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Re: What to do when your ISP off-shores tech support
From: Greg Skinner <gds () gds best vwh net>
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2009 07:40:20 +0000

On Fri, Dec 26, 2008 at 08:01:59PM +1300, Mark Foster wrote:
On Fri, 26 Dec 2008, Martin Hannigan wrote:
On Thu, Dec 25, 2008 at 6:00 PM, Frank Bulk - iName.com
<frnkblk () iname com>wrote:

I don't think there would be a concern about off-shore support if we
couldn't tell it was "off-shore".

You can't tell most of the time.

The point that is relevant operationally is that off shoring can be a solid
method to help significantly reduce costs. It can work easier for some
functions than others. Level 1/Tier1 support seems like an excellent
candidate for off shoring and I think that the measure is still quality of
service from the provider verses if they off shore or not.

Just my humble opinion.


Hi Martin,
Seemingly a rational viewpoint (what, on NANOG? Surely not!) but the 
problem with the gradual depletion of Level/Tier 1 support environments in 
your home country is the (eventual) gradual depletion of expertise 
available to the higher levels.

A hellovalot of the clueful engineers that i've come to know over the past 
few years are people who started off on Helpdesks, and moved up the tiers, 
to finally land in NOC type slots and from there to engineering and 
design, perhaps skipping some or all of the 'tiers'... but you've gotta 
start somewhere.

Aside from the typical Degree or Diploma that tertiary outfits offer, 
there's not a lot of good ways to 'break in' to the Network and Systems 
Operations communities other than good ol experience, 
working-from-the-bottom-up.

So as you move your Tier 1's offshore, you cut off the channel by which 
people can gain experience and move on up the chain...

(The issues around the advantages from a cultural sense of having access 
to people who actually know your environs, current events, etc, are 
probably far more obvious..)

Could offshoring be considered a 'short term fix' and be hindering our 
ability to employ clooful operators in a few years time? (else, are we 
limiting ourselves to employing immigrants from 'offshore locations' 
because we don't locally build the right experience?)

Mark.

The fact that work is offshored also acts as a disincentive to people
who might otherwise enter the field.  Instead, they pursue work that
is much less likely to be offshored.  Witness the increase of
healthcare workers in the US who might have otherwise entered various
engineering professions, but do not, because they are concerned that
they may not keep their engineering jobs.

--gregbo


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