Project Description

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Go and try it, don’t hesitate so much. Whether you start a new department 300 km from here or 10.000 km away in Kuala Lumpur with a partner like INSCALE, it’s not the distance you should think about, it’s about the people, which it is anyhow.

Per Henrik Nielsen
CEO | TimeLog

“We got great people, the results we wanted and we divided the risk.”

The Challenge – Looking for development competencies in one place

The Solution – A small, diverse team of 5 developers in Malaysia

Result – A partnership based on trust and transparency

TimeLog is a B2B software company with strong Nordic roots. Founded in Denmark in 2001, TimeLog has grown from an idea in a basement to having offices in Denmark, Sweden, and Malaysia. They develop software for knowledge-based companies like consultancy houses, herein management consultants, IT consultants, digital agencies, and their software caters for all the business processes in these companies, so they can optimise their business.

In 2009, when TimeLog established themselves as a market leader in Denmark within SaaS-based time tracking, they were still a small company, without a people and culture department responsible for attracting the right people to join their team. They quickly realised, that utilising partnering in this area, could relieve the pressure and divide the risk.

“The starting point when we began with outsourcing was shortage of competence and the fact that we were looking for competence in one place. So, the idea ‘why not get a partner in’ came from that angle. The key objectives that we focused on in terms of sourcing were the right partner, must have the right culture and of course the right people and competence,” Per Henrik Nielsen, CEO of TimeLog, says, whilst highlighting that spreading the risk, not doing everything by yourself divides the work and the burden.

Starting small
Strategically focusing on finding a long-term solution, TimeLog wanted to find a partner that could integrate a development team into the TimeLog family, starting small to see if they could handle it. “Spend time on that, and once you have chosen that partner, spend significant time setting it up and don’t take things for granted,” Per Henrik Nielsen recommends, suggesting comparison of a potential partner’s values and employee culture with your own company.

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In 2010, TimeLog joined forces with INSCALE, partnering on a development team based in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. “When we actually investigated how Malaysia as a culture was, we said ‘this could work’. Malaysia was more open, diverse, more ready for different things. And the people were especially ready to take upon this challenge with a strange small company from Denmark,” Per Henrik Nielsen says, while emphasising that availability from their new offshore development centre was key, and that Kuala Lumpur could guarantee that.

Since then, the partnership has grown from the original five to 16 developers in Malaysia. Along the way, TimeLog has had close communication with their development team, and before the COVID-19 pandemic, they often travelled to Malaysia, working directly with the team. Once the pandemic arrived, they started calling up every morning to communicate.

COVID-19 challenges
“We’ve been taught now with the right partner, who can step in as the team and INSCALE has done, combined with the modern tools of doing it… Wow, we have become more efficient. It’s great learning. So, there is no excuse for not having people abroad. Why should we not have people in Malaysia or anywhere else?” Per Henrik Nielsen explains as he underlines the challenges and restrictions of COVID-19 and having an offshore development centre.

“There is no doubt that the values that INSCALE is built upon is a significant contributor to the individual persons we have down there. We have not been in Malaysia for 18 months and the development team is still delivering. Without the fundamental values and way of working in INSCALE, we would have been in a terrible situation. And this is not only for the Corona time, but also for the whole 10 years. That has been a significant contribution to our success with our offshore development centre,” Per Henrik Nielsen says while explaining how smooth the establishment of the development team in Malaysia has been.

The partnership between INSCALE and TimeLog has resulted in a long-term solution of a development team in Malaysia, where most of the team members have worked with TimeLog for more than 8 years. “It’s a huge competence how long they’ve been with us, it’s 60 – 70% of our R&D department. So, honestly other providers were not an option, and yes maybe we could save some money moving into Ukraine for instance, but it’s about the competence and the people which is a value of TimeLog. We believe happy employees give happy customers which gives good results, not the other way around,” Per Henrik Nielsen states whilst emphasising that the development team is most likely to grow over the next couple years, and how INSCALE will remain a key partner in that increase.

“The main outcome is we got great people, the results we wanted, and we divided the risk. Last year we suddenly needed 5 or 6 new developers and then I must say INSCALE just delivered. It is not easy to find people in Malaysia either, but they did it. The competence and the profiles we have got now, female, male, new, experienced, we have a variety there. It’s things we work on together. If you are honest to each other when you are happy and you are not happy. And when you stick to that agenda, even during hard times, and both sides are willing to give and take then when you meet an open face at INSCALE who want to take upon the challenge, then we can find the solution. There is no free lunch in life. It’s hard work. So, for us the one source that we have used for 10 years has been great.” Per Henrik Nielsen explains.

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Technologies:
.NET
C#
ASP.NET
iOS
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Years with INSCALE
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