Tuesday, December 2, 2008
SEO companies in Asia may have more than what people see going for them. In the past two to three years, Internet Marketing has been finally getting the attention it deserves. With the US Economy going down and the transition phase of president elect Barack Obama still underway, the economic meltdown is causing a lot of panic in the corporate world. What will remain untouched in this time of uncertainty? Yes, it WILL be the internet.
Online purchasing is a brilliant opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business enterprise owners. Setting up a website and making your goods available online amounts to practically nothing. You'd be able to reach your customers at home while cutting almost half to a quarter of your costs.
However, there is one minor problem. The internet is no man's land. Anyone can set up a website and have it hosted for free. The challenge here is making your website visible to your customers. And let's face it, people don't really look past the first three pages of Google, Yahoo or MSN. That is precisely what SEO companies are for.
Some of the best SEO companies are found in Asia. Outsourcing brought SEO to Asia and now some of the leading players in the SEO industry came from either India or the Philippines. There
There's some really good SEO companies out there and to truly cut down costs while taking advantage of quality service, the Philippines is a good place for investment. It has been said time and time again that the likeness of the Philippines culture with western culture make the whole process easy to accomplish and with the kind of work ethic Filipinos have, results would come with great quality. There are no lists available online for the title leading SEO companies in asia, but investing in asian seo companies would be a safe deal.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Yang will go back to being Chief Yahoo, spending his time on strategy and technology. Most criticisms against Yang rooted on his intention in carving an independent strategy for Yahoo. He was also blamed when Microsoft Corp pulled out from the negotiations of the powerhouse company acquiring Yahoo earlier this year.
Immediate rival Google Inc. dismissed a search advertising partnership on account of regulatory concerns, amplifying the bad criticism Yang has been getting when yahoo’s shares nosedived.
In an attempt to boost Yahoo’s earnings, Yang also made month-long negotiations with Time Warner Inc. about combining with its AOL unit. This also failed to close a deal.
“The company is in desperate need of change and this is clearly one way to do it,” said Ross Sandler, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, adding that Microsoft could enter the picture again. “Jerry was the roadblock for the last deal getting done.”
As a response to all of this, Yang has been very vocal about selling the company only for the right price.
The process of finding a replacement for Yang could take four to 12 weeks. Several executives are considered as prospects for the job, including former eBay Inc Chief Executive Meg Whitman, former AOL chief Jon Miller, News Corp President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin, former Yahoo COO Dan Rosensweig and Yahoo President Sue Decker.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Small businesses are turning to outsourcing as a means of compensating for their losses with low cost labor. This set-up allows their business to function even with minimum capital. With the number of companies shutting down because of the economic crisis looming over United States, morale is down and the uphill climb is as tough as ever.
Outsourcing has been the subject of controversy for countless debates and arguments on how one should go about his business. Outsourcing is the process of contracting outside companies for the accomplishment of a particular business function. Usually the business function that gets outsourced is one that is considered non-core to the company’s primary functions. However, in the face of economic crisis, businesses are considering transferring more functions aside from customer service in the hands of business process outsourcing and knowledge process outsourcing companies.
And why not? If it will save you a great deal of money and get you through the financial storm, why the heck not? There are a lot of great places to find good, quality outsourcing services. The Philippines is a prime example of a rising country in outsourcing.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
1. Name: Mark Zuckerberg
Age: 23 years old
2. Name: Andrew Gower
Age: 28 years old
3. Name: Blake Ross and David Hyatt
Age: 22 years old
4. Name: Chad Hurley
Age: 30 years old
5. Name: Angelo Sotira
Trade: Deviant ART
Age: 26 years old
6. Name: John Vechey
Trade: PopCap Games
Age: 28 years old
7. Name: Alexander Levin
Age: 23 years old
8. Name: Jake Nickell
Age: 28 years old
9. Name: Sean Belnick
Trade: Biz Chair
Age: 20 years old
10. Name: Kevin Rose
Age: 30 years old
The top 1 comes as no surprise already but it is also important to note that Runescape's Andrew Gower is actually stepping up. With ingenuity, a whole lot of guts and the will to push through with it, these boys all got it. These numbers are what drives to go-do-it people to push their limits but it's also because of these numbers that a lot of abusers tinker with the system in the hopes of getting easy money fast. One thing that these millionaires have in common is that they appropriately supported their ideas and pushed it. No shortcuts. No shady tactics. They got there fair and square.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
With the release of Google Chrome, the next thing that people would be asking about is how Mozilla would react to it. Will it waver under the seemingly huge threat that Google is posing? Google is after all, the biggest search engine to date and its influence stems a lot farther than its search box.
John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla Corp., has this to say about Google Chrome and its relation with Mozilla Firefox:
“It is not surprising that they are doing a browser. Google does many things (servers, energy) that touch their business,” he said. “They feel that they can make a better browser by starting from scratch…advances in browsers are good.”
- source: Gigaom
In my opinion, Mozilla shouldn't worry that much about Google Chrome. The launch of Google Chrome was a definite buzz, there's no doubt about that but what Google lacks is the follow-through. They have yet to dominate other areas online such as messengers and social networks although talks have been going on about Google buying a certain top social bookmarking website so the threat isn't that great. Mozilla can still hold on as the white knight against Internet Explorer.
A little competition is always healthy and in this case it will most probably push Firefox to step up their game. I've personally tried Google Chrome and admittedly it is easy to use and is reminiscent of other browsers. It has a little bit of Opera, a little bit of FF and IE. But problems start coming up and it is now Google's challenge to overcome the bumps.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The current market capitalization of Apple is US$159.37 billion, squeaking by Google's market cap of US$157.56 billion. Next in Apple's sights ought to be the old man on the block, IBM. Their current market value is around US$170 billion. It may take a while for Apple to catch up with Microsoft, though -- at the present time MSFT is worth about US$255 billion.
I kind of knew they were going to squeeze in sooner or later. I think this has a lot to do with the release of the iPhone3g along with the MacBook Air. (though it has been observed that whenever Apple releases something new, the stocks waver on the bad side) Apple has always been so keen on revolutionizing their own products that it has finally caught up with them. It may indeed take a while though before Apple catches up with Microsoft. No worries, no one is in a rush. Apple hasn't really displayed aggression in the market as much as Microsoft has. This feat is already a big thing for Apple which I'm sure the investors would be talking about.
The AAPL has been very volatile which is very similar to Google for this year. However, unlike AAPL, Google has made a drastic plunge which allowed Apple to move up. With this kind of development I'm sure people will be talking about who will buy who. I think this is completely absurd though. Both companies are fully capable of handling themselves.
We can only stand and watch now. Google? How about you?
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Why do we make bad business decisions?
We can't completely blame chance and fate. There must be some reason behind it. Now,I came across this article from Business Pundit.
The reason why we make bad decisions can actually be rooted scientifically. In an interesting experiment conducted by the researchers, participants were asked to choose between two women on two cards and to explain why they chose that particular card over the other. In some trials when the time of justification came, the researchers switched the cards they have chosen with the one that they didn't. Some participants didn't recognize the switch but the more interesting part here is the fact that they continued to justify their choice even if it wasn't really their choice in the first place.
What does this tell us?
It's the feeling of being invincible and being stubborn. This is the usual problem with making big reckless decisions. We always think that the worst can't happen to us. Oh no, not to us. To other people maybe but we never consider that we can be duped or taken advantage of. The participants justified a wrong decision or a wrong choice. That can also be reflected to how we justify our decisions no matter how bad it is. This kind of thinking brings about bad decisions and what's worse, we stick by them and justify it.
To tackle the problem we must first be aware that it exists. We have to revisit the decision and the consequences it brought. The proper way to go about making big business decisions is to have a projected outcome. So whatever the results that come out you can make a comparison between the projected outcome and what you really got. If you see the difference right in front of you it would be tougher to weasel out of the failure.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
To get straight to the point and leave all the rivalry aside, let's fast-forward the Gates VS Jobs flame war.
Setting that aside, here are my thoughts on Bill Gates's retirement from Microsoft:
Bill Gates' decision to loosen his grip on Microsoft so he could focus more on his philanthropic ideals is not a surprising thing for me. All men who reached their billions at a considerably young age tend to look for different ways of fulfillment. Most contribute to noble causes like fighting AIDS, Cancer or poverty. In Bill's case, he vows to actually concentrate on that rather than just contribute.
So what will happen to Microsoft?
Well Bill Gates is going to leave his baby to Steve Ballmer and a team of executives including Craig Mundie and Ray Ozzie.
I doubt that anything drastic will actually happen to Microsoft. One of the worst things just transpired with the Yahoo-Microsoft negotiation fallout and unless Murphy's law works on billionaires (which I highly doubt), Microsoft wouldn't experience anything devastating anytime soon. It's still too early to predict what would happen in the next few years but it's safe to assume that Bill Gates wouldn't totally leave the company. He'd still be there, we can all count on that. If you're one of the founders of a multi-billion company, you wouldn't totally leave it regardless of how much money you already have.
Oh and because I'm such a big sap, I just have to put this little snippet in:
Ballmer said he almost quit soon after joining Microsoft because his parents didn't want him to drop out of Stanford.
Gates responded: "You don't get it. You don't get it. You don't get it. We're going to put a computer on every desk, in every home," Ballmer said.
(now doesn't that make you go... "aawwww...." ?)
Monday, June 23, 2008
As a kid there had been no doubt in my head that Bill Gates was the richest man on Earth. As a kid, I wanted to be him and fantasized about living in a house that Bill Gates has. But as I got older, I realized that there are a lot of rich people on Earth.
This year's Top 10 Billionaires and what they do:
- is an American stock investor known throughout the globe. He is also the largest shareholder and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
Carlos Slim Helu & family
- the key to his success is wireless communication. Slim struck gold when he was able to make a deal with Yahoo that will make him the provider of mobile Web services to 16 countries.
William Gates III
- the man needs no introduction. Gates is no longer the world's richest man probably because of the unsuccessful negotiations with Yahoo. (Yahoo again huh?) But Gates is now focusing more on his philanthropic duties to society.
- engaged in the manufacturing business, Mittal is heads the world's largest steel production. He just delivered 580 tons to be used in the construction of the World Trade Center memorial.
The rest of the billionaires:
(Yes they are brothers)
Ingvar Kamprad & family
The top 3 in the list all had their fortune self-made while the rest in the list are mostly inherited (and growing) fortune. It just goes to show us that fortune is more likely made than fate.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
A call center company in the Philippines recently opened a spa right inside their premises for the exclusive use of their employees. This is in line with their efforts to ease the stress of their hardworking employees. I seriously think that that's taking it to the next level. While most companies would let the team leaders take care of the bonding and all the "cooling off" this particular company actually took the extra mile and set up a spa inside their own premises.
And that's not all, they have actually installed a gym as well! Now I've heard about call center agents getting fatter. I used to think this is partly because of the kind of lifestyle they have to get themselves into with regards to the changing schedule. A lot of them have to rely on fastfood for their daily nutrition and they have to drink tons and tons of coffee too. So having a gym might not be so bad an idea after all.
Call centers in the Philippines have been on the rise and the industry shows no signs of stopping. To cater to the needs of the every-growing employees of call center companies, they have to take extra measures to ensure the health (which would translate to productivity) of these call center agents.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
In this 8-minute video on Offshore Outsourcing as viewed by an academic, Professor Bhattacharya said one thing that struck me. We talk a lot about offshore outsourcing and how it has a positive effect on the companies that do employ this. We have broken down the good points of offshore outsourcing but exactly does it do the host country?
Prof. Bhattacharya wanted to talk about outsourcing in China when it comes to manufacturing but couldn't because of language and culture barriers. However he was able to give a brief overview about the leading host country in IT services, which is none other than India. In my opinion, growth has a possibility of being inhibited if host companies keep depending on outsourcing as a source of work. That's why I think it's good that India is actually developing their own ways and reaching out to other countries for their own brand of offshore outsourcing business functions.
As for hosts like China and the Philippines, we have yet to actually see them reverse their situation and develop their own methods to export to other countries but perhaps in time we will see call centers set up by the Philippines in areas other than their homeland and consequently giving jobs to other host countries.
Monday, May 19, 2008
India is playing the IT card. Their software engineers are sought after by companies outsourcing their work offshore. There is a logical reason behind this. When India released the mandate that all foreign businesses have Indian majority ownership, a lot of the US companies left and India had to compensate for that by investing on IT education. So now they're mostly made up of programmers and IT specialists. With the advent of offshore outsourcing, India now becomes ripe for the picking.
China has long been a manufacturing country. I'd bet my socks that in each household there's at least one item there that's made in China. Most of offshore outsourced manual work is done in China and in huge amounts too. Even before the trend of offshore outsourcing started to surface, companies have been sending work there particularly when it comes to toy manufacturing. That's where their strength lies.
Philippines has a lot of common with the American lifestyle. They have a high literacy rate and the similarity in lifestyle makes them perfect for call center work. Most call centers are set up in the Philippines. Whether inbound or outbound, the Philippines has hold of most customer support work. Their accent is easily passable for authentic American English too and that's what's important in customer support services.
These three countries play a different role in offshore outsourcing and soon enough more countries will be stepping up and filling in the needs for offshore outsourcing.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Which is good don't you think? The big companies comprising India are now looking into outsourcing possibilities to reduce the workload in-house and focus on their core functions. The top functions that are outsourced are information technology and customer relation management. With these out of the way, their headaches are now more focused on things that have a great impact to their operations.
More and more Indian companies are setting up offices in the United States. Indias Wipro Technologies Ltd., a global IT services and outsourcing provider, plans to open a global software development center in Atlanta, adding 500 new jobs to the economy. Wipro also opened a service center in Detroit earlier this year.
How about cost? The decision to reverse outsource is the same as the reason why outsourcing is a hype in the US companies. India wants to cut back on cost and at the same time make their company global. The rupee currently valuing 40 to a dollar, makes Indian wages higher and setting up businesses in the United States relatively cheaper. At least by theory. This is still a new concept for India but they are hopeful and it seemed like the future is bright for this venture.
With the cycle of US companies giving jobs to India and India returning jobs to the US, will we be able to see improvement in both economies? Will Yin finally balance Yang? We don't know that yet. But even if reverse information technology outsourcing doesn't work for India when it comes to cost, they are still persistent to set up global companies. So I guess we don't have to worry about anything. Not yet at least.
Monday, May 12, 2008
I found this outsourcing joke while going around my daily rounds in Google. When I saw it, well first I laughed then I got curious and searched for similar concepts. I came across several articles that discuss how people from India, Korea even the Philippines give "personal" outsourcing services. Offshore outsourcing is not strictly relating to big companies anymore. Now even individuals can outsource their work. I read in one of the articles I came across with that her daughter is studying English (or was it Math? I forgot the subject) through an online course prepared by a teacher in India. There are also freelance IT specialists who offer their services. Outsourcing in the micro scale is not exactly a half bad idea.
So how do you avail offshore professional help for your personal tasks?
Because of instant messaging, email, and even webcam, transactions can be made even without meeting in person. You have to know your way around the Internet to get the best bargain and the best value for your money. There are insitutions and websites now that cater to personal offshore outsourcing need. Tapping the talent pool of India, China and the Philippines is not a difficult task anymore.
1. Make qualification tests. Once you post your ad, there will be thousands and thousands of people bidding for it for sure. To narrow your choices down, put up stringent requirements and specific qualifications. If it's a skill work such as drawing or painting, then have them send samples or even a video of them so you'd see their skill live.
2. Compare cost of labor. Some people would work double for a price that another person would charge for only half the effort. Be discriminating.
3. Avoid third-party transactions. If the person you're talking to is redirecting you to another person then drop it. You'd most likely get ripped off and be compelled to pay twice the amount since there is a middleman involved. Always go for the direct contacts.
4. Clear out cultural gaps as early as possible. Lay down your rules and have the vendor explain his side before going into any transactions. There may be limitations to what he can do depending on his culture and certain laws covering their country. As for the laws that may not be a problem since most offshore outsourcing countries have less protective laws which makes business easier.
Don't let all the big shots have all the offshore outsourcing benefits. You can also benefit from it and you will find that it will help you a great deal. It may also free you from any offshore outsourcing prejudice you have.
It is inescapable to note the weakness of having a call center offshore and that is none other than accent. The thing about customer service is that the person calling for help should be able to trust the one helping him. Generally, irate customers don’t listen to proper reason anymore and would curse at the nearest ear they could find. Now, if the person they’re calling has a strong accent and horrible English, chances are they’d get even more annoyed. The annoyance won’t be so much focused on the problem anymore but would actually fall on the fact that they are being redirected to people who they think doesn’t understand because of their accent and grammar. In truth, a lot of Americans right now even ask the one who answered their call if they really are Americans because they wouldn’t talk to them if they weren’t. Profit goes down, and the number of potential customers will decrease if by word-of-mouth or by some other means, it would spread that your company has bad customer service.
Same goes for call centers that make outbound calls. Aside from the fact that these people are disturbed from their homes by complete strangers, it is also doubly irritating if the person who disturbed them had an accent they could not get. Chances of selling dwindle down to near zero.
It is no secret either that aside from the standard American accent, Asian or Middle-eastern accent on the English language is a bit frowned upon, if not laughed at. That’s why it’s important for offshore call centers to train their agents to speak like Americans. IBM once devised a way to fix the accent problem through a web-based technology that helps improve language skills.
While accents are imperative to actually bagging that customer and making sure they won’t hang up on you, it is also equally important for an agent to listen to the customer. I think the whole call center system is wrong in placing highest priority in finishing a call in the shortest time possible. That makes some agents neglect their responsibilities and forget that their purpose is for the convenience of the customers.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Americans are highly patriotic and would stand up for their country until the very end. But what happens when he is stripped off his job and he suddenly realizes that his expertise is not needed anymore? When a company that used his IT specialization for so many years decide to relieve him from work and give his long-term job to Indians offshore, what will he do?
Sadly for Kevin Flanagan, the answer to that was a gunshot to the head. This suicide issue has been blamed on the fact that the Bank of America has opened its doors to offshore outsourcing and that with their process of dumping programmers and IT specialists, Flanagan was one of those unfortunate ones to get his termination notice that day. With the unending, rising debate regarding the pros and cons of offshore outsourcing, Flanagan’s case fueled anti-offshoring camps in their vehement resistance to the concept of sending jobs overseas.
What are Americans so afraid of?
Well for one thing, they’re losing their jobs most probably permanently. Computer programmers and IT professionals find themselves lining up for a job, any job at all including clerical work if they’d get lucky enough to get in there. Offshore outsourcing companies are dumping their programmers to cut back on cost by outsourcing it to places where labor is cheaper. The rope is tugged between two groups, those who think that offshore outsourcing is just a passing fad and those who think that offshore outsourcing is a doomsday device. It is important to note that the companies are now holding back on discussing offshore outsourcing plans to their employees for fear of resistance.
With the current panic surrounding the issue of offshore outsourcing IT jobs, it is important for companies to discuss this openly with their employees.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
That is one of the prime examples where the main logic of offshore outsourcing to cut costs doesn’t apply anymore. Suddenly, with the emergence of countries stepping up to the plate offering high quality service at an even lower cost the battle for offshore attention gets tougher. This makes me think though, just how low are these companies aiming for? The cost keeps going down and the quality seemingly keeps going up.
Offshore IT outsourcing has been a delicate subject for many Americans as they have been losing their jobs for cheaper labor overseas. Buildings used primarily for business in the US have slowly been converted to residential spaces because of more and more Americans losing their jobs to the offshore outsourcing trend. While this is happening, more and more residential spaces in countries like India and China are being converted to commercial spaces.
The situation seems to grow dim but aren’t we overreacting a little? People lose jobs and gain jobs on a regular basis. The only reason that offshore outsourcing is getting the spotlight is that the change and the number happened to be too big, too fast. But the rate of the sudden crash in employment doesn’t equate to underemployment. At least not yet. If the government wants to calm its citizens down, then they should determine which jobs are getting offshored, which jobs are staying and how to protect them. Probably more important than all this, is the creation of new job opportunities and greater compensation benefits. India is currently the number one offshore IT outsourcing player in the game but even India loses their IT jobs from client companies to greater competition. So nothing is absolute. It's everyone's game.
I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve heard of communication barriers. In a normal business venture, communication between employer and employee is of utmost importance. Maintaining a harmonious relationship in the company is important too. But when it comes to offshore outsourcing, communication barriers and cultural differences take a much bigger awkward spot. Settling differences is not as easy as talking over matters with a colleague over coffee. Usually, at the beginning of the partnership, it should be clear already what the terms are and how the communication lines would remain constantly open.
English fluency can be an issue since not all overseas outsourcing vendors are native speakers of English. As I’ve said, something might get lost in translation and this is usually the root of most problems. Time zone difference is also another potential problem with offshore outsourcing. Communication can be difficult but if outsourcing vendors are willing to take that extra mile by adjusting their own body clocks then that would help a great deal. Also, time zone difference can prove to be beneficial; we can see it like this, your company works in the morning, and while you sleep, offshore outsourcing vendors are working in your behalf so that makes you company efficient almost 24/7.
Your company and your offshore outsourcing partner should have a clear common goal. Communication can come in the form of online conferencing and consulting and video conference, this can usually be done at a minimum cost. You would want to be updated weekly and your offshore program developers or IT specialists can clarify inquiries. All this is done to ensure that both groups share a common goal and understand each other’s issues.
Anti-offshore outsourcing groups could probably come up with a dozen more problems about outsourcing overseas but I’m going to tackle this one for now. Every good thing starts with good communication. Every problem can be solved through communication just as any goal can be realized if communication lines are always open.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
It's every businessman's goal to maximize profit using minimal cost. The first question starting entrepreneurs ask is "What do I get out of this?" In the ancient art of alchemy it has been said that in order to gain something you must offer something of equal value. However, when it comes to offshoring and outsourcing, you actually manage to get a whole lot while giving so little. Companies save millions of production cost by offshoring and outsourcing. This is particularly evident with the prominence of call centers in various countries like the
It's basic knowledge that the relationship between price and demand is almost completely inversely proportional. If all other things are taken to be in equal value then we can safely assume that as price decreases, the quantity demanded increases. Now where does offshoring and outsourcing come in? Let us remember the relationship between cost of production and price of commodity. If it takes less money for you to produce then it is possible to lower the price. If you outsource certain business functions, you cut down cost. You do the math from here.
Along with the progress offshoring and outsourcing give, it won't exactly be a business venture without worry and risk now would it? What people worry about is that employees of these client companies will lose their jobs to relatively cheaper alternatives to labor cost. That is one way of looking at it. That's the easy way of looking at it. However, if you'd also look at another side of it, if a company moves call center jobs offshore, the way would be paved for more sophisticated jobs; jobs that require greater skill and qualifications. This in turn moves the education system and trains people to be more competent to qualify for higher-paying, more fulfilling jobs.
Most of the jobs being outsourced by client companies are customer service jobs or tech support jobs. These business functions though still needed is at the bottom of the food chain and once you offshore this business function, you will have time to focus more on the things that do matter. Invest more time, money and effort on research or marketing.
In offshoring and outsourcing, good things keep coming. Outsourcing jobs to foreign countries may be one of the best ideas to come out. Call centers top the list. Inbound or outbound, these are jobs that developing countries strive for and the developed countries can easily dispense. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.