What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Smart IT is basically part of our company. They’re pretty much full-time employees, just outsourced. It’s not project-based work but time and materials, with everyday tasks from maintenance and support, and up to big project launches.
We’re satisfied with their delivery and adherence to our requirements. We don’t really measure the success rates of particular tasks or projects. The fact that we’ve been working with them for two and a half years — basically since we launched our business — is a good indication that we’re generally satisfied with the collaboration.
How did Smart IT perform from a project management standpoint?
We’re actually managing them with respect to their primary work. Their internal management is concerned with other needs, like extracurricular activities, motivation, inside reviews, and so on.
We communicate almost exclusively in Russian, though most of the team is capable of communicating in English. I’m fluent in Russian myself, so it’s easier for me, and communication is pretty much a non-issue. We keep all documentation and task descriptions in English, but the spoken and chat communication is in Russian.
In terms of management, they’re relatively quick to respond to my requirements. If I need to expand the team, I’ll get options relatively quickly.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I have very limited experience working with similar companies, but I can say that Smart IT is very focused toward our projects, and they have relatively low employee turnover. We started with a team of seven people, and six of those are still with the team. That’s one benefit from our perspective, and it speaks to the company’s management. Their people are motivated and don’t leave for other companies.
They have a creative approach to solving problems. There have been cases where we needed something urgently, with timetables that didn’t seem okay relative to the standard working hours of their people, and they were willing to work extra. Smart IT adjusted to what our company needed in order to deliver as necessary.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I’ve only worked with three outsourced companies so far, and there are no particular downsides that stand out with Smart IT.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
I’d definitely suggest that they go ahead with Smart IT, though it would depend on what expertise was needed. If it was purely about development, and Smart IT had specialists for that in their company, I’d definitely give a green light.
If it was more about other technological requirements, they have some expertise, but we’ve hired an internal person purely for database administration, for example.
It’s important to have clear communication and set clear collaboration terms, so that there are no surprises in the future.