Unlock the Power of An Offshore Development Center (ODC)

Relia Software

Relia Software

Duc Le

Relia Software


An Offshore Development Center (ODC) is a remote extension (organization) of a company's development team (team) located in a different country (location).

Unlock the Power of An Offshore Development Center (ODC)

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In today's ever-evolving digital world, businesses are constantly seeking ways to optimize their development process. Enter the Offshore Development Center (ODC), a game-changer that transcends geographical boundaries to unlock a global talent pool and fuel your digital dreams. Imagine a seamless extension of your in-house team with skilled developers operating around the clock – all while keeping your budget singing. This is the magic of the ODC. This guide is your comprehensive map to unlock its full potential. Let's dive in and explore the exciting possibilities!

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What is An Offshore Development Center (ODC)?

An Offshore Development Center (ODC) is like a digital embassy – a specialized outpost in another country that extends your development force. Specifically, you will have a team of skilled developers operating in a different time zone, seamlessly collaborating with your in-house crew. This powerhouse of talent helps you tap into a global pool of expertise, fueling your projects 24/7, and keeping your competitive edge razor-sharp. In today's interconnected world, ODCs are a game-changer for businesses seeking to optimize their development process and conquer the global marketplace.

Here are the typical responsibilities of an ODC:

  • Software Development: This is the core function of an ODC. They work on various stages of the software development lifecycle, including coding, testing, and maintenance of software applications.
  • Project Management: ODCs manage assigned software development projects from initiation to completion. This includes tasks like planning, resource allocation, and budget control.
  • Collaboration: They closely collaborate with the company's in-house development team to ensure seamless integration and knowledge transfer.
  • Communication: ODCs regularly communicate with the client company regarding project progress, challenges, and solutions.

Core Members of An Offshore Development Center

  • Project Manager: They steer the project, manage resources, keep everyone on track, and make sure deadlines are met.
  • Account Manager: The bridge between you and your ODC team. They handle communication, ensure your needs are understood, and represent your interests within the ODC.
  • Business Analyst (BA): They understand both the technical side of development and your business needs. They bridge the gap by clearly documenting requirements and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
  • Software Developers: These are the coding experts who bring your project ideas to life. They write the code that makes your software work as intended.
  • Quality Assurance (QA) Testers: They meticulously test the software at every stage, ensuring it's free of bugs and works flawlessly.
  • UI/UX Designers: They create a user interface (UI, the screens and buttons people interact with) or a smooth user experience (UX, how users feel while interacting with your software).
  • Human Resources (HR): They take care of the people side of things, handling recruitment, onboarding, and ensuring a happy and productive work environment for the ODC team.
  • IT Support (optional): Depending on your ODC setup, you might have dedicated IT staff to ensure smooth operation of hardware, software, and overall technical infrastructure.
Core Members of An Offshore Development Center
Core Members of An Offshore Development Center

Offshore Development Center Models

Here's a breakdown of the most common ODC models:

  • Classic ODC: Think of this as a dedicated development team operating in a separate location. You provide the resources, infrastructure, and project management, essentially creating a mini-version of your in-house development team overseas.
  • Staff Augmentation: This is ideal when you need to fill specific skill gaps or scale your team quickly. Staff augmentation lets you "rent" developers with specific expertise for a set period. They integrate with your existing team, providing the extra muscle you need.
  • Project-Based ODC: This model focuses on completing that specific and well-defined project with a clear scope. The ODC handles the entire development lifecycle, from planning to launch, freeing you to focus on other areas.
  • Managed Service ODC: This is like having a full-service development partner. The ODC takes care of everything - infrastructure, recruitment, project management, and development. It is ideal for businesses seeking a hands-off solution.
  • Hybrid Model: This model combines elements from different ODC models to create a customized solution. You can have a dedicated team for core development, leverage staff augmentation for specialized tasks, and potentially outsource specific project phases to a project-based ODC.

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Benefits and Drawbacks of Offshore Development Centers (ODCs)


  • Cost Reduction: Setting up an ODC in a country with lower living costs can translate to significant savings on salaries and benefits compared to hiring locally.
  • Access to Global Talent Pool: ODCs unlock a world of skilled developers beyond your geographical limitations. You can tap into specific expertise that might be harder to find in your local market. 
  • Scalability and Flexibility: ODCs offer a flexible way to scale your development team up or down as project needs fluctuate. This allows you to adapt to changing requirements without significant upfront investments.
  • Focus on Core Business: By outsourcing software development tasks to an ODC, you free up your in-house team to focus on core business functions and strategic initiatives.


  • Communication Barriers: Time zone differences and cultural barriers can make communication difficult. Clear communication strategies and fostering a collaborative environment are crucial for success.
  • Loss of Control: Outsourcing development tasks can lead to a feeling of less control over the project. Establishing clear expectations, milestones, and a strong ODC partner relationship can mitigate this concern.
  • Intellectual Property (IP) Concerns: Protecting your intellectual property is essential. Solid legal contracts and secure data transfer protocols are vital when working with an ODC.
  • Project Management Complexity: Managing a team located in a different country adds an extra layer of complexity to project management. Effective communication tools and well-defined processes are key to keeping projects on track.

When Do You Need An Offshore Development Center?

While ODCs offer a range of advantages, they aren't a one-size-fits-all solution. Let's explore specific scenarios where an ODC can be the ideal partner to fuel your development dreams:

  • When having a tight budget: If budget constraints are a major concern, ODCs can significantly reduce development costs. Salary differences in countries with lower living costs translate to savings on personnel expenses.
  • When needing to fill skill gaps: If your in-house team lacks specific expertise required for a particular project, an ODC can bridge that gap. You can access developers with specialized skillsets that might be difficult to find locally.
  • When needing to scale up quickly: If you need to ramp up your development team rapidly to meet project deadlines, ODCs offer a readily available talent pool. This allows you to scale your workforce efficiently without extensive recruitment efforts.
  • When needing 24/7 development: An ODC in a different time zone can provide continuity and keep the development process moving forward, even when your in-house team is offline. 
  • When core business activities are more important: Leverage your internal expertise for high-value tasks while the ODC handles the development workload, which doesn’t make your internal team becoming overloaded.
When Do You Need An Offshore Development Center
When Do You Need An Offshore Development Center?

How to Build, Run, and Manage Your Offshore Development Center (ODC)?

An ODC can be a powerful tool for businesses seeking to optimize their development process. But before you start this exciting journey, careful planning and execution are key. Here's a roadmap to guide you through building, running, and managing a successful ODC:

Phase 1: Building Your ODC Foundation

  • Define Your Needs: Carefully analyze your project requirements, budget constraints, and desired level of control. This will help you determine the ideal ODC model for your needs.
  • Choose Location: Research potential ODC locations. Consider factors like talent pool availability, time zone differences, legal and regulatory environment, and infrastructure stability.
  • Select Partner: Finding the right ODC partner is crucial. Evaluate potential partners based on their experience, expertise, development methodologies, security practices, and cultural compatibility.

>> Read more: Offshore Software Development Rates By Country

Phase 2: Launching and Operation

  • Team Building and Onboarding: Recruit skilled developers and staff for your ODC. Invest in cultural sensitivity training, effective communication strategies, and clear performance management processes.
  • Project Management and Tools: Implement robust project management methodologies and communication tools to ensure seamless collaboration between your in-house team and the ODC.
  • Security and Data Protection: Establish robust security protocols and data transfer procedures to safeguard your intellectual property. Compliance with relevant data privacy regulations is essential. 

Phase 3: Ongoing Management and Optimization

  • Communication and Collaboration: Foster open communication channels and regular collaboration between your in-house team and the ODC. Invest in building strong relationships for successful project execution.
  • Performance Monitoring and Evaluation: Regularly monitor project progress, team performance, and ODC effectiveness. Identify areas for improvement and adapt your strategies as needed.
  • Continuous Improvement: Constantly seek ways to improve your ODC operations. Explore new technologies, update your development methodologies, and invest in team training to maintain a competitive edge.

ODC vs Outsourcing: What is the Difference?

Both Offshore Development Centers (ODCs) and outsourcing offer ways to access development talent outside your local area. But they have key differences that can impact your project. Here's a breakdown to help you decide which is the better fit:




Team Structure

Dedicated team of developers working exclusively on your project, often located in a separate office.

You contract with a development company that assigns developers to your project from their existing pool.


High level of control over the development process, team selection, and methodologies.

Less control over the development team's day-to-day activities. The project is handled independently by a third party.


Potentially lower overall cost due to economies of scale and long-term partnership.

Costs can vary depending on the vendor and project complexity.


Easier communication due to a dedicated team and potentially overlapping time zones.

Communication challenges may arise due to time zone differences and working with a separate company.


Easier to scale the team up or down as project needs evolve.

Scaling the development team might require finding a new vendor or renegotiating with the existing one.

Project Suitability

Ideal for long-term, ongoing projects requiring a dedicated team and high level of control.

Well-suited for short-term projects with clear requirements or to supplement your in-house team with specific skills.

Relia Software: Your Trusted Partner for A Successful Offshore Development Center (ODC)

At Relia Software, we are passionate about helping businesses achieve their development goals through strategic ODC partnerships. We have a proven track record of success, delivering exceptional results for clients across the globe.

A Case Study in ODC Success: MEKARI

Mekari, a burgeoning HR and employee engagement platform, partnered with Relia Software in 2017 to achieve scalability, security, and exceptional user experience. Through agile development, expert engineers, and a dedicated Offshore Development Center in Ho Chi Minh City, we empowered Mekari to transform from a startup to a leading SaaS player with over 1500 employees, serving millions of users.

Contact us today to discuss your specific needs and explore how Relia Software can be your trusted partner in building a successful ODC. Walk through our Offshore Development Center Services page!

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Final Thoughts

The world of software development is vast, and sometimes your in-house team needs a strategic boost. An ODC can be the perfect partner to fuel your development goals. Building a strong Offshore Development Center (ODC) is like creating an all-star team. With the right people in place, you can turn your project ideas into reality. Remember, clear communication, collaboration, and choosing the perfect ODC partner are all key ingredients for success.

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