Confidential Information and IP Management in Offshore Outsourcing

Background


Shinetech has developed a good reputation among its clients worldwide

Shinetech Software Inc. is a professional, offshore software outsourcing service provider headquartered in Beijing, China. The company is also registered in Delaware, USA and London, UK as part of its global strategy. Shinetech’s mission is to provide strategic and cost effective solutions to problems relating to information technology (IT), deliver projects on time and within budget, with the appropriate technological edge to capitalize on China’s cost advantage through a highly talented and technically proven team of software developers and engineers.

Having engaged in the offshore software outsourcing industry since 2001, Shinetech has collaborated with over 200 clients, including companies from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The company possesses proven expertise in the areas of e-commerce, government, health care, tourism, insurance, education, finance, sales and logistics. Within these areas, the services that Shinetech provides include application development, product development, migration/re-engineering, maintenance/enhancement, IT support, and software quality assurance/testing.

Partnerships


Shinetech’s 16-member team for Europe's largest online restaurant booking system development

Quality services with cost advantages have facilitated Shinetech to gain client confidence, and consequently many clients have established long-term relationships with the company, building Offshore Development Centers (ODC) based on mutual trust. Shinetech believes that only through collaboration can healthy and sustainable partnerships be formed. In its cooperation with clients, a peer-to-peer team model is adopted so as to understand the client’s business needs and respond accordingly. Currently the company has partnership deals that are longer than one year with at least 20 clients.

In 2004, Shinetech received authorization from the China Torch Program to join the second batch of experimental enterprises of the China Offshore Software Engineering Project (COSEP), which is the most significant and systematic project of China’s software exports and outsourcing. In 2005, it attained Microsoft Certified Partner status in Microsoft Partner Program with competency in Integrated E-Business Solutions, recognizing Shinetech’s expertise and total impact in the technology marketplace.

In 2010, Shinetech signed an agreement with the Beijing subsidiary of the CIT Group, one of the largest bank holding companies of the world. Under the agreement, CIT granted a credit of US$1.6 million/year to Shinetech to use its IT infrastructure.

Copyrights and Patents

The ownership of jointly created intellectual property (IP) assets or of IP assets created by Shinetech, as part of the work done for a client, belongs to its clients. Also all other IP assets, e.g. , patents and copyrights involved in its activities concerning outsourcing, belong to its clients, in accordance with the agreement signed prior to the start of any project development work. All the related project data is transferred promptly and in full to the client with the projects’ formal delivery.

IP Management

Shinetech considers compliance with the laws and international agreements on IP as an indispensable and critical element in the company's long-term development strategy. IP protection plays a crucial role in motivating and attracting Shinetech’s customers; the company understands and recognizes the importance of IP to its customers’ business development.

Shinetech’s IP protection policy addresses several areas, each of which is regularly validated by its internal and third-party audit programs. Shinetech has an IP protection manual and conducts regular training courses for its employees to ensure the implementation of its IP policy. The IP manual elaborates the IP policy in a practical way, paying special attention to the particulars of offshore software development and customers’ IP protection. All of the issues and rules on IP are explained in detail in the training of new employees. Shinetech’s IP policy gives special emphasis on maintaining confidentiality in its deals with its clients, and a stringent set of rules, as discussed below, is followed to ensure the protection of its clients’ IP rights.

Confidential Information

As an act of assurance that Shinetech treats its customers’ IP with the utmost care, Shinetech signs a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with all its customers at the start of a business relationship. This NDA sets out the rules and responsibilities of both parties, and is strictly followed by all Shinetech employees. The details of the content, in relation to which IP protection is assured, are also included in the contract. 

Throughout the project cycle, Shinetech ensures project-related IP protectionin both physical and electronic formats. Shinetech has a special and sensitive office for each client with a security door with password access where only authorized personnel are permitted to enter. No one is allowed access to any hardware devices, except the network administrator. The security procedures and precautions are also enforced systematically after working hours.

Shinetech guarantees a high degree of confidentiality and security in every project to secure the clients’ documents and prototypes. Clients’ information remains strictly confidential by using the Active Directory (AD) system to manage the users’ authorities. Under AD, data can only be viewed by authorized staff, and all copies or editions of the data are clearly recorded by logs that clients can check at any time. Client database information is protected during the entire project period, with access to sensitive data being limited to a key person only. Equal security measures are taken for preventing disclosure of information and unauthorized access to the computer system of the company, and for ensuring safe delivery services.

Shinetech has established a strict process for managing and protecting its customers’ confidential documents. Every copy of every confidential document is separately numbered and tracked, and is distributed to a Shinetech employee only on a 'need-to-know basis'. All copies of customers’ confidential documents are regularly accounted for and deleted when usage needs have expired. All such confidential documents are returned and disposed of by the relevant customer/client.

To provide further assurance that all Shinetech employees are fully aware of, and sensitive to, the critical importance of protecting customers’ rights, all Shinetech employees sign applicable confidentiality contracts along with their employee agreement upon joining the company. These agreements affirm that the employees will comply with Shinetech IP protection regulations. Employees regularly attend seminars designed to reinforce the importance of customers’ rights regarding confidential information.


Shinetech Offshore Testing Center

Business Results

Over the years Shinetech has become a leading software development firm and provider of Offshore Development Center (ODC) services. The company has been included in the top 50 (out of a total of 1,208) Chinese outsourcing service providers of 2009. Shinetech is now working with more than 100 companies from 25 countries all over the world. In order to cope up with the growing demand for the services of the company, Shinetech has established seven branch offices in China, and overseas offices in Germany the United Kingdom and the United States.

Effective IP Management as a Basis for Shinetech’s Success

Concerns over IP protection can have a detrimental effect on the confidence of potential foreign clients. Shinetech has developed an effective IP management strategy to eradicate such concerns among its clients. By incorporating IP protection in its long-term development strategy, and by applying it properly, Shinetech has been able to attract a wide range of clients, which eventually made it one of the leading software outsourcing firms in China.  

 

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