[Customer Interview]: Insight into Offshore Development from Team Spirit Co.

28 Dec 2023



MOR Software began actively expanding its Salesforce development resources in 2019 and was officially certified as a Salesforce Consulting Partner in 2021. At present, many of our customers utilize our Salesforce development services.


This time, we spoke with Mr. Kenji Teshima of Team Spirit Corporation, who has been continuously using our Offshore Salesforce development for over a year, to hear his thoughts on collaborating with our company.


Team Spirit Co., Ltd. Company Information



Team Spirit Co., Ltd. provides " TeamSpirit ", a cloud service that combines back-office functions such as attendance management, man-hour management, and expense settlement into one.


TeamSpirit is a Salesforce AppExchange app and has already been deployed by more than 1,700 companies as of the end of February 2023.


Team Spirit Corporation Information: https://corp.teamspirit.com/ja-jp/company


Contact person:

Service Development Division, CRE Team

Mr. Kenji Teshima (Check out Mr. Teshima's notes)





1. The decision to start offshore development and collaborate with MOR Software


- What made you decide to start offshore development with Team Spirit?


Since joining Team Spirit, as a CRE (technical support) manager, I want to make improvements in response to customer inquiries and requests! However, the development team's priority was to comply with high-priority laws, develop new features, and fix bugs, and they were unable to do so.


When I realized that “Small improvements can deliver great value”, I started thinking about doing something about it. Therefore, I suggested to my superior the idea of ​​offshore development in Vietnam, which I had also used in my previous job.


TeamSpirit had previously considered offshore development, so the suggestion wasn’t entirely new. This time I promised to take responsibility, so I decided, "Let's do offshore development!".


- Mr. Teshima, you've had experience with offshore development in Vietnam before?


Yes, I had successfully utilized offshore development in Vietnam in my previous job and wanted to leverage that know-how this time. Vietnam has many talented professionals, making it a preferred location.



- Mr. Teshima, who had the know-how, was a big reason why the Vietnam offshore development, which had previously been put off, was made possible?


I think there are some things that I was able to accomplish because I thought I might succeed because there were people with experience, but I don't think that's the only reason.

I believe that my proposal to limit the scope of development so that there would be as little damage as possible even if it fails, such as, “First of all, let's limit the development area to an independent area rather than within TeamSpirit itself” was also a factor that made it possible. Masu.


There is less risk of failure, if you request an independent function, rather than a systematic function that requires a background understanding such as development compliance with regulations or a core function that has a high hurdle.


I think that one successful way to make offshore development is to start requesting tasks other than the core part.


- That's right! If it is an independent function or a minor modification such as a label change, the burden on engineers to understand the whole system is low, and the work can be divided well between in-house and offshore companies. So, how did you find a company after deciding to do offshore development?


We spoke to 5 or 6 offshore companies in Vietnam, listened to their systems, costs, performance, etc., and created a score.


- Was your decision to choose MOR Software based on their score?


Yes, while all companies were commendable, MOR Software stood out because:

  • They already had a Salesforce team (and were a certified Salesforce consulting partner). 
  • They have an office in Japan with permanent Japanese staffs. 
  • Their sales representative was trustworthy. 
  • Their quoted price was reasonable.

Moreover, their clear intent to expand their Salesforce business and that they have  a Japanese designer were big pluses.


Location was also vital. Vietnam's talent hubs are Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, and we preferred Hanoi. I had previously heard that while both cities have equally skilled professionals, Ho Chi Minh sees more job-hopping. For long-term team building, Hanoi was preferable. Also, my experience with Hanoi has been positive.


MOR Software has offices in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, and Da Nang. Having their Salesforce development team in Hanoi was beneficial.



2. Communication with Vietnamese people


- While you did decide on MOR Software, were you not anxious about embarking on a project with a new company?


I've had previous experience with Vietnamese offshore development, so I didn't have many apprehensions. However, the challenge was in building a team from scratch and ensuring that every member aligns and works toward the same direction and goals.


However, the members at MOR Software responded sincerely. It felt as if we had been working together for a long time, allowing for a smooth team operation.


Even after the team started operating, minor issues arose. But, upon consulting the Japanese office staff, they responded with sincerity and promptness, making things easier.


Both the Vietnamese and Japanese offices of MOR Software alleviated my concerns.


- We believe that the team was able to operate smoothly because Mr. Teshima, who was in charge of the project, was familiar with how to work with Vietnamese people. What do you think?


Perhaps because I was used to working with Vietnamese people. From my standpoint, working offshore in Vietnam will go smoothly if you understand what kind of people Vietnamese people are and how they work.


In any case, we must not be shy and give clear instructions to the Vietnamese people.

When I work with Japanese people, I sometimes ask them to be a little hesitant, but I don't think that's necessary.


-It's true that Japanese and Vietnamese people have different ways of communicating.

Are there any communication problems you would like our Vietnamese members to fix?


This case is not just about Vietnamese engineers, but for all engineers, including Japanese, I want them to have their own answers when they ask a question.


For example, instead of saying "I think this implementation is incorrect, what should I do?"

We always offer suggestions and our own ideas, such as, "I think this implementation is incorrect for XX reasons. We think we should implement it in XX method. What do you think?" I want you to take it and ask questions.


I think Vietnamese people specifically, there might be occasionally omitted detail or background information occasionally omitted in conversation. Sometimes it might be necessary to ask "why is that?" several times to fully understand.

I worked with Vietnamese who have graduated from prestigious universities. It might be the mindset of the brilliant rather than specifically Vietnamese.



- It's true that Vietnamese people tend to omit the background when they are communicating. Japanese people are likely to be taken aback by such a simple question. No matter your position, you need to communicate with the other person in mind.


I would like to see more training within MOR Software on how to communicate and how to work with Japanese people.


It would also be nice to be able to numerically visualize whether the communication level and business skills of members have improved. If you can see the growth of your members numerically, you will be able to decide whether to continue the contract.


However, MOR Software's BrSE Japanese proficiency is very good. When I worked with two bridge software engineers (BrSE), I felt like  talking to Japanese people.



3. About the skills of Offshore development members


-Thank you for your compliment! How important is Japanese proficiency for BrSE?


Since we cannot communicate directly with engineers, we place great importance on this.


- Our company is also putting a lot of effort into improving BrSE's Japanese language skills. BrSE team received feedback from Japanese employees on translating mistakes every day, and we also held Japanese language classes.


I see. When I have a conversation with BrSE, Japanese conversations are very smooth and helpful.


Honestly, it would be great if they had more SE ability.


If it is Br “SE”, is it fulfilling the role of SE? I would appreciate it if you could read the code and do some development.


Even if they don't have engineering skills, it would be reassuring if you could acquire a qualification related to development to improve your understanding, or if you could create a simple UI design with a tool to meet your requirements and be able to have a conversation.


- Yes, we are aware of this issue within the company. In order to strengthen BrSE's SE capabilities, we are encouraging employees to obtain qualifications and holding in-house training sessions.

We will strive to satisfy you not only with our Japanese communication skills, but also with our management skills and technical insight!


Oh, really? I'm looking forward to it. I think that if the BrSE capability increases, the power of the entire offshore team will increase.


- Changing the topic, how do you evaluate engineers in terms of development ability, such as actual coding, rather than BrSE?


The implementation speed is perfect, and when I asked a senior engineer within the company to review the source, I was satisfied with the quality, as he said, `It's clean code. I have no complaints.''


When developing Salesforce, you must also be aware of the Salesforce Platform. I'm satisfied with the fact that MOR team was able to develop this with sufficient consideration.


- So, instead of just saying good points, are there any areas for improvement?


It's about improving the test quality of Vietnamese engineers.


The offshore team has excellent testers who can detect defects in advance, but since they do not decipher the source code, there may be cases where something is missed. That is why I would like the engineers who wrote the source code to consider and implement the necessary test cases themselves, thinking, “I need to focus on testing this point.''


- Just because we have testers, it doesn't mean that engineers' testing is inadequate, so we will continue to improve. Anyway, are the testers (QA) good?


Yes. The testers who are currently participating are able to read and write Japanese, and they are very good at finding many problems that we had not found. However, I have worked with several of MOR Software's testers so far, and there were individual differences in their skills.


When it comes to testing, the important question is "Can you write the test case or not?", so I would be happy if all QA members could do that and be at the same level.


- I see. I would like to share the insights of testers with high results and high ratings across the QA team so that they can share the same skills. By the way, Mr. Teshima came to Hanoi and met with lab members such as BrSE, engineers, and testers. What was it like developing together locally?


I realized that it would be better to go to the site and kick off the project together.


I went to MOR Software's Hanoi office at the time when we were starting a new project, and the members deepened their understanding by giving face-to-face explanations, and by getting together and working while looking at the actual equipment and screens on site. , I was able to work efficiently.


This time I visited at the start of development, but I thought it would be a good idea to visit at the end of development and work together while checking the final results such as screens.


Anyway, the members were very friendly and easy to work with.


- If possible, you should go to Hanoi at least once. I think the event will normally be held remotely, but is there anything you should be careful about?


If there is anything I am particularly careful about, it is


• When making a request, be sure to clearly say “please do it”

• Do not hesitate to ask for changes even if there are changes to what you have already requested. (That's why we inform you in advance that there may be changes.)

• Proceed ahead of schedule and repeat the cycle of feedback and revisions.


- As you said, in offshore-style development (Vietnamese + Agile), repeating the cycle of feedback and fixing is the best way to improve development accuracy.



4. Overview and future expectations


- We have come to understand the good points and areas for improvement in our offshore development (laboratory-based). Overall, were you glad you chose our company?


I'm satisfied for now. Until now, we were unable to devote development resources to "important but not urgent (Area II)" but thanks to MOR Software, we were able to develop it. If we had not signed a contract with MOR Software, there are many features that we would not have been able to release today.


The designer is also from MOR Software, so it's very helpful that I can leave all the design confirmation to them.


In addition, we internally review our efforts with Vietnamese members after each development sprint and consider how to utilize the problems and issues in the next development. If MOR Software can do the same review and aim for better results, I think our relationship will continue.


- Your company also holds regular internal review meetings, but what problems and areas for improvement have you encountered so far?
For example, in the past, we have had situations where we had to be careful, such as simple oversights in design or failure to get information about the source, but the Japanese office staff told us that Vietnamese members have proactively communicated, addressed every issues, discussed improvement measures, and made changes.


During development, issues arise due to different cultures and the awareness based on them, but I think MOR Software will respond sensitively to these issues.


- As mentioned earlier, it would be great if improvements to problems and issues could be visualized through member evaluations.
yes. Regarding the status of member skill improvement, I would like MOR Software to share internal updates (what they are focusing on in training, etc.) on a regular basis, preferably once every three or six months. It's also easy to see the growth of the members, and it's easy to give feedback.


The reason for making such a request is that, as is the case with any company, we are requesting lab-style development because we want "in-house development resources," so we ask lab members to understand the product and understand the product. We hope that it will bring new value.


In other words, if you remain in the same state as at the beginning of the contract and do not see any growth, you will have no choice but to terminate the contract.


In that sense, we have already had a contract with MOR Software for over a year, so we expect the lab members to work in the same way as employees in their second year.


I hope that the Vietnamese development members will grow further in the future and be able to work as well as employees with a team spirit and that they will be able to give opinions to employees as ``comrades and a team'' rather than as “outsourcing''. 


- Certainly, I understand. It hasn't reached the opinion level yet, but have any lab members made any good suggestions?


Japanese designers also participate in the lab, and I think they make good suggestions in the sense that they create designs that include suggestions for improvement based on the requirements.


Although the engineers did not directly make suggestions, they researched and used new technologies to make the design work behind the scenes, and quickly developed them.

Our in-house engineers had to allocate resources to core development, and we were unable to catch up on new technologies and could not get started.


I believe that MOR Software was able to open up a path to new technology, and by following that path with team spirit, we were able to efficiently transfer knowledge within the company.


- I'm glad we were able to help everyone at Team Spirit! My impression is that offshore is being used where it should be used, making operations more efficient.


I agree. Core development parts that must be handled in-house are the domain of in-house engineers, but I would like MOR Software to take over everything else.


- The members of the laboratory-type development team will work hard to be entrusted with further development as a unit of the team spirit development team.



In conclusion, we had the opportunity to hear from Mr. Tejima of TeamSpirit Corporation about his impressions of our collaboration.


From our conversation, it has become clear that for us to provide a valuable offshore development experience, it's crucial for us to focus on in-house training, visualize member growth, and provide strategic advice to our clients, especially in terms of development scope and communication methods.


The feedback we received today will undoubtedly be invaluable in refining our offshore development services.


Moreover, while we have been development partners with TeamSpirit Corporation, we have also commenced our activities as a sales partner for TeamSpirit products. Leveraging our development experience, we are in a unique position to offer customized solutions, as well as support in implementation and operation.


We remain committed to excellence in Salesforce development, and drawing upon our expertise and the international environment of Vietnam, we aspire to deliver value beyond just product development to TeamSpirit and our clients.


We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Tejima for his cooperation in this interview. Thank you very much.



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