While doing development out of India has become a "no brainer" for all enterprise software product companies, the most "obvious" way to go about exploiting the India advantage has been to set up a captive development center. Like Microsoft, Oracle, Novell, Adobe, etc have done.
So, how does Symphony manage to convince software companies like Siebel Systems (the world's leading provider of CRM software), Autodesk (the leading CAD software vendor) and other clients to outsource development work to it? (As Economic Times reported recently, Symphony has been providing software testing and development services to Siebel for over a year now.)
What is Symphony's secret formula? Businessworld attempts to provide the answer.
"To address the issue of trust, Symphony works on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model. The understanding is that at any time the client can acquire the operations - including the team working on the project - from the service provider by paying a transfer fee" the article says.
Now we know.
The BW article also provides interesting examples of Symphony's work in its
two other lines of business - Cost Management and Analytics services.
Symphony's cost management group, which looks at cost-cutting
opportunities for large enterprises, has a 40-person team that works
with companies like Schering-Plough and Viacom to control their telecom
costs - a typically large variable expense head for US companies. The
BW article explains that Symphony made two acquisitions last year -
Telco Research (from Peregrine Systems) and Teletron - to ramp up its
expertise in managing telecom costs.
As part of its analytics
group, which employs 300 people, Symphony analyses data "say, of sales
vouchers of a large retailer, understands buying patterns, and suggests
ways to boost revenues". This group - which is expected to have 500
people by year-end - is expected to account for a third of Symphony's
revenues by 2007.