Most of the medium and large software companies located in various parts of the world have taken to investing heavily in offshore software outsourcing. Offshore outsourcing, particularly in the software field, has gained immense growth and evolved as a successful business strategy ending in a win-win situation for the outsourcer and the outsourcing partner or vendor. While the outsourcing company can get quality software, thanks to the availability of skilled professionals, the vendors are assured of handsome returns. What’s more is the prices are quite reasonable too, and the vendors are assured of continuous work and prompt payments.
However, if cost-saving is the primary goal while choosing a vendor, the outsourcers can be in for rude shocks, what with shoddy work and delayed deliveries plaguing each project. Hence, a balance needs to be arrived at where quality is never compromised, and paying a little bit extra in the process doesn’t matter. Apart from cost and quality, there are a few other factors that need to be taken into account while locating the perfect outsourcing partner.
While dealing on a day-to-day basis with an outsourcing partner located at the other end of the world, the cultural barrier can often turn into a cultural shock. The future of projects will certainly hang on the cultural compatibility between the outsourcer and the vendor. In addition to the social, economic, and political conditions prevailing in the country where the vendor is located, communication should not be a stumbling block. Hence, choose the outsourcing partner wisely, from a vendor who is from a region that is known for its quality and integrity. Dealing with a quality-conscious vendor who is transparent in the dealings goes a long way in building lasting relationships.
The Cost Factor
Although most companies are hesitant to admit it, the fact remains that it is the cost factor that attracts an overseas company to tie-up with a local vendor for their IT and software projects. It is not that there is a terrible dearth of skilled hands in the country that outsourcers need to seek greener pastures overseas. The primary reason drawing a company to seek a vendor specialized in software projects still is cost. Some companies can save close to 50% in salaries, provided they are smart enough to locate and hire the services of a reliable outsourcing partner. The best way to establish how ‘reliable’ your vendor is going to be is to check the track record and details of joint ventures if any. If your outsourcing partner happens to have a handful of Fortune 500 companies as clients, all the better! Have a heart-to-heart chat with one of the representatives and you’ll get a fair idea about how the company functions.
Big need not necessarily mean great
Most outsourcing companies commit the elementary mistake of assuming that the bigger the company, the better its reputation. One need not always look for 1,000-seater software partners, when a vendor employing a couple of hundred employees may be able to deliver better. Most of the big companies have too many teams and some of the teams comprise freshers. With junior-level employees and inexperienced people working on a project, the quality can be a lot more desirable. Smaller companies, on the other hand, are never too ambitious, and will hesitate to ‘bite more than they can chew.’ Here again, the key lies in a careful and judicious selection.
Interacting with an Offshore Team
Managing to work with a team located thousands of miles away and in a different time zone can be a challenge on either side. The solution lies in being in constant touch with your vendor. Make sure you deal with the key personnel who can communicate effectively. Insist on periodic updates and frequent one-on-one sittings (video conferences, Skype) with the project manager or lead to keep yourself abreast of things. Maybe including a clause to that effect in the agreement making it mandatory for the outsourcing partner to communicate regularly would make more sense.
Verify track record
As mentioned earlier, nothing speaks better than the track record. When it comes to expertise and experience, the performance in past projects and the testimonials given by the clients speak for themselves. Moreover, you get to know the domains that the outsourcing partner is strong in, which should establish their expertise in the specific technology. Only a few companies have the wherewithal and expertise to take up custom software projects, where they do not need to waste precious time on the learning curve, not to mention the money you are paying for the time. To know more about our capabilities and expertise, contact us for more detailed information.