Can the development be started without a specification for the product?
Yes, but then it will require a pre-project to list down the requirements and inputs.
How do you work with technically complex projects?
Our team always vouch for great quality and transparency. For the complex project, we use an iteration approach to explore the challenges together with our clients
How does the development project look inside? Any phases of iterations?
In EKTOS, we use our detailed project model which is a stage-gate-based workflow.
Do you use Scrum/Agile for development projects?
Yes. For the software, it is a MUST for today's realities. For the hardware part of the project - the iterative model is used too, but the iterations are longer and more complex.
How do you report the progress and communicate with your client's teams during the project?
We use our internal intranet system that helps to keep all data together in an integrated manner. Project Status Reports (PSRs) are normally generated on a bi-weekly basis and the daily communication tool is Skype.
Can you use Slack or MS Teams as the communication means?
Yes, EKTOS can use client-preferred ways of both communication and data-storage
What kind of development CADs do you use for hardware development?
In EKTOS we can support you with a variety of different CAD systems - from KiCAD to Altium. The main tools for bottom-up development are OrCAD and Altium. More rarely PADS.
Do you use Open Source Software (OSS) in development? Is it integrated into client products?
Yes, in EKTOS we use a lot of OSS for the development environment (i.e. Eclipse, LibreOffice, etc.) as well as the platforms and libraries - i.e. FreeROTS, lwIP, and others. Our strategy is to reuse the community-driven OSS whenever it is possible unless the client demands specific toolchains/libraries.
How do you ensure that the so-called "security gap" is properly tackled in the use of OSS?
First of all, the license terms are properly studied before the library is used for the client's product. Secondly - proper analysis and verification of the OSS are done through the development process. In the end - demands for the overall security of the product are handed over to the client, so a proper environment can be established at the product use place.
What is your preferred MCU or processor platform to develop on?
In EKTOS we try to address the cost-effectiveness of the client's products and can work with a variety of different tailored processors - from 8-bit PIC/AVR solutions to the top-performance Cortex-A8 cores.
How do you ensure clients can purchase parts for manufacturing once development is complete?
Well, components shortage is still on its way and in EKTOS we can't influence that. What we do in EKTOS is proper pre-selection, pre-quoting, and pre-sourcing of the key components so clients can guarantee their first year for the product introduction. At the same time, a proper look into the longevity programs is done, so we are not putting a product at risk of LTB or EOL components right after its intro.
Do you work with authentic Chinese components?
Yes we do, unless this is either prohibitive or unwanted by the cost or the client's strategy. However, our first priority is to use EU and USA components as the most trusted and supported choice.
Your website says that you work in the IoT domain - what exactly is your technology stack there?
Our main focus in the IoT area is the embedded products (sensors, actuators, etc.) where EKTOS can deliver its excellence in making power-efficient, RF-capable and cost-effective solutions. Here, the EKTOS team can fully support your product all the way up to the cloud software. With cloud software, you will have to find another partner who can help you build the backend part of your IoT business.
Any specific radio technologies you can recommend to work within the IoT portfolio of the products?
Not really, today's product demands connectivity as reach as ever before, so in EKTOS - we cover it all for your particular business case. Having said that, we are yet to touch things like 5G and mSAT (Satellite communication) IoT connectivity.
How fast can you quote for the project when the specification is ready and provided by the client?
Normally, for the low to mid-complexity products, it takes the EKTOS tech sales team a week to come up with the budgetary NRE cost estimate. Such an estimate is normally started with the onboarding call where parties can meet each other and figure out the product peculiarities. The EKTOS team is always open to new opportunities and endeavors.