CMS product costs – hindrance to offshoring?
One of the biggest hindrances to offshoring CMS projects is the product license costs. If a project can have an offshore component, one of the ways to do it is to setup an offshore development environment (I will talk about different options for offshoring in a bigger article that I’m currently working on). That means setting up a CMS instance, database instance and probably an application server/portal server locally. This also means that the client has to provide CMS licenses for the SI to setup the software at offshore. However, many CMS licenses are based on per CPU or per box or per user model and this becomes a huge additional cost for the client. Sometimes, there are restrictions built into the licensing model because of which the clients find it difficult to transfer their existing licenses abroad. For a three month project, if they have to buy additional licenses of products that cost as much as $ 50 K per CPU, the total cost becomes prohibitive.
So what do we do? We end up executing the project completely onsite even if it was a perfect candidate for offshoring. There are delays and compromises to quality because you often do not get a person who is an excellent resource, who’s got good skills in that particular product, has a ready visa and can fly immediately. These issues would not have been there if we’d executed the project offshore.
I think the big CMS vendors should emulate what some of the application server vendors are doing and that is to start providing development licenses free if you have bought licenses for production. This will not only make it easier to offshore projects, it will also popularize the products.