We select vendors based on their ability to comply with the demands of our business, our customers’ businesses, and any applicable regulatory demands concerning privacy, security, and availability. We assess them using both quantitative and qualitative criteria.
Quantitative criteria include the quality of their services, their prices, the reliability and speed with which they can deliver, and their payment terms and conditions.
We also consider, from a more qualitative perspective, their industry standing, service history, track record with similar customers, audit certifications, and compliance with international standards.
Invariablly, we also take into account more subjective criteria, such as personal relationships with their management and staff, and the over relationship approach of their organization.
In the case of our data center provider, for example, we selected the vendor who offered the highest quality service within the Czech Republic. We based our quality assessment on their tier rating, contractual guarantees, network availability and reach, and the security of their physical premises. Their position as a trusted vendor for major telecom companies, banks, and government ministries also helped identify them as a reliable site for hosting sensitive information.
We source hardware only from reputable suppliers. Typically, we base our selection on functional fit and price, as well as product availability. This is especially true when deciding between suppliers who vendor the same products. However, we favor reliability and speed of delivery, as well, and are willing to pay more for better conditions.
We source software only from vendors who meet industry standards. Price is less important, in this case, since those vendors tend to dominant their respective business areas and their products are well known and represent standards within the business — for example, Microsoft, Cisco, etc.
Use of Subcontractors in our Projects
For each customer project, we document all 3rd-party services and subcontractors whose services we plan to use during software development, or whose components we plan to integrate into the final product. We include these references both within the list of deliverables and in the product/service specification prior to implementation.
If, for some reason, we need to use a different sub-contractor, we inform customers prior to making any changes. We also make sure customers understand the reason for the change. The customer can accept or dec line to accept the change, accepting any stated risks.
While changes are rare within a given project lifecycle, they do happen on occasion, in most cases because the 3rd-party no longer provides / plans to discontinue the service. Other reasons can include changes in the subcontractor’s policies that conflict with our own guarantees, price changes, and changes in their terms and conditions.
In such cases, we source an alternative provider and present it to the customer for their acceptance. Upon the customer’s acceptance, we initiate the change and update the list of 3rd-party services and subcontractors accordingly.