There are many different tools available when outsourcing your software projects across the globe, some of which are outstanding, and some of which are a nightmare. The difference lies in accountability: in the offshore staffing industry, accountability is everything and companies that can offer that, and the advantages that accompany it, are a cut above the rest.
When you offshore projects with companies like oDesk, you are primarily dealing with individual freelancers or software companies that are based overseas.
Let's talk about the freelancers for a moment.
- Cheap labor
- Good English communication
- Skills vary widely
- Very little accountability
- Very little reliability
- Freelancer works from home (in underdeveloped countries where electricity outages are a major problem)
- Very little security (code confidentiality)
- No legal recourse if things go wrong with your project
- Freelancers often work a full-time job during the day, and work on your projects at night when they are not at their best
- Freelancers are often juggling several projects at a time, and may not be fully focused on yours
- 100% of your U.S. money is going overseas
- oDesk is full of freelancers with the above-mentioned advantages and disadvantages. You can view their profiles carefully to see what past users have said about them.
Now, oDesk also has offshore-based companies to work with. I have personally used this method of outsourcing as well with dis-satisfactory results.
- Developers work in an office which makes them more reliable.
- They have project or team leaders to assist developers.
- oDesk has a rating system of past users experiences
Offshore based companies—Disadvantages:
- No legal recourse when disputes occur
- Bid small on projects to land them, but drag them out for much longer than necessary in order to squeeze every penny out of you under the disguise of "scope changes"
- Rarely offer direct access to the developer doing the work
- You speak with a project manager that often is juggling way too many projects and cannot give you the focus your project needs.
- Developers work night shifts according to U.S. hours.
- Highly inefficient communication between you and your Project Manager (often via email)
- 100% of your US money goes overseas
- Junior developers are hidden behind project managers
- No US-based help when you have a problem or a need
- No understanding of US business culture or accountability
- If you don't agree to their rate hikes or hidden charges, they hold your code hostage and threaten SEO attacks
- You do NOT own your code after a project is completed!
Most of the negativity associated with the offshore industry stems from offshore-based software development companies. You have to have direct access to your developers if you are going to succeed at any software project and that is where many of these companies fall short. I strongly believe that communication is 80% of a successful software project, and if you are only speaking to an overseas project manager via email or instant messenger, then you will inevitably waste a lot of time, money and energy. Software developers need to ask questions to get a project 100 percent; if they can't talk to the client directly, then time is wasted and the project will go off track quickly. Never trust your software development needs to offshore-based software companies, you will most undoubtedly regret it.
Now let's talk about what sets Allshore apart from offshore-based software companies:
- Only senior level developers with at least 5 years of development experience are accepted into our company
- Excellent English abilities and regular English training from native speakers
- Allshore is a US-based company that you 1099 at the end of the year.
- Legal recourse is available
- US-based customer support is in your chat room all day, every day helping guide your communication with your developer
- Direct access to your developer: you manage your developer while we help in communication and technical needs
- Our developers work in two, world-class service centers with generators to manage power outages, UPS's, and excellent work environments.
- Developers are extremely reliable and trained in American business culture and best practices.
- Our guarantee is "Never pay for unproductive work!"
- Allshore provides hourly rates or flat monthly fees, and our clients are the project managers
- We provide RealVNC (screen-sharing) access to your developers screen at any time so you can always know exactly what your developer is working on.
- Team leaders are available to assist our developers in technical questions, saving you time and money on research needs.
- You own your code and confidentiality agreements actually mean something with Allshore!
- Not all of your money is going overseas, with our low rates, a percentage of your money stays in the U.S.A. to help support jobs here.
- All of our developers work US business hours!
- Very well suited for long-term sub-contractor relationships
- Very low developer turnover
- The hourly rate is slightly higher than freelancers or offshore based companies, but it goes to pay the US based support that you will need, and it goes to pay the excellent facilities overseas that provide stability and reliability. It is always cheaper to get the project done right the first time.
- No online ratin g system of developers, but we provide a full client referral list upon request.
As you can see, oDesk and other online providers do provide some advantages, and Allshore was started by using one of these providers. However, after a few years of agonizing frustration, wasted money, and too many disputes with offshore-based companies, I decided enough was enough. I started Allshore to provide my fellow Americans a better way to offshore their IT needs and with hard work we have succeeded in transforming problems with off-shoring into positives.