Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Elance & outsourcing.

I work for an Independent Financial Advisers in east London. We have around 25 workstations at 3 different premises.

I am solely in charge of all these computers - and to be honest not much goes wrong. Our ADSL router periodically freezes up - sometimes certain domains become inaccessible. Quite often news.bbc.co.uk. Sometimes there is a paperjam, A fuse blows, or someone forgets their password. All in all a very undemanding IT position.

So to further my career I trained as a mortgage adviser - this has taken more and more of my time - and I have devoted less and less to computers. The network virtually runs itself.

However, over time storage has become an issue for our small business - we have 3 times more filing cabinets than people here. And we have been looking for a digital storage solution. After bad experiences with several off the shelf packages - and even a bespoke IFA solution. We decided to try outsourcing the work - after friends of mine in the web design industry had had good experiences with outsourcing to foreign web designers.

After all our failed attempts at going digital - and our office bulging at the seams we had to do something ... We started saving all paper files as PDF files in a folder system - it wasn't really searchable. - and we could do very little with it. But it did mean we could move the paper files off site. We needed some file management software - and although I probably had the skills to write it - I had neither the time nor the inclination.

After reviewing a few different websites - I finally Settled on Elance to place the description of the project and await bidders. Bids varied between $1000 and $8000 USD. We finally decided on www.dcrsolutions.biz . It was a combination of their low bid and the quality of the English in the correspondence from them that really sold it to us - and with only a 30% deposit down - we were more than willing to give it a try.

Things are going well, contact has been consistent - and we are nearly there now. I will let you know how well the finished article turns out.