Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Siemens IT Solutions and Services Operates IT for Evonik Industries in the US


Effective immediately, Siemens IT Solutions and Services will operate large parts of the local IT and telecommunications infrastructure for the industrial company Evonik at all its sites in the US. The corresponding outsourcing contract will run for four years and is worth around $42 million USD.

Evonik Industries is an international industrial company with the business areas of chemicals, energy and real estate. The contract just signed is part of a global framework agreement for IT services with Evonik Industries and governs the long-term collaboration between the two companies. The Siemens subsidiary Services for Business IT Ruhr GmbH (SBI Ruhr) played a significant role in the contract negotiations with Evonik Industries. Under this contract, Siemens IT Solutions and Services will operate large parts of the IT and telecommunications infrastructure for Evonik Degussa Corp., the US subsidiary of Evonik, at all of its US sites. This includes two computer centers, servers, telephone systems and all PCs.

Siemens IT Solutions and Services is thus successfully continuing its strategy of cooperating more closely with the other Siemens Groups and expanding its business in those areas in which, for example, the industrial sectors are strong.

About Siemens IT Solutions and Services

Siemens IT Solutions and Services, Inc. is one of Siemens operating companies in the United States. Siemens IT Solutions and Services is an internationally leading provider of IT solutions and services. With its comprehensive know-how and specific sector knowledge, this division of Siemens offers solutions and services from a single source - from consulting to systems integration to software development and management of IT infrastructures.

JSE reverses outsourcing move

Source: ITweb

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has decided to move its IT function back in-house, after only two years of outsourcing it to Accenture.

In a recently issued public notice, the JSE said it would re-assume management control of its IT functions as of 1 November.

“We wanted to regain control and have more flexibility,” says JSE president Russell Loubser. “We used to have it in-house and a number of years ago we saw that it worked well for the London Stock Exchange to outsource the IT function. At this stage though, we prefer to take back control of IT as we will have more flexibility.”

In 2005, the JSE signed a R200 million deal with Accenture to embark on a drive to update its legacy systems to next-generation technology. The project was codenamed “Project Orion”.

Loubser says the monetary amount attached to the deal will not be affected by the changing of the terms of agreement with Accenture.

“We will be using exactly the same people with virtually no change. Instead of the responsibility falling with Accenture, it will now fall with us.”

Accenture would not comment and referred all media queries to Loubser's office.

Loubser says Accenture is also happy with the new deal. However, he says the JSE might now have to look at employing a CIO, a post that does not currently exist at the bourse.

“We have very good IT people who stayed behind when our people went to Accenture and we also have very good IT people coming back in from them, but we must consider that we will probably need to employ further resources in terms of a head of IT.”

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Legal Outsourcing Becoming Popular

Outsourcing started to catch on in the profession as more U.S. corporations and firms realized with the nine-to-13 hour time difference between countries such as India and the United States, work that typically could not be finished before junior level associates or other staff returned to their desks in the morning, can be transmitted electronically to India and completed overnight.

Labeled a "popular ioption” issue, sending legal work to foreign countries has started to appeal to the legal industry as it provides fast turn around and money saved.

While the advantages of outsourcing legal work to India are recognized by some, others fear sending legal work to foreign countries will compromise its quality, which possibly could affect a practitioner's reputation or even bring forth a malpractice suit.

Among the disadvantages or the ill-effects of the legal outsourcing is only one worth considerable according to people is that you lose some of the control over the finished product that is the lack of understanding by the lawyer or lack of communication may lead to misunderstanding which may further lead to disinteresting case or building up of fatal reports.
Mostly research, brief writing, patent proofreading, prior arts searches, document review and various paralegal function is the kind of legal work that is outsourced to foreign countries and it's clear there is a possibility mistakes could be made in such a work.

Still, the legal community remains conflicted over the quality of work that is being outsourced. some people believe that you get what you pay for. If you want to pay $199 for your research project, you will get research worth $199.

hence it can be summed up that legal outsourcing is gaining popularity due to its victory with more advantages and less disadvantages.

Monday, October 29, 2007

RP seen to outgrow top BPO rivals


The Philippines' business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is expected to post a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 62 percent, outgrowing three other primary destinations: China, India and Malaysia.

The results of an intelligence report by independent ICT research and advisory firm XMG showed that the Philippines is poised to generate revenues of $4.1 billion by yearend to corner 1.4 percent of the global market.

"The Philippine outsourcing industry has far exceeded all analyst expectations," XMG founding president and chief analyst Lauro Vives said in a statement. "The Philippines is experiencing an unprecedented growth rate of 62 percent CAGR, and will surpass Malaysia."

Malaysia's revenue forecast by year-end is estimated at $3.6 billion, achieving 38-percent growth and cornering 1.2 percent of the global market share. In 2006, Malaysia and the Philippines was neck-and-neck with 1.04 percent and 1.02 percent, respectively, of the share of the global revenue pie.

XMG's market study also scrutinized the performance of two other top Asian offshore locations, namely India and China.

India is estimated to corner $34.1 billion in total revenue by year end 2007 at 29.5 percent CAGR and settling in with 11.5 percent share of the global market. Despite the lower growth rate, XMG estimates India will continue to lead the offshore segment through 2010 with at least 15 percent share.

China is estimated to have 4.4 percent share of the global market with 2007 total revenue figures forecasted to hit $13.1 billion while growing at 47.9 percent CAGR.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

BPO industry to localize globally


Call it reverse outsourcing or localising globally, varied accents and foreign faces are fast becoming the norm at Indian BPOs abroad.With wages on a rise companies like Wipro are saying it is absolutely essential to have centres outside India.Wipro has just established a centre in Atlanta with 500 people and says that going ahead 30 per cent of its entire workforce will be global. It plans to open 5 to 6 centres in places like the Philippines, Mexico, Shanghai and Berlin in the next two years.

We have one centre in north, multiple centres in Europe, one in the Fareast and probably one centre in China, said TK Kurien, Head, BPO Business, Wipro.

Wipro has just established a centre in Atlanta with 500 people and says that going ahead 30 per cent of its entire workforce will be global. It plans to open 5 to 6 centres in places like the Philippines, Mexico, Shanghai and Berlin in the next two years.

Infosys, which runs a global internship program called Instep has about five per cent of global workforce and says that will increase.

Primarily because we are doing more consulting type work and would like to have more local people for consulting relationship management and we would like to hire more for client facing activities, said Gopalakrishnan, CEO, Infosys.

Europe is becoming the next growth market for companies, Wipro anticipates that 40 per cent of its entire revenues going ahead will come from this region.

With Germany alone contributing 20 per cent of that, localising helps companies win over local governments thereby ensuring they get more complex and sensitive work which bill higher.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The third wave of outsourcing


Even as large global corporations transition to the second wave of outsourcing, the technology sector is heading towards the Third Wave in the making, according to The Hackett Group. The Third Wave, which would mean a transformation and scale up much different from the labour arbitrage market, would come up much faster than one anticipates and has the potential to challenge labour and cost arbitrage model. Some of the services providers in India and Eastern Europe could potentially find the going tough.

The President of The Hackett Group, Wayne M. Mincey, said, As offshore market matures, transformation and process improvement are likely to play a key role in business process sourcing decisions. The ability to provide transformational services and support provides a significant opportunity, and possibly the greatest threat that offshore markets like India will face in the coming 5 to 10 years.

Bigger savings

The findings of Hacketts research shows that while the potential for companies to reduce costs by offshoring back office operations is dramatic, companies can potentially increase these savings by over 50 per cent by selectively integrating process improvement capabilities into their globalisation initiatives.

Addressing a press conference here, the Chief Research Officer of The Hackett Group, Michel Janssen, said as opposed to Lift and Shift model where companies simply move current processes offshore, the emerging model seeks to transform the way services get delivered and has the potential to bring higher savings. These would be more so in the areas of finance functions, human resources and process related business.

Over the past five years, much of the first wave of offshoring has focussed on the low hanging fruit of basic transactional processes that could simply be moved offshore for labour arbitrage. But in the second wave, there is greater opportunity and the necessity to integrate transformation into offshore initiatives.

This is further complicated by rapidly increasing cost base after migration to the offshore market. Improvement of process, particularly related to transactions could bring about significant cost advantages, he explained.

The best way forward is to offer integrated transformation and process improvement. Offshore solutions would have to combine changes to the business process during and after offshore move to ensure higher value creation.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Security measures in Business Process Outsourcing

Source :

Although security measures are already incorporated in some BPO companies, it is high time the checks are stringently implemented. With the increase in Information Technology Enabled Services, it has become a cakewalk for hackers to intrude in business matters. It is not just the aid of IT services, but mainly the psyche of the people working in these BPO companies. Every BPO should have their security policy and the employees should be asked to strictly follow them.

The recruiting process for these service providers should have number of rounds during the interview session so as to intake quality people at work. A check on their previous work performance records and personal as well as professional background details is a must. Any BPO should have proper domain knowledge and highly secure database. It is the responsibility of every employee to maintain the integrity of data received from customers. Equipments used should be tracked for any on-going illegal transactions and firewall protection should be developed which may prove as a hurdle in fraud delegations.

The servers for intranet and data-intake should be separate.Being a boon to the Business entity, outsourcing should not just be understood as a cost-saving measure to hand over a part of work of the business firm to a third party service provider. Instead, BPO in a wider sense is the cost saving transaction of non core processes by a business firm with an external source specialized in the concerned business process under strict guidelines for the security of database and other assets of the firm. At the end of the day, it is the business firm that gains output by the security of its assets. Precaution at the earliest will pave way for the proper execution of business delegations with the BPO industry. This will increase confidence of the existing and future clients, provide bigger deals and develop a satisfied customer.

UK leads outsourcing IT trend

The UK is outshining its overseas peers in terms of the number of outsourcing deals signed during the second quarter of this year.Appetite for outsourcing shows no sign of abating just yet as the number of deals signed with companies providing such services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa EMEA demonstrated stellar growth at the beginning of this year, according to a new report from Forrester Research.The UK led the charge by closing more than a third 36 per cent of the 84 deals signed during the period of growth, with the total number of deals closed equating to more than 5.4 billion , a rise of 1 billion compared to the same period in 2006.

The UKs deal prosperity showed a seven per cent gain on the number of contracts it closed during the period studied by Forrester Q2 2007 and, although they also showed solid performance during the quarter, left German and Dutch outsourcing providers nestling in joint second place in the deals signed league.

In terms of deal specifics, Q2 2007 included 11 per cent more contracts including more than one service referred to as service bundles than a year previously.
Almost half 45 per cent of all deals included infrastructure services, with Forrester referencing IBM Global Services 371 million , 10 year renewal deal with insurance giant Royal and Sun Alliance. Deals with helpdesk and support services and desktop services included also proved popular during the period with 44 per cent and 31 per cent of partnerships formed including such services. With 84 deals closed and more than 5.8 billion spent, Q2 2007 blew away the results of Q2 2006, said the reports author Andrew Parker in an executive summary.

IBM Global Services showed the best performance in terms of number of deals and aggregate deal value, leaving its competition far behind. The runner up here was Capita, which closed one megadeal. Smaller deal sizes gained in popularity again this quarter, and buyers maintained their love of five year contracts.

Forresters study specifically focused on so called mega deals worth more than 10 million from a pool of 25 IT service providers active during the second quarter. As part of its research it interviewed key players including BT Global Services, Capgemini, EDS, Fujitsu

Services, HP, IBM Global Services, Infosys, LogicaCMG and Unisys among others.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Smart outsourcing or global offloading?


Financial services companies need to change their perception around outsourcing IT functions overseas, according to a panel of IT experts at yesterday’s Future of Banking and Financial Services technology conference.

Derek Goh, executive general manager in IT and Management services at Challenger Financial Services group said that the debate around whether to outsource IT functions should go beyond a review of the economic benefits or the chances of a public backlash arising from potential loss of jobs at home.

Instead he says it’s about finding out what is right for the company. “You can’t look at IT in isolation but in the context of the whole company.”

For example, Challenger looked within Australia for the best software company to provide some fund management functionalities but couldn’t find one despite doing the search for three months. But when they looked overseas, they found a software company in India that was the best match for what they needed.

Goh said that economic benefit or the cost of offshoring is no longer the main reason why some financial services companies go overseas. “The price points have moved. There’s no price differentiator anymore say, between India and getting the service locally because Indian companies have moved up the value chain.”

BT Financial Group’s head of IT infrastructure Richard Boxall said that being able to seek talent overseas, when needed, helps the company to stay competitive.
“It is a big component of the financial success of the group especially since sourcing those people locally is incredibly difficult."

Defining new ways in offshoring model


Even though the offshoring model remains strong, there are signs that the appreciating rupee and rising wage costs have begun to affect the profitability of offshore firms. While business for large Indian firms is still growing by over 30 percent, the supply of manpower is not keeping pace with that growth. That may lead to a wage war further affecting the already eroding profit margins of companies. What then is the way out for offshoring firms. One way to beat the twin effects of rising salary costs and rupee inflation, says Forrester Researchs Apte, is for firms to improve productivity and move towards repeatable solutions. Indian firms like Wipro, says Apte, have been able to improve productivity number of lines of software code written by engineer every year by 4 to 5 percent.

Others like Infosys are working towards a model where growth in revenue and margins doesnt depend solely on its head count. Infosys Gopalakrishnan is trying out alternative pricing models such as those based on risk to reward equations or transaction based pricing where Infosys gets paid for the volume of work achieved and not for the number of people assigned to a project.

If you look at the last five quarters, you will find that we have been able to increase revenue per employee quarter upon quarter, he says.
Accenture is also moving away from pricing its services on a per totransaction basis to one that is outcome based, says Vaish. So, for one of its telecom customers, Accenture is paid per customer and not per call.

This way it is in Accentures interest to eliminate the reasons for which a customer calls the centre and improve quality of service. That calls for re toengineering the process, says Vaish adding that over the next 3 to 4 years 50 percent of Accentures contracts will be outcome based. Accenture will inject technology into various processes and standardise them to achieve higher volumes without proportionately increasing head count.

Desphande says an emphasis on specialised talent has worked well for Tejas Networks India, a Bangalore based maker of optical networking products where he is the lead investor and chairman. This year Tejas will double its revenues to Rs 400 cr. The company, which has raised US Dollar 50 mn in funding so far, will soon go in for a public listing.

Chadha believes investing in products is a sound strategy for IT companies because the margins can be between 60 percent and 80 percent, insulating them from the rupee appreciation. However, he says they face problems in their ability to find talent. There are not too many engineers in India who can understand product creation for the US market, which is why that model hasnt taken off in a big way, he says.
According to Aron, only one fourth of Indias engineering talent pool has the ability to work for western clients, directly or indirectly. Further, he says ,only a tenth of Indian engineers have the ability to work directly for a multinational company like Motorola or Intel or Microsoft.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Trade secrets: outsourcing - after the deal


As the scope of services to be outsourced has widened, and full-scale business process outsourcing has become a serious option, the decision to outsource is more complex than ever.

The timeline from initial feasibility study through to contract signature will typically be many months. Organisations invest significant time and effort into ensuring they have defined the right scope of services, secured the appropriate buy-in and identified the best partner.

However, what happens when the deal is done? The thorny issue of how to manage the ongoing relationship to deliver real value for both parties is an area that receives much less attention. Having worked on both sides of outsourcing deals - both as providers and advisers - my colleague Ian Hunter and I have identified a number of areas on which to focus that can be key to making the outsource a success.

Maintain continuity

As already mentioned, getting to contract can be a complex and time-consuming process. Typically, a dedicated programme team is established and this group will know and understand every nuance of the outsourcing agreement. Late nights spent deliberating the finer details of the service to be provided can take their toll and, once a deal is signed, members of the programme often return to their day jobs or move into other roles within the organisation.

The outsourcing contract then becomes the responsibility of a new team to manage, and this is often where problems can begin. In our experience, it is critical that companies - and their outsourcing partners - maintain a level of continuity between the team that does the deal and the one that subsequently manages the relationship. No contract, no matter how well drafted, will capture all the subtleties of what is required.

The early days of a contract will often be somewhat traumatic, so ensuring the team understands and stays true to the spirit of what you were trying to achieve will be key to clearing any initial hurdles and getting through those difficult first days.
Build supplier management skills

Supplier management as a discipline has traditionally been the preserve of the procurement function. Procurement professionals will be invaluable during the establishment of an outsourcing programme, but beware the temptation to leave the management of the ongoing contract to them. Knowing the function is critical to getting to the heart of the drivers of cost and service in an HR outsourcing arrangement. As such, having the right mix of effective contract management and subject matter expertise is really important.

In our experience, it is often easier to equip HR professionals with the necessary commercial understanding than to give procurement colleagues the functional knowledge and experience to get the best out of the HR outsourcing suppliers. Getting the right balance of these skills on your account management team is what will make the difference - don't let procurement take over.

Measure what matters

One of the benefits of moving to an outsourced arrangement is the ability to be able to specify a level of service for which the outsourcer is contractually and commercially responsible. The ability to measure performance, both in terms of cost and service, will often represent a big step forward and the visibility this provides can be a key catalyst for changing behaviours.

For some reason, people seem to care far more about something they have paid for directly. While this visibility is very helpful, there can be a temptation in the early days of a contract to measure everything that moves.

This is understandable, as the confidence that the service will be delivered to the required standard will only come with time as trust in the relationship builds.
However, part of the transition to this way of working is for the organisation that has outsourced to focus on what it needs to be delivered - the outcomes - rather than internal detail of how the service is delivered - the process. If you specify and then measure the individual detail of how each part of the outsourced service should work, it is unlikely that you will achieve the desired levels of cost reduction or service improvement. You need to be clear on the end result you're looking for and measure that - and allow the outsourcer to use their expertise to deliver accordingly.

Fragmented career paths

Outsourcing elements of your HR function, particularly core transactional delivery, will mean outsourcing parts of the service that are where many HR professionals have traditionally learned their trade.
Many HR generalists have started their careers in HR administration and have acquired a broad range of technical knowledge and expertise as they have progressed through the ranks.

If you want to be able to continue to grow generalists, work with your outsourcer to identify formal opportunities to second or transfer staff between your organisations. This can be valuable in providing the development that ensures you retain fully rounded HR staff in-house.

Our Expert
Jane Saunders is managing partner at Orion Partners, a consultancy specialising in providing independent advice to organisations considering outsourcing HR. She has co-authored a book with fellow Orion co-founder Ian Hunter - see opposite page for a chance to win a copy.

U.S. Outsourcing Market Remains Sluggish in Q3


Echoing its findings from earlier this year, outsourcing advisory firm TPI says that outsourcing business is sluggish in the U.S. in the third quarter, but looking quite lively in Europe and Asia.

While U.S. members of the Global 500 are nearly as likely as their European counterparts to sign outsourcing contracts (43 percent vs. 52 percent), new scope is down 50 percent in the U.S. from the same period last year. In contrast, it’s up 36 percent in Europe and 72 percent in Asia-Pacific, reports
Despite the slowdown in U.S. demand for outsourcing, big Indian outsourcing firms tallied a 37 percent increase in U.S. customer revenues. Still, companies like Tata Consultancy Services are making an effort to broaden their customer base beyond the U.S.

TPI did have a somewhat different take on the BPO market in its latest index. Though TPI characterized it as slow in both quarters — calling it “tepid and lumpy” in Q2 and “sluggish” in Q3 — it agreed with analyst firm Nelson Hall that North America showed the strongest activity in Q3. Earlier this year, however, TPI said Asia-Pac was the only region where BPI business grew.

Monday, October 22, 2007

India: As World’s Preferred Outsourcing Hub

India has become the hub for the globe for all types of Information Technology services. It is also globally known that Indian IT service providers are not offering solution of cost effective service only, but they also offer value addition by better productivity and quality. Currently India is booming as the leading Software Outsourcing destination in all over the world.

With its high-quality and cost-effective services, global outsourcers were able to give their organizations a cutting-edge in the competitive field of business. India provides an entire range of outsourcing services. Today almost any service which can be off shored can be performed in India. Be it call center services, engineering services, creative services or data management services, just name the services and you can outsource it to India.

India is equipped with well trained and skilled manpower. These talented individuals available in India are well verse in English having the ability to communicate well in English. In India, organizations are always updating and honing their skills to enable them to provide better and high-quality services. The cost factor of outsourcing to India has been yet another reason why outsourcers have been increasingly outsourcing to India.

In the current scenario, Software Outsourcing has become the biggest trend in the Information Technology Industry. IT companies overseas are getting more and more interested in the arena of Offshore Software Development. These companies are also interested in the combination of reduced cost, better quality and faster time to the market services. Not only the cost but the methodology, ability and core competition are playing the key role among the points of attraction towards these companies.

To conclude, the cost effective software outsourcing India has proved advantageous for most of the software companies as their business has gain a huge profit by investing those saved money on the growth and expansion plans. That's why outsourcing is one of the reasons for its ever increasing popularity and demand.

U.S. Demand for Outsourcing Slows Down


The total contract value of outsourcing contracts signed in the third quarter of 2007 was down 16 percent, with the actual value of the contracts signed shrinking as well, according to outsourcing adviser TPI. At the heart of the decline: the slowing pace of contract awards in the U.S. TPI's numbers show that U.S. companies are also keeping a lid on outsourcing growth, with new scope down 50 percent from last year.

Conversely, Europe and Asia are showing growth in outsourcing deals year over year, with Europe accounting for more than a 50 percent share of global market deals. New scope is up 36 percent in Europe and 72 percent in Asia Pacific, according to TPI. Competitor EquaTerra also found that outsourcing growth was strongest in the Europe/Middle East/Africa geography.

Almost as many Global 500 companies are inking outsourcing deals in the U.S. and Europe (43 percent of leading U.S. companies and 52 percent of leading European companies), says TPI. It's just that the American deals are smaller.

Mega-deals-those once popular billion-dollar-plus behemoths-are still getting signed (by General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, Credit Suisse, Reuters and the U.K. Post Office, among others). They're just getting less "mega." The average size of the billion-plus contract in the first quarter of last year was US$9.6 billion. In the third quarter of 2007, it was down to $2.4 billion, TPI reports.

Major India-based vendors have seen their U.S. customer revenue increase 37 percent, despite the slowdown in overall outsourcing in the Americas, says TPI, adding that "the latter exemplifies the diversity in the global outsourcing industry as well as India's expanding influence and strength." Meanwhile, EquaTerra's third-quarter survey revealed increasing interest in offshoring outside of India. Wage inflation, U.S. dollar weakness and changing buyer demands are driving the expansion of delivery centers in China, Central and South America, and Central and Eastern Europe, EquaTerra notes.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Entrepreneur Mindset Outsourcing Your Way to Greater Time,Freedom and More Wealth


An emerging entrepreneur requires certain key attributes to attain success – the most relevant being the confidence to venture into risky propositions; among others, a promising entrepreneur should be equipped with energy, inspiration, motivation, dedication and innovation. Together, these elements ensure success and realization of entrepreneurial goals.
An aspiring entrepreneur is constantly involved in identifying prospects, analyzing progress and taking steps that help to maximize efficiency, productivity and growth. This implies that he/she proposes attractive packages to potential investors who subsequently contribute their capital after assessing the financial viability of the project. In line with this, an entrepreneur has to focus his/her resources on the business and not just in it. This entails a persistent search for means that reduce costs and provide optimum results. One such practice is outsourcing.
Outsourcing is becoming an increasingly used practice by businesses. In this mechanism, businesses employ external sources who provide their expertise and services to perform operational functions. Many entrepreneurs realize the benefits and the scope of outsourcing and rely on it to hire skilled professionals who offer exceptional services.
Entrepreneurs have recognized the various challenges that can appear and how outsourcing can help significantly to save time and money.
Bearing all these factors in mind and the rising need to satisfy investors, more and more entrepreneurs are tapping into the power of outsourcing to thrive and to prosper.
Services Entrepreneurs Can Outsource
A modern business requires a variety of services in addition to its area of excellence in order to thrive.
This implies that if a business were to depend on internal sources for all its needs, it would call for professionals in diverse fields to do the job and then stay without any work until the next project arrives.
In order to avoid such waste of time, skills and money, it is almost essential to outsource.
Outsourcing ensures that experts in different fields perform the tasks to utmost ability on time and receive compensation upon completion.
In this manner, one does not need to be an expert in everything but just the decision-maker.
Professionals available to provide their services are in numerous fields.
Some of the most popular service areas in which entrepreneurs can outsource are:
• Web design
• Copywriting
• Telemarketing
• Lead Generation
• Ezine content
• Web Content
• Reports
• Articles
• Software applications
• Graphic design
• Videos
• Audios
• Reciprocal Linking
• Press release and article submission
Benefits of Outsourcing For Australian Entrepreneurs
Australian entrepreneurs have grasped that outsourcing is the key to a flourishing business in the contemporary world. Outsourcing provides several benefits to entrepreneurs:
• Entrepreneurs can save time as professionals provide specialized and customized services to them who, in turn, provide feedback in the form of required changes or approval of the work.
• The time conserved can be focused on other high-profile business operations that involve elaborate thinking and decision-making.
• Entrepreneurs can significantly lower their costs by outsourcing as there is no obligation for around-the-year compensation. Also, the undervalued currency of the developing nations compels professionals from these countries to provide their services at rates that are considerably low in the developed world.
• Outsourcing enables entrepreneurs to develop strategies that will provide them an edge over their competitors in the modern global market.
Websites Offering Outsourcing
The advent of the Internet has led to certain revolutionary changes in the way business is performed. The Internet drives today’s commercial market; entrepreneurs need to rely on the Internet to employ people, attract investors, engage customers, sell products and presently, to outsource as well.
Many websites serve as a liaison between entrepreneurs and service providers; these websites help entrepreneur’s list projects that need help and consequently choose among qualified professionals.
Some of the websites offering similar services are:
• This website provides entrepreneurs with a pool of thousands of software coders who can be reviewed and selected for specific software-related projects like program creation.
• asks entrepreneurs to post projects and then select professionals from a list of bidders who believe that their skills match the project specifications. In this manner, the entrepreneur has the flexibility of choosing the right person with the right qualifications at the right price.
• primarily connects businesses to programmers; however, they also list other projects related to writing, web design, graphic design, search engine optimization and so on.
• This website provides cover designs to entrepreneurs for their varied products.
• designs exceptional banners for entrepreneurs to advertise their products and services.
• This website specializes in designing websites for entrepreneurs according to their demands and requirements.
How Outsourcing Can Make Your Business More Attractive to Potential Capital Investors
1. Outsourcing can help to provide a much more professional image to a business.
2. Outsourcing helps to leverage on the talents and abilities of others.
3. Outsourcing can help to create a team of experts – willing to help under a specified timeline at costs significantly lower than a full-time employee.
4. Outsourcing can help to outsmart, outmaneuver and outsell the prevailing competition.
5. Outsourcing can give a business an extreme makeover.
6. Investors look for a business that has a solid foundation, a fantastic product or service and a strong marketing follow-up plan Outsourcing can help to achieve all three of these elements.
7. Outsourcing allows you to leverage expert skills and can blow your competition out of the water – virtually overnight.
8. To ensure remarkable progress and success in the fiercely competitive global market, outsourcing is definitely the way to go.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Code Outsourcing Rising Despite High Vendor Turnover


A new report from outsourcing advisors Amritt Ventures has found heavy outsourcing vendor turnover over the past year, with some 27 percent of developers saying they've fired three or more vendors. Gamasutra talked with Amritt's Gunjan Bagla to learn more and see what steps could be taken to better ease future outsourcing transitions.

54 percent of the developers surveyed by Amritt said they expected outsourcing ventures to rise in the future, compared with 37 percent holding steady and only nine percent saying they expected to do less.

But the turnover results have been less than promising with the majority having gone through and fired at least one vendor, compared with 31 percent who have continued using the same.

According to the survey, it's not just art that's typically outsourced, with an increasing number turning to overseas developers for programming (22 percent) and testing (26 percent).

Bagla admits that, especially with the increasing complexity of next-gen games, outsourcing programming is a higher risk proposition, but adds, "if you think back to just three years ago, many studios would not have considered outsourcing art at that time either."

To minimize the risk, Bagla says a number of initiatives have to take place, including "excellent cross cultural communication skills, training in how to work across 8-12 time zones, tight definition of requirements," and "an extremely robust feedback loop where people on both sides can start to build trust each other."

Surprisingly, the most common issues developers complained about were not late delivery and high cost, which fell at the bottom of the list, but poor quality at 27 percent and too many programming and art iterations at 14 percent.

A "significant number," notes Amritt, cited the time zone differences as problematic. Bagla says that while some vendors have shifted or staggered their own schedules to better match their overseas partners, it's becoming increasingly common, and helpful for both sides to share some of the burden.

"In a creative industry like ours, you do want to create the sense of a virtual team," he said. "Spreading the pain of waking up early or sleeping late is one way to encourage a co-equal feeling. Rank-and-file vendor staff who can start to affiliate and identify with their stateside colleagues often experience a rise in productivity."

"Of course," he jokingly adds, "many professionals in the North American game industry prefer to work unusual hours anyway; for them a team in China or India is perfect."

Another ten percent of those surveyed said cultural differences also hindered the outsourcing process. "The obvious issues are around language, use of terms and the different socio-economic milieu that surrounds workers in Asia and Eastern Europe," explained Bagla. "What is more subtle and harder to address has to do with the indirect way in which Asians communicate. Their efforts at politeness and deference sometimes appear as inconsistent and even deceptive to an American."

Despite Amritt's training workshops that address just this matter and help foster a sense of being open and direct in dealing with developers, Bagla says "it is hard for them to understand that may get rewarded for challenging the client."

In the end, Bagla says, better matches make all the difference, though it may take time to find that match. "There are vendors who may do an excellent job of satisfying one client but may fail in another situation," he explains. "One has to match vendor capabilities for a particular project with requirements on that project; this means not only technologies and platforms but also time frames and experience levels."

"Sometimes clients who are disorganized share the responsibility for a failed relationship," he concludes. "All parties are learning and some are better learners than others."

A preview to security risks in offshoring

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Offshoring can often help companies realize substantial cost savings by sending certain functions overseas, where labor costs are a fraction of those in the United States. However, there is more to consider than just the lower labor costs of employees in India verses their domestic counterparts. In this day and age of heightened security sensitivity, its important to make sure that in addition to going after cheap labor, you are not buying yourself a slew of security exposures as well.The decision on whether or not to outsource should not rest solely with the CFO. The chief security and compliance officers should also be involved because of the many security and regulatoryrelated issues involved with offshore outsourcing.

Data risk exposures

There are two major issues to consider when addressing offshore security and data risk. The first is granting offshore engineers access to computer systems located within your companys network. Are you monitoring the activities of the overseas engineers. If the work thats being sent offshore is projectbased, are you ensuring that access is removed when the project is completed. Do you have security professionals monitoring the activities of the offshore engineers. While all of these activities are critical, they add both complexity and cost to IT offshoring projects.

It is also important to review what type of work is safe to send offshore. For instance, outsourcing production support overseas entails a high degree of risk. Engineers providing production support generally need to have highly privileged access in order to provide said support. Such access also simplifies illegal activities such as data theft and industrial espionage. Give a clever engineer enough access, and he or she can not only steal data from you, but they can also thwart any monitoring software designed to detect such activities.

You should consider projects that dont entail sending sensitive customer information offshore, or granting remote access to your internal network. Software development doesnt require providing sensitive customer data offshore. The development work can be performed offshore, then the code can be securely transmitted to your company. You may consider creating a special offshore/development segment of your network allowing your offshore engineers to work, while not providing access to the rest of your internal systems.

Think about the type of information that youre sending overseas. Will it include sensitive information such as medical records, or tax returns. While privacy laws for electronic data are relatively new here, they are almost nonexistent in many foreign countries. Even where there are legal prohibitions to data theft, the actual number of prosecutions are minimal. Simply put, there just isnt too much risk in committing data theft in many overseas countries, particularly if the victims are foreigners, in this context, that would be you and me.

Background checks

Much of the newhire vetting thats commonplace with background checks performed here in the United States just cant be done in many foreign countries. For example, India just doesnt have the capabilities to perform what would be considered a thorough background check by American standards. In addition, drug testing is generally not done as part of a background check in India. The exception is checks done when applying for an Indian passport. So your company can actually benefit from government background checks by contractually mandating that all employees handling your companys data have an Indian passport.

Can offshoring really save you money. The obvious answer is yes. However, it needs to be done responsibly. Think long and hard before giving engineers located half way around the world access to your companys internal network. Conversely, consider the risks involved in sending sensitive customer information offshore as well.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Are you ready to outsource, a reality check

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Outsourcing some or all of your companys IT functions can jumpstart your business, push it to the next level or just get your systems under control. But for outsourcing to work, youll have to manage it carefully. Read the eight signs below before taking the plunge.

You havent done duediligence on potential vendors.

Thats what got Erin Hurry, founder of Girls with Goals, into trouble. She worked with a series of outsourcers to develop her companys Web site. I took peoples word. The first company we worked with said they had worked for Ford Motor and Bacardi, but I never called those companies to ask how it worked out, she says. And it turned out that company had been sued by previous clients.

Hurry cautions that you should ask about whether the vendor you contract with will be outsourcing the work to another party and if so, you want the details on that third party. That includes background checks on the employees who will actually be doing the work for you, and what the companys turnover rate is, especially in a market like India where jobjumping is the norm.

They have a huge application developer turnover rate in India, so one person starts the code, then goes missing, and then someone else starts again and the whole project is mess, Hurry says. Then they want to come back at you to get more money. You have to be very careful, and ask questions. Do your research and have a contingency plan.

MyWeather president Kevin Baird has seen a bad outsourcing choice affect one of the partner companies he deals with, because it chose an outsourcing provider without having a good understanding of how that provider was investing in its own resources. Their business, their ability to grow and deploy new elements inside their business, has been significantly hampered by a partner who simply doesnt have the bandwidth to provide them with the people and resources they need, regardless of how much money they would spend, he says. That has cost them time to market. Now theyre going away from that partner, and it will cost additional incremental funds, because theyve got to move everything.

Fastgrowing companies dont necessarily know what their future needs will be, so they need to feel confident that the service provider will always be a step ahead.

You dont have any plans for managing the relationship on an ongoing basis.

Many IT service providers, especially the larger ones, whose business models justify a years worth of a teams work courting a US Dollar100 million deal have yet to figure out the best sales and selling models to make much smaller deals profitable. With a very high cost of sales to the small and midsize business market, one solution some have is to keep account management overhead low.

For a small company, that means that your account management team, issue escalation personnel and the guy managing your project likely will be the same person. It will be difficult to manage the outsourcing engagement and control the outsourcing engagement, says Ross Tisnovsky, VicePresident of information technology outsourcing research at Everest Research Institute. But necessary. Relationship management becomes your problem, meaning you have to manage them.

So, whether its a team, a person or half a person, someone has to take responsibility for the engagement on your end which, by the way, was a lesson learned by big companies when they first got into outsourcing a decade or more ago. Learn from the mistakes of the [big guys], when they first started doing these deals, and after they did the transaction everyone just went back to their day jobs, says Frank Casale, CEO of the Outsourcing Institute. And without oversight and governance, the result often was failure.

At MyWeather, that person charged with daytoday relationship management is its VP of technology development. You have to have someone who can manage that part of your business, and depending on how big you are, that person also might be doing other things, says Baird.

You dont have your own house in order.

IT is broken at your company and youre hoping an outsourcer will come on board and make everything all better. Wrong. Now youll just get to pay someone else to run your flawed or illdefined processes and inefficient systems You want to avoid what we call the Your mess for less scenario, where your IT dept is in a total sense of chaos and you just hand it off and expect them to fix it, says Casale. Those scenarios dont play out well.

Same thing with business processes. Very few companies actually understand what they do. They cant define it or lock it down, says Vic Berger, manager of business development at CDW, seller of computing products. To understand processes before you outsource them, give individuals a legal pad and have them write down everything they do each day for a week. It starts giving you a better picture of where work flow is going, says Berger, and what applications you may not even have accounted for that are pretty well used. Then you can better see what has a potential for outsourcing.

You cant compromise on customisation.

For very small infrastructurerelated projects, suppliers generally cannot provide any kind of customisation, Tisnovsky says. Forget about running email your way youll have to follow the suppliers route to running Microsoft Exchange. They provide highly standardised managed services its the only way they can do it for scale, he says. You have to be willing to change your processes and the way your end users work. You will use absolutely standard email and scheduling.

You cant wait literally to get to market.

Startups that need to get their applications developed so they can get to market fast may benefit from an outsourcing or offshoring relationship, but theyll have to choose carefully. Working with a company that is CMM 5 [a processimprovement methodology], and has wonderful procedures, will become virtually impossible, because CMM 5 requires significant overhead, documentation overhead, spec changes everything is a process under CMM. If your concern is time to market, you dont want that, says Tisnovsky.

Instead, if youre going to outsource or offshore, you need to partner with a company that will give you direct collaboration with the developers over process maturity. That kind of relationship is more likely to be available from a much smaller Tier 2 offshore provider thats hungrier for the business, he says.

Your organisational culture is more about confrontation than collaboration.

Even the smoothest outsourcing relationship is going to have a problem now and then. Some companies always will take the view that its the vendors fault, and either they fix things or theyre gone, rather than work together to figure out how both sides can address the issue.

Companies that take the former approach may be better off not outsourcing at all, because theres no cheap and easy end to the relationship. Outsourcing costs time and money and commitment to get involved in, so its expensive and painful to get out of, Casale says.

You wont be ready to move forward aggressively on your plans.

You cant just plan for outsourcing youve got to be ready to move forward fast, with an aggressive time line that lets your company realize its stated intentions and keeps them from moving to the backburner. The hangtime creates morale issues, says Casale. Cost and risk goes up and your A players are the first to leave if theres uncertainty.

Your expectations about cost savings are unrealistic.

Of course, outsourcing is about saving money, but not necessarily right away. For one thing, suppliers may not be able to price their services as aggressively for smaller contracts as they do for bigger deals. For another, the process of delivering IT and recovering its costs is somewhat informal in some organisations, including large companies, Forrester Research principal analyst Bill Martorelli says. When organisations dont know what their true IT cost base is to start with, they can be in for a shock when a price tag is attached to those services.
Its not wrong to make cost savings a prime consideration 90 percent of the outsourcing deals still being made are about just that, says Casale. But, he says, if your focus and objective of outsourcing are limited to shortterm tactical benefits like expense reductions, so, too, will your benefits be limited to shortterm and tactical. If youre willing to have a grand revision and think of the upside, both longterm and strategic, then you have a wonderful opportunity.
Translation: Conversations with your outsourcer should be about issues such as increasing response time for clients, which boosts your business, rather than about how to save 20 percent on overhead costs.

For Baird, its all about understanding the costs up and down the line, rather than taking a narrow view. You never will convince any business person worth his salt that cost savings shouldnt be up there, he says. But, competitively, the ability to win is determined by your ability to stay ahead. I think its impossible to stay ahead unless you can afford to have multiple experts and expertise in all the areas that a partner has experts in.

If you dont see your organisation as grappling with these issues or if you believe you can put in place the mindset, plans and policies to change perceptions and expectations, and remove roadblocks then welcome to the wonderful world of outsourcing.

Worldwide economic growth boosts global foreign investment


Worldwide economic growth has seen foreign investments in other countries swell by more than a third in 2006 compared with 2005 - the largest since record levels were set in 2000, according to the latest investment trends report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) published in Geneva.

Global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was up 38 percent on 2005 to $1.3 trillion, showed the report released Tuesday. Healthy growth in FDI was seen across the board in developed, developing and the transition economies of southeast Europe and the former Soviet republics of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). South America and South Africa were two exceptions.

Africa saw FDI double between 2004 and 2006 to a record $36 billion. Africa's share of global FDI, which is relatively small compared with parts of Asia and Latin America, had nonetheless fallen from 3.1 percent in 2005 to 2.7 percent in 2006. Most foreign investment was in oil, gas and mining.

The value of FDI worldwide reached $12 trillion, funding the activities of 78,000 transnational corporations owning some 780,000 foreign affiliates.
The US regained its position as the main host economy for FDI, slipping ahead of Britain once more.

The largest inflows to developing countries were to China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Among transition economies the largest inflows were to the Russian Federation.
The US was the main source of FDI but almost half the world's outflows originated in European Union countries, led by France followed by Spain and Britain.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

China vs. India – The Battle of the Outsourcers

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Outsourcing is going great guns, and how! According to a study by Forrester, over the next 15 years, 3.3 million American services industry jobs and $136 billion in wages will be headed for outsourcing countries. The flurry of activity and dynamic equations in the world of call centers and BPOs mean flux every second, and the result – a fierce number game among all the rival countries involved in outsourcing. It is therefore only natural that a hot topic of debate in the outsourcing industry today is who deserves the mantle of top outsourcing destination – India or China. These Asian countries have been leading the outsourcing pack so far and are home to some of the biggest overseas operations of American companies. Of the two, India is No. 1 right now but the excitement over whether China will catch up is quite palpable. So what are the things rooting for each of these strong outsourcers and who will have the final word?


The land of the expat engineers and doctors suddenly faced a turnaround with some of its elite NRI professionals channelizing work and dollars the Indian way. Outsourcing arrived in India, and did so with a bang. A large labor pool, and that too of highly educated, English speaking professionals, is what began it all for India. And today a combination of factors like improved infrastructure, technical prowess and widened bandwidth to pick up projects has made India the soundest, if not the best, outsourcing destination. The maturity of the outsourcing market in India, the assured experience of Indian vendors and the political and economic stability in the country make it a top choice among clients.
The service oriented projects have generally been India’s niche, but with more concentrated experience, India is moving up the hierarchy. However, the service maturity of the industry, market saturation and even the booming Indian economy are triggering increased wages and restructured pricing. Will this blunt India’s competitiveness? Not likely, according to studies that point out that India is still the best available bargain the outsourcing industry. In fact, the trend is more towards the possibility of India taking on the more complex outsourcing tasks while back-office jobs move to the more raw players.

From basic Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and call center services, India has moved on to specialized services. Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), Engineering Process Outsourcing (EPO), Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO), Research Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Education Process Outsourcing (EPO) are just a few of the new ramifications of outsourcing in India, signaling how much outsourcing is still bound to grow in the coming years.


India’s closest contender, China has the attitude and the processes in place to exploit the outsourcing markets. A vast labor pool and consequently cheap labor form the foundation of China’s outsourcing goals. An entry-level programmer in China draws 30% to 50% less than one in Chicago. Add to this other favorable trends like the liberalization of government regulations, the presence of a growing middle class, large-scale investments in technical education and a vibrant economy, and China’s prospects look very promising.

So what’s holding the country back? China needs to build up capabilities in terms of the efficiency of its work force, articulation skills in English (a major dampener in China’s flight) and do away with a lot of the red tape surrounding its stringent government regulations. But these limitations are being recognized – the Chinese government is slowly working towards rectifying them, striving to bring in investors and widen its revenue from the IT sector, in the process promoting a transformation that it has dubbed the 'changing face of China.

To tackle mounting competition from other outsourcing vendors like Philippines or Ukraine, China is leveraging itself as a cheaper alternative and also appealing to clients eager to explore the huge local market. China’s proximity to fertile markets such as Japan and South Korea, where there is an advantage of both geography and language, is also a factor running in its favor.

China is also gradually moving beyond merely being a traditional hub of manufacturing to wider pastures. According to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, China scores over India when it comes to innovation. China’s investment in R&D investment is 1.5% of its gross domestic product, twice that of India. Companies such as Motorola, P&G, IBM and many others have identified this facet and are expanding R&D operations in China. And ironically enough, many Indian firms are also setting up operations in China, recognizing the prospects that the country holds in outsourcing. Indian investment in China is nearly $ 50 million, with around 18 Indian companies operating in China. And expansion of operations and work force are on the cards for these companies.
So what is the final verdict? Who wins – India or China? The answer seems to be… Both! China still has a long way to go – gaining expertise in handling projects, improving infrastructure and work force proficiency, and achieving economies of scale – before it can get into the same league as India in the global outsourcing market. But once it irons out these issues, China can be a formidable player in the outsourcing arena. India, on the other hand, is heading for upgradation of services and is moving away from offering basic services. It will attract a specialized, niche market, and will gain an exclusive advantage in this area. The future is indeed rosy for both countries!

BPO contracts grow strong

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Outsourcing will remain strong in 2008, with HR outsourcing contracts worth US Dollar1.1 billion and finance and accounting outsourcing FAO contracts worth US Dollar 600 million coming up for renewal, according to offshoring advisory firm Everest Research Institute. In its study 2008 Market Predictions, the firm said that demand for FAO services will continue to be strong in the next 12 to 18 months, as large buyers in the exploratory phase begin to initiate actual engagements. On the supplier side, battle for market share will intensify. While companies like Accenture, Genpact and IBM hold over 65 percent share, companies like Xansa, WNS, HP, Infosys and Wipro are fast emerging as notable contenders, the Everest study said.

The firm also expects greater location diversification among suppliers, and a shift in the nature of contracts. Transactionbased FAO engagements will evolve to judgmentintensive processes such as regulatory reporting, compliance and analysis, it said.

In 2008, captive units, niche BPO players and technology providers would be prime acquisition targets. Some captives, particularly in the financial services space, would see change in ownership and become thirdparty suppliers, the offshoring advisory firm has predicted.

According to apex software and services association, Nasscom, finance and accounting F and A accounts for about 40 to 45 percent of Indian BPO revenues. HR administration services, including payroll and benefits administration, travel and expense processing, talent acquisition and talent management services, account for about 2 percent of revenues.

Says HCL BPO chief executive officer N Ranjit, As of now, the market is focussed on finance and accounting outsourcing. There is not much traction in HRO. Customers have to feel confident before they outsource their HR services. We are beginning to see some shift and are in talks with a few clients for HRO. Next year is likely to see some action on that front.

Everest says that in the HRO market, two discrete segments will emerge with different target markets and buyer characteristics. Large global companies will outsource multiprocess, transformational HRO services and constitute a smaller chunk of deals in the space. For suppliers new to the HRO market dominated by the likes of IBM and Accenture, the opportunity would lie in catering to companies looking for pure cost savings, it has pointed out.

Among Indian players, IT BPO firms will have an edge in the HRO market, against pureplay BPO players, says offshoring advisory firm Tholons CEO Avinash Vashistha.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Offshoring impact in Canada


The Information and Communication Technologies Council ICTC announced today the release of two new reports that explore the evolving role of IT outsourcing and offshoring and the impact on Canadian business, human resources and competition. The reports offer important information and guidance to the ICT industry, a key driver of innovation and competition in Canada accounting for over 600,000 jobs and more than 5.9 percent of the GDP.

The import and export of ICT products and services have a significant impact on the demand for ICT workers in Canada. Key findings from the reports, titled Canadian Perspectives on ICT Outsourcing and Offshoring" and Canadian Information Systems Outsourcing ,Network and Desktop Outsourcing Services, include

1. Canadian buyers have become more comfortable with the notion of offshore services, more educated on offshore services and more firms have adopted offshore services.
2. Canadian buyers only require an average cost savings of 33 percent to source a service from offshore.
3. Current levels of outsourcing IT business services show that almost 50 percent of Canadian companies report outsourcing some aspect of IT or business process.
4. While traditional IT outsourcing is not diminishing in value, managed services are gaining traction and appeal to more than 50 percent of Canadian medium and large companies.

Outsourcing and offshoring are complex issues critical to the continued growth and competitiveness of our industry and workforce, says Paul Swinwood, President of ICTC. These reports offer insights and recommendations that will assist organizations in their strategic planning activities moving forward.

Most importantly, as key drivers of human resources in the ICT sector, both reports provide essential input into the much anticipated ICTC Outlook on Human Resources in the ICT Labour Market slated to be released in spring 2008. In the Outlook, ICT executives, educators and policy makers alike will find information on important trends and gain perspective on the future of the ICT labour force, including key industries and their human resource needs.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Business Process Outsourcing

For many people, a trip to the doctor’s office for a physical often ends in a doctor’s summary of, “your tests were pretty good, and you seem pretty healthy, but…” followed by a directive for a little more exercise, potential change in diet, or a potential condition to be aware of. Often this if followed by the caution that, while the patient might be in good health now, old habits need to be replaced by a new approach to keep the patient healthy and to ward off potential new ailments.

The pharmaceutical industry enters late 2007 attempting to address a highly competitive global market place, increased price pressure, pipeline development challenges, impending patent expirations, and enormous costs of new development as well as associated sales and marketing costs to bring products to market.

The Drive To Deliver Better Business Intelligence

Pharmaceutical companies have attempted to address these problems with key technologies including ERP for resource planning, product lifecycle management, as well as complex models to mine and model data, provide reporting and root cause analysis, alerting, and to deliver greater business intelligence (BI). The early to mid 2000s specifically have seen the rise of spending and deployment of business intelligence and analytics to address a host of issues from new product development, to metrics management, compliance reporting and comprehensive clinical trails.

Aligning Metrics To Actual Work Conditions

Maybe most tellingly, the reality for most pharmaceutical and life sciences companies is that the metrics and performance management initiatives they are tracking are often not actually related to how people work. How can you have a consistent metric definition for drug development when each product development cycle and related clinical tests are different?

How to avoid jobs ripe for outsourcing


Some jobs will stay an integral part of your company over the long haul; some are headed elsewhere. Here’s a rough guide to telling the difference

It's not enough to be a hot code jockey anymore. There are thousands in India and China -- not to mention U.S.-based outsourcers -- just waiting to take your job.

"Purely technical skills are the ones most likely to be outsourced," says Kate Kaiser, associate professor of Information Technology at Marquette University.

In a ground-breaking study published in 2006, Kaiser interviewed more than 100 CIOs and senior vice presidents, asking them what skills will stay in-house during the next few years and which are more likely to be outsourced.

The gist: Jobs that combined business-savvy with technical expertise will remain; purely technical positions are vulnerable.

That's not to say premium development expertise is unappreciated. Indeed, startups tend to set the technical skills bar very high. Without them, you won't get in the door. "I need someone strong in the fundamentals that come from a good school. I take that as a given," says David Smith, vice president of applied engineering at Firefly Energy.

Perhaps the best way to understand the skills you need to succeed in today's startup market is to think of a multistage rocket. The first stage -- hard skills such as a deep knowledge of programming and development languages -- get you off the ground. The second stage -- business, leadership, and communication skills -- sends you into orbit.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Goodyear Renews Procurement Outsourcing Contract With ICG Commerce

Three-Year Extension Follows Successful Relationship That Resulted in Achievement of Key Goals

ICG Commerce, the leading procurement outsourcing specialist, today announced that it has renewed its contract with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: GT), one of the world's leading tire manufacturers. The extension of this relationship is a result of ICG Commerce's ability to meet its commitments and deliver measurable value. Goodyear engaged ICG Commerce in 2005 as part of the company's focus on driving cost reductions, one of the seven key drivers in their corporate strategy to build momentum and maintain profitable growth through improvements in company performance.

"Extending our contract with ICG Commerce attests to the success of the relationship to date," said Ted Augustine, Goodyear's Director of Purchasing - North American Tire. "Over the past two and a half years, our joint team has delivered on aggressive targets that directly support company goals."

Under the three-year extension, ICG Commerce will continue to assist Goodyear with a full scope of procurement business process outsourcing (BPO) services: sourcing, category management and purchase-to-pay transaction processing for major indirect spend categories within the company's North American Tire business unit. The program will continue to support Goodyear's cost reduction goals by delivering realized savings and increased efficiencies while allowing the company to focus on core competencies.

"Goodyear's dedication to driving performance improvements and efficiencies is impressive," said Carl Guarino, CEO of ICG Commerce. "We are very pleased to be supporting these efforts and look forward to contributing to Goodyear's continued success."

This renewal, which follows recent contract expansions signed with Greif (NYSE: GEF) (NYSE: GEF.B), Cameron International Corporation (NYSE: CAM) and a leading technology company and new contracts signed with Chiquita Brands International (NYSE: CQB) and a global life science company, highlights ICG Commerce's ability to help leading companies drive measurable cost savings, improved visibility and greater control through its comprehensive procurement outsourcing solutions.

According to market expert IDC, the renewed contracts also demonstrate a maturation of the procurement services industry and solidify the concept of leading companies' preference for choosing specialist providers for procurement outsourcing engagements.

Suncorp signs Satyam for analytics

SUNCORP has brought in Satyam Computer Services to build customer analytics software for the bank, increasing the number of Indian technology firms it uses.

Suncorp corporate and customer systems general manager Paul Detheridge confirmed that the Queensland financial services company had been working with Satyam since July.

The bank has also worked with long-time Satyam rival Infosys, which recently handled a major desktop migration project for it.

Mr Detheridge said Satyam had been contracted to build customer analytics capability for the Suncorp group and that work was being carried out in Australia and offshore.

"We recognised the need to form a strategic partnership with an outside provider to deliver this project, as we need the flexibility to scale up in this area to meet business demand when required, and because we recognised that more experienced subject matter, experts were available externally," Mr Detheridge said.

"Satyam's contribution to the partnership is being delivered mainly through its onshore capabilities. This is about building new capability in the business. We are not outsourcing jobs."

Satyam is believed to be carrying out most of the work on the contract at its Brisbane software development centre, which opened earlier this year.

Satyam had previously said it had two foundation customers for the software development centre but the company's Australian manager had declined to reveal who those customers were.

The win for Satyam comes as India's software services heavyweights begin to build momentum in Australia following years of debate over the value of offshore outsourcing.

Outsourcing decisions that involve an offshoring component are increasingly hinging on the issue of skills rather than costs, as reflected by the Suncorp agreement and a recent AMP deal under which Infosys will upgrade the bank's Siebel customer relationship management system.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Offshore Software Development India

IT outsourcing in India today is a big boom. India is regarded as the most happening place in terms of Offshore Software Development.

It is interesting to note that companies in US rank India as their first choice for Outsourcing projects. This is mainly due to the technological quality, the effective cost control, and the flexibility which is required in the competitive IT market. And India provides all these qualities.

Another reason of India being the choice for outsourcing is the requirement of quality brain power, something which is found largely here. A worldwide survey was conducted and it clearly shows that almost all the software development teams have Indians in large numbers.

Offshore Software Development in India is flourishing because of its numerous advantages. It helps the leading Software companies realize that to maintain a stay ahead in the competitive IT sector, they need to reduce costs and provide the best quality of work. This requires the use of latest high-tech skills and the need of reliable and innovative people who can be entrusted with the job. Offshore assignments are of various levels – right from the data entry level to large and complex software development projects.

It is only in India that Outsourcing of Software Development has resulted in achieving the prestigious SEI-CMM Level 5 due to the large number of Software companies who have gone into outsourcing when compared to others across the globe. It is being predicted that India will soon have the highest number of ISO-9000 Software companies in the world.

Software Development in India is now, a major focus for the Government as well. A separate Ministry of Information Technology has been set up to expedite the implementation of more IT projects and to streamline the regulatory process. With the growth of Offshore Software Development in India, the results show success. A study conducted by Japanese Banks reports that Asia will be an excellent source of investment for outsourcing after Japan and

Telecom plans to offshore corporate hosting service


Telecom has approached providers in New Zealand, Australia and the United States to take over the hosting of corporate internet services, says source

According to an industry source, who did not wish to be named, Telecom has approached providers in New Zealand, Australia and the United States to take over the hosting of corporate internet services such as domains in March.

The outsourcing would be done as a fully-branded Telecom product, but the provider would handle the infrastructure and service provision, right down to end-user support.

In July, an unknown US company was selected by Telecom to provide corporate hosting services, based solely on it being the cheapest, the source says. Neither the New Zealand nor the Australian providers involved could compete on price with the Americans.

Telecom is neither confirming nor denying that it intends to move its corporate hosting services overseas.

Spokeswoman Lenska Papich says: “Telecom are always looking at initiatives and partnerships that will enable us to offer our customers better products and services.”

Asked if this meant Telecom intends to outsource its small- and medium-enterprise internet hosting services, Papich would only say that at this stage Telecom has nothing formal to say about any specific partnership agreements in the that space.

At the end of September, the National Business Review reported Telecom was shifting broadband service callcentre services to the Philippines and that 85 staff would lose their jobs at Auckland-based provider TeleTech. Telecom said both companies would try and redeploy staff internally where possible. 240 staff employed in-house by Telecom would be unaffected by the move, the company said.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

HCL Tech bags Hercules outsourcing deal

IT services company HCL Technologies on Thursday announced it has entered into a multi-year, multi-regional contract with Hercules Inc, which is a leading manufacturer and marketer of specialty chemicals.

The multi-million dollar order spans end-to-end IT infrastructure management across datacentre, network, IT security, desktop and help desk services.

HCL has already completed the first phase of transitioning certain IT operations and is currently managing the majority of Live operations of Hercules’ IT Infrastructure in the US. The transition of additional infrastructure support in Europe would be completed within the next month.

Following the transition, the collaborative co-sourcing arrangement is planned to comprise about 60 per cent offshore and 40 per cent on-site work distribution to ensure 24X7 availability of Hercules’ IT operations.

Commenting on the contract, Anne Schumann, Vice-President, Information Technology, Hercules, said, “We selected HCL on the basis of its experience with global customers, its partnership approach and the long-term flexibility of its engagement models. This partnership will enhance Hercules’ capabilities in global sourcing, enable reduction in costs and improve our agility and scalability as we grow, and enhance our position as a global leader in specialty chemical products.”

Joint push for outsourcing industry

The Malaysian outsourcing industry is good enough to compete against industry giants India and China; it just lacks proper branding and promotion, said the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC).

The industry needs a more focused promotions strategy if it wants to compete globally, said MDeC chief executive officer Datuk Badlisham Ghazali last week.

"It is MDeC's and Pikom's task to help showcase the capabilities of Malaysian IT companies," he said.

Badlisham, was speaking at a press conference after the signing of an agreement between MDeC and Pikom's (the Association of the Computer and Multimedia industry of Malaysia) Outsourcing Malaysia (OM) chapter.

MDeC is custodian of the MSC Malaysia initiative to showcase the country's strength as a global information and communications technology centre.

According to Badlisham, many countries are not familiar with the capabilities of Malaysian outsourcing companies. "We have companies here that design products and services for aircraft manufacturer Boeing, and produce games for Nintendo," he said.

But even with that, local and foreign businesses still hesitate to outsource to local companies because these companies cannot show a good track record, according to Badlisham.

Friday, October 05, 2007

IBM applies for patent to aid outsourcing jobs


IBM Corp., which has invested billions to expand its footprint and its employee count in countries such as India, has applied for a U.S. patent for technology that makes it easier to figure out which jobs to send overseas.

The patent application, titled "Outsourcing of Services," describes software that would automate the steps necessary to identify which tasks are best kept in house and which are ideal for outsourcing abroad.

In the application, IBM notes that while many U.S. companies are looking to take advantage of "cheaper resources," such as labor and materials, in other countries, there are risks.

"If used for the correct services and products and properly executed, outsourcing can make a business more efficient by reducing the overall end-to-end costs. On the other hand, if used for services that are excessively complex or that are executed improperly, outsourcing can result in increased overall end-to-end costs," IBM noted.

Although the idea is straightforward, figuring out which tasks should stay and which should go is difficult, IBM said. Hence the need for its technology, which provides an "objective" system for making outsourcing decisions.

IBM declined to comment about its patent application, which was recorded at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on July 12.

The application has generated a modest amount of buzz in the tech blogosphere in recent days.

A spokesman did note that there are 54 other U.S. patent applications pending that include the word "outsourcing" in the title.

This isn't IBM's first patent application that is designed to make it easier and more effective to export work outside the United States.

A patent application recorded in February describes a system for matching a "knowledge worker" with a job based on a variety of criteria, including experience, salary and geographic location. The application includes examples of cost comparisons involving workers in India.

India still rolling in the outsourcing money ...but spiralling costs need to be contained


India, the world’s leading software outsourcing destination, makes almost four-fifths of its annual R288bn revenue from software and back-office transactions from exports, with the US accounting for at least half of the sales of the top firms, like Satyam and Wipro, says Neels van Tonder, CEO of UCS Software Manufacturing (UCSSM), the specialised software outsourcer in the JSE Securities Exchange listed UCS Group Ltd stable.

"While the Indian outsourcing market remains exceptional," says Van Tonder, "the outsourcing industry is left with a preponderance of US dollar revenue - with local spending remaining denominated in rupees. One of the challenges India is facing is that white collar salaries are increasing rapidly - and they are paid in rupees. Costs are set to rise dramatically in the short to medium term."

Van Tonder adds that, due to the favourable exchange rate, in relation to the USA, Indian software firms are showing some very high net-profit margins at the moment. But spiralling costs need to be addressed.

Speaking in the press recently, Ed Cohen of Satyam Computer Services, India’s fourth-largest software exporter, said his company is looking at ways to "rebalance the business portfolio".

Satyam is Centurion-based UCSSM’s business partner in India and the Asia-Pacific region, with the duo currently working on a number of potential software outsourcing business deals.

For the industry overall, rebalancing India’s business portfolio will entail seeking additional business in Europe and Asia-Pacific. But Cohen believes the home market is also offering more opportunities.

As rapid economic growth accelerates (India’s GDP grew by 9,3% in the quarter to June this year), capacity shortages are created across the Indian economy. But the under-developed market for technology sales is starting to look more buoyant.

Tata Consultancy Services, India’s market leader, notched up a $140m deal in early September with state-controlled telecommunications company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam. Indian companies also believe that large outsourcing deals are also on the cards from Indian banks and railways.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A new solution for outsourcing

Outsourcing, once the somewhat simple process of moving the entire back office of a major company to India or China, is getting more sophisticated. Firms are beginning to divide their offshore operations across continents, using near-shore locations in Central and Eastern Europe as a bridge between Western Europe and Asia.

Multinational companies like Infosys and Accenture are increasingly relying on the “cultural affinity” — mostly, language skills — of employees in their Czech outsourcing centers to shrink the distance between their large clients, with their hodgepodge of European languages, and an army of low-cost, English-speaking workers in India.

“We’ve designed some solutions for splitting tasks between two locations,” said Ratnesh Mathur, head of European operations at Infosys BPO, a division of the major Indian outsourcing company that focuses on back-office work such as accounting. “We do have live instances of a single process being worked on simultaneously from Brno” — where Mathur is based — “and Bangalore.”
Mathur cautioned that this kind of cross-country outsourcing can actually add additional overhead, in the form of coordination and supervision, unless a seamless IT solution is developed and customized for the particular task at hand.

Having such a streamlined method is important, confirmed Andrew Grech, head of the Prague operations of Accenture, the multinational outsourcing giant.

At its Prague outsourcing center, Accenture digitizes 25,000 invoices and receipts every month for an unnamed customer, a financial institution. The scanned images are archived and then sent to India, where office workers enter the data manually into the bank’s computer system.
“We are able to perform work in the most efficient manner possible,” Grech said. “Scanning [data], for instance, does not need to be done in the location in which it is processed.”
While some critics have raised concerns about sending important financial data to countries outside the European Union, these privacy concerns are mostly unfounded, Mathur said, and do not hinder companies working jointly between the Czech Republic and India, with a few exceptions.