Definitive Guide to UK Consulting Firms available in hardback

by Editor 11/28/2008 3:28:00 PM
consulting jobs,consulting job board
Top-Consultant's Definitive Guide to UK Consulting Firms is now available in hardback print edition and can be ordered at

The Definitive Guide to UK Consulting Firms is the ultimate resource to all those pursuing a career in consulting, with 300+ pages covering all sorts of useful industry information, ranging from contributions from leading consulting industry recruiters to tips on securing a consulting job, with more than 160 consulting firm listings and an assessment of likely hiring patterns in consultancy over the next two years.

The guide is already available as a PDF download and as an eBook on  

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

UK government to cut back on IT consulting

by Editor 11/28/2008 3:16:00 PM
The UK government will cut back on spending on information technology and computer consultants in an attept to raise £5 billion efficiency savings. Chancellor Alistair Darling voiced confidence that reducing the cost of information technology and IT staff would not seriously affect public services. Over the next three years, he hopes, the state can save £35 billion. Spending cuts will remain a priority to the government until 2012 and beyond.

Whitehall has already made room for £26.5 billion of efficiency savings since 2004, which is five billion over target. In the three years leading up to 2007, the government has also eliminated 86,700 civil service posts.

Peter Clarke, analyst at Ovum, says that, for the state’s IT providers, smaller budgets will demand a confident, considered response to meet the sector’s concerns. “Those software and IT services suppliers that seize the opportunity can act as the catalyst in driving out efficiencies and improving the quality of public services,” he said.

“Now is the time for suppliers to intensify the conversations about efficiency and improvement in public services which they have been having with the public sector over the past three or four years,” Clarke continued.

“The government has become increasingly impatient that the public sector has not moved fast enough to achieve back-office efficiencies or achieved the efficiencies in more radical ways. What we heard… was a chancellor determined to achieve that goal sooner rather than later,” Clarke concluded.

Apply for IT consultant jobs on our job board

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

PA Consulting sponsors innovation in medical device technology

by Editor 11/27/2008 10:11:00 AM
PA Consulting Group, an international leader in technology consulting, is supporting innovation in medical device technology by sponsoring the 2008 Cardiovascular Innovation Awards, one of six categories in the Medical Futures Innovation Awards (MFIA).  

The MFIA event allows scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs to put their ideas in the spotlight and possibly even get funding or the right industry connections. The event  is run in association with the Medical Research Council, the Department of Health and the British Cardiovascular Society. The MFIA panel consists of 60 experts who elect the winner. The winner of an Innovation Award gets funding, commercial guidance and professional introductions necessary to promote his product, idea or business.

“The entries are highly varied, and this forum presents an unrivalled chance for clinicians, venture capitalists and the NHS to spot and nurture the kind of innovative technology and services which could make a big difference to future healthcare,” says Stewart Fox, Consultant in Healthcare Product Development at PA Consulting’s Cambridge UK Technology Centre.

The winners of this year’s Medical Futures Innovation Awards will be revealed at the Medical Futures Award Ceremony in London on December 2, 2008.  

Browse and apply for the latest PA Consulting jobs on our IT consulting job board.  


Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

IBM and Dassault Systèmes chosen by EADS for collaborative 3D design and manufacturing

by Editor 11/27/2008 10:07:00 AM
IBM and Dassault Systèmes (DS) today announced EADS’ commitment to IBM and Dassault Systèmes’ product lifecycle management (PLM), for 3D collaborative design and manufacturing applications and services. EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services, is streamlining product design and manufacturing processes through the use of collaboration tools to make key product information more easily accessible to suppliers and partners worldwide.

Aerospace and defense companies face new global manufacturing challenges as they extend their network of partners and suppliers around the globe. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like EADS are developing more sophisticated products that rely on deeper integration between the mechanical, electrical and software components of product development. For example, components of an aircraft are made in different locations, making an OEM’s ability to share reliable data and design plans with global suppliers key.

To address these challenges, European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., or EADS, launched a worldwide program named PHENIX, which stands for PLM Harmonization ENhanced Integration and eXcellence. Partnering with IBM and Dassault Systèmes, EADS’ goal is to integrate Dassault Systèmes’ tools such as product design (CATIA), digital manufacturing (DELMIA) and collaborative solutions (ENOVIA-VPM) into EADS’ PLM processes as key enablers for excellence and harmonization.

The IBM Dassault Systèmes applications are currently deployed across EADS, a company known for its Airbus commercial aircraft, special mission and military aircraft, satellite launchers and space services and platforms for missile systems. These applications contribute strongly to support engineering and manufacturing industrial processes from end-to-end.

With its PLM platform, EADS is addressing key industry challenges by:

• Deploying a ‘3D Master Reference,’ digital mock-up approach to help streamline industrial product development programs by increasing collaboration across multiple divisions and tapping into the collective knowledge of international teams.

• Turning complex 3D design and manufacturing processes into tested and repeatable models to achieve optimal results in manufacturing through the integration of 3D and simulation technologies.

• Predicting product behaviors using virtual group validation and resolution techniques that support speedy decision-making and help shrink product design cycle times.

• Creating an easy flow of key design and data information to promote the correct interpretation of product definitions, reducing costly design mistakes in the early stages of product development.

“We’re leveraging a long standing relationship with IBM and Dassault Systèmes, to create harmony in PLM practices across 3D design and manufacturing teams at EADS,” said Jean Botti, EADS Chief Technical Officer. “An increased focus on sharing a 3D master definition and collaborating across our divisions will reinforce our globally integrated approach to product development. IBM and Dassault Systèmes bring indisputable value to the transformation process underway with our PHENIX program. This is in synergy with the recent EADS choice of another key PLM building block of the global PHENIX solution.”

“We share IBM and Dassault Systèmes’ PLM vision of using 3D technologies to effectively communicate and collaborate on new product development,” said Jean-Yves Mondon, EADS vice-president and head of the PHENIX program.

“This collaboration reflects the strength of our long-term partnership with EADS,” said Etienne Droit, executive vice president, Dassault Systèmes. “New PLM technologies from Dassault Systèmes, such as PLM 2.0 and DS V6 solutions, will offer EADS the capacity to extend the strategic value it has placed on collaborative innovation. With new online product creation and life-like simulation tools, companies will simplify PLM platforms and reduce technology costs.” “IBM has the expertise and resources to help companies become more globally integrated,” said Albert Bunshaft, vice president, IBM Product Lifecycle Management Solutions. “As EADS gives partners and suppliers more responsibility for deploying products in new markets and consumer tastes become very local to a region of the world, the use of defined PLM business practices will become paramount for managing on-going market change.”

IBM and Dassault Systèmes have experience in translating complex 3D design and manufacturing processes into tested and repeatable models for successful product development and manufacturing. Whether it is building the largest passenger aircraft in the world or delivering technology used in the International Space Program, IBM and Dassault Systèmes are teaming up to contribute to the transformation of PLM processes into initiatives for product excellence around the globe.

For more information about IBM please visit and For Dassault Systèmes please visit

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

Axon investors approve HCL Technologies buyout deal

by Editor 11/26/2008 3:15:00 PM
Shareholders of the British SAP consulting firm Axon approved the acquisition of their firm by the Indian IT services giant HCL Technologies at an ‘extraordinary general meeting’ (EGM) in London on Monday.

HCL Technologies chief executive Vineet Nayar said: “Axon investors by majority (99.9 percent) accepted our cash offer of 650 pence ($9.78) per share. The deal will be finalised after the court approval December 15.”

On December 15, Axon will also hold its general meeting to endorse the court approval and finalise the acquisition.

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

Your IT Career & the Recession – MDI Group press release

by Editor 11/26/2008 3:11:00 PM
Failing companies, the financial and housing crisis, rising unemployment rates and inflation have everyone wondering what’s next. “What’s in store for me, my company, my employer, my career?” Some thought the worst was over when the housing crisis led to the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But then, global titans like Lehman Brothers began to fall. It was soon clear that many more stumbling blocks lie ahead. Who will be next? What other industries will be affected? When do we hit bottom?

While no industry will go unscathed in this historic downturn, there are pockets that appear to be more resilient than others, the IT sector is one. Due to a lean IT workforce and a technology skill shortage, many IT professionals have not yet been exposed to the job market hardships of this downturn. Demand is still high for your knowledge and skills but it’s important to not get complacent, over confident or too comfortable. Now is the time to take active steps to strengthen your value as an employee and promote your skills and assets. Previous downturns offer many lessons into what may lie ahead for the technology sector and its talent base. Take note of recent history lessons and discover what you can do now to remain employable and in-demand despite economic challenges.

Looking Back to Dot-com Troubles

The years leading up to Y2K and the dot-com bust were filled with aggressive IT hiring. Eager to take advantage of the gold-rush mentality of the early Internet days, many companies dismissed standard business models in lieu of a ‘get big fast’ plan. While the momentum was extraordinary, many companies became over-valued and suffered in what is now known as the dot-com bust.

After that bubble burst, organizations realized that IT spending needed to be reigned in and technology initiatives must be aligned to business strategy. Sprawling IT teams and budgets were cut back. ROI and business alignment took a central role in measuring success. The result for a great many businesses was a leaner, more efficient and business savvy IT operation.

IT Employment Now

Despite the many shocks of the market these days, IT employment has held strong. For example, September 2008 proved a dismal month for overall employment but not for the IT sector. September IT employment was up 4.7 percent over the previous year according to the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB). At the same time, unemployment rates for nearly all major sub-categories of IT labor force, as tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are running at the low end of their past eight-year range.

However, there are also reports of less positive news on the IT front. Recent InformationWeek research shows that 72 percent of businesses plan to cut back on IT hiring. Additionally, 39 percent of companies say their technology budgets have dropped compared to last year, with another 28 percent saying it has stayed the same. So where does this leave you and your career plans when the IT sector anticipates little growth ahead? Let’s take a look.

Where IT Is Heading

The lessons learned from the late nineties will continue to influence the IT sector. As enterprises look for ways to streamline operations and run more efficiently, they will focus on projects that support strategic business initiatives and outsource ‘business-as-usual’ jobs. In addition, companies will increasingly turn to consultants to support critical projects. Instead of building massive in-house functions, many companies are turning to IT professional services firms to provide IT consultants with the skills and flexibility to support evolving needs. According to Staffing Industry Analysts, recent research shows that the industry projecting the greatest contingent workforce growth over the next two years is technology/telecom.

Additionally, IT candidates who possess strong business acumen are the most in demand in today’s economy and will remain so into the future. Organizations need talented professionals who not only have a solid technical understanding, but can also contribute to business initiatives and provide value-added services. Jobs that strictly support ‘business-as-usual’ applications (like regression testing, programmers, developers, etc.) are solely technical assets and the most likely to move offshore.

Career Moves You Can Make Now

The need for technology and innovation is not going anywhere, but IT employees must continue to evolve with the business landscape. To remain in-demand, you will need to make career adjustments that showcase and expand your capabilities. Here are some essential tips to position yourself for success in today’s and tomorrow’s uncertain market:

Build Your Value: As an IT professional, you need to be particularly aware of how the job you are doing ties into the overall company strategy. Not only are you able to offer greater value the more involved you are, but projects that are high-value and high-impact are more likely to survive cuts. Make the effort to market yourself and campaign for those positions to help alleviate the vulnerability of downsizing.

Grow Your Knowledge Base: It is also extremely important to have strong business and industry knowledge. The more you are aware of the IT industry as a whole, as well as the vertical industry you are working within, the more apt you are to offer insight, think outside the box and provide valuable input. Reading industry newsletters and participating in industry-focused associations can help you gain valuable information and also expand your network.

Expand Your Skill-set: Take every opportunity to grow your worth. Make sure you stay current with leading-edge technologies and pursue certifications or further education within a specific functional area.

Identify which vertical industries are doing well versus those that may be struggling in the economy. Retool your skills to match those industries with long-term growth and stability. Ask to get involved in other types of projects that will enhance your skills and be applicable across other industries.

Consider working as a Consultant: As a consultant, IT professionals have the unique opportunity to gain experience in a variety of business settings. They are exposed to various industries and technologies due to the flexibility of their careers and the wide number of industries that leverage IT consulting talent. Consider consulting work if you are looking for ways to continually expand your experience, skills and industry knowledge.

Your Career Is Your Job, Not the Economy’s

The best advice for job market worriers today is to stop wondering what the economy holds and start making the changes you need to remain in-demand and employable. In today’s market, you have to bring value to the table. Look past the technologies you know and the day-to-day tasks you do and focus on what you can achieve: ask questions, get involved, offer solutions, demonstrate your expertise and expand your skills. Certifications, education and knowledge are great, but the ability to translate that knowledge into bottom-line business value is what will bring you long-term career security.

Author: Mike Cleland, MDI Group

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

Accenture signs application outsourcing deal with Xcel Energy

by Editor 11/26/2008 3:09:00 PM
Accenture will provide Xcel Energy with application management services under a multi-year application outsourcing agreement. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Under the agreement, Accenture will provide application maintenance and software development for Xcel Energy’s customer care, meter systems and human resources/payroll applications. Xcel Energy will leverage Accenture’s deep experience in the utilities sector and in application outsourcing services to increase its operational performance and enhance its customer service.

“We continually evaluate our sourcing strategies to improve the execution of our technology strategy and increase the service and support levels for our internal and external customers,” said Michael Lamb, Xcel Energy’s managing director of IT strategy and operations. “Our collaboration with Accenture is aligned with our strategy of leveraging the best skills and expertise to ensure we have the most efficient and effective IT organization possible. Over the past couple of years, we have worked with Accenture on several innovative projects and believe they will bring new synergies to our operations.”

Xcel Energy’s application management -- previously outsourced to a third-party service provider -- will be transitioned to Accenture over the next four months.

Michael Donohue, a senior executive in Accenture’s Utilities industry group, said, “As an innovative company, Xcel Energy understands the best practices, tools and technology that are required to achieve its strategic vision. We are pleased to bring our deep experience in the utilities sector and assets in application services to help Xcel Energy improve its operational performance, increase its level of customer service and be a leader in its industry.”

Accenture is also helping Xcel Energy augment its electric grid through the development and implementation of SmartGridCity™ in Boulder, Colo. Boulder will become a proving ground for the smart grid, a power system that combines traditional and new technology to manage the flow of energy more effectively than previously possible. SmartGridCity™ is designed to provide more-reliable energy while enabling residents and businesses to optimize the use of renewable energy sources, increase energy conservation options, manage their energy bills more effectively and minimize their collective environmental footprint.

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

Capgemini to acquire Czech IT consulting firm to reinforce its presence in Eastern Europe

by Editor 11/26/2008 3:05:00 PM
Capgemini, one of the world’s leaders in consulting, IT services and outsourcing, has entered into an agreement for the acquisition of EMPIRE s.r.o., a privately-held, Czechbased IT services and consulting company, and its subsidiary SOPHIA SOLUTIONS s.r.o., a local expert in Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse (BI/DWH).

Both companies represent on a consolidated basis around €10M total revenues. Through this acquisition and in line with its strategy, Capgemini is developing its presence in mature Eastern European countries. Once Empire and Sophia Solutions are integrated, the consulting and IT services capacity of Capgemini will be significantly enhanced in the Czech Republic with additional 165 highly skilled employees, giving the total of close to 230 of the combined unit in the local market. Under the terms of the share purchase agreement, Capgemini will acquire 100% shares of EMPIRE and 70% of SOPHIA SOLUTIONS, paid in cash on own resources. Capgemini will be able to acquire the remaining 30% of the shares in SOPHIA SOLUTIONS via call options over the coming years.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and it is expected that it will close by the end of December 2008.

EMPIRE pursues a wide spectrum of activities in the area of application development, system integration, Internet portal creation and security. EMPIRE is one of the most sought-after companies in the ICT field in the Czech Republic. The company client base comprises the leading actors of the financial services and telecom industries in the Czech Republic as well as major Czech public sector institutions. SOPHIA SOLUTIONS offers complex IS solutions for management and decision making support as well as to supply products and services in the field of BI/DWH. Among its main clients, SOPHIA SOLUTIONS counts some major international names in the retail sector, automotive and airline sector as well as large state organizations.

“This acquisition represents a significant step forward for Capgemini in our strategy to accelerate growth in our core Eastern European countries,” said Peter Laggner, CEO Capgemini Eastern Europe. “These companies enhance our Technology Services capabilities in our consulting oriented practice in the Czech Republic. We are looking forward to delivering on the promise of this acquisition and with strongly motivated management teams we aspire for a smooth and successful integration of the company into our country unit, region and Group.”

Michal Kavale, majority shareholder and CEO of EMPIRE, will join the top management of Capgemini Czech Republic. Mr. Kavale stated: “The combination of EMPIRE, a strong local IT development and solution provider, and Capgemini, one of the world’s leaders in consulting and IT services, brings a new value to our clients. With this transaction we are becoming an international partner with the strong technology and consulting capabilities, which will give a new impulse to the Czech IT market.”

The deal creates a major consulting and IT services firm in the Czech Republic with strong domain knowledge across market verticals, including financial services, telecommunications, retail, manufacturing and the public sector.

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

IT firms increasing working hours in India

by Editor 11/25/2008 11:27:00 AM
Technology firms in India are increasing the number of working hours for their IT staff in an effort to earn additional monthly revenues per employee. IT employees are also being monitored more closely to make sure their breaks do not cut into their per-day productivity.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is one of the IT consulting firms that has increased working hours from eight to nine. Accenture India will do the same starting January 1, 2009. Wipro's IT employees already work 9.5 hours a day, while Infosys has increased the number to 9.15 hours.

It wasn't, however, until now that the new working hour regulations were implemented and monitored so closely. “It’s sort of mandatory for us now to put in 9.5 hours of work a day,” says a Wipro employee. “Our HR seems to be monitoring it very closely these days and even a 15 minute shortage/delay is being noticed.”

Mohandas Pai, the head of human resources at Infosys Technologies, has confirmed that the company has taken stringent measures to make sure its IT staff put in the required 9.15 hours a day.

The IT firms believe that an increase in working hours will directly affect productivity and revenues. With an extra hour of work each day, IT employees will be putting in 22 extra hours a month. If their hour of work is billed at $20, their company will make an additional $440 a month per employee. This translates into Rs 22,000 of additional monthly revenues per employee for the company.

IT employees are not happy about the new work policy. “Some people are good and are capable of finishing even the extra work that is given to them in eight hours. So they are wondering why they should hang around for nine hours,” says an employee of Accenture India.

Find the latest IT consulting jobs on our job board

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

IBM announces new cloud computing consulting and implementation services

by Editor 11/25/2008 11:23:00 AM
IBM has announced new cloud computing services to help businesses of all sizes take advantage of this increasingly-attractive computing model. With today's announcements, IBM is applying its industry-specific consulting expertise and established technology record to offer secure, practical services to companies in public, private and hybrid cloud models.
  • Industry-specific Business Consulting Services for Cloud Computing - IBM Global Business Services will use an economic model for assessing the total cost of ownership for building private clouds, and/or moving data and applications off-site in a public or hybrid cloud model.
  • Technology Consulting, Design and Implementation Services - IBM Global Technology Services is announcing new services to help clients install, configure and deliver cloud computing inside the data center.
  • Cloud Security - Spanning IBM Systems, Software, Services and IBM's lauded Research and X-Force arms, this effort is aimed at re-architecting and re-designing technologies and processes, to infuse security and shield against threats and vulnerabilities in the cloud.

The old one-server-per-application model has created a dire situation in the data centers of large enterprises. Their infrastructures are becoming too complex and expensive to maintain, and smaller organizations want new ways to grow and expand their businesses without falling victim to these same issues.

Cloud computing, or network-delivered services and software, can save customers up to 80 percent on floor space and 60 percent on power and cooling costs, and deliver triple asset utilization(1). While the economics are compelling to businesses of all sizes, concerns over security, data portability and reliability are causing reluctance among enterprise customers.

New Services for Cloud Computing

IBM's new business consulting services use economic modeling to assess the total cost of ownership for building and integrating clouds. Initial research indicates that organizations will employ both public and private clouds to achieve business goals, and IBM can help companies find the most effective balance, and manage it all as one integrated strategy.

In addition, cloud technology consulting services will help clients create roadmaps for re-constructing their IT environments, so they can take advantage of cloud computing models to improve operational efficiency, overall carbon posture and return on investment. With new cloud implementation services, IBM will apply expert-level skills, methods, guidance and project management techniques to help clients plan, configure and test the servers, storage and technologies necessary to support a dynamic technology environment.

"Cloud strategies need to be in line with business strategies," said Willy Chiu, Vice President, High Performance on Demand Solutions, IBM. "Over the last year in our 13 cloud computing centers worldwide, we've worked with clients to understand how to help them take advantage of both public and private clouds to get the best economics."

New Clients Move into the Cloud with IBM

In addition to new services, IBM is helping new clients move into the cloud. One of Houston's largest and fastest-growing human services agencies, Neighborhood Centers serves over 200,000 citizens in Southwest Texas and delivers key services including economic development services, citizenship and immigration services, early childhood development programs, a K-5 charter school and seniors programs. The non-profit organization depends on IBM cloud services to back-up server and PC data from distributed environments, and store it in secure off-site locations.

"Neighborhood Centers is dedicated to helping citizens cope with disruption and plan for contingencies in life -- as second responders in emergencies we simply cannot afford to be shut down, or slowed down, by a data loss," said Tom Comella, chief information officer, Neighborhood Centers Inc. "IBM cloud services were critical in our community recovery efforts following Hurricane Ike. Since we experienced no business interruptions in any of our 20 facilities, we were able to focus on bringing the community, our services and our citizens back online. But the benefits of cloud services reach far beyond disaster recovery. Better data protection -- demonstrating that we are good stewards of information -- has become a selling point for us in willing contracts."

IBM Research is working directly with clients to create replicable, cloud-delivered, industry-specific services like Lender Business Process Services or Healthcare Process Services, as well as horizontal business services like CRM and supply chain management.

In China, for example, IBM Research is piloting a newly developed cloud computing platform, codenamed Project Yun which is Chinese for "cloud," for companies to access business services, designed to make the selection and implementation of new cloud services as easy as selecting an item from a drop-down menu. With no need for back-end provisioning, the IBM platform stands to cut the time required to deliver new services dramatically. The Yun platform allocates storage, server and network resources for the customer application with zero human input, achieving top performance, availability and power utilization.

One of China's largest retailers with more than 10 million customers per day, Wang Fu Jing Department Store, has deployed several key cloud services from Project Yun, including a supply chain management solution for its vast network of retail stores to easily share supply chain information and visualize the execution of B2B business processes with thousands of their own SMB suppliers via the cloud.

Securing Enterprise Cloud Computing

To ensure the widespread adoption of cloud computing services, IBM has initiated a company-wide project to form a unified and comprehensive security architecture for cloud computing environments. The effort, which spans Systems, Software, Services and IBM's lauded Research and X-Force arms, is aimed at re-architecting and re-designing technologies and processes, to infuse security and shield against threats and vulnerabilities. Security is built-in to the cloud, not an afterthought.

The project incorporates next-generation security and cloud service management technologies, as well as simplified security management and enforcement, offering enterprise customers the same security and compliance guarantees that are equivalent or better than what they can expect in traditional computing environments.

Built upon IBM's extensive industry security leadership, the project focuses on developing trusted virtual domains, authentication, isolation management, policy and integrity management and access control technologies designed specifically for cloud computing

For more information on IBM's cloud computing initiatives, please visit

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList