Yes, it’s true… one in three Apple engineers is really Indian

July 29th, 2014 by Rahul Jain No comments »

We have heard a lot about Apple’s manufacturing outsourcing, where the firm has ~500,000 people subcontracted via Foxconn in China to crank out its iPhones, but very little about its IT outsourcing habits.Outsourcing33

So… does Apple also leverage large scale IT outsourcing? If answer is yes, then what kind of IT outsourcing is done by Apple, and how it has been changing with time?

With these questions in mind, our ever-curious India-based analyst (note: also keen novelist now seemingly developing a penchant for investigative journalism), Pareekh Jain, started studying Apple’s IT outsourcing initiatives, and the results surprised us: Apple doesn’t outsource its core software technologies that go into its products, but it does outsource Enterprise Applications, Business Intelligence, ADM and other software initiatives to a combination of TCS, Infosys, Wipro, TechMahindra and Exilant (which we know of). Quite simply, as Apple is growing, so is the scope of its Indian-centric IT outsourcing to support it’s ever-increasing needs.

Another related aspect that cropped up during Pareekh’s research, is the increasing use of global engineering talent by Apple. According to our estimates, Apple leverages Indian engineering talent heavily as indicated from its sizable H1B and GreenCard applications.

We shared our research findings with Times Of India (The World’s largest English daily newspaper), which went as far as a story on this interesting little topic on today’s front page.

We’ll be sharing our research report on Apple’s outsourcing  strategy with our readers shortly….


4 Big Questions to Ask When Outsourcing Inside Sales Teleprospecting

July 29th, 2014 by Rahul Jain No comments »

The decision to outsource part of your sales team – whether you’re revamping an insourced team or whether you don’t have on insourced team – can beOutsourcing38 a very tough one to make. What are the most crucial factors to look for in an outsourced teleprospecting team? Most people’s answer would be: cost. While cost of service is a very important factor when considering an inside sales teleprospecting partner, there are numerous other questions to ask to determine whether the company you’re researching is well-run, successful, and most important, trustworthy. In a discovery call about that company, ask these 4 questions to get a real feel for the way they conduct their business.
1. What kinds of clients do you serve?

Identify the specialist and generalist outsourcing companies. Generalists will take any type of client, but their processes won’t be specific to your industry. Many generalists only see a 20-30% conversion rate to next steps in the sales process. However, with a specialized teleprospecting firm, you should see a 60-70% conversion rate. Specialists will make a point to say that they specialize in the tech industry. Specialists will also have an army of advocates for their service, and are happy to provide you with client references and/or case studies specific to your industry, product or service, or perhaps even share how they solved a similar challenge to the one your company is facing. If you want a more streamlined sales process with people who have experience selling products and services similar to yours, steer clear of the generalists and only consider specialist sales providers.
2. How exactly will leads be qualified andtransferred?

The qualification conversation is very important to have before implementation. Understand the outsourced partner’s criteria for quality leads and ensure that it is communicated well. Will the quality leads passed over express a business pain that can be solved by your product or service? Are they interested in the next step? What exactly defines a “next step?” Not only will these questions give you a glimpse into the best practices the company uses to deliver quality leads to their clients, it also helps you understand the necessary criteria your insourced team might have to look for as well.
3. Do you have a feedback process? If so, what type?

It’s important to know the kind of feedback process your outsourced partner provides. Closed-loop feedback allows for communication between everyone involved, including the outsourced team and your own team, on each opportunity. After a lead is passed from your outsourced team to your internal team, the movement of that lead should be documented and reported on by each partner. The outsourced team would like to understand if that lead was converted to an opportunity and is being pushed further down the sales funnel. On the other hand, the outsourced team should also receive feedback if the lead did not convert to an opportunity, complete with reasons why the lead was stalled in the process. This information keeps both teams on track with their metrics and allows for better communication on what’s working and what’s not, as well as more insightful conversations on how to serve your sales numbers.
Related Resources from B2C
» Free Webcast: Strategic Thinking: Social Media + Social Business Strategy
4. What metrics should we use to gauge progress?

With customized reporting dashboards for their clients, your outsourced teleprospecting provider can suggest what metrics are best to focus on when measuring lead qualification progress and offer explanations as to why some metrics are better than others to track. For example, call volume isn’t as important as positive lead feedback percentage, or passed leads that agreed to the next step. With some recommendations from your teleprospecting partner, agree early on what both of you will be tracking to ensure success, and agree together when or if those metrics need to be changed.


Outsourcing IT: It Takes Three to Tango

July 24th, 2014 by Rahul Jain No comments »

The quandary has been with us for a long time: IT leaders wrestle with where, how, and even why to outsource services. There are no silver bullets; those who look to outsourcing as a cure-all are shortsighted, and those who offer it as the solution to all known problems are selling magic beans.Outsourcing37

Recent statistics indicate conflicting data on IT outsourcing. A January article in CIO Magazine quoted KPMG research showing that 20 – 30% of typically outsourced IT services are predicted to come back in-house. In another recent study, Whitelane Research reported that 42% of the 1,300 organizations polled will “outsource more IT” in 2014. Only 10% said they will “outsource less IT.”

These seemingly mixed messages highlight the myriad reasons for outsourcing — and also underscore the lack of proper analysis that goes into the decision. To me, a company’s decision to bring outsourced functions back in-house could mean the organization did a poor job of thinking it through — and probably failed to compare apples to apples.

Determining whether to outsource, what functions to outsource, and the specifics of the outsourcing deal itself are not for the feint of heart. And while there are a handful of situations where outsourcing can, in fact, reduce costs, the primary benefits for outsourcing are more strategic. By outsourcing correctly, companies can:

• Free up internal resources for more critical, knowledge-related tasks
• Boost capacity
• Acquire certain technical resources that have been otherwise difficult to procure
• Add knowledge workers that have been missing from the current IT staff
• Clean up some “messy” areas in IT
• Bring in specific, hard-to-find expertise

Having sat at both sides of the table as an outsourcer and as head of an in-house IT organization, I firmly believe that the best agreements involve selectively outsourcing specific, targeted services — and not the large, multi-service deals of the past.

So, once a company knows why it wants to outsource, it must then choose what functions to turn over, and how to pick the right partner on the right terms.
What to Outsource The often-overlooked first step is to identify areas where outsourcing can help the organization meet its strategic objectives. Selective outsourcing is similar to the way we manage our personal lives. Some of us outsource oil changes, lawn care, or healthcare. Most of us don’t fill our own cavities, but we brush our own teeth. But unlike personal outsourcing, the options in IT are less clearly defined — and the potential costs are too great to simply trust one’s gut.

Enter the independent advisor — a neutral, third-party expert who can help assess the needs, define objectives, and analyze the options.
How to Outsource

For larger outsourcing initiatives, I can’t recommend an outside advisor enough. For starters, vendors are a bad source for objective information when it comes to the day-to-day management of the deal. That’s because they’re in business to sell outsourcing services. So, providers will always underestimate — or even fail to disclose altogether — the amount of oversight required. At the same time, they will minimize accountability. And issues like exception processing and “gap” management are of little or no concern. In other words, the outsourcer will act in its own best interest — leaving the client responsible for reading the fine print.
Case in point: An IT vendor presented a proposal that promised a 17% reduction in IT costs — representing a savings to the client of $17 million. Upon further review, an independent agent analyzed the company’s current costs and service levels, comparing them to the proposed agreement. After factoring for exceptions, maintenance fees, and other hidden costs, the advising firm revealed that the outsourcing deal would have cost the company 10% more. What looked like a $17 million savings would actually have cost the organization an additional $10 million.

Buyer Beware
I’ve seen many situations where hiring a specialist would have resulted in a better financial deal, a smoother startup, and a healthier relationship. In my experience, companies looking to outsource can be somewhat naive about what it really takes to manage the arrangement. Typically, internal organizations are overly optimistic — so they can lose sight of functionality that might fall through the cracks between the two parties. Managing billing and service discrepancies will always take more time and effort than expected. And even after the deal is done, simply negotiating the inevitable ups and downs of the relationship can be confusing and tedious. These issues can easily diminish (or even wipe out) some of the benefits of outsourcing. But if they’re anticipated and acknowledged, they can be factored into the bigger picture.

Buy Now or Pay Later
Bottom line, it pays to hire a third party to help design the right outsourcing plan, analyze options, and negotiate a fair deal. Quite simply, the price of finding the right relationship can pale in comparison to the potential cost of getting it wrong. An expert can level the playing field and weed out potentially bad deals. With the skills, data, and insights of an outsourcing “agent,” your organization can become a smarter, better-informed consumer of IT services — and achieve its goals more efficiently.


Wipro likely to beat Nasscom’s growth estimates this fiscal, say analysts

July 23rd, 2014 by Rahul Jain No comments »

Despite a tepid guidance for the first quarter of this year, fuelled by multi-million dollar deals in the past few months, Wipro is expected to beat Nasscom’s 13-15 per cent growth estimates for the 2015 fiscal.Outsourcing36

Analysts believe that on the back of a strong deal momentum, the company which has been growing at a lower rate than peers like TCS, Cognizant and HCL Tech is expected to bounce back this fiscal year.

In a research note, Espirito Santo Securities said that the strong deal wins in the recent quarters should drive 3-5 per cent quarterly growth guidance for the second quarter of 2015 fiscal. In the last couple of quarters, Wipro has bagged three multi-million dollar deals from companies like Citigroup for $500 million, a $400 million from Takeda Pharmaceuticals and $1.1-billion deal from ATCO.

In 2013-14, Wipro’s revenues grew 16 per cent over the previous fiscal at ₹43,755 crore, while net profit rose 17.5 per cent to ₹7,797 crore. However, this lags behind peers like TCS, which posted a 29.9 per cent growth, followed by Cognizant, which posted a 17 per cent growth in the last fiscal.

Wipro is expected to announce its first quarter results on July 24 and is in the silent period. However, in the last quarter, CEO TK Kurien had told Business Line that the way Wipro is exiting the 2014 fiscal and coupled with its strong deal pipeline, points to growth ahead.

This momentum also indicates that the turnaround strategy pursued by Kurien is on track.

Others agree. “Initiatives taken to improve internal process and an increased focus on automation, instead of depending on people additions have been successful,” said AK Prabhakar, an IT analyst.

Espirito Santo Securities also believed that win rates for large deals have improved by 50 per cent over the past two years and this is visible in higher large deal wins and improving revenues growth.

Further, these deal wins come in geographies such as US and Europe, which contributed about 79 per cent of Wipro’s overall revenues in the last fiscal year.

Sanchit Vir Gogia of Greyhound Research believes that large contracts helps Wipro get access to more high-profile deals at a time when outsourcing demand looks stronger when compared to previous years.


Arise Virtual Solutions Shrinks Application Recovery Times to Minutes with Actifio Sky for Branch Office Data Management

July 23rd, 2014 by Rahul Jain No comments »

Actifio®, the copy data virtualization company, today announced that Arise Virtual Solutions Inc., the leading global provider of virtual, work-at-home business process outsourcing (BPO) and crowdsourcing solutions, has deployed Actifio Sky™ to ensure data accessibility, and business resiliency acrossOutsourcing35 their distributed organization’s many locations. An existing customer of Actifio’s CDS solution within its main datacenter, Arise recently implemented Actifio Sky at several branch office data centers including Miramar, Florida and Edinburgh, Scotland for data consolidation and protection.

After replacing multiple local backup products in its offices with Actifio Sky, Arise is now able to fully restore application services for branch office data centers in less than 90 minutes. Actifio Sky captures Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, SharePoint and other data in several virtual machines, deduplicates and backs up the data and efficiently replicates it back to the Actifio CDS system in the central Arise datacenter.

“Arise Virtual Solutions’ core innovation is in our scalable virtual workforce platform, and that drives the value we deliver to our customers,” said Arise CIO Martin Ingram. “To remain productive for our clients, we need IT services that are highly resilient and efficient, no matter where the IT infrastructure and data are located. Actifio Sky lets us extend our core Actifio capabilities to manage and protect the critical data for our customers across multiple locations from one central repository. This has helped significantly reduce our administration time, letting our team focus more of its time on service delivery and development.”

Announced in May, Actifio Sky is a new generation offering built on the company’s Virtual Data Pipeline™ technology that extends the power of copy data virtualization from the data center to edge of the enterprise and into the cloud. Actifio Sky offers a new level of deployment flexibility and range, enabling seamless data management wherever the enterprise data is located to improve data protection, governance and analytics. Today, Sky is offered first for Remote / Branch Offices (ROBOs) and for cloud deployments for businesses looking to shift enterprise workloads into the cloud. Together with Actifio’s CDS data center appliance, Actifio Sky eliminates barriers to data mobility between the edge to the core, enabling transformational data management velocity and scale across the enterprise.

“Actifio Sky demonstrates the strength of our underlying technology and brings it to a new audience of customers who want to tap the power of copy data virtualization in whatever form is most useful – whether that’s a fully-integrated hardware system, a virtual appliance or a cloud-based service that’s available on demand and accessible through any device,” said Actifio founder and CEO Ash Ashutosh. “This vision is becoming reality through companies like Arise who are deploying Actifio flexibly to meet their business needs.”


TCS continues to outpace Infosys, revenue gap widens to Rs 33,313 cr

July 23rd, 2014 by Rahul Jain No comments »

India’s largest IT services exporter, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has been outperforming its peers consistently and the gap with its rivals is continuing to widen. For instance, in FY10, the revenue difference between TCS and Infosys was Rs 7,559 crore, but by the end of FY14 it stood at Rs 33,313 crore. Similarly, the difference in net profit between the two firms in FY10 was Rs 782 crore but at the end of FY14, it has reached to Rs 8,516 crore.Outsourcing31

Though TCS always enjoyed a higher revenue base but it was Infosys which reported superior operating profit margins (OPM) setting a benchmark for the Indian IT industry. Even this index seems to be undergoing a change. From the second quarter of FY13, TCS has started to report higher margins. At the end of FY14, TCS reported an OPM of 29.1% while it was 25% for Infosys. TCS also has over 3 lakh employees now, which is roughly double that of Infosys which has 1.6 lakh employees on its rolls.

TCS has started FY15 also on a very strong note by recording a 5.5% sequential revenue growth in US dollar terms for the first quarter with volumes growing at 5.7%. Infosys on the other hand grew its revenues only by 2% in the first quarter, with volumes growing by 2.9%. TCS has already stated that it would beat the industry growth guidance of 13-15% in US dollar for the fiscal as projected by Nasscom, while Infosys has retained its revenue guidance at 7-9%.

Pradeep Mukherji, president, Avasant, an IT outsourcing advisory firm, told FE, “TCS is one of the most robust companies in terms of their depth in leadership, range of offerings and the extent of geographic reach. Their DNA is completely different.”

TCS’ revenue is more evenly spread out across the globe with North America dominating the pie at 53%. Most of its peers derive 60% of their revenues from the North American market. It generated 2.3% of its revenue from Latin America, having centres in places such as Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Argentina. The IT major has also made similar strides into a region like Africa.

Industry observers say that TCS chief executive office N Chandrasekaran who took over this role in October, 2009 has instilled a new dynamism to the company. “Chandrasekaran has certainly brought in new level aggression to TCS which we had not seen earlier,” said a senior industry executive, who did not want to be identified.

TCS is a cut above the rest in employee retention too despite its employee base crossing over 300,000 with people representing 118 nationalities. At the end of first quarter this fiscal, the attrition rate at TCS was 12% while it was 19.5% in the case of Infosys. Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst & CEO, Greyhound Research, said, “Employee retention and their happiness is very important to an IT company as it has a direct bearing on customer satisfaction. Here, TCS has performed really well.”
The number of $100 million clients in TCS’ kitty stood at 24 for FY14 while it was 13 for Infosys and 10 for Wipro. TCS has also morphed into a company that takes decisions in double quick time. “It is also giving certain amount of operational freedom to various units while this has not been the case with many of its rivals,” said a senior industry observer.

TCS, Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies together account for close to 40% of India’s IT services revenues, but the degree of separation between the four have started to tell a story of its own. TCS ended FY14 with a revenue growth of 16.2% in US dollar terms while it was 11.5% for Infosys and 6.4% for Wipro.

Partha Iyengar, vice-president and analyst at research firm Gartner said, “It has already started, you cannot talk about Indian services companies as one unit anymore. You have to talk about individual companies and talk about their fortunes in terms of how is it is evolving and how successful or not they are. You will see increasing separation between the companies.”


Google has to face US privacy suit over new user data policy

July 23rd, 2014 by Rahul Jain No comments »

A California court has allowed a privacy class action suit against Google to continue, though only in part.
After evaluating each claim of each sub-class in the suit, Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal has allowed two claims of the “Android Application Disclosure Subclass,” which includes all persons and entities in the U.S. that acquired an Android-powered device between Aug. 19, 2004 and the present, and downloaded at least one Android application through the Android Market or Google Play.

On March 1, 2012, Google introduced a single, unified policy that allows the company to comingle user data across accounts and disclose it to third-parties for advertising purposes.

This move triggered the class action lawsuit in March, 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose division, which argued that by switching to the less-restrictive privacy policy without user consent, Google violated both its prior policies and consumers’ privacy rights, according to court records.

The Android Application Disclosure Subclass claimed Google’s disclosures to third parties caused increased battery and bandwidth consumption as well as invasions of their statutory and common law privacy rights.

The suit was filed over two years ago and since then the court twice dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims. Google moved for a third dismissal.

The claims allowed by the judge includes a breach of contract claim that Google breached terms of the contract by disclosing user data to third parties following every download or purchase of an app, resulting in damages in the form of resource consumption. The second claim is under California’s Unfair Competition Law.

Claims by persons and entities in the U.S. that acquired an Android-powered device between May 1, 2010 and Feb. 29, 2012 and switched to a non-Android device on or after March 1, 2012 were dismissed.

Google could not be immediately reached for comment.


Protected by تهنئة
Get Adobe Flash player