Vietnam’s outsourcing factory


I have heard about TMA Solutions new building in Quang Trung Software Park, but I have never got a chance to stop by, until yesterday.

1,200-strong, TMA begins to look like an army of engineers (my friend and guide showed me a beehive behind the building, after we had toured their lobby where Vietnam‘s historical artifacts were on display, next to the museum of telephony).

“It is to show the stream of history, culturally and technologically, so our engineers could get a sense of where things might be going” said my friend.

I could relate to that.

Users and programmers don’t exist in a vacuum.

We live and breathe the same air as everyone else.

Honda got hit not once but twice last year, both in Fukushima and in Thailand.

While incubators and laboratories are necessary for concentration and collaboration, they still function within a larger ecosystem.

Users tend to move on to the next big thing more quickly than companies.

Two great benefits TMA could offer to prospective clients:

– its time-tested know-how

– young work force who can stay on for however long the project requires (end-to-end outsourcing).

Yes, we had a sort of working lunch and then marketing presentation.

But it’s the spirit of the group, the speed of execution and the spread of product (cloud computing) that will work in TMA’s favor.

If they grew  (at least no lay-off)  in hard times, how much more in good times.

I am afraid this is counter-intuitive. But organizations need to secure talent just as much as they secure property and product.

When all boats rise, talent can then command higher salary leveraging supply vs demand.

As engineers huddle in conference rooms and cubicles,  consumers are shopping for the greatest and latest.

In turn, these technologies (cloud, social media apps) enable new applications (e.g. Google + Search) which in turn reshape consumer expectations.

It’s the loop, of empathy, of hits and misses (Betamax) and the drive for perfection (Apple).

Outsourcing is just a phenomenon, but man’s search for meaning and connection has been around much longer.

Get to the bottom of this, you will get to the bottom line.

I like my guide’s side comment “look at Napoleon! he was so short, yet so imperial”.

I just know from seeing the beehives behind the building that worker bees are busy at work, coding and collaborating, and  in the process saving tons of money for clients. Clients who now can sit back and choose from a score of outsourcing factories. Let the game begin. Stay hungry, stay curious (Jobs’ commencement address at Standford).  Vietnamese engineers at TMA can discount the first advice and focus on being curious. This, their shrewd leader had already anticipated. He wanted to leave his legacy via the museum of  ethnology (past), and technology  (future).

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