The impact of currency fluctuations on outsourcing businesses globally

 

The impact of currency fluctuations on outsourcing businesses globally.

If you have a current offshore team in a different country/currency zone then you may find that the significant cost savings from outsourcing have vanished due to currency fluctuations that occur for reasons like earthquakes, war or oil- something which is outside the core competency of your business corporation. As off shoring companies incur cost in local currencies but gain revenue in American Dollars and Euro (mostly), they pass on these fluctuating costs to their customers but rarely pass along discounts on existing contracts. Sometimes the offshoring contract actually gains from currency fluctuations.The Indian rupee has fluctuated from  43.62 Rupees per USD (04-01-2005) to 48.58 (12-31-2008) to the current value of 44.65.This makes for a volatility component of almost 10 percentage points to the revenue and profit margins of an off shoring vendor. Inflation in India has been growing at 8.5 % and the annual increase in salaries has been around 10-15 % for the past few years. Offshoring vendors have been known to cut back on quality in recruitment when costs have risen historically, and the current attrition rate in Indian ITES is almost 17%.
This raises important questions for companies going for global bids for the offshoring contracts. Should macroeconomic indicators like currency fluctuations, wage-inflation be part of the request for proposal process (RFP). Would vendors be comfortable in disclosing the ratio of salary costs to billing revenue. Should dips in service quality be penalized by customer. Most importantly, while going in for a multi year contract, the projection of fore-casted savings may vary greatly due to extraneous factors.
(this article was originally written for and published by http://www.indiasoftwarebrief.com/ in their daily newsletter and their socail media channel- see http://www.linkedin.com/groups/impact-currency-fluctuations-on-outsourcing-3825591.S.48411960)

 

 

What to do if you see a possible GPL violation

GNU Lesser General Public License
Image via Wikipedia

Well I have played with software (mostly but not exclusively) analytical, and I admire the zeal and energy of both open source and closed source practioners- all having relatively decent people executing strategies their investors or owners tell them to do (closed source) or motivated by their own self sense of cool-change the world-openness (open source)

What I dont get is people stealing open source code- repackaging without adding major contributions- claiming patent pending stuff- and basically making money by creating CLOSED source from the open source software-(as open source is yet to break the enterprise glass cieling)

you are either open source or you arent.

bi- sexuality is okay. bi-codability is not.

Next time you see someone stealing some community’s open source code- refer to this excellent link.

 

But, we cannot act on our own if we do not hold copyright. Thus, be sure to find out who the copyright holders of the software are before reporting a violation.

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-violation.html

Violations of the GNU Licenses

If you think you see a violation of the GNU GPLLGPLAGPL, or FDL, the first thing you should do is double-check the facts:

  • Does the distribution contain a copy of the License?
  • Does it clearly state which software is covered by the License? Does it say anything misleading, perhaps giving the impression that something is covered by the License when in fact it is not?
  • Is source code included in the distribution?
  • Is a written offer for source code included with a distribution of just binaries?
  • Is the available source code complete, or is it designed for linking in other non-free modules?

If there seems to be a real violation, the next thing you need to do is record the details carefully:

  • the precise name of the product
  • the name of the person or organization distributing it
  • email addresses, postal addresses and phone numbers for how to contact the distributor(s)
  • the exact name of the package whose license is violated
  • how the license was violated:
    • Is the copyright notice of the copyright holder included?
    • Is the source code completely missing?
    • Is there a written offer for source that’s incomplete in some way? This could happen if it provides a contact address or network URL that’s somehow incorrect.
    • Is there a copy of the license included in the distribution?
    • Is some of the source available, but not all? If so, what parts are missing?

The more of these details that you have, the easier it is for the copyright holder to pursue the matter.

Once you have collected the details, you should send a precise report to the copyright holder of the packages that are being misused. The copyright holder is the one who is legally authorized to take action to enforce the license.

If the copyright holder is the Free Software Foundation, please send the report to <license-violation@gnu.org>. It’s important that we be able to write back to you to get more information about the violation or product. So, if you use an anonymous remailer, please provide a return path of some sort. If you’d like to encrypt your correspondence, just send a brief mail saying so, and we’ll make appropriate arrangements.

Note that the GPL, and other copyleft licenses, are copyright licenses. This means that only the copyright holders are empowered to act against violations. The FSF acts on all GPL violations reported on FSF copyrighted code, and we offer assistance to any other copyright holder who wishes to do the same.

But, we cannot act on our own if we do not hold copyright. Thus, be sure to find out who the copyright holders of the software are before reporting a violation.

 

Google Refine

An interesting data cleaning software from Google at

https://code.google.com/p/google-refine/

From the page at

https://code.google.com/p/google-refine/wiki/UserGuide

The Basics

First, although Google Refine might start out looking like a spreadsheet program (Microsoft Excel, Google Spreadsheets, etc.), don’t expect it to work like a spreadsheet program. That’s almost like expecting a database to work like a text editor.

Google Refine is NOT for entering new data one cell at a time. It is NOT for doing accounting.

Google Refine is for applying transformations over many existing cells in bulk, for the purpose of cleaning up the data, extending it with more data from other sources, and getting it to some form that other tools can consume.

To use Google Refine, think in big patterns. For example, to spot errors, think

  • Show me every row where the string length of the customer’s name is longer than 50 characters (because I suspect that the customer’s address is mistakenly included in the name field)
  • Show me every row where the contract fee is less than 1 (because I suspect the fee was entered in unit of thousand dollars rather than dollars)
  • Show me every row where the description field (scraped from some web site) contains “&” (because I suspect it wasn’t decoded properly)

To edit data, think

  • For every row where the contract fee is less than 1, multiply the fee by 1000.
  • For every row where the customer name contains a comma (it has been entered as “last_name, first_name”), split the name by the comma, reverse the array, and join it back with a space (producing “first_name last_name”)

To specify patterns, use filters and facets. Typically, you create a filter or facet on a particular column. For example, you can create a numeric facet on the “contract fee” column and adjust its range selector to select values less than 1. If the default facet doesn’t do what you want, you can configure it (by clicking “change” on the facet’s header). For example, you can create a text facet with on the same “contract fee” column with this expression:

  value < 1

It will show 2 choices: true and false. Just select true. Then, invoke the Transform command on that same column and enter the expression

  value * 1000

That Transform command affects only rows where the “contract fee” cell contains a value less than 1.

You can use several filters and facets together. Only rows that are selected by all facets and filters will be shown in the data table. For example, say you have two text facets, one on the “contract fee” column with the expression

  value < 1

and another on the “state” column (with the default expression). If you select “true” in the first facet and “Nevada” in the second, then you will only see rows for contracts in Nevada with fees less than 1.

Analogies

Databases

If you have programmed databases before (performing SQL queries), then what Google Refine works should be quite familiar to you. Creating filters and facets and selecting something in them is like performing this SELECT statement:

  SELECT *
  WHERE ... constraints determined by selection in facets and filters ...

And invoking the Transform command on a column while having some filters and facets selected is like performing this UPDATE statement

  UPDATE whole_table SET column_X = ... expression ...
  WHERE ... constraints determined by selection in facets and filters ...

The difference between Google Refine and databases is that the facets show you choices that you can select, whereas databases assume that you already know what’s in the data.