offshore-development-center

How to Build Your Offshore Development Centre and Things to Consider Before Setting up an ODC

If you have a company, then you’ve probably come across the term ODC and have wondered whether or not it should factor into your enterprise. An ODC is a general concept and applies to any business willing to put in the required work. To fully understand what an ODC is and how it can help, we’ve put together a few subtopics that hold the most valuable information that you need to know.

What is an ODC?

The term Offshore Development Centre (ODC) stands for an extended, dedicated and integrated offshore team giving support to a company that’s located overseas. Simply put, it is a subsidiary or a branch of a company that has its main operations running in another country.

The country in which the extension studio is located often has a lower cost of living than the one housing the mother company. It is important that the locations you choose to set up your ODC have enough talent to match the integrity of the company.

Basically, set up your main office or headquarters in the country you are in and set up another office (the ODC) in another. Most of the actual software work will be done here. The Offshore Development Centre includes many types of specialists, not just developers. From project managers to user experience specialists and even to designers. Here are some key roles some of these professionals are expected to perform.

Account Manager – Works in corporation with you and your team to ensure your needs are known and that you get any support that you may need.

Designers and developers – Responsible for the planning of the design, software development, installation, software testing, and repair and maintenance.

Project Manager – Ensures that everything that’s needed for the project including scope, budget, communication, schedule, together with other resources is available.

Test Engineers – Checks the quality and integrity of your product.

Graphic Designers – In charge of the visual appeal for the product. He/she promotes the product’s unique brand/ persona through the creation of graphical concepts.

Content/ technical Writers – Deal with the creation of content and instructions integrated into the website or software.

Usability Engineers – Before any product is released out into the market, a usability engineer has to evaluate its user-friendliness by performing a series of tests.

Why do you need an ODC?

Although an ODC is a general business idea, different companies benefit more than others based on the type of product that they deal in. You’d best ask yourself these two questions before you make this investment: “Do I really need an Offshore Development Centre? What benefits would I get from an ODC?”

It would be reasonable to assume that any company would want to save on costs in order to maximize profits. And that is a point for Offshore Development Centres. It would cost less to have your office in a cheaper country than it would to maintain a team that is in-house. Of course, the office rent in that country should be cheaper and if you consider having your billing done over the internet, then that’s an even bigger plus. There will be no additional costs incurred.

Saving on costs is not the only reason as to why one may see it fit to set up an Offshore Development Centre. It may also be that the resources or skills you require are easier to find in a different country. It may be that offshoring would help in making it easier for you to deliver your product or service to its intended consumers as well.

Having your Offshore Development Centre located in a country with a great talent pool will definitely make it easier to augment your teams. Skill shortage affects companies. But lucky for you, your ODC will have you covered when it comes to recruiting talent in its locale. Very often does the country in which the ODC is located have a large pool of young talent waiting to be hired, that is, if the country was chosen wisely.

And to top it all off, you will also get faster development for your software especially if your company prides itself on being able to offer services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

offshore development center india

How do Offshore Development Centre models function?

As with most models, there isn’t just one Offshore Development Center model that works. You can choose to employ either the Contractor Offshore Development Centre model or the Customer Offshore Development Centre model.

Contractor ODC model

In this setup, a full team is assembled to take care of project needs and manage activities related to work. The main office will only provide specifications. This model is best suited for companies that are still generally small.

Customer ODC model

This model is suited for companies that are bigger. Customer powers are really huge for these companies. It would thus make sense to let the customers handle a lot of management, analysis, and design tasks. Here, the ODC will provide a developers’ team that will primarily be focused on coding. Specialists from the main office will research, design, test and have the product delivered.

Launching an ODC Project

Find the right vendor to run your ODC. Outsource an adviser to get you one. The “right” vendor here meaning one that can competently and efficiently get the job done. Have a look at the vendor’s track records and ask other customers for the accounts of their interactions with them before putting them to contract.

Get the new team to understand their responsibilities within the organisation and how they contribute to the company through the project manager. Let them have the organisational structure of the company and let it be as clear as possible. Have the onshore team also understand how the offshore team factors into the company and what they should expect from each other during the period they will be working together.

Select the methodology to employ. The teams should deliver to you. So let them know what it is they are supposed to deliver and exactly how often they should have it delivered so that you are all on the same page.

In some scenarios, you may have to offshore more than one team in order to get the job done. Make it clear what responsibilities each team has. They should be able to cooperate with each other in order to avoid confusion. Failure to do so will lead to poor output which would be the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve.

Extra tips

Before launching an Offshore Development centre, it would be beneficial to have a relevant business case to justify the ODC.

If it is not possible to get an offshore manager, then have a manager that understands both cultures; the culture in the country hosting the main office and the culture in the country hosting the Offshore Development Centre.

It is better to have your team built from scratch for your Offshore Development Centre rather than finding a smaller company to buy. This way you can mould your team to ensure that they comply with your company culture and can provide the skills that you deem most necessary.

Aalpha is headquartered in heart of Bangalore, if you are a startup or a SME company and looking to setup ODC or simply Hire Developers, then please connect with Aalpha and we will be glad to offer free consulting cum proposals for your projects.

Stuti Dhruv

About The Author

My name is Stuti Dhruv & I am senior consultant at Aalpha, primarily working on pre sales, consulting with clients on latest technology trends.