The Software Outsourcing Show is your #1 source for information, lessons learned, and exclusive insights into outsourcing. The show is produced by Accelerance, the leading consulting firm dedicated to helping companies reduce risk with software outsourcing.
The Software Outsourcing Show is the industry’s first-ever podcast dedicated to software outsourcing. We’re on a mission to explain best practices for strategies, partner selection and ongoing management of your software outsourcing project.
Episode 1 is our premier episode that offers just a taste of the value, in depth stories, and trends to come from leaders on the frontlines of global software development. Our first guest is Jim Marascio, Chief Delivery Officer with Accelerance. A two-time former client who now joined the company, Jim has more experience with offshore and nearshore software outsourcing than most tech leaders.
Bobby: Welcome to The Software Outsourcing Show, brought to you by Accelerance, the global software outsourcing authority.
Bobby: Hello everyone, and welcome to The Software Outsourcing Show. I'm one of your hosts, Bobby Dewrell, VP of Delivery at Accelerance Inc. And joining me in the studio today is Jim Marascio, our Chief Delivery Officer at Accelerance. Jim, how are you?
Jim: I am fabulous, Bobby. Great to be here.
Bobby: That's great. Hey, it's always fun to have you and it's always fun to bring your boss in on the very first inaugural show. So at least there's no pressure, right?
Jim: Don't screw it up.
Bobby: Hey. So, you know, Jim, I know we've been talking about, at Accelerance for a while starting, you know, The Software Outsourcing Show and just trying to help some of the people out there understand and get to know software outsourcing a little better. Where do you see us going? What would you say probably one of our main goals is here?
Jim: Well, you and I have both been around the industry for a while and, I think the goal really is to educate other people based on our experience. So there's a lot of people that have done outsourcing and not had a great experience and there's a lot of people that are maybe interested in it, but a little bit concerned and some people that are probably totally naive to the concept. And our goal here is to educate, inform, and help people make the right decisions going forward.
Bobby: Sure. And, and you know, I think that's a good thing to talk about. So when we say, "Hey, you know, we've, we've been around and we've done this for a little while," you know, I know for me it's been about 20 years within the technology sector and probably about 15 years of that has really been dealing with outsourcing in different countries, and, you know, obviously at the very start, India, which is probably one of the largest outsourcing countries that there is. But, you know, I know I've worked with people in the Ukraine, Latin America, you know, various places like that. So, I do feel like I've kind of been around a little bit and seen a couple of things and I think your experience has been kind of similar, correct?
Jim: Yeah, absolutely. Probably first started doing software development outsourcing about 20 years ago. I had my first offshore outsourcing engagement in the early 2000s, so about 15 years ago. And like you, I've outsourced to Asia, Eastern Europe, Central America, South America, Middle East. So, lots of experiences to draw.
Bobby: So, yeah, I think we've been there a little bit. We've probably made a few mistakes that maybe a person or two could learn from.
Jim: Exactly. I always like to say it's good to learn from your mistakes, but it's even better to learn from somebody else's. So hopefully we can share a few of yours, Bobby, and have people learn from that.
Bobby: Well, yeah, that's true because I'm sure you've never made a mistake. And that's why you are where you are, right?
Jim: I don't think I've done it yet... this podcast.
Bobby: So, you know, I know we've talked a little bit about ourselves and we've said we really want to educate our listeners. Let's talk about a little bit about who do we think our listeners will be as we kind of go on this journey and talk to people about software outsourcing.
Jim: Yeah. So, in my opinion, the audience are really people like us throughout our careers. So it's the directors of software development, the software development leads, the people who are managers or VPs of software engineering, software development, and then all the way on up through into the executive suite, so CTOs for certain, CIOs. If you've got a business unit and you think that perhaps you need to be growing or expanding what you're doing with respect to software, then it's probably something...you could benefit from the conversation we're going to have here.
Bobby: Yeah, absolutely. I think that's a good point that, you know, we're gonna have a little bit of something for everybody. We're probably not going to get overly technical in talking about, you know, the technologies and the things that we’re using out there, but it's gonna be more about the understanding of what software outsourcing is and how to bring, and have a very successful software outsourcing experience, right, where you really have that one-team concept between a partner and your organization, right?
Jim: Yeah. I think we're going to go through the course of the podcast, not just today, but in future episodes, talk about the entire software development outsourcing life cycle and what that means. We’ll get into more of that later, but everything from why you should outsource to where and how to select a partner. And then how do you identify the pitfalls that you might encounter? How do you avoid them and then when you do get in a situation, how do you potentially address it?
Bobby: So, and let's talk about that a little bit, like why outsource? I mean, you know, there's just more than one reason. I think everybody really, the first and foremost things, that it's cost related, right? That the whole reason to outsource and look at another, you know, country for outsourcing...that it's strictly an economic decision and it's all about cost. And, I mean there's really more to it than that, right? There's a lot of different reasons to look at outsourcing.
Jim: Yeah, absolutely. I think in the beginning, if you go back 20, 25 years when companies first started going to India, that's where a lot of this started. Certainly not the only place, we mentioned a bunch of other places earlier, but it was cost-driven. And what companies have found is that there's a lot of other reasons, it could be because your local talent pool doesn't have the technology or industry experience that you need at this point in time. It could be because you've got a very specific project that you don't want to staff up for when you think it's going to be done in a year or nine months or something like that. You don't want to staff up and then come back down. It could be a matter of rapid scale, and how do you meet market demands today and I can't go through a hiring process and add 10 developers or 20 developers or 50 developers, whatever your number is in a very short time. But there's ways to do that through outsourcing, so, all those things, speed to market, technology, well, lots of reasons.
Bobby: And when we talk about technology, I mean you can have very talented people on staff. I know, you know, one of the companies that I worked for, we had always had a large e-commerce presence and we decided that, you know, I mean this was, what, 10 years ago, but that we needed to get in into the mobile space, right? And we needed to start doing something with mobile apps. And while we were trying to build up our internal team, we actually outsourced, you know, sort of our V1, right, that first version of our mobile application just to help us kind of get there, right, before we brought it back in house.
Jim: Exactly. That's a great example. There was a level of expertise you didn't have in house. So in order for you to jump into the market and develop that out, you could build your internal team around that in parallel, but it helps you get to the market quicker, right? I had a similar experience when I was CTO of a national retail brand and we were using really an off-the-shelf e-commerce platform and we wanted to do something more custom and branded and full-featured around what our product offering was. And so, we outsourced that as an example, we brought in people that knew how to build custom e-commerce platforms. And it helped us get to market quicker.
Bobby: Well, you know, I think just to kind of put a little bow on it, one way to say it is that software development, it really just presents a bunch of challenges and, really, you know, different challenges to different companies and each company has a different complex, you know, challenge that they face and, you know, software outsourcing is just a solution that can make sense sometimes. It's just a way to approach it and to get yourself up and ready to go. It's not just a cost-driven decision. I think that's what I really want to hit home.
Jim: Exactly. There's lots of reasons why businesses outsource anything. People outsource bookkeeping and really, there's things that are core to your business that generally you want to keep in-house and then there's other things that are kind of more perceived as commodities or areas that you don't have expertise in now and you want to develop them, and that may be the reason. So, yeah, there's lots of good reasons and the core of this show is going to be talking about why and how.
Bobby: Well, and so I think, you know, that's really where we're going with it. And I'd like to ask, you know, Jim, in 30 seconds or so, let's talk a little bit, as we get ready to wrap up, let's talk about Accelerance. You know, what do we do? Why are we here? And why are we kind of doing this? And, you know, in more episodes, we'll explain more about what we are, but if we can just give them that kind of quick synopsis.
Jim: Sure. I think we're uniquely qualified to speak on this. A, you know, we said at the beginning of this conversation that both of us have been doing this for 15, 20 years with respect to not just software development but outsourcing and offshoring or nearshoring projects. And Accelerance has been for nearly 20 years helping companies do that with software development partners around the globe. So, part of what we do is introduce our clients domestically in the U.S., but really in the English speaking world, Western Europe, you know, Oceania and U.S., Canada to partners around the globe, that help them meet those needs that we were just talking about. But we also offer professional services to help the clients execute on those projects where they need it.
Bobby: Yeah. Well, that's true. Most people that look at doing software outsourcing are probably going to do it three, four, maybe five times in a career. And, we do it a lot more often than that in one year, correct?
Jim: Yeah. In a day.
Bobby: In a quarter.
Jim: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
Bobby: Absolutely. Well, with that, we'll go ahead and wrap and, you know, we want to thank everyone for listening. We want to let you know that you can find our podcast info and find our shows to come at softwareoutsourcingshow.com. That's softwareoutsourcingshow.com. And, you know, stay around. We'll have a few more episodes. We'll talk about some things. We'll get a little more in-depth into the software development outsourcing life cycle and pitfalls and things to look for and ways that you can learn from the experience of others. So spread the word, tell some friends to listen and come back and listen to us often. Jim, thanks for your time.
Bobby: Thank you for listening to The Software Outsourcing Show brought to you by Accelerance, the global software outsourcing authority. Do you have a topic you'd like covered in a future show? Then send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Show notes, links, and materials discussed on today's show may be found on our website at softwareoutsourcingshow.com. That's softwareoutsourcingshow.com.