An appropriate contract form
VORtech wants to be a partner for its customers. A partner that provides knowledge and capacity in the field of scientific software development, data science and mathematics. The contractual form of this partnership depends on the customer.
A first start: the Model Scan
New clients often assess our services by allowing us to do a short project. Such a first project is usually based on our Modelscan: a brief, standard audit of the quality and issues of a particular piece of computational software. In many cases, the client asks us to focus our assessment on a particular issue and to make recommendations on that. More information can be found in our brochure: Modelscan: A clear insight into your scientific software.
Some customers need our services only once. For example to develop a particular application or to solve a mathematical problem. This work is usually done in the form of a project, often with a fixed price. Also, the internal administrative processes at the customer’s can be a reason for doing projects. Depending on the location, a project can be partly done in the customer’s offices.
In many cases, the need for our services fluctuates. Sometimes a large effort is needed. For example to develop a new feature or to build a new release. At other times we only need to handle incidental issues. The coupon contract form is ideal for this. The customer pays, often beforehand, for a fixed number of hours and claims these hours when needed. This form is also ideal for consultancy, for example when a VORtech consultant advises managers on things like software strategy or quality assurance.
Customers that have a mature software product often outsource the maintenance of the software to us. In a maintenance contract we perform continuous services like handling issues and building releases. Also larger efforts can be done in the framework of a maintenance contract. Service levels are typically part of the contract definition.
In some cases, our colleagues are part of the customer’s team or work in our customer’s offices to have close interaction with the company experts. Such on-site work is always part-time; we don’t do full-time on-site placement except for short periods. The main reason is that a full-time placement at one customer limits our flexibility because our colleague is then not available to work on other projects when needed. Also, the colleague will lack the interaction with the rest of our team whereas we consider our joint knowledge and brain power one of the main assets of VORtech.
VORtech offers a fact sheet about the company and the way we work: VORtech Scientific Software Engineers.