Archive for November, 2009

Sitel Continues to Drive Customer Satisfaction for DIRECTV

November 30th, 2009

Sitel, a leading global business process outsourcing (BPO) provider, today announced that earlier this year it renewed its contract with DIRECTV, the nation’s No. 1 satellite television service, to continue providing award-winning customer care and technical support to DIRECTV’s more than 18.4 million customers. The contract extension is the result of a successful outsourcing partnership that originated in 2004.

Through this contract extension Sitel will continue to drive improved customer satisfaction and loyalty through live-agent inbound consumer support programs that meet a wide variety of DIRECTV’s service needs, ranging from general customer care to complex technical support.

“DIRECTV prides itself in delivering the best customer experience possible,” said Ellen Filipiak, senior vice president, Customer Service, DIRECTV. “Sitel has been a key partner in ensuring our customers’ needs are met accurately, completely and on the first call. We are pleased to continue working with a company that shares our commitment to customer service excellence.”

“In today’s competitive marketplace, strategic companies recognize the importance of creating customer loyalty through exceptional customer service and easy access to technical support,” said Bert Quintana, global chief operations officer for Sitel. “For five years DIRECTV has entrusted Sitel with this critical component of their business and we look forward to continuing our relationship with DIRECTV to provide first-class customer support as they continue to cement their position as the leader in satellite television.”


Accenture and GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms Help Metro de Madrid Transform Its Operations and Increase Service Levels

November 30th, 2009

Metro de Madrid, the third largest metro system in the world, has successfully introduced a program to transform its maintenance operations and provide higher standards of transportation services. Metro de Madrid has teamed with Accenture (NYSE: ACN – News) and GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, to launch the program, known as ‘COMMIT’, to increase operational performance and raise the level of its customer service.

To meet Metro de Madrid’s operational goals, Accenture implemented a new operational maintenance model and designed a technology infrastructure to manage in real-time the installation of metro’s equipment such as elevators, escalators, energy distribution and management, telecommunications, hydraulic pumps, ticketing and turnstiles. The model comprises monitoring and automation tools with capabilities including advanced diagnostics of failures and incidents to minimize service disruptions, the analysis of incidents and equipment faults to reduce maintenance costs and maximize manpower resources, and remote maintenance and remote monitoring of installations of equipment to increase efficiency. GE Fanuc Intelligent Platform’s supervisory control and data acquisition software suite, Proficy iFIX , was implemented as a part of the solution. iFIX provides real-time information management to help Metro de Madrid drive better analytics and leverage more reliability, visibility into day-to-day operations, flexibility and scalability across their enterprise.

“We are delighted with the early successes the COMMIT program has delivered,” Manuel Vázquez , Metro de Madrid’s Infrastructure Director. “The work Accenture and GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms carried out is central to the expansion of our network and delivery of superior service as we now have real-time diagnostic and monitoring tools that enable us to be proactive rather than reactive at all levels and aspects of the network’s operation.”

Since the launch of the COMMIT program in June 2006, Metro de Madrid has realized a range of benefits including:

* Putting into service about one third more equipment and facilities without deteriorating the quality of service. The costs of implementation were also controlled;
* Manpower efficiencies with a reduction in second on-site visits to resolve equipment failures or malfunctions;
* Increase in positive customer experience due to real-time availability of the state of services offered;
* Improved technical and service management internally and with its suppliers.

Carlos Gallego, Accenture senior executive for public transportation, said, “COMMIT has a strong focus on innovation and is a pioneering model in maintenance infrastructures for the railway industry. It has already been able to deliver superior quality of service at a reduced operating cost.”

Marco Ribas, senior executive with Accenture automation and industrial solutions services, said, “Accenture is committed to leveraging our skills in industrial automation and experience in business process and systems to help Metro de Madrid achieve its goals of operational excellence and positive customer experience. We were able to provide Metro de Madrid with critical, real-time transit system operations data and other essential information, using GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms software, which allowed it to align operations with the business strategy. We look forward to collaborating with GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms on future client opportunities.”

Erik Udstuen, Vice President of Software and Services for GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, said, “Our industry-leading HMI/SCADA software is designed to provide organizations like Metro de Madrid visibility into their operations so they can make decisions to achieve a sustainable advantage for their business. We are pleased to be working jointly with Accenture on this operation and service quality program, and plan to collaborate on similar client opportunities.”

Accenture and GE have begun a working relationship to provide enterprise solutions globally.


Bleum Awarded Deloitte Technology Fast 50 China 2009

November 30th, 2009

Bleum Inc., one of the leading outsourcing companies in China, announced today that the Company has been ranked by Deloitte as one of the Technology Fast 50 China 2009 with a growth rate of 165% in 2008. This is a prestigious award that recognizes excellence and fast growth in high-tech companies in the fields of technology, media, and telecommunications.

The Fast 50 Awards were launched by Deloitte in San Jose, the centre of Silicon Valley, in 1995 and rapidly expanded worldwide and became the benchmark of successful growth among high-tech companies. The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 China program ranks leading technology companies across China based on their average revenue growth rates over the last three years. Companies awarded Deloitte Technology Fast 50 China 2009 status will automatically qualify for the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific 2009 program, which annually recognizes the 500 fastest growing high-tech companies in the Asia Pacific region.

“It is a great honor to have been recognized by Deloitte, one of the world’s leading accounting and consulting firms,” said Eric Rongley, CEO and Founder of Bleum, Inc. “This award reflects our sustained growth especially in this turbulent economic time and validates our long-term business model. Outsourcing will continue to grow rapidly here in China and Bleum is well positioned to work with clients globally as they seek to offshore some of their IT requirements to China. We are grateful to our employees and staff for their hard work and to our shareholders for their confidence in our business.”


HCL Tech bags USD 200 mln outsourcing contract

November 30th, 2009

Software services firm HCL Technologies Ltd today said it has bagged an outsourcing order worth 200 million dollars from the UK-based Equitable Life Assurance Society for processing and support activities.

The company’s life and pensions insurance administration unit in the UK–HCL IBS–will execute the contract which starts in March 2011.

”The contract will deliver substantial cost benefits to Equitable Life’s policyholders through the transfer of core processing and support activities required to run its closed book of business,” the company said in a statement.

HCL will be providing an end-to-end solution, including policy administration, finance, actuarial services, IT operational support and call center services, it added.


Trianz Enters Into a BPO JV With Vee Technologies

November 30th, 2009

Trianz provides Consulting, Information Technology and BPO Services to clients in High-Technology, Insurance, Banking and Life Sciences industries. Announcing the venture the President and CEO of Trianz, Sri Manchala said, ‘We see a continued evolution of client expectations from their partners. In that we see an opportunity to institutionalize our client experience, knowledge and leverage teams to add value in new spaces. This partnership will also help Trianz expand its BPO capabilities from Sales Operations into Finance Operations.’

Vee Technologies has a processing experience of over $30 billion over the past 8 years and nearly $8 billion worth of transactions on an annual basis. Clients include blue-chip companies, and Vee claims tremendous reputation and recognition in the Finance & Accounting space with a recent recognition of being among the Top 100 BPO companies by Dun & Bradstreet, India.

Commenting on the JV, Chocko Valliappa, CEO of Vee Technologies said, ‘We have always focused on offering world-class standards of quality in the financial transactions processing space. Trianz brings a strong business perspective and focus on business results. Our joint BPO services will bring greater value to clients in terms of envisioning business outcomes and reconfiguring business operations in an outsourced format to reduce cycle time and improve efficiencies for our clients.’

The Trianz-Vee JV will offer BPO services primarily in financial accounting and transaction processing to customers worldwide, specializing in AR, AP, Credit, Collections, Time & Expense Management, Bank Reconciliations, Customer/Vendor follow-ups and GL Maintenance.


IT majors worried about cascading effect of Dubai crisis

November 30th, 2009
As Dubai World, the emirate’s investment firm seeks more time to repay almost $60-billion debt, India’s top tech firms fearthat the once lucrative West Asia market for outsourcing can enter a prolonged recession and customers in other top export markets of the US and Europe may exercise more caution while making outsourcing decisions.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys Technologies, Wipro, HCL and Patni Computer Systems are among Indian tech firms serving telecom, banking and other customers in the West Asia region. Dubai, the biggest commercial hub in the region saw home prices plunge by nearly half from 2008 levels, reflecting the worst real estate slump during the global recession, according to Deutsche Bank AG.

“Global confidence is coming back. We were hoping for more spends. But now the confidence of our customers is shaking. I expect they are going to be a bit more cautious about spends and will not open up so much. Budgets were getting firmed up in December—clients will now relook at the whole thing,” said a senior software executive with one of the firms that was looking at the West Asia and Africa as a growth markets. Publicly, though, few firms are willing to admit to these worries.

While Wipro counts Qatar Petroleum and Road and Transport Authority of Dubai among its top customers, TCS serves Saudi Telecom. Domestic rivals Mahindra Satyam also counts Dubai Municipality and National Bank of Dubai among its key customers in the region.

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Outsourcing your ICT Infrastructure – how much is enough?

November 30th, 2009

Outsourcing as a concept is nothing new, but with companies under increasing pressure to cut spending and squeeze budgets, it has become more appealing than ever before, and there has been an upsurge in the adoption of this model in recent times.

However, the term outsourcing, when applied to the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), is a broad one that covers many different areas, from hardware to software to services, project management, maintenance and support. This may cause confusion for organisations as they struggle to come to grips with the various models of outsourcing available and to decide which components to outsource- or whether to simply outsource the entire ICT infrastructure.

One of the main reasons to outsource an entire infrastructure is that ICT is generally not the main focus of many organisations, and managing and maintaining this necessary but complex environment may take resources away from core of the enterprise. Added to this, the overhead costs that must be carried contribute to keeping this function in-house an unattractive prospect. For a financial institution, for example, it may be most effective to outsource the entire ICT department, a move that frees up the organisation to keep its resources focused on the core business of the enterprise.

Another model of outsourcing is to select certain components to run in-house, and then outsource the rest of the functions. For example, an enterprise may choose to retain key strategic IT personnel, such as infrastructure architects, who can take care of the high level functionality, and then outsource the more laborious work, such as maintenance and back end administration. This model allows the business to manage and steer all ICT processes and maintain high level control.

There are many benefits to outsourcing, whether a company hands over the entire ICT infrastructure or selects certain components to outsource. These include lowered costs, in terms of overheads, access to expertise and qualified personnel, and the ability for the organisation to free up resources and concentrate on core areas of business without having to focus on the back end infrastructure. And while there are certain pitfalls to this model, these can be avoided easily enough if the right outsourcing provider is selected.

The key to successful outsourcing is to create partnerships with outsourcing providers. One of the greatest drawbacks of outsourcing occurs when the process is badly managed, and the client hands over the process without taking responsibility. Relationships are crucial to the success of this model, whether it is conducted in components or as a whole, as expectations need to be managed properly from both sides.

From the organisation’s point of view, it is also essential to ensure that the right outsourcing provider is selected. Employees of the provider need to be certified on the platforms and equipment that the company uses, to ensure knowledge, expertise and quality of service. This also ensures an understanding of the environment to be outsourced. From this, service levels need to be agreed upon beforehand, and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as well as support procedures need to be laid out in advance.

Managing the process on a continuous basis is also crucial. Expectations should be clearly defined, and regular meetings should be held between both parties to ensure ongoing levels of service and quality.

Daily interaction and communication between both parties is crucial, as the organisation that is outsourcing needs to understand and be aware of what is happening within the ICT environment. Partnerships go both ways, and while it is up to the outsourcing provider to ensure their highest levels of service, at the end of the day it is the organisation’s responsibility to make certain that it has chosen the right outsourcing provider and that it manages the process effectively. In this way, the downside of outsourcing can be avoided, and the benefits reaped to their full extent. It must be noted that outsourcing is not a ’silver bullet’ that will miraculously solve all of the ICT problems of an organisation. However, if it is correctly managed from both ends, and partnerships are built strategically with an understanding of the environment to be considered, it can be a significant cost reduction tool that can eliminate many of the pains experienced when it comes to IT infrastructure.


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