What does it take to create a global outsourcing company? Outsourcing has become a business strategy for many companies to create specialized teams and cost-effective products, but how do you go global? As seen on TV on CBS2 Chicago, in collaboration with CEI IntoNet, Boris Kontsevoi, an outsourcing professional for the past 19 years, answers 10 questions about his experience in outsourcing. Boris shares his thoughts on the role of Internet, technology and ethics in business, and explains the function of outsourcing in today’s globalized world. Scroll down to watch the video.
1. What does the name Intetics mean?
Boris: Intetics is an amalgam of three words: Internet, Technology, and Ethics. I believe that Internet is the main Technology, by its impact on people, invented during last 50 years. Internet has totally changed our social and professional lives, one more time confirming our belief that Technology is one of the main drives of social progress. With Ethics… Ethics is a more complicated story. Very often it’s not associated with business. But I believe that it’s the only uncompromising universal value that governs all our development. So these three things: Internet, Technology and Ethics are the driving forces behind Intetics that inspire innovation, trust, and professionalism of our company.
2. Intetics was first established in Belarus. What were the challenges and rewards of bringing the company to America?
Boris: Technology is always the challenge. It changes every day, so it keeps you on the run – but it also keeps life extremely interesting. When I started the company, technology was probably the biggest challenge: now it’s hard to believe but back in 1995 it was no Internet in Belarus yet. I had a black and white laptop with a dial-up modem that connected to a server in Germany. So, essentially an Internet software company has been started almost without any internet. And this brings us to the biggest reward of moving the company to America. Here we are much closer to the latest technologies. Right now, thanks to Internet again, the difference is not that big between all parts of the World, but still, it’s better to be “inside” of “the technology hub” – America.
The second reason is purely a business one: an American company is much more trustworthy than a Belarusian one.
3. Remote in-sourcing – what does it mean?
Boris: Remote In-sourcing is a relatively new model of outsourcing. It allows companies to acquire new remote resources like software development talent and intimately integrate them into their local teams. It’s engaging a third party vendor not to do the job instead of local staff, but to organize efficient distributed teams and operate them. Such teams typically allow more control over projects they do and deliver better results. It’s also more efficient as the work is done by the most proficient specialists. Since the beginning of the outsourcing craze about forty years ago, we all have heard a lot of horrible stories about suffering service levels, security issues and inflexibility. Remote In-Sourcing allows companies to build their own remote teams and work with them exactly like they do with in-house staff and work free from a lot of traditional outsourcing risks.
4. How do you differentiate your services from traditional off-shore outsourcing?
Boris: Difference for modern service companies is not a single silver bullet. You simply have to be better, even if slightly but better, in all service elements. We have 7 such elements that define our difference. The first is our service model, Remote In-Sourcing, when we build distributed technology teams customized for every client. The second is our mature, certified processes, our “development technology”. The third is our Quality Management Platform. The fourth is our technology of finding the best talent available. The fifth is our ability to retain the talent. The sixth is innovation. One of our clients said “Innovation is in their DNA.” And finally, the seventh is our two decades service history and industry recognition. For example, Intetics is #1 outsourcing rising star 3 years in a row by rating of IAOP, International Association of Outsourcing Professionals.
5. How has technology helped you grow and maintain a global business?
Boris: It’s in a company name as we discussed already. Internet is a big changer. Internet actually is the main element of modern globalization. It delivered a technology that allows utilizing remote services. If international trade by goods and goods manufacturing for 3rd parties have been well adopted for centuries, Internet allows doing the same for services, instantly.
Then, Intetics as a technology company is constantly engaged into all frontier technologies. We started in the era of Client-Server computing, then it was Web and E-commerce systems, now it’s Cloud, Location, Mobile and Big Data. We actually do technology and technology is in high demand everywhere, it has no boundaries.
6. What advice would you give other companies who want to create a global presence?
Boris: First of all, don’t be afraid to go global. Nowadays, it’s relatively simple, again thanks to the available technologies. Then, keep moving, trying and learning. Learning every day, not only systematically, like taking courses, but out of real practical things that happened in everyday work. I do about 50 searches a day and read a dozen Wikipedia articles every day. If you need information on Hong Kong IT market or German manufacturing companies, information is readily available. As soon as you have information, most probably you know your action items and can execute them.
7. Describe a company achievement you are proud of.
Boris: Intetics was just named as Inc 5000 company for the 6th time in a row. That’s an incredible achievement for such a small company with humble beginnings. There are just about 800 companies that have achieved the same honor, and it’s a great reward for the hard work that was put into this company.
8. What’s the biggest opportunity for your company in the next 12 months?
Boris: Last fall Intetics opened a new branch in Germany, and this January we opened a new representative office in Japan. There is a great need for technical talent in these two countries, and developing these two markets will be a priority for us for this year. And then, of course, the usual – effectively using analytics, social media and other tools to improve our presence in our existing markets.
9. Give one piece of advice to someone who is starting a company right now.
Boris: If you’re starting your own company, expect to work. Forget about 9 to 6 and 40 hours a week. If you want to succeed, prepare for much, much longer hours, every day. If this sounds a bit scary, don’t think about the work, just do it.
10. Recommend a business book that has influenced you.
Boris: Machiavelli’s The Prince and … Wikipedia. The latter is not a book of course but another amazing piece of technology that contain so many instantly available answers.