Elephants Can Dance – Deers can better.

When Louis Gerstner wrote his book on IBM – Who says Elephants cant dance, it actually was a wake-up call for a lot of the mammoth organisations to reorganize and drive changes in the organization. The most impressive change was obviously at IBM where Louis headed the sea of turnarounds. It was an exceptional turnaround.Well, the question is not whether IBM and mega-sized organisations can change, adapt to newer business environments and deliver in a sustained manner, but it is about if the big sized organisations can adapt, would not the mid-sized companies change and adapt to newer situations, faster?

It would make a lot of sense to assume and then verify the fact that Elephants Can Dance – Deers can better. In todays business scene, we are all subjected to uncertainty. Uncertainty of quality, timelines, business needs, customer orientation and the list just keeps extending. When you outsource, you do it for some or the other need. It might be to gain competitive edge over your competitor. It might be you want to leverage technology for better margins. Even this imagination is driven by changing business scenario. 30 years ago, people would have laughed at it when Infosys initiated the concept. Now, they laugh at it when someone has not heard of Infosys.

One thing to understand and think about your offshore partner – its size. Why would you choose a mega company as your vendor? Because of its brand? Because of its Stability? Pause for a while. Wont you believe it I tell you that incase an Elephant is hurt, and when it falls, it creates such an impact on the ground that the anthills nearby get demolished to dust? And think of the instances when an elephant can get hurt by a bullet than a deer.

Let me drive home a point. We outsource to mega sized companies in India because we want the vendor to live, not to die prematurely for unforeseen situations. However, if you are a company which has 20, 200 or even a thousand people and you need to outsource, I would never advise going in for a offshore vendor who is more stable than you are, whose headcounts are more than that of yours, whose processes are more rigid than that of yours, whose policies are way strong and stable than yours. Because if you do, indeed, you might get a good brand to be associated with. You might also get a great product and even better, at a cost cheaper to insourcing and quicker than the timelines you might have set for your inhouse team.

However, you would lose control. Period.

When you start a project, you never know what it might finally end up being, unless you have a crystal clear vision of what you want. Let us be honest – Most of the time we actually dont know how the system would look like. We have a vague idea at the start and once the first skeleton is ready, then we can see a step ahead. That is where you need changes to your original requirements. Change Requests. No big-offshore provider would provide you with the luxury of accommodating change requests beyond a 5% threshold. There are organisations which might even bid the lowest or even less than their expenses on the Baseline initial project and earn exorbitantly from the change requests alone. Imagine the months of inactivity of contract generation process with a mega-people sized offshore company. Startups can give you that flexibility that your work can start instantly with basic legally bound contracts. However, offsetting the problem of premature death of a startup does not fit well with the risk appetite of many like you. So they look at India intelligently.

They look for companies which have been in business for a significantly longer period of time. A decade is a great timeframe to prove stability. In case you are able to find such companies which have been in business for a decade and still are able to meet your custom needs without charging too high for the change requests, which employ dedicated people to your projects even if you own just a 10 people team, are a single entrepreneur, a sub-contractor or anything, you tend to look at the company with a better perspective. In all such cases, I would advise checking the company profile out in detail, having a discussion with the top management in such companies in India, before actually discarding mid-sized organisations as a concern.

Another aspect which as an Offshore Services customer, you should be looking at is the duration of the project. Hope you would agree, if you have a project which you plan to get completed in 2 months, you are least bothered if the offshore company can actually sustain beyond a year. All is you are concerned about is the next 2 months and possibly 2-3 months after deployment so that the project delivery is not affected. I would request you to do the Maths, get your numbers correct and then decide to plunge into offshoring or outsourcing. Being associated with a behemoth is not bad, but you have to lose your freedom. It is high time to wake up, look at the Midsized companies which have been there for decades and which excel in software delivery as an offshore destination. Welcome to organisations like Mindfire.

Mindfire Solutions. Freedom to Clients. Period.

No harm in checking the corporate website of Mindfire Solutions. Cheers.

See you guys tomorrow.


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