Why First Line
First Line was founded on the deep commitment to providing customers with superior outsourcing and professional services experience. With a culture grounded in technical excellence, proven methodologies, unrelenting pursuit of quality, and the spirit of customer service, our team members are motivated to communicate, collaborate and continuously go outside the box to deliver business value to our clients.
If your criteria for selecting an outsourcing partner focus primarily on quality, reliability, and partnership, then we believe that First Line’s combination of experience, focus on product development, culture of innovation, size, and Agility make us worth a serious consideration.
It’s no secret that over 50% of all outsourcing projects fail to deliver expected benefits. Making things work in the long term is not as easy as lowering nominal per-hour costs. Success in outsourcing is a sum of a many parts, and knowing how to make those delicate parts move together to achieve desired results comes from experience.
Having been in this business for two decades, we are able to help clients select the best suited approach to their challenge. We know how to construct the optimal outsourcing arrangements, achieve team productivity and stability, meet deadlines and quality requirements, select and motivate the right people, set up transparent communication and reporting, manage knowledge, ensure adequate contractual protections for both parties, and deliver tangible business value. This is complemented by our Professional Services offering in Europe and USA, consisting of experienced staff residing locally with the customer, subject matter expertise, Agile coaching, and sourcing consulting. If you can’t afford to experiment and need to get outsourcing right the first time, hire the experts.
Focus on product development
Building a software product or a complex customer-facing system requires a particular set of skills and competencies from development teams. Product vendors and other software-enabled companies tend to seek outsourcing partners capable of handling ‘industrial grade’ software projects and building robust applications that can stand the test of the competitive marketplace by winning customer satisfaction and loyalty. They are also more concerned with such factors as team stability and knowledge retention.
First Line’s focus has always been on serving the needs of software-driven businesses. Our strong technical ability and competence coupled with best-of-breed engineering practices allow us to align seamlessly with our customers’ cultures and environments. First Line’s R&D mindset and stable workforce will satisfy exactly this kind of discriminating client. Our track record reflects our ability to build high quality products, helping our customers succeed in their respective markets.
Innovation and collaboration
Unlike some other IT outsourcing providers where employees may be content to follow the letter of the spec and will hesitate to deviate from it in the slightest, we encourage our engineers to actively immerse themselves in the problem at hand and come up with suggestions for improvements. Rather than simply say ‘Yes’ to everything, we will typically ask many questions to make sure that no important aspect is missed, no implication goes unexamined, and that the solution we are suggesting is indeed optimal.
Fortune magazine once quoted a senior executive of Intel Russia saying, “If you have a tough problem, give it to the Americans; if you have a difficult problem, give it to the Indians; and if you have an impossible problem, give it to the Russians.” Of course that is not to mean that Russians are smarter than Americans, but rather that there is a ‘clean slate’ culture: we strive to attack problems without preconceived ideas, and to think differently.
The right size
Experienced buyers know that in outsourcing, big does not always equal good. Being a (relatively) small client of a large outsourcing firm may increase the risk of missed deadlines, less-than-excellent resources, churn, unaddressed issues, and general lack of attention. On the other hand, smaller providers are often less bureaucratic, more flexible, more motivated, and more responsive, providing individual executive level attention to every client engagement.
We reject the conventional wisdom of ‘Nobody ever gets fired for buying IBM’. We started First Line because we believe in managing for quality, not for size: our ambition is to be the most competent firm in the business, not the largest. If your priority in outsourcing is to preserve the highest quality of your valuable revenue-generating software, then working with an experienced, competent smaller provider with a strong track record is a less risky proposition in the long run.
Our focus on delivering highest quality software on time and on budget has led us to adopt an Agile approach to development. Agile methodologies can unleash tremendous productivity and help mitigate key risks of project failure. Incorporating many elements of Extreme Programming and Scrum, our process is flexible enough to integrate effectively with a broad range of lifecycles used by our clients. Our team pioneered the use of distributed Agile on critical development projects in the last decade, from small applications to very large and highly complex commercial products.
Not only can we deliver your projects the Agile way, we can also help you bring your IT staff onboard with the Agile techniques. We offer Agile transformation consulting and coaching services that can be adopted independently or coupled with our development projects. Your project will be delivered successfully, while your team will be trained and ready to execute Agile projects on their own.
With customers who employ a more traditional approach, we are still able to incorporate many Agile practices into the process for significant benefits. Our experience shows that when implemented correctly, Agile can reduce risks and costs, while improving productivity, quality, predictability, time-to-market and customer satisfaction at the same time. If all this sounds too good to be true… try Agile with the specialists.