Friday, July 21, 2006

Advantages of Offshore Software Development, Software Development Outsourcing

Offshore Outsourcing is one of the best measures to stretch your budget and still get the highest quality. You can get your project done in time and that too of best technical standards. Outsourcing is strongly driven by the economic value it adds to your business.

Saves you from operational nightmares and no worries of training professionals and retaining them

Give you a competitive advantage to concentrate on your business capacity and start the project much faster and easier. Gives you enough time and resources to concentrate on your core activities.

You are not troubled by the infrastructure and equipment investments. But instead get ready state-of-the-art furnished offshore development centers to develop high quality IT solutions.

You add on to your IT capacity by hiring the best Offshore Outsourcing vendors. Technical competence is enhanced since you are working with the best IT professionals.

Consequently, outsourcing is the best solution to get the highest ROI and remain in step with competition by getting developed the highest quality IT solutions. But when it comes to outsourcing to an overseas vendor are you really confident that it will stretch your budget and not end up with a big hole in your pocket? There are a few pitfalls of outsourcing, which you need to be cautious of:

Lower quality than expected: you might end up wondering was that a profitable bargain or not because you have lost on the quality in the process. So, to avoid this you need to work harder when choosing an OSP. Get the sample codes checked by experts, analyze their coding standards, investigate into their bug tracking systems etc.

Poor project management: also impedes the quality and turn around time of the project. So, you can have your onsite executive who monitors the progress and keeps a check on the scheduled timelines.

Subcontracting: is another evil as the overseas service provider may exaggerate its potentials and skills and finally subcontract it. You need to check the company’s profile, success stories and check on the references given.

Communication gaps: this is a typical problem with an overseas-outsourced project. Language and cultural differences add up to all this. So you need to agree upon certain fixed standards of communication that are easy to follow by both of you. Make sure that the service provider’s personnel are well versed with English. That will make your life much easier.

OSPs always place emphasis to highest advantageous projects so to avoid getting neglected its better to freeze your time schedule and milestones in advance and follow them stringently. You should document the penalty in case the OSP fails to meet the deadlines. You can also work out some incentives as well in case of on time completion of a project.

Finally, if anything goes wrong in your professional relation with the OSP, you should have well laid out contract that lists everything and anything transparently, so that the loss of time, money and resources is minimized.

For more details cick here

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

8 Ways to Overcome Your Fears of Outsourcing

You have probably heard the stories: Software that does not work. Software that does the wrong thing. Money paid to set up an offshore operation that never produces any software. Can these outsourcing nightmares be avoided?

Of course. The key is how you manage the outsourcing of your software development.

The two biggest fears of outsourcing are the fear of selecting a bad Offshore outsourcing vendor and the fear of not managing their work effectively. Let's assume you pick a great team, perhaps one of the proven Accelerance teams from around the world. Even then you may still have lingering worries about getting your software developed quickly. Here are eight ways you can manage your outsourcing to get reliable results.

(1)Milestone tracking - Your plan for outsourcing should include some estimating and scheduling. The outsourced team should commit to dates for the completion of the milestones. Define your development milestones so they occur frequently and make corrections if they are not being met.

(2)Requirements tracking - Make sure the features you need are being completed properly in each release. You want to make sure your users will be able to gain the maximum benefit from your software. You don't want important details to be lost or forgotten.

(3)Daily monitoring of your Offshore Outsourcing progress - No news is NOT good news. You need regular communication with your outsourced team. This should occur almost everyday. You should at least have a regular email or conference calls on specific days to make sure things are going well and that unresolved issues are not blocking progress.

(4)Continuous builds - Put a system in place to re-compile and build your software every time a developer checks in a source file. This allows you to detect problems as they occur so they can be fixed quickly and do not lead to a delayed software release.

(5)Test-driven development - You should require your outsourced engineers to perform unit tests of their programming work. Tests should be created first, before the feature is implemented. Writing the test first helps clarify what the software should do. It also builds a set of regression tests that can be performed later to check for basic system functionality.

(6)Integration testing and Quality Assurance - Testing of the individual software modules by the outsourced developers is not enough. You also need to test the entire system to make sure high levels of functionality and quality will be experienced by your users. Comprehensive testing requires automation to check all paths through the user interface. A full QA process also verifies the software behaves well when users make "mistakes."

(7)Collaboration for design and problem resolution - If the engineers are working in your office then you just meet with them to resolve the issue face-to-face. Of course, this is not possible when the engineers are thousands of miles away across one or more oceans. But with the Internet you can get pretty darn close. An email or instant message conversation can often resolve your issues. Using the telephone is also an extremely useful tool and with VOIP software like Skype, Yahoo Messenger or Google Talk the communication cost is zero. The important point is that the tools are available to make long-distance collaboration a reality and they enable extensive use of outsourcing to be practical.

(8)Knowledge management and retention - You provide a specification to the outsourced team. Issues are resolved and clarifications are made. Then the software is delivered and it works well. But what if the outsourced team leaves the picture? Will you be able to pick up the software and make changes efficiently? Yes, if you have gained the knowledge of how the software is written. The technical documentation describing the architecture and workings of your software should be created by you or your outsourced team. You don't need a huge tome no one will read. Simple installation instructions and architectural documents that can facilitate the learning process and enable your US engineers to deploy and support your software are sufficient.

For details click here

Monday, July 17, 2006

Outsourcing to India

Outsourcing is the trend today in the global market. Outsourcing means to give work to another company or country to make it more cost effective. India is the best bet to outsource your work, especially in the field of Information Technology. Years ago, if you asked anyone about outsourcing your work to India it would sound more like a horror story more than anything else. The horror was all about the poor quality of English that was spoken and the communication services that were present in India.

Today, Offshore outsourcing in India is nothing but a pleasant experience. This is because of the upgrade in the communications center and the excellent level of English spoken there now. The development and maintenance costs are cut steeply and makes all CFO’s happy about it. Outsourcing in India accounts for more than two thirds of the Fortune’s Top 500 companies. If there is any company in the US that is not outsourcing to India, you will soon discover that a plan is being looked into by the senior management of the company.

Having said this, India has its own share of problems that needs to be looked at. Despite the fact of the popularity of the well spoken English and the improved communications processes, you will still have problems, which are deeply rooted in the cultural values. Besides this, you will have transitional, service level demands; relationship management makes it expensive and labor exhaustive.

However, despite the fact of these hardships many major businesses are still looking at offshore outsourcing work to India. The reason behind this is that the quality of programmers that is available in India is outstanding. The work presented by them is top notch and makes them simply the best option for outsourcing. Another reason to this is that most of the Indians companies have spent many years in stringent training. Some of these companies are certified to be Level Five companies. This is the ceiling height for Carnegie Mellon University's Capability Maturity Model (CMM).

Given below are some of the reasons that why ninety five countries out source to India

•The first is the confidence it enjoys from all major corporations in the US.
•In a recent survey it showed that eighty seven percent of the companies in the US all favor the Indian market more compared to any other market.
•The biggest recommendation is from the head of the software giant “Microsoft”. Bill Gates said that India is a superpower in Information Technology.

For details click here

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Quality software work attracts more outsourcing contracts to Indian shores

India leading the global offshore IT outsourcing market is not news anymore. With more and more MNCs setting up outsourcing wings in the country, offshore outsourcing has indeed become one of the chief contributors to the nation's economic growth. Quality work in offshore software development is bringing in a lot of outsourcing contracts to Indian shores.

Offshore Software development firms handling a variety of work are spread around the various IT hubs of the country. Both small and big software companies are seen as integral to the country's outsourcing growth. With Indian talent attracting the attention of the global bigwigs who wants to grab a share of the outsourcing pie, there is no stopping the Indian offshore outsourcing juggernaut. And as more and more contracts flow in, there is scope for much more growth in the Indian IT field.

Despite all this, India is still very much a developing country. Though, Indian economy is now experiencing a steady growth. Studies indicate that software piracy is rampant in India. It is said that not even seven per cent of the total software made in India is original. This is despite much government efforts to curb piracy. It is generally thought that software piracy can be hindering to software growth. However, there are ways by which educated businessmen can protect themselves against piracy.
Microsoft and India

Nowadays, MNCs like Microsoft is investing a lot of money in India. Ravi Venkatesan, the Chairman of Microsoft India, opines that he wants academic growth in India. Microsoft has got a large number of developers working for it. And the company is training them on required guidelines to increase output.

Microsoft is also investing lot of money for encouraging software education in the country. Organizations like Shiksha, providing software education has received its support. It is reported that Microsoft is concentrating a lot of attention in the country's software field.

For details click here

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Measuring The Success Of Your Outsourcing

Many people fear that outsourced software development means having little or no control over the development process. They think there is no need to measure while the programmers are there in the same room. Or is there?

Today, outsourcing promises huge cost savings and executives are less concerned with lines per minute than with dollars per hour. But in the end, it is important to know the money you spend is fueling real progress in the development of your software. How can this be done?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) provides an example of outsourcing that can be successfully measured. Business processes such as accounts receivable and outbound sales calls can be so well defined that you can accurately measure how efficiently and effectively they are implemented. New software tools not only help you detect problems and inefficiencies, but can predict and fix the problems before they even arise.

To measure new software development you track how many new features are added over time. Some metrics split the programming required into work units and then track how many units are completed over time. It is best to measure results daily and at least weekly.

Engineers are notoriously optimistic about their ability to create working software. So another metric measures how accurate their estimates are for the time required to finish the software development. Initially, their ability to estimate will likely be poor. You can set a goal for the engineers to improve this skill as your development continues so you improve the predictability of your process.

For maintenance programming you need to track the work units or bugs fixed over time. In addition, you should measure the amount of re-work required for bugs that fail the QA step after bug fix attempts.

Your outsourced team should commit to a schedule for completing the programming work. As part of this their commitment, they must also agree to the definition of work units and the productivity level they believe they can achieve. Their commitment makes them independent and liberated from requiring specific instructions for all their daily work activities.

You typically measure the throughput of your outsourced team as a whole. A team is typically a combination of junior and senior members. Junior engineers will need guidance and mentoring from the senior engineers. This is normal and should be expected and encouraged. But it should also be measured over time. A senior engineer can be expected to spend from 5% to 25% of his/her time with junior engineers depending on the complexity of the project and prior experience of the junior engineer.

Today most people use simple software tools like spreadsheets and Microsoft Project to track the metrics of their outsourcing. More sophisticated tools are also available but are expensive and best applied when you have a large portfolio of software development projects. New tools are being developed to automatically compute your metrics as your software is developed.

For example the amount of time source files are checked out of your source code control system can be used to help measure the productivity of your engineers. Other on-line techniques to track progress and measure results will be coming soon.

You can use metrics as the basis for a Service Level Agreement (SLA) you’re your outsourcing vendor. But remember: the purpose of an SLA is to help guide your software development to success and to detect and correct problems as they arise. It is not to support micro management, a blame game or to create an adversarial relationship with your outsourced team.

For details read here

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Be Aware and Understand

Offshore providers should attempt to fully understand the current phenomenon of U.S. companies using non-U.S. resources for outsourcing work. It is a topic that appears in newspapers, magazines, on television, radio, and on the Internet daily. Its benefits and liabilities are hotly debated in many sectors of business and government -- and by the working public. There are many varying views that demonstrate different levels of understanding and interests.

To some, offshore outsourcing is seen as a necessary evil -- something that must be utilized for the sake of economics even though it might be somewhat distasteful. To others, it is simply a part of being smart in business. Regardless, it is a very sensitive issue that will continue to ebb and flow for the foreseeable future.

Offshore providers will be wise to spend time maintaining an awareness of the current mood in the U.S. regarding offshore outsourcing. Your most accessable resource is, of course, the Internet. Watch the web sites of top news providers such as CNN and business publications such as Business Week.

By being aware of the latest news and reports, offshore providers can adapt their strategies to minimize potential conflicts and maximize acceptance by U.S. companies. Learn to be sensitive to the issues and concerns that may be confronting your potential customers.

Time is Critical

Although offshore outsourcing is a hot topic at the moment, it will not last forever. It is very likely that it will peak sometime in the next couple of years and retreat to a more stable and mature level for the future.

Therefore, it is important for offshore providers to quickly take advantage of the current boom. By joining the wave now, you will help ensure your place in the long term.

For details click here

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Why Offshore Software Development?

Software development is indeed a very costly process where an entire process requires experienced and skilled professional / programmers along with expensive equipment and resources. For a company that specializes in some other field than software, it is indeed cumbersome to maintain a dedicated team of software developers with a facility. This has given rise to offshore software development. With offshore software development, a company or organization can keep focused on its core area of operations while outsourcing its software related jobs to organizations that specialize in offshore software development, thereby not only gaining on costs, but also on core area of focus.

In last few years there has been a tremendous growth in offshore development service providing organizations. This is partly due to a rapid growth in digitized applications and partly due to IT globalization that has taken place with countries like India, Ireland, and Israel showing significant growth in software development.

Advantages of Offshore Development Services:

1.Offers enormous cost benefits
2.Offers an immediate access to a pool of specialized / talented technical skilled professionals
3.Ensures quality and high security with the customer's proprietary software specifications.
4.Customized and core competencies based products.

Risks associated with Offshore Development Services.

1.Communication is a problem in an offshore development project.
2.Cultural differences often form hindrances in an offshore development relationship.
3.Infrastructure challenges hinder work in an offshore development project
4.Offshore software development relationships may also be hindered due to either political or natural disasters

By offshoring your software development needs you get complete end-to-end solutions including web application, software products, and design from small and medium sized enterprises at an economical cost. An Offshore service provider delivers a variety of e-commerce projects for a diverse range of industries including high-traffic scaleable B2B and B2C web solutions, advanced e-commerce solutions, dynamic web sites, and more. The entire development process follows a rigorous and proven methodology to analyze the project requirements, define its goals, and plan a detailed roadmap to achieve these goals of defining, designing, and developing software projects and implementation.

For details read here

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Offshore Outsourcing pays attention to qualifying standards

This is the article on Offshore Outsourcing paying attention to qualifying standards and using the Software measures as the quickest and feasible method in Software Development Company.

There are large companies who organize forums and a big Company of Russia-Mirantis had been selected by these organizers to host an Outsourcing team. offshore Software Outsourcing companies have taken exclusive transaction based process to qualify their standards and be proven by the Board-level organizational change.

India Russia and has been put into prominent standards when Outsourcing is a concerned topic. The location is also very suitable for the commencement for Offshore software Outsourcing Company. The business led industries have played an important role in Quality consciousness. This transformation has led to a devastating change in the field of economics, politics, social sciences, education, social traditions and other inhibitions. The science and technology will merge into many of the companies. The older-belief of risk-taking has depicted transformed for the Outsourcers have realized to the strengths and potentials of web applications and Software Development Company onshore and offshore
Offshore Outsourcing attentive to keep up standards

Offshore Outsourcing attentive to keep up standards in proving its core development capabilities which are emerging like a volcano in Software Outsourcing business. Though the business are usually risk-taking, but running the business with strategic plans would help the partner to understand the course of the Offshore Outsourcing business and will be able to compete into the market. The expansion of activities is a necessity of any technology company whether the company may Outsource Russia, India or China- the operating system needs to be carefully diagnosed.

The Software companies are rapidly moving offshore destination for choice and wishes to expand the core development of all usable activities. Science and Technology availability is in massive quantity, but to tap those resources are in the hands of the software entrepreneur or partner. He is responsible to take practical decision making and to make his company stand apart globally; it must lead its employees, who work the whole day to keep the company alive and ongoing!

All the Offshore software Outsourcing companies seem to show special interests on the choice of destination to expand their core development projects. The minimum of cost of labor, work-place and human-resources seem to attract boldly on the minds of these partners. They are in confident with the partners of outsourcing firms to participate into summit of the large company standards. Giant companies’ success story provides an inspiration to these firms and there is demand of co-operation from all sides of areas. This may show development into policy makers and technological companies. The insights and interesting useful story provided by offshore Software Development Company benefit the Offshore Outsourcing firms.

For details click here

Friday, July 07, 2006

Offshore Outsourcing Central

Outsourcing today has become a global phenomenon, integral to the strategy of every major organization and company. Global outsourcing enables companies to outsource tasks using the best possible resources available globally at the most cost effective prices. Even though outsourcing is by no means a recent phenomenon, this practice has become increasingly prevalent in the IT and software industry in recent years. This has been brought about because of the advent and ubiquity of the Internet and major developments in the communication infrastructure worldwide. Almost all major global corporations and even a large number of small to medium sized industries have adopted outsourcing of IT and IT enabled services and realized the benefits in a short period of time. Offshore software outsourcing offers companies several benefits – outsourcing non-core activities enables companies to focus their resources on their core competencies and it enables them to take advantage of significant cost savings over a long term
India has been at the forefront of this revolution from the start and today enjoys the enviable reputation of being the favorite destination for offshore outsourcing of IT services, software development and business processes. Even though China, Philippines, Ukraine, Romania etc are emerging as alternative destinations for offshore software outsourcing of IT services, India today is clearly the dominant player. Several factors contribute to India’s current position – a large pool of English speaking technical professionals; low costs associated with the technical talent in India; and a political climate which encourages stability, security and the economic growth (the right ingredients for attracting international investors and global companies). However, India is no longer simply about providing low cost software development and business process services. Even though significant cost benefits is a major factor contributing to the value proposition of offshore software outsourcing, Indian companies have moved up the value chain to now provide services requiring a higher degree of domain expertise and knowledge capital. As an example, along with IT and IT enabled services, companies in India are now providing services in the areas of business consulting and investment research to top global consulting companies and investment banks.
For read click here

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Global Factors Impacting the Software Development Industry

One of the great 'equalizers' in the global economy is the Internet and other forms of modern telecommunications. Today, unlike just a few short years ago, programmers in one part of the world can work seamlessly on projects across the globe. Likewise, work may be distributed to programmers in many locations - unrestricted by time or distance - to be reassembled as working units back home.

What is actually more important than the pure communications aspects of software development and project management can be found in how the software development industry has changed in general during these few years:

• Programming and general software development is no longer a highly 'specialized' or 'rare' skill - universities and colleges throughout the world have increased their output dramatically in these areas of focus for the past 5 to 8 years.
• Private Colleges, business schools and commercial training institutes were even earlier adopters of the IT training and get-rich-with-an-it-diploma programs - flooding the market with truck-drivers-turned-systems-engineers, and network administrators who's previous work provided them with a free paper hat.
• Thanks to the dot-com bust in recent years - many 'web experts' are now on the unemployment line. (Either unable, or unwilling to accept and adapt to the fact that the work they formerly received $100K+ per year for can now be done in Russia for 20 Euros per hour.)
• In the reverse - the global economy also means that companies can sell their products and services to a global market - provided that their products and services can be developed and delivered effectively, efficiently, and for a reasonable price.
As well, many of the recent graduates are lacking in basic scientific, mathematical and analytical skills. They may know how to 'code' - but they may not have a grasp of the creativity and science to develop creative and innovative solutions to business problems. These very skills are what have made the Russian educational system stand out. The Russian focus on fundamentals, science and logical thinking give their graduates the ability to develop creative solutions despite limited resources.

Unfortunately, the situation is unlikely to change in the nearest future. Although universities and colleges are cranking out 'computer science' graduates - many are coming to the market with the hopes of making a lot of money very quickly. Despite the recent downturn in markets - salaries in North America and many European countries are still artificially inflated.

Another problem these days is rapid staff turnover - and a loss of company loyalty. In North America it has become frighteningly easy and popular for people to jump from company to company. Sometimes employees are lured away by money - other times it is perks and benefits or more exciting and challenging work. One would almost wonder when looking at some people's resumes whether they will even be able to stay with one company for just one entire year.
This trend has led to an upward spiral of salaries, benefits and perks - reaching the point where even to attract mediocre staff - you have to give away benefits and salaries formerly only available to top managers and executives. As well, unless you are able continually offer more and more - people will quickly become dissatisfied and move on. This is simply the law of supply and demand at work. (Employees demand - you supply!)

In Russia, and many other countries abroad - the situation is quite different. Companies who are able to offer very modest benefits and salaries as compared with their western counterparts are highly sought after by job seekers. When a person lands a job at a stable Russian company with a good salary and benefits - they are going to put forth their best effort to keep the job - because they know that there are hundreds of people just dying to snap up their position if they leave.

This reversal of demand between the companies and job seekers means that offshore software development companies can pick and choose the best people possible from a much wider selection. Relaxed labor laws and a huge labor pool mean that it is much easier to replace workers who don't perform.

The overall result is that Russian companies typically have a much lower turnover rate than their North American counterparts. People who work together over many years on many different projects tend to have much better communications between team members - teams become tighter, more dedicated and more focused. Working on many different projects gives each team member valuable skills and knowledge to carry through to future projects.

Today, the world is a very small place - and our competitors are no longer just those businesses within our own town or city - they may be anywhere in the world and in many cases are not restricted by time or distance.

During the dot-com boom period, companies used up all the local resources they could find, and used offshore software develoment resources to build staffs they couldn't otherwise find. After the dot-com bust - companies are struggling to survive - and simply cannot afford to pay inflated salaries of internal staff, or local companies for basic work

For details read here

Offshore Software Development India

This article is designed to assist companies who are looking for Offshore Software Development partners In India in particular or in low cost countries in general. The paper covers the mechanics of finding an offshore software development partner, setting up the relationship and ensuring a successful and long-term partnership.

Benefits of Offshore Software Development India
Some of the advantages are listed below:

Significant cost savings, up to 80% in certain cases.
The outsourcing company is able to release resources for high value-added and priority work and can concentrate on their core competence, designing, business knowledge while delegating technical tasks, maintenance, research or routine tasks to the offshore software development company. In some cases the offshore software development company can add significant technical knowledge also.
While it can be quite difficult to recruit the expected competence in Western countries, it is a completely different scenario in India, where there are many qualified programmers with good academic training.
For temporary peaks the Outsourcing company can avoid expensive new recruitment or the high cost of local consultants and instead use lower priced consultants in the offshore software development company.
Consulting and programming capacity is available at short notice without increasing long term personnel commitments.
Outsourcing company also reaps the knowledge gained by the offshore software development and consulting assignments.
Some clients outsource their programming needs by getting programmers from India for short or long term projects to work onsite with their own design team. Others send whole or parts of projects directly to India for offshore software development in India.

Offshore Software Development India, Disadvantages

Following are some problems, which may occur if both parties are not aware of how the offshore software development process should be set up.

Language and cultural barriers
Time differences
Technical communication problems
Skill mismatches
Quality discrepancies
Security problems
Lack of a repeatable process
Bad management and hierarchical inflexible organizations
All of these can be avoided, by choosing the right offshore software development partner and working with proper and proven project management processes evolved during the earlier offshore development assignments.

Sometimes the Outsourcing Company overlooks these risk factors, thinking that the cost savings is so high that these risks are well covered. But in reality this can be a major trap.

Offshore Software Development India, The Ideal projects

Not all projects are ideal for Offshore Software Development. Any task involving proprietary knowledge, which can not be safeguarded with agreements, are not suitable for Offshore Software Development. Very technical and complex tasks can also be bad projects, since the amount of communication needed may be so high that the cost advantage is eaten up by having to explain everything. Very small projects may also be unsuitable, since the time to prepare the specification might be more than the cost advantage.

But apart from these exceptions, most projects or subprojects are suitable for Offshore Software Development in India. Some of the possible areas could be:

Platform porting projects (like porting from DOS - Windows, Windows 3.11 - Windows 95/NT, UNIX -> NT.
Application conversions
GUI design
Database applications, migration and porting
Web enabling legacy systems and client server applications
Web development, designing, programming etc. e Commerce - projects
Components like ActiveX, VCL, Objects, Reports, and Modules. Object Oriented Programming is very suitable for offshore software development projects.
Technical Documentation, end user documentation and manuals
Software QA and Testing
Remote Linux / Unix administration
Remote database administration
Remote software maintenance and feature enhancements
How to find an Offshore Software Development partner India
Make sure the offshore software development partner you are looking for fulfills at least some of the following characteristics:

Good communication equipment and facilities. Leased line or ISDN connections to the Internet are essential.
Excellent English language skills.
Experience and references. Check with a few of the references and ask for their experience and advice on how you should work successfully with the company.
Visit the company and establish a good relationship with the offshore software development partner. Make sure they understand your needs and quality demands.
Also, check that the offshore software development company has adequate equipment, stable finances and good management.

For detais read here

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Outsourcing Software Development to India

Offshore software development in India has evolved as software developers move up the value chain to offer custom software development. India emerged as a software service exporter in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the country's transition from centralized planning to a market-oriented economy. Today Indian companies have the lion's share in the global outsourcing market and compete with leading multinational suppliers across the IT solutions spectrum.

The Evolution of Offshore Software Development in India

Offshoring software development to India is not a new phenomenon. Beginning in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the country's economy opened up to become market oriented, Indian companies now dominate the outsourcing industry. Talented software programmers, the highest number of CMM Level 5 certified companies, several Indian IT companies listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ, a large number of Fortune 500 companies outsourcing their software needs to India are all well known facts. Now Indian developers are moving up the value chain offering more specialized services as their comfort level in dealing with global clients has grown and their extensive experience in this area has allowed them to showcase their potential.
Initially there were only certain parts of the software development process that companies were comfortable outsourcing. Paul Davies, the author of What’s This India Business, writes about the software development outsourcing evolution. One could roughly divide the development process into various stages of analysis of a need, creation of a requirements definition, relating this definition to a software specification, designing the software, writing and coding, and then implementing and testing it...
Coding was seen as a relatively easy part of the process to outsource and was not high skilled like the design phase. However, Davies writes about how Indian companies have evolved and their extensive experience in writing and supporting software has naturally led them to provide their skills in designing software. Having expanded the gamut of services they offer, Indian software providers along with creating customized software to suit specific requirements have also, through their experience, developed structured methodologies, procedures, and documentation that gives their customers a competitive advantage.
Indian software companies are constantly improving standards, ramping up their employee base, and opening development centers and sales offices abroad in anticipation of a higher demand for their constantly expanding range of services.

Concern Area
As the software sector has evolved so has the cost advantage, which is decreasing. Though software development is still carried out at a fraction of what it is in the US and several other countries, employee costs have risen considerably. This is likely to affect margins and consequently profitability.
However, there is no dearth of talent and expertise in the country and many companies are opening centers in smaller towns and cities and helping to develop the software industry in these places.
Also considering the high quality of the solutions provided as well as the success of custom software development where Indian companies design creative unique solutions, companies wanting to outsource will still find India an attractive destination.
For details read here

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Outsourcing 101

Outsourcing has become a "charged' word. It is an important concept to understand because of its business applications (both for corporations and for small businesses) and because of its political implications. The following is intended as a primer on the main topics related to outsourcing. We have included a (hopefully) balanced summary of the "offshoring debate" without a definitive conclusion as we do not intend to take a political stance on this issue.

Definition of Outsourcing
Outsourcing is the act of obtaining services from an external firm.

Business Process Outsourcing
In the corporate environment, the term "outsourcing" often refers to a particular type of outsourcing, business process outsourcing (BPO). BPO occurs when an organization turns over the management of a particular business process (such as accounting or payroll) to a third party that specializes in that process. The underlying theory is that the BPO firm can complete the process more efficiently, leaving the original firm free to concentrate on its core competency.

Roots of Outsourcing
The concept of outsourcing was first made popular by Ross Perot when we founded Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in 1962. EDS would say to a potential client, "You are good at designing and manufacturing widgets, but we are skilled with managing information technology. We will sell you the IT services that you require, and you can pay us periodically with a minimum commitment of two years.” Today, EDS is a multi-billion dollar company with over 70,000 employees and is only one of many global BPO firms.

Offshore Outsourcing
Offshore outsourcing, or "offshoring", refers to outsourcing to firms in foreign countries, often to take advantage of labor arbitrage. In the past 10 years, business process outsourcing contracts have increasingly been given to firms in developing countries. Typically educated workers in developing countries, such as India or China, work for a much lower wage than do similarly educated workers in developed countries, such as Japan. Savings from the lower wage rate must exceed the increased costs of management and risk associated with offshore outsourcing for it to be economically viable.

The Politics of "Offshoring"
Offshore outsourcing has recently become a hotly-debated issue in the national media. When the American economy began to pull out of recession in 2001, unemployment did not decrease as expected. Offshore outsourcing was blamed as a contributing factor to this “jobless recovery”. Information Technology was a particularly soft sector, and many American programmers lost their jobs to lower-paid foreign counterparts. Many economists however have recently conjectured that the higher-than-expected unemployment numbers were not the result of offshore outsourcing, and that offshore outsourcing has actually had a positive impact on the American economy. Undoubtedly the debate will continue into the presidential campaign.
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Monday, July 03, 2006

Keeping in touch with your offshore programming projects

Customer satisfaction towards the regular and honest work is always beneficial in the field of programming for offshore projects. As a programmer working for offshore company, you must keep in mind that the customer is always right and you must take care of his requirement. It is very important while working for offshore customers to show them your progress on their projects.

As you are an offshore programmer who is programming their projects, it won't be feasible for them to visit you or have a look on the prototypes or any sort of development so it will be very beneficial and feasible for you as well as your customer to be in touch during the development of the offshore project that you are programming. It can be achieved by the following:

Proper Planning is very important

For a customer to be satisfied, your program must be in a well planned state. A proper planning is the key to success. For successful completion of the offshore project that you are programming, it must be ensured that it doesn't move away from its targeted goals. You must involve the offshore customer in your project for a clear definition of the project. Daily updating the offshore client is the feature of a best programming. In a programming field, offshore customer satisfaction highly depends on the preparation of documents, layouts, and report format by the programmer.

Show Prototype of the offshore project

For an offshore programmer like you, timely and quality delivery of the project and 100% client satisfaction must be implemented through the programming. Prototypes are the predefined strategies. Any offshore company always believes in seeing a well designed model of the software that is under development, from the programmer. Show your prototype to your customer and discuss the changes required in your software, if any.

If you are running an offshore company, you must do the following things regularly and honestly:

·Everyday collect the project's actual progress status from team members.

·Send the daily reports to your customer.

·Prepare agenda of the discussion that includes project progress, problems occurred and suggested solutions.

·Discuss project related problems with the customer through messengers.

·Keep watch on the progress of the offshore project that you are programming by tracking the project plan weekly.

·Time to Time Study of the Risks analysis.

·Be careful about the changes when there is deviation from the plan.

Contact by e-mail

Email, the facility given by the internet, plays an important role for a powerful communication. This service is available 24 hours a day. Within less time a programmer can communicate with the offshore client and update them about the additional changes in programming of the project. You can ask for the information related to the software and you will receive immediate responses to your question. Remember that Email sent by you must be effective and able to clear the ideas behind your development.

For a better communication between offshore clients and you, as a programmer, must spend 1 to 2 hours a day. By sending emails to offshore clients, you as the programmer, have to involve them in the projects which help in the programming. Make sure that your emails contain the details they want to receive. Even if the offshore client is not responsive, programmer has to do his part in the programming. Explain the project as per the client requirement. Follow up the email sent by the client and inform him about the new developments in the programming by Email. You can attach Screen Shots, Formatted reports, and System layout along with the information.

Contact by Messenger

Messenger is one more media for communication. The messaging services are provided by the websites. MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Rediff Bol are the famous messengers. You can communicate with the offshore client through Messenger to improve the programming skill. As an offshore programmer, you can use messenger that makes it easy to get effective and quick information from the offshore clients, in the form of chatting on the Internet. If the offshore client is online, you can send instant message related to programming to him. In case the offshore company demands a file, you can send it to him through messengers.
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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Best Practices in Offshore Software Development

A Software Model that emphasizes on global delivery of quality software build by talented pool of professionals at an economical cost from a development center that is located in a foreign land is Offshore Software Development.

The burgeoning competition to be branded as the Quality Offshore Software Development Company has signaled the requirement to implement the best of the resources and innovative strategies. After a jerk of the start-up phase, HyTech Professionals has implemented the approach that encompasses the minutest details, which had been or may have been easily overlooked by the nascent businesses to win the client interest. Clearly, the enticing feature of Outsourcing is cost savings without compromising on quality. To achieve this objective, the initiative should begin with the Best possible approach by the offshore client and the Software vendor.

Huge cost savings, time optimization and talented technocrats in a minimal risk environment are often accompanied by some challenges such as communication gaps, decreased visibility to project status, unexpected spikes in budget allocation and cultural hindrances.

The opening channel to venture in Software Offshore Development is the Smooth flow of communication between the offshore client and the vendor. A constructive dialogue between the two sides is not limited to verbal communication, but is aggressively pursued in writing, meetings and conferences.

Seamless communication can be reinforced by working on a global clock, which is accomplished by implementing work-schedules with a time overlap between the software offshore client and the vendor. Though, it may be expected that the offshore vendor works in accordance with the client suitability. Local presence of the offshore vendor can be of an added privilege to the client, as it guarantees direct and constant interfacing. The flexibility and ease to approach the offshore vendor strengthens the client confidence.

Another factor that should be taken care of is the Budget forecast for the project. The Technical and Business Analysts should take into consideration the following:

The vendor Rates: what is more suitable to the project requirement. Should the accepted rates be “Per Project”, “per Hour”, “per Month” etc?
The Risks involved in accomplishing the task
Is the quality being compromised for an attractive price?
See through any hidden costs. For example: Change or modification in the Client specification, Re-doing of any deliverable.
The Offshore Vendor Resource matrix that cover the attributes required by the Client
Once the offshore client is confident that the terms of engagement are clear, both the Teams coordinate the efforts and work on the project. The Engagement Model may be transparent to win the client interest and hence the one that adds value to the relationship.

To foster the nascent relation between the offshore client and the software vendor, it is imperative that the offshore vendor architects the design such that which ensures an uninterrupted work-flow. Implementing a development environment that is a replication of the offshore client environment serves as a conduit to smooth accomplishment of tasks.

Apart from setting up an extension of the Client backdrop, the teams engaged from either side should delegate their tasks through a single point of contact to eliminate any ambiguities that could arise due to multiple interfacing channels. All the tasks relayed between the Offshore and the Domestic teams should be anchored on close communication and active follow up.

How much ever one decides to implement an error-free design, some issues or unpredictable lags can reap up and slow down the work-process. Such issues if handled with a mutual consensus and cooperation from both the parties can ramp up the process to successfully achieve the target.

In conclusion, a summary of the steps for the best practice in Offshore Software Development are:

Implement a Transparent Model that is customer-centric
Conduct a proper survey to shortlist the best suitable vendor for the project
Finalize the contract that explicitly defines the Financial terms and states Service Level Agreement
Fragment the Software Lifecycle in phases- from Inception to Delivery
Develop and deploy the accomplished tasks in a close collaboration with the Offshore Client.
For details read here