Outsourcing trouble with Obama

Outsourcing trouble with Obama

Summary: I've written in this blog before about my great admiration for Barack Obama, whose sweeping message of change has catapulted him to the presidency of the United States. I was fortunate enough to witness his historic election during my recent trip to the United States, which coincided with the Nov.

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I've written in this blog before about my great admiration for Barack Obama, whose sweeping message of change has catapulted him to the presidency of the United States. I was fortunate enough to witness his historic election during my recent trip to the United States, which coincided with the Nov. 4 polls.

It is without doubt that Obama's victory has brought renewed goodwill and faith on America, after a disastrous eight-year reign of a stubborn president. Despite the raging war in Iraq and the financial crunch, there is a palpable feeling of optimism with the first African-American resident of the White House.

But, there's a disturbing issue that the man of the hour is anti-outsourcing. Well, to be technical about it, it's actually the stand of the Democratic party. The Indian media has written extensively about this policy in the days leading to the elections, but the issue has reached a higher level with Obama's win.

Like India, the Philippines has a significant stake because the country has built a whole new industry based on the outsourcing model. BPO firms--from software developers to call centers to medical transcriptionists to animators--have sprouted across the country, most of them catering to the U.S. market.

Despite the large presence of BPO firms here, I must say that the reaction of the local industry is rather mute, compared to India. I've spoken to a few industry players, as well as government executives, and they're of the opinion that the Obama factor is not a threat to the outsourcing market.

Large U.S. companies, they said, will always go to where cost-savings and efficiency can be maximised. Even before the terms "BPO" and "outsourcing" became popular due to the explosion of the Internet, companies such as Intel has been doing outsourcing as early as the 1960s by putting up manufacturing plants in various countries.

There's no way that Obama can fight this global trend, they noted, especially now that the Internet has entrenched it even further. The tax breaks that Obama has promised to give to companies that will not outsource jobs, will still be outweighed by the savings a company can generate if it decides to outsource, they said.

Besides, American are not interested in getting back those so-called "menial" jobs provided by BPO firms like call centers, they added.

As someone with a global background–-a citizen of the world, if I may say-–I was expecting Obama to be more circumspect in addressing this issue. Now that he's gotten the votes, I hope that it was just campaign rhetoric and a way to toe the Democratic line.

Topics: Outsourcing, Government US, Telcos, India, IT Employment, Tech Industry

Melvin G. Calimag

About Melvin G. Calimag

Melvin G. Calimag is currently the executive editor of an IT news website in the Philippines. Melvin has been covering the local IT beat for the last 13 years. He is currently a board member at the IT Journalists Association of the Philippines (CyberPress), and also serves as a charter member with the Philippine Science Journalists Association.

Joel D. Pinaroc

About Joel D. Pinaroc

Joel has been a media practitioner since 1996, starting off as a reporter and eventually becoming editor of a pioneering IT trade newspaper in Manila. He is currently one of the content producers of a Manila-based developmental website.

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  • Outsourcing trouble with Obama

    You -- along with multitudes of other reports -- misunderstand Obama's intentions. He's not anti-outsourcing, he's trying to retain jobs that are otherwise going to foreigners. The US is in a deep recession and Americans are losing jobs, not because of competition, but because companies are minimizing manpower.

    Outsourcing isn't the enemy. Obama is merely providing an avenue for US companies to open jobs to citizens.

    Maybe you should review your stance about Obama (and the Democrats for that matter). Making these generalized views and pointing it at the new president isn't helpful. It's surprisingly inaccurate.

    By the way, I'm Republican by I voted for Obama.
    anonymous
  • RE: Outsourcing trouble with Obama

    Perhaps, President Obama has the courage to eliminate this debt trouble and eliminate economic recession. But, people are looking forward to see a great change that he has promised even before his presidency. There are lots of thing around that must be given attention by his administration. There were some interesting queries, from cash advances to college students, up to one of the most popular questions as to whether Obama was going to be legalizing marijuana, which he promptly shot down. Doesn't he have work to do instead of putting on a <a rev="vote for" title="White House Easter Egg Roll Tickets Hard to Get" href="http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/2009/03/26/white-house-easter-egg-roll-tickets-hard/">White House Easter Egg Roll</a>? People at the White House should find better things to do than a White House Easter Egg Roll.
    Emily_N
  • Outsourcing trouble with Obama

    I read something really interesting regarding this
    check this out

    http://myview.mytechmantra.com/
    anonymous
  • Outsourcing trouble with Obama

    Many people say "against outsourcing" or "anti-outsourcing". It is essential to divide between outsourcing and offshore or nearshore outsourcing. Outsourcing is just about letting a job be done by a third party. This party can reside home or abroad. Nearhore or offshore outsourcing is about letting work be done by a party residing abroad.
    Is anti-offshoring policy right? In a longer period of time offshoring is actually a win-win situation, in which national economy gets stronger and more competitive and the outsourcing partner has the opportunity to earn funds and get some experience.
    Magdalena Szarafin
    <a href="http://www.szarafin.info">http://www.szarafin.info</a>
    anonymous
  • Outsourcing trouble with Obama

    Thanks for such wonderful and useful information. Its really helpful and full of insight. I like this specially because i have been trying my luck at being at a private corporate job. Still, i am not sure about too many jobs being outsourced these days.
    ==============================================
    <a href="http://www.outsourcingjobsuk.com" rel="dofollow">outsourcing uk jobs</a>
    anonymous