Cortlex is an offshore software development vendor to the overwhelming majority of its potential customers, and our sales team nearly always goes at great length convincing them that offshore and remote can be just as efficient as in-house and “next room”, if things are done right. Although the benefits of such cooperation are clearly visible and lie on the surface (cost, availability of resources, team flexibility), overcoming some barriers and breaking ice takes patience and solid argumentation. This is why we’ve decided to share our thoughts on one of the most common fears of our prospective customers that we deal with on a regular basis.
The lack of previous outsourcing experience is amongst the most typical concerns of potential customers of offshore software development companies. A company that has been developing its own products and services for years using an in-house team would typically be quite reluctant to loosen control over its production processes. They may also have doubts about entrusting them into the hands of a partner who may be located thousands of miles away, in a different time zone, and who may not have a full understanding of their business needs. However, as with many fears and stereotypes, it takes just one positive experience to change this attitude forever.
As a rule, customers with no experience of software development outsourcing are mostly concerned with the following abilities of a potential vendor:
- Ability to establish an efficient process and stick to it
- Ability to be proactive in identifying problems and suggesting improvements
- Ability to communicate ideas clearly and efficiently
- Ability to provide good value for the money
- Ability to retain talent and keep the team stable over time
Some of these fears may be diminished by the obvious advantages of outsourcing, such as comparatively low hourly rates, access to a diverse pool of specialists, delegation of recruiting functions to the offshore vendor, possibility to dismiss team members at a relatively short notice and such, but it takes more than just that to convince a potential customer of the safety and reliability of going offshore with a software development project.
Having successfully delivered dozens of projects to customers, including outsourcing “initiates”, we’ve learned that most of these concerns and doubts can be dispelled by addressing them as early as possible and by being flexible about the way our services are provided. It is not uncommon for a prospective customer to have no idea how to organize cross-team interaction, align internal and external processes, and make it all work just as efficiently as in the case of an in-house team – or even better. Here are some of the practices we’ve established to lay a solid foundation for communications between the parties from day one:
-We assign a dedicated Project Manager or Scrum Master to every project – this solves the problem of smooth communications, efficient scope grooming and timely reporting.
-We advise our customers on the optimal interaction model, taking into account the nature of the project in question and the time difference between the parties, besides other factors – tackles the problem of the customer not having an idea how to establish a working relationship with an offshore vendor
-We spend a great deal of time before the start of a project explaining roles and responsibilities of both parties, and identifying chains of communication for each potential situation – deals with the problem of escalations and ensures everyone understands their contribution to the work being done
-We are always ready to deploy our production environment on the customer’s side and/or provide full access to our project dashboard, issue tracking system and code repository – this adds an extra layer of trust to the relationship and provides the much-needed transparency
-We offer comprehensive work reports sent to the customer on a regular basis – helps avoid ambiguity and arguing over invoices if the customer is billed by the hour
-If necessary, we reasonably adjust our working ours to accommodate the time difference and ensure the maximum number of overlapping hours – helps align the efforts of the parties and make sure they are in sync to do deliver more in less time
All of this makes the initial adaptation period manifold easier for both parties. The Cortlex team is committed to breaking common stereotypes about outsourcing and will be happy to become your reliable software development partner. Read more about our best practices and experience in this blog or contact us directly for more information.