Byte Me Article 381 -Outsourcing IT

Details ‘Lost in Translation

This week has definitely been the week of help with outsourced IT jobs.  We have had a multitude of jobs from large IT companies (some of them based overseas), getting us to go onsite to local branches to help with diagnostics or new deployments.  While this keeps us busy you still must ask – “does this really work”?

As an example, we got an email from someone in Brazil asking us to go to onsite to one of their customers in Central Queensland to sort 3 problematic laptops.  Firstly, they scheduled it for a day when the laptops were out of the office, next it was scheduled for a Saturday when no one would be in their clients’ office and lastly, they got us onsite when the software we needed was going to take 6 hours to download at the clients.

With previous jobs of this nature we have also seen ‘mishaps’ around our show holiday, around floods and storms and during other public holidays.  We have also been asked to “pick up the parts from a Brisbane address while heading out on site”.  In this last instance because Rockhampton was in the same state as Brisbane the organiser who obviously didn’t open a map on their PC, suspected that it was all just down the road.

When you also throw in different time zones and our Southern day light saving times, things can get more complex again and these logistics are often overlooked.

It goes to show how important local knowledge can be.  In extreme cases we have seen a global IT company sub out an IT contract to a national IT support company who subbed out the contract to a Qld based IT company who subbed out the work to us!  Under these conditions vital information often gets lost in translation and you wonder how it could be effective or efficient with so many fingers in the pie.

We go as far West as Longreach, as far North as Townsville and as far South as Brisbane.  Beyond this we suggest that more local IT company would be worthwhile.  Regardless of the Internet bringing people close together with emails and remote-control access, the value of having a tech physically on site every few months is enormous.

IT support for Australian computer systems needs to be organised and based in Australia and if you think there is a common thread here with my last few articles, then you are correct.  Corporate bean counters can often show huge potential savings to their shareholders by outsourcing helpdesk style labour from overseas.  Unfortunately their spreadsheets and graphs don’t tell them the full story with lost productivity and end user frustration.

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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