Elance Targets SMEs with New Outsourcing Center

Services procurement specialist offers small, midsize enterprises resource for sourcing, providing IT services

Sunnyvale, CA — June 7, 2004 — Services procurement specialist Elance Online has unveiled its Web & IT Outsourcing Center, an outsourcing resource for technology consulting businesses intended to give a boost to small and midsize enterprises (SMEs).

Elance said that the Web & IT Outsourcing Center will allow businesses to take advantage of outsourcing. The center is part of the provider's Everyday Outsourcing service, which offers free access to firms and individuals that provide a variety of professional services.

In addition, Elance said that the center is featuring free "Be a Profit Maker" Web seminars led by the provider's coaches. The goal of the seminars is to help IT consultants learn how to leverage outsourcing.

According to Gartner, outsourcing continues to be the main source of growth in IT services and has become a mainstream business practice. Outsourcing is expected to account for 53 percent of the total worldwide IT services market this year and 56 percent of the market by 2007.

Elance asserted that while outsourcing has previously been the province of large firms, the Web & IT Outsourcing Center now enables SMEs to take advantage of outsourcing as both buyers and suppliers.

"Many of our customers are technical entrepreneurs and small consulting firms [that] routinely outsource work to virtual teams," said Elance Online Vice President Raul Mujica. "These teams are assembled and managed through Elance Online.... The Web & IT Outsourcing Center was developed to help all technology consultants leverage this business model."

Elance Online estimated that as many as 400,000 small to midsize Web and IT services firms are operating in the United States, and the provider asserts that the new center will help these smaller firms sell a range of services by leveraging not just their own but also external technical expertise, in effect leveling the playing field for smaller entrepreneurial firms by giving them access to global technical resources.

The center, in conjunction with Elance Online's new content partner, The Developer Shed Network, will also provide free access to professional resources and information relevant to the technology services community, including the latest tech tips and tutorials on topics like Microsoft technologies, open source, search engine optimization techniques and resources for choosing the right Internet services and hosting.

This latest news from Elance follows the provider's release last week of an updated version of its flagship platform for services procurement, adding new capabilities in support of global deployments and various mission-critical services, as well as capabilities specifically targeted at the life sciences, financial services and energy, utility and chemical industries.

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