LTAP 2010 session: How to make off-shoring work for lotus applications – Say What???


OK, maybe this lands a bit too close to home for me.  But there is actually a session scheduled in the LTAP 2010 Conference titled “How to make offshoring work for lotus applications – does it benefit developers?” by Gayathri Viswanathan.  The abstract reads as follows:

“Considering the current climate of offshoring (a reality) and the fact that there are people who vehemently oppose this, I would like to present specific benefits for the developers/administrators who can have parts of their work offshored yet contribute meaningfully to their organizations. Specifically in the Lotus World, how this can be achieved, what are the pitfalls and how a workable solution can be achieved.”

First, let’s assume the individual even knows it’s coming.  Yes, sometimes employees have advance notice because they are often tasked with training their replacement.  However, that is often not the case.  Many only find out about it during the impromptu meeting with their boss and someone from HR, usually on a Tuesday morning shortly after 8:30 AM.  But let’s just stick with those who are forewarned AND have an opportunity to influence the decision-makers before losing their job.

The purpose of off-shoring is not to add headcount.  It is to reduce costs.  Period.  Sure, you can try to sell your inter-personal skills and demonstrate how you add value to the company beyond your specific technical skills.  You might be able to find another position within the company that is currently vacant.  Maybe you can convince management to let you fill half of each role until the transition is complete.  Maybe you can be the project lead who directs the new off-shore staff.  Then again, maybe the developer in the cube next to you will get that job.  Is that what this session is about?  How to beat out the person next to you in this professional game of musical chairs?  Would it not be more useful to have a session on how to show decision-makers ways to reduce costs WITHOUT off-shoring?  Show how to address the “buyer’s pain” of the decision-maker without sending jobs away.

While we’re at it, perhaps I will present a session titled “How to make a migration to Exchange and Sharepoint work for Lotus professionals”.  The abstract would then go like this:

“Considering the current climate of migrations (a reality) and the fact that there are people who vehemently oppose this, I would like to present specific benefits for the developers/administrators who can have parts of their work migrated yet contribute meaningfully to their organizations.  Specifically in the Lotus World, how can this be achieved, what are the pitfalls and how a workable solution can be achieved.”

Anyone want to co-present it with me?

Links:
http://www.ltapconference.com/speakers.php
http://thestaffingadvisor.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/the-job-market-is-big-game-of-musical-chairs/
http://www.solutionsellingblog.com/home/2009/7/6/solution-selling-essentials-diagnosing-buyer-pain.html

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Posted on October 25, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. As someone who has a boss obsessed with outsourcing my job to India (by re-writing a mature, superb, business critical Notes app in Java to do so thus causing the busienss untold pain and misery and leaving them in the “3 years later, we have exactly the same app but in a different technology…great…thanks a lot” world), this amazes me.
    Will be interesting to see who attends the session and what feedback is given
    I would love to co-present your Sharepoint.Exchange migration track David, but my bulletproof vest is at the dry-cleaners!!

  2. My company has outsourced quite a few projects to one of the largest outsource companies in India. At the same time I have been developing similar applications. End result is I’m cheaper despite their time costing a fraction of mine.

    Why?? I understand my companies business inside and out, and as a result it is cheaper and faster for me to build something than it is for someone else to even spend the time explain what needs to be done to an outside party. (This is even before the outside party does any work)

    As a result the outsource projects are always late and over-budget. I usually over-deliver on time.

  3. Along the lines of my argument, you can make off-shoring work by outsourcing any project or large piece that is difficult to build, but simple to describe thoroughly.

  4. @Mike, you wouldn’t need a bulletproof vest. Just a good sense of humor. But then I’m not serious to make such a presentation. It is only to illustrate a point.

    @Tim, your tale is not uncommon. The challenge is making a sound, convincing case to prove your point. Watch for future posts where I hope to address this topic, for off-shoring as well as migrations.

  5. Originally sold to an outsourcer as part of a massive outsourcing agreement, I was then displaced more than once by offshoring within the outsourcer. From the offshorers’ perspective, it is ALL about increasing head-count (THEIRS). In 1 of those instances, I was replaced by 2 offshore “developers” (ahem …coders) and 1 highly paid Notes Admin who was now going to be the in-house Business Analyst. Combined with the inherent communication gaps and time-zone problems, and lack of business knowledge, end-user frustration levels escalated and any little 15 minute fix now took days to get done. We all have bucketloads of such anecdotal evidence but trying to influence any influencer against offshoring is like pissing in the wind.

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