Sunday, May 31, 2009

SODEC 2009 and TiECon 2009

We participated in SODEC 2009 (the 19th Software Development Expo) in Tokyo this month. It is the only software development exhibition in Japan. The location was Tokyo Big Sight, a huge convention center beautifully built and located near the Tokyo Bay. The Expo itself was large and divided into 6 tracks (Software development, Embedded system, Datawarehouse and CRM, Information Security, Direct Marketing, and RFID). It attracted thousands of companies and hundreds of thousands of visitors.

The opportunity for us came through BASIS and EPB (Export Promotion Bureau) with the help from JETRO and Bangladesh Embassy in Japan. This was first time for us. Our goal was to observe and learn about the Japanese IT outsourcing market. Visitors to our booth were surprised to learn that Bangladesh is an up and coming destination for IT outsourcing. We got some encouraging interests in our services, thanks to our interpreter Lokhnath. However, it seems our lack of physical presence in Japan (a.k.a, a bridge team) as well as lack of bilingual engineers on our team are going to be in the way (which we knew already) to our entry into the Japanese market. We also got a chance to meet with JISA and Fujitsu (one of the largest IT services provider in Japan). They shared very good insights into the IT outsourcing market in Japan. Here are some highlights of the Japanese IT outsourcing market,
  • Total size of software and IT services was $75B in 2007
  • Gap between supply and demand is 150,000 engineers
  • IT services outsourced in 2007 was 22,000 man years for $1B
  • Projected outsourcing in 2010 is 38,000 man years for $2B
  • Market share by countries- China 70%, India 20%, and the rest is shared primarily by Vietnam, and Philippines.
Japanese companies are most concerned about the communication and culture than anything else when selecting outsourcing service providers. It seems they are still following Waterfall methodology and value CMMi certification. Agile adoption is in infancy, mostly for in-house development.

We also attended TiECon 2009 at Santa Clara convention center in California. This was our first time at this conference. For those who do not know about TiE, you can find about it from here. It is the largest conference for entrepreneurs so they claim. The theme for this year was "The Bold Entrepreneur." One of the highlights of this event is the focused networking called PowerConnect. However, we did not find it effective (maybe because of our lack of networking ability...:-)). tiECon introduced TiECon 50 awards for the first time. There were some interesting companies on the list. One company needs a mention here is a Japanese company called "Tonchidot." They are working tools to create "Clickable World" using what they called "AirTag." There was also a good lineup of keynote speakers. Among them, I liked the presentation by Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO. He shared Zappos culture and how it came about. He also talked about his current interests in "Happiness." If you haven't heard about Zappos, its culture, and the man behind the success, we highly encourage you to read up following the above links. Zappos is the most transperent company I have ever seen. And they are sharing their learnings from their successes through Zappos Insights.

Although we at Code71 have been focused on building a culture that would allow us to build a sustainable business, we haven't articulated it yet. Look for updates on our culture in the coming weeks and months.