Outsourcing Panel details… this one is heating up.

Dennis Kneale Managing Editor Forbes magazine at Milken 2004I’m in the Insourcing/Outsourcing Breakout session hosted by Dennis Kneale, a really smart guy from Forbes that I’ve met at another conference.

The round table is sponsored by Talisma Corporation, and featured the following speakers:

James Flanigan, Senior Economics Editor, The Los Angeles Times
Dennis Kneale, Managing Editor, Forbes magazine
Dan Vetras, President and CEO, Talisma Corp.

Summary: Join what promises to be a lively discussion moderated by Dennis Kneale, Managing Editor of Forbes Magazine, as participants get real about issues related to current outsourcing trends and their relative impact on the U.S. and global economies. Central to the discussion is how U.S. companies benefit, what the perceived and real impact is on U.S. job creation going forward and how technology and market forces will take advantage of this new worldwide dynamic.

More comments to come.

Note: Dave Neeleman the founder of JetBlue is sitting in on this panel. I interviewed David for Silicon Alley Reporter and I was able to catch up with him before the panel.

The panel discussed what would happen to the people who are losing their jobs and why they are losing their jobs.

Our failure to effectively catch up with our education system came up over and over. By the time we educate people on technology, computers and programming those jobs went overseas. Now we’re telling people that they need to learn biotech, but those jobs will also clearly be overseas.

I brought up the topic of lifestyle businessespeople creating businesses that support just themselves, or a couple of people, as the future. My thesis is that since execution is a commodity, perhaps the ideas are not.

outsourcing jetblue ceo david neelemanDavid Neeleman of JetBlue (right in the middle with the blue shirthello) said: Over the last four years we created 7,000 jobs average pay is about 50,000 a job. We’ve tried to revolutionize an industry. There needs to be, like the steel industry, these old line industries, but they have been a drain on their industries. What disturbs me about this outsourcing is that the people who talk to our people on the phone are the most important people.

David discussed how they have their call agents at home in their fuzzy bunny slippers. He talked about how important the call agents were, and how letting people work from home gave them an extra perk that made it an easy decision to work for JetBlue.

David continued: Delta airlines who tried to kill us visited our call center. We showed them because we thought it was the right thing to do. [Note: JetBlue is trying to educate people that they can do call centers cheaply right here in the US] We’re in the service business, so you have to have good service if you are going to be able to distinguish yourself.

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