September 2006 News

  • September 2006
    • American firms offshoring the lawyers
      Mention offshore outsourcing, and Americans fume. But who would cry if we outsourced the work of lawyers, with their fat fees and endless strategies for adding years to litigation? Sounds like a great idea, but many might say it can’t be done anyway. Legal work is too sensitive and technical to risk farming out to Asia.
    • RCoVL to open 1k-seat call centre
      Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Communications plans to set up a 1,000-seat call centre in Gujarat. Sources said the company has approached the state government for discussing the possible incentives which can be offered to the company.
    • Infosys cuts new path by offshoring BPO
      Infosys BPO, the business process outsourcing subsidiary of software major Infosys Technologies, has begun offshoring its own offshore work. It is working with Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLTD) to offer voice-based services to its American clients from Manila.Around 200 people on the rolls of Ventus, a unit of PLDT, are servicing US customers of Infosys in the Philippines, the first experiment of an Indian IT services firm farming out work to a local company to service its customers. PLDT employs over 4,500 people and aims to reach a workforce of 6,000 by next year.
    • HOV Services lists at Rs 200 on BSE
      Pune-based BPO company HOV Services Ltd got listed on Tuesday at Rs 200 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, against its issue price of the same value. The company in its IPO had offered 40.5 lakh shares of Rs 10 each at a price band of Rs 200 to Rs 240 per equity share, which were oversubscribed by over two times.
    • Accenture arm to double its global headcount
      Accenture Information Management Services (AIMS), the Business Intelligence (BI) arm of Accenture, the technology services and outsourcing company has plans to double its global headcount from 3,000 to 6,000 by the next fiscal.
    • Nasscom to enforce IT regulations
      Nasscom has announced to set up an independent self-regulatory organization (SRO) for IT, ITES and BPO industry in the country. The SRO would monitor and enforce stricter regulations for data protection. It is also considering imposing sanctions for violation of such safeguards.
    • techTribe mulls reverse outsourcing
      Barely ten days after the San Francisco-based software company techTribe Networks announced the launch of an online platform for IT professionals in India, it seems ready to pole-vault ahead with corporate alliances, burgeoning memberships and interesting revenue streams.
    • SAP upbeat on BPO segment
      With HR outsourcing on the rise, service providers are looking to provide better security, enable process improvement and enhance cost effectiveness across service offerings. Recognizing the potential of this segment, enterprise software major SAP started a strategic unit to focus on this upcoming business segment. This investment seems to have paid off for the company.
    • BPOs wake up to occupational hazards
      Working 24X7? “Become a proponent of health with a capital H and not a small h” says many companies across different sectors. Though 24X7 work environment is not exclusive only to the BPO industry but definitely it is the most talked about. Is the call centre processes designed to fit the technology & not the health of the workers. Is it about outsourcing health problems along with the work?
    • Fast refunds woo BPOs to service tax counters
      For a change, BPOs are not complaining. Several BPOs are rushing to obtain service tax registrations even though they are exempt from paying the levy on services rendered to their foreign clients.
    • Regional language call centres lose talent
      It’s not only the international call centres that are suffering from high attrition rates. Domestic call centres, which are mushrooming across the state and offer voice-based services in regional languages, are finding it tough to retain people.
    • Pyxis to set up financial derivatives KPO
      Pyxis Systems is planning to set up a KPO in the financial derivatives space. The company provides turnkey solutions and integration services in the financial sector related to derivatives. Its solution, RisKompass, is a software system for derivatives valuation and risk management, which enables clients to manage derivative trades in a more controlled manner from the front to the back office.
    • Cambridge starts ops from new facility in Chennai
      Cambridge Solutions, one of the large knowledge-based IT and BPO firms in the world, has moved into a new facility in Chennai. The close to 70,000 sq ft MRC Nagar facility, which has come up with an investment of $1 million can accommodate over 600 people.
    • BPO exec sells self, citizens to Dawood
      The pesky call centre employee trying to sell you a credit card or mobile phone has suddenly acquired more sinister dimensions: S/he could well be misusing the personal information. A 25-year-old call centre employee from a BPO in Tardeo did just that recently, passing on the personal profiles of customers to members of the Dawood Ibrahim gang.
    • Saurashtra ready for a brush with BPOs
      This would be good news for students in Saurashtra who would like to join BPO companies. Industry and academia in Rajkot are joining hands to attract BPO firms in the city. Both feel the demand for outsourcing will rise in the region, once industries such as engineering, auto-parts manufacturing and petroleum — currently in the expansion phase — establish themselves. The Saurashtra University is gearing up to produce future tech professionals for a potentially large-sized BPO industry in the region.
    • Olympus calls on Quatrro with $100-m investment
      Olympus Capital has invested $100m in Raman Roy’s Quatrro BPO Solutions for a “significant minority stake” in the company. Olympus Capital is an Asia-focused fund, and this is its biggest investment in India.
    • Murder of IBM BPO staffer: 8 booked
      Local police have booked eight youths, including a cable operator and two brothers, for allegedly murdering Varun Nath, the 22-year-old employee of IBM call center, on Monday night.
    • After BPOs, it is now the turn of RPOs
      With over 22% growth in the job market across industries, India, Inc. will be eyeing executive and specialized talent from overseas. The employment boom in India is creating a talent shortage. In this changing scenario, a new concept has emerged — Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). The concept aims at taking the burden out of the headhunting business of the corporate sector.
    • Spending on Portal Initiatives Projected to Grow 30 Percent
      Increasingly, CRM is becoming one of the core critical applications of an enterprise, and so the incentive to integrate CRM data with other business applications is growing. With a portal to enable that — particularly in a SOA environment — the implication is a broader use of CRM across the enterprise.
    • Building Tomorrow’s Virtual Contact Center Today
      Many people don’t realize that a revolution is taking place in the contact center as a result of self-service. Interactions that require standard scripting and basic answers are now being handled as self-service via the Web, or speech-enabled interactive voice response systems (IVRs). Both these services decrease the time agents spend dealing with routine customer interactions.
    • What HIPAA Means for CRM and Vice Versa
      The aim of CRM is to meet — and grow — the wants, needs and expectations of customers in order to increase the profitability of the CRM sponsor. The goal within healthcare organizations isn’t much different. Hospitals and clinics want to remain top-of-mind with existing patients while attracting and retaining prospects in their communities.
    • Small BPOs share the pie with biggies
      There is a ecosystem developing in the Indian BPO industry. Large BPO companies in India are enabling smaller BPO companies to get work.
    • ABN Amro BPO to up headcount to 5,000
      ABN Amro Central Enterprise Services (ACES), the BPO arm of ABN Amro Bank, is set to scale up headcount to 5,000 by June ’07, across its three locations in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. ACES is evaluating a number of tier-II cities and State capitals for further expansion.
    • Mortgage BPO pie to swell to $1.1bn by ’10
      With competitive pressures in key mortgage markets triggering off cost margin control and outsourcing, the total value of mortgage BPO delivered from India is estimated to jump to $1.1bn by ’10, from just $100-150m at present.
    • Patent outsourcing at a fast clip in the LPO industry
      Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO), a niche segment within the Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) space, is attracting international law firms who are outsourcing legal work to India. Within the LPO industry, it is patent outsourcing, which is catching up faster than the rest of LPO jobs.
    • Wipro named world’s top BPO
      Wipro Technologies today announced that the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) has recognized it among the top BPO providers for 2006. Wipro was recently also rated as the top Indian outsourcing firm in the Global Outsourcing 100 rankings conducted by IAOP. The list included some of the largest IT companies worldwide and Wipro Technologies has been ranked seventh and is the only Indian company in the top ten, a press release said.
    • Alarm bells ring for BPOs again
      Fake CVs, bogus appointment letters, fraudulent training programmes… headhunting has never been so tricky in the BPO business. First there was the scandal over fake CVs at Wipro. And now it’s a job racket allegedly run by bogus agencies doling out fake appointment letters bearing the Genpact logo.
    • BPOs open more doors to women
      Move over Penelope Cruz, BPOs are giving a more relevant meaning to the phrase ‘Woman on Top’. Anxious to be fair to the fairer sex, BPOs in India are implementing innovative ideas to hike the ratio of woman employees in their workforce.
    • Pakistan defaces QAI website
      A hacker group known as Pakistan Hacker’s Alliance has hacked into the Indian website of QAI, a global consulting organization on Thursday. QAI provides consulting, training, people, process and operational assessments, benchmarking, certification, conferences, resource for IT and ITeS companies.
    • Aviva to send 1,000 jobs to India
      In an effort to cut costs and improve efficiency, Insurance major Aviva on Thursday announced that it would reduce its staff in the United Kingdom by 4,000 from the existing 36,000 and offshore 1,000 of them to India by 2008.
    • After BPO, ESO to arrive with a bang
      The two keywords associated with outsourcing to India have been ITO and BPO services. Now a third opportunity in offshoring seems to be opening up for the country — Engineering Services Outsourcing (ESO).
    • When Marx meets midnight warriors
      Employee unions in BPOs are not in vogue today. But professors at the country’s top B-school Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) have found that if work pressure at outsourcing firms and call centres continued to increase, the possibility of them getting unionised cannot be ruled out. However, in the BPOs, unions will have to reinvent themselves to benefit both, the employee as well as the employer.
    • Does BPO face a reverse brain drain
      It’s been the same headlines in every local and national newspaper — Indian company to create 1000 jobs in Northern Ireland. It being Northern Ireland, an occasional labour union and political party has also seen fit to add the odd comment, either celebratory or combative.
    • CosmoCom Updates Universe Contact Center App
      A proprietary NAT Traversal capability has been introduced in V4.6 that CosmoCom said is more secure and universal than earlier approaches. NAT Traversal addresses connection issues in networks that use network address translation. This addition to V4.6 is aimed at contact centers that rely on a distributed agent force, said Steve Kowarsky, CosmoCom executive vice president.
    • Deepak Patel is MphasiS COO
      MphasiS BFL Ltd has announced the appointment of Deepak Patel as its chief operating officer. Speaking on the appointment, Jerry Rao, CEO of the company, said, “We are extremely happy to have Deepak Patel head our Operations. He brings with him valuable experience across diverse positions and will play a key role in leading MphasiS post the recent merger of EDS-India and MphasiS.
    • TCS named as a top global BPO provider
      Tata Group company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has been named as one of the world’s top BPO providers by The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), for 2006, a press release issued here on Thursday said.
    • RightNow Rearchitects CRM Suite With Version 8
      In addition to a newly architected interface, RightNow version 8 includes three vertical industry applications — one targeting the business-to-business sector, one geared toward the business-to-consumer sector, and one for the public sector.
    • HR outsourcing, the next big thing
      The Yankee Group, a US research and consulting firm, estimates that the worldwide HR outsourcing services (HRO) market will grow to $80 billion by 2008, at a compounded annual growth of 12 per cent, with non-core transactional duties such as payroll and benefits administration increasingly outsourced (particularly in the US) rather than conducted in-house.
    • Infosys to double capacity at Brno facility
      Infosys Technologies on Wednesday announced the expansion of its near-shore capability at Brno in the Czech Republic with a new 350-seat facility under development to double the capacity of its existing facilities by 100 per cent.
    • ‘Josh’ pill to fight attrition: Wipro BPO
      Azim Premji-controlled Wipro Ltd claims to have stumbled upon an HR pill to rein in the high 8% monthly employee attrition in its BPO business. In-house HR strategists have silently set in motion a mass employee engagement programme, christened ‘Josh.’ This allows some 16,000 staff — working in the company’s six BPO units — to touch base and identify with core values of the Wipro corporate brand.
    • Infy renames Progeon as ‘Infosys BPO’
      IT major Infosys Technologies Ltd today said its business process outsourcing subsidiary, Progeon Ltd, would be renamed Infosys BPO Ltd.
    • The Thorny Cultural Thicket of Outsourcing, Part 2
      Firms must ditch the concept that customer complaints arise from superficial or surface reasons such as having to converse with someone with an accent, says Patrick Morrissey, senior vice president of Savvion. “Ultimately, if a problem gets solved, then the customer doesn’t care where the rep is located.”
    • Enrol in a BPO varsity
      24/7 Customer, a BPO, on Tuesday launched the Bangalore unit of its education programme, 24/7 Varsity, to prepare students for work in the burgeoning BPO sector.
    • Affinity Express: Embroidered success
      Voyager Emblem (India) is a BPO with a difference. Unlike the run of the mill BPOs that include call centres, technical help desks, financial analysis-knowledge process outsourcing, Voyager is engaged in the development of digitised embroidery designs.
    • Not in the pink of health
      The success of the business process outsourcing (BPO) and the knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) sector has turned out to be a bane for the pharma sector, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), who are facing a manpower crunch. Pharma companies are faced with high attrition rates of about 25-30%.
    • Global Services readers to outsource $88bn jobs
      A recent analysis of 25,000 North American readers of Global Services, a monthly outsourcing focused magazine, has come up with some interesting findings. The surveyed readers were decision-makers and stakeholders active in the outsourcing process. They plan to outsource US$88 billion of outsourcing work, the single largest by any outsourcing media-platform audience.
    • MeritTrac partners OPP Inc
      Skills assessment company MeritTrac Services has been authorized by OPP to offer the 16PF instrument in India as part of its assessment services. The 16PF questionnaire is recognized worldwide since 1949, as a highly reliable personality assessment tool and remains one of the most valid predictors of future behaviour.
    • Aussie firm to outsource jobs to India
      A major investment company owned by Australia’s leading bank Westpac is set to outsource over 70 jobs to India to improve customer service.
    • Hinduja TMT to demerge IT/ITES biz
      Hinduja TMT on Friday said it will demerge its Information Technology and IT Enabled Services undertaking into a separate entity, which would get listed in the fourth quarter of current fiscal.
    • OfficeTiger on the prowl, to up headcount by 25%
      OfficeTiger plans to increase its headcount by 25% to 12,500 people over the next 18 months. The move follows acquisition of the company by RR Donnelley and the merger of Astron BPO. OfficeTiger also plans to take up additional space in Chennai, where it has over 3,500 people.
    • Old is new again at churn-wary BPOs
      BPOs pitching for professionals in the 50-plus age group are seeing a visible slideback in attrition rates. While attrition levels have declined by a modest 5%, most BPO firms feel a blend of raw energy and experience can work wonders in taking the business forward.

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