Posts Tagged ‘Business’

10 handy tips on outsourcing apps for your business

January 30th, 2014

Whether you’re subscribing to web-based applications, on-demand services, or utility computing infrastructures, there are countless variations on the outsourcing theme – renting software instead of buying it. All offer ways of letting companies balance their internal and external IT investments to meet their business requirements – and software vendors are certainly pushing harder on the rental model (just look at Microsoft with Office 365, or Adobe and Creative Cloud).

As a technology or business manager, how can you cut through the hype to tell whether and where application outsourcing might be right for your organisation? And what caveats should you bear in mind? We’ve got some advice for you in the form of 10 handy tips.

1. Define your expectations

Outsourcing applications has real benefits if you map out your objectives clearly. View outsourcing as a business solution to augment your current operations and create efficiencies, not as a rip-and-replace technology. Translate your expectations into financial terms, then calculate the savings in reduced cost and complexity or better time to market.

2. Be realistic

Web-based apps may not have interfaces which are as smooth or customisation options as plentiful as those of desktop applications. Can you live with the level of support provided? Figure out your workflow requirements and move forward when you find an app that addresses them all.

3. Assess yourself

Quantify your baseline bandwidth, storage, and reliability requirements and usage. A hosted service can offset the costs of underutilised resources. Establishing that you’re rarely hitting peak usage levels will go a long way in determining whether you’ll achieve benefits from flexible hosted services.

4. Identify your strengths and weaknesses

Can you isolate the highest impact but lowest risk projects in your operation? This will help you determine which noncore lines of business are best suited for outsourcing.

5. Follow the money

Make sure that a subscription fee is cheaper than traditional software. Get your finance gurus to come up with valuation metrics and fiscal models that will quantify your current payment model compared to that of a hosted service. Also take into account your current infrastructure, maintenance, administration, and upgrade costs, and compare them against the cost of migration and subscription fees.

6. Do your due diligence

Just because you go the hosted route doesn’t necessarily mean that all vendors will have identical service delivery formats and infrastructure requirements. Consider a third-party audit, which should include security of transactions and data. Evaluate the vendor’s experience, technical expertise, and scalability options.

7. Plan migration paths

Have a path for data migration and integration with other systems from the start and a plan for termination. This will help avoid locking you into a single vendor.

8. Involve your legal team

Make sure a lawyer is on board to review the licensing issues and intellectual property rights. Legal representation will also be of value during contract negotiations.

9. Control your services

Assign yearly budgets and resources. Establish ongoing ROI and performance metrics to determine whether the service achieves efficiencies. Apply the same disciplines of management to your other internal resources as you do for your hosted services.

10. Maintain open communication

Keep everyone apprised of goals and listen to their concerns. This way, you will build trust and ease the cultural migration to hosted services. Bear in mind that your provider and its reps are now an integral part of your business, so treat them as members of your team.

Source:http://www.itproportal.com/2014/01/29/10-handy-tips-on-outsourcing-apps-for-your-business/

Nigeria: Etisalat Partners Huawei On Business Outsourcing to Boost Services

January 3rd, 2014

Etisalat has announced a strategic partnership with Huawei Technologies, a global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions provider, for the provision of Information Technology (IT) services for its growing customers.

The partnership is designed to continually improve the Etisalat network for the purpose of providing the highest possible service quality to its subscribers.

Under the arrangement, Huawei will be responsible for the operational management of Etisalat Nigeria’s IT services across Technical Infrastructure, Application Management and User Support. However, the Business Planning, Architecture and Governance shall still be retained by Etisalat Nigeria.

Announcing the outsourcing partnership, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Matthew Willsher, said the decision to outsource aspects of the company’s IT function followed the adoption of a new model which was effectively aligned with the corporate vision of creating more value for customers by improving quality, reducing costs, embedding innovation, and increasing the speed of delivery.

“At Etisalat, we are dedicated to providing innovative and best quality telecommunications services to our customers Outsourcing our IT services to Huawei is part of the fulfillment of our promise to continuously deliver excellent communication experiences to our customers at all times. The outsourcing arrangement will in no way lead to the lay-off of IT staff as is often feared under such circumstances,” Willsher said.

He added; “Our overall aim is to improve efficiencies, leverage capabilities and improve training and development for our employees. About 75 per cent of the current IT staff will be transferred to Huawei with comparable terms of employment and compensation, so that no one will be worse off,” Willsher explained.

Source:http://allafrica.com/stories/201401020562.html

Etisalat Partners Huawei on Business Outsourcing to Boost Services

January 2nd, 2014

Etisalat has announced a strategic partnership with Huawei Technologies, a global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions provider, for the provision of Information Technology (IT) services for its growing customers.

The partnership is designed to continually improve the Etisalat network for the purpose of providing the highest possible service quality to its subscribers.

Under the arrangement, Huawei will be responsible for the operational management of Etisalat Nigeria’s IT services across Technical Infrastructure, Application Management and User Support. However, the Business Planning, Architecture and Governance shall still be retained by Etisalat Nigeria.

Announcing the outsourcing partnership, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Matthew Willsher, said the decision to outsource aspects of the company’s IT function followed the adoption of a new model  which was effectively aligned with the corporate vision of creating more value for customers by improving quality, reducing costs, embedding innovation, and increasing the speed of delivery.

“At Etisalat, we are dedicated to providing innovative and best quality telecommunications services to our customers  Outsourcing our IT services to Huawei is  part of the fulfillment of our promise to continuously deliver excellent communication experiences to our customers at all times. The outsourcing arrangement will in no way lead to the lay-off of IT staff as is often feared under such circumstances,” Willsher said.

He added;  “Our overall aim is to improve efficiencies, leverage capabilities and improve training and development for our employees. About 75 per cent of the current IT staff will be transferred to Huawei with comparable terms of employment and compensation, so that no one will be worse off,” Willsher explained.

Source:http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/etisalat-partners-huawei-on-business-outsourcing-to-boost-services/167788/

IT model steps up business change

September 3rd, 2013

The advent of the enterprise information technology architecture called “SMAC” – or social, mobility, analytics and cloud – is raising the stakes for the global business process management (BPM) industry; opening up insights, new revenue streams and greater service impact through innovation, according to a group.

“SMAC is unleashing innovation at a rapid pace. It is transcending the digital space and revolutionizing the IT-BPM value chain,” says Jose Mari Mercado, president and chief executive of the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP). “Access to credible, rich and compelling data and channels allows companies to compete better as well as manage risk. In many cases, it liberates organizations from incorrect assumptions that define their strategies or goals.”

Dubbed as a “stack”, SMAC components must operate as an integrated system of processing information to deliver innovation and value, the group added. It said that while social and mobility solutions are seen as effective drivers of productivity and engagement, business analytics and cloud-based applications are enabling decision-making at optimal costs.

“Demands are outpacing traditional capabilities across all industries. The pressure to adapt to rapid changes is very intense, and many are being left behind,” said Mercado. “By transforming the role of technologies from a basic support function to the core of business model, adopters are disrupting how services are envisioned and brought to market.”

Examining SMAC in multi-process human resources outsourcing (MPHRO), global advisory and research firm Everest Group reports that “buyers and service providers see SMAC as a way to extract new value from MPHRO engagements.”

In consumer health care, SMAC is fostering a higher level of engagement among patients and consumers, with models evolving from physical care in clinics or hospitals to virtual care, according to IBPAP. It said that as people learn more about their health and risk factors, they are being empowered to work toward desired health behaviors.

Global industry leaders will focus on SMAC during the 5th Annual International Outsourcing Summit, which will take place on October 6 to 8, 2013 in Makati City. The summit will also feature keynote presentations by industry and domain experts, panel discussions with industry executives, and business matching sessions, among others.

“SMAC is bridging the vast landscape that is IT-BPM. This is central to the theme of our summit, ‘Unlocking Possibilities, Creating New Vistas’,” Mercado said. “We hold fast to the view that our industry has played a crucial role in helping many adapt to the new business model that defines what it means to be truly global.”

Source:http://manilastandardtoday.com/2013/09/02/it-model-steps-up-business-change/

Dhaka’s click firms in fake ‘like’ business

August 5th, 2013

How much do you like courgettes? According to one Facebook page devoted to them, hundreds of people find them delightful enough to click the “like” button – even with dozens of other pages about courgettes to choose from, reportstheguardian.co.uk.

There’s just one problem: the liking was fake, done by a team of low-paid workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, whose boss demanded just $15 per thousand “likes” at his “click farm”. Workers punching the keys might be on a three-shift system, and be paid as little as $120 a year.

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The ease with which a humble vegetable could win approval calls into question the basis on which many modern companies measure success online – through Facebook likes, YouTube video views and Twitter followers.

Channel 4′s Dispatches programme will on Monday reveal the extent to which click farms risk eroding user confidence in what had looked like an objective measure of social online approval.

The disclosures could hurt Facebook as it tries to persuade firms away from advertising on Google and to use its own targeted advertising, and to chase likes as a measure of approval.

That particular Facebook page on courgettes was set up by the programme makers to demonstrate how click farms can give web properties spurious popularity.

“There’s a real desire amongst many companies to boost their profile on social media, and find other customers as well as a result,” said Graham Cluley, an independent security consultant.

The importance of likes is considerable with consumers: 31% will check ratings and reviews, including likes and Twitter followers, before they choose to buy something, research suggests. That means click farms could play a significant role in potentially misleading consumers.

‘Russell’, the manager of the click farm identified by Dispatches

Dispatches found one boss in Bangladesh who boasted of being “king of Facebook” for his ability to create accounts and then use them to create hundreds or thousands of fake likes.

Click farms have become a growing challenge for companies which rely on social media measurements – meant to indicate approval by real users – to estimate the popularity of their products.

For the workers, though, it is miserable work, sitting at screens in dingy rooms facing a blank wall, with windows covered by bars, and sometimes working through the night. For that, they could have to generate 1,000 likes or follow 1,000 people on Twitter to earn a single US dollar.

Sam DeSilva, a lawyer specialising in IT and outsourcing law at Manches LLP in Oxford, says of the fake clicks: “Potentially, a number of laws are being breached – the consumer protection and unfair tradingregulations. Effectively it’s misleading the individual consumers.”

Dispatches discovered an online casino which had sublicensed the Monopoly brand from its owner, the games company Hasbro, and to which fake likes had been added on its Facebook page.

When contacted, Hasbro contacted Facebook and the page was taken down. In a statement, Hasbro said it was “appalled to hear of what had occurred” and was unaware of the page.

Dhaka-registered Shareyt.com, meanwhile, claims to act as a middleman to connect companies seeking to boost their profile on Facebook, Twitter, Google +1, LinkedIn and YouTube.

“We made it as simple as mouse-clicking,” the front page of the site says, claiming that it is “a crowd-sourcing platform to help you improve social media presence and search engine ranking FREE”.

It adds: “Whenever and wherever you need massive workforce to complete petty tasks, call for Shareyt and get it done like magic! You can’t imagine the potentials [sic] until you explore!” It claims to have generated 1.4m Facebook likes and to have 83,000 registered users.

The implication is that the site “crowdsources” clicks – that lots of people around the world mutually help each other to promote each others’ work.

But Sharaf al-Nomani, Shareyt’s owner, told Dispatches in an undercover meeting that “around 30% or 40% of the clicks will come from Bangladesh” – which implies about 25,000 people in Dhaka using computers laboriously and repetitively for hours on end to boost the visibility of specific products to order.

Some companies have used shareyt.com in the course of standard marketing.

Sir Billi, a British cartoon film voiced by Sir Sean Connery, has more than 65,000 Facebook likes – more than some Hollywood films.
Although it has so far only been released in South Korea, Facebook data suggests the city of Dhaka is the source of the third-largest number of likes. (The Egyptian capital, Cairo, is presently the source of the highest number.)

Tessa Hartmann of Billi Productions, which made the film, said they had been promoting it since 2006, and paid £271.40 to advertise it on shareyt.com in August 2012 for six months as a “very small” part of their marketing campaign. At the time, she says, it already had 40,000 Facebook likes. Her company stopped using the site in February.

A link also appeared on shareyt.com to Coca-Cola’s 2010 Super Bowl advertisement “Hard Times”, showing the Simpsons’ Mr Burns learning to get by on less (but with Coke).

The video’s presence on the site is likely to have helped its nearly 6m views. Coke said in a statement that it “did not approve of fake fans”; the video was made private soon afterwards.

Shareyt.com has now seen Facebook and Twitter prevent links to the site being posted on their networks. Twitter bans “fake followers” or the buying of followers.

Faked internet use has been a bugbear of the burgeoning advertising industry ever since the web went commercial in the mid-1990s and the first banner ad was rolled out in 1996.

The rise of advertising networks and “pay-per-click” advertising – where an advertiser pays the network when someone clicks on an advert, whether or not it leads to a sale – also saw a rise in faked clicks which benefited unscrupulous networks.

And it is still a problem. In February, Microsoft and Symantec shut down a “botnet” of up to 1.8m PCs that were being used to create an average of 3m clicks per day, raking in $1m per year since 2009.

But click farms exploit a different sort of computing power altogether: the rise of cheap labour paired with low-cost connectivity to the internet.

“Russell”, the manager of the click farm identified by Dispatches, said some of the methods he used were legitimate; he blamed those who commissioned the work if it was seen as immoral.

Source:http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/dhakas-click-firms-in-fake-like-business/

Wipro sees growing demand from outsourcing clients

July 29th, 2013

Indian outsourcer Wipro grew revenue and profits in the second quarter, citing improved demand.

At the end of last quarter, Wipro spun out its non-IT businesses such as consumer care and lighting into a separate company, and is now more closely focused on its IT business.

On Friday it reported that its revenue was up by 5 percent year-on-year to about 97 billion rupees (US$1.63 billion) in the quarter, while profits increased 11 percent from the same quarter last year to 16 billion rupees. The results are in accordance with IFRS (international financial reporting standards).

The company has said that its IT services revenue from outsourcing in the next quarter will be up to $1.65 billion. IT services revenue was close to $1.6 billion in the second quarter.

Other Indian outsourcers like Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys have also indicated an improvement in the outsourcing business, particularly in key markets like the U.S.

TCS, India’s largest outsourcer, said last week that its deal pipeline was strong both in the U.S. and Europe. It reported that revenue in the second quarter rose 16 percent year-on-year to over $3 billion, while net income increased by 10.6 percent to $668 million.

While deal closures in the last quarter were lower than expected, 886 deals valued at about $21 billion are coming up for renewal this year in the outsourcing business as a whole, said Siddharth Pai, president of Asia-Pacific for Information Services Group, which analyzes the market. The outlook looks positive for the remainder of this year as a result, he added.

Wipro’s IT services business had 147,281 employees as of June 30, an increase of 1,469 people in the quarter, and added 28 new customers. A smaller IT products business had revenue of about 8 billion rupees, a year-on-year decrease of 14 percent. A salary hike for employees, which came into effect in June, affected operating margins in the quarter, the company said.

Source:http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/it-business/3461022/wipro-sees-growing-demand-from-outsourcing-clients/

Struggling with a new business model IT companies may hire less now

June 18th, 2013

In under two years, 23-year-old Laveen Bakshi has experienced a wide range of emotions in his stillborn career in information technology. For the electronics and communications engineer from The Maharaja Suratmal Institute of Technology, Delhi, the initial thrill of getting an offer letter from HCL Technologies, India’s number four software exporter, has now given way to dejection, desperation and anger after a near two-year wait for a joining date.
At least 6,000 others are in the middle of such frustrating waits to join HCL and other IT companies. Once a magnet for skilled manpower, especially engineers, IT companies are now hiring less — the sector hired 200,000 people last year, 50,000 less than the previous 12 months, according to industry body Nasscom.
A global slowdown and a slow-to-change local industry have crimped hiring, and with it, the aspirational tag long enjoyed by this sector. “A feeling of disgust has replaced our previous feeling of pride,” says Bakshi. Having waited for months for a joining date, he has also discovered that hiring plans for the 2013 batch are afoot; and as a graduate from the previous year, he’s out in the cold.HCL TechnologiesBSE -0.17 % didn’t make its executives available for an interview, despite repeated requests.
Over the past two decades, the IT industry has been billed as an employer of choice, on account of handsome salary packages, perks such as stock options and the opportunity to work at client sites worldwide.
The sector has also been a marker on other HR fronts: it has led in terms of training its employees to be industry-ready (Infosys invests Rs 2.5 lakh and 16 weeks in classroom sessions per employee), scientifically planned career development programmes and was the most aggressive user of stock options to create employee wealth.
Infosys, for example, has distributed over Rs 50,000 crore in ESOPs over the past 15 years. “Last decade, 25% of all jobs created in India were in IT and BPO,” says Pramod Bhasin, non-executive vice-chairman of BPO firm Genpact and past chairman of Nasscom. However, the charm has now begun to fade.
Source:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/jobs/struggling-with-a-new-business-model-it-companies-may-hire-less-now/articleshow/20639592.cms

In under two years, 23-year-old Laveen Bakshi has experienced a wide range of emotions in his stillborn career in information technology. For the electronics and communications engineer from The Maharaja Suratmal Institute of Technology, Delhi, the initial thrill of getting an offer letter from HCL Technologies, India’s number four software exporter, has now given way to dejection, desperation and anger after a near two-year wait for a joining date.

At least 6,000 others are in the middle of such frustrating waits to join HCL and other IT companies. Once a magnet for skilled manpower, especially engineers, IT companies are now hiring less — the sector hired 200,000 people last year, 50,000 less than the previous 12 months, according to industry body Nasscom.

A global slowdown and a slow-to-change local industry have crimped hiring, and with it, the aspirational tag long enjoyed by this sector. “A feeling of disgust has replaced our previous feeling of pride,” says Bakshi. Having waited for months for a joining date, he has also discovered that hiring plans for the 2013 batch are afoot; and as a graduate from the previous year, he’s out in the cold.HCL TechnologiesBSE -0.17 % didn’t make its executives available for an interview, despite repeated requests.

Over the past two decades, the IT industry has been billed as an employer of choice, on account of handsome salary packages, perks such as stock options and the opportunity to work at client sites worldwide.

The sector has also been a marker on other HR fronts: it has led in terms of training its employees to be industry-ready (Infosys invests Rs 2.5 lakh and 16 weeks in classroom sessions per employee), scientifically planned career development programmes and was the most aggressive user of stock options to create employee wealth.

Infosys, for example, has distributed over Rs 50,000 crore in ESOPs over the past 15 years. “Last decade, 25% of all jobs created in India were in IT and BPO,” says Pramod Bhasin, non-executive vice-chairman of BPO firm Genpact and past chairman of Nasscom. However, the charm has now begun to fade.

Source:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/jobs/struggling-with-a-new-business-model-it-companies-may-hire-less-now/articleshow/20639592.cms

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