Working with companies from all over the globe requires trust, flexibility, and cultural compatibility. While we inhabit a connected world in which thousands of business deals are concluded online each day, old-fashioned face time still plays a significant role in establishing personal connection. This is the reason why Daxx representatives always strive to visit their perspective clients abroad.
Jenny Zlatova, Business Development Manager at Daxx, has just come back from one of her business trips to Israel. In this interview, she shares her insights on need for software development outsourcing, the peculiarities of Israeli business culture, and the key rules to follow in order to do business with Israeli partners successfully.
Q: Jenny, recently you visited Israel. How was the trip?
Jenny: The trip was amazing. This time I got to see more of Israel; I went to Jerusalem and Eilat, in addition to exploring Tel Aviv, which was where I had the majority of my business meetings.
Q: How many meetings were there?
Jenny: Usually I had 3 or 4 meetings per day. I would say the schedule was more about quality than quantity, however.
Q: Why do Israeli companies want to outsource, and why is Daxx a good solution for them?
Jenny: The Israeli market lacks software developers in general and senior software engineers in particular. The latter is a major problem for startups, but manifests itself in other companies too.
The Israeli market lacks software developers in general and senior software engineers in particular.
Senior software developers in Israel tend to choose the big companies — Google, Oracle, Facebook, Apple — as these offer the most attractive social packages. Poaching by the big firms is one of the main reasons why startups lose their senior technical staff.
Ukraine represents a larger talent pool. It is home to approximately 200K developers with solid technical backgrounds and different levels of expertise. More often than not, a developer will be interested in working on a developing project as long as they are given the opportunity to realize their potential.
Senior software developers in Israel tend to choose the big companies — Google, Oracle, Facebook, Apple — as these offer the most attractive social packages.
One of key benefits Daxx offers its clients is its huge recruitment power. We have offices in 3 major Ukrainian cities — Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Dnipro — and we can invariably find senior developers with the exact tech stack our client needs.
Moreover, we sometimes relocate software developers from other Ukrainian cities. People know about us, and actively want to work for Daxx.
Q: Based on your experience, can you say Daxx meets its clients’ expectations?
Jenny: Daxx is a medium-sized company. This means we have to be willing to meet a client’s demands and maintain a certain level of flexibility. Israeli companies sometimes need a rapid, highly customized solution, and we can actually provide that.
Q: Why is outsourcing to Ukraine a good solution for Israeli companies?
Jenny: There are several reasons why Ukraine is a good outsourcing destination for Israeli partners. First and foremost, we’re in the same time zone. Secondly, there’s a lot of cultural similarities in terms of corporate atmosphere and work ethic. Thirdly, a lot of Israeli companies will have Russian-speaking employees, which negates the language barrier. Language is unlikely to be a problem even if no Russian is spoken however, as both Ukrainians (in the tech industry at least) and Israelis speak good English.
Ukraine represents a larger talent pool. It is home to approximately 200K developers with solid technical backgrounds and different levels of expertise.
Travel between Israel and Ukraine is also quite easy. Planes from Tel Aviv go to almost every major Ukrainian city: there are, for instance, 6 flights from Ben Gurion to Boryspil each day and other routes travelling to Odessa, Dnipro, and Kharkiv.
Last but not least, the cost of living in Ukraine is lower than in other Eastern European countries, which is beneficial in terms of cost savings.
Q: Do Israeli customers visit their tech teams often?
Jenny: Israeli clients usually like to visit their developers regularly: some prefer to interview candidates in person, while others spend time with their tech teams in the Daxx offices across Ukraine. The good thing is that we can accommodate this, as our offices are very comfortable and guests are always pleasantly surprised when they do make the trip.
In order to ensure our clients feel welcome in Ukraine, our travel manager will pick our clients up at the airport, help them find their way around the city, check them into their hotel and provide all the necessary information for their stay.
Q: Have you noticed any of the peculiarities of Israeli business culture? For instance, it’s sometimes said that Israelis prefer improvisation to thorough planning — is this true?
Jenny: There are, of course, certain peculiarities in the way Israeli companies do business. Planning is one such example — usually my meetings are scheduled only when I actually arrive in the country.
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When an Israeli company decides to work with Daxx, we find a developer who then becomes a part of our Israeli client’s team. However, they remain on the Daxx payroll as an independent contractor.
As Daxx is an international company with extensive experience of working with customers around the world, including Israel, taking cultural peculiarities into account is not a problem at all. If they work for Israel — a startup nation with a booming economy — I’m sure they will work for us.
Q: Is it true that Israeli companies have a flatter management hierarchy and practice a less formal approach with regard to business communication?
Jenny: Most of the time, business culture in Israel is really quite informal. There’s no strict dress code requirements for the office environment and people communicate on quite a casual level.
Dutch and Israeli companies share the same traits. Since Daxx is a Dutch-owned company, we have quite a flat hierarchy here and our business culture is quite informal.
When an Israeli company decides to work with Daxx, we find a developer who then becomes a part of our Israeli client’s team. However, they remain on the Daxx payroll as an independent contractor. This is only half the battle: to make the cooperation successful you want a developer’s and a client’s culture to match as closely as possible.
This is why the partnerships between Daxx and Israeli companies work so well.
Q: What about networking? Does the informal business culture make it easier?
Jenny: The first meeting I had on my very first trip to Israel was a successful one, even though the person hasn't become our client as of yet. Although we didn’t start working together right away, we saw the possibilities for partnerships in the future. More than that, the person I met recommended Daxx to his business associates, generating a lot of contacts for my future meetings.
Our potential customers sometimes find new business partners via their cooperation with Daxx. I had a meeting with a company that worked in the field of digital signatures, and during the conversation I mentioned a client that worked with paperless office technologies. People from the first company were immediately interested, which created business opportunities both for our existing and potential clients.
Q: Are there any ground rules for doing business in Israel?
Jenny: The rules of doing business in Israel are just like anywhere else: be on time, stick to your promises, and do your very best to maintain credibility in your ability to deliver results.
So far, Daxx has managed to follow these principles to the letter, and we don’t plan to change course anytime soon.