Archive for November, 2011

ACS Buys The Breakaway Group

November 30th, 2011

Dallas-based ACS, the IT outsourcing and consulting arm of Xerox, said Tuesday that it has acquired The Breakaway Group, a developer of cloud-based services for the electronic medical records industry. Financial terms of the buy were not disclosed. ACS said that The Breakaway Group’s technology, PromisePoint, helps caregiver practice using EMR as they would in a hospital or doctor’s office, without jeopardizing real patient data. The software is used to help train caregivers on EMR systems such as Allscripts, Cerner, Epic or McKesson.


CSC bags IT outsourcing contract from Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust

November 30th, 2011

CSC to host, develop and manage most of trust’s IT and back-office processes

IT services provider CSC announced that it has signed a contract with Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust for a new programme of work to outsource the trust’s technology services.

During the 7-year agreement, with the option to extend to 10 years, CSC has the responsibility for hosting, developing and managing most of the trust’s IT and back-office processes every day.

Besides, providing IT help desk, networking, infrastructure, desktop engineering, application development and support, it will also provide advice and support for a clinically driven health informatics function, the company added.

CSC president of UK healthcare Sheri Thureen believes this is a key milestone in the evolution of CSC’s healthcare business. She added, “This contract with Royal Berkshire plays to CSC’s core strengths as a world-class provider of outsourced IT services and as a major provider of IT services to the NHS in England.”


King’s College London Revamps IT Infrastructure and Deploys Private Cloud Solution to Support ‘Bring Your Own Device’ Scheme for Both Students and Staff with Getronics

November 30th, 2011

King’s College London (King’s), has today announced the completion of a three-year project with ICT services provider, Getronics, which has seen a revamp to its IT infrastructure to support a new mobile working strategy. The IT project, named ‘Access King’s Global Desktop’, involved upgrading the university’s networking capabilities and migrating to a private cloud platform delivered over the JANET network — the latter of which is seen as a first within the higher education sector. This move has enabled staff and students with an unparalleled user experience when it comes to mobile working. Staff and students are now able to access core applications and documents, from many devices, at any of King’s five London campuses. Users are supported by the highest levels of performance, resiliency and availability.

With many staff and students requiring the ability to work in several different locations in a day, King’s realised that a strategic move to enable increased mobility and flexibility across its central London campuses and beyond was necessary. Furthermore, with the proliferation of personal devices — from smartphones and netbooks to tablets – the university recognised an increasing appetite for users to be able to access core IT systems from a range of devices, not just desktop computers.

Lynne Tucker, Chief Technology Officer at King’s said: “With over 25,000 people to support, we recognised a need to support mobility in a much more streamlined way. Some of our staff hotdesk and students may work from five or six different places in one day. We wanted to make sure they could access their critical applications and files and have the same user experience, no matter where they were, from a range of devices.”

To do this the university enlisted the help of Getronics following a tender process with the European Journal. The solution entailed extending the King’s network to Getronics (using the JANET network) and outsourcing the management and hosting of the majority of King’s applications. The core applications, for its students, were all virtualised as part of the private cloud migration. And with resiliency and availability critical to the university, hosting is replicated across two data centres with automatic fail-over to ensure 100% uptime. The JANET network was chosen to connect to Getronics’ data centres through a VPN connection with King’s, due to the resiliency assurances that come with using a world leading academic network. Furthermore, Tucker realised King’s would benefit with this arrangement by being able to remain independent of location.

The ‘Access King’s Global Desktop’ saw a significant change in the university’s approach to technology, with a move from in-house management and ownership of IT, to outsourcing services. King’s saw this shift in its IT model central to achieving its mobile ambition and reaching greater levels of resiliency and agility.

Tucker explains: “Moving from a ‘build’ to ‘buy’ model with Getronics, has meant we can now deploy new applications with greater speed and get new services out to thousands of students as soon as they’re available. Moving to Getronics’ private cloud platform also means we can better manage capacity with resource dynamically allocated to applications as and when demand dictates.”

Students have been bringing their own equipment onto campuses for many years now and King’s are keen to encourage this BYOD trend. However, realising that some students are reluctant to bring their larger devices into London, the university is currently looking to extend accessibility to devices through its loans programme which will soon include iPads as well as laptops. Additional advancements are also being made to the usability of King’s mobile printing which is now enabled through student and staff devices.

“Mark Cook, Managing Director at Getronics, said: “We’re really pleased to have supported King’s College London through its ‘Access King’s Global Desktop’ project. We’ve helped the university move from a CAPEX to OPEX model using the cloud and have updated its infrastructure to enable a very successful BYOD scheme which has seen enhanced productivity from mobile users. It is exciting to see how the project is evolving, and we look forward to continuing to work with King’s in the future”.

Pervasive wireless access and the ability to BYOD is another example of the flexibility offered by the King’s Global Desktop as managed by Getronics using Oracle technology, which offers its students access from multiple user devices.


Dubai Outsource Zone Highlights Customer Services Outsourcing at the Customer Show MENA in Dubai

November 30th, 2011

Malek Al Malek added: “Firms based in the UAE cater to global companies that outsource customer relationship management services such as customer support and care, as well as research. In particular, the country has shown large potential for offering financial services with the presence of leading financial institutions in the UAE.”
The event aimed to address the complex elements that go into structuring a successful customer management strategy and loyalty campaign. The Customer Show MENA was about strategies, innovation, and a showcase of technology based solutions behind the concepts of customer management and loyalty. The topics covered at the event focused on building customer allegiance, particularly amongst users searching for value. It also examined revenue management as an integral and vital part of the customer experience.
Malek Al Malek added: “Outsourcing is no more limited to only infrastructure but has expanded to new service areas. Dubai Outsource Zone has witnessed this change with an increasing number of firms from the finance, hospitality and aviation sectors setting up offices at the free zone that cater to regional and global customers.”

Malek’s insight validate the projections highlighted in a recent study released by the Dubai Outsource Zone and Frost & Sullivan, which estimates the sector across the Middle East and North Africa region to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.35 per cent in the next five years, with the UAE alone recording a 10 per cent CAGR within the same period.

DOZ provides a comprehensive purpose-built infrastructure to both captive and non-captive companies looking to set up in the region, control costs and gain efficiencies by leveraging the talents, technology and expertise in the UAE.


DATAMARK Identifies 10 Business Process Outsourcing Trends to Watch in 2012

November 30th, 2011

DATAMARK Inc., a leading business process outsourcing firm headquartered in El Paso, Texas, is kicking off the launch of its new blog by putting together a list of the hottest 10 BPO trends to watch in 2012.

As expected, emerging technologies continue to change the face of BPO, and the uncertain economy has companies reviewing outsourcing options within the U.S., nearshore in Latin American and farshore in India, the Philippines and China.

Below is a slimmed-down version of DATAMARK’s 10 BPO trends, in no particular order.

1. The rise of mobile apps.
Clients will look to BPO providers for mobile apps for monitoring and auditing outsourced processes.

2. The “social” contact center.
Outsourced contact centers will have savvy staff keeping customers happy and engaged through Facebook, Google+, Twitter and other social networks.

3. Gamification will liven up the dull side of BPO.
Business process engineers will apply game theory to more and more business processes as a way of driving innovation into the enterprise.

4. Public-private initiatives worldwide will stimulate BPO growth.
Providers, industry groups and governments at all levels will join forces to develop incentives to attract BPO jobs.

5. The U.S. will take a lesson from international public-private alliances
Astute governments at the state and local levels will take a page from competing countries’ playbooks and engage chambers of commerce and BPO providers in strategies to bring jobs home.

6. Technology proving grounds will clear up the clutter
The best BPOs will torture-test in-house and third-party technologies in search of reliable and stable process solutions.

7. Latin America will continue to open eyes as an attractive nearshoring destination.
English-Spanish language skills, a young, highly skilled BPO workforce, cultural similarities and a good time-zone fit—there’s a lot to love about Latin America, especially when you factor in labor differentials of 20 to 40 percent.

8. Economic uncertainty will boost outsourcing demand.
A quarter of organizations surveyed by a leading industry analyst say they intend to focus more on outsourcing in the event of another downturn.

9. A shortage of skills at home will drive BPO and ITO.
A shortage of skilled domestic employees is the primary reason jobs are moved overseas, according to a new study on outsourcing.

10. “The Cloud” will continue to be a popular and confusing IT marketing buzzword.
The “cloud” and all the exasperating IT jargon (Caas, PaaS, IaaS, etc.) hovering around its nebulous edges will continue to be heavily hyped across the industry.

For the full article, visit 10 Business Process Outsourcing Trends to Watch in 2012

The Outsourcing Insights blog is designed to be a source of news, issues and trends from the BPO sector and the industries that DATAMARK serves. The blog complements the company’s newly redesigned Outsourcing Insights e-newsletter, distributed to subscribers every month.


Virtual outsourcing ecosystem on cloud empowers SMBs

November 30th, 2011

In this age of intense competition, 8KMiles has pioneered a unique outsourcing model by leveraging the cloud. Aptly called ‘cloudsourcing’, the model allows firms to get on-demand access to dependable remote talent and infrastructure.

While large organizations have the luxury of inviting hundreds of IT companies for bidding for IT-based projects, small companies do not have the required knowledge or
choice. Due to their small budgets, most of these companies are not on the radar of large companies. The firm believes that there is a huge opportunity in addressing the unique
needs of SMBs, by using the cloud.


Misconceptions Hinder SMB Hybrid Cloud Adoption

November 30th, 2011

Although delivery of IT infrastructure via the cloud has the potential to provide substantial cost savings, several popular misconceptions are preventing wider adoption of cloud-based IT outsourcing and hybrid clouds, according to a recent webinar from Everest Group.

For MSPs and cloud integrators, cloud-based IT outsourcing can offer predictable costs but it also introduces a potentially disruptive business model. But especially in the case of MSPs serving SMBs, who are more prone to shy away from transitional projects that appear costly, time-consuming or difficult, getting past misplaced client apprehension about the cloud poses a challenge.

Using information from the Everest Group webinar, here’s a look at the opportunities and misperceptions facing hybrid cloud services.

Hybrid Cloud Services Can Be 1/3 Cheaper

By using a hybrid model of cloud-based IT outsourcing, customers can save 30% or more of the cost associated with traditional infrastructure delivery Everest claimed. Hybrid cloud computing maximizes savings by letting users maintain their “base” computing hours in a private, dedicated cloud, shifting base workloads to low-usage “valleys” whenever possible and then shifting peak workloads to on-demand public clouds with a pay-as-you-go model. This eliminates spend on unused peak capacity.

Combating Three Cloud Misconceptions

Although its popularity is growing, especially among larger enterprises, the cloud has not yet become the standard platform for IT outsourcing. Everest Group identifies three key perceived constraints that are unnecessarily preventing wider adoption of cloud-based IT outsourcing:

incentive alignment with existing IT outsourcing vendor(s); and market immaturity.

In terms of perceived contractual constraints, many IT outsourcing customers assume their contracts limit services that can be outsourced to other providers. In addition, IT outsourcing customers often believe their workloads don’t meet the revenue minimums of cloud-based providers. These concerns may be especially prevalent among SMBs, who do not usually negotiate contracts from a position of strength and have smaller workloads.

In reality, Everest Group says most IT outsourcing contracts do not have exclusivity clauses and that the demand of most users will exceed the revenue floor of a cloud-based service contract.

Another perceived constraint to wider adoption of cloud-based IT outsourcing is an assumption that existing vendors can easily and quickly migrate their services to the cloud. However, Everest Group finds that many traditional IT service vendors face a 30% to 40% revenue hit on client cloud migration, and that there are significant gaps in cloud delivery platforms and skillsets among these vendors.

For SMBs, there is even less likelihood an existing vendor will want to migrate them to the cloud, considering the smaller revenue they represent. This gives SMBs and even greater incentive to turn their cloud-based IT outsourcing over to an MSP specializing in the SMB arena.

Furthermore, despite a widespread view of the cloud services market as being immature, Everest Group analysis shows cloud solutions are currently being used across a variety of enterprise use cases, including core areas such as transactional applications.

By educating their SMB clients on the substantial cost savings a cloud transition can provide and revealing the fallacies behind common assumptions about cloud-based IT services, MSPs can earn a profit while helping SMBs save money. What better way to do business?


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