Priva had an urgent requirement of additional embedded software and hardware engineers. However, their internal HR team needed as much as 6 months to recruit engineers locally and that meant losing critical time. They realized that the only way of starting the project quickly was to offshore work overseas. By hiring VE’s offshore embedded engineers, Priva saved 50% in cost and were able to start the project as planned.
Due to the stringent labor laws in Europe, Priva, a Holland-based company, could not simply hire embedded engineers and then let them go when the work load decreased. In order to relieve an employee one had to get a legal court order, which was a complex and lengthy process. With VE, however, Priva was able to scale up and scale down with ease as per the work volume. They also realized that, for the success of an embedded systems project, teams have to communicate with each other and that India was a very good choice thanks to its large English-speaking talent pool. The result of working with VE’s engineers was excellent and rewarding.
Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, believes that the main advantage of working with VE was the ease of working as a team, even while sitting thousands of miles away. The embedded engineers in India were always available on Skype and you could interact with them as many times as you wanted and often forget that they are physically not with you, Nick asserts..
Though developing new things is about making mistakes and learning from them, yet outsourcing embedded systems project to VE helped Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, to get it ‘right first time.’ We made 100 printed circuit boards over the last five years, without making many mistakes, he affirms.
In five years of association, Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, never had any administrative or organizational problem. If any of his hired embedded engineers failed to reach office for any reason, he would get an email informing him about the same. I can’t really put my relationship with VE in a way better than through these two words – excellent and pleasurable, he quips..
Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, says that he never felt that the team in India and his local team were different; rather they worked as one team and this team did everything, he added. Over a period of five years, the team built more than 100 printed circuit boards for different embedded systems projects, he claims.
It is true that we are ending our five-year-long relationship with VE, but it is not because of any issue that we have faced in the course of our journey, asserts Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV. It is a high-level decision as to whether to hire offshore embedded engineers for product development in future and Priva BV’s management has decided to do it differently from the past, he claims.
Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, believes that capacity building, motivation, and social support hold the key to bringing out the best in people and Virtual Employee does exactly the same by providing a learning environment and taking care of its people. When at work, he found his people doing embedded systems programming happily and inspiringly.
Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, appreciates and compliments Virtual Employee for having set up an office environment that is motivating and positive. All his hired embedded engineers showed the same positivity at work. Whether it is about issues related to women security or anything concerning the happiness and the mood of the employees, Virtual Employee takes good care of its assets, he asserts.
Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, attests he just plunged into a relationship with Virtual Employee and abandoned the other competitor because the response from VE was much more positive. The ease of approaching and a satisfying response made Priva BV outsource its embedded systems projects to India.
Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, who outsourced embedded systems projects to VE, believes that outsourcing is a good idea as long as it is done for the right reasons. One should opt for outsourcing overseas in order to create a team of productive people who can provide the company with desirable benefits and not because it helps one save a few hundred dollars, Nick asserts.
Offshoring itself does not hurt the local economies, says Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, who hired embedded engineers from VE. In fact, if companies are opting for outsourcing, the focus should be on why the local economies are in such a shape that companies feel the need to outsource, he asserts.
Innovation requires a proactive process that flows from the top or, in other words, if people are managed and guided correctly, innovation will be the necessary outcome, asserts Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, who outsourced embedded systems projects to VE. Out-of-the-box thinking is done by the one who is leading the team and if VE people are managed appropriately, they can be very innovative, he quips.
Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, who hired embedded engineers from Virtual Employee, believes that the process of innovation is about communicating your ideas and generating money with them as quickly as possible and it is incorrect to hide behind the legal protection entailed in intellectual property rights. Though some kind of protection is important, but it is more about the speed of implementation and less about secrecy and protection, he claims.
A freelancer is kept at an arm’s distance and does the work that they are instructed to do; however, a Virtual Employee, despite sitting remotely, acts as a part of a team and adds value to the project, asserts Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, who outsourced an embedded systems project to VE. The ease of recruiting a suitable Virtual Employee compared to hitting upon the right freelancer through mere fluke and the luxury of scaling up and down the number of resources make VE desirable, he proclaims.
Within a short span of time, I concluded (from the results) that VE engineers are capable of working independently and do not require someone breathing down their necks to get the job done, asserts Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, who hired embedded engineers from VE. Micromanagement is not for engineering teams and the result of my team in India speak for itself, he asserts.
Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, who outsourced embedded systems projects to Virtual Employee, admits that with his VE resources, he was able to develop twice as many products and test twice as many types of components, which he would not have been able to do otherwise. The reduced financial burden and increased capacity helped us iterate and innovate more, he adds.
The biggest advantage of hiring embedded engineers from Virtual Employee is that we could start off with the project six months earlier, says Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV. The process of hiring locally would have taken at least six months, whereas VE offered me candidates immediately on the very first day, recalls Nick. Entering the market early, besides saving costs, guarantees you a larger market share, he adds.
Based on my experience of working with VE’s embedded engineers, I can say that their work ethic and commitment to work is better, compared to a European engineer, says Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV. Being in the army, I expect a certain amount of self-discipline from employees and I found this in VE’s resources, he quips.
Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, who hired a team of embedded engineers, admits that the ethnic and gender diversity of his VE team helped in bringing innovative and unique ideas to the table. The diverse culture of his resources resulted in making products that fitted perfectly well in the different markets of China, India, America, Europe, and other parts of the world.
India has a reputation in the field of software development and the skilled pool of software developers made me choose India, says Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, who outsourced embedded systems projects to Virtual Employee. Besides, the ability of Indians to speak English as well as the British made the decision even firmer, he asserts.
Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, attests that his hired embedded engineers worked very efficiently and independently and in the beginning, he had to make calls several times a week, but later, the frequency dwindled. Once things were in motion, I called mainly to get information, rather than following them up, he adds.
Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, who outsourced embedded systems projects to VE, says VE engineers were resourceful and instead of just designing, they also tested the boards and often wrote software to test them. The earlier decision to design the boards in India and test them in Europe was a challenge and VE engineers’ versatility helped overcome this challenge, Nick asserts.
We outsourced a tricky subject to VE requiring high skills and they proved worthy of the job, says Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, who hired embedded engineers from VE. We demanded much from our VE resources and they demonstrated their capability, he asserts.
My executive engineer in India would draw the schematics, make the layout, do the routing, write the notes about design for manufacturing, do all the checks and many more things, asserts Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, who outsourced embedded systems projects to VE.
Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, who hired embedded engineers from Virtual Employee, proudly recalls that his VE engineers successfully made more than 100 PCBs in five years. The boards were different and not really a repetition of a single type, he claims.
Those in India were involved from beginning to end at every step, says Nick Ray, Hardware Innovator at Priva BV, who outsourced an embedded systems project to VE. The cradle-to-grave approach is what the VE team adopted, he proclaims.