Catalyte transformed Nike into a digital-first brand with development of the FuelBand

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Nike tried to launch FuelBand, but its offshore vendors placed the product under jeopardy.


Catalyte met the FuelBand go-to-market deadline and helped Nike capitalize on the global digital/wearable fitness trend. Nike reported at Gartner Symposium that Catalyte’s teams were 3x more productive than the competition (cost per story point), and the software was delivered with 46% fewer defects.

Nike was creating a critical new wearable fitness platform (Nike+ FuelBand) to solidify its dominant market position and expand customer relationships. FuelBand encompassed a range of components including a SaaS foundation, embedded software, firmware, mobile applications and desktop applications. Nike required scalability with short notice.

Offshore provider endangers FuelBand launch

Because of the high-profile and strategic nature of FuelBand, Nike stakeholders were deeply engaged in every stage of the effort, refining the product vision and requirements daily.
Organizational and regional culture gaps created a tangible effect on the ability of the offshore teams to align and function as a cohesive unit with a common goal. This exacerbated every project challenge.

  • As the early stages of the project progressed, several issues quickly surfaced:
  • Backlogs increased, existing resources became overloaded, productivity decreased and project timelines were compromised
  • Placement of onsite teams in Oregon required more than six weeks
  • Team morale suffered as onsite teams from overseas had difficulty developing effective relationships with client team members
  • Offshore developers struggled to understand business objectives and desired product experience

Catalyte’s rapid response gets FuelBand to market on time

After several months of struggling to make progress, Nike acknowledged that launch dates and project success were in jeopardy. It turned to Catalyte because of our reputation for providing exceptional services onshore and on time.

Three business days later, Catalyte had engineers on site diligently working to get the project on track and on schedule. With Catalyte, Nike found:

  • Equal bill rates and terms as compared with the offshore team
  • More effective delivery and higher quality work
  • Fast and enthusiastic acculturated teams working cohesively as a unit adapting to client’s culture and norms and meeting expectations

Catalyte increased quality and productivity dramatically by solving the issues Nike faced with its offshore partner. As a result, the product got to market on time and within budget.

Catalyte teams continued to provide value, becoming trusted partner

As Catalyte proved its worth and value over the next three months, Nike shifted 80% of the product’s development to Catalyte. The decision to choose Catalyte as a partner was easy as its contributions and impact were imperative to the project’s success. The partnership flourished with Catalyte playing a key role in the client’s strategy for growth and continued market leadership.


Key takeaways

Better work, same price
Catalyte teams delivered better quality work at bill rates equal to offshore teams.
User compatibility
Catalyte teams knew what users wanted out of the product and could consult with the client beyond technical expertise.
Catalyte’s ability to quickly provide engineering resources rescued the behind-schedule project, enabling it to launch on time.

Key technologies/skills

  • Java
  • React.js
  • Jenkins
  • Selenium
  • DynamoDB

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