When you talk with most medium and large enterprises in Kenya, you will hear of the benefits of hiring international software development companies. Benefits such as lower cost, great quality and fast development to name a few. The challenge in today’s complex world is, just because you can hire international vendors to develop new applications or enhance legacy systems at a lower cost, it doesn’t necessarily translate to a successful outcome.
Let me give you an example and see if this has happened to you. A client came to Kenoobi Consulting for help with an existing legacy e-commerce website that had poor performance, many delays implementing new features and an overall lack of good communication with their international vendor based in South Africa. Now, this is not an attack on 3rd party international firms, they have their place for help desk support and maintenance of applications. The problem occurs when a client needs new features, solid architecture, superior design, and self-sufficiency. This well-known Kenyan based manufacturer provides a complete set of paint solutions from road markings, decorative, wood finishes, and many more to their market in East Africa.
So, what was their application problem?
One of their largest customers experienced challenges on their order platform. So they requested help improving their e-commerce website to reduce order failures that affected sales. The project was assigned to one of their 3rd party international vendors. This low cost vendor relied solely on emails and phone calls to organize its work and maintain the existing website. The updates and new features were consistently late and of poor code quality, requiring additional internal client resources to manage the project. These quality and performance challenges strained the overall customer relationship leading the manufacturer to determine an alternative solution.
Why Local and Agile development?
Finding great senior developers is like finding that great orthopedic surgeon. There are many that claim to be qualified and they may have the certificate on the wall with accreditation, but ultimately how many successful surgeries have they completed? Are they available for consultation, can you meet them and see eye to eye? Do you have confidence in them and their assembled team of doctors, anesthetist and nurses?
Today, clear, concise and regular communication is critical to your overall success. Agile development with regular sprints provide the platform to deliver continuous code development using experienced developers and tools such as Microsoft Teams. For this client within two weeks of engagement, two senior software engineers at Kenoobi Consulting proceeded to analyze, evaluate and work with the current team to determine recommendations for updating the web platform. Weekly sprint meetings allowed for better communication between the teams and ensured a timely execution of the tasks. Processes were improved, bugs were resolved and development of the e-commerce platform was put back on track. The development of the new e-commerce platform went from a non-existent schedule to a bi-weekly release schedule and the IT team regained its client’s trust and confidence that they could deliver a reliable e-commerce solution on time.
The offshore team of 6 developers was replaced by 2 senior experienced onshore Kenoobi Consulting developers who reduced bug resolution time from weeks to a few hours. Essentially the team eliminated order failures altogether and replaced the obsolete customer service code base (VB/Web forms) by a modern framework (C#/MVC/Entity Framework/ AngularJS stack).
Ultimately the client said it best “”We have practically re-written our website over again with two local developers in 5 months. The previous version took 7 international developers the same amount of time; except this time it works properly!”
So, before you send out that next bid or hire a new programmer, first consider the amazing talent here in Kenya. You may be surprised by the ROI comparison between onshore and offshore, if all factors (especially quality and maintainability) are considered. You really do get what you pay for.
Whether you are a start-up or an established business, we are ready to assist you at every stage of the software development life cycle — from conceptualization and consulting to development and support. Drop us an email at consulting(at)kenoobi.com or visit consulting.kenoobi.com for more information.