India software outsourcing: One unhappy customer

Steve Hamm

When you hear complaints about offshoring to India, usually it's about call centers. The hard-to-understand accents, high turnover, etc. make this a tough business to satisfy in. But, from time to time, I hear pointed complaints about India's software programming work. I got one today from Chris Stone, CEO of StreamServe, a US-based enterprise document presentation software company. (And former vice-chairman of Novell) Usually, when I hear negative comments about Indian programming, it's in situations like this: An American firm is trying to manage a small captive shop in India. The top Indian software services outfits say companies would be better off dealing with them because they manage the projects, assure quality, and can scale up and down quickly. That pitch makes sense. But do things really work that way? I'd like to hear from people in corporations who have contracted out relatively small projects to Indian outsourcers. Did you get what you expected?

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