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CGI Group Inc. in collaboration with two of the largest insurers in the UK market, Norwich Union and Allianz Insurance, today announced the launch of an Account Reconciliation Centre (ARC), a flexible web-based tool that is set to make paper-based insurance account settlement a thing of the past.
Provided as a managed service hosted by CGI and accessed via imarket, the e-commerce portal, ARC has already proven itself during a six month business pilot involving Allianz Insurance, Norwich Union and a range of their brokers. Today, ARC is being made available to the wider broker community, facilitating a transition from manual, paper based processes to an efficient, fast flow of electronic information.
“ARC is an accounts settlement system that has been developed in consultation with the industry, for the industry – one that brings efficiency to the back office and tangible benefits to both sides involved in the business process: insurers and brokers,” said Tim Gregory, Vice-President, Insurance Sector, CGI.
ARC is being launched at a time when insurers and brokers are under an ever increasing pressure to reduce their operating costs. It is designed to transform the settlement of insurance accounts between insurers and brokers – a process that has, until now, been expensive and largely paper-based. By enabling automatic matching of all but the exceptional items, ARC brings savings in both time and effort, dramatically reducing the administrative burden associated with the traditional account settlement process and allowing brokers to view all outstanding debt in real time.
Donna Lovewell, Head of Collections, Norwich Union said: “Throughout ARC’s development and pilot programme stages, CGI has incorporated feedback from both insurers and brokers to ensure that the system does exactly what we need it to – make our work easier and more effective.”
Corporate reseller Computacenter is all smiles after securing a £19m managed service win with Marks & Spencer. The five-year contract, building on an existing outsourcing partnership between the pair, covers more than 4,000 head office staff across six sites.
Computacenter will deliver IT services across 7,000 servers and PCs throughout the retailer, as well as disposing of its electronic equipment.
ITC Infotech, a global IT services company, has successfully implemented a new-generation CRM based loyalty solution for Finnair, Finland`s largest airline. Finnair is the first airline in the world to move away from a legacy based frequent flyer program to an analytical CRM solution. This is the first of it’s kind CRM based loyalty solution in the world for airlines and Finnair launched this solution recently.
The new loyalty system for automating Finnair Plus, the loyalty program for Finnair customers, is expected to improve the effectiveness and usage of Finnair’s loyalty program. This implementation will also improve reporting, analysis and decision support for operations and management.
Mr. Tom Källström, Vice President, eBusiness Development, Commercial Division, Finnair said “We congratulate ITC Infotech on the successful deployment of the new Finnair loyalty application. The loyalty program has gone live and now we can be more innovative in offering new services to our most valued customers
He further added, “ITC Infotech’s excellent CRM capabilities, exemplary customer focus and flexibility makes them an ideal partner for us.
Commenting on the implementation, Mr. Sanjiv Puri, Managing Director, ITC Infotech said, “The successful delivery of the loyalty solution to Finnair demonstrates our capability to bring domain knowledge and technology expertise together to create a business friendly solution.”
ITC Infotech had signed a five-year multi-million dollar contract with Finnair in 2006. ITC Infotech is involved in implementing Finnair’s frequent flyer loyalty program, e-ticketing and other operational application systems.
Accenture will staff the centers with professionals with a wide range of backgrounds — including engineers, economists, analysts and statisticians — as well as experts in such industries as banking, utilities and travel and business disciplines including shared services and risk management. “The opening of the centers will give clients access to our full range of consulting services across a broad spectrum of business functions and industries to help them achieve high performance,” said Mark Foster, Accenture’s group chief executive–Management Consulting & Integrated Markets. “We are also very focused on innovative talent management and recruitment in India, and we are on track to meet our goal of having as many as 2,000 consultants in our centers across India by the end of our fiscal year next August. We look to India as a wonderful source of talent that we can tap into, providing our clients with access to the best and the brightest consulting professionals.” The rapid growth of emerging economies, closer economic integration across geographies and unparalleled advances in information and communications technologies are converging to create what Accenture calls a “multi-polar” world, and the company believes India will play an increasingly important role in this environment. Accenture has a strong presence in India, with management consultants serving domestic and international and working across each of the company’s five consulting service lines: Strategy; Customer Relationship Management; Supply Chain Management; Finance & Performance Management; and Human Performance. In the domestic Indian market, Accenture is recognized as an industry leader in many aspects of management consulting, including post-merger integration consulting. “We are very focused on growing our rich and diverse group of talented people whose skills and knowledge are in great demand by businesses domestically in India and abroad,” said Sanjay Jain, managing director of Management Consulting for Accenture in India. “India has a significant number of business school graduates and experienced professionals who can fill a major need for consultants with strong analytical, operational, industry and strategic skills. We are very eager to tap into this vast talent pool.” Jain said consultants in India are working on a wide variety of assignments, from customer analytics and media audits in the customer relationship management area to low-cost country sourcing strategy in supply chain management, to workforce optimization in the human performance area and shared services in finance and performance management. Management consultants in the current analytics center in Delhi will be integrated into the new Management Consulting Center of Excellence, where they will continue to provide Accenture’s local and global client base with access to such consulting skills as customer, marketing and data analytics; marketing automation and campaign management; and enterprise performance management. Harsh Manglik, Accenture’s country managing director for India, said India is a vital strategic market for Accenture, both for its unparalleled access to talent and the business opportunities that the Indian market presents. “We established ourselves as the first global consulting firm in India in 1987, and we believe the opportunities for continued growth are endless,” Manglik said. “The opening of our new management consulting centers will significantly enhance our consulting capabilities here to complement the capabilities we have in technology and outsourcing.”
Budget cutbacks have forced local councils to outsource large parts of their HR service. There are fears that transactional HR could suffer as a result.
Under the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007, the Treasury informed local governments that budgets would rise only incrementally, resulting in a real term -0.01% increase in 2010 is one of five two-tier local authorities to be chosen as 'pathfinders' - councils that must find new ways of working more closely with the district councils in their locality, in the hope savings can be made.
The outsourcing agenda will be "massive over the next few years" as local authorities try to cut costs. Changes being considered include merging county and district councils back offices.
The Resourcelink self-service product will provide Body Shop with HR, allowing staff to fill in time sheets and holiday or training request forms online - which are then managed entirely by Northgate HR.
The Body Shop first outsourced its head office payroll to Northgate HR in 2003. The company then extended the service to include retail units in 2005. The contract now lasts a further four years and provides additional online services for HQ-based staff.
North East Lincolnshire council has ditched a planned 12-year IT and business services outsourcing deal with Capita after the two parties failed to agree on costs.
The council selected Capita as its preferred bidder for the programme, which was estimated to be worth £175m, in September.
A deal would have seen the two parties set up a joint venture company with 350 staff seconded from the council to provide business transformation, improved customer services and regeneration.
But a council cabinet meeting voted to call an end to negotiations after the two parties failed to agree commercial terms.
The council is now drawing up alternative plans to improve its services.
North East Lincolnshire is not alone in pulling out of an outsourcing partnership on cost grounds. Earlier this year, Swansea council axed the planned second phase of an e-government contract with Capgemini, saying the proposals were too expensive. Swansea later agreed a shared services IT tie-up with Cardiff council.
IBM, Capita and Fujitsu will battle it out to secure an outsourcing contract to provide IT and other services to Sheffield City Council in a deal that will be worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
Sheffield is to outsource its IT, revenue and benefits, human resources, payroll, financial business transactions and business transformation services under its seven-year “Outstanding Sheffield” programme.
An evaluation panel has now recommended a shortlist of the three IT services giants in a report that will go to the council’s cabinet committee.
The council will also consider IBM and Capita, along with Mouchel Parkman Services, for a second package of outsourced services covering property and facilities management.
Sheffield is expected to finalise its decision on contractors to supply both packages by July next year. The council attracted 96 expressions of interest in the early stages of the tendering process.
Sheffield’s IT and communications, revenues and benefits, payroll and some financial transaction services are currently provided by Liberata, under a £30m contract that ends next year. The deal saw Sheffield and Liberata unveil a new integrated council tax and benefits system in February 2006.
The concept of “third party” testing during critical stages of a system integration or implementation minimizes the risk factors of system failure in the final stages of an application implementation project. The combined team provides in-depth knowledge in the areas of professionalism, testing and technical expertise, project management, and domain/industry experience. Both companies look forward to providing innovative, ground breaking testing and maintenance solutions for the Japan market. “As one of the leading IT Outsourcing providers based in China, hiSoft is recognized as a pioneer in Application Testing, with over 11 years of experience in this field, working with some of the largest global software companies in the world. We at Media Knowledge want to take advantage of this type of testing and maintenance expertise,” said Yamada Takanobu, President of Media Knowledge. “For most Japanese enterprises, the challenge is weighing the risk of finding lower cost providers while maintaining high quality. The partnership enables hiSoft and Media Knowledge to provide to the Japan market a lower cost structure without compromising high quality. hiSoft has been in the Japan market for over 11 years and understands the unique needs of the Japanese customer.” Li Jinsong, President of hiSoft Japan.