Designertech buys in to co-sourcer

Designertech buys in to co-sourcer

Designertech has taken a stake in Adept Group, the co-sourcing company established by former Fronde employees Dominic Stow and Frik Botha.

The firms now have a sister company relationship, with Designertech CEO Ray Delaney also taking a seat on Adept’s board.

The companies say their business models are based on a willingness to share business risk with clients, with the two firms referring business between each other where co-sourcing or outsourced projects are required.

Adept Group defines its “vested co-sourcing” model as “the business practice where a service is performed by staff from inside an organisation and by an external service provider with a vested interest in agreed outcomes set by the organisation”.

It has recruited a pool of about 15 associates by shoulder-tapping suitably qualified staff already in the industry. These associates are ranked as either Leader, Contributor or Competent, based on the amount of value the person adds to to the client’s business and how well they perform against the agreed outcomes, says Adept director Stow. The roles it can typically provide associates for are in project management, testing, software architecture and analysis.

The associate’s target daily or hourly rate is adjusted based on feedback – with 10 percent added to the rate for a Leader and 10 percent subtracted for someone ranked Competent.

If an Adept Group customer requests an outsourced project, Adept will refer them to Designertech, and Designertech will refer business to Adept if co-sourcing is required by its clients.

“One of the points of alignment for us is we’re increasingly seeing customers need to see a strong value proposition. We’re trying to understand where the value is in outcomes rather than in the project deadlines.

“That can be a scary proposition with technology, because it can be hard to keep it running and businesses don’t necessarily see value in IT.”

Delaney says Designertech has looked closely at what Adept wants to achieve and decided to take a “fair chunk” in the company, but says Adept has retained the controlling interest.

He says the sister company partnership adds another sales channel that could expand Designertech’s market.

“We have typically operated in the large SME market, but increasingly we are extending that into areas funded by government, but not run by government, [such as] health sector NGOs (non-government organisations).

He says the relationship could also pave the way for Designertech to exploit niche opportunities among larger corporates.

Stow was a development manager at Designertech from 2001 to 2003.

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