As the offshore software development industry has matured, the reasons that companies choose to offshore have altered too. It is true that price or cost reduction remains one of the main drivers for our customers, however other factors are gaining in importance too. One of these is about learning from specialists. If you hire an offshore development company because you don’t have the skills in-house you have a huge opportunity to learn some of these new skills from them. This was the case with one of our customers, Wayfarer – a transportation software company, which became part of the international Parkeon Group.
A few years ago we worked on some smartcard related development for them. The project needed to be completed in a very short timescale. We applied our QA processes to the project and used automated testing where it seemed sensible to do so. The customer had never done anything like this before and the result was that the testing time was considerably shorter than what the in-house team had estimated it would be. And yes, the quality of the software was not affected. Seeing these results the customer then applied the automated testing across the whole of the eBus project (Future Processing was only working on one part of it) and this led to a testing time-saving of 90% for the platform.
Chatting with the company recently, I found out that the basis of this automated testing is still being used at Parkeon, on almost all of its development projects. This is a very tangible example of capitalising on the skills of your outsourced development partner. Most of the time the knowledge and skills transfer that our customers receive isn’t so measurable but it is almost always there. What companies do with it is another matter….