December 2009 News

  • December 2009
    • Institutes to enrich Infosys BPO’s insurance vertical
      Infosys BPO, the outsourcing arm of Infosys Technologies on Friday said that it has partnered with the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter and the Insurance Institute of America (the institutes) to enrich its insurance vertical.The partnership will enhance the domain expertise, learning and development of the employees of Infosys BPO serving property and casualty, and reinsurance customers, Infosys BPO said in a statement.
    • Motif eyes SEZ space for new centre
      California-based BPO and KPO service company, which has operations in Ahmedabad, India and Manila, Philippines, is mulling expansion of its Indian operations in Gujarat by setting up a new service centre. However, the company is considering options among some of the upcoming special economic zones (SEZ) in the state.”We are evaluating space in some of the upcoming SEZs in Gujarat. It would not make sense to expand outside SEZ and we are looking to add another 1,000 seats to the existing 500 seats in Ahmedabad. However, we are yet to zero in on an SEZ for the new centre,” said Kaushal Mehta, chairman of Motif Inc. The new centre is likely to come up by mid-2010 in an area of around 30,000 sq ft.
    • IT majors set sights on $30 bn overseas outsourcing deals
      As top outsourcing customers in US and Europe seek to renew their computer infrastructure management contracts worth nearly $30 billion next year, Indian tech firms including HCL, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro and Infosys are bidding against incumbent multinational rivals IBM and HP for their share of the lucrative opportunity.The top 15 vendors analysed by research firm Forrester in a recent report provided remote and onsite services for about 16.7 million desktops, 1.7 million servers and 23.4 million users globally. These vendors, including IBM, HP-EDS, CSC and some Indian tech firms including HCL delivered $83.9 billion worth of infrastructure services last year.
    • Max New York, Genpact ink outsourcing pact
      Max New York Life Insurance, a joint venture between Analjit Singh-promoted Max India and US-based New York Life International, is outsourcing customer service work to BPO firm Genpact, as part of an internal restructuring exercise. The move is aimed at consolidating operations and synergising efficiencies within the organisation, a top company executive told ET.It will be a three year contract and the private life insurer is looking to transfer 100 people to Genpact for the purpose. “We are relooking at our overall business strategy and evaluating the way forward,” Rajesh Sud, CEO & MD of Max New York Life said. Customer service refers to the provision of service to customers before and after purchase. In this case, Genpact will send reminders to customers for payment of renewal premium and take calls from them on complaints.
    • How Prema built up the BPO Inc
      The wheels of our business are oiled by a few critical people who make our enterprises work. While we may choose to believe that we are at the fulcrum of our businesses, the fact is that we can go away for weeks at a time without disrupting anything — but these few people’s absence can create chaos.
    • 6 Offshore Outsourcing Hot Spots for 2010
      India’s dominance as an offshore outsourcing destination will continue, notes EquaTerra’s LePeak. But that may present disadvantages for the Indian providers and their customers. Outsourcing consultancy Everest predicts the country’s IT services providers will experience a growth revival that, late next year, could lead to spikes in wage inflation and attrition. To balance those trends, Everest says that vendors will continue to move work to tier two cities, such as Pune and Chennai.
    • Rage Frameworks’ Venkat Srinivasan: ‘The BPO Market Is Not Sustainable in the Long Run’
      There is automation, and then there is automation,” says Venkat Srinivasan, co-founder and CEO of Rage Frameworks, a Massachusetts-based startup whose technology he claims will radically change the way companies manage business processes. Rather than investing in outsourcing or business process management tools, Srinivasan — a New Delhi-raised serial entrepreneur — says companies now need to move up the evolutionary scale and embrace automation that lets them segment and change the way they work with hyper speed and efficiency. But is business process automation — or BPA — simply adding to the alphabet soup of tech jargon?
    • Birlas to revive BPO business
      The $30-billion Aditya Birla Group plans to revive its back office business Aditya Birla Minacs (ABM) by infusing fresh capital and becoming profitable through cost-cutting initiatives, apart from winning new projects both from within and outside the group.“After five years of net losses, equity was eroded, (however) with the parent backing we survived. Now, we plan to bring some capital from the parent,” said Deepak J Patel, CEO, Aditya Birla Minacs.
    • Aditya Birla Minacs to hire 2,000 in 6 months
      Aditya Birla Minacs, the BPO arm of the Aditya Birla Nuvo [ Get Quote ] group, is gearing up its India operations, and plans to hire around 2,000 people in the next six months. Earlier this year, it had won a Rs 600-crore (Rs 6 billion) outsourcing services deal.As part of its strategy to be a $1-billion (Rs 4,700 crore) company in the next four years, it is eyeing the fast-growing telecom and insurance space in the domestic market. For which it has ventured into rural India under its initiative of ‘Connect India’. The company’s revenue for the year ended March 31 was $360 million (Rs 1,687 crore).
    • Outsourcing steroid for Indian pharma firms
      Global multinational drug companies’ need to outsource manufacturing to low-cost destinations like India [ Images ] has turned out to be a boon for leading drug companies in India such as Ranbaxy, Cipla, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Aurobindo.Thanks to such deals, these drug companies are now well poised to post growth in excess of 20 per cent every year for the next five to 10 years, say industry analysts.
    • Post-slowdown, offshoring gets new urgency
      US-based Sonoa Systems is among the few start-ups which did not resort to drastic cost rationalisation in the wake of the global slowdown. The company has had an offshore operational model since inception which helped manage its costs better.For Sonoa Systems, the US is also a major market. The company specialises in providing solutions for cloud computing and application programming interface. The company’s entire development work, right from design and development to quality analysis, is done at its Bangalore centre. The 50-member team in India is also involved with sales and marketing.
    • Infy, HCL in race for Westpac’s $500-mn outsourcing contract
      Australia’s second-biggest bank Westpac is seeking outsourcing suppliers for contracts worth up to $500 million, with India’s top tech firms Infosys, HCL and others bidding against multinational rivals IBM and HP-EDS.The bank, which is currently merging its systems with St George Bank, is being advised by a consulting firm on fleshing out an IT transformation programme, aimed at saving over $400 million from operations by 2011.
    • Outsourcing Partners’ key investors eye exit
      Warburg Pincus’ move to sell its stake in BPO firm WNS Global Services may have fallen through, but that has not deterred financial investors in other BPO entities from exploring an exit. Key shareholders of Outsourcing Partners International (OPI) — a BPO firm specialising in the area of finance and accounting (F&A) — are looking for potential buyers for their stakes. OPI has venture investments from Trident Capital, The Chatterjee Group and Cargill Ventures.
    • HCL AXON signs 5-yr global IT deal with GlaxoSmithKline
      HCL AXON, a division of HCL Technologies, on Wednesday said that it has signed a five-year global IT services deal with pharma company GlaxoSmithKline.Under the Global Strategic Information Technology Master Services Agreement that HCL AXON has inked with GlaxoSmithKline, the IT company will provide systems integration, SAP implementation and IT consulting services to GSK globally, a release here said.
    • Motif Inc to expand center in Costa Rica
      Motif Inc, a leading U.S. based BPO and KPO Service Company has announced plans to expand its center in Costa Rica, for which the company will invest $2.5 million.The center will start operation from Jan 2010.
    • Infosys BPO completes acquisition of McCamish
      Completing the acquisition of US-based McCamish Systems LLC, Infosys BPO introduced itself as a key player in the business platform services for the insurance and financial services sector.The deal will enhance company’s capability to deliver end-to-end business solutions, Infosys said in a statement announcing the completion of acquisition on Tuesday, Dec 15.
    • Intelenet may snap up two UK shared services centres
      Blackstone-backed BPO firm, Intelenet Global Services, is close to taking over two shared-services centres of a large operator of train services in the UK. The BPO firm has been holding negotiations for the takeover of a contact centre in Plymouth and another in Fort William belonging to Firstinfo, a subsidiary of Firstgroup, for the last several months and is likely to close the transaction later this month or early next year.
    • BFSI is the next big thing in domestic outsourcing
      TEN years ago, the world’s biggest IT company then, IBM, did the unthinkable: it struck a deal with a company in India (Cadbury ) to take care of its IT needs. It was one of the country’s first domestic IT outsourcing deals. The rest, as they say, is history.More than a dozen such deals later — including the game-changing contract with Bharti Airtel — IBM is the king of the hill in domestic IT outsourcing. Recently,ET NOW’s R Sridharan caught up with Shanker Annaswamy, regional general manager of IBM India & South Asia, to talk about Big Blue’s journey so far and the road ahead.
    • Telangana unrest would hurt state’s ITeS sector: HYSEA
      In the midst of the Telangana unrest, the Hyderabad Software Exporters Association today expressed concern over the recent developments in Andhra Pradesh and its impact on the industry.Hyderabad Software Exporters Association (HYSEA) President Narsimha Rao in a statement said that some of the incidents, in which IT/ITES companies were targeted in Hyderabad and Vizag recently, would dent the confidence of employees, customers and investors.
    • Infosys BPO may use McCamish tech in UK
      Infosys BPO, the business process outsourcing arm of Infosys Technologies, is looking at taking the technology platform of its recently-acquired company McCamish Systems into the UK insurance market.Infosys BPO acquired McCamish Systems for $38 million and the latter primarily provides BPO services for the US insurance market.
    • Institutes to enrich Infosys BPO’s insurance vertical
      Infosys BPO, the outsourcing arm of Infosys Technologies, today said it has partnered with the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter and the Insurance Institute of America (the Institutes) to enrich its insurance vertical.The partnership will enhance the domain expertise, learning and development of the employees of Infosys BPO serving Property and Casualty, and Reinsurance customers, Infosys BPO said in a statement.
    • IT, IT-enabled services exports dipped to 14.6% in FY 2008-09
      The government on Thursday said the growth rate of the IT and IT-enabled services exports has declined to 14.6 per cent in 2008-09 compared to 30 per cent growth in the last few years.”The Indian IT and ITeS sector has witnessed some slowdown in comparison to its historical rate of growth. The growth rate of the IT-ITeS exports has declined to 14.6 per cent as compared to around 30 per cent in the last few years,” Minister of State (MoS) for Communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
    • Genpact bags F&A services contract from AstraZeneca
      BPO firm Genpact today said it has signed a five-year contract with pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca for providing finance and accounting services.Under the terms of the contract, Genpact professionals will work in partnership with AstraZeneca’s finance team to boost the effectiveness of some of the pharma firm’s finance and accounting processes, Genpact said in a statement.
    • Media Increasingly Outsources Tech, Copy Editing
      If media companies are warming to outsourcing, tech may help lead the way. HCL, for instance, reported in its quarterly results ending Sept. 30 that its media publishing and entertainment business had grown nearly 53% year over year, second only to infrastructure services, which increased 55%. The percentage gains are large, in part, because media publishing accounts for only a small part of its business, 6.8% of revenue, as of Sept. 30. In June, media was 5.6% of revenue.
    • Outsourcing Prices Likely to Drop in 2010, But at What Cost?
      Outsourcing prices dropped overall in 2009, and industry watchers expect the downward trend to continue next year. It’s not just the global economic slowdown that’s sending IT service prices south, it is also the increased use of offshoring, pricing pressure from customers, and a reduction in vendors’ services.
    • Labour unrest in Nordic region hits outsourcing to India
      The ripples of inflexible labour laws and active labour unions — which affected information technology outsourcing by European countries, especially France and Germany — are now being felt in the Nordic region, too.Recently, protests by the staff union forced Handelsbanken, a leading Swedish bank, to award the IT outsourcing contract to a local company after cancelling plans to award the contract to an Indian Tier-I vendor.
    • TechM mulls BPO unit in Philippines Resurrecting Satyam may be dominating mindshare at Tech Mahindra ever since it acquired the firm in April, but the company is silently expanding its global footprint in the BPO space.Tech Mahindra is mulling a brand new BPO operation in the Philippines, which will be its third offshore contact centre after Northern Ireland and the UK. If Tech Mahindra indeed dials the Philippines, it will be emulating the likes of Wipro and Infosys, who have already established BPOs to cash in on the low-operating costs in that country.
    • BPOs to be taxed under new tax code: expert
      Business processing outsourcing centres in India would be subjected to taxation under the new proposed Direct Tax Code but some clarifications, especially on double taxation, were still needed, an expert said.”The (tax) exception given to BPOs has to be withdrawn under section 10 (A) of Income Tax Act. There is no provision in DTC for any such extension of benefits,” tax expert and International Fiscal Association of India branch chairman T P Oswal told PTI.
    • US firms shift call centre ops back home from India
      Two weeks ago, AGL Resources Inc., an Atlanta, US-based natural gas distribution company, decided to shift its call centre operations from India to the US. The centre was operated by India’s third largest information technology (IT) services company, Wipro Ltd.Along with similar instances of Delta Airlines Inc., United Airlines Inc. and Chrysler Group Llc reported earlier in the year, this could raise a flag for Indian business process outsourcing (BPO) firms which earned nearly $15 billion (Rs69,450 crore today) from such back-office work in the year to March.
    • HCL BPO eyes acquisitions in UK, US
      HCL BPO, the business process outsourcing arm of HCL Technologies is scouting for acquisitions in the media, publishing and entertainment (MPE) segment to enable it to grow its pre-press, ad production and editorial services to print, online and other mediums.The company is evaluating targets in the $100 million (Rs 465 crore) range. “Acquisitions in the MPE vertical in the BPO space are likely. We are looking at some companies but talks are in the initial stages. More than the valuations, domain capability is important for us,” said Prahlad Punia, head, media and publishing, HCL BPO.

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