What to do when your ISP off-shores tech support

Mark Foster blakjak at blakjak.net
Fri Dec 26 07:01:59 UTC 2008

On Fri, 26 Dec 2008, Martin Hannigan wrote:

> On Thu, Dec 25, 2008 at 6:00 PM, Frank Bulk - iName.com
> <frnkblk at 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, 

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?)


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