Sullivan Alexander is a contributor on the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston), whom you can learn more about at, www.contureadvisors.com
Sullivan recently interviewed Randall Agee, CEO of Allshore Global Resources.
About the interviewee:
Randall Agee is the founder and CEO of Allshore Global Resources. He earned MIS degree from the University of Texas, Arlington in 2000 and immediately began working in the IT industry, including several years in the Texas National Guard where he was promoted to Captain in 2002. While working as a programmer for the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK, Randall first utilized outsourcing and discovered its incredible potential. In 2009 he sought to fix everything he found to be flawed in his own experience and offer offshore outsourcing done right; so in 2009, Allshore Global Resources was born. Randall currently resides in Norman, Oklahoma with his wife and three children.
Tell me about your firm (products/services offered, number of employees, location, type of customers you work with, etc.).
Allshore Global Resources is an IT staffing firm based in Norman, Oklahoma that connects clients in the U.S. with developers in its sister company in Pakistan. Allshore currently employs seven employees onshore and 80 offshore, a 2157% increase since it opened its doors in 2009. Allshore offers a unique blend of offshore and onshore outsourcing that provides American clients with highly skilled software developers and highly competitive prices in way that gives U.S. businesses the capacity and flexibility to drastically increase their productivity and grow in a safe, sustainable way.
Allshore is a business-to-business service provider works with many different kinds of companies. The bulk of our clientele can be broken down into two categories though: companies that utilize Allshore to help create and sell development resources to their clients (typically IT companies), and companies that employ Allshore to build/maintain/improve something that company uses internally to enable their business.
Tell us about the key challenges your business faced during the slow economic recovery.
The biggest challenges Allshore faced during the economic downturn were rooted in perception. The first was getting clients to want to grow. In a stable economic environment businesses are more likely to take a calculated risk and invest heavily in something that they believe will advance their company and pay out later, but in a recession when companies appear to be going under left and right and the financial future of the country itself is in question, many entrepreneurs hold tight onto what they already have and just hope to weather the storm.
The second, was the negative connotations of outsourcing itself. I mentioned the perception many have that outsourcing is “stealing jobs”, but the bigger issue was the bad reputation outsourcing had that kept people from wanting to give it a try, even if they knew they needed it.
How did you overcome the challenges, and position the business for growth?
Outsourcing lends itself to withstand an economic downturn since it is in many ways the solution to a recession. I began Allshore in 2009 in the midst of the recession in part because I saw this potential. The industry was right and I knew I had perfected the means, the challenge was overcoming the notion that we were stealing American jobs, and distance ourselves from the poor reputation outsourcing had earned over the years—both of which came down to marketing.
We had to prove that we were different from the outsourcing they had tried in the past and had to present the information through more personalized means that they could relate to—like client success stories—to show that we were invested in our clients’ success and would work with them as a partner to help them accomplish their goals.
What do you see as “hot button” issues in your industry, and what are the implications?
Sending jobs overseas is always the “hot button issue” associated with outsourcing, even more so when unemployment is high and there is a greater focus on American jobs. Often people have their mind made up about us from moment they hear the word “outsourcing” and we have been accused of being unpatriotic or regarded as part of the problem in the U.S. economy, but in reality we offer a solution.
We gave many of our clients a lifeline to get through a downturn and enabled others to grow and hire more employees in-house – all of which saved and created more jobs onshore than went overseas. Our services hold the key to sustainable, risk-free growth for many of our clients, and keeping American companies alive and thriving is a major part of economic recovery.
What makes your business different from the competition?
Allshore’s unique model offers the perfect combination of offshoring and onshore in what we call Allshoring™. Most notably: We are a client-based company that pairs developers with clients for long-term work rather than bidding on individual projects, so we have a much larger emphasis on customer service and cultivating relationships in which the developer becomes a member of their team. To facilitate this and overcome the communication, transparency, and accountability issues typically associated with outsourcing, our developers work directly and exclusively with the client during U.S. business hours with American oversight present through every step of the process and free use of a technical manager to troubleshoot and review code.
Our rigid hiring standards ensure we provide our clients with the highest quality developers that allow them to take on the most challenging projects, putting an end to sacrificing quality for the sake of saving money.