Posts Tagged ‘Accenture’

IBM wins six-year outsourcing contract from Janalakshmi

July 15th, 2014

International Business Machines Corp.’s (IBM) India business has signed a $100-million outsourcing contract with microfinance company Janalakshmi Financial Services Pvt. Ltd, which is promoted by social entrepreneur Ramesh Ramanathan, to manage back-office projects. This deal comes months after Bharti Airtel Ltd renewed its landmark outsourcing contract with IBM.Outsourcing22

Financial details of the contract were not disclosed. However, two people familiar with the developments, who requested anonymity, pegged the deal value at about $100 million.

As part of the six-year deal, IBM will manage back-office operations such as application development and maintenance and infrastructure management services. It will build a technology platform for Janalakshmi and provide mobile, cloud computing and analytics services as well. IBM will also be responsible for digitizing and automating operations and processes at Janalakshmi.

Janalakshmi has previously also handed out contracts to IBM rival Accenture Plc. Last year, it gave a five-year contract to Accenture as part of a cost-cutting drive amid expanding operations.

In 2013, Janalakshmi had applied for a banking licence. The Reserve Bank of India eventually handed out licences to IDFC Ltd and microfinance institution Bandhan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd.

Earlier this year, Bharti Airtel Ltd renewed its outsourcing contract with New York-based IBM. The renewed five-year deal is pegged at around $750-800 million.


Accenture Positioned as a Leader in Serving Energy Companies for the Second Consecutive Time, According to IDC MarketScape Report

July 9th, 2014

Accenture  has been positioned as a leader in the recently published IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Oil and Gas Professional Services 2014 Vendor Assessment1 by IDC Energy Insights. The only company to receive this distinction for two consecutive reports, Accenture was recognized for providing services including business and IT consulting, systems integration, IT outsourcing, buOutsourcing11siness process outsourcing, and application development and management, as well as solutions unique to energy firms.

The report assessed many leading professional service firms’ strategies and capabilities in meeting specific needs of the oil and gas industry with offerings in industry segments, such as upstream, midstream, downstream and retail.

“The new IDC MarketScape report reflects our longstanding role as a trusted leader in helping oil and gas companies achieve their goals for safer, more productive and cost-effective operations,” said Andrew Smart, global managing director, Accenture Energy industry group. “Our offerings are based on a rigorous analysis of current and future oil and gas needs across all segments of the industry and are vital to our clients’ ability to drive better business outcomes.”

The latest IDC MarketScape report analyzes the offerings and capabilities of 12 oil and gas services providers, focusing on how they help clients improve performance, achieve IT-enabled business benefits and reduce costs. Accenture was cited as a leader in the report for its unique ability to bring together strategy, digital, IT and business process outsourcing, as well as its ability to develop innovative services and solutions for future growth, all on a global scale.

“Leading oil and gas companies will be looking to their service providers to help them innovate and improve their performance in the coming years,” said Jill Feblowitz, vice president, IDC Energy Insights, Oil and Gas. “The good news is that professional services firms have made great strides in building their oil and gas-specific capabilities the past two years.”


Companies like Citi, Accenture and HCL turning to mobile apps, social media to rope in best talent

July 1st, 2014

Polishing your CV for that dream job? Brushing up your social media profile and practising online interviewing may help more. As employers compete intensely for scarce talent, companies such as Citi India, Accenture and HCL TechnologiesBSE -0.38 % are turning to new apps, big data tools and social networking websites to acquire talent.Outsourcing23

Citi India recently adopted apps Blue Jeans and Video Recruit to enable business managers to interview candidates remotely from across locations. These apps eliminate the need for traditional video conferencing facilities, enabling candidates to connect to the interviewer via their mobiles or tablets.

“Apart from being cost-effective, such technology enables us to keep pace with the growing talent requirements by closing open positions in a timely manner,” said Sarab Preet Singh, head of recruitment, learning and development at Citi India.

Others such as Accenture are using a mobile app that has a digital interview tool with an automatic interviewer that picks random questions to interview a cross-section and collects data on the talent base. “By using this app the catchment area of our hiring reduces dramatically. It will also help us when we want to explore a new market for talent in a new city,” said Manoj Biswas, ymanaging director, human resources at Accenture.

Arecent global survey by professional services firm Deloitte on human capital trends shows that 60% of respondents have just updated or are currently updating or revamping their talent sourcing strategy while another 27% are considering changes. “Employees today have different expectations

creative companies are today discovering new ways to attract talent,” said Jeff Schwartz, global human capital leader, Deloitte USI. Recruiters realise they have to do things differently to attract and manage talent than what they were doing seven-eight years ago to expect better results.

The study shows that nearly 45% of candidates now apply for jobs on mobile devices. Most companies today use social networking websites to post job openings while the more innovative ones also leverage social media to build networks of people interested in the company that might turn into high-quality recruits.

The report also suggests that organisations can now leverage big data tools from vendors such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Entelo, Gild, TalentBin, Work4, Identified and others to identify and source quality candidates around the world.

Information technology company HCL Technologies has used in certain locations a videobased interview through a secure connection that can be conducted from a desktop and allows the interview to be recorded and assessed later. “We also make sure that we are available for conversation and engagement with the potential candidate on FB, Twitter and Glassdoor,” said Naveen Narayanan, global head, talent acquisition at HCL Technologies.

The company has also started using gaming tools to engage people who have accepted their job offer but are yet to join the organisation. It gives them a platform to engage with their peer group and others in a gaming format. “The socalled ready talent available has not really risen.

In such a scenario companies are using the social space more and more to network with groups of potential candidates on the basis of their skills and engaging more to be seen as an employer of choice. Also, employees today are expecting a lot more engagement on mobile,” said Narayanan.

DCB Bank is also changing its talent acquisition strategy to be able to do mass hiring efficiently. It is evaluating recruiting process outsourcing, use of social media, working with partners who provide the ‘hire and train’ model and new campus hiring initiatives.

The bank has adopted a unique strategy to combat the challenge of candidates opting out after accepting offers and before joining, said Hamsaz Vasunia, HR head at DCB Bank. “We are launching an induction app with superhero avtaars through which we will be able to attract the GenY and Millennial Gen. This tool will increase the engagement of the candidates with the bank and will definitely improve our selection-joining ratio,” said Vasunia.

Besides, companies such as Citi India and HCL have integrated marketing with recruiting. At CitiPhones, for instance, the company reaches out to candidates with the help of its marketing team through Facebook for walk-in interviews and also offers iPhones to its employees for maximum number of referrals.


Job losses tipped as NAB’s MLC investigates outsourcing

June 24th, 2014

National Australia Bank’s wealth ­management arm, MLC, has gone to market to scope out the possibility of ­outsourcing IT and back office services, a move that would see hundreds of internal positions shifted to external providers.Outsourcing14

The division, which has long been considered something of an underperformer since NAB acquired it from Lend Lease in 2000 for $4.6 billion, has been looking at options to restructure its operations since Andrew Hagger took over last year.

The Australian Financial Review understands NAB has sent an “expression of interest” document out to 10 ­potential suppliers, with the aim of assessing the viability of a shift to an ­outsourced model in coming months.

The EOI is believed to have been sent to incumbent tech suppliers Accenture, Genpact, IBM and Tech Mahindra, with a further six including Tata Consultancy Services, HCL Technologies and Wipro.

A spokesman for NAB said the bank had only run limited outsourcing ­programs over the past four years, but it was likely for a business of its size to be assessing the option. He said there had been no decision yet to change current arrangements. “We have continually assessed our business operations and will continue to work with third-party ­suppliers to see if we can identify whether there are opportunities to optimise and improve arrangements that can further benefit our customers,” he said.

It is understood the scope of the back office work would include work in ­technology, portfolio management, credit control and also on wrap platforms and self-managed super funds

One expert, who declined to be named, said this would mean the outsource ­provider being asked to provide between 600 and 700 workers, which would mean roughly 400 to 500 current MLC workers losing their jobs.

NAB declined to comment, citing the early stage of the proposal.

Mohit Sharma, director of ­outsourcing advisory firm Mindfields, said the proposed move made sense due to the potential efficiencies on offer.

“Wealth management operations would require niche providers and this long overdue exercise might have been undertaken to expand and refresh the current panel of vendors,” he said.


Niche players like IPsoft & LiquidHub eating into outsourcing pie of companies like HCL & Accenture

April 17th, 2014

About two years ago, Sears wanted to exhibit a mobility application at an Apple show. But the US retailer was queasy to outsource the contract to the large services-led technology firms, including those in India, as it wanted to get the project up and running in less than six weeks.outsourcing52

This proved to be the entry point for a Bangalore-based startup set up just two months earlier in November 2011 with an aim of making it big in the social, mobility, analytics and cloud, (SMAC), space. The startup, Happiest Minds, did not even have a client then.

The firm’s pitch to the retailer was simple: it’ll put together an A-class team to ensure the project is completed in a short period.

Happiest Minds went on to win what was then a small contract: the order was $100,000 (Rs 60 lakh).

“We were able to deliver an award-winning application in record time and this led to an ongoing relationship with the retailer even though there were multiple incumbents,” said Ashok Soota, executive chairman of Happiest Minds.

But more than the ticket size, the order helped Happiest Minds get recognition and bring the focus on other niche players, including IPsoft, and LiquidHub. These players had not just started winning contracts by competing against big technology service firms, including HCL and Accenture, but also forced many of them to forge partnerships.

“There is a change in the C-suite’s way of thinking. Not everything is about cost-reduction now, there is more thought on speed-to-market and innovation. And not everything requires the scale of a global player,” Sushma Rajagopalan, partner and MD of digital technology company US and India-based LiquidHub, told ET.

Firms operating in automation, mobility and analytics solutions as well as cloudbased deployment are competing in areas that are seeing the fastest growth for Indian IT players. Digital technologies contribute 5-10% of the industry’s revenue, according to the National Association for Software and Services Companies.

The total digital opportunity is pegged at $164.1 billion (Rs 10.2 lakh crore) in 2013, according to industry body Nasscom and is estimated to grow 75% to $287.3 billion (Rs 17.8 lakh crore) by 2016. The smaller players not only have innovative products but also deep existing experience in the IT industry. “They (startups) know that they are competing with the big vendors so they go the extra-mile and they are fast,” said Deepak Sharma, executive vice-president and head of digital initiatives at Kotak Mahindra BankBSE -0.13 %. “Sometimes you can’t wait months to do things; you need to turn offerings around quickly and startups are nimble.”

Happiest Minds, which claims to have 80 customers, believes that almost 90% of its wins came when it was bidding against some of India’s largest IT companies.

Not for nothing then are investors backing sector-focussed firms: LiquidHub, which has about $125 million (Rs 753 crore) in revenue, raised $54 million (Rs 325 crore) in funding from private equity firm ChrysCapital, Credit Suisse and PPM America Capital in March.

The growing startup ecosystem in India also presents a challenge to Indian IT firms. Earlier this month, the Indian Software Product Industry Round Table held an event to connect startups to the chief information officers of large corporates like the Aditya Birla Group, US insurer Accretive Health, payment processor Vantiv and others. To be sure, homegrown technology players are taking steps to mitigate the danger from smaller more nimble players — from incubating emerging technologies themselves to partnering with the most disruptive companies in the sector.

Uday Chinta, managing director at robotic automation provider IPsoft, said as the company bade for projects, about seven of 10 times, it competed with leading players. “Now, of course, most of the global IT firms have partnerships with us. We collaborate and work with them to deliver best solutions for the clients,” said Chinta whose company claims to have more than 500 clients, across financial services, telecoms, and retail verticals.

Pravin Rao, president and board member at Infosy, said: “There is enough opportunity for everyone in the ecosystem as long as you are able to build the capabilities and thinking in that direction.”


Accenture de-emphasizes the term “outsourcing” – is this the final death knell for the O word?

April 7th, 2014

A momentous event quietly occurred on Friday which could well have significant ramifications for the business practice that calls itself “outsourcing”.outsourcing40

Accenture dropped the term from its strategy line, “Consulting, Technology, Outsourcing”, which it had been using for more than a decade, changing it to “Strategy, Digital, Technology, Operations”. In addition – and perhaps more significantly – it renamed its BPO growth platform “Accenture Operations”.  The BPO term is still used when you drill right down to the specific business service lines, but Accenture wants to emphasize to its clients that it provides end-to-end services that go beyond just BPO.

As many of us universally lamented last weekend, the outsourcing (so-called) industry has long been struggling to create a clear, meaningful identity and establish recognized career paths for almost two decades, and much of this is because so many of the service providers, advisors and enterprise customers have failed to create a positive brand perception – and communicate effectively – the value of partnering with service providers to improve and extend operational capability and productivity.

Accenture was one of the last bastions of the outsourcing term, and its de-emphasis of it may be the final nail in the coffin for the dwindling band of outsourcing diehards still clinging to the fantasy that an “outsourcing industry” actually exists. In fact, the term IT Outsourcing is already practically dead, with only a couple of advisors and IBM (oddly) still using it, so let’s see which of the providers actually still use BPO as their official terminology:

Well – there you have it – most have actively distanced themselves from the term, with only Capgemini, Dell, Infosys, Wipro and Sutherland still wed to it. Oh – and for some inexplicable reason, the major HR services firms like ADP still use it, even though the HR profession looks more negatively at outsourcing than any other.

The Bottom-line:  It doesn’t ultimately matter what the providers call it, more how the enterprise clients view it

In my view, “outsourcing” really describes the initial act when an enterprise moves the responsibility for processes and operations over to an external party. Once that act is complete, those processes being executed form part of an externalized service or operation for the customer.  ”Operation” signifies more than merely a service, but the orchestration of an end-to-end suite of processes, so I give Accenture credit for the being the first provider brave enough to use the “operation” term.  Now we can sit back and observe many of the above providers also slip that word onto their websites and marketing copy.

However, whatever these providers name their offerings, the real litmus test is going to be whether the buyers of services will start approaching service partnering as a genuine opportunity to improve their capabilities. Ultimately, they are the ones who would need to drop the O word and view services as what they are:  services.

Accenture’s move is the most significant yet in terms of rebranding the outsourcing business – my best guess is that O will be pretty much gone from our business vernacular within a year.


Accenture awarded 2nd Tokyo contract for business recruitment

April 2nd, 2014

Management and outsourcing company Accenture has been awarded a second contract by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to attract foreign companies to relocate to cities business zone (Special Zone for Asian Headquarters).Outsourcing28

The contract will see Accenture continue to seek to bring foreign businesses to Tokyo through March 2015 after Accenture successfully completed its previous contract requirements in bringing foreign firms to Tokyo.

The contract renewal comes as Tokyo continues to raise its international competiveness and investment appeal.

Hiroshi Goto, who leads Accenture’s Health & Public Service, said: “We will do our best to recruit foreign companies, based on the experience and knowledge we’ve gained during the first year of this project.”


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