The initial furor over cost savings created by offshoring is dying down as companies are finding that the savings aren't as big as they may have seemed -- due to a need for more management, foreign travel, etc.
But that hasn't dampened enthusiasm for offshoring, largely because companies find that the cost savings pale in comparison to the longer-term, strategic benefits that can result from a successful relationship.
There's even a newly minted term for this practice: smartsourcing. It's the subject of the new book, "Smartsourcing: Driving Innovation and Growth Through Outsourcing" by Delphi Group executives Carl Frappaolo and Thomas Koulopoulos.
An early adherent of smartsourcing was General Electric which, under Jack Welch, took the then-radical step of sending not just menial tasks but R&D work to India.
Of course, there's a catch. Smartsourcing is far from simple.
It will work best for companies that have a deep insight into their business processes. Selecting the right partner becomes even more important, for obvious reasons. And companies must be willing to share proprietary information with their partners; many companies are not ready for a relationship that open.