Xebia: Leading the Echelon of Accelerated Software Development using Agile & DevOps Practices

Date:   Wednesday , October 08, 2014

In IT landscape, one of the initial decision to make before starting any project is, which development methodology to use: Waterfall or Agile. Both these methodologies are usable but quite distinctively used by companies. Looking at the recent industry trend and market needs Agile seems to be the preferred approach for software development as it is iterative in nature and hence more predictable compared to Waterfall approach. Also, it fosters the incremental software development by replacing the silos between the cross-functional teams which results in better collaboration and communication. While for many IT service providers, Agile is an unauthenticated approach, there are very few who offers Agile services and has it imbibed in their core genes just like Xebia � a Netherlands based IT Services Company.

Xebia saw its dawn in 2001 when Daan Teunissen decided to disrupt the traditional Waterfall software development methodology. Daan along with a group of senior Java specialists, who were brought together by passion to improve the quality of Java software development through audits, QA and architecture assignments. Since then, Xebia has emerged as a thought leader and go-getter in the domain of Java by providing consulting to help clients extract the maximum value of their software.

To cater to the repetitive demand coming from across the globe, Xebia decided to put their footprint in India in 2006. It was pivotal for Anand Sahay to carry forward the legacy of Xebia when he took over the role of the CEO of Xebia India in 2014. Anand has over 17 years of extensive experience in leading sales and global delivery teams to deliver significant value for Fortune 500 clients through innovative consulting, technology and outsourcing solutions. This charismatic man who very well understands the pulse of the industry says, \"One of the biggest issues in the software industry is that you first develop the software at a minimal cost without understanding the algorithms and later spend huge chunk of money in the long period trying to maintain it. Xebia came into existence with the idea to create products and enable customers to make the right decision by having the best people who can tell what needs to be done and help them develop something which will not hurt them in the long run in terms of technology stacks\".

The Differentiated Approach
There is a paucity of companies like Xebia when it comes to Agile methodology. Agile came about as a solution to the detriments of Waterfall methodology by following an incremental approach which allows for changes to be made after the initial planning. This helped companies save billions of dollars. According to Feike Groen, Software Development Manager, bol.com, \"When we adopted the Agile methodology, we soon realized that we needed Xebia. They have established themselves as the de facto standard for Scrum and have a proven track record for successful Agile implementation\".
Deploying an application in the target environment is a highly administrative activity. Although scripts can be used to help simplify the work, the process remains sensitive to errors, needs constant updating and requires very specific expertise. But when this need is couple with short time to market and maintaining the quality standards, it puts heavy cost burden on clients while dithering them from reaping the actual benefit of being Agile. Anand adds, \"There lies a series of pragmatic steps needed to be taken care of before implementing any Agile solution. There are companies who without understanding the underline of the requirements will start developing software for their clients in any technology stack they are comfortable with, irrespective of the client being able to maintain the same from competency and infrastructure perspective. This makes the entire process complicated\".

Xebia being a highly successful software development and consulting organization goes to the root cause of the requirement and then provides solutions. The company provides full application lifecycle services to the customers which it achieves by leveraging its strong architecture and global consulting experience. A complete blend of skills in India, U.S., France and Netherlands with its integrated delivery model ensures that the projects are done faster. Its offshore delivery models offer better process and visibility as compared to other Indian IT vendors and European offshore solution providers. \"We can not only make it happen for you, we can foretell you how to go about doing it so that over a period of time, you and your team can manage it. We don\'t want to be there managing for you but want to teach you,\" affirms Anand.

Xebia works faster in smaller teams which determine the direction and take responsibility for the project, thus guaranteeing success at reduced price while creating an ecosystem where customers have to do less of manual work and more of automated task. The dedicated Xebians are available round the clock to assist their clients to accomplish goals. Xebia has always encouraged them by providing freedom to choose area of interest and work on a technology of choice, be it Big Data, Mobile Development or IoT, thereby allowing them to self-direct their career path and exponentially expand their knowledge base.

The Xebia India Story
With the spawn of technology driven entrepreneurial ventures in India, Xebia is sweetly placed to offer them Big data, IoT, Mobile, DevOps, Javascripts talent. There is a huge market potential to move away from traditional software development methods to Agile development to provide better ROI and quality software. \"In Xebia India, we seek to revolutionize the world of software via thought-leadership in Agile Consulting and Transformation, Big Data, DevOps, Continuous Delivery and Software craftsmanship. In turn, we work on some of the new technologies in collaboration with some of the greatest minds in the business,\" affirms Anand. This approach has helped the company garner long-term association with various prestigious clients including PubMatic, RedHat, MINFIN, ING, Allianz, bol.com, eBay, Jabong, Expedia, Grindr, Human Inference, Beachbody, Tribune, Paychex and several others.
With the startup ecosystem booming in India, there is a chain of interesting companies emerging. Xebia look forward to work with them. Currently, Xebia assists them with DevOps solutions, Test Driven Development, Agile Developments, Mobility or their Big Data challenges. Serving verticals like BFSI, Retail, technology, Travel, electronics, consulting, and other, Xebia now assists to scale them further. \"Our key Business Drivers are Responsibility, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Sense of Urgency and Results. We need to proliferate what we offer to world. We prefer working from small units, we work under cell strategy. We are present in various locations like NL, France, the U.S., and India, but each and every remotely located respective CoEs work in collaboration with respect to knowledge sharing among each other. That\'s why, we keep on organizing Seminars and meet-ups on regular basis and be part of all major tech conferences,\" explains Anand.

Addicted to Being Ahead of the Curve
It is imperative that to be ahead of the curve, you need to be the thought leader in your field. Xebia evangelizes many emerging technologies like SCALA, AKKA, PLAY, NODE, ANGULAR and more. Xebia not just confines its experts\' services to itself, but also put them in the Agile Scrum team of other companies to teach them how to do software development to get quality into focus within the Agile framework. To do so, Xebia launched its training arm based on the foundation of proliferating what it believes in while providing training to MNCs. The coaches not only train but also help customers to make the cultural shift. Right from executive coaching to business executive coaching to middle management coaching and team coaching, the training arm takes care of the entire activities.

An Ecosystem of Ideas and Learning
Xebia follows a stringent hiring process where only 1 candidate out of 125 interviewed is hired. \"Not many people can actually write code with the mindset we require. Thus, we look for such developers who are passionate programmers and are able to pull-off our culture,\" adds Anand. Xebia follows an open work culture with total flat hierarchy where managing people have no existence. The company has brought great people together and allows them to evolve their way. Xebia prefers people with a work-life balance and don\'t want them to flog. The employees are involved in sharing knowledge with their peers and help develop the ecosystem. Xebia has published eight books on technology, incubates new ideas and contributes to open source and shares knowledge, which is the mission statement of the company.

Every other Thursday between 4 to 7 PM, the company organizes Xebia Knowledge Exchange which is also open to the world to attend it live over Google Hangout. This exchange throws light on the new emerging things happening within the technology world and Xebia\'s research findings. Xebia conducts Sandpits where people just get into the room and code something new thus providing an experimental ecosystem to blossom. The company has also developed phenomenal expertise in mobile development using different platforms like Android, iOS and others. Xebia is also engaged in Big Data sciences where it has a CoE called GoDataDriven that specializes in Business Intelligence and Big Data, and works on the Hadoops of the world along with statistical art and data mining. Very recently, the company forayed into IoT and social network where it does a lot of research.

Xebia incubation group is focused at building cutting edge solutions in data sciences, Image based recommendation engine (social network), Near Real Time Fraud Analytics to name a few. Xebia also emphasizes on full Stack Development using micro service architecture.

En Route to Success
Exhilarated by the kind of innovation Xebia does which provides growth opportunities, the company has plans to soon expand its wings throughout the globe. The company intends to expand its business in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. The company has office in the U.S., France, NL and India. Due to increased business coming from India, the company is planning to set up another office. These strategies will strengthen Xebia\'s position as one of the top players in the game.

The highly acclaimed Agile developer � Xebia has been recognized by the industry for its extraordinary offerings. Some of them are:

2007: PWC High Growth Awards van Port4Growth
2008: Computable Best Business Case
2008: Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Awards
2008: PWC High Growth Awards van Port4Growth
2008: Xebia Group (Xebia, XebiaLabs & GoDataDriven) - Skillcity
2009: Deloitte Fast 50
2009: FD Gazellen (Financieel Dagblad)
2009: High Growth Awards van Port4Growth
2009: Xebia Group - Skillcity
2011: Xebia Labs - \"Cool Vendor\" for Release Management by Gartner
2013: Xebia Netherlands - Great Place to work
2014: Xebia France - Great Place to work
2014: Xebia India � Mr. Anand Sahay got awarded as one of the Top 10 CEOs & Key Strategic Advisor for 2014 - by HITEC