Seth Godin strikes a chord with how I view outsourcing network administration and network operations except that he is talking about offshore call centres being “scalable engines of annoyance”. That’s a brilliant summary of my experience when working with Service Providers using offshore operations. Or customers with outsourced network management.
Overseas call centers and online chat handled by untrained workers with no incentives seem like clever ways to cut costs during stressful times. What they actually are is scalable engines of annoyance, time-sucking processeses that raise expectations and then totally dash them. Better to not even have a phone number. (You can’t call Google but you don’t want to call Adobe–which one generates more animus–the inability to call, or the promise, unfilled, of respect and thoughtful help?)
While it’s possible to have a great offshoring and outsourcing process, I rarely have a successful outcome – it’s more like “guaranteed less than mediocre”. Generally, I can bet it’s bad day when I have to work with customers who have off shored/outsourced parts of their infrastructure because it never works quite right or the way that it was supposed to.