In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics or user feedback that would demonstrate the quality of their work or the success of the engagement?
We've been using the same metrics as we do with our own team, essentially measuring the new development speed. I don't see any difference in terms of what they can produce compared to what our own team can produce. They have the same quality level and the same technical skill level, so the only real difference is cost. Then, of course, there is the additional communication issue since they're not here where we are, and their main language is not English. This inevitably leads to a dip in terms of efficiency, but it's still much better and more reliable than our previous partner.
I would say that if I had them here in Sweden, rather than Ukraine, we would get somewhat greater efficiency. That's not due to their skills or anything. That's due to the fact they're not here – they're not physically close to us. I think it's been working extremely well – much better than our prior experience.
The project management has worked very well, too, but we took very cautious steps to make sure that we didn't have any barriers in that regard. I made sure that, on my side, I had someone who could connect with his counterpart in N-iX. They are our main source of communication, and we have contact on a daily basis. We didn't have to micro-manage, we just designed their teams so they had the same structure as ours. Having the same workflow has worked out great.
We really had no problems. We were clear with them that if they saw problems or issues with the relationship to let us know. We told them that they needed to act as if they were employed by us or hired by us, and that worked very well. We had no issues whatsoever.
When working with N-iX, is there anything that you would consider unique about their practice that distinguishes them from other vendors?
One of the unique things was actually our joint way of handling things, of making them an arm of our business. Instead of just giving them specific projects, we really made sure they could work in different ways, extending our R&D power and making them part of our own development cycle. They'd get their own projects, but they could also be part of a mixed team, just like any other resource we would have in-house.
I haven't really seen that business model before. We were part of the hiring process, we could see what we were paying and the actual salaries that their people received, and we could influence that compensation by highlighting exceptional contributions. That helped us get them involved in a much better way. That whole business model is very unique, and I haven't seen that before. It's not the traditional offshore business offering, so I would point to that one being the single important thing that stands out.
What advice, if any, would you give a future client of theirs?
Make sure to have a single point of contact at N-iX. Regardless of the size of the project, you still need that one key contact, someone who is proficient in English and also a person who is good in technical and project management skills. So, you find that sort of starting point, and that will help you a long way. Also, they really are an extension of your business, and if you treat them like that, if you're paying attention, really make sure they feel well taken care of, that gives you a really good starting point. Again, find the one with the good English skills. That key person has to be very good.