The Annuity Lab

I was pleasantly surprised to see the New Branch's team execute the originally planned tasks faster than anticipated. This allowed us to add more improvements to the project without changing the budget, which exceeded the client's expectations.

Yuriy Donev — Expert Systems Engineer @ Astea Solutions

Yuriy Donev — Expert Systems Engineer @ Astea Solutions

About the client

Astea Solutions is a leading expert in software consulting and bespoke software development. Over the past 18 years, the company has established itself as a reliable partner for its US customers and is active in various sectors ranging from financial services to healthcare and education. Astea Solutions has partnered with several Fortune 500 companies, such as Barnes & Noble, and innovative startups like LiveList and Stageit.

About the problem

The Nationwide Annuity Lab is a web and mobile application that enables Wholesalers to better communicate their product's value and share product comparisons more effectively with Independent Insurance Agents. The application allows them to quickly enter key variables and generate a product comparison report they can use during a sales visit. Comparisons can be saved for future use or shared with the agent in PDF format.

Astea Solutions created the initial version of the application. However, after some time, the client returned with new feature requests. Additionally, specific changes had to be made to the app in order to comply with the updated AppStore submission process.

At that time, the engineers who built the application were already working on long-term projects. It was impossible to reassign the engineers back to the Nationwide project as the estimated work of 12 man-months could not be completed without affecting the timeline of their current project. Hiring new developers was also tricky because the application used niche technologies, time was passing, and other reasons. Another option was to outsource this work to a partner they knew would deliver. In short, this is how Astea trusted us to implement this project.

The collaboration

Two of our engineers collaborated with Yuriy Donev for over six months, taking care of all technical details while suggesting improvements and giving others insight. Within that timeline, we achieved the following objectives:

  • We successfully implemented a new tool to compare benefit riders.
  • We improved existing tools by adding new functionality and fixing several edge cases.
  • We changed the build process to comply with updates in AppStore’s submission process for mobile applications.
  • We updated libraries and frameworks to ensure the project remained up-to-date with the latest versions.

We followed an agile process with regular planning, feedback, and daily meetings. Initially, this enabled fast knowledge transfer, allowing New Branch engineers to understand the domain, objectives, and source code quickly. After the initial learning phase, we started delivering and presenting new features to the client regularly, which allowed them to make adjustments and improve the product. Also, this way, everybody was confident that the project was on track and there were no surprises.

Results and Feedback

New Branch engineers delivered all planned features successfully at the end of the six-month collaboration period. The application's source code received a much-needed update for major technologies and libraries, simplifying future updates by other developers.

Although we did not have experience with some technologies and were unfamiliar with the code, the client was pleasantly surprised to see us moving faster than they anticipated. This allowed them to add more improvements to the project without changing the initial budget or timeline.

Yuriy also endorsed us for our flexibility in accommodating changes to requirements and our ability to provide reliable estimates.


In conclusion, the collaboration between New Branch and Astea Solutions proved to be a successful partnership for both parties. Our joined team delivered the project within the planned timeline and budget while exceeding the client's expectations.

This project also allowed us to work with new technologies and learn from other professionals. Astea successfully fulfilled a client's request without disrupting other teams' ongoing work and jeopardizing relationships with different clients.

More significantly, NB demonstrated how two software engineers from a small company can substantially contribute to much larger organizations!

We look forward to future collaborations with other industry-leading companies. Contact us and let us discuss how we can help you with your bespoke software project.


React, JavaScript, Apache Cordova, iOS, Docker


What we did

  • Software design and architecture
  • Development

Total work

  • 12 man-months