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Exclusive Interview with Alex Borisov – Co-Founder, Rocketech

January 11, 2021 |
rocketech

Exclusive interview with Alex Borisov – Co-Founder Rocketech on “Top App Firms”

In this exclusive interview, he shared his insights on outsourcing and several more things. Let’s check his success story and thoughts.

1. What are the different types of outsourcing?

In my opinion, there are two types:

1)Time & Material when we are buying hours of people that will work on our tasks.
2)Fix price when we are fixing the scope of work and resources (cost & time) to implement it

2. Why do you think companies outsource, what benefits does outsourcing provide them?

Outsourcing allows to:

-speed up the whole process to get the results faster,
-make fewer mistakes,
-participate in risks with partner,
-get more cheap results compared to in-house,
-get more fast results compared to in-house,
-help with uncertainty because usually, contractors know better how to build up what is needed.

3. What would you say are the top risks of outsourcing?

-Model of cooperation
-Tech risks that have to be covered in the beginning
-Expectations of end-user and customer
-Poor resource management

4. What challenges do companies face when outsourcing their call center functions and how should they minimize risk to their core business?

Same as always when we are talking about the working process, you have to describe it and understand if it is effective or not. Optimize it and make it stable. Then if you see that this process has to be outsourced because of the cost and effectiveness to the 3rd party then you move on. Simply preparing all integrations, numbers, standards of the call centers and during the weekends make the switch.

Moreover, if we are talking about NLU, NLP chat boats that can change the whole call center then it is needed to build up in the next stage with collecting big data of the conversations between different people.

A few years ago we saw the hype of this technology and still, banks, travel companies, telecommunication providers use them but we still need some humans for support of such bots. In my opinion, it will be more and more digitized in the future but for now, it’s still that cost to develop and in its support takes more and more, but I don’t want to say that things will change and we will see this in the nearest future.

5. What are the top 3 questions a company should ask a potential outsourcer?

In my opinion, it could be different but our experience showed us that real strong customers want to understand what is behind the price and rates that contractors are saying.
1) What do you deliver at this rate per hour?
2) What kind of projects have you done? Please show what is working
3)How do you deliver? What will be if we don’t meet the deadline or planned resources?

6. What industry sector outsources the most?

A few years ago, there were big industries that wanted to do real-time accounting of their sales, items, activities, people and etc.

After years of outsourcing started to come up, some old corporates and medium enterprises wanted to develop something brand new and as the result appeared some famous companies that grow up very rapidly, I’m talking about Apple, Google, Amazon and etc.

So now it’s the age of startups that want to challenge IT giants and old fashion business. There is no one specific area or industry that requires improvements, every company needs to improve engineering processes and get faster and better IT solutions because IT is the nervous system of any business.

7. What are the top 5 reasons organizations outsource?

1) Company design business process for making product to their customers not for making custom software all the time
2) It is faster
3) It is cheaper
4) Less risky and uncertainty
5) You get quality result

8. What effects do legislation (e.g. DMA/FTC etc) have on the outsourcing industry and what are your views on this?

In my opinion, we have to follow the law and business has to be legal. As to the impact, I don’t see a big problem even with GDPR; it’s just the rules and principals to follow. Apple, Google, Facebook change their policy all the time… So, or you follow the rules or you are out of this market.

9. What challenges do offshore outsourcers face that domestic ones do not?

Compliance procedures, you can open up a bank account easily …
Competition mentality: many companies think that Indian developers are better than Russian; or developers have to work only in the office which is close to the place where they are working or leaving.

It is very hard to explain why we are not cheap because everyone thinks that development in Russia or Ukraine should cost almost nothing; yes, it’s cheaper but there is still cost.

10. What are the key drivers for companies to outsource offshore?

Founders want to spend less money but get much more experienced developers. They like developers form Russia and CIS countries but they don’t know all environments, laws, taxes, language and etc. Main driver for launching a development team in other countries are the costs.

In the US or Europe, the cost of a junior dev is too high. Thus, with that cost he can hire a Middle+/Senior developer from CIS Country.

11. How have the campaigns and projects companies outsource changed over the last 5 years?

Quality custom software development companies are becoming less and less on the market. Many of them are leaving the market and starting their own startups.

Many companies that are still on the market have very poor reputation. Some companies are still working at the old school Fix price model and that is the reason why the outsourcing market is not as big as it should be. But we at ROCKETECH are still optimistic about the future because we compete not with other outsourcing companies but with in-house development.

12. What would you say are the top 5 questions a company should ask a prospective outsourcer?

1)Please show me some projects and tell me the costs of them and timelines
2)How do you solve problems? Please describe the last situation that you solved and how?
3)What are customers saying about you? Can you provide any feedback?
4)Please show me some of your projects that are working and tell me in detail how you achieved this.
5)Working flow and price structure, what am I paying for? What is included into hourly rates?

13.Do you feel that a client of an outsourcer should have unrestricted access to agents/reps working on their behalf and why do you believe this?

If we are in one boat and this agent is trying to solve a problem then it is ok, if he is aiming to put some extra pressure than we are against him.

Basically, we work using the best practices of SCRUM and we agree in between us what has to be done and after a while, if there is a problem or people don’t deliver we change them. That is the reason why we don’t have any problems with agents or customers because we work with customers on a daily basis and solve problems all the time.

14. What industry sectors tend to outsource more than others (e.g. financial services, utilities etc)

Basically, these are the industries that are booming with startups now: entertainment, edutainment, Food tech, delivery, social networks, Fintech, utilities and productivity apps, robotics, games, AR, AI and etc.

15.What management and motivation challenges do outsourcing companies face with their staff?

The main issue is the bench on which developers are sitting and just waiting for new projects. Many developers don’t want to work with time trackers that make screenshots.
Quality Control is also a big challenge.

We have solved it and are just making improvements but I know that many companies still have problems with this issue.
Time control and money control are at the edge of delivery features.

16. How can outsourcers and clients ensure a fair partnership agreement?

Trust each other and understand the mistakes that can happen. Solve the problems fast and efficiently in order to build up good relations.

17. What are the main advantages of using brokers when considering outsourcing some, or all, of your contact center functions?

We usually work with the end customer, sometimes we get inquiries from agents but in this case, they are becoming Product owners for us. There are many advantages because a customer is working with a person who knows him and a broker working with a team that is established for him.

18. What would you say are the top 5 questions a company should ask a prospective outsourcer?

1)Please show me some projects and tell me the costs of them and timelines
2)How do you solve problems? Please describe the last situation that you solved and how?
3)What are customers saying about you? Can you provide any feedback?
4)Please show me some of your projects that are working and tell me in detail how you achieved this.
5)Working flow and price structure, what am I paying for? What is included into hourly rates?

19. What is the role of service standards when outsourcing?

This means everything, without this we can’t understand what has been done and how it will be manageable afterwards if something happens with the developer. Also issues with quality, stability of the system and etc..

20. What role do associations play in helping companies select and use outsourcing services?

None

21. Have you seen any trends in your area on the type of outsourcing companies that have established themselves in your area and what would you attribute this to?

Did not see any trends, because the market is still very young and aggressive.