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How Offshore Outsourcing Failed Us

Faced with more work than its crack development team could handle, Life Time Fitness rolled the dice on a top Indian firm--and lost.

Personally, I was excited about the promise of offshore outsourcing. If it worked, we'd be heroes to the business. Philosophically, I view free trade as highly beneficial to its participants.

We met the key criteria for offshoring: centralized IT, process maturity and years of experience working with Indians both in the United States and offshore. We had executive sponsorship. We had IT commitment. We even had the perfect project to test the waters: a small, low-risk Web application for our real-estate division. The application's purpose is to provide screens for entering new location information. The application isn't complex: The back-end database is Microsoft SQL Server; server-side Java components implement business rules; and Java Server Pages (JSPs) are used for the front end. We use BEA Systems WebLogic as the application/Web server and Concurrent Version Systems (CVS) for source-code control.

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Join Wesley Bertch to discuss more about LifeTime's outsourcing problems -- or your own -- in our forum.

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