Acism provides outsourced software development services. The primary focus is on its unique crowdsourcing model, which is a new age model having many benefits over traditional ways of developing software.
- Fixed bid: Fixed charges are quoted against fixed scope of work. If the work changes, then the charges will also change.
- Time and Material: The manpower charges are fixed. You are billed as per the actual effort incurred, which could be (and in many cases, is) different from estimate.
- Retainer: Your monthly outgo is fixed against a reserved bandwidth of resources.
- Value based: The charges are defined upfront based on the value perceived by the customer.
The model that is most popular with the customers is fixed cost. However, some times it is not possible because the requirements are not captured clearly, or there are some technology risks that make the estimation difficult. A phase to capture the requirements, or a study phase to build a technology Proof of Concept are inserted upfront, before the estimate for the full software development can be given.
The more the complexity of a project, the more process rigour is needed. One extreme is the most process-intensive waterfall process, while the other extreme is a lets-just-code lack of process. Between the two extremes, there are various shades of gray in terms of various agile processes. One can choose those based on the project requirement.
In our experience, waterfall results in a lot of wasted effort. However, if a customer insists on it or if a project truly demands that, we are equipped to use it. Most of the times we tend to use an agile process that is close to the Scrum process. The most important feature of this process is small iteration of 1 week or 2 weeks, at the end of which an incremental release is published. The incremental release helps the customers get an exact idea of how far the project has progressed. It also helps do any quick changes / corrections if needed.
The importance of project communication cannot be overstated. Clear and timely communication contributes highly to a project success; and the lack of it can even take a project down. Acism invested in creating a project collaboration and work tracking tool called Kommbox. It adds a great value to Acism projects.
Apart from Kommbox, Acism has created proprietary differentiators such as a comprehensive checklist that works towards process compliance.
Since its inception, Acism has focused on technologies that can help client projects. Open source technologies have matured by leaps and bounds and make a great sense not just commercially but also on high flexibility. For a large part, Acism stayed with Java technology as that works cross platform, is great in performance and is highly scalable. Within the Java universe, one has utmost choice in terms of the connectivity and number of frameworks / libraries available. While retaining its Java focus, Acism also keeps exploring other technologies for their potential benefits, occasionally publishing its findings.
More recently, Acism has shifted to use the new and powerful Xsemble technology, which delivers visual assembly of software components. Acism took it upon itself to provide services based on Xsemble technology, software development being one of them. Xsemble becomes a strong value differentiator on Acism’s projects, delivering unprecedented visibility, enhanceability and maintainability.
Software is sometimes referred to as people-ware, underlining the important role that people play in it. Acism advocates an open model to development, in which resources external to the company can come and contribute to the project work and get paid accordingly. This is done transparently with the customer, with the access levels guarded as per the confidentiality needs of the project. Acism’s process and technology support this model.
The open model grants Acism access to a wide talent outside the company with relative ease. They could be freelancers or they could be employees of some other company which is ready for collaboration. The ultimate beneficiary is the customer because the right kind of talent works on the projects, and the projects can scale very well.
Because of the open model, a small team at Acism is able to take up relatively large size of work. Acism’s own team is highly motivated and dedicated to Acism’s cause. They are trained to execute the work needed efficiently. Time and again, they have showed a tendency to help out the customers even beyond what is agreed upon, purely out of a goodwill.