In December, Luca, one of our clients, visited us. He described his experience and thoughts about the only right approach in outsourcing – communication. Read it!
After a few months working with Sibers I decided it was time to go and meet them.
I decided to do it in December so, in case I survived, I could show off with my friends who listen to this kind of stuff in Italian TV “tomorrow a wave of polar cold weather will hit the our country. In some regions the thermometer will reach -5 C”.
Here I am, alive. I survived the -30 C, by sheer luck, and I am glad to tell the tale:
Darya, her husband and Victor came to the airport to collect me at 5 am (bless them) and took me to the apartment they had rented for me.
As my feet were bleeding due to the “buy new shoes before leaving so they’ll make you bleed” syndrome, they helped me to find a shop were I could buy some nice and warm Siberian ones.
Everyday I woke up late (jet leg), dressed up for the short but potentially deadly walk to the office, entered the building, got into to the office, heard a few “priviet”, shook a few hands, took off my seven sweaters and started working.
Coming from Italy the atmosphere seemed rather distant at first.
But wasting my years on the road instead of building a career, I have at least learnt to judge people by what stays behind the most visible approach.
These guys are very warm, kind and welcoming.
I am sure Darya works for Sibers but also for KGB.
She always checked on me, sending me sms and asking me what I was doing (imagine my feeling of violated privacy when I got the “what are you doing?” sms while I was in the toilet).
I am also quite sure that she could see in my window from her apartment, probably with the help of some infrared telescope.
In the apartment the TV sometimes turned on by itself (this is not a joke, it’s true) and it was probably hiding a camera inside.
So I simply unplugged it.
Officially she was taking care of me, but in reality she made sure I wasn’t going around to steal military secrets in Akademgorodok.
You may think I am paranoid, but all my doubts vanished when one night, going back home half drunk from the Irish pub at 2 am, I saw Darya and Irina sitting by the window of a restaurant scanning passers by. They pretended not to see me so they could follow me, so I went in and stayed with them a bit. I could see in their eyes they were ashamed I caught them. Irina then planted a bug on my jacket, which I destroyed at home.
Ok, all above is a joke (the TV thing is still true): Darya simply took care of me and that was very nice of her.
It was very good to meet Andrey and Irina and to talk face to face about my dream project (the one which will make me rich and bla bla bla…). I really wanted to meet the ones who are making my idea a reality, because only with a closer relationship we could give it the extra touch it needed.
It was a very good idea to come and I am sure our communication will improve by 100% now that we met.
I also went to the headquarters on a sunny day at -30 C when my leather jacket got so hard that it broke simply by placing my hat in a pocket. THAT’s polar weather for you bunch of Italian TV journalist losers!
I was happy to meet the 140 people working there, with the Designer Room, Php Room, Asp room, iPhone room and so on.
They can do everything, no match for a freelancer.
In the evening I met the founders at dinner and I was happy to see we are like minded in many aspects.
If I had chosen a Chinese or Indian company instead, there would have been a kind of cultural wall between us, but with them it’s like talking to anyone in Europe.
All you do in an outsourcing project is TALKING, so you better make sure that thing works, right?
What I bring home from this month in Siberia? Here’s a list:
– new Siberian shoes
– a broken leather jacket
– a knowledge that my project is being developed by professionals
– a feeling of gratitude for the help, especially for Darya who really worked hard to make this time successful.
It was surely worth investing the time to go there.
I don’t think other clients will need to stay a month as I did, but at least one week will be great (let me suggest spring).
Chat, forums and phones can do a lot…but people are still at the center, even in an IT project, and the extra value of meeting each other face to face cannot be digitalized. Yet.
Thank you all at Sibers!