as well.”



Pleased with the results

“Because we are satisfied with the quality of service, now we’ve been discussing to transform this application into another technology, modern technology I would say, .NET and also to clone RiskPlatform for another client. This is a really big chunk of work and we need to start thinking from now on because it is going to happen and that means two new applications will be born.

There are a few other applications that have been given to Reea, Directory and Compliance Certifications. Compliance Certifications has been developed using a framework which was initially designed by Group M and another vendor in London. This framework was given to Reea, it was very difficult at the beginning to understand because it’s a code written by someone else, developers don’t really like that, I guess.

As a client, we want to see communication and visibility on what the guys are doing. There are three types of vendors. There’s onshore, we have onshore teams, third party companies which work for us in London. The advantage is that they are close to us, I can go there for a meeting, I can visit them, see the team, discuss with the team. And there are the nearshore teams, such as Reea in Romania, and the offshore, which is the worst category for me, personally, to work with. We talk about development teams in India, it’s not only difficult to work with them due to the time difference, it is difficult because there’s a different mentality. They don’t really understand where you want to move the strategy of the company and you don’t understand the way they’re working. There’s a big loss in translation.

Reea is an onshore company, not even nearshore because, apart from that two-hour difference, we know how to communicate with the guys and they know what we want. It’s almost unnecessary to talk on a daily basis. That’s why we’re satisfied. I personally find Reea in IBM as one of the preferred development teams to move on with. I have already recommended Reea.”

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