On Jun 14, 2012, at 8:41 PM, Bryan Horstmann-Allen wrote:
Outsourcing can work fine. It’s how most businesses actually get paid. Are you
suggesting that Hosted Chef is bad business, for instance?
I didn’t say that no outsourcing works, just that many types don’t work. At the very least, many types of outsourcing don’t provide anything remotely close to the level of cost savings as was used to justify the action.
Where outsourcing can work well is when you look at increasing the value of the resulting product, as opposed to simply cutting costs. There’s a limit to how much you can cut costs, and every time you add an administrative barrier between any two sets of resources, that barrier comes with some additional costs of its own, many of which are unlikely to be known in advance. On the flip side, there is no limit to how much you can increase the value of a product.
IMO, Hosted Chef falls on the “increased value” side of that equation.
The issue Jesse (I’m guessing) is trying to solve is that managing email sucks,
and he’d rather have his guys working on his actual product than dealing with
their network provider dropping PTRs again (lots of chef mail held in my
discards for require_ptr, sadly.)
Brad and I are on some of the same super secret email admin lists, so we
breathe this particular brand of sewage, but it may be he’s forgotten that
managing email sucks if you don’t have your email respirator handy.
I’m willing to admit that possibility. I guess it all comes down to the actual day-to-day problems that Jesse is trying to fix. I certainly didn’t see anything in his previous message that alluded to outsourcing the “managing e-mail sucks” problem, but maybe I wasn’t reading between the lines correctly.
There’s a huge win to be had from outsourcing email if your core competency is
not dealing with deliverability, antispam, and so forth. We outsource it at my
current dayjob to Google, and while I hate gmail, I am often very happy to
never have to fix email myself.
I certainly got out of the business of managing e-mail, and I did manage to draft Ralf Hildebrandt and Patrick Koetter to help with managing the e-mail and mailing list services for python.org – as the authors of “The Book of Postfix”, they certainly knew a lot more about that program than I did, and they were able to easily pick up what little advantage I had over them with regards to managing the Mailman part.
I have known for many years how hard it is to properly manage a mail system, and that’s why my vanity domains have been hosted at Heller Information Systems (his.com) since the day they were created – I know Paul Heller and his team, and I know that they can do a better job of managing my e-mail as one of their customers than I could do for myself. At least I was able to avoid that “Cobblers Children” problem for my own personal e-mail during the times I was doing large-scale mail system administration/engineering for my various employers.
If that’s the problem Jesse is trying to solve, then I’ll sit back down and shut up, because even I was smart enough to finally get out of that business.
Brad Knowles email@example.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu