A proper evaluation of such different types of communication and legal relationships is inherently difficult and perhaps impossible without extensive presentation of their respective properties as well as a discussion of their evaluation criteria, weighting and dependencies. Therefore no sub-types or other characteristics of various forms should be considered extensively, but rather the assessment of the essential points.
Culture and Mentality
Effective international cooperation is neither magic nor chance success, but an engagement with other cultures and mentalities. If this occurs on both sides, as a project participant, one can immensely broaden ones horizons, in addition to the actual project success and valuable gains in personal experience.
Of course, the work and required results are at the forefront, and it must be possible to measure everything. At the beginning, it can be promising to consult an intermediary due to inexperience with software projects in an international context.
This intermediary, however, should not be considered merely an intermediary. It is much better when the IT services are performed within the same organization with real international teams and all team members personally know each other's culture.
An intermediary allows you to remain within your own legal jurisdiction. Such an approach allows your company to bypass additional legal risks, which could arise, of direct contact with another company in another legal system. The middleman acts here as an adapter between the two jurisdictions and, as part of his services, offers to transfer the project risks, by working together with the client in their common jurisdiction.
In a direct-contact scenario, the client cannot help but get entangled in a foreign jurisdiction, since the service location lies outside of their area of law. The only solution, then, is agreement to accept both the local and foreign jurisdictions. The first option inevitably involves risks that can be mitigated by an intermediary, if not completely avoided.
Reliability and Future Capabilities
Software projects and IT projects are generally investment projects to be carried out either for their own organization, or their results can be re-sold as a product or service. In addition, they are also not unique projects, but usually involve longer-term commitments, although the developed software or solution is subject to change, and requires a lasting and stable partnership with the outsourcing or even offshoring partner.
Here one may question whether a pure intermediary, who acts solely to build up contacts, and does not operate their own international organization, is at all capable of offering a stable business relationship. A company, however active financially and economically in the offshoring country, must go to great lengths to integrate the offshore staff with the parent organization and, ultimately, to bring them closer to the mentality of countries where clients are located.