Harvard event showcases Russia as outsourcing site
IDG News Service - Lower wages than in the U.S. and an abundance of highly skilled computer programmers make Russia a good fit for companies aiming to bolster research and development or lower development costs, according to representatives from major Russian IT outsourcing firms.
Officials from the Russian companies were at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., yesterday to raise the profile of Russia as a low-cost destination for high-quality software development. The second annual event, known as "Russian IT Seasons," featured short presentations by the companies in front of an audience that included representatives from major U.S. corporations and software engineers looking for career opportunities.
The sophistication of Russian programmers allows the country to occupy a "niche" in the IT outsourcing market, supplying customers with talent capable of more sophisticated design and development work, which often results in novel and patentable technology, according to Valentin Makarov, president of Russoft, a professional association for software developers in Moscow that helped organize the event.
A series of speakers from both U.S. and Russian firms reinforced Makarov's core message, painting a picture of Russia as a "more stable" country with tremendous human resources eager to help U.S. companies tackle difficult technical challenges.
Len Erlikh, chief technology officer at Russian IT outsourcing company BridgeQuest, said his company helped Relativity Technologies Inc. in Research Triangle Park, N.C., overhaul its signature product, which helps developers maintain and enhance Cobol code.
More than 90% of the 90-person R&D team used by Relativity was based in Russia, with just 10% based in the U.S., Erlikh said.
Contrary to the image of Russians as reluctant workers raised in a system that spurned private enterprise, Erlikh said that he found engineers there to be highly motivated. "You talk about fire in the belly, these guys have got it. They're very dependable," he said.
Derrick Robinson, speaking for major Russian IT outsourcing firm Luxoft, sang praises of "cosmopolitan" Moscow and said that, as with Indian outsourcing firms, U.S. companies that move development to Russia can save as much as 65% on development costs.
However, Russian programmers have a different mentality than their counterparts in India or other centers of offshore development. A greater emphasis on accuracy, thorough documentation and contingency planning could add to upfront development costs compared with projects managed in other countries, but that pays dividends "when things don't go right," he said.
Most of the speakers reported a strong interest from U.S. companies in outsourcing to Russia.
"The cultural barriers to outsourcing are breaking down," Erlikh said. "It's more common that major companies today are [outsourcing] or actively looking into it than
- Enable secure remote access to 3D data without sacrificing visual perfomance Design and manufacturing companies must adapt quickly to the demands of an increasingly global and competitive economy. To speed time to market for...
- The Truth About Virtual Computing for CAD If you're a user of graphics-intensive software such as 3D modeling, simulation and analysis, and visualization, you might be skeptical about moving to...
- Virtually Delivered High Performance 3D Graphics "A picture is worth a thousand words." That old phrase is as true today as it ever was. Pictures (i.e., those with heavy...
- Simplifying Product Design In A Complex World Product design engineering has moved far beyond the confines of ever-more powerful workstations. Companies can't afford to restrict projects to using only local...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Why Are Customers Really Deploying an NGFW? It seems every IT Security expert is talking about the NGFW, but what are people really doing? This webcast covers 5 real-world customer... All IT Outsourcing White Papers | Webcasts