FIRMS STAY PRODUCTIVE ALL DAY WITH SHIFTS IN VARIOUS TIME ZONES.Byline: Shankar Vedantam Knight-Ridder Tribune News Wire
They seem to come to life at night.
As programmers and computer users across the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. walk out the office door every evening, an army of professionals here, halfway around the world, is preparing to carry on where they have left off.
In Bangalore, a city southeast of Bombay, the workday is just beginning. As Indian programmers commute TO COMMUTE. To substitute one punishment in the place of another. For example, if a man be sentenced to be hung, the executive may, in some states, commute his punishment to that of imprisonment. to work, messages are zipping across the ether ether, in chemistry
ether, any of a number of organic compounds whose molecules contain two hydrocarbon groups joined by single bonds to an oxygen atom. of cyberspace Coined by William Gibson in his 1984 novel "Neuromancer," it is a futuristic computer network that people use by plugging their minds into it! The term now refers to the Internet or to the online or digital world in general. See Internet and virtual reality. Contrast with meatspace. , and unsolved problems A list of unsolved problems may refer to several conjectures or open problems in various fields. The problems are listed below:
Welcome to the future, where companies can be productive 24 hours a day by working in tandem Adv. 1. in tandem - one behind the other; "ride tandem on a bicycle built for two"; "riding horses down the path in tandem"
tandem across time zones. Programmers here spend their days solving problems for U.S. computer users, fixing bugs and writing software. As day dawns over America, the solutions are zapped back.
``If we were not answering the questions, unless there were people working through the night in the U.S., the questions would go unanswered for hours,'' said Anjana Kaul, a manager at Aditi Inc. in Bangalore, which helps users trouble-shoot computer glitches.
``If someone posted a question at 7 p.m., he would have to wait until 2 p.m. the next day,'' she said, for American trouble-shooters to come into work, solve the problem and get the solution to the user. ``Now he gets his answer during the night, and it's waiting for him in the morning.''
U.S. computer companies contract with companies abroad because of the time advantage and because pay rates are as much as eight times lower than in the United States. Aditi is the brainchild brain·child
An original idea or plan attributed to a person or group.
Informal an idea or plan produced by creative thought
Noun 1. of an Indian expatriate Expatriate
An employee who is a U.S. citizen living and working in a foreign country. in the Seattle area, Pradeep Singh Pradeep Singh is the founder and CEO of Aditi Technologies. He founded Aditi Technologies in 1994 after nine years in management positions at Microsoft, including General Manager of the Windows 95 mobile services group. .
Trouble-shooting is an especially good area for such international work-sharing, since the problems that most users have can be solved relatively easily and fast.
``It can be as simple as how to use a menu,'' said Kaul, referring to a standard way options are presented on computer screens. ``People ask, `How do I do this?' and it turns out to be a button-click.''
More complicated software work - like application programming or software projects - cannot be farmed out so easily, since the problems are too complex to be solved overnight.
Aditi also has an ace up its sleeve. Every time someone posts a question on an Internet news group and Aditi answers it, the company records the e-mail address See Internet address.
e-mail address - electronic mail address of the person.
``We understand customers,'' said Singh, Aditi's chief executive officer and a former Microsoft employee. ``We build brand name. We have 150,000 programmers' e-mail addresses - 40,000 we've corresponded with.''
The company eventually wants to sell software products that can fix problems which crop up frequently. Doing support work is a way of keeping an ear to the ground to find out what regularly bothers computer users. Once the company has a product, its list of e-mail addresses is a ready-made list for direct marketing.
``Once a customer is out there, you start tracking everything about him,'' said M.D. Ramaswamy, general manager of Aditi. ``The more you handle him, the more you understand.''
One potential customer Aditi is getting to know is a Washington, D.C., computer user who bought a copy of Microsoft's Windows '95 in September.
The user, Gerard Rolape, had worked with computers for 20 years in the Department of Defense. After retiring, he kept using a computer to maintain his finances, write letters and do Internet-related work. But on a Wednesday afternoon in June, he found himself stuck. His volume control button had done a disappearing trick.
The button was the icon on the screen he clicked on when he wanted to ``mute'' his laptop. He remembered it was there just the previous day, when he was reorganizing his files and eliminating junk. He had probably done something to take away the icon, but he could not figure what.
So he posted a note on an Internet newsgroup newsgroup
Internet forum for discussion of specific subjects. Newsgroups are organized into subjects (e.g., automobiles); each typically has several subgroups (e.g., classic cars, Formula One racing cars). : ``Everything works,'' he wrote, ``sound and all, I just liked having the icon there to mute when I didn't want to disturb anyone else.''
He explained some of the things he had done while futilely trying to fix the problem. ``Any and all help appreciated.''