Web Design & Development: What you should consider?

Turning to third-party project based providers in design, development and marketing projects or parts of projects has become a very common process in the world of eCommerce – and you really don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company with masses of cash to utilize and benefit from outsourcing.

A good scenario would be, a client comes to you for a quote on a web site and it’s the perfect job – except from one element in the project – you’re not skilled in a particular web technology. This component is a crucial element in winning the contract, there’s no way of getting around it. What do you do? You don’t want to lose the contract, but you definitely can’t afford to hire a new employee for this project – there’s too many risks and associated headaches involved in this process.

Or how about a situation with your own website where you need a bit programming done and simply don’t have time to do it, or the head-space to learn to do it yourself? Isn’t your time better spent on your core competencies, the skills that generate cash for you?

Another scenario is where you have so much work load on at the time that you really don’t have the resources to take on a full project. In these cases, small companies tend to refer the entire job on to others. But then you lose the client forever to the other company. Wouldn’t it make more sense to secure a binding contract, outsource everything and oversee the development? That way if one of your current projects falls through, you will still have work and you will also more than likely gain future work from that client.

So much technology, so much competition

Web development is a huge field with dozens of technologies involved – no way a small development company or site owner can cover everything. However having no access to expert designers and developers, small to medium-sized companies can lose many projects or market share through a lack of suitable expertise and skill sets.

The idea of outsourcing projects or project components may strike fear into the hearts of many small operators, but the future success of your company may depend on it – otherwise you may find your customer base drying up.

What should I outsource?

Most small web design and development companies naturally achieve great expertise in specific areas – these project areas are the ones that they are not only particularly good at, but also the fastest in generating. We all build up our repertoire of “tricks of the trade” over time, and these are the elements of any contract that it makes the most sense to keep.

Where are the bottlenecks in your development processes? If developing graphical elements for web sites is one of your challenges, then it only makes sense to outsource that work. You may feel that paying $80 an hour to an expert graphic artist is too steep considering your standard rate is only $50 an hour, but consider this example:

A client wants a Flash element created and Flash isn’t one of your stronger areas, so the length of time it will take you to create that element is a bit of an unknown – and you have already set the entire project price, which the client has agreed on. You end up spending 6 hours on designing the Flash animation to the clients satisfaction.

At a rate of $50 an hour, that element has cost you $300 to create. If the Flash component had been outsourced to an expert, although they may have charged you $80 per hour, it only took them 2 hours to create. Add on one hour for the time you spent consulting with the Flash expert and the total cost of this element is down to $210. Even if you spend two hours on consulting, you are still well and truly ahead, lessened your stress and freed up time to spend on other projects or elements.

If you are a web designer and you are also responsible for keeping your business financials up to date, then you are probably losing money. A contract bookkeepers’ services cost a lot less, generally speaking, per hour than the value of your own labor. It makes financial sense to maintain this aspect of your business yourself if you don’t have a lot of work on the boards or does it?. If you don’t have sufficient development work to keep you busy, then the hours you are spending on maintaining your books would be better spent in submitting tenders and marketing your business.

How do I outsource?

It doesn’t have to be a difficult process, although the first time you outsource project components, it will take a little time to get the paperwork together. After the first project, the necessary base documents will be in place which will expedite future collaborations.

Before agreeing to outsource work to another an outsourcing provider, ensure that base documents covering the terms of the relationship, intellectual property and confidentiality issues has been developed and signed – these are fairly generic documents which can be easily adapted to be functional in a number of different projects. These don’t necessarily have to be hundreds of pages long – just enough to be recognized as being legal and binding to protect your interests.

After you have the basic documentation in place, it’s time to spread the word that you are looking for contractors. This can be gone about in a variety of ways.

  • Through your current networks – let your peers know you are looking for contractors (Your first degree connections may have some excellent referrals for your search)
  • Compiling a mailing list of developers and designers from online professional directories in your region and then contacting them requesting expressions of interest regarding collaboration.
  • Go global and use one of the many reputable outsourced web development and design. In most cases you’ll find that posting projects is free and the service may also assist you with developing the project specifications.

The last few years has seen a number of outsourced companies have come to life, but be wary and study the companies carefully before outsourcing. Some companies may or may not be as transparent

BIG BLOCK Solutions  can help on all your needs on web and digital product development. None of the risks with the emphasis on all the benefits of a long term partner to help you overcome challenges in these areas.

Before you start outsourcing, ensure that you know exactly what you want a sub-contractor to do. Open-ended arrangements tend not to work out. There must be timelines and effective parameters of operation in place – both parties must be very clear on each others’ role.

Communications between contractor/sub-contractor must be clear, concise and rapid at all times – assuming that a task will be carried out in a particular way can lead to disaster; especially when working with contractors from another country.

Benefits of global outsourcing

The benefits of advertising for developers and designers globally are many. By building up a network of professional contractors, you not only decrease your running costs as each contractor is responsible for his own work environment and insurances etc, you also greatly expand your company’s portfolio of skills that can be offered to clients.

By outsourcing project components you aren’t efficient in, it will leave you with more time to focus on your core skills and further develop those.

In advertising project components globally, you will also probably secure the best price possible for the work. India and Eastern Europe have many thousands of quality freelance programmers looking for work, and their rates are incredibly low in comparison to their Western counterparts.

Challenges of outsourcing

One of the biggest temptations of outsourcing is to source for the lowest bid in order to maximize profits. This is definitely not a good practice, especially when dealing with freelance developers and designers from other countries. If problems should arise it may be more difficult in having them rectified. Remember that your business reputation is on the line and if the designer or developer doesn’t deliver, your could lose the client, and worse still, your business.

This is not to say that all low bids will translate into poor quality work, instead you need to research these bids carefully. These questions may help your build and meet you criteria.

  • How long has the company/freelance been around for?
  • Do they have a portfolio?
  • Do they have referees?
  • What are their qualifications?

If you are using an online collaboration service, read the comments left behind by other companies – these will give you some indication as to the competency and integrity of the freelance or a company.

In any outsourcing arrangement, if you get “bad vibes” it’s best to heed your instincts and not continue with negotiations – too much is at risk.

Communication can also be a bit of a challenge. If you receive a bid from someone in very poor English (if that is your primary language), it’s best to keep away. I’m not just referring to foreign developers – the literacy skills of the modern Western world are quite appalling.


The Internet, by and large, is still about written communication. If you have to spend hours correcting the grammar and spelling mistakes on a web page or in an online application, then the whole exercise is pointless. Even if the project components you want developed are only graphical, if the sub-contractor’s use or comprehension of the English language is poor there is a risk they will not understand exactly what you want. A great deal of time will be lost in the to and fro of revisions.

It’s for this reason that I suggest that if you do intend to utilize contractors who haven’t lived in the West or are from a country where Western culture isn’t really prevalent, it’s best not to give them elements of the work relating to marketing without very strict specifications.

Also bear in mind that although you may be able to hire an overseas developer for (example) $10 an hour, it will probably cost you $20 per hour with the inevitable. communications issues that will occur.

Trust and Outsourcing

If you do decide to go down the outsourcing path, remember that the developers and designers you contract are, to a degree, partners in your business. In many cases, your “partners” will need to know the big picture of the project. You need to convey clear instructions to ensure that its communicated properly. It also means you will need to invest some trust in them – they are not the enemy, but a crucial element in your online success.

Trusting too much can also have its dangers – there are cases where contractors have created malware and built it into applications they develop for others. This malware can collect sensitive details from improperly protected users. Imagine the impact a situation like that could have. In other instances, contractors have been known to leave holes in applications for the purposes of then returning later to gather sensitive data.

Trust can be a double-edged sword; another good reason for reviewing potential outsourcing contractors *very* carefully.

If you, or perhaps a staff member, has the ability to read and understand code, it may be wise to review any applications developed to ensure there’s no hidden nasties; but again, using an appropriate level of discretion from the outset when outsourcing can minimize any potential threat and add great value to your business. It’s an ounce of prevention vs. a pound of cure.

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Something to Ponder: Business Choices, Innovate or Outsource?

CIO‘s outsource for a variety of reasons: better service performance, lower costs, greater efficiency and, in a few cases, to be seen as the executive making an impact.

Irrespective of the rationale, most share a common expectation that their outsource partners will offer creative and innovative solutions throughout the contract. 
This was highlighted in a 2009 survey by Forrester Research which found that over 40% of organisations outsourcing IT services cited the lack of innovation or continuous improvement as their greatest challenge with vendors.

With most IT suppliers recognising that the development of innovative and creative solutions is critical to their success, where does the problem lie? Often it simply comes down to organisations not articulating what is expected by way of innovation from their outsourcing vendor. This can be resolved by drawing on a technique from the IT Service Management toolkit, namely the Service Improvement Plan (or SIP). The SIP can provide the basis for an innovative response provided that the requirement is well defined, the context is set correctly and there is a means of measuring success.

Defining the requirement

In other words, articulate the question to which you think innovation is the answer. To provide real value, innovation must be defined in the context of business objectives – it may be transformation efforts that improve shareholder value or create a level of strategic or tactical advantage. For business stakeholders, this could result in increased sales or improved customer satisfaction. Only with that level of understanding can an innovation discussion be clarified.

Speaking of innovation,  No longer is it just a matter of doing more with less; organisations are increasingly seeking growth through innovation, and cost -cutting in isolation is a game of diminishing returns.

In this environment, we’re seeing a move to smartsourcing.

Cloud computing and the growth in flexible, rich services it enables have transformed the concept of outsourcing, sparking an evolution in the way organisations think about flexible, cost-effective, project-based workforces.

Traditional outsourcing saw companies contracting out entire business functions or projects to external providers. Good while it lasted – and this kind of outsourcing will continue to play a role – but the advent of Cloud computing has brought with it the kind of flexibility, dynamism, scalability and cost-savings that traditional outsourcing simply cannot compete with.

With so much unpredictability in the current climate, why get bogged down in complex contractual arrangements or sign up for set, time-based projects when you don’t know what’s around the corner?

One of the greatest assets of Cloud isn’t just its capacity for driving down costs, but the way in which it enables the kind of on-the-fly sandboxing and experimentation that traditional outsourcing simply cannot provide.
In the past few years, many organisations have become used to consuming IT as a service; the utility model that Cloud supports could almost have been designed for organisations looking to cut costs without cutting back on their ability to innovate or scale.

Cloud computing allows organisations to streamline resources while retaining complete control over information resources. In this respect, the economic climate has been a catalyst for the growth in on-demand software, virtualisation, mobile technologies and infrastructure services, exposing some of the more negative, restrictive aspects of traditional outsourcing arrangements.

The complex contractual arrangements often associated with traditional outsourcing are in stark contrast to the flexibility of on-demand IT. Need more resources? Turn it up. Need less? No problem, scale back knowing that, should things improve next week, you can crank things up a few notches again.

This utility model has driven austerity-friendly pay-as-you-go payment structures. Because users can scale on demand, there’s no concern that you’re over-investing in a project that might not work. Costs per user, per instance are visible upfront, with no surprises. Watertight SLAs combined with technology that can be rolled-out on demand make it relatively easy for businesses to show their dissatisfaction with a provider by simply taking their business elsewhere with minimal disruption.

Cloud is re-defining the way businesses innovate and operate, giving them the freedom to experiment without the risks.

In this environment, outsourcing is a critical enabler of success. Experienced innovation firms use proven methods and tools to produce those crucial early-stage results, while also injecting the DNA of innovation process into the organization. Typically this outsourcing takes projects can range from R&D and engineering work, product and/or industrial design, to innovation process design.

Our company RenditionDigital International Ltd. has been providing the means for companies to achieve both  and scale based on demand without sacrificing risks involved. A proven track record with some the largest companies worldwide we can help you achieve both. For additional information click work with jay??

The 3 R’s

Is there more to outsourcing than the bottom line? What are the other reasons companies choose this route? What about ramifications for aspects of your business that are not so easily quantified?

In this article, we’ll discuss the 3 R’s of outsourcing: Reasons, Risks and Rewards, specifically as they relate to information technology (IT). And, as a bonus, we’ll provide some tips to help you manage successful relationships with your IT service providers (whether they are full-time staff, or outsourced).

The Reasons

According to the Outsourcing Institute’s Outsourcing Index 2000, there are many reasons why companies outsource. Here are some of the top reasons:

  1. Reduce and control operating costs. When you outsource, you eliminate the costs associated with hiring an employee, such as management oversight, training, health insurance, employment taxes, retirement plans etc.
  2. Improve company focus. It is neither practical, nor possible to be a jack of all trades. Outsourcing lets you focus on your core competencies while another company focuses on theirs.
  3. Gain access to exceptional capabilities. Your return on investment is so much greater when you outsource information technology to a firm that specializes in the areas you need. Instead of just the knowledge of one person, you benefit from the collective experience of a team of IT professionals. Outsourced IT companies usually require their IT staff to have proper industry training and certifications as well.
  4. Free internal resources for other purposes. You may have someone in your office that is pretty good with computers or accounting, but most likely these were not the jobs he or she was hired to do. If they are spending time taking care of these things, who is doing what they were hired to do? Outsourcing allows you to retain employees for their highest and best use, rather than wasting their time on things that may take them longer than someone who is trained in these specific areas.
  5. Resources are not available internally. On the flip side, maybe you don’t have anyone in your company who can manage your IT needs, and hiring a new employee is not in the budget. Outsourcing can be a feasible alternative, both for the interim and for the long-term.
  6. Maximize restructuring benefits. When you are restructuring your company to improve costs, quality, service, or speed, your non-core business functions may get pushed aside. They still need to be handled, however, and outsourcing is an optimal way to do this. Don’t sabotage your restructuring efforts by failing to keep up with non-core needs.
  7. Function difficult to manage or out of control. This is definitely a scenario when outsourcing to experts can make a big difference. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you can forget about the problem now that it’s being “handled.” You still need to be involved even after control is regained.
  8. Make capital funds available. By outsourcing non-core business functions, you can spend your capital funds on items that are directly related to your product or your customers.
  9. Reduce Risk. Keeping up with technology required to run your business is expensive and time consuming. Because professional outsourced IT providers work with multiple clients and need to keep up on industry best practices, they typically know what is right and what is not. This kind of knowledge and experience dramatically reduces your risk of implementing a costly wrong decision.

The Risks

Anytime you give someone else responsibility for an aspect of your business, whether a full-time new hire or an outside vendor, there is risk involved. Did I hire the right person/company to do the job? Will they do what they are supposed to do? How will they “fit” with existing employees or departments? These are the questions that nag owners of small businesses when handing over the reigns to a new employee or vendor.

According to Yvonne Lederer Anotucci in her article “The Pros and Cons of IT Outsourcing,” business owners who consider outsourcing IT functions need to be aware of the following risks:

  1. Some IT functions are not easily outsourced. IT affects an entire organization; from the simple tasks employees do everyday to the complex automated aspects. Be sure the outside vendor are qualified to take care of your greatest needs.
  2. Control may be lost. Critics argue that an outside vendor will never be as effective as a full-time employee who is under the same management as other employees. Other concerns include confidentiality of data and disaster recovery. However, a supervisor that is knowledgeable in managing an IT staff member will usually be required.
  3. Employee morale may be affected. This is particularly true if you will be laying off employees to replace their job functions with an outsourced firm. Other employees may wonder if their job is at risk, too.
  4. You may get “locked in.” If the vendor does not document their work on your network and system, or if you’ve had to purchase their proprietary software, you may feel like you can’t go anywhere else or take back your network. Many outsourced companies require you to sign a year to year contract which limits flexibility.

Most of these risks can be avoided altogether if you know what to look for in a vendor and ask the right questions. Wondering how your current or prospective IT service provider stacks up? Take Corporate Computer Service’s Support Provider Ranking Quiz at:www.corpcomputerservices.com/computer-support-quiz.php. These questions will get you thinking about what to ask and what to look for, whether you want to hire a full-time IT professional on staff, or outsource to a support provider.

The Rewards

Still not sure whether to outsource or not? According to Anotucci, who provided the list of risks outlined above, there are many rewards you can expect when you outsource your company’s IT functions as well:

  1. Access to the latest and greatest in technology. You may have noticed how rapidly software and hardware becomes obsolete in this industry. How is one staff person going to keep up-to-date with everything? Outsourcing gives you the benefit of having more than just one IT professional. And since it’s the core competency of the company, they can give you sound advice to put your IT dollars to work for you.
  2. Cost savings. Outsourcing your IT services provides financial benefits such as leaner overhead, bulk purchasing and leasing options for hardware and software, and software licenses, as well as potential compliance with government regulations.
  3. High quality of staff. Since it’s their core competency, outsourced IT vendors look to hire staff with specific qualifications and certifications. You may not know what to look for if you’re hiring someone to be on staff full-time, so you may hire the wrong person for the job.
  4. Flexibility. Vendors have multiple resources available to them, while internal staff may have limited resources and capabilities.
  5. Job security and burnout reduction for regular employees. Using an outsourced IT company removes the burden from your staff who has taken on more than he or she was hired for because “someone needs to do it.” You will establish a better relationship with your employees when you let them do what they do best and what they were hired to do.

Conclusion:

Now that you have seen the risks and rewards associated with outsourcing the IT function of your business, there is a lot to think about. Whether you choose to outsource or hire internally, one thing is certain, you must know how to manage successful working relationships with your IT service providers. Let’s face it, they’re not always the easiest people in the world to understand and deal with, right? Here are some tips:

  • Clearly form and communicate the goals and objectives of your project or business relationship.
  • Have a strategic vision and plan for your project or relationship.
  • Select the right vendor or new hire through research and references.
  • Insist on a contract or plan that includes all the expectations of the relationship, especially the financial aspect.
  • Keep open communication with all affected individuals/groups.
  • Rally support and involvement from decision makers involved.

Why “Middle Managers” Are Critical for BPO Companies

There is a commonly held misconception that “middle managers” can cost companies both money and efficiency.  However, in the business process outsourcing industry, this statement couldn’t be any farther from the truth.

When it comes to business process outsourcing Philippines, these middle managers are essentially the glue that keeps the entire organization together.  Without them, fundamental processes would fall apart, and the company would be left afloat in very dangerous waters.  Here are several reasons why middle management is such an integral piece of Philippines business process outsourcing:

Internal and External Communication

In a business process outsourcing company, middle managers are the ones who communicate externally, typically with customers and suppliers.  In addition, the middle managers are the ones who communicate internally with members of senior management.  This means that middle managers essentially bridge an important gap in business process outsourcing companies.  They know what’s happening inside and outside the company.  In Philippines business process outsourcing, this could mean that answers to critical problems exist in the hands of middle management.

A Diverse Skill Set

Middle managers possess a wealth of diverse skills that make up part of the glue that holds business process outsourcing companies together.  One of the key skills they often use is virtual management, which involves working remotely with teams of people across the globe.  This means middle managers are experts at using technology to collaborate and achieve a common goal.  Without the know-how of middle management to apply technology in a team-oriented environment, the cohesiveness in Philippines business process outsourcing would not exist.  Other skills that middle managers excel in include cultural awareness and sensitivity, multitasking, trouble-shooting, and change implementation.

The Future of the Organization

Middle managers serve as leaders and mentors for the employees working under them.  They are essentially responsible for building the next generation of management in the company. Business process outsourcing Philippines will continue to grow at an exponential rate, and it is important to have excellent middle managers in place to foster the development of upcoming players in the game.

With middle managers taking on the responsibility of communicating externally and internally, exercising a diverse skill set, and training the future leaders of the organization, it is clear that these employees are integral to the advancement of Philippines business process outsourcing.  No organization would be successful without the presence of strong middle management.  There is simply no way to accomplish business process outsourcing Philippines without them in place.

Read the full article at trybpo.com
Disclaimer:

Bug-eyed Updates/blog selects the best publications from across the globe that have a specific focus on games market intelligence and investments. We always mention the source and link directly to the original article and aim to mention the author. If you have any objections to a repost of your article or believe you have a publication that should be included, please contact me at cal3b00[@]gmail.com. or ratohnhaketon@icloud.com

PTIC launches US-Philippines business and information technology delivery council

Reblogged from: http://technology.inquirer.net/20150/ptic-launches-us-philippines-business-and-information-technology-delivery-council

SAN FRANCISCO — Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Silicon Valley, in partnership with the PhilippinesDepartment of Trade and Industry, has announced the inception of the US-Philippines Business and Information Technology Delivery Council, a consortium with Terranex LLC, Rendition Digital, Exist Global, Ionics, Orange & Bronze, Ayannah, and Innerworks.

These Philippine-homegrown organizations are at the forefront of the software and product development, information technology (IT), business and knowledge process delivery, and electronics manufacturing industries.

PTIC Trade Commissioner Michael Ignacio said that by joining forces, the companies intend to bolster business development initiatives and build more partnerships starting in the San Francisco Bay Area. PTIC has plans to institutionalize the council and also expects to build market presence ultimately in the entire US and Canada.

“We want to foster collaboration and cross-pollination amongst the council members, while enabling competitive differentiation,” said Trade Commissioner Ignacio. “PTIC has screened companies that have demonstrated excellence in the service that they offer. We are thrilled to work as a team to achieve greater growth.”

“There’s no better time than now to launch this,” announced Philippine Consul General Marciano Paynor. “This is a train ride that we should not miss. With the right companies, we can build a microcosm that will drive the Philippines in the limelight of the global economic scene.”

The global offshore software and product development, business process support, and electronic contract manufacturing services markets are expected to hit at least US $1 trillion in 2018. In addition, technology analyst firm Gartner recently predicted that by 2014, IT hiring in major Western markets will come predominantly from Asian-headquartered companies.

Consul General Paynor added, “The council will have the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Tourism, all Philippine government agencies with US Pacific Northwest representation based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We look forward to bringing to work our extensive network and breadth of experience to all of the member companies.”

The US-Philippines Business and Information Technology Delivery Council will have a formal launch on November 13, Tuesday at  447 Sutter Street, 5th Floor Social Hall, San Francisco, CA 94108. Companies interested to learn more about working with these companies are invited to attend the launch and executive briefing, which will feature customer success stories on global delivery and shared services. Send an email tosiliconvalley@philippinetrade.org to request an invitation.

For more information about this event, please visit: www.investphilippines.org/siliconvalley.

 PTIC – Silicon Valley

The Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Silicon Valley is the Commercial Section of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco and the representative office of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry in the US Pacific Northwest and Western Canada.

PTIC Silicon Valley covers the US Pacific Northwest, which includes the following: Alaska, Northern Nevada/Reno, Colorado, Northern California, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Washington, Oregon, and Wyoming.

The mandates of PTIC – Silicon Valley include trade promotion, investment promotion, trade policy negotiations, and protection of Philippine business interests. www.investphilippines.org/siliconvalley

Philippine companies participating

TerraNex LLC

For US companies rationalizing their operations, offshoring full customer support to TerraNex LLC is the logical next step. For over five years, our state-of-the-art Philippine customer support services have enabled Australian and Asian companies to achieve targeted business outcomes. Now serving US companies, TerraNex LLC can collaborate in attaining corporate goals. www.terranexllc.com

Rendition digital international

Rendition Digital International helps mid-size and large software, games, media and web focused firms develop cost effective solutions, frees them from routine tasks and allows them create better value for their customers. Their solutions include software and web development, games and social media moderation, digital publishing, typesetting and graphics creation. High quality services are produced in low cost facilities in Asia and draw upon deep subject matter expertise and project management experience.www.renditiondigital.com

Exist Global

Exist is a software and technology services provider that specializes in Open Source, Java, and Ruby on Rails application development. Works with start-ups to enterprise industry leaders around the world as their technology partner by collaborating to deliver strategic business results, reduce costs, and increase the value of their IT investments.

Their services include end-to-end software product development in Java and Ruby on Rails, web and mobile (iOS and Android) application development, and independent software testing services. www.exist.com

Ionics

A leading electronics services provider based in the Philippines and listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange, Ionics EMS Inc. offers EMS and ODM services with product design and design support, new product introduction, industrial engineering and manufacturing system and integrated supply chain management.The customer segments Ionics EMS serves are the PC and computer peripherals, telecommunications, consumer electronics, industrial and medical equipment industries. Its production facilities in the Philippines are certified in ISO9001 with design, ISO14001, TL9000 for telecommunications, and TS16949 for automotive manufacturing. www.ionics-ems.com

About Orange and Bronze

Orange & Bronze Software Labs is the first and only official SpringSource partner based in the Philippines. With its team of innovators in enterprise software development, the company mainly leverages on its expertise in Java, specializing in Spring, Hibernate and Grails, as well as Python and Django. As an expert in Spring technology, O&B uses AppFuse and Grails in providing top-notch software development services delivered on-time. Its client portfolio includes industry-leading companies in the US, Europe and Asia. O&B is the Philippine pioneer of Agile software development methodologies. www.orangeandbronze.com

Innerworks

Innerworks International is a leading provider of IT outsourcing with clients in Asia, United States and Europe. Since 2002, they have been creating innovations across different technological platforms and infrastructure.www.innerworksinternational.com

Ayannah

Ayannah aims to be the leading provider of mobile commerce and payment services to the world’s unbanked. For unbanked residents in emerging markets, we provide accessible digital commerce and payment services to spur financial inclusion and literacy and give access to products and services that improve quality of life.www.ayannah.com

Read the full article at Inquirer
Disclaimer:

Bug-eyed Updates/blog selects the best publications from across the globe that have a specific focus on games market intelligence and investments. We always mention the source and link directly to the original article and aim to mention the author. If you have any objections to a repost of your article or believe you have a publication that should be included, please contact me at cal3b00[@]gmail.com. or ratohnhaketon@icloud.com

9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People

Reblogged from inc.com by Jeff Haden

I’m fortunate enough to know a few remarkably successful people. Regardless of industry or profession, they all share the same perspectives and beliefs.

And they act on those beliefs:

1. Time doesn’t fill me. I fill time.

Deadlines and time frames establish parameters, but typically not in a good way. The average person who is given two weeks to complete a task will instinctively adjust his effort so it actually takes two weeks.

Forget deadlines, at least as a way to manage your activity. Tasks should only take as long as they need to take. Do everything as quickly and effectively as you can. Then use your “free” time to get other things done just as quickly and effectively.

Average people allow time to impose its will on them; remarkable people impose their will on their time.

2. The people around me are the people I chose.

Some of your employees drive you nuts. Some of your customers are obnoxious. Some of your friends are selfish, all-about-me jerks.

You chose them. If the people around you make you unhappy it’s not their fault. It’s your fault. They’re in your professional or personal life because you drew them to you–and you let them remain.

Think about the type of people you want to work with. Think about the types of customers you would enjoy serving. Think about the friends you want to have.

Then change what you do so you can start attracting those people. Hardworking people want to work with hardworking people. Kind people like to associate with kind people. Remarkable employees want to work for remarkable bosses.

Successful people are naturally drawn to successful people.

3. I have never paid my dues.

Dues aren’t paid, past tense. Dues get paid, each and every day. The only real measure of your value is the tangible contribution you make on a daily basis.

No matter what you’ve done or accomplished in the past, you’re never too good to roll up your sleeves, get dirty, and do the grunt work. No job is ever too menial, no task ever too unskilled or boring.

Remarkably successful people never feel entitled–except to the fruits of their labor.

4. Experience is irrelevant. Accomplishments are everything.

You have “10 years in the Web design business.” Whoopee. I don’t care how long you’ve been doing what you do. Years of service indicate nothing; you could be the worst 10-year programmer in the world.

I care about what you’ve done: how many sites you’ve created, how many back-end systems you’ve installed, how many customer-specific applications you’ve developed (and what kind)… all that matters is what you’ve done.

Successful people don’t need to describe themselves using hyperbolic adjectives like passionate, innovative, driven, etc. They can just describe, hopefully in a humble way, what they’ve done.

5. Failure is something I accomplish; it doesn’t just happen to me.

Ask people why they have been successful. Their answers will be filled with personal pronouns: I, me, and the sometimes too occasional we.

Ask them why they failed. Most will revert to childhood and instinctively distance themselves, like the kid who says, “My toy got broken…” instead of, “I broke my toy.”

They’ll say the economy tanked. They’ll say the market wasn’t ready. They’ll say their suppliers couldn’t keep up.

They’ll say it was someone or something else.

And by distancing themselves, they don’t learn from their failures.

Occasionally something completely outside your control will cause you to fail. Most of the time, though, it’s you. And that’s okay. Every successful person has failed. Numerous times. Most of them have failed a lot more often than you. That’s why they’re successful now.

Embrace every failure: Own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time, things will turn out differently.

6. Volunteers always win.

Whenever you raise your hand you wind up being asked to do more.

That’s great. Doing more is an opportunity: to learn, to impress, to gain skills, to build new relationships–to do something more than you would otherwise been able to do.

Success is based on action. The more you volunteer, the more you get to act. Successful people step forward to create opportunities.

Remarkably successful people sprint forward.

7. As long as I’m paid well, it’s all good.

Specialization is good. Focus is good. Finding a niche is good.

Generating revenue is great.

Anything a customer will pay you a reasonable price to do–as long as it isn’t unethical, immoral, or illegal–is something you should do. Your customers want you to deliver outside your normal territory? If they’ll pay you for it, fine. They want you to add services you don’t normally include? If they’ll pay you for it, fine. The customer wants you to perform some relatively manual labor and you’re a high-tech shop? Shut up, roll ’em up, do the work, and get paid.

Only do what you want to do and you might build an okay business. Be willing to do what customers want you to do and you can build a successful business.

Be willing to do even more and you can build a remarkable business.

And speaking of customers…

8. People who pay me always have the right to tell me what to do.

Get over your cocky, pretentious, I-must-be-free-to-express-my-individuality self. Be that way on your own time.

The people who pay you, whether customers or employers, earn the right to dictate what you do and how you do it–sometimes down to the last detail.

Instead of complaining, work to align what you like to do with what the people who pay you want you to do.

Then you turn issues like control and micro-management into non-issues.

9. The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland.

Everyone says they go the extra mile. Almost no one actually does. Most people who go there think, “Wait… no one else is here… why am I doing this?” and leave, never to return.

That’s why the extra mile is such a lonely place.

That’s also why the extra mile is a place filled with opportunities.

Be early. Stay late. Make the extra phone call. Send the extra email. Do the extra research. Help a customer unload or unpack a shipment. Don’t wait to be asked; offer. Don’t just tell employees what to do–show them what to do and work beside them.

Every time you do something, think of one extra thing you can do–especially if other people aren’t doing that one thing. Sure, it’s hard.

But that’s what will make you different.

And over time, that’s what will make you incredibly successful.

JOKE of the Day

One day, a Mechanical Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Chemical Engineer and Computer

Engineer were driving down the street in the same car. All of a sudden, the car broke down.
The Mechanical Engineer said, “I think a rod broke.”
The Chemical Engineer said, “The way it sputtered at the end, I don’t think it’s getting gas.”
The Electrical Engineer said, “I think there was a spark and something is wrong with the electrical system.”
All three turned to the computer engineer and said, “What do you think?”
The Computer Engineer said, “I think we should all get out and get back in.”

Virtual Outsourcing vs. Traditional Outsourcing Providers

About a decade has past and there was a time where, an IT service provider could feel confident marketing itself based on two strengths—process expertise and scale. But in an age of cloud computing, virtualization and automation, staff size may no longer matter.

Even as HP’s fate once it sheds 27,000 employees is still up in the air, the headcount required to staff a successful outsourcing engagement is most certainly decreasing. And the days of outsourcing-related layoffs and the “lift and shift” of the remaining labor force to a third-party provider aren’t likely to return.

“The number of resources that a provider has on staff used to mean a lot more than it does today. The average outsourcing deal size is decreasing, while the number of deals continues to increase. The market is starting to realize that it is about engaging the provider with the best overall value proposition, as opposed to the biggest—or cheapest—provider.”

In today’s buyers outsourcing market, it’s outsourcing customers that may be driving this change. “Buyers are two steps beyond reducing headcount, while interested in a more efficient and effective service delivery, [they] are now seeking transformation.”

Someday “your mess for less” may be supplanted by “our processes, your people,” as customers seek out providers who can transfer their expertise and methodologies to the client’s existing IT staff. Where outsourcing providers used to say, “tell me what you do and I’ll do it (for you), or, better yet, give me your people so we can limit operational risk. The new approach is, I’ll tell you what is best and you tell me [whether or not it will] work. This new dynamic brings outsourcing relationships to a more advanced state.

The most mature providers are already pushing the ‘virtual outsourcing’ value proposition to their clients. Staff transfer is not a differentiating capability for the IT majors.

Indeed, most providers will resist taking on client staff today. Providers now have plenty of people and equipment so they are usually not interested in a transfer. When we see that these days (particularly in it deals), it is more of an accommodation than something that the provider needs in order to perform. And it’s one that comes at a premium.

In the application development and maintenance space-where labor arbitrage had been the big driver behind outsourcing-price is becoming less of a differentiating factor. And “with the advent of platform-as-a-service (offerings), buyers can now manage their own code-and staff-to build customer solutions. Providers are simply passing on the capability.

In the end, the extent to which a provider offers or simply transfers knowledge, service, and value to a client is highly dependent on the buyer’s IT and IT services maturity.”

Provider’s are pushing [virtual outsourcing] as one possible strategy, but we don’t see [many] customers ready to move forward with it. That could change in the future, but widespread acceptance of that model would take several years. These things aren’t yet happening in practice even if this is where we want to go.”

Five Things to Remember When Negotiating an Outsourcing Agreement

How can an organization meet the objectives of an outsourcing contract negotiation? I’ve identified five things to consider that can potentially keep you from conducting a successful outsourcing contract negotiation:
  •  Statement of Work – A Statement of Work (SOW) describes in great detail the services to be performed by the provider and also clarifies certain client responsibilities.
  • Service Levels – Service levels work in conjunction with the SOW to scope the services that the provider will deliver.  They describe how much and to what extent the services described in the SOW are delivered.
  • Termination Language – Termination language is analogous to a prenuptial agreement; just in case things do not work out as originally intended and can be manipulated towards the end of an outsourcing contract negotiation in order to get preferred price.
  • Future Pricing – IT costs should go down over time due to improvements in hardware and software functionality and pricing, labor arbitrage, automation, and so forth.  Because each situation is different, there are no easy “rules of thumb” to apply, but pay close attention to these specific areas:
    •   Year-over-Year Pricing
    •   Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)
    •   Variance Pricing
  • Delivery Locations – A provider may want to include the freedom to deliver whatever location they see fit in an outsourcing contract negotiation. Due to the risk of potential business impact, buyers should have approval prior to the movement of support functions.

“These areas of the agreement, if not carefully structured, can drain value from your business case and decrease the probability of having a successful and sustainable outsourcing negotiation. Due to the variations and complexity inherent in each deal you should strongly consider the use of an outside outsourcing advisor to help. Because they understand your perspective as well as the providers’ point of view, they are ideally positioned to help manage through these items and develop an outsourcing agreement that works well for both you and the provider.”

Outsourcing vs. Establishing Captive Facilities Offshore

The choice between outsourcing or operating a captive facility for call center services, non-voice customer Learn how 3D interactive characters fundamentally change the way users interact with a site. services and back office processing, offers advantages for both approaches. Here we examine the advantages of outsourcing and two principal strategies for outsourcing. In an upcoming article, the advantages of establishing a captive facility will be detailed.

There are two principal strategies being pursued for outsourcing: strategic and market-driven outsourcing. Strategic outsourcing is addressed first because it does not lend itself to the establishment of captive offshore operations as easily as market-driven outsourcing.

Strategic Outsourcing

Strategic outsourcing aims to redirect an organization’s resources to focus on its core competencies. Core competencies for some organizations consist largely of strategic planning, brand management and project management.

Strategic outsourcing enables organizations to quickly change course, enter new markets and access new technologies. Strategic outsourcing focuses on results. Market-driven outsourcing is often more process oriented, with greater attention paid to how results are achieved.

Strategic outsourcing often involves large projects or indefinite quantity contracts (ICQs), managed by a primary outsourcing service provider and supported by smaller specialty firms that serve as subcontractors. Administrative fees charged by a prime contractor for passing funds through to subcontractors often range from 25 percent to 35 percent. In comparison, brokers generally charge a 5 percent commission for placing outbound voice work and 10 percent for inbound customer service contracts.

Strategic outsourcing lends itself to process redesign and organizational transformation, but not to the relatively long-term, more capital-intensive tactic of establishing captive offshore facilities. Market-driven outsourcing, in contrast, can serve as a stepping stone to establishing a captive operation offshore.

Market driven outsourcing enables buyers to gain familiarity with a location before deciding whether to commit to setting up their own operations there. Familiarity is no guarantee that a captive operation will be successful, as Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) demonstrated by pulling the plug on its captive operation in Bangalore on May 29.

Market-Driven Outsourcing

The key variables in market-driven outsourcing are the capabilities and prices of available service providers. The decision to outsource is often based on short-term cost savings from using qualified talent pools and cheaper infrastructure in offshore locations.

The direct costs and levels of effort required for project management of market-driven outsourcing projects are usually greater than for strategic outsourcing ones. Full support of project management activities in market-driven outsourcing projects lowers the risks and total costs of running these programs offshore.

Customer service outsourcing from the U.S. and Europe during the years 2000 through 2006 has often not been highly cost-sensitive for large projects, due in part to the administrative challenges that buyers face in undertaking their first major round of offshore outsourcing. In offshore outsourcing version 1.0, half a buyer’s payments for offshore services are often applied to service providers’ administrative expenses, profits and marketing costs.

In outsourcing version 2.0, large buyers of outsourcing services are increasingly seeking a multi-source approach that enables their outsourcing efforts to be more market driven. Buyers are building up internal capabilities for managing outsourcing projects executed by smaller, cheaper vendors. Whereas outsourcing 1.0 vendors present themselves as capable of handling anything and everything, the new generation of outsourcing 2.0 firms often need institution-building assistance before launching a program.

In outsourcing 1.0, service providers help buyers with institution building. In outsourcing 2.0, buyers are showing greater sophistication and a stronger interest in achieving better value for money. This makes it more likely that buyers will consider the cost effectiveness of establishing stand-alone operations overseas.

Characteristics of Captive Operations

Whereas outsourcing entails having a third party perform tasks, captive facilities are established by a parent company to perform its own tasks.

  • Captive operations can be commercialized, as GE did in India by founding Gecis Global and spinning it off on Dec. 30, 2004. GE retained a 40 percent equity stake in Gecis, subsequently renamed “Genpact.”
  • Captive operations can utilize service level agreements (SLAs), metrics and reporting systems along the same lines as those used in commercial outsourcing arrangements. The best types of processes to initially send offshore are often those that are the easiest to measure. Once initial successes have been achieved and management systems stabilized, tasks that are unique or less suitable to intensive metrics analysis can be considered, such as research tasks, content generation projects and those associated with knowledge process outsourcing or KPO.
  • Cost projections for captive facilities can borrow data from commercial outsourcing facilities. However, in-depth cost analysis at commercial facilities can be difficult in areas where IT and IT-enabled services (ITeS) businesses are given major tax breaks (primarily India). The difficulty emerges because of internal cross-subsidization. The expenses of tax-exempt business units may be inflated or paid by non-exempt units, thereby increasing the amount of income that can be declared tax free.

 

Reasons to Retain Outsourcing 1.0 Arrangements

Traditional wisdom has held that outsourcing a call center program for longer than three years is more expensive than running a captive operation. This equation does not hold up in India and Pakistan, where locally owned facilities are capable of maintaining lower operating costs and lower profit margins indefinitely. The equation is likely to hold true for Western-owned merchant facilities in India and large Indian-owned call center companies, which charge more than their mid-size domestic offshore counterparts.

 

There are good reasons for U.S. companies to select large, relatively expensive U.S. providers. The principal reason is the weak offshore project management capacities that large U.S. outsourcing clients are faced with internally. They may not be able to recruit and manage their own staff to build up the institutional capacity of an experienced big-name outsourcing outfit to accept and run a large program properly and quickly.

Customer service and some back-office operations can be so critical to a company’s image and brand integrity that it is worth paying premium rates in order to minimize risks. The best choice for risk minimization is usually made by trusting an experienced market leader, despite the higher prices levied by the major firms. Higher prices pay off for many buyers because of both the reduced risks and the reduced level of effort it requires to provide such operations within a buyer’s organization.

Large-scale disapproval of outsourcing or offshoring among the majority of a U.S. company’s staff can translate into reduced capabilities to implement a project properly, whether or not it results in job losses. Reluctance of U.S. personnel to assist in an outsourcing process can range from open hostility to overt non-cooperation and intentional bungling of an outsourcing project. By bringing in an experienced outside team, an outsourcing client can lower the risks of project failure and help ensure a satisfactory result.

Advantages of Outsourcing

 

  • Outsourcing requires little capital to establish. However, significant spending is needed for onsite training and monitoring — even in simple programs.
  • Outsourcing contracts can include provisions for hiring out local staff in the event that a client decides to establish their own operation. Personal ties and the investments in training that a client makes during an outsourcing project are resources that can be retained once a commitment has been made to establish a captive facility.
  • Outsourcing to a facility overseas shifts the risk for site selection, government permits, tax compliance, personnel recruiting, technology Discover Proven Strategies to Improve the Security of Your Products. Free Whitepaper. deployment and cost control. Establishing a captive facility brings those risks back in-house.
  • Western firms in India are often overcharged for non-IT inputs in comparison with local businesses, and are also vulnerable to extortion attempts. The extent of overcharging is often keyed to perceptions of ability to pay. Corruption in India is not limited to the public sector or to Indian nationals, and is not an easy topic to discuss, except to say that outsourcing to a reputable vendor often removes these risks.