IAOP® Recognizes Auriga for Fifth Consecutive Year

Auriga, an expert software R&D and IT outsourcing services provider, has once again made the Global Outsourcing 100® list of the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals® (IAOP®).

This is the fifth time in a row Auriga, an actively growing software R&D outsourcing company headquartered in the US with engineering centers in Russia and the EU, has been selected for the Global Outsourcing 100® list.

Auriga scored the highest marks in customer references, company recognition, and executive leadership, which have traditionally been the key strengths of the company. This year, Auriga was included in nine Global Outsourcing 100® sub-lists in the following areas:

  • Ÿ Industry Focus – Technology (Hardware and Software)
  • Ÿ Service Area – Research & Development Services
  • Ÿ Industry Focus – Health Care
  • Ÿ Service Provided – Information/Comm. Technology Services
  • Ÿ No. of Centers Worldwide
  • Ÿ Region Served – Russia, US, Western Europe
  • Ÿ Region Served – Employees in Russia

Their established leadership in these categories is the result of Aurigas’ constant development and innovation to meet the unique needs of every customer. Research and development for ISVs, OEMs, and other technology companies has been one of Auriga’s key service areas since its foundation in 1990. Thus, it is not surprising that the company was highly recognized in these categories on the Global Outsourcing 100® list. The recognition as one of the Best 10 Rising Stars by Industry Focus (health care category) was especially rewarding considering Auriga’s profound expertise in the area of embedded patient monitor development (i.e., in both the development of new cutting edge devices and the maintenance of well-known monitoring product lines).

The 2012 Global Outsourcing 100 and The World’s Best Outsourcing Advisorscelebrate the world’s best outsourcing service providers and advisors, and Auriga is honored to be continuously recognized for its professionalism, excellence, and efforts to achieve greater customer satisfaction. The rankings are evaluated by an independent judging panel that consists of prominent experts from reputable institutions from all over the world. The judges placed particular emphasis on the quality of this year’s nominees.

We have seen tremendous growth, maturity, and expansion of services among outsourcing service providers as we publish this 7th annual list of the ‘best of the best’ globally,” said IAOP Managing Director of Thought Leadership, Jag Dalal, COP. “Judges were impressed with the depth of provider and advisor’s relationships with their clients as shown through the references provided. Clearly, their clients appreciate the value they receive from their engagements. Intense competitiveness of the outsourcing world is also evident and shows continuing maturity and growth of the industry.”

The 2012 Global Outsourcing 100® and The World’s Best Outsourcing Advisors lists with rankings were published in the special advertising feature produced by IAOP®in the July Global 500 issue of FORTUNE® magazine.

“In the context of the ever-growing competition in the outsourcing industry, constantly changing economic climate, and more sophisticated client requirements it is most crucial to stand out of the pack. Inclusion in the Global Outsourcing 100 for the fifth consecutive year is therefore of great significance for us. Auriga is rapidly growing and developing, focusing on operational excellence and customer satisfaction, the areas of utmost importance for us, which has been recognized by IOAP®. In the past years, we have gained significant experience in new areas, such as mobile development and virtualization, but at the same time, R&D for high-tech customers remains our main focus. Being recognized by IAOP again is a great achievement of the company and its very talented engineers,” said Mr. Vanyulin, Auriga’s General Manager.

Communication: A Key Factor of Outsourcing Success

As many years’ experience shows, one of the essential ingredients for success in software R&D outsourcing is a well-built, transparent communication system between client and developer. Industry analysts have been investigating the key factors that determine the efficiency of the software-development process for a long time. For example, in 2006, experts from Enterprise Systems magazine concluded that most respondents in their research agreed that communication between client and service-provider management and personnel was more important than having previous outsourcing experience, having a properly structured contract and SLA, or even selecting the right vendor.

Characteristics of Successful Outsourcing Initiatives
Communication between client and service-provider management 44%
Communication between client and service-provider personnel 42%
On-going management/government 41%
Selecting the right vendor 41%
Having a properly structured contract/outsourcing agreement 38%
Having a properly structured service level agreement 33%
Understanding the business goals internally 30%
Strategic vision 25%
Having previous outsourcing experience 18%
Note: multiple responses allowed.

In the context of today’s market, the processes of outsourcing service-provider selection and development-process structuring have become quite sophisticated. Just a few years ago, it was enough to go by price proposals and the technical skills of personnel, which in turn factored into the underestimation of the so-called social competencies or soft skills. But in the end, due to fierce competition between providers, the technical skills of different companies have reached more or less the same level, and man-hours calculation methods are now so complex that it is impossible to predict the final cost of a project. Meanwhile, the ability to understand and pursue clients’ goals; communicate constructively on a daily basis; and build teams that focus on proper engineering culture, responsibility for results, and striving for perfect quality often becomes the only reason for the success or failure of a project.

This is not by chance. Back in 1995, US psychologist Daniel Goleman published the book “Emotional Intelligence” in which he proved that for a successful personal life and career, emotional intelligence (EI) is more important than IQ, technical knowledge, or skills. For 18 months, the book occupied the New York Timesbestseller list; over five million copies were sold. Following the book’s success, Goleman published “Working with Emotional Intelligence” in 1998. The book contained research data from more than 500 companies and confirmed that social competencies (or what we now know as soft skills) are responsible for not only the success of individual employees but also the success of the companies themselves. In other words, there is a direct relationship between employees’ soft skills and the company’s success.

Auriga is a perfect example of practice completely sustaining a theory. In the last few years, our company has been enjoying consistent recognition in top lists of service providers in the category of customer satisfaction according to the world’s leading information-analysis agencies. For example, in 2011, Auriga was recognized as the No.1 Engineering Services Provider by Datamonitor based on the results of a customer-satisfaction survey. Nine criteria that influence customer-satisfaction levels were included in the survey, including such soft skills as requirements awareness, problem resolution, and partnership approach.

And when we ask our clients why they are so fond of us, it turns out that it is mostly because we are on their wavelength. Here, we don’t emphasize the fact that our engineers and management speak to clients in fluent English. The most important thing here is that within the frames of Auriga’s projects, we build a communication model without any missing links, and the information-exchange process goes as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

However, our company does not plan to be satisfied with what has already been achieved. Today, our approach to company communication processes and the development of employees’ social competences has reached a whole new level. At the end of May in the Nizhny Novgorod Auriga office, a new long-term corporate training program with a focus on employees’ communication-skill development was launched. The comprehensive program, drawn up by Auriga experts, employs various study modes, including training sessions, webinars, and online-courses. In this way, Auriga underlines the balance between the importance of soft and hard skills training.

A number of training sessions for Auriga employees aimed at advancing the professional and personal skills required for successful team/client communication are scheduled to be held throughout the year. As a result of regular discussions on the difficulties that emerge in the process of work, we believe our employees will show an increased ability to exchange information in a timely fashion, solve problems before they significantly influence projects, and make wise decisions.

Auriga Actively Develops Mobile Banking for SMEs

One of the most topical issues among both members of the banking sector and analysts is the prospect of remote banking growth. To keep up with the latest market trends and to be able to provide customers with the most up-to-date solutions, Alexander Videnev, Auriga’s Business Development Director, took part in a number of specialized events. These included the third international ‘Remote Banking 2012’ forum and a panel discussion ‘SME Crediting: from Single Operation to a Conveyor Line’ organized by CNews Conferences, Marketing Communications Agency.

It is evident that remote banking in Russia is developing rapidly and has become an integral part of bank-customer communication. However, the remote banking solutions offered by banks today are not yet eagerly sought by their customers, and at the same time, the share of customers using remote banking services in Russia is still lower than that in western countries. On average, around 40-50% of all Internet users in Europe, the USA, and Australia take advantage of Internet banking. In Russia, only 6-12% (based on various estimates) of online users make use of Internet banking, and even fewer users opt for mobile banking.

Nevertheless, banking sector representatives are predicting the perceived benefits of remote banking in Russia: experts forecast a surge in the growth of the demand for remote banking services in the coming years. Ultimately, integrated, multifunctional, and reliable remote banking systems that promote the availability of banking services and the simplicity of their use will attract the most interest from banks and their customers.

What should we get as the result from the standpoint of end users? Every actively involved banking customer wants to have complete access to his/her accounts including the option of accessing a wide range of banking operations, from account information displays and payment systems to loan applications. However, customers want to complete their transactions at a time and place suitable for them. Various remote banking systems—mobile banking, in particular—are revolutionizing the banking services sector in terms of comfort, mobility, and flexibility.

Why do experts think that mobile banking is a safe bet?

Analysts forecast that mobile service penetration with reach nine billion users by 2017, while the number of actual users will amount to five billion people, 85% of which will be able to use high-speed 3G mobile Internet.

The logical consequence will be the increase in the number of smartphones users. According to the estimates made by Ericsson experts, the number of smartphone owners will increase from 700 million to three billion by 2017. And while at the moment, the smartphone user base in Russia accounts for less than 50 million people, the situation will change dramatically in the coming years, because based on the data provided by retailers, every third phone sold in Russia these days is a smartphone. Cell phone service providers confirm that by the end of 2013, 70%-80% of cell phones will be replaced by smartphones.

In summary, currently, the positive environment allows business development adjustments with a focus on remote services for customers. But it is important to note that customers are not merely individuals but also SMEs that have not yet been covered by remote banking services. The SME share of production volume in Russia’s GDP grows year-by-year, approximating one third of GDP. Putting two and two together, we can now talk about a warmed-up market that can be penetrated with new and interesting solutions.

Traditional ideas that mobile applications, unlike Internet-banking, are created for the comfort of individual customers only hamper the dynamic development of such applications. However, a new, interesting solution with functionalities for corporate accounts and adequate data-security levels could significantly change the market balance and lead to a boom similar to the Internet-boom of the 2000s.

Auriga actively developed its own mobile banking application for SMEs. This application will allow SMEs to carry out their transactions quickly and effectively on the majority of existing mobile platforms anytime and anywhere in the world.

It will considerably simplify clearing and settlement transactions, payment-order creation, currency purchases, and cash-inflow monitoring for bank customers. Thanks to these functionalities along with the adherence to stringent security standards and positive reactions from a number of banks that already took interest in the solution, we can now confidently say that this is a timely product that will be in demand on the remote banking services market, and in the mid-run, it will obtain a wide circulation.