Offshore Software and Web Development, Bulgaria! : Making
the choice and making IT work! - Advantage
This white paper is designed to assist companies who are looking
for Offshore Software Development partners In Bulgaria in particular
or in low cost countries in general. The paper covers the mechanics
of finding an offshore software development partner, setting
up the relationship and ensuring a successful and long-term
Benefits of Offshore Software Development in Bulgaria
Significant cost savings, up to 50% in certain cases.
The outsourcing company is able to release resources for
high value-added and priority work and can concentrate on
their core competence
While it can be quite difficult to recruit the expected
competence in Western countries, it is a completely different
scenario in Bulgaria, where there are many qualified IT
professionals with good academic training.
For temporary bursts of activity offshore software development
is beneficial as the outsourcing company can avoid expensive
new recruitment or the high cost of local consultants.
Consulting and programming capacity is available at short
notice without increasing long term personnel commitments.
Outsourcing company also reaps the knowledge gained by
the offshore software development and consulting assignments.
Bulgaria has the necessary IT infrastructure to handle
offshore development with ease
A pioneer in offshore software development the experience
of Bulgaria in various offshore software development methodologies
makes Bulgaria an ideal candidate
Bulgaria's experience in offshore software development
has helped it move up the value chain. It has moved up from
data entry, programming, project management, QA &Testing
to product development, ideation and consulting. The Bulgaria
banner offers all these services and is a one stop shop
for all IT enabled services
Some clients outsource their programming needs by getting programmers
from Bulgaria for short or long term projects to work on-site
with their own design team. Others send whole or parts of projects
directly to Bulgaria for offshore software development in Bulgaria.
Offshore Software Development Bulgaria, Disadvantages
Following are some problems, which may occur if both parties
are not aware of how the offshore software development process
should be set up.
Language and cultural barriers
Technical communication problems
Lack of a repeatable process
Bad management and inflexible organizations
All of these can be avoided, by choosing the right offshore
software development partner and working with proper and proven
project management processes evolved during the earlier offshore
Sometimes the Outsourcing company overlooks these risk factors,
and looks at only the cost saving. In reality this could be
a major trap.
Offshore Software Development Bulgaria, The Ideal projects
Not all projects are ideal for offshore software development.
Any task involving proprietary knowledge, which can not be safeguarded
with agreements, is not suitable for offshore software development.
Very technical and complex tasks can also be bad projects, since
the communication overhead may offset the cost advantage. Very
small projects may also be unsuitable, since the time to prepare
the specifications may dilute the cost advantage.
Apart from these exceptions, most projects are suitable for
offshore software development in Bulgaria. Some of the possible
areas could be:
Platform porting projects
Database applications, migration and porting
Web enabling legacy systems and client server applications
Web development, designing, programming etc. e Commerce
Technical Documentation, end user documentation and manuals
Remote system administration
Remote database administration
Remote software maintenance and feature enhancements
Project Management - Offshore software development
To safeguard the development process there is a need for established
practices where the offshore software development company keeps
the the outsourcing company informed about the progress on a
Both parties need to follow a communication methodology wherein
they acknowledge communication immediately and also ensure that
emails are not lost or left unanswered. This email communication
plays a vital role as most of the dialog between the engineers
and the client is done via this mode. We have found that communication
between the offshore software development partner and the outsourcer
through document sharing intranet sites like www.intranets.com
or www.groove.net enhances value.
Email enables structured communication where as chat and phone
should be used for technical clarifications and should be avoided
for business communication.
It is also important that clear specifications are made. The
specification clarification is an iterative process and it is
recommended that this process be done with due diligence. Based
on the specifications, engineers from the offshore software
development company ask questions and get answers to get a full
understanding of the project. Good specifications result in
good quality software and considerable savings in time taken
to complete projects. In case of research or in cases when the
offshore software development company actually produces the
specification, this process needs to be modified suitably.
Commercial agreements range from non-binding and binding estimates,
fixed price or running hours.
Generally one contact person should be defined on each side,
to facilitate clear coordination. Also, proper methods for testing
should be defined in the initial meeting or discussion.
Software Piracy and theft
The government of Bulgaria looks at software exports as one
of its key growth areas and has set up an environment, which
very strongly discourages any and all forms of software piracy
and theft of software in Bulgaria.
Ensure that your offshore software development partner signs
an Intellectual Property Right Pledge and a confidentiality
statement / non disclosure agreement as part of the initial
stages of your partnership
Conclusions - Offshore Software Development Bulgaria
If you are careful in your selection process, we believe that
you can achieve great success with offshore software development
projects. Here are some key guidelines:
Find a good software development partner
Possibly send a pilot project to the offshore software
development company and evaluate the result
Work towards establishing a long term relationship
Visit your development partner (if possible)
Establish good management practices
Don't expect too much from the start. Offshore Software
Development in Bulgaria is profitable in the long run; not
just for one-time projects.