IT Outsourcing Comments

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Ukraine as a New Outsourcing Player

This article conveys about the same idea as the one about Ukraine IT Myths:

Being in the software development business and living in Ukraine, it was nice to see the following piece written by a Ukrainian Colleague. Finally, the Ukrainians are learning how to work the self promotion. Of course his English is non native, but I think that also illustrates the level of English spoken in many software development shops in Ukraine.

The destruction of the Soviet Union about 15 years ago, made a huge country with a great level of IT science divided into small bricks. Nowadays, despite Russia’s expansion into the world software development market, Ukraine keeps playing an important role here too. There are several prerequisites for this.

Prerequisites

Traditionally, Ukraine always was a technical region of the USSR. No wonder, the IT education was and still is one of the most popular and respective education in the region. Such well-known Ukrainian universities as Kyiv National Technical University, Donetsk National Technical University etc. as well as new establishments with more innovative approach for IT specialists education, such as Donetsk State Institute of Artificial Intelligence and others, educate a new prospective generation of young IT professionals, ambitious and purposeful.

It’s obvious, Ukrainian students win in international contests, and show true professionalism and ability to enter a business life immediately, hence, to play the first fiddle in the labour market. As the latest example, one can remember students of Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics that became first place winners of the International Web Development Contest (I.C.W.D.I.C. 2005) held by XITEX Software Company in spring 2005.

That is why governments of European countries encourage Ukrainian programmers to come and to work there. Germany is the best example of a country that understands all pros and cons of Ukrainian IT professional, thus it’s the country that sees its benefits of employing Ukrainian programmers.


See the complete article here: Ukraine: a Prospective Player on the World Software Outsourcing Market

Metasoft Outsourcing Weblog: An Update: Waters Editor Reply


Today, I have received an email from Mr. Albinus, the editor of Waters, the magazine that has published the ripped article.


Waters asks for Open Platforms (OPs) from industry experts and we always ask them to make them interesting. One suggestion I often make is "please debunk some myths about your topic." With Mr. Miller, we asked him to take on the
top five myths in outsourcing to Russia, after he presented us with an OP proposal.

We had no idea that the Metasoft White Paper existed. In fact, there is a very good chance that Mr. Miller did not as well. That is up to him to answer.

Alexei, can you please answer this important question for us? I will expect an answer by the end of the day.

Thanking you in advance,

Phil Albinus
Editor
Waters


What will the author of the alleged article say? We're waiting for his reply...


Metasoft Outsourcing Weblog: An Update: Waters Editor Reply

Of Copyright and Unfair Competition


We have discovered recently that our review of Ukraine IT Outsourcing Myths has been shamelessly ripped! An executive vice president of project management of a certain Russian IT company which we are not going to do a favour to by advertising it here has used our material to produce an article of his own, which he even got published by a respected American financial magazine!

Of course, we took due measures, and upon discovery of this sad fact I have immediately emailed the editor of the Waters magazine, Mr. Phil Albinus. Here is an extract of my email:


Dear Mr. Albinus,

In the June issue of Waters magazine you have published an article titled “The Russian Myth”, the online version of which can be found at http://db.riskwaters.com/public/showPage.html?page=281129 . Unfortunately, the author of the article, Alexei Miller, did not contribute a 100% original article to you, but instead ripped an idea and scheme first developed by me, without any reference to the original material or permission to use it.

In early May, I have written a review of myths about IT outsourcing to Ukraine for my company’s site, www.metasoft.com.ua , titled “Ukraine IT Outsourcing Myths Dispersed”, and also made a PDF version of this review as a whitepaper for further distribution as a press release to any interested sites. The PDF version is available here: http://www.metasoft.com.ua/eng/whitepapers/Ukraine%20IT%20Myths%20Dispersed.pdf , and the online html version can be found here: http://www.metasoft.com.ua/eng/outsourcing/ukraine-it-myths.html . To further prove that my version of this idea appeared earlier than the article submitted to your magazine, I can refer you to the IT Outsourcing Comments blog that published extracts of this review as found on Metasoft web site starting from May 13, 2005: http://it-outsourcing-comments.blogspot.com/2005/05/ukraine-it-outsourcing-myths.html . I have also submitted my review in the form of an article to Ezine Articles and, as a press release, to several press release sites.

If you follow the structure of my article and Mr. Miller’s article published in your magazine, you can’t fail to notice the common patterns and logical arrangement, starting from the catchy title that I was the first one to coin and throughout the whole content. He analyses the same issues of a country’s political stability, software piracy, sensitive information security, language barrier that are analysed in my review, without adding any original ideas but only exploiting mine and fitting the facts concerning Russia instead of those related to Ukraine.

Mr. Albinus, I do realize that the World Wide Web is too large for anyone to be able to keep track of everything that’s happening in its every corner, and the copyright issues in the Internet are very often painful and problematic ones, but a respected publication as yours should be more careful when choosing content for its issues. I am sure you value your intellectual property and the intellectual efforts invested into its creation – but I also value mine and can’t let them be shamelessly ripped by anybody. This is not only the problem of one unscrupulous contributor (to say the least) from a country whose stance on copyright laws seems very dubious at the moment, this is a stain on your magazine’s reputation. Please take measures to fix this situation. I understand that it is not possible to remove the article in question from the issue that has already been published, but my company and I will appreciate it if you remove the online version of the article and publish a clarification for your readers both in the next printed issue and as soon as possible – on the magazine web site. I believe an institution like yours values its readers enough to protect them from any misleading information.

I hope for your understanding and cooperation on this issue for our mutual benefit and satisfaction.


We are now awaiting a reply from this respected publication, and will post updates on the outcome of this story.

What's really sad here, besides the fact that our material has been stolen and used without our permission, is how bad the situation must be in the Russian IT sector. The company in question is from St. Petersbough, a city that once boasted a highly developed scientific infrastructure and some of the best IT specialists in the former USSR. Where have all these specialists gone that their heirs cannot do any better but to rip somebody else's ideas?

Metasoft Outsourcing Weblog: Attention - Copyright Infringement!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Magic City Morning Star: U.S. Offshoring of Personal Data Grows


According to the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego, CA there have been close to 60 reported security breaches of customer financial information from United States corporations thus far in 2005, involving 13.5 million customers’ identities. The companies include Choicepoint, Inc., Bank of America Corp., Wachovia Corp., Ameritrade Holding Corp., DSW Shoe Warehouse, Time Warner Inc., LexisNexis and most recently Citbank Financial Group. While most lost data has involved data storage tapes lost in transit by courier services or UPS, others involved computer security breaches. And as corporate America looks for ways to shore up its security problems rather than face the wrath of Congress, an even more unwieldy problem is brewing abroad.
As holes still exist in protecting the personal information of both customers and employees of corporations in the United States, many of these same corporations, which include the largest financial institutions and two of the three credit reporting agencies, have offshored information technology units which include-back office functions from customer service to software development and engineering.

Yet American customers or consumers are never informed whether or not their personal information and credit history is being offshored, as it is not required by U.S. corporations to do so. Coming to light is that various U.S. government programs and states are utilizing more and more offshore subcontractors in addition to those corporate entities which indirectly do business with the U.S. government. But unknown to the American consumer or taxpayer is the threat of theft of an individual’s identity and financial resources which remain largely unprotected without the ability to enforce U.S. law on foreign land.


See the complete article here: Magic City Morning Star: U.S. Offshoring of Personal Data Grows

Ukraine IT Outsourcing Myths Covered by Ezine Articles

An article about Ukraine IT outsourcing myths has been published by Ezine Articles, an online article directory.

While Ukraine is becoming a new popular IT outsourcing destination, there are still many myths about it and no clear understanding of the opportunities outsourcing to Ukraine can present...

See the article here: Ukraine IT Myths Dispersed

Friday, June 17, 2005

Dell founder thinks different about Apple | CNET News.com

Apple has been in the news a lot lately. First, the news of Apple/Intel deal. Now, there's more coming.

Michael Dell is thinking different about the Mac OS.

The founder and chairman of the No. 1 computer maker told Fortune magazine that he would be interested in becoming a switcher himself if the opportunity ever came up.

"If Apple decides to open the Mac OS to others, we would be happy to offer it to our customers," Dell wrote in an e-mail.

It's a hypothetical reply to be sure, but Dell does relish the operating system diversity that his company provides. Dell ships its PCs exclusively with Microsoft Windows but does offer Red Hat Linux as well as Novell's Suse Linux and NetWare in servers and some systems. Dell made a halfhearted attempt to sell Linux laptops at one point but then pulled back after claiming there was no market.

Adding Apple Computer's Mac OS to its repertoire could give Dell's PC customers a more likely alternative to Windows.


See the complete article here: Dell founder thinks different about Apple | CNET News.com

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Falling CD Sales: It's Not All In Piracy


Declining CD sales can't be blamed on file-sharing networks alone, according to a new report.

The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said Monday that digital music piracy is a problem, but other factors--such as the rise in the number of entertainment sources--are more likely to have had a significant impact on music sales.

"It is very difficult to establish a basis to prove a causal relationship between the size of the drop in music sales and the rise of file sharing. Sales of CDs, as well as the success of licensed online music services are likely to have been affected to some degree by a variety of other factors, for example physical piracy and CD burning, competition from other, newer entertainment products and faltering consumer spending in some markets," the report said.

While the report found a "pronounced" fall in overall global CD sales of 20 percent between 1999 and 2003, and a particularly large drop in CD sales in the U.S., some countries, including France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom, are actually experiencing steady or growing CD sales.


See the complete article here: Study: Falling CD sales can't be blamed on P2P | CNET News.com

Related link: Is Ukraine Pirates' Paradise?

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Advance of Open Source

Open Source is gaining more and more popularity, and not only among developers and techically minded folks.

Apart from software development, Open Source is gaining new markets. As Nokia announced, a new web browser for its smart phones will use two components already employed by Apple Computer in its Safari Web browser for its Mac OS X operating system. Moreover,

This is not Nokia's first flirtation with the open-source software community. Last month it announced that Linux kernel developers could make use of Nokia-patented technologies under certain conditions, and said it would block the use of Nokia patents by companies that opposed use of their own patents in the Linux kernel.


And the most popular open-source product, Firefox, is continuing to increase its share of web browsers market:

Firefox's market share reached 8 percent in May, up from 7.38 percent in April, while IE's slice of the pie shrunk a bit to 87.23 percent, down 0.77 percent, according to a statement released Wednesday by NetApplications.com, an Aliso Viejo, California, maker of applications for monitoring and measuring Web site usage... Its reach is growing beyond tech-savvy early adopters and into the mass market, according to NetApplications.com, which compiled the data from more than 40,000 Web sites monitored by its HitsLink.com service, which identifies among other things the type of browser visitors are using.


Hence, Open Source is no longer just for geeks but it is slowly but steadily becoming a mainstream thing.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Turning Outsourcing into Your Ally

A white paper published recently by the Pythian Group covers the issue of making the IT outsourcing work for your benefit.

Nowadays, you often need to outsource just to stay competitive. However, not paying enough attention and giving it enough consideration can turn outsourcing from a life savior into a nightmare.


The trend toward IT outsourcing is increasing dramatically. According to a report by Foote Partners, as much as 45% of North American IT work will be outsourced by 2005. And there are good reasons behind this trend. Bruce Caldwell, principal Gartner analyst believes companies can generate 20-30% savings through outsourcing. This substantial savings potential isn't easily overlooked, yet it isn't the number one reason companies are choosing to outsource right now. In a recent survey by The Outsourcing Institute, the primary reason behind outsourcing is to improve company focus. Other motives include freeing up internal resources, accessing top-notch capabilities, and accelerating time to market. The survey also indicated that 55% of firms who outsource do so within IT—more than any other area.

As more companies begin outsourcing some or all of their IT function, it becomes difficult to ignore the competitive pressure. With competitors achieving their IT needs at 20-30% less cost, and getting ahead in the market because of increased focus within the company, those who ignore the outsourcing trend could potentially lose ground very quickly.


How to do it in a safe way? - Consider carefully what you can outsource and what should be still done in-house, and of course consider who you outsource to, and how you should manage it. By starting on a small, strategic scale, the white paper says, you'll turn IT outsourcing into your ally.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

What to outsource and what not to outsource: email security


E-mail security consists of five critical components: spam and fraud prevention; virus and worm protection; policy and content compliance; e-mail privacy; and intrusion prevention. Managed service providers address only two of these components: spam and viruses. Deciding to use a managed service rather than handling e-mail security in-house means leaving your organization vulnerable to threats that include policy violations, fraud, eavesdropping and intrusions.

Anti-spam technology has come a long way. Two years ago, products competed strictly on effectiveness. Six months later, false-positives raised concerns, and products began to compete on accuracy. A year ago, the administration of anti-spam point products became a hot topic. Today, companies demand anti-spam products yielding high effectiveness, maximum accuracy and low administration, which both the top managed services and in-house offerings can deliver.


See the complete article here: Companies should not outsource their e-mail security

Monday, June 06, 2005

Macworld Concerned about Apple Outsourcing


US policymakers are looking to Apple as a "symbol of US industry" thanks to the success of the iPod, but is Apple's a good example to copy in the light of a collapse in the US manufacturing employment market.


The Boston Herald has some concerns about Apple's outsourcing of manufacturing jobs overseas at a time when the US jobs market is faultering.


Reporter Brett Arends looks at the company's financials. He concludes: "When you look at Apple as a microcosm for American manufacturing, the picture looks less appealing".


He explains that from net sales of $3.2 billion, the "lion's share" went in the cost of sales – much of that to manufacturing overseas - mostly in China.


"Sales, administration and other general costs, spent here [in the US] and around the world, came to another $447 million," he explains.


Just $119 million was spent on US-based research and development – 4 per cent of costs.


See the complete article here: Macworld UK - Outsourcing Apple is �symbol of US industry�

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Mobile Era: Laptops Outsell Desktops for First Time


In a sure sign that the era of mobile computing has arrived, notebooks have for the first time outsold desktops in the United States in a calendar month, the research firm Current Analysis says.

After tracking sales from a sampling of electronics retailers, Current Analysis says notebook sales accounted for 53 percent of the total personal computer market last month, up from 46 percent during the same period last year.

San Diego-based Current Analysis does not follow worldwide personal computer sales.

Spurring demand for notebooks is their overall price drop as quality has improved, says Sam Bhavnani, senior analyst for Current Analysis. "Just a few years ago, the performance of notebooks was nowhere near where it is today," he said.

Notebook prices fell 17 percent during the past year while desktop prices dipped only 4 percent. Some of the features common in most notebooks are longer-lasting batteries, CD burners and wireless capability.


See the complete article here: Laptops Outsell Desktops for First Time - Yahoo! News

Friday, June 03, 2005

Why Outsourcing Fails - One More Attempt To Analyze


Some time ago, I have seen an article that suggested possible reasons why outsourcing projects fail. Among other things mentioned in the article, the following statement looks very important:


So why do so many IT outsourcing projects fail to deliver the benefits that companies want?

Perhaps companies need to realise that just because a service is outsourced, it doesn't mean a company can forget everything about it – the relationship has to be managed and modified if the environment changes. If you outsource a problem you don't get rid of it – you just have to manage it at slightly longer range, which can mean a problem worsened.

Cost shouldn't be the only motivation behind outsourcing – especially if it is a service that is vital to your organisation. Would you want your supplier scrimping and cutting corners to make a margin because you've screwed the contract down tight? It might be attractive at first, but what if this means your service levels start to degrade?

But perhaps the important thing to do is understand your needs before you start and then explain it to your supplier. And understand what your suppliers can really deliver.



The idea of understanding what the chosen suppliers can really deliver deserves more attention, and in a bit different key as well. For many companies looking for outsourcing solutions, the cost reduction remains the main decision-making factor. But the lowest price does not guarantee the best solution to your outsourcing problem.

While there are many companies offering their services as outcourcing vendors, their level differs. Some may be experienced companies with a portfolio of many successful projects, while many others would be one-day wonders with not much to offer except for the attractive price tag. An intelligent manager looking for an outsourcing partner will look deeper behind that price tag and try to find out the real value of the company offering an outsourcing solution.

In the Outsourcing FAQ section of our site, we list the main questions to be asked when selecting an outsourcing solution provider. In an ideal world, there would have been a sort of a rating system for outsourcing providers in every industry, but until there is no sign of anything like such rating in sight, it pays to research your potential partner's capabilities.

See the original article here: Metasoft Outsourcing Weblog: Why outsourcing fails