How to Manage Freelancers: Future of Freelancing

The freelance workforce is already 53 million strong and an estimated 40 percent of the labor force is expected to be freelancing by 2020.

While working with freelancers can offer several advantages for small businesses, managing freelancers can also be a daunting challenge.

Since freelancers work for so many different clients, as opposed to employees, it becomes essential ensuring they are on the same page about workload, deliverables, and deadlines. Things can get even more complicated when building freelance teams.

Before you know it, you need a project manager dedicated to supervising just the freelancers! Are you frustrated with managing your freelancers?Crowdplat to the rescue.

Backed by 500 startups, Crowdplat is an enterprise crowdsourcing platform that’s redefining IT outsourcing. Since it’s launch, Crowdplat has completely disrupted the $250 billion IT outsourcing industry.

The cOutsource.com platform has been helping leading enterprises find verified freelancers for technology projects.

The platform allows several freelance project managers in the United States, who are all background checked, to compete for enterprise project work and provides the winning project manager with other freelancers and tools to deliver the project. Since its launch at the Demo conference last year, CrowdPlat has been onboarding several leading enterprises.

Will CrowdPlat’s Nex Generation Outsourcing Platform Solve IT Freelance Management Woes?

Earlier this year at CES 2016, CrowdPlat announced that its next generation outsourcing platform will include added features intended to streamline the onboarding process for project managers and freelancers.

The platform has also been made available for multiple devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablet, and Apple Watch. Now, enterprise customers can pick up a mobile device and talk through the requirements instead of spending hours writing down detailed specifications.

Crowdplat claims its platform has freelancers from 15+ countries, with several of them from offshoring hotbeds such as India, China, and Russia. Enterprise customers can now tap into the vast pool of freelance talent from around the world they never had access to before.

CrowdPlat hopes to be a leading player in the freelance revolution providing companies with on-demand access to the labor force. The platform has gained increased adoption and is soon turning out to be a viable alternative to consulting firms such as MindTree, TCS and Wipro.

Although there are several leading freelancing platform available for startups and small businesses such as Upwork, Crowdplat’s cOutsource platform was built from the ground-up for the enterprise customer to outsource projects through a freelancing platform and not to consulting firms.

The platform brings accountability through the choice of qualified project managers, and reliability through verified freelance developers, designers, and testers from around the world.

Freelance Management Tips: How to Boost Productivity

Whether you’re working with just one freelancer on a one-off project or managing an entire team on a new app or website, increasing productivity starts with a better understanding of freelancer schedulesand workflow. If you don’t need the power of a platform like Crowdplat, there are still other productivity apps to consider for streamlined communication and workflow.

Bottom Line

Managing freelancers is no easy task, but new tools and platforms like Crowdplat are improving productivity and streamlining day-to-day management, minimizing logistic headaches and communication snafus. Do you use Crowdplat or another freelancer management platform?

Which tools work best for your needs?

(Source: http://www.business.com/entrepreneurship/how-to-manage-freelancers-future-of-freelancing/?page=0&q=how+to+manage+freelancers&resultlist=mostRelevant)

The Trouble With Outsourcing IT for Larger Firms, With Sal Sarosh

According to cOutsource founder, Sal Sarosh, Mid-size and enterprise customers have largely stayed away from using freelancing platforms.

Although many companies continue to find success with outsourcing a lot of their work, according to Sarosh, the outsourcing structure, as it is today does nothing to offer larger firms the reliability they need. The need for innovation makes a turn over a less strategic option at a time when IT is strategic again.

Outsourcing is not a new phenomenon, it has been around since the mid-1980s. Companies in search of new ways to cut costs and to increase efficiency decided to outsource the work with the understanding that technology was a cost of doing business.

Why has the tide turned against IT outsourcing? The idea only made sense when companies viewed technology as a cost of doing business. The rise of digitization, big data analytics, and cognitive technologies has made IT strategic again. And it is often difficult to get innovative, differentiated outcomes when you turn IT over to someone else.

Although there are many reasons why larger firms may choose to apply their IT strategies in-house, Sal Sarosh believes that by providing something as simple as reliability can offer them the confidence to continue to explore outsourcing.

The unreliability of Outsourcing

Over the years, IT outsourcing vendors opened up offices in locations around the world looking for the best and brightest. This approach resulted in some success and enabled organizations to tap into a global pool of talent that was not available before. However, this model has now saturated and cost for IT outsourcing has gone up significantly, and quality of talent has come down drastically.

On the one hand, companies that outsource work do not end up getting their dream team of A+ players with both large and small outsourcing vendors. While smaller consulting firms have only limited talent and end up using not so qualified resources for projects, large enterprises tend to keep the billable rate high and use more junior talent for most of the work. On the other hand, companies end up paying way more money than they should. Some of the reasons for this are most consulting firms are bloated and end up with huge hierarchies that are not required. Other reasons are the need to maintain US-based sales teams and huge infrastructure costs.

Enterprises Stay Away

Enterprises have not adopted freelancing platform due to several factors. First, most enterprise projects require more than one or two resources and need someone to manage these resources. Usually, freelancing platforms do not provide access to a team. Second, managing freelancers from around the globe, given time zone, culture and communication challenges, becomes a nightmare and very few companies have had success with this. Third, even if companies overcome the first two challenges, there is no guarantee for the quality and security of the work product, and there is no one neck to choke to ensure deliverables are met. Finally, the reliability of the talent through a ranking system has not created the trust required for them to adopt these platforms.

Solution?

Creating a pool of verified project managers with the ability to manage enterprise size project work.

We are providing a reliable and trusted way for enterprises to adopt freelancers. This is achieved by providing verified project managers in the US who compete with each other for enterprise project work. The best among them chosen by the customers are provided with tools and other freelance talent to manage the entire project. All project managers are background checked by us for communication and leadership skills and are experts at managing global teams. The global pool of freelance talent is verified by us for authenticity and filtered by the project manager for skills, talent, and fit for the project. Customer’s benefit from on-demand access to a labor force that is truly global, when they need it, where they need it and with the skills they need; trust and accountability comes through the project manager. In short, we have redefining IT outsourcing like never before.

We source a large pool of freelance talent in a wide variety of skills. Usually, this is done by posting ads on LinkedIn and other channels, direct solicitation through various channels, network effects, and other channels. This pool of talent is then verified for authenticity by validating their identity (i.e drivers license, etc). Once the freelance pool is verified, they compete with each other for the enterprise project work through profile and background, contributions to discussions, and direct interaction with project managers through the platform.

In addition, project Managers go through additional background check and interviews to make sure they have the communication, leadership skills required for the job. All project managers are based in the US and sign Non-Disclosure agreements with personal liability to ensure confidentiality of the information provided by the customer. Project managers compete with each other for enterprise project work, and the winning project manager is provided with the choice of freelancers they can select from and manage the work. The platform has ranking and rating of all freelancers, access to LinkedIn profiles of freelancers, and audio/video/chat integration between customers and project managers, and between project managers and other freelancers so they can discuss the project and shortlist the talent.

(Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-laws/the-trouble-with-outsourc_b_10203086.html)

CrowdPlat announces Next Generation Outsourcing Platform, Aims to migrate more enterprises from outsourcing to crowdsourcing technology projects.

500 Startups backed Crowdplat is revolutionizing the $250B IT outsourcing industry. Its cOutsource.com platform has been helping leading enterprises find verified freelancers for technology projects. The platform allows several freelance project managers in the United States, who are all background checked, to compete with each other for enterprise project work and provides the winning project manager with other freelancers and tools to deliver the project. Since its launch at the Demo conference last year, CrowdPlat has been on boarding several leading enterprises.

This year at CES 2016, CrowdPlat announces the next generation outsourcing platform with added features intended to on-board more customers and freelancers. The platform has also been made available in multiple devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablet, and Apple Watch. Now, enterprise customers can pick up a mobile device and talk through the requirements instead of spending hours writing down detailed specifications.

Although there are several leading freelancing platform available for startups and small businesses such as Upwork, Crowdplat’s cOutsource platform was build from the ground-up for the enterprise customer to outsource projects through a freelancing platform and not to consulting firms. The platform brings accountability through choice of qualified project managers, and reliability through verified freelance developers, designers and testers from around the world.

Crowdplat claims its platform has freelancers from 15+ countries, with several of them from offshoring hotbeds such as India, China and Russia. Enterprise customers can now tap into the vast pool of freelance talent from around the world they never had access to before. CrowdPlat hopes to be a leading player in the freelance revolution providing companies with on-demand access to labor force. The platform has gained increased adoption and is soon turning out to be a viable alternative to consulting firms such as MindTree, TCS and Wipro.

With 40% of US labor force expected to be freelancers by 2020, Crowdplat is set to redefine IT outsourcing like never before. Crowdplat’s platform would solve the pains of IT outsourcing and help customers outsource technology projects with better outcome. Customers can access the platform through cOutsource.com (or by downloading “cOutsource” mobile app on App Store or Google Play). Freelancers can use the platform at cLancers.com (or by downloading “cLancers” mobile app on App Store).

(Source: http://cerebral-overload.com/2016/01/12902/)

Why every CIO needs a crowdsourcing strategy…They may just not know it yet

Many great leaders and disruptors in history have outlined the fact that people operate in their comfort zones throughout life until they are either forced out of them or shown a better way. Steve Jobs once said, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

Many people have heard of Crowdsourcing, but most tend to associate it with the latest funding effort for a project on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.  While funding is one option, crowdsourcing can be used for so much more and as we’re now finding, offers many different options and benefits that companies have not even begun to understand or leverage.  Companies are stuck in a development cycle that has been around for decades and I believe many executives just need to open their minds to the true potential that crowdsourcing brings to the table to help solve this issue.

We are always looking for ways to be more efficient and sometimes that keeps us from embracing innovation and disruptions in their rawest form. Outsourcing has been a popular option to drive development over the years.  Many organizations focus on a technology roadmap that is committed to leveraging some level of outsourcing and utilization of 3rd party partners. We have been in the trenches of making outsourcing more efficient for over 15 years. How can we increase the percentage of successfully outsourced projects? How can we make outsourcing faster? How can we make outsourcing cheaper?  The list of “How can” improvements goes on and on, but is there a better way?

Let’s look at it from a different perspective. Henry Ford may go down as one of the greatest innovators of our time. He’s attributed with a great quote that demonstrates the premise of this article directly.

“If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

Henry Ford was still focused on helping people get from point A to point B, but he did not believe that scientifically improving the methods for breeding horses was the solution.

Outsourcing helps your projects get from point A to point B, but crowdsourcing is a completely different method for getting there. The ability to leverage human capital on your terms and your schedule may be just as big as the automobile or the innovations of modern personal computing and mobile technology.

This is a strategy that has NEVER been employed in the history of the world until recent years. A truly limitless and borderless global workforce at your fingertips. Some people may feel this is an overstatement but if you look at the true capabilities of crowdsourcing in is rawest form it completely turns the thought of a workforce on its head. How far can technology innovation go if every company large and small has the ability to leverage great minds from all around the world in an effect, efficient and affordable manner?

So CIO’s need to change their train of thought. We all know how outsourcing is leveraged on an enterprise level, most of the resources are either hired directly by the companies or sourced through subcontracting firms, consulting partners or as Independent contractors.

Although it has worked over the years, outsourcing has begun to saturate the market and is not producing the results companies are looking for in many cases.

A crowdsourcing strategy to driving development can move your organization forward in a many ways, but 3 key areas are:

Global Talent Pool Expansion – Technical talent around the world is going through rapid expansion. For example, according to calculations by research firm IDC, the number of developers in the world is going from close to 18 million today, to millions more by 2020, with most of the new developers coming from India, China, and Russia. You can gain considerable expertise by tapping into this fast growing talent pool.

Cost Savings from Enterprise Freelance Talent – Cost difference between outsourcing and crowdsourcing can be significant. Research shows that a basic consumer iPad application costs around $10,000 to build and a simple enterprise iPad application costs $50,000 or more. A November 2014 Kinvey report based on a survey of CIOs and Mobile Leaders found that enterprise mobile application development costs an average of $270,000. If you can adopt a model that leverages freelance talent efficiently your cost savings can be substantial.

Access to the right talent at the right time – Statistics tell us that 40% of US labor pool will be freelancers by 2020 and several leading press articles claim this to be the 1099 economy. On-demand access to talent for services is becoming the norm. This would keep fixed overhead lower and still allow organizations to scale rapidly for project needs.

So let’s broaden our vision of how we can change the way we access talent and fulfill our development cycle!

(Source: http://www.jobbertechtalk.com/why-every-cio-needs-a-crowdsourcing-strategythey-may-just-not-know-it-yet-by-sal-sarosh/)

Guest Blog from Crowdplat

Crowdplat drives IT project costs down and improves quality of delivery to build custom apps and execute technology projects by connecting customers with qualified freelance teams. The company has been in business for more than a year and has produced several success stories for enterprise and startups.

Unlike TopCoder which runs a competition among developers or Elance which merely provides freelancer experts, CrowdPlat connects customers to freelance teams by enabling qualified freelancer project managers to compete with each other for technology projects and providing the winning project manager with other freelance talent and tools to deliver the project. The system is made up of two components: cOutsource, for Customers and cLancers, for Freelancers.

Crowdplat is set to redefine IT Outsourcing like never before. Join AppsWorld in San Francisco to hear Crowdplat CEO (Sal Sarosh) speak at the CIO Leadership Summit or simply visit cOutsource.com and sign up to get started.

(Source: https://apps-world.net/2015/05/13/guest-blog-crowdplat/)