Bhoo wears the thinking cap!

As if that is possible!

Archive for the ‘Outsourced Product Development(OPD)’ Category

Of course, I truly believe that OPD is an important ingredient for ISV success, but, just to remove bias, I wanted to separate OPD topics from ISV success topics. So, this category.

Climbing the offshoring ladder

Posted by bhoo on November 2, 2007

CIOL article has a nice section about the difference between OPD and OSD. That is Outsourced Product Development vs generic Outsourced Software Development for you.

In the industry that is obsessed with 3-letter abbreviations it seems very appropriate to write it that way. 

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Posted in Enterprise ISV success, ISV, Outsourced Product Development(OPD), Outsourcing, software vendors, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Silicon Valley Start-Ups Awash in Dollars, Again!

Posted by bhoo on October 18, 2007

Nytimes article said it!

The easy assumption here is that the learning stays, and there will be cautious optimism  – as the disaster that was dotcom bust – is hardly 7 years back – and we can expect that there will be reasonable caution.  But world has proven time and again that history repeats itself and some lessons are never learnt.  In some senses, some lessons should not be learnt!

Entrepreneurship is about taking risks.  As much as we want to take a “right-brain” or objective, cautiously optimistic approach – where the learning of the past matters – entrepreneurial spirit prevails.  Not just with the promoters but also with the VCs and the other stakeholders.  Hence a lot of activities happen with just a whiff of optimism, sometimes bordering on sheer “hope”. 

I still see a lot of hockey stick projections of revenue growth – including in case of my own company Aspire Systems. 

But, I belong to the “believer’s club”.   Optimism prevails all the naysayers and the pessimists – not just in the IT industry – but in the economy as a whole and how the world will be a better place with all this innovation and entrepreneurship.

 There is a lot of activity in the internet-based entrepreneurship now.  Almost as much of a frenzy as it was in the last golden rush – and the subsequent crash.  Is there so much mad-rush with people jumping up and writing millions of dollars worth of checks? – I do think there is a certain amount of caution.

A larger percentage of VC activity in what I see in the market is with tough questions asked more than what was asked earlier.  Revenue models, proof of concept, existing customer base – the right fundamentals are being looked at.

So, do I believe that there will be an impending crash?  As much cold I feel in my spine – of pessimistic risk – I believe that no crash will happen this time.

All the very best for all the risk-takers – the entrepreneurs who make this world a better place every day!

Posted in Enterprise ISV success, ISV, Outsourced Product Development(OPD), Outsourcing, software vendors | Leave a Comment »

What is cooking at OPD?

Posted by bhoo on August 31, 2007

Excellent reality check by Pratima Harigunani in CIOL on the status of Outsourced Product Development.  It also offered some amount of reality check and what the OPD companies need to be doing.

http://www.ciol.com/content/2880799376.aspx#comment

As I mentioned to her – the secret for the OPD firms is for the software engineers to become product engineers or producteers.  In other words – from cooks, we need to become chefs!

To that end, we have created the term “Producteer”, which is Aspire’s trademark now!  Here is the run up to our concept of Producteer:

Producteer Logo.

Posted in Enterprise ISV success, ISV, Outsourced Product Development(OPD), Outsourcing, software vendors | 1 Comment »

India Vs China: The eternal debate!

Posted by bhoo on July 21, 2007

So, this has surfaced again – here, here and here and many other places! 

Let’s not talk about India Vs China. Let’s talk about the overall need / demand for IT in the world.

The overall need for IT in the world – including the need for integrating diverse systems in the developed world and the need for getting new computerized systems in the developing world – the need for IT talent is ENORMOUS. I really believe that this need is not going to deplete in the next 20 years.

So, there is going to be opportunity for trained IT engineers – irrespective of where they are. I do not for a moment believe that the “real” IT engineers in the USA or Europe could have lost jobs because of outsourcing. Because, the actual demand for IT work, I believe, far exceeds the supply of all the countries put together – given the enormous task in front of us – of pulling all our systems into computerized systems and get them integrated enough.

This is a way forward for every country, and I sincerely believe that – any loss of job in any country is incidental – and not a trend!

What is happening, if anything, is this: Today – when a student in India is trying to choose a graduate studies – let’s say Mathematics or Logical thinking is not his or her strength – and arts or history is his or her passion and interest – Due to sheer parental and peer pressure, such young people are choosing to study IT. They do not suddenly become better in logical skills and mathematical skills, and bright people among them end up getting decent jobs irrespective of the apparent lack of this inner strength. And, IT companies are surface-training these people to make them just to “acceptable” levels.

These are not “real” IT engineers! These are people who are just making use of the current opportunities! In the long run, this course will correct itself, and some of these “unreal” engineers are likely to lose their jobs.

Not because there is less demand, but because they are not as suitable for the demand.

I do not think “real” qualified IT engineers – be it in China or India or the USA will lose their jobs in the next 20 years!

So, it does not matter where such talent is physically located.

Posted in Enterprise ISV success, ISV, Outsourced Product Development(OPD), Outsourcing, software vendors | 3 Comments »

OFFSHORING: IMPROVED PROCESSES NOW MORE OF A DRAW THAN COST SAVINGS

Posted by bhoo on July 16, 2007

Nice article by Shamus in SearchCIO.

Talking as an outsourcing provider – I feel happy that offshoring is being seen as providing value other than pure cost arbitrage.I believe that the demand for IT engineers in the world is greater than the combined IT developer forces of all countries put together.  And, I do believe that better processes are needed – irrespective of offshore or any-shore, for software development.So, this article – confirming the improvement – is an excellent one and a timely one.

Posted in Enterprise ISV success, ISV, Outsourced Product Development(OPD), Outsourcing, software vendors | 1 Comment »

Outsourcing trends to watch out for: Specialization!

Posted by bhoo on July 9, 2007

Nice, pressworthy title and a good mention of important trends in Natasha Lomas’s article in Silicon.com.  Saw it here.

Any mature industry – gets commoditized, and hence consolidation is inevitable. 

There is also a parallel trend to watch out for – Specialization – some special niche segments will become so special – that specialists will emerge just to service the niche segment.

No consolidation can even happen without this emergence of “specialists” who question the mammoth “consolidated” companies.

As an example, we at Aspire Systems feel “Outsourced Product Development” to be such a “specialization” niche.  We feel that no amount of consolidation can stop from a few OPD firms emerging to become large IT outsourcing players in the next few years!

Posted in Enterprise ISV success, ISV, Outsourced Product Development(OPD), Outsourcing | Leave a Comment »

Immigration debate!

Posted by bhoo on June 9, 2007

Saw this article on immigration debate.  

 Couple of disclaimers before I make my comment: a) I do not understand the full impact of this – particularly in view of the “labor pool” and illegal immigrants from the neighboring countries.  b) In one sense, I am happy that countries like the USA are preventing people from migrating!  If I take India as an example – it will make more and more bright people to stay back in India – and that is good for a country like India!

If the USA allows immigration and competition that results out of it, it will be a true and a remarkable testimony to the United States. That’s if the real underlying belief is in “free markets creating wealth for everyone,” which is the fundamental principle of capitalism. I admire the country to have been built purely by getting the best people from around the world. Why is there an effort to stop that? Why is there a step backward on something that has worked so well, and that still holds the promise of working very well for this country?

Posted in Outsourced Product Development(OPD), Outsourcing | Leave a Comment »

Wage inflation sinks start-up?

Posted by bhoo on June 8, 2007

Here is a very nice article in infoworld about wage inflation in India sinking a start-up operation.  I can easily see what has happened here.  It is no secret!  The management bandwidth needed to run a captive operation in India is daunting!

With due respects, Carmen as well as Munjal have found the right problems and have quoted the right solutions that lets the offshoring industry thrive – “Unlike IBM or Infosys, a startup doesn’t have the resources to train the brand-new graduates who would work for smaller salaries” – That is absolutely right, and that is why start-ups should go to companies that are focused on servicing Small and Medium players just like Riya. 

Companies like Aspire Systems, which is in the 300-1000 people size, have all the infrastructure to train fresh engineers like Infosys or IBM, and are able to service smaller requirements like 30 people or so, and provide cost advantages for companies just like Riya.

We find this all the time – the temptation for all captive centers to hire the best of the best – in terms of fresh engineers or experienced engineers.  That makes the cost very high.  The ideal is a mix of people – and a structure to get the best of a mix of people – some with very high experience levels and some with lower experience levels. 

I really believe that someone like Aspire could have easily made a success for Riya even in this environment of raising wages and lowering exchange rates.

The ideal option is to outsource this to a player like Aspire Systems.  There are 100+ companies in India who are between 300 and 1000 people in size in India, and one of them will be happily be a vendor for Riya providing the value!

 I will be happy to talk more about this problem and how this problem can be addressed, and IS addressed by several offshoring companies.

Posted in Enterprise ISV success, ISV, Outsourced Product Development(OPD), Outsourcing, software vendors | Leave a Comment »

Change the side of the tables!

Posted by bhoo on June 4, 2007

I happened to meet this person in NYC!  A very successful ISV – I happened to meet the founders of the firm – operating in the financial sector – very well placed!  And, obviously very successful people.

This senior person – his initial gesture made me so comfortable with him as a person, while it was a little difficult for me to overcome the initial shock.

He was in his seat – the other side of the table.  He got up – said – “Let me come closer so we can have a more open discussion!” and actually, physically sat next to me – in the visitor chair, rather than in his chair!

Wow!  What a way to conduct a business meeting!  It was interesting and I should say that it really opened my eyes to the world of possibilities with that gesture!

I am going to copy this for sure!

Posted in B2B Marketing, ISV, Outsourced Product Development(OPD), Philosophical musings | Leave a Comment »

Software 2007 – state of the software industry – 3!

Posted by bhoo on May 14, 2007

Continuing on my perspectives on the Sandhill Software 2007 show:

One industry pundit that I met even said that programmers will not be needed in the future and only “configurers” will be needed. And hence the whole training and focus all you programmers and the scientists are wasting time on – lo and behold – will vanish as a trade. As all enterprise applications will be available as Services (thanks to SOA), we do not need any more new programing and hence only configurations will be needed.

Wow! What a view! I also saw an article (here!) that said a similar thing…they called this new trade as “integrators”…

I do not see it coming for the next 20 years with all these newer standards emerging – (or, call it non-standards).

Let’s take an example – if we build an application using Salesforce’s new platform, how do we move it to another platform without re-coding? Of course, talk to Salesforce, they will ask you a very simple question – “why would anyone want to do that, as Salesforce will be ubiquitous?”  (Of course, Salesforce.com like everybody else in the enterprise software industry will be sitting there making coffee, handling laundry and every activity of an enterprise.)

Call me naive, I will ask that question, and I will continue to believe that programers will be needed on the earth in plenty for a long long time to come. The skillsets will be different, and that difference will be seen, sure!

Product Engineers at one end of the spectrum and like this guy said – configurers or integrators – in the other side of the spectrum.

To a large extent, the current breed of programmers are none but “configurers” even today! With 4GL and the progresses made in App-server platforms!  Is that not true?

Of course, that leaves aside some small sub-sets like Product Engineers who are creating software products who will continue to do software engineering or programming.

Programmers – wake up and flame me. More importantly, flame those who proclaim the death of your profession!

Posted in Enterprise ISV success, ISV, Outsourced Product Development(OPD), Outsourcing, software vendors | 1 Comment »