We were recently asked how we could compete with the outsourcing companies in India. The quick answer is that we don’t. We don’t have to as we are in a totally different business.

It’s likely that you have read news articles about Australian IT jobs being outsourced to countries with significantly lower labour costs than Australia. Most of us have found ourselves speaking with someone in India or Thailand or Indonesia when we have called the Helpdesk of our telecom provider. Australia’s major banks have their own, very large IT operations in Bangalore or Hyderabad. I’ve been to Bangalore and spent time at Infosys and IBM.

The Infosys ‘campus’ that I visited was mind boggling – a walled compound that had its own shops, restaurants and recreational facilities (including full size snooker tables). The employees were well qualified, intelligent and well looked after. And their hourly rate is a fraction of a similar Australian resource.

So what do the outsourcing companies do and how is it different from what a company like Fenwick Software does?

Infosys, Tata and companies like them specialise in large scale software development, maintenance and support. Fenwick has existing, ready-built software products like Microsoft Dynamics NAV, enwis) waste management, and even our own Fenwick Gold modules, all of which can be tailored to suit our clients’ needs without extensive programming. Our job is to understand a business and find ways to improve its processes and performance. The packaged software solutions that we offer are the tools to help deliver improved client performance, profitability and/or competitive advantage. To achieve these things we have to work closely with our clients and really understand their businesses. That’s not something that can be done offshore.

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Written By Peter R Hill

Peter has been in the Information Services industry for more than forty years with broad experience covering a number of industries working in both Australia and New Zealand. He holds an MBA from LaTrobe University. For seventeen years Peter headed and was a director of the International Software Benchmarking Standards Group (ISBSG) a not-for-profit organisation with a mission of improving the performance of IT through the provision of project history data. He has served on a number of Boards of IT companies. In 2010 Peter became an non-executive director of Fenwick Software. Peter has been a speaker at conferences in Australia, Asia, Europe, Brazil and the USA.   He has had a number of articles published, covering key aspects of the Information Services industry.  He is a past Chairman, Secretary and Fellow of the Australian Computer Society. He is a member of the Committee of Management of Writers Victoria. Peter has compiled and edited five books, including: "Practical Software Project Estimation"  published by McGraw-Hill. In his leisure time, Peter enjoys motor sport and writing.

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