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Outsourcing: Tips on Being Ready

By sean.mcnulty ·
Know and document the services you provide and the "per call" costs. In the Desktop Support area we have also come up against those who think outsourcing is the way to go and we fought money with money. Although, we in the industry already know that outsourcing is a losing proposition, it?s ?Uber? important to be able to document why. By educating ourselves on how to put a cost to a service the outsourcing companies won?t stand a chance.

First, you must define exactly what your services are and what they currently cost to provide. Make sure that you include the service levels and response times as well. It's crucial that the numbers reflect how quickly you are providing the service and what response times your customers currently expect. By doing this you will kill 2 birds with one stone. The first will probably help you to see areas where cut backs can be made if necessary. The other will allow you to see just how much it will cost to replace you. This information will put the outsourcing company on the spot and ensure that they are quoting the cost to provide what you are providing today. This will also give you a base to negotiate from in case your management team thinks that there are some services that they could live without.

When we really broke down our costs and put them on a "per call" basis the numbers were in our favor. Across the industry it looks like everyone is doing a lot more with less so make sure you can put the money where your hard work is.

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Outsourcing: Vendor Tactics

by sean.mcnulty In reply to Outsourcing: Tips on Bein ...

When an outsourcing company comes in to make a bid they are always going to attempt an under bid to convince the non-technical management team to make a decision in their favor. They do this knowing that there is no way they can profit from the base services. Once they have their foot in the door they leverage the "Time and Materials" clause of the contract and begin to add extravigant fees for any request they can. This is why it's so important to know your services and ensure that management knows them as well. This is exactly what happened to Motorola when they outsourced their IT. They wrote a contract that did not specify all the services required and the outsource company took them to the cleaners on "Time and Materials". Needless to say, Motorola has moved back to an "in house" IT staff at many of it's locations and learned a very painfull lesson about outsourcing.

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Tips of Being Ready

by reisen55 In reply to Outsourcing: Tips on Bein ...

If you are an in-house information technology professional, keep your resume up to date and be ready to be fired. Management will give it fancy names such as workforce adjustment - the outsourcers call it, simply, reduction-in-force -- RIF for short. But in-house should be ready to be outsourced OUT.

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Outsourcing: The old Bait and switch.

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to Outsourcing: Tips on Bein ...

I have *personally* witnessed these tactics in practice. If you think I'm just playing into stereotypes, you are wrong.

1)Send in the all-stars.
The H1-B mill will send in their best and brightest to secure the contract. These people are always articulate and highly skilled. They are the bait.

2)Secure the contract, and grab as many seats as they can.

They will put off the start date as long as possible. The "bait" team has gotten as many details about the job as they could. They are preparing to train their eventual replacements, two weeks will be spent in 'boot camp' arrangements giving the switchoffs just enough skill to pass muster if given an interview.

There will be an announcement of a death in the family and the need to go home. The purpose of this manuver is to furhter the stalling. Grandma is just fine, meanwhile our berieved hero is off to another assignment. In a week or two, there will be a call expressing regrets that he has to stay to help the family, HOWEVER, they do have someone who can take his place...

In comes the second rate (at best) coder who can pass a technical interview, but little else. He's such a martyr that he stays on late to make sure everything gets done.... What he's actually doing is calling home base and asking questions about such things as 'what is the difference between a sub and a function'.... Yes, I actually heard that one.

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Not the only industry to do that

by JamesRL In reply to Outsourcing: The old Bait ...

We used to get that with big 5 consulting contracts - major accounting firms with big reputations.

We would hire them to consult on migrations to new financial systems. They would send in a very expensive suit for the pitch, then some idiot who read the Oracle financials manual stumbles in the first day and is learning from the programmers.....

But I'm not bitter.


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I know the firms....

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to Not the only industry to ...

I've got friends in accounting who've been lamenting that fact as well. I have a pretty good idea who you're talking about.

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My Y2K experience

by JamesRL In reply to I know the firms....

I've had experience with 3 out of the big 5, and they are all the same in my experience.

My big head shake was Y2K. I was brought in as a PM to manage Y2K at a big Canadian firm. To appease the nervous board of Directors, they hired one of those firms to do a Y2K audit every quarter and report back to the board. The same firm had a senior consultant on our site almost permanently, so we were a big client.

The Y2K auditors looked at my project plans discussed the issues, talked to stakeholders and then issued a report. Because we had a good relationship with the "permananent" consultant, we were granetd the right to review and comment on the report before the board got it.

I had to shake my head. The auditors had nothing in their report to add that I hadn't given them. Every suggestion for improvement was one I had given them as something I planned on implementing. But of course they never credited my team with the idea.

Some people would take that as a compliment. I was mad as ****.

Here we were spending $35K per audit, and we got nothing out of it but a nicely written report, empty of anything helpful, that was presented to the board. I could have hired someone to write those reports for half that, or written them myself and hired an assistant.

My boss, the CFO and I sat down with them and asked about the value.We said, surely your Y2K auditors around the world have come up with some best practises, can you give us something we can use? But sadly it never happened.

The old joke about a consultant is someone who you pay to read your watch for you is funny cause its true.


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Y2K did more damage to our credibility

by reisen55 In reply to My Y2K experience

Because it was such a NON-EVENT, the world laughed at us and I don't think we have ever been forgiving since then. Asked about critical need for talented IT staff, they point to that day as the joke and write all of us off because of the fiasco. Mostly it was print media that created the fear mongering about it.

At my firm, we hired one fellow to check spreadsheets, nothing came up bad and on January 1, 2000 we rebooted the servers, everything was fine and we had glasses of champagne.

And then we were the laughing stock of the world.

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All because we did our jobs....

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to Y2K did more damage to ou ...

I was working at a major telecom on a Y2K project, a buddy of mine was working for one of the financial giants.

Both our companies would have crashed and burned badly without fixing the Y2K bugs and problems.

I love people's logic.

Since there we saw no problem, there never was one.

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Depends where you were

by JamesRL In reply to Y2K did more damage to ou ...

At the firm where I worked, if they hadn't replaced major systems for Y2K they would not have been able to bill their clients.

We had to replace software and hardware in 4000 customer sites.

The elevators in head office would not have their security programs - so either stop using the elevator or open it up to everyone.

The company I was working for was very dependant on tracking time. It was a international courier company who does not charge if deliveries are late.

Its not a exageration to say if we had done nothing at that company, they could not have stayed in business.

Mind you, there wasn't a lot of extra hiring for Y2K. One PM, an assistant, some consulting isn't much for a company with a billion dollars a year in revenue.


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