October 2006 News

  • October 2006
    • No outsourcing teaching, rules NY dept
      In a setback to a growing field of outsourcing, the New York City Department of Education has virtually prohibited US companies from hiring teachers from other countries, including India, arguing it was not possible to undertake their background checks in foreign states.
    • Outsourcing units can’t be clubbed for EPF: HC
      The Delhi high court has ruled that outsourcing units cannot be clubbed with each other or the company outsourcing work to them for the purpose of Employees Provident Fund.
    • Left seeking call centre comrades to set up unions
      The CPI (M)’s trade union wing, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, is banking on old comrades and Left-sympathisers in the information technology sector to gain a foothold and unionise call centre employees.
    • NYC puts spanner in education outsourcing to India
      New York City is echoing the rock group Pink Floyd’s exhortation “Hey teachers, leave those kids alone.” Except, the message is aimed at tutors in India involved in distance education of American kids.
    • Clifford Chance to outsource more work to Integreon
      Clifford Chance, a UK-based law firm, has decided to increase the annual business it outsources to Integreon Managed Solutions, a Mumbai-based legal processing firm to around £30-40m. A formal announcement is expected on Saturday.
    • Common Pitfalls in Sourcing
      A global sourcing operation can be a highly complex, detail oriented process. For many firms, a profitable global sourcing operation can mean the difference between long term success or mediocre performance. Companies have invested millions in procurement software, in human resources and training to make sure they get it right. Too often, though, they still get it wrong.
    • Kannada activists mar start of Bangalore IT.in
      The inaugural ceremony of Karnataka~Rs showcase IT event Bangalore IT.in 2006 was marred by a few Kannada activists armed with black flags and shouting slogans, ~SDown with IT and BT.~T They marched close to the podium minutes before the opening, taking organizers and the guests including Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy, Sir Michael Arthur, the British High Commissioner to India, and state government officials by surprise.
    • E-counselling for BPO employees
      Unites as started web-based and face-to-face psychological counseling for BPO workers and also provides training for underprivileged students in computer skills. R Karthik Shekhar, general secretary, Unites, told CyberMedia News that the organization has started web-based and face-to-face psychological counseling for BPO workers. Monica Ghosh, who heads the psychology department at Maharani’s College in Bangalore is the counselor.
    • GSS is positioned to tap ESO space
      The Indian IT service providers are going after the lucrative $50 billion high-end Engineering Services Outsourcing (ESO) opportunity. Besides the top-tier players, Mumbai-based Geometric Software Solutions (GSS) is also gunning for a slice of this service pie. To this end, the company recently announced its intention to buy-out Detroit-headquartered Modern Engineering’s engineering division.
    • Hinduja TMT buys US BPO co AFFINA
      Hinduja TMT has acquired a US-based BPO company, AFFINA, as part of its move to grow the BPO business and substantially expand the number of employees.
    • Rel Comm misses deadline for Kolkata BPO project
      The delay in executing a high-profile BPO project by Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Communications (RCL) in Kolkata has the West Bengal government worried.
    • Desi BPO workers facing problems in Australia
      Unpleasant publicity following Australian companies plans to offshore jobs to India has led Indians working in Australia-based call centres to face a tough time.
    • Evangelical spies in call centres!
      Across the country, good Christians are consoled by the belief that Jesus Christ is present in the call centres, and are disturbed by the fear that he might be the only unmarried virgin out there.
    • My industry is infamous for its attrition level: Intelenet Global
    • Genpact to hire 3,600 in 2 months
      Genpact is now looking at expanding delivery base to tier II cities. The company is planning to take its overall headcount to 45,000 by 2008, besides targeting revenues of $1-billion. Genpact is looking at recruiting about 3,600 people in the next two months in India to add to its current workforce of 19,000.
    • NASSCOM Assessment test for BPO’s
      The Nasscom Assessment of Competence, (NAC) this is a capability assessment programme for employees for the BPO industry. The competence exam will be active from November this year. According to Kiran Karnik, Nasscom President, they are expecting over a lakh people to be taking the NAC test in its first year. NAC will be launched in eight states – Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Maharastra, West Bengal, Kerala, Bihar and Sikkim by November.
    • International: BBC outsources work to India
      For the first time in its history the BBC has outsourced work abroad following a deal that will see workers in India dealing with BBC finances. The corporation has handed an £85m contract to process its expenses and pay for production staff and stars to outsourcing giant Xansa.
    • Oz staff refuse to train Indians
      Upset at losing their jobs due to offshoring, IT workers in the St George Bank in Australia have have refused to train their Indian replacements. The employees of the Bank were warned in September that they would lose their jobs and were told last Tuesday they would assist training new staff through a “buddy system”, a TV channel reported today.
    • Data theft is a growing problem, admits British official
      It was a sting the Indian BPO industry had not braced itself against. Over the last few years, the antipathy towards Indian call centers seemed to have petered out. Except for a few opposing noises, hither and thither, nothing really of consequence was happening. The opposing voices seemed to have reconciled themselves to the economics of outsourcing.
    • Microsoft Buys CRM Communications Firm Colloquis
      Microsoft has purchased Colloquis, a maker of conversational online business solutions that feature natural language-processing technology. The deal will allow Microsoft to offer new services to businesses with online operations, giving it a platform and set of tools for building conversational capabilities into its software.
    • Bole toh, these Munnabhais grab IT, BPO jobs
      They are the Munnabhais of the IT and BPO businesses. A qualified guy walks in for the job interview, but when the offer’s made, it’s an illqualified bloke who takes up the job.
    • Private Equity firms flock to IT sector
      Investor interest in Indian IT and the ITES companies is on the increase this year with PE firms investing in 32 deals worth about $317 million. According to a survey by Chennai-based research agency, Venture Intelligence, IT and ITES re-emerged as the favorite industry among PE investors during the latest quarter. The manufacturing industry followed with 14 deals worth $289 million.
    • Efficiency key driver for outsourcing
      It is surprising but true. Cost benefit is no longer the most important reason for companies to outsource to destinations like India. Efficiency is the key driver, followed by quality and availability of manpower.
    • Insurance offshoring revenues to touch $2 bn
      Revenues from insurance offshoring to India are expected to grow to around $2 billion by 2010 from the present $690 million, according to a report by research company ValueNotes. The report also estimates that the industry is expected to see close to 100,500 employees by 2010.
    • Engineering services: Big outsourcing opportunity
      Taking the BPO-KPO wheel forward, the offshoring industry is looking to tap the $750 billion-a-year global engineering services industry.
    • 24×7 Learning Solutions plans big in India, US
      Domestic e-learning company, 24×7 Learning Solutions is understood to be in talks with various foreign firms to expand its presence in overseas markets and will also double its headcount by next year.
    • Legasis plans 24×7 legal BPO services
      Legal process outsourcing company Legasis Services is planning to offer a spectrum of value-added solutions on a 24X7 basis from its delivery centre in Pune, which was inaugurated by Nasscom president Kiran Karnik on Friday.
    • Value of large outsourcing deals down to $68 bn
      Total contract value of the 100 worldwide outsourcing deals decreased by 3.1% from $70.1bn in ’04 to $67.9bn during ’05, according to the latest study by IDC.
    • IT, BPOs cook up Indian culture curry
      The wheel seems to be turning full circle. After years of hardselling India and educating themselves about the cultural mores of foreign clients, the country’s IT and BPO companies have begun to sensitise these customers about business etiquette, behavioural patterns and cultural sensitivities of Indians. So much so that even NDA’s India Shining and the Incredible India campaigns are at times leveraged as part of these crash courses. Foreign clients, on their part, are only too willing to embrace these moves, given their soaring interest in an emerging market like India.
    • Philippine BPO unit buys Integreon
      LiveIt Solutions Inc. has purchased the shares of Integreon, one of the largest content management outsourcing firms from India, from an investor group led by Connect Capital and The View Group, two US-based venture capital funds. LiveIt will inject additional capital into Integreon for its expansion and future acquisitions.
    • US, ‘huge beneficiary’ of BPO: Friedman
      Notwithstanding the recent uproar over the UK data theft, a well-known US author has said that America is a huge beneficiary of outsourcing.”The issue of outsourcing is easy to demonise but what many forget is that the United States is a huge beneficiary of this practice,” Thomas Friedman, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of the book, ‘The World is Flat’, said during a discussion at the residence of Indian Ambassador to the US, Ronen Sen. Friedman pointed out that the job of outsourcing has replaced receptionists with microchips carrying voice mail.
    • Rajat Mehta quits as CFO of JP Morgan’s BPO arm
      Rajat Mehta, CFO, JP Morgan Chase BPO, has put in his papers after finishing three years in the company, reports Chhavi Dang. He is likely to embark on an entrepreneurial venture in the Middle East.
    • DoT to sniff out BPOs using unlicensed net telephony
      BPOs may have to pay a heavy price for using unlicensed net telephony, which has been identified as a threat to national security. Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) has pointed out that a number of BPOs have been operating their businesses in India by using the Internet telephony from unlicensed Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
    • Aussie bank may move 300 jobs to India
      Australian bank Westpac has said it was contemplating moving 300 jobs to India and denied it was offshoring call centres to Bangalore.
    • Infosys BPO reports a net profit of Rs 22.6 crore
      The subsidiaries of Infosys Technologies are still in the investment stage, with two of the four units posting losses, though the company is hopeful of a turn around in a couple of quarters.
    • After BPO, it is the turn of ESO now
      For thousands of teachers here, tuitions have become a dollar spinner, thanks to the growing demand for online tuitorials from USA, UK and Europe. According to an online tuitorial site, nearly 100,000 teachers from India and Pakistan were expected to set up their own internet businesses during September-October, the time when the new academic session begins in America, to teach students there.
    • BPO agent arrested in data theft
      Sushant Chandak, who was exposed by UK-based Channel 4 as an alleged middleman for illegal sale of confidential financial and personal data from BPOs, surrendered before the police on Wednesday.
    • Integreon eyes private equity investors for management buyout
      Integreon, a Mumbai-based BPO, is all set to induct a private equity investor to do a management buyout from the existing set of venture capital funds in the company.
    • Bruised, broke in BPO? Just open up
      It is time for call centre employees to make that de-stress call. Stuck in a debt-trap or suffering emotional angst, BPO employees will now be able to get their personal and financial problems addressed, with companies increasingly roping in counsellors to advise and guide their workforce.
    • Guj BPOs hire more from small towns
      With severe manpower shortage in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector and increased demand for regional voice-based services in Gujarat’s metros, call centre firms are now travelling to nearby districts in pursuit of manpower.
    • Litmus test for BPO candidates on accent
      ‘Yehi hai right voice, baby…’ In a bid to better identify the candidate with the right language skills, BPOs in India are turning to automated software tests for assessing accent and voice capabilities of prospective hires.
    • ID theft common in UK, but Indian BPOs face fire
      The Indian call centre industry is fast becoming the whipping boy of the British media and the entire anti-offshoring movement over recent reports of data thefts. A recent Channel 4 sting operation about data theft in Indian call centres is the latest in a series of highly-publicised incidents about how easy it is, ostensibly, to obtain personal financial data of Britons out of India.
    • Sex & BPO: cos plan tests for drug abuse
      Sex and syringes (read drug abuse) at the workplace have for quite a while been seen as issues in call centres and business process outsourcing (BPO) firms, where employees are mostly young and work at night. Now, some companies are cracking down on these activities , as part of a clean-up operation, both to improve the image of the business, and in the fear that young drug users would be easily susceptible to data and information theft.
    • Outsourcing thriving in Britain despite India bashing
      A sting operation by Britain’s Channel 4 on alleged sale of customers’ personal data by Indian call centre workers is the latest round of negative publicity for the outsourcing industry, but its business is still thriving.
    • UK govt to probe India call-centre data security
      The UK government will investigate the security of personal data at Indian telephone call-centres after a television programme said financial records for hundreds of thousands of Britons were available for purchase there.
    • Nasscom seeks police probe into data theft
      IT industry Nasscom has sought a police probe to get to the bottom of information theft from Indian call centres after a UK-based TV channel, which made these allegations, refused to share the details of date pilferage.
    • IT Act changing to plug BPO data thefts
      Here is something to soothe clients who have been in a tizzy following the latest reports of data theft expose in Indian BPOs. The communications and IT ministry has now finalised the much-awaited amendments to the IT Act ’00 to tighten data protection norms in the country.
    • British MP supports Indian BPO industry
      It could have been just another sting operation. But, this one has all the potential to seriously hinder and affect Indian BPO fortunes. Channel-4 conducted a yearlong operation to uncover sale of sensitive data on British customers for profit. The program, Dispatches conducted the sting operation, under the aegis of Sue Turton. The docu-drama is titled as, “The Data Theft Scandal,” which purportedly has a few fraudulent people on camera agreeing to sell data for money.
    • Bandh fails to disconnect Bangalore BPOs
      The 12-hour bandh, which brought Bangalore to a standstill, failed to affect the booming IT and BPO industry in the city. The industry achieved this by a three-fold strategy – postponing the work, which can be put off, diverting work to other Indian centres and by asking the Tuesday’s night shift to stay on and man the operations till 1800.
    • Outsourcing vs. Establishing Captive Facilities Offshore
      Strategic sourcing often involves large projects or indefinite quantity contracts (ICQs), managed by a primary outsourcing service provider and supported by smaller specialty firms that serve as subcontractors. Administrative fees charged by a prime contractor for passing funds through to subcontractors often range from 25 percent to 35 percent.
    • BPOs may process 30% US bank deals by 2010
      India’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has the potential to process up to 30 per cent of all US bank transactions by 2010, while it currently does around 8 per cent.
    • Help us fixing corrupt BPO staff, Nasscom tells Channel 4
      Expressing doubts about the veracity of ‘The Data Theft Scandal’ report to be aired by Channel 4, a leading Indian IT has urged the TV outfit to fully cooperate with authorities to find out the “corrupt staff” associated with Indian call centres.
    • Call centres to hear from unions again
      You thought BPOs had heard the last of trade unions? The bugle, it seems, is resounding again. Leading unions are now gearing up to fire the next round of salvo at call centres, this time by running membership campaigns directly among BPO employees.
    • Shady deals dot BPO hiring line
      Forget data theft. BPOs are now reporting frauds of a different kind. With annual recruitment hitting top gear and companies hiring in thousands within weeks, some cases have been detected where recruitment managers are striking under-hand deals with third-party recruitment agencies and pocketing a good sum.
    • Sting operations put Nasscom on the edge
      Sting operations have now put BPOs in the firing line. While in the past they have had little or no impact on the growth of the industry, they are damaging, to say the least.
    • More Aussie cos to outsource work to India
      Close on the heels of Qantas announcing outsourcing of its IT operations, Australia’s St George Bank is also planning to transfer jobs to India. St George is following the lead of Westpac, ANZ, National Australia Bank and Qantas in shifting as many Aussie jobs as it can overseas, media reports said here.
    • UK media to air Indian BPO data theft scandal
      Expressing doubts about the veracity of ‘The Data Theft Scandal’ report to be aired by Channel4, a leading Indian IT has urged the TV outfit to fully cooperate with authorities to find out the “corrupt staff” associated with Indian call centres.
    • Internet data centres to expand by 45 pc in space
      The Data Centres Practice at consultancy BroadGroup, forecasts an increase of 45% in space and 80% in service values by 2010 in a new report published today. The report suggests that India will emerge to become a significant player, second only to Japan in terms of space and service revenues by 2010.
    • CSFB to plans asset mgmt operations in India in the next 6 months
      Credit Suisse First Boston today announced its plans to set up an asset management company in India. Speaking to newsmen here, its Vice-Chairman Robert Parker said that over the next six months, the company will have its detailed plans ready for the launch of asset management operations in India.
    • India’s info security needs further tightening: Nasscom
      Even though India is much safer than most other countries including the US and UK with regard to information security, a further tightening of IT/BPO security backed by a strong legal framework is a must to further improve the country’s position as an outsourcing destination, Nasscom President Kiran Karnik said.
    • IT/BPO companies join Karnataka Bandh
      Showing solidarity with pro-Kannada organisations, Information Technology and BPO companies in this city, known as the Silicon Valley of India, closed down their facilities in support of Karnataka Bandh being observed today. The bandh call, given by pro-Kannada organisations received overwhelming support from nearly 800 other organisations. Life was paralysed in the entire city. The bandh was to protest the ‘step motherly’ attitude of the UPA government towards the state in its border row with Maharashtra.

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