Quality support from Outsourced companies (via the support vendor)
Having worked for two major Unix Vendors in the last 9 years I can vouch for the other side of the coin, what its like picking up service calls from outsourced companies that have absolutley no clue at all and lean on the software vendors to get the jobs done.
In my experience the UK, US, Germans & French guys all get the job done to a fair degree and ring in to say "hey, found a bug" or "where's that patch" or "how do I do this complex thing" and OK, you get some occasional idiots who can't type "ls -l"
Comparing to the standard quality from many outsourcing outfits who ring in and have no Unix experience at all an yet argue the toss on some complex point despite having not got past Unix Fundamentals.
"But Sir, your OS crashed because you force unmounted root, which is not allowed. Resizing root is a complex thing to do and you cannot do it online" followed by the complete blank face (metaphorically) and the follow on response "I don't care about the root resizing now, why did your shitty OS crash, please fix the bug that causes OS crash and stop writing emails that cc my managers and make me look stupid despite the fact I've been told this 7 times"
Another common variation is :
"Hi, write me an action plan to be able to do x, y & z as we are incapable of reading a manual, our manager gave us no training budget so we don't know the basics of products we're proposed to be experts on and by the way, do this now or we manipulate things and ring the Account Manager and play the devil with you. By the way, customise the action plan to my particular needs as I am too stupid to take guidance emails. Please don't make syntax errors or I make it all your fault."
To help matters its always good having it explained to me in best Indian'glish possible. OK, I don't speak Indian either so hats off and all but this is a direct replacement for a UK or US Sys Admin afterall so some native skills are expected.
Of course, fairly spineless support managers @ the aforementioned Unix Vendors don't really help. I think the real picture of how awfull these outsourcing deals really are would be much more apparent if the Unix Vendors sent everyone of those style calls straight to their Professional Services Dept for a quote, leaving the supposed experts in hot water.
Is that fair ? Guess it depends if you view a service contract as a replacement for an Implementation specialist (PS) rather than a problem fixing service.
So Shell, outsource yourself to a greater or lesser degree and then please sneak someone inside the outsourced company, a spy so to speak and confirm for me that while it looks OK from the outside it's all actually held together with bits of string, bluetack, sellotape and some old chewing gum.