GlobalLogic Expands, Offers R&D Dev Support

GlobalLogic, a Vienna, Va.-based firm that provides R&D and software development support to companies, has expanded its operations, hired a new chairman and rolled out a new service aimed at helping organizations get new software ideas into production.

The new service, called GlobalLogic Version 1.0, provides software engineering support to software startups, as well as to established companies wanting to bring new ideas to market.

"What we're doing now is we are taking on a slightly different business model for engaging with 1.0, which provides a lot more integration with product management," explained Peter Harrison, GlobalLogic's CEO. "So we are formally launching 1.0 business, which is geared to collaborating with entrepreneurs with ideas that they want to get to market, helping them make sure that they are the right ideas and [enabling us to be] their partner to the market."

Harrison sees GlobalLogic's overall approach, with its operations primarily located in India, China and Ukraine, as a somewhat different from traditional outsourcing. He describes it as "insourcing," focused on R&D rather than IT.

"Historically, people didn't outsource R&D. They considered it too core and kept it close to the vest. That's really started to change significantly in the last few years," he said.

GlobalLogic has about 2,800 personnel in 10 cities around the globe, he said. The company has expanded its talent pool in the Ukraine by acquiring Kharkov-sited Validio Software, adding to GlobalLogic's .NET development expertise.

"With the acquisition of a company in the Ukraine, we'll have 950 employees [there], which makes us one of the largest technology employers in Ukraine," Harrison said.

Harrison explained that the Ukraine schooling system offers "strong mathematical training" that is integral to the development team.

"Of course, these are trained rocket scientists that no longer have a need for their rocket science skills," he said. "We love the Ukraine for anything that's got a hardcore math angle to it, whether it's graphics or algorithmic-type work or rules orientation."

GlobalLogic relies on its China team for things that are close to the metal, more embedded-like work, because of China's strength in manufacturing hardware, Harrison added. India adds to GlobalLogic's mobile, telecom and database software development expertise.

Harrison said that GlobalLogic raised another $30 million in the past week, constituting a fund for more acquisitions.

"We are profitable and have been for the last five years -- we don't need it [the money] for ongoing operations -- but it's a war chest for further acquisitions," he said.

The weaker U.S. economy isn't an issue for companies such as GlobalLogic that provide outsourcing services. The need for greater efficiencies in a weaker economy has bolstered GlobalLogic's fortunes in the past, Harrison explained.

"I think our fortunes are probably more closely linked to investment cycles rather than to IT spending cycles. Again, we don't sell to IT; we sell to R&D, to technology organizations," he said.

GlobalLogic recently hired Mike Daniels as chairman of the company's board of directors.

"As a leader in global software R&D, GlobalLogic is well positioned to play a dominant role as the market consolidates," Daniels stated in a press release. Daniels is also on the boards of Sybase, Luna Innovations and the Logistics Management Institute, among others.

The majority of GlobalLogic's clients are currently working in the Java and C# programming languages, with an increasing number using Ruby and PHP scripting languages, Harrison said.

"We do get the gamut. There are still pockets of C++ and COBOL, but more than 80 percent of it today is in Java, C# and Ruby," he added.

When working with clients, GlobalLogic uses an Agile software development approach that includes Scrum techniques, but it's modified due to the collaborative nature of working with a global team, Harrison said.

"We use fairly standard attributes of Agile, but we've got a little more structure, and we've found we have to, given that it's a distributed model. So, it's a little bit of a hybrid," he explained.

The company's tool for an Agile development and distributed collaborative process is called Velocity. The solution is an amalgamation of open source and commercial open source products, tailored for R&D work. It includes Wikis for knowledge management, source-code control systems, build automation technology, requirements management, issues management, test automation and more, Harrison explained.

"We now track better than 95 percent on time delivery," he said. "So when we commit to delivering a product on a certain date, we meet that date 95 percent of the time. Actually, the Agile approach is the key to doing that because it allows us to get feedback much faster; iterate much more quickly."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.