Sunday, January 2, 2005

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Other sourcing trends

If 2004 was the Year of Offshoring, 2005 might be the Year of Homeshoring. CNET's indefatigable Ed Frauenheim reports that, "a number of companies are turning to a new method to meet call center challenges: getting workers to handle calls from their homes." That story was based on an IDC report, An Alternative to Offshore Outsourcing: The Emergence of the Home-Based Agent -- a bargain at $3500.00 for just seven pages!! Or, you could look at the summary in this press release. Key paragraph:

[A] number of companies are turning to a new sourcing model called "home-shoring" or "home-sourcing" to address call center challenges that sometimes arise, such as the need for superior agent quality, frequent turnover, and the seasonal nature of the business. IDC believes that in certain situations, by moving some work stations into agents' residences, companies can boost productivity and efficiency while continuing to reduce costs.

Similarly, Kamil Z. Skawinski reports for CCN Magazine that "several companies have recently sprung up in rural areas of the U.S. offering a variety of onshore outsourcing services." Click here for one example, Rural Sourcing.

Finally, Adam Kolawa offers advice to IT professionals about whether their jobs could be outsourced offshore in Information Week. Apparently, "although outsourcing may seem widespread, the jobs of many IT professionals are difficult to outsource and essentially immune to it."

posted by Dan on 01.02.05 at 11:40 PM


Kolawa is not a disinterested party.

His company sells software that facilitates offshoring. So it's in his financial interest to promote the practice.


"Apparently, "although outsourcing may seem widespread, the jobs of many IT professionals are difficult to outsource and essentially immune to it.""

"Many", here, means "a very, very small fraction of the number of people in IT". You'd know that, Dan, if you knew anything about IT apart from what you read in op/ed columns.

Further, even if you're that one-in-50 who fits that description, it's unlikely that your company will keep you on for very long if they cut loose the other 49 employees in favor of a team in India. They'll extract as much of your unique information as they can, and then lay you off.

posted by: Jon H on 01.02.05 at 11:40 PM [permalink]

my wife was struggling today to make our laptop accept a printer, with the help of a tech support specialist in new delhi. when she had to untangle a few cords, she said, 'i'll have to deal with the spaghetti now,' and he said, 'i don't understand, you're having dinner?' he did help her solve the problem, but it throws an amusing sidelight on outsourcing.

posted by: greeneyeshade on 01.02.05 at 11:40 PM [permalink]

Unfortunately, homesourcing in rural areas ain't gonna happen unless there is broadband access in the home. Otherwise, it seems like a great idea.

posted by: jimbo on 01.02.05 at 11:40 PM [permalink]

So, now the poorly trained Dell support person who tells me to reinstall Windows for every issue will be working from home, instead of India. Good to know.

posted by: Don Mynack on 01.02.05 at 11:40 PM [permalink]

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