Knowledge Process Outsourcing
226 views | +0 today
 
Scooped by Cloudstaff
onto Knowledge Process Outsourcing
Scoop.it!

Hottest IT Outsourcing Trends in 2015 - WhaTech

Read about 5 hottest IT outsourcing trends to accelerate organizations in 2015. Invensis Technologies, an IT-BPO service provider that has been satisfying clients around the world since 2000.
Cloudstaff's insight:

IT Outsourcing will be very in demand next year. To help you plan your outsourcing needs for 2015, visit http://cloudstaff.com/company and we would gladly help!

more...
No comment yet.
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

Philippines as the 2nd Most Attractive Outsourcing Site

Philippines as the 2nd Most Attractive Outsourcing Site | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
Cloudstaff's insight:

The Philippines ranked 2nd in the most attractive provider of outsourcing services in the world. To learn more on how it can grow your business and compete globally, visit http://cloudstaff.com/company

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

Moving on from the Freelancer Model

Moving on from the Freelancer Model | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it

Many Australian companies have engaged freelancers to perform back office administration on a full-time basis. As their business grows and expands, at some point there may be a need to have a more structured offshore model and bring all the distributed work-at-home freelancers under one roof. The reasons include:


A need for better security

Having freelancers work from home is a definite security risk. You’re never sure who will be in the room watching the computer as your freelancer works. Personal computers will always be a shared resource at home. Someone else in the family will be using it, installing unlicensed software, playing games, disabling firewalls and virus checkers.

Home PCs tend to have lower specs and may become sluggish when running a virus checker. Even if you insist that the PC runs a virus checker, someone is going to turn it off.

Furthermore, even if you use Terminal Server or Remote Desktop technology, a keylogger malware or virus is going to record every single keystroke, every URL and every password typed. Viruses may even grab screenshots of the Terminal Server window and upload them to servers accessible by hackers.


Adding Voice Function

You might want your freelancer to perform inbound or outbound calls - this is hard to do professionally if your freelancers are working from home. You get dogs and roosters in the background which hardly sounds professional to your customers. “I’m sorry I cannot hear you” is not very good customer service. Furthermore, home internet connections are unreliable and tend to have poor quality. When a freelancer says they have broadband - it is probably mobile broadband - if they have ADSL - many local ISPs have ADSL contention ratios so large the number looks like the U.S current account deficit.


Infrastructure (Internet and Electrical)

In the Philippines they call power blackouts - brownouts! There is nothing brown about them, when the power goes out, everything turns black. You can of course buy your freelancer a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply). The problem is that most of the Internet infrasture is not on UPS. When there is a brown out in an area - the Internet stops working - even if you have a UPS - the reset of the Internet does not.


Agility

It is hard to be agile with a distributed freelancer workforce. However, having everyone in one location will easily help you get new process rolled out or get immediate feedback from staff on how a current process is working. Cross training staff to backup other employees is a lot easier when people are sitting next to each other.


Culture

It is not easy to build a real team culture with a distributed freelancer workforce. Building up team culture in the workplace is normally achieved by occasional BBQ parties, beers on Friday, little treats like shakes or a free massage.


Challenges

When you decide to move from a distributed freelancer network to a central team model there are a number of things to consider.


The Big one is Tax!

Many freelancers do not pay tax. They should but they don’t.

Let’s say, you are paying your freelancer $6 per hour and you want to move to a central team model with proper work agreements, confidentiality agreements etc. With this, your employees need to start paying taxes and other associated government charges like health, housing and pension.

Furthermore, you have to make allowances for bonuses, paid holidays and sick leave. Considering this, you have to adjust the salary of your freelancers.

Your first option is to ensure they receive $6 per hour after tax and benefits costs. Sounds simple enough. The problem with this though, is that you will have unbalanced salary levels. The going rates for that position might be $7 per hour and you are now paying $9.This will become the benchmark that all current employees will want and new hires will demand.

The other option is to tell the employee that they will not be taking home the same amount as before because of taxes. This usually ends in anger and tears. There is also the risk of the employee going rogue and disrupting your business.

After salary and tax, location is the next big issue. It’s a big change going from walking to the PC to spending two and half hours on a bus or train just to get to work. While there are transport allowances, the adjustment will not be easy for the employee.

Relocation is an option that many employees are willing to consider if you are willing to pay for it.


Success

The only way for this to work is by a one-on-one basis with each staff member.

It needs to be planned and coordinated properly. You also need to have a backup plan.

All communication needs to be done in a language they understand to ensure that there is no miscommunication.

Moving from a freelancer model to a central workforce is not as easy as it first may seem but it is necessary if the business is growing and needs to maintain agility.


Plan Now

If you are presently using the freelancer model, you had better consider these factors and plan.

When you hire someone, make sure they pay taxes. If you are hiring from the Philippines, make sure your freelancers secure their own business permits issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)

Make it clear that you will be paying them for their salary inclusive of the taxes and other bonuses or allowances.

This way, it will be easier and a lot simpler when it’s time to move to a centralized team model.

Cloudstaff's insight:

Many Australian companies have engaged freelancers to perform back office administration on a full-time basis. As their business grows and expands, at some point there may be a need to have a more structured offshore model and bring all the distributed work-at-home freelancers under one roof. To know more on how you can build a global workforce, visit http://cloudstaff.com/company today!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

The Case of Outsourcing to the Philippines and the Franchise Industry

The Case of Outsourcing to the Philippines and the Franchise Industry | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it


 

Full Transcript:


Emma:Hello everyone and welcome to this very special interview we have today. Today we have joining us Lloyd Ernst who is CEO and owner of Cloudstaff. Welcome to your first podcast on Google Hangouts Lloyd.


Lloyd: Good morning Emma. It's great to be on your podcast. Thank you for inviting me.


Emma: My pleasure. My pleasure. Now Lloyd we're gonna talk about all things outsourcing and cloud-based work process today especially with the franchise industry. Because we find that it's quite new to the franchise industry but it's something that for those who have taken it up have really reaped the benefits. So I just want to go over to you now,Lloyd,  share with us a little bit about your journey and who you are and how you are leading this amazing company in the franchising direction.


Lloyd: Well, I was previously founded and sort of built a company called Web Central in Australia. And Web Central provided web hosting to Australian small to medium enterprises. We grew that to the largest web hosting company in Australia. We have 60,00 customers that we were looking after and after I exited that business I moved up to China. 'Cause one of the problems I found with Australian technology was that it was difficult to get developers. It was a long process. And so I moved up to China, and built an outsourcing facility there doing software development. And that grew quite well. We had people in Beijing and also Xian. Then as the Chinese market change, as it became more expensive, that model had to evolve, and so we now find ourselves down in the Philippines with about 400 staff spread between three offices here.


Emma: Fantastic! Now can you tell us  a little more about what Cloudstaff does on surface basis, to begin with.


Lloyd: Sure. Cloudstaff sees ourselves as a next generation outsourcing provider. Our job is to work with SMEs. It's really about making SMEs become global. So we take low value repetitive tasks and we move them offshore. The oldest style outsourcing providers basically will say "there's a desk, there's a person." After some early research we conducted, we found a lot about outsourcing attempts actually failed the first time. So we basically have taken a lot of the expertise that we had in the web hosting field and have built systems, processes, and training, to basically assist and allow our customers to leverage this to make the outsourcing a success. So we kind of like a technology company that provides outsourcing is a good way of looking at us.


Emma: Fantastic! Now you mentioned some people may have had a first time failure. Can you go into more details about how you've helped them overcome those challenges and making outsourcing really work for them?


Lloyd: Absolutely. When outsourcing fails, it comes down to a couple of different reasons. One is that people are looking at leaving a job offshore and that's the wrong way to do it. People think "Wow, the guys over there speak good English. I'll just move this accounting/marketing role over. I'll just move this other positions across". And it doesn't work like that. There's still cultural issues. And so what we really try to do is focus on moving, breaking everything down into a process, and then actually move it across. So think about moving processes, not about moving jobs. The other thing is that people don't have a lot of documentation. UBE, ANZED, Telstra, their big users of outsourcing. But the difference is, they've got the procedures, they've got the documentation. Most of our customers don't have that. So we actually have to provide systems and help build those processes for them. And we also have a lot of innovative training systems where we takes staff and we explain the difference between post codes and post boxes. You need to be thinking on that sort of level.


Emma: Absolutely, which is always good for your business, whether your outsourcing or not, as you've just said. Now can you give us some examples, obviously not names, but some examples of business models that work really well while offshoring some of their processes?


Lloyd: Well, we've got a very broad spectrum of customers. There's transport companies, engineering companies, accountancy firms, technology start-ups. We even have a radio station we provide services for. So what we're finding is there a whole range of people that are sort of looking at how they can basically take their business and make it global. And what our model is, it's about building your local team here in the Philippines. We just don't do accounting, we just don't do software development, but our job is to set-up your department here in the Philippines. And that can consist of data entry people, admin support services that are booking flights and managing contacts and sending out sort of proposals, bookkeeping, payroll, accounting, customer service with a first line of contact either on the phone, email or chat systems, IT support and software development QA testing. So it is quite broad in that respect. Where things struggle, and the stuff that we don't do, when you come and say "oh, I want someone who's gonna be a second brain product team innovator or I want a guru who can do all my SEO marketing for me". They are hard enough to find in Australia, so you struggle to find those people here. So that's why when you're looking on offshoring and building an offshore team, think about  having the processes, and working on how you can sort of move those across and trying to give an abstract concept that just doesn't work. In Australia, one of the things about Australians is we're very good at these abstract concepts. You can throw someone a problem and know to figure out on actually how to make it work and fix it and build the right people around that. In the Philippines, even in China, and in a lot of these other markets, you can't do it like that. You have to be clear about what you're objectives are and how you're going to be breaking this down into small manageable chunks.


Emma: So again it comes back to process mapping, doesn't it?


Lloyd: A lot of process mapping. And the other problem we find when people say " oh, I don't have time to do that". Well we have systems and we have people to do the documentation for you. You sit down, you record a video, something similar to this, capture the screen, explain what the process is, then you can have people transcribe that then re-do the videos, then you actually build, get the staff here to start build your operations manual. You're building really valuable IP when you develop it like that. Because process means you have a reproducible, trainable system that can be scaled. 'Cause this is about scale. Outsourcing is not about going and taking 10 or 20% off your monthly payroll. It's a growth strategy for people. And it's also how you take your business and give you a globally competitive workforce.


Emma: Absolutely, Now talking about payroll, Lloyd, in my circles, in the franchise industry, there's a little bit of a fear, around shipping jobs offshore, but you mentioned before, it's about building your local team overseas. Have you seen any results in Australia where it means they can put more people on the ground for customer-facing interaction, because now they've offshore their processes?


Lloyd: Absolutely. And I would say that most of our customers fit inside that category. You know this is really about providing the admin services team up here, they're supporting people on the ground in Australia. In Sydney for instance, you want to buy an apartment, it's a million dollars, you want to buy a cappuccino, it's AUD4.50, when you have such a high economic-based that everything is working from, you really have to start to think about there's lot of tasks that staff in Australia should not be doing. They're the ones that you want to move offshore. One of the really great examples we have is a Brisbane IT company. It's Brisbane IT expertise, they have some guys up here training Filipino technicians to manage service in the US and undercut Indians. It's a really great model. And when you speak to these guys I say, we could not do this with Australian staff, managing service in the US. It just doesn't work. So this is really about globally competitive workforces that SMEs, we're trying to give the SMEs the same ammunition and the gun powder that UBE, ANZED, Telstra, all those guys have, the big corporate guys. That's what we're trying to do.


Emma: Absolutely, this model could not just be used for franchisers but also for franchisees. You know if your talking SMEs, it can work on both levels in different ways?


Lloyd: Absolutely. But the economy is a scale. You want to try to figure out where you can group together. You want to make sure that you have no single point of failure. If you're going to train one person here, you really need to train two or three. Don't have one single person doing a process. Train three people. If someone's away, if someone's going to leave, all those sort of things, you've got that redundancy and so, where you can try to bring other few people and build a shared services team. That's a much better way of doing it rather than saying "I'm gonna train one single person to do this".


Emma: Absolutely, so it comes back to your initial comment on it's about creating your local team overseas?


Lloyd: Absolutely. This is your support team for supporting your Australian staff who need to be productive and need to be up there in front of the customers, serving the business.


Emma. Absolutely. So, culture-wise within the business, if they do have a local team over at Cloudstaff now, is there way that they can develop or pass on some of their business culture with their team over in your offices?


Lloyd: Absolutely, and that's one of the jobs that Cloudstaff has is you know, we have a very desirable location to work for staff. We put a lot of effort into culture. We have kind of funky offices. We have massages at the desk, ice cream shakes, free lunches, beer every Friday, 2,000 DVD English titles, games room with pingpong tables, XBox, PlayStation pods, there's a concierge to look after the staff and run errands for them, you want to pay a bill, the concierge will go and do it for you, birthday cakes, monthly barbecues, we have our own radio station with a DJ and stuff like that, and of course more beer. So we really try to put together a bit of that blending of a culture so there's really an interested concept around perks. But there's also the other bit which is you know, about responsibility to the customers and be able to blend the two cultures together - attendance, no politics, no back-stabbing, all that sort of stuff, we manage for the customers. Our customers just focus on here is the work. A lot of that sort of background culture and retention is taken care of by Cloudstaff.


Emma: Fantastic! Alright, sounds like I want to go and work for you over there.


Lloyd: It's a very desirable location to work. And we get 30 or 40 resumes in our mailbox every single day. we interview 40 or 50, sorry 70 staff a week, come to the office for interviews. It's a numbers game. In Australia, you scratch your head, you put an ad up on Seek, you get a few responses. It's a different model here.

 

Emma. Absolutely. So are there any last challenges that you want to discuss today? Or did you want to show us your platform?


Lloyd: I think the platform can be viewed at process-box.com. I think the the big thing really is starting small with a couple of identifying some areas that you can break down and get some wins and successes in there. Because it's also about having to teach people in Australia. It's not just about making it work offshore here. But you need to be able to sort of teach and train the people back in Australia. What can my offshore team do for me? How do we communicate? How do we get this stuff through? How do I know  that the work is gonna get done within the time frame that we set? Those sort of things. We developed some workflow systems, which can be viewed in process-box.com, which will show you some examples and we customise those examples for different customers' requirement.


Emma: Absolutely. So if a franchiser or  a franchisee does go to process-box.com and has a look, what are some common, are there some common processes that people try out first just to we can give a step by step process?


Lloyd: Absolutely. More of the admin research ones, you know, researching companies, flight bookings, helping out with some of the social media side of things. They're probably the ones that are probably the low hanging fruit. When you start to look at things like "Manage my Inbox", that's a really complex process. It takes a lot of time to get used to all how you're contacts are structured, those sort of things. Start with things which are a little bit simpler are usually the best bet.


Emma: Fantastic! Well thank you so much for joining us today, Lloyd. We really appreciate you showing that in such a good snapshot for our clients. Now is there any last words that you want to pass on?


Lloyd: No, I think that's about it. My last comment was that you know, jump on a plane, come up here, we'd love to show you around, meet the staff, and take you out to dinner, and show you how it all works here. It really is quite an eye-opening experience to realise that outsourcing can provide more leaders inside your business that probably you haven't already considered.


Emma: Absolutely. Well thank you so much for joining us today Lloyd and sharing with our franchisers and franchisees exactly what you do. Now I've had a few clients go up there and experienced the country and experienced the culture, not just what Lloyd's done, but in other areas as well. So it's an amazing place to visit and I'm concertedly learned a lot from Lloyd and his team. Thank you so much for joining us today, until next time.


Lloyd: Okay, bye bye.


Emma: Okay, bye bye.


To learn more on how outsourcing can benefit your business, visit http://cloudstaff.com/company today!

Cloudstaff's insight:

Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) can be globally competitive through outsourcing. They can have leverage by building offshore teams. As seen in this interview between, Lloyd Ernst , CEO of Cloudstaff and Meet the Franchiser's Emma Monro. They discussed the growing outsourcing industry in the Philippines and why Cloudstaff has been successful in helping SMEs have a competitive advantage.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

Software QA: Bug, Error & Feature Explained

Software QA: Bug, Error & Feature Explained | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
In the web development industry the word ‘bug’ has become a misunderstood and often misused word by clients and is thrown about like rotten tomatoes at the Tomatina festival (but without the fun).To clear up this irksome issue we try and educate our clients by defining issues into 3 categories of errors, new features, or bugs. Let’s start with the easiest one to identify and progress to the ambiguous.New featuresIn this context a new feature or change request is (usually) something the client thinks should have been programmed but they haven’t actually requested it bef
Cloudstaff's insight:

For those not adept in software and web development industries, these three terms may not be clear. This article explains the confusion among the three. To know more about these, you can visit http://cloudstaff.com/softwareqa today!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

5 Factors to Consider When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

5 Factors to Consider When Hiring a Virtual Assistant | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
People working remotely can save an entrepreneur time. It's up to you to screen and manage them to suit your needs.
Cloudstaff's insight:

Outsourcing your virtual assistants can contribute on your business' success, especially when you're a start-up. These 5 factors can help you to successfully hire your virtual PA. To know more about this, visit http://cloudstaff.com/assistants today!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

Outsourcing and the Franchise Industry

Watch this interview between Cloudstaff's CEO, Lloyd Ernst and Meet the Franchiser's Emma Monro. They discussed the growing outsourcing industry in the Phili...
Cloudstaff's insight:

Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) can be globally competitive through outsourcing. They can have leverage by building offshore teams. As seen in this interview between, Lloyd Ernst , CEO of Cloudstaff and Meet the Franchiser's Emma Monro. They discussed the growing outsourcing industry in the Philippines and why Cloudstaff has been successful in helping SMEs have a competitive advantage. To learn more on how it can help you and your business, visit http://cloudstaff.com/company today!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

21 Questions to Answer Before A Mobile App Development

21 Questions to Answer Before A Mobile App Development | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
You have an idea for a mobile app that will help extend your business and reach out to new and existing customers. Great! But before you send a development team to work on it, make sure you've aske...
Cloudstaff's insight:

Mobile apps will continue to be popular and in demand when it comes to development. These questions will help your direction towards building one. If still unsure of what to do, you can visit http://cloudstaff.com/developers today and we would gladly help!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

The 5 Best Software Qa Testing Software

The 5 Best Software Qa Testing Software | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
Explore these top 5 QA testing solutions to find the product that is best for your development team, whether you work with Agile or Waterfall workflow methods.
Cloudstaff's insight:

These software QA testing tools are the considered the best in the industry. Explore these solution to determine which best fits your needs. Don't have a software QA tester yet? Visit http://cloudstaff.com/softwareqa and we would gladly help!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

How to Save BIG By Outsourcing Your Recruitment

How to Save BIG By Outsourcing Your Recruitment | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
Finding the right hire for a logistics company is often times easier said than done. There are countless things that go into hiring someone. Is the candidate a cultural fit for the business? Do they have the right skillset to complete the job? Does the candidate seem to be a team player? These are just three of the many questions that are important for managers to examine when finding the right person to work at their logistics company, and answers aren’t always so easy to come by.Coming to these conclusions takes two main things from a manager: Extensive time and money. Luckily for man
Cloudstaff's insight:

Outsourcing your recruitment can indeed save time. Handing over low level repetitive tasks in this aspect can free your key staff's time and focus on more important tasks. If you need help in this shift, you can visit http://cloudstaff.com/company and we would gladly help!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

More businesses outsource bookkeeping

More businesses outsource bookkeeping | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
The demand for accounting and related positions is expected to remain high for several years.
Cloudstaff's insight:

Outsourcing accounting tasks is becoming very popular among businesses today. It saves cost and focuses business owners in growing their business. To learn more on how outsourced accounting services can help you, visit http://cloudstaff.com/accounting today!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

5 Tweaks to Your Website That Could Increase Sales 300%

5 Tweaks to Your Website That Could Increase Sales 300% | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
Get the most out of your site.
Cloudstaff's insight:

These tweaks can improve your business' sales conversion. You can also visit http://cloudstaff.com/developers to find out how you can maximize your business growth through web development.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

4 Things to Share to Perform Better on Social Media

4 Things to Share to Perform Better on Social Media | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
A lot of companies, individuals and brands now have a social media presence, but are struggling to engage with their followers and target audience. If you want what you are publishing to do well on social media, you need to think about what you are publishing, and when you are sharing it. You wouldn’t book a peak time train if you wanted the cheapest fare, just like you shouldn’t share something valuable and unique at midnight when most people are asleep.This guide will quickly cover two things, what you can create that will get shared, and some rules about different content.What
Cloudstaff's insight:

These are the types of content you can share in social media for better online  visibility. If still unsure on what to do with your business' social media pages, visit http://issuu.com/cloudstaff/docs/seo_brochure_12.10.14/1 and we would help you!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

How Virtual Assistants Can Scale Your Business

How Virtual Assistants Can Scale Your Business | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
Virtual assistants (VAs) ease some of the strain by taking over administrative, technical, and social tasks so you can focus on scaling your business.
Cloudstaff's insight:

Here are some of the ways that virtual assistants (VAs) can help you in your business. When looking for one, or a team, try visiting http://cloudstaff.com/assistants and we would gladly help!

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

13 Things You Think Your Startup Needs But It Really Doesn't

13 Things You Think Your Startup Needs But It Really Doesn't | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
You can leave these nonessentials off your startup shopping list.
Cloudstaff's insight:

These are some of the nonessentials that you're startup business can live without. To learn more on how your business can be globally competitive, visit  http://cloudstaff.com/company today!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

6 Outsourcing Tips for Success

6 Outsourcing Tips for Success | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it

I see so many businesses that simply waste money, unintentionally (I’ve invested in them). They get $100k, or maybe a couple of million, and before they know it, the money is gone! I once told a new investor in my business that I valued every cent he invested “as if it was my own”. He promptly told me “Bugger Off! this was the money that I was going to use to send my kids to college – don’t you dare treat it like your own!”

So when you’re at the CitiBank ATM getting a credit card cash advance to pay the staff salary, you’ll be debating if you really needed to spend all that money on the EMC SAN or that $1000/day “consultant” during your early start-up phase. There are times and places for big shiny EMC SANs and $3000/day consultants. Most people get this timing wrong.

The same can be said about start-ups and outsourcing. It can be a good way to extend your time to life and reduce time to market OR you could just be wasting precious time and money. The trick with outsourcing for start-ups is knowing WHAT to outsource and what to keep in house.

 

#1 – Own and Create Your IP/Architecture.

You cannot, should not, and must not outsource this function of your start-up! You are the owner/creator of your IP and Architecture – not a company in Hyderabad, Manila, or Ho Chi Minh City. This doesn’t mean you personally need to be an uber-tech-god/goddess yourself. However, someone in your company who has a significant piece of skin in the game should be! That person needs to be living, thinking, breathing this stuff 24/7. This is the sort of person who goes to sleep dreaming about what they are going to be working on tomorrow: “Sorry honey, not tonight – I’m thinking about distributed content delivery frameworks for mobile networks in emerging markets.” You don’t get that level of commitment when you outsource to IBM, Accenture or Avanade. (Use these guys when Sequoia Capital opens their cheque book).

 

#2 – Product Management (see #1)

You cannot outsource product management (especially not to a constant!). I think this is more important than #1. A good product manager is like your technology architect. Instead of understanding how TECHNICALLY it all works, your product manager understands how it works from the BUSINESS LOGIC side of things. In many cases in early-stage start-ups, you are the product manager. See #6 below about how you can outsource some low-level Product Manager functions.

 

#3 – Design is King

Design is important these days. Design is something that can be outsourced, but again, probably not to Hyderabad, Manila, or Ho Chi Minh. Find a local designer in Australia, UK or the US for the core design layout & style guides – Get them in, work together on this. Once the design is nailed down, the rest will follow. Change it on the fly – you should be always able to tweak and change things, even at a moment’s notice. If your developers whine that it’s too hard, takes too long to make a change, etc., screw them! Change your developers today! If it can’t be changed quickly and easily, they built it wrong (sorry guys)!. If the new design/layout doesn’t work, change it back.

 

#4 – QA (Gratuitous Plug Alert: QA is CloudStaff’s forte)

I do not have a good track record with software QA (Quality Assurance) teams. In my previous business, WebCentral.com, I had about 6 developers. I never had a QA team, because I always figured they/I could test the work. Plus, I used to wait for the customers to find the problems and then fix them quickly. Back then, we only needed to support a couple browser versions and screen resolution was limited and customers were more forgiving and we didn’t have twitter.

Consider what you’re supporting today: multiple browsers, different operating systems, mobile versions, varying screen resolutions. Customers have a tendency to complain loudly to a large audience even if your product is free and business logic is getting a lot more complicated.

I have since learned the virtues of good quality assurance. I am now a believer. Good QA means you deliver a better product and your developers focus on coding. The key to good QA is getting good test plans – and lots of them. Then it’s throwing people at the test plans. These people run each test on each device and on each browser, etc, and they do it again each time you make a change QA can be a “set-and-forget” function once you have good test plans written.

If your development team say, “We use automated test systems – we can do it ourselves,” that’s perfect! Tell them that you will reduce their hourly salary to $8/hour for every hour they spend playing or even thinking about this stuff. This is something that you can, you should, you must outsource.

Not one single second of your developers’ time should be spent on this.

In fact, the development team really should not manage the QA process; a QA manager or a Product Manager should do that. When developers manage QA, testing tends to skew toward what they know is working. Development should not drive QA, nor should it set the QA agenda.

As the business owner, you should expect to see a summary of the QA tests. It’s simple to read, there are nice big coloured pie charts that should show which tests Pass, which are Blocked and which ones Fail, etc. It gives you visibility of the project’s progress.

 

#5 – Developer Productivity

Should I outsource development? It depends of the type of development. If you’re developing some really key, special technology, like a new video codec, a real-time chat protocol, or special security application, then no, you shouldn’t outsource the key or core of that project. Determine which parts of the project could be moved to a remote team.

However, when you do outsource development, never rely on a single developer. With all remote development teams we try to achieve a productivity multiplier effect. Have one senior developer and buddy them up with two or three smart junior developers. It gives you more bang-for-your-buck. It also means knowledge is shared and in a few years, those juniors will be senior developers.

 

#6 – Outsource the little stuff

Now for the fun part. Get yourself a PA. In fact, get your team a PA. However, this is NOT the kind of PA that is going to be checking with QANTAS about the vintage champagne they are serving in first class on the A380 from London to Sydney (I think it’s Louis Roederer).

This is someone who can do the little things. Get them to save you 2 to 5 minutes here and there. Start with simple and then extend:

Ann – Skype Peter. Give him the password/domain, then change it in 1 hour and update Password Safe.

Ann – Find out what pizza the developers want, order it. Use my credit card.

Ann - Sign me up for a free account on this site and put the password/username in Password Safe.

Ann – Post this XXXX to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Ann – Research this person.

Ann – Go to this website, get all the names of the VCs in Singapore, phone them and ask reception for the name of the partner who deals in Green.

Ann – What is the cheapest flight from London to KUL?

Ann – What are the last activity on my credit cards?

Ann – Summarise our top 20 competitors’ Tweets/LinkedIn posts.

None of the above is rocket science. In fact, I can probably do every task faster than Ann, but I value my time at $700/hour. She is $8/hour. The same thing applies to my in-house developers – what is their hourly rate? Sure, they can go and spend 10 minutes screwing around on Pizzahut.com and order their own dinner – but it will take them 10 minutes. It takes 30 seconds of their time for Ann to ask them what topping they want. (I don’t trust developers with my credit card anyway; the last time I did, I got a $1,000 bill from Amazon when someone ordered a High I/O Quadruple Extra Large EC2 instance server and forgot to shut it down.)

More importantly, hiring a PA sends a message to your team. You’re telling them, “you are valuable, and your time is valuable, so here is someone who is available to help you with the ‘little stuff.’ Now get back to work!”

And it’s not as over-the-top as you would think, but you might even consider two PAs and have them cover 8AM to midnight – with a few ours overlap. When you’re working at home at 10PM, it’s great being able to throw a simple task to your PA. But it also prevents you from having a “single point of failure.” If a PA is sick or leaves, you have a backup. There is always research/data harvesting work they can be doing in the background for you.

Finally, about that champagne…

[11:46:45] Ann: Hi Lloyd, I called QANTAS, they are not sure of the vintage of the Champagne, but they told me they know that they are serving Comtes de Champagne Taittinger on that flight.Thank you, Ann.

Cloudstaff's insight:

A lot of companies are skeptical in offshoring their tasks. These 6 tips can help you to be successful in this venture. To know more on how outsourcing can grow your business, visit www.cloudstaff.com/company today!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

5 Website Tips to be Mobile Friendly Before April 21

5 Website Tips to be Mobile Friendly Before April 21 | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices. – Google Webmaster Central, 2/28/15 If You're not Mobile Friendly....The big takeaway here is that if your site is not mobile friendly, as defined by Google, then your rankings, for searches done on a mobile device, will be significantly impacted. Comin
Cloudstaff's insight:

Google announced that beginning April 21, it will include mobile friendliness as a ranking signal. Here are 5 tips that can help you achieve this. For more help on how to make your site mobile friendly, visit http://cloudstaff.com/developers today!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

Medical Transcription Services' Demand Increases

This interview originally aired in Health Professional Radio. Wayne Bucklar interviews Lloyd Ernst of Cloudstaff about the increasing demand for medical tran...
Cloudstaff's insight:

There has been an increase in demand for an outsourced medical transcription provider. In this podcast, Cloudstaff's Founder & CEO, Lloyd Ernst discusses on how the company addresses this demand. To listen to other health-related news and interviews, visit http://healthprofessionalradio.com.au/ . For more information on medical transcription and other Cloudstaff services, visit http://cloudstaff.com/company

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

Google: Mobile Friendliness As A Ranking Signal Beginning April 21

Google: Mobile Friendliness As A Ranking Signal Beginning April 21 | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
Attention all business owners with non-mobile-friendly websites: courtesy of Google, you now have another reason to dread mid-April this year. On April 21st, Google will officially update its search…
Cloudstaff's insight:

Google has announced that beginning April 21, they will include mobile friendliness as a ranking signal in Google search results. This means that businesses and their  web developers will be very busy in the next few weeks given that their sites are not yet adhering to these mobile-friendliness factor. To know more about this change, visit http://cloudstaff.com/developers today!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

The Case for Prerequisite Software Requirements

The Case for Prerequisite Software Requirements | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
In the software industry, requirements are the set of features and capabilities that the stakeholders of a software application expect it to perform. Software design is then the technical implementation of these requirements. Requirements are typically non-technical in nature and describe the application’s function, as comprehensively and with as much detail as possible, through the lens of a layperson.Requirements are determined through a process known as a requirements analysis or requirements gathering. For most applications, larger ones especially, this process can be long and drawn
Cloudstaff's insight:

Software requirements are indeed very important when testing. These requirements is an integral part of the software QA testing process. To learn more about this, you can visit http://cloudstaff.com/softwareqa today!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

How Outsourcing and Start-ups Are Somehow Similar

How Outsourcing and Start-ups Are Somehow Similar | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
Outsourcing business processes to a third party can be a useful way to relieve some pressure on you as a founder. Here are some best practices for outsourcing in the early days.
Cloudstaff's insight:

Outsourcing and start-ups are a bit similar in some aspects. This article gives a background about this. If you're a start-up looking for some help about outsourcing, visit http://cloudstaff.com/company   and we would gladly help!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

10 Top Tips For Improving Site Speed

10 Top Tips For Improving Site Speed | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
Reducing your site’s loading speed helps usability and improves SEO. If you aren’t appearing on people’s screen in seconds, chances are you are losing them before they’ve even seen your conte…
Cloudstaff's insight:

Site speed is very important especially in terms of user experience. You can be loosing potential clients when a page in your website doesn't load quickly. If your business needs help in this aspect, you can visit http://cloudstaff.com/developers today and we would gladly help!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

3 Steps To Getting More Traffic From YouTube

3 Steps To Getting More Traffic From YouTube | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
YouTube is a very powerful social site. It’s the first thing that people check when they are looking for video clips; and YouTube videos can be and have been conveniently passed on to other internet users worldwide. Due to its extremely viral nature, YouTube is a wonderful tool for Internet marketing. Here are the steps that you should follow in order to do so.You probably have heard of YouTubeYouTube. Well, who hasn’t? Millions of people are uploading, watching, downloading, or linking to videos in everyday. If you want to see a video of something, you can always check it out fro
Cloudstaff's insight:

Videos are becoming a valuable content that can build your business' online presence. Here are some ways on how you can build traffic from this platform. If still unsure of how to start, you can visit http://cloudstaff.com/contentmoderation and we would gladly help!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

Outsource To Outperform

Outsource To Outperform | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
The immense pressures of chasing growth, managing cash flows and serving clients often leave SME promoters and management with precious little time to manage the important functions on their own. One solution is to identify functions or tasks that are not core to the business and then outsource them to a good vendor...
Cloudstaff's insight:

Outsourcing can give you business leverage over your competitors. Here are some of the areas in your business that you can outsource. You can also visit http://cloudstaff.com/company to help you with your outsourcing efforts.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

3 Reasons To Outsource Your Social Media

3 Reasons To Outsource Your Social Media | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
If you're busy running a company, the last thing you probably feel you have time for is composing an eloquent, engaging and humorous anecdote in 140 characters or less. But, like it or not, social media is a big part of our lives and has become a near-essential way for companies to communicate with one another and their customers.That's why more and more businesses are choosing to get help with managing their social presence; in fact, a recent American Express survey found that 'social media expert' was the most sought-after new hire category for small business owners. But as the Fast Company
Cloudstaff's insight:

Social Media plays a big part in growing your business in this digital age. Having the right content marketing strategy for your business' social media platforms will go a long way. For more insights on how to do this right, visit http://cloudstaff.com/contentmoderation today!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Cloudstaff
Scoop.it!

How an Outsourcing Contract Can Boost IT Service Provider Performance

How an Outsourcing Contract Can Boost IT Service Provider Performance | Knowledge Process Outsourcing | Scoop.it
IT Outsourcing customers look to service providers to cut costs and improve efficiency, in addition there is the increasing expectation for providers to also deliver business results. Here are some secrets to using your outsourcing contract to set goals and reinforce service levels to link supplier profitability to business objectives.
Cloudstaff's insight:

Here are the reasons why IT outsourcing can improve your business' IT performance. When looking for a provider, visit http://cloudstaff.com/company for factors that you need to consider.

more...
No comment yet.