Case Study: Visiprise, Inc.
Enabling Growth: Building an Offshore Development Centers for Visiprise
With more that 15 years of industry experience and proven success, Visiprise is
the leading solution provider to help manufacturers define manufacturing
excellence throughout the global enterprise. Visiprise software, services and
expertise work in tandem with their customers to manage and control
manufacturing operations to improve product quality and compliance management.
Over 150 leading manufacturers in industries from electronics and aerospace &
defense to automotive and medical devices are managing and controlling
manufacturing operations with Visiprise. Atlanta-based Visiprise hase more than
150 customers worldwide, including BAE Systems, Celestica, Philips Lighting,
Sun Microsystems and Textron.
The Business Need
In order to realize the full advantage of offshore resources, Visiprise sought
to expand its offshore presence by creating a dedicated offshore development
center. Having worked with other project-based providers, Visiprise wanted a
firm that could help them manage and grow their own dedicated offshore team.
Because the Visiprise product is deployed globally and requires industry
expertise for development, the company needed a partner that could customize
their services to meet Visiprise's unique needs. Visiprise had the following
The main driver for Visiprise's offshore initiative was cost savings.
Management wanted a partner that could provide low-cost labor without
sacrificing important skill sets and product quality.
Because Visiprise has deployments throughout Europe and Asia, they wanted to
take advantage of offshore resources in two additional ways. The first way was
to create a 24/7 customer support organization. The second way was to have a
support group geographically close to their European deployments to facilitate
onsite support and installations.
Visiprise's product is an enterprise solution that requires in-depth industry
knowledge and product training in order for a software engineer to effectively
contribute to product development. Because of this, they needed a partner that
has the knowledge and processes for effective product training.
The management team understood the benefits of offshore development from a cost
standpoint. What concerned them was the ability of an offshore partner to
execute on their project needs and effectively manage the offshore process.
Visiprise selected Augmentive as a partner because of our ability to execute on
project requirements and to manage their offshore growth using our distributed
Augmentive's first step in creating an offshore development team was to assign a
project team to Visiprise. This team included a dedicated HR consultant and a
project manager who were responsible for understanding and fulfilling the needs
of Visiprise. The project team worked with the Visiprise management to select a
location for their dedicated offshore center. Three main factors led to the
selection of Kiev, Ukraine:
Kiev's time zone (GMT +2) is only an hour different from Western Europe,
enabling the development center to act as the main support group for European
clients. Being in this time zone also provides a 4-5 hour window of direct
communication each day between the development teams in Kiev and the
development team in Atlanta. During this time, the Visiprise team could
schedule conference calls, videoconferences and direct communication with their
offshore team. Visiprise realized that this location would both facilitate
their ability to support customers and increase team communication leading to
better product quality and team cohesiveness.
Augmentive recognized early in the process that the Visiprise product would
require both initial and ongoing training for the offshore team. For this
reason, accessibility to the development center and the ability of offshore
team members to arrive onsite in Atlanta became a key factor. The Ukraine
offers a distinct advantage over locations such as India or China because it is
a 2.5 hour flight to several European hubs including Paris, Frankfurt and
Amsterdam. Not only does this contribute to significantly less travel time for
team members, but it also reduces the often-overlooked cost of travel between
the US and the offshore center.
Recruiting was the final factor for selecting Kiev for their dedicated offshore
development center. Because of the availability of highly skilled, low-cost
labor, Kiev met the requirement for cost savings without sacrificing quality.
In addition, the turnover rates in the Ukraine are lower that of India, China
and even the United States.
With the location decided, Augmentive worked with Visiprise to review their
existing development processes. The goal was to identify which processes needed
to be modified for a distributed development environment and which roles would
be best suited for offshore resources. The review yielded three major results:
Augmentive worked with Visiprise to clearly define the development roles and
responsibilities. By better defining each role and the handoff points for each
process, the Visiprise development organization was able to expand development
offshore and to create a more scalable management structure.
While Visiprise already used a modified version of the Rational Unified Process
(RUP), it was necessary to modify the associated documentation. The increased
focus on detailed requirements and functional design documents allowed for a
cleaner handoff of project requirements in a distributed environment.
The final step was to analyze the current in-house resources, expertise and
project needs to determine which roles would be best suited for the offshore
team and which roles would remain onsite in Atlanta. For Visiprise, this mean
creating functional and technical design teams in Atlanta while building
construction and quality assurance capabilities in Kiev.
Having determined which roles would be included in the offshore team, Augmentive
began recruiting personnel based on the Visiprise HR requirements. Augmentive
assisted Visiprise in the initial screening of candidates and managed the
hiring process. Knowing that Visiprise was likely to scale the offshore group
over the next year, Augmentive designed a management structure that was ready
for growth. Initially, the Visiprise team consisted of 10 members: 1 team lead
engineer, 6 staff engineers, 1 QA lead engineer and 2 QA staff engineers. By
ensuring that the team leads were extremely experienced and qualified,
Visiprise was able to seamlessly add resources under the existing management
Once hired, the new Visiprise offshore team was plugged into the existing
Augmentive infrastructure. Visiprise immediately made use of the office,
Internet and communications infrastructure in place in Kiev. One of the
challenges often overlooked by offshore providers is the global development
infrastructure required for distributed development teams. Visiprise was able
to take advantage of Augmentive's proven, secure and reliable web based
software infrastructure for accessing and exchanging development code and
associated documentation. As a final piece to the infrastructure, Augmentive
also provided total HR services including payroll, tax filing, labor law
compliance and insurance.
After the core offshore team was in place, Augmentive worked with Visiprise to
design the initial training for the new project team. Augmentive arranged for
onsite training for team members and also coordinated Visiprise team members'
trips to Kiev for offshore training. The program that Augmentive designed had
three main purposes:
Because the distributed development process was new for both the internal and
offshore teams, Augmentive worked with Visiprise to ensure that every employee
understood their role within the total development organization. Team leads
became responsible for managing their group and the process was built to
encourage proper communication and handoffs between the Atlanta development
team and the Kiev development team.
During the training, the new offshore team members learned the required
industry information necessary for effective development. Team members received
extensive product training to get a "big picture" understanding of product
functionality. They also worked with the Visiprise product management group to
understand the product road map and the short and long-term goals of their
The final objective of the Augmentive training was to form a good working
relationship between the offshore development group and the existing Visiprise
development team. This relationship has been instrumental in the continuously
communication between the core development team and the offshore team.
Within 3 years working with Augmentive, Visiprise grew their offshore
development team from the initial 10 engineers to 80 engineers based in Kiev.
In addition to this, Augmentive has established and runs 2nd Eastern European
office for Visiprise in Minsk with 25 engineers. Now with the fully trained
offshore team, Visiprise has realized a 60% reduction in labor costs associated
with development and product customizations. Since its inception, the offshore
team has contributed to three base release cycles of the Visiprise product and
has successfully completed 14 custom projects for Visiprise's European clients.
For a more detailed analysis of Visiprise's ROI from their dedicated offshore
development team, contact email@example.com
and request a copy of Visiprise: Inside The Numbers. This whitepaper
analyzes the costs, productivity and savings of launching an offshore
development team by using Visiprise's actual experiences.