Here's an excerpt from an interesting interview that silicon.com writer Ina Fried did with Ron Markezich, Microsoft's CIO. Although I've quoted in this blog that Microsoft has more service providers working for it than any other organization in the world, Mr. Markezich provides some useful perspective on it.
What kind of stuff does Microsoft IT have others do?
We outsource our tier-one call centre to HP. Our desk-side support is outsourced, depending on the region, to either Fujitsu-Siemens or to HP. We do outsource some applications development and maintenance to a variety of vendors – Accenture, Electronic Data Systems, Infosys Technologies, BearingPoint. Typically, what we don't outsource are those areas directly tied to our products. We never want to outsource all of our applications development, because we want to be driving improvements in BizTalk and SQL Server and Visual Studio.
It sounds like you have outsourced where you can already.
I don't know that I will grow the way in which I use vendors. I don't look at the whole offshoring thing as a cost deal. The cost savings honestly aren't that significant, and there is additional risk. To me, it's a talent base. It's another pool of talent, and that's the biggest advantage.