Have you ever wanted to know the difference between Staff Augmentation vs Managed Services? The truth is that to boost your business, it is vital that you know when to use each one. After all, to enhance the performance of your company and your teams!
In this article, we will tell you why you should use Staff Augmentation and when to use Managed Services for your company.
Staff Augmentation vs Managed Services: everything you need to know
First of all, it should be noted that in the IT field it is key to understand the importance of outsourcing personnel. That is to say, more and more companies need services to boost results. And this raises the question of which model to implement, especially between Staff Augmentation vs Managed Services.
But what does each one consist of? Here are the main details.
What is Staff Augmentation?
First and foremost, it is essential to define the Staff Augmentation process. According to Toptal, it consists of the incorporation of a collaborator to the internal staff, but a difference appears: it will not be a “forever” employee, but rather a “help” for a specific period, for certain purposes.
For this reason, these types of workers are not direct company employees. Even though they will work together with the company’s full-time employees, they will not represent an increase in headcount.
And what are its advantages? Well, one of the most important is that it reduces hiring time. When you add “full-time” internal employees to your staff, you will have to go through different hiring processes. In other words, there are usually many interviews and a lot of bureaucracy that you will have to go through.
Here, however, the recruitment time is significantly reduced. Especially if the workers are already familiar with this methodology and are accustomed to working under the Staff Augmentation system. In turn, this implies a new advantage: the flexibility of hiring.
Today’s work is really dynamic and constantly changing. For this reason, using this process means being able to hire new employees for specific tasks. For example, if you have few serverless computing jobs in your IT company, it may not be worthwhile to hire full-time employees.
On the other hand, adhering to this modality will mean that, before any project that may arise for the cloud, you will be able to hire them punctually for this. And, in turn, it will imply an economic benefit. You will not spend money for a position you do not need, and at the same time, you will be able to take advantage of any assignment that arises from a client for this area of specialization.
What are Managed Services?
Let’s move on to Managed Services. According to BMC, this is another effective way of working in a company, which consists of hiring an IT service provider. This situation means that they will take care of managing a company’s operations, whenever specialized support is needed in a particular area.
It is a working model that companies use since it saves the client’s time. In this way, by outsourcing a product to a specialized IT company, you no longer have to worry about deadlines or delivery times, since another company, with its work team, will supervise the processes.
However, some businesspeople sometimes cannot understand the value of this contracting format: companies that want to be on top of every detail of the project may feel insecure. After all, it means delegating all responsibility to the supplier. However, it is always possible to use a technical document to monitor the progress of each delivery. You need to trust in the supplier you are making business with to delegate without second thoughts.
This is a perfect system for those sectors that are not a priority for the company and that demand too much “unnecessary” time. For example, if your company focuses on marketing and advertising, you can delegate IT development to focus 100% on your core business, generating greater economic benefits.
All in all… What Method Should You Choose?
Both work structures have their advantages and can help you achieve your goals more effectively. From our experience, at Huenei we believe that Managed Services is a more appropriate alternative than Augmented Teams for companies whose core business is not software development. Managed Services will allow you to delegate the entire project to a company with extensive experience in managing development processes, such as Huenei. In this way, you can rest assured that the result will be excellent.
In all cases, it will be necessary to hire an ethical, reliable supplier with experience in the market. At Huenei we have been working for years offering our clients the best service. You can review our case studies to learn about our experience in the field.
In short, you already know the difference between Staff Augmentation vs Managed Services. What´s important is that you can use each method in the cases that suit you best. We hope this article has been helpful!
Have you ever been interested in improving your company’s software development? Well, you may be able to take advantage of some interesting methodologies to increase the efficiency, productivity, and quality of your deliveries, and one of them could be Rapid Application Development! We will tell you all the details about it.
What is Rapid Application Development (RAD)?
According to TechGeekBuzz, Rapid Application Development (RAD) emerged in 1991, developed by James Martin. Nowadays, it has become one of the most popular development methodologies within agile methodologies, as more and more companies adopt it.
However, this methodology was based on work done by Scott Schultz in the 1980s. The idea is to work interactively, build prototypes and use CASE tools, to improve the usability, usefulness, and speed of execution of all developments.
Thus, RAD is an approach that seeks to emphasize the organized structure of work. The basic belief is simple: the greater the organization, the better the results. Although it is a somewhat flexible methodology, the secret is consistency. This is one of the variables that allow for an increase in the quality of deliveries.
What are the stages of the RAD model?
That said, you might want to know the stages of the RAD model. According to CodeBots, 4 stages define this methodology. Here they are:
Defining and specifying project requirements
At this stage, it is necessary to define and specify the requirements of the project. For example, what are the expectations and objectives of software development? Are there any specific budgets or deadlines? When they have been properly established, it is time to approve or reformulate them, if necessary.
Start the design of the prototypes
Then, it is necessary to develop the prototypes. The idea is to have a close conversation with the client and let them know the status of the development. It must be established at what time (approximately) there will be a usable version of the software. But be careful! This does not mean that it will be the final version.
Collect different opinions from users
Once the prototype is made, you need to understand what people think about it. Does it work well? Does it have a lot of bugs? The idea is to create the highest quality end product possible. For this reason, you need to pay attention to the feedback you receive from the customer and the test subjects.
Conduct all kinds of product tests and present the system
Finally, you will have to do all kinds of tests to make sure that the release will be successful. The key is to satisfy the client’s needs, so you have to test the code over and over again until it works perfectly. Also, keep in mind that there will always be possible improvements or bugs that will appear later and you will have to fix them.
What are the advantages of this methodology?
Now, what are the advantages of this methodology? Here are the most important ones:
This is one of the most outstanding benefits. The RAD methodology promises much faster software delivery. Because it is iterative, it is possible to reach the end goal faster. And this ultimately results in higher customer satisfaction, but also a faster production stage.
Fast adjustments and error reduction
All this results in a greater speed of correction of possible errors. This methodology seeks to find (and fix) problems as development progresses. Thanks to the RAD methodology, all these intermediate adjustments are usually much more efficient, and errors are also less frequent!
Decrease in development costs
RAD can shorten the development time of a project. The advantage is that, as it works in stages, it is not necessary to make too many corrections once the final product has been launched. This decision results in lower development costs, as the work tends to be much more efficient.
Increased business participation
RAD bases its work on involving the business and the end user. The development will be updated frequently, which means that the product can be polished down to the smallest detail. The result? The end product will be very close to what the customer wants. In other words, you will also have better end-customer satisfaction.
More usable software
The RAD methodology also asks what the user wants and needs. Consequently, all efforts are concentrated on the main functionalities. Then, the final product becomes much more functional, since secondary features are not 100% relevant.
Better control of risks
Finally, it should be considered that with RAD it is possible to find risk factors early in the process. They can then be addressed immediately. This decision is very relevant to avoid potential crises, as any “conflicting” characteristics will be eliminated or corrected in time.
In conclusion, you have learned all the details of Rapid Application Development and now you know why it is so important to integrate it into your developments. We hope you liked this article!
Organizations today must develop technological solutions capable of responding quickly and efficiently to customer demands, and thus offer the best experiences. This new digital paradigm gave rise to the birth of software factories.
Software currently plays an important role in the development and evolution of companies. Software facilitates applications that support the operations and strategy of organizations. The importance of software for companies and society, in general, lies in the facilities it provides. This is related to optimizing tasks, increasing profits, reducing costs, minimizing time… In other words: making the company’s operations easier and, therefore, enhancing strategy and competitiveness.
Software development is carried out by technology-lovers, like us at Huenei. When these come together in a company dedicated to development, we are talking about a Software Factory.
Illustration by Sicma21
What is a Software Factory?
A software factory is a company dedicated to developing software products for its clients, adapting the developments to their specific needs. While IT and technology consultants cover the entire creation and development cycle, software factories focus specifically on development.
Modern software factories adopt innovative approaches that facilitate collaborative development guided by the specific needs and requirements of customers and users. These organizations focus on understanding the key needs that the products to be developed must cover. Likewise, the work methodology is fast, based on rapid trial and error, and focused on continuous improvement.
Let’s dive into it! Some characteristics of software factories
Agile is the core principle of the whole operation. Being nimble and responsive should permeate the development process. This generally means collaborating in ways you never have before.
A basic but fundamental pillar is automation. This saves a lot of time in prototyping, development, testing, and refinement of products. All of this translates immediately into creating greater value for the customer.
You also need to consider security. Customers today demand high-security standards. Many times, software factories develop programs and applications that will handle sensitive data. This information can be key to the company’s operations and even to its strategy. This is why the security that your developed platform can provide truly makes a difference.
A software factory needs to be customer-centric to be successful nowadays. This means focusing on providing you with great experiences; This should be the number one business priority. Insights gleaned from ongoing customer feedback are the fuel that keeps the factory moving.
Digitization has become a fundamental axis in any company that offers its services. That is why if you want to acquire a competitive differential for your organization, you need to join the wave of digital transformation. Remember, taking advantage of these trends and being one of the first in your industry to transform digitally can bring you great opportunities in the future!
Illustration by Tecnova
What are the benefits of hiring a software factory?
You have a team that guarantees all the profiles that your project requires. Regardless of the characteristics that your project needs, a Software Factory will always have trained and specialized personnel to carry out your project. The specialization of the technology teams is an important differential of these software development companies. At Huenei we have experts in development, prototyping, testing, UX/UI, and other specialties that your project may require.
You don’t need to have 100% of the roadmap to start the project. You just need to have a first clear idea of the problem you need to solve and a software factory team can start working on potential solutions.
Times and costs are defined from the beginning. The use of agile methodologies throughout the entire process speeds up times and minimizes costs. Thanks to the experience of software factories, professionals can accurately project budgets and development times.
You will see incremental deliveries until the final product is complete. This is another of the virtues that agile methodologies present. It is not necessary to get the finished product for you to understand what the members of the software factory are working on. You will constantly be presented with advances, prototypes, and test units, as well as a minimum viable product so that you can visualize different incremental instances of development.
Your product will be finished without having to dispose of the total operating time of the Technology area.
Digital transformation is what most companies are seeking to achieve, particularly in what we are now calling the fourth industrial revolution. Technology and software development companies are key to accompanying organizations like yours in all aspects of software production: from the initial stages of product specification to the maintenance of the product after it is in operation. In this sense, software factories play a fundamental role that can help your organization gain momentum and stand out from the competition.
Nowadays, software and IT companies are immersed in a competitive market, having to deal with a changing environment, different levels of competition, and varied needs and problems from clients, among other difficulties that may affect sustainability. In this context, companies must be able to form and evolve from a solid structure that allows them to develop, grow and face adversity. The development of a business model is the fundamental tool to be able to sustain the company in the long term, grow and achieve a return on investment for the partners.
What is the Business Model Canvas Methodology?
A business model represents how an organization or company generates value, provides that value to customers, and obtains a certain benefit in return. It represents the structure on which the organization is born, develops, grows, and even dies.
In this sense, various methodologies are used to develop a business model. However, the Canvas methodology, explained by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur in their book “Business Model Generation,” can be a handy tool so that technology companies can capture their strategy and business model on a simple canvas.
Illustration by Osmoscloud
How is the Business Model Canvas built for an IT Company?
This model is a simple canvas made up of nine quadrants that demonstrate the foundations of a technology organization’s business model. These are closely related quadrants, which leverage each other seeking a synergy that allows the organization to offer a differential to the appropriate public and obtain in return a desired benefit. The nine quadrants are built as follows:
These are the public or audiences the company focuses on and serves. In this instance, it is important to make a detailed description of the individuals or organizations that make up the target segments. And it is important to understand that we can target different types of audiences, such as the following:
Mass markets, where the objective is to attract a large number of individuals without clearly specifying the inclusion criteria for the segment. For example, the Information Technology business is characterized by a wide variety of company profiles.
Specific segments that share a certain characteristic but still represent large volumes of individuals or organizations. An example is the Retail sector, where software products are focused on the needs of companies in the market, which represent high volumes of participation.
Niches, characterized by a lower volume of members and a specific unsatisfied need, such as the Government segment.
Multilateral platforms, where users of software products are two or more independent segments that interact with each other. For example, the Telecommunications, Media, and Entertainment sector is characterized by the use of software products where both the service provider company and its customers interact.
2. Value proposition:
All organizations pursue a main objective which is to satisfy the needs of their customers or solve their problems. The value proposition is the means and the tool from which we can achieve this objective. As an example, we can mention Huenei’s value proposition. We provide our clients with IT services to guide them and help them achieve their business goals through our three business units: Dedicated Teams, Staff Augmentation, Turnkey Projects.
Once we determine our segments and our value proposition, it is essential to define the channels by which we will reach our customers. This is related to the communication, distribution, and sales channels that the company will use. At Huenei we rely on different communication channels, both physical and digital, and we offer our clients personalized attention throughout the project.
It is extremely important to establish strategies that allow us to build a long-term relationship with our market segments. Technology companies can provide us with very illustrative examples in terms of building relationships with clients, based on personal assistance, automated support services and co-creation in software development projects.
5. Sources of income:
The sources of income represent how the company manages to capture the value of customers. The focus at this point is on recognizing the appropriate way to capture the value of our clients through our value proposition offer. In the case of technology companies such as Huenei, the focus is usually on charging for the services and developments provided.
6. Key resources:
In order to carry out its daily operations, be it production, marketing, relationship, or others, the company needs to have certain resources. The following may be mentioned as examples:
Physical resources, such as workplaces or points of contact with clients, programs and software used for development, and so on.
Intellectual resources, such as patents and industrial design registrations.
Human resources, the work team, developers, key account managers, salespeople, etc.
Financial resources that allow the daily operation.
7. Key activities:
At this point we focus on the activities that are the foundation of the business. Those that allow the company both the generation of an attractive value proposition, as well as its contact with the public and the construction of relationships with clients. The key activities of a technology company may be related to the production or development of software products, the solution of customer problems through an after-sales support and follow-up service, the establishment of a network or platform intuitive for customers, among others.
8. Key alliances:
Sometimes, technology organizations outsource certain activities or resources important to the operation. In these cases, the partners, suppliers and allies that add value to the business and to the company’s proposal represent key players for organizational and commercial development.
9. Cost structure:
This structure is made up of fixed and variable costs incurred in the daily operations of the organization. Beyond the focus of the organization, which can be oriented towards reducing costs or increasing the value perceived by clients, the correct control and administration of the cost and expense structure of a company is essential for its survival and growth.
After this analysis of the business model structure according to the Business Model Canvas methodology, we can understand the importance of proper administration and planning of each of the quadrants for technology and software companies. As we have seen, key alliances are essential for business development, and that is why at Huenei we focus every day on offering the best service for our clients, so that they can capture that value and offer it to the segments they target. The daily work and the focus on excellence allows organizations like Huenei to collaborate in the delivery of value that companies offer to their clients.
If you think that building a product only after you have started selling it to people is a mad idea, we are here to show you great minimum viable product examples that prove the opposite.
MVPs can be any ideas or products that feature only a limited set of functions or capabilities that are still enough to prove your concept in a determined market.
Whether you are working on app development or a vegan dog-treats business, building an MVP may save you time and money on the way to commercializing a finished product, and the definition doesn’t stop there, since you can also ask yourself about minimum viable channels, segments, services or promotion.
Facebook, Dropbox, and Zappos have all in common that they started as minimum viable products, proving that investing tons of money is not always a requirement for launching a big business, but the ability to listen to your market and carefully cater to them according to their feedback of your ideas.
In this article, we will show you what the different types of MVPs are and give you examples so you can get inspired and easily venture out into the wild world of product and service development. We will also explore some minimum viable product examples.
5 Types of Minimum Viable Product Examples That You Can Build on a Low Budget
In the world of startups, it is common to see state-of-the-art tech that no one really knows what to use for. This probably happens because creators often focus on bringing finished products to the market without first considering if consumers really want them, and here’s where MVPs play a vital role in redefining business models.
Think about the overhyped Google Glasses that were about to be released in May 2014 for $1,500. The company focused so much on product features such as using a VR platform via voice commands (which sounds really nice) that they forgot people didn’t want to wear glasses in the first place.
There are two classifications of MVP: low fidelity MVPs serve for better understanding your consumer’s needs and see if your solutions are worth enough for solving their problems, while high fidelity MVPs focus more on how much would they pay for your product and getting early adopters that can later help you redefine your value proposition as you listen to them.
Choosing between high fidelity or low fidelity MVPs depends on how much time you have and how much are you willing to spend on this stage of your product development.
1. Landing Page
A landing page is a website designed to motivate visitors to carry out a specific task (give you their email, see your products or buy them) once they have clicked on a marketing communication such as an Instagram ad. This is a great way to show them what you have and prove if your communications are going the right way.
Buffer, an app designed for scheduling social media posts, is an extraordinary example of this. Their MVP was a landing page that explained the platform’s capabilities and encouraged people to sign up. However, by that time the app actually didn’t exist at all so customers were shown a message saying the service wasn’t ready and that they would be receiving updates.
Once the creators had a database of enough possible users, they started asking them if they would be willing to pay for the service. What they did is testing that hypothesis by adding prices to the landing page. This allowed them to see how many visitors would actually turn into paying customers.
2. Short videos (Dropbox)
Short videos are one of the most popular MVPs out there. They are zero-risk, cheap to elaborate, and effective for communicating complex ideas surrounding your product and services. They are so versatile you can post them on MVP platforms such as GoFundMe, show them to investors and even people on your way.
You would be amazed to know that Dropbox, which has a market cap of 11.9 billion, started as a 2-minute MVP that explained with paper figures how the cloud service worked.
3. Ad campaigns and digital mock-ups
Ad campaigns allow you to test if you are targeting the right audiences. With platforms such as Google and Facebook ads, you can even measure what are the features of your products that people appreciate.
Using CGI imagery on your ads is a creative way of testing your product’s appeal. You can do this for a fraction of the real cost of manufacturing a real product by hiring a designer at a platform such as upwork.com.
If people actually try to buy the product once they have reached your website through your social media ads, you can tell them the product is out of stock, and even give them a coupon, a gift card or a discount code they can later use when the product is available. This is great for proving if the market wants the product before you go to the manufacturing process.
A great example of an MVP that started as a crowdfunding project is the board game Kingdom Death Monster, which raised $12.4 million from more than 19,000 people back in 2016. Back then, they used clear images and a great explainer video before they had started production.
5. “The Wizard of Oz”
This MVP consists of creating an illusion of a product, which translates into people thinking they are experiencing the real thing while you are actually using a human resource behind the
curtains. The Wizard of Oz is adequate for analyzing the demand of a product while you keep the operational costs low.
A noteworthy example of The Wizard of Oz is Zappos, a shoe company that was acquired by Amazon in 2009 for $1.2 billion. This business started with its founder Nick Swinmurn posting pictures online of shoes that he didn’t have in stock but that were for sale in stores nearby his home. Once customers bought him a pair of shoes through his simple website he would manually process the order, buy the shoes and send them.
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