Australian companies are joining the global rush in outsourcing their projects. According to a benchmark study by ITNewcom, 75% of organizations already outsource some of their software applications, while 85% outsource some of their software infrastructure. This clearly shows Australian firms are really ready for outsourcing. High wage cost is what is encouraging the firms to outsource. Australian firms could see a substantial cost savings while outsourcing, especially to countries like India and Philippines, where labor costs less.
With the e-learning on rise in Australia, companies have shown interest in outsourcing their e-learning development to external vendors. In this blog, I will be sharing some key points that you can refer to while outsourcing your e-learning projects to an external vendor.
Experience working for Australian clients
Check out if the outsourcing partner has worked for any of the Australian clients. The information you gather could include the number of Australian clients your vendor partner has worked for, number of projects executed, types of clients worked for. This will give you a fair idea about the client’s footprint in Australia.
Find a vendor with a presence in Australia
Check whether the vendor partner has a presence in Australia. This will ensure that the project is executed smoothly, and any communication gap can be sorted out with their regional representatives. Having local presence will ensure that the communication with the clients and offshore team is smooth and projects are delivered on time.
Second, companies with their presence in Australia will be held accountable by Australian law to same business ethics standards as any other Australian business. Your vendor should adhere to the NDAs you sign, eliminating the risks in project.
Willingness to Provide Samples/Prototype
Check out if your vendor partner offers any free samples; this will help you to judge their suitability to handle your project. Typically, you will see a simple form on the website that you need to fill, and someone would respond to that with a call or email. Their response time will also enable you to judge how much they value their clients.
Check for Case Studies
Check out a vendor’s website for case studies that provide examples of how they have provided solutions to their clients. Often, due to confidentiality agreements, they may not disclose the names of their clients. But, this will give you a fair idea of the body of work that they developed. You can also evaluate their approach to various learning situations and how they have addressed them.
Some companies might post feedback they received from their clients in response to a project that has been successfully completed. Again, you may not have the names of individuals on the website, but you would be able to know the profile of the organization and individual. If you are really serious about your relationship with them, you could ask for names in private and they are sure to oblige if they have nothing to hide.
Profile of Key Team Members
E-learning courses are developed following defined processes and steps. It involves the efforts of a team comprised of project managers, instructional designers, visual designers, quality experts and authoring tool experts. You need to make sure that your vendor has a cohesive team of individuals who are proficient in the e-learning development process and project management. This is because a skilled and knowledgeable team can comprehend your project requirements quickly and clearly and delivers work accordingly. It is advisable to ask for the profile, experience, and qualification of the team members working on your project.
Check their presence on Social media
Check the vendor’s social media sites like LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. This can give some valuable information about the expertise and capability of the vendor. Check their LinkedIn profiles; also check if they have any recommendations. Check what content do they share on social media; Do they have blogs where they share their experiences and thoughts about developments in the domain? Do they share resources that help clients address their training and learning needs through webinars, eBooks, and so on?
Check the communication
Communication can either break or make a project. Ensure that the outsource partner speaks your language. Because an e-learning vendor who can understand your language and communicate with you efficiently can assure you the success of the project. Check if the vendor partner operates in the Australian time zone. Also check on what communication channels is the vendor partner available (email, phone, Skype, Webex). Finally, it is important to know, if you vendor partner offers support services, as this will help resolve any issues that you might be having after your project has been implemented.
Outsourcing e-learning development is a significant decision and needs to be made after carefully evaluating the capabilities of the vendor. I hope the points I have shared in this blog could be a good starting point for your search for an e-learning vendor. Meanwhile, check this success story of an Australian company that reaped rich benefits in outsourcing.