What to do when your ISP off-shores tech support

Greg Skinner gds at gds.best.vwh.net
Sun Jan 11 07:40:20 UTC 2009

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 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, 
> 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.


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