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Gartner Outsourcing Summit: Reporter's notebook

Check out these tidbits from this week's Gartner Outsourcing Summit.

Bangalore or bust?

"No one ever got fired for picking Big Blue, and no one ever got fired for picking Bangalore," said Partha Iyengar, Gartner, Inc. vice president, addressing attendees at this week's Gartner Outsourcing Summit in Los Angeles.

Despite Bangalore's popularity, Iyengar pointed out that Bangalore is no longer the obvious choice it once was. The most current Gartner rankings show five key criteria--infrastructure, skills retention, cost of living, political support and quality of life -- will worsen in Bangalore in the next few years.

In the meantime, states such as Chennai and Hyderabad are rising in popularity ---and making Bangalore work hard to keep its reputation.

You made a mistake? Bravo!

British comic John Cleese, who is also a management consultant (who knew?) doesn't know much about outsourcing. But he knows a lot about mistakes. In addressing the Gartner Outsourcing Summit 2005 in Los Angeles this week, Cleese told attendees to embrace their mistakes.

The trick is in acknowledging and correcting mistakes pointed out to you. Just don't make the same mistake twice—and you can still wind up on target, Cleese said. The biggest laugh Cleese got was at one of the nation's best known CEOs.

"Take Donald Trump," Cleese said. "He has boasted of making 150 phone calls a day. He's in hell and he hasn't even noticed. I don't think he's even aware of the dead squirrel he keeps on his head."

Consolidation – and common sense

Barbara Scarcella, Thompson Corp. CIO, built credibility by consolidating six data centers. She forged ahead in the highly politicized climate of a global corporation by marshalling the facts—including massive internal audits—before making sourcing decisions.

When she discovered that the company was using 75 software resellers, she thinned the crowd to two top performers. Lo and behold, those resellers showed Thompson the respect it deserved.

"All of a sudden you climb right to the top of the client list."

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