How do you charge for projects?
This depends on the project and the client. We can hard bid a project, estimate a project range or bill on a time and materials basis. To hard bid a project we require that it be well defined, the client organized and deliverables fully agreed upon.
When the project is less well defined, we can provide expected lower and upper bounds for cost. Most of the time, we encourage clients to agree to a time and materials approach. The better organized the client, the less time we will spend on the project and the less it will cost. If the project is bid as either a hard bid or a range, we will insist on change orders if the scope of the project changes, or if promised components fail to materialize – for example, data to be loaded requires substantial scrubbing.
If custom software is developed, who owns the rights?
Unless the client specifies that the project is ‘work for hire’, Management Information Analysis retains all intellectual property rights to the code. When Management Information Analysis retains the IP rights, all code is backed up in an Iron Mountain software escrow account. Should MIA initiate a breakup of the relationship, Iron Mountain will deliver the source code to the former client.
Do you have a minimum project size?
No. We can provide any needed service independently. While we hope that you’ll work with us on an ongoing basis, one-time projects are perfectly acceptable.
Will you manage our hardware for us?
No. Our clients must have an IT staff who will manage internal information systems, or the client must contract with a third party to manage its information systems.
Do you need to come on site?
Rarely. While it is always a pleasure to meet face to face, this is only important when trying to resolve complex issues. For simple projects, data can be exchanged via secure drop box or FTP. For more extensive projects, VPN access to the test and production servers assigned by the client typically suffice. With many of our clients we have little, if any, knowledge as to where the server farms are physically located.
Do you monitor the accuracy of your projections?
Yes, we do. Use rates and use rate trends tend to be quite reliable for long periods of time. What is difficult to project is the impact of technology and/or regulatory changes. We have had clients request ten-year retrospective reviews of our feasibility studies. We are also accustomed to having our feasibility studies submitted to a third party for review on major capital projects.