Andy Hilliard of Accelerance spoke with Bery Hucks, of Value Generation Inc. the week of August 17th about a client of his. His client, a mid-sized furniture manufacturer based in South Florida, is looking for an offshore development firm which ideally has a hybrid model with PMs and/or BAs locally. This is for a long-term 2+ year multi-project relationship.
The client in question has no internal software development function. Only a junior project manager (PMP) with more IT infrastructure experience.
Current Situation, Service Need and Relationship Vision
The work needed will focus on modernizing and integrating a custom ERP, for which they have the source code. The client has limited PM and BA capabilities and will be looking to the vendor to provide these. Bert is thinking the team will be 3-7 people, depending on rate. The stack is pure Microsoft from SQLServer DB to VB.net and ASP.net clients and is heavily reliant on stored procedures for business logic.
The reason this client needs help is that there is a lack of modern development practices, UI and integration skills with the current vendor. Both vendors (new and existing) will co-exist for the near term.
The vision for the relationship is a dedicated long-term relationship, but with a larger engagement in the beginning. While the team might be somewhat flexible long term, “Flexible” is a tough term given the learning-curve on the proprietary software design. The relationshiip and project would need 1-2 consistent developers.
Outsourcing History, Selection and Success Criteria
Bert has some onshore outsourcing experience with no offshore expereince. The onshore experience included a package-specialist vendor and the overall experience was one with very poor scope governance, SDLC and testing.
The new relationship will ideally bring semi-custom manufacturing experience. Material Resource Planning and ERP domain is important. Regarding the tech stack, Required: Microsoft SQL, TSQL, ASP.Net, VB.net Optional: Integration tools like SSIS, BI skills such as RDX and SSRS.
Bert is unsure of the budget he should apply to this effort especially considering the possible benefits associated with offshore-centric development. The budget also depends on productivity and cost. He is budgeting between 200-300k/yr.
He doesn't have any location preferences. However, timezone and communications with no-technical “BAs” and stakeholders is essential. East Coast hours for an Asian team (if best fit) is fine.
Bert furthermore wants a partner who is “large enough to scale, small enough to care” + big enough to own and lead the SDLC and guidance on architecture.
When presented with typical global rate structures, Bert said, “Range is fine. I'm more concerned with productivity, staff retention/consistency and value-added advice beyond “taking orders””.
Finally, it critical that he needs at least 1 strong counterpart to his client's IT PM, who can interface directly with non-IT client stakeholders (i.e. functional leaders and BAs).
Bert needs to select and ramp up the new partner quickly, within 30-45 days. Right now he's doing IT Strategy and running the vendor selection process. The final decision will be the client's CFO/COO.
He estimates the probability of this effort and relationship happeneing to be 85%. The possible impediments is that he needs to be sure he understands the size of the portfolio and plan accordingly. He may need to do phases over 12-18 months.
Specifically, VG's objectives are:
Accelerance has considered Credible's objectives and vendor selection criteria in the context of all members in the Accelerance Global Partner Network. Accelerance is delighted to select Tekton (Peru), Kambda (Costa Rica) and Argentina/Uruguay Partner #1 as our top aligned choices and great matches for your needs.
Accelerance gathers and compiles relevant due diligence information on our Partners to share with you. This includes presentations, Assessments, blogs, and Accelerance Video Interviews of Partner leaders discussing topics of outsourcing interest. To review information and other relevant material for your top aligned Accelerance Partners, you will need to create an account on the Accelerance website. You can do that by visiting this page: http://www.accelerance.com/log-in.html. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email. Having confirmed your account, you will be able to view our partner's information at:
Accelerance deeply assesses all of our partners on multiple operational and developbased levels, including site visit assessments (http://bit.ly/ACCAssessment) before admitting them into the Accelerance network. We continue to monitor, assess and consult with ongoing partner-client engagements to assure development and relationship success. As part of our evolving partner relationships, we continually update our knowledge of our partner's capabilities, strengths and successes and we produce content for clients to dimensionalize these partner facets.
Next steps will be to arrange introduction calls with the partner(s) you'd like to explore more deeply. For upcoming Partner Assessment calls, let's use the Accelerance conference call line. The date and time of the call can be arranged as soon as you would like.
Your on-going relationship with the Accelerance partner of your choosing will be direct and participation by Accelerance is not required. For example, your signed agreement for deployment of your programming team, rates, terms and conditions will be with the Partner.
However, Accelerance is always available to you for advice and guidance of your global outsourcing relationships. In fact we will check in with you from time-to-time to ensure things are going well with your outsourcing.
Beyond the assessment that Accelerance performs on each global partner to validate their overall effectiveness and track record in delivering software development services to U.S. clients, Accelerance also uses a sophisticated set of metrics and alignment steps to ensure the recommended partner is the best fit to meet your short and long term needs.
Accelerance continues to serve both parties to ensure a successful launch and long term engagement after the initial introductory call:
Our clients have found that continued involvement by Accelerance helps ensure an exceptional outsourcing experience. We hope you will join them and select one of our top choices as the recommended Accelerance global partner for Credible's outsourced software development.
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