Onshore Outsourcing: Changing Outsourcing, Changing American Lives
Charles Ruggiero , CEO
In 1989, Kodak Eastman Company made the monumental decision to outsource its IT systems to IBM. The deal attracted worldwide attention and brought a certain amount of flak to the then CIO Katherin Hudson for her bold decision. However, it helped the company focus on its core competencies and also cut non-core, high-cost activities. Several other large organizations followed suit and outsourced their IT systems to expert third-party organizations offshore. More than 25 years later, outsourcing IT has become a rather commonplace strategy adopted by companies that are looking to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. Like with any complex decision, the choice to outsource IT activity offshore comes with its own set of challenges. Primary among these challenges are the alarming attrition rates, language and cultural barriers, and frequent time-zone difficulties. Another major factor continuing to gain momentum in a stagnant American economy is the fact that global IT outsourcing ships countless jobs overseas.
One answer to the aforementioned challenges came in the formation of Onshore Outsourcing, an IT outsourcing organization that uses a unique rural workforce development model to provide numerous services, including software development, business process optimization, application and infrastructure management, quality assurance and data services, not to mention the fastest growing integrated help-desk organization. Founded by Shane Mayes with a vision to revitalize the American workforce, the company adopted a one-of-a-kind sourcing, training and delivery model, which not only helps mitigate the challenges faced by clients but also provides technically adept services unique to each client. “Our objective is to provide rural America with a hand up and the chance for a career, not just employment,” says Charles Ruggiero, the CEO of Onshore Outsourcing.
The organization’s arsenal of services spans the full range of IT services, from application development and support to data services, quality assurance testing and state-of-the-art technical support services. Thanks to its well-rounded services, unique approach to outsourcing and 10 years of experience, Onshore has managed to gain the trust of many reputed organizations: A Fortune 500 aircraft design and manufacturing company; America’s No. 2 Fast Casual restaurant; the largest US based publicly traded Real Estate firm; the World’s largest pizza chain; and a Top-20asset manager, to name a few.
‘Making’ a Competent Workforce Instead Of ‘Taking’ It
A major roadblock faced by companies taking the route of outsourcing comes in the form of a volatile global economy. Onshore, though, has a solution: “In India, for example, most companies are suffering through extremely high attrition rates driven by inflation and workforce demand, a problem we’ve solved by training our own workforce from day one, which leads to long lasting loyalty and now, a very long tenured workforce,” explains Ruggiero.
However, the strongest tool at the disposal of Onshore is that the company possesses a cultural familiarity with its clients’ internal process and solution expectations. This American workforce shares an understanding of the nine-digit social security number, five-digit zip code and three-digit area code. As a result, Onshore can deliver services in a familiar and appropriate context. It also provides for a faster and more cost-effective transition to its services, which greatly benefits Onshore’s partners.
Ruggiero breaks it down for us: “In the case of our world-renown fast casual restaurant client, no one had to explain what was on the menu. We knew that they were fast casual and we knew that they were operating in a market that was providing a higher quality cuisine to its customers. As a result, we are far more adept at functioning in that world than, for example, an India-based firm whose workers are significantly less familiar with our clients’ products and image.”
Onshore has emerged from a belief that corporate America does not need to look offshore to find a highly talented, exceptionally competent and cost-effective IT workforce. Such expertise happens to be living in rural America itself. Having leveraged this local workforce, Onshore’s gifted American workforce delivers practical, world-class IT services for public, private, local, and global technology clients.
“We specialize in educating the intelligent but untrained rural worker. We invest in their development and train them to execute work that’s specific to each client. The return on this investment is threefold: It allows us to help
revitalize rural America; it produces a workforce with core competencies customized to our clients’ needs; and it yields workers that are passionate, loyal and committed, which leads to an exceedingly high retention rate,” Ruggiero explains.
Rendering Adept Services
While building unique solutions is a critical component for any organization’s success in today’s competitive market place, a company’s service portfolio provides the true foundation. With a solid understanding of this notion, Onshore provides its clients with a range of IT services that help clients gain agility and efficiency.
Through its IT consulting service, Onshore helps its clients improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their IT application environments, always adapting and evolving towards reusable software platforms. “Our teams work with our clients to understand and analyze the current problems and to design the conceptual solutions with an eye toward implementation. Once a solution is created, we design and expand the solution, research alternatives, perform detailed analyses, develop prototypes and proof of concept, produce detailed reports, and a final product,” elaborates Ruggiero.
The organization provides software development services to help clients build, test and deploy IT applications. During the course of its development engagements, Onshore’s team works to consolidate and rationalize its clients' existing IT applications and IT environments into platforms. This 'platforming' approach yields systems that are more reliable, manageable and scalable. Under its application services, the company renders a broad set of application support services, providing comprehensive support for client software applications and platforms. “We strive to continuously improve the applications under our management and to evolve our clients' IT applications,” adds Onshore’s CEO.
Having identified the criticality of testing services, Onshore ensures that a client’s mission-critical software assets and systems are stable, functioning properly and delivering the required level of quality. The company utilizes its in-house software development expertise to cater to a variety of clientele from Fortune 500s in Energy, Finance, and Healthcare to early-stage start-ups.
In keeping with the need for expert data services, Onshore provides a broad range of services, including data integration, data warehousing and data reporting. The company leverages technologies such as Business Objects, WebFocus, Crystal Reports, MS SQL Serv/SSIS, Access/Excel, SQL Reporting Services and Oracle/PL SQL. “It is one of our core concepts that we should be able to work with data from inception to consumption allowing us to meet the needs of a variety of clients,” says Ruggiero.
Onshore’s business process services, such as Data Entry, Report Running/Monitoring, Network Monitoring and Documentation, aid clients by providing them with flexibility in terms of cost, speed and focus. Clients are free to choose what business process or activity they need to outsource, which in turn allows them to focus on their business necessities.
Onshore’s arsenal of services spans the full range of IT services, from application development and support to data services, quality assurance testing and state-of-the-art technical support services
With a fundamental link to innovation, Onshore has also built a technical and integrated help-desk offering that is unparalleled in the domestic arena. The company’s willingness to challenge the status quo has left a lasting mark, as Onshore now uniquely offers internal and external client support 24/7/365 along with iterative knowledge management, data service requests and ad hoc business process automation.
Given Onshore’s strong suite of services, the organization has averaged greater than 50 percent growth in each of the last five years and expects to continue to grow at this same rate for the foreseeable future. To keep up with expected growth, the organization is considering the potential for additional expansion into other rural areas across America. “Our model, though, will stay true to the rural cause. So as we look to expand, we will seek to do so in other rural areas around the country,” concludes Ruggiero