Metova May Very Well Be Tennessee’s Hottest App Developer
By Justin Stokes
We’ve previously profiled a few Nashville businesses who do excellent work through the creation of apps that bridge mobile phone users to their favorite businesses. On the search for “what business is making great apps?” your search criteria includes not just the apps, but the people they work with, the people they work for, and how recognizable their mobile tech might be to you.
App plotter Metova rises with the rest of the cream for that category. The five-time Inc 5000 honoree (with the website showing 2014 generating $7.2 Million in revenue and employing about 150 people), Metova’s portfolio of past work includes huge names like BlackBerry, eHarmony, DropBox, Yelp, Siri, Slacker Radio, P. Allen Smith, GlobalMeet, Acxiom, Playmaker, and Yale Locks.
Founded in Garden and Gun favorite city Franklin, Tennessee (a quaint, wealthy, slower-paced daughter city of Nashville), Metova was forged in 2006 by a developer “whose goal was to build a company where he would enjoy working.”
“We started by building applications for BlackBerry – then Research in Motion,” shares Business Development Manager Jennifer Pike. “Our expert knowledge of the platform and relationship with them brought in work from many now well known companies. Over the years, we’ve changed with the market. As soon as Android and Apple phones hit the market, we were making apps for them.”
2012 had the company become the shiny new acquisition of John Adams, who combined Metova with A4 Solutions, his service company for government information technology (Now Metova Federal). It gave his company the ability to bid on government mobile contracts, while creating a dialog between the app developer for needs at Uncle Sam’s level (insert link). This also allowed for the sixth year of Metova to grow beyond provision of mobile development. On the growth they saw, Pike adds, “While 60% of our efforts in the last year were mobile applications, 40% of our efforts were focused on UI/UX design, home automation, Internet of Things software, marketing websites, web applications, and product strategy.”
As the work options increased, so to did the Metova network. The seminal office in Franklin has seen other offices branch out the Metova network, as their other locations include a 2014 opening in Conway, AR and a soon to open location in Fayetteville, AR. Jennifer adds “We’re also sharing some office space with Metova Federal in Pensacola, FL and Augusta, GA. Add in our remote workers and we’ve got a good spread.”
Metova also likes giving its clients direct access to those making the tech. According to Metova, it’s the developers and designers, not the higher brass, that communicate with the customers. Management is there to oil the machine, and not act as a buffer, with the theory being that direct access improves the user experience overall. According to Pike, user experience is “critical to the app design game,” and that function takes a front seat over fashion. Sure the aesthetics have a place — layouts, logos, and lettering could all be considered part of the user experience — but what good is a nice-looking car without an engine?
Through Pike’s experience, this is accomplished by delving into the nitty-gritty of the stakeholders. A complex study of their needs helps them build a better strategy of app usage, helping clients from modest to monoliths get a clean design and stable code so that applications don’t fritz out.
Metova’s involvement with government contracts also means that they’re really into cyber security, which Jennifer shares rounds out their creative suite nicely. “We have recently acquired Camber Corporation’s Cyber Operations Enhanced Network and Training Simulator (CENTS®) and SLAM-R® Cyber Range technology. These new technologies will allow us to offer more training in network defense as well as evaluate the equipment and processes a company uses to respond to cyber threats.” This work funnels into the mobile interests of the company, having increases the accessibility of SOCOM, USASOC, and the National Guard.
Metova’s dual interests in anticipating app problems and cyber threats – while doing work with bigger government departments and still being available for those smaller businesses wanting to get the same quality applications as DropBox – makes a great exemplar of what to look for in app development.