The stakes to evolve your business and adapt to new realities have never been higher. How do you accelerate and scale your transformation cost-effectively? The answer – optimized global delivery. Follow this series and learn more about our nearshore software development capabilities from members of our global consulting team in Colombia.
When coordinating software development projects, you must consider multiple variables at any given time. Tack on virtual collaboration and delivery, and the project is further complicated.
Fortunately, our nearshore software development team, also known as Perficient Latin America, has more than 15 years’ experience with successful virtual project delivery. Throughout numerous client projects, we recognize that our deep-rooted philosophy and culture establishes a secure foundation for delivering projects that exceed our clients’ expectations.
In a conversation with Gustavo Arroyave, a technical delivery leader with Perficient Latin America, he shares more about the unique culture that elevates our team in comparison to other outsourcing software vendors. He also highlights successful outcomes with our long-term clients and the ways we’ve exceeded their expectations.
Shining a Light on Our Nearshore Software Development Team
What does collaboration look like within the context of how we deliver projects?
Gustavo: Our culture and philosophy are what make a difference [compared to] other vendors. The pillars for building successful client relationships include:
- Commitment to transparency with clients
- Constant communication with our peers on the client team
- Effective client participation
We don’t see our clients as different from us. We’re all part of a unique team.
For example, when we began working with one of our long-term customers, a product manager told me, “With other offshore delivery teams, it felt like they were either working for us, or we were working for them. But with Perficient, we’re collaborating on the same level – part of a single team.”
Part of our [employee] culture is empowering team members and making sure they’re comfortable communicating with customers to ask questions or provide constructive feedback. This makes a difference in our ability to collaborate and develop a partnership with them.
How do we build a delivery team that aligns our talent with clients’ goals?
Gustavo: The composition of every delivery team depends upon the project and goals of our customers.
Most teams have a similar composition, such as full-stack developers that can do front to back-end development, or front-end and back-end specialists. These delivery roles are key because they involve building the product.
Delivery teams also include testers to verify what the development team builds. While requirement managers work with our developers to clarify any questions related to our customers’ business.
In some cases, delivery teams will also have UX or UI designers, DevOps to support infrastructure needs, and/or Scrum Masters.
However, it’s a discovery process when building a team. We need to understand our customers’ business needs and expectations. That way, our delivery is more transversal to ensure these needs are addressed, and the team will perform as expected.
Once we understand the goals and a specific target date, we have technical people participate in initial client discussions to understand or identify potential challenges. Then, we start defining a small team to begin building the product – usually around six people. From there, we can assess whether or not to increase the team size up to 10 or 12 within the project. It just depends on the client’s needs.
Nearshore agile teams can perform incredibly well if they have competent leaders who understand how to manage a virtual team. Learn more about successful techniques for leading nearshore agile teams.
Delivery in Action from Our Nearshore Development Team
Developing a Modern, Big Data Marketplace Platform
One of our established clients is a marketing technology company that delivers seamless data-driven marketing solutions to its customers. To remain competitive, the company must quickly develop and deploy new technologies and sought help to build a marketplace application.
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After earlier attempts to outsource development, our client faced several hurdles to develop a minimum viable product (MVP).
We served as a true partner, implementing an Agile approach to development and successfully delivering the new marketplace application. The solution features a robust, big data backend that interacts with other parts of our client’s larger platform.
Customers that use the marketplace, including agencies that work with advertisers, can easily access updated data and efficiently communicate with media planners and buyers.
Why did our client choose Perficient as its nearshore partner?
Gustavo: Finding a solid nearshore development partner was one of the key reasons that our client initially connected with us. The company had a very thorough selection process to find the right partner.
The marketplace application was our first project, and it’s still ongoing. This product is very technical and specific to the [client’s] business. Because we built the solution from scratch, we had the opportunity to demonstrate the strength of all our capabilities – not only the technical expertise but also with Agile.
Our delivery team showed how we live and breathe the Agile approach. We built the marketplace application incrementally and through iterations. Our client previously worked through dependencies in the process. For example, for some teams to build the front-end [of the application], they needed to have the backend ready. So then, the backend becomes a dependency for the front-end developers.
Since our client wanted an automated solution, the teams needed the frontend finished for the testers to implement automation. It could take up to three sprints for our client to build a feature.
By establishing an Agile process, our delivery team reduced the time required to build the feature. We started working on frontend, backend, and automation in parallel and within the same sprint. This shows how we brought innovation to the development process. And, this is part of what became standard for the rest of our client’s teams.
How did the client respond to our delivery approach?
Gustavo: The reduced development time impressed our client because we built front-end and back-end parts in parallel and automated them in one sprint.
The company also values our commitment to transparency. As mentioned earlier, this is key within our culture and way of working – to speak up even when things are not working as expected.
For a team to succeed, every person on the team – both our delivery and client team – needs to be committed and prepared to accept the challenge. If we see anyone who is not prepared, then we communicate that to our clients.
This is part of the feedback that we provide. We inform our clients of challenges with the projects, which may include people within client teams who aren’t leading in the way we expect. Similarly, we recognize and speak up if our team is under-performing and not delivering as expected. Then, we introduce actions to help the team improve, or we make changes to our delivery team so that we align the right person to the right challenge.
Paving the Way for Reliable, Safe Transportation
A fleet management company, which grew through several acquisitions, has a vast collection of safety products it develops, manufactures, and sells to public transportation providers. Our client has maintained its outsourcing partnership with Perficient Latin America since 2010.
Our delivery teams support the development of various products for the business, supplying expertise in machine learning, automation, user interface (UI), DevOps, and more.
Among the products currently in development is a real-time alert and image recognition system for buses. Using external cameras, the system assesses the speed of passing vehicles near the bus and identifies lane infractions and other nearby cars. Based on data captured and analyzed by the system, an alert notifies drivers of these external risks, so they do not deploy the stop arm.
By applying our expertise from the previous use case, we’re using machine learning algorithms and data science to automate a surveillance system for illegally parked vehicles. In the future, this system will use recognition software that captures the vehicle’s information and automatically sends the evidence to a platform that will fine the violator.
We anticipate that customers (transit providers and cities/municipalities) can improve safety within their communities and simplify their operations.
How has our partnership helped the client’s business?
Gustavo: Considering our client’s growth through mergers and acquisitions, we’ve been working alongside their teams, gaining a deeper knowledge of the business throughout these events.
Over the course of our partnership, some delivery teams are focused on supporting and improving existing products. We’ve removed redundancies and built efficient platforms, which has ultimately reduced operational costs for our client.
Meanwhile, our other delivery teams support the company’s new vision by developing the innovative solutions mentioned earlier. Building these innovations come with challenges at times. However, our delivery approach and commitment to constant communication – not only with the product team but also with executives – are among the many reasons this client values our partnership and continues to bring more work to us.
If you’re evaluating nearshore partners for software development…
Our global delivery teams within Perficient Latin America are committed to a culture that emphasizes excellence, honesty, transparency, innovation, and the concept of failing forward. To facilitate successful virtual work with a nearshore partner, these characteristics are instrumental. Now more than ever, delivery teams must be set up and managed without being in the same room together.
As your nearshore development partner, we make this possible because of our culture that values fluid communication and collaboration.
Our delivery teams have proven experience working with US-based clients on complex, cloud-native product development. Learn more about outsourcing software development and finding the right fit with a nearshore development partner.