Technology to build Earth’s sustainable future is here.

Working for Climate, Education, Health.
Ready for other Global Goals.

spherical.pm
is materializing the potential that information technology can bring into global sustainability efforts.

We are building systems, big and small, that support international efforts to protect the environment, eradicate poverty, provide universal access to basic utilities, healthcare, food and education, transparency and accountability in governance.

Thinking globally and for the long term, we are at the same time concentrated on the specific task at hand to deliver solutions quickly and economically for our clients.

We will support you from the idea stage of your project and help you formulate requirements, hone the features of your hardware, software or web system, and turn it into a popular product that fulfils its intended mission.

We are technology and management veterans who have long experience delivering IT solutions for the United Nations, governmental and intergovernmental organizations, and the private sector.

We understand the processes associated with publicly-funded activities and we are happy to play by complex rules as long as we believe that your goal is making the world a better place.

Mikhail Vartanyan

Managing Director

Mikhail came to Spherical after 20 years in software development and IT management, out of which 15 have been within the UN system. From hard technical problems to the trenches of working level diplomacy, Mikhail has learned to harness the power of diversity to enable anyone to contribute towards a good cause. He aspires to be seen by others as a bridge between technical, political and business worlds, enabling synergies in delivering good things together.

Mikhail used to professionally program in C, Delphi, Java and Python. In his management career, he was exposed to project management (PMI and PRINCE2, with and without iterative aspects), service and operations management (ITIL), anti-crisis management and IT auditing. At Spherical, he is in charge of the business development strategy and customer relationships.

Anton Patrushev

Chief Technology Officer

Anton is an architecture visionary and a rock star software developer with 20 years of experience programming and leading programmers in the private sector and in the UN system. His motto is "everything can be programmed" and he is living by it day to day, routinely materializing what had seemed impossible to others before.

Anton used to professionally program in C++, Python, Java, JavaScript. Having an extensive background in networking, voice and video telecommunications, and IT security, he provided technical leadership to development of multiple business-critical high availability/high load systems. He is an expert in performance-tuning of legacy applications and a champion Docker implementer. At Spherical, he is in charge of the technology platform and architecture.

Services

You have your requirements and you are looking for a reliable partner to implement your project? Look no further! Spherical offers mature project management services and expert IT personnel to handle the technical aspects of your project. Above all, our clients value predictability in project delivery. Surprises in project delivery are unavoidable but with Spherical planning, most of them will be positive ones.

We will discuss your circumstances and constraints with you in great detail in order to be able to produce realistic estimates and we will make our progress transparent to you. All our products come with a set of project, technical and operational documentation as well as at least six months' warranty period.

Guided by best practices: we use PRINCE2 or PMI methodology tailored to your needs by experienced and certified project managers. Iterative delivery models (including agile methods such as Scrum) are used when appropriate to the project circumstances and desired by the client.

Transparent: full transparency on the progress is provided via industry leading project management tooling from Atlassian. Your internal tooling may also be used if it suits the needs of the project.

Clear reporting: frequency and volume of management reporting is tailored to your needs. At the very least, we provide weekly progress updates with KPIs, risk and issue registers, and end-stage reports.

Learning what works better: recording and studying lessons learned is at the heart of any improvement. We will record our lessons for future work with you and we will be more than happy to share and discuss them.

Aware of your Organization: we are fully aware of the issues with project delivery in large hierarchical organizations and we have know-how and experience of getting all the stakeholders to contribute to the project positively and share interest in its success. We also know how to handle organizational change and we will assist you in making the positive impact of your project land smoothly in your organization.

Not sure that you understand what is happening inside your project? Whether arrangements to support your critical system are both lean and sustainable? Or just need a helping hand handling an incoming audit? Spherical offers its services and experience in both providing and receiving project and operations reviews and audits. Our goal is to make audit and review a comfortable learning exercise for all involved and to make the outcome as informative and actionable as possible.

Working on the reviewer's side

No surprise requirements: good audits are planned ahead of time and people cooperate best when they know what will be expected of them.

Discipline, fairness and scientific approach: observations lead to hypotheses; only hypotheses supported with evidence become findings; the auditee is consulted and possible corrective measures are discussed before the finding lands in the report.

Metrics: wherever possible, evidence is converted into quantitative characteristics to make findings more informative and provide context to the decision-maker. For example, neither 10% nor 80% test coverage makes your code base "covered with automated tests" but response strategies will differ greatly depending on this number.

Creative recommendations free of charge: apart from routine findings and corrective actions, Spherical will include its own vision for how existing issues could be addressed holistically on the strategic level.

Value for money: to save effort designing the review exercise, Spherical offers templates for typical control objectives for the type of project or operation being reviewed. Review schedules are flexible but to keep reviews economical, they usually consist of a remote desk review of documentation and code and a short on-site mission for assessment and interviews.

Working with incoming audits

Proven transparency: we will negotiate a traceable way for your auditors to demand and receive documentation and interviews. Nothing will fall through the cracks and turn into an undeserved negative finding.

Supported objectivity: malicious audits are rare. Still, auditors are human beings and their objectivity and constructiveness depend on their personal comfort and ability to apply their skill without the need to deal with boring or annoying surrounding matters. Spherical will take care of logistical arrangements around provision of documentation, code and data, and the arrangements for the auditors' on-site visit.

Layered corrective actions: for observations that are hard to address, Spherical will help design a layered approach that will quickly and economically get you out of the "failed" zone so you gain more trust and goodwill to further your "partial success".

Minimal disruption to business as usual: audits make people nervous and disrupt day-to-day activities of your staff. There is historical evidence that a badly scheduled audit may derail an otherwise adequately managed and successfully running activity. Spherical will negotiate an audit schedule to minimize disruption to your normal activities and make interviews as comfortable as possible for your staff.

A word of caution: we cannot guarantee that you will pass the audit with flying colours. But we will make it an organized, objective, comfortable, and to a large extent predictable exercise.

Things are not looking promising? The budget is running out, the deadlines are approaching, there is little you can show for the time and money spent and the stakeholders are starting to question, in no uncertain terms, your ability to deliver? Quality issues are affecting your production environment? You have been hacked? Adrenaline is high, morale of your team is low? Spherical crew have been parachuted into war zones like this many times. We know how to quickly assess the objective situation in your project, identify problematic areas and achievable short-term goals, and make the best use of your stakeholders' remaining trust and goodwill. We are also trained to make field diagnosis and apply emergency technical fixes so you can resume operation and capture your breath before addressing the issue more systematically.

Availability: Spherical will respond to your technical emergency within three business days or on the same day if you subscribe to our technical emergency service. The team for project recovery will typically be formed within one week of request.

Speedy delivery: most projects take two weeks or less to assess and identify the possible courses of action. Implementation depends on the client but we typically suggest schedules with demonstrable signs of improvement every week.

How to not arrive here again: Spherical can help identify root causes of technical and management problems that provoked the crisis and suggest simple ways to avoid repeating similar crises in future.

You have an idea, a mandate, a need to contribute to a high-level goal with an IT solution? Your requirements do not go much further than specifying that you need an “app” or a “web platform” for people with a certain common interest? Spherical will be happy to work with you and turn your idea into a project that is ready for implementation, whether it be by Spherical, your internal resources or another vendor.

Focus on benefits: we will start our work with establishing business justification, identifying what kind of benefit the product will deliver and to whom. We will list measurable criteria for each of the expected benefits; those will help us size the project and adjust ambitions to constraints.

Aware of realities: everyone would like to have unlimited money and time to deliver what they please. In reality, all initiatives have a limited budget and a deadline; how much and what exactly is expected is also sometimes subject to externally-imposed constraints that need to be met. Time, Cost and Scope constraints form the so called “Project Management Triangle” and any flexibility on one of them affects at least one other. We will help you analyse your Triangle and help optimize the project for the constraints that are most critical for you.

Work where others fall a sleep: we LOVE regulatory documentation, standards, quasi-legal text of intergovernmental agreements and decisions of international bodies. We have long experience sieving such documents for requirements to IT systems, establishing traceability and demonstrating coverage of mandates by the products that we develop.

Understanding is FREE: the high level concept of the product and the general steps of the implementation plan will emerge in pre-sales negotiations and be described in the Spherical offer to you. This way you will understand that we are heading in the right direction before committing to any expenditures.

With you as far as you want us: we are interested in your business. We want to look after your idea through implementation and celebrate realization of all of the expected benefits together with you. But we are also cool with just producing requirements documentation and acceptance criteria for another IT company to implement.

Spherical Inventory Compiler

Spherical Inventory Compiler is a free tool that helps countries comply with their obligations to report greenhouse gas emissions under UNFCCC — the UN climate change convention. Tasks that were prone to coordination mishaps and took national specialists hours to weeks of manual work can now be accomplished in seconds!

Learn more and download

National Inventory System

NIS — Spherical's National Inventory System is in active development and limited testing by a number of countries. The system aims to provide an all-inclusive solution for all tasks related to in-country preparation of the national GHG inventory - from obtaining primary data from various national sources to submission to the UN. With NIS, you will have:

  • side-by-side view of data entry and affected reporting tables;
  • on-the-fly completeness and consistency checks;
  • data entry directly in reporting tables;
  • your own, custom national inventory compilation process and workflow;
  • centralized professional process help from some of the world's best specialists in CRF;
  • data sovereignty - nothing is shared with anyone till the moment you want to share it;
  • offline work with full control of data;
  • secure cloud sharing of data between national experts;
  • migration of user-created categories between inventories;
  • synchronization of data, inventory structure and automated submission to UN.
Learn more and request testing

Our Approach

No two clients are alike. Spherical is flexible to combine a variety of technology and management approaches to achieve the best value for each of its clients

Technology choice

We prefer mature free/open source technologies in our stack but we do use commercial technologies as well. The main considerations are functional fit to client needs and simple and secure licensing arrangements.

Business analysis

We strive to understand the task at hand as best we can from the onset to save time and rework later on. Having said that, prototyping and agility are integral parts of our development process. We select the approach to business analysis and requirements gathering together with the client and based on the unique circumstances of the project. Regardless of the option chosen, we make sure that requirements are well-documented for any project. Special attention is paid to non-functional requirements (availability, security, performance...) so the product reaches production maturity before being declared done.

Project management

The .pm in our name, spherical.pm, stands for project management. We are obsessed with doing projects right — that is, well planned, well executed, well tracked, and well reported on. We have on-board expertise in both PMI and PRINCE2 methodologies for project management and we select and tailor the one most suited to the needs and organisational build-up of our clients. We use the industry-leading Atlassian product suite to track our projects collaboratively with and transparent to the client.

Support

Support arrangement comes out of any project or purchase. All Spherical products and services are shipped with a committed life cycle plan. Support is typically provided by email and/or through web tracking systems; support for free products is provided via a community forum.

Contracting

We care about sustainability and the environment and we want to be useful in governments' efforts in these areas. We are fully aware of the specificity of public procurement and we have specialists on board who will work with our clients' procurement departments and deliver to all requirements of the process.