Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Global India!

The Global India!

Yes there are bumpy roads leading to any main city centre and most roads in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai are filled with rickshaws, over-crowded buses, 2-wheelers, noisy old vehicles, various animal drawn carts of goods— and even the cows, dogs, donkeys moving on the road along with the pedestrians ignoring the blare of honking horns and shouting drivers. Trash is strewn about, and the landscape is hazy with pollution!

But in contrast to this scene are numerous gardens, trees, plush offices, restaurants, hotels and homes, the various ultra modern cars now on the streets, beautiful women all around, neon lit banners and ads, cybercafés, executives in their Versace coats and Ray Ban glasses, engineers in their casuals sipping the beer from a multinational brand, designer stores all around, latest electronic equipment and no soul without a mobile phone in his hand.

And yes these scenes co-exist! Welcome to the Global India!

If you are wondering whether India is the right Country to Outsource then here are a few Pointers:

: India is in the centre of the globalization and offshore outsourcing is a product of this fast moving globalization.

: But for the ease in communication, offshore outsourcing could be unthinkable. There has been a surge in the Communication industry in India and telephone, Internet, and Data centre are now widely accessible.
: India has written its success story not in spite of the chaotic, robust democracy, but because of it.

: Socialism and import-substitution, produced generations of entrepreneurs who had to develop indigenous products, from blades to satellites, with their own resources. That self-reliance is helping India now
: A liberal and Open Economy now, Interest rates have fallen, Forex regulations are less stringent, the rupee is fully convertible and import and export regulations are widely in favor of the business.
: By 2020, about 45% of Indians will be between the ages of 18 and 59, as compared with 35% now. Now having about half your country’s population in the working age and at that too the second biggest country in terms of its population, it is the biggest advantage that will propel India in the next 50 years towards an economy unparalleled by any.

: Education has always been the highlight of India’s growth and will continue to do so in the future. With the stress on education of a child right from the age of 3-4 yrs and with top notch engineering and graduation schools all over the country, India has and will continue to produce the most number of graduates and post graduates in various fields from Arts, science to technology.
: Language has always been considered as a barrier for outsourcing, but not with India. Most schools and Universities are English Medium and those that are not still have English as compulsory part of a child’s education. We have started seeing European countries shifting base to outsourcing to India. This has also been widely because German and French are also offered as second language to students and the future will soon see most schools adopting a foreign language compulsory apart from English.

: The Geographical Location of India is now being leveraged strategically and the time zone of being GMT+5 ½ hrs (Strangely India is one of the very few countries which is not a whole number ahead or after GMT) actually suits the need of America, Europe, and Australasia.

More on India, technology and Outsourcing coming soon. To close this essay, I would say India has seen just over 50 years of Independence, give it another 50, and we will have a country where everyone will want to go!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

OutSourcing and OffShore IT Solutions

Cost Effective IT OffShore Solutions

I am writing this blog to provide insight to SMB's looking for outsourcing and offshoring their IT development. The intention is to provide answers to very frequently asked questions by our clients. Please provide your feedback and what else you may want to see in this space with regards to off shore solutions in general and Our Company PennyWise Solutions in particular.
Watch this space for more on IT, Software Development, technology, Out Sourcing, Off Shore Solutions and Ofcourse PennyWise Solutions.

The first in this series of posts answers the following questions:

What is IT Outsourcing?
Why should I outsource my IT requirements?
What is the advantage of outsourcing to India?
Why Outsource to PennyWise Solutions?
What kinds of solutions does PennyWise provide?
How do we communicate and collaborate with a company situated miles apart?
How is the PennyWise project management team structured and how are we involved in the project as clients?
How does PennyWise ensure good quality of the final product?

So read on...

What is IT Outsourcing?

Outsourcing is the process of providing contracts to outside vendors to build, operate and support the information systems of a company.
The primary reason for outsourcing is to strengthen the information systems of your company by engaging vendors who are highly skilled in the area of Information technology. This would enable your company to streamline its core business operations and provide additional momentum of expanding in your own business domain. By the process of engaging vendors your company is able to acquire state-of-the-art information systems which add new dimensions to your core business. You are able to provide more accurate information to your clients and keep them satisfied also make them involved and interested in your business.

Few reasons why you should outsource to India:
India’s biggest strength is the abundance of technically skilled manpower. In India education is highly valued. The availability of numerous educational institutions churn- out a large number of highly skilled resources which contributes to the vast technically skilled resource pool.
This technical resource pool is also well trained in English which makes it possible for the Indian firms to interact and do business with almost any country in the world.
The Indian government provides huge support to the IT sector in terms subsidies and relaxation in taxes. This encourages the IT firms to grow and expand. These companies make use of the vast resource pool to deliver solutions to the world.
The lack of a vast resource pool in the major countries (like USA, UK, Australia etc) makes in-house IT development or Outsourcing to companies with the country a very costly affair. Availability of skilled resource when required is also a very big problem. India with its huge skilled resource pool is a very cost effective place to outsource IT activities. Outsourcing to India would lead to almost 70% cost savings on the current labor costs.
Infrastructure is the most advanced and developed in India as compared to the other Outsourcing options like South Africa, Israel, Ireland, China, Russia etc. One of the bigger reasons for this is again because of the support that the government provides to the IT sector at large, In India, the state governments take extra initiative to develop a place for IT companies and provide it with the best of the Infrastructure at a very minimal cost.
India has a decently stable political history and any government which comes to power encourages IT to the maximum.

Few reasons to do business with Pennywise:
Pennywise goes the extra mile to provide complete IT solutions rather than just being our outsourcing vendor who simply develops, operates and maintains your IT systems. At Pennywise we advise you the right solution, the cost effective and efficient solution. We have analysts who learn the way you do business and then models the IT systems to cater to the short term and long needs of your organization.
Pennywise is very focused to provide business solutions to the small and the medium business sectors and has developed operational models most suited to these kinds of business. If your business fits in the small and medium sector, Pennywise is the place for you.
Pennywise believes strongly on the concept of “Long Term Fruitful Relationship” with our business partners. This is proven by the fact that the tall client list is mostly because of referrals by our existing clients.
We work at very competitive prices and yet deliver great solutions with best quality. This is a compelling edge we have over our competitors.
Pennywise development team works at the India Day time and the Client relationship team works at the client’s day hence providing 24x7 support to our clients and their applications.
We at Pennywise understand that you might have concerns over code ownership and proprietary rights and hence we start a business relationship only after signing a Non-Disclosure and Non-infringement of rights agreement. We also ensure that we enter into a legal agreement with our clients which ensures fair play to both the parties. Hence every property of yours is safe in the hands of Pennywise.
We offer a lot of flexibility in terms of the payment terms and the mode of payment making it all the more affordable and comfortable.

Pennywise provides internet based solutions ranging from simple portal development to online inventory management solutions and e-commerce solutions with payment gateway integration.
Pennywise develops desktop based stand alone as well as distributed solutions for a huge range of business domains.
We also deliver multimedia services like website design, logo design, e-Brochure development, single and multi page e-Card design.
We also take up maintenance and support of products / applications. We have a well defined business model and set of practices for handling maintenance and support projects.
At Pennywise, we take up re-engineering projects which require a major technology revamp, or require architectural changes to be made to existing applications.

One of the major concerns for any company/concern outsourcing work to a company which is situated miles apart in a different geographic location is that of the communication process and the collaborative process. We at pennywise believe that “Outsourcing demands increased real-time collaboration among business partners and that itself plays a major role in the success of projects which are outsourced.”
The value of real-time trading partner / concern collaboration to an outsourced organization is tangible and significant. It provides constant real-time accessibility to data that allows for a proactive response to issues in the supply chain. This responsiveness leads to savings across the organization for the outsourcing company, eliminates manual process and improves efficiency in many operational areas.
We adopt a multitude of technologies to communicate with our clients and ensure a smooth execution of projects. Apart from the normal telephonic conversations and the use of e-mails, our client contacts are available on MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. We use the chatting as an informal mode of online communication with the clients to discuss out things which help both parties to take effective decisions. We also use VoIP solutions provided by tools like Skype to communicate and collaborate with clients. This proves out to be a cost effective and efficient way of communicating. When a project is under execution, use the power of forums to communicate on the details of the project. A separate forum is created for the Project where the project team and the clients can communicate on a day-to-day level on the various aspects of the project. This helps us to maintain a centralized repository of the communication in a chronological order of time.

At the outset of any project, pennywise with the help of the client, identify a person or a group of persons who would represent the client during the full life cycle of the project. We call this team, as the Client Team (CT). The client team would be primarily responsible for defining the system requirements and other constraints in terms of hardware, software, ISP etc. This team would be directly interacting with the pennywise project management team PWS PMT.
CT would also be responsible for approval of the work done. PWS PMT would send a project status report on a weekly basis to the CT for their review. With respect to any clarifications on any requirements, the PWS PMT would communicate with CT and get it resolved. PWS PMT would ensure a service level of replying to any communication within 12 Hours from the time it has received any communication from the CT.
CT would be responsible for the following activities
Provide PWS with requirements.
Review and acceptance of Multimedia work.
Review and acceptance of the Navigation framework in the site.
Provide the PWS PMT any kind of specific standards to be followed during the project. In no such client specific standards are specified, the PWS development team would follow the PWS standards during the lifecycle of the project.
Review and approval of Screen elements.
Clarify doubts with respect to requirements.
Participate in the User Acceptance testing.
Review the weekly status reports.
PWS PMT would be responsible for the following activities
Provide Timelines and Milestones document to CT.
Provide CT all the deliverables properly packaged.
Provide the weekly status report to CT.
Provide the Multimedia work to CT for review and approval
Provide the DB design to the CT for approval.
Setup the testing site on PWS servers and ensure that the current work done is updated on thrice a week for CT to review.
Participate in the UAT with the CT for acceptance of the work.
Setup and Install the application on the servers of the ISP selected by the CT.
PWS PMT would be primarily responsible for monitoring the work and in case of any delays or issues, would communicate it to the CT.
Pennywise does the development and project management activity during the Indian daytime.
Pennywise PMT and the management ensure that, they would be available for a mutually agreed number of hours during the Client Daytime work. During this time, both parties would be communicating with each other as agreed or as required. Pennywise development team would be working on a 5 work days per week model (Monday-Friday). The management and the PMT would however be available to the CT on Saturday also. Any work request or change requests raised on Saturdays or Sundays would be catered to on the next Monday. The management and the PMT would be available for any type of communication like conference calls, chatting over the Internet, E-Mailing from Monday to Saturday.

To ensure the high quality of software development and maintenance, we at Pennywise have Quality Management Process that emphasizes on defect prevention rather than defect correction. These processes are integrated with our software development and the product maintenance life cycle activities, thus ensuring continued delivery of quality products.
Although quality is quite synonymous with defects, we at Pennywise believe that quality has to cover all the activities related to software development and maintenance. We ensure that our Quality Management process encompasses all the departments in the organization related to software development. Some of the advantages we derive out of our quality practices are:
Meeting the customer requirements on product functionality, time and cost.
Lower cost of ownership
On-time delivery
Meeting service level parameters
Pennywise believes in identifying and elimination the causes of defects rather than after-defect corrective actions. This root-cause corrective approach is proving to be a fruitful and we would strive to continue this approach and eliminate all kinds of problems. Another integral part of Pennywise is that of treating quality to be a process rather than being a symptom.
We at Pennywise derive our software development process from the time tested and widely accepted key process areas as laid down in the capability maturity model of the software engineering institute. Being a young company, we are continuously working towards improving our Quality management Process and reach a level where we are able to ensure a “no problem” situation for any software development project.
Pennywise Solutions has identified the small and medium sector business (SMB), to be the business sector where it will deliver its services. During this process Pennywise also has identified a model which works best for the SMB’s. The processes take into account the specific needs to this business sector, where the time to deliver is less and continued business can occur only when the quality of the delivered products is very good. Accompanied by these requirements is the requirement to place our services competitively priced in this market. Hence the need for developing processes which cater to these needs.

Friday, October 22, 2004

My cartoon.. got it crawn recently at lonovala when i was on a trek to the sahaydris, cool ain't it??

My First Blog Post

Hello Everyone,

After a lot of recommendations from friends on Blogger, i finally overcame my laziness and here i am set out to try my hands at this new hobby - blogging!

friends who know me will know, how committed i will be to posting messages on my blog, and knowing my frinds and aquaintances, i know how much they will contribute to my blog...anyways whats the harm in trying!

so feel free to post anything, even all this nittles and grawlix which you always wanted to pour on me!!

Ci yao.