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Force10 Relocates Jobs to India

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
10/29/2004

Force10 Networks Inc. has joined the legions of technology companies that have opened facilities in India, and the company is moving U.S. engineering jobs there as well.

Force10 says it's not laying off workers, contrary to rumors. “We informed a group of engineers that their function would now reside in India, and we gave them the option to relocate there,” says VP of marketing Andrew Feldman.

Feldman explains that some quality assurance and software development operations are being moved from Force10 headquarters in Milpitas, Calif., to the new facility in Chennai. “We are moving jobs to India,” Feldman said. “But we are hiring -- both in India and at our headquarters. The company will be bigger next month than it is now.”

So how many folks are -- how you say? -- relocating? Feldman declined to quantify the number of engineers given the choice to move; he says it's a “modest number.” The number of engineers who have accepted the offer was also not available.

Force10's statement, released October 20, says the new Indian facility will develop future upgrades to Force10’s new TeraScale E-Series switch/routers, as well as future products and features (see Force10 Goes Terabit).

Reports of layoffs at Force10, which employs about 275 people, began showing up in chat rooms and bulletin boards (including Light Reading’s) in the week following the announcement of the new facility.

“I peruse the chat rooms, and I see there are people talking that just don’t understand what we are doing, although some do,” Feldman says.

The Chennai facility will initially house “north of 50” employees, most of them engineers, according to Feldman. That number is likely to double in the next six months.

Feldman points out that despite the job transfers, the Chennai facility will house fewer engineers than the company’s Milpitas headquarters, even when fully staffed.

“This is in line with best practices right now. Look around, and just about every company you see is establishing operations in India, including Cisco and Foundry.”

Force10 was founded in 1999, and in 2002 became the first to sell Ethernet switches that forward data packets at 10 Gbit/s. The company has enjoyed steady growth and sales success and is well funded, with nearly $290 million raised to date.

— Mark Sullivan, special to Light Reading

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299792458
299792458
12/5/2012 | 1:08:24 AM
re: Force10 Relocates Jobs to India
Agreed.

Hmmm, I wonder how much F10 was offering in terms of relocation expenses for those engineers to go to India? My guess, nada.

Oh and BTW, once you get there, your salary will be substantially less than it was here... Half?

Just call it like is. We laid off these engineers here, and will hire others in India to save us money. (We hope.)
opticalwatcher
opticalwatcher
12/5/2012 | 1:08:24 AM
re: Force10 Relocates Jobs to India
Lets cut the bull--
If you tell someone that they can keep their job if they move to a third world country, you are laying that person off. Putting it any other way is pure bull----.

Any reasonable person knows exactly what I am saying. Feldman doesn't sound like a reasonable person so maybe he'll disagree!
zoinks!
zoinks!
12/5/2012 | 1:08:23 AM
re: Force10 Relocates Jobs to India
There could be some truth to Feldman's statement that engineers were offered relocation...the Indian engineers.

On a serious note, Feldman's statement is THE most ridiculous remark that I have personnally heard regarding the transfer of jobs offshore.

I wonder how many marketing wonks Feldman hired to replace the offshored engineers??

Zoinks!
sjd6
sjd6
12/5/2012 | 1:08:23 AM
re: Force10 Relocates Jobs to India
Amazing how execs can fools themselves into thinking they are doing the right thing. Hey everyone else is doing it too, Cisco, Fdry.
F10 should just add another line to their missiong statement - "We do everything that we see Cisco and Foundry doing." What a crock.
ruready
ruready
12/5/2012 | 1:08:21 AM
re: Force10 Relocates Jobs to India

They'll find the Indian Engineers much less efficient, unwilling to work the hours we do in the US and less than willing to make the late night conference calls. I've seen the savings as little as 20%. Seems hardly worth it.

If this country does not stop the outsourcing, there will be no one left to use the switches, wireless, mp3 players, etc. Outsourced jobs also means fewer people to use F10(or other) switches.
tracif
tracif
12/5/2012 | 1:08:21 AM
re: Force10 Relocates Jobs to India
And what is more amusing if they had a more
agile software development methodology they could
have fewer developers, more productivity, and
keep development local. Instead their poor
software development practices will doom
them even more now that communication is even
worse.
netwizard
netwizard
12/5/2012 | 1:08:21 AM
re: Force10 Relocates Jobs to India
heeeee heheheh
kidccie
kidccie
12/5/2012 | 1:08:20 AM
re: Force10 Relocates Jobs to India
It's called karma .. let's see where this heads for them. Those engineers who stay and find jobs here always seem to leave a load of laundry behind.
Upside_again
Upside_again
12/5/2012 | 1:08:20 AM
re: Force10 Relocates Jobs to India
Get over it engineers. Over-sized bubble era paychecks and free lunches are all over. Regardless of what you think of the F10 delivery and your impressions of off-shore outsourcing savings are all null and void sour grapes. It's happenning - so start getting used to what happened to sales, marketing, and admistration people over the last few years. Many an Engineer has had nice cozy sustaining employment for the longest because the products had to be built or supported regardless of post bubble down-sizings. Now, it's your turn.
Evil_Alien
Evil_Alien
12/5/2012 | 1:08:19 AM
re: Force10 Relocates Jobs to India

Quote:
---------------------------------------------
They'll find the Indian Engineers much less efficient, unwilling to work the hours we do in the US and less than willing to make the late night conference calls. I've seen the savings as little as 20%. Seems hardly worth it.
---------------------------------------------

I'm not sure what your experience has been, but here's mine (I am an Indian engineer who worked for a company that did outsourced development for some of top telecom vendors in the US).

With regards to efficiency, we would find it hard to be as efficient as US engineers who had been working with the same product for years, and in most cases had been the original developers. Once we gained experience with the product, new feature development became fairly routine - in fact quality improved significantly (one reason was that we appreciated the risk a big outage could cause to our contracts).

However my bigger disagreement is with regards to your point about hours. US engineers tended to follow a standard 8-5 working day. The Indian replacements who for the most part were younger, often were single and trying to prove themselves and move to the next best thing were far more willing to pull long hours. I know most engineers (myself included) spent many hours in excess of our colleagues at the vendors. And no, we never billed for overtime.

With regards to cost saving, the loaded cost of engineers in the US was about $200,000. The cost of Indian engineers worked out to around $45000. Once the initial hurdles of transferring the work were overcome, efficiency and quality were at least as good as that of the original teams.

I did notice that as contract developers there was little incentive for us to suggest innovations or new product ideas, and these were benefits that clients lost by outsourcing. However the enormous cost savings cannot be argued away.

Do I like it? No! - I know it will eventually shift to a still cheaper location and I will be out of work. However I've also studied economics enough to know that this is inevitable. You could try to slow it down by tariffs and taxes, but companies will do what rum-runners and smugglers of yore did - get around the law or subvert it. The only defense I trust is to keep my skills sharp enough that I cannot be easily replaced or to find an industry where location provides barriers to such competition. I've chosen the latter.





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