June 2006 News

  • June 2006
    • Asian BPO sector to grow 14%
      BPO industry in Asia is expected to grow at the annual rate of nearly 14% till 2008, generating six million new jobs by 2015, according to United Nation Development Programme (UNDP)’s Asia-Pacific Human Development Report 2006, released in Phnom Penh.
    • Wipro BPO to expand int’l footprint to include Vietnam
      Wipro BPO is planning to start a new centre in Vietnam. This makes the company the latest to join a long list of companies exploring cheaper destinations to cut costs.
    • Bandwidth costs to go down
      Software exporters, BPO units and IT enabled industries may soon see their operating costs reduce significantly as bandwidth rates are likely to see a significant reduction soon.
    • RMS to begin BPO operations in India in August
      As part of its expansion strategy, Receivable Management Services (RMS), owned by the US-based Citi Venture Capital International, plans to start operations in India in August in the field of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in the IT-enabled service sector.
    • Karnataka police scouting to unearth UK link in cyber fraud
      The Corps of Detectives investigating the 2.33 lakh pound cyber fraud involving a HSBC Data Processing India Ltd (HDPI) employee and some of his connections in London, have been in touch with the UK police in an effort to bring to light the real players in the BPO fraud.
    • LogicaCMG wins €70-m outsourcing contract
      LogicaCMG announced that it has been selected by InBev to provide a new €70 million, five-year outsourcing contract to manage InBev’s Western European and Global Headquarters’ Business Systems across eight of its major territories in Europe.
    • Can BPOs really develop your personality?
      It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the most nascent, yet fast-growing sector is the BPO sector in India. You earn well and enjoy a high standard of living from a very young age.
    • E-revolution summit to boost IT/ITES sector
      Aiming at giving further impetus to the IT/ITES sector, the UT administration is now focusing on providing the right business environment for various players, as it gears up to host the E-revolution summit 2006.
    • SBS eyes $550m Singapore BPO mkt
      Aiming to target the $550 million Singapore BPO market, Sundaram Business Services, the BPO arm of Sundaram Finance Ltd, announced on Monday opening up of an office there.
    • Medical diagnostics: Next BPO wave
      India is on the verge of another outsourcing wave: high-end laboratory and diagnostic testing!
    • Candidate checks still on the backburner
      The HSBC BPO scam has brought back the need for a proper check on the credentials of the employees hired by BPO companies in India. Last year, another Mumbai-based BPO firm — Intelenet’s employees were arrested for stealing information from the office.
    • Hide & seek: BPOs keep police out of staff issues
      Business process outsourcing (BPO) firms don’t seem to be taking the issue of data theft and security seriously enough after recent instances of misuse of data have come to light. Captive firms of banks and other majors especially do not see data theft and its misuse as a crime fit enough to involve the local police.
    • HSBC cyber crime: Police to seek interpol help
      The city police have embarked on the task of tracking down the accomplices of Nadeem Kashmiri, a staffer of a multinational bank, arrested last night on charges of data theft, which was used to illegally transfer money from the bank accounts of UK-based customers.
    • HSBC staffer arrested for data theft
      In a major embarrassment to the thriving BPO and IT sector in the country, a staffer of a multinational bank has been arrested on the charge of theft of data, which was used to illegally transfer money from the bank accounts of UK-based customers.
    • HSBC data theft accused nabbed in Bangalore
      The Bangalore Cyber Crime Police on Tuesday arrested Mr Nadeem Kashmiri in a case of data theft and misuse of confidential information to transfer money illegally from customer accounts at HSBC’s captive unit, HSBC Electronic Data Processing India Pvt Ltd (HDPI), in Bangalore recently.
    • Pecon Soft plans call centre
      The Kolkata-based Pecon Software Ltd has announced the setting up of a business process outsourcing (BPO) centre at the Salt Lake Electronics Complex here at a total investment of Rs 25 crore. While initially the BPO centre would be a 60-seater call centre, operations therein would be ramped up to 200 seats within the next 2-3 years.
    • BPO staffer steals UK client data
      An employee of HSBC’s BPO in Bangalore was charged with stealing data of its customers in the UK. The employee, who has been suspended and is now absconding, stole data relating to credit cards and passed it on to co-fraudsters.
    • Sundaram Services in Singapore
      Sundaram Business Services, the business process outsourcing arm of Sundaram Finance Ltd, has opened an office in Singpaore to tap the country’s $550 million BPO market. Mr P.S. Raghavan, Executive Director and Head of Sundaram Business Services, said in a press release, that finance and accounting outsourcing was expected to be the most active area in Singapore with a potential of over $250 million.
    • UBS opens BPO service centre in Hyderabad
      UBS AG, a global leader in financial services company, has opened the UBS India Service Centre in the financial district near here. The 11.5-acre campus would be an offshore centre for the Swiss company, offering knowledge services, including research and analytics, business process offshoring and IT infrastructure support.
    • Hexaware signs pact with US firm
      IT and BPO services provider Hexaware Technologies Ltd on Monday announced a partnership with Mu Sigma, a US-based service provider with expertise in statistics and econometric services, to support its business intelligence and data warehousing practices with analytical services.
    • Senior EXL staff shown the door
      Call it firefighting with an eye on the future. Five senior and mid-level employees of leading BPO firm EXL Services have been asked to put in their papers. Highly placed sources say, the employees who were asked to leave on Friday, were working on the Aviva claims account. The British Insurance firm, that is EXL’s biggest and most successful account, found out about delayed claims settlement and questioned their service provider about the discrepancies.
    • IT’s of service for small fry too
      When big firms pocket bulk of the contracts in the IT and ITES sectors, niche is the catchword for smaller ones. And they can take heart from the fact that global IT spends are on the rise.
    • SBS targeting $550 mn Singapore BPO mkt
      Aiming to target the $550 million Singapore BPO market, Sundaram Business Services (SBS), the BPO arm of Sundaram Finance ltd, on Monday announced opening up of an office there.
    • Genpact emerges the numero uno BPO
      The business process outsourcing (BPO) juggernaut is rolling on with the big companies getting bigger, and the smaller or mid-sized companies either being acquired or muddling around. ET studied the growth of the top BPO companies in India, most of which are privately held and do not reveal their revenues.
    • BPO staff get a kick as England play ball at FIFA
      As England play their first knockout match of the FIFA World Cup against Ecuador on Sunday, many call centre employees in Gurgaon, Bangalore and elsewhere in India will be hoping the team continues winning.
    • Birla plants Indian BPO flag in Canada
      Transworks, a unit of Aditya Birla Nuvo, on Saturday said it has agreed to acquire Canada-based Minacs, a business process outsourcing firm, for $125m, in a share-cum-cash deal that is likely to rank as one of the largest ever cross border BPO acquisitions from India.
    • Simplifying the CRM Shopping Expedition
      Keep in mind that a CRM system designed for larger enterprises may not be a good fit once it’s been “downsized” for a smaller company. While a larger system may have all the bells and whistles — making it appear to be the most attractive solution — those features are only worthwhile if they are truly needed.
    • Is Indian IT getting too expensive?
      Early this year, SAP CEO Henning Kagermann went on record stating India was getting expensive. He said, ~SWe have decided to hire only a certain number there (India) and then commence to look around for other locations.~T Last month, Apple shut down its newly commenced Bangalore operations without giving any reasons. But analysts believe the reasons had to do with costs. On Wednesday, Pervasive Software decided to call it quits, saying it is unable to cope with the increasing costs in a hot market like Bangalore .
    • Outsourcing moves a step up to research
      Research Process Outsourcing (RPO) appears to be the next big thing in the outsourcing segment. This is a move up the value chain for the outsourcing industry in India as it matures from call centres to BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing).
    • Powergen closure a bad omen for BPOs?
      Barely six months after VV Giri National Labour Institute, the Noida-based government outfit, likened Indian call centres to 19th century prisons that reduced executives to ‘cyber coolies’, India’s BPO sector suffered another blow. Last week, Powergen, the British energy firm, decided to shut its call centres in India — because its outsourced operations had hurt customer satisfaction.
    • BPO rejects get second-time lucky
      It’s a metric that all HR managers across BPOs have come to dread. Out of every 100 candidates that turn up for a walk-in interview, only about seven are worth hiring.
    • EDS acquires Mphasis for Rs 1,748 cr
      Global IT services giant Electronic Data Systems Corporation has completed the acquisition of Mphasis BFL Ltd, the leading software applications and BPO company.
    • GRO to hire 1,000 hands for Mumbai facility
      Global Realty Outsourcing, a transaction based BPO operating out of Chennai, and Zenta, a voice-based BPO operating out of Mumbai, have forged a symbiotic relationship to expand their Indian footprint. Both are owned by Dallas-based H-Cube.
    • HeroITES in buyout talks in US and UK
      Deal size could be around $50-100 million. HeroITES, BPO arm of the Hero group, is eyeing three US- and UK-based call centre companies for acquiring one of them. At present, talks are on and Hero expects to complete the acquisition process in the third quarter of the current financial year.
    • TCS evaluating Vertex bid, may raise debt overseas
      Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is evaluating a bid for UK-based BPO company Vertex and has got a foreign currency rating from Moody’s Investors Service in preparation for the takeover. Vertex has a revenue of £405 m and is majority owned by United Utilities (UU).
    • Integreon to set up another centre in Hyderabad
      Business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions provider Integreon is finalising plans for another centre in India, which could potentially serve as a business continuity base for its global operations.
    • Why Apple logged out of India
      However, another source familiar with the situation said the decision was mostly cost-driven. “India isn’t as inexpensive as it used to be,” the source said. “The turnover is high, and the competition for good people is strong.” The company feels it “can do it more efficiently elsewhere.”
    • Powergen to shut Indian call centres
      British energy giant Powergen has announced it is closing its call centres in India saying outsourcing has hurt customer satisfaction. The company, part of the German group E.ON, admitted on Thursday that its use of India had a negative impact. From today, Powergen said, all calls from its six million customers would be answered in the UK. It is to expand centres in Bedford, Bolton, Leicester, Nottingham, and Raleigh in Essex, and recruit and train 980 staff this year.
    • Witness Systems Upgrades Workforce Management App
      New workforce management features “extend capabilities so a user can take a forecast and carve it into portions,” explained consultant Bill Durr, “sending to outsourcers the pieces they will be working with. This helps the company refine their staffing schedules and provide a holistic view of what is going on.”
    • Squeezing the Best Value out of CRM, Part 2
      One mistake too many companies make is to reserve the majority of a project’s budget for license fees and implementation. When that happens, other expenditures — such as support for new users, training and changing the use of a system to meet new corporate needs — tend to be underfunded.
    • BPOs now open their doors to the young at heart too
      Call centre floors are just for college grads and undergrads. Right? Well, not exactly! A host of BPO companies in India such as Genpact, IBM Daksh, Convergys and Vertex, are now hiring people above 40 for entry-level call centre jobs.
    • Symphony Services opens second centre in Bangalore
      Outsourcing firm Symphony Services has inaugurated its second facility in Bangalore. Spread over 2 lakh sq ft, the centre can seat 2,000.
    • ICICI OneSource plans BPO in N Ireland
      ICICI OneSource, India’s leading business process outsourcing company, announced on Tuesday it would invest in setting up outsourcing centers in Northern Ireland, creating around 1,000 jobs over the next two years.
    • Is Apples’ move a bad omen for Indian BPOs?
      Apple Computers’ decision to shut down its new Bangalore centre has sparked an introspection in the Indian BPO industry, which for now has shrugged off the move as a one off incident.
    • US BPO firm`s, RMS, 1st India centre to be in Gurgaon
      The unit will be built with an investment of $3-4 million and provide employment to around 1,000 people. Making its entry into the Indian BPO market, US-based Receivable Management Services (RMS) today said it will set up its first centre in India with an investment of $3-4 million and is also “actively considering” acquisitions to expand in the country.
    • Nasscom to roll out NAC test in Nov
      The Nasscom Assessment of Competence programme will be launched nationwide in November to enhance the reach of the ITeS-BPO industry to tier II and tier III cities and spread awareness about the sector’s job opportunities.
    • BPOs get new growth pill; pharma MNCs come calling
      Pharmaceutical Research and Development (R&D) is slated to become the next big thing in the offshore services market in India with a growing number of multinational pharma companies seeking to establish their R&D operations in the country.
    • Aviation designs power IT outsourcing
      What’s common between designing an airplane wing and an automobile’s high-tech diagnostic system. Probably none. But there’s an India Inc component in both of them. Global majors from Boeing to Airbus are getting the former done in India while DaimlerChrysler, Ford and BMW are outsourcing the latter to Indian vendors.
    • Savvion heads to Pune, to tie up with TCS for BPM services
      Bullish on India, US-based Savvion, a provider of business process management (BPM) solutions, is planning to set up a new development centre in Pune. The company is targeting top-rung Indian firms with its offerings and is forging a global alliance with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to provide TCS customers with BPM solutions.
    • Security gizmos to ferry the young techies safely
      While pepper and mace sprays have their place as security tools, another set of security solutions, which are technology-based, have also come up. The boom in the BPO sector in India has opened huge business opportunity for various subsidiary business, one of them being logistics.
    • It’s time for young BPO bosses to upgrade skills
      Walk around the shop floor of a BPO and you will see a bunch of young managers, some in their mid-twenties, running things, taking calls on their cell phones and making day-to-day decisions.
    • BPOs need to change strategy, say experts
      The Indian BPO sector has to change its business model by offering clients not just process improvement but becoming their transformational partners, felt speakers at Nasscom’s annual ITES-BPO summit here on Wednesday. With the call centre business having stopped dead on its tracks, firms are going in for a vertical focus, with emphasis on processes and technology.
    • Collaboration, not competition key to BPO expansion
      While Indian BPOs worry about competition from low-cost countries like China, Philippines, Czech Republic and South Africa, the reality is that in a globalised world, various countries are collaborating together to gain efficiency. This was the general consensus among various panelists at the session, “New countries and regions in the BPO market” at the NASSCOM ITES-BPO summit.
    • IT cos take BPO arms into their fold
      A different kind of consolidation is taking place in the Indian outsourcing space. IT companies and their BPO arms are gravitating towards becoming a single entity. For all practical purposes they already are integrated, industry players say.
    • Pakistan learning BPO trick from Bangalore
      After boosting the IT and ITES industry in India, Brand Bangalore will now do its bit for better Indo-Pak relations. It is all set to boost the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in Pakistan, in a step towards providing more employment and improving Pakistan’s economy.
    • Capgemini to hire 5000 more in India
      Capgemini, a top consulting, technology and outsourcing company, plans to double its headcount in India to 10,000 by next year end and is looking to start operations in three more locations in this country, a top company executive said in Bangalore. “We are around 5,000 (in India now). The target is to be 10,000 before the end of next year. It’s doubling in 14 to 16 months,” Hubert Giraud, CEO, Capgemini Global BPO Services said.
    • Indian cos must invest in tech, processes
      With the BPO industry and customers getting more mature, companies need to invest in technologies such as web services, Service Oriented Architecture and the Internet to deliver services to customers, said John McCarthy, VP, Asia-Pacific, Forrester Inc. He said that with the market getting older, there is frustration among BPO companies who are grappling to find the right strategy and business models in the face of stiff competition and consolidation in the industry.
    • Industry calls for emphasis on education
      Although the BPO sector in India is barely a few years old or in the toddler stage, it is already facing a mid-life crisis, quipped NASSCOM president, Kiran Karnik. “The industry clocked revenues of over $6 billion last year. But the industry is only doing one-tenth of what is outsourcable.”
    • Maran backs renewal of STPI benefits
      Dayanidhi Maran, union minister of communications and IT, today extended his support to the IT and BPO segment’s demand to extend renewal of tax holiday given to STPI units. The license for tax holiday is slated to end in 2009 and the IT sector requested the government to continue the fiscal incentives within the scheme beyond the date.
    • Dell to double headcount in India
      Personal computer maker Dell Inc. plans to double its headcount in India over the next three years. Bert Quintana, vice president of Dell International Services said his company would increase the strength of its employees in India to 20,000 in the next three years.
    • Wage inflation in India overestimated, says Nasscom
      Despite nations like China and Philippines competing with India for a share of the BPO pie, Nasscom feels that India is still on topsin terms of cost-competitiveness and labor pool. “We have found that cost differential of BPO is anywhere between 4-185 per cent lower in India than popularly cited alternatives like China, Philippines, Czech Republic and other countries,” said Sunil Mehta, vice-president, Nasscom.
    • India to lead in BPO biz for next 30 yrs
      Powered by its continuing dominance in providing low-cost IT skills, the great Indian BPO story continues unplugged despite the emergence of new competitors like China, Philippines and Indonesia.
    • BPO boys may have to attend classes
      In what would be one of the first instances of adoption of global certification standards for training by the BPO industry in India, American Association of Medical Transcription (AAMT) and American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), are together launching two certification exams — the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) and the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) here.
    • One night @ a BPO… KPO… APO
      The next book on the outsourcing industry could well be One night @ a knowledge centre. Companies are outsourcing knowledge-intensive processes to India. Outsourcing of data mining and analysis could form the largest chunk of this knowledge process outsourcing or KPO, seen as a $12 billion opportunity by 2010. Margins in this business of analytics process outsourcing, or APO, tend to be higher.
    • US shrugs off outsourcing blues, local IT firms buoyed
      The Indian outsourcing industry can heave a sigh of relief as offshoring and job losses will not be on the political agenda for US elections this year, unlike in the past, as it goes to polls in November.
    • India’s top 15 BPO companies: Nasscom
      Genpact, WNS and Wipro BPO are the top three third-party ITES-BPO companies in India, according to a Nasscom survey released on Monday. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), the premier trade and ‘voice’ of the IT software and service industry in India, released the rankings of the top 15 third party ITES-BPO companies on Monday. The rankings are based on revenues for 2005-06 reported as per the annual Nasscom survey on IT industry performance.
    • Raman Roy’s Quatrro to buy FSS BPO
      Raman Roy & Associates has been re-christened Quatrro and the new company is already on the prowl. It is acquiring the 300 people BPO arm of Flextronics — FSS BPO — focused on the telecom vertical, for an undisclosed price. US-based private equity player KKR, that recently bought Flextronics Software Services for about $900m, had recently hived off the BPO unit.
    • BPO bull run may see new verticals taking charge
      When call centres ushered in the first wave of business process outsourcing (BPO), few understood the fundamental shift in service delivery that was taking hold of corporations globally. Today, the opportunities to move all manner of back-office work to India seem limitless. But, of course, a few areas are more promising than others.
    • Accenture to double headcount in India
      Accenture, the $15.5-billion global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing major, is planning to double its headcount to 50,000 in Manila, China and India by 2008. This was announced by Sandeep Arora, lead executive, Accenture delivery centre for technology, India, while inaugurating its ninth delivery centre in Pune.
    • TCS eyes big outsourcing deals in FY07
      Global IT major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is expecting large outsourcing contracts in the financial year 2006-07. Quoting ‘Nasscom Strategic Review 2006’, TCS said in its annual report for 2005-06 that over 300 global deals would come up for renewal in the current financial year.
    • BPOs revel in the World Cup frenzy
      You may be heaving a sigh of relief that you can catch the World Cup telecast, after you reach home, but the BPO industry has no such luck. And obviously, there is no questioning the effect of the Cup on the particular age group employed in this industry. Telecast timings for this World Cup are smack in the middle of a UK shift and at the beginning of the US shift.
    • Barings signs out of MphasiS, offers full stake
      Barings India Investment has exited from the city-based MphasiS BFL by tendering its entire stake in the company comprising 5.6m shares (or 34.73%) in favour of the open offer made by the US acquirer TH (Holdings)/EDS
    • IT, ITeS exports from West Bengal rise 28%
      IT and ITeS exports from West Bengal have risen by 28 per cent during 2005-06 at Rs 2,800 crore, a senior government official said on Friday. The state government has not fixed any target for the current year since there has been a sea change in the perception about the state and several companies were showing interest in West Bengal, principal secretary with the IT department G D Gautama told media.
    • IT, ITeS exports soar 33% to $23.6bn in FY06
      Exports of Indian IT and IT enabled services (ITeS) continued to grow more than 30% for the fourth year in a row with an increase of 33% to touch $23.6bn in ’05-06, industry association Nasscom said.
    • Squeezing the Best Value out of CRM
      Organizations definitely make the selection part of the process harder than need be, usually by conducting a top-down, extensive review of the systems and processes in place, Beagle Research Principal Denis Pombriant told CRM Buyer. Instead, what can be very effective is examining what business processes need help.
    • Referrals bring in quick bucks for BPOs
      Here is a new way, employees of BPO and IT companies have devised to make a quick buck on the side, on the much vaunted ‘Rewards and Referrals.’
    • IBM-Daksh’s, the second largest BPO
      Big blue is getting bigger and betting big on BPOs out of India. Its BPO arm, IBM-Daksh added over 10,000 staff in the last 12 months and now, with over 20,000 employees, it has emerged as the second largest business process outsourcing vendor in India, in terms of headcount. Ahead of IBM-Daksh, is the $500m Genpact with over 23,000 people.
    • Nipuna mulls centres in Far East, Eastern Europe
      Nipuna Services Ltd, the BPO arm of Satyam Computer, is considering overseas centres in Budapest, Brazil and Malaysia, to bring in multi-lingual capabilities. These centres are based on business requirements as some of the customers have a say on where these support centres could be located.
    • IBM’s staff in Indian backoffice unit jumps 3-fold
      IBM’s backoffice unit in India has boosted its staff strength more than three-fold to 20,000 in less than two years to meet rapidly growing demand for outsourcing, a top official at the unit said on Monday.
    • 24×7 Customer varsity programme
      BPO services provider, 24/7 Customer, has launched 24/7 Varsity in association with the State Government’s Department of IT and Communications. The 24/7 Varsity was inaugurated with the launch of `Train the Trainer’, one of its key learning programmes.This programme has been designed for lecturers and professors of educational institutions and seeks to help them educate and enhance the talent and equip students with skills required to leverage career opportunities in the BPO industry.In the first phase, English professors and lecturers from over 25 colleges across tier II cities will be trained on the various facets of communication at the 24/7 Customer in Hyderabad.
    • Nipuna to hire 1,000 in one year
      Nipuna Services Limited, the BPO arm of Satyam Computer Services, is planning to increase its headcount by around 1,000 in the next 12 months. The $20 million company has a manpower strength of around 1,900 at present. Nipuna also indicated a capex of $6-7 million for this year.

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