Custom Engineering Services FAQs

When you have a tough engineering challenge or need an innovative solution to a problem, it takes a team of experts with many skills.

Orthogone’s teams have a wide range of expertise including  FPGA design, embedded software, systems engineering, electronics engineering, and software product development.

Engineering Outsourcing: 6 Key Considerations

Outsourcing is no longer primarily about offshoring as a cost-cutting measure. For companies developing new high-tech solutions, nearshoring engineering services has many advantages that provide greater strategic business value than short-term cost cutting. However, outsourcing isn’t the best fit for all companies and all projects.

The following considerations will help determine when partnering with an outside engineering services provider is most likely to be a good fit:

1 – Technical skills and experience

Finding people with the skills required to develop innovative high-tech products is not easy. Recruiting, onboarding, and keeping these engineers challenged and motivated on an in-house team can be overwhelming for companies not accustomed to supporting a high-tech development team.

A good technology partner will have highly qualified engineers on staff who keep their skills up to date by working on a variety of projects for different industries that require multiple technologies. An outsourced team that has already worked together will be ready to get started right away and can produce results quickly.

At Orthogone, our experienced designers and developers share knowledge with each other, and are passionate about technology and taking on new challenges.

2 - Development time

At some point, developers have to take the time to learn the skills required to implement the latest technology. An in-house team may be capable of learning the required skills, but the time it takes could be too costly for your project. If you have a compressed product development timeline, or you need to get your product to market as soon as possible, then you need developers who already have the required skills, and have the experience needed to apply those skills successfully to new projects.

Discover how our knowledge & experience help push the limits of performance, cost-effectiveness, scalability and speed.

3 – Risks

Adding skilled engineers to an in-house team requires monetary and time investments in recruiting and infrastructure that are not only risky; they can also divert focus from a company’s core business.  With an outsourced team, the costs are fixed and predictable, and key company resources can stay focused on their strengths.

Ensuring that the work done is high quality is another risk that’s minimized by outsourcing to a reputable, skilled team. Quickly ramping up an in-house team for a rush project doesn’t create ideal conditions for high quality work.

Learn more about the advantages of outsourcing in 6 powerful benefits of partnering with a leading software development company

4 – Communication

When you aren’t working face-to-face with people in the same office, communication can break down. However, as we’ve seen with remote work in 2020, many workers excel at maintaining and even improving productivity when working remotely. A technology partner that has years of experience working remotely with multiple international clients will be well-equipped to set realistic expectations and maintain transparency throughout each project.

At Orthogone, we won’t start a project if we don’t have the expertise and resources needed to deliver high quality results. Our clients know that they can count on quick and significant returns when they use our expert services, and we have ongoing partnerships with many of them. Mistakes do happen; however, we fix them, learn from them, and above all, never disappoint our clients.

We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions to make the decision easier for you.

5 – Flexibility

Change is part of the process. When creating innovative solutions, team members can’t be afraid to try new things or to suggest new ways of solving problems. Before outsourcing a new project, ensure that your technology partner has the resources and bandwidth to accommodate changes and still meet deadlines. Having experienced, flexible project managers is essential in product development. A partner with good project managers can adjust plans and shift priorities when you need to make changes while making sure that delivery milestones are met.

In addition to our ability to quickly ramp up with the required staff and expertise, one of the reasons clients choose to work with Orthogone again and again is our flexibility in adapting to changes while providing the high performance needed to deliver results.

We’re successful because we deliver.

6 – Culture

When forming a partnership, you have to trust the people you’re working with. Do their values align with yours? Can they be trusted with your confidential information and access to your intellectual property? Is their work environment secure? When building an in-house team, you have tight control over how your company operates, and what you expect of your employees, but when outsourcing it’s essential to perform due diligence on the companies you’re considering as partners. How long have they been in business? Who is on their team? Who else have they worked with? What’s their track record for completed projects?

Learn more about what to expect from a top software development company.

 

Is Engineering Outsourcing from Orthogone the right fit for you?

Since providing product development services is our primary function at Orthogone, we have highly skilled engineers on our team working remotely with a multitude of North American and international clients. Our projects aren’t just one-offs. By constantly maintaining an open channel where both parties feel comfortable sharing their issues to achieve a common goal, we’ve built multiple long-term relationships with clients based on mutual trust.

Let’s set up a meeting with your team to determine how we can work together.

6 powerful benefits of partnering with a leading software development company

As software solutions have become increasingly complex, innovation teams need specific technical expertise. Partnering with a leading software development company is a popular strategy that offers many benefits for high-tech companies.

The mckinsey.com article Improving the management of complex business partnerships  states, “Companies regularly seek partners with complementary capabilities to gain access to new markets and channels, share intellectual property or infrastructure, or reduce risk. The more complex the business environment becomes—for instance, as new technologies emerge or as innovation cycles get faster—the more such relationships make sense.”

In this article, we’ll explore how a top software development partnership offers these 6 benefits:

  1. Accelerate time to market for product development while limiting development costs
  2. Access specialized expertise and technologies while having the opportunity to eventually transfer them internally
  3. Increase the development capacity of software teams without having to go through hiring cycles
  4. Use different perspectives and ideas to find solutions to the toughest challenges 
  5. Reinforce project controls and reduce risk
  6. Allow your team to stay focused on your core business

 

1. Accelerate time to market for product development while limiting development costs

Speed to market and return on investment are the key ways that partnerships make financial sense.  Missing the window of opportunity to launch a new solution on the market or not being able to produce a working demo in a specified timeframe can mean failure for a once-promising idea. The time and cost investment needed to hire and train people to be proficient in a new technology often does not make financial sense when compared with using a strategic partnership.

The hbr.org article, Joint Ventures and Partnerships in a Downturn says, “Companies will need every tool they’ve got to survive the downturn and rev up their businesses as the economy rights itself…At many firms, joint ventures and partnerships will play an outsize role in those efforts, both as a vehicle for sharing costs and reducing capital needs during the crisis and as a way to position themselves for growth once it ends.”

 

2. Access specialized expertise and technologies while having the opportunity to eventually transfer them internally

Companies working in transformation industries often don’t have all the expertise they need to stay competitive.  This is normal, and common. In some cases, it wouldn’t be possible to develop all the required expertise internally from scratch.

Acquiring new expertise and staying current with the latest technologies takes time, and shouldn’t be rushed.  By working with partners that already have the required expertise, companies can quickly access expertise/technology for use in the design of new products and other purposes. At the same time, the company can assimilate the expertise/technology internally at a reasonable pace.

In our article Find the Technical Expertise Needed to Drive Innovation in Software Product Development we cover a range of industries fueling demand for high-tech solutions, and the 8 essential areas of technical expertise. The article states that, “With so much cross-fertilization among technologies used in different industries, many high-tech companies are joining forces with leading partners.”

Technical teams at software development companies work on a range of projects for multiple companies in different industries, inspiring creative thinking.  As well, software development companies excel at recognizing and implementing best practices across projects to improve communication, teamwork, and achieve the best results. 

In a partnership, the teams work together, so even if a technology is new for your internal team, they’ll be exposed to it with guidance from more experienced personnel. Teaching and knowledge transfer can also be purposefully built in to the schedule.

 

3. Increase the development capacity of software teams without having to go through hiring cycles

Keeping an in in-house technical team up-to-date with the latest technology required to drive innovation can be an overwhelming undertaking for human resources as well as management. Recruiting and retaining technical talent is a serious challenge for companies of all sizes.

Turnover is also a serious risk, particularly for people with technical expertise.  By relying on partnerships to acquire additional technical expertise, your internal teams can take on big projects and meet tight deadlines without draining company resources.

 

4. Use different perspectives and ideas to find solutions to the toughest challenges

Even the best, most innovative in-house teams can develop tunnel vision. Bringing in a team of outside experts helps to stimulate creativity and open up new possibilities for finding solutions. 

Not only does an outside team bring new ideas to the table, they offer different perspectives, experiences, and even ways of thinking or “cognitive” diversity. According to the article Diversity and Inclusion Build High-Performance Teams from gartner.com, “In addition to a mixture of age, gender, and cultural backgrounds, CIOs need to also look for ‘cognitive’ diversity, which is mixing people together with different thinking styles, habits and perspectives... Having diversity of thought can be what saves a team from groupthink and allows it to achieve better outcomes.” 

Working with an outside team is an excellent opportunity to combine the strengths of each party. A partnership can refine and improve development processes, introduce and strengthen best practices, and increase coding and quality standards.

 

5. Reinforce project controls and reduce risk

When working with a partner, the project must be well-defined, with agreed-upon roles, responsibilities, deadlines, and deliverables. Input from the partner can help identify areas of the project plan that need strengthening, and point out opportunities for improvement early in the process. 

Partnership reduces the dangerous risk of rigidity, and allows design and development teams to stay flexible, which is crucial for successful results. When developing innovative solutions, adding people in-house can make it more difficult to pivot when needed. The hbr.org article Start Stopping Faster recommends, “Avoid premature scaling — hiring too many people, building too much capacity, doing too much marketing — before key assumptions have been validated.”

By partnering with an outside team of developers, you can explore innovative ideas and make needed changes faster without investing in in-house technical talent up front.

 

6. Keep your team focused on your core business

A critical decision that must be made by technology leaders is defining what technology is and is not part of their core business. For example, an automotive company may be comfortable outsourcing entertainment system technology to allow in-house teams to develop other areas of innovation that give the company its competitive edge. 

For new and evolving technologies, partnerships may make sense for core areas of innovation when the technology is so new that finding experts is difficult, and when a product or solution is still in the experimental stage.  Forming a long-term partnership with a respected, reputable software development company can be an ideal solution for companies that frequently need specialized expertise for innovation. 

To learn more about how a strategic software development partnership could help your team do more, contact us.

8 areas of high-tech expertise where strategic partnerships drive innovative software product development

Software and data are transforming the world. Innovation is no longer simply a way for a company to differentiate itself. To stay competitive, software development companies must integrate innovation into their DNA.

In the TechCrunch article Eduardo Saverin on the 'world of innovation past Silicon Valley', Saverin says, "If you think about it, the past few decades have been about the rise of the consumer internet. The next few decades will be about how you’re going to bring digital transformation to large traditional industries."

Competition between high-tech companies is increasingly fierce, both to be first to market with innovative solutions, and to find the talent to design and develop these solutions. In this article we present a brief look at how different industries are fueling the demand for innovative solutions, the technical expertise needed to drive innovative software development, and how to use strategic partnerships to provide needed expertise.

Topics covered:

Digital transformation in multiple industries is fueling the demand for innovative software solutions

8 essential areas of high-tech expertise

  1. Embedded software & systems
  2. Internet of Things (connected devices)
  3. Edge computing
  4. Wireless
  5. Networking & communication protocols
  6. Digital Signal Processing
  7. Security Systems
  8. Machine Learning and Data science

Strategic partnerships drive innovative software product development
Identify the best candidates to partner with for software development
What to expect from a top software development company

For more information about strategic partnerships, see 6 powerful benefits of software development partnerships

Digital transformation in multiple industries is fueling the demand for innovative software solutions

The advent of specialized semiconductors and software solutions has created drastic changes in the last few years in many industries:

The ceotodaymagazine.com article How Traditional Industries Can Compete for the Top Tech Talent says, "Even in the more traditional industries where technology has historically been something of an afterthought, like law, companies are now implementing highly sophisticated and complex digital transformation projects."

As well, many critical businesses were pushed into digital transformation out of necessity due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19.

To stay competitive, high-tech leaders must quickly find ways to overcome technological challenges and talent recruitment problems while managing shorter development cycles and limited budgets. Decision-makers need to increase their R&D expertise, reduce development time, and make their products and services commercially successful.

8 essential areas of high-tech expertise

To constantly innovate and overcome seemingly impossible challenges in the world of high technology and electronics, it’s important to have access to a range of expertise in software development. Although specific needs will vary for different products, services, and industries, mastering some or all of these areas of expertise is paramount:

1. Embedded software & systems

Advances in semiconductor technologies and the integration of hardware acceleration modules into ASSP and SoCs have exponentially increased the complexity of some embedded systems.  Examples include computer vision systems such as RADAR and LiDAR used in autonomous vehicles or the next generation of 5G wireless base stations.  These innovations and technological advances require more advanced embedded software solutions to achieve the desired levels of performance while maintaining reliable and robust solutions.

Read a case study about the complete electronic design of a solid-state 3D LiDAR used in autonomous vehicles and ADAS applications.

 

2. Internet of Things (connected devices)

The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution is already transforming business and daily life. With IoT, objects become "smart" and integrate seamlessly across a global network capable of driving significant economic, social, and business benefits.

To fully realize the benefits of IoT, accurate and reliable data is paramount. Combined with reliable, secure and cost-effective connectivity solutions, high-quality information can empower businesses to generate new revenue streams and process improvements.

Learn about the development of an intelligent street lighting software solution for smart city applications used by a Fortune 50 industrial company in this case study.

 

3. Edge computing

More and more applications require the processing of large volumes of data in real time, creating opportunities to move computing from the cloud to the edge. Examples include video surveillance applications for public safety and optimized traffic flows, and Industry 4.0-centric applications using robotics to automate manufacturing processes. By offering reliable, low-latency communications, 5G communications will allow many of these applications to realize their potential.

In some applications, edge computing will go hand-in-hand with cloud computing to take advantage of each other's strengths. In cases with several thousand IoT sensors each generating a vast amount data, it would be advantageous to pre-process the data collected to extract useful information. That information could then be relayed to the cloud where other larger scale information could be extracted using machine learning algorithms, for example.

Understand how FPGA applications are so fast, powerful and efficient.

 

4. Wireless

It's no longer a secret that wireless communications are now an integral part of our lives. Wireless is not only at the center of mobile devices, but also increasingly in vehicles, connected objects, medical devices, and so on. The number of wireless communication protocols continues to grow, and it is becoming challenging to understand the advantages and inconveniences of each one. Although they’re available on a large scale and at low cost, the wireless protocols adopted by mobile devices (LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth) are not always the best choice for other types of applications and in some cases must be customized to meet specific requirements.

 

5. Networking & communication protocols

Manufacturers of communication and networking equipment are increasingly leaning towards virtualization software solutions based on a Software Defined Network (SDN) architecture and running on agnostic hardware platforms. In several industries, new networking technologies require raising the level of performance expected while maintaining a high quality of service. For some applications, SmartNIC solutions are used to reduce the load on CPUs by distributing the networking, computing, and storage functions directly on NICs. FPGA Manufacturers have recently made significant investments in these types of solutions.

Find out why our highly optimized IP cores are the top choice for data centers, networking and communications equipment.

 

6. Digital Signal Processing

Digital signal processing algorithms are now at the heart of several industries and applications. Examples include the voice control and noise reduction systems found in mobile devices, wireless communication systems using massive MIMO and Beamforming technologies, and RADAR systems used in assisted driving applications. The advent of specialized processors and design tools such as Matlab are using a higher level of abstraction allowing developers and researchers to continually innovate to find solutions that meet ever higher expectations in terms of performance, reliability, and cost.

 

7. Security systems

The world is going digital. To connect, we must trust information we exchange. End-to-end security management has never been more important to ensure security and privacy, while building strong identities and maintaining user trust. As the diversity of digital applications and the number of connected devices continues to increase, security threats are evolving and growing even faster. In order to avoid security breaches, it is incumbent on companies to consider security aspects first when developing their electronic and software solutions.

Discover how multiple challenges were overcome to develop high capacity multichannel, multiband, point-to-point (PTP), point-to-multipoint (PMP) and mesh radio systems used in public safety and defense applications in this case study.

 

8. Machine learning and data science

One of the most important technologies of our era is artificial intelligence (AI), particularly machine learning (ML) that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. For example, the autonomous driving system revealed during the April 22, 2019 Tesla Autonomy Investor Day is based on a custom ASIC developed by Tesla’s engineers. This system is capable of merging information from multiple sensors (cameras, RADAR, ultrasonic) to create real-time, accurate scene information of the road. Using CNN (convolutional neural networks), models that are constantly improving as they learn from data collected from thousands of road scenes from Tesla’s vehicles, the system can detect the presence of vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and other objects.

Read about how École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) faculty researcher Ismail Ben Ayed and Orthogone Technologies are meeting the technical challenges of artificial vision using deep learning.

 

Using strategic partnerships to help drive innovative software product development

While high-tech companies recognize the need for technical experts, recruiting talent with specific expertise can be difficult and time-consuming. The technative.io article The Tech Recruitment Challenge explains that, “On average, the recruitment process takes approximately 52 days according to a study from Bersin by Deloitte… Integrating new talent into tech functions can be equally costly and time-consuming. The whole process involves vetting applicants, conducting interviews, skills testing them, negotiating terms of employment, before finally getting the new hire up to speed in their role. The process can take several months, depending on seniority.”

With so much cross-fertilization among technologies used in different industries, many high-tech companies are joining forces with leading partners. By forming a partnership to acquire access to technical experts, a company can keep its core team focused on its area of expertise while quickly bringing innovative new solutions to market.

In the cio.com opinion piece Effective partnerships drive innovation, CIO Adam Wakefield says,  “By collaborating with smart organizations of all sizes, corporations drive productivity gains both for their customers and for their own professionals. It’s a win-win for all parties.”

 

Identify the best candidates to partner with for software development

When selecting a company to partner with, it’s important to identify and qualify top-notch software development partners that have 

A top-tier partner with solid expertise in software development will have proven time and time again that it can deliver complex solutions with tight deadlines.  Continuous innovation is a key differentiator prioritized by leading software development partners. 

 

What to expect from a top software development company

A good software development partner should 

It’s essential to choose a reputable software partner with a unique identity, a corporate vision and a first-class reputation acclaimed by innovative high-tech companies.

For more information about strategic partnerships, see 6 powerful benefits of partnering with a leading software development company

CTOs and technical leaders from top high-tech companies confidently partner with Orthogone to augment the technical expertise of their teams.

"I lead a small team of innovators where our responsibility is to protect FLIR from disruptions from all sorts of directions in the market… We have a partnership with Orthogone where they have very highly qualified people that we use to expand the bandwidth of my small team… Having the level of expertise that they bring to the table is very enabling to expand the capability of my team."
- Pierre Boulanger, CTO FLIR Systems

"We pride ourselves on bringing game-changing innovations to the market. Through out-of-the-box thinking, we’ve been able to achieve something pretty impressive in our work with Orthogone – a line of innovative products that surpasses what the competition can offer in terms of both flexibility and performance. We trust Orthogone’s expertise and high standards – they consistently deliver a quality product and integrate seamlessly with the team."
- Etienne Campeau, Software Engineering Manager Kongsberg Automotive

To learn more about partnering with Orthogone to drive innovation, contact us.