March 2007 News

  • March 2007
    • These are India’s 10 new BPO hotspots
      Move over Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai, lesser-known Indian cities, such as Kochi and Nagpur, have the most potential to be the next big outsourcing hotspots for major international corporations.Alsbridge, the outsourcing experts, announced on Wednesday that its internal research shows India has more growth potential than just the usual top picks — Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.
    • Smaller cities emerging outsourcing hubs
      Move over Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai, lesser-known Indian cities, such as Kochi and Visakhapatnam, have the most potential to be the next big outsourcing hotspots for major international corporations. Alsbridge, the outsourcing experts, announced on Thursday that its internal research shows India has more growth potential than just the usual top picks– Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.
    • TCS’ exit from Sitel in line with core BPO strategy
      TCS’ decision to offload the entire 40% stake in Sitel India is in line with the strategy to focus its BPO operations on domains in transaction processing and intellectual property. Since these services involve domain-based expertise, they typically provide higher margins compared with voice-based call centre operations. Lower entry costs in voice-based services, coupled with negligible domain skill, has increased competition for voice-based services and is driving down margins.
    • Office space: Bangalore after Tokyo, London
      The realty juggernaut brushed aside slowdown concerns in Bangalore going by the just released office space absorption figures for 2006. With Bangalore continuing to be a major IT/ITES hub, the absorption figure in 2006 in the country’s IT capital has reached a new high of 14.2 million sq ft — the highest among metros in India, and probably the second highest in the world after Tokyo.
    • Designing a 21st Century Contact Center
      Welcome to the contact center revolution. In many ways, Royal Caribbean is standardizing its designs on tried-and-true formulas that have already proven successful in other call centers. What is different, however, is the focus on ergonomics for maximum operational efficiency and employee comfort.
    • VoIP and the Emerging-Market Call Center
      Many call centers in emerging markets are making the migration from legacy voice and data communications to VoIP platforms as a means of obtaining a much wider range of features that can increase productivity, reduce costs and lead to more efficient and effective management.
    • First European Data Centre Awards 2007
      The first ever data centre awards announced at a special ceremony held on 22nd March 2007 in London, as part of the 3rd Data Centres Europe event.As the first awards ceremony in the sector, an objective of the organisers has been to provide a platform to raise awareness of the importance of the sector in Europe, to facilitate an independent reference point for excellence and to support nominated companies in their marketing and communications initiatives. The underlying value of the awards is to recognise leadership, innovation and value creation in the data centre and managed services sector.
    • Indian tutors to teach UK students online
      A Bangalore-based online tuition firm had tied up with publisher HarperCollins to provide off-shored tuition facilities to British students.TutorVista, the online teaching outfit, is aiming to attract middle-class parents by providing online, one-on-one access to Indian tutors at rates far below those of conventional British coaches, who charge up to pound 50 an hour, The Times reported on Wednesday.
    • TCS sells Sitel India stake for $17.73 mln
      Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), Tata group’s software arm, today said it has entered into an agreement with Sitel to transfer the ownership of its 40 per cent stake in Sitel India to US-based Sitel Corporation for 17.73 million dollars.
    • Genesys’ launches voice platform VoiceGenie 7.1
      Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc., an Alcatel-Lucent company (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU ), have announced the first voice self-service platform with built-in support for video customer service and key standards for enhanced network services that enable a wide range of new applications, from speech-enabled voicemail to IP-based services using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).
    • Outsource production of simple drugs, says Kamat
      Renowned journalist and Prasar Bharti Chairman M V Kamat today called upon the pharmaceutical companies to outsource production of drugs like ointments, tincture and other medicines having simple formulae.
    • Outsourcing: Media joins the boom
      Are you good in English grammar, spelling and editing? Well there may be a job waiting for you from a newspaper thousands of miles away in the US.After IT companies, banking and finance, call centres, education, medical transcription and legal sectors, now the US looks for outsourcing editing jobs to India and some other developing countries.
    • Offshoring losing cost advantage: A T Kearney
      Labour cost advantage associated with offshoring information technology services to countries like India, China and the Philippines, are declining but the key markets for outsourcing continued to improve their attractiveness in terms of access to talent and quality certifications, according to a new report.
    • IP offshoring to open new opportunities
      The doors of the world’s back office is getting ready to welcome IP service providers now. One of the first off the blocks to join the IP offshoring business is Computer Patent Annuities (CPA), the world’s leading IP service provider with 40,000 clients spread over the world and renewal of 1.1 million patents and 46,000 trademarks annually.
    • BPOs turn sweatshops in urban India
      It may be the show piece of India’s entrepreneurial talent and technological prowess. But when it comes to compensating employees for overtime work, India’s fabled BPO sector does a bad job, even compared to the infamous sweatshops of urban India.
    • Sitel to invest Rs 100 cr in India
      The world’s second largest BPO company, the $2-billion Sitel, plans to invest Rs 100 crore in India in 2007-08. The company has opened its fifth BPO centre at Gurgaon in India and plans to double its India headcount to 8,000 by next year.
    • Offshoring to India losing cost advantage
      Labour cost advantage associated with offshoring Information Technology services to countries like India, China and the Philippines, are declining but the key markets for outsourcing continued to improve their attractiveness in terms of access to talent and quality certifications, according to a new report.
    • IBM set to secure Idea’s $700m outsourcing deal
      IBM is set to bag another large outsourcing contract in India. After Bharti Airtel, it’s Idea Cellular this time. The Pune-based Idea is close to signing a $600-700 million deal with IBM for consolidating and managing IT infrastructure and applications.
    • Offshoring: India rules the world
      India is the world’s leading offshore services location according to the Global Services Location Index, the latest annual survey by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.
    • HP to up India BPO staff by 20%
      Amid an emerging trend of multinational companies hiving off their India offshore units, US-based PC giant Hewlett Packard has asserted it remains committed to its BPO unit in the country and plans to increase its headcount by 20 per cent over the next one year.
    • BPOs want the real you, not a fake
      India’s $8 billion business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has been facing a growing threat for the past few months, of fudged resumes and impersonation. Given that some BPOs conduct nearly 150 interviews a day, the threat is compounded many times over.
    • Weathering the Call Center Storm
      By using a hosted or on-demand contact center system, you can quickly set up your own overflow call center — either at your current premises or offsite. This scenario offers many benefits, including the ability to provide a disaster recovery plan should the special occurrence be a disaster that affects your call center.
    • Faced with poor growth, owners of analytics firms choose to cash out
      On 9 March, Nasdaq-listed BPO company WNS signed a letter of intent to acquire Marketics Technologies, an offshore analytics service firm for $65 million. It’s a handsome valuation for a startup that is barely four years old, has eight customers, 230 employees and estimated revenues of $5-6 million (the company will not disclose figures).
    • BPOs go globe-trotting to spread reach
      Finally, it seems the offshoring bug has caught up with the Indian BPO industry. The $9-billion Indian back office business is on a global expansion drive like never before.A drive that will see the top players in the Indian business and knowledge outsourcing (BPO and KPO) industry—so long servicing their mostly overseas clients out of Gurgaon, Bangalore and Hyderabad with small teams in the Philippines or Mexico to boot—having 15-25% of their staff in overseas.
    • Nuance to acquire Focus Infomatics
      Nasdaq-listed voice outsourcing firm Nuance Communications has acquired Focus Infomatics, a healthcare transcription solutions provider with operations in India and the United States, for approximately $58 million in cash.
    • India tops AT Kearney’s Services Index
      India has topped AT Kearney’s Global Services Location Index, racing past arch IT rivals like China, the Philippines and Mexico. The AT Kearney survey, released on Thursday, also indicates that offshore locations would retain their wage cost edge for another 20 years.
    • No plans to sell-off BPO biz: HP
      Amid an emerging trend of multi-national companies hiving off their India offshore units, US-based PC giant Hewlett Packard has asserted it remains committed to its BPO unit in the country and plans to increase its headcount by 20 per cent over the next one year.
    • Indian firms are not ready to take risks: ABN Amro
      Lars Gustavsson, global head of services, ABN Amro Bank was responsible for the $2.2 billion outsourcing deal that benefited Accenture, IBM, Infosys, Patni and TCS. He spoke to ET about the outsourcing business and Indian IT companies.
    • ITES cos will have to shell out $2b for training this year
      The Indian IT/ITES industry, which is speeding towards a $48 billion revenue target, may run up a tab of $1.5-2 billion on training its professionals during the current financial year. Sample this. India’s second largest software firm Infosys Technologies sees FY07 training expense at $140 million, while the next two players in the export pecking order — Wipro and Satyam — expect to shell out $100 million and $70 million respectively, towards employee training costs.
    • BPO cos keeping pace with new US timing
      With the US switching over to its summer time three weeks before the normal April 1 date, Indian software and BPO companies have been busy upgrading the systems to the new timing for their clients and synchronising their shift timings to keep pace with clocks that have been put forward by one hour.
    • Foreign clients arm-twist Indian BPOs
      CALL it the return of imperialism or new colonialism. Indian BPOs are being arm-twisted by their foreign clients into signing irrationally harsh contracts which have zero termination notice periods or notice periods as short as 30 days. Modus operandi: if you won’t accept your rival will.
    • US GlobalLogic to invest $50 mn in India
      US-based outsourced product development firm GlobalLogic will invest $50 million in India in the next year and is looking to acquire small and midsized companies here, to expand its presence.
    • EXLService looking at $50-75m buyouts
      With cash assets of over $85 million, Nasdaq-listed BPO major EXLService Holdings is planning acquisitions in the range of $50-75 million. The Noida-based company is looking to acquire technology firms in banking financial services and insurance domain, which can strengthen its claims processing and mortgage processes. Over 70% of EXL’s revenue comes from the BFSI domain. EXL has Norwich Union, British Gas, American Express, IndyMac and Dell as some of its largest clients.
    • WNS to buy Marketics for $65 mln
      BPO firm WNS has announced that it has signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire Bangalore-based Marketics Technologies, a privately-owned offshore analytics services firm, for a total enterprise value of $65 million in cash. If completed, the acquisition is expected to enhance WNS’ knowledge services business, which provides market research, business & financial research and analytics services.
    • He takes care of security at KPOs
      The KPO sector has had to rely on extensive training programmes to offset lack of insurance domain knowledge that is warranted to manage any related process in the North American and European geographies. However, L S Ram, president & executive director, Crossdomain Solutions Pvt Ltd, does not think that it’s an issue.
    • American Airlines call center comes to India
      American Airlines, a founding member of the Oneworld Alliance, has announced the shifting of its Asia-Pacific call center operations to India, from Australia.The airline has appointed Bird Information Systems (BIS), a technology provider of automated aviation and travel-related software solutions, to provide call centre services for travel-related queries of its customers not only in India, but the entire Asia-Pacific region.
    • How to bell the BPO cat
      Visit any call centre and the picture you get is quite different from the sweatshops that they are alleged to be. However, if the industry has boomed (and how!) in India, and is projected to be one of the largest employers of the future (6.5 million workers in less than another 10 years), it is because of the demanding nature of the job, the rigorously monitored operations, and careful employee selection. The call centre way of life has been sweeping modern business, bringing with it a whole new set of values and processes that young adults are only too glad to follow.
    • Many MNCs plan to sell India offshore units
      Multi-national companies setting up offshore business units in India for saving costs is an old story — the latest trend is to hive off their Indian units with over two dozen MNCs considering to sell off of their business process units in the country through a gradual process of exiting.
    • Genesys honoured with Market Leadership Award
      Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, an Alcatel-Lucent company (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), was awarded the 2006 Frost & Sullivan Market Leadership Award for Hosted Contact Centre Solutions in Asia Pacific. This award clearly distinguishes the company as the leader in the hosted and managed services contact centre solutions market in the Asia Pacific region.
    • Booming IT industry hires 3,80,000 in 2006-07
      The information technology (IT) sector took on board 180,000 people and information technology-enabled services (ITeS) 200,000 on a gross basis in 2006-07 (April-March), according to industry estimates.
    • Are BPOs about long hours & low-end work?
      Today, sourcing is as strategic to business as selling. It not only impacts your bottom line, but has an effect on your growth as it provides you with a flexible business model. Indian IT/ITeS industry is at an inflection ish away by saying that scams happen everywhere.
    • Avaya Targets Business Process With New Tool
      Avaya (NYSE: AV) is moving further into the communications collaboration space with its latest tool, Communications Enabled Business Processes (CEBP).The software-and-service combo offering embeds Avaya Intelligent Communications products into a business process — such as a production line’s crisis communications and decision-making process — in order to automate as much as possible the human collaboration in the process.
    • RPG to buy out Fujitsu in Zensar, majority stake
      The RPG group has signed a share purchase agreement to buy out its partner, the Fujitsu group of companies, in its IT services JV, Zensar Technologies. Following this, the RPG group’s stake will double from its existing 29% giving it a majority 58% shareholding in the firm and also making it the single largest shareholder. The Fujitsu group’s 6.9 million shares will be purchased by Jubilee Investment and Industries, which is part of the RPG group.
    • Offshore tech spending by US to rise
      The United States will increase its spending on procuring technology services from India and China over the next three years, a study said.Offshore tech spending by banks will increase from the present six per cent of the banking industry’s $44 billion total annual IT budget to 30 per cent by 2010, the online publication InformationWeek reported on Friday.
    • Boston Globe to lose 55 jobs to India
      The local unions, Massachusetts labour leaders and elected officials joined the Boston Newspaper Guild, which represents nearly 1,000 Boston Globe employees, to protest the outsourcing of Boston Globe jobs to India by the New York Times Company.
    • First CRM for Google Apps Out of the Gate
      Etelos is basically a bare-bones CRM application with little functionality around service, marketing or contact center operations. In its favor, though, it does address the security issue.
    • Reinventing Innovation: The Next Level of Outsourcing
      Sustained levels of product innovation can be achieved with a systematic approach to software development and engineering initiatives that take advantage of integrated innovation ecosystems — networks of diverse, interconnected cultures of broadly talented people utilizing a collaborative-based knowledge management matrix.

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