Some years back at TMC, we installed a large flat screen TV in one of our conference rooms and the person handling the job was ANDY OnCall. At the time I was not aware that ANDY OnCall was actually a franchise and the person installing our TV was not Andy at all. I was surprised but in the end it didn’t really matter as the TV did get installed.
I started thinking of this experience as I have started to see a wave of new offshore personal assistant services pop up in India and elsewhere. Obviously when you outsource a personal assistant it becomes a lot less personal but does it matter if the job still gets done?
The services being provided by firms such as Brickwork and GetFriday are things you could hire an administrative assistant in the US to do… Book plane tickets, research the competition, or really anything else.
Not all customers are happy with these services based in India and subsequently at least one company has launched a similar serviced staffed by US college students.
This trend is just another example of how technology boosts productivity and allows tasks to be outsourced on a quite granular level.
Check out this New York Times article for more. Photo courtesy of the NY Times.