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Pink on outsourcing

Daniel Pink in Wired gives a human face to offshore outsourcing, as well as providing a nuanced discussion of its political and ethical dimensions.

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6 Responses to “Pink on outsourcing”

  1. Capturing sales with the flag
    Carter extolls pluses of ‘buy American’ software consulting
    Phill Trewyn
    Christopher Carter isn’t afraid to wrap Old Glory around the marketing efforts of his software consulting business.

    At a time when businesses regularly outsource software consulting work to foreign vendors as a cost-saving measure, Carter started his business, Carter Consulting Inc., with the intent of keeping work and jobs inside the United States.

    “We’re American employees. We’re not shipping jobs over to India, China, Russia, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Ireland or anywhere else,” Carter said.

    Carter Consulting Inc., or CCI, was launched in 2002 when Carter saw an opportunity to provide remote software consulting services. CCI offers services specific to SAP, a widely used business information management system.

    CCI has 26 employees spread across the United States, including two in the Milwaukee area, all of whom remotely service the SAP systems of customers. The business is in Carter’s Hales Corners home.

    Carter, 34, declined to disclose CCI’s annual revenue, but said his goal is $10 million by the end of 2004. He projects doubling his staff and plans to open offices in Atlanta and Los Angeles this year.

    CCI has about 50 clients nationwide, including Miller Brewing Co., Delta Airlines and S.C. Johnson & Son Inc.

    Carter markets his business on the theory that outsourcing consulting overseas creates hidden costs in the form of security risks, communication breakdowns and general inefficiencies due to language barriers and time differences.

    Carter started CCI with $200,000 of his own money. Its growth is funded with existing capital. Prior to CCI, Carter worked at Symmetry Corp., a Milwaukee technology consulting firm, for two years as a consultant working on SAP software.

    SAP is a German software company that produces enterprise resource planning software. Because those systems are directly related to a business’ operations, outsourcing such work can be risky on its own, but sending it overseas is very questionable, he said.

    Oli Markusson, a former SAP employee and independent consultant in Atlanta who has worked with Carter, called the pro-American strategy “a great marketing ploy.”

    “What he’s saying is that it will cost you relatively the same amount if you use his business compared to sending something overseas,” Markusson said. “He’ll also come and visit a client several times a year to develop a personal relationship, which is something you’ll never get from someone in Russia or India.”

    Outsourcing technology work overseas has become more popular, mostly because of cost savings of up to 50 percent.

    The number of computer industry jobs moving overseas will grow from 27,171 in 2000 to a cumulative total of 472,632 by 2015, according to a report by Giga Information Group Inc., Cambridge, Mass.

    A consultant at CCI is paid an average of $30 per hour, compared to about $20 to $25 per hour for similar work done in India, Carter said.

    Carter believes that even though his employee cost is higher, the quality of work is better and the client also has peace of mind knowing who is doing the work and where that person is located.

    “How do you know when you send something 20,000 miles away to be worked on that the person who is working on the product is qualified to do so or is not stealing information?” Carter said.

    Gary Edgar, president of Heartland Software Development Inc., a software consulting services firm in Wauwatosa, said he is not aware of any other tech services firm in the area marketing itself like CCI.

    Overseas issues
    Edgar agrees with Carter’s assessment about hidden costs connected with work sent overseas. He’s heard of cases where six or seven months after an overseas project is completed, problems arise and a quick fix is nearly impossible because coding is written in a foreign language.

    Markusson said businesses need to be particularly careful when outsourcing work related to SAP systems.

    “In most companies, when SAP goes down you’re out of business. To risk that for a very small savings by sending it overseas doesn’t make sense,” he said.

    Carter anticipates 2004 to be a strong growth year because of pent-up demand for system upgrades after two years of a down economy.

    Marketing efforts for CCI primarily revolve around the company’s Web site and e-mail campaigns.

    Carter’s formal education is in marketing and business. He received bachelor’s degrees in those two disciplines from Georgia Tech University, Atlanta, in 1992. He received a law degree from Emory University, Atlanta, in 1996.

    While working toward his law degree, Carter performed marketing for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. Between 1998 and 2000 he was also director of marketing and sales for the Milwaukee Rampage, a now-defunct professional soccer team.

    Carter’s technology background came primarily from his own interest in computers and tinkering on systems with a college roommate. He also volunteers as a board member of eInnovate, a Milwaukee business organization for technology workers.

    “I like to help people solve their problems and hopefully avoid future problems,” Carter said.

  2. Silence Or Compliance
    Raymond Donald Pairan Jr.
    Copyright (c) 2004 All rights reserved.

    This paper is just a further elaboration on some of the topics that I presented in my work entitled “The Economy” which I hope has inspired the moral, the passionate, and displaced future working slave class to start inquiring about their ultimate condition within the hands of the business/political elite. It is absolutely wonderful that certain members of the media have started to question the direction and motives of the business/political elite and have beat the bushes where they’ve been hiding thus exposing their true motives to the clear light of day. But make no mistake the business/political elite will stop at nothing to eliminate any opposition be it ethical government, the media, or any other encumbrance that inhibits them from achieving their goal of creating a subservient working class and a contrasting unencumbered business/political elite power base.

    At this point in time the media has the business/political elite (forgoing referred to as the controllers) on the defensive at least within the United States, which is in the mist of a presidential election year. Make no mistake the controllers would like to and will eventually silence all media dissent against their planned worldwide domination of all elements that can negatively effect their goal of sucking every last drop of revenue from the world into their realm. If this means devising a means of quelling dissent from those within the media that don’t wish to go quietly with the controllers view – so be it. Keep in mind that money and power are the driving force of the controllers and everything and anything that inhibits their eventual control over these elements in their eyes must be eliminated. This could mean the off shoring of media jobs to compliant outlets such as India where in the case of the English speaking world there exists a future working slave class that speaks English rather decently. The controllers could then eliminate media disseminated descent to their plans of complete global control over all the factors of production including the eventual working slave class. This means that no job is safe from the plans by the controllers to evolve all jobs into mere subservient, compliant, malleable factors of production. Time is limited for the controllers and others that support the free trade (code word – free) subjugation over all workingmen and women. The ideologue’s within the future working slave class will blindly follow one another lock step onto the slave ship that will set sail for their future of no dissent, compliance, no morality, no freedom, no future but one of subservience. The time is very near at hand so those within the media that are the moral voice of dissent must take our case to a fever pace in order to expose and keep all rouses from becoming the new molded distorted facts that can be espoused by the controllers. For the controllers their religion is money and power because for them nothing else matters. If they can gain control over not only you the educated working, the hard factory working, the service sector working, then they will be free to build a truly worldwide free market economy where they are free to do what they wish when they wish it.

    If you say something enough and if you change the dynamics and distort the facts to your liking then eventually it will be believed by enough people to become the truth. Basically, the controllers just prior to taking complete control over all media dissent will be hard pressed to dispute facts such as 3 million jobs lost in under 3 years, poverty within the United States at record high levels, whole town centers across rural America with a preponderance of vacant store fronts, a trillion dollar deficit, most states within budget crisis, a college education now getting further from the reach of most Americans, and the list goes on and on. Historically speaking when facts don’t convey what the power elite (in our case the controllers) wish than they just change the way those facts are presented so they convey a distorted picture favorable to those in control. This is nothing new and has been employed quite successfully by those in power many times in the past in the form of propaganda. We must maintain focus on the standard measures used within the past and not let the seeping of new measures (touted by the controllers) distort the facts.

    It is imperative that we work with the media while it is still free to convey the truth about the controller’s objectives and goals. Time is quickly running out for the average working citizen to maintain some semblance of influence over their respective governments. The controllers will and are gaining control over these governments covertly, directly, and through draining the government treasuries converting partially effective governments into impotent shells of past power. Once the controllers are finished with governments than even the political elite will be at jeopardy of becoming obsolete. So those within the political elite may be enjoying the fruits of soiled money conveyed to them by the business controllers but make no mistake once the business controllers have achieved their objectives they will dispose of even the political elite thus eliminating this drain on their coveted profits. There exists one goal of the controllers and that is to extract and drain as much wealth from the world as is possible. The controllers have no God, no religion, no morals, no scruples, and no conscience but only one overriding unquenchable desire – the complete control over all aspects of their bottom line. They will stop at nothing to satisfy their additive need to acquire more and more wealth at the expense of anything that gets in their way. Any worker that is currently employed by a firm that has global reach over its factors of production (and this doesn’t include many small to medium sized firm’s playing by the rules) are at risk of being eliminated. This includes every imaginable profession since there currently exists the technology and desire (by the controllers) to out source any profession – first and foremost the media (the thorn within the controllers side). It is imperative that in the next few weeks and months that all of us that count ourselves among the working class keep abreast of issues, meaningful relevant facts, and not be swayed by propaganda spewing from the controllers. We must make our voices heard through written, vocal, and peaceful dissent to the path that the controllers are leading us down. We must not and cannot follow the controllers blindly into a future of no government and working slave subservience. Remember the controllers will use key phrases such as “free market”, “household survey”, patriotism, and many others to sway global opinion towards their way of reasoning. Also, keep in mind there are many honest, decent, caring employers (mostly small, medium, and large sized businesses) that are playing by the rules and respect their workers, and communities. It is probably only a few but powerful firms making up the Fortune 500 that are the real controllers of a destiny of worker subservience. I will continue to write the unpopular truth be it what may come. You should continue to question, reason, and judge the facts and not be swayed by propaganda. Let the facts speak for themselves because they surely will if given the chance!

  3. It looks like outsourcing is here to stay.
    We just need to learn to live with it.

  4. I’m unemployed,and from now on homeless. I can say just one simple thing: new economy sucks!

  5. If its a political discussion then what ethics doing here??:P.Political matters never lying between in a ethical plane.

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