After a year of dedicating efforts to develop a “million-dollar” project in the field of Fintech, CMC Global has successfully completed our mission with positive feedback from the client. This accomplishment is not only a proof of the capabilities of our staff members, but also serves as an inspiration for the “Reaching Lands – Crossing Seas” story of CMC Global Humans.
Since the start of February 2019, our Delivery Unit 1 (DU1) had received “signals” from a potential project in the field of Fintech for a large corporation in China. At the time, not only the members in the unit, but the company’s Board of Directors also closely supported and pushed for the preparation and winning of the bid, determined not to lose any chance of opportunity. With extensive efforts of the Sales, IT and HR teams, DU1 excellently satisfied all rigorous requirements of the client, landing the next “million-dollar” project for CMC Global.
This project used various new technologies, especially applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) to managing, maintaining and developing a financial system that offers the best solution to the end-user. In this case, Offshore Development Center (ODC) model was deployed with the original staffing number of 50, rising to 62 according to the client’s request. The project utilized almost all platform technologies such DevOps, Back-end (Java), Front-end (VueJS, ReactJS), Mobile (Native Android, iOS & Flutter), alongside AI application in managing and checking data.
“People tend to regard this order as one sole project, but in actual fact, there are 6 other smaller projects running simultaneously. Right now, all these projects received very Customer Satisfaction Score (CSS), including the Smart Lending Platform project with Project Manager (PM) Phạm Tuấn Nghĩa which outstandingly scored the maximum of 100/100” – said Phạm Minh Đức, Director of DU1.
To have today’s success, the delivery team has undergone many difficulties and sleepless nights. Telling the story of the starting days on this project, Mr. Đức said: “On the outset, the recruitment and interview process with the clients was very challenging because of time restraints. Other units had to send in their best personnel with unfinished work to support DU1. This heavily affected their own running projects, but they were still willing to help. To this day, I still very much appreciate that.”
Looking back to the long journey of this project, DU1 Director added: “Realistically speaking, any project will be met with difficulties when starting out and can easily get sidetracked from the original plan. This time was no exception. However, the most amazing thing was that the whole team have made huge attempts and efforts to overcome the hardships and complete the project with flying colors.”
According to Mr. Đức, the first challenge included language barriers. Although the majority of the work were in English, the process sometimes was joined by Chinese clients, which hindered the team from communicating and exchanging work with our partners. In terms of technology, the DU1 Director evaluates that technology in financing is always one of the most demanding, for it requires high security and accuracy, as well as complex substructure. The project team had spent much time to research and strive to understand the complete system of the client, thus providing the optimal plan for maintenance, reparation and development without compromising other parts of the system. In terms of recruitment, the client’s English requirement for all members with experience equivalent of Senior level became a great barrier to the staff addition of the project. “This shows that working at Global without English is like going to war without armor while the enemy is SEAL agents with tanks and helicopters” – said Mr. Đức.In terms of human resources, this was considered a special project with a range of cultures from Europe to Vietnam. This created some difficulties in the beginning when the team had to adjust to each other’s work style.
Beside the subjective factors, there were also objective obstacles such as the differences in time zones and geographic locations. Mr. Nguyễn Tuấn Việt – Smart Agent Team PM – shared about the team’s on-site experience on foreign soil: “Our project team was there to implement and support User Acceptance Test (UAT) for end-users of our client (a large bank in Malaysia). The end-users were very hard to please and the project faced up with many challenges as most of our coders were in Shanghai while the UAT was in the end-user’s environment. Without a smooth connection between those two places, the team had to quickly created a new working process and served as a vital conduit, resulting in prominent efficiency and progress in handling errors and transferring UAT”. Reminiscing of the very first on-site days working with the client, Mr. Viet emotionally recalled: “Both our team and the client worked overnight to ensure the testing deadline. At the end of each day, the client would take the whole team to the nearby Sichuan restaurant to enjoy the super spicy food full of chilies, and a cold bottle of Guangdong beer. It was exhausting but also really fun.”
Now, looking back at the one-year journey with the client, after waves and waves of challenges to champion this “million-dollar” project, the captain of the DU1 ship is finally ready to share about his hardships: “The first challenge lies in style. The client’s working style is considered to be “western” as in they live fast, work fast, and are willing to go all-out for the project. There were times when they would never leave before 10 pm in almost 2 months during the project. This certainly impacted and inspired our brothers and sisters in this project”.
Mr. Đức also thinks that the turn-over rate of the project, which was rather high, somewhat affected the morale of those who stayed and the general progress, as well as the client’s feelings about the company. “There were extreme difficult times. For example, when 3 PMs in the project quitted at the same time, I had to directly handled those 3 different teams myself in order to ensure the deadline request of the client. But now, I am glad that I had the chance to work overtime on Saturday and Sunday for several weeks with my fellow colleagues. That meant that I had more time and opportunity to interact and collaborate with them and relive the feeling of being a coder, contributing each code to a banking system with a global scale.” He also added: “Our client was really “lovely”, they always knew the right time to motivate us. Every time they visited, there were small gifts like snacks, candies, local delicacies or simply just words of encouragement, as thanks to each member of the project.”
The project has reached rudimental success as DU1 has built a running platform on technology, on domain, on human resources and on finance. During the project developing stage, the team also learnt a lot from the client. On being asked about future goals for the delivery unit, Mr. Đức stressed that the whole team needs to maintain this momentum and grow even more so that the project remains the main drive in the company with ever-rising number of participants. In addition, DU1 is also starting to find and build other similar projects in the coming future.
Lastly, when asked about his “regrets” throughout the project development process, Mr. Đức said: “What I regret the most is that we weren’t able to load 62 people in time for the request of the client. Had this been achieved, it would have meant a lot for the unit in specific and the company in general.”
The success of this important project is not the success of an individual sector but the success of a collective body. The impressive CSS’s show that CMC Global has had thorough preparation and total qualifications and competence to carry out even larger project on a global scale. The positive feedback also proves the serious investment of CMC Global in improving service quality to provide the best solution to our client, only in terms of professional capacity but also in terms of rounded knowledge of the field, trends and new technological solutions. No longer a mission, “customer-centric” has become a sustainably established culture in our internal system, ingrained in the thinking of each member CMC Global.