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Quality of Outsourcing Staff Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, August 17, 2009 5:34 AM
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I am pretty sure that this is a well rehearsed subject, looking at other topics. Just like to share some of my experiences and hopefully get some feedback to see they are the exception rather than the rule.

I have worked at numerous clients over the years and have seen outsourcing up close and personal, I dont like to sterotype so I wont mention the clients or the outsourcing company.

It was the start of an interesting day, we were fully aware that certain teams have been outsourced and that is was an ongoing outsourcing project, typically to last about 5 years in total from what I can remember. it was pretty much an ongoing disaster so far, the helpdesk and support groups had already been outsourced and the complaints about poor service and lack of technical knowledge were starting to flood in. As a team, us DBA's sat back and watched the drama's unfolded, confident in the knowledge that the mission critical and business critical databases would ensure that we would not be outsourced, I mean how could we be, our systems contained sensitive data and if not maintained could even result in loss of life in worse case scenario. However we didnt take into account the usual spiel from the outsourcing company promising that they can handle all IT requirements. This posed an interesting question, How could they promise to keep SLA's when, one, they hadnt been on site to see what we actually do and secondly, the email that was sent by management to us, described us as DBA - Database Analysts, which inspired us with confidence no end. We sat back and thought about this and the impending sense of doom, landed and never left us. I remember the one to one interviews that the outsourcing company gave to the permanent employees, I was fortunate enough to be contract, but even I did not escape the one to one interview. One of the things that impressed me at the time, was the complete and utter honesty of the person handing the TUPE (movement of staff from one employer to another), in one of the one to one interviews with one of the permanent DBA staff, the DBA was told and I quote 'I dont care if you join us or not', I think that set the mood for the rest of the team.
Needless to say, when my contract was up for renewal, and I was told I has to sign with the outsourcing company, I told them where to stick it and found a better client. I still wonder how the company exists considering the people that were flown over to do knowledge transfer, didnt know one end of a database from another, and the other thing that was funny, is that some of the systems had to remain in the uk, because of the sensitivity of the data, how on earth it could be supported from india, I have no idea.

and this is just one of many outsouring experiences I have had. Never seen a successful one yet and hopefully I can find a client who isnt coerced into outsourcing their IT while I am there, trying to earn a buck.

Interested to know if others have had similiar experiences.

~Silverfox~


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Post #771813
Posted Monday, August 17, 2009 8:29 AM
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This is the way business is happening around the world. Value for $$ is always on the mind of management.


Better not to crib just accept the reality and move on to the higher level which couldn't be outsourced



Best Regards,

Vijay Mishra



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Posted Monday, August 17, 2009 9:29 AM
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Vijay Mishra (8/17/2009)
This is the way business is happening around the world. Value for $$ is always on the mind of management.


Better not to crib just accept the reality and move on to the higher level which couldn't be outsourced


Really, I havent see the value for money, as you describe, ever come to fruition for any organisation. and I would be intrigued to know the higher level you are describing as all technical roles try and get outsourced at some point.

Isnt India the main supply of outsourcing... and isnt its economy very much IT based.


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Post #772009
Posted Monday, August 17, 2009 9:50 AM


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I saw a case just today. Client's DBA role had been outsourced (to a local company). The person responsible for all of their admin is just about straight out of school, got a couple courses and certs under his belt, no experience.
Size of the database - currently 1.2TB expected to grow to 6TB within a year.
Apparently just about every time the DBAs do any work on the system, they bring the whole thing down, and this is a 24x7x365 system.

Fun. Not.

Edit: I should say DBAs because there's more than one involved. All about the same level of wet-behind-the-ears.



Gail Shaw
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Post #772030
Posted Monday, August 17, 2009 9:56 AM
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Just goes to prove, exactly what I have said in other topics about certification and lack of experience. pretty damn sad to see it, but that is the way it is, when outsourcing companies tell companies they can do everything for less.

nuff said

~Silverfox~


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Post #772040
Posted Monday, August 17, 2009 10:01 AM
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Silverfox (8/17/2009)
Really, I havent see the value for money, as you describe, ever come to fruition for any organisation. and I would be intrigued to know the higher level you are describing as all technical roles try and get outsourced at some point.

I have worked with many outsourced projects, but in all of them the org had insisted on having DBA's at their location. At times they would employ the outsourcing firm's DBA, but the person has to be onsite. Of all DBA activities that I've heard of being outsourced involved routine stuff like lock removals, user creation, purging etc. Never heard of a hardcore DBA stuff (dB setup, replication, DR, task automation etc) moving to India (but my exposure may be limited here and don't count Singapore as an outsourcing country). In the routine tasks the org has got value for money ($100+ ph vs $25-35 ph). And its the same when it comes to coding for applications. Maintaining apps is much cheaper ($20 ph) once outsourced than having a contractor with $70+ ph sit and maintain it. Again most of the firms I've worked with prefer the in-house apps to be developed onshore.
As for quality, I've been to both sides of the spectrum and have seen the best and horrendous on both sides; and don't posses the strength to discuss it anymore.

Silverfox (8/17/2009)
Isnt India the main supply of outsourcing... and isnt its economy very much IT based.
For IT, yes it's India (for manufacturing it's China) and yes services sector account for almost 50%+ of GDP. But what's your point in this context?
Post #772045
Posted Monday, August 17, 2009 10:04 AM
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GilaMonster (8/17/2009)
I saw a case just today. Client's DBA role had been outsourced (to a local company).
Wouldn't that be like getting a contractor on-board? And I'm not sure why not hire that guy as contractor than outsource it! I guess, OP was talking specifically about offshore outsourcing.
Post #772051
Posted Monday, August 17, 2009 10:19 AM


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rjv_rnjn (8/17/2009)
GilaMonster (8/17/2009)
I saw a case just today. Client's DBA role had been outsourced (to a local company).
Wouldn't that be like getting a contractor on-board?


No. Getting a contractor means that they guy is dedicated to you (you hired him), working at your offices (typically) and and answering to you.

And I'm not sure why not hire that guy as contractor than outsource it!


Because the guy's not for hire. He works for CompanyX who provides 'outsourced DBA services' to a number of companies. So the person who's doing your DBA work is also probably doing similar work for a number of other clients. It's great for companies that don't need a dedicated, full time DBA, providing the outsourced company's staff are actually competent.

I guess, OP was talking specifically about offshore outsourcing.

He was?



Gail Shaw
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We stand on the bridge and no one may pass

Post #772072
Posted Monday, August 17, 2009 11:06 AM
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I was talking about offshore outsourcing where the entire it function is offshored and for the record I have seen a lot of work both development including .net and tsql where there is absolutely no understanding of the tool used. To put it bluntly we have to send the code back or do it ourselves. Concerning dba work. We are not talking about simple tasks like user management but full on support including disaster recovery, mirroring and replication. When I get asked about simple select queries and the syntax for restoring a database, because they do everything through the GUI. And they are down as senior dbas from the outsourcing company. It makes you wonder how companies that outsource their it keep on running.




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Post #772109
Posted Monday, August 17, 2009 11:20 AM


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We've had mixed results with outsourcing some of those roles. We have some amount of our coding and maintenance work being performed off-shore, and we've found that it vastly depends on the company you hire, and the quality of the contract you put in place. The right SLA's with specific items to measure at very least allow you to easily withhold payment for non-service and/or just simply walking away from relationships because the company cannot handle it.

One function has come back, but the other seems to holding for now. The night-time maintenance and deployment schedules seem to be working out pretty well; the code was suffereing from too much disconnection, so we didn't think that would work out.


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Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?
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