Last Updated: March 19, 2024

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Ifrah Khan

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You're a growing company, brimming with potential, but drowning in a sea of tasks. Hiring a full-time team for every function seems impossible, yet neglecting any area could stifle your progress. 

Ever wondered how household names like Apple, Google, and Amazon maintain their dominating presence in the market? You might be surprised to learn that a common thread amongst these giants is their strategic use of outsourcing. 

This blog explores the examples of multi-million dollar companies who used outsourcing and also, how you can access the benefits of outsourcing for your business.

Before jumping into the success stories of outsourcing examples, let's first understand the tasks you can outsource.

What Tasks Do Companies Outsource to Maximize Productivity?

what tasks companies outsource
  • 72% of global outsourcing are IT services.
  • 60% of businesses outsource finance and accounting.
  • 60% of organizations outsource application development.
  • 25% of marketing professionals outsource content marketing.
  • 70% of British B2B companies outsource core operations.
  • 15% of small organizations with less than 2,500 employees fully outsource payroll services.

13 Successful Outsourcing Examples of Multi-Million Dollar Companies

Here is a list of major multi million dollar companies that used outsourcing strategies to achieve remarkable success across diverse operational tasks. These outsourcing examples will encourage you to leverage outsourcing to scale your business.

Alibaba

Alibaba- Outsourcing Examples

We will begin our list of outsourcing examples with Alibaba, but few know that it started as a small “internet company” called China Yellow Pages.  Founded by Jack Ma in 1999, it has become one of the world's largest and most valuable companies.

Alibaba.com, initially China Yellow Pages, grew from a small internet company to the world's largest marketplace. Founder Jack Ma outsourced website development to a U.S. firm due to limited talent in China and navigated around internet restrictions. 

Outsourcing, initially to the U.S., played a pivotal role in its early success. Today, while still relying on outsourcing partners mainly in China, Alibaba stands as a global e-commerce giant.

How has outsourcing played a crucial role in its growth and success?

Alibaba's growth and success have been significantly fueled by outsourcing and leveraging remote developers. By tapping into global talent pools, Alibaba has been able to accelerate product development, improve innovation, as well as expand its reach into new markets efficiently.

Key Achievements and Milestones:

  • Launching Alibaba.com in 1999, pioneering the online B2B marketplace.
  • The record-breaking IPO in 2014, raised $25 billion on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Expanding into cloud computing with Alibaba Cloud, becoming a major player in the industry.
  • Driving Singles' Day, the world's largest online shopping event, with billions in sales annually.

WhatsApp

Whatsapp - Outsourcing Examples

WhatsApp, founded in 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton, revolutionized instant messaging by providing a simple, secure, and reliable platform. It has since become one of the most popular messaging apps globally. Nevertheless, WhatsApp wasn’t always the name it is today.

How has outsourcing played a crucial role in its growth and success?

While WhatsApp started with a small in-house team, they outsourced the development of their iOS app and web platform. This cost-effective strategy enabled them to focus on core functionalities and user experience, ultimately leading to their meteoric rise. Additionally, outsourcing and remote developers have played a pivotal role in WhatsApp's growth. By collaborating with talent worldwide, WhatsApp rapidly developed and scaled its platform to accommodate millions of users, thus, ensuring seamless communication experiences. WhatsApp is one of the prime outsourcing examples that demonstrates the power of global talent.

Key Achievements and Milestones:

  • Acquisition by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion, marking one of the largest tech acquisitions in history.
  • Introducing end-to-end encryption to enhance user privacy and security.
  • Surpassing 2 billion monthly active users, solidifying its position as a leading messaging platform.

Apple

Apple- Outsourcing Examples

Apple, founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in 1976, is synonymous with innovation in consumer electronics, software, and services. It's renowned for iconic products like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.

How has outsourcing played a crucial role in its growth and success?

While Apple is known for its in-house design and engineering prowess, it leverages outsourcing for specific tasks like component manufacturing and assembly. This allows them to take advantage of economies of scale and maintain their competitive edge.

Furthermore, outsourcing and remote developers have been integral to Apple's success, enabling the company to assemble a global team of talent to drive innovation, streamline development processes, and deliver exceptional products to customers worldwide.

Key Achievements and Milestones:

  • Launching the Macintosh in 1984, revolutionizing personal computing.
  • Introducing the iPod in 2001, transformed the music industry.
  • The unveiling of the iPhone in 2007 reshaped the smartphone market and paved the way for mobile computing.
  • Achieving a market capitalization of over $2 trillion, becoming the world's most valuable company.

Google

Google - Outsourcing Examples

I know you're as surprised as we are to see Google on the list of outsourcing examples, but yes, the massive success behind Google also involves outsourcing.

Google, founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998, is a multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products. It dominates the online search market and offers a wide range of services, including advertising, cloud computing, and software.

How has outsourcing played a crucial role in its growth and success?

The tech leader, headquartered in Mountain View, California, has been strategically engaging outsourced staff across various roles for several years. In fact, contractors often outnumber the actual number of employees within the company. Whether it involves IT specialists, developers, or numerous other positions, Google has already amassed over 120,000 outsourced employees by 2019.

In 2011, Google outsourced phone and email support for Google Ads, their primary revenue stream. As a result, this strategic decision enabled them to allocate resources more efficiently to other areas, showcasing their dedication to operational effectiveness and adaptability. Google is one of the most promising examples of using outsourcing.

Key Achievements and Milestones:

AppSumo

AppSumo - Outsourcing Examples

If you’re just a bit interested in marketing, you already know the name I’m about to drop here: Noah Kagan, the serial entrepreneur who worked for Facebook, Mint.com, and founder of AppSumo.

AppSumo, founded in 2010 by Noah Kagan, is a platform that offers daily deals on digital products and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses. It also provides access to tools and resources to help businesses grow and succeed.

How has outsourcing played a crucial role in its growth and success?

Outsourcing and remote developers have been instrumental in App Sumo's ability to curate and deliver high-quality deals to its users. Founded with only $50, AppSumo leveraged outsourcing for its entire initial development, including web design, development, and marketing. This cost-effective approach enabled them to bootstrap their business and achieve rapid growth.

Key Achievements and Milestones:

  • Growing a community of millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners.
  • Curating exclusive deals on software, courses, and tools to help businesses thrive.
  • Launching Sumo Group, a suite of marketing tools for online businesses.
  • Hosting events and webinars to educate and empower entrepreneurs

MySQL

MySQL - Outsourcing Examples

MySQL, established in 1995, is an open-source relational database management system. It has become one of the most widely used databases globally, powering numerous web applications, websites, and software solutions.

How has outsourcing played a crucial role in its growth and success?

While MySQL started as a proprietary product, it transitioned to becoming an open-source database management system, allowing a global community of developers to contribute to its development. This form of "collaborative outsourcing" has fueled MySQL's growth and widespread adoption, making it one of the most popular database solutions worldwide.

Today, MySQL powers millions of servers and serves as the backbone for numerous leading organizations worldwide, including Amazon, Facebook, NASA, and Cisco, among others.

Key Achievements and Milestones:

  • Acquisition by Sun Microsystems in 2008, followed by Oracle Corporation in 2010, solidifying its position as a leading database solution.
  • Adoption by popular websites and platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
  • Continuous development and enhancements to meet evolving database needs, such as high availability, performance optimization, and security features.

Skype

Skype - Outsourcing Examples

Skype, founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, is a telecommunications application that provides video chat, voice calls, and messaging services. It has transformed how people communicate and also, collaborate across the globe.

How has outsourcing played a crucial role in its growth and success?

Skype initially outsourced a significant portion of its development to Estonia, leveraging the country's strong technical talent pool. This outsourcing strategy helped them achieve rapid development and global expansion, ultimately leading to their acquisition by Microsoft. In 2011, Skype became part of Microsoft, which bought it for $8.5 billion. Collaborating with talent globally has enabled Skype to innovate rapidly and deliver reliable communication services.

Key Achievements and Milestones:

  • Acquisition by eBay in 2005, followed by Microsoft in 2011, integrating Skype into Microsoft's product ecosystem.
  • Introduction of features like SkypeOut, allowing users to make calls to landlines and mobile phones.
  • Evolution of Skype for Business, catering to enterprise communication and collaboration needs.

GitHub

GitHub - Outsourcing Examples

GitHub, founded in 2008 by Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath, and PJ Hyett, is a web-based platform for version control using Git. It facilitates collaboration among software developers, enabling them to host, review, as well as manage code repositories.

How has outsourcing played a crucial role in its growth and success?

GitHub, the world's largest open-source software hosting platform, relies heavily on a distributed workforce. While they have a core internal team, a vast network of developers around the globe contribute to the platform's development and maintenance through various outsourcing arrangements. This collaborative approach fosters innovation and keeps GitHub at the forefront of the open-source software community.

Key Achievements and Milestones:

  • Rapid adoption by developers and organizations worldwide, hosting millions of repositories across diverse projects.
  • Introduction of features like pull requests, issue tracking, and project management tools, enhancing collaboration and workflow efficiency.
  • Acquisition by Microsoft in 2018, further integrating GitHub into Microsoft's developer ecosystem while maintaining its commitment to openness and accessibility.

Slack

Slack - Outsourcing Examples

Slack, founded in 2013 by Stewart Butterfield, is a cloud-based collaboration platform that brings teams together for communication and workflow management. It offers chat rooms, channels, file sharing, and integrations with various tools and services. Today, over 10 million individuals use Slack daily for their business communication needs.

How has outsourcing played a crucial role in its growth and success?

Slack, the popular workplace communication platform, adopted a hybrid approach to development, with a mix of in-house and outsourced teams. They outsourced specific tasks like quality assurance and customer support, thus, allowing their internal team to focus on core product development and user experience. This strategy enabled them to scale efficiently and cater to the growing demands of their user base. Today Slack accounts for more than 12 million daily users

Key Achievements and Milestones:

  • Rapid adoption by organizations of all sizes, transforming how teams communicate and collaborate in the workplace.
  • Launching Slack App Directory, offering integrations with popular productivity tools and services.
  • Going public through a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019, becoming one of the most prominent tech IPOs.

IBM

IBM - Outsourcing Examples

IBM (International Business Machines Corporation), founded in 1911, is a multinational technology company offering hardware, software, and consulting services. It has been a pioneer in computing, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and quantum computing.

How has outsourcing played a crucial role in its growth and success?

IBM, a prominent tech giant with a long history of innovation, actively leverages IT outsourcing to supplement its internal workforce. They partner with various companies worldwide to access specialized skills and expertise in specific areas, such as software development, data analytics, and cloud computing. This strategic approach allows them to remain competitive and adapt to the constantly changing technological environment.

Key Achievements and Milestones:

  • Developing the first commercially successful mainframe computer in the 1950s, establishing IBM as a leader in computing technology.
  • Launching IBM Watson, a cognitive computing system, which has been applied to various domains, including healthcare, finance, and education.
  • Continuously evolving its portfolio to meet the changing needs of clients, from enterprise computing to hybrid cloud and AI-powered solutions.

Microsoft

Microsoft - Outsourcing Examples

Microsoft, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975, is a global technology company known for its software products, including the Windows operating system, Office suite, and Azure cloud platform. It's one of the world's largest and most influential tech companies.

How has outsourcing played a crucial role in its growth and success?

Microsoft, another tech titan and a successful example of outsourcing, employs a multifaceted approach. They outsource various tasks, ranging from software development and customer support to manufacturing and assembly. This strategy helps them achieve cost-efficiency, access diverse talent pools, and maintain their global reach.

Key Achievements and Milestones:

  • Launching the Windows operating system in 1985, which became the dominant platform for personal computing.
  • Introducing Microsoft Office suite, revolutionizing productivity software for businesses and consumers.
  • Building Azure into one of the leading cloud computing platforms, serving millions of customers worldwide.
Outsource now

American Express

American Express - Outsourcing Examples

American Express (Amex), founded in 1850, is a multinational financial services corporation known for its credit card, charge card, and traveler's cheque businesses. It provides payment, travel, and financial services to individuals and businesses globally.

How has outsourcing played a crucial role in its growth and success?

American Express, a leading financial services provider, leverages outsourcing for specific business functions like IT infrastructure management and customer service. Thus, this allows them to focus their internal resources on core financial services and maintain their competitive edge in a dynamic industry.

Key Achievements and Milestones:

  • Introducing the first charge card in 1958, revolutionizing the way consumers make payments and manage finances.
  • Expanding its global presence and establishing partnerships with merchants and financial institutions worldwide.
  • Embracing digital transformation, launching mobile apps, and leveraging data analytics to personalize services and combat fraud.

Amazon

Amazon - Outsourcing Examples

The last on our list of successful outsourcing examples is Amazon, a widely recognized household name. Amazon, founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, started as an online marketplace for books and has since evolved into the world's largest e-commerce platform, cloud computing provider, and entertainment company. It's known for its customer-centric approach and relentless innovation.

How has outsourcing played a crucial role in its growth and success?

Amazon, the e-commerce leader, is a prime example of how outsourcing can be used to scale rapidly and efficiently. They utilize a vast network of suppliers and partners for various functions, including manufacturing, logistics, and customer service. This complex outsourcing ecosystem allows them to maintain their competitive edge, optimize costs, and also deliver a seamless shopping experience to customers worldwide.

Key Achievements and Milestones:

  • Revolutionizing e-commerce with features like one-click purchasing, personalized recommendations, and Prime membership.
  • Launching Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has become the leading cloud computing platform, powering millions of businesses worldwide.
  • Expanding into diverse industries, including digital streaming with Amazon Prime Video, smart devices with Alexa, and brick-and-mortar retail with Amazon Go stores.

Why Do Companies Choose To Outsource Work?

The outsourcing examples of the above companies are sure enough to make you understand the power of outsourcing. Still, let us break down the core reasons why these companies relied heavily on it.

Cost Savings

Outsourcing allows you to tap into a wider talent pool, potentially finding skilled professionals in regions with lower labor costs. This can lead to significant savings on salaries, benefits, and overhead expenses, compared to hiring a full-time in-house team.

Access to Specialized Expertise

Finding highly skilled professionals for specific tasks can be challenging and expensive. By outsourcing, you gain access to a global pool of talent, allowing you to find experts with the exact skills and experience you need for your project, without the need for extensive in-house training.

Increased Efficiency and Focus

Outsourcing non-core activities frees up your internal resources to focus on your core competencies and strategic initiatives. This allows you to streamline operations, improve productivity, and bring products and services to market faster.

Scalability and Flexibility

Outsourcing provides scalability and flexibility that can be invaluable for businesses. You can easily scale your workforce up or down based on project demands, without the need for long-term commitments or hiring/firing cycles.

Innovation and Fresh Perspectives

Working with external teams can bring in new ideas and perspectives, fostering innovation and helping you identify potential blind spots within your organization.

Risk Management

Outsourcing can help mitigate certain risks associated with hiring and managing employees. You can leverage the expertise and established processes of the outsourcing provider, potentially reducing risks related to employee turnover, training costs, and legal compliance.

Access to New Markets

Outsourcing partners may have established connections and expertise in specific geographical regions. This can be particularly beneficial if you're looking to expand your reach into new markets.

Strategic Outsourcing to Accelerate Your Business Growth

The giants of the industry didn't reach the top by going it alone. They recognized the potential of global outsourcing, effectively tapping into a vast pool of talent and resources beyond their immediate reach. 

Ready to join the list of successful outsourcing examples of businesses? Look no further! We offer skilled expertise, extensive experience, and a proven track record of helping companies like yours achieve their goals through outsourcing. Trust in the power of outsourcing, and let Narola Infotech be your partner in achieving your business goals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

See the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions below.

Outsourcing is the practice of hiring an external party to perform tasks or provide services that were traditionally handled in-house. Instead of maintaining internal resources, companies delegate these functions to third-party vendors, often located in different regions or countries.

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