Outsource Magazine Issue 34 - (Page 114)

THE BACK END THE LAST WORD OPINION Trip of a Lifetime As background: I work in the business press (though not for this magazine nor any of its competitors) (competitors? Where? Battle stations! - Ed.) and have spent much of my career in the finance technology arena. Having recounted the following anecdote to your editor (hello again - Ed.) he suggested I write it up for his "rant" section; discretion being by far the better part of valour I'm not going to "name and shame" anybody at this stage though I will probably be far less circumspect in casual conversation, networking sessions, my covers-off expose of the tech industry which I'm writing... Earlier this year I, along with a few other journalists and advisory folk - "influencers" as we're so grandiosely termed by sycophants - were invited on a press junket to India by one of the leading IT organisations in the country, keen to demonstrate all manner of new kit to their adoring fans. I accepted this invitation for several reasons, not least that I had never actually visited Bangalore before despite my years in the trade - and also, I will be frank, because the extremely personable PR with whom I'd been speaking had assured me that the itinerary contained a suitable quantity of schmoozing time (I am an inveterate, incorrigible schmoozer). We were, on a more professional stratum, guaranteed face-time with several very senior execs who would speak "with great candour" about some of the organisation's rather wellpublicised recent travails. The difference between promise and reality became apparent only once our party had arrived and been whisked off to a mediocre hotel some distance (many miles) from Bangalore proper, where, we realised with a sense of foreboding, we were effectively held hostage as none of us knew the area and we were not supplied with any "tourist information" by our hosts. Furthermore, the itinerary had as if by magic transformed during our flight to now include evening meals, in the hotel, each of the three nights of our stay. Over the next few days we were then subjected to what one of my companions described as "an onslaught of tedium": a succession of presentations each apparently designed to contain nothing of any interest whatsoever yet somehow drawn out across several lifetimes, interspersed with stilted and uncomfortable briefings with employees several rungs further down the ladder than we'd been promised - none of whom were willing to discuss anything even slightly contentious. A better way to ensure disengagement amongst a visiting party, I have never seen. On the last evening two of my companions and I made a bid for freedom, ditching the prison compound for an evening in wild Bangalore... Upon our return we were accosted by our hosts and pretty much told we had incurred a series of financial penalties, none of which of course we were prepared to countenance (and indeed the dispute is still raging). We flew out the following day with an enormous communal sense of relief. Needless to say the trip has utterly soured my perception of this company. And the reason is simple: it wasn't the experience itself that was terrible per se: it was the disconnect between what was promised and what was delivered. And as a journalist that worries me: if this company will mislead its "influencers" in such a way, how bad is the disconnect between pitch and practice for the buyers of its services once they're looked in. Bad PR, chaps, very bad PR... Mister E. Shopper Would you like to contribute an interesting, provocative - and, if you wish, anonymous - piece to The Last Word? Or would you like to respond to this particular column? Why not drop a line to the editor at jamie.liddell@ outsourcemagazine.co.uk to discuss your thoughts? "Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep." - Mahatma Gandhi 114 ●●● ● www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outsource Magazine Issue 34

Challenges and Champions
Outsourcing in a Troubled Economic Environment
Richard Jones
High Stakes
In Transition
The Bigger Picture
Numbers, Numbers Everywhere...
NOA Round-Up
Struggling To Get Through?
International Commercial Disputes In Outsourcing Agreements
Is Infrastructure Necessary?
Global Freelance Platforms Grow Up
Trumping Price – Only with Best value
Kerry Hallard
Technology Investment in 2014
Water Will Always Find A Way
The Right Time Is Now
You, Robot?
The Legal View
Top Ten
NelsonHall Round-Up
Online Round-Up
The Deal Doctor
Inside Source
The Last Word

Outsource Magazine Issue 34