Monday, May 17, 2004

So much for kinder and gentler

MS says of their renewed foray into Search,
Microsoft efforts are so sweeping that painting its strategy as a simple matchup with Google is a "narrow, narrow way of looking at it."
This is classic MS. Not competitive, "But just wait, it's gonna be GREAT!" Freeze sales or adoption or whatever of competitors with "just around the corner" messaging. While they then take a few years to catch up.

To be fair, many companies use tactics such as this, speaking of their next product. And I use it sometimes myself - I'll talk about J2EE futures, but usually to make a point regarding forward compatibility of applications, which is a current 'feature'.

MS just take it that much farther, talking about 2 or 3 generations down the road as "coming soon".

For what its worth, I think there is plenty of opportunity to improve search technology. There are a number of searches I'd like to be able to do that current providers simply don't offer. If MS want to deliver a better product, have at it. But their performance to date in this area is less than stellar, and the sheer hubris of their statement above given their track record ...

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice ..."

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Outsourcing and responsibility

Hewlett-Packard is settling a claim with the government of Canada. But what I find interesting about this is their comments that their own employees aren't responsible, but instead that one of their subcontractors hatched a scheme to defraud both parties.

And this matters?

Businesses must be cognizant of their responsbility to provide a contracted service. Customers don't and can't monitor their arrangements on how to service that contract. There are whole businesses (general contractors) whose sole job is to manage these sorts of complexities.

To their credit, HP seems to accept this notion in that they settled the claim.

But even raising this as an excuse is laughable and worriesome. Is HP somehow less responsible because it failed to scrutinise its suppliers?

Is your medical insurer or financial company less responsible because the leak of your personal data happened in India rather than in their own office? Or is a software vendor less responsible for a back-door because it was inserted by a contract programming house in India or Russia or other grossly-stereotyped labour market?

I wonder how long it will take for some enterprising lawyer to argue for punitive damages in a confidential disclosure case in an amount comparable to the labour savings the defendent enjoyed in outsourcing the work in the first place.

[Comments from my previous blog]

1. a reader left...
Saturday, 15 May 2004 1:57 pm
Now that a shame less title to get high click rate.
2. glen martin left...
Sunday, 16 May 2004 4:41 am
If you say so. Personally, I thought and think it closely related to the content.

3. john left...
Friday, 21 July 2006 10:53 pm ::
Outsourcing comes with a set of great responsibilities however some peoples presenting them not as article but as onion hoof.
4. bedava oyunlar left...
Wednesday, 30 April 2008 6:05 am ::
good works

5. BPO Manila left...
Wednesday, 2 June 2010 5:51 pm ::
Great post! I think that people are forgetting that outsourcing doesn't mean that you are handing over your entire company to an outsourcing partner. You are still the boss; you still need to constantly monitor the workings of the outsource company. As in all businesses, the leader or manager is still responsible if an employee does something wrong. The leader may not be directly to blame, but he has the responsibility of overseeing the entire operation, making sure that everything is going smoothly.