Offshore Outsourcing to Vietnam: Myths and Reality
Vietnam, and Southeast Asia in general, often get a bad rap as an IT outsourcing destination but I would like to set the record straight. I work as a project director in Vietnam and help coordinate Pentalog’s teams in Hanoi when they are developing our client’s projects. I know firsthand that developers in Vietnam can code just as well as any offshore, nearshore, or even in-house teams and will share my firsthand experience to drive this point home.
Low English level, incompatible working culture, and low quality work deliveries are all common criticisms that people make in regards to Vietnam and other outsourcing destinations in the region. However these criticisms are either inaccurate or can be easily avoided.
Starting with language skills, yes it is true that not everyone in Vietnam speaks great English but they are rated as number 31 out of 72 countries on the English proficiency index, ranking above countries like Russia, Japan, and Mexico. If you are concerned that your offshore devs won’t speak English then you can always shop around for the right outsourcing partner that can provide the profiles with both the hard and soft skills you are looking for. I can’t claim that all of our devs in Vietnam speak fluent English but they can speak enough to communicate with clients, and many can also speak French. Our team leaders do all speak fluent English so if a communication problem ever arises it can be solved by the local managers.
Is the working culture in Vietnam different than in Western countries? Of course it is, but they are not incompatible. The working culture in Vietnam is often very hierarchical, which can hinder the type of fluidity that is useful to have in tech projects. However, this is not set in stone, team trainings can be used to build and modify a working environment. For example, Agile methodologies have no nationality and developers in any country can learn to work in a Scrum framework, making Agility a type of international working culture. Our Agile teams in Vietnam are lead by experienced Scrum masters and function just like Agile teams in any other country, which facilitates international IT collaboration.
Learn more about how to build a successful offshore collaboration with Vietnam
From Nearshore to Offshore Outsourcing to Vietnam
When it comes to the criticism of low quality deliveries, bad products are produced by unskilled service providers which you can run into in every country. Here I will outline the experience of one of our clients to show that a team in Vietnam can deliver the same quality as teams in any other country.
I can’t reveal the name of this client at the moment as the project is still ongoing, but I can explain the collaboration process. This is a long term customer that began their collaboration with Pentalog using our delivery centers in Romania as a nearshore partner. After two years of collaboration they became interested in our Vietnam delivery center as a cheaper offshore option. They started moving their operations to Vietnam little by little, starting with only two developers. Eventually they moved all of their outsourced operations to our Vietnam office, collaborating with a total of 25 IT experts split into 5 teams focusing on acceptance testing, native mobile apps, backend development for their internal system, C++ development for desktop apps, and web development. Each of these 5 teams was organized by a product owner and scrum master. Frequent visits of our customer to Hanoi helped to solidify their collaboration with their outsourced teams.
All in all they were able to get the same quality service at half the cost that they paid when using our nearshore services in Romania. It is a fairly common strategy to ease into using offshore teams and this is especially useful for companies with no outsourcing experience. A nearshore team can be a bit easier to manage and it helps build the more advanced management skills that a company can use to work with an offshore team in the future.
Quality Assurance, transparency and low costs
To find a high quality outsourcing partner you need to look further than their price list and service offer. It is also necessary to look at how they manage projects, their employee profiles, their track record, certifications, and more. Transparency is essential when it comes to long distance collaboration, it should be a concern if this information is difficult to dig up.
We ensure quality in our Vietnam offices the same way we ensure it in all of our delivery centers. All Pentalog developers no matter their location follow the same processes and rules and are competent with the same technologies and in addition to this all of our teams use Agile methodologies. We also hand pick our developers, ensuring that we only offer strong profiles. In Hanoi, most of them have worked on projects with various countries, and 15% of them have studied abroad in Western countries. One last little bit of quality assurance is that all our offices, including Vietnam, are ISO 9001 certified.
Overall, when you are working with our developers in Vietnam, you will receive the same quality of work as developers in any country but at half the price or less. IT talent can be found anywhere, you just have to be able to locate it. If you are interested in working with our development teams in Vietnam contact us today.
Read one of our client success stories in Vietnam.