What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Today, we have software competitors, but, back in 2014, we were innovators. We were the first company to deal with this subcategory of cybersecurity. UkrInSofT has been with us since the beginning and has helped us grow as a company.
We’ve dealt with some interesting challenges and tasks in the cybersecurity field. Most of our customers are Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. so they have high demands. It took some time for UkrInSofT to reach the level of quality we desired, but they’ve adopted the methodology to meet and cope with U.S. standards.
We track milestones and timelines, and there are strict definitions and quality assurance measurements in place. These come with a cost and extend our timelines, but we aim to keep track of progress and achieve greater results from one release to another.
How did UkrInSofT perform from a project management standpoint?
I would like to say that we are an agile software house, but we are not. Even so, we work through KPIs and measurements for each version or release. We plan milestones for smaller versions, working in an agile fashion, but, for major versions that require more iterations, the approach is less sprint-oriented and more waterfall.
We have daily collaboration using shared development and QA environments. We deal with any issues effectively. We communicate through Skype or WebEx calls and we share the same instances of Jira and Git. Everything is committed in our repository.
With UkrInSofT, we are almost like a family. We visit them in Ukraine every two months, and they’ve come to our office. Beyond just sending out tasks, we establish a relationship to have a closer look and speak to the people directly.
We have a couple of Russian expats working for us so we have a common language, which is a huge advantage. The team’s English is quite good; they send their employees to English courses.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Because UkrInSofT is not a large software house, their developers are more invested in the company and they emphasize the importance of expanding their knowledge. Some members have been working for the company for three or four years, and we have appreciated the consistency.
They also invest in client relationship and want us to be happy. It’s important to them that we give good feedback, so, if something is wrong, they invest more in fixing it. They learn new technologies quickly and invest in research without billing us. They understand that they can learn from the experience.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Getting to a full synchronization took some time in the beginning. It’s a matter of establishing a relationship, understanding their culture, and sharing the same mindset and goals. We were like a mentor for them, and they’ve learned a lot from our projects.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
It’s important to have someone on the client’s end focus on working with the offshore partner.
Also, having a Russian speaker on our side has been a major benefit. Visiting Ukraine at least twice per quarter has also been imperative. Working with an offshore company requires some investments; it’s important to be open-minded and understand the partner’s culture.