Insights / Outsourcing to Eastern Europe - Everything You Want in Offshore Software Development
Outsourcing to Eastern Europe - Everything You Want in Offshore Software Development
Feb 28, 2019 | Accelerance Blog
The Software Outsourcing Show is on a mission to explain best practices for strategies, partner selection and ongoing management of outsourcing your software outsourcing development. This episode of the Software Outsourcing Show features Sergii Sviatokha, Head of Customer Success and Alexander Stepanenko, Engagement Manager at our Ukrainian Certified Partner, Infopulse.
Bobby, Sergii and Oleksander highlight the pros of outsourcing to Eastern Europe (highly educated workforce, outstanding English proficiency and a Western style of business) and dispel political concerns, the preconceived pitfalls of outsourcing to Eastern Europe and what it’s like to work with Ukrainian developers.
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.
Bobby: Hello and welcome to "The Software Outsourcing Show." My name is Bobby Dewrell and I'm your host. And this week on "The Software Outsourcing Show," we're talking about outsourcing to Eastern Europe. So what is it about Eastern Europe and why would we wanna look at outsourcing there? And I'll tell you. Really, to boil it down, it comes down to strong universities, proximity to Western Europe, and a close cultural affinity to the West.
Now, there's four sub-regions of Eastern Europe when we talk about it. And those regions would be the Far Eastern Europe which would be countries like Armenia, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine. There's also Central Europe, things such as Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia. There's the Baltics: Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia. And then lastly, the Balkans, which would be Serbia, Bosnia, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia. And these are the countries that really make up the sub-regions that we consider Eastern Europe.
And there's a lot of international companies that are already outsourcing to Eastern Europe. Some of these large U.S. companies include people such as IBM, Intel, Google, and Motorola who's already set up operations in Poland. And really, when we look at these countries and we talk about them, we thought, what better to do than to bring in an expert, someone right there in it? And so who we're sitting down with today are two gentlemen from one of our partners over in Infopulse in the Ukraine.
Oleksander Stepanenko who's the head of blockchain service line and a technical manager over there. He's a former software developer and solution architect holding a master's degree in applied math and an overall experience in the IT industry of more than 18 years. For the last 10 years, Oleksander has engaged in launching new projects and building teams from the ground up for clients from various industries such as energy and utilities, IoT, automotive, as well as many others.
And then we have Sergii Sviatokha. And I know I've said that name wrong. We practiced so many times, and I still messed it up. But Sergii is a head of Infopulse business development and Infopulse USA. He's a former software engineer. He's the head of their delivery office. He has a deep technical background, having a master's degree in cybernetics, finance, and business development. He's got an overall experience in the IT industry of more than 11 years within automotive, telecom, banking and many other domains. Sergii is with Infopulse for about 6 years now, and he's leading the business-development activities and the expansion of the business into the U.S. So please enjoy as you listen to this conversation that we had with him earlier today. And as always, thanks for joining us here on the show.
Bobby: Sergii, Oleksander, welcome to the show. Welcome to the virtual studios. It's nice to have you here today.
Sergii: Oh, hi Bobby. Nice to hear you as well.
Oleksander: Hello. Nice to meet you.
Bobby: Thank you. It's good to see you. And I know I probably, you know, I messed up a little bit on the names there. So I'll give you a chance to introduce yourselves a little bit. But Sergii, I know you're head of business development and running, you know, pretty much Infopulse, USA. If you'd like to just give a quick high-level on yourself real quick.
Sergii: Thank you very much. Yup. I'm together with Infopulse for more than the past 6 years. And right now, I'm leading the business development and leading the Infopulse USA, at the moment. And, yup, I'm driving the business.
Bobby: And the last name, because I know we practiced it a couple of times, and I absolutely mutilated it. So if...
Sergii: Sergii Sviatokha.
Bobby: Okay. I'm not even gonna try again because it was horrible. I think I might have even said a dirty word in accident. And Oleksander, I know you're one of the technical engagement managers there, and you're kind of from the R&D department and heading up some of the stuff that you're doing in blockchain. Is that correct?
Oleksander: That's correct. Yeah, my full name is Alex Stepanenko, and I'm in charge of R&D. And besides blockchain as well, yeah, it's one of our core competence.
Bobby: Cool, cool. Let's talk a little bit just, you know, quickly about Infopulse. How long has Infopulse been around, now?
Sergii: So I would say that Infopulse was found in 1991. So it's more than 26 years. We already were in the markets, and a lot of our customers are together with us more than 15 years. So usually, we're building a long relationship. Infopulse, like, is 2,000 people right now. I think a little bit more than 2,000 people. And we're the top employer in Ukraine. Yup. We have a public rating, and we're on the top of this public rating, right now.
Bobby: Oh, wow. Okay, all right. So you're pretty good size there, and it sounds like you've been around for a while. And really that's why we wanted to bring you to the show today and talk a little bit about outsourcing to Eastern Europe. That's one of the regions that we talk about, and we've got an upcoming region guide. And I know we do a lot of Eastern European blogs as well but, really, we thought it would be best to bring someone right there from the market and talk to us a little bit about outsourcing in Eastern Europe. So without further ado, if it's okay with you guys, I'd kinda like to jump right in and kinda pitch the question to you. Why outsource to Eastern Europe? What's the part there?
Sergii: Okay. Let me step in here. I think that I will give you a more business background answer. Oleksander will give more on the technical background. So from a business perspective and historically, Eastern Europe, it's in a greatest location from education point of view. So we have an amazing quantity of really good universities. And our top universities, around top 10 universities, really producing thousands of people every year. And all these are related to math, to science, to physics, to different kind of mathematics, mathematics and sales.
So that's why we have that very powerful background to develop all of that stuff. And I would say that, around 10 years ago, government started to support IT guys and IT companies. So that's why we have a pretty good succession inside the country. So that's why in combining together with this resource pool that we have of math and technical guys, we have a very powerful community. Today in Ukraine, the community of IT guys is more than 350,000 people. And I cannot say that this is a full list. Definitely, that is not a full list. It's just an artificial list. And at the same time, we have 40 millions of people in Ukraine. So compare the quantity of people in IT and quantity of people, it's all, yup, it's in a good percentage.
And also IT today is the third one or second one, I do not remember...from export point of view, from revenue export point of view. Yup, so it's just really about the business, yup. So that's why, on one hand, we're able to provide really good people with really great knowledge by...to tell the truth, good price. So I will not say that Eastern Europe today is any cheap. No, Eastern Europe have very good balance between the export level between the European and U.S. mindsets of the people and between the price.
So that's why we can say that, really, it's in a good location and a lot of streams right now under development in Ukraine. Yup? It's hundreds of AI and blockchain startups. We're also doing hundreds of blockchain projects for enterprises, not for some small companies but for enterprises themselves. So, yup, I will try to be short, so maybe Oleksander will say a couple words about technical side. So maybe, Bob, you probably want to try it?
Oleksander: It's typical for Ukrainian companies to onboard the students, and Infopulse isn't different because we are located in the campus of the largest technical university of Ukraine, and there are a lot of students which we onboard on the very early stage of their professional life. And they grow with Infopulse all those years. And I also want to quote one of my customers, and he told me exactly the following thing, "When I need something to be done very quickly, I usually ask the Indian guys because they are ready to start and tackle the scope in any domain immediately. But when I need something complex and with a good quality, with a good performance, I'll come to you, and I will work with you because I know you, and I'm confident that you will deliver the product of any complexity." So that's it.
Bobby: Well, and that is something I noticed in some of my dealings with Ukraine and through the Eastern Europe. But again, specifically Ukraine, there's very much a rich history of science and math, really for years, for the country of Ukraine. Is that correct? And I believe some of it had to do with the old communist block. Ukraine was sort of a research and a science center. Is that correct?
Oleksander: Yeah, from the times of Soviet Union, we were part of Soviet Union, you know. There's a really strong technical background and technical demand was very popular, and it is still very popular. I would say most of the graduates from the technical faculties, and most of our guys, and me and Sergii as well, we have master's degree or PhD in math and science. So it's true.
Sergii: So just to add that Ukrainian students usually are on the top levels on different kinds of competitions in the technical field all around the world. And a lot of our guys, directly from universities, yup, started working cooperatively with Google, Apple, and other big companies. So I just want to say that, yup, its very powerful tech background coming from the history.
Bobby: Sure, sure. Absolutely. Now, one thing guys, before we get too much further. You know, in the United States we say, "The quickest ways to end a friendship is to talk politics." But I can't help talk about Ukraine right now and talk a little bit about politics. And really, you know, we hear from a lot of people in the United States that, you know, basically, the news here tells us that you're at war with Russia. What's going on with the conflict in Russia and Ukraine, and how is that impacting things?
Sergii: So, first of all, we can not say that that is in a real war. That's a more like a conflict which is related to the part of the territory of Ukraine. And we have the same conflicts in Georgia, in Moldova, and in some other countries which isn't a part of European Union also, themselves. So I just want to say that that's not in a war, that is in a conflict. Right now, that's in a freezed conflict. So right now, it's just some small stuff happening there but nothing more. Like, a couple shots per day maybe. Nothing more.
And maybe Ukraine, during the past five, seven years, got an amazing growth of army. So to compare Ukrainian army in 2014, and compare Ukrainian army in 2018, it's two completely different organizations, two completely different stuff themselves. So I want to say that, right now, we really feel safe on one hand, and another on hand, yup, it's in a freezed conflict that we have. We do not have a clear vision when it will be fixed but anyway, we are able to freeze it, we are able to stabilize it, and right now, we feel ourselves very safe. And also it's just in some small piece of the territory which are near to Russia. And once we are talking about Kiev, once we are talking about Lviv, once we are talking about Odessa, center of Ukraine, to tell the truth, that region never know anything about this war. Like, here we have, but thanks to God, we're not participating in this.
Bobby: Sure. So, really, it's kind of a small border conflict, it's well contained, and it's not making an impact to daily life right now. Is that a fair summation, or...?
Oleksander: If you take a look at the Ukrainian map, you will see that this area is extremely small comparing to the overall Ukrainian territory. Actually, Ukraine is huge, if we're talking about the European countries. It's the largest country in the Europe.
Bobby: Right. Okay. So, you know, I think that helps put it to bed a little bit. But, you know, I feel like we can't walk past it without, you know, discussing it since it seems to be in the news so much...maybe not so much this year as it was in the past couple, but it's still kind of forefront in a lot of people's minds. I know the economic outlook from the research that we did, you know, on a global competitiveness score, Ukraine rates about a 4.1 out of 7. I know the GDP is forecasted to increase about 3.2% in 2019. What's the overall, you know, feel for the economy in the Ukraine right now? Are people feeling confident, feel like it's getting better?
Sergii: Just during past four years, it is really going better. And from year to year, we are growing. And also, the global integration of Ukraine with European Union and with the United States, bring to Ukraine more and more new business, more and more new companies, and more and more employers who have people themselves. So we can say that, from day one to day two, and really everyday, we're starting to feel more and more confident in terms of economical growth. Yeah? So, I don't know, Oleksander, did you want to add something here?
Oleksander: Well within previous two or three years, the roads in Ukraine have become much more smoother and better. So this is, like, the measurement of our economic growth. It really becomes better and better, and as a regular user of the Ukraine, I see it on the everyday basis. In the supermarket, on the road, wherever.
Bobby: So that's great. Your cars last longer, and you don't got through as many tires. Is that...?
Bobby: So let's talk a little bit about languages that are spoken to the Ukraine. I know Ukraine has a very high English proficiency, but can we talk about, maybe, other languages and how soon do you start foreign languages in schools?
Sergii: Yup. Let me give you just an example. Our service desk center...so on one hand, we have expert-level people, on the other hand, we have a different kind of services. For example, in a service desk, level-one support. Yup? Our level-one support speaks 15 languages at that moment. So it's different kind of people. We have the greatest relations with France. Yeah? That's why we have a lot of people who speak in French. And our Ukrainian language is very near to the Poland language, for example. So that's why we're a little bit to speak and to understand the Poland side. On the other hand, we have good relations with Spain. So that's why we have a lot of people who study Spain themselves.
And to tell the truth, thanks to the very high educational level in the country, we have not only universities with math specialization and science specialization, we also have different kinds of universities where people study in different languages. Okay. Sometimes a customer is asking us, "Please help us. We have some French guys inside." For example, it's a customer from France, yeah? "We have some French guys inside, and we need to speak French. We need a project manager who speaks French. We need some internal team leads who speaks French themselves." And that is possible. That is possible to find some very specific inside the domain, a person, engineer, or project manager who speaks in a different, more less popular, language, I would say. Alex, did you want to add something?
Oleksander: I would say the two most popular languages in Ukraine are English and German. So usually, in the high school or in university, you're proposed to choose from those two. Either English or German. But as Sergii said, there are plenty of people speaking Spanish, Italian, and of course, we are pretty familiar with our neighbors' languages like Polish, like Slovenian, and Belarus.
Sergii: From an English point of view, I can just give you an example. My son, right now, is in the preschool and they're in a Ukrainian preschool. And at three, they are learning English. So I just want to say that a lot of people in the preschool, in the kindergarten, started learning English.
Bobby: And really, that's kind of perfect. I know a lot of stuff that we talk about in the states, now, especially, like, with my children, was that they needed to learn a language when they are young. It's so much easier for a young child to learn a language and make it proficient than to, you know, get a few gray hairs like I do, and try to learn languages and mess them up.
Sergii: It's helping to integrate a child to the international community from the very early years. It's really good.
Bobby: Right. And I think that that's a good segue to talk about the talent pool and education. I know when we look at all of Eastern Europe, you know, we say it's ranked in, really, the top third, if not higher. But I think we've got an education rank of 33 out of 138. That's, you know, a fairly high ranking up there. And I know we talked about a strong scientific and math education system that allows programmers to advance into roles that are collaborative and innovative. Can we talk a little bit about the education system and what it does?
Oleksander: Well education system in Ukraine is pretty different from the U.S. ones because, in the Ukraine, we have much more, like, obligatory classes which everyone has to attend in the university, and in the U.S., you're able to pick the classes you need or you like more. Right? And it has its upsides downsides. First, you have a possibility to try a lot and to be familiar with a lot of different technical areas. And then afterwards, when you become, for instance, a post-doc, right, you can stay focused on something which you chose.
But the downside, of course, is that within the university years, you don't have a lot of possibility to apply your knowledge because you're busy all the time. You're studying, you're studying, you're studying. And only on some last courses, you are able to join some commercial, for instance, organization or scientific organization and try to apply your knowledge you got within the previous years. So usually, students in the Ukraine, they are obtaining the practical experience later than in the U.S., for instance. But it's also a good thing because the people, by themselves, they are more mature because they are older when they start working on the commercial projects.
Bobby: I've noticed, too...and, you know, I'm gonna make kind of a stereotypical comment here, so you know, please help me walk through this and not sound too terrible. But I found in working...a lot of times if I'm working with some Ukrainian developers and you start asking questions, when they start getting quiet, it's not a bad sign. They're really thinking through some complex things that I probably haven't even thought of yet. And it seems almost, like, "Hey, wait," you know, "Have I failed a little bit to communicate? Have we not gotten something through?" You take a very strong thought-lead approach to anything. It's not just we're gonna try to knock something out. We're gonna solve a complex issue.
Sergii: Yes. Absolutely. It's true. So when you ask someone about any technical or maybe organizational problem, it's a tendency for the Ukrainian people to start thinking on different scenarios, on different options. And only after you thought over all the possible options you can imagine, you will then get back and give the, like, well-thought answer. So, yeah. So it's okay. It's not a problem.
Bobby: I would define it as very much a "think first, speak later" type tactic.
Bobby: I'm guilty of the opposite of that, but that's me. Let's talk a little bit about the IT sector. I believe that's probably been the most rapid growth in the region and is probably still poised to be some of the best growth. Would you agree or...?
Sergii: Yup. To tell the truth, during the past 10 years, IT growth was extremely high. So from, I would say, like, in a couple percent on a global economy, we came back with around, like, in a 5% or 7% right now is in the IT sector. So mainly, right now, IT is the second one or third one, from the economy point of view. For example, together with metal exports and agriculture, we have, right now, IT is the third one. And right now, it's competing between second one and the third one place.
So, yup. It was in a very rapid growth, and we have a lot of people who were not experts at that time because it's 10 years past, so we have a lot of people who are really growing, growing and growing. And on the other hand, right now, we have a lot of junior people like, I don't know, 20 years, 21, 22, 23 who are starting their path. And mainly...for example, sometimes, you really can meet a person who is 25-years old, but this person has around five, six years of experience. And this person having a level of, not expert, but a senior guy. So, yup. So thanks to this rapid growth... I don't know, maybe Oleksander will add something from the technical side.
Oleksander: IT attracts not only those guys who have specific IT education, like, they graduated from cybernetics faculty, but it also attracts a lot of specialists in some neighbor professions. For instance, we have linguists who help us to train chatbots. We call them linguanalysts. They help to adjust the chatbot in order to be able to provide some smooth, even small talks without having a context of the conversation. We have pure mathematicians and even physicists who help us with some scientific projects. We have, even, guys who came from some professions like medicine, like doctors. We have doctors who also joined the IT community because it's growing fast, it's interesting, and it provides the possibility to earn more within a shorter period because it's, yeah, it's one of the fast-growing domains in Ukraine.
Bobby: And, you know, I think that's interesting too. Because like you said, there are a lot of people that are coming later in life, into technology, and they're bringing a rich experience with what they've done in other areas, and they're bringing it now to the IT sector. So your domain knowledge goes, you know, much more beyond IT and really into the business domain itself, when we look at things like that.
Now, I think that's a good way to talk too. Let's talk about hourly rates, I think hourly rates in the region are somewhere between $25.00 and $40.00 an hour. Is that correct?
Sergii: Yup, that's correct.
Sergii: That is correct, and I would say that the very junior guys, it can be lower than $25. And for expert level guys, like an expert in blockchain, for example, expert in the core of the blockchain, or expert in the computer region... Right now, we have a huge amounts of requests from the United States, from computers in labs and computers in companies. And, yup, the right will be a little bit higher than $40, in case we are talking about expert-level person. But the average, it's rated between $25 and $40, where $25 is more in the middle and $40 is more a senior one guy. Again, it's very specific to the technology. For example, Microsoft... Huh?
Bobby: Oh, yeah. I was agreeing. I was agreeing. I'm sorry.
Sergii: Microsoft and .NET type of technologies is much more popular in Ukraine, so that's why the price would be a little bit cheaper. But once we are talking about, for example, Scala, Ruby on Rails, different kind of C, and other stuff like embedded programming, like in AI, yup, it would be a little bit more costly.
Bobby: Sure, sure. And then, you know, the last couple of things I wanna talk to people about is, you know, time zone. I believe you're about seven hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time. And, I think it's a 15-hour flight from New York City, I believe, to get to you guys. So travel's not too hard and...
Sergii: No. Not that long. To the East Coast, it's only like eight or nine hours flying. In 15 hours, you can get to San Francisco, LA.
Bobby: Right, okay...
Sergii: So I just came back from Europe last week, together with Oleksander, and it's was, like, an eight hour direct flight between Kiev and New York.
Oleksander: Yeah, it's a direct flight.
Bobby: Oh, okay.
Sergii: And once you need to change the flight and go to somewhere, to San Francisco, yup, usually it's around 14, 15 hours.
Bobby: Okay. All right, so that's basically one end of the country all the way over to Ukraine. So, yeah, 8 to 15 hours, based on where you're flying out of the States. I think that sounds fair.
Oleksander: Yeah but also, with regards to the time zone, our biggest one client, one of the big four, is based in the U.S. And more than 450 people are working for this client on our side in Ukraine. And on a daily basis, during the past nine or eight years, we're working with them, and they're based on the East Coast, they're based in the center of United States. And also I want to say that these guys, we're working together around 10 years already.
Bobby: Great. Yeah, so it can be done, right? Well, guys, you know, I'd like to close up and I know we talked a little bit about Infopulse in the beginning. I'd like to just recap a little bit. I believe you said you were founded in 1991. Was it about 2,000 employees? Is that what you said you had?
Sergii: Yup. Today, it's 2,000 employees in house. The biggest part of the people is based in Ukraine. The biggest one center is in Kiev. We also have, right now, an office in Poland, and it's around a couple dozens of people sitting in Poland, at the moment. We also have a big office in Germany. And I would say that it's a lot of people who are sitting there. It's up 70 or 80 people who are sitting in Germany. In Germany, we have a lot of automotive customers and also our customer Bosch in Germany, we've been dealing with them for the past 12 years.
So you can see that I'm, all time, talking about our customers and telling about the story. And yup, we are, really, usually trying to build long-term relations with our customers. Yup, so we have a small office in France, small office in Israel, and small office in Bulgaria. And we also have a small office in San Francisco, Bay Area, in the United States.
Bobby: Okay, okay. And could you talk a little bit, just high level, about your recruitment process? Is it sort of an ongoing recruitment or how do you approach breeding talent?
Sergii: Yup, thank you. So the first and the major point right now, in the recruiting process, is in effect that Infopulse is ranked as the top employer, top IT employer, in Ukraine. So we are really number one, and that means that people really want to work with Infopulse. And they want to work for Infopulse and for Infopulse customers. That's given us, at the start, very good attrition rate. And that's given us, from the start, a very good pipeline of the people who really want to work with us. On the other hand, we're have a recruiting team with more than 40 people inside. So that's in people who are, all time, looking for the market, all time looking for a new candidate for talent. We're not only hiring for our projects, we're hiring also internally to Infopulse. We have centers of expertise. For example, Oleksander is leading on a blockchain center of expertise. So and it's around five people who are just sitting and doing that, partially in science work and partially in the customer related work. So they are not any customer people, yeah?
So talking back a little bit about recruiting process, usually it takes from two weeks to four, five weeks to really staff any needed people. Of course, in case we are not looking at some very, very extremely specific position somewhere in aerospace.
Sergii: But, yup, it happens. It happens. So usually, it is between two weeks and four, five weeks. And for guys whom we usually need for some development process internals, it's two, three weeks, and we are ready to start with the customer. And also, thanks to internal pool, we have a lot of people in science, and we're able to really...not start tomorrow, but I think in the day after tomorrow. Maybe Oleksander will tell more from the technical side.
Oleksander: Yes. So usually, our recruitment team, they work with more or less regular positions. Like, which is trend, for instance, Java developers, .NET developers, QAs and, sort of, these. If we need to onboard some specific guy, to staff some specific position, usually technical engagement managers also work closely with the recruitment team. For instance, I had a goal to onboard a couple of crypto engineers for one of our blockchain projects. So besides simply giving a task to our recruitment, "Please find me like a couple of dozens of crypto engineers, and I will pick the best of the best." No, I also work closely with the recruitment team, I looked through my LinkedIn connection, I query to my classmates, I talked to every possibility I had, and finally within maybe couple months...it's a pretty short time period for such specific position. We found two guys, and now they are part of our R&D team, and they are working on the core blockchain development implementing new consensus protocols, side chains, and zero-knowledge proof and a lot of very scientific part of the development.
Bobby: Cool. And now, so let's talk a little bit about...what technologies do you specialize in? Because I know we've talked about blockchain a couple of times, but what other technologies...
Oleksander: It's because it's me driving the blockchain development, is the only reason.
Bobby: Right. Yeah, fair enough. But what other technologies are there that Infopulse would specialize in?
Oleksander: Well, despite the regular technologies and blockchain which we already mentioned, artificial intelligence and machine learning. I would say we have a few dozens of guys who dedicated to...It's a dedicated department and they're completely focused on AI and ML. We have a large team who works with the VR and AR. I mean, augmented reality and virtual reality. We have a lot of data scientists, and we even outsource this specific expertise and we help to some production and scientific organization in data mining and data processing. We have mathematicians who we involve in any sort of projects which require... It's not pure mathematicians, it's guys who stay between, like, scientists and developers. They do both, and they breach the pure scientific knowledge to the developers and vice versa, give feedback from developers to the scientist. By the way, it's a very demanded, like, profession.
Bobby: I can only imagine it's a little above me. I can say that. There's definitely some smart people there doing that one.
Oleksander: Sergii, could you add more about some non-development, maybe, stuff?
Sergii: Yup, so we have very good telecom specialization. So once we are talking about development, yup, of course, the Microsoft-type of technologies is the most popular one, and I would say that around 60% of our projects are based on the Microsoft's type of technologies. But at the same time, we are dealing with a huge amount of telecom operators like Vodafone, like VEON... And we are doing business together and that gives us a lot of engineering practice. We're also dealing with a couple vendors. For example, in the past, it was Alcatel Lucent from our Lucent technologies. So mainly, I would say that we have around 200 people who are dealing with the engineering side of the telecom from base stations and switches coming to some applications that is managing all the core network phones, all the radio networks in the telecom sector, for my mobile network operators and for the vendors of the telecom equipment themselves.
So, at the same time, combining the telecom experience, combining the embedded development experience, we're coming to automotive area which is today the most popular area in the world. And mainly, we have a lot of customers in Germany and a couple customers in the U.S. with whom we are doing business together in the automotive area. Here we're combining, on one hand, telecom...because the 5G's design, it's specially for autonomous driving. We're combining our experience and expertise in AI and neural networks and other stuff. And combining also experience with the cloud. We're getting the solutions together with our customers that are bringing us autonomous driving, and also we are participating in a couple of projects related to autonomous driving. Yup, it's quickly about it.
Bobby: Well, that's cool guys. I really appreciate it. And unfortunately we've run out of time for this week, but I hope to have you back in a future episode and talk some more about some of these cool technologies because there's definitely some new stuff that you're working on, and I'd love to mind more about it, I know.
But to wrap up, you know, it wouldn't be the show if I didn't say, hey, there's an Eastern European guide that will be available for download. So, you know, take a look for that as you're listening to the show. Also, you know, we'll make sure that we have a link to the article on Eastern Europe and an article from the show notes. As always, I'd like to thank everyone for listening to "The Software Outsourcing Show" and you can find the latest podcast episodes and show notes on iTunes and SoundCloud, as well as at www.softwareoutsourcingshow.com. But Sergii, Oleksander, thank you so much for joining us this week, and I really hope that you'll be back one day soon.
Oleksander: Thank you, Bobby. It was nice.
Sergii: Thank you very much.
As Accelerance's Partner Success Manager, Ryan is responsible for building partnerships and quality management of Accelerance’s global software outsourcing network. He maintains a working knowledge of in-demand technologies, industries, strategies and practices relating to software development outsourcing. He has more than 10 years of managing software development projects, all with globally distributed teams. His experience includes enterprise project management with Bank of America focusing on core technology platforms and systems.