Frankfurt airport departure lounge. Full of western tech executives, each with an open laptop. They're all from different companies, all travelling separately. But one particular subject is making them feel like they're old college buddies, and they're networking like a swarm of honeybees.
"So, you've just been to Bangalore, have you?"
"Is it everything it's cracked up to be?"
"Is there still room there for new customers?
"Did you find a good deal? Did you close?"
"Are they shrewd business people?"
"How do you know that your new-found service provider is reliable?
The fact is that as far as outsourcing goes, India is (at present) akin to paradise. Those who have gone before talk about golden fruit hanging from trees, about how they plucked that fruit and about how that fruit imbued their balance sheets with enhanced flavour.
If you havenít already outsourced your non-critical operations to India, you had better move your tail and do it fast, else your competition, who likely has a back-office operation in Bangalore, is going to eat you alive.
If you are a mid-size company you will also have to make an Ďoutsourcerís tripí to India, and here in Part I of this article we describe preparations you have to make in run-up to trip.
Part II tells you what to do once you go out there.
There are a handful of simple prep guidelines, which, if kept in mind, will optimize benefits accruing from your journey.
We will assume that you already have compiled a comprehensive RFP for your service requirement. This should include precise, quantified definitions of what you expect in terms of:
* Volumes * Delivery periods * Scaling capabilities * Reporting norms * Performance metrics * RFI response times * Service uptime * Track record * Disaster recovery strategy * Problem management * Change implementation * Data and physical security * anything else vital to operations you plan to outsource.
You should also have budgeted 10% of project cost towards project management expenditure. This is to pay for skilled executives you will necessarily have to deploy at your end for managing outsourcing project.
With this fundamental preparation done, invoke omnipresent, all-knowing Internet. Put in keywords "India", "service provider" and name of service you're looking for. Don't be knocked off your feet when you get hit by 200,000 results (as in case of "CRM").