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IT Support for Expat Companies

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slimbalato
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IT Support for Expat Companies

Postby slimbalato » Mon, 14 Jul 2014 1:06 pm

All,

I've just landed and looking to find work, I'm not getting a great deal of response from local business for full time positions despite having a strong background for some major MNC's

In addition, my preference would be to start out on my own providing IT and Facilities support for small branch offices for European / US companies.

My question is, is there a gap in the market? Are there already Anglophile IT companies out there doing it or is the local IT landscape good enough to avoid using expats?

I'm currently in process of getting a DP via the wife and looking to set up a company as soon as it comes through.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Chris

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Re: IT Support for Expat Companies

Postby PNGMK » Mon, 14 Jul 2014 1:28 pm

slimbalato wrote:All,

I've just landed and looking to find work, I'm not getting a great deal of response from local business for full time positions despite having a strong background for some major MNC's

In addition, my preference would be to start out on my own providing IT and Facilities support for small branch offices for European / US companies.

My question is, is there a gap in the market? Are there already Anglophile IT companies out there doing it or is the local IT landscape good enough to avoid using expats?

I'm currently in process of getting a DP via the wife and looking to set up a company as soon as it comes through.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Chris


Good luck - personally I think it's a saturated market. Go for niche where the locals can't compete.

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Postby slimbalato » Mon, 14 Jul 2014 1:34 pm

Thanks! Saturated by who though? Local run business or expats?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 14 Jul 2014 1:41 pm

Does it matter? If you are good, your race shouldn't matter.

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slimbalato
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Postby slimbalato » Mon, 14 Jul 2014 1:49 pm

Well I'm told that it does matter for the local market i.e. I won't get work because I'm not Chinese.

Transversely, I'm hoping that my experience for US and European companies will help me understand their needs better than a local provider. It's not about who's better, just who can create a better client experience based on understanding their needs and wants as well as a better interface with their head office IT teams.

I'm sure it's possible that this disconnect just doesn't exist and that I am redundant, I suppose that's the question I'm asking.

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Postby ecureilx » Mon, 14 Jul 2014 2:07 pm

slimbalato wrote:.
Transversely, I'm hoping that my experience for US and European companies will help me understand their needs better than a local provider. It's not about who's better, just who can create a better client experience based on understanding their needs and wants as well as a better interface with their head office IT teams..


you mean the local IT service providers are clueless?

you talk sounds very sweet and top marks for the marketing terms, but me have seen enough local vendors servicing large Multinationals without any problems ..

some of them I am aware of .. like a large French fragrance company and another British Marine services company and a US educational services company have trimmed their own local IT team as the vendors providers do a better job than the in house support team.

when I was with an IT security reseller my customer data base of IT service providers had just over 1,000 names.

try competing there

if you gonna get in its going to be mainly on Price as with remote supposed almost any service provider can deliver first class service locally or remotely, at lowest costs possible

good luck by the way.

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Postby slimbalato » Mon, 14 Jul 2014 2:10 pm

That's basically the opposite of what I just said!

Whilst I appreciate the advice, I'm not coming from a standpoint of anyone is better than anyone else. I'm just trying to find out what my own USP might be before I try my luck!

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Postby ecureilx » Mon, 14 Jul 2014 2:27 pm

slimbalato wrote:That's basically the opposite of what I just said!

Whilst I appreciate the advice, I'm not coming from a standpoint of anyone is better than anyone else. I'm just trying to find out what my own USP might be before I try my luck!


my 2 cents ..

your USP in this super crowded IT support market?

not your background as a European ... if that's the drift I got. pardon me if I got that wrong.

or your claim to understand customers better isn't a selling point anymore

years ago, a few small time Chinese vendors focussed on Chinese clients, and a few European / American small IT vendors used to make just enough money by servicing European / American companies based here. and some small Indian IT houses focussed exclusively on Indian companies and they all lived happily.

those days are gone, so much so I heard even GIC's subsidiaries engage Indian outsourcing companies, and they have done an excellent job.

for you as an employee, you gotta fight with all equally qualified,and you have a fair chance as a Singaporean, Indian, Filipino, Indonesian, Myanmar, if you are good, except for companies servicing Mainland customers where you will loose

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Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:10 pm

I'd say that all the signs point to trying to start the wrong business at the wrong time.

a) MNC's are moving as much back office personnel as they can to cheaper locales. This includes the IT support function. KL is very popular for shared support services in IT, finance, accounting, payroll and HR.

Bottom line: IT footprint is being reduced in Singapore in terms of management and number of seats that need to be supported.

b) The IT service model is changing rapidly from having the onsite guy go sort out the problem to one where a call center staff remotes into the PC, switch... whatever... and performs the diagnosis, with support from Tier 2 staff.

Even if onsite is needed, it's contracted from one of the major suppliers, usually as part an overall regional or global program. And if it's something like a printer, you don't even need a tech... a delivery person drops the box off with instructions as to how it is plugged in, then the setup is done remotely.

Bottom line: The trend is towards commoditized, harmonized, global and/or regional services, supported by global or regional players. Small guys wanting to work for a MNC are at an extreme disadvantage. Now, not all large regional players have a presence in every country and you could work for the supplier, but in Singapore, this isn't the case. Thus, a global MNC, with a small branch office in Singapore, already has that office covered under contract on a regional basis.

If you are not Chinese, you, as your own businessman, are not going to be terribly successful selling into Chinese business of any size. That's the facts. It's not about race... it's about advantage in a tight knit business community, often connected to various government agencies.

It's also a fact that that commoditization and the negotiating tactics of the MNC's have put tremendous pressure on the bottom lines of most service companies.

I'm not saying it cannot be done... I do know of a firm that is small... 15 people or so... that provides support services for local companies... but... they've been around quite a while... and they have to fight to stay alive... their clients are constantly be offered cheaper alternatives... like a call center in Manila.

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Postby ecureilx » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:39 am

Strong Eagle wrote:I'd say that all the signs point to trying to start the wrong business at the wrong time....


well said...

I know a reseller who lost an account because one of his client wanted to get a digitizer, not even 100$ worth .. the reseller casually told his client to get it himself than the reseller not making any money in the single order

the client Called back and says they found somebody else who can deliver and install the digitizer and the boss at the client side is unhappy for the bad service from the previous reseller ..

how to fight in this kind of saturated market?

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:43 am

Strong Eagle wrote:b) The IT service model is changing rapidly from having the onsite guy go sort out the problem to one where a call center staff remotes into the PC, switch... whatever... and performs the diagnosis, with support from Tier 2 staff.



Several months ago I had a relation in the UK asking me what the market was like here for IT guys and whether I might be able to find a place for a friend. I said exactly this ^

Our systems, both HW and SW are worked on remotely. Our accounting system issues are handled from India and any issues we have with Microsoft are dealt with from China. The only time I would need a local guy is to find out why our network is not connected to the internet because everything after that can be done from anywhere.

From a HW point if view, if something fails either buy a new one or take it to Sim Lim where there are hundreds of guys with all the tools and parts at hand to fix just about anything.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'

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Postby bgd » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:52 am

Just to echo what everyone else is saying.

I work for an investment bank. What we don't do in-house we outsource to India or China or anywhere cheap. Just like every other similar bank in Sg. It's all about cost these days.

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Postby slimbalato » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:50 pm

It's not sounding good is it?

What everyone is saying about methods for supporting offices is true all over the world, just about every company I've worked recently has the same approach but that being said, there's certain things that can never be done remotely and that's the only reason people like me are still around.

In my last company, 90% of the real IT work was done from the US but we were there to look after the hardware, the Audio Visual, video conferencing, facilities and everything else that can't be done over the wire, not to mention, local knowledge and relationships.

That being said, and I take this all on board big time but it leaves me wondering, what hell should I do, not working is not an option. Do I try anyway or do I look elsewhere (where?).

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 1:03 pm

slimbalato wrote:It's not sounding good is it?

What everyone is saying about methods for supporting offices is true all over the world, just about every company I've worked recently has the same approach but that being said, there's certain things that can never be done remotely and that's the only reason people like me are still around.

In my last company, 90% of the real IT work was done from the US but we were there to look after the hardware, the Audio Visual, video conferencing, facilities and everything else that can't be done over the wire, not to mention, local knowledge and relationships.

That being said, and I take this all on board big time but it leaves me wondering, what hell should I do, not working is not an option. Do I try anyway or do I look elsewhere (where?).


Mate, I'm not saying that the service being provided is any good... just that this is the trend in service management. Yes, there is an onsite guy... or more likely a remote service guy (that is, a guy who will show up withing some SLA) that sets up projectors, holds the hands of idiot users... but its a regionally or globally engaged company that does it.

I implemented several large managed services projects. In all cases, I think the average end user got screwed... but the push to cut IT costs in MNC's to about 1 percent of sales seems to top everything else.

I got out of my project management business partly because of the changing landscape... globally directed projects with reliance upon suppliers to make it work.

I rarely agree with PNGMK, but he's right about one thing... modern day IT sucks. You've got an opportunity for a career shift.

PS: The big regional service suppliers in APJ are NCR, CSC, Toshiba, AtoS, Getronics, and I think HP is still in the game. None of them have a regionwide onsite presence and thus subcontract. All of them get a 2 or 3 year contract, then get kicked out because of substandard service... with the MNC never seemingly realizing that if you pay shit, you get shit... all suppliers need to make a profit. You might check with these folks... but pay will be low.
Last edited by Strong Eagle on Tue, 15 Jul 2014 1:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby the lynx » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 1:09 pm

slimbalato wrote:It's not sounding good is it?

What everyone is saying about methods for supporting offices is true all over the world, just about every company I've worked recently has the same approach but that being said, there's certain things that can never be done remotely and that's the only reason people like me are still around.

In my last company, 90% of the real IT work was done from the US but we were there to look after the hardware, the Audio Visual, video conferencing, facilities and everything else that can't be done over the wire, not to mention, local knowledge and relationships.

That being said, and I take this all on board big time but it leaves me wondering, what hell should I do, not working is not an option. Do I try anyway or do I look elsewhere (where?).


If it is the experience of working overseas is what you're looking for, I'd say go elsewhere. Since you're already, keep trying until your flight back. Perhaps the best solution is remain where you are (home country), gain local experience, while continue applying here?


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