• 19 Jul 2007 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    AstraZeneca has signed a seven-year £736m global IT outsourcing contract with IBM.

    According to Gary Harwood, client executive at IBM, the agreement is among the first of a new breed of outsourcing agreements based on desired outcome or "service effect".

    AstraZeneca will maintain control of its IT strategy but use joint governance boards so that IBM will determine how IT is delivered while AstraZeneca will have control over the broader IT infrastructure.

    Other areas of joint collaboration drawing staff from both companies will include innovation and managing cultural and behavioural change to ensure both companies work well together.

  • 13 Jul 2007 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    CMS Cameron McKenna has become the latest City firm to outsource a chunk of its IT work to India.

    The top 20 UK law firm has struck a five-year deal worth £10m with HCL Technologies, with the Indian IT outfit working alongside Camerons' internal IT capability.

    While the majority of the firm’s 70-strong IT team will transfer to HCL, around 22 employees will find themselves out of a job.

    Camerons is the latest City firm to broker a deal to outsource IT support, following the likes of Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Eversheds and Linklaters.

  • 2 Jul 2007 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    UK financial services companies are wasting money and damaging customer relations by offshoring call centres, according to a study by Compass Management Consulting.

    Rises in personnel costs of up to 15% per annum in countries such as India are reducing the price advantages of offshore call centres, according to the study.

  • 29 Jun 2007 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    Tech Mahindra Limited, a leading, global systems integrator and business transformation consulting firm focused on the telecom space, today formally announced creation of a Centre of Excellence for business service delivery including solution design in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

    The centre, which is being supported by Invest Northern Ireland, will provide end to end IT and BPO solutions to customers primarily in the European and US markets. The centre will have thecapability to provide multilingual support to Tech Mahindra customers on 24X7 basis. The addition of this centre will be an important milestone in Tech Mahindra's efforts to build a global delivery capability.

    Speaking on the occasion, Sanjay Kalra President Strategic Initiatives at Tech Mahindra: 'Global Telecom and Financial markets are a well developed ecosystem. Tech Mahindra as a leading Solutions provider to the Telecom industry has clients and partners worldwide. Our growth requires high class talent with the right attitude and a good work ethic. Belfast has this refreshing attitude and the spirit of innovation in abundance. Our Belfast centre will play a pivotal role in servicing and growing our client base in Europe and North America.'

    Hanif Lalani, Group Finance Director, BT Group. said "I am delighted that Tech Mahindra has decided to set up in Belfast. It is a coup for Northern Ireland that they took the decision to locate here as a result of the strong recommendation and experience of BT. Winning such a globally respected operation can only raise the perception of Northern Ireland as a good place in which to do business and act as a testimonial to Investment Northern Ireland's efforts"

    Leslie Morrison Chief Executive of Invest NI, said 'This is another landmark investment, the fourth by an Indian Technology company in Northern Ireland, and one which is a tremendous endorsement of Northern Ireland as world-class location for telecommunications companies? he further added ?This investment will bring to over 2,500 the number of people employed by Indian companies in Northern Ireland. Tech Mahindra is a welcome addition to Northern Ireland?s expandingcluster of global software-development companies that have found this region to be an excellent position from which to target the European and US markets. The company will benefit from a ready supply of local telecoms expertise and in turn will introduce new specialist skills that will further enhance the marketability of our workforce.'

  • 6 Jun 2007 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    Eversheds has revealed the cost of its IT outsourcing deal with Computacenter, with the UK giant shelling out £27m on back-office functions over the next three years.

    The top 10 UK firm will transfer 79 professional staff as part of the deal, which covers various core support functions including the helpdesk network, infrastructure teams and its IT training specialists.

    The departing staff are understood to come from offices across the firm’s national network, which includes a major call centre in Birmingham, and account for around 80% of its entire IT capability.

    The shake-up follows a review of Eversheds’ IT function by director Malcolm Simms, who joined the national firm in 2005 from Disney, and made Eversheds the first major UK law firm to outsource one of its core support divisions.

  • 4 Jun 2007 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    Retailers and business services firms are leading the growth in IT spending in the UK, as organisations step up their investment in online commerce and knowledge management systems.

    The latest Computer Weekly/Kew Associates research shows that retailing, wholesaling, hotels and catering firms increased their IT spending at a rate of 7.6%over the 12 months to the end of March, a rate higher than the rest of the economy.

  • 4 Jun 2007 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    Emerging cyber crime including ID thefts, data thefts, credit card manipulation and stealing confidential information from companies, have put IT companies and BPOs on high alert. The IT-ITES sector in India has initiated several radical moves that has brought in some amount of confidence back in the sector. Companies are also demanding that Nasscom, the apex body for the segment, create awareness in US and Europe countries on the various security measures taken by Indian companies.

    Says Ashwin Mittal, director, Cross-Tab Marketing Services Pvt. Ltd, an ITES company, “Data security is paramount in our business. We need to demonstrate strong systems for getting business, and can be exposed to litigation from clients if we do not protect their data. Nasscom can help by introducing a common platform of security standards throughout the industry and also by introducing a certification programme for companies' data security systems." Cross-Tab adopts strong data security measures at the personnel, process, infrastructure and technology levels. The company spends about 1% of its revenue annually on data security.

    According to Neeraj Kaushik, country head-India, Trend Micro, a security software provider, “Security is not something that you do once and do away with, but an ongoing process. Where Indian companies lack is in constantly being aware of the challenges and accordingly redeveloping their data security measures.” Industry players say that, the job of a typical BPO worker becomes very suffocating as there is no access to personal e-mail accounts and access to websites not necessary for work are also blocked. Workers are forbidden from socializing with non-employees during work hours. Also visitors are required to seek permission and are required to sign a document of non-disclosure.

  • 1 Jun 2007 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    It has its detractors, but in reality there is little evidence to suggest that the outsourcing market is doing anything other than booming. Research firm TPI has found that Europe and Asia-Pacific are both still experiencing strong outsourcing growth. Outsourcing activity in Europe for the first quarter of 2007 was up by two-thirds compared to 2006, with $9.7bn-worth of contracts signed, while Asia-Pacific experienced a 30 per cent rise to $2.1bn. Outsourcing is still, and will continue to be, a boom market. However the nature of the outsourcing deals is changing.

    In the past in the financial services sector, reducing overheads to maintain a competitive edge or simply staying afloat was the underlying force behind every outsourcing decision. In some respects outsourcing was seen as a way of passing on a problem that was too expensive and resource-draining for the company. Financial services organisations have been guilty in the past of viewing outsourcing primarily, if not solely, from an operational perspective.

    Nowadays, a more mature and wiser outsourcing market has emerged. Companies no longer see cost as the principle driver behind outsourcing deals - more and more companies are viewing outsourcing as a way to add value to their organisation as well as gaining additional domain and technology expertise. By employing a supplier with high-level industry knowledge to develop complex technology that transforms or re-engineers a key business process or function, the end user aims to change the operation so that both the performance improves and the cost decreases.

    Outsourcing the development of high-end technology, which will re-engineer the company’s key processes – transformational outsourcing - is a new and exciting development in the outsourcing marketplace. Analysts describe transformational outsourcing as “an emerging form of IT outsourcing that combines cost saving with the potential for enhanced IT flexibility”.

    One example of transformational outsourcing is within banks and financial services organisations, which outsource software aimed to improve or re-engineer their front line operations. By employing a supplier with the domain and technology expertise to deliver mission critical software, the banks accelerate process transformation and build software that is a vital part of their operations.

    When outsourcing is approached from a transformational perspective, the economic advantages are a beneficial result rather than an objective. The key aim is to accelerate and finance process transformation. This is geared around key business needs such as strengthening front line operations, accelerating speed to market, closing the skills and knowledge gaps and primary technology demands such as building a strong and flexible infrastructure. A recent IDG study on transformational outsourcing found that firms are increasingly using transformational outsourcing as a way to introduce strategic flexibility into their business models.

    The transformational model implies another level of the vendor / end-user relationship. It is more of a partnership in which an outsourcing provider can demonstrate flair in thought leadership, pro-activity, domain expertise and an ability to adapt and respond to the end user’s business requirements. This approach can be used in any sort of outsourcing practice, from high-end applications through to complex IT systems and business process outsourcing.

    With the rise of transformational outsourcing has come the realisation amongst end users that outsourcing isn’t a matter of simply handing over a problem to a supplier. The transformational model is different. As research firm TPI explains, transformational outsourcing is “the process of effecting continuous strategic change and tying the results of the outsourcing initiative to strategic business outcomes. It is a collaborative, risk- and gain-sharing relationship among the organisation and its service providers to drive enterprise transformation and achieve significant business process improvements.” By harnessing the outsourcing process, and working in tandem with the supplier towards the same goals, transformational outsourcing can have a strategic effect on achieving company goals.

    There are both huge benefits and potential pitfalls when outsourcing such development to a supplier. On the plus side, the promise of rapid, substantial, sustainable improvement in enterprise-level performance, as well as an improvement on the bottom line has tempted end users to consider transformational outsourcing.

    However, it is essential to follow best practice guidelines when considering a transformational outsourcing solution. As in any outsourcing deal, finding the right supplier is vital. The difference in transformational outsourcing being that the supplier must be trusted absolutely to know the end user’s business, the systems that are used and the operations and processes that are to be transformed. The domain-level expertise has to be one step above traditional outsourcing because of the fact that core processes are actually being transformed, rather than amended or simply being managed.

    One other issue that must be thought through within transformational outsourcing is the need for the end user as well as supplier to look at their relationship as a business model, that benefits both partners, and not just a deal. It is very important that the strategic purpose should be kept at the centre at all times.

    The advantages of transformational outsourcing come about as a result of intelligent outsourcing processes. When transformational outsourcing is put in place, monetary benefits are an inevitable outcome, but it is the improved value to the end user’s organisation and processes that is the most significant benefit to the end user.

    By Sergey Karas, Vice-President, Luxoft.

    For more information, please visit

  • 22 May 2007 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    Xchanging has announced a five-year £1.7 million annual contract renewal with SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems UK to provide HR services. This builds on a relationship which began in 2001.

    SELEX S&AS UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Finmeccanica Group after BAE Systems sold its stake in May 2005. SELEX S&AS chose to renew its agreement with Xchanging under new terms for three primary reasons: recognition from both companies that the partnership is working and continuously improving service delivery; Xchanging's demonstrated expertise in HR processes and delivery channels; and the transparency of its pricing structures. This made Xchanging the provider of choice.

    Under the new contract, SELEX S&AS will continue to receive tailored HR services, building on the already strong relationship with Xchanging. The agreement goes beyond the first contract with new services, new service standards and a new pricing structure. SELEX S&AS will also continue to benefit from the significant investment in HR processes offered by Xchanging.

    Darren Bartholomew, HR Manager for Shared Services at SELEX S&AS UK, said, "We have worked together in partnership now for six years and I am pleased to have extended our relationship with Xchanging, taking the provision of HR services to a new level of maturity. With this partnership we have the ability to deliver an even better level of service to a very demanding customer base in what is an incredibly fast-moving business."

    David Andrews, Chief Executive Officer at Xchanging, said, "SELEX S&AS' choice to renew its service agreement with Xchanging demonstrates our ability to tailor services and pricing structure to the customer's needs. We look forward to the next five years of delivering quality services and measured value."

    David Rich Jones, Executive Director responsible for Xchanging's Human Resources services, said, "We are delighted to build on our excellent working relationship with SELEX S&AS – allowing them to focus on their exciting challenges while Xchanging applies its expertise to accelerate the HR service to even higher levels."

  • 14 May 2007 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    Sun Microsystems India and Tech Mahindra today announced a strategic alliance to enable the rollout of cost-effective and efficient IPTV services to the Indian and Asia Pacific markets. As part of this alliance, Sun and Tech Mahindra along with AMD will jointly set up a next generation IPTV lab at the Tech Mahindra facility in Pune. Tech Mahindra is already engaged with various service providers to offer IPTV solutions in various geographies.

    Sun recently introduced the Sun Streaming System -- the industry's first massively scalable and cost-effective video delivery platform for cable and telecommunications operators, which helps operators increase subscriber revenue by offering new video-based services and personalized, unique video streams to each consumer.

    The IPTV lab at Tech Mahindra would feature solutions from an exclusive consortium of solution partners including, Digisoft, Envivio, Harmonic, I-Make, Verimatrix and Mototech, and Sun's own Streaming System. The State-of-the-art lab will showcase a pre-integrated End-to-end IPTV system for Tier1, tier2 and Tier3 service providers. Tech Mahindra would use this lab to showcase its IPTV domain expertise toits global customers. This lab will also allow potential customers, OEMs and ISVs to test the Sun Streaming System's capabilities, architect and validate an end-to-end solution.

    Speaking at thelaunch, Mr. K.P Unnikrishnan, Director, Strategic Alliances Sun Microsystems India said, “Through this alliance with Tech Mahindra, we are looking forward to showcasing an end-to-end IPTV solution based on carrier grade Sun systems featuring the revolutionary Sun Streaming System. This is Sun’s first such alliance in the country for IPTV services. We are extremely excited about this partnership and what it entails for us."

    “Tech Mahindra through its sustained investments in R&D, has developed IPTV capabilities across several areas that include consulting services, system integration capabilities, network technology areas in next generation elements, network and application performance optimization, interactive application development and BSS/OSS systems. Tech Mahindra is playing a significant role with a number of incumbent and emerging service providers and enterprises in the IPTV domain and Triple Play. Tech Mahindra has partnered with the industry best product vendors, like Sun, to offer an end-to-end IPTV system to service providers globally. “, said Mr. Shankar Allimatti, Vice President, Next Generation Technologies, Tech Mahindra.

    “To leverage the potential that India offers for IPTV, we are partnering with the industry’s best to provide the most cost effective, best-performing IPTV solutions to ourcustomers and thus further our IPTV strategy for this region. Tech Mahindra was a natural choice given their expertise and experience in telecom solutions and services as well as their intimate knowledge of the Indian market. This alliance will help bring the Sun Streaming System's market-changing economics to customers in the video services industry in India.” Mr Unnikrishnan further added.

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