Capgemini celebrates first birthday of its IT centre in Morocco

by Editor 4/30/2008 4:41:00 PM

Capgemini, one of the world's foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, celebrates today the first anniversary of its Rightshore® centre in Casablanca.

Capgemini currently employs almost 150 people in Morocco, working on IT systems integration projects. Capgemini is confident about the advantages Morocco has to offer and plans to launch a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) centre there by the end of the year so as to provide its clients with comprehensive, nearshore services.

The Group has the ambition to become the European leader among IT companies in Morocco. The Moroccan centre is part of Capgemini’s Rightshore® service which offers clients the best skills in the best location in the world at a competitive price via its centers in India, Poland, China and Latin America.

In addition to a perfect command of the French language, Morocco is a breeding ground for first-rate young graduates from engineering schools, universities and private training establishments, at competitive rates. Finally, the proximity of the country and its historical links with France appear as major assets to Capgemini’s French clients that are looking for Rightshore® solutions close to France.

For Philippe Grangeon, President of Capgemini Technology Services Maroc SA and member of the Group Executive Committee, “Morocco is a very well- adapted destination for French clients thanks in particular to its pool of talent and the strong involvement of the government in developing the IT sector through incentives such as the creation of dedicated zones - such as Casanearshore - and an ambitious, targeted training plan. Moreover, we can rely on a very motivated local management team that is very enthusiastic about developing Capgemini’s activities in Morocco”.

The Casablanca centre has been managed by Moncef Benabdeslam, a Moroccan Engineer who graduated from the Ecole nationale supérieure des techniques avancées (ENSTA) in Paris, and worked for several consulting firms in France before going back to Morocco in the financial and call centers sectors.

Located in the heart of Casablanca, Capgemini Technology Services Maroc SA will move next year to Casanearshore (a business park devoted exclusively to offshore activities) and its own building measuring 5,500m².

The centre already operates on a completely integrated model where the resources mobilized for clients are grouped into a single team, wherever they are located in France or Morocco. This organizational model is in response to the Group’s industrialization strategy: Rightshore® employees and the client team in France work together at all stages of the project (from specifications to design and coding), and share the same responsibilities and aims.

“Capgemini Technology Services Maroc SA has already adopted the ‘one-team’ collaboration method, says Moncef Benabdeslam, Executive Director of Capgemini Morocco.

“This organization has already proved its worth by providing clients with a united team facing the same challenges and working towards the same aims.”

Key French clients have already put their trust in the Capgemini Moroccan centre for their IT projects, particularly in the financial services and telecoms sectors, but also in the public sector.

Capgemini is the preferred partner of a large French bank for its French-language development and application maintenance projects. It has also been chosen by a major telephone operator to implement its sales administration system.

In response to the industrialization strategy of its French clients, Capgemini aims to be the first services company to offer comprehensive services from Morocco, from IT systems integration to outsourcing. The Group plans to develop BPO by the end of 2008, using the Group’s expertise in this area and the experience of local management.

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SAP, Microsoft, Axon and others help banks establish a service-oriented architecture

by Editor 4/30/2008 4:24:00 PM

SAP AG, together with Microsoft, today announced a significant milestone in its mission to help banks establish a service-oriented architecture (SOA) for their business operations. SAP and Microsoft, along with other founding members, have created the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN). The goal of BIAN is to help banks ease the transition to an SOA by gathering together a community of industry leading players and global banks who will openly share domain and technical expertise to apply SOA principles and methodologies.

In employing these principles, banks globally will be able to better respond to changing customer needs and reduce risk and cost of re-engineering legacy systems towards a more flexible operational environment. Based on the foundation of the Industry Value Network (IVN) for Banks created by SAP, seventeen founding members have launched BIAN; AXON, Callatay & Wouters, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Postbank, Finanz IT, ifb group, ING, Microsoft, SAP, Standard Bank, Steria, SunGard, SWIFT, Syskoplan, Temenos and Zurcher Kantonalbank.

The announcement was made at a signing ceremony, where members gathered for the official launch of the BIAN association. While IT infrastructure is seen as a key component to a bank's operations, outdated and incompatible legacy systems are increasingly becoming a hindrance in tightly linked, global financial markets. As an association, BIAN members will work within the industry to enable a non-disruptive, step-by-step evolution toward SOA. It will work to create a blueprint to help banks more flexibly use software to run core banking processes and achieve better interoperability among their IT systems allowing them to reduce risk and costs while improving overall operations. The open forum will offer a wide adoption of industry enterprise services and will globally enable banks to easily utilize the results of this collaborative effort.

A goal of BIAN is to define and encourage the development and implementation of standardized services, which will help banks in their daily operations by creating operational efficiencies and allowing them to focus on growth, time-to-market and the increasing demands from their customers. Financial institutions, software vendors and service providers, along with technology partners, are invited to join the association and play a collaborative role with other industry leaders in the definition, building and implementation of next-generation banking platforms.

"Being an active member of the Industry Value Network of Banks, Credit Suisse sees the creation of this association as significant milestone for not only ourselves, but for the industry as a whole," said Claus Hagen, head of Integration Architecture, Credit Suisse.

"The association will create an open environment of members that begins with an idea and takes it all the way through to execution." "Microsoft is pleased to play a lead role in helping define the roadmap for a more flexible approach across the banking industry," said Koen Van den Brande, worldwide industry manager for core banking at Microsoft.

"A common view of the functional scope of 'banking enterprise services' is needed to build a next generation of agile banking platforms. This SOA- based approach is designed to enable our largest customers to implement more flexible banking solutions based on a new generation of banking technologies from our partners."

Banking Industry Architecture Network Creating and Building Enterprise Services for Banks

One of the key challenges for SOA in banking lies in the semantic definition of services that will provide a more flexible and modularized IT landscape. In 2005, SAP and its banking advisory board began the journey to address this challenge by creating the industry value network (IVN) group for Banks.

The IVN banking group, comprised of 37 financial services institutions and software providers, was tasked with combining their own experiences with expertise from SAP to define important SOA services and create the blueprint for a successful transition from today's tightly coupled IT landscape. Recently formed as an association according to German law, BIAN has an open intellectual property policy, which helps ensure that the specifications that emerge from this collaboration can be implemented on a variety of technology platforms.

BIAN members will work closely with:

-- Standards bodies: BIAN will strive wherever possible to encourage the adoption of standards already in existence, while working collaboratively with standards bodies for the benefit of the industry as a whole.

-- Global banks: BIAN will work with banks worldwide on the definition of enterprise services that maps closely to banks' in-house target architectures for next-generation SOA and business process management- based banking platforms.

-- Software vendors and systems integrators: BIAN will work with leading independent software vendors and systems integrators worldwide who want to build and implement enterprise services for banks to use with their in-house and software vendors' platforms.

"Driving the IVN group for banks for the last two years has been a very exciting initiative, through which SAP has been able to work more closely with the banking industry to lead the efforts of standardizing enterprise services and creating a path where our customers can transition their business operations into a more flexible and agile IT environment," said Thomas Balgheim, senior vice president, global banking line of business, SAP.

"Through the success of the IVN, its members and SAP have turned their goal of forming a new industry association into a reality. This will enable members to create a truly open community."

Microsoft and its partners have long collaborated to advance the business of banking and financial services. Together, they develop technologies designed to enable financial institutions across the global to run their IT systems and applications more effectively and efficiently, allowing staff to better leverage technology to drive business success.

This is reflected in Microsoft's approach with BIAN and via this history and acumen, Microsoft is happy to help shape the future for banking around the important work that BIAN will deliver. BIAN will utilize the existing value from the IVN group for banks which resulted from its collaboration between SAP and leading banks worldwide.

Through the identification of customer pain points, critical services and a path to standardize the adoption of the service-oriented architecture (SOA) framework, BIAN will help to accelerate product development under one consistent business language. The IVN group for banks had created an SOA taxonomy, developed a service landscape and identified the strategic and organizational building blocks that banks require for a successful transition to SOA. This successful collaboration has evolved into a global community comprised of 130 participants representing 37 financial services institutions and software providers.

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The 10 hottest IT jobs

by Editor 4/29/2008 3:20:00 PM

Baseline surveyed several IT recruiters and analyzed some recent employment studies to find the most highly sought IT jobs today and discover where the demand for IT skills lies this year.

Here are the results and the 10 hottest IT jobs: 

1. Senior Level Java/J2EE and .NET Developers

Janet Miller, president of the recruiting firm Computer Management, says: “If they’re software developers and they have Java/J2EE or any of the .NET skills, they’re very hot right now.”

2. Application Development Managers

“There is a definite need for applications development managers with strong technical backgrounds, specifically within object-oriented and service-oriented architecture-based applications,” says Dan Martineau of Martineau Recruiting Technology.

3. Security Professionals

Steven Ostrowski, director of corporate communications for CompTIA, says:

“Managers we talk to say that the reason skills are coming up short is because the security landscape changes so rapidly that it is very difficult for anyone to stay on top of all the different threats that are out there.”

4. Architects of All Stripes

Application architects are expected to get the second biggest average raise, amounting to 7.5 percent, among all the IT jobs included in the research conducted by the Robert Half Technology this year.

Dan Martineau says: “Architects of all stripes are big right now, but the hottest ones are applications architects.”

5. Talented IT Managers

Companies look for talented IT managers who have both the technical and soft skills necessary for the job. A survey by Robert Half Technology also shows that, when looking for IT managers, more than 41 percent of chief information officers now place a greater emphasis on business knowledge alongside the IT skills.

Steven Ostrowski says: “All of those things that fall into the bucker of what seem to be ‘soft skills’ is something that most employers – if not all employers – want in addition to the technical skills that people need to have.”

6. Business Technology Professionals

Martineau says: “The difference between business technology and information technology roles is that IT delivers a particular service – whether it’s a shared service or an application or whatever, while business technology workers accomplish the hybrid goals that live between the business and IT. These are strategic roles that are all about aligning the business needs with IT.”

7. Database Administrators and Managers

The Robert Half Technology 2008 Salary Guide research pinned database administration and management as jobs that would see a definite growth in demand this year. Predictions made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics support this, saying that the sector will outgrow all the other occupations in the period leading up to 2014.

8. Infrastructure Professionals with Strong Backgrounds in Virtualization

“Virtualization is the biggest thing going on in the data center right now,” says Dan Martineau. “It allows you to deliver the same number of applications with a quarter of the servers, saving space, money and power, so people with virtualization skills are in high demand.”

9. Web 2.0 Developers

“There's a lot of interest in the Web 2.0 type applications and development, so people who have some sort of ability in that arena certainly have a leg up,” says Steven Ostrowski.

10. Wireless Networking Experts

A recent survey by CompTIA suggests that wireless and radio frequency mobile technology is the skill that will see the biggest grwoth in demand in the coming years. Experts believe that the need for professionals for this job will outstrip the supply.

“Wireless IT skills are going to be critical in the not-too-distant future,” says Ostrowski.


To apply for the latest IT consulting jobs, visit our IT consulting job board.  

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Ernst & Young among Canada's best places to work for third consecutive year

by Editor 4/29/2008 2:26:00 PM

Accounting firm Ernst & Young is honoured to be named among the "Best Workplaces in Canada for 2008" for the third year in a row.

This list is compiled by the Great Place to Work Institute, which recognizes the top 50 workplaces from coast to coast.

Ernst & Young was chosen based on an external review of both work culture and human resources policies. The Institute also puts emphasis on survey results from more than 400 randomly-selected partners and staff.

Highlights of the survey results include:

- 91% said they are proud to tell others they work at the firm

- 83% said they feel good about the ways the firm contributes to the community

- 82% said they can be themselves at work

- 84% said Ernst & Young is a great place to work

"This award is a great testament to the culture of teaming, coaching and inclusiveness we have built," says Karen Wensley, Canada's People Team Leader for Ernst & Young.

"We are really proud to hear that our people feel they can thrive and achieve their potential in our work environment."

This ranking reinforces Ernst & Young's PeopleFirst philosophy. By focusing on being the best place for our people to achieve their career and personal goals, we can make a difference for our people, our clients and our communities.

This is part of a recent list of accolades for Ernst & Young in Canada. The firm has also received:

- Best Employers for New Canadians for 2008

- Best Employers for Diversity, 2008

- Calgary's Best Places to Work For 2007

- GTA's Top 50 Employers 2008

- Alberta's Best Workplaces for Working Parents, 2008

- Alberta's Best Workplaces for Millenials, 2008


The Great Place to Work Institute also produces Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list, on which our US firm has ranked for the past 10 years.

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EdiPower Selects Accenture to Help Improve Service Operations

by Editor 4/29/2008 2:18:00 PM

Accenture will help Italian utility EdiPower reduce equipment failure and service disruptions by deploying a predictive monitoring solution, which draws upon Accenture’s research into improving businesses’ ability to access, analyze and act upon business intelligence in real-time.

Accenture will use SmartSignal’s predictive monitoring system which extracts information from equipment sensors, control systems and business systems and then uses analytical models to predict equipment failures before they occur, reducing forced outages and greatly improving plant availability. The predictive monitoring solution will enable EdiPower to minimize downtime and emergency maintenance by providing EdiPower staff with real-time alerts.

“Most enterprise equipment maintenance today is either conducted reactively, after a costly failure occurs, or routinely, whether maintenance is needed or not,” said Claudio Arcudi, a senior executive in Accenture’s Utilities practice.

“In its quest for high performance, EdiPower should be able to improve its maintenance planning, reduce maintenance costs and minimize plant downtime.”

The predictive monitoring system was populated with data gathered by EdiPower’s local plant site staff and data managers. Data cleansing and model creation were performed by Accenture with support from the utility and SmartSignal.


Find the latest Accenture jobs on the TopITconsultant job board.   

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IT jobs don't pay as much in the U.S.

by Editor 4/28/2008 4:52:00 PM

Information technology jobs, at least some of them, may still be in high demand, but InformationWeek's annual IT salary survey shows a drop in median total pay: approximately $2,000 for IT staff and $103,000 for IT managers.

Fewer IT professionals are getting a raise this year. Last year, 74 percent of IT staff and 80 percent of managers saw their salaries increase, while this year it is only 65 percent of the IT staff and 71 percent of managers who have reported a raise.

The average raise has gotten smaller as well and so has the median bonus, which has dropped $1,000-3,000 for IT staff and about $7,000 for managers.

Even though the gap has become smaller, male IT staffers are still better paid than women. The difference amounts to 9-10 percent.

IT staff retention programs and different perks originally introduced to inspire loyalty in staff have also gradually disappeared from the sector.

Mercer HR consultant David Van De Voort says: “IT is being affected like everyone else now,” adding that not even information security is as hot an area as in recent years, even though the salaries have remained strong.

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New consulting careers guide to be launched

by Editor 4/25/2008 4:18:00 PM
IT consulting jobs,IT consulting careers

Management consulting careers website Top-Consultant announced the launch of a new consulting careers guide this week.

The definitive careers guide for the consulting industry in the UK will be produced in cooperation with Kingsham Press.

The publication will be launched in the late summer in hardback and as a PDF document.

As invaluable resource for consultants, the consulting careers guide will feature a directory of consulting employers in the UK – both high profile consulting brands and boutique consultancies.

Some of the biggest names in the consulting sector – more than 60 consulting firms – have already submitted entries in the directory section and the number is expected to exceed 150 consultancies by the time the careers guide is published.

Top-Consultant Founding Director Tony Restell says:

“Nowhere else can consulting candidates find such an exhaustive list of employer details, making the guide a must-read in our industry.”

Along with the directory, the guide will contain a number of articles that will provide insights into the consulting market and recent industry trends in the UK, advice on writing a good CV and job interview techniques.

Top-Consultant's careers guide will be updated every two years.

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Boston Consulting Group: Talent is top business concern

by Editor 4/25/2008 4:14:00 PM

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has conducted a global study on human resources management. 

The consultancy has pinpointed talent management as the top concern for businesses worldwide.

The BCG has concluded the following:

“Managing talent is the most critical human resources (HR) challenge worldwide and will remain at or near the top of executive agendas in every region and industry for the foreseeable future, according to a new global study conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the World Federation of Personnel Management Associations (WFPMA), and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Key findings of the report, “Creating People Advantage: How to Address HR Challenges Worldwide Through 2015,” will be presented today at the WFPMA World HR Congress in London.

The study, which is based on a global survey of 4,741 executives in 83 countries and markets, found that managers worldwide also rated improving leadership development and managing work-life balance as urgent priorities.

The report provides rankings and analysis of 17 HR challenges in seven major regions of the world and suggests specific actions to address those issues."

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Deloitte CEO to address Gen Y workforce

by Editor 4/24/2008 3:16:00 PM
deloitte, deloitte jobs,consulting jobs

Deloitte LLP chief executive officer Barry Salzberg will deliver a speech titled “Who Took My Workforce: New Realities for the New Era” at the Omni Los Angeles hotel at noon on May 7.

After addressing the Millenial workforce, Salzberg will be taking questions on how the new generation of employees is affecting the world of business.

Salzberg, who has been with Deloitte since 1977, will also discuss larger issues related to new talent and employment trends. The Deloitte CEO has previously spoken of the issue of attracting the Generation Y employees to the workplace.

He said: “We have made a huge effort to understand and respond to the unique strengths and style of Gen Y. Younger people want respect and they demand choices. Above all, they want to be valued and noticed for their contribution. What I find most exciting is that it’s a process that is changing how all the generations work together.”

The event is organized by Town Hall Los Angeles, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to examining important issues of the present day society.

For more information, visit the Town Hall website.


To apply for the latest Deloitte jobs, please visit our IT job board.   

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IT jobs face threat of budget cuts at Citigroup

by Editor 4/23/2008 4:35:00 PM

As many as 25,000 Citigroup jobs are under threat as the company's new chief executive Vikram Pandit has ordered massive budget cuts for IT operations and staff as part of the new cost-cutting scheme.

In the last year, the company’s shares have plunged more than 50 percent. 

Pandit was named Citigroup's CEO in December 2007. Since he was appointed to the position, he has decided to centralize IT decision making in New York under Don Callahan, the chief administrative officer.

Pandit told Financial Times: “It is clearly feasible for us to take 10%, 15% or 20% off our cost base, especially in information technology and operations.”

The bank held the annual meeting on Tuesday. Contrary to experts’ predictions, Pandit said that they had no plans to change Citigroup’s dividend policy at this time. The dividend was already cut earlier this year and further changes were expected after the bank had posted a $5.1 billion loss in the first quarter of 2008.

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