Accenture report: High performing IT organizations hit the ground running following the economic downturn

by Editor 12/1/2010 2:36:00 PM
High performing information technology (IT) departments at large companies have hit the ground running following the recent economic downturn, recalibrating their efforts to drive more business value from IT, and leaving their less adroit counterparts playing catch-up, according to new research from Accenture.

While many companies slipped into stagnation mode during the downturn, cutting budgets and focusing primarily on maintenance, high-performing organizations viewed IT as a growth engine for their business and the economic conditions as an opportunity to build capability.

Accenture defines high performers in IT as those that achieve excellence in IT execution, IT agility and IT innovation together, balancing the constant and sometimes opposing demands placed on today’s IT function.

High performers in IT not only manage IT like a business, but run IT for the business and with the business. CIOs at these organizations are engaged in their company’s business strategies and are able to truly map out how IT supports those strategies.

"Our survey found that chief information officers (CIOs) of high performance IT organizations are deeply involved in business outcomes and closely attuned to business needs – current and future – across the enterprise," said Gary Curtis, Accenture’s chief technology strategist who supervised the research. "They are successfully retiring their legacy systems and embracing newer technologies. They are adept at managing the balance between optimizing costs and ensuring that they have the budget, skills, and resources to help fuel business growth."

The research also found that high performers don’t just do a few things well; they excel across the board when compared to lower performing IT departments. Some examples:

• They have web-enabled 42 percent more of their customer interactions and 93 percent more of their suppliers’ interactions;

• They are 44 percent more likely to recognize the strategic role IT plays in increasing customer satisfaction;

• They are eight times more likely to measure the benefits realized from IT initiatives;

• They spend 29 percent more annually on developing and implementing new applications rather than on maintaining existing ones; and

• They are twice as likely to view workforce performance as a priority by addressing challenges such as an aging workforce and collaboration, as well as developing technical and soft skills (business knowledge, relationship management)

"High performing IT departments are powerful drivers of value for their organizations – not simply keeping the lights on, but promoting technology initiatives that power innovation and enable the IT organization to function as a business," said Curtis.

Working with CIOs, Accenture based its research on detailed assessments of more than 226 of the world’s largest private- and public-sector organizations. Accenture conducts the research periodically as part of its ongoing effort to identify the characteristics of high performing IT organizations.

The Gap Has Grown

The current research uncovered a gap between high performers and other IT organizations – a gap that has grown significantly since Accenture’s last look at high performance IT organizations in 2008. Indeed, the difference between high performers and their peers in regards to IT innovation has grown from 31 percent in 2008 to 42 percent today. In the area of execution excellence, the gap has increased seven points – from 30 percent to 37 percent – in two years.

"High performers that have shown the ability to differentiate their core IT capabilities during the downturn – a period when many organizations were focused primarily on cost reduction – are now positioned to deliver much more value to their companies as they pursue business growth,” said Curtis. “Companies failing to adopt the same management practices as high performers are, at best, at a competitive disadvantage. At worst, they are at risk of falling permanently behind."

About the Study

The High Performance IT research program has been operating since 2005. This report is based on detailed assessments conducted by the most senior IT executives in 226 of the world’s largest private and public sector organizations in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific These companies have combined annual revenues of $2.1 trillion, represent a wide range of industries and include both Accenture clients and non-clients.

To read the full report, please click here.

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Deloitte ranked top in strategy, current offering and market presence for risk consulting and information security

by Editor 10/22/2010 4:10:00 PM
In a new report, "The Forrester Wave™: Information Security And Risk Consulting Services, Q3 2010," Forrester Research ranked Deloitte number one in all three important categories that were evaluated in the research: current offering, strategy, and market presence.

In the report, Forrester analysts place a particular emphasis on the consulting firm's strong client focus, technical expertise, and extensive service offerings, which set Deloitte apart from other companies in the risk and security consultancy space. "In Forrester's 75-criteria evaluation of information security and risk consulting service providers, we found that Deloitte led the pack because of its maniacal customer focus and deep technical expertise," the report states.

"(Deloitte) Client references pointed to flexibility, project management, and quality of relationships as areas of strength and contract terms and limited services in certain geographies as areas of potential improvement. Deloitte also attracts a more mature client base and excels in solving complex problems while consistently producing high-quality deliverables for its clients. If you have a large and complex environment and are dealing with complex issues that require an understanding of the business process and deep technical capabilities, you should look to Deloitte."

"Deloitte's vision of becoming the client's trusted partner, coupled with its extensive list of services and technical and business experience, separates it from the rest of the pack. Information security, privacy, and IT risk remain top corporate priorities for Deloitte, and this is evident in the company's recent investments. Deloitte also has an aggressive growth strategy, with plans to invest heavily in emerging areas in this space. It has an excellent customer support structure. Client references pointed to flexibility, project management, and quality of relationships as areas of strength and contract terms and limited services in certain geographies as areas of potential improvement. Deloitte also attracts a more mature client base and excels in solving complex problems while consistently producing high-quality deliverables for its clients. If you have a large and complex environment and are dealing with complex issues that require an understanding of the business process and deep technical capabilities, you should look to Deloitte."

"I am delighted with this independent recognition of Deloitte's market leadership in security and risk consulting," said Sundeep Nehra, leader for Information & Technology Risk at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited. "It's no surprise to us that Forrester cited a 'maniacal customer focus and deep technical expertise' when awarding its top honors. Deloitte has made a substantial investment in this area, and clients are now reaping the benefits."

"We believe this recognition by Forrester provides additional evidence of Deloitte's exceptional capabilities, not just in security and risk consulting, but across the full range of professional services," said Sanjoy Sen, Clients and Markets Leader at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited. "Deloitte continues to set a standard of excellence that client's value and competitors aspire to."

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Wipro and Oracle launch co-developed solution for high-technology industry

by Editor 5/6/2010 4:52:00 PM

Wipro Technologies, the global IT services business of Wipro Limited, and Oracle, announced today the launch of a co-developed solution, a Process Integration Pack (PIP) for the High Technology industry.

This solution is part of Wipro’s offerings that provide a comprehensive solution footprint for the High Technology industry. Wipro is one of the first partners to sign an agreement with Oracle to develop end-to-end industry process solutions in the Campaign-to -Cash business process. The development effort underscores Wipro’s thought leadership in Oracle applications-based services practice worldwide and is part of the collaboration initiatives between Oracle and Wipro, across high-technology.

The solution provides for optimization and accurate payment of commissions, thus enabling sales alignment to drive desired sales behaviors across industries. The solution allows increased efficiency of compensation management and can help reduce commission overpayments by 90%. The PIP integrates Oracle’s Siebel CRM and Oracle Incentive Compensation using Oracle Application Integration Architecture (AIA), offering enhanced commission visibility for sales representatives and channel partners.

“In today's environment, companies need to accelerate their Campaign-to-Cash cycle times to help protect margins and healthy revenues,” said Jonathan Oomrigar, Global Vice President, High Technology, Oracle.  “This Siebel CRM to Oracle Incentive Compensation co-developed PIP helps to automate the end-to-end Campaign-to-Cash process by integrating critical components of the Oracle portfolio. Wipro’s process capabilities and skills around Oracle applications combine to create this unique capability for the High Technology Industry.”

“Wipro is excited to work with Oracle and we look forward to leveraging this partnership and global reach in the High-Technology industry to tackle the industry’s challenges of customer acquisition, retention and cross-sell”, said Pavan Goyal, Vice President, Computing, Peripherals and Consumer Electronics, Wipro Technologies. “The Campaign-to-Cash solution set provides a great platform for addressing these Industry challenges and leverages the best-of-breed functionality across the Oracle stack.”

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NetSuite and Wipro partner to provide cloud computing solutions

by Editor 5/4/2010 8:44:00 PM
NetSuite Inc., a vendor of cloud computing business management software suites, has entered into a strategic partnership with Wipro Technologies, the global IT services business of Wipro Limited. The partnership aims to set a new standard for cloud solutions expertise that large organizations worldwide can rely on for advancing their mission-critical business processes. The current scope of the partnership focuses on the Asia-Pacific market with future expansion planned for North America.

Echoing with current market demands, Wipro has been working on a number of strategic initiatives to empower its cloud computing capabilities. This new partnership with NetSuite is a part of a broader Wipro-level initiative to build a leadership position in providing, implementing and supporting application development on Cloud and SaaS platforms.

"As we progress in an era of virtualization, where the emphasis is on helping companies achieve the most efficient and lowest cost infrastructure, cloud computing resounds as an inevitable and highly attractive option," said Sangita Singh, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Application Services, Wipro Technologies. "This partnership, which combines Wipro's IT and business process expertise with NetSuite's deep functionality in cloud business applications, has the potential to be a game-changer for organizations that demand guaranteed customer satisfaction when it comes to mission-critical business functionality in the cloud."

"As large organizations move mission-critical business processes to the cloud, partnerships between global IT services leaders like Wipro and technology leaders such as NetSuite are essential," said Zach Nelson, NetSuite CEO. "This landmark partnership shows the unstoppable momentum of IT infrastructure moving to the cloud."
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Arthur D. Little: Creating competitive advantage by transforming data into intelligence

by Editor 4/22/2010 11:36:00 AM

In today’s high-risk world, foreseeing potential problems and eliminating them before they happen is the ideal many executives strive toward. As business environments move at a rapid pace, making the most of the increased volumes of available market and customer data has become business critical, a new report from management consultancy Arthur D. Little warns.

According to the report "The Art of Systematic Surveillance,” many executives miss the opportunity to use their data for strategic decision-making, instead relegating it to a “data management” task carried out by IT. However, as marketing directors and other business unit heads # are increasingly forced to make quick on-the-spot decisions, a single view of all company-critical data will give them the information needed to to respond quickly and confidently to threats and market challenges .

The report outlines a centralised approach to intelligence management that facilitates the collection and analysis of all company data, and allows leaders across the business to quickly access up-to-the-minute market intelligence.

“Our experience shows that many B2B companies fail to use their data to support long-term decision-making, and the same can be said for B2C businesses facing new consumer trends and shifts to emerging markets," said Per I. Nilsson, Global Head of Arthur D. Little’s Technology & Innovation Management Practice. “Organizations today are sitting on virtual mountains of unused data and changes in the competitive landscape, technologies and business models all mean it is more important than ever to dust off this data and use it wisely by taking a centralized approach to intelligence management.”

Arthur D. Little suggests five business functions where competitive intelligence can be successfully applied:

1. Procurement – identifying supply bottlenecks and changes in competitor activity

2. R&D – scouting new technology to gain early advantage

3. Marketing – monitoring competitor positioning strategy and advertising efforts

4. Sales/after-sales – monitoring competitor sales approaches and distribution channels

5. Human Resources –debriefing new employees and analyzing competitor compensation models

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Valueshore Spain launches initiative to provide a low-risk route to innovation through outsourcing

by Editor 2/9/2010 11:18:00 PM
Valueshore Spain, the Government-backed group of IT outsourcing consultancies, has today announced the launch of its outsourcing partner selection service which will help businesses identify the right partner to enable them to take advantage of the innovation and cost-savings available as a result of outsourcing IT projects to Spain. The service, which has been developed by a combination of both global and local IT consultancies, includes organising site visits, providing legal support and offering independent quality control during the course of the outsourcing project. 

Spain is fast becoming a leading IT outsourcing hub. Wage costs are approximately half those of the UK, and it has a number of key advantages over other nearshore and farshore destinations. The region’s geographical affinity to the UK means companies do not experience the problems of cross-timezone business, which can make communication and management impossible and travel expensive and slow. Furthermore, as EU protectionism increases outsourcing within the EU is sometimes the only option if companies do not want to contravene certain legislation in areas such as data protection.  In addition, there are no delays waiting for visas if staff need to work in both the UK and in Spain. Staff can also travel back and forth in the same day at a moments notice because of the excellent travel connections. Furthermore, the region has a long history of business and IT excellence. The top three business schools in Spain are listed as top ten worldwide by many sources. There is also no skills shortage with almost 20% of Spanish graduates aged 25-64 holding IT degrees, compared to 10% or less in any other European outsourcing destination. Furthermore, with all of these graduates having studied for their degrees using English language textbooks the standards of English are high. 

Euan Davis, principal analyst at Forrester Research, who compiled a recent report on nearshoring to Spain, said: “Our interviews when compiling the report revealed the attractiveness of Spain as a destination for IT service delivery. Firms rate Spain highly for the skill of its people, the strength of its technology infrastructure, its nearshore location, and its ability to scale. Although firms hire companies rather than countries, our interviews show that Spain offers the ingredients to make a nearshore strategy a success with competitive differentiators around its large skilled IT labour pool, industrialized software factories and domain expertise – particular in financial services, retail and utilities.”

Daniel Naoum, co-founder of Valueshore Spain, added: “If a business is outsourcing IT, it’s vital that the chosen region can offer something others cannot. There is little point outsourcing to a country with no proven track record in IT innovation.  Spain’s IT is ahead of other regions in many ways – for example government services have been online for over two years whereas most countries are only in the early stages of projects like these. On top of this, Spain isn’t saddled with legacy systems which enabled the country to leapfrog many others in Europe.  Particularly in areas such as banking – Spain is home four of the top five European banks in terms of cost income efficiency ratios and this is  largely down to our approach to IT. Spanish IT staff have a proven record in delivering innovative, successful IT projects on time and on budget. The likes of IBM, Accenture and Barclays are already taking advantage with IT hubs in the region. Our goal is to make this kind of success available to everyone.”
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Capgemini receives SAP certifications

by Editor 2/8/2010 10:39:00 PM
Capgemini has been certified by SAP AG as a provider of solution implementation based on the Run SAP methodology. Capgemini will incorporate the methodology into its implementation standards.

Run SAP is a phased methodology based on world-class knowledge. It is designed to provide best-practice procedures, content, services, training and tools for end-to-end solution operations, along with a standardized and proven implementation method. The Run SAP methodology focuses on application management, business process operations, and administration of SAP solutions. The methodology describes how support should be implemented across the lifecycle design, set-up, operations and optimization. In addition, with its best-practice documents for solution operations, it describes how to implement end-to-end solution operations for different SAP software-based business processes.

Capgemini also has been certified by SAP AG as a global provider of application management services after recent audits in North America, India and Spain. The certification reinforces Capgemini’s new service line, Application Lifecycle Management, which the Group recently launched to help clients manage the entire lifecycle of applications from development to maintenance, including testing, implementation and optimization.
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Infosys Technologies and Elan Pharmaceuticals apply co-creation model to transform discovery research

by Editor 2/3/2010 7:10:00 PM

Infosys Technologies Limited said that it will design and implement the Research Informatics System (RISe) at Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a leading biotechnology company, to accelerate discovery research using a path-breaking co-creation engagement model that leverages Infosys’ existing intellectual property in this field.

"We are confident that partnering and collaborating with Infosys will create a comprehensive informatics platform for our discovery research needs," said Ajay Shah, Director – Research Informatics, Elan Pharmaceuticals. "We selected Infosys after a competitive Proof-of-Concept phase during which they fully established their credentials and investments in this changing field of discovery research, and demonstrated flexibility and maturity in terms of rapid application development using Agile and Scrum methodologies. With Infosys’ solution and engagement model, Elan will be able to lower costs for scientific operation and facilitate innovation.

As Elan’s informatics system, RISe will leverage Infosys’ Scientific Innovation Solution for knowledge collaboration. Novel ways to unlock disparate data spread across in-house research labs and other commercial or public sources will be presented to scientists in context of their research needs. This will result in, among other things, a customized registry, and inventory and a workflow management system for biological entities.

Elan and its research partners could realize significant gains in research productivity by focused and efficient selection of candidate drugs or biologics with the new RISe. Linking silos of heterogeneous data will not only contribute to a more effective selection process of biologics but could also reduce time to validate them clinically. Furthermore, the new system will reduce time spent on registering and experimenting with bio-entities, increase collaboration, and reduce chances of downstream failure.

Future versions of the software may enable integration of RISe with electronic lab notebook and analytical dashboards which will enable more efficient research knowledge management.

The co-creation engagement model enables Infosys to retain ownership of co-developed IP as part of the implementation. Relevant components of this reference implementation can be reused or repurposed by Infosys to deliver faster business benefits at other Life Sciences organizations.

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

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Wipro receives Most Outstanding Alliance Partner of the Year Award in Asia-Pacific and Japan from HP

by Editor 1/12/2010 7:11:00 PM

Wipro Technologies, the global IT services business of Wipro Limited, announced that it has been awarded the Most Outstanding Alliance Partner of the Year Award from the Software and Solutions group at HP during HP’s annual Asia-Pacific & Japan Partners @World Cup, held recently in Guangzhou City, China.

The HP Software and Solutions Most Outstanding Alliance Partner of the Year award for Asia-Pacific and Japan recognizes one partner for its success in helping HP’s customers optimize the business outcomes of IT. Wipro has delivered strong performance in the Asia-Pacific and Japan region. Wipro’s delivery capability and close collaboration with HP has helped them bag the largest Quality Control software deal in Japan and the largest Software as a Service (SaaS) deal in the Asia-Pacific and Japan region.

This is the third time in the last five years that Wipro Technologies has been recognized by HP Software and Solutions.

Speaking on this occasion, Sr. Vice President and Global head for Wipro Testing services Gangadharaiah C.P said, “We are excited to receive this award from HP Software and Solutions for 2009. This award validates the fact that alliance with HP is successfully delivering collaborative innovation through best-of-breed solutions and addressing the evolving customer’s needs by positioning new SaaS Models in the Industry today.”

“Customers benefit from faster time to market as a result of the HP and Wipro combination,” said Brad Kern, vice president, Worldwide Alliances, Software and Solutions, HP. “Wipro’s vast number of trained testing services professionals combined with HP applications testing products helps deliver this advantage.”

Wipro and HP Software & Solutions are global partners for more than 5 years now. Wipro Testing Services has been working strategically with HP around its entire portfolio of Test Lifecycle Management Tools, which also includes developing new Solutions for Joint Go-To-Market and delivering enhanced customer value through newer business models like SaaS. HP’s testing tools have further strengthened Wipro’s Testing-As-A-Service (TaaS) offering.

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Wipro joins open handset alliance

by Editor 1/8/2010 3:59:00 PM

Wipro Technologies, the global IT services business of Wipro Limited, has joined the Open Handset Alliance, extending its device development and service Integration expertise around Android – an open mobile phone software stack.
 
The Open Handset Alliance (OHA) is a partnership of more than 60 global mobile industry leaders working together to accelerate innovation and offer consumers an enhanced mobile experience. Wipro will now enable its customers in conceptualizing and creating devices on the Android platform along with providing differentiating solutions and applications translating to faster time-to-market for the clients.

Wipro is currently engaged with a number of Handset Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Telecom Carriers, Semiconductor companies, Consumer Electronics and Automotive companies on multiple Android based product developments. “Joining the Open Handset Alliance will help us turn around Android based products and solutions faster with rich feature-sets,” said Nagamani Murthy, Vice President of the Mobile, Automotive and Consumer Electronics Group, Wipro Technologies. “With most device vendors now releasing Android based phones, we foresee an impressive growth on this platform. The Open Handset Alliance membership will enable us to satisfy the strong customer demand,” she added.

Wipro has been focusing on developing differentiated applications on the Android platform along with testing frameworks. The IT major has had a strong Linux background augmented by robust in-house training and proof-of-concepts. These investments have enabled Wipro to help its customers in releasing Android based products in the market.

Wipro offers wide spectrum of mobile platform expertise ranging from development on industry standards and customer proprietary platforms, device engineering to Application/UI development expertise. Wipro works closely with leading mobile semiconductor players and has also supported many leading Tier 1 OEMs across the world in building complete phone software.

Wipro is the world’s largest third party product engineering services provider and was recently rated as the #1 R&D Service Provider globally by leading analyst firm, Zinnov based on an overall rating spanning across factors like financial strength, business models, innovation & expertise, people strength and operations.

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