May 2006 News

  • May 2006

    • Toonz aims to double its revenue for FY 2006-07
      Thiruvananthapuram-based animation studio Toonz Animation India is aiming at doubling its revenue for the financial year 2006-`07. The company recorded revenues of $11 million last fiscal. Toonz, with around 400 employees now, is planning to increase its headcount by another 200 by this year-end.
    • Animation industry seeks govt aid
      Scarcity of skilled personnel coupled with lack of specialized training institutes is restricting the growth of animation industry in India. According to Nasscom’s Animation report, the size of the Indian animation market (from the developers’ perspective) is expected to witness a CAGR of 35 per cent from 2005-2009 and increase to $950 million by 2009. The report also states that currently there are only 3,000 skilled personnel against a demand for 10,000.
    • Nasscom BPO meet to focus on growth, competition
      Is the ten-year-old Indian BPO industry facing a mid-life crisis? Managing growth and combating competition will be among the key issues that will be debated at Nasscom’s two-day ITES-BPO Strategy Summit on June 7-8 in Bangalore.
    • e4e announces acquisition of Omni Pros
      Business Srvice Provider e4e on Tuesday announced the acquisition of Omni Pros, a business solutions service provider based in Silicon Valley. The acquisition would enable the company to enhance the depth of its current vertical market offerings and selectively target new industries for expansion, e4e Applistructure Services business President Arun Tolani said in a release.
    • Intelenet plans further expansion
      Intelenet Global Services, an HDFC-Barclays joint venture, has acquired 50,000 sqft of space at Ascendas IT Park in Chennai to ramp up its operations, a senior company official said.
    • Globsyn wins contract from Amex BPO
      Globsyn Technologies Limited, the leading IT services and training organisation, has bagged a major contract from American Express BPO for recruitment of talent from India. The city-based organisation has been appointed as an exclusive talent acquisition and transformation partner for Amex BPO in India, a source in the Globsyn said.
    • Nebraska steals India’s BPO thunder
      It’s a trend which Indian software companies will surely prefer not catching up. Xpanxion, an Atlanta-based IT outsourcing and software development company, has announced plans to relocate a segment of its software testing operations and quality assurance (QA) program from Pune, to Nebraska in the US.
    • Are BPO pros enjoying high wages?
      Wage inflation in offshore outsourcing markets is over-stated, impacting labour arbitrage estimates, says a new study. Wages for IT outsourcing (ITO) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services providers in key offshore markets, including India, China and Poland, are increasing on an average by 8 to 11 per cent every year, which is nearly half of what has been commonly reported, according to new findings by Everest Research Institute.
    • Now, BPOs dock at Tier III cities
      Vidya, an IT graduate from Aurangabad, wants to make BPO her career. For a job in the sector, she has no other option but to migrate to Mumbai. Soon she will be leaving for her hometown as her company has opened up a centre there and she will be working from there. Many such youngsters might be packing to go back to their homes as big names in the BPO industry gear up to open centres in tier III cities.
    • Envox signs agreement with Servion
      Envox Worldwide, a global provider of voice solutions, has added Chennai based Servion Global Solutions, a provider of Customer Integration Management solutions, as its global solutions partner.
    • Animation industry faces talent crunch
      It seems that a talent crunch has engulfed most of the sunrise industry – BPOs, KPOs and now, animation. Not long ago, animation was not a rage among career-oriented people, but now it seems to be going through what BPOs experienced earlier. Animation is now emerging as a lucrative career option.
    • Sundaram’s BPO arm to hire 200 more
      Sundaram Business Services, the BPO arm of Sundaram Finance Ltd, plans to hire over 200 people this year. The expansion has been necessitated by new account wins as well as growth in existing customers, domestic and international, a company release said.
    • BPO firms enter 3G
      After saving costs and improving processes, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) vendors are now extracting value from client processes. The vendors call it the third-generation of BPO (BPO 3.0).
    • Scandent to link up with Cambridge
      The government has approved the merger of Scandent Solutions with Cambridge Services Holdings. The merged entity offers business consulting, software engineering, maintenance support and high-end BPO services for insurance, financial and healthcare firms.
    • LPOs here head for consolidation
      Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) in India, which offers many opportunities, may be headed for a phase of consolidation in its bid to move up the value chain. Presently, the sector sees little high-end work as most Indian LPO companies restrict themselves to areas like accounting, document management, agreement formatting and other secretarial services.
    • Witness Systems Expands Workforce Optimization in Impact 360
      If a company has 20,000 agents dispersed at multiple locations, it needs to know such information as whether there are enough agents working at the moment to handle incoming calls,” Ryan Hollenbeck, a spokesperson for Witness Systems, pointed out. “These applications can do that, and record in that environment as well.”
    • RightNow Technologies Scoops Up Salesnet
      The acquisition is a bit of a departure from RightNow’s typical strategy of organic growth, but it is consistent with the company’s vision of the CRM industry, Nucleus Research vice president Rebecca Wetteman told CRM Buyer.
    • Does CRM Make Virtual Teams Work?
      Making virtual teams work, even if they are contained just in the U.S., is hard work. CRM and collaboration technologies amplify the dynamics of the team itself. No amount of technology can get people to trust and work with each other. Where CRM has been most effective first and foremost is in spurring competition on performance.
    • HTMT launches Philippine subsidiary
      An Indian BPO giant, the Hindujas-owned HTMT, inaugurated a $25 mn call-center operation in Manila Saturday with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo conducting the opening ceremony.
    • Cambridge enters pact with MATS
      Cambridge Integrated Services, a business processing outsourcing firm, has entered into an MoU with MATS School of Business & IT, Bangalore, to create a tailor-made post graduate programme for existing and potential employees of Cambridge.
    • Medical transcription industry poised for growth
      Coimbatore has the potential to become one of the largest Medical Transcription (MT) centres outside the US due to the advantages of a large number of student population and health care knowledge available in the city, according to Mr Suresh Nair, CEO and Managing Director, Spheris India Pvt Ltd, Bangalore, and President, the Indian Medical Transcription Industry Association (IMTIA).
    • IT pros type EA for career growth
      With Indian organisations scaling up their operations and going global, companies are hiring enterprise architects for conceiving and designing the implementation of an organisation’s systems development.
    • Videocon group to set up BPO unit!
      The Videocon group, whose core interest is manufacture of home appliances, would set up a BPO unit at Salt Lake, employing 25,000 people, its chairman Venugopal Dhoot said today.
    • SAP Embraces Hybrid Approach with New CRM Offering
      SAP is not the first to offer a hybrid CRM application; Siebel and RightNow Technologies, for instance, have been offering similar applications for at least a few years. “They are late to the game with a hybrid offering,” Nucleus Research vice president Rebecca Wetteman told CRM Buyer
    • Maples opens $12-m facility in Chennai
      The centre has high-end servers like IBM Mainframe, HP, and Sun, and is designed to provide IT services to the company’s global clients in “remote IT infrastructure management,” according to Mr N. Ram Subramani, Managing Director.
    • Manpower shortage to affect IT sector: Infosys
      Software services firm Infosys Technologies Ltd. expects a skilled manpower shortage in the next two to three years to be one of the biggest challenges for the industry and for the Indian economy.
    • SonicWALL expands its tech support with e4e
      SonicWALL Inc. today announced that it has increased its tech support team of SonicWall certified engineers located at e4e Inc. in Bangalore, to deliver wide ranging security services for the local and global markets. The team will support customers in India and SonicWaLL markets abroad.
    • Talisma wants to increase CIM business share
      Talisma Corporation is positioning itself as a leading player in a space it claims to have created, called CIM or Customer Interaction Management. The company’s revenue spilt between its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and CIM is currently 50:50. The company’s president and CEO Dan Vetras plans to increase the CIM business. He shared information on the CIM market, the Talisma’s solutions and future business expansion plans to Priya Padmanabhan of CyberMedia News
    • CRM Vendors Fail to Practice What They Preach
      One measure in the survey was how quickly a company responded to an e-mail query. Overall, large corporations across all industries tend to ignore, overlook or otherwise flub some 16 percent of e-mail inquiries sent their way, Customer Respect Group says. In the CRM industry, that number was 27 percent.
    • How to Buy a US Outsourcing Firm, Part 3: Deal Steps
      Buyers can find that their profitability and competitiveness within the U.S. market can be improved and their risk exposure controlled by working with an investment bank or other qualified advisor on strategy development.
    • When the Phone Stops Ringing, It’s Time for CRM
      The “We really like you … but” prospects are about halfway down my CRM priority list. “Hesh, thanks for calling; yes we are interested. Can you send me a new proposal? And please add in prices for our Polish subsidiaries — both in euros and zlotys.”
    • EBS acquires US-based IMG for nearly $7m
      EBS, a marketing services BPO, has acquired IMG Group, a US-based marketing solutions provider for an estimated $6-7m. Chris George, vice chairman and CEO, EBS Worldwide said that they evaluated around 50-60 companies but selected IMG because both the companies are quite similar.
    • Export led growth to propel ITES sector
      The Indian ITES industry, being benefitted from the continued trend of outsourcing by global corporations of their business processs service to developing countries, is set to scale up to $26 bn by 2009-10, rating agency ICRA says.
    • LogicaCMG to increase headcount by 1,000
      The growing momentum for IT outsourcing from Europe will see LogicaCMG increasing its headcount at its India operations and adding another 1,000 people in 2006.
    • US IT cos want Indian BPOs to add value
      The good news first: over 83% of software companies in the US see the benefits of offshoring and are satisfied with the results. These companies are pushing their offshore vendors (read Indian software companies) to specialise, develop domain expertise and go beyond just the cost advantage. The bad news is that an increased number of US-based software companies are not happy with the quality of work being done by their offshore entities.
    • Indian IT, BPOs gain US cos support
      The good news first: over 83per cent of software companies in the US see the benefits of offshoring and are satisfied with the results. These companies are pushing their offshore vendors (read Indian software companies) to specialise, develop domain expertise and go beyond just the cost advantage.
    • IT, BPO co workers find new ally in UK trade union
      Indian trade unions fighting for uniting workers of IT and BPO companies have found a new supporter. The apex British trade union, Trade Union Congress (TUC), has come out in support of its Indian counterparts.In fact, TUC plans to pressurise British IT and ITeS companies working in India to allow their workforce to form unions. With offshoring and outsourcing threatening the influence of unions in the developed world, TUC also wants their Indian counterparts to become part of a global network.So, whether it’s a college grad answering phone calls at a call centre in Gurgaon or an unskilled worker welding metal in a factory at Pune, Indian workers are now being courted to join their international brethen for a common cause.

      The move is part of a international move to unite the global workforce under a single worldwide umbrella trade union. Globally, two of the world’s biggest unions -International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and World Confederation of Labour (WCL) – have initiated a discussion to unify trade unions at the international level.

    • Indian ITeS to touch $26 bn by 2009-10: ICRA
      The Indian information technology enabled services (ITeS) industry is poised to touch $ 26 billion by 2009-10 and $ 10 billion by 2006-07, according to credit rating agency ICRA.According to credit rating agency ICRA, the Indian information technology enabled services (ITeS) industry is poised to touch US$ 26 billion by 2009-10 and US$ 10 billion by 2006-07. ICRA said in its latest research report that with the global ITeS industry expected to maintain a healthy growth rate over the medium term, corporations are expected to continue outsourcing many of their labour-intensive business process service tasks to developing countries like India to gain cost savings and quality advantages.The report said that demand growth in the ITeS industry is likely to be export-led, with the domestic market also expected to grow at a rate in excess of 50 per cent. In the report, ICRA said that the biggest challenge which the ITeS industry in India was facing was lack of good infrastructure. It said that the ITeS sector in the country was facing the threat of rising labour costs, high attrition rates and security concerns.
    • Anti-Indian call centre ad dumped
      An advertisement allegedly vilifying Indian call centre has been ordered off television screens by the South Australia state regulatory . South Australia based company Royal Automobile Association (RAA) withdrew the offending commercial after the Advertising Standards Board adjudged it to be ‘racist’.
    • Infosys Chief Mentor urges for improvement in infrastructure
      Infosys Technologies Limited Chairman and Chief Mentor Narayana Murthy today reiterated his demand for improving infrastructure to retain Karnataka as the IT hub in the Country. Speaking after receiving the ‘Citizen Extraordinaire-2006’ by Prestige Group in association with Rotary Bangalore Mid town, in recognition of Mr Murthy’s commitment to the city of Bangalore, he said the State contributed over 36 per cent of IT exports and was growing at an impressive rate of over 35 per cent.
    • TELES launches VoIP Gateway solution
      TELES India has announced the launch of TELES.VoIPGATE, a multifunctional VoIP Gateway that integrates into the existing telecom infrastructure no matter if the connection is analog or digital and enables organizations to dramatically reduce costs on voice calls.
    • Talisma to go public to raise funds
      Customer Relationship Management software vendor Talisma Corporation plans to go public late this year or early 2007, to fund its inorganic growth. Dan Vetras, the company’s president and CEO, said that the company would go public on an exchange like the Bombay Stock Exchange, London (AIM) market or on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
    • Zensar in KM World’s list
      Software services and BPO organization Zensar Technologies was named by KM World Magazine to its prestigious ‘100 Companies that Matter’ in knowledge management for 2006.
    • HR, Finance to drive APEJ BPO market: IDC
      Predicting moderate growth for the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region from 2006 to 2010, research firm IDC has said that human resources (HR) & training and finance & accounting (F&A) will continue to be the main drivers of BPO adoption in APEJ during the forecast period.
    • US Mortgage industry slump forces firms to offshore
      Mortgage lending companies in the US, are looking at the India offshoring option to offset the current dip in mortgage financing market. Average interest rates on mortgages have been rising over the last few quarters. Historically low mortgage rates that were prevalent during the end of the last decade led to a five-year housing boom. There is, however, a market reversal now with high interest rates deterring borrowers.
    • Asia-Pacific BPO market likely to touch $14 b by 2010
      Predicting a moderate growth and adoption of business process outsourcing (BPO) within the local Asia-Pacific market, global IT research firm IDC has said that the BPO market is estimated to display a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 18 per cent to touch about $14 billion by 2010.
    • BPOs, IT cos pick new hubs for growth
      The landscape of the Indian technology industry is undergoing a change. Till now, the software services and BPO companies in the country had developed in clusters within cities like Bangalore, Gurgaon/ NCR region and Mumbai/Pune.
    • Akshaya Bhargava to head 3i’s new focus on BPO market
      Venture capital and private equity major 3i has appointed Mr Akshaya Bhargava to head its new focus on the USD 170-billion global BPO market. Mr Bhargava, an ex-banker, has spent 22 years with Citibank in a variety of senior positions in India, the Czech Republic and the UK and until recently, he was the CEO of Progeon, the BPO subsidiary of Infosys.
    • SHCIL takes stake in GKM
      Stock Holding Corporation of India (SHCIL) has taken a stake in the Coimbatore-based G K Management Services India Ltd, a business process outsourcing company. GKM does back-office operations in the areas of finance, accounting and insurance claim processing. The company has a US-subsidiary, responsible for its front-end operations.
    • Asia-Pacific BPO market likely to touch $14 b by 2010
      Predicting a moderate growth and adoption of business process outsourcing (BPO) within the local Asia-Pacific market, global IT research firm IDC has said that the BPO market is estimated to display a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 18 per cent to touch about $14 billion by 2010.
    • IT/ITES driving realty, telecom, hospitality sectors
      If you thought Indian IT and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sectors were all about export revenues and employment generation, it is time for a quick reality check. The high-tech industry is significantly driving volumes and pushing up business across other sectors like real estate, construction, hotels, airlines and telecom.
    • Small tech cos make a beeline for Karnataka
      The number of IT/ITES companies setting up shop in Karnataka is rising by the day, but a study shows that an overwhelming majority of them (77%) are very small in size — with export revenues of less than Rs 10 crore, to be precise.Karnataka, the leading IT exporter among all states, raked in Rs 37,600 crore ($8.3 bn) in 2005-06. There are five companies in the state with sales of over Rs 1,000 crore.
    • Outsourcing gets creative
      Getting creative is the latest mantra of the outsourcing industry. It is no more about call centres, telemarketing, transaction processing. There is a new dimension to it — creative outsourcing, which includes animation, developing gaming content and e-learning and e-publishing also.
    • Secova, Ultralink announce merger
      Secova eServices, India’s first HR BPO and Ultralink, a California-based HR and Benefits Management services provider, today announced the merger of their operations.Announcing the merger to the media in Chennai via teleconference, Venkat Tadanki, co-founder and CEO of Secova said that through the combined entity, the two companies would be able to offer global clients a broader range of HR and employee benefits administration services while also providing incomparable flexibility through customized offerings.
    • Behaviour to count in BPOs
      Risk assessment, while outsourcing work to India, is no more only about evaluating infrastructure and availability of quality manpower. Companies are now looking at a new dimension while offshoring to India.They are approaching consultancy firms for socio-economic and behavioural assessment of employees at BPOs and call centres.
    • Who says a BPO job is easy?
      Have you ever been taught to roll your r’s or soften your d’s? To bite your lower lip while speaking your v’s and to kiss your w’s? Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Then you surely don’t belong to the KPO or the BPO brigade. It might be sounding funny to take pains to learn all this, but for these employees, this is the most essential qualification required to survive in this industry. Unlike others, these organisations expect their employees to be an ‘artist’ who can twist their lips as per the job need.
    • Wow! Working in BPOs got healthier
      Sobhna Roy employees to tackle increasing health is a new recruit at a call centre. In a booming industry that hires young employees, she was just another one to join the bandwagon.
    • MeritTrac unveils National Skills Index
      The study, formally unveiled by Dr. Kiran Karnik, president, NASSCOM, measures Spoken English skills for the voice BPO industry and group interaction skills for the services sector. The study compiled from a sample size of 10,500 candidates assessed by MeritTrac for various companies across India is the second after the report on Engineering talent pool in India.
    • Amway looks at outsourcing options
      Amway India Enterprises, one of the leading direct marketing company in India, is planning to launch more food products from its global portfolio in the country. Besides, Amway was likely to outsource some products from India for its operations in Latin America and Southeast Asia. The director (marketing and distributor relation), Stephen Beddoe, said that Amway would launch food products like energy drink and energy bars in India next year.
    • Global Sourcing and BPO Now Mainstream among US and UK Mortgage Lenders, Says TowerGroup
      With the gradual decline in mortgage lending volume and profits, lenders looking to maintain a long-term competitive position in the marketplace have increased their focus on technology, business process reengineering, and offshoring, says TowerGroup. The analysts say offshoring has moved from being a leading-edge business strategy to being a required activity for lenders that want to grow or maintain their competitive position over the long term.
    • The tongues aren’t really wagging
      Group interaction and good spoken English skills, especially in the services sector, are very important qualifications to have to be successful in getting that prized IT/BPO sector job.
    • Just 10% graduates fit the bill for BPO
      Hardly 10 per cent of graduates willing to join the Business Process Outsourcing industry meet the requirements of the sector in English language skills, according to a survey.
    • China or India: Which Is the Better Long-term Investment for Private Equity Firms?
      India and China are both vast countries just opening to development, filled with opportunity and risk for private equity investors. Inevitably, the two countries’ rising economic fortunes invite debate over which offers the better climate for investment.
    • Indiatimes awards: Wipro BPO is company of the year
      Companies were given awards under nine categories. Wipro BPO Solutions bagged the award for the company of the year and Neeraj Bhargava, group CEO of WNS Solutions was awarded the CEO of the year. Nasscom president Kiran Karnik was adjudged the most significant contributor to the industry and Genpact Global Holdings, the most admired company to work for. Genpact also bagged the award for technology excellence.
    • New Balance in agreement with Moja to outsource shoes in India
      New Balance, America’s No.2 shoe brand which forayed into the Indian market three years ago with 100 per cent imported product, has entered into an agreement with Indian manufacturer ‘Moja’ for outsourcing of shoes from September this year.
    • Aspect Software Throws Its Support Behind Open Source PBX
      Just as Linux has emerged as the de facto open source operating system, Asterisk appears to have reached the same status in telephony PBX, said Aspect vice president Mike Sheridan. Noting that there are already 350 contributors to Asterisk, he said other open source PBX applications “typically don’t live long. It takes a lot to build a brand like Linux or SugarCRM. Asterisk has done that with PBX.”
    • Cisco Releases Next-Gen Connector to Microsoft CRM
      The demand for out-of-the-box integration between contact center equipment and systems and CRM applications is gaining significant momentum, Richard Smith, vice president of CRM strategy at Green Beacon, told CRM Buyer.

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