Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Outsourcing Proposal

I've been really bummed recently that work has me so busy that I don't have time to do any decent blogging, but today the job handed me some fodder that's just too good not to post. I've been reading proposals from outsourcing companies. Here's my review of the disaster recovery portion of one I read today.

VendorX's proposal would be humorous if it weren't so tragic. VendorX's typo-filled response gives no evidence of any existing disaster recovery (DR) plans nor of a comprehensive business continuity (BC) plan. VendorX (in confusing "high availability" with "disaster recovery") boasts that its primary power supply (apparently at its main campus) is a diesel generator that runs 95% of the time. This local generation is backed up by service from the state-run power utility, whose service is available 99% of the time. VendorX keeps replacement parts for its diesel generator in stock and guarantees generator repair within six hours. But (as alarming as all that is) the most striking information VendorX provides is its case study of "Incident -2" (I believe the minus sign is significant). Here VendorX boasts of its emergency response to an electrically sparked fire in Building 1, a ten-story building ("Ground + 9 storeys") that has just one stairwell and two elevators. This ten-story structure is intended to house 5500 employees-though at the time of the fire, there were only 1100 persons in the building. VendorX's emergency response was to manually shut off power to the building and then initiate a rescue of the people trapped in the elevators. An emergency response team (composed of VendorX's senior management) was then assembled in the neighboring Building 2. From there they created an ad hoc plan to deal with this unforeseen crisis.
Overall Score: 1 (but only because “-2” was already taken)


Guess which country this vendor is in.

9 comments:

Jerry said...

Alex, what is India?

(Is there a prize?)

leeann said...

Nigeria. All the best stuff comes from Nigeria.

Bob said...

Leeann--
Buzzzz, good guess, but sorry.

Jerry--
Dinnnggg! Yes, would you like to try "Third-world Software Development for 100"?

You know, the weirdest part of this is that this company actually put this in its response to an RFP. These guys actually think trapping employees in an elevator during a building fire is proof that they know how to handle emergencies.

Gladys said...

You wouldn't happen to be employed at a Texas Christian University would you? You wouldn't happen to be dealing with a certain Dallas based company would you?

joyce said...

That Uncle Jerry is so smart! I am impressed. Aunt Barbara married well! Would somebody tell her, please.

And are you going to blog about your "certificate" sans gold star? I am so proud of you! And can't wait to eat at the new place the whined and dined you right underneath Chick-fill-you-up! You are my hero.

Buck said...

Well, Dang. I was gonna guess "Russia," but only coz I was trapped in a Moscow elevator for three hours once... in a state-owned telecom switching facility.

We'd have creamed those guys if the balloon had ever gone up, based on my (rather limited) experience. (Digressions 'R' Us)

Bob said...

Buck--
Russia is a very good guess, but (for whatever reason) we haven't yet decided to outsource to the KGB.

Joyceee--
Getting awards at work is like being struck by lightning -- there's no point boasting about random bolts thrown down from the gods. (Still, the extra money's nice.)

Gladys--
No, I don't work at TCU. (But then if I did, I wouldn't be likely to admit it, now would I?) I'm pretty sure the Dallas-based company you're referring to is another IT outsourcing company we're considering.

Bou said...

Wow. And to think that I was not happy with the outsource job that Company X did with part of it's IT dept.

I hung up from the help desk one day, rested my forehead on the desk and said loudly to my co-workers, "I think their IT dept got outsourced to Somalia. It was an African accent... mixed with Ebonics. Shoot me."

Jerry said...

...would you like to try "Third-world Software Development for 100"?Been there, done that, wore out the T-shirt (a couple of times).