Three Outsourcing Conferences

Best Offshore Providers

I notice that Managing Offshore, the newish high-priced newsletter from CMP, is pulling together an “Offshore 100,” an award program to recognize service providers...

On Renegotiating a Contract

New research by UK-based Benchmark Research and sponsored by Orbys Consulting, which offers outsourcing advisory services, says that 84% of organizations made changes after...

It’s the Little Things

I was thinking about the nature of quality in IT work and came across an interesting white paper by IDC, sponsored by Wipro, that’s worth reading. It provides four brief case studies, including one about an international forest products company (must be Weyerhaeuser) that stated that the firm doesn’t include quality as a requirement in its outsourcing contracts, because it’s a “somewhat subjective criterion.” Instead there’s an underlying assumption that the service providers it works with will be quality minded.

What’s interesting to me -- and kinda cool -- is what’s encompassed by the concept of “quality” by this client. Some things you’d guess: “meeting cost and scheduling requirements,” for example. Those are aspects of the work you can quantify. But other aspects are important too: having a good work ethic and being courteous and flexible. I don’t know about you, but those things are really important to me in the day to day interactions of a business.

The paper proves handy in another way too. It includes a single-page encapsulation of these terms: ISO 9000, CMM, PCMM, CMMI and Six Sigma. Useful if you need to learn some talking points about the concepts before you start talking with service providers (who are bound to fling them about with wild abandon).

It's the Little Things

I was thinking about the nature of quality in IT work and came across an interesting white paper by IDC, sponsored by Wipro, that’s...

A New RFP for General Motors

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that GM will start seeking bidders for its tech services later this year, because its 10-year contract with...

A Real Page Turner: IBM and JP Morgan

Today, JP Morgan cancelled a $5 billion outsourcing contract with IBM. (Oh, how I’d have enjoyed listening in on those meetings.) It’s an interesting...

Staying on Top of the Game

I have no idea how California, the state where I live, gets its IT services. Maybe it has a huge staff of admins...

The Earning Calls Tip

Warren Buffet abides by the rule that the management of the companies he invests in should be “able and honest.” That’s good advice. And...

The Missing Link in CIO’s Coverage

The one problem I have with CIO’s latest “Outsourcing World Tour 2004,” which is otherwise highly informative, is that it doesn’t include a rundown on the U.S. among the countries covered. Since most companies in this country outsource to other companies in this country, it makes sense to evaluate this country as part of the comparison. To fill the gap, I offer my own write-up, though without access to the same sources used by the CIO editors:

United States Leader

Geopolitical risk: 1 ticking bomb

English proficiency: 3 stars

Average programmer salary: $$$

Pros: Business-friendly environment, though some states are more attractive than others by varying standards. Excellent pool of engineering talent. Well-educated workforce. World-renowned universities. Diverse economy. Many multi-nationals headquartered here. English and a potpourri of other languages widely spoken. Everybody knows the time difference between the West coast and the East coast.

Cons: Unions do silly things at times. Corporate integrity is tough to find at times. The hotbeds for technical genius are frequently also the most expensive places to live, work and hire.

Insider tip: Offer the wages you’re willing to pay on the big tech job sites and you’re bound to find takers. After all, the citizenry is a creative, can-do lot!