The title says it all. A new web IM called Wablet developed locally by FBM Software with headquarters in Las vegas, took some below-the-belt comments after a thorough review over at TechCrunch specifically because the app was done in the Philippines.
Nothing to be surprised really but some westerners tend to be biased against anything coming from Asia or the Philippines for that matter. Excuse me but haven’t they heard about iPods being manufactured in China, Convergys and Dell customer service support being routed to the Philippines and tons of other BPO offices mushrooming in Bangalore?
I’m sure these people are familiar with how outsourcing works. These are just skilled laborers and talented salaried employees. If the product takes off, I don’t think them fellow Filipino developers would get rich (since they don’t own the company).
Apparently, there’s some concerns about privacy and Philippine laws. (Isn’t that the same reason why Paypal doesn’t want to do business here?)
David Foote, the main guy behind Wablet clarifies this in a comment at TechCrunch:
Wablet has operations in the Philippines, and San Francisco. With Data centers in the US. Corporate Intelltual property and accountability are NOT governed under Philippine law. Microsoft, HP, and Accenture have operations in India, Philippines and places you probably haven’t heard of. People Support and Convergys have several thousand call center employees handling issues (including credit card and billing) for dell, aol, gateway and several others right around the corner from Wablet Philippine offices. Wablet web widgets will not ask for your IM passwords. It doesn’t work that way. Users perform a one time registration of their IM usernames and passwords from the Wablet site. This information is transmitted and stored in encrpyted format in our US data center. Wablet takes identity and privacy seriously, since it is core to our business model.
Wablet is developed by a multinational development team including some very talented Filipino, Spanish, and American developers.
Wablet is not governed by Philippine Law. Data is stored securily in US data centers. Flash widgets will not ask for your IM user name and passwords.
My point? Let’s just look at the app for its actual merits/demerits or the business model and not based on which region it’s being outsourced at. Whether TechCrunch likes the product or not, it will be the users that will dictate the success of yet another web IM.