Microsoft outsourcing internal IT services to India

Microsoft and Infosys today announced that they have come to a three year agreement to manage Microsoft’s internal IT services. The specific services included in the deal include technical assistance and management of software applications, devices, and databases. The agreement covers over 450 locations through 104 countries. 

Located in Bangalore, India, Infosys already collaborates with Microsoft in certain areas, but today’s new three year IT deal will further extend that relationship. Microsoft’s IT department currently employs about 5,000 people around the world and it is not yet clear how it will affect their employment. Financial terms were also not disclosed. 

Infosys announced that they will "streamline implementation processes, simplify support and service, while at the same time lowering the enterprise costs through the use of the latest Microsoft solutions such as Windows 7.” Infosys will also be partnering with Pennsylvania-based Unisys Corporation to provide "desk-side and service-desk technical support” to Microsoft employees.

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Everytime i think of India and tech support, i think of this:
http://www.illwillpress.com/tech5522YT.html

Seriously, Americans need more jobs, and what do these companies do? Go outsource to some third world country where the education standards alone arent up to par let alone training requirements, just to save a buck.

Regardless of it being IT support, it still means lost jobs for americans. And as far as going to walmart to get cheap stuff, thats not a valid point. Its outsourcing of jobs thats the issue hear, not trying to find the cheapest bang for the buck with consumer dollars.

Un4given said,

Seriously, Americans need more jobs, and what do these companies do? Go outsource to some third world country where the education standards alone arent up to par let alone training requirements, just to save a buck.

I agree. Especially for a company like Microsoft who can afford to hire internal staff and should be creating local job opportunities.

C_Guy said,

I agree. Especially for a company like Microsoft who can afford to hire internal staff and should be creating local job opportunities.

We need to get back to the US worries about the US mentality. Seriously, if these other countries are failing in job rates and what have you, its not our fault. They may support our economy, but in most instances they dont.

Outsourcing is a get rich scheme by the companies so they dont have to pay college level people the money they deserve for doing the work.

If Congress is so worried about the unemployment rate in the US, then legislation needs to be passed regarding these companies outsourcing. I could understand if they could not find the necessary employees stateside to fill the positions. But to give up jobs that are already filled to another country is ludicrous.

As a person directly involved in working with Infosys personal I would predict that Microsoft will be very sorry for making this decision. Unfortunately I cannot say anything good about Infosys employees.

B)

Its funny that many of you are comparing Dell's help desk which is basically a call center where people read stuff from a manual or computer screen versus outsourcing support to a company like Infosys one of the top software companies in India. So there is a major difference here. There is big difference in the knowledge level of people hired in a call center versus a company like Infosys. Its a global market and everyone is looking for a good deal. Funny how you can go to Walmart to get cheap stuff versus Kroger or Target but Microsoft goes elsewhere to get cheap stuff and everyone is all offended.

I dont think many understood about what the article is trying to say... its more of an IT support than Helpdesk support.

As a former contractor at Microsoft, I have to say that this is a dumb decision. The internal helpdesk was already split between employees in the US and in India, and it was incredibly difficult getting assistance when internal applications would not be working properly. Most of the time, I would just look up and find an e-mail list about the application and send an e-mail to the list for support. Usually got a much faster response than calling the MSIT helpdesk.

Plus, what the hell is the point of outsourcing the support, when the group that wrote the code is probably sitting right next door and it would be really easy to send an email or call someone in that group?

It will be interesting to see what the reaction is from employees as this progresses.

So tech support from India, why bother just do away with the support their no help, just give people really big manuals which has everything the tech guys in India will have on their screen. Way to keep the people working like machines.

What I find the most interesting is how far out this is giving the times. Remember when all the "big" companies made a smash for moving consumer help services to India and the like? People went nuts and complained and in short, a lot of those original companies started bringing support "home" because consumers threw a fit and said basically there is no way they would sit back and let this stay like it was.

Even if the company is doing nothing more than "managing" the back end services, someone will need to call them for help when a new employee is hired or something needs to be tweaked. Did this mention anything about the servers that hold this information being moved physically or just the "management" of them?

Tarrant64 said,
Wait, didn't Dell try this and they ended up pulling back in technical support?

I believe this deal does not affect the customer-facing support. This is only in-house support.

Won't go well. Know a number of major companies who do this, and as soon as there are any issues that impact the staff, productivity tanks. It takes so long to get anything resolved.

Well that stinks for their currently employed. Give it a couple years - maybe they will go back on it and like mentioned above - "in house" statement later.

If I were a Microsoft employee, then I'd get an administrative account and just do what I want without IT's permission. Why waste time calling help desk when you are going to get a response like you would if you called Dell?

As other have mentioned, it's not just help desk: maintenance. Maintenance of internally developed products will be done by an external entity. While it is true that the developers will never be the maintainers (unless it's an internal-only product developed by IT rather than for outside consumption), but how much sense does it make for an IT company to outsource its own IT infrastructure and support?

pickypg said,
If I were a Microsoft employee, then I'd get an administrative account and just do what I want without IT's permission.

Good luck getting an administrative account on the first day. And failing to abide by IT policies and procedures is a fast track to the unemployment line. But give is a shot and let us know how it goes.

Interesting that everyone here goes to the "help desk" issue (they're far away, how can they help me). I guess you haven't read the article very well. Technical assistance is but a fraction of the actual work they will be doing. The rest is maintaining the entire IT infrastructure. MANY companies these days do that, mine included (and mine isn't a Fortune 500 company). It's just the nature of business these days...

jafoman said,
Interesting that everyone here goes to the "help desk" issue (they're far away, how can they help me). I guess you haven't read the article very well. Technical assistance is but a fraction of the actual work they will be doing. The rest is maintaining the entire IT infrastructure. MANY companies these days do that, mine included (and mine isn't a Fortune 500 company). It's just the nature of business these days...

Thank you! It appears someone finally understood what the article was trying to say.

jafoman said,
Interesting that everyone here goes to the "help desk" issue (they're far away, how can they help me). I guess you haven't read the article very well. Technical assistance is but a fraction of the actual work they will be doing. The rest is maintaining the entire IT infrastructure. MANY companies these days do that, mine included (and mine isn't a Fortune 500 company). It's just the nature of business these days...

you are the only one who seems to have understood the article

Well, this once again shows how most companies don't care about support that much. We've seen nearly all major computer companies outsourcing all or most of their support to India and other Asian countries as it seems cheaper, but it's also proven satisfaction rates have tanked since the whole outsourcing thing started. Doing the same with internal support might slow down the company and increase operating costs in the long run.

My heart goes out to the people who will probably get axed as a result of this. It's sad so many don't realize this but you get what you pay for.

Then in a couple of years they will bring it back 'in house', because tech support from India just doesn't really work...

acnpt said,
Then in a couple of years they will bring it back 'in house', because tech support from India just doesn't really work...

Amen!

acnpt said,
Then in a couple of years they will bring it back 'in house', because tech support from India just doesn't really work...

Yup. This will show some good "up front" numbers on the annual financial reports and earn someone a big fat bonus but ultimately it will fail. I'm always amazed at how people at the top make these decisions that are such bad ideas but they get the bonus and walk away. Their desire to show good numbers is all it takes. Funny thing is it ultimately will cost the company more money in the long run.

acnpt said,
Then in a couple of years they will bring it back 'in house', because tech support from India just doesn't really work...

Not just tech support, but ALL work from India just doesn't work. You get what you pay for.

Xilo said,

Not just tech support, but ALL work from India just doesn't work. You get what you pay for.

That seems a bit biased. Are you writing off an entire nation?

Fulcrum said,
""If you rely too much on people in other companies and countries ... you are outsourcing your brains, where you are making all the innovation," Bill Gates 2005.

Bill no longer runs the company

I don't know about anybody else, but after experiencing several so called "help"desks based in India that offer anything but help, I'd be fairly unhappy if the company I worked for outsourced their IT support to India. I don't want some guy sitting at a desk on the other side of the world with absolutely no idea how my business operates trying to follow a script to diagnose my problem.

TCLN Ryster said,
I don't know about anybody else, but after experiencing several so called "help"desks based in India that offer anything but help, I'd be fairly unhappy if the company I worked for outsourced their IT support to India. I don't want some guy sitting at a desk on the other side of the world with absolutely no idea how my business operates trying to follow a script to diagnose my problem.

yeah I have to agree. The majority of Indian IT workers who are here in America are very smart and brilliant..however they aren't the ones providing the support back in India. It's more likely people who have no base technology experience and are just reading off a computer screen with no "feeling" in what they are doing or what's going on.

macrosslover said,

yeah I have to agree. The majority of Indian IT workers who are here in America are very smart and brilliant..however they aren't the ones providing the support back in India. It's more likely people who have no base technology experience and are just reading off a computer screen with no "feeling" in what they are doing or what's going on.

Yep ! Indians export Smart and Brilliant people :-)

To be honest, you get what you pay for. Only people who are technically unable to get any other job in India are employed to man the support desks.

TCLN Ryster said,
I don't know about anybody else, but after experiencing several so called "help"desks based in India that offer anything but help, I'd be fairly unhappy if the company I worked for outsourced their IT support to India. I don't want some guy sitting at a desk on the other side of the world with absolutely no idea how my business operates trying to follow a script to diagnose my problem.

Interesting. You'd think having local support would be nicer for the employees. They will be calling a support center in India to ask for support that they themselves develop, or is developed in a building next to them.

I guess if Microsoft outsource their own software support, it means they aren't capable of doing it themselves. Its been coming for a while now.

Would the last employee (heading to google) please turn out the lights