THE HOME OF THE GLOBAL SOURCING STANDARD
Companies who recruit, train and manage staff via the internet, has forced HR professionals to work with virtual teams of employees they never meet.
Global outsourcing firm TeleTech has ann¬ounced plans to recruit up to 700 staff to a newly established virtual customer services branch in the UK, where staff apply for the job online, work from home, and never need to meet their manager face to face.
This 'cyber office' attempts to open up the employment market to staff who are physically unable to travel, and those who need more flexible arrangements.
Once recruited, employees join intranet chat rooms to keep up to date with business news and become part of a virtual community. Online operational managers regularly phone or e-mail their staff during the day.
Other initiatives have included motor services company the AA migrating staff from physical offices to working purely from home.
Tech Mahindra, the largest independent India-based IT services provider dedicated exclusively to the telecommunications industry, announced the implementation of an Adjunct Rating solution at Zain (formerly MTC-Vodafone), in Kuwait. Using RateIntegration's PriceMaker Enterprise Pricing Server product, the solution has reduced time-to-market for new services, reduced operational costs, and improved the flexibility of the entire billing process for Zain in Kuwait. This is Tech Mahindra's second installation of the Adjunct Rating Solution after an award winning successful deployment at Zain in Jordan. s
Zain has a reputation for pioneering new services and is reinforcing its leadership position in Kuwait by adopting customer driven marketing strategies. As on December 31, the operation served 1.461 million active customers. With increasedcompetition and to increase its flexibility to launch new products, services and improve the overall operational effectiveness of its existing investments, Zain was looking for a convergent rating solution.
With over 18 years of experience developing solutions for the telecommunications industry, Tech Mahindra's world-class consultants developed a business case that would allow Zain - to leverage the significant investments it had already made in its underlying business and operations support systems (BSS/OSS) while ensuring a non-disruptive transition with zero system-outage. The solution was to implement an adjunct rating engine and product catalog rather than replacing the entire billingsystem.
Overcoming the system integration challenge with the help of Zain - IT and user groups from marketing, sales and finance, Tech Mahindra implemented the solution in record time ensuring the highest quality and customer satisfaction.
RateIntegration's PriceMaker Enterprise Rating Server is a rules-based pricing capability utilized by software applications via standard integration frameworks. PriceMaker performs a broad range of pre and post paid functions, including pricing, rating and discounting for voice and data services. Designed specifically work with in-house and third-party applications, PriceMaker allows companies achieve unparalleled time to market and preserve existing OSS/BSS investments.
The pre-set risk of credit control analysis is available almost real-time and allows ZAIN- to utilize granular pre-paid airtime buckets bundled with post-paid services in the future. The adjunct rating solution has thus become a production-proven, scaleable business component of Zain- that will be used to model and implement any future products and offerings.
"I always felt that given Zain's global scale of operations it was imperative that we look at a modular approach in creating our OSS and BSS stacks. As a first step ZAIN has decided to enhance its Rating capability by implementing the Price Maker rating tool from Rate Integration with Tech Mahindra as the systems integrator. This fully flexible and rules based rating engine provides great flexibility to our marketing teams in coming up with unique service and price offerings to the market in quick time." said Saleh Al-Houti IT Director.
A key corporate objective of this effort was to achieve faster time-to-market for products and lower our overall operational costs, Tech Mahindra is helping us make our overall service offering more competitive and enable us to create new offers and launch products fast." PriceMaker offered strong simplicity in use and the domain understanding that Tech Mahindra brought to the project made the whole implementation smooth.? said Mohamed Rafi, Zain Group CIO of Group.
"Tech Mahindra is proud to enable Zain meet the challenges of a competitive telecom marketplace by offering a unique solution that helps price next generation voice and products efficiently." said CP Gurnani, President International Operations, Tech Mahindra.
Under the terms of the contract, Accenture is providing services related to management reporting, financial planning and analysis, month-end close activities and budgeting/forecasting to BT’s operations, initially focused in the UK. The services are being delivered through Accenture’s Global Delivery Network using delivery centers in India. “Outsourcing higher-end finance functions allows us to provide enhanced business support internally, so that BT can better focus on bringing real value and innovation to customers," said Andrew Kemp, BT director of Reporting, Planning and Analysis. “Accenture’s knowledge of our business and proven ability to support complex finance and accounting processes around the world were the key factors in our decision to forge this agreement.” “As one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services, BT recognizes that high-performing businesses achieve improved business outcomes and cost efficiencies by leveraging outsourcing providers with deep industry skills and extensive process experience,” said Mike Salvino, managing director for Accenture’s finance, procurement and customer contact BPO services. “This engagement with BT illustrates the market demand for strategic, high-value finance and accounting outsourced services across a broad range of industries, including the telecommunications sector.” This contract complements three current BPO agreements between the two companies, which include a contract to provide a full range of finance processes to BT Global Services in the United States, Europe and Asia, and contracts to provide BT with a range of human resources and learning services on a global basis.
The profits of the HR division of software and outsourcing company Northgate have been boosted due to record number of new deals.
Six new contracts worth over £1m, including a shared services payroll deal, has led to profits reaching £35.5m, according to the company's annual report.
To add to this, Northgate also grew its profits through recent acquisitions. The company bought a controlling stake in international HR services group Arinso in May 2007.
Revenues for the year increased by 6% to351.7m, with post-tax profit up 18% to £25.1m.
Accenture is helping United Utilities, which manages and operates electricity distribution and wastewater networks in northwest England, improve its customer service performance through a nine-year business process outsourcing agreement.
Accenture is responsible for delivering all services across back-office functions related to income, debt recovery and billing operations.
“By using a series of initiatives based on our utilities industry successes in North America, Accenture is helping United Utilities improve its operations, with a specific focus on those related to customer service,” said Keith Mueller, managing director of Accenture Business Services for Utilities.
As part of its customer-service initiative, United Utilities has brought its call center operation back in-house, with operations concentrated in Whitehaven, Cumbria. The center had previously been outsourced to Vertex.
“I’m delighted to have teamed up with Accenture,” said Charlie Cornish, managing director at United Utilities. “We are serious about continually improving customer service, and our agreement with Accenture will not only help us deliver on this promise but will do so at a lower cost-to-serve. The journey will take a number of years, but we — and we hope our customers — have already begun to see the benefits in a number of areas, including improved call handling.”
Allianz Global Investors Kapitalanlagegesellschaft mbH and Xchanging, the international, pure play BPO company, have signed contracts to establish an enterprise partnership to provide retail investment account management services. Subject to competition clearance, Xchanging, through it’s Financial Markets business, will hold a 51 percent share in the Hof-based Fondsdepot Bank GmbH and will take over the operational control of this unit effective from 1 November 2007 at the latest.
The strategic goal of the partnership is to strengthen and grow the position of Fondsdepot Bank as the high-capacity, neutral provider in retail investment account management and to generate third-party business for the cost-effective platform. The partners will focus on expanding their business with independent financial consultants and broker pools and on exploiting the business potential arising from the growing trend towards the outsourcing of administrative processes.
The partnership will provide Allianz Global Investors with guaranteed cost savings through a multi-year service agreement with clearly defined service targets.
“With this partnership we are offering exciting future prospects for both Fondsdepot Bank and the operations in Hof. Moreover, we are leading the way for the consolidation of an essential part of the asset management value-added chain”, Dr. Thomas Wiesemann, CEO of Allianz Global Investors KAG, comments.
The partnership endorses Xchanging’s strategy as an international pure-play BPO company and brings a modern technology platform for retail investment account management services. Furthermore, it allows Xchanging to enter the European growth market of asset management and gives the outsourcing specialist the scale to provide new customers with attractive retail investment account management services to add to those offered in securities processing.
David Andrews, Xchanging CEO said, “we are delighted to partner with such a prestigious international organisation as Allianz Global Investors. This, together with our other partnerships signals our leadership in processing for the financial services industry.”
As a result of the partnership with Xchanging, Fondsdepot Bank will gain additional momentum in the areas of process optimisation and efficiency improvement. This will significantly increase Fondsdepot Bank’s productivity. The partners stress that operational stability during the transition phase is assured as the business will remain on the same secure platform. With continuity of both management and staff, the Fondsdepot Bank customers will see continued high levels of service standards.
The 8 year service agreement has an initial contract value of €400m. Supporting this, Xchanging, through it’s Financial Markets business, will acquire 51% of Fondsdepot Bank for a cash payment of €13m and has granted a put option to Allianz Global Investors for the remaining 49% for €13m exercisable after 4 years. At 31 December 2006 the net assets of Fondsdepot Bank were €26m and the gross assets were €38m. At completion there is expected to be in excess of €10m cash in the balance sheet. This is an important investment for Xchanging to extend its balanced onshore/offshore strategy with a high quality, near-shore facility in Hof. Fondsdepot Bank is regulated by the Bundesbank and BaFin, has a partial banking licence and employs more than 400 people.
Indecomm Global Services, a leading international business process outsourcing and services firm, has acquired Brainvisa Technologies Private Limited, a leading global eLearning solutions company. This is the second acquisition done by Indecomm Global Services this year after it recently acquired US Recordings, a US-based leading provider of mortgage recording solutions.
Welcoming Brainvisa to the Indecomm Group, Naresh Ponnapa, President and CEO of Indecomm Global Services, said “eLearning is the answer to the global resource crunch for skilled workers and will help the transformation of traditional business models into the e-Business paradigm. Leading companies worldwide are resorting to technology based training solutions to keep their workforce skilled, productive, innovative and competitive. We believe that having Brainvisa in our fold will be the perfect complement to our business goal of optimizing our clients’ business processes, improving productivity and powering their competitiveness in the knowledge economy.”
Commenting on this development Supam Maheshwari, Brainvisa's co-founder and CEO, said “In just over six years, Brainvisa has matured into an integrated end-to-end learning solutions provider. In Indecomm, we have an organization that understands the value that we can create for our customers through well-designed and delivered learning solutions. Indecomm’s innovative and forthright approach to business, its strong relationships with its clients, and its substantial resources will help Brainvisa consolidate its position as a global learning solutions provider. We expect to gain a lot from Indecomm’s global execution model, with its blended onsite, onshore and offshore delivery structure. This association will also will help Brainvisa embark on the next phase of its journey where we expect to see aggressive expansion, both organically and inorganically.”
Brainvisa is one of the largest global Learning solutions companies and helps businesses around the world to increase learning effectiveness by designing and delivering customized learning solutions aligned to specific business objectives. Brainvisa’s key competencies are its instructional design and end-to-end learning solutions. Brainvisa, one of the fastest growing learning solution company, currently has a 450-strong development team in two state-of-the-art development centers in India. Brainvisa offers end-to-end blended learning solutions which includes Consulting & Training Needs Analysis, Design and Development, Deployment and Maintenance in aviation, logistics, pharmaceutical, BFSI, telecom and technology verticals. It has presence in the United States, UK, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia. Brainvisa’s client roster includes leading Fortune 500 companies, who have benefited from Brainvisa’s solutions in achieving a competitive advantage through increased sales, improved productivity, reduced time to market, improved employee retention, and reduced training time.
Local government HR staff have been reassured about their jobs following a £46m deal which will target council back-office contracts.
Mouchel Parkman and HBS already work together on a £300m, 12-year strategic partnership in Oldham through the Unity Partnership. It also recently won preferred bidder status for a 10-year partnership with Somerset County Council.
The business process outsourcing market in the UK is currently worth more than £4bn, growing at nearly 10% per year.
Softtek, the largest private IT service provider in Latin America, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of I.T. UNITED, a leading China-based provider of software development and outsourcing services. This strategic deal will significantly boost Softtek’s capabilities to serve the global needs of its clients by leveraging I.T. UNITED’s existing capabilities and China market positioning.
With this acquisition, Softtek adds the eighth Global Delivery Center to its network of centers in Mexico, Brazil and Spain. Softtek has gained a strong reputation in the IT & BPO global sourcing industry through its trademarked Near Shore model, which pairs world-class execution with global proximity to fill the gap left by India-centric outsourcing models.
“Our clients are increasingly looking for ways to leverage a true global delivery model by which they can take advantage of a strong network of multi-sourcing alternatives,” said Beni Lopez, CEO of Softtek Near Shore Services. “I.T. UNITED has been the recipient of numerous recognitions in China and abroad, and by adding their capabilities, we are taking our value proposition one step further.”
Cyrill Eltschinger, founder and CEO of I.T. UNITED, will continue in his position. Eltschinger has worked in the IT services industry for nearly 20 years and in China for almost 15 years. Prior to I.T. UNITED, he spent eight years with Electronic Data Systems (EDS) on various assignments in Europe, the United States and the Asia-Pacific region. “As a result of this integration, our clients will gain a competitive advantage from Softtek’s global proximity edge,” said Eltschinger. “Softtek’s Near Shore model, serving to and from the Americas, Europe and now Asia, represents a very compelling solution of choice in terms of quality, scalability and cost competitiveness in a complete follow-the-sun model.”
“China not only represents a huge and strategic market for our clients, but also is a place that has the skills, quality and scale required by today’s dynamic outsourcing market,” said Blanca Treviño, president & CEO of Softtek.“With this acquisition we are uniquely positioned to bring value by combining the outstanding customer experience of our Near Shore model with a robust network of global resources. We call it Global Near Shore.”
An investigation into a security bug on a UK visas website has painted a damning picture of “organisational failures” by a government agency and its contractor.
The online UK visa application website for people in India, Russia and Nigeria was provided by VFS Global, a commercial partner of the joint Foreign Office and Home Office agency, UKVisas.
The report, conducted by independent investigator Linda Costelloe Baker slams UKVisas’ outsourcing of the online service to a firm that is not an IT specialist, the contractor’s performance and the failure to respond adequately when the security hole was first revealed.