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Old 2005-11-08, 04:27   #4
Peter Nelson
 
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Oct 2004

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mfgoode, I am well aware of the specialisms of call centres and certain IT jobs within India and it is a growing industry year on year. I am familiar with the practice of outsourcing such services to India by western countries like UK and USA.

Whilst this can lead to cost savings or faster development it is not always the best solution. In the call centre market it depends on the type of call you are undertaking in/out and what service/product it is in relation to, including whether local knowledge is of benefit to the conversation. Some people have difficulty understanding an Indian accent, and may be culturally prejudiced making them less likely to say "yes" to a sales call. Many banking customers for instance have switched to rival banks because their bank outsourced calls to India. Thus the cost savings needed to be balanced against increased levels of customer churn or reduced satisfaction levels.

I do not believe your claim "most of the leading positions all over the world are manned by Indians esp in the IT fields."

I would accept the lesser claim "SOME of the leading positions...." but don't forget other emerging markets like the Chinese.

Software development need not suffer from the disadvantages suffered by call centres, but the geographical remoteness does require good management and a clear brief and specification of precisely the software to be developed must do. I already know of projects eg in government systems or mobile phone or MP3 player firmware being carried out in India.

Unbiased assessment (regarding IT in India eg "Click online" programme of BBC news 24 channel) says that there ARE lots of people in India choosing careers in IT. However, although many are qualified, the majority lack a lot of experience. Those who have a few years experience are not of the same calibre of those available in some other countries with say 5, 10, 15, 20 years experience in their field.

Over time, this problem will be less of a problem as experience grows, but right now it is a problem. There may well be a small number of very experienced IT people in India but they are in the minority.

Additionally there are extremely low-skill IT jobs in India eg in the way old equipment is broken down like melting off components and chemicals for remanufacture, but using dangerous unhealthy processes which create big pollution and public health problems aside from gradually killing the workers by exposure to toxins. If you indeed have the best IT people in the world one would imagine they could be addressing such problems in their own country!

Now as for the claim "world's first voicemail" this is clearly a press-release stretching the truth.

Voicemail through email and voicemail to email gateway has been in existence for many years eg in computer telephony integration, or corporate mail systems.

I think what they claim is new is this is offered as a service that members of the public can sign up to. Unfortunately the price (in time listening to ads) is a high price to pay for users of the service. I don't even think they are the first to try something similar (cannot quote a direct link but think so and it didn't use voicespam to support itself), and as you say VOIP services are now well established. Very similar systems exist for sending money by email or sending messages of animated greetings cards with musical background etc with collection from a web page, not to mention sending voice as an email attachment. This is why I claim that even if it is unique in a limited way it certainly is not innovative.

There ARE innovative things going on in Indian IT, but this voicemail isn't one of them.

There are also certain fields of IT where India lags behind.
eg Many networking hardware companies are based in USA (including related software and protocols) eg Optical processors in Israel. eg Fiber optics in Japan.

It's funny but I have never read any article on any Indian pioneers in these fields (or perhaps it is a global conspiracy to ignore the achievements of Indian IT experts - NOT!)

Please do not insult other countries by claiming India has the best IT people.
Only *SOME* of them!
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