25 April 2011
Outsourcing: Alexei Miller, Executive Vice President Of DataArt
Sramana Mitra of One Million by One Million global initiative that aims to help a million entrepreneurs reach a million dollars in annual revenue by 2020, sat down with Alexei Miller, Executive Vice President of DataArt, to discuss major trends in outsourcing and how they shape businesses. The in-depth interview in five installments discusses DataArt’s strategy and vision for building its successful business, dynamics of talent competition in Eastern Europe vs. India, and the company’s focus on the importance of vertical industry knowledge and price to performance ratio.
“What [DataArt is] today is a software outsourcing application development company that has three defining features. Defining as a combination; we are not so naïve as to think that all these features individually are unique in the world… So, those three features are: 1) industry knowledge, domain expertise in select vertical industries; 2) our exclusive focus on application development and software work; 3) geography – our engineering base is in Eastern Europe right between Russia and Ukraine.
“It is no secret that the concept of outsourcing is not new; most sizeable organizations have either tried it or are actively using it. As a whole we live in this post-outsourcing world, and many companies have drawn lines internally. They are lines in the sand, obviously, but companies do live by them for the most part. …It is a wonderful experience when by demonstrating your industry expertise you can move that line a little bit; you can lift a few eyebrows and hear a client say, “Interesting, I have not met a company that knows this.. We never imagined we could outsource this kind of task, but it is not actually a bad idea.” It gives us and me personally special pleasure when we are able to get access to work that would otherwise not be outsourceable to a traditional outsourcing company.
“That is number one and a very important facet of specialization. The other aspect is efficiencies or effectiveness. Many of the tasks we do for, say, financial services organizations can be done by a company that does not have the specialized expertise; it just take them longer and the work may be of lower quality. We have done interesting work in trying to measure that and trying to explain to our potential clients what this gain of efficiency actually means in terms of days, months, and dollars. Then you get to the level when you are productive much faster because you have this background in a given area.”