For Sydney-based digital payment and cybersecurity solutions specialist, IPSI, the COVID pandemic produced a surge in demand for its data security, online payment and call centre payment services, putting a significant stretch on its skilled in-house resources.
IPSI has specialised in online payments and secure call centre payments for 15 years, having worked with large enterprises and government agencies to secure and transform their digital payment systems.
Unsurprisingly, as both the public and private sectors have been pushed to transform their businesses through the disruption of traditional on-premises call centre operations as a result of COVID, IPSI began to experience challenges meeting customer demand.
IPSI chief executive Michael Donoghue says: “We faced a shortage of skilled software developers to meet the demands of our customers, who needed to enhance their customers online payment experience and securely service customers over the phone while working at home.”
IPSI turned to renowned web and software development agency 4mation, to provide the skilled IT staff it needed to meet this surge in demand.
4mation proposed the provision of skilled tech resources under its ‘team augmentation’ model, which provides people for very specific roles in short or long-term projects.
“4mation’s team augmentation model made absolute sense for us,” Mr Donoghue said.
“We have a number of highly skilled team members in the engineering team who have made a massive impact with very low ramp-up times”.
Mr Donoghue added: “The quality and calibre of 4mation’s resources is extremely high. We jointly defined the skills sets needed and cultural fit beforehand, the augmentation staff interact extremely well with our team and hit the ground running.
“This gives us a lot of benefits, from peace of mind, speed, responsiveness and quality.”
4mation’s Head of Team Augmentation, Scott Morris, said providing human resources under a team augmentation model now represents about 50 per cent of the company’s business.
“We’ve been successfully operating our traditional agency model, which manages the end-to-end delivery of digital projects, for many years. It’s only the last few years that we’ve seen the demand for team augmentation grow.”
He said 4mation’s initial foray into team augmentation had been in response to customer demand.
“We had the occasional request to assign some of our people to our clients to work at their offices and within their teams, which worked well. Our clients loved it and our staff thoroughly enjoyed it. We started to understand some of the reasons behind its success, took it seriously and have seen it grow ever since.
“Globally, team augmentation has been growing at about 12 percent per year. A key factor is mergers and acquisitions: consolidation creates projects around integrations, migrations and standardisation.”
Also, Mr Morris said, demand for team augmentation was being driven by the increasingly important role technology plays in many businesses.
“Organisations want more ownership of their technology projects so they can maintain control internally. So rather than simply outsourcing, they reach out to businesses like ours to get the extra people to plug in and help them deliver on these large-scale plans.”
This was a key driver in IPSI’s selection of 4mation, quality and the peace of mind knowing that 4mation has a rigorous candidate selection process, which it has perfected over twenty years.
He said staff hired under the team augmentation model were typically for the development of new products. “The client’s core team might be busy with business as usual, and they need our services to bring new products to market.”
However, Mr Morris said team augmentation needs the right kind of client to be successful.
“You’ve got to be ready as an organisation. We’ll be plugging specialists into your team, and they need to be able to hit the ground running. You don’t want them held back because you haven’t got basic tools ready for external contractors, like your project management platform, scope, quality assurance or security systems.
“And if your project is relatively small, you’re probably better off engaging us for a block of time that can be spread across many different disciplines as required, rather than a single full-time specialist.”
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