Archive for September, 2012

Dell announces two new services for IT firm’s enterprise clients

September 25th, 2012

Moreover, it will announce a new tablet based on Windows 8 in the fourth quarter of this year.

Ekaraj Panjavnin, country manager of Dell Thailand, said the two new services would be for applications and security solutions.

With the first one, it will provide modernisation services for applications, including integration of legacy systems into open platforms.

“I think that our new services will have high potential for growth in the near future, since enterprise customers will spend much more for professional services, and they will be able to focus on their core business by utilising their application on the cloud,” Ekaraj said.

Dell services now come with global support and deployment, providing onsite service, customisation and outsourcing. Its infrastructure and cloud unit offers integration services, data centres and other cloud infrastructure.

The firm moreover will service businesses in Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia, focusing on enterprise and corporate customers.

Ekaraj said the firm at first would not forecast revenue from the two new services, since they were a start-up business in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Dell headquarters reported revenue from business services of US$2.1 billion (Bt65 billion) in the May-July quarter of its fiscal year, up 3 per cent, with new signings of more than $1 billion in the first half.

Ekaraj added that the firm planned to come out with new tablets based on the Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT environments for both the consumer and enterprise markets in the final quarter of this calendar year.


Google’s India hub is now the largest outside US

September 25th, 2012

Walk into Google’s office in Gurgaon and you won’t find anything extraordinary.

There are the usual cubicles spread over two floors of rented space, youngsters hanging around with laptops, a cafeteria and everything else you would expect to see in the office of any large multinational.

It’s nowhere near the size of the Google headquarters in California or as luxurious as the one in Zurich, though.

But the work being done at Google’s India centres is strategic for the Internet giant’s global operations. A staggering 750 million advertisements a month pass through the Indian centres before they are uploaded to Web sites across the world. From advertisement campaigns for Presidential elections in the US to selling UGG Boots in Australia, Google’s India employees play a role.

“The India centre started as a trickle when it was set up early 2005, and then it kept growing. Without the Indian operations, Google would not have been able to scale up from a $10.5-billion company in 2006 to $10.5 billion a quarter now,” Arijit Sarker, Director, India Operations, Google, told Business Line.
3 India offices

Google has three offices in India that support global business. While the Bangalore unit houses engineers working on products, Gurgaon and Hyderabad are where the online advertisement-related operations happen. The company has around 1,000 people across these three centres, which is about five per cent of Google’s overall employee base. This makes it the largest operation for the company outside the US.

Google has also set up a global operations centre in Dublin but it only supports advertising clients in non-English-speaking European countries.

“The India operation supports 750 million ads across 40 languages a month with the help of translation tools. Of the two million advertisers on Google’s platform globally, we support nearly 50 per cent of the clientele,” said Sarker.

While cost benefit was one of the initial factors for making India a hub for the global operations, over the past few years it has been more about getting the right kind of talent. The India operations team in involved in a gamut of activities related to managing the Internet giant’s advertising platform. This includes simple tasks such as responding to customer email queries to the more complex task of providing analytical insights to improve campaign performance.

Backed by some really sophisticated tools, employees at the Indian centre are able to advise advertisers in the US and the UK on how to get better returns from online advertising campaigns.

“We also have a user safety team that helps us keep bad players out through a mix of manual intervention and technological tools. The objective is to keep out misleading ads, malware, spammy Web sites and inappropriate content,” said Sarker. In 2011 alone, Google took down 1.5 lakh ads that were selling counterfeit products.
Scouts for talent

To do this job, Google scouts for talent in graduate colleges such as St Stephens and Presidency. “We hire mostly graduates who have the passion for Internet and analytical abilities,” said Sarker.

But unlike back-office or knowledge process outsourcing firms in the country, Google does not hire a lot. “We look at it as a combination of people and technology rather than through people alone. Our philosophy is to have a few good employees with good compensation but with a challenging target,” Sarker said, adding that Google’s India operations should not be termed KPO or BPO. “It’s an internal competency centre. We own processes that are done only in India,” he said.

But the huge challenge for Google would be to scale up more as the Internet becomes more and more relevant for advertisers. It also faces competition from other players such as Facebook and Microsoft, which are also eyeing a big piece of the online advertising space.

According to Sarker, the role of Google’s Indian operations will only get enhanced going forward. “The expectation is to grow on existing competency and at the same time broadbase the skillset to build on new areas. We will continue to scale up,” he said.


India: IT outsourcing gives Indian firms a foothold in management consulting business

September 25th, 2012

Call it “Revenge of the Downsized.” Now, those guys at the consultancy might just lose their gig, too.

Even as Americans continue to view India’s business impact as limited to telemarketing and tech support call centers, the country’s largest IT outsourcing firms are moving into ever more complex areas — which means competing INSIDE the US, too.

WIth IT now a core part of almost every business sector, India’s large IT firms are building consulting practices that put them in direct competition with multinational management consultancies like McKinsey & Co, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte, not to mention Accenture and IBM, the Times of India reports.

As a case in point, Bangalore-based Infosys recently shelled out $350 million to acquire Switzerland’s Lodestone, a consultancy that specializes in SAP-enabled business transformation (through better management of inventory and supply chains).

Similarly, Cognizant has not only been building its consulting business in-house, but also made five global acquisitions since 2005 to strengthen its capabilities in telecom, media, IT infrastructure services and high-end program management, the paper said.

Meanwhile, HCL acquired UK-based Axon in 2008 to beef up its SAP consulting business, and Wipro aims to become “the largest pure play business transformation consulting practice in the world” with 5,000 consultants by 2015, TOI quotes the company’s head of consulting services as saying.

So is the slick numbers cruncher (and jargon spewer) we know and love from Office Space and House of Lies facing extinction? Not yet, warns the Garner Group.

“If you try to do high-end management consulting (organization design/structure, general strategy, etc that the McKinseys do) it may not work out,” the paper quotes Gartner’s Partha Iyengar as saying.

“Many clients have told us the last thing they want from India is another management consulting firm.”

Now, that’s something that CEOs will no doubt understand.


Low Employment Costs is a Top Driver for Vietnam’s Fast-growing Contact Center market

September 25th, 2012

Vietnam’s economic growth rate has been among the highest in the Asia Pacific region in recent years, with an annual GDP rate of 7% – 8.5%. With customer service becoming a key focus in Asia Pacific, Vietnam is improving customer relationships for the purpose of greater loyalty, brand recall and profitability.

According to Dao Thi Minh Thao, Research Associate, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan APAC, this effort is leading to an impressive growth in its contact center industry that was estimated to be worth US$4.2 million in 2011 and is expected to reach US$11.4 million in 2018 with a growth rate of 15%.

Basic applications like Automatic Call Distributor (ACD), Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and Call Monitoring (CM) are still leading the trends in the Vietnam contact center market.

“ACD is the biggest contributor that accounts for almost 40% of all applications and is still growing at a fast rate as majority of contact centers’ primary purpose is to support incoming voice calls. It is forecasted that in 2018, ACD will reach the saturated status of 31.7% from 37.3% in 2011 and start to slow down. The same will happen to other current major applications like CTI and IVR,” said Thao.

BFSI and Telco are the largest contributing verticals and are likely to remain so due to an ever- increasing customer base and an adequate supply of capital to invest in new technologies and solutions. The customer-intensive industries of BFSI and Telco are characterized by large deployments of centers with 200 seats and above. This size band will grow in prominence as these two industry verticals are likely to dominate revenue contribution.

“Most contact center projects in Vietnam are deployed by banks, financial institutions and Telco service providers. These sectors require a high level of customer care; large seat numbers are needed to always be available to serve customers,” said Thao.

She added, “Currently, the less than 50 seat contact centers comprise of only more than 2%. Over time, the market is expected to see a higher growth of less than 50 seats and 51-200 seat horizontals based on the increasing demand from the SMB segment as well as more integrated, cost-effective solutions provided.”

Vietnam has been established as a credible low cost alternative destination for offshore and outsourced services. Hiring IT professionals in Vietnam is 30%-50% less expensive as compared to other outsourcing countries like India and the Philippines.

“Studies have showed that Vietnam with a strong workforce of more than 15,000 IT engineers of software outsourcing alone and its low labor cost is an undeniable advantage that drives international companies to this new ideal outsourcing destination,” said Thao.

She continued, “Although the language barrier is an obvious drawback, almost 80% of the workforce is comprised of young, enthusiastic college graduates with science degrees that are always keen to learn. Vietnam is propelling their way up in the IT outsourcing industry.”

“For further growth and success, companies should look forward to more efficient contact center application adoption to align these trends for the future. Emerging global vendors in providing suitable solutions also need to offer more customized solutions and effective marketing activities At more affordable prices,” she said.

If you are interested in more information on this research, please send an email to Donna Jeremiah, Corporate Communications, at, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company Web site, city, state and country.

This abstract on the Vietnam Contact Center Market is part of the Contact Centers Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes the research report on Asia Pacific Contact Center Applications Market which studies segments of the contact center applications market across 14 countries in APAC by 8 different application segments including ACD, CTI, IVR, outbound, call monitoring, WFM, speech, and multimedia applications, providing the market sizing and market share by application and by country.


CounterPath Paves the Way for IT Managers to Take Advantage of Mobile VoIP with BYOD Focused Solution

September 25th, 2012

BYOD means essentially bringing your own device to work: the concept serves to give people the freedom of choice when it comes to selecting the type of device that will make them most efficient whether they are at work, at home or on the go. The benefit of course is that everything from accessing email to making video conference calls, becomes streamlined, the user experience becomes more seamless, and the employee ultimately more productive.

However, with reward there comes risk; hence the BYOD challenge. With the eruption of smartphones and tablets in the enterprise, IT mangers are scrambling as to how to manage not only all the devices that are now touching their networks, but the applications that are being used over it. The impacts are widespread, with security and support for device management being the most prominent.

When it comes to helping solve some of these challenges, Vancouver based CounterPath (NASDAQ: CPAH) TSX: CCV, an award-winning provider of desktop and mobile VoIP software applications and solutions, can provide IT managers with the silver bullet solution that will simplify support, keep costs to a minimum and let their employees continue down the BYOD path while making sure that everyone across the enterprise stays connected. Having already deployed or in the process of implementing the Bria and cloud-hosted solution with a number of Fortune 500 customers, CounterPath also has the experience and knowledge that IT managers can leverage in order to take full advantage of unified communications and BYOD in the burgeoning Mobile VoIP market. In fact CounterPath has already signed up Enterprise or Enterprise channels partners with the cloud-hosted Client Configuration Server (CCS) and Bria products. The company has found that the CCS opens up the Enterprise channel in an unique way by assisting in the delivering process of the client from CounterPath through partners to the final Enterprise end user.

CounterPath’s Bria softphone is one of the industry’s most highly recognized and accepted softphone applications. Intuitively designed with the user in mind, the Bria SIP softphone enables users to make video calls, send messages, manage their presence and collaborate with colleagues all from within an enterprise-rich feature softphone application. Whether users are in the office, working remotely or on the road, CounterPath’s standards based Bria app sits on any wired or mobile platform, giving IT managers flexibility in where they deploy it and across the devices they choose to support.

Strong security and application robustness have also been a key element behind CounterPath’s Bria technology. Constructed to meet standard security protocols and successfully tested and certified across multiple vendor platforms, the softphone is often regarded as ‘Carrier-Grade’, and has created general acceptance within telecom IT managers community.

And while the cost-effective softphone app is undoubtedly a top contender for any enterprise deployment, what makes the idea of unified communications via the Bria softphone that much more alluring to IT managers is the company’s cloud-hosted CCS service that has been built specifically to alleviate BYOD concerns and help make the deployment and management of softphone applications simplified and seamless.

With the cloud-hosted service offering, CounterPath can manage all of the complexities involved in a Bria app deployment, enabling IT managers to simply set up their softphones in the hosted CCS cloud. When there is a requirement to make adds or changes to their Bria softphone clients or client groups, they can now use the CCSs’ API or web interface to make those changes securely. The Bria softphone clients check-in with the hosted infrastructure to receive their initial configuration and updates, as well as receive notifications of any available upgrades.

“Bria and our cloud-hosted service is an excellent solution for our enterprise customers looking to leapfrog BYOD challenges and expedite the deployment of a unified communications solution across their organizations,” said Todd Carothers, CounterPath Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “There is a significant shift happening in the Enterprise due to the push of BYOD. CIOs are looking for CounterPath and other softphone vendors to manage the plethora of devices and OSs that can quickly cause headaches in the BYOD era. We are indirectly becoming an outsourcing arm of Enterprises to help lower costs and increase productivity.”

Combining the power of Bria with the cloud-hosted CCS service, gives IT managers a triple punch approach in dealing with BYOD by giving their employees the freedom to choose which device makes them most effective, keeping their employees seamlessly connected with unified communications solution that can be deployed across the enterprise, and enabling themselves to control, manage and monitor the application end point regardless of the device it sits within.


Morrisons IT outsourcing move threatens 165 jobs

September 25th, 2012

UK supermarket group Morrisons plans to outsource the management of its financial transaction processing services to Indian firm Wipro, putting 165 jobs on the line.

The company said that the move is “consistent” with its approach to focus its food business and insisted that it works with “many third party companies” to provide support functions.

Morrisons said that the dedcision would see 165 roles moving to the Bangalore-based IT services group. Around 20 of these positions will be locally based, Morrisons added.

A spokesperson for the company told just-food that the move was “about effectiveness and efficiency”, but declined to provide details on the cost savings it is expected to generate.

Morrisons has begun employee consultations and the group emphasised that it will “retain and redeploy” workers where possible.


HP May Have Tough Time Finding Buyer For EDS: Analyst

September 25th, 2012

Hewlett-Packard could get around $5 billion from a sale of Electronic Data Systems (EDS), but it is unclear what sort of buyer would be willing to pony up that amount given the issues facing the business unit, one Wall Street analyst said.

“A strategic buyer might be difficult to find given the high price tag and questionable contract portfolio, while a private equity buyer could be deterred by the secular headwinds facing legacy IT outsourcing models,” such as the shift to the cloud, Brian Alexander, Director, Technology Research, Raymond James & Associates, said in a note to clients.

Based on analysis of comparable financial data from publicly-held competitor Computer Sciences, Raymond James estimates “the sale could fetch around $5 billion.”

As CRN reported earlier, HP has considering selling its EDS business, part of its HP Enterprise Services division, and even shopped it to potential buyers, including private equity firms, according to sources familiar with the matter.

HP has denied that this is the case, but Raymond James & Associates believes the company is looking to sell EDS.

“We do not doubt that HP is seeking a buyer despite comments to the contrary, as this is probably the business facing the greatest operational challenges in its portfolio,” Alexander said in the research note.

EDS is not well-integrated with the rest of HP’s businesses and operates as a standalone business within the company, which would make it easy to sell, sources familiar with the situation earlier this week. Meg Whitman, CEO, has expressed a desire to see HP move into higher margin services in areas like analytics, cloud computing and security, while EDS provides lower margin IT outsourcing and applications and business services.

“We just do not see who wants to absorb the headache, and these rumors now unfortunately highlight HP’s desperation to shed the business rather than turning it around,” Alexander said.


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