Is this your first-time offshore outsourcing?
If this is your first-time offshore outsourcing for your IT needs, I can totally understand that it can be a little unnerving to begin with. But there are some basic rules of “safe outsourcing” that you can follow to make sure the process can be as risk and pain free as possible.
Audio/Video Meetings: Before you finalize the project, speak with as many senior management personnel as you can and make sure atleast one of the calls is a Video call from the offices of the prospective vendor. This will give you a fairly good idea about the size and setup of the business.
Overseas Representation: It’s a good idea to ask the vendor if they have employees or representatives in the geography in which you are present. This will make for an easy way to reach out to someone in case of an emergency. Check if these overseas reps are employees or just sales and pre-sales agents.
Capability Verification: You must ensure that the prospective vendor is firmly able to establish their pedigree of being experienced in the type of work they are proposing to do for you. Ask for Case Studies and proof of experience. Another good thing to ask for is Certifications and degrees that the developers hold.
References: You must ensure the vendor is able to produce references in your region for similar work as yours. It is important for you to make atleast one call to a past customer and hear about their experiences. Ask these references how long they have been customers. The length of their association tells a lot about ongoing quality commitment of the vendor.
Contracts and Warranties: Insist on strong contracts and with built in warranties for all development work. Make sure you get atleast a 3-month warranty for all functionality. Also, ensure the contract clearly conveys handover of all IP to you on completion of the project.
Payments: After the project initiation payment, all further payments should be linked to demonstrable progress or milestones. No payments should be made just for time elapsed.
Post Delivery Practices: Ask the vendor how they will support you once the delivery has been made. What practices do they follow for small changes and upgrades? Will they proactively notify you when owing to updates in OS versions, your application is likely to stop working and will they able to take up these upgrades of the app in quick time? Do they have a stated policy around this process?
Lineage of Vendor: Finally, Check the lineage of the prospective vendor. How many years have they been in business for and if they have clearly demonstrated their office addresses and contact phone numbers etc on the website? Insist on seeing office pictures to know for a fact that they operate out of a decent facility.