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Thumb Rules for Engaging with an Offshore Agency

With an increase in demand of Software and Applications and emerging entrepreneurship abilities, the online business has stepped up and is exploring a completely different horizon. Now, even already-flourishing businesses are automating their processes and increasing productivity with the use of Software, Web Applications and more recently, Mobility solutions.

In the last 10-15 years, India has made a remarkable identity as a Software Solution Provider. The highly skilled programmers are either working globally or providing offshore services from India.

Businesses operating in United States, United Kingdom, Middle East, Australia and other parts of the world, come across the option of working with an offshore agency every now and then. Considering hiring an offshore agency may not just be restricted to IT-related services for these businesses, but also for customer support, sales and production. In all spheres, India as an offshore destination is in high demand.

With so many businesses choosing to dedicate their work offshore, there must be compelling benefits such as cost-effectiveness, smooth management, better and greater control, quick adaptation to market changes, high-quality development, professional responsibility and more. However, it is also true that due to slipups and inaccurate evaluations, the offshore experiences have turned into a nightmare. We, at Classic Informatics as being a core Offshore Service provider, would like to highlight few thumb rules that, we advise, should be strictly followed when engaging with any offshore agency.

Shortlisting Offshore Agency

  • While searching with specific keywords for an offshore agency on search engines, ensure you not only consider the businesses that have posted Premium Ads, but also, necessarily, consider companies that appear in the organic results of search engines. This would ensure the rich content they offer, the time and effort they have spent to highlight the services they provide.
  • Make a List of 10-15 such companies and go through the services pages that are of relevance to your business needs and requirements. Do consider looking at their Portfolio and get a good understanding of the quality of work that they have delivered in the past.
  • Going through testimonials is a good thought, but do not completely rely on it. These can easily be written or published only for attracting more customers, and obviously, all businesses put up only the best testimonials they have got.
  • Based upon your evaluation shorten your agency list under 5.

Contact with an Offshore Agency

  • Try to provide relevant and sufficient information of your requirement in the contact form; also try to send the same requirements to a direct email address, if available. Your aggressive approach would show your seriousness to the providers and you may then expect the same from them.
  • Do provide a valid Phone number with your country code, Time zone and without fail, do mention the best time to call. This has been a biggest challenge with offshore agencies to contact at a convenient time. It would be even better, if you ask them to contact at a mutually convenient time. Most of the offshore agencies prefer calling over Skype, so sharing a Skype ID at a first instance would work best for both of you
  • Ideally, a Sales Rep or a Business Development executive would be your first contact with the company. Check with them if they are comfortable adhering you and your accent, because mostly sales rep would not admit it himself/herself, even while having difficulty in understanding you.
  • Give them a brief about your company; be clear about your expectations and areas where you could be flexible. Although, you may have researched a lot about the agency but try to listen it in their words. Do not forget to understand the hierarchy and team structure. Size of the company would not really matter but the Operations management would matter a lot.
  • Discuss the project details only when you have the comfort level and assurance that the Sales rep is adhering to you.
  • You might be asked twice or thrice regarding your budget. If you have something in mind, do not hesitate to share it, but do mention whatever estimate you get should be justified and explained well in the proposal.

Points to consider

  • Compare well the USPs of each company you are discussing and make a comparative decision.
  • One of the primary reasons to outsource a project is cost, but also look at the quality parameters they define during the interview process.
  • Sometimes the interview and estimation process could be lengthy; see which of them have a structured way of conceptualizing and evaluating a project.
  • Do not overlook the questions they have, the kind of questions an agency would ask would ensure they are on the same page.
  • More than anything else, give maximum importance to the agency who knows better than you about what you are expecting.
  • Welcome every documentation they do, you may also consider if they even charge to prepare a Software architecture or Software Requirement Specification document.
  • Ensure you are being assigned a Project Manager/Technical Lead/Post Sales BA who can communicate well with you. Once the contract is signed, there would be few limited people interacting with you over the course of Project development. It is very important for you to interview them before hand to ensure you have the same comfort level as it was built with Business Development.
  • The cost committed should be agreed over a formal proposal and Agreements. Please go through the terms and conditions and clarify with them if you are unclear about anything.
  • Do not consider price over quality.

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