For an outsourcing team it’s important to achieve a certain style and build a true team and culture
Anna: Hi, Alex. Thanks for your time and it’s a pleasure to talk to you. We know that you have been working with outsourcing companies throughout your career. How long have you been working with them?
Alex: With Agilities I have been working for more than a year and a half. It has been a really good experience. As for the experience in the past, it wasn’t so good but with Agilites it’s definitely been the best one.
Anna: That’s great! Were there any challenges in general working with offshore companies you personally have faced with?
Alex: Yes, so many. I think it’s been the communication. Communication barriers are one of the biggest challenges. The other challenge is setting priorities and dealing with resources. So what happens is the consulting companies often dedicate us resources but they take these resources for another company they have been working for. I’m not afraid to say this. What then happens is this resource I thought to be dedicated to my team is moving elsewhere. But when we worked with Agilites it was the opposite, as they focused on proving dedicated resources as we expected.
Anna: Could you say that nowadays outsourcing is definitely associated with potential problems and is communication the main one?
Alex: Communication – yes. It’s definitely the main concern.
Anna: Since collaborating with outsourcing companies have you changed your view about them as partners?
Alex: I think it’s always good to know what to look for. When I started working with Agilites, even from the very first call that I made I wanted to talk to right people really quickly. From that first call the transparency was apparent, even disclosing the amount the developers were paid – that was also something else that I really liked. So as I remember I had been talking to a couple of companies and they were not honest about how much money their company would be keeping and how much money the developer was going to have as a salary. I remember some of the companies said they would make as much as 200% from a developer. This did not sit right with me and made me feel uncomfortable. When with Agilites it is quite the opposite. They only retain 30% and the rest goes to the person doing the work – that’s really important in my opinion.
Anna: I see. Alex, can you say if you have worked with shared resources?
Alex: What do you mean by shared resources?
Anna: Resources shared by multiple clients.
Alex: That was my previous experience with companies with shared resources and that didn’t work very well. The resources started working elsewhere and there was no transparency over that. With Agilites’ model and having resources solely dedicated to my company, I think that this is definitely the best approach.
Anna: Are there any special criteria you use while choosing a dedicated development team nowadays?
Alex: Nevertheless had I had experience with Agilites, I thought that it would basically be the dedicated resources, how much money they get paid, how they deal with issues, what the hiring process is and how long it takes – we’ve been in the hiring process a number of times with Agilites and it’s been a great experience. The way Agilites said that at first we simply provided them with working environments. We take care of the hiring and so on. But if I think clearly, we have to think about your own employees. We can think of the team as our employees. When they want to go on holidays, they come to talk and ask us, and then they question personally me. For example, if the situation that somebody disappears for a week, is that the person talks to us in a couple of weeks prior to he wants to take holidays. We would say if it is ok and things like that, and that provides us not to put the employee outside.
Anna: You’ve said you are now practicing working with Ukrainian companies and Agilities in particular. What made you start working with dedicated development teams from Ukraine?
Alex: First, these teams have been well-skilled. They have lovely, very good culture as well. They are quite a good match in comparison with an Indian group. I’ve been to a couple of Indian companies, the culture wasn’t theirs, they are very much like “yes-men”. They didn’t work well even in the short term. When we thought that everything was going well, when we got close to release, all those “yes-men” situations turned into situations that we didn’t want.
Anna: You have stated that communication means a lot to you but what about a personal touch, how important is it in your company?
Alex: Very, very important. I think that’s the way we’ve been working with people and companies, and with Agilites in particular.
Anna: Do you believe that the culture of the company’s employees has the impact on the quality of the work they do?
Alex: Of course, absolutely.
Anna: Are there any principles you build relations with the customers or employees according to?
Alex: The basic principle of support is very important. When there are issues and people feel supported and especially when they are not blamed for the mistakes made but are given help or advice how to correct them. Most of time we try to be very mindful about these principles. I think supporting people building a team is so important. It’s not just getting a small team of one or two people. It’s about talking to the whole team, so that they themselves can be apart of the culture and can feel supported locally. I mean for an outsourcing team it’s important to achieve a certain style and build a true team and culture, as well.
Anna: A question about our company, Agilities. What is the most exciting thing on the horizon for Agilites, as you can see?
Alex: In my point of view, Vladimir is trying to strive for quality and avoid being the cheapest. They’re going to give a really good quality of resources. They’re going to make sure these resources are aligned pretty well culturally with the company they are working with, basically with the clients of Agilites. Vladimir really tries to live on that idea. What they have to focus right on is getting really good, attractively good talents so that you can change well and live on the idea mentioned. I mean that in Agilites there are really talented people.
Anna: Alex, where do you draw your business inspiration from?
Alex: I think it’s journey. I’m enjoying the journey. It’s also setting micro-goals rather than one big goal at the end. I think you can get feedback very quickly of what you do, what is important now, and do it well. That automatically helps keeping energetically on the wire rather than working really hard and assuming that all is bad and sets goals far, far away.
Anna: Alex, thank you for your time.
Alex: My absolute pleasure.
To talk to Alex was a great pleasure. The ideas he voiced were all about people – people in business, people at work, relations, communication, support and personal touch that make the job meaningful and attractive.
Agilities share values Alex has spoken about and that has been the basis of our successful relationship.
Anna Kotliarova, marketing specialist