Friday, June 30, 2006

Agile Outsourcing

"Communication barriers, time zone and cultural differences all hinder offshore development. But what if offshore titans learn to work with collaborative techniques?" By Scott W. Ambler

Scott has written an article very close to our hearts. My company and I have been involved in many large and small product development outsourcing projects over the last decade. We ourselves have seen the great difference made by collaboration tools over this period. When we started in mid 90's, Internet basically meant email only as far as enabling collaboration between far-flung members of a software development team. Then came Instant Messenger - and that was the first dramatic step. At a time when international telephony costs were astronomical (I remember at one time paying more than $1 per minute between USA and India), instant messengers really enabled team members to be always connected.

At that time online collaboration tools for project management were still not there - eRooms - that Documentum bought out later was one of the first major one. However, my company was building its own workflow and document management products at the time, and we came up with Newgen eWorkStyle - a web-based collaboration suite that provided project spaces, integrated document management, workflow, bulletin boards, messaging, group calendar and other tools. The product may have been a little ahead of time as far as the Asian markets were concerned, but we ourselves have been using it for our Outsourced Product Development business ever since.

Today, we have many projects where teams span 3 or 4 countries - e.g. R&D in Japan, Product Management in USA, Marketing inputs from USA and Europe, etc. Use of Newgen eWorkStyle and other collaborative tools like a secure, within the firewall implementation of Jabber instant messenger, GotoMeeting, GotoMyPC, etc. enables team members to be literally on the same page. Some time back we also started using Web 2.0 and Office 2.0 tools - Google Spreadsheet is an excellent example. Other tools we use are Open Office, Writely, Thumbstacks, Zoho, etc.

If you would like to have more information about Newgen's multi-shore Outsourced Product Development services and how we use collaboration tools to bring teams close together, write me an email at sanjay [at] newgen [dot] net.

You can read Scott's full article at Dr. Dobb's Portal

1 comment:

Prof. E Bud said...

The rising prices on the aviation industry and the unheard of charges that are being levied on airfares have disturbed people all over the world. This change has shocked people all the more as they had become habitual of comparatively cheap airfares. The IT industry is also following the same trend. The concepts like outsource software development and offshore software development took birth and found existence due to the combination of optimum quality product at competitive rates. Sadly, the IT sector is also experiencing a major downward slope in the present times.