Rapid Referrals Global Partner Introduction

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1. Situation Summary

Situation Summary

Michael McAuliffe of Accelerance recently spoke with Mark Knight and Mike Croker, Head of Product Development and Project Manager (respectively) at Grosvenor Technology (GTL) about an important project of theirs.

Company

GTL manufactures and provides Access Control and Workforce Management solutions globally. They deliver more than just secure and smart environments: they create a bespoke solution tailored to an organization’s working requirements.

Since their establishment in 1989, they have been working in partnership with their customers, providing state of the art open architecture solutions and building relationships that endure; from specification to installation and provide ongoing support for their legacy products.

Access Control

Following many years of success with their Janus/ Siteguard brands they now have Sateon.

Sateon software is 100% browser based, multilingual and includes a full array of features, all of which can be used without installing any software so saving server space. This makes the solution easily scalable for systems of any size, located anywhere in the world. It also makes maintenance and on-going support much easier and it's able to integrate with third party systems such as fire, CCTV and an array of other databases and systems meaning Sateon can deliver a safe, automated and low energy environment for occupants.

GTL were the first UK manufacturer to offer an access control front-end in a Windows environment and their JANUS and SATEON products have become bywords for access control in the security industry.

Workforce Management

They manufacturer advanced Time and Attendance data collection terminals. They ensure businesses can manage their workforces in a non-evasive manner whilst enabling real-time reporting for informed decisions relating to safety, security and effectiveness of their workforce.

These terminals form part of wide-area-network management systems for the control of workforces across multiple sites and areas. They also supply interface and integration software, Custom Exchange and IT Assist, designed to communicate with applications developed by their partners or potential partners; these advanced integration tools create a speedy and professional development environment whilst also providing ongoing maintenance.

GTL is a division of Newmark Security PLC and is based and founded in the UK. They have offices in Stansted, Essex and Poole, Dorset as well as a North American office in Hollywood, Florida and they recently opened offices in Hong Kong. This international presence enables them to offer global support in their customer’s time zone and language.

Since 1989, thousands of systems have been installed across the globe and they have built an impressive blue chip client list, which includes Argos, H&M, Tesco, Bank of America and BAE Systems. Their experience in the marketplace spans businesses in a range of sectors including Education, Retail, Banking, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Commercial and Governments.

Current Situation, Service Need and Relationship Vision

GTL is in need of additional help with their ongoing work. They current maintain an internal software development team of 8 people (they employ 70 people in total, principally in two UK locations). Their pain is an inability to get functionality to market quickly. So clearly they need additional help, and are interested in filling these roles remotely.

They are doing this under a formal RFP, with proposals accepted until 5pm GMT Friday, January 8, 2015. Accelerance referrals will be considered in advance of this RFP, with selected groups invited to participate. This project should be completed by April 22, 2016. Assuming the project is a success, they are likely to want to build on the relationship. They already have a number of candidate projects in mind. Mike would like to look at introducing support for CCTV systems and accelerate work on their next generation web based (HTML5) management UI.

The present project is to deliver an application that offers Guard Tour functionality. Technology specs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The product shall be supported and compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012 R2.
  2. The software shall be versioned and it shall be possible to determine the version number by viewing the list of installed software within “Programs and Features” in Windows Control Panel.
  3. An MSI installer shall be provided that can be run in interactive and non-interactive modes.
  4. The installer shall support upgrading an existing installation by installing the new version over the top of a previous version. This shall not lead to duplicate entries in “Programs and Features”.
  5. All software and documentation shall be supported provided in US English, French, German and Simplified Chinese.
  6. After installation all configuration shall be performed using a web browser: the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Edge, Chrome (on Windows desktop 7 onwards) and Safari (Mac OS X El Capitan and later) shall be supported. No browser plugins shall be required.
  7. Functionality that is not labeled with an * (asterisk) shall be supported using mobile phone browsers that use Android version 4.4 (or later) and Apple IOS version 8 (or later). It is assumed that the mobile phone will have connectivity to the network that hosts the Guard Tour product via WiFi or a VPN over a cellular network. The use of responsive web design is encouraged. Functionality labeled with an * may be provided solely when using a desktop browser.
  8. Customers shall be able to enable TLS and install server certificates via the MSI installer.

Outsourcing History, Selection and Success Criteria

This will be the first outsourced Development project for Grosvenor Technology. Mike, however, personally has had good experiences in India, the US and the UK. He travels frequently so especially very familiar working with developers globally.

Important factors in the selection process for this engagement include:

  • Needed/Preferred Industry Experience: Related industry experience helpful, but not necessary.
  • Location Preferences: Their focus is value for money rather than location. Any locations with overseas investment grants would be particularly interesting. Natural choices would be partners within the European Union (easy to do business with and close for travel) or Asia (low cost and proximity to our Hong Kong office). Direct flights from London Heathrow are definitely a bonus. Latin America is not an area we’ve considered.
  • Time Zone Overlap Preferences: At least a partial day overlap with the UK ideal. Mike is not afraid of extreme time zones
  • Size of Partner Company: Large enough to scale.
  • Certifications Required: Noting required but CMMI, MS-Gold, etc. would be an advantage.
  • Language Fluency: All communication with Grosvenor Team must be in English.
  • Cost Sensitivity: Fixed bid contract. Price is important since their ambition is significant while their resources are limited. The better value they can achieve, the more they will be able to achieve. However, Mike also appreciates the value of strong local technical leadership and a close relationship since this will help to reduce the management burden place upon their in-house team. If they find a very strong partner, they can consider outsourcing more strategic initiatives.

 GTL will evaluate all proposals based on the following criteria.  To ensure consideration for this Request for Proposal, your proposal will need to include all of the following criteria:

  • Project approach and technical proposal
  • Overall proposal suitability: proposed solution(s) must meet the scope and needs included herein and be presented in a clear and organized manner,
  • Organizational Experience: Vendors will be evaluated on their experience as it pertains to the scope of this project
  • Previous work: Vendors will be evaluated on examples of their work pertaining to application design as well as client testimonials and references
  • Value and price: Vendors will be evaluated on the price of their solution(s) based on the work to be performed in accordance with the scope of this project
  • Technical expertise and experience: Vendors must provide descriptions and documentation of staff technical expertise and experience
  • Responsiveness to this RFP and subsequent requests.
  • Willingness to abide by GTL’s standard form agreements with few or no objections or changes.
  • Financial stability and credit rating of the vendor.

Vendors should provide the following items as part of their proposal for consideration:

  • Description of experience delivering projects and services of a similar scope.
  • How many full time, part time, and contractor staff in your organization?
  • Examples of two or more applications designed and implemented by your organization. Contact details should be provided and agreement provided, so that GTL can approach the contact for a reference.
  • Project staffing strategy and outline CVs for key staff.
  • Testimonials from past clients on application design and build work.
  • Anticipated resources you will assign to this project (total number, role, title, experience).
  • An outline test strategy and plan.
  • Timeframe for completion of the project.
  • Project management methodology.

As far as other “Hard” criteria, it cannot be stressed enough how important security measures are for GTL’s business. The response should provide details on security measurement in place to protect GTL’s intellectual property in respect to information and data.

Time Frame

ASAP. RFP submissions must be received by January 8, 2015.

2. Objectives & Selection Criteria for This Engagement

Specifically, Grosvenor Technology's objectives are:

  • Flexibility:  Rapid ramp-up of an outsourced team – as dictated by Grosvenor Technology's current and anticipated future development needs.
  • Technical Expertise: Technical expertise In developing custom applications suited to their business goals and requirements
  • Capabilities: Beyond technical expertise, Grosvenor Technology wants a Partner whose teams can handle the full cycle of software development, doing so in an independent and flexible manner.
  • Methodology:  Experience with Agile methods in Software Development – documented and experienced best practices utilizing an Agile Framework and able to produce and achieve reasonable time estimates for sprints.
  • Talent:  Access to a deep talent pool, with the help of a Partner that will increase the speed of ramping up of the kind of team Grosvenor Technology seeks, utilizing a proven HR and training process.  The composition of any team must be ablel to reasonably flex as needs dictate.
  • Cost Efficiency:  While not the only top priority, this is an important driver to Grosvenor Technology:  cost savings are expected but not at the expense of work quality.
  • Location & Time Zone:  Grosvenor Technology wishes to partner with a  near shore (Latin America) or mid shore (Eastern Europe) entity.
  • Timing:  Grosvenor Technology wants to start an initial project as soon as possible. Selection process will be managed in conjunction with a greater RFP process, with submissions expected by January 8, 2016.
  • Cultural and Language Alignment: Excellent communication and problem solving skills.

3. Introduction to Accelerance's Recommendations

Accelerance has considered Grosvenor Technology's objectives and vendor selection criteria in the context of all members in the Accelerance Global Partner Network.

Since 2001, Accelerance has curated detailed information on more than 6,000 global software development firms. We have assessed more than 1,500 of these firms at a greater detailed level. Currently, 50 software development partners in 24 countries have been fully vetted extensively on site and over time to earn our designation of Accelerance Certified Expert (ACE) Partner. More can be learned about our assessment process here.

Accelerance is delighted to present ScaleFocus (Sofia, Bulagria), V2 Solutions (Santa Clara, CA; Mumbai, India) and Volo (Yerevan, Armenia)  as our top aligned choices for your review.

Matrix_-_Grosvenor_Technologies-2.pdf

4. Partner Information and Other Relevant Materials

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:

5. Additional Information About Our Selection

Accelerance deeply assesses all of our partners on multiple operational and developbased levels, including site visit assessments (link) 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.

6. Ramp-Up of Your Outsourcing with an Accelerance Partner

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.

7. On-Going Support from Accelerance

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:

  • Accelerance works with both parties to agree on equitable contractual arrangements based on industry best practices.
  • Accelerance provides feedback and guidance on the Governance Models based on industry best practices.
  • Accelerance continues to assess, monitor and report the performance and satisfaction levels of each party, independently, throughout the initial years of a relationship in order to provide key guidance and feedback to best ensure a healthy, ongoing relationship.

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.