[ILUG-BOM] A suggestion

Shuvam Misra shuvam.misra at merceworld.com
Mon Dec 27 17:27:37 IST 2010

Dear Raj,

As always, very sensible points.

I was wondering, is it possible for Rajagopal and like-minded chaps to
do something if they _don't_ create an umbrella organisation? I'm
thinking like a bunch of medical specialists who are 'visiting
specialists' at a hospital. The patient treats the hospital as a
convenience single-point of access and operational services (paying money
at a common counter, booking appointments through a common telephone
operator, etc), not delivery assurance.

Do you think there's any chance that this sort of loose collection may

Personally, I am not sure it'll work, because I feel that the customer
has to have more than a minimum level of maturity to make use of such an
offering, and IMHO the Indian IT services/solutions customer does not have
that maturity, in most cases. He'll want a single umbrella organisation
and a single contract. But I was just wondering -- what do you all think?


On Fri, Dec 24, 2010 at 07:09:49PM +0530, Raj Mathur (राज माथुर) wrote:
> On Friday 24 Dec 2010, Rajagopal Swaminathan wrote:
> > We see a lot of professionals and SMBs who are member of this list.
> > 
> > I was wondering if we all can form a sort of service network of
> > professional for various solutions using open/mixed source.
> We had discussed this concept in detail in various ILUGD meetings (and 
> eatings) for a long time.  While the concept is excellent, there are a 
> few practical problems in implementation that we discovered, so I'll 
> share those and leave the floor to discussion on how they can be solved.
> The first issue is that of management and infrastructure.  Considering 
> our clients are corporates, education institutions  and Government/NGOs, 
> it is more or less imperative that there is a single umbrella 
> organisation whom they can contact for support.  The umbrella 
> organisation itself can take support requests from clients, distribute 
> to independent consultants internally, manage payments and track project 
> progress.  As a client, I would want a single point of contact.
> So far so good.  The issues that arise from having an umbrella 
> organisation, however, include:
> - What if more than one consultant is qualified to pick up a given lead?  
> How does the umbrella organisation decide internally which consultant 
> the lead should go to?
> - How do you rate the effectiveness of consultants?  If you and I are 
> charging respectively Rs 100 and Rs 10 for the same service, presumably 
> there is a qualitative difference between the sort of work we do which 
> justifies your higher rates.  However, that is extremely difficult to 
> measure, and clients usually aren't in a position to evaluate core 
> technical competence vs hot air blustering.  Sending the wrong 
> consultant to the wrong client will result in the organisation (and 
> FOSS) getting a bad name.
> - What happens if a consultant commits and doesn't deliver?  We need to 
> devise some framework by which consultants can be lined up so that if 
> the first one fails there is another one ready to step into her shoes to 
> keep the project going.  Again, failure to do this will result in severe 
> lack of client confidence.  We also need to define success and failure 
> metrics in advance of projects, so that slippages can be clearly 
> identified and detected.
> Apart from the organisational problems, there is also the issue of 
> continuity.  We need to set systems in place that consultants are 
> mandated to use which describe the work done by them in fine detail.  
> This is required so that if one consultant is unable to take a second 
> project from her client, the next consultant has access to all the 
> configurations and customisations (with detailed reasons) so that she 
> doesn't have to spend days just trying to figure out how things are 
> currently working.
> This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but hopefully should serve 
> as a starting point for further thought.
> Regards,
> -- Raj
> -- 
> Raj Mathur                raju at kandalaya.org      http://kandalaya.org/
>        GPG: 78D4 FC67 367F 40E2 0DD5  0FEF C968 D0EF CC68 D17F
> PsyTrance & Chill: http://schizoid.in/   ||   It is the mind that moves

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