Wipro inaugurates global delivery centre in Brazil

WIPRO facility in Hyderabad

Wipro Technologies, the global IT services business of Wipro Limited, today announced the inauguration of its new global delivery centre in Curitiba, Brazil.

The centre was inaugurated by the mayor of Curitiba, Beto Richa, and the Consul General of India in Brazil Jeitendra K. Tripathi.

Bangalore-headquartered Wipro has been operating in Brazil for four years now and the expansion in Curitiba is a part of the company’s strategy to diversify its footprint globally.

The Curitiba Centre would serve as the regional headquarters for other Wipro offices located in the region –

São Paulo (Brazil) and Buenos Aires (Argentina), a company statement said.

The centre would serve global and domestic clients.

Curitiba would extend Wipro’s expansive IT and BPO portfolio and would serve nearly 20 clients, the statement said.

The centre which started with 60 people currently employs around 350 people. Wipro plans on increasing this headcount based on further business demand.

After a rigorous assessment, Curitiba was chosen as a location for Wipro’s Latin America operation due to the available talent pool and the excellent infrastructure support that the city offers.

“The centre, which has received positive feedback from existing clients and new customers, will stay committed to delivering world class solutions and creating new job opportunities in the local community,” it was stated.

Microsoft free software for AU students, faculty

Andhra University (AU) signed a historic memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IT giant, Microsoft here on Friday. The MoU entitled ‘Dream Spark’ was signed by the general manager and country head, developer platform evangelism of Microsoft Mr Moorthy Up-paluri and registrar of Andhra University Prof P.V.G.D. Prasad Reddy in the presence of vice-chancellor Prof Beela Satyanarayana.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Moorthy said that he was delighted that Micro-soft had signed the memora-ndum with one of the oldest and biggest universities in the country. The agreement would brighten the prosp-ects of university students and those studying in affiliated colleges in the region.
Microsoft under the ‘Dream Spark’ initiative would provide free software to college students and upgrade the knowledge of teachers. A free key was also given to the university under which three lakh students can access their latest software. Asked by media whether the company had any plans to develop a centre here as the city was growing fast in the IT sector, following proposals by IBM to set up their unit here, Mr Moorthy said that there was no immediate plans thought the place was promising to them.
The vice-chancellor, Prof Beela Satyanarayana, said the university had signed MoUs with three important organisations – the RINL, the holding company of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, Brandix Apparel and now Microsoft. These agreements would give ample opportunities to talented and hardworking students, the vice-chancellor said.

Smaller tech firms start hiring

Techies rejoice, jobs are back. After the biggies, other tech companies are also starting to hire. Infosys, Wipro and TCS had reversed the trend during the December quarter when they added new employees in large numbers. Other players are now following.

On Friday, Mr John Chambers, CEO of Cisco said that the company’s plans to take up the total headcount in India to 10,000 were on track. Based on the current strength of Cisco in India, this would mean 4,000 new jobs.

Meanwhile, ITC Infotech, the technology arm of cigerette major ITC has said it plans to add 1,800 employees all over India by March next year. ITC Infotech is headquartered in Bengaluru but also has offices in Hyderabad and Kolkata. Cisco too, is based in Bengaluru. Infosys and Wipro added close to 4,500 employees each during the December quarter while TCS added over 7,000 employees. These firms have announced intention to hire another 50,000 in the coming year.

IT major Cognizant had added over 10,000 employees to its rolls in the same period. BPO firms too, have announced plans to resume hiring. Genpact is expected to hire 10,000 over the coming year. Nasscom expects the technology sector to add 100,000 new jobs in the coming year.

Most of the business for these companies is from outside India, and improvements in US and European economies has resulted in better growth prospects.

Five phases of IT attack

If you are in the business of IT security, you may perhaps know the answer to this elementary question: “What is the most common type of attack? a) Buffer overflow; b) Trojan horse; c) Operating system; d) Application.”

To the rest of us, the answer is d, the application attack, as Richard A. Deal writes in ‘CCNA Security’ (www.tatamcgrawhill.com). In this type of attack, the perpetrator tries to gain access to the application and the data the application has access to, the author explains. “Because modern applications tend to be complex, it can be easy for an attacker to find and exploit a weakness associated with an application.”

In a chapter on ‘endpoint security,’ the author describes the five possible phases of attack. Probe is the first. In this phase, the attacker uses ping and port scans to discover computers, the operating systems they are running, the applications they are running, and the possible vulnerabilities that the operating system and applications may have.

The second phase is ‘penetrate,’ during which the attacker uses email attachments, such as a virus or Trojan horse, buffer overflows and other methods ‘to take advantage of a vulnerability in order to gain initial access to a computer.’

Persist is the next stage. “The attacking or exploitation software will modify a computer’s existing configuration to become and remain resident on the computer – this is typically done by installing new code or programs or overwriting existing code or programs.”

The fourth phase is ‘propagate,’ wherein the attacking or exploitation software scans for other targets ‘attempting to exploit a vulnerability on other targets and gain access to them.’

Finally comes ‘paralyse,’ the phase in which the attacker crashes the computer, steals data, or deletes or modifies files or disk space on the computer.

Recommended addition to the IT professionals’ shelf.

IT sector to come under ESMA

Bill to amend ESMA to be introduced in the current Assembly session’

Tech platform:Minister for Information Technology Komatireddy Venkat Reddy at 18

HYDERABAD: The stage has been set to bring Information Technology and IT Enabled Services (ITES) sectors under the Essential Services Maintenance Act, Minister for Information Technology, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy said here on Friday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 18 {+t} {+h} annual awards and software products showcase Expo and annual conference of IT and ITES Industry Association of AP (ITsAP), he indicated that a Bill to amend ESMA would be introduced in the current Assembly session. The amendment was necessary to spare the IT industry from disruption to their mission critical applications during agitations, he said.

Reiterating the government’s commitment to create investment and business friendly environment in the State, he said exemption of IT units, particularly small and medium enterprises from power cuts would also be considered. A task force was already in place to provide security to the IT sector.

Andhra Pradesh was the first State to send Information Technology and Investment Region proposal in an area of 202 sq.km for development of infrastructure and generate a revenue of 3.10 lakh crore and 15 lakh direct and 53 lakh indirect employment by 2035, he said.

Mr. Reddy invited suggestions from industry captains for inclusion in the new five-year IT Policy to be ready by June. He made it clear that action would be initiated against companies who sought land for IT Special Economic Zones but used it for other purposes.

Mr. B.V. R. Mohan Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director, Infotech Enterprises, said it was a proud moment for founders of HYSEA, as from a small beginning, the IT industry was now worth Rs.32,000 crore. It was time IT industry re-positioned itself by promoting inclusive growth, giving incentives to small and medium enterprises, focusing on product innovation and taking the IT sector to tier two cities and semi-urban areas.

Mr. M. Narasimha Rao, ITsAP president, said with return of positive environment, IT industry was expecting 15 per cent growth next year.

He said the two-day event was aimed at giving a platform to State-based software product companies, including those from two-tier cities, to showcase their products. Over 110 nominations, the highest ever, were received for product showcase, he added.

Microsoft India unveils Windows Azure

Rajan Anandan, MD, Microsoft India gestures during the launch of Windows Azure in New Delhi

 Global software giant Microsoft on Monday unveiled a portfolio of services in India that will help companies share software and storage facilities, called cloud computing, that can bring down their total IT spend by as much as 50 per cent.

Windows Azure — the company’s latest offering in the area of cloud computing — is now available commercially in India, said Microsoft India group Director Vikas Arora. “Some 3,500 applications for Azure have been developed out of India alone,” Arora told IANS.

In cloud computing, companies share computer resources — such as servers, software and data storage —— through the Internet, instead of setting up such infrastructure at their own end.

This kind of computing has become a smart way of doing businesses and such offerings are estimated to have generated about $45 billion in revenues for service providers in 2008, and are projected to soar to $150 billion by 2013.

“We are today in India across all the three layers of cloud — infrastructure, platform or the set of services that are on offer,” Arora said, adding cost is one of the key benefits for a company that opts for such services.

Both individuals and companies are already using cloud computing with services such as webmail and sharing of software and other applications. The concept is evolving into a simple, pay-per-use way to get services on tap, just like electricity, for businesses.

The cloud is also a green way to do business. Organisations don’t need to set up server banks running lots of software — just pay for what you use. The provider services many users from one set of equipment, halving energy and equipment cost per user.

According to Microsoft, companies have reported anywhere between 16-49 per cent reduction in their total spend on information technology and related services over a three-year period after migrating to cloud computing.

The company has already launched several products and solutions in India in other layers of cloud computing as part of its overall strategy for enterprises, even as security of data by using such shared services continues to be a concern.

But Microsoft said it was aware of the issue and had strong data security protocol.

“Keeping the customers’ confidence would be the key to further cloud computing. We have actually gone threadbare on all the aspects of data security. We got all our facilities specifically audited to meet the security standards,” said Arora.

“A breach can happen anywhere in the pipeline. So, everybody involved needs to focus on best practices — for coding and securing applications.”

Rumor: Microsoft May Include HTML5 Support in Internet Explorer 9

Rumors are circulating that Microsoft could announce a beta of Internet Explorer 9 at the upcoming MIX 2010 conference. The new version is rumored to feature improved support for open Web standards. The MIX 2010 conference will include at least two presentations about new, open Web standards: One, on HTML5, is entitled “HTML5 Now: The Future of Web Markup Today.” Another session looks at the SVG vector graphics standard.

A shift toward open Web standards for Internet Explorer would signal a major change for Microsoft; the company has been criticized in the past for not fully supporting modern, open Web standards. Microsoft’s lack of Web standards support is a major factor in the rise of third-party browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Opera, which feature a more compliant browsing experience, and better support for developers.

Microsoft currently offers toolkits that allow developers to create Web applications that store data both locally and on the Web, possibly with the intention of stoking interest in developing Web applications that operate in conjunction with Microsoft’s own cloud computing platform.

From a Web developer standpoint, better Web standards support for browsers makes it easier to create Web sites that work on any current browser. From a user standpoint, this means that it’ll be easier for you to use an alternative browser without having to worry about sites not working properly. The old “This site requires Internet Explorer” messages could one day become a thing of the past.

Microsoft declined to comment on these rumors, so we’ll have to wait a few weeks to see if this report is true, and if the rumored changes are enough to reclaim ground from their more open competitors. Here’s hoping, for a more open, compliant Web.

‘Microsoft to launch social networking phone in U.S.’

Microsoft lost its smartphone market after the launch of Apple’s iPhone, Blackberry and numerous devices running Google’s Android

Software giant Microsoft is to launch its own mobile phones in the U.S. later this year as it aims to challenge the growing smartphone dominance of its main rivals Apple and Google, the technology blog Gizmodo reported Friday.

The phones will be made available in July exclusively on Verizon, the largest cellphone carrier in the U.S., and will be aimed at heavy users of social networks, said the report, which featured what it said were leaked images from the phones’ marketing campaign. The two phones are codenamed Pink and Pure, and will be manufactured for the software giant by Sharp, the report said.

The report came after Microsoft last month unveiled a new mobile operating system that was widely praised by technology pundits.

Microsoft used to enjoy a leading position in the smartphone arena but has seen its position severely eroded by Apple’s iPhone, by the Blackberry and by numerous devices running Google’s Android operating system.

Indian IT zooms, despite hiccups

Predictions are a difficult business. More so when you are charting a new territory. I remember a chilly December morning in 1999, when the National Association of Software and Service Companies and global consulting firm McKinsey made a forecast that India’s IT exports will reach $50 billion by 2008 and the domestic market will touch $37 billion. India’s IT exports were then a little short of $4 billion, and no one really kept count of the domestic market. At that time, the forecast was considered “aspirational”. Last week, when Nasscom finally estimated that IT and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) exports will touch $49.7 billion in the year ending March, there were some cynics asking me if the original forecast included BPO exports or not. The fact is, as I recall, the abbreviation in BPO had not even been quite coined in 1999. It was certainly not in vogue. In fact, when the late Nasscom president Dewang Mehta then spoke of India being a great base for call centres or “IT-enabled services”, few could really envisage what he meant. Many Indians did not know what these things were. The term BPO caught on later. For software giants like Infosys and Wipro, the IT-enabled service business with its low profit margins was something like a lower caste. But then, the bursting of the Internet “dotcom” bubble and the 9/11 attacks in 2000 and 2001 made these companies reluctantly accept BPO-type services. The worst US recession in seven decades has also been a big hiccup for the industry. Last week, Nasscom noted that the 2008-09 figure was at $47.1 billion for IT/BPO exports, while the domestic market had closed then at Rs 59,000 crore ($12.6 billion) and is estimated to close the current year at Rs 66,200 crore. Nasscom and McKinsey have clearly missed the domestic target, but it pays to remember that the US dollar is now weaker compared to the rupee then – despite a whole decade in the middle. If you recall, the report came in the midst of US sanctions against India’s nuclear tests in 1998, which weakened the rupee further!

To me, it is immaterial whether the 1999 predictions took into account BPO or not, or that India missed the 2008 target by a year and a half. In truth, the power of the audacious aim set in 1999 is best appreciated in the way it fired the imagination of a developing country.

 Hindustan Times

Microsoft announces Windows Phone 7, will ship by Christmas

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gestures during the Windows Phone 7 presentation at the Mobile World congress in Barcelona on Monday

 

Software giant Microsoft on Monday announced that its Windows phone 7 operating system for mobile phones will be available by Christmas season of 2010, as a whole new platform that incorporates social networking, music, video, photos and games to provide a rich, personalised user experience.

At the Mobile World Congress that opened here, Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer unveiled the features that the Windows Phone 7 to be manufactured to specifications laid down by the company, will offer. The phones will support the capacitative touch interface now popular with users, and revolve around the concept of ‘hubs’ on-screen for people, pictures, office and mail applications, music and video.

Making the hubs the core of the navigation system, with dedicated keys for start, search and back — the most frequently used functions — and providing the ability to display configurable individual ‘tiles’ on the display screen for the people and applications that matter most to the individual user will differentiate, in Microsoft’s view, the Windows Phone 7 from the personal computer, and other phones.

Thus, a user can feature tiles for individuals, which would show connected activity for them on Facebook, Windows Live and so on. Full-featured synchronisation and integration capabilities with other Microsoft products such as Office, Outlook, the music player Zune and the gaming platform X-Box Live has been built into the new system. It is tightly knit with services such as Bing, the search engine for which the company is strengthening its database and map utility. The mobile browser for the phone is built on the desktop Internet Explorer code, aimed at making for a good web browsing experience with the vast majority of existing Websites.

A major area that Microsoft is focusing on is active collaboration with hardware manufacturers, to bring about consistency of performance. It has laid down minimum standards for the phones. At the same time, Mr. Ballmer said, it wants diversity and innovation in the form, feel and industrial design of the phones. In the case of developers, a rich kit is being provided to encourage development on the scale that was witnessed for operating systems for computers.

Highlighting the features of the Windows Phone 7, Joe Belfiore, Vice-President, Windows Phone Programme, said the phone was not a personal computer, was much more personal and lifestyle oriented, and the new platform had been designed with that fundamental philosophy in mind.

Microsoft hopes that the new platform will give it a solid footing in the fast-growing smartphone market, through a series of partnerships with hardware manufacturers including LG, Samsung, HTC, HP, Dell, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba, and technology companies such as Qualcomm. It has been working on similar collaborations with mobile operators for services. Andrew Lees, Senior Vice-President, Microsoft Mobile Communications Business, said over 1 billion phones were sold every year, and there was a massive shift to the smart phone segment.

Entries invited for software awards

HYDERABAD: The IT and ITES Industry Association (ITsAP) has invited nominations for its annual Software Products Showcase and Awards 2010, according to a press release here. All Andhra Pradesh based software entities and multinationals with product development centres in AP are eligible to apply. The last date for submitting nominations is February 22. The event will be held on March 12 and 13 at HICC .

IT-BPO market may touch $285 b in 2020: KPMG

Employees at a BPO in Mangalore. India’s IT-BPO market is expected to touch $285 billion in 2020 from $71 billion in 2009, a study has said.

India’s IT-BPO market (including exports) could touch $285 billion in 2020 growing at a CAGR of 15 per cent, according to a report.

The IT-BPO industry in India has achieved impressive growth rates over the past decade and stood at $71.6 billion in 2009, said the report prepared by KPMG and ASOCIO (Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organisation).

The report, ‘Asia-Oceania Vision 2020: Enabling IT leadership through collaboration’ was released here at NASSCOM India Leadership Forum 2010. India is the current market leader in global sourcing supply, serving about 51 per cent of overall global sourcing demand.

“India is expected to achieve a double-digit growth in the IT-BPO industry, with a focus on innovation. The country, however, needs to sustain cost competitiveness and develop the requisite skills of its large workforce,” Kumar Parakala, Global Head of Sourcing Advisory, KPMG in India, said.

“India could also develop complementary skills in hardware, so that it can showcase a more diversified portfolio of products and services,” the report said.

The report highlighted that the composition of demand will undergo a change from 2008 to 2020. The contribution of some of the developed countries like Japan, Australia and New Zealand in the regional demand for IT-BPO service is likely to decrease.

However, the contribution of developing countries like India and Thailand is expected to increase in the coming years. Countries such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh are also expected to make their mark on the global sourcing supply landscape by 2020, it said.

One of the focus areas of the KPMG-ASOCIO report was to identify the potential for effective collaboration among countries of the Asia-Oceania region.

The report emphasises that if diversity within the region is effectively leveraged it could lead to collaborative growth.

IT industry sees up to 20% growth next fiscal

The country’s $50-billion software services export sector, which has been in the doldrums following the global economic crisis, could expand by 15-20% next financial year on the back of improved demand. This would be three times the 4-7% growth that industry body Nasscom predicts for the current fiscal.

Though Nasscom is slated to formally release its projections for next fiscal on Wednesday, top IT companies’ CEOs like S Gopalakrishnan of Infosys Technologies (INFOSYS.BO : 2352.2 -71) and Girish Paranjpe of Wipro (WIPRO.NS : 644.05 -11.15) told FE they expect growth in the 15-20% range next fiscal. This is in line with Nasscom’s forecast of double-digit growth in 2011-12, although the body has not furnished specific numbers so far.

Although most clients of Indian IT firms are yet to firm up their technology spends, Gopalakrishnan said initial indications were that budgets would be up 4% next year. “Even the offshore component in deals will be slightly up,” he said.

This is major change in sentiment. Hitherto, Infosys had said it expects IT budgets to remain flat or marginally down next year. The country’s second-largest software firm reported a 3.6% drop in net profit for the quarter ended December 31 at Rs 1,582 crore. Currency factors contributed to the decline.

Girish Paranjpe, joint CEO of Wipro’s IT business, said though his company does not provide a full-year outlook, “Growth is on track thanks to a mix of both large and small deals.” The country’s third-largest IT firm reported a 21% rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 1,217 crore, compared with the corresponding quarter in the previous year.

The country’s largest software firm, TCS, however, saw the most significant rise in December-quarter net profit-33% year-on-year–at Rs 1,824 crore.

Most technology companies, including mid-tier firms, posted robust results for the third quarter thanks to a recovery in key markets such as the US and in key verticals like financial services. While the recovery was earlier restricted to deals emerging from mergers & acquisitions in the banking space, the growth in volumes is more broad-based now with the exception of telecom and manufacturing, in some cases.

“The demand environment is better than before; confidence is back in the market and we believe the worst is behind us. All our clients have delivered good financials in the third quarter and we expect decision-making to be faster now,” said Gopalakrishnan.

For the next financial year, Paranjpe added that the industry’s growth could be around 14-15%, the basis of which is a poll of IT companies’ outlook conducted by Nasscom about two months ago, he said. Though a Nasscom spokesperson said it conducts several such surveys a year, she refused to authenticate the numbers.

Meanwhile, Gopalakrishnan said Nasscom projections are usually higher than the industry’s as they also take into account growth in captive units, which often register a much higher growth than their third-party peers.

Infosys to design informatics for US biotech company

Infosys Technologies and San Francisco-based Elan Pharmaceuticals on Thursday formally announced a partnership agreement under which the Indian software giant will design and implement a new research informatics system (RISe) for the latter.

A joint statement here said the new informatics system will help Elan Pharmaceuticals, a leading biotechnology company, accelerate its research by leveraging Infosys’ intellectual property in this field.

No financial details of the deal were announced.

“We are confident that partnering and collaborating with Infosys will create a comprehensive informatics platform for our discovery research needs,” Ajay Shah, director (research informatics at Elan Pharmaceuticals, was quoted as saying.

“We selected Infosys after a competitive proof-of-concept phase during which they fully established their credentials and investments in this changing field of discovery research, and demonstrated flexibility and maturity in terms of rapid application development using agile and scrum methodologies.

“With Infosys’ solution and engagement model, Elan will be able to lower costs for scientific operation and facilitate innovation,” added Shah.

The new research informatics to be designed by Infosys will open novel ways for Elan Pharmaceuticals to unlock disparate data spread across its in-house research labs and other commercial or public sources for its research needs.

This will also pave the way to a customized registry, and inventory and a workflow management system for biological entities, the statement said. With the help of the new informatics system, Elan and its research partners will raise their research output by efficient selection of drugs or biologics.

It will also reduce time spent on registering and experimenting with bio-entities and reduce chances of later failure. Under the agreement, Infosys will retain ownership of co-developed IP as part of the implementation.

“Elan’s vision to create a scalable research informatics system for scientists to collaborate better, dovetails perfectly with our investments in solutions that improve scientific innovation and our efforts to streamline discovery research,” said R. Arun Kumar, head of Infosys’ Global Life Sciences Practice, in the statement.

IT majors to go on a hiring spree

Ajoy Mukherjee, vice-president and head (global HR), TCS. With improving business sentiment and revival in IT spends, hiring seems to be back in full swing at major software firms including TCS

With improving business sentiment and revival in IT spends, hiring seems to be back in full swing at software firms like Infosys and TCS.

While the country’s largest IT firm, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has made gross additions of over 21,000 people till the third quarter (Q3) of financial year 2009-10, Infosys plans to hire 24,000 in 2010-11.

“We have made gross additions of over 21,000 people, including subsidiaries till Q3 FY 2010. With utilizations at optimum levels (81.1 per cent, excluding trainees), we will look at aggressive hiring in the current quarter to match our talent needs with the business demand,” TCS vice-president and head (global HR) Ajoy Mukherjee told PTI.

In Q3 of FY 2010, TCS had made 7,692 net additions, compared with a net addition of 320 in the previous quarter.

According to Monster.com India MD Sanjay Modi hiring has gained momentum as forecasted. “Within Monster, in December 2009, we saw 33 per cent growth in job postings over November and 90 per cent compared to May in the software, hardware and EDP category,” Mr. Modi told PTI

With enhanced focus on domestic market, IT firms have got back to the hiring spree.

“Infosys will be hiring 6,000 people in Q4 FY 2010. Of these, 1,500-2,000 will be lateral hires. With this, the total gross hiring in FY 2010 will be 24,000,” an Infosys spokesperson said.

Microsoft told to stop some Windows sales in China

A Beijing court has ordered Microsoft Corp. to stop selling some versions of its Windows operating system in China in a licensing dispute with a local supplier.

The order, which came on Monday, said Microsoft exceeded its rights under licensing agreements with Zhongyi Electronic Ltd., a Beijing company that developed Chinese character fonts used in the software.

Microsoft must stop selling versions of Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 with Zhongyi’s fonts, the Beijing People’s No. 1 Intermediate Court said in its ruling, a copy of which was released by Zhongyi.

Microsoft said it would appeal.

“Microsoft respects intellectual property rights. We use third party IPs only when we have a legitimate right to do so,” the company said in a statement. “We believe our license agreements with the plaintiff cover our use of the fonts.”

Microsoft did not respond to a question about what proportion of its products sold in China use Zhongyi fonts or how many copies might be affected.

Zhongyi said its agreement with Microsoft allowed the Seattle-based software producer to use its fonts only in Windows 95 and they were added to later products without permission.

China is a leading source of pirated copies of software, movies and other goods and its government has long been accused of failing to do enough to stop the thriving underground industry.

China’s small but ambitious technology companies say they are among the biggest victims of piracy and are turning to the courts to help defend their intellectual property.

In December, a group of 11 people who were convicted of selling unlicensed copies of Microsoft software were sentenced by a Chinese court for up to six and a half years in prison.

On the Net:

Zhongyi Electronic Ltd.: www.china—e.com.cn/en/profile/ZhongYiProfile.htm   

Microsoft Corp.: www.microsoft.com

IT hiring to pick up in 5 mths: Mohandas Pai

Hiring in the software sector would pick up in the next five months, as the industry is set to witness a recovery, Infosys Technologies (INFOSYS.BO : 2397 +46.25) head (education research and human resource development) T V Mohandas Pai has said. However, companies would become more demanding and stress increasingly on the quality of recruits, Pai told FE. The industry is more confident, so there will be more hiring happening (in the current half of the fiscal). I think when it happens, there will be more competition for jobs. Hiring will increase. There will be a flight to better quality. So, if people think they can get a second class in their engineering exams and walk away with good jobs, they are mistaken. He said the huge demand for manpower in the past few years had resulted in companies also hiring low- quality personnel. We had created a place where people in the end said, give me two hands and two legs and I will hire the person. All that is gone, he said, about the boom period between FY2003 and FY2008. Fresh recruitment in the software sector saw a phenomenal boom during calendar year 2007, but dipped to almost nil during the latter half of the 2008 and into the first half of 2009, owing to tough market conditions that saw the industry grow at rates around 15%, compared to annual growth rates of over 30% earlier. Pai said despite advocating non-linear growth that de-linked revenue growth from employee size, the software sector would find it difficult to follow a growth model around the concept, as market demand picked up. Non-linear growth models would therefore impact techie hiring only marginally, Pai said. It (non- linear growth) is difficult to do, he said, adding, the market is getting very competitive. More and more services are being produced by more people but the price points are remaining stable or coming down. Today, for a price point, you are doing much higher quality work than you did 10 years back. Infosys employs over one lakh people across its many centres. It recently raised hiring projections for the fiscal by 2,000, saying that it would recruit 20,000 new hands for fiscal 2010.

Indian Express Finance

 

Domestic call centre market seen at $6.8 bn by 2013

 CALLCENTRE

INDIA CALLING: A call centre professional at work. Market research firm IDC forecasts a boom in the Indian BPO industry

 With around 500 firms sending out promotional messages or calling up for bill payment reminders, the domestic call centre market is seen growing 33 percent per year, says leading global market research and analytics firm IDC.

This apart, the domestic call centre industry, now estimated at $1.62 billion, will also evolve into a third party outsourcing relationships from the existing model where such work is largely done by companies themselves.

“This implies that rather than merely running isolated processes for customers, business process outsourcers would also engage more deeply to identify and transform core business processes to add greater market value in the creation and delivery of end products and services,” IDC said.

The industry currently offers a wide range of services from customer care to research. Banking, financial services and insurance segment contributes the lion’s share of 37 percent to revenues, followed by telecom accounting for 25 percent.

Other verticals such as services for energy utilities and companies in food, auto, aerospace, consumer durables and government contribute 17 percent to the revenues, while travel trade segment contributes 8 percent.

“The domestic business process outsourcing (BPO) market shows promise of growth, especially in such verticals like banking, financial services and insurance segment and telecom in the short term,” says Arpan Gupta, a senior analyst with IDC India.

“The concern areas for the industry that services overseas customers — such as rupee-dollar volatility, rising infrastructure costs in Tier-I cities, over-dependence on North American and European markets — are expected to have minimal impact on the domestic sector.”

Once some mega outsourcing deals come through and players start offering more services in regional languages, the industry will be able to achieve the growth target over $6.8 billion over the next five years.

Non-English call centres in Tier-II and Tier-III centres, providing services to telecom and aviation sectors at a lower cost will add to the growing industry, said the report.

However, higher training costs in such cities and lack of availability of an adequate talent pool continues to be an area of concern for players, the report added.

Voice processes in the Indian domestic BPO market contribute 55 percent to the overall domestic revenues while non-voice market makes up the rest.

“As the industry enhances focus on Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO), Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO), billing and high-end analytics, the BPO market would see a gradual shift from Voice processes to non-Voice processes,” said Gupta.

IT Investment Region to be ready in six months

State developing four electronic manufacturing hubs

The 12th edition of Bangalore IT.biz is under way

Minister urges IT industry to promote rural BPOs

 inauguration

Inauguration: (From left) Cisco Systems Chief Technology Officer Padmasree Warrior, Home Minister V.S. Acharya, Chairman of Wipro Azim Premji, Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath and IT Principal Secretary Ashok Kumar Manoli at Bangalore IT.biz 2009 on Wednesday.

Bangalore: Minister for Information Technology Katta Subramanya Naidu has said that the Bangalore-BIAL (Bangalore International Airport Ltd.) IT Investment Region (ITIR), covering 40 sq. km, will be “ready for occupation within six months”. He was speaking at the inaugural session of the 12th edition of Bangalore IT.biz, the premier Information and Communication Technology (ICT) event in the State, on Wednesday.

Mr. Naidu said the project, being implemented in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in Devanahalli and Doddaballapur taluks, would provide all amenities and facilities for IT, IT-enabled Services (ITeS) and electronic hardware manufacturers (EHM). Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd. (KEONICS) had recently invited Expressions of Interest from consultants to prepare a techno-economic pre-feasibility report for the project.

The ITIR scheme was notified by the Union Government in May 2008 to provide readymade and developed infrastructure to potential investors in the IT sector. The policy envisages that State governments would ensure the provision of physical infrastructure and utilities, including power, water, roads, transportation, sewerage and effluent treatment facilities within notified ITIRs.

Mr. Naidu said India’s share in the global manufacturing of hardware was only one per cent. He said countries in Southeast Asia and China account for 92 per cent of the global output of electronic hardware.

The Karnataka Government is developing four electronic manufacturing hubs in the State, each spread over 1,000 acres, he said.

Mr. Naidu asked the IT industry to participate in the Government’s initiative to promote rural business process outsourcing centres in the State.

Azim Premji, Chairman, Wipro Ltd., said ICT can “significantly enhance the productivity in government departments, particularly by improving the delivery of services to people”.

This would also promote greater accountability and transparency, he said. Home Minister V.S. Acharya said Indian IT companies had demonstrated their “resilience since the global economic crisis began last year”.

Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath said despite advances in IT, broadband penetration in India remained low.

Wipro to hire sacked employees

BANGALORE: If you are a pink slip recipient from Wipro, here’s a piece of good news. Wipro plans to rehire some of the employees it fired a year ago.

“Non-performance was the reason for these separations. However, we are open to rehire some of these people who were fired by us a year ago, if they come back to us with additional skill sets. A one-year window would have been enough for them to acquire some additional skills,” said Joseph John, vice-president (HR) in Wipro Infotech, the business that looks at the India and Middle-East markets.

The tech major’s involuntary attrition rate has gone up by 2 percentage points in the last 16 months. Wipro Infotech said it would also resume campus hiring from January. “We are looking at hiring over 1,000 laterals during the fiscal and 1,000 freshers from campuses in January,” said John.

The division, which recruited 1,000 people in the first six months of the fiscal, expects hiring numbers in the second half of the year to be more than double of that.

The additional people requirement comes with Wipro winning a slew of large projects in India and the Middle-East, and also to cater to the growing requirements of existing accounts. The company hired 200 people in Saudi Arabia and Egypt recently.

Wipro is also hiring for its Global Service Management Centre in Mysore with almost 5% jobs earmarked for differently-abled people.

Wipro Infotech is planning to raise the ratio of its women employees from 13% now to 20% in the next two years. On salary hikes, John said the company had not budgeted a hike at the start of the fiscal. “But we have decided to raise salaries in the fourth quarter across the board.”