close  
try java, .net, process, data, culture
Contact Us    Get a Quote

Frequently Asked Questions

Jump To Security & Privacy Legal & Contracts Technical Skills Communication

Enable your innovation

Coherent Solutions was formed in 1995 in Minneapolis, MN, as a software consulting and development company. In 2003, Coherent created its Minsk offshore development center. Coherent works with large enterprises, software vendors, and technology startups in the U.S. and Europe. Coherent provides the distribution of resources that best fits their business needs and technology environment. We have extensive experience in a diverse set of industry verticals including retail, manufacturing, healthcare, fitness/wellness, financial services, and software. Currently, Coherent Solutions has offices in Minneapolis, Boston, New York, and a development center in Minsk, Belarus. We provide resources and expertise in an accountable process across the software lifecycle including design, testing, ongoing maintenance, and enhancements.

Security & Privacy

How secure are network connections between my business and Coherent Solutions developers in Minsk?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) based on your specifications and security requirements is set up between your location(s) and your Coherent Minsk development team. The VPN can be software or hardware-based, depending on your requirements. Minsk team members have password protected access to the VPN, which is as secure as the VPN your employees use when they connect to your network from home or a remote location.

How secure is Coherent Solutions’ Minsk network?

Coherent’s Minsk network is as secure as any corporate network used internally by U.S. or European corporations. The network administrators in Minsk employ all the standard best practices to protect the network and network-accessible resources from unauthorized access and continually monitor and measure network security.

Who has network access to my projects in Minsk?

Only those developers who are assigned to your project team have password-protected permission to access your projects on the Minsk network. Passwords are changed on a regular basis in accordance with our strict security policies.

How secure are Coherent Solutions’ brick-and-mortar facilities in Minsk?

Our Minsk offices meet all the security standards typical of U.S. and European corporations. All entries and exits are controlled by electronic badge readers and can be used only by authorized personnel. In addition, all entries and rooms within the development center are monitored by CCTV video cameras.

Is working with Belarusian developers safer than working with other third parties offshore or in the U.S.?

Our Minsk team members are just as reliable as third-party developers in other major offshore centers or in the U.S. We follow standard best practices for ensuring that employees act ethically and honestly, to the extent of including employment contracts that subject employees to legal action in Belarusian courts, should nondisclosure provisions be violated. We also continually monitor network traffic and block access to questionable sites. Coherent Minsk team members come from the best science and technology universities in Belarus. Many have advanced post-graduate degrees and PhDs. They are among the most highly paid workers in the country and therefore have little incentive to jeopardize their jobs through unauthorized or illegal activity. That’s just one of the reasons why Coherent’s annual attrition rate in Minsk is 10% annually versus 25+% in many Asian offshore centers. In all our history, we've never had a single incident of employees acting illegally or compromising confidential client information.

Can offshore team members be trusted with HIPAA data, PCI-related information and other data that is tightly regulated by statute?

Without a doubt. Based on your requirements, Coherent can implement the security provisions related to restricting exposure to sensitive data. In fact, we can duplicate the same restrictions you apply to your own employees or to contractors in the U.S. We can also implement the same procedures for reporting and remediation, if such exposure inadvertently occurs, and we can follow the same technical and procedural restraints as you do internally.

Legal & Contracts

What is the relationship between Coherent’s U.S. operations and the development center in Minsk?

Both are part of the same company (Coherent Solutions, Inc.) and are managed by the same senior leadership team. Coherent was formed in the U.S. in 1995 by Igor Epshteyn, a native of Minsk and the sole owner and CEO of the company. Regardless of where Coherent Solutions employees work, they all are officially employed by the same company. This contrasts with other U.S. companies serving the SMB market who partner with separate offshore development companies instead of employing offshore developers directly. These offshore development companies may have partnership arrangements with as many as a half dozen U.S. companies. The U.S. companies act as third-party U.S. sales and marketing representatives for offshore development companies, but have little or no control over how these companies are run and how they manage their internal resources to successfully complete your projects.

Why are the company names different?

In 2003, Epshteyn founded the development center in Minsk and named it ISsoft Solutions to avoid a linguistic misstep. (Russian is the language spoken widely in Belarus, and in Russian, the middle syllable in “coherent” closely resembles a profanity). The "I" and "S" in ISsoft stand for Igor Epshteyn and Alexander (Sasha) Schneerson, the General Manager in Belarus.

Who do I sign a contract with?

You sign a contract with a U.S. company, Coherent Solutions, Inc., and only deal with the U.S. law in all legal matters. With Coherent Solutions, the relationship between the company you sign a contract with and the developers who work on your project is direct and transparent – they are part of the same company and report to the same management team as described above. Other outsourcers often have cumbersome legal arrangements where the legal link between the entities and their offshore partners can be opaque and expose customers to considerable risk.

Are there any other contractual advantages to working with Coherent compared to other outsourcing development companies?

Yes. Offshore development companies often structure their contracts like cell phone contracts - you get what seems like an attractive rate, but are forced to commit to long-term contracts and pay a heavy penalty for canceling. We don’t require customers to agree to guaranteed minimum durations or resource quantities in contracts, and contracts can be terminated without excessive prior-notice restrictions. On the contrary, we see flexibility as one of the primary strategic benefits enabled by outsourcing and structure our contracts accordingly.

Technical Skills

How large is the developer talent pool in Minsk?

A city of nearly 2 million people, Minsk is considered one of the major Eastern European software development centers. It has 12 major technical and science universities and dozens of other schools that offer world-class computer training. Minsk also is home to hundreds of outsourcing companies, including some of the largest in Eastern Europe.

What are the educational backgrounds of Minsk team members?

All Minsk developers and testers have at least a five-year university degree, called a specialist degree, in applied mathematics, technology or computer sciences, which is equivalent to a four-year bachelor's degree in the U.S. Some have master's degrees or even PhDs.

What certifications do they hold?

Coherent developers in Minsk have strong competencies in Microsoft, Java and other technologies. As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, we have made a commitment to maintaining a large number of Microsoft-certified developers. Nearly 30% of the company’s .NET developers are Microsoft-certified. Our senior Java software developers and team leads also hold Java Oracle certificates. In addition to these technical certifications, we also have lead and project management resources with PMP and Scrum Master certifications.

What technologies do Coherent Solutions developers in Minsk use?

Coherent developers are strong in .NET, Java, C++, web (HTML5, CSS, Javascript) and mobile (iOS, Android, cross-platform) development tools. Our technical teams have extensive experience in all major databases, operating systems, and popular data tools, including Oracle OBIEE, Cognos, and SSIS/SSRS/SSAS.

Can Minsk team members work in an Agile development environment?

Absolutely. Agile is our internal standard and over half of our customer projects are conducted in an Agile development environment. Customers report these engagements as highly successful. Several factors make Minsk team members an especially good fit for Agile projects: there is a direct daily time overlap of two-four hours (depending on your time zone) during normal business hours, providing a communication window for the Minsk personnel to participate in daily scrums; our Minsk team members have extensive experience working in team environments and are fluent in English.

What development methodologies does Coherent use?

We are well versed in a broad set of methodologies. When working on an integrated basis with customers, we adopt whatever methodology you use and act as an extension of your organization. Other than Agile, we have successfully conducted many projects using traditional plan/Waterfall-type methodologies.

Communication

How culturally compatible would Belarusians be with members of my own team?

Belarus has a European culture, which mirrors the American culture more closely than alternative outsourcing locales such as India, China, or Vietnam. Coherent Solutions customers and others who have worked with Belarusian developers report that they encounter few cultural differences that hamper communication and are able to to establish more collaborative relationships than when working with Asian offshore developers. The vast majority of Coherent employees in Minsk are able to communicate with clients by phone and email. Team leads are highly proficient English speakers and can communicate seamlessly with your teams. We employ three full-time English teachers and require all personnel to attend English classes as part of their training.

What if I need to connect with someone in Minsk after hours for support or bug fixing?

Minsk team members work until 7 p.m. Minsk-time, making them available by phone until 12 p.m. EST / 9 a.m. PST (hours can be shifted later for West Coast customers). That said, we work with you just like your internal or onshore resources. This includes being available after hours by personal cell phone and email whenever production support is needed. During critical project phases, Minsk team members are on-call regardless of the hour.

Can I visit Coherent Solutions in Minsk?

Of course! We love visitors and highly recommend that you visit Minsk if you have a major project or are interested in a longer-term relationship. A visit to Minsk is also a good way to kick-start initiatives. We host about 15 clients a year in Minsk, a city of two million with an abundance of first-class hotels, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Minsk is about 12 hours of travel time from New York and can be reached easily from most major European airports. Belarusian visas are easy to obtain and we will be happy to assist with that, if necessary.

Can Minsk team members spend time at my company’s location(s)?

Absolutely. We encourage clients to have Minsk team members visit your locations to learn your operations and business requirements. Plus, a visit is a great way for both teams to get to know each other better. This is especially important before starting major projects or when you anticipate establishing a long-term relationship with us.

Not finding the answer you need?