About the Client
The client is a pioneer in the development and successful commercialization of products in social, shared learning environments. The client’s flagship product is a social and collaborative learning environment with a wide range of features and web 2.0 tools - blogs, video-conference (PC and mobile), courses, forums, diary, chat, sharing applications, tasks and document repository.
The client was looking for avenues to scale up its software R&D operations leveraging a talent rich, low cost location.
The client wanted to set-up an offshore software lab for software development, maintenance and support activities. The client envisioned building an extension to its existing engineering team with the ability to participate in selection of team members, manage day-to-day center activities and deliverables, leverage existing investments in tools, processes and infrastructure, and take overall responsibility for the productivity of the center. To achieve this, the client needed a partner with a flexible and transparent model allowing the client to exercise significant management control, at costs less than traditional outsourcing, and benefit from the partner’s knowledge and experience as well.
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Software Lab Start-Up
In a Software Lab, Silicus provides the client with all infrastructural requirements for commencing software engineering operations - physical infrastructure, network and IT, and HR management. The client would be responsible for the software lab priorities, the Lab Team would be responsible for planning and executing day-to-day operations and management of deliverables and activities.
Silicus and the client worked jointly in identifying team members. The interview process involved participation from management in Spain via video conferencing. Based on Silicus experience in setting up Software Lab, senior most members of the team were identified and on-boarded first, who in turn took part in selecting remaining team members.
The operations were started with a modest team size engaged in enhancing, upgrading the current social and collaborative learning software. The software required significant customization for end user requirements, and the offshore team was responsible for managing the release cycle for the end customer.
Maturing of the Software Lab
The quality of the work performed and process maturity attained by the offshore team encouraged the client to allocate more R&D initiatives for the offshore team. The team took ownership of the requirements gathering and specification exercise, driving the POC’s involved in finalizing on functional and technical aspects of the software. As the Lab team size expanded, the team took over the design and development of next generation social and collaborative learning platform that the client was planning.
Some of the activities handled by the offshore software development team included:
- Product customizations and enhancements for end users, and integration of these customizations into core product
- Migrating customers to latest product versions
- Planned new feature additions: clearing the new feature requirements backlog
- New application development from scratch
The offshore software development team significantly reduced the time to market for enhancements and new software releases. The Software Lab was instrumental in expansion of the client’s business in Spain, with the offshore team managing the software customizations for end users.
A strong process driven approach to software engineering ensured that software releases of the highest quality were made, significantly increasing the competitiveness of the client in its business.
MySQL, Oracle, Hibernate ORM
Apache Tomcat, BEA Weblogic and Oracle
Struts, Spring and Tapestry
Flash (flash CS3 for PC and flash for pocket pc),
Project Management and Bug Tracking
JIRA with Scrum plug-in
The partnership with Silicus introduced industry best practices, process for software development and testing, and streamlined the software release process. This combined with access to expert Java developers significantly speeded up time to market and allowed the client to cater to end user customizations and change requests, keeping the clients happy and satisfied with the application.
Technology Partner for New Software Development
The offshore team led the client’s development and release of next generation learning software platforms and technologies. This was possible due to access to Java development expertise and Quality Assurance experts to drive the software R&D initiatives.
Reduced costs and Mitigation of Software Engineering Risks
Silicus helped the client mitigate software engineering risks with reliable and predictable processes, while reducing costs through delivering expertise from a low cost location.