Investigating Outsourcing

July 7, 2014  3:58 PM

Public sector dominates outsourcing but private sector shows it the way with small contracts

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

The latest figures from ISG show that the UK public sector has spent a lot more on IT outsourcing and BPO that the private sector over the last two years.

This makes sense because the government has been pushing public sector organisations to cut costs, by giving them smaller budgets. So the public sector has gone from a sector that ISG didn’t even do a specific outsourcing report about, to one that dwarfs the private sector.

But what was interesting was that although the public sector spend was some 70% higher than the private sector at £51bn compared to £30bn, the private sector signed a lot more deals. I think traditionally I would expect the reverse. The private sector signed 726 contracts compared with 585 in the public sector.

This is because the private sector has been signing lots of smaller deals. The public sector has been doing mid-sized deals according to ISG.

Why is this? There are a lot of smaller private sector businesses outsourcing these days and there are a lot of existing deals in the private sector in their 3rd, 4th and 5th generations, which are being broken up and shared between different suppliers.

So maybe the government could take a leaf out of the private sector’s book and break up deals even more. After all that is one of the ambitions of the government. But this could be a few years away given the less mature out sourcing sector.

July 4, 2014  11:40 AM

Diversity of service not volume the way forward for IT services in new world

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

I recently met up with Indian supplier NIIT and found it interesting to see how diverse its business strategy is, for a relatively small firm.

It is always interesting to hear that some small firms have very big customers and diverse and interesting business models. The second tier of Indian suppliers is a particularly interesting one.

IT suppliers these days always talk-up the business enablement credentials they offer, rather than just being seen as cutting costs for their customers. NIIT is no exception with a “focus on customer revenue not costs.”

The digitisation of business is changing things. Service providers are attempting to move towards non-linear revenue generation and move away from business models based on time and materials.

For Indian suppliers this is particularly important. They have grown on the back of the relatively low cost of skilled people in India. A confluence of trends means this cannot go on forever. Low cost regions are emerging, Indian wages are increasing and Western governments are trying to reduce offshoring.

The big Indian players are changing their business models, which is a challenge given their massive reliance on labour arbitrage and the pressure on them to deliver good financial results.

The smaller Indian players are an interesting bunch. They are more nimble and seem able to try new models out quickly. I have written quite a bit about these Indian Tier two players.
For example I blogged about NIIT in 2011 and then head if Europe Sunil Surya, told me about the businesses focus on certain verticals as well as IP. 

Earlier this month I got an update from the supplier’s COO Sudhir Chaturvedi.

The company has 8,500 staff, half of which are based in three Indian cities: Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. All of the company’s R&D is done in the UK.

Its biggest sector is travel and transport which accounts for 37% of global revenues. Banking and financial services is next up with 35% and it has a separate focus on insurance. Other sectors include media and the government sector in its native India.

In terms of geographies the US accounts for 42% of its revenues which were about $381m, Europe generated 37% and Apac 21%.

NIIT for example is strong in travel and transport and has relationships with BA and Eurostar and is currently transforming the digital services at Irish airline Aer Lingus.

In terms of IP the company has software aimed at the insurance sector. These include catastrophe modeling software to work out the costs and risks of disasters. NIIT has about 14 customers in insurance market Lloyds of London.

The company values vertical expertise. Chaturvedi says that local knowledge is vital to the company. “In every geography 50% of are employs are local because we want local expertise.”

It will also put its hand in its pocket and buy resources to impriove services to big customers. When BA acquired Iberia one of its IT suppliers, NIIT, acquired the IT service provider that supplied Iberia. NIIT took over Projecta IT Services in Spain following the acquisition by BA. The British airline has been a customer of NIIT for 10 years.

It also acquired a captive in Manila belonging to another customer Sabre, which operates in the airline industry, to improve its service to the company.

Both these acquisitions are now being used to provide services to other customers.

The company has also devised its own way of classifying service levels and trained 4500 staff in understanding it.

Chaturvedi says the IT service industry is too happy to just do enough. “The industry believes if it meets the SLA it has done its job. We expect to get paid for just doing a basic service.”
To this end the company has devised 7 levels of service that its staff have to aim for.

The lowest level, if the service level is not even reached is known as Criminal. The next level is basic. There are five more levels with the top level known as Unbelievable.

NIIT is also focused on infrastructure services and helping businesses ensure that they are always on.

July 3, 2014  11:56 AM

What could IT outsourcers do in the UK to improve their names?

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Outsourcing companies, including IT service providers, are an easy target for politicians when orating.

Despite many of the said speakers being only too willing to get tax payers to fund their lavish lifestyles it has become common for our right honourable members of parliament, pardon the contradiction in terms, to put their foot into the outsourcing debate. And quite right too,

Some outsourcers do take the proverbial.

It is just a shame some of those doing the criticising are complicit.

Anyway the reason I write this is to see what IT outsourcers good do in the UK to perhaps give a little back. Last week I interviewed an executive at Indian IT service provider Mindtree. Prashant Mehra returned to Bangalore to help transform the lives of the city’s 1.5 million rag pickers and improve local government waste management in the process.

He is the project leader of a scheme known as I Got Garbage that helps rag pickers in Bangalore organise themselves better to improve working practices and lifestyles. Mindtree created a cloud based platform for the rag pickers. Lots of benefits come from a centralised ERP type system. I won’t go into them because you can read the interview here.

So what could the service providers do in the UK? With IT central in people’s lives, work, and education today there are lots of things that IT services firms can do.

I am sure there are many projects going on. I would like to hear about these projects and get some ideas about what other things the IT services forms could do to help. I am sure there are lots of charities out there that could do with some support.

Please email me if you have any thoughts:

July 2, 2014  1:11 PM

Watch out for a business harnessing your personal data bubble

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

You can’t do anything without producing data these days. Even the morning jog is no longer a private affair but one that gives you and potentially businesses information about you and your behaviour.

I recently met Paul Roehrig from Cognizant and he told me about what he calls Code Halos. These are the virtual identities that follow people and things around made up of all the data the produce. I must admit writing an article about what was discussed was a bit challenging so rather than me do it I thought it would be better if Paul and his colleagues Malcolm Frank and Ben Pring did it for me.

All three are from Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work. They are the authors of Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations are Changing the Rules of Business.

Here is their take on what Cloud Halos mean to businesses

Manage Code Halos to win in the digital economy

By Paul Roehrig with Malcolm Frank and Ben Pring

“Think for a moment about your home technology – laptops, tablets, mobile devices, gaming consoles, health sensors, and so on. Now consider all the things you do with your gadgetry: connect with friends, play games, manage your money, read books, work, watch films, listen to music, monitor your fitness, get directions, and buy any number of products. Over time, every click, swipe, “like”, buy, comment, deposit, jog, and search produces information that creates a unique pattern of accumulated data and information that becomes your virtual identity. This virtual identity is your personal Code Halo.

If you use any device more complicated than a toaster, chances are this feels familiar and makes sense, but what is new is that this same idea is now playing out in many industry sectors. People, organisations, and things – basically any noun – can now have a Code Halo, and this phenomenon is beginning to change how organisations – and not just the digital native companies – create economic value. Today’s companies whose growth or success is quite unlike that of others are dominating by extracting business value from the information that surrounds people, organisations, processes, and products. If this sounds like theory, consider that these firms, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Netflix, generated some $1 trillion in combined market capitalisation in just the last 10 years. These digital leaders use technology to deliver curated individualised experiences based on our unique needs, wants, and history captured from the data we all share.

At first this can sound like the Big Data story or the rise of the Internet with a new label, but that is not correct. Data, algorithms, analysis, and connectivity are essential, but this shift is not confined to the Silicon Valley digerati.

Traditional companies are now harnessing the power of Code Halos. GE is creating Brilliant Machines. Disney is launching the Magic Band at its theme parks. Allstate and others use mobile telematics devices and analytics to transform auto insurance. Philips is creating value from the information and data around their products. The list goes on, and it is growing every day

Dealing with the market shift – how do companies ensure they come out on top?

Companies that have succeeded or failed have followed the same pattern – what we call The Crossroads Model. While one route can lead to new levels of market prosperity, the other can take them toward extinction (one route can lead to new levels of market prosperity, the other can lead down a path toward extinction).

So, what are some steps to take to stay on the right track

·         Recognise the value of signal. Cognizant recently surveyed business decision makers in 300 firms globally, and they told us they achieved a total economic benefit of roughly $766 billion over the past year based on their use of business analytics. Competing on meaning and insight now stands as a potentially large value-creation lever for most organisations.

·         Make design central to your value proposition. Design is not just about making beautiful applications and Web sites. That’s still vital, but beauty needs to be embedded into the end-to-end process and user experience. This is business, not just aesthetics. The iPod beating the Zune, Progressive’s web presence, and Disney’s guest experience are all examples of putting design at the centre of a business strategy.

·         Compete on trust. Organisations that ultimately win will be those that generate, maintain, and compete on trust, allowing participants to opt in or out from sharing code. Some insurance companies already demonstrate a clear connection between value and information – the Give-to-Get ratio by offering a better insurance deal based on actual driving data.

·         Make IT Your Halo Heroes. Managing technology and information will be essential to the brand promise. The SMAC Stack – social, mobility, business analytics, and cloud-enabled solutions – is changing how people, organisations, and devices interact. Business leaders who want to harness the power of code need to (finally) break down the barriers between IT and the business.

We are in the early days of the next generation of the future of work. To win at the Crossroads, leaders must begin to re-code the business, identify innovations that will matter in the future, and pilot new solutions that link the physical and the virtual for new kinds of business value.”

June 26, 2014  12:43 PM

What can Poland’s STEM culture teach the UK?

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Eastern and central Europe are hotspots for IT services. There is a long legacy of IT skill in countries in the region with a lot of this related to the former Soviet Union, where these technology skills were highly valued.

Whether you go to Moldova, Ukraine or Poland you will find large amounts of IT professionals, compared to the UK where there is a shortage. Proponents of the IT skills shortage theory are often accused of extending this belief to help them justify recruiting lower cot labour from overseas, most often India.

Whether you believe there is a shortage or not, one thing is for certain and that is that UK students are not that keen to do IT courses. In parts of Eastern Europe it is about the most popular career path.

In this guest blog Marcin Malinowski – director of International Services at IT consultancy Outbox Group, talks about what the UK can learn from Poland.

What the UK could learn from Poland in IT skills development?

By Marcin Malinowski

“Though it has been a problem for some time, the UK government is only now focusing its attention on the national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) skills shortage – a huge factor limiting long-term economic growth. According to a study conducted by O2 last year, the UK will require over 750,000 skilled digital workers by 2017, that’s the entire population of Leeds. If the UK can’t provide that amount of technical IT professionals it could potentially cost the country billions.

The IT sector, previously devastated by the ‘dot bomb’ collapse in the early noughties has recently bounced back in a big way – seeing fast growth and high investment. Last year 22 UK technology companies, the largest number since 2006, raised $795m in equity funding on the London Stock Exchange. But in order to sustain this rapid growth, the UK needs to place a greater emphasis on STEM skill development so critical to the IT sector. This is something other EU countries, such as Ireland, Finland and Poland, have been focused on for a while.

Poland distinguishes itself in the sheer number of IT graduates, whose numbers amount to 40,000 a year, who go on to secure critical roles in the largest IT companies from Singapore to Silicon Valley. Poland based suppliers receive a lot of contracts from UK businesses, and seek to work on these projects closely with them to train and develop their UK staff with expert knowledge. This means our customers are able to continue to benefit from the project long after it has finished.

UK benefits greatly from skilled overseas talent, but there are more things to look for from outsourcers and system integrators than just getting the job done.

Today many UK businesses are experiencing growth and emerging from a recession, so many aspects of outsourcing take precedence over training. Often the price and time to deliver a project are seen as more important than if an outsourcer has the capability to re-skill UK staff, and provide lasting value to the business. This is understandable, but may be bad for business when the economy picks up and rivals are in better shape to take advantage of the eventual upturn. It is often more beneficial to pair with an outsourcer that has a similar culture, operates on a similar time zone, and can effectively communicate and work with UK teams on a project.

These days skills transfer need not be formal classroom training, and does not have to involve lengthy courses during core work hours. A great method of skills transfer for many digital professionals is simply ‘Learn by Doing’, ideally in partnership with the team leading the project almost simultaneously. UK businesses should not expect this level of service from every outsourcer, but should keep this in mind when choosing which provider to partner with in order to tackle the ever-growing skills shortage.

There is a big focus at the moment in Poland on improving the skills of our students by structuring education in a way that provides them with the specific know-how that employers look for in digital workers. Simply adding real-life context to the lessons learnt in the classroom will drastically improve students employability. Another aspect of key importance is encouraging businesses to take on digital apprentices – an apprenticeship in the UK has always been associated with roles in skilled trade and manufacturing. Opportunities for digital hopefuls to find relevant work experience is important, so they already have the tools they need to enter the IT sector with confidence and value.

The core problem is the UK is currently not producing the right skills domestically, and these skills are going to be vital to ensure economic growth continues. It is therefore up to UK government, centres of education and businesses alike to instigate and encourage the change that will ensure a thriving and sustainable IT sector. The UK as a whole is facing a critical lack of skills in IT just as the economy need them most. In order to tackle this, it needs to boost its skills base quickly before it loses out.”

June 24, 2014  12:57 PM

Government should get tough over G-Cloud

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Last week I wrote an article about the lack of take-up of G-Cloud services by county councils.

This followed the results of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request revealed that less than 1% of the £440m spent on IT by 26 county councils was invested in services on the G-Cloud.
After Tweeting the article there was a little debate about the issue. Quocirca analyst, Clive Longbottom, who was involved in this debate, agreed to write a blog post about why G-Cloud is struggling to get going and what could be done to change this.

Here it is. If anyone has strong view on this please send me you thoughts and I will out them in the blog.

I wandered lonely as a (G) Cloud…

By Clive Longbottom

“Public sector IT procurement has become a sore point amongst politicians and citizens alike.  With the immense purchasing power of the public sector, deals should beat anything that the commercial sector gets.  The public sector’s interminable discussions with Microsoft often lead to great headlines on what savings they have received against book pricing – yet the savings are often lost due to central procurement failing to live up to its side of the agreement and Microsoft then upping the actual prices that are paid.

Several years back, it was felt that a means of negotiating large deals in advance and then making them available to any public sector body in a self-service basis that got away from any need for a supplier to have jumped through too many hoops to be on the government’s preferred vendor list (what was called G-Cat) could help save large amounts of money.
So was born the G-Cloud – an easily accessible shop front where vendors of all sizes could make their wares available with highly transparent pricing.  It was a great idea – but it started off badly as politicians hamstrung those responsible for implementing it.  Finally, along came Francis Maude in his role of Cabinet Officer Minister, opening up the idea to be a less stringent environment.

At last, here was a way for the SMB vendor to take on the incumbents of the large players of the likes of IBM, Capita, CSC, HP/EDS, Microsoft, Oracle and so on: the small guys could undercut the big ones and make enough to thrive while saving the country lots of money.
In 2013, the public sector spent around £14bn on IT.  That’s around £250 for every person in the UK – which makes it sound reasonable, possibly.  However, we can all name a few projects that have gone pear shaped and wasted money – the NHS National Programme for IT ended up wasting around £10b; the current Universal Credits is running at a write off of at least £45m, the Libra courts project failed dramatically. Although the National Audit Office (NAO) and MP committees continue to identify that big projects tend not to provide any value for money, megaprojects still seem to rule the roost.

You would hope that the G-Cloud would get round all of this.  The easy availability of functional services from multiple vendors should allow departments and local government agencies to rapidly deal with high priority issues in a cost effective manner, without the need for a massive project.

To date, out of the £14bn per year spent on IT, G-Cloud has accounted for around £50m.  Not per year – in total.  County councils managed to spend, in total, £385,000 out of their £440,000,000 spend in 2013.

Not good, eh?  Why is the G-Cloud not being as successful as it should be? Are the services being offered not fit for purpose?  Hardly.

No, the real problems come down to two main issues – one of which should be reasonably easy to the fix; the other could be a real problem.

Problem number 1: the existing procurement process within the public sector.  Departments and groups may have their own people in place, and alongside this are central procurement groups who are meant to negotiate the big deals.  However, many local groups can find deals that often beat the central deals, so they go their own way.  This means that the volumes promised through the central group do not materialise, and vendors claw back money. 

However, the central groups want to be seen to be doing their job – G-Cloud bypasses them, and so they make it difficult for anyone coming through them to use it.  Local procurement groups cannot gain any additional discounts against G-Cloud, so they don’t want their groups using it, as it makes it very apparent how little value they are actually adding.

This problem can be cured by just making procurement “G-Cloud first”.  Anyone wanting a service must try G-Cloud first and can only get it elsewhere if it is a) not available on G-Cloud or b) they create a special case as to why they will get better value from an alternative point of supply.

Problem number 2: the incumbents are fighting G-Cloud.  The figures for payments to many of the large systems integrators are now in the public domain, and show that one large SI received just under £7m from DEFRA alone in April this year for invoices over £25k.  Imagine if a lot of what these vendors do could be obtained through a self-service, totally transparent front end?

Over their dead bodies.  Some of the smaller SIs have seen the writing on the wall and have actively participated in G-Cloud.  The larger ones first tried to hijack it (let us build it, populate it and run it for you, guv), then tried to bury it (you wouldn’t want to trust those small guys, guv) and then to pretend it wasn’t there.  This last approach seems to be working – if you essentially own the customer (which many SIs now do in the public sector), then you don’t need to consider G-Cloud; all you have to do is keep on running projects as you always have done.

Will someone like Maude be man enough to face these companies down?  Again, a G-Cloud first mandate that is fully policed would work in many cases.  However, all you need to do is look at the revolving door of public sector employees that end up working in these SIs to realise that clamping down on their practices is not seen as being in their best interests.
G-Cloud is a great idea, and it has been implemented reasonably well at a technology level.

However, as it stands, it is woefully underutilised, and the costs for all involved for the services actually being used are far too high.  In times of austerity, it is surely time to face down the big guys and let G-Cloud lead to the vast savings that it promises.”

June 18, 2014  10:48 AM

Why is G-Cloud yet to fully achieve its objective?

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

The G-Cloud is the government’s appstore, designed to make it easier for the public sector to buy software. It is also a strategy to cut the costs. There is a long way to go as the public sector is generally a juggernaut that has to be turned in small increments.

So take up has been fairly low. A Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by an IT supplier has revealed that less than 1% of the £440m spent on IT by 26 county councils was invested in services on the G-Cloud public sector app store.

Of the 26 county councils, only Dorset (2), East Sussex (2), Kent (1), Norfolk (1), Nottinghamshire (2), Oxfordshire (1), Staffordshire (1) and Warwickshire (2) bought services on G-Cloud.

In this guest blog Luke Mansell partner at Information Services Group (ISG) explores why G-Cloud is yet to fully achieve the objective.

Making the G-Cloud work

By Luke Mansell

“Since its inception in 2012, the G-Cloud initiative has been widely adopted by the supplier community but has seen a slower than expected uptake from buyers. Set up to simplify the procurement of IT by public sector bodies, it aimed, among other things, to reduce the public sector IT bill by £120m a year..

Of the £175.5m sales awarded to date via the G-Cloud platform the vast majority – around 80% – has been awarded by central government departments and agencies. So what is holding the smaller agencies, and in particular local government, back?

With the G-Cloud designed to bring about IT cost savings of 20-25%, it would appear as though purchasing products and services through the Government’s CloudStore digital marketplace is the obvious choice.

Yet purchasing cloud solutions via the G-Cloud is a new experience for many and local authorities, like any organisation looking to adopt a cloud strategy, require the right support to enable them to do so successfully. This involves everything from determining the readiness of their applications to be migrated to cloud and managing the risks of holding public data on the cloud, as well as creating and managing the business cases and governance that support and deliver genuine savings.

Some local authorities may have been working with the same provider for many years, or be tied into lengthy contracts. The use of legacy systems is still widespread within local government and will inevitably cause some delays in adopting the advantages of purchasing through the G-Cloud. Therefore, it may be some time yet before we reap the anticipated benefits of this initiative – which has only been in existence for just over two years.

The G-Cloud initiative is unquestionably well placed to benefit the public sector by saving money and driving efficiency. A shared set of resources made available through this digital marketplace will streamline the procurement process significantly and benefit all those involved – both buyers and suppliers.

The real challenge, however, lies in promoting a greater awareness of the innovation and cost-effective solutions that the G-Cloud can offer. Pursuing this objective is the final piece in an otherwise well-formed jigsaw, and driving home the benefits of the G-Cloud to local government should be a priority.

The key to ensuring successful integration of G-Cloud into sourcing practices across the country is putting in place the right education and support, with both suppliers and procurement specialists working toward building migration strategies. The initiative, still in its infancy, could have a hugely positive impact across the public sector. Although there is no doubt that it will take time to change habits and get used to new ways of working, this is an achievable goal.”

June 17, 2014  12:15 PM

Is SIAM a dangerous poacher turned gamekeeper scenario in IT?

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Service Integration and Management or SIAM as it is referred to is in vogue. With large numbers of suppliers offering different services and a propensity for CIOs to multisource makes supplier management an important and time consuming task.

So tricky for some that it is being outsourced. But should businesses outsource the management of suppliers to one of the suppliers themselves. A real poacher turned gamekeeper.

Ben Barry, director of IT advisory Coeus Consulting, wrote this guest blog post about the risk of outsourcing SIAM.

Service management – it is just too important to outsource

By Ben Barry

“There are some services which might be too important to outsource – service integration and management (SIAM) is one example.

Most large organisations operate in a multi-sourced environment, with different aspects of their technology requirements being handled by different suppliers while others are handled in-house. These contracts tend to have evolved from larger first generation single source contracts, without too much thought on how to effectively integrate and manage the various suppliers.

Why is it necessary? Quite simply because suppliers don’t work well together without someone with authority directing them. It’s a bit like the conductor in an orchestra… when you listen to an orchestra playing without a conductor you realise how important they are!
Due to the lack of maturity in the market place when moving from single source to multi-sourced models, few organisations considered fully how they would integrate them effectively and even worse this was often an afterthought – believing that the suppliers would just get on and work it out between themselves. This often led to a mixed integration model, with multiple parties having responsibilities for different processes.

For many, it is a recipe for disaster and our research and involvement with large businesses across a range of sectors has revealed few examples of organisations managing to make it work well.

A well run service integration function requires a complex framework in order to successfully deliver services to the business, whilst utilising multiple IT suppliers to do so.

Now organisations are understanding the need to create a well-defined SIAM function, their first thought is likely to be that outsourcing is the logical way to deliver it. However, what is logical and what works in the real world are very different.

The first big shock for clients who outsource their SIAM function is when an IT issue directly affects critical business operations. The reality is that suppliers will never feel the pain the way their client does or have the same understanding of the business, meaning the supplier will rarely deal with things as urgently as the client would themselves.

Even if they do, the SIAM provider then hits the second big real-world obstacle – during a major incident when multiple suppliers are involved, the outsourced supplier rarely has the authority or the mandate to coordinate and drive the other suppliers in the way necessary to deliver a quick resolution.

Outsourcing your SIAM function means that you lose control, knowledge and understanding of one of your main levers for driving the business and should not be undertaken lightly. In fact, there are only a few very specific circumstances where it should be considered because of the inherent problems.

There are different approaches to outsourcing your service management, a lot have weaknesses, but for most outsourcing service management is too crucial to be effectively handled by a third party.”

A free white paper discussing this further is available from Coeus Consulting here.

June 16, 2014  2:05 PM

Could CSC appointments be a new era in the UK for a sleeping giant?

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

CSC is a big player in IT services yet I don’t hear that much about them. It is a company that has been shrouded in controversy due to its failed NHS contract.

CSC wrote off the entire $1.5bn it had invested in the troubled National Programme for IT (NPfIT), which it had a contract to provide electronic patient records systems. A project which was troubled by a series of missed milestones.

I must admit I don’t speak to CSC much and despite its size it doesn’t seem to be that focused on the UK. That could be about to change as it looks like it is shaking up its UK team.

Sanjiv Gossain, who was up until recently UK managing director at Cognizant, is now heading up CSC in the UK. Gossain had been at Cognizant for many years and successfully build up its UK business.

By chance I heard that another contact of mine, Tridip Saha, who was UK head at Indian tier two supplier Mindtree is also joining CSC. Mindtree are an interesting company and have been growing really quickly.

I think Mindtree and Cognizant are two companies that really set but what they were going to do and stuck to it. They are also two companies that seemed to harness everything new in IT.

Perhaps this might help CSC in the UK. Although it undoubtedly has the resources and skills to succeed in the UK did it black leadership?

Outsourcing consultant Jean Louise Bravard, said CSC has been known for deals such as managed datacenters and large application builds. He said failures such as the NHS have damaged its reputation in the UK. “From what I hear it is doing pretty well in the US but it retrenched in the UK and decimated the team last year.”

“The idea to bring in a new team to reinvent themselves in the UK is a good idea.”

June 13, 2014  11:45 AM

Is the traditional mobile operator model broken?

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

I was at a briefing with Truphone yesterday when it presented an update of its business, had a customer presentation and announced some research.

The research is not being made public until next week, but the meeting was interesting to me as it is outside my usual journalistic beat.

Truphone, which targets businesses with mobile contracts, offers a service where the user has a single SIM card that allows them to use mobile devices in 66 countries as if they were connecting in their home country. So calls and data cost the same as they would when in your home country.

The company can do this because it has built its own network infrastructure in all these different locations so when a customer uses the phone or the internet they connect where they are rather than messages going back to the home country where the contract is. This is great for businesses that have staff travelling internationally.

The customer that presented was the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO). Its IT head described how the service had transformed the organisation of tours.

The LSO performs across the world. The logistics involved in getting over 100 people with musical instruments to venues across the world, as well as the everyday organisation of matters such as travel and accommodation, make mobile communication critical.

Head of IT at the LSO, Jeremy Garside, said the organisation had previously had contracts with a variety of the large incumbent operators.

“While this ‘sort of’ worked, we wanted more.” Now organisors can talk instead of constantly typing messages.

With international travel common these days isn’t it about time mobile operators got rid of all roaming charges? In Europe roaming charges are to be gone by late 2015 bit what about the rest of the world. 

Truphone’s Rob Jones, managing director Europe said something interesting about GSM. The fact that Global System for Mobile communications is not really global, but broken up into regional chunks.

With businesses more and more mobile, using more and more data and harnessing technology to do business internationally it is about time mobile operators upped their games.

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