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Organizations worldwide have long considered IT Outsourcing as a corporate strategic initiative, to better focus energies on their core business activities to gain competitive advantage on a consistent basis. Offshore Outsourcing has become a dominant theme among the IT Outsourcing trends worldwide and India has become the leading destination for Offshoring, with the western industrial world as the chief beneficiary.

While Offshore Outsourcing can be adopted in its various manifestations, an Offshore Development Center (ODC) with its pool of specially trained resources, well designed infrastructure, proven and time tested processes is the most beneficial outsourcing delivery model with a compelling value proposition for businesses looking at IT Outsourcing.

TekInForce’s ODC Framework

ODC Setup Process

TekInForce adopts the following phases as part of its process for setting up ODCs in India for its international clients. The activities under each phase are summarized below.

Discovery Phase

During this phase, both the client and TekInForce depute program managers who are primarily responsible for the success and growth of the ODC. This phase includes the following activities:

  • Selecting the Program Managers from TekInForce and the client
  • High level study of the client's existing IT environment
  • Arriving at the objectives of the ODC
  • Proposing a plan document for the ODC growth
  • Selecting a core team for initiation phase
  • Creating a financial model for the ODC including expected savings
  • Determining the physical location of the ODC
  • Detailing an infrastructure plan

Initiation and Planning Phase

The core team, which has been identified, studies the client’s IT environment and existing applications. This study results in an implementation plan for ODC work sequencing, which is used to transfer work to the ODC. The Core team then identifies the pilot work with which the ODC is to be initiated jointly with the client.

This team also studies client methodologies, processes and tools, and evolves a process map to integrate Client processes and practices with those to be used by the ODC. The team produces a Statement of Work (SOW) based on the nature of the work involved for the identified pilot project(s). A detailed work plan is agreed upon by the program managers of TekInForce and client after which the ODC commissioning begins. In this phase the operating practices will be established.

Commissioning Phase

This phase involves preparing the ODC work team, staffing the pilot and other project/work assignments undertaken at ODC and commencing the work based on SOW and work plan. The ODC work team will adopt customized processes agreed during the Initiation phase for work delivery.

Growth Phase

In this phase, the work volume off shored is grown to maximize the ODC benefits to the client. TekInForce and the client conduct joint operating reviews periodically to continually improve processes and productivity. Strategic reviews are conducted to explore ways to maximize ODC value to the client and to grow the ODC benefits by exploring expansion in various work areas possible.

This phase essentially involves leveraging the continued learning of the ODC to the client’s maximal benefit, to become a true extension of the clients’ IT organization on a sustainable basis.

Locations and Infrastructure

TekInForce’s state-of-the-art development centers at multiple locations across India have the capabilities and resources for planned expansion based on the scale of clients’ needs. These development centers are adequately inter-connected, and are also well connected to the client locations typically using high-speed dedicated communication lines.

Hardware and Software

TekInForce consultants are provided with a desktop workstation environment. Access to special hardware/software applications required in the operation of the ODC is worked out in mutual consultation with the client. Several of TekInForce’s development centers are created in specialized free trade zones to facilitate easy movement of the required hardware and software.

Communication Link

TekInForce’s development centers are inter-connected with multiple redundant links amongst themselves and to international locations. ODCs are connected to client locations using the needed bandwidth on dedicated lines. Additional bandwidth is commissionable at relatively short notices. Network security is customizable as per client needs. Facilities for voice, data communication, videoconferencing, Internet and ISDN are available at ODCs.

Quality Management

TekInForce focuses on quality as part of its corporate mission and values. Over the years TekInForce has successfully delivered quality software solutions and services to its clientele worldwide, using ISO 9001 and SEI CMM certified processes. The strategic emphasis on quality has resulted in substantial productivity gains and enabled TekInForce to deliver better value to its clients.

Security and Confidentiality

TekInForce has policies in place for security and confidentiality of client’s applications, data and business practices. TekInForce addresses the security aspect of the ODC for the client in the following areas:

  • Physical Security
  • Network Security
  • Protection of Intellectual Property

Physical Security

Access and entry to the ODC is limited to authorized personnel. TekInForce development centers are provided with security guards and electronic identification systems, to bar the entry of unauthorized personnel.

Network Security

Network security is achieved through multiple means including:

  • Isolating the LAN segment
  • Implementing firewalls
  • Encryption
  • Use of specialized security hardware/software

TekInForce and the client jointly evolve the network access guidelines and security mechanisms.

Protection of Intellectual Property

TekInForce has written down, and promulgated policies for intellectual property protection. IP Protection is governed by the following agreements in TekInForce:

1) Customer contract,
2) Employment contract,
3) Tata Code of Conduct
4) Specialized contract (as needed).

All TekInForce employees adhere to the IP protection guidelines as enunciated by the above contracts.

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