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Outsourcing options

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:35 am
by jydell
Hi. Interested has anyone had luck outsourcing tm1 development overseas. (I’m thinking full time developer based in low cost country). I have changed roles and looking at implementing tm1 but the budget does not allow for an in house developer (except me as a knowledgeable user). And the business case has to exclude consultants as the cost is prohibitive (as we already have another product)

There are obvious pros and cons of such an activity, I’m interested given the maturity of the product, can it make sense, or is the challenge of communication not worth it.

Note, forum rules please don’t reply with a sales pitch. Just experience.

Re: Outsourcing options

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:36 am
by gtonkin
It can work but depends entirely on who you get, their experience and skill level. This is also directly related to their cost.
We have come across consultants who could not get the work done or implemented very poor solutions - some of these were very high rates, some low.

Because TM1 is very niche, I think anyone with a reasonable grasp knows what the going rate is and would charge accordingly.

For me, the focus would be on ensuring that whoever gets involved understands your process and can develop a sustainable solution as you will no doubt need changes and support going forward.

When we have done work for clients abroad, we have found that an initial onsite meeting works best to get acquainted, have a "meeting of the minds" etc. From there, offsite development with regular Web-Ex feedback/progress. Depending on the client's resources, we may have another onsite for training or hand this over remotely.

The critical success factors for me would be (at least):
- a thorough understanding of the requirement
- a thorough understanding of the environment in which the solution will be used (business and technical)
- a view of what the next few years holds in terms of likely changes, usage scenarios, growth etc.
- a dedicated person at the client who can act as the intermediary in terms of business and technical requirements/detail

There is a lot more that I am sure others will contribute too but hope this helps for now.

Edit: Timezones has not been too much of an issue but can introduce a day delay where there is more than 6 hours difference as one side is wrapping up and the other just beginning. Better if developers are ahead so that client can pick up on testing/feedback.

Re: Outsourcing options

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:32 pm
by jim wood
If it ends up offshore, one thing I would do is keep an eye on the forum. If they're having trouble with some of your requirements they'll probably end up here. So don't tell them your a member of the forum.

Re: Outsourcing options

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:11 pm
by lotsaram
At different times I have seen all sides of the fence on this one I think
- customer side establishing and running in-house team
- customer side as receiver of out-sourced and off-shored services
- consultant side competing as on-site resources vs offshore
- consultant side establishing and running offshore delivery center

Just remember even if cost constraints force you to look offshore there is no truer cliche than "the bitterness of poor quality lasts much longer than the sweet taste of cheap price." In a niche area like TM1 an experienced consultant can easily be 10x as productive as a newbie. When you add to that distance and language and culture and understanding of business requirements, ... well you get the picture. I would just say that for TM1 expertise is far more important than price. Cheapest hourly rate is often the worst predictive indicator for lowest aggregate cost. (Of course unfortunately management and procurement may not always care).

It can work. I have seen it work. But it isn't easy. You need to look at the expertise of the team and the continuity/turnover. Keeping hold of the right people is challenging. Think how difficult it is to hire and retain TM1 people in a developed market and double or tipple that for a low cost country.

I'm happy for you to PM me with any questions but also conscious of keeping things non-commercial I'll leave it at that.