Mumbai, how do I get to LA Observed?

While L.A. Times publisher David Hiller struggles to make the paper more local, his business side has decided to out-source the in-house computer help desk — to India. This function joins telemarketing and ad production in the offshore flow at the new Times-Tribune. Memo after the jump.

I wanted you all to be aware that beginning in June 2007, The Times first-level Help Desk call center will be managed by IBM, a market leader in help-desk services for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Calls will be handled primarily by IBM's call center in India and employees will benefit from best practices and expertise in help desk customer service as well as 24/7 availability.

As with shifts in telemarketing and ad production operations, The Times has chosen to outsource this function to streamline processes and reduce overall expense while participating in the improvement plan Tribune began last year. As announced, those efforts include investments in common systems to improve efficiency, greater collaboration across business units and the undertaking of local initiatives.

We are confident that IBM will maintain our current service and security levels and there will be no significant change in how assistance is obtained. When an employee calls, the representative will assess the situation and assist with problem solving. If the issue cannot be solved during the call, a "ticket" will be created and if in-person desktop support service is needed, IBM will coordinate with The Times level two desktop support service.

More information will be communicated in the coming weeks and we ask that you share this with your managers and employees as appropriate. Please know we appreciate your support.

Thank you,
Bob Palermini

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