Posts Tagged ‘Jobs’

IBM signs nine year IT outsourcing deal with Birla Sun Life Insurance

February 9th, 2015

IBM has announced that Birla Sun Life Insurance (BSLI), the life insurance arm of the Aditya Birla Financial Services Group, signed a nine year IT outsourcing deal with IBM to consolidate, redesign in-scope applications and use analytics to provide client insights that build competitive advantage. BSLI will leverage mobility and cloud solutions developed by IBM Research and the IBM India Software Lab to achieve increased revenues, reduce costs and enhanced profitability.Outsourcing66

BSLI in this partnership with IBM will adopt a first-of-a-kind technology solution to the insurance sector that will radically transform the business technology model. BSLI will leverage IBM’s business consulting, application development and maintenance services to drive process efficiencies and transform the business towards better outcomes for customers and employees. Tailor-made solutions from IBM will bring process maturity best practices, IT portfolio consolidation and introduce innovative tools.

This deal could help BSLI realize a cost reduction advantage from consolidation of IT vendors. IBM’s flexible pricing model will enable dynamic ramp up/down and consumption based operational spending along with a roadmap to modernize, consolidate and rationalize the application portfolio, bringing in speed and reduced time to market.

Speaking on the occasion, Mayank Bathwal, Dy. CEO, Birla Sun Life Insurance said, “We at Birla Sun Life Insurance are committed to offering an enhanced experience to our customers while improving on efficiencies and profitability of the business. We believe that this winning partnership with IBM will help us excel and stay ahead of the curve in this fast evolving life insurance industry, while addressing all business needs. IBM’s vast experience and technology capabilities will add tremendous value to our business.”

“IBM remains committed in the transformation of the BFSI industry catalyzing growth and inclusion. We are pleased to partner with BSLI to help leverage leading technology solutions like cloud and analytics to make critical strides in achieving business transformation, improving service delivery and increasing customer satisfaction,”said Vanitha Narayanan, Managing Director, IBM India. “We will bring our local and global expertise and capabilities to fuel BSLI’ expansion and growth in this dynamic Insurance industry in India.” she further added.


BPO firms cited for creating more jobs

December 8th, 2014

Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, chair of the House committee on higher and technical education, has cited the country’s 45 largest business process outsourcing (BPO) providers and the back offices of global firms for driving the creation of new high-paying jobs.Outsourcing17

“These leading players in the BPO and information technology … sector are now among the nation’s biggest employers,” said Romulo. “They have helped ease joblessness among fresh college graduates and young professionals in a big way.”

Romulo also said he is counting on the 45 firms to spearhead the generation of more than 248,000 new jobs in the sector over the next two years.

The BPO companies’ combined revenues reached P250 billion ($5.9 billion) in 2013.

Romulo is author of the Data Privacy Act of 2012, which has encouraged transnational firms to either establish new back offices in Manila, or to transfer their noncore, business support activities to independent BPO firms operating here.

The BPO and IT-enabled services industry now directly employs 1.052 million Filipinos.

The industry is projected to yield up to $27 billion in annual revenues and engage over 1.3 million Filipinos workers by 2016, according to the IT and Business Processing Association of the Philippines, which has 229 member firms.


Analysis And Procurement: Where The IT Jobs Will Be

November 19th, 2014

In a panel discussion with three prominent local chief information officers (CIOs) earlier this week at the event, those two familiar ideas kept recurring. Firstly, the need for IT workers to truly “understand the business”, with analytics as one way to add value in that area. Secondly, the need to be able to manage an increasingly diverse set of suppliers, especially when individual business units are sourcing their own tech.Outsourcing2

The upside is that this can change the approach to IT from a traditional penny-pinching mentality. “In our organisation we’re seeing a massive shift in demand from the business and as we demonstrate understanding of the business, we’re seeing lots of opportunities,” said Shaun Nesbitt, CIO for SEQ Water. “In the past all we had was a focus on cutting costs.”

Even when departments source their own tech, central IT can play a role in making sure data from those systems is cross-referenced and analysed, Nesbitt said. “The value IT brings to the table is the ability to look across silos.”

“In terms of skills, we’ve had to make some pretty tough decisions. We know we can’t do everything, and we know industry can do some things much better, hence there’s an increase in vendor management skills — so you can pick the right ones.”

That task has been exacerbated through the mergers of various authorities to form SEQ Water: “there’s a whole bunch of spaghetti that needs to be unravelled,” Nesbitt said.

For more specialised IT tasks, outsourcing remains a popular choice, which again brings procurement and vendor management skills to the fore. “The answer for me is outsource every time,” said Ross McKinnon, CIO for jewellery chain Michael Hill. “If I had to skill my guys on putting chips on motherboards or learning C, it’s going to take a lot longer than two years.

McKinnon’s preferred approach when outsourcing is to ensure some level of skills transfer, so there isn’t an ongoing dependency. He’s also a big fan of numerous small pilots, though that does mean not everything will succeed. “It means lot more piloting. We’ve had one running in three US stores for two months and we’ve found lots of bugs. Another has been running in Queensland for six weeks virtually bug-free, so we want to roll that out in January. The ability to work quickly and for shorter periods is going to become increasingly important.”

“The fundamental change is changing from the boxes and wire to information as a resource — being able to tap into information as a resource is a classic conundrum,” said Chris Turnbull, CIO for Queensland Treasury and Trade. It’s a technology issue that isn’t resolved by technology. At a practical level, the skills we need in house are markedly different: business analysis skills, and vendor management and procurement skills.”

Enforcing those changes is also complicated, Turnbull said. “There’s a management challenge there to understand the philosophy, the religious zeal for doing things in a particular way.”

Ultimately, IT isn’t going away. “Somebody always needs to interpret the technical world to an organisation, but it comes down to how that technology is used,” Turnbull said.


Beware Techies: Jobs in IT companies will fall by 50%

November 11th, 2014

In a major setback for lakhs of engineering students, a research report by Crisil claimed that new hirings in Information Technology (IT) sector are likely to drop by 50 per cent over the next four years. Outsourcing26

The report might become deadly for aspiring techies across the country as the IT sector is one of the biggest employers in the private sector in India. While Crisil had predicted IT hiring at 1.05 lakh during the fiscal year of 2013-14, it has predicted a mere 55,000 hiring by 2017-18.

Currently, at least 24 per cent of total private sector jobs are created by IT companies in the organised sector. Economy of the country may see a major impact if the IT sector indeed drops number of hiring by 50 per cent. Here it can be mentioned that more than 7 lakh engineering students graduate every year.

Why IT sector may drop new hiring:

According to the report, jobs in the sector is slowing down because margins in the $118 billion outsourcing industry are under pressure. Indian IT giants such as Infosys, Wipro, TCS earn nearly three fourth revenues from North America and Europe. Both America and Europe are under pressure while it comes on growth. Hence, clients are asking companies to cut costs.

In its report, Crisil said that since employee salaries account for the biggest cost component for IT companies, domestic outsourcers are reducing bench strength, improving employee utilisation rates and reducing other operational costs. In 2013-14, employee cost accounted for over 60 per cent of total cost of IT companies, added the report.

According to sources, IT companies have been planning to migrate towards fixed price contracts. It will help the companies to eliminate the need for maintaining a large workforce for billing purposes. Such contracts weigh on hiring as revenue per employee goes up, Crisil notes.


Ausgrid to offshore IT jobs

October 22nd, 2014

Publicly owned electricity distribution business Ausgrid is proposing to send 37 IT jobs offshore as unions step up a campaign to protect their workers’  job security.Outsourcing34
The United Services Union said Ausgrid management believes it can save $8.5 million a year by outsourcing the jobs to an overseas company.
The company has flagged the loss of jobs and the use of an overseas contractor to provide IT services.

A spokesman for Ausgrid said it is reviewing the delivery of services in its Information and Communications Technology division as part of a “business-wide restructure to reduce non-essential operating costs”.

“This includes 37 roles in the area of development and technical support,” the spokesman said. “The review includes discussion with unions and staff about the merits of these roles being outsourced to the external market. Ausgrid would expect any external provider to maintain a local presence.

“It’s not unusual for an organisation to test the external market to benchmark the efficient cost of delivering services.”

Ausgrid employs more than 270 staff in its Information and Communications Technology division. This includes labour hire and senior contract roles.

The spokesman said it is important for Ausgrid to “reduce costs in a responsible way so we can keep electricity prices as low as possible for our customers, helping to keep average price increases over the next five years to below CPI”.

“We also remain steadfast in our commitment to no forced redundancies,” he said.

The development comes as negotiations begin for a new enterprise agreement for Ausgrid.

Unions are fighting for the inclusion of job protection clauses that would prevent the offshoring of jobs, restrict the outsourcing of work, and protect staff from forced redundancies.

USU energy manager Scott McNamara said an internal review had found $2 million could be saved while retaining the services within the company, and $3.5 million could be saved by outsourcing the services to an Australian company.

“Ausgrid employees are deeply concerned by the potential loss of jobs and outsourcing of essential support services,” Mr McNamara said.

“For the sake of a few million dollars, Ausgrid management want to send the jobs of 37 loyal staff.

“Not only will they lose the experience and skills of these loyal staff, but service standards will likely drop as work is carried out by external companies in other parts of the world.”

Mr McNamara said the move would not help consumers.

“Networks NSW is driving cost cutting across the business, fattening up the network businesses for NSW Premier Mike Baird’s power privatisation,” he said.

“If electricity network companies are already looking to cut jobs and send positions overseas, it’s no wonder that staff fear massive job cuts from privatisation, which is what happened in Victoria when an overseas buyer took control of the electricity network.”


Outsourcing giant creates 300 coventry jobs

October 15th, 2014

Customer care provider Sitel UK is set to open a new branch in Coventry city centre creating 300 jobs.Outsourcing21

The US-headquartered company has taken 15,000 sq ft of office space on the fourth floor of Sherbourne House.

The deal was agreed by DTZ and Cushman & Wakefield, acting on behalf of Mapeley Estates, the landlord at Sherbourne House.

Sitel employs approximately 2,400 staff across six sites in the UK. The move will create 300 immediate new jobs with the expectation of a further 300 jobs in the medium-term.

Andrew Berry, associate director in DTZ’s office agency team, said: “This is one of the largest lettings in Coventry city centre in the last three years and demonstrates the renewed occupier enthusiasm for the city centre office market.”

Karl Brough, regional director at Sitel UK, added: “We chose Sherbourne House primarily based on its location as it offers a facility that can be easily supported from our head office in Stratford-upon-Avon.

“The excellent transport links available to the building via road and rail will facilitate staff recruitment whilst the quality of the building and the proximity to local amenity will enable their retention.”


Insourcing of IT jobs gains popularity

September 22nd, 2014

In a major reversal of the outsourcing trend, enterprises across verticals have started to build and strengthen their internal IT teams. They don’t want to depend on outsourcing service providers any more to gain the ‘India advantage’ in terms of low cost and talent, say experts.Outsourcing12

Companies like General Motors, AstraZeneca and Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) have started to set up their own captive units or build on the existing ones to do IT work that was earlier outsourced to external vendors. The ‘in-sourcing’ trend has started and is here to stay, said David Smoley, chief information officer of AstraZeneca.

“It is a silent trend. Companies like General Motors are on it for the last three years. This is unlike the earlier outsourcing trend, which had people shouting from rooftops. So nobody is talking about ‘insourcing,’ at least not yet,” he added.

Global pharma major AstraZeneca inaugurated its offshore IT development centre at the Ramanujan IT City SEZ in Chennai last Tuesday. Starting with 60 people, the company plans to scale up to 300 by end of the first year. The overall strategy is to bring outsourced IT work back into the company’s fold to improve efficiency and time-to-market.

Eight global vendors including Cognizant, TCS, HCL and Wipro have been providing IT services to AstraZeneca.

The company’s aspiration is to cut down the amount of work outsourced to external vendors over the next 3-4 years, he added. For 2013, the pharma major spent about $1.3 billion on IT projects and services.

Large companies have started to recruit directly in India to build their captive units. They seem to have learnt from IT vendors how to go all-out to find the necessary talent.

“Our vendors focused on their profit margins and not ours. On an outsourced model, there are three or four arm links by way of vendors’ people working on projects, teams managing them and further teams from our side managing overall activity. By ‘insourcing’ work, we will have fewer handoffs and simpler controls,” Smoley said.

“We see a decisive trend in which large companies including the big four consultants have started to hire directly from colleges. They recruit students from across streams for their IT operations pretty much the way the IT vendors do it. They are trying to cut costs by hiring freshers directly from colleges to build their in-house IT teams,” said Sekar Viswanathan, vice president of VIT University.

Cost, though, is not the only reason for insourcing, said Vinod Baya, director- technology and innovation at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). As more businesses go digital, IT products become intellectual property, which cannot be outsourced.

“What is true is that IT is increasingly becoming a source of competitive differentiation. As a company, you’d want to own it because your vendor won’t know your business enough. As a critical part of the digital enterprise, technology becomes your business and not your vendor’s,” he added.

Outsourcing started to gain steam when companies set out to find experts to do non-core work. However, for most B2C businesses that have gone digital, IT has become a part of their core activity. For example, a company like FedEx uses a lot of technology and its IT is its intellectual property and a market differentiator.

“Even non-digital native companies have become tech players and they sure want to own their future,” Baya reiterated.

However, insourcing may not be the death knell for the Indian IT industry. From being vendors, they can now become partners, said S Ganesh, chief executive officer of D&B Technologies and Data Services.

“It is a great opportunity for Indian IT players. More so for the mid-size IT companies, which can now reach out to large enterprises with flexible pricing policies. We ourselves are setting up a captive unit and are more comfortable with mid-size vendors.

“The vast pool of talent was, is and will continue to be India’s biggest advantage. It is so difficult to build even a 20-member IT team in Europe. Enterprises including Standard Chartered, Pfizer and Goldman Sachs have their captives in India and continue to strengthen them mainly for this reason,” he added.

Indian companies will have to change their pricing methods, account management and delivery models to deliver services within India. IT work will become more collaborative and in future, vendors may even go up to the level where they can jointly own intellectual property, Ganesh said.


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