How can we find the right offshore outsourcing partner?

The most critical and pivotal step after deciding to outsource your software development is to find the right outsource partner. Your choice would influence your project and eventually your brand. The repercussions that you may have to suffer while partnering with wrong company could be so severe that it could leave your company tottering and eventually falling. Outsourcing your software development requirements has a number of benefits:

  • Access to high-level technical developers who have experience and knowledge
  • You no longer have to make recruitment’s of developers; thereby wasting time, money and resources
  • Focus on core competencies
  • Shorten product life cycles

Finding the right partner can be a little tricky because there are so many companies that give excellent services that it can be a trifle difficult at times to make a choice. But you have to draw the line somewhere. If you are at the nascent stage in looking for one then this article would help in choosing the right partner for your outsourcing needs:

A partner with an impressive track record

It is always better to go for an experienced outsourcing partner if the project is critical and very important. You can observe their track record and reach a judgment on whether they would be able to fulfill your requirements or not. Sometimes, it will not be possible for a novice outsourcing company to handle all your requirements even if they don’t charge much. The final choice is yours, if you feel they have understood your requirements and can deliver what you need, you can hire them. But a company with a track record is always the better option.

Ask for references

You can check whether a company measures up to its customer expectations by visiting their website and reading testimonials. Reading these would give you an idea whether the company would be good at maintaining deadlines, their adherence to security and how honestly they handle your project. Make these essential checks when hiring, in order to avoid regrets later on.

Somebody who understands your business objectives

Your outsourcing partner must have clear idea regarding your business objectives. So make sure you let the company know about your strategies so there are no misunderstandings later on. Perhaps what you are looking for is not what the outsourcing company is aiming at. Perhaps what he wants is a long-term partnership while you might need them for only one project. So make sure you don’t give them false promises. Be clear with them in beginning so they can deliver what you need.

Finding a partner who is an expert multiple software technologies

Expertise in several software technologies is not an added advantage, it is mandatory when you outsource. By hiring a vendor who can reproduce what you do internally you will not gain anything. The outsourcing vendor that you are going to hire must have expertise in several languages and framework; having a general idea of the framework is also good enough, but some projects might require in depth knowledge of more than one framework. Choosing a vendor who has expert knowledge in a few technologies might be good for short-term projects, but in certain cases, you may have to hire a vendor who has knowledge of various projects. It depends entirely on you and your project requirements.

Gaining knowledge about company background

To garner information about your future outsourcing partner, you can just visit their website and discover their length of time in business, project management structure, infrastructure, facilities and expertise and clients. You can get this information from public sources as well, but make sure the sources are well informed. It is true that you will not get full information from these sources; you may have to shortlist the vendors you are interested in and conduct an in-depth interview to have a better insight.

Communication channels are smooth and timely

You must be able to instigate constant communication with your outsourcing partner. Command of excellent English is only the beginning, because it is quite often knowledge of English that would rip out the walls between two cultures and two countries. Just as command over both spoken and written English is important, so is punctuality. When you are dealing with a partner from another country, naturally the time zone at which the team works is also different. You must be able to communicate and discuss your project with them at a time that is convenient to both parties.

Checking the credentials of people who work on your project

It is true that you don’t have to hire employees for your new project. Nor do you have to deal with any HR tasks. But you still have to check the quality of people with whom you would be working. You may have to check the resumes of the key people working on your project, how technologically adept they are, what knowledge they have regarding the project, how many experience they have in handling similar projects and so on.

No “yes boss” kind of vendors

Vendors, in an effort to please often say, “Your wish is my command”. But that is a wrong approach to take. Be wary of vendors who say that to you even if they may not have fully grasped the nitty-gritty of your project and still say “yes” because they are afraid to say no. Ensure the vendor fully understands what you are getting into. If there is something the vendor doesn’t understand, he must be able to admit it.

Remember the above-mentioned tips while hiring a new outsourcing partner for your business. Additionally, the outsourcing company must be able to prove that your data can be protected no matter what.

Interesting links about the topic:

How to Select the Right Outsourcing Partner for Your Company
Finding the Right Offshore Outsourcing Partner
Selection Criterion of Offshore Outsourcing Vendors

Pictures: Flicker/ j_cadmus / Mark Hillary/ / Mark Hillary/

The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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