Archive for January, 2011

Indian IT cos to gain from global spend

January 31st, 2011

The recent results of global IT majors like IBM, Oracle, SAP and Accenture reinforce the view that the global IT services demand remains strong, and that demand remains balanced between the maintenance and discretionary segments.

These results also reinforce the prospects of Indian information technology majors such as Infosys and HCL Technologies.

“While (software) licence sales at SAP and Oracle are strong indicators of the prospects of the enterprise application services (EAS)/ package implementation (PI) segments for Indian IT vendors, order booking numbers at IBM and Accenture throw light on the trends in outsourcing and consulting spends,” said Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd ( MOSL) in its post- results commentary.

SAP is a comprehensive supply chain and operations process management software for enterprises, while Oracle provides the complete, open and integrated business software and hardware systems.

“A close look at the results of the global IT majors throws up some vital factors that support the positive view on Indian IT exporters . These include record software revenues at SAP, highest growth in license sales in nine quarters at Oracle, ‘Terrific’ growth in outsourcing order book at IBM and highest consulting bookings in ten quarters at Accenture,” said Kuldeep Koul, analyst at MOSL.

Stellar growth in software and licence sales of SAP and Oracle bodes well for EAS revenues of Indian IT majors. “Strong license sales growth at both SAP and Oracle bode especially well for Infosys (25.9 per cent) of revenue from PI/consulting) and HCL Tech (21.3 per cent of revenue from EAS). TCS lags Infosys and HCL Tech in the service line, with EAS contributing just 11.9 per cent of revenue,” Koul said.

“New license sales at SAP and Oracle drive PI revenues for Indian IT firms with a lag of a couple of quarters,” Koul added.

One key reason for the underperformance of TCS (the largest exporter of IT and IT enabled services from India) has been its historically high exposure to the auto vertical and a sharp deterioration in auto fundamentals, especially in the US, during the downturn.

In the October-December 2010 quarter, software revenue at SAP grew by a stellar 34 per cent year-on-year (YoY or compared to the same quarter of the previous year). Similarly, at Oracle new licence sales grew 21 per cent YoY for the quarter ended November 2010.

Oracle guided that strong growth (0- 20 per cent YoY) would continue in the February-ending quarter.

Total services signings of IBM, the global leader in outsourcing and consulting, were up 18 per cent YoY to $ 22 billion. Outsourcing signings were up 24 per cent YoY to $ 14 billion. IBM signed 19 deals of $ 100 million plus in the quarter under review, compared to 10 deals it signed in the previous quarter.

For consulting giant, Accenture, consulting orders (which include implementation/ SI) increased by 6.3 per cent quarter on quarter (QoQ or compared to the previous quarter) to $ 3.72 billion – the highest in 10 quarters.

These developments mean return of large and transformational deals and pick-up in discretionary segments.


IT professionals have your say about the state of outsourcing contracts

January 31st, 2011

Following the success a contribution of reader, Matt, who prepared a questionnaire to get the views from IT professionals about the alleged UK skills gap, I have decided to have a go.

So here is a questionnaire that hopes to get the views of IT professionals about the level of success of IT outsourcing contracts.

Whenever I talk to businesses about outsourcing contracts they are always positive. But we know there are often problems. Knowing what these problems are can help decision makers avoid them.

So this will give IT professionals an opportunity to paint a picture of IT outsourcing from within.

The previous questionnaire had 170 respondents and some very interesting comments.

This is a bit of a Google experiment by me but please take time to fill the questionnaire and I will report the results.


Atos Origin bags five-year IT outsourcing contract from Rexel

January 31st, 2011

Optimising the number of servers through virtualisation

Atos Origin, a provider of IT services, has signed a five-year IT infrastructure outsourcing contract with Rexel, an electrical supplies distributor.

Under the agreement, Atos Origin will consolidate the infrastructure of Rexel with a new European platform which will enable Rexel to consolidate its data centres and to share its applications in the region.

In addition, Atos Origin will help to transform the Rexel Information Systems in Europe by standardising and automating the operations of the environments, through its offshore centres, and by optimising the number of servers through virtualisation.

This contract will enable Rexel to improve the agility of its information systems, while at the same time improve the resilience through the redundant architecture implemented at two Atos Origin active IT centres.


Employee retention a key challenge for IT, BPO companies: Expert

January 31st, 2011

Information Technology (IT) companies and BPOs are witnessing large-scale attrition of talented employees, making retention of critical manpower resources a key challenge going forward, according to an industry expert.

Fidelity National Financial India Country Head Sameer Dhanarajani says IT companies and BPOs are witnessing a major talent crunch .

“The macro effect is balanced by one company losing its critical staff to another and a company getting critical resources in return. But aligning them to the organisation still remains a challenge,” he said, adding there are hiring, training and maintenance costs associated with a new inductee, irrespective of the place in the hierarchy that the person assumes.

As per a NASSCOM survey, 2.3 million people are employed in India’s IT and BPO sector.

“There has been an increased investment to retain the right talent and to keep the customer operations smooth. Infrastructure and maintenance costs go together to keep the organisations streamlined to their service delivery model and customer satisfaction. There have been steps taken to redefine the pricing model across organisations to keep their increase in the cost of operations low,” Dhanarajani said.

He said as the world recoups from a recessionary phase, the cost of operations and alarming unemployment rates gave a boost to outsourcing around the globe.

“India, still a preferred location, is facing a threat from emerging geographies like China, Vietnam and Philippines,” Dhanarajani said, adding that North America, South America, Eastern Europe and North Africa are other countries emerging as outsourcing destinations.

“There is a fierce competition in terms of the economies of scale of operations between various organisations or between India and emerging outsourcing destinations,” he said.

Dhanarajani said India has been an investment option for various companies across USA, Europe and Australia for more than a decade with quality of people and output.

“The economies of scale organisations are gaining within India due to three factors – Talent, Service Delivery Innovation and Value added services– and all these, at the same cost of operations,” he added.

The forums like NASSCOM have various industry specialists who have predicted these issues.

“This year saw a new concept of platform BPO service offerings that can integrate best in class processes to provide its a clients a one-stop location and plug-n-play service delivery,” the expert said.

“While this is more applicable to IT, BPOs have been focusing on transforming their business practices through Process Re-engineering and Service Delivery Optimisation,” he added.

Dhanarajani said Indian IT-BPO industry is viewed as engine of India’s growth and young blood fuels it.

The average age varies from 23-25 years and has youngest CEOs at 35-36 yrs in India alone compared to the rest of the world.


Opera Browser – Pros and Cons

January 31st, 2011

Opera’s browser is light-weight and well-built. The download and program size is much smaller than IE, and it offers multiple ways to improve the speed. It’s newest version, 10.00, is the fastest yet. The Opera browser now offers a Turbo mode that compresses pictures as webpages load, which is perfect for dial-up and poor wifi connection users. Even high speed services can benefit from faster page loading at times. This browser is, and has been, considered one of the most secure browsers available. Opera has the unique advantage of being little known. Virus and hacking threats and techniques that are made to attack personal computers are targeted towards the most used browser: Internet Explorer. Since Opera is lesser known, it is safe from the majority of attacks.

Some of the new unique features you cannot find on Internet Explorer include visual tabs (changing the tabs into thumbnails of webpages, also, a preview of the site available when hovered over), and a moveable tab bar (can be moved the the left, right, or bottom of the page). Speed dial, a growing popular feature for browsers is a long time feature that has yet to be available on Internet Explorer. Speed dial is a page that opens with a new tab or can be set to open in place of a home page. It offers thumbnails (now in customizable numbers and other option) of favorite websites for one-click access. There are a large variety of features and benefits that would be difficult to discuss every one, but Opera by far highly exceeds in being customizable and convenient.

As far as speed and security, Opera, like any browser has these issues as a top priority and continually improves these areas. Opera has a the benefit of being little known and therefore has less security threats to overcome. When it comes to improving speed, Opera takes the cake. Not only have they had a long standing feature to handle image loading for faster speeds (and security), Opera now offers the “Turbo Mode” which is excellent for dial-up and other slow connections. Its a compression tool that chows down on page loading time. You can even set it up to automatically detect slow connections and turn on when needed! This is far beyond where any browser has tread.

*Opera: The Cons*

Quite simply, IE is integrated with the operating system. It’s already installed on the computer, so your computer will download the latest version, patches, and any other related tool for you, providing you use automatic updates. Opera is a separate company, so downloading is necessary. For slow connections, downloading this program could be difficult and you may have problems getting it downloaded.

Also, Opera is simply different. People who do not need many bells and whistles and don’t use the Internet very often may not see the need for another browser or all of it’s features. Handy helpful shortcuts may simply be a confusing hassle to someone who is not accustomed to new features, like mouse gestures (allows you to move forward, back, open new tabs, etc., by clicking and moving the mouse).

In all, Opera is perfect for people who need a faster browser and use the Internet and computers frequently. They will have no problems using or downloading Opera and may prefer it to Internet Explorer for some of the features listed here, and others. Internet Explorer continues to do well to be a solid, user-friendly browser for amateur users and those who don’t want to change to another.


Software Outsourcing Companies: Which One Is Best?

January 31st, 2011

This age is truly termed as the age of computers and internet. Continuous developments on this technologies have enabled much into leading a smart and comfortable livelihood of the mankind as a whole. Applications which were nothing but the occupants of our distant dreams a few decades ago, are now the most hot and happening incidents in our respective lives. One such a story is the introduction of some or other new-age softwares that have held the whole world in a sway.

This has led into the inception of a host of software outsourcing companies that offer a lot of services in the constant emergence as well as introduction of high-end softwares befitting any business unit. This has made the daily chores of a business house to be maintained in the most effective as well as efficient manner.It is to savor these new-age technological advancements that many a company now appoint the services of these worldwide spread-out software outsourcing companies to experience a steep growth in their operations.

Software out sourcing necessarily involves software development that incorporates not only the research and development of a software product, but also involves the maintenance, modification, re-engineering, reuse, or any other activities that result in that of the same. Though a software is designated in order to meet a variety of requirements depending upon the need of the end-use, it can be categorized into three broad heads:

To meet a specific need of a particular client or business house (just as in the case of custom software)
To meet the perceived requirement of a group of potential users (just as in the case of commercial and open source software)to meet some personal needs of the researcher so that he or she no more have to perform the mundane tasks

So whatever the reason behind the development of a particular software is, the process has attracted all and sundry and also taken them aback with the introduction of modernized facilities and tools.

Following the footsteps of the whole world, India has also welcomed this popular practice with open arms.
Today, one can easily find out a vast number of software outsourcing companies in India, the services of which are affordable as well as effective to appoint. Of these companies, Ayushi Infotech should find an eminent mention herein. Since inception, this very web development company has attracted a large number of loyal aficionados all throughout the world. This aforementioned unit is one of those top rated outsourcing companies in India that offers a host of affordable web development services.

So, in case you are planning to hire web designer from India you could easily rely upon the efficient services of this very web development company. Their performance in maintaining a standardized quality control and adhering to the very principles of disciplined software engineering is eventually aimed to apply the systematic approach whenever there arises the question of setting an example in the engineering paradigm in the realms of software development. Hire web designer from this company and experience the positive influence that your step makes in achieving the ultimate goal, as set by you.


IT companies are logging in high growth

January 31st, 2011

The recent performance of Indian IT majors indicates quicker recovery from recession and stronger profit growth, analyses Dilip Maitra.Sridevi Gupta is on cloud nine. The 23-year old engineering graduate from Lucknow, working for an Information Technology (IT) company in Bangalore for the last two years as a software engineer, is also a little confused. She has three job offers – two from Indian operations of American companies and one from a top five Indian IT firm, but is finding it difficult to decide which one to accept. “All three are good offers, have good career prospects and have promised to send me abroad on projects,” she said, admitting that she is seeking advice from her seniors to zero-in on one. She, in fact, had more offers but has rejected those where the final gain in compensation package was less than 30 per cent than her present job.

Sridevi Gupta is not alone. Software engineers in India, with at least two to three years of experience, are in great demand, thanks to the revival in the fortunes of the Indian IT industry. Rising from the ripple effect of the global recession from 2008 till the middle of 2010 that adversely impacted hiring of engineers, Indian IT companies are now on a massive hiring spree. Salaries too are skyrocketing as companies are vying with each other to hire and retain the best brains.

Just sample the following: at the time of its recent announcement of quarter 3 (Q3) result, the country’s largest IT firm TCS said it will hire 62,000 to 65,000 people in the financial year 2010-11 as against the company’s earlier projection of 50,000 gross additions during the year. “With this, TCS’ headcount will be more than 200,000 at the end of March 2011,” said TCS Vice-President and Global Head Human Resources Ajoy Mukherjee at the recent result announcement press meet in Mumbai.

Plenty of jobs

The other big IT firms like Infosys Technologies, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Wipro, HCL Technologies etc are also ramping up their talent pool in a big way. In fact, the top five Indian IT companies are projected to hire between 1,60,000 and 1,80,000 people in the current financial year according to Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan.

In his recent address at a seminar, Gopalakrishnan said, “Growth is back and most companies are hiring in large numbers again. Such large scale hiring was last seen in 2007 when 4,00,000 new IT jobs were created.” However, job creation dropped to 1,50,000 in 2009 and to 1,00,000 in 2010. The IT industry as a whole will employ around 20 lakh people in the current year, he said.

The new job creation will ride on huge campus recruitment drive companies are planning. TCS, for example, plans to hire 37,000 engineers from engineering colleges in 2011-12, 13,000 more than the current financial. Similarly, nearly half of Cognizant’s planned hiring of 25,000 employees in 2011 will come from engineering colleges. Cognizant’s total employee strength has already crossed 1,00,000 in December 2010. IT companies are hiring freshers in droves to keep the overall employee cost low as freshers cost much less than lateral hiring of experienced people from other companies.

As poaching has returned with the growth, IT companies are also working out new plans to meet the challenge of retaining existing workforce. TCS, according to Mukherjee, has already introduced the system of quarterly promotions of deserving junior employees and from January this year has re-introduced the system of two cycles of promotions for the seniors, one in January and the next in July. Infosys, which has nearly 1,30,000 employees on its payroll, has already hiked salaries by 17 per cent this year and plans to give another wage hike in the next three months.


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