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Why Healthcare Should Consider South America for Quality Offshore Development

As many who follow Perficient know, we recently completed our largest acquisition to date with bringing PSL on board.  Our healthcare practice is excited for a number of reasons that I want to explore but it boils down to quality offshore development. We think it makes a lot of sense for Healthcare Organizations (HCO) to look closely at an offshore practice like PSL.  But first, let me give some highlights before diving into why we think this makes sense for Perficient and for our Healthcare clients.

By the Numbers

In this day and age, you don’t buy a fledgling offshore firm. That’s especially true when Perficient already has significant quality capability in our various India and China offices.  So you want quality and scale and that’s what brought us to them

Psl Numbers

I want to highlight that the scale of people and the scale of technologies is key here.  Perficient takes on work we can succeed at and that only works if you have the necessary skills.

Psl Numbers 2

Then of course there’s the quality side of things. Our first offshore office in China was the first that we know to achieve CMMI Level 5 for Agile certification in the world.  PSL was the first to achieve it in Latin America and was the 8th in the world.  The focus on quality makes a difference.

By Alignment

Anyone who has been through a merger knows that cultural fit and alignment are kings.  When you take two different business cultures and push them together, success only comes if they can merge together in shared values and shared goals.  If you have widely divergent goals and values then you increase the likelihood of failure.  Now think about what this means for consulting projects in general and offshore projects in particular.  You must create those same share values and goals. The first time I heard from PSL and then the first time I spoke to them the following came shared value came through

  1. Focus on Quality Offshore Development.  I mentioned that they too received CMMI certification very early on.  We share that not because we love the certification but because of what the certification brought us
  2. Success.  Every one says they want success but I heard on sentence from PSL that we at Perficient use quite a bit.  “We have told a client we won’t do certain work if it’s not within our skill set.”  In that particular case 2/3 of the project mentioned was alignd but we didn’t focus on one technology that was key to the project.  They walked away.  We’ve done that ourselves rather than take on something where we would have a high likelihood of failing out client.
  3. Evolution.  Over time, Perficient has reinvented itself several times. PSL seems to have done that as well.  They evolve technical capabilities. They focus on improving their employees skills. They focus on constant internal improvement with Agile methodologies, testings, and DevOps.
  4. Culture.  In my discussions it was obvious the cultural fit was high.  It makes for an easier understanding between our teams and with our clients

What It Means to Healthcare

You’ll notice that I have yet to discuss a single technology capability yet.  That will come a little later.  In reality, we’ve learned that just having offshore capability doesn’t lead to success.  You have to set the offshore project up for success.  There are best practices.  Both the client and the consulting firm have to invest in it.  That’s why we are excited about what our new capabilities with PSL will bring value to our healthcare clients.  Here’s a couple reasons

  1. Our partners in Colombia have a consulting mind set.  The first answer to the question, “Will you do this” isn’t necessarily yes. Sometimes you have to help clients understand the pros and cons of what they want to do to ensure they make the right decisions.  This leads to quality offshore development
  2. Time zone.  Being in the same time zone as the US (Eastern) means it’s easier to communicate.  Since communication is one of those important ingredients then we can work less hard at it
  3. Wide range of technical capabilities.  This includes testing, devops, integration, data, and cloud.  If there’s a common theme we see among our healthcare clients it’s that they are starting to move towards cloud and agile in a big way.  That includes the use of cloud for data and integration capabilities.  The alignment of skills makes a lot of sense
  4. Lower overall costs. Like other offshore centers, our Colombia GDC has significantly lower costs than what you find in the United Stated.  This helps when you only have so much budget but you still want to maintain high quality
  5. Product and Agile mind set.  Many of the Colombia GDC clients use them to create and improve products.  In many ways they are the product development team.  Now you might wonder why is that relevant to healthcare?  Many of our more innovative clients in the payer, provider, and medical device worlds are actively creating products that they want to use internally and market to others.  Our Colombia GDC bring the right mindset and experience to do this.

I’ll focus the next post on more in depth details on how our Colombia GDC aligns to healthcare.

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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