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back to article Can Oz compete in the outsourcing market?

Could Australia become one of the next outsourcing hotspots? The country certainly has part of what people are looking for: a well-educated English-speaking (well, up to a point) workforce, technologically adept and almost certainly with more knowledge of other English-speaking cultures than any of the others have of that in Oz …

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Inferences are ill conceived

So the editors of The Daily Telegraph are morons. It would be a severe mistake to imply that Australians have a lower standard of English than the English. Actually Australian have, on average, a far superior grasp of the language than the natives. Did you watch The Apprentice when the BBC presenters themselves didn't know where an apostrophe should go in "National Singles Day"? Your country should weep in shame.

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Anonymous Coward

Um...

Surely you mean "National Single's Day"?

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Pint

Poor English? hardly!

Agreed, I would say our grasp of english is just as good as that in the UK.

I do understand however (as an australian) what they mean about the local idiosyncrasies - I would probably have missed the HRH thing.

the 'nutt sacking' quote was just pure gold - truly a shame they didn't run that one!

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Headmaster

re: Um...

Surely you mean "National Singles' Day"?

Anonymous Apostrophe Nazi is probably wrong and therefore hides, but thinks that this day belongs to more than one Single.

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Silver badge

I call BS

I live in Oz and, trust me, other than the "innit, like" brigade the grasp of the language here is decidedly sub-par with one delightful privately educated colleague using the term "deers". Outsourcing needs to come with a massive cost saving to justify the shit you have to put up with and you won't be finding that in the supposedly lucky country.

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Headmaster

more than one single

so try "National Singles' Day" even

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Actually, he probably meant

National Singles' Day.

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Anonymous Coward

Managment cost

As is always the issue with outsourcing/offshoring is the cost of managing that external resource. For example, with software it becomes a lot harder to manage the programmers in the other country unless you spend and extremely large amount of time/money/effort on ensuring that every procedure is followed to the letter.

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Silver badge

Management costs

Is the standard excuse for why a project that you subbed out to the cheapest bidder form India advertizing on renta-coder didn't manage to do the same job as your own professionals and i n the end it cost more to fix.

There are also a lot of projects that are complete disasters when done by contractors in the same country - see any project involving Her Maj's government.

Sun used to do the time zone shifting thing years ago - if you rang Sun tech support in the middle of the night you got an Australian. They reckoned that not only did you save money by not paying people night rate - but you got better people. Those prepared to take a job answering the phone at 4am are probably not the creme-de-la-creme of software engineers.

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Welcome

One solution?

There are enough English born people in Australia to emply for local knowledge issues not to be so much of an issue. I also think New Zealand could be on the agenda even though the time difference isn't completely favourable for when the papers come out, but even with slightly offset workdays the wages will be MUCH lower than in Australia.

When I left for New Zealand, my company seriously considered getting me to support their systems after hours as it was cheaper to pay me in daylight hours than it was to pay someone for the inconvenience.

However, I wonder what their contingency is if the intertubes get cut?

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Bronze badge

Well

"apostrophe should go in "National Singles Day"?"

Depends what it means doesn't it?

If it's the day when we all play singles instead of doubles tennis then there isn't one.

If it's in honour of a bloke called Single then it's Single's.

And if there are many Singles, as in let us have a national day to celebrate being single, then it's Singles'.

Which is why we have apostrophes, so that we can distinguish between the different meanings.

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Umm....

Agree with @Tim's logic, however...

My take was that "Singles" is a (mass?) noun describing all single people - after all you don't call yourself "a single".

Also, when we have a day celebrating, say, books - it's "National Book Day". not "Books". However "National Single Day" sounds daft.

So...... maybe no apostrophe?

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Silver badge

"a well-educated English-speaking (well, up to a point)"

This may well be true (note: the truth value of this statement implies nothing for the same statistic in the mother country), but at least we're not the USA.

Having said that, one thing I notice when reading Wikipedia articles on Australian subjects (particularly sport) is that informal (even casual) style, poor spelling and colloquialisms abound. It's particularly embarrassing when it appears that the article was written by a bogan. At least the seppos are consistent with their poor spelling, because their "rules" require it.

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T J
FAIL

STOP. OUTSOURCING.

How about we all just stop this idiotic Outsourcing craze and then it ceases to be an issue anymore. Honestly its run its course and should have disappeared 10 years ago.

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Stop

Do you mean

Offshoring? Outsourcing has been a standard practice for longer than 10 years. Cleaning companies are a very good example of outsourcing, and makes much more sense than hiring your own cleaning staff. Outsourcing is not the evil thing it's made out to be.

If on the other hand, you dislike offshoring, then I struggle to see what the alternative is if you're giving a blanket ban on all foreign services and, by extension, products. Just looking round this office I'm seeing very little UK-made products - hello China and Taiwan.

Draw up the borders and isolate the UK from any foreign parties if you like, but recognise that the rest of the world will operate in a global economy, and that maybe instead of bitching about it, you contribute to how the UK can find its place in it.

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Badgers

You answered it on the first page...

"On the downside, Oz also has some eyewatering labour costs."

So Oz will never be an outsourcing center, because wages (read costs) can only go up from there.

Out sourcers want the cheapest labor, as that is the main component of their costs.

Given that the Aussie dollar is on par with Canada and the US, there is no real cost saving for companies.

The only time we will see outsourcing will leave India, is when the Indian currency gets anywhere close to parity to the country outsourcing.

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Welcome

OZ outsource to?

I will not get into the english style diversion.

My biggest issue with Australia is not the people the language (although that may be a small issue). The country has one drawback which I can't get around. That is to say the propagation delay between countries in the Northern Hemisphere and Australia. You just cannot defy physics (at least not yet). The fiber has not been laid in the vast quantities needed and satellite is way to expensive. Even *IF* fiber is layed there is the issue of the south west pacific sesmic activity. The sea floor in the entire area is gelogocally unsound. Even if you could say put half your marbles in the South eastern Pacific are there is (at least as of now no reasonable way on the east coast to get to the other side of the world). There is a highly active geologic dault running up the the coast of South America all the way aour the coastline essentially of the pacfic basin. Laying cable south of South America is something most companies would not want to do.

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WTF?

Fibre Cable

What kind of bizarre post was this? "The fiber has not been laid in the vast quantities needed".

The Southern Cross Cable (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Cross_Cable) is a redundant fibre optic ring between Australia and the USA. Almost no international IP traffic transits satellites anymore - and yes, round trip times between Australia and the USA are in the order of 160ms. The only way to get better than that is to drill a hole through the centre of the earth.

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WTF?

What?

"Fiber (sic) has not been laid .. and satellite is way to (sic) expensive"

What?

You seem to imply that Australia is a communications black-spot. I'll grant that there doesn't seem to be enough competition to keep connectivity prices low, but rest assured Australia has plenty of connection to the rest of the world - at the best latencies undersea cables can deliver.

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Linux

Australian English. More moron than oxy?

More should be outsourced to Australia. At least we have an accent which is generally human comprehensible unlike some of those other outsourcing destinations... and names that aren't fifteen syllables long or are replaced with "Bob".

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Happy

are you sure?

> we have an accent which is generally human comprehensible

as in " the trine's lite mite" ?

Also a dash is missing in this composite adjective.

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New Zealand?

Well I work for a large NZ IT company.. we have recently won some big outsourcing jobs from Aussie due to the comparatively slave wages we get paid over here..

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Thus proving my point

Outsourcing is about driving down wages for skilled workers.

Infrastructure is cheap, labor is the biggest cost.

Companies will outsource to the lowest paid worker where ever possible

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Silver badge

@New Zealand?

Pay peanuts - get Hobbits

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Been there done that

Around 2003 me and a team of 6-8 others Aussies were working for an Adelaide, Australia based company.

We spent about 30-6 months as a team in the UK, learning a forx trading platform, and then we deployed and supported it from Adelaide - with one team member rotating through London at all times.

We got the boot and the work went to Russia - cheaper labour costs, cheaper network costs, cheaper air fares.

There were to be sure some internal problems, like the team kept growing with the workload as teh client would not let us script deploys, so they were always manual and error prone.

But still it was still cheaper in Eastern Europe, especially the logistics.

It is true the time zone did help though.

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Silver badge

Don't just sell based on price

Anyone who commoditises their product - including their labour -and sells based on price is on the road to nowhere. The only viable plan is to sell on increased value.

If you commoditise then the following happen:

* You re-enforce the idea that you're cheap and should be classified with, and compared to, the low wage nations.

* Anyone with an ounce of ability and motivation sods off to some industry where they can rub shoulders with peers. Low ability/low income becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

* The game only lasts until someone else undercuts you.

Quality on the other hand does exactly the inverse:

* Quality engineering and services are more valuable. They work out cheaper in the long run due to better time to market, better reliability and less down time.

* More attractive to higher quality staff.

* You can charge a premium for the extra value.

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