Nearshoring team augmentation
Infinitas Learning is a dynamic educational resources company, and one of Europe's leading providers of innovative and engaging products and services for teaching and learning. They create an impressive array of educational resources that are used in homes, primary schools, secondary schools, further education colleges, industrial and military institutions globally. The products span interactive software, online learning, e-books, audio books and printed text books, many of which are market leaders in their field. The Infinitas Learning group includes Noordhoff (The Netherlands), Liber (Sweden) and Plantyn (Belgium), as well as Infinitas Product & Technology (The Netherlands). The group employs around 600 people and is headquartered in Utrecht (The Netherlands).
Extend your team flexibly with experts Infinitas faced the challenge of wanting to carry out a significant amount of development and not deviating from their strategy. This challenge was predicated on being faced with a lack of IT resources and the additional expenses incurred by looking for these IT resources within the Netherlands (and in the other countries also).
We were approached on the basis of a recommendation to propose a nearshoring agreement. They were looking for a team that:
- consists of experts who, as partners, could help implement their strategy - not just “coding monkeys”,
- are more budget-friendly than their current resources,
- can fill the capacity void, and
- are flexible and scalable in opportune times.
There were concerns on both sides about the effectiveness of geographically distributed teams in pre-Covid times:
- envisioning a cooperative effort
- facing language barriers slowing down delivery
- taking into account extra management resources / coordination
- keeping flexibility and scalability
- handling additional travel expenses
Now we mutually see that these concerns were either false fears or could be easily managed. Currently, as part of a team of 100, our 25 colleagues work as the largest suppliers - developing solutions to support all kinds of students, teachers and textbook authors. The main features of our joint work:
- Agile methodology (Scrum or Kanban),
- Strictly held events, to keep the agile effective,
- Daily calls online on platforms like Zoom to bridge the geographical distance,
- Continuous communication on chat channel to make the communication fast and effective,
- Regular get togethers to build informal relationships, and bring some fun into work,
- Time and platform for knowledge sharing, to achieve the same level of information,
- Regular and honest feedback for continuous improvement,
- Partnership approach, ownership for quality delivery,
- Flexible and scaled resource involvement, we can quickly involve / replace good people for them or take them back periodically to save the client energy on the HR side.
Infinitas Learning is successfully implementing its digital strategy by fostering great engineering culture while:
- replacing or modernizing legacy applications,
- implementing new solutions and
- continuously delivering features according to the current business needs.
Infinitas Learning is strategically keeping the core development competency in house, but due to the shared team approach and our cooperation they also enjoy the following benefits:
- 3x faster onboarding of additional developers compared to classic hiring
- 27% lower rates, compared to local developers
- good combination of team stability and flexibility of resources according to the current needs
Throughout our cooperation, we gained significant experience in international cooperation with minimal travel, still frequent discussions and strong cooperation. With that said, our greatest takeaway from working with Infinitas is the feedback receive from developer peers all the way up to C-level management level:
"Danubius is one of our trusted nearshore partners. Danubius consistently shows to be a reliable and professional partner: they truly take responsibility and ownership for delivery! We are pleased with the open communication on all levels! With Danubius we surely move forward."
Clifton Cunningham, Infinitas Learning