The Build-Operate-Transfer model is a highly-effective form of collaboration between businesses experiencing a growing need for skilled resources and service providers with a strong know-how in building and managing distributed teams. The model is gaining popularity in recent years due to the great benefits it brings to businesses looking for ways to increase their capacity.
BOT offers swift entry into a new talent pool and efficient growth of resources and productivity, while remaining cost-effective. But unlike working with recruitment agencies and traditional outsourcing service providers, the BOT model offers something more. It ensures flexibility, security and full control over the development process and intellectual property created.
As the name suggests, the model consists of 3 main stages – build, operate and transfer. Of course, there is one very essential step beforehand – careful research and evaluation of the new location and the service provider you would collaborate with. This is very important as it will define the further development of your business. When researching IT hubs across the globe, make sure to take into account and analyse factors like talent availability, quality of services, infrastructure, political and economic situation in the country.
In case Bulgaria is on your radar, check out our IT Industry Report.
When it comes to choosing a service provider, it is advisable to find a like-minded business that reflects your values and would make sure they’re well-integrated in your future team.
Once you’ve chosen the location and the trusted partner you would work with, it is time to proceed with the first stage – building your team.
The execution of this stage begins with developing a strategy. This is crucial, as it lays the foundation of your new operations. At this point, it is important to work closely with your local provider and explain in details your goals and requirements in terms of technologies, roles, personalities, etc. Based on that you should set some time frames and KPIs together that would help you measure future progress.
At Questers, once we start collaborating with a new partner, we strive to fully understand the expectations and requirements they have and provide detailed reviews of the local labour market, trends and capacity. This helps us create a viable strategy and build a trustful relationship from the beginning.
Having set your strategy, it is time to commence towards its execution. You should rely on the local provider to pre-screen, source and recruit the people you need. Besides that, they should also provide you with details about the local labour market and its cultural specifics.
Close collaboration is very important at this stage, as you would be required to review candidates, execute interviews and provide feedback. This would help your partner better understand your needs, quickly adjust to them and build a pipeline of quality candidates that would eventually become your new team members.
The second phase of the BOT model starts when you have your first hired person at the new location. Your service provider takes care of the HR & Performance management of the team, Payroll, Legal & Administration processes, as well as Office, Facilities & Infrastructure management, while you and your new team are able to focus on the technical side and the development of your products or services.
Should you have chosen a reliable partner, you won’t have to worry about contract arrangements and signing, payroll, social benefits, local regulations and requirements, business travel arrangements and accommodation, office space and equipment and at least another pile of operational details you probably haven’t thought about.
But there is something we strongly recommend you pay attention to at this stage, except the technical management of your team. It is its integration into your company’s structure and culture, especially when you are planning to transfer it to your own entity at some point in the future. No matter how good and dedicated your local service provider is, they won’t be able to do this on your behalf. Here are some of our recommendations you could follow when managing a dedicated team.
During this phase, the recruitment doesn’t stop and your team continues to grow. Its duration depends on your goals and how quickly your company and the remote team adapt to each other and prepare for transfer. Usually, it takes 12 to 24 months, depending on the required number of people to be hired, for companies to accustom to the new location and prepare themselves to open a new entity.
The last stage of the BOT model is not obligatory and many companies prefer staying at the phase of operating a dedicated team because of the security and flexibility offered when tackling changes in business priorities. However, some business cases and strategies require companies to own their resources and, therefore, a transfer is essential.
Once you have fulfilled the initial plan - hired the people you need and you have integrated them well into your company culture, it is safe to advance towards transferring your team under your own entity.
Communication is crucial here, as you are dealing with people and you shouldn’t allow any misunderstandings to happen. It is important to trust the experts of your local partner. They could consult and support you in communicating the transfer with the distributed team, so the people are prepared for what is going to happen with their jobs and if any changes in their everyday work would be necessary.
Other challenges you might face during this stage are related to finding of a new office location, hiring and training local administrative staff, etc. Your trusted provider will help you smooth the process so you would be able to continue your operations without any complications.
Once the transfer process is done, you should be all set and ready to continue your operations under your new entity. And if you have established a good work relationship with your local partner, you could continue using some of the services they provide even after the transfer.
For the past 13 years Questers has successfully executed the BOT model for a number of organizations. Download our White Paper on four successful collaborations with businesses in the eCommerce and Media sectors.
Should you have any other questions about the BOT or Dedicated teams model, do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to help.