Anna Frazzetto's Blog

Digital Innovations and Technology Solutions

Offshore Adventures - From Australia to Vietnam

I have spoken many times at conferences and here in this blog on the importance of achieving strong cultural understanding in any offshoring partnership. Anyone who works in international business can tell you that simple things, from how you greet colleagues to how birthdays are celebrated in offices, vary widely from culture to culture. Understanding cultural differences big and small is a vital part of building high-performing teams who work well together.

In my role of building offshore solutions and teams for our clients around the world, I am also very lucky to have the opportunity to immerse myself in our clients' homeland and Harvey Nash's offshoring headquarters, Vietnam. This past November, I visited Australia, the home country for our new client, BCC AdSystems. In addition, I went to Vietnam where I spent time with our offshore teams and representatives from our client Hearst Magazines. To me this trip exemplifies the Harvey Nash philosophy of offshoring: going the technical, management and cultural distance for our clients so they achieve outstanding solutions and savings.

The photos below help tell the story of my trip which began in Sydney. While I did get to see (even climb) world renowned Australian landmarks, I also had the privilege of visiting the offices and IT organization of our new client BCC AdSystems. I spent 5 1/2 days directly interviewing and mapping out the offshoring goals and expectations with Rob Landsberry and Rob Clay from BCC AdSystems. This in-person discovery process is critical to building an effective solution and allowed me to see first-hand the teams and operations our offshoring experts in Vietnam will be supporting.

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We documented concerns, mapped out expectations and identified all challenges and opportunities this data warehousing project offers. The trip down under is only one of many to come as Harvey Nash USA works to ensure we deliver the best possible offshore solution to our very first Australian client.

Next stop on this offshoring journey was to HCMC, Vietnam to visit one of our two offshore development centers. In addition to meeting directly with the offshore team that will serve BCC AdSystems, this trip was also an opportunity for me to meet with our established offshore client Hearst Magazines on site at one of Harvey Nash's two centers of offshore excellence.

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Senior leaders from the Hearst IT and executive team joined us in Hanoi for a four-day working session in which the offshore teams and client teams met to review processes, discuss challenges and map out opportunities for increasing efficiency. These combined onshore-offshore team work sessions are extremely useful and well liked by clients and staff alike. Allowing the two teams to address issues and needs together, the sessions are designed to examine operations, workflow and performance while addressing issues and concerns face to face. One of the many stereotypes sometimes heard of Vietnamese professionals--they are quiet and submissive--was quickly put to rest in these sessions as our offshore teams gave direct and very candid feedback to the client. It was a dynamic session that led to many enhancements to the offshore engagement.

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This voyage was also an opportunity to marvel at the wonder that is HCMC--a bustling, modern metropolis that is surrounded by some of the world's most beautiful countryside. I ended the trip with visits outside the city where the beauty of rural Vietnam reminded me how privileged we are to run our offshoring operations out of this remarkable, growing and welcoming country.

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Is offshoring making the world more interesting and accessible to you? Feel free to email me at anna.frazzetto@harveynash.com to share insights on how the global marketplace has changed your perspective.