Software Development - Nearshore Outsorcing - e-Core - White Paper

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Developing reliable high quality software while lowering costs and meeting tight deadlines is a challenge. Software companies usually struggle to find and retain talented resources; it is expensive …

Developing reliable high quality software while lowering costs and meeting tight deadlines is a challenge. Software companies usually struggle to find and retain talented resources; it is expensive and difficult to scale.

That is where e-Core comes in. We provide American customers with nearshore outsourcing services at highly competitive rates and with just a 2-hour time zone difference from Brazil. We are one of the few providers specialized in software companies, focusing on combining methodology, tools and technical resources to speed up business.

We are specialists in creating high quality cost efficient teams to accomplish the following goals:

- Custom Application Development
- Application Migration and Modernization
- System Integration
- E-Commerce
- Mobile Application
- Cloud Development or Migration

We provide broad Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) services that may include: Analysis/Requirement, Prototyping, Architecture Design, Usability Design, Coding, Quality Control/Testing and Maintenance/Support.

From our delivery center in Brazil, which has been awarded 6 times by Computerworld as one of the best companies to work for in Brazil, e-Core can provide all nearshore benefits, increasing quality and reducing costs.

Learn more about how e-Core can help your business at http://ecoreusa.com and http://blog.ecoreusa.com

More in: Technology , Business
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  • 1. 1 Application Development Services
  • 2. 2 Nearshore Methodologies Having attended corporate clients, e-Core has acquired expertise in nearshore outsourcing, a variation of the offshore model in which IT services are carried out in a country which is geographically close to the contracting company’s headquarters. E-Core offers its clients a highly flexible and optimized nearshore methodology that guarantees complete collaboration between onsite and offsite teams. Without forsaking quality and productivity, e-Core’s nearshore model blends convenience and efficiency with competitive prices, taking into account that the projects’ resources can be rationalized and adapted to the clients’ needs. e-Core’s model has been designed to meet the highest quality standards in offsite IT consultancy and development services. It is based on industry standards of IT services management. This document describes the organizational structure, the development process and the communication plan aimed to support the services operation. e-Core (http://www.ecoreusa.com) is a Brazilian nearshore application outsourcing company specialized in helping small and medium sized Independent Software Vendors and Software Enabled Companies to increase their productivity and quality by providing IT solutions using an optimum onshore/nearshore engagement model. With wide experience building high performance teams by allocating dedicated teams in our development center in Brazil and exchanging knowledge with customers about methodologies, tools and best-of-breed practices in software development, e-Core creates innovative IT e-Core: Offsite IT Service Delivery Model solutions that generates great value to our customers. Since 2008 selected as one of the best places to work in Brazil (IT & Telecom) according to Computerworld’s annual report, e- Core has a strong global team composed of smart and talented individuals committed to delivering high quality work. Alignment with core values is a pillar for e-Core’s customer- focused culture. Working at e-Core means living these values and being responsible for the success of every client in every interaction and project.
  • 3. 3 A customer making use of e-Core’s services can benefit from the already existing Onshore (U.S.A.) and Nearshore (Brazil) structures currently operated by e-Core. Brazil offers a series of advantages, such as:  Very competitive prices  Convenient time-zone (GMT-3: only 2 hours ahead of EST)  Cultural similarities  Highly qualified labor force  Low-risk geopolitical and economic environment  Well established and secure infrastructure As a result, each project can be dealt with according to its particular needs, and the presence of professionals at the customer’s site can be easily arranged, either for a whole project or for specific activities, like requirements gathering and production deployment. At the same time, the offsite structure can provide high quality services at lower costs, while benefiting from the close relationship with the onsite team. Brazil Talented resources Timezone proximity Cost efficiency Cultural compatibility Favorable economic environment
  • 4. 4 Key principles The diagram below outlines the main activities of the process, and how they are usually split between the onsite and offsite teams. The Offsite IT Service Delivery Model is designed to accurately reflect and efficiently support the specifics of the different service delivery approaches e-Core has provided to its customers in various projects up to now. On the one hand there is an approach based on Single Phases of Iterations, where Project Management is centralized at the Customer, whereas, on the other hand e-Core can also take responsibility for Full Life Cycle Projects, in which a more shared Project Management relationship takes place. The former is the approach to outsourcing a whole project or its subphases while the latter refers to the outsourcing of a complete project. The Offsite Services Delivery Model is based on the following key principles: Customer Understanding and meeting customer needs is the top priority business goal. Efficient communication at all times, business understanding of requirements, technological expertise, compliance with customers’ policies and processes, among others, guide the customer oriented nature of e-Core’s services model. Resources Efficiently managing resource pools is a key activity to leverage the customers’ investment and assuring high efficiency of projects by assigning the best-suited professionals to each activity. Projects Actively managing or assisting Project Managers to successfully achieve project success, conducting projects in scope, on time and within budget is the third key area. Project teams are closely supervised to assure proper communication and process compliance expectations are being met. Programs Effective collaboration with customer Programs by understanding higher level business goals and leveraging integration among projects and systems can foster better decision-making when facing project challenges. "e-Core has proven to be a great partner in getting our development needs met. They are strong technologists, they are honest and get the job done – on time and on budget. I would not hesitate to engage them again.” Emilia Sherifova, Chief Information Officer. OTC Markets
  • 5. 5 COMMUNICATION Communication is the most important activity to be performed to support offsite outsourcing activities. The effective orchestration of communication among the onsite staff (Managers, Business and Technical staff) and offsite staff (Managers, Team Leaders and technical staff) as well as inner offsite team communication is a key activity to foster onsite and offsite team integration. INTEGRATION AMONG DIFFERENT PROJECTS One key area for program management is the integration between redundant and loosely coupled systems. The business and technical knowledge gathered by e- Core throughout many years of relationship with customers have given us a thorough view of business requirements and application integration opportunities, challenges and approaches. This has led to successful and cutting edge integration projects. The further participation of e-Core in different and diverse customer projects will ultimately allow us to continue designing integration strategies for their systems. SECURITY OF INFORMATION As business information has a very high financial and strategic value to the customer, e-Core policies for its personnel and infrastructure reflect the importance associated to the security of this information. Every employee and contractor that joins the offsite team agrees to and signs a Non-Disclosure Agreement committing to the proper handling of customer information. In addition, e-Core’s infrastructure policies for networks, databases and overall data access reflect the requirements to keep sensitive information out of reach of unauthorized personnel. RELATIONSHIP Onsite staff must have a primary contact for all service needs. e-Core’s Service Delivery Manager provides each customer with a lasting relationship that helps bring the onsite and offsite team together. Throughout its existence, e-Core has developed and prioritized trusting and productive relationships with its customers, which has led to mutual increasing business results year after year. IDENTIFYING PROBLEMS/PROVIDING SOLUTIONS e-Core’s Team Leads are involved with the identification of problems and the attaining of solutions involving offsite and onsite people and structures as needed. This also applies to the close and continuous exchange of information between onsite and offsite teams in order to better understand business needs and come up with good solutions. The Service Delivery Manager (SDM) also provides the offsite staff with a clear and efficient escalation path whenever problems might be faced. The SDM works alongside the offsite team leads and onsite managers to understand the situation and the attainment of a solution. General Guidelines Main general guidelines supporting the aforementioned principles: PLANNING The Team Leads participate in the planning of projects and iterations in order to help the Onsite Managers to effectively use the resources and identify scope, constraints, assumptions and risks. E-Core’s project managers’ expertise, based on industry best practices, such as the PMI, can assure high quality of services. INFRASTRUCTURE The offsite hardware and software development infrastructure is designed to remotely emulate the development infrastructure available at the customer site. This allows e-Core to speed up in-house development of solutions by providing independence and control throughout development and testing cycles. TECHNOLOGIES e-Core has experience with Software development with a number of languages, technologies, tools and frameworks including: Development o Java EE/SE  EJB, Struts, Spring, Hibernate, ServiceMix, Kodo, AJAX, SWT, JMS, JSF, JTA, J2EE Design Patterns o Microsoft .Net  C#, ASP.Net, ADO.NET + Dlink, Silverlight, Ajax.NET, Windows Forms, RDL Reports o PHP, Cobol, Progress, SQL, XML, SOAP, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Groovy, Delphi o HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, Prototype Business System Analysis / Architecture o UML, Rational RequisitePro, Serena RTM Tools/Solutions o Atlassian Jira, Confluence, Greenhopper, Bonfire, FishEye, Crucible, Bamboo, Stash o IBM Websphere AS/ESB, JBoss, Oracle AS o Microsoft Visual Studio, RAD o Databases: Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL o ESRI Solutions (GIS), TIBCO ESB, ServiceMix o WebFocus, Crystal Reports o Magento, Zend Quality Assurance o Mercury Quality Center and QTP, Rational, JMeter, Selenium Industries and Business Areas The long term relationships established by e-Core with customers from different industries and business areas have yielded the understanding of their needs and expectations. The ability to leverage this expertise and continuously propose and implement solutions has allowed e-Core to effectively contribute to its partners on the achievement of consistent business results. e-Core has strong business understanding within areas of the following industries:  Independent Software Vendors  Software-Enabled Companies  Transportation & Logistics  Finance  Healthcare  Agribusiness
  • 6. 6 TECHNOLOGY The technologies and standards adopted by its customers are always followed by e-Core. The Offsite structure has to support this guideline by being adherent to technological guidelines, by adopting them on projects and by hiring and training highly skilled professionals. In addition, technical frameworks and methodologies focus on leveraging the reuse of software components. The research and adoption of new technologies is periodically conducted by e-Core, under the aforementioned guidelines, and aiming at business’ results. TRAINING As part of the team development process, e-Core invests in training of new and existing human resources. Technical training on the methodologies, frameworks and technologies adopted by its customers, such as J2EE, EJB, Hibernate, Struts, AJAX and Spring is offered in-house to newcomers when needed in order to level their knowledge and meet customers’ requirements. As part of the development of existing personnel, e-Core reimburses all costs related to the attainment of industry standard certifications related to their job description, as exemplified by Sun Java Certifications for the Architect and Development teams. Customer and Project Oriented Approaches This section outlines two examples of models followed by e-Core. As stated in the aforementioned sections, e-Core’s Offsite IT Service Delivery Model is flexible enough to adapt to its customers’ onsite structure and requirements, as customer orientation is its prime principle. The following structures should not be taken as restrictions, yet they can provide some rules of thumb for the structure to be adopted. Preliminary meetings between e-Core and the customer will provide the necessary information to design the best suited structure and process adoption to meet customer requirements: Single Phases of Iterations For Single Phases, contact with the key users and project control are centralized at the customer, whereas e-Core acts mostly as a supplier of technical resources to complete the onsite teams. In spite of not having managerial responsibilities such as overall scope and schedule definition, e-Core understands that close team supervision and local management help towards the success of these initiatives and foster productivity. The main characteristics of this type of projects can be summarized by:  Detailed Project Management is done by the customer;  e-Core’s responsibilities might be limited to a specific phase of an iteration;  Narrower view and control over the overall project goals and baseline by offsite resources;  Less autonomy to assign resources by the offsite managers; The organizational structure to support this type of projects is based on the following:  Compliance with customer’s processes;  Close Communication with Project Managers during Inception;  Close Communication with onsite Resource Managers during Elaboration, Construction and Transition;  Functional Leader (BSAs, Architect, Tech Leader and QA Leader) have a closer communication with the Onsite Resource Managers;  Offsite team supervision by the SDM. Full Life Cycle Projects In Full Life Cycle Projects, e-Core has a more thorough understanding of and control over the project. e-Core has close contact with the key user to gather requirements and is responsible for managing and conducting all phases of the project life cycle. The main characteristics of this type of projects can be summarized by:  Closer relationship with the Key User;  In-depth understanding of the business needs by the offsite BSAs;  Responsibility for the whole life cycle of the project;  Fast Tracking of activities; The organizational structure to support this type of projects is based on the following:  Compliance with Customer’s Process;  Close Communication with the Project Managers;  More thorough and closer control over the offsite team by the Offsite Managers.  Higher level resource management by the onsite resource managers.  Performance of the project leveraged by having closer team communication and fast tracking of activities.
  • 7. 7 DEVELOPMENT PROCESS E-Core acknowledges the importance of having an established and controlled software development process in order to support its operation. e-Core is a CMMi Level 2 certified company. As a customer-centric approach requires, however, e-Core also acknowledges that its processes must be flexible to adjust to different customers’ specific scenarios, policies, requirements and project characteristics. As a result, its project management expertise, based on industry standards such as the CMMi, PMI, Agile and Iterative practices, is used to design a custom-fit approach that fosters the cost-benefits of strict process following and agile methodologies and approaches. The subsections below outline some of the current practices followed by e-Core for different customers and project approaches. Agile Methodologies Based Process Different projects and customers have different needs. Depending on the project requirements the Agile Methodologies Based Process can better suit customer needs and we use the following model: Characteristics of Agile projects at e-Core:  Constant development of new features based on a backlog which is constantly being reviewed.  Short development time based on breaking down features into smaller tasks that can be delivered at the end of each sprint as a minimum viable feature or as small increments to existing feature set  Greater dependency on the seniority and flexibility of its team members.  Flexible documentation approach as part of the development process ensuring documentation generates high business value to users.  The single-room approach boosts productivity. Nonetheless, e-Core has had successful experience with Agile based methodologies even for geographically distant teams making use of tools that allow complete control of the project.  Combination of e-Core’s experience with CMMi model and with Agile practices and tools generating a high productive and value-oriented approach for software development projects with benefits such as: o Powerful traceability matrix framework o Team members and customers can check all project information (risks, progress, bug, etc) at any time o Product Owner can create and prioritize stories easily o Flexible project model easily adaptable to a variety of requirements and environments o Increased productivity in the development cycle o Easy adoption for distributed teams "Developing an event-driven social media network has many moving pieces. However, e-Core stepped in to an extremely complicated situation and managed to make sense of it all. We trust e-Core to get the job done on time and exceed our expectations.” George Beardsley, Chief Strategy Officer Co-Founder UNATION
  • 8. 8 Iterative Process This approach is recommended mainly for projects that require extensive documentation, compliance and control to properly achieve their goals. The use of large and geographically distant teams can especially benefit from its documentation and formal characteristics. Its main features can be summarized as the following:  Existence of different and well defined phases, with specific goals to be achieved in each one.  Iterative based approach.  Well defined deliverables between phases.  UML based documentation to support System Analysis and Software Design Activities, including some or all of the following: o Use Case Diagrams o Sequence Diagrams o UI Specs o Rules Workbook o E-R Diagrams o Class Diagrams o Activity Diagrams o State Diagrams  Well documented and controlled process and deliverables.  Possibility of using teams from different vendors for different phases.  Universally known and well experimented practices.  Team members tend to be more specialized in their activities.  PMI and CMMi best practices Afterword E-Core is ready to offer the highest quality standards in Offsite Software Consultancy Development Services, Quality Assurance and Production Support backed up by its Onshore (U.S.A) and Nearshore (Brazil) sites. Its customer centric approach allows it to tailor its services to each customer’s individual needs, including its personnel report structure and its Development Processes. Moreover, e-Core has many years of experience with corporate projects for large sized companies, and understands the challenges involved with such environments. All aspects involved with the Offsite Services Delivery, such as communication, technical infrastructure, business understanding and customer relationship have evolved through previous experiences and the expertise developed by e-Core can offer a stable and safe choice for your IT requirements.
  • 9. 9 CUSTOMERS ADVANTAGES
  • 10. e-CoreNearshore Application Development Quality Assurance Production Support Contact us: sales@ecoreusa.com 50 Main St, Suite 1000 White Plains, NY (914) 682-2009 http://ecoreusa.com http://blog.ecoreusa.com