Industry practitioners share: Software engineers in the digital transformation era

This article was originally shared on Cafebiz. We have included the translation below: 

In Vietnam, the software services industry is experiencing a big push to adhere to the demand that comes with national and international digital transformation. 

Besides providing customized software development services, software services companies are shifting towards building creative products that can solve many business problems and maximize business potentials. Therefore, when global brands look for software solutions in Vietnam, they expect to have high-quality talent with top-notch technical skills and consulting abilities.

Let’s meet two software engineers from KMS Technology Vietnam, a software services company with over 1000 employees in Vietnam and the U.S. to look at the role of an engineer in the software services industry in the era of digital transformation.

Strong technical knowledge

Ms. Duong Pham – Principal Test Engineer at KMS Technology Vietnam, shared that a software engineer should have a solid foundation of technical knowledge. A test engineer should also master programming languages and coding skills. She shares when she went onsite in the U.S., where she met a client who is an established technology corporation with experienced staff. With a strong foundation of technical knowledge, she convinced that client with an impressive product demo. More importantly, she gave customers a new perspective on Vietnamese engineers – exemplifying excellent technical knowledge.

Problem-solving skills

An analytical mindset and problem-solving skills are core values and defining factors in determining an engineer’s success, Mr. Duy Pham, Principal Software Engineer at KMS Technology Vietnam shared. When working in that role, the engineer is required to solve difficult problems at work. It requires the ability to see the problem from different angles considering more than just technical perspectives. Moreover, the engineer needs to be flexible to propose different solutions that fit the client’s current business growth. “That is exactly the element that makes my job challenging and interesting,” Duy shared.

Focus on client success

Ms. Duong Pham and Mr. Duy Pham, engineers who are well experienced working with clients, believe that a software services company’s success lies within its clients’ successes. Therefore, engineers need to put client success as the main focus. Ultimately, without clients, every effort would have no meaning. Without a client’s success, no one else would be successful, at least in the long run.

Duy shared about his experience working onsite in the U.S. Within 6 months, he supported clients in solving a lot of problems that contributed to their closing deals with over 50 contracts that year. This success created a domino effect, the client used more of the software product and bought more licenses. On the KMS side, this success opened more doors for the company including project extensions that led to increased demand for engineers.

Additionally, a mindset of “embracing challenges”  is crucial for an engineer. When paired with a client-centered focus, this way of thinking allows an engineer to solve important problems that bring actual successes to the clients. This success is beneficial to both the community and business.

Consulting skills

In addition to solid technical skills, a good engineer also requires soft skills, one of which is a consulting mindset. This mindset helps engineers better solve the client’s problems. Additionally, an engineer needs to advise and convince the client of the best solution, and in some circumstances, they should advise the client to prepare for unexpected scenarios.

Ms. Duong Pham believes that “win-win” benefits should always be the top priority when working with clients. Therefore, possessing a consulting mindset is a necessary catalyst to help engineers solve problems in the most effective way. Mr. Duy Pham shares, this approach brings success to both the client and the software services company. 

Meaningful work

These engineers in the software services industry are proud of their jobs. Because this meaningful work helps clients save on costs and talent. Additionally, it also generates practical solutions that eventually bring high value to the clients’ business growth.

KMS Technology’s Head of Global Delivery shared about the partnership between clients and software services company

This article was originally shared on Cafebiz. We have included the translation below: 

In the software industry, helping clients create value is of the utmost importance for a software services company. The challenge is, how do you build a strategic partnership with clients to maximize their business potentials?

Let’s meet Mr. Nguyen Lam Vinh Du – Head of Global Delivery at KMS Technology – a software services company with over 1,000 staff in Vietnam and the US. With over 20 years of experience leading software services companies in Vietnam, he is responsible for strategic planning and overseeing over 700 engineers at KMS, providing software services for major clients in America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific.

Please share the types of partnership models have between clients and software services companies.

In my 20 year experience in the industry, I believe there are three models:

Project-based partnership: The client has specific needs for a project with certain requests and clear criteria regarding quality and timeline. Software services companies actively do the job in the best way. However, this model is gradually replaced due to the rising popularity of Agile methodology practice. 

Dedicated team/ODC: This model fits better with Agile methodology, which helps assure the partnership between clients and software services companies. The engineering team basically becomes a part of the client’s organization, which solves the problems that occur in project-based partnership (such as high costs arising from monitoring changes and little flexibility to adhere to the project’s requirements)

Managed services: Clients and software services companies define their Service Level Agreements (SLA), detailing the data regarding the effectiveness and quality of their partnership, and the clients will pay according to the level of fulfillment to those SLAs.

The Dedicated team model is generally the most suitable for the early stages of the partnership, helping the client and the software services company build convenient work processes and minimize any risks.

 

Do you have any advice for Vietnamese software services companies to build their credibility with international clients?

I can see that recruitment is a tough problem to solve; supply is always less than demand, especially for high-quality talent with strong teamwork and communication skills. While this is a national-level issue, from the perspective of business, we should pay more attention to create higher value from our existing teams. This is a strategy that can help Vietnamese companies boost their credibility in the eyes of potential international clients and contribute to their success. 

KMS has been orientated from the beginning to maximize the existing pool of talents through investing in developing “made in Vietnam” software products for the world with successful products such as QASymphony, Kobiton, Katalon…

Another direction is investing and developing more closely in the healthcare industry in the US as well as shifting the partnership model to managed services and consulting to motivate both parties in the partnership and advance clients’ success.

 

At KMS, what are the success criteria?

KMS’s success is tightly connected to the client’s success. From sales to partnership stages, KMS always builds processes, mindset, and working procedures that revolve around the client’s success. Additionally, KMS also founded the Center of Excellence independent from the projects to evaluate its success based on clients’ success criteria.

 

KMS was orientated to be a one-stop-shop software consulting and development company, how have you and the leadership board prepared for that?

From 2019 – 2020, KMS has taken crucial steps in preparation. We have achieved successful outcomes that can be foreseen to become a tech unicorn in the upcoming 10 years since 2018. Most notably is the establishment of KMS Solutions which specializes in providing consulting solutions in digital transformation for the Banking, Finance, and Insurance industries in the Asia Pacific region. Additionally, KMS has chosen to invest in providing software solutions for the Healthcare industry (HealthTech) in the US. Soon, KMS is planning to transform its organization structure, invest in human resources, focus on advancing workloads, number of clients, and continue to deliver high service quality for current clients.

KMS Technology Recognized by the Saigon Times for Outstanding CSR Practices

KMS was recently one of 44 businesses awarded the “Saigon Times CSR 2020” for our positive contribution to the community. Read the article to learn more.

Internship Experiences of Vietnamese Students Studying in the U.S.

4 Vietnamese students studying in the U.S. recently interned with Katalon – a product incubated by KMS Technology – with over 65,000 clients globally.

Dung, Tung, Mai, and Hieu – four Gen Z university students majoring in Technology and Marketing and studying in the U.S. – chose to come back to Vietnam for their internship.

 

Perks of doing internships in Vietnam

Being only 19 – 20 years old, these four young adults are already proving themselves. When asked about the perks of studying abroad, Dung Ngo – majoring in Math and Computer science at Tulane University – shared, “English fluency is one of the most crucial conditions to work in an international workplace. Besides, studying in the U.S. has given us the chance to keep updated with the latest technology trend in the world.”

Hieu Nguyen – a second-year student of Case Western Reserve University shared that his strength lies in the ability to approach a problem with independent thinking, which is necessary to work in the software field.

Understanding their own strengths and due to the Covid-19 situation, these four young students decided to return home to Vietnam for their internships. Mai Trinh – majoring in Marketing at Drexel university – shared, “It is not important what country, what matters most is the workplace. There are plenty of good positions in Vietnam that help young people learn and develop their own skills.”

Amongst the numerous tech companies in Vietnam, these four students chose Katalon. Tung Tran – a student at Drexel University, shared the reason why he chose to intern at Katalon: “Katalon is one of the best SaaS (Software as a Service) companies in Vietnam. I am interested in experiencing this industry in Vietnam because it’s emerging and offering so many opportunities for young people. An open environment where sharing culture is fostered is what I’m looking for.” 

Meanwhile, Dung stated that he appreciated his internship at Katalon because he could take part in actual projects like a full-time employee,. This included suggesting ideas and the flexibility to be creative under the guidance of his managers. The company also organizes seminars about technology and team building activities to connect team members.

When choosing a company for their internship, young adults often prioritize factors such as company culture, professionalism, and coworkers. For the same reason as Dung, Hieu shared: “I was rotated to different positions to gain more experience. All my coworkers at Katalon, regardless of departments, are open-minded and willing to help.”

IT companies in Vietnam attracting talent

According to Mr. Tran Kien Uy – Managing director of Katalon, the internship recruitment process is conducted professionally to choose the most qualified candidates. They will have the opportunity to develop their skills in an actual work environment where they are allowed to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned, which will provide them with a solid foundation for their future career.

“The four of them had to compete with other outstanding students from other universities, passing the tests and interviews with the technical team regarding both soft and technical skills,” Mr. Uy said. 

The career journey has just started for these four interns. Whether it’s the U.S. or Vietnam, no matter where they choose to develop their careers, their internship at Katalon surely played a significant part in giving them different perspectives on the Vietnamese working environment.

In recent years, tech companies in Vietnam have been recognized for internationally standardized work environments, attractive benefits, and opportunities to work with global clients. These efforts have sharpened the competitive advantages of the Vietnamese job market, which attracts students who are studying abroad to return and work as Vietnamese engineers and specialists.

This article was originally published by Zing News and Cafebiz.

KMS Technology and its long-lasting support to underprivileged IT students

This article recaps KMS Technology’s community service activities since 2018. The article was originally shared on The Saigon Times.

For leading software development services and engineering company KMS Technology, giving back to the community is in its DNA. It is as much a part of the KMS culture as delivering quality solutions, since the company has always been dedicated to supporting underprivileged Vietnamese students to develop their employability in a sustainable way.

The company is committed to providing tangible contributions and long-lasting impact on the community through community projects and technology related-activities, says the company’s top leader.

“When founding KMS Technology, we wanted to ensure KMS would be a platform to give back to the community. We believe that company morale and focus start at the top, and that if we genuinely care about the causes KMS supports, the rest of the team will too,” said Josh Lieberman, president and co-founder of KMS Technology.

Following its core value, the company joined Pledge 1%, a global movement that encourages and empowers companies of all sizes and stages to donate 1% of their staff time, product, profit, and/or equity to any charity of their choosing.

Read the full article on The Saigon Times and learn how KMS Technology helps IT students, though a partnership Passerelles numériques Vietnam (PNV).  

KMS Solutions partners with locus to help regional enterprises optimise Last-Mile delivery

This article originally appeared in Forbes Vietnam. The translated version is below.

Ho Chi Minh City, May 18, 2020 – KMS Solutions announced today that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Locus – a software company pioneering deep-tech supply chain solutions, to introduce Locus’ smart logistics software to the Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia markets. This alliance aims to offer regional enterprises the technologies needed to enhance efficiency, transparency, and consistency in last-mile delivery and the overall supply chain operations.

KMS employees sit at desks working on laptops.

Evolutions in omnichannel retailing has led to rise in demand for delivery services, which makes last-mile logistics a key area of investment for enterprises, especially for those in retail, e-commerce, and distribution. In January, the World Economic Forum projected that global demand for last-mile delivery is going to escalate, reaching a growth rate of 78% by 2030.

However, this last phase of the supply chain is a huge cost driver, accounting for over 40% of total supply chain costs, reported by Capgemini. Thus, it remains a problem to most retailers, e-commerce businesses, and distributors how they could offset last-mile delivery costs while satisfying the demand for fast, if not, on-time deliveries. 

“To solve the last-mile delivery challenge, enterprises increasingly employ innovative logistics solutions such as Route Optimization,” said Mrs. Seema Bhandari, Partnership Director at Locus. In a recent survey by Retail Touchpoints, 49% of executives have applied route optimization software to address the complex challenges that last-mile delivery presents, while 20% are planning to adopt it within 18 months. Additionally, the Asia Pacific route optimization market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 17.43% over the period of 2019-2024 according to Research and Markets.

With built-in machine learning and proprietary algorithms, Locus’ route optimization software recommends the most efficient routes for delivery, meaning the routes that allow drivers to deliver the most items in the shortest time, and with the lowest cost.

For last-mile delivery alone, Locus’s route optimization software can benefit retailers, e-commerce businesses, and distributors in the following ways:

  • Enhance Shipment Visibility 
  • Optimize Delivery Routes
  • Improve Transparency 
  • Boost Customer Engagement
  • Enhance Flexibility in Delivery
  • Boost Productivity and Scalability

Through the new partnership with Locus, KMS Solutions is going to consult and implement a number of Locus’ software products, such as Route Optimization, Real-time Tracking, Last-mile delivery, and Analytics. All are hand-picked for the software company’s clients in Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. This partnership underscores KMS Solutions’ commitment to equipping enterprises in the region with the latest technologies it takes to streamline last-mile delivery and supply chain operations.

“KMS Solutions is delighted to partner with Locus. We look forward to combining the brilliance of Locus’s solutions with KMS’s expertise and local support. Our tie-up with Locus will offer comprehensive supply chain solutions to enterprises based in the region, giving them the capabilities required to digitize supply chain operations,” said Mr. Le Tran Bao Duy, General Director of KMS Solutions.


About KMS Solutions:

KMS Solutions works closely with leading software companies across the globe to bring the most advanced and innovative technologies to Asia-Pacific. The focus is to help organizations achieve their business goals through world-class fit-for-purpose solutions and proven industry best practices. KMS Solutions’ success is ultimately measured by the positive impact that it makes on the client’s business.

To learn more about KMS Solutions, visit: https://kms-solutions.asia/

 

About Locus:

Locus is a deep-tech platform that automates human decisions in the supply chain to provide efficiency, transparency, and consistency in logistics operations.

Locus uses deep machine learning and proprietary algorithms to offer smart logistics solutions like route optimization, real-time tracking, insights & analytics, beat optimization, efficient warehouse management, vehicle allocation, and utilization. Locus powers more than two million deliveries daily across the globe.

To learn more about Locus, visit: https://locus.sh/

 

Dau Tu Newspaper Interview: Vu Lam

Below we have translated the original interview that was used to write the article.

 

  1. Compared to rivals like FPT, CMC, Google, or Microsoft, what are the advantages of KMS’s products and solutions for the Vietnamese market?

Over the last 10 years, KMS Technology has focused on outsourcing and developing software products for the US market. We are proud of our many achievements including developing QASymphony – a software quality management platform with more than 700 corporate users worldwide. QASymphony has since merged with Tricentis and was ranked as a Unicorn startup for Europe in 2018.

Soon KMS will launch services in the Asian market – focusing on Vietnam – and invest our pioneering services in several specific industries.

With our years of technology experience and a team of over 1,000 US and Vietnam-based employees, KMS Technology has captured the international market. We have had the opportunity to partner with large corporations and created connections within the Vietnamese market. We promise to develop innovative technology products, increase competitive edge, and provide business solutions to help local and regional businesses quickly grow in today’s digital age.

 

  1. KMS is planning to launch some products for human resource management, can you tell us more about the strategy, objectives and revenue expectations?

Human resource management strategically affects the entire operational and development mechanisms of every enterprise. KMS Technology will soon launch a human resources product to support the development of a company’s culture, increase team cohesion, and measure employee satisfaction. This product’s target audience is the Asian market, specifically developing countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Reports indicate that for many years, these places have been lacking industry infrastructure, knowledge, and human resource management tools. These deficiencies cause organizations to be less competitive and lack high-end manpower. We are in the process of beta testing and collecting feedback before officially launching on the market.

 

  1. FPT has aimed to expand into the global market using M&A strategy to collaborate with companies in the US and Japan. What is KMS’s strategy for expansion?

Over the past 10 years, the primary market for KMS software outsourcing has been the United States. However, the products we have developed are used worldwide. For example, we have launched two testing software products: Katalon which has over 33,000 corporate customers and 180,000 user accounts, and Kobiton with more than 350 enterprise customers.

For our next move, KMS will focus on expanding to the Asian market, specifically focusing on Vietnam and Southeast Asia. In these markets, KMS specializes in consulting and providing solutions for data analysis, supply chain management solutions, and software quality management. We are targeting the mid-range customer market.

 

  1. Where are most of KMS engineers from? What is the ratio of Vietnamese compared to other nationalities? Does KMS prioritize hiring Vietnamese engineers?

Today KMS has 4 offices, 3 of which are in Vietnam and a head office in Atlanta, USA. Most of KMS’s software development and technology product engineers are Vietnamese, but we also have many industry experts and multinational employees from around the world.

At KMS, we highly respect and do our best to develop Vietnamese talent. However, KMS managers consider our employees based on their capabilities, and those with higher skillsets will be qualified for higher positions. We always provide opportunities for outstanding individuals to maximize their potential.

 

  1. What do you think when quality Vietnamese technology engineers choose to work for American and Japanese companies?

Japan and the US have always been the leaders in modern technology, with strong development strategies aimed to help keep up with the high demand for quality technology engineers. To attract potential employees, their recruiting and management policies are deeply focused to meet the demand.

In addition to high salaries and attractive benefits, Vietnamese engineers working in these companies will also have the opportunity to experience an international environment, access new technologies, and improve the IT of these industry leaders. For us, this means that there needs to be a push from Vietnamese IT/Technology companies to improve competitive edge and ensure they recruit and retain high-quality human resources.

 

  1. There is steep competition for good engineers in this field. How does KMS show its advantages in this competitive game? What steps does KMS take to attract these engineers?

The rate of personnel turnover at KMS is relatively insignificant, so the company does not feel too much pressure to recruit new employees.

KMS has the advantage of being an international technology company and working with many foreign partners. As such, KMS staff are rotated between different positions and projects and therefore given many opportunities to expand their skillset. Everyone is given the chance to try out different fields and access new technologies. The company also sponsors staff specialized courses at home, abroad, and onsite business trips in the US.

Moreover, the company always focus on the benefits and activities for employees, with the goal to build an environment in which people are the priority. This is the core value of the management team at KMS Technology.

 

  1. How are KMS businesses structured at the moment? What will be the main segment besides outsourcing?

KMS operates with four main businesses: Software outsourcing, Product development, Technology solutions, and incubating tech start-ups. Each business field is equally focused. Based on the current stability of the company, we will continue to invest long-term in product development. However, generally speaking, the company does not prioritize any business area.

 

  1. What is the best way to successfully close a deal?

One of the key factors for success is ensuring benefits for both parties with a deal that compromises what you want and investors want. However, each case will require different directions. Involving investment funds too soon will cause you to lose the true value that you initially wanted from the deal. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully consider the product status before calling for funding.

QASymphony is typically considered a successful case study. This “made in Vietnam” software product is a proud achievement of my 20+ year journey in the industry. QASymphony’s team successfully gained $40 million USD in funding from Insight Venture Partners, an impressive amount for a Vietnamese product. Since then, KMS no longer oversaw the startup. With only a 40 person team, QASymphony became valued at over $100 million.  The product now belongs to Tricentis (Austria).

 

  1. Why did you decide to invest and do business in Vietnam? Was it because of the market potential or something else?

When we started the company Vietnamese engineers were excellent, but oftentimes our products could not reach the global market. So I decided to return and start my own business. With high confidence in the quality of Vietnamese people, I had a huge desire to create opportunities for those talents.

I must say that KMS was born from the concern that our Vietnamese engineers were not highly appreciated within the global technology space. I myself feel extremely lucky to have the opportunity to access modern education and gain experience working in the US, India, and then be able to bring this experience back to my homeland. After years of development in Vietnam, the KMS technical team is now more competitive and I want to take that advantage to further create more Vietnamese-based technology solutions to offer to the world.

KMS Technology on the Dana Barrett Show

KMS President and Co-Founder Josh Lieberman was recently a guest on the Dana Barrett Show, a favorite local Atlanta program on Biz 1190 Radio.  Josh joined Dana to discuss KMS and the importance of giving back to the community.  Listen to Josh & Dana’s interview below.

Interview Highlights

Dana: It’s been a while since we had you on the show, can you give us a little bit of a background on who KMS is?

Josh: We’re founded in 2009 by myself and my partner, who lives out in the Bay area. We partner predominantly with software product companies and help them accelerate products to take to market. Additionally, we have approximately 700 people in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. As companies here want to build software more quickly, improve the platforms that they are on, test their applications, whatever the case may be, they outsource to us and we take care of their dev and test needs.

 

Dana: I really want to talk about the Pledge 1%. Can you explain what that’s all about?

Josh:  The program was originally created by Atlassian and SalesForce with Mark Benioff. It’s an organization that they created to encourage tech companies to give back. Taking it a step further, that means 1% of time, 1% of profits and 1% of equity. We reached out to the organization to learn more and truly believe it’s a tremendous platform. They have the infrastructure in place to help you do it. Since launching the program last year, we’re very focused on being committed to it.

 

Josh Lieberman on High Velocity Radio

Josh Lieberman, President of KMS Technology, recently joined High Velocity Radio.

High Velocity Radio is a weekly internet radio program that spotlights innovative entrepreneurs, executives, authors and community leaders. Josh spoke with hosts Stone Payton and Todd Schnick to talk about the core principles that have helped KMS be successful, which focuses on being good to people, building trust and having a vision for your business.

President Josh Lieberman featured on Hypepotamus – Startup Founder Prioritizes Philanthropy With Per Scholas Atlanta Chapter

Josh Lieberman, President of KMS Technology, discusses fitting philanthropy into the startup culture with the editors of Hypepotamus.

 

Josh Lieberman has successfully built multiple startups from the ground up — with milestones such as founding the rapidly-expanding QA software solutions company QASymphony to growing the team at his current product development and testing venture, KMS Technology, to nearly 700 employees. While the startup life is a busy one, for Josh, philanthropy has always been a priority.

Lieberman uses his professional resources and startup acumen to support non-profit organizations in the tech sphere. After learning about Per Scholas, a national non-profit organization that offers free tech education to un- or underemployed residents, he helped get the Atlanta chapter off the ground. In the past year they have graduated more than 80 people. Thus, creating employment opportunities for residents on the Westside of Atlanta, including Vine City, Castleberry Hill, and other nearby neighborhoods.