International business: Strengthening ties across the globe

You know that feeling when you have everyone in the same place for the holidays—the one where you pause to soak in the faces around you and absorb that sense of family?

That’s what it feels like every time I travel to Vietnam to visit our offshore team, some of whom I’ve known and worked with for more than 12 years. Last month I hopped from Kansas City to Denver, Denver to Tokyo, and – finally – Tokyo to Ho Chi Minh City.

As soon as those wheels touched down, I was home.

Home away from home

After a great night’s sleep, I (along with Patrick Kinne from our Denver office, and Alan Hromatko and Phuong Nguyen from Kansas City) hit the ground running. The trip began with a standing ovation from our development team at their office, which boasts a foosball table and a “Kansas Room” in honor of our headquarters.

After a chorus of hugs and handshakes, we got right to business, discussing the state of the company – including what we’re doing right and what we can work on – and forecasting 2020 process methodology. Our Scrum teams comprise a mix of onshore and offshore talent, including several developers, an onshore consultant, offshore quality control and an onshore architect. While we can always talk business over Zoom or Slack, there’s truly no substitution for the connections made in person over dinner and some Nếp Hà Nội (Vietnamese rice wine, also known as “happy water”).

Making new friends across Vietnam.

Much like Midwestern hospitality, the Vietnamese culture is extremely welcoming. Throughout our trip, we were treated to dinner, motorbike rides and golf at the most breathtaking course in Hạ Long Bay, complete with dozens of selfies with our team and even complete strangers along the way. I’ve come to realize that what we have with our team in Vietnam is so much more than a business partnership. It’s a familial relationship that’s blossomed as our company has grown throughout the years.

Internal and external growth

In the last decade, 27Global has outgrown our office, relocating to – and filling – a new office in Leawood, Kansas, opened and tripled the size of our Denver office, and staffed more than 60 employees in Vietnam.

2019 was a standout year for 27Global. Our company experienced a 60% growth in employee count and a 33% growth in revenue, culminating in our Best Places to Work win from the Kansas City Business Journal. We attribute this success to a robust culture and forward-thinking strategy.

One of 27Global’s Core Values is Abundance Mentality, which states that when we create success, there’s enough credit to go around. We embrace this value because it leads employees to seek win/win relationships in all dealings and to work together in a truly collaborative environment that builds one another up. A win in Kansas City or Denver is a win in Vietnam, and this mindset both fuels our culture and allows us to “mind meld” for the best possible solutions.

The Year of the Rat

They also love Christmas as much as we do.

Little gets lost in translation with our Vietnamese counterparts during our visits—and not just because they’re fluent in English. Their goals and aspirations align with ours: They love writing code as much as we do, and they love developing technology as much as we do.

A new year brings new opportunities, and while the new year is already underway in the States, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, Tết Nguyên Đán, just began Jan. 25. Our extreme growth last year has positioned us for the best year yet in 2020: In fact, we already have 127% of 2019’s revenue under contract with another 20-40% anticipated in sales revenue growth. That would have been impossible without our entire three-city, two-continent team.

“Một, Hai, Ba, Dô!”

In Vietnam, they have a tradition of saying “Một, Hai, Ba, Dô!” before taking a drink with friends, which translates to “One, Two, Three, Cheers!” This month we’re raising our glasses to another record year of growth and success for our 27Global family on both sides of the Pacific.

View more images from our trip on Facebook.

Matt Henley is the President of 27Global. Founded in 2008, 27Global designs, builds and operates custom software solutions for businesses of all sizes. The perfect pairing of a local leadership with offshore pricing, 27Global has the business acumen to understand your vision and the expertise to build your software solution. To learn more, visit 27global.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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