Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
I don't have any metrics in front of me but, as far as the quality of work is concerned, they've been pretty darn good. I've worked with several teams overseas. You always have to realize that anytime you're dealing with any kind of an outsourced project, especially when it's going to a different country, you're going to have a certain set of challenges that range from a bit of a language barrier to a time barrier to an understanding barrier. There's things that will crop up in time.
It's important that you document things carefully, and you make sure that there is a clear understanding on both sides. You need to build into your timelines the issue of timing. Sometimes, it could be a 12- or 24-hour window before you see a result back from what you've asked to have done. Other times, it's very quick.
If you plan accordingly, you can get things back in a couple hours if you're in need of something small. Just in general, I would say as long as you're careful about how you plan then they should do fine.
How did CMARIX perform from a project management standpoint?
In the case of CMARIX, they've been far better at that than any of the other teams that I've worked with. The last team I worked with was turning out some good work, but they were extraordinarily hard to convey data properly and get them to understand it without going through four or five rounds of discussions. You always get back what you put in when it comes to offshore IT [information technology] projects.
What distinguishes CMARIX from other providers?
I don't think it's unique as much as it is a willingness and a commitment to making sure they're turning out a quality product. I could call that unique in the sense that there are many companies that I've worked with that just bang a project out and throw it back at you and hope that it's what you wanted.
One of the things I've noticed about CMARIX is that they tend to take time to look at what you want and are mindful of things like budget and all of that. I never had a budget with them that's gone totally awry that wasn't my fault. That has happened with other companies I've dealt with.
Is there anything CMARIX could have improved or done differently?
I think everybody's always got room for improvement. There were a couple of glitches that we had at the beginning where we thought they understood what we wanted clearly, and they thought they understood, but it turns out they didn't understand it at all.
I have to say that was more the fault of one of my program managers who hadn't had the amount of training to make sure they documented something like that for them. It wasn't horrific. It was just a matter of proper communication. They do a good job of trying to better themselves with that. I can't say they've dropped the ball on anything like that.