A publisher recently sought out our advice about “the value question” of offshore production opportunities. He is being courted by a company offering online publishing services at significantly less than the going stateside rate. His local vendor has built up trust with his staff and familiarity with his publications; this value is easy to appreciate but more difficult to quantify. “Where is the best business value for my company?” he asked. To reduce risk and maintain stability, he opted for a blended solution, continuing to rely on the local vendor for in-depth domain knowledge and information services, and experimenting with outsourcing for non-mission-critical tasks with clear specifications, like file tagging and conversion.
He also began to refocus his organizational vision to begin solving his publishing issues enterprise-wide, rather than on a project-by-project basis, by building an infrastructure that can automate repeat tasks across many projects. To facilitate this thinking, we set up a demo to show how adoption of an Open Source Framework solution could help streamline and centralize operations, and reduce costs, while leveraging the distinctly human attributes which “Hal” hasn’t demonstrated yet—knowledge, trust, and a sense of humor.