I have been asked to research the feasibility of establishing an offsite Packaging Center, as our mangement feels this would be a more cost effective approach than having multiple resources on site.

Based on your experiences, is it feasible to create an offsite packaging center? If so, are there risks that we should be aware of before considering this approach. If not, what would be the key reasons for this model not working?

Please feel free to be candid....

Regards,
CanNear
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Shell did a project where they hired a team in Malaysa to do most of the packaging grunt work. Apparently it went well but the I think key is to have on site resources that can pinpoint the issues with the packages such as senior repackagers. I know I will now be shot dead for mentioning offshoring....
Answered 03/08/2005 by: kkaminsk
Ninth Degree Black Belt

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IBM had a plan that they offered my company before they hired me to package all of their apps. The plan looked good, but was very costly, and they wound up bringing 6 consultants to blitz the 300 apps that need to be packaged. They got it done in about 4 months.

They then brought in a single packager (me) on a contract to hire basis to maintain, patch, upgrade, and repackage new apps as necessary.



I don't know specifics, but IBM charged on a per-package basis, and was more expensive than having 6 consultants for 4 months.
Answered 03/09/2005 by: Bladerun
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Do you know how IBM structured their application packaging? Was it offered offsite? Was this offering part of their services portfolio, or was it something they offered only to your company? The reason I ask is that IBM's offering maybe something we could position with our management.

As for pricing, it was interesting that their model was based on a per application package basis, versus time and materials as is found with traditional onsite application packaging. If their cost was judged as to high, your company must have conducted a cost/benefit analysis to determine that the onsite model was more cost effective? If so, do you know what the delta was between both approaches?

Regards,
CanNear
Answered 03/09/2005 by: cannear
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I actually had an opportunity to speak with a number of employees at Shell regarding their offshoring of application packaging. The common issues expressed included language issues, quality of the production application packages, time zones differences, inability to modify the packages once delivered, and a number of other logistical issues. My understanding is that Shell is potentially looking at India for future projects, although I'm not sure how this strategy would resolve the issues outlined above.

Any additional thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Regards,
CanNear
Answered 03/09/2005 by: cannear
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Well I only heard second hand what happened there. The consultant I talked to made it sound like a resounding success but I really want to know the truth on how well the off shoring went. What I really want to know is even if they had issues would the off shoring of that component of the project been considered more cost effective than hiring onsite consultants.
Answered 03/09/2005 by: kkaminsk
Ninth Degree Black Belt

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6 consultants, 300 apps, 4 months. That means somithing like 14 hours/application. I can imagine that's expensive. My company offers deals based on 8 hours to 12 hours per application, where the variation is mainly in the ammount of (pre-)work done by the client. Clients can also choose to pay by the hour or per package. I am totaly unaware of charged rates, but the amount of time spent will make a difference. And yes, we are making a profit! [;)]

Usualy we come in to quickly package everything, and then the client takes care of upgrades and patches himself (although we are sometimes contracted for that aswel). Most of the time we have mix of people on- and offsite. I think this mix works very well. I also think it works like a balance: on site work means more expensive resources while off site work means more expenses managing the process. The mix alows my company to be flexible and it also allows for good interaction with the process for all parties.

Unfortunately I don't know how it all ads up financially, but in my opinion the risk of extra costs increases with the amount of work being off shored.
Answered 04/01/2005 by: Ilikebananas
Purple Belt

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I am at an IBM outsourced bank in Australia and IBM was going to do the packaging for a few thousand apps. After a few years of toil and strife...ending up in court I believe, the bank rehired its original staff back from IBM and got them to do the packaging.....I'm one of that team. IBM couldnt provide the skillset at the time....I don't know if that has changed at all.

I believe that HP is providing offsite packaging through a packaging team in Galway Ireland and the prices are out of this world. I have been told that they have around 200 staff.....but this was a few years ago and it may have fizzled because I havent heard a word since
Answered 04/15/2005 by: MSIMaker
Second Degree Black Belt

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