- March 2006
- Nasscom, Dutch agency sign outsourcing pact
IT association Nasscom in collaboration with Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) on Thursday announced an export development programme, that would enable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the European Union to outsource business process outsourcing (BPO) opportunities to India.”The two organisations will work closely to provide BPO expertise to the European SMEs and help selected Indian IT companies to access the European markets,” a Nasscom release said here.
- Integreon plans facility in London
The business process outsourcing (BPO) company, Integreon, is planning to set up a delivery centre in London with an initial capacity of 50 seats, even as it mulls establishing a low-cost offshore operations facility.”We expect the delivery centre in London to be operational in the coming six months, and are also considering low cost offshore operations in the Philippines or South Africa. In addition, we are looking for a new location within India. We are considering various places such as Chandigarh, Kochi, Pune or Chennai,” said Mr Prashant Chawla, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Integreon.
- SlashSupport in pact with Japan company
SlashSupport, a CSS Group company, has signed a multi-year infrastructure management service deal with NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), Japan. The company was not willing to share revenue details of the deal. The offshore deal involves supporting the desktop management requirements and infrastructure management requirements of NTT Com’s customers.
- Forget India. For outsourcing, China, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Brazil and Mauritius are open for business
Never mind India.India reaped new fortunes in its recent rise as an outsourcing powerhouse. But now India hears footsteps: China, the Philippines, Hungary, the Czech Republic and several Latin American countries are luring offshore outsourcing jobs as well. The surprise: Some of India’s offshoring giants are offshoring themselves, fueling the next round, and U.S. firms are joining in.
- Genpact to setup in Poland and Philippines, to hire 3000
Business Process Outsourcing major Genpact will set up two global service delivery centres in Poland and Philippines during the year for which it will have to hire 3,000 professionals.Riding on these expansion plans along with other strategies, the company formerly known as GE Capital International Services said it is targeting 26 per cent jump in its revenue for 2006 to $615 million.
- India: No longer low-end BPO spot
Consider this: From negligible size in early 2000 to a current size of between $1.2 and $1.5 billion and growing up to an estimated $15-$17 billion by 2010, the global high-end research outsourced market is growing at a scorching pace.And though this industry is still at a relatively early stage of development with very loosely defined boundaries, as the market evolves these numbers are likely to change drastically.
- Indiatimes BPO Awards set to roll
Excitement’s running high. Entries for the year’s most-sought after accolade for the BPO industry are closed. The nominations are in and envelopes are being sealed . It’s the jury’s time to adjudicate the Indiatimes Business Process Outsourcing Industry Awards.The awards instituted by the event’s division of the country’s largest portal, Indiatimes Mindscape, endeavour to honour companies and individuals who have achieved an outstanding result or raised the bar for the sector.
- Verizon to Introduce Hosted Contact Center App
It is little surprise that Verizon is pushing Voice over Internet Protocol into its contact center offering, Jon Arnold, principal of J Arnold & Associates, told CRM Buyer. “Contact centers are one of the key applications in the enterprise market for VoIP. It can deliver significant economies of scale and other advantages in that sort of environment — a high concentration of agents.”
- Microsoft Kicks CRM Distribution Up a Notch
The enhancements in the new edition include new management provisions and other features — such as choice of client user interface through a hosted or hybrid deployment model — and easier migration methodologies to simplify a hosted rollout, says Kevin Faulkner, director of product marketing for Dynamic CRM.
- Rough Weather Ahead for Contact Center Market: Gartner
In the next 18 to 24 months, predicted Gartner, the enterprise approach to customer service will fail to meet market demands: handling complex interactions; outsourcing low-complexity customer service tasks to outside firms; migrating other simple tasks to a self-service environment; and embedding intelligent device management capabilities in all electronic goods.
- Infosys to bring Progeon into its fold
rch-rivals they may be. But that hasn’t stopped them from following each other’s best practices. Infosys Technologies is said to be contemplating bringing Progeon into the Infosys fold, while technically retaining it as a separate unit, in a deal similar to what Wipro did with Spectramind. This means that the much-discussed IPO from Progeon will be a non-starter.
- BPOs find a home across Wall (China)
Dalian, in China, is the new face of emerging competition for BPO players in India. With Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad grappling with issues related to infrastructure, high-wage costs and rising attrition, MNCs have started looking at alternate destinations, and Dalian has shown up on their radars.Besides, Dalian has all the requisites required to grow business: good infrastructure, an educated workforce and excellent government support,” says Pramod Bhasin, CEO, Genpact.
- Sutherland to double Philippines workforce
Sutherland Global Services, a BPO with operations in India, plans to double its headcount in the Philippines to 1,500 over the next six months. The Philippines centre caters to banking, insurance, technology and retail segments for Europe and North America.Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Private Equity has agreed to invest $30m in the New-York-headquartered Sutherland. With this, Sutherland will have two investors — Oak Investment Partners and Standard Chartered. Sutherland officials were not available for comment.
- Warburg Pincus likely to exit WNS
Riding on stellar valuations, star investors in the BPO behemoths are said to be ready to cash out. It is understood that Warburg Pincus is firming up plans to exit either fully or partially from India’s No 1 third-party BPO — WNS Global Services.WNS is said to be mulling an IPO, which may offer Warburg the exit opportunity. While Warburg Pincus is the majority shareholder in WNS, British Airways, one of the world’s largest international airlines, holds a significant minority stake. Meanwhile, it is also thought that Citigroup may be contemplating exiting Progeon, which it had VC-funded when Infosys started its BPO arm.
- Now US radiology jobs for India
With a large pool of well-trained doctors and high-tech infrastructure, India is fast emerging as a tele-radiology hub, providing offshore X-ray reporting services to the United States, Europe, Singapore and the Middle East.In fact, with tele-radiology, there are no geographic boundaries!According to estimates, the US is facing a shortage of radiologists with 20 per cent of vacancies going unfilled in hospitals.
- US Tech for `hybrid’ sourcing model
The technopark-based US Technology International has set great store by the home-grown hybrid global sourcing and delivery model, a supposedly advanced proxy to Global Delivery Model (GDM) patronised by the country’s outsourcing fraternity.US Technology is a subsidiary of US Technology Resources, a California-based end-to-end IT and BPO services provider to Fortune 500 companies.
- Techbooks eyeing buys in India, US
Within a year of completing the takeover of Maximize Learning, Techbooks is on the prowl again eyeing acquisitions in India and the US.Techbooks, a Knowledge Process Outsourcing company, is on the lookout for companies specialising in services such as content IT and litigation support or have customers in verticals including pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.
- Citigroup ready to exit Progeon
Citigroup is ready to exit Progeon, the business process outsourcing arm of Infosys. Citigroup holds a 23 per cent stake in Progeon.According to sources close to the development, Infosys and Citigroup have agreed to a valuation of around $600 million for Progeon. This means that the deal can fetch Citigroup about $140 million.
- Acute risk of fraud by employees at BPOs: KPMG
The bourgeoning Indian BPO sector, which has emerged as the back-office hub of global corporate houses handling confidential data, faces acute risk of frauds, especially at the hands of employees, according to a report by global consulting firm KPMG.In a report which could ring an alarm for the Indian corpoprate sector, KPMG has said the preparedness of India Inc. to address frauds is very low with only 24 per cent of the respondents to its survey having the relevant physical and logical access controls to tackle them.
- Kanbay, Pegasystems to deliver BOM solution
Kanbay Inc., a subsidiary of Kanbay International, Inc., a global IT services firm, and Pegasystems Inc., has announced an alliance to develop and deliver business process management (BPM) expertise to financial services organizations.The alliance brings Kanbay’s deep financial services domain expertise and global IT services delivery capability together with Pegasystems’ best practice BPM solution frameworks.Working together, Kanbay and Pegasystems are leveraging their collective experience to create repeatable, high-value BPM frameworks for financial services organizations.
- KPO firms pitch on desi growth option
Taking a cue from BPOs, knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) firms are now looking at business opportunities in India as well.Till recently, KPOs focused on the more complex tasks like portfolio analysis, analytics, equity research, paralegal or pharmaceutical research for marquee Wall Street clients and London-based investment banks. That is still growing, but now with Indian arms of multinationals and India Inc itself ready to shell out global billing rates, Indian KPO entities are also scouting their neighborhood for business.
For KPOs, tapping the local market is much easier ? the marketing costs are a fraction of flying down and putting together a team at New York to tap business. And with billing rates that companies here are willing to offer being similar to that for overseas clients, they smell opportunities in the domestic market itself. KPO companies like Evalueserve, Copal Partners and marketRx India are seeing demand for their skills from the multinationals based in India. Says an analyst, “as companies become more global even India Inc is approaching them to do the sophisticated KPO work for them.
- Global consolidation will be BPO mantra: Forrester Research
The low cost advantage and broken business model, which are the key drivers of the outsourcing, will lead to a phase of widespread consolidation of global outsourcing units in the next couple of years, according to a report from Forrester Research.Even the top-tier Indian firms will have to rely on acquisitions to compete with global giants like IBM, EDS or CSC.
- How US can gain from outsourcing
Global sourcing — the use of labor from anywhere in the world outside of the U.S. — was once a strategy of the information-technology (IT) domain. It now has proved to be a model pervading all areas of business, from software development to claims processing, HR administration, and accounting and finance.As with any significant change, this evolution will abound with both opportunities and challenges for U.S. companies and their employees.
- CBay to buy 2 US cos for $20 mn
Healthcare business process outsourcing major CBay Systems India will acquire two US-based companies for $20 million, its managing director and CEO Raman Kumar said on Thursday.The deals would be over in a month and the two companies to be bought out would add 70 US-based clients to CBay, he told reporters in Bangalore.
- Outsourcing industry faces consolidation
Forrester Research, in its latest report has said that global outsourcing industry could face sweeping consolidation in the next two years, mainly driven by low-cost global competition and broken business models.It says that even the top-tier Indian firms will have to rely on acquisitions to compete with global giants such as IBM, EDS or CSC.
- Nipuna CATI centre in Bangalore
Nipuna Services Ltd, the BPO subsidiary of Satyam Computer, has launched a 50-seater Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing (CATI) service centre at Bangalore.
- The Open Source CRM Ripple Effect
“The truth is, no knows how many deployments there are of open source CRM — not even the analysts,” said Clint Oram, co-founder and general manager of Sugar Online. “They typically get their usage numbers directly from vendors, so if we can’t tell you, then they certainly can’t.”
- Infinite acquires Hyderabad-based BPO company Datagrid
Datagrid Services, a Hyderabad-based firm providing management solutions has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Infinite Computer Solutions after being acquired by the latter for an undisclosed amount.Through the acquisition Infinite aims to supplement its existing BPO offerings in Hyderabad.Infinite will also set up its own campus having a 3000 sq ft space in the city with an investment of $10 million.
- Casual sex? BPOs not only to blame
The word ‘call’ in call centres suddenly sounds like an insinuation. BPO workers and their associations are taking strong exception to the allegation that Indian call centres are breeding grounds for adultery and vice.A report dated March 19 in The Times, London, says one in five Indian call centre workers has had an extramarital affair in the office, and that one in four regularly had casual affairs. BPO majors IBM Daksh and Intelenet did not comment , but the Call Centre Association of India has called the report another attempt to malign India’s flourishing BPO industry. Individuals working at call centres also say the report targets their profession in an unfair manner.
- Hinduja TMT announces ESOP
Hinduja TMT Ltd on Thursday announced the roll out of the Employee Stock Option Plan, which would cover three per cent of its employees globally, including India.All eligible managers of the company, including those in India, Philippines, Mauritius, Canada and the US would be covered under the plan and they can exercise their options at the end of one year from the grant date, a company release said here.
- Domestic spending on outsourced IT services may touch Rs 23,800 cr
With increase in IT adoption in telecom and banking sectors, and the projected IT uptake in airlines, insurance and manufacturing industries, the domestic spending on outsourced IT services is expected to more than double to over Rs 23,800 crore in 2009 from Rs 10,300 crore in 2004.”The liberalisation of Indian economic policy, de-regulation of key sectors and progressive moves towards further integrating India with the global economy have been key drivers of increased IT adoption in the country. This is best reflected in the fact that most indigenous players in telecom and banking, two key sectors with significant multinational corporation (MNC) participation, have upgraded their levels of IT adoption to offer best-in-class services comparable to those offered by the global competition. These two sectors together account for approximately 35-40 per cent of the domestic spend on IT services,” said Nasscom-IDC study on the domestic services (IT and ITES) market opportunity.
- Outsourcing hits RBI staff strength: Left
Left parties expressed concern over “depleting” staff strength in the Reserve Bank of India due to outsourcing, saying this was being done to curb trade union activities.Raising the issue, Basudeb Acharya (CPM) said the total staff strength had come down from 36,000 in 1990 to 20,000 and in 2003, there was further elimination of 4,500 employees.
- Astron group to merge BPO ops with OfficeTiger
The BPO operations of the Astron Group, which has operations in India and Sri Lanka, will be merged with OfficeTiger, following the latter’s acquisition by print major RR Donnelley.Joseph Sigelman, co-CEO and founder of OfficeTiger, said the BPO would continue its current operations as an independent business unit of RR Donnelley, with Astron BPO’s Indian and Sri Lankan operations coming into its fold as well.
- India to outsource visa processing
While India has finally managed to make its mark in the gloabl tourism map, the recent surge in tourist arrivals has left many Indian Embassies, especially in European countries gasping, as all foreign nationals, including children, require a visa to enter India.According to the data supplied by the ministry of tourism, 1,000 visa applications are filed every day in Paris and most of them remain unattended, as the Indian Embassy is unable to handle this huge demand for Indian visas in France.
- BPOs in rural Andhra are as happy as their employees
A firm is only as happy as its staff and by this measure the BPO operations of Satyam Computers’ social arm in two Andhra Pradesh villages have been scoring high on employee satisfaction, unlike their urban counterparts.While business process outsourcing industry workers in cities are known to work under stress resulting in high attrition rate, employees of Byrraju Foundation’s outsourcing units paint a different picture.
- Outsourcing industry could face sweeping consolidation globally
Research, in its latest research report states that global outsourcing industry could face sweeping consolidation in the next two years, mainly driven by low-cost global competition and broken business models.It says that even the top-tier Indian firms will have to rely on acquisitions to compete with global giants like IBM, EDS or CSC.The report titled: “Are Barbarians At The Gates Of Outsourcing?” delves into the potential buyouts of global outsourcers by private-equity firms as well as the trend among the outsourcing industry’s long-standing leaders’ scramble to buy or be bought. It indicates that leading equity buyers believe there’s an opportunity to make money fast in the outsourcing space, and that mergers and acquisitions could dominate this space mainly due to double-digit growth in new deals, long-term contracts, and the popularity of outsourcing.
- RR Donnelley to buy officetiger for $250m
The US-based R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company is to acquire OfficeTiger in an all-cash deal for about $250 million. Further, the BPO division of Astron, which was acquired by R.R. Donnelley last year, would be merged with OfficeTiger, according to Mr Joseph Sigelman, co-founder of OfficeTiger.Both OfficeTiger of the US and Astron of the UK have a significant presence in India.
- BPOs take care of your career too
What happens when an Alok joins a BPO? He becomes Alex and acquires an accent, not so American, not Indian either. Then he changes the way he dresses, the way he carries himself and then the way he lives. Yes, Alex is really Alok, but it isn’t about personality change but rather about self empowerment and belief. The general perception of a phone representative is to a large extent confined to answering calls. Can they add more value to the company rather than just being an outlet for customers’ frustrations?
- TCS nears big BPO deal with Citigroup
Tata Consultancy Services is close to finalising an outsourcing deal of around $500-900 million (Rs 2,000-4,000 crore) with global financial services giant Citigroup Inc.The deal is expected to be signed shortly, if not next week. TCS will employ 2,200 people for the assignment in the first year and will ramp it up, depending on the contract.
- Outsourcing cos fall prey to increasing wage costs
The Indian IT-ITES industry is rapidly maturing and moving towards a higher degree of specialisation in various fields like recruitment, employee rewards and compensation, a study has said.The forth ‘NASSCOM – Hewitt Total Rewards Study 2005’ highlighted key reward trends and people practices that organizations are adopting in the IT and ITES industry in their growth lifecycle.
- BPO salaries outstrip those in IT-ITeS
IT professionals seem to be getting better paid but when it comes to salary hikes, BPO employees are more privileged. While IT professionals got an average salary increase of 16%, BPO professionals received a 18% hike, last year. In terms of wage bill, IT companies spent more on TCC (total cost to company) in contrast to BPO companies in 2005, according to the Nasscom-Hewitt Total Rewards Study.
- CBay to buy US firms for $25 mn
Healthcare BPO major CBay Group is close to acquiring two US-based patient financial service companies for around $25 million.The acquisitions are aimed at expanding CBay’s service offerings and presence in America and India.
- Lason India implements BPO curriculum
Lason India today announced their successful implementation of Campus Model, a course module that was customized effectively to suit the emerging demands of the BPO industry.Announcing this, the Company said the BPO course curriculum was designed with an objective of making the students employable as soon as they complete their college. The curriculum fits into three semesters which includes both theory and practical exposure with which the students gain hands-on experience that enables them to become ”Industry-Ready”, an official press release said.
- Logged in: ITeS salaries rise by close to 18%
IT and ITeS (IT-enabled services) companies have expanded to newer locations, especially in Tier II cities, and their business has grown to deliver high-end services in the value chain. These are the findings of a study on the sector carried out by IT and software industry trade organisation, NASSCOM, and Hewitt Associates, a global human services firm.The study highlights some findings in the ITeS sector. The average increase in salary levels in the ITeS sector is between 16% and 18%. The National Capital Region (NCR) and Bangalore have the highest increase in salary levels, with each reporting a 3-6% increment over the national average.
- Target plans large expansion in Bangalore
US retail major Target Corp., which has around 200 employees working at its Bangalore service center, plans to up its headcount to around 2000 in a couple of years.According to BV Naidu, chairman, STPI, the company’s expansion plan was approved two months ago and it involves an investment of around $25-$30 million.
- RPO: India’s latest outsourcing mantra
After the business process outsourcing and knowledge process outsourcing boom, the corporate sector in India is steadily gearing up for a new concept – RPO, that is recruitment process outsourcing. It aims at taking the burden out of the head-hunting business of the corporate sector.”There has been a sudden surge of demand for candidates as the job scenario in the country looks in a good shape. So, we have come up with our team of recruiters to bridge this gap between demand and supply,” says Vipul Prakash, partner of a firm handling recruitments.
- Plan to offshore visa application process
Faced with increasing visa applications, government is considering a proposal for a Pilot outsourcing project in London. If the project is successful, it will be replicated elsewhere, minister of state for external affairs E. Ahamed said.
- GTL owners plan open offer for 20 per cent
Promoters of network engineering and BPO company GTL are planning to make an open offer for 20% of its equity to the public.The promoters, represented by Global Assets Holding Corporation (GAHC), a company owned by founder Manoj Tirodkar, have appointed Ernst & Young as the advisor for the open offer. Currently, GAHC owns a 25.83% stake in GTL and will be acquiring another 5% through creeping acquisitions next week. This is possibly the first time that promoters of a company are making a voluntary offer. Their belief is that the company’s assets are undervalued.
- BPOs moot entry test to tap talent
What’s your score, may well be the first question at your BPO job interview. Nasscom , the premier trade of the IT software and services industry in India, on Thursday announced the launch of a programme called ‘Nasscom Assessment of Competence’ (NAC). NAC is an industry-standard assessment and certification programme that aims to ensure the transformation of a “trainable” workforce into an “employable workforce”.
- After India Inc, courts take to outsourcing printing needs
The Karnataka High Court has found a solution for its fortnight long delays in providing judgement copies. It turned towards Xerox for help. Xerox Global Outsourcing (XGO), a new business division ensured that the copies of the judgement were made available the same day.From now on all the document, that the management of the court needs, have been outsourced to Xerox. UTI bank had done the same and is Xerox’s biggest client. Automotive majors and telecom companies are also outsourcing their entire printing needs to Xerox.
- The outsource sector will continue to flourish: Bahar Gidwani
Bahar Gidwani, Chief Executive Officer of the New York-based Index Stock Imagery Inc, has a ‘one-line bio’ that reads: ‘Digital image marketing and management since 1991’. After thinking about it for a bit, you come to realise why he needn’t say more. The man has been doing it for over a decade, after all, and doing it well, so why elaborate?His company is a leading source of photographs, illustrations and digital images, representing over 1,600 professional photographers, with agents in 50 countries. It was the first stock agency to begin storing and distributing images electronically, and launched its first e-commerce site in 1994. Today, it offers more than 800,000 images online.
- India is losing out to other countries: Pramod Haque
In the wake of India and China posing a great challenge to America’s leadership position in technology, the United States has proposed the setting up of Indo-US labs to promote innovation and development.Promod Haque, managing partner, Norwest Venture Partners, who has funded several companies across the globe, says this project will be an ambitious one and will benefit, both, India and the US.
- KPIT to buy BPO firm for Rs 45 cr
Global technology solutions provider KPIT Cummins Infotech Ltd is close to acquire the business process outsourcing arm of a Delhi-based diversfied group for around Rs 45 crore (Rs 450 million).The acquisition will help the company acquire certain key customers and emerge as a leading player in the BPO segment.According to sources close to the deal, KPIT Cummins may announce the deal next week. However, the details of acquisition were not revealed.
- Satyam launches offshore unit for Invista
Satyam Computer Services and Invista, one of Satyam’s key customers in the manufacturing vertical, today announced the launch of a dedicated offshore development centre (ODC).The ODC was inaugurated by Mr Erik Viens, Chief Information Officer of Invista, in the presence of an executive delegation from Invista and Satyam.The 5,000 sq ft ODC, based in the Satyam’s development centre in Bangalore, will provide IT and AMS Services to Invista.
- India eyes outsourcing, calls for opening up of service markets
India has submitted requests for opening up of markets in computer services, health services, energy and architecture & engineering services in the first round of the on-going plurilateral negotiations in services at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva.Requests have been submitted by the country in two of the four modes being negotiated which cover cross-border movement of services (mode 1) like outsourcing and movement of professionals from one country to the other (mode 4).
- Avtex Buys Into Hosted Contact Center VoIP Space
Avtex plans to position its new hosted contact center offering not only as a disaster recovery option, but also as a call center package for small and mid-sized firms that have not been well served thus far by the mainstream market, said CEO Robert S. Denman.
- Power-cuts plague Pune IT units
Frequent power cuts are proving to be a major stumbling block in the way of development of the IT industry in Pune, affecting its business and reputation in the global market.Even as Pune is fast emerging as a major IT hub in Maharashtra, acute shortage in the supply of electricity is sending shock-waves among the IT units, which have to depend heavily on power generating sets to remain up and running.Against the daily demand of 730 mega watts of electricity, the city gets only 550 mega watts, leaving a deficit of 180 mega watts.
- Bush supports outsourcing;asks India to further open economy
Assuring India that he does not support the protests against outsourcing in the US, President George Bush asked New Delhi to further open the economy and lift caps on foreign investment.He said while some Americans would have lost jobs which moved over to India, many of the US companies like General Electric, Microsoft, Intel and Whirlpool were availing of the market opportunities provided by 300 million middle class Indians.
- US outcry on outsourcing may die down
President Bush’s India visit has left the domestic IT industry asking for more. It’s seeking easier visa norms and also wants the US to sign the Totalisation Agreement with India.So far, the US has not signed this agreement with India, ostensibly because of the inadequate social security network like lack of pension cover in the private sector in India. However, industry feels that after Mr Bush’s visit, things could be different.
- BPO staff splurging on Dalal Street
The bullish phase in the stock markets has attracted a whole new breed of investors, including students and housewives. The latest to join the party on Dalal Street are BPO employees.These youngsters, who splurge at malls, shopping plazas and multiplexes, have high disposable incomes . And these ‘spendthrift’ employees have now started investing in stocks and mutual funds.
- Daylight saving: BPOs uncork the bubbly
Will Delhi’s date with Dubya impact the `American Daylight’ sector? Yes, say BPO industry insiders. Beyond energy, infrastructure and manufacturing, the US Presidential visit is likely to impact the offshoring sector, particularly BPOs.Leading Indian back offices and call centres say that interaction with various business leaders and policymakers from the US will clarify perceptional issues on the part of American CEOs. The sector’s long-pending demand of getting industry status will also get a fillip.
- Nasscom, Dutch agency sign outsourcing pact
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