Archive for December, 2009

Season’s Greetings

December 31st, 2009
Seasons Greetings

Season's Greetings

Accenture ranked among leaders for Oracle outsourcing in North America

December 31st, 2009

The outsourcing of Oracle Applications has been of increasing interest to a broader range of enterprises for some time and this Magic Quadrant analyzed 15 providers of Oracle application outsourcing services in the North American market.

All providers in the Magic Quadrant were assessed on two primary criteria — “completeness of vision” and “ability to execute”. “Completeness of vision” rated providers on their understanding of how market forces can be exploited to create opportunity for the provider. “Ability to execute” judged providers on their ability and success in capitalizing on their vision.

“We believe Accenture’s positioning in the Leaders quadrant by Gartner underscores our strategy to provide fully integrated technology capabilities and services – including systems integration, technology consulting, alliances and application, infrastructure and business process outsourcing – to our clients,” said Kevin Campbell, group chief executive, technology, at Accenture. “When it comes to Oracle-based solutions, we have long been the first choice for a large and growing number of the world’s leading organizations. More than 44,000 Accenture professionals provide implementation, upgrade and application outsourcing solutions across the entire Oracle suite of products.”


Performance Technologies to begin outsourcing; plans to cut 20 jobs

December 31st, 2009

Performance Technologies Inc. is outsourcing printed circuit board assemblies to a Massachusetts company, the communications platform provider announced Tuesday morning.

As a result of the move, PTI gradually will reduce its Rochester work force by approximately 20 employees. At its core a manufacturing company, PTI, with 120 local employees, ranked 46th on the Rochester Business Journal’s most recent list of manufacturing firms.

Currently performed by its Rochester facility, circuit board assembly for the hardware elements of the company’s products will transition to Mack Technologies Inc. in Westford, Mass. over the course of next year.

Restructuring charges associated with this action are estimated to be in the range of $250,000 to $350,000 and will be recorded during 2010.

PTI will continue its existing system-level integration, configuration and quality assurance activities at its Rochester facility. Across operations, PTI employs roughly 200.

In a statement, President and CEO John Slusser said the decision to outsource some of its activities was based on PTI’s direction and objectives. The transition will be complete by the end of 2010.

“We are confident that upon its completion, this move will make our product costs more predictable and reduce our capital expenditure requirements. We also believe that we will greatly enhance our ability to continue to offer cutting-edge technologies in our product lines without sacrificing our high standards of quality,” Slusser stated.

“While this will be a change to our historical printed circuit board assembly approach, it is the typical approach for most of the peers and competitors in our end markets,” he added.

MTI is primarily focused on telecommunications and government business and, according to PTI, is consistently ranked among the top 100 contract manufacturers in the world.

Headquartered in Rochester, PTI has engineering centers in San Diego and San Luis Obispo, California, and Kanata, Ontario, Canada. In the U.S., the company has sales and marketing offices in Raleigh, Chicago, Dallas, and San Jose, with international offices in London, England and Shanghai, China.


ACS signs $72m document management and data security contract with energy firm DCP

December 31st, 2009

Outsourcer Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) has signed a three year $72m document management, messaging services and data security contract contract with Denver energy company DCP Midstream.

The contract will extend ACS’ IT supply relationship with DCP until 2015, and will include providing new additional technologies such as virtual desktop working and telecommunication expense management services (TEMS).

“ACS is committed to providing our valued clients with customised IT solutions that will help them achieve significant costs savings, streamlined services and greater flexibility in the marketplace,” said Derrell James, executive vice president and group president at ACS IT Outsourcing (ITO) Solutions.

Xerox announced earlier this year that it was acquiring ACS for $6.4bn to expand its document management offering to customers.


Giving IT another go

December 31st, 2009

The government is once again attempting to send young Bhutanese to work for IT companies outside the country, even though an attempt earlier this year failed to take off as hoped.

Multinational IT services company, Infosys, was recently in the country conducting a recruitment drive at the request of the government. According to Rinzin Namgay Dorji, the programme manager for private sector development at the royal university of Bhutan (RUB), Infosys has shortlisted 34 graduates for potential employment with the company. RUB is still waiting for the final number. Around 100 graduates attended the interview process.
The government is not hoping for a repeat of what happened in September, when Infosys, along with Indian business processes outsourcing (BPO) company, Genpact, offered 37 Bhutanese graduates employment in India. Only 9 accepted the job offers, with most of them opting to take their chances at securing a government job instead. But, with only 8 IT jobs available in the government this year, and 126 IT graduates appearing for the civil service exams, opportunities within Bhutan are limited. That is until the IT Park is established in mid-2011, which the government estimates will directly employ 700 Bhutanese.

In response, the government adopted an awareness strategy, even bringing Genpact officials to speak directly to graduates on the opportunities available in the IT enabled services (ITES) sector. The Infosys team, which was recently in the country, also conducted an awareness workshop for high level academics in the country.

To increase the chances of graduates being selected for employment by international IT companies, RUB is also identifying 24 lecturers, who will undergo an intensive training programme in Mysore, who will then be responsible for training graduates in Bhutan on basic skills required for the ITES sector. Additionally, RUB is also identifying institutions, including in the private sector, within Bhutan to help in training graduates.

RUB’s Rinzin Namgay Dorji said that Bhutanese graduates usually lacked in the basic soft skills criteria, such as in communications. RUB hopes by creating in country trainers, such as the 24 lecturers, this gap will be filled.

“Lots of effort is going into place to raise awareness on the industry,” he said.

On the small number of graduates, who applied during the Infosys recruitment drive, Rinzin Namgay Dorji, said that RUB expected more than 400 graduates for the next drive, conducted by Genpact in January. Predicting that the civil service exams would conflict with recruiting efforts, the labour ministry scheduled Genpact’s selection process for January.

Labour ministry’s Tashi Choden, the programme officer for human resources, said that Genpact will recruit at least 50 graduates in January. She pointed out that, if more graduates qualify and pass the selection process, even more could be recruited. Genpact has signed an agreement with the government to recruit 200 gradates every year for an indefinite time period.

IT graduates told Kuensel in September that company pay and government stipend, which the labour ministry provides, is not enough to meet the high standard of living in the locations where the companies are based. Tashi Choden said that the stipend is currently being reviewed and an increase is a possibility. The labour ministry provided a monthly stipend of between Nu 6,700 and Nu 9,300, for graduates undergoing training in Infosys earlier this year.

Currently, eight Bhutanese are employed at Infosys, with another three in Genpact.


Council’s IT crowd aims to get city linked up

December 30th, 2009

A revolution in the way councils work – or just another way of cutting costs? DAVID JAMES interviewed Brian Woodford, the man leading Tata Consultancy Services’ ‘pioneering’ partnership with Cardiff council

CARDIFF council’s history of bringing in private companies to help run council services hasn’t always been flawless.

Its old contract with Hafod, which runs the city’s nursing homes, was a financial embarrassment for more than a decade until it was renegotiated earlier this year.

Yet the council is now embarking on a step that potentially goes far deeper.

This month it signed up Indian company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to handle the authority’s £10m-a-year IT spending over the next 15 years.

The council’s hope is that this 41-year-old Mumbai-based company can help modernise the way the council uses computers and the internet.

Council leader Rodney Berman tried to outline how Tata’s local government knowhow, which has been developed working with Indian state governments, could help Cardiff in a web-based comment piece earlier this year.

He wrote: “Tata Consultancy Services [is] looking to introduce a new technology platform, ‘Digigov’, that enables all the different services under the council’s control – including social care, libraries and schools – to communicate directly with each other and the citizens on a single joined-up platform.

“This saves time and money because it allows several departments at the council to see the same information at the same time. For instance, if the mother of a child with special needs contacts the council to ask about school places in her area a caseworker will be able to let all the appropriate schools know and they, in turn, will be able to share information with the parent.

“This could save parents endless time in e-mailing and discussing the same query with several schools and makes the council much more transparent. Citizens will be able to track the progress of their case until it is closed.”

Councillor Berman’s vision has failed to win over unions appalled at the idea of using a Mumbai-based company that boasts of offering “outsourcing” solutions.

TCS is a different beast to many of the companies Cardiff council works with. It is one of three Indian IT service giants, alongside Infosys and Wipro, that, in their jargon, “offer a wide range of IT services, outsourcing and business solutions”.

Its “solutions” are projects such as “mKrishi”, which provides crop advice to rural farmers in India through mobile telephones. It offers platforms such as BaNCS which provides banks or credit unions with an IT infrastructure. BaNCS was ranked the number one “core banking solution” in China last year.

These IT “solutions” have helped TCS treble its share price this year and led the Indian Express newspaper to dub it the “jewel in the Tata crown”, which is saying something when the other gems include Corus-owning Tata Steel, the car giant Tata Motors as well as Tata Power, Tata Capital and Tata Tea.

Tata Tea provided controversy earlier this year when the Unison union in Cardiff donated more than £400 to a fund for employees of the firm, which provides tea bags for both Tetley and PG tips, after they accused the company of starving them while they were on strike over pay and conditions.

TCS’s Brian Woodford, who is leading the company’s charge into the public sector in the UK and Ireland, told the Echo unions had nothing to fear in Cardiff.

He said TCS staff would treat Cardiff council staff as “colleagues” who would be working with the council to develop solutions specific to Cardiff and said the Indian firm did not want Cardiff council staff to transfer across to Tata.

“This is not about TCS pretending we have all the answers,” he said.

He said that 15-year length of the project would ensure TCS was committed to long-term improvements for Cardiff while giving the firm the security it needed.

In previous partnerships with the public sector in India, Tata has developed commercial businesses such as internet kiosks that allow the public to access services.

Provisions for commercial businesses to be created in Cardiff are written into Tata’s contract with the council and TCS may also be hoping to develop more of its valuable “solutions” in the city.

Mr Woodford said the firm would be establishing an “innovation centre” with Cardiff council – one of 19 across the world – to help develop new ways of working.

For now, Tata is engaged on a 12-week project to assess the council’s IT systems and to deliver proposals to upgrade and develop them. These will each be assessed by the council’s executive before being given the green light.

How well this works will affect not just how much more business Mr Woodford can win for Tata in UK councils but how willing Cardiff is to push ahead with the other four “partnerships” with the private sector it has been planning.


BPO firms lured outside Metro Manila

December 30th, 2009

The Philippine government is luring investors in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) to disperse out of the metropolis into the top “10 Next Wave Areas,” composed of Iloilo, Metro Laguna, Metro Cavite, Davao, Bacolod, Pampanga Central, Bulacan Central, Cagayan de Oro, Bulacan South and Lipa.

However, some like Iloilo, are running out of developed space.

“We are now one of the best known BPO centers in the world, ranked second after India as global BPO destination. We want to bring work where the talent is,” stressed Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) Executive Director Atty. Ma. Jamea S. Garcia.

“The primary factor for BPO growth is talent,” she explained. The problem is, 80 percent of the talent is in Metro Manila but the metropolis only produces 20 percent of the country’s IT graduates. “All BPO activities in the Philippines are concentrated in Metro Manila. In India, they are dispersed. We are encouraging BPOs here to do the same.”

The main draw for new wave cities like Iloilo is its human resources, observed Bayan Telecommunications Inc.’s Vice President for Business Chito Franco. This city of 1 million turns out 20,000 graduates per year, of which 5,000 are IT graduates.

“Iloilo is the center of education in the Visayas. We have 8 universities, so students from Negros and as far as Mindanao, migrate here. They fly in direct and prefer to study here instead of studying in Manila to save on cost. That’s also why even the BPO locators in Bacolod put up job fairs here. They are sourcing their manpower in Iloilo.”

Oveall, the local offshoring and outsourcing (O&O) industry hauled in $7 billion revenue last year. In 2010, the sector targets to corner 10 per-cent of the global market. However, to achieve this, it needs to hire 1 million new employees.

“While Filipino talent was a positive factor in making us a preferred O&O destination, the focus on building in the NCR areas has limited the universe for human resources,” Franco reiterated.

To complicate matters, “We have problems with the attitude of local investors although we don’t have problems with telecom or power infrastructure,” Iloilo Federation for Information Technology (IFIT) Acting Chairman Jessraf S. Palmares lamented. Locators adopt the attitude that they will only build if they are sure a locator will take the space. And now, “Iloilo has run out of space.”


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