Archive for May, 2012

SAP eyes second slot IT database management biz in India

May 31st, 2012

Buoyed by growth trends in the last year, global IT firm SAP expects to become the second-largest player in the IT database management business in the country in coming years. “We acquired 20 new clients in the first quarter (ended march 31, 2012).

From the growth trends that we are seeing, we expect to be No 2 in database business,” SAP India Managing Director Peter Gartenberg told reporters here. The company is relatively new in the database management business but expects to catch up fast with its competition, specially in India. “India is among top 4-5 markets where we have to win … the impact that India has on global market and technology … we cannot afford to lose,” SAP’s Global Executive Vice-President Steve Lucas said.

The company is the world’s fourthlargest player after Oracle, IBM and Microsoft in database business. “We started last year and today, we have 1 billion in revenue (from HANA) and 3,000 customers evaluating HANA (SAP’s data analysis solution) globally; 400 have purchased and around 100 have deployed it. I won’t be surprise if we cross 2 billion (worth of) business by end of this financial year,” Lucas said.

SAP IT solutions include software which can inform companies or their retailers about customers probable shopping requirement by analysing his previous data available with them and thus provide opportunity to increase their sales.

The company, which provides IT solutions for businesses, said it has seen Indian companies among early users of its modern database solution. Lucas added that SAP has 170,000 customers globally. SAP expects these customers to adopt its database IT solution as well.

In India, SAP is estimated to lead in IT resource management software for companies with 47.2% market share. In other related IT solution, SAP is estimated to have 27% market share in IT business intelligence solutions and a 36% in IT solutions for supply chain management.

“India will be the first country where we will launch training programme and courses to work on HANA,” Lucas said.


Canada’s CGI to buy Logica to create global IT firm

May 31st, 2012

CGI Chief Executive Michael Roach said that despite Europe’s economic problems, he believed there was still business to be done in the continent.

“We have to be here because our clients are here,” he told reporters on a call. “Our clients are globalizing; they have a footprint in North America and they have a footprint here.

“We have been able to serve them in North America but we haven’t been able to follow them to Europe, therefore we run the risk of losing them.”

The deal will more than double CGI’s annual revenue and number of employees, taking sales to about $10.4 billion and staff numbers to 72,000 in 43 countries, CGI said.

It will be better placed to compete with companies like IBM, Accenture and Cap Gemini.

Logica, which provides IT services to companies and governments, has been hit hard by its clients shelving technology upgrades. It issued a profit warning at the end of last year and said it would slash 1,300 jobs in a restructuring.

Its outsourcing business, which serves companies from operations in Europe and from cheaper off-shore locations, has given some respite, but analysts have said it has been too slow to adapt to the changing market.

Logica Chief Executive Andy Green said the company needed to become larger to compete for more multinational contracts, and its position had been weakened by uncertainty in Europe.

“We are in a competitively intense industry and it’s a globalizing one where scale has become an ever more important factor in both cost competiveness and in the service,” he said.

“In Europe there continues to be considerable economic uncertainty that affected confidence in demand from both public and private sector clients.”

Logica’s investors will get 105 pence in cash for each share, a 60 percent premium to Wednesday’s closing share price, under the terms of the deal, which is backed by Logica’s board and the holders of 18.2 percent of the stock.

Analyst Roger Phillips at Merchant Securities said the timing of the deal looked somewhat opportunistic, although he also noted that the offer represented 6.5 times enterprise value over core earnings, higher than the 4.4 times average for the European IT services sector average.

“We think this is a good deal for Logica shareholders given the long-term structural challenges the group faces with high European public sector exposure, particularly in the UK,” he said. “Also we feel the CEO’s strategic plan has failed to work and so the business is in a state of strategic drift.”


Logica’s shares, which were valued at 139 pence a year ago, were up 65 percent at 108 pence at 1102 GMT, above the offer price on hopes of a rival bid emerging, for example from an Indian company like Infosys.

Investec analyst Julian Yates said a rival bid could not be ruled out.

“Indian players may be seen as counter bidders but this would represent a material strategic risk considering the cultural and business focus differences,” he said.

“Private equity, we suspect, would also look at the business but the cash costs needed for restructuring and already levered balance sheet may put off this camp of investors.”

Green defended the price agreed, saying it was good deal for shareholders, clients and staff.

“When we look back over a year the world has changed dramatically,” he said. “We are in a long-term low economic growth scenario in Europe. That has changed people’s view about our ability to grow the business,” he said.

A sale of Logica would be the latest in a trend of British technology groups being snapped up by richer North American rivals.

Banking IT company Misys has been bought by private equity group Vista, and Autonomy by Hewlett Packard last year, although the success of the latter was brought into question by disappointing results earlier this month.

Green said there would be some job cuts at head office and in other administrative functions, but the losses would be limited because there was little geographical overlap between the companies’ businesses.

Logica was advised by Rothschild, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank, while CGI was advised by Goldman Sachs.


SKA holds ramifications for IT sector

May 31st, 2012

South Africa’s victory in being chosen to host the bulk of the world’s most powerful radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), holds major ramifications for the information technology sector. South Africa will host 70% of the R23bn super-telescope, hailed as the largest scientific project in the world.

The SKA will allow scientists to study how galaxies have evolved as they peer back in time using 3 000 antennas, concentrated in the Northern Cape with others in Namibia, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique and Zambia.

The SKA will bring new infrastructure, foreign investment and the need for highly specialised skills. Already, 400 bursaries have been awarded to university students, and science and engineering centres of expertise will be developed throughout Africa. The project is also highlighting the need to develop Big Data skills locally. Big Data is the term coined to describe huge volumes of information, measured in terabytes, petabytes and yottabytes, in structured or unstructured forms.

Big Data is not only an issue for stargazers, but for any large corporation facing an ever-increasing data deluge. All that information must be stored, processed and interrogated using analytics and business intelligence tools to gain greater insight into business processes.

Challenge for IT experts

To help companies achieve that, Big Data has been added to the agenda of IP EXPO, a technology event launched in Johannesburg last year. Big Data is a challenge for IT departments because making sense of massive volumes of information requires key skills such as analytics, which are already expensive and in short supply. Organisations will either have to employ those skills at a very significant cost, or outsource their Big Data processes to keep costs down and gain access to the right technology skills.

IP EXPO manager Michelle Meldau believes outsourcing will prove very popular, as it will overcome the skills shortages and allow companies to rely on specialist providers with a deep understanding of their software solutions. Outsourcing will also help companies stay ahead by having access to the latest technologies, as well as saving them the headache of maintaining the tools themselves.

New apps are developed

Meldau says the problem of Big Data has arisen thanks to internet searches, social media, user-generated content, machine-to-machine telemetry and industries like astronomy and climate research continually pumping out information. Yet businesses can capitalise on that by analysing the data to identify useful patterns and trends, and applying them to improve productivity, drive innovation and maximise profits. New tools and applications are being developed to manage, interpret and analyse the information being created.

Meeting the storage requirements created by this trend will be one of the biggest IT challenges facing companies in the medium-term, however. Storage issues can often be resolved by outsourcing and cloud computing options. Storage providers can host data in virtual data centres comprised of numerous separate centres connected via high-speed networks. These virtual data centres have the capacity to accommodate all the data being created and the processing power to analyse it in real-time. They can also accommodate all varieties of data in a single repository, and integrate it into other hosted applications and services.


St George Bank outsourcing plan abandoned

May 31st, 2012

ST GEORGE Bank has insisted that Kogarah remains an important part of its business despite an aborted plan to move IT services away from the site.
About 200 information technology staff in the Montgomery Street building were warned in March that work performed by their department might be outsourced to IBM, the IT partner of St George’s parent bank, Westpac.

Staff were told this month that the plan had been shelved.

A spokesman for the bank said ‘‘nothing has changed and Kogarah remains a key part of our operations’’.

‘‘This was a review only,’’ he said. ‘‘After completing the review we made the decision to not make any changes.’’

But Geoff Derrick, a spokesman for the Finance Sector Union, believes the bank had been in ‘‘advanced discussions’’ with a view to outsourcing the jobs.

“This is a great outcome for not only the St George IT workers but for the Kogarah community,’’ Mr Derrick said.

‘‘Maintaining a strong presence with high skill, well paid jobs at the Montgomery Street site is integral to the future viability of the local economy.”

Roger Wood, a staff member and union delegate at St George’s Kogarah site, said he was happy that the plan was put on hold.

‘‘It was a big relief,’’ he said.

‘‘We can keep doing what we’re doing, but you think ‘how long for?’

‘‘Is it short term, medium term or a few years?’’

A staff member who did not wish to be named said the proposed change would have reverberated through the region.

‘‘Job cuts definitely would have been involved in that move,’’ he said.

‘‘They said IBM will take some people, [but] not all people.

‘‘It would have affected the community here … Kogarah would not be the same.’’

George Vellis, owner of Alexander’s Cafe in Montgomery Street, said businesses in Kogarah were doing it tough and that a cafe next door to

St George had shut down at Easter.

He said he had been in touch with Kogarah-based federal MP for Barton, Robert McClelland, concerning changes at Kogarah.

The bank would not comment on staffing levels at Kogarah, but Mr Vellis said it appeared that far fewer people worked in the building than in recent years.

‘‘They’ve been outsourcing, left right and centre,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve had regular customers walk through the door, crying because they were going to lose their job.

‘‘It’s depressing having people saying ‘this is the last cup of coffee’ … it was shocking, what was going on.’’


eMazzanti Participates NY Small Business Awards for Leadership

May 31st, 2012

eMazzanti Technologies announces its participation in the New York Enterprise Report Small Business Awards. The Hoboken/NYC-based [IT support consultant submitted an entry in the HR and Leadership category.

The New York Enterprise Report produces an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of the 500,000+ small businesses throughout the Tri-State area. The Small Business Awards program is featured throughout a 9-month campaign in The New York Enterprise Report. In its 7th year, the sold out 2006 – 2012 Awards program has an average attendance of 400 people and is referred to as “the networking event of the year.”

The eMazzanti entry in the HR and Leadership category zeros in on creating a competitive advantage with new technology as well as happy employees and satisfied customers.

eMazzanti created a Productivity Monitoring System that tracks employee performance and an employee retention program based on access to the latest software and hardware technology. The unique Productivity Monitoring System continuously tracks 8 key indicators associated with employee performance around the clock. The data is generated from the company’s job ticketing system. Under the employee performance area, eMazzanti tracks hours worked by tech, billable utilization, revenue per month, margins by tech, revenue by tech/month, idle opportunities by tech, sales funnel and vacation time taken.

For each area monitored, eMazzanti has the results continuously displayed as multiple charts and graphs on three 60” monitors strategically located around the office. In fact, one monitor is placed near the main door so employees can see exactly how they and their teams is doing first thing in the morning when they arrive for work and the last thing they as they leave. Another major aspect of eMazzanti's human resource and leadership efforts is making sure each tech has access to the latest technology to use and "play with." In addition, the firm pays close attention to the work environment its employees has. For example, recently remodeling the office, open work spaces, 6-8 computer monitors per tech station (multiple monitors have increased productivity by more than 50%).

Zero employee turnover and double digit growth in 2011.
Over the last six years, eMazzanti has had zero turnover in employees. This consistency not only validates the level of employee satisfaction but delivers a consistent level of service and satisfaction to its customer base as well. "Zero turnover has translated into double-digit growth for 2011 and the prior nine years we've been in business. Employee retention absolutely generates customer retention," said Mazzanti. "It also creates 'ownership', the deepest well-spring of employee satisfaction and productivity."

When Performance is Monitored Productivity Increases.
Utilizing its unique Productivity Monitoring System, eMazzanti has increased employee performance in 8 key areas an average of 26% per year. "Each employee knows exactly what he or she is contributing to the team and the company," notes Carl Mazzanti, president.

Technology "Goodies" Boost Employee Morale
"Technology oriented people love to have the newest technology at their fingertips. The relationships we've built with OEM gets the best-of-breed new products into the hands of both our employees and customers first. It's a huge motivator to our tech teams."

Other capabilities and environmental factors that make up eMazzanti's HR leadership is its internal morale program which includes the latest hardware and software, remodeled offices and open-office space which supports rapid collaboration.

Industry Awards Demonstrate and Support Leadership Accomplishments
For two consecutive years eMazzanti has been named to the Inc 5000 fastest growing company's winner's list.

According to the notification announcement from Jane Berentson, an Inc. 5000 competition executive, "This achievement puts you [eMazzanti] in rarefied company, especially if you consider that over 27 million businesses are registered in the USA. The elite group you’ve now joined has, over the years, included companies such as Microsoft, Timberland, Visa, Intuit, Jamba Juice, Oracle, and”


SAIC Awarded Contract by National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center

May 31st, 2012

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) (NYSE: SAI) announced today it was awarded a prime contract by the National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) to provide a broad range of mission critical information technology (IT) solutions in support of multiple Federal agencies. The multiple-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract, Chief Information Officer – Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3), has a ten-year period of performance and a total contract value of approximately $20 billion for all awardees.

NITAAC is a federal executive agent authorized by the Office of Management and Budget to administer Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts for IT procurement. Under the CIO-SP3 contract, SAIC will provide IT solutions as required, across ten task areas of the contract: IT services for biomedical research, health sciences and healthcare; chief information officer support; imaging; outsourcing; IT operations and maintenance; integration services; critical infrastructure protection and information assurance; digital government; enterprise resource planning; and software development. The contract can support initiatives as diverse as cloud computing, cybersecurity and health IT. SAIC is one of 54 contractors who will compete for task orders under the contract.

“We look forward to continuing to work with NITAAC to provide health and biomedical information technology solutions in support of various Federal agencies,” said Steve Comber, SAIC senior vice president and business unit general manager.


Virtusa Named to Globe 100, Recognized as One of the Best-Performing Publicly-Traded Corporations in Massachusetts

May 31st, 2012

Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ: VRTU), a global IT services company that offers a broad range of information technology services, including IT consulting, technology implementation and application outsourcing, today announced that it has been named to the Boston Globe’s Globe 100 List, a prestigious ranking of the best-performing publicly-traded corporations in Massachusetts.

This is the first year since 2009 that a full 100 companies qualified for the prestigious listing, up from only 82 companies in 2010, illustrating the resurgence of the Massachusetts economy. Virtusa was ranked 42 and honored as a company helping to drive this resurgence.

“The positive momentum we are seeing in the economic recovery is illustrated by the Globe 100 returning to full strength,” said Shirley Leung, Boston Globe business editor. “It’s a powerful testament to the resiliency of Massachusetts’ businesses.”

The Globe 100, now in its 24th year, ranks Bay State companies based on how well they increased sales, profits and returns for shareholders. The 2012 Globe 100 honors companies that delivered exceptional financial results during 2011. This year’s list is unique in that it represents those Massachusetts companies that have weathered the global recession and are now are driving rejuvenation of the economy.

“We are delighted to be recognized on Boston Globe’s Globe 100 List given that Massachusetts is home to countless innovative and progressive companies,” said Kris Canekeratne, chairman and CEO of Virtusa. “Year after year Virtusa continues to experience solid growth because of our strategic focus on helping clients accelerate their business outcomes, innovate, launch new products and services and improve IT efficiencies. It is an honor to be ranked in the Globe 100 and play a role in the resurgence of the Massachusetts economy.”


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