Re: Stupid (Lee Dowling)
Sorry Lee, I'm going to pick you up on something. It's not necessarily "outsourcing" that you're against, (or maybe you are as well - I don't know/care), it's "offshoring". That's the term for when big businesses (usually US based) decide to move their business from US/UK/etc to some sweat shop in India (and someone said China is now getting into this particular farce).
What amuses me (very slightly) is that it's usually claimed that this is 'to improve the service to the customer", when what's meant that it'll be cheaper for IBM/HP/CSC/etc to deliver the service the customer contracted for - yes that's it, no freebies, no "value add", just the basics. I'm not aware of the price to the customer going down that much, so you've got to assume that the companies concerned are pocketing the majority of any saving.
And while you're thinking about this, spare a thought for the poor souls in the "1st World" that have effectively been told that either they're not delivering a good enough service, or that someone elsewhere is easily capable to deliver that level of service for a lot less money than you. And these companies wonder why their workforce is demoralised?
I'm unlucky enough (hence the AC marking) to work for one of these companies, and it really saddens me to get calls from (now ex-)customers who are complaining that they can't get the offshored replacements on the phone when they want, they can't get face to face meetings, the offshored folks won't answer a question without a charge-back code, etc. Basically all those niceties that the Europe-based folks used to do for them. To quote an exasperated comment made to me - "when am I going to see the improved service I was promised?"
I dare say that there's management stooges out there (like Matt Bryant - see his posting replying to the treacherous way the OpenVMS team have been dealt with - I'm an ex-VMS admin, so this annoys me) who'll accuse me of anti-Asian racism. This seems to be increasingly the way that the big bucks companies squash any criticism of offshoring. Speak out and you're quietly labelled as a 'white power' supporter or worse. Personally I think it immoral for these companies to go for minimum wage, rather than US comparable, wages for their offshore centres - a fair days pay for a job!
Of course, outsourcing companies can't insist on offshoring, as a customer you're 'always right' so you're quite within your rights to insist on retaining Europe-based support. Heck, if enough customers complain then maybe we'll see less of the K-Mart attitude to customer service (do the minimum for the lowest price). Why do you think that some UK-based orgs are trumpeting that they don't use offshore call centres - it's a positive business advantage that's why!
IT icon because (imho) most offshoring is done merely to put some $$$'s in the pockets of the directors. So yes Lee, I do share your distaste at the movement of jobs eastward. Rant over!