What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
They’ve enabled us to scale in a way that we couldn’t have otherwise. If I didn’t have Sombra, I’d have to turn away a bunch of business. They’ve empowered us to take on larger projects and more of them. We can also get projects done faster. They’re a pretty critical part of our equation in that I know I can say yes to new projects.
How did Sombra perform from a project management standpoint?
I speak to the manager weekly, and we have a spreadsheet that we go through to see what projects we have coming up and how many people we need from their side. They fill the spots that we need, and then we get them all set up. The people that they provide are embedded in our team, so they join our Slack channel and standup meetings. It’s super integrated. We treat them as part of the team.
The longer we work with them, the more comfortable everybody gets, so it’s really fluid. We have very open communication with the managers and the resources; we’ll slack, email, or jump on a call with them. People from my office have gone to meet Sombra’s team, and some of their people have come here. They’ve been super flexible as well; at one point at the end of last year, we basically maxed them out, and they started to source more people for us and managed it all on our behalf. I don’t think I have anything bad to say.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They’re always flexible and willing to help. We had a project recently that didn’t go so well, which had nothing to do with them, but they offered to put people on at reduced costs to help build that relationship. Those kinds of things speak to their commitment; they don’t need to do that stuff, but they do. They’re in it with us. It feels like a partnership and a lot less transactional than my work with other companies like them.
Are there any areas they could improve?
The only potentially negative thing is around their English levels, which are still quite good. There is also a cultural element that we need to coach their resources on a bit, just around speaking up and raising problems rather than just trying to solve everything themselves. However, as they get to know us and understand how we work, it’s not a problem in the end. We’ve had a couple of instances where it didn’t work out with somebody because the communication was too hard, but it’s not even a problem then; they find somebody and swap them out.
Any advice for potential customers?
To get the most out of the partnership, I’d say just be friendly and open up a bit. Let them know what you’re doing and why.