back to article British Gas 'in talks' to outsource tech services desk, whispers insider

British Gas has dropped a bombshell among its techies after informing them of plans to outsource some or all of its service desk. The erstwhile methane monopoly gathered the IT squad in Staines yesterday to deliver the good news that they could be looking for a job elsewhere. "In a hastily announced IT staff meeting," said …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outsourced?

    "There are around 120 heads but only 40 are permanent."

    --> in other words, the "IT Function" is already outsourced - only difference being that an external company will run the service desk instead of 80 (presumed, as they aren't 'permanent') Contractors.

    Given there will certainly be a retained layer to manage the interface between BG and whichever, the actual 'permanent' job losses aren't exactly extravagant (if any).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Outsourced?

      It doesn't sound like a service desk to me "The services departments supports all production, pre-production and dev systems, which are predominantly Unix-based Oracle and SAP.".

      I have contracted thru' HCL and they paid my invoices promptly. That might sound trite but anyone stung by the 2e2 collapse will appreciate the importance.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Outsourced?

        No it's not the 'Service Desk' - which is already outsourced to Fujitsu.It's the Service Management team and associated still insourced support areas.

        And actually they have far more Windows servers with HP than they do Linux / UNIX ones. And management of SAP is already outsourced!

        Anon obviously.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Outsourced?

      "Given there will certainly be a retained layer to manage the interface between BG and whichever, the actual 'permanent' job losses aren't exactly extravagant (if any)."

      Bwahahhahaa. I work for one of British gas' competitors, and our idiot management outsourced the service desk to HP (along with a whole lot else). From a user point of view it has been an unmitigated disaster. I hate having anything to do with IT. I expect tickets raised to result in no meaningful resolution. I expect the Indian service desk to struggle to understand the nature of my call. I expect IT basics to not work reliably. Even simple stuff like synching and backing up user data from laptops simply doesn't work.

      As for the job losses, yeah, everybody gets TUPE'd across. But then they are treated like shit, quickly come to top of the list in the outsourcer's next round of sackings, and the IT support is provided by more and more low paid, little experienced monkeys. Formerly stalwart IT expert colleagues are ground into the dust, to the point where they won't do a bloody thing without a valid ticket number.

      However, this is British Gas, and they clearly haven't learnt from the mongo bust up they had with Accenture where they outsourced billing system development to that company and it all went shit shaped.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Outsourced?

        You are absolutely correct. I am in that shit-can myself (hence A/C).

        But to clarify (certainly in some cases and certainly in mine)....

        - A ticket is raised.

        - It gets picked up by offshore - who don't know what to do with it and sit on it.

        - Customer escalates.

        - Some other offshore person looks at it - and decides to shift it elsewhere and make it someone else's problem.

        - Customer escalates again, or manages to contact someone they know (usually a TUPE'd resource from 'the old days') to try and expedite their problem.

        - TUPE'd resource is totally overloaded because of the volume of stuff coming through and the fact that the number of TUPE'd team members has slowly declined as they get pissed off and leave (not to be replaced).

        That's why, when it comes to Business IT, the drop off in quality is slow (initially the TUPE'd team will try and maintain quality, but are eventually overwhelmed and really do have to insist on having tickets raised just so its possible to track WTF is happening).

  2. dwrjones87

    "[We] are working closely with them to reach a proposed outcome later this year.”

    ie. we'll look at the figures, decide how many to chop and then tell them they're losing their jobs

  3. Michael Habel Silver badge

    And this....

    Saves money for who exactly? I somehow doubt that this decrease of "Service" will translate into Energy savings for the rest of us? Meanwhile the Government allows those Clowns to horde away their cash into as many Tax havens, such are whats left of 'em to avoid over paying their Tax Debt. Which as any fule nos is the same thing as Tax Evasion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And this....

      "Meanwhile the Government allows those Clowns to horde away their cash into as many Tax havens"

      Actually Centrica fully pays UK taxes.

  4. HollyHopDrive
    Stop

    "British" gas

    Makes a mockery - I actually think they should be FORCED to change the company name. If they can't behave in a British way, with British Interests and (or at least European) jobs then they shouldn't be able to claim "British" in the title. You shouldn't be allowed to stamp "made in Britain" when it isn't! (yes, I know we probably get the gas from Russia but you get my point!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "British" gas

      "I know we probably get the gas from Russia"

      Actually we don't.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "British" gas

      I believe the current is front line help desk is in Portugal, which last time i checked was in Europe.

      British Gas is a British Company - not like the other big six which are all owned by foreign governments. We only import a small percentage of gas from Russia. I believe BG has a contract with Qatar to import LNG.

      Should be complaining about EDF (French) using the (green) Union Jack for the sponsorship of the London Olympics, implying that they are British!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "British" gas

        "British Gas is a British Company - not like the other big six which are all owned by foreign governments."

        If you know so little, why are you posting your nonsense? SSE are British domiciled and London listed. E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power are all subsidiaries of EU based, investor owned companies.

        If you want to be jingoistic this has worked out well for the UK. We sold our power assets and power companies to foreigners, then our government destroys the value of those assets and the underlying business through a shit headed energy policy. That's a bad outcome, but if you're going to pillage the investors, better that it's another countries pension investors, not ours

  5. cyberelf
    Facepalm

    Outsourcing is a false economy ..

    Outsourcing is a false economy. If the bean counters think they are saving money then they are sorely deluded. Once the outsourcing company have added on their profits, British Gas will end up paying more than keeping it in house.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Outsourcing is a false economy ..

      "Once the outsourcing company have added on their profits, British Gas will end up paying more than keeping it in house."

      No they won't. They will hire cheaper monkeys and headline costs will be lower. Otherwise there would be no justification to do it.

      What will cost more is cleaning up the mess and insourcing it again later once it finally becomes unbearable.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “We are currently undertaking a review of our Information Services operations to ensure we continue to serve our customers in the most efficient and cost effective way.

    I can translate that for you...

    "We are currently looking to increase the profits by providing the minimum level of service we can get away with... it'll make the new CIO look good and get him a nice big bonus.

    I'm surprised Google translate don't have a language module for "Management Bullshit", there must be enough of it about to justify the development time.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll upvote that....

    because you hit the nail on the head.

  8. Arachnoid

    And only here yesterday

    The radio advert for BG was extolling the expertise of its "British" Gas engineers

    1. Craigie

      Re: And only here yesterday

      This has nothing to do with boiler fiddlers.

      1. Arachnoid

        Thjis has nothing to do with

        No but it has to do with the ethos imagery of being a totally "British" company

  9. frootus
    FAIL

    Xerox had fun with HCL

    I hope British Gas are similarly enamoured.

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