Nearsurance

OFFSHORING, NEARSHORING, OR NEARSURANCE?

The main problem that prevents companies from realising their innovation plans is having inade- quate resources: money and people. Many executives struggle with rising costs, especially when it comes to their staff. Outsourcing is a common solution as it helps reduce the costs of doing business while boosting profits.

Companies that chose to outsource typically opt-in for either offshoring (outsourcing to countries like India, China, or the Philipines) or nearshoring (outsourcing to nearby countries in the same region). Both models have their own benefits but also challenges that can arise from cultural dif- ferences or miscommunication, especially when it comes to delivering IT services. Offshoring, in particular, is associated with complexities like language and cultural differences, travel distances, and time zones that are inconvenient.

To overcome these challenges, companies often use the nearshoring model, outsourcing their business processes to nearby countries that are in the same or close time zones and that have less cultural differences. In Europe, nearshoring hubs are typically in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region.

Our years of experience in the field has helped us understand and gain enough insight into the inefficiencies of both nearshoring and offshoring. This leads us to create our own unique out- sourcing model called Nearsurance. Based on the nearshoring model, Nearsurance is all about being present at the client’s location and solving the issue by delivering knowledge, organization- al processes, and domain.

First, we set up a front office to understand the problem and have seamless communication with the client. We then provide a remote team that can be scaled up or down and has the right skills to take full ownership of the project.

1. FRONT OFFICE

The first thing we do is to set up a front office at the client’s site.

A Strypes team member will be present full-time at the client’s location to gather information about the issue and the work that is required to solve it. This professional typically has at least 15 years of experience and is there to:

  • — Establish a connection
  • — Understand the problem
  • — Prepare the organisation process
  • — Constantly communicate with the customer

After the start of the project, the Front Officer will remain present to make sure that the communi- cation stays seamless and that the client will receive the right solution that can also be adapted if needed. The rest of the team doesn’t have to be present there at all times.

2. THE REMOTE TEAM

After the issue and the work are assessed, Strypes provides and manages the remote agile team, according the work that needs to be done.

One of the main benefits of Nearsurance is that we provide a predictable fixed budget. How much time it takes to complete the work or how many people should be involved in the project becomes our responsibility, not the client’s. We take care of balancing the budget throughout all quarters, rather than having employees work on an hourly basis.

3. TAKING FULL OWNERSHIP

When the client needs additional domain and knowledge to solve the problem, we take full ownership to come up with the solution.

Nearsurance allows us to provide more than just the right team members who have the required resources. We use this model as a way of establishing ourselves as a trusted thinking partner. We won’t just say “yes” to everything and execute the work. Instead, we like to challenge our- selves and suggest better ways to deliver the solution.

Big changes require a lot of stakeholder management and this is why we value the long-lasting partnerships we create with our customers. Thanks to Nearsurance, we solve a lot of the ineffi- ciencies of outsourcing.

If we are responsible, the issue will be solved – this is our guarantee. For us, taking full owner- ship means that the client will only notice the working solution, not the actual work that we put behind it. Our work is so efficient that we often blend with the client’s organisation.


NEARSHORING + QUALITY ASSURANCE = NEARSURANCE

Strypes’ unique Nearsurance model combines our expertise in IT implementations and software development with the benefits of nearshoring. We work with a fixed budget and our clients only pay for the work we deliver. Managing the budget and scaling up or scaling down the teams according to the workload is our responsibility. This allows our clients’ in-house teams to focus on their goals while we take full ownership of the outsourcing organisation, execution, and solving the issue.

NEARSURANCE APPLICATIONS

NEARSURANCE AND MIGRATION

The client (under NDA) came to Strypes as they needed to migrate from Solaris to Linux, having a stable and optimised workstation operating system to run their applications. The production of their SUN workstations had stopped and they needed to replace them by new Linux / Intelx86 machines.

Our challenge was to migrate the entire software archive (~30M LoC and over 30 functional clus- ters) and make sure it runs smoothly on the new operating system. We had to define the release strategy and manage the migration of the core functionality, networking, drivers, and component compatibilities.

The client recognised us as a partner who has the capacity and the necessary knowledge and ex- perience. We had to provide the organisation processes and the domain that were required for the application management process. At first, we started with a team of 4 people that we scaled to 14 during the peak and then scaled down to 4 people again during the finalisation phase.

Our challenge was to make sure that the client application runs on the new Linux platform and that it is deployed on the customers’ sites while maintaining the high-quality standards. We modernised the software on all the new machines while meeting all the deadlines.

NEARSURANCE AND APPLICATION MANAGEMENT

The client (under NDA) had quite a lot of components that had to be developed but they didn’t have enough team members who have the right knowledge. Their framework didn’t need that many changes but adding new features was very hard as the knowledge was scattered. They asked us if we wanted to take the ownership of the project which had 30 different software components with different maturity that required diverse knowledge.

We split the project into three phases – discovery and getting the knowledge, improving the per- formance, and then performing the activities. For a limited amount of time, we set up a front office at the client’s location and were working in a virtual team setting together with the customer to get the know-how and perform a knowledge takeover.

The whole Strypes team, both local and remote, were working together with the client for 9 months, after which we took full ownership. Getting the knowledge is a common fear when it comes to outsourcing domain-intensive projects as it is hard to acquire. In this instance, the Nearsurance approach allowed us to do this in an efficient way.

We started with the execution – software development, validation testing, and providing support. In the beginning, the customer was owning the roadmap but later on, we moved to full ownership, talking to the stakeholders and moving them through the whole process while defining the road- map.

Over the course of 5 years, we increased the number of functional components to 26 and we have written more than 300,000 lines of code. We started with a team of 3 people that grew to 8 by continuously extending the domain knowledge and the scope. This was important for the customer because it allowed them to give us more responsibilities.

NEXT STEPS

Now we are still in control of the roadmap and the customer gives us more responsibilities. The components are no longer a problem for the client and the management doesn’t hear about any problems as we handle everything. If there’s a problem, we know it’s our responsibility and we don’t wait to be told that we should fix it.

NEARSURANCE AND IT/INFRA

When it comes to IT/Infra, we take ownership of the server so that it runs smoothly, including the tools to run the software. Once we provide the IT infrastructure, we take full ownership which goes as far as talking to the customer’s suppliers. In this case, the Nearsurance model is more superior than any other.

IT/Infra is usually outsourced because it always needs to be cost-optimised but also because the client often doesn’t have enough resources to do this in-house – there aren’t enough desks or buildings or it doesn’t make sense from a financial perspective.

Many companies choose to outsource this service in India but are now moving out because of having too many cultural differences and a big time difference. Those companies still want to out- source but would rather do that near their own country. If they are in the UK or the Netherlands, many companies now prefer to outsource IT/Infra in Europe, rather than continuing to work with the offshoring model.

NEXT STEPS

For us, this is a continuous service and a flow of work. There’s never a beginning and an end. We make sure that the component we’re responsible for will be optimised and that they will always perform as they should be.


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REQUEST A CONSULTATION

The examples that we reviewed showcase a small fraction of how to apply Nearsurance as an outsourcing model that guarantees a solution.

The best way to show what we can do for your company is to offer a free consultation so that we can discuss your needs and show you what solutions we can build.

To request a demo, reach out to us at business@strypes.eu or call us to discuss your project needs.

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