5.12.2004

Governor urged to back off anti-offshoring directive The Business Journal Pheonix (5/12)

Arizona business interests want Gov. Janet Napolitano to rescind her recent directive aimed at weeding foreign outsourcing and offshoring out of state government contract work.

Really??? That's surprising. Who would have thought that they would try to do that?
Business groups led by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce want Napolitano to back track on her anti-outsourcing effort. They also question whether her directive is legally binding because it did not follow formal rule making procedures.

Chamber officials and a group of about 15 top business leaders and chief executives are scheduled to meet with the governor's office on the matter on May 18.

State chamber vice president Farrell Quinlan said the state government "should not be meddling" in the free market. Business interests are also not ruling out legal action at some point, questioning the legality and constitutionality of Napolitano's action. Quinlan stressed the state chamber has no plans to sue the governor over her anti-outsourcing move.

The state isn't 'meddling': it's just doing what every customer should and checking to see if it likes the companies it may do business with. Plus by hiring locally it's putting its money into the local economy and helping the people of Arizona with their own tax dollars.

There's an old line that says "'Judicial activism' is just a name for a decision you don't like" and we have to wonder if 'meddling' isn't the same because it seems to me that 'big business' goes crying to local, state and the federal governments all the time seeking protections and breaks because the market isn't going their way. Just a thought though.

Lieberman Raps Parties Over Offshoring InternetNews.com (5/12)

Unless policymakers act, the next offshoring wave will hit high-end IT jobs and undermine America's "innovation infrastructure," U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) warned in a major policy address.

With harsh words for Democrats and Republicans, Lieberman said Congress' response to the challenge has been predictable: "Do Nothing" free-traders shunning any government action and "Do Anything" protectionists who might "save some jobs today, even if it means losing more tomorrow."

"To stop offshore outsourcing and preserve American jobs, America needs to rise to the international competition and grow again through innovation," Lieberman said before a packed room at the New America Foundation on Tuesday. "There is no other way. Leaving it all to the markets won't work. Hiding behind a wall won't work. Attempting to rig the game won't work. Only education, innovation, investment, trade, training and hard work will give us the growth and jobs we want and need."

For the record, we loathe Lieberman. We read somewhere that someone asked him to be an Orthodox Democrat and a moderate Jew (or something to that effect)... as far as we're concerned he's a Republican and we wish he would just say it and get it over with.

5.11.2004

If you don't like outsourcing, try inshoring DuluthNewsTribune.com (5/9)

he business of finding low-cost substitutes for American workers is getting more complex –– and so is the terminology. They don't just call it "offshoring" anymore.

At a recent conference, the people who help U.S. companies shift white-collar work overseas offered potential clients a buffet of outsourcing options: "nearshoring," for those willing to stray no farther than Canada or Mexico; "inshoring," for those who prefer to bring foreign workers to America; and "rightshoring," for those desiring a custom package of in-house and off-site, foreign and domestic.

For the faint of heart, there's "microsourcing." Don't fire your entire computer department, advised David Elmo, president of Ohio-based Corbus Corp. Instead, farm out chronic backlogs and special projects to programmers in India.

Oh, George Orwell would be so proud.

"Getting rid of everyone puts you at a strategic disadvantage," said Elmo, whose company will help supply the foreign talent. "You don't know what's going to happen tomorrow."

Really? That is so wise of you. But you know, we're not sure you're really getting the best out of folks that are freaking out because they're scared you're eventually going to 'microsource' their job too. It's like being on death–row and not knowing when they're going to execute you.

As 100 or so advisers and providers courted some 200 potential customers during a three-day Outsourcing Strategies conference here several weeks ago, many participants were clearly worried about what has come to be known as "the backlash."

Accused by pundits of engaging in economic treachery and blamed by workers for the loss of thousands of service sector jobs, companies interested in moving work overseas wanted to know how long the uproar would last, how much it would hurt and what kind of "mitigation strategies" might help them weather the storm.

Several companies that help clients shift their work offshore acknowledged that the bad publicity was beginning to bite.

Really? That's fucking great! Well, we'll keep up the blog then! Bastards.

Bank of America expands outsourcing The Boston Globe (5/10)

Bank of America Corp. may hire 1,500 people at its subsidiary after it opens in southern India this month, 50 percent more than previously disclosed, and the bank has reserved land that would allow for even more expansion.

Late last year, the bank said it eventually expected to have 1,000 people at its Continuum Solutions subsidiary in the software hub city of Hyderabad, but wouldn't give specifics about work intended for the center.

[snip]

Arnoult acknowledged that Continuum will displace workers throughout the bank's operations, but he couldn't say how many or from which offices. The bank also has not said how much it expects to save with the move.

Those job losses come as workers worry about the additional 12,500 job cuts the bank plans over two years as part of its FleetBoston acquisition. The bank also will continue outsourcing software work to firms in India, a move employees have blamed for job losses.

UK shows thumbs down to outsourcing Sify.com (5/11)

In yet another setback for the Indian call centres, a new study in Britain has found that companies using their offshore rivals are damaging their image and profits as fed-up customers look elsewhere for services.

''Seventy-four per cent of people who spoke to foreign call centre workers felt more negatively towards the company. One in seven customers went on to cut ties with these firms, typically in the insurance or telecom sectors,'' said the independent study for customer-relations analysts ContactBabel.

Most of the UK public are not against the concept of offshoring and are prepared to give it a try. However, the experience has often been disappointing and has led to considerable numbers of customers defecting to UK-based competitors, the study said.

UK telecom and insurance companies experienced the greatest levels of offshore-related customer defection.

Further, 42 per cent of customers are less interested in sales calls when they come from outside the United Kingdom, it said.

Last year, 7.3 per cent of the UK public changed suppliers based on the previous company's use of offshore contact centres, it said.

Earlier this month, 'The UK Contact Centre Industry: A Study', commissioned by the UK Government said customers, employees and trade unions should be consulted before moving call centres overseas.