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iQU Affiliate System

Summary

iQU (formerly known as mmotraffic.com) is a premier games marketing agency that delivers results for game developers & publishers in a wide range of verticals including: MMO, social and casual games.

Each day the iQU platform serves tens of thousands of conversions, tens of millions of impressions, hundreds of millions of clicks.

From the beginning of the project Program-Ace was involved as the sole technological partner, and continues to be the only party responsible for platform development, growth, support and maintenance.

Software development solutions

Some facts about scalability of iQU platform today:

  • more than 130 millions of advertising impressions per month
  • more than 40 millions of gamers profiles
  • more than 1.5 millions of conversions per month
  • more than 100 millions of clicks per month
  • more than 12 thousands of Publishers (Affiliates)
  • more than 500 the biggest Advertisers all over the world
  • more than 300 active advertising offers for more than 200 computer games worldwide

Goal

We set out to build a strong, agile offshore team that would be able to determine and deliver the requirements for a state-of-the-art, high loaded affiliate system. This system needed to be built quickly, yet perform as a seamlessly integrated onsite team.

We also wanted to foster cooperation, with remote development teams representing a single unit within the customer’s creative and marketing divisions.

Finally, we aimed to prioritize tasks, and ensure high-level business requirements were elaborated, developed and delivered on time according to specifications determined by our client.

Overview

At the beginning of 2010, iQU, a group of ambitious Dutch entrepreneurs, invited our specialists to join the team to create its affiliate platform. iQU had already been running a set of their own gaming portals and thus had priceless business relations and experience dealing with game developers and publishers all over the world.

We quickly began to formalize the mix of iQU’s ideas, market standards and our own experience into the set of requirements to become a strong basis of the system. After three years of evolution we have seen that the majority of decisions taken at this stage were correct and became a foundation of future progress.

iQU set tight deadlines and wanted to present the system at Gamescom (August ’2010). This goal was achieved - the closed beta-version of the system running in the testing mode was presented to the public at the fair. It opened the publishers the sign up possibility and allowed them to start making money. This was all accomplished in a mere six-month period, from the first meeting between Program-Ace’s and iQU’s representatives.

After the system was launched, our main goal shifted to establish its 24x365 uptime, implement numerous improvements and determine additional functionality needed to extend the set of the market offerings, improve the performance, deal with the business automation tasks, handle financial flows and integrate with numerous third-party systems.

We successfully converted the first iteration system into mature and growing self-sufficient business instrument.

Objectives

  • Build a high-loaded affiliate system working 24x365
  • Elaborate various targeting and data intelligence rules that guarantee advertisers will receive only desired traffic
  • Develop a strong tracking engine
  • Develop a flexible and easy extendable ad delivery engine supporting a variety of advertisement products
  • Automate financial documents turnover (such as invoicing or issuing of revenue statements); assure the proper accounting
  • Integrate various third party systems meant for the business automation (Salesforce, Twinfield) and core functionality enrichment needs (CDN providers, white label integrations, etc)
  • Establish an agile-style development process that would keep the system in the 100% working state, while allowing the software to experience constant changes and improvements in a flexible way.

Challenge

To adapt to the constantly evolving environment of the gaming world our team needed to constantly update its technological knowledge and implement various non-standard and brand new technologies for the project.

In order to meet the high quality standards and maximize development efficiency we experimented with different team structures and found a golden mean in the form of two parallel teams: R&D and support.

Each team ran under the supervision of closely cooperating product and project managers. This arrangement guaranteed that both routine activities and new features would be handled with appropriate care, attention and interaction.

The project manager supervising the development activities and the product manager responsible for the expansion and improvement were Program-Ace’s representatives, ensuring that no details were overlooked.

Off-site engineers are not always ready to be fully integrated into the remote non-technical team. To decrease any negative effects caused by such limitations, we have established training sessions for our team members to better understand our Dutch colleagues.

Another beneficial tool was person-to-person non-formal interaction established between Ukrainian and Dutch parts of the team. The ultimate challenge was to free the customer’s team from the need to deal with technical issues and to establish the complete technical squad along with end-user support on the Ukrainian side.

Conclusion

While outsourcing of technical tasks is ordinary, the cooperation between iQU and Program-Ace is quite unique. In this highly cooperative partnership, Program-Ace has not just performed as a typical outsourcing vendor but functioned as a full-fledged development partner.

This setup allowed the iQU team to focus its efforts on marketing and business development activities. The outstanding success of the iQU platform proves the high efficiency of this business model, which facilitated the impressively rapid launch and saved costs meant for the technical effort.

The feeling of an idea converting into knowledge while accomplishing concrete goals is incredible, and surely the most motivating results of any project. We are very grateful to the iQU team for inviting us to participate in the project, and for believing in our skills and passion. As iQU says, "Game On!"

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Testimonials

GSN Games is completely satisfied with Program-Ace's technical expertise and the quality of services they provide. We look forward to collaborating with Program-Ace again...

Stuart Lewis-Smith, Senior VP and General Manager, GSN Games

Program-Ace has completely dispelled my concerns. The online project management system is one of the best I have seen...

– Scott Zerby, Vice President at ValuSoft

If you're looking for a professional, dedicated, digital development partner, I highly recommend Program-Ace...

– Tim Ransom, President at Visual Thunder Media
Testimonials
Stuart Lewis-Smith

GSN Games is completely satisfied with Program-Ace's technical expertise and the quality of services they provide. We look forward to collaborating with Program-Ace again...

 
Stuart Lewis-Smith, Senior VP and General Manager, GSN Games
Scott Zerby

Program-Ace has completely dispelled my concerns. The online project management system is one of the best I have seen...

 
– Scott Zerby, Vice President at ValuSoft
Tim Ransom

If you're looking for a professional, dedicated, digital development partner, I highly recommend Program-Ace...

 
– Tim Ransom, President at Visual Thunder Media
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About Program-Ace
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