Re-skilling

I was looking at the Apple Computer packaging boxes and noticed that they state prominently "Designed in California, Made in China." Therein lies the question of re-skilling the American workforce. We need to move into more creative, more interdisciplinary, more human-technology kind of interdisciplinary areas. My MBA students are required to do a personal plan in the fall term and will find this article by Steve Lohr of NY Times interesting.

My Outsourced Life- New Hollywood Movie

AJ Jacobs, Editor at Large of Esquire Magazine undertook a one month exercise of outsourcing his personal and professional tasks to two firms in Bangalore.  These tasks included buying movie tickets and fighting with his wife via outsourced email.

Times of India reports that Jay Roach of "Meet the Fockers" fame will be directing a movie for Universal based on Jacobs’ experiences. Hilarious!

Customer Aggregation for rental car companies

Just returned from a wonderful trip to the South West including a great presentation at the Summer American Marketing Association at San Francisco. My presentation on ‘Managing Intellectual Property in Global Outsourcing of Services’ was well received. Several senior scholars felt that the topic was really exciting. Encouraging!

Drove through scenic 101 through  Silicon Valley, Santa Barbara, LA, north San Diego,Flagstaff -Grand Canyon and Socorro, New Mexico – an exilhilarating 1700 miles partly through historic Route 66. At Albuquerque (ABQ) airport returned the car and noticed that different rental company customers are aggregated and take the same bus to the terminal. Neat- reduces congestion, improves frequency, improves vehicle seat utilization. Do the companies collaborate better in New Mexico?

New MBA Course

The  announcement for for the New MBA Elective on "Global outsourcing of knowledge based services, " is now out. A personal career action plan is something I had been thinking about adding to the course work and have now done so.

The last week also had me busy preparing the presentation at the American Marketing Association Conference at San Francisco. The topic is "Managing Intellectual Property in Global Outsourcing of Knowledge based services"(with K. Sivakumar of Lehigh University). This is an exciting topic given that companies are just starting to think about IP in outsourcer-provider relationships.

HR Outsourcing and Transformation

A recent EquaTerra survey suggests that certain areas within HR are growing rapidly in the outsourcing domain. Apparently, tasks like payroll processing;benefits administration and HR-IT are the areas organizations find most useful to outsource.Blackenterprise.com reports a Hewitt Associates study that 94% of organizations outsource at least one HR function.

The Business Wire EquaTerra report also suggests  that outsourcers prefer providers who can help transform their organizations. This left me wondering about Jack Welch’s incredulous comment in his recent Fairfield University interview.    Mr. Welch was wondering why most CEO’s are always huddled with the CFO rather than the CHRO. The HR chief is the one who can help transform organizations particularly with a HR department freed up from mundane tasks and now able to facilitate better employee performance.

Sarbanes Oxley Compliance

After the Y2K rush on code writing  it appears that Sarbanes Oxley Compliance is the next big effort. Both articles and my industry friends tell me that this is an area where everyone is rushing in to make sure that they are compliant. The Worldcom CEO Ebbers photo does send a cautionary message.

In the SOX context outsourcing seems to straddle the academic fields of corporate ethics, legal compliance apart from the domain skills of auditing and outsourced IT.

Seems like a good topic to discuss…

Relationships

"Innovation Generation in Buyer Seller Relationships" is my Ph.D. dissertation topic. Somehow, there is little talk in the media about the importance of B-to-B relationships which really have given rise to the popularity of B-toC relationships and CRM systems in the B-to-C domain.

It was thus good to read about provider-outsourcer relationships from UK. Apparently,  Altos Origin has won a 10 year sole provider contract with Britannic. This development occured after Britannic acquired Resolution Life Group. Bloomberg reports that this merger was well received by the market.

A fragmented or changing supply base; is not good for managing any kind of supplies; supply managers will assure you. Much more so when it comes to knowledge based services…

4th of July and satisfied customers

What a great day- great weather , hotdogs with mustard sauce and fireworks in the evening. We had called Calcutta (now Kolkata) and guess what – folks totally unconnected with outsourcing  knew all about the 4th of July holiday. Young folks working at Call Centers for  US companies were having a day off. Just to check out I called various 1800 nos. and found well attended telephones anyway- I was a satisfied customer. As a consumer, my "pursuit of happiness" went well today!

When Jack Welch talked about the central purpose of any business as creating "satisfied customers" I thought the message was simple. Mr. Welch also said that "organizations do not create jobs- satisfied customers do". Think about it, in whatever business you are…

“Backsourcing”

In his recent story in the North West Indiana Times, Keith Benman mentions the phenomena of "backsourcing” (earliest scholarly citation I could find Hirschheim, R. and M. Lacity. "Backsourcing: An Emerging Trend," Journal of Strategic Outsourcing Information, 45, 1998, pp. 78-89, Jeff Kaplan has a nice article too) where outsourcers become dissatisfied with outsourcing results and "backsource" the activity. The story mentions examples from IBM and JP Morgan and Sears with Computer Science Corporation.

The "backsourcing" phenomena seemed really interesting and using relationship marketing jargon it seems like a "marriage" going back and forth fairly amicably (?).My quick research revealed that the genesis of the "backsourcing" of the IBM JP Morgan $ 5 billion (yes billion) deal is linked to the merger of Bank One and JP Morgan.  Apparently, doing strategic stuff in-house became more important so the employees who had transferred to IBM (the provider) got transferred back (To JP Morgan/Bank One).

The Sears reference in the Benman story seems unclear , Sears refers to building a relationship with Computer Sciences Corporation rather than "backsourcing" stuff.

In any case, thanks to the authors cited above for giving a great point for discussion in my MBA Class.

The excitement and scare of “alerts”

I intended to update my blog every few days and oops I find that I have not been posting stuff. My excuse, I got "scared" with the ongoing developments in the knowledge based outsourcing domain.

How did I find out ? By subscribing to "Google" alerts and "Proquest" refereed publications alert. In my scholarly world, I need to say something that is not only  new, but that builds on scholarly precedence. And never tell a scholar that anything is really new without any precedence…

Just to keep track on scholarly material coming out in the knowledge based outsourcing domain I had signed up for "alerts" from Proquest. As soon as certain keywords popped up in scholarly refereed works I would get an email summary.

Believe me this spurred me like nothing else to upgrade my American Marketing Association papers for Journal submission. Signing up for alerts is really "scaring" and motivating at the same time….

Meanwhile Google Alerts sent me five alerts in one message about various industry news in the domain. Busy time.

%d bloggers like this: