Monday, September 24, 2007

Pune to turn Infy's largest manpower base

PUNE: The Queen of the Deccan, Pune, which saw the birth of the Indian infotech giant Infosys in a small flat in 1981, is all set to witness some exciting developments relating to the much-admired company.

Rejecting the all-round pessimism about Pune’s future on the infrastructure front, Infosys has expressed confidence on its expansion plans for Pune and is marching on to create a seating capacity for 20,000-plus employees here by 2008.

This will make the Pune operations the largest manpower base for Infosys, the company’s new CEO and MD S Gopalakrishnan said.

The $3 billion-plus company which has 14,000 employees at its Pune Development Centre (PDC) has so far invested Rs 723 crore here. As of June 2007, Infosys had a total headcount of 75,971 employees, of which, 18,490 were based in Bangalore where it is headquartered.

Gopalkrishnan said while Pune was likely to emerge as the largest Infosys centre in terms of people, the Mysore campus would be the largest in terms of size with about 375 acres. The PDC was established in 1996 and occupies two sprawling campuses spread over 138 acres.

With nine software development blocks, a customer care and support services block and other facilities, the development centre offers key services in areas such as domain consulting, technical consulting, infrastructure management, system integration and enterprise application integration among others. The Pune DC services customers in sectors such as banking, insurance, financial services, logistics, manufacturing and healthcare.

Speaking amidst massive infrastructure development at its phase-II campus in the Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park at Hinjawadi, Pune, Infosys CEO said he was not overly worried about the infrastructural woes of Pune, which were common to most cities in the country.

While the government certainly needs to make investments to provide better air-connectivity, public transport and roads, Pune has many positives that have enabled sustained growth for Infosys, he said. “The environment and the work culture is very positive here. The government created this IT park; when we outgrew, they created phase-II. So, support from the government is very important,” he said.

Emphasising on ensuring sustainable growth for Pune, he said, “If employees don’t feel this is a good city to live in, they will move out and business will follow. People are becoming highly conscious of the quality of life and cities are now competing in attracting employees.”

Both, Gopalkrishnan and Priti Rao, head of Infosys’ PDC, said the availability of a large talent pool from Pune and Mumbai, good educational and residential facilities, land availability for expansion and manageable attrition rates were factors that went in Pune’s favour.

Original Story

Infosys pays $1m to six employees

BANGALORE: Million-dollar pay cheques no longer raise eyebrows in the Indian IT industry. Given the huge demand for high-quality professionals, some top-notch companies are willing to pay the big bucks.

Six employees of Infosys Technologies posted overseas earn $1 million annually, perhaps making the company the highest paymaster in the Indian IT industry.

According to sources, these six employees are neither part of the founding team and nor are they board members. In fact, they are business heads of the company’s different verticals. The list does not end here.

There are around five professionals who earn a package of $800,000 and about 25 professionals in the $500,000 bracket. In the case of Infosys, the differentiating factor is that they (employees) are professionals and are no way linked to the founder members.

Original Story

Infosys is among leading global adopters of Microsoft Vista

The Bangalore-based IT major will have around 20,000 Vista-enabled computers by June ’08 from the current 4,500

Indian software services vendor Infosys Technologies Ltd has emerged as one of the largest users worldwide of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Vista operating system, even as deployment of the latest offering from the Redmond, Seattle-headed software giant has had a slower pickup

Bigger bytes: Different versions of Windows  Vista software on display. A spokesperson for Microsoft’s India unit said TCS and Satyam are expected to top 10,000 Vista deployments by June next year.
compared to previous software versions among business customers.
Infosys is set to take up the number of Vista-enabled computers to 20,000 by June 2008 from the current 4,500.
The Bangalore-based company declined to comment because it is in its “quiet period” ahead of reporting its July-September quarterly financial results, scheduled for the second week of October.
India is the world’s fastest growing market for technology products, including software. Business customers such as Infosys, account for two-thirds of software and hardware purchases in India.
While Microsoft wouldn’t disclose names of other global firms that are leading Vista adopters, reports in trade publications, such as CNet News, have said Citigroup, Continental Airlines and Charter Communications in the US plan to have 10,000 Vista computers through June, which is Microsoft’s fiscal year-end.
According to a February case study prepared by Microsoft, Infosys has around 65,000 computers, 80% of which are desktops and the rest portable computers. Close to 90% of the desktop units run on Windows XP, the older version of Microsoft’s line of operating system.
A spokesperson for Microsoft’s India unit did say that Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, the country’s biggest software services firm, and Satyam Computer Services Ltd are also expected to top 10,000 Vista deployments by June next year.
Windows Vista was launched for business customers in November and, since then, has sold more than 600,000 licences in India. It was not immediately clear whether these included upgrades from Windows XP or not.
“Businesses and consumers are adopting it at a good pace. In India, we have seen great momentum for Vista with our key customers here being Infosys, TCS, Satyam and L&T Infotech," wrote Rishi Srivastava, director, Windows client business group, at Microsoft India, in an email.
On 4 May, Mint ran a report based on a series of interviews with chief information officers at Indian companies on the slow roll-out of Vista among business customers in the country.
An analyst said that although adoption of Vista by large business customers has picked up, it is not as fast as expected.
“Real enterprise adoption of the Windows Vista will happen from the first quarter of 2008, when the small and medium businesses will have passed the wait-and-watch and the experiment stage,” said Diptarup Chakraborti, principal analyst at research firm Gartner Inc.’s Mumbai offices. “Currently, it is mostly the large enterprises who are switching to Vista because they cannot afford to lag in terms of being up to date with their technologies.”
Chakraborti predicted a faster adoption of Vista in India since users here do not have old, legacy systems as in more developed markets. In countries such as the US, “because penetration levels are high, new PC sales are lower compared to replacement PCs. In India, more new machines are sold than replacement PCs and so the deployment of new technologies such as Vista will be faster than the developed world,” he said.
Gartner estimates that around 8.7 million PCs will be sold in India by the end of this calendar year, of which 5.6 million will be new PCs and 3.1 million replacements. Microsoft said around 60% of the new PCs sold in India are loaded with Vista.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

India @ 60 hots up in NY, Infosys adds final touches

Infosys co-chairman Nandan Nilekani is camping in New York, overseeing final touches to India @ 60, the week-long celebration of India that's coming up in the city.

At venues including The Pierre, the Tata Group-managed luxury hotel and Bryant Park, New Yorkers will be treated to everything Indian, from food and fashion to economic facts.

“Well, you know it's overall part of the India brand building that we have been doing at Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) for the last three years. We began with Davos 2006, which was a big success in terms of projecting India,” said Nilekani.

The message is already out at Times Square, the block that likes to call itself the crossroads of the world. By holding the festival at a time when the United Nations General Assembly will be in session, India hopes to catch the attention of the whole world from the Big Apple.

CII and the Indian government are spending over $10 million on bringing the taste and feel of India to New York. This investment in India @ 60 could pay off for many years to come.

Original Story

Infosys Interested in buying the UK IT major Sage Group for about 4.6 bln eur?

BANGALORE, Sep. 19, 2007 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) -- Infosys Technologies (NASDAQ:INFY) Ltd is rumoured to be interested in buying the UK IT major Sage Group PLC for about 4.6 bln eur, bidding along with Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) , Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Intuit Inc (NASDAQ:INTU) , according to media reports.

'We do not comment on market rumours,' Infosys spokesperson told Thomson Financial News when asked about the acquisition.

Earlier in July, there were rumours that Infosys was eyeing Capgemini, and also Siemens (NYSE:SI) ' consulting services in the high-end engineering area.

India's second-biggest software-maker, which has a cash reserve of 1.6 bln usd, recently bought the captive division of Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG) NV's finance and accounting business process outsourcing unit for 28 mln usd.

Original Story

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Infosys, Microsoft In Race To Buy UK's Sage

India’s second largest IT services exporter Infosys and Microsoft are in race to buy British software company Sage Group. Besides these two companies, French IT company Capgemini, Intuit, and Goldman Sachs too are in race to buy the company for a rumoured € 4.6 billion.

There are also rumours doing round with a falling dollar and rising rupee, the Bangalore headquartered Infosys might look at buying French IT company Atos Origin which is strong in the IT services market in Europe. BG Srinivas, head of Infosys operations in EMEA has quoted, “We are looking for opportunities that will transform our business in Europe.... That could be in the UK, France or Germany.”

Infosys and a spate of other Indian IT services companies such as TCS, Wipro and Satyam are looking at buying European companies to become strong Europe and offset dependence on the US. Most Indian IT companies get their revenues from the US, however with a falling dollar, US no longer exciting. In contrast Euro has been getting stronger by day.

Original Story

"Fuel deal" delays Infosys campus in Thiruvananthapuram

The state-of- the-art campus of the Indian IT major Infosys near Technopark here has hit another road block as the Technopark authorities have failed to relocate a petrol pump that function in the land allocated to the Infosys.

According to sources, the Technopark authorities had at first tried to acquire the land in which the pump functions. However the idea to take over the 16 odd cents of land by giving compensation to the pump owner did not materialise as the pump owner was unwilling to accept the proposal.

When the Technopark authorities had acquired all other pieces of land for the proposed facility centre of the Infosys, the petrol pump owner took issue to the court, demanding a fair deal. After months of arguments and counter arguments, the court directed the Technopark authorities to provide another piece of compensatory land in the nearby area to the pump owner.

Moreover, the government should set up the infrastructure facilities required for the pump and hand over the same to the pump owner.

At this point of time the Bharat Petroleum authorities and the pump owner insisted that the work on the infrastructure facility should be entrusted with one of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation- empanelled contractors.

The park authorities who were in a haste to get rid of the imbroglio, accepted their proposal. A contractor suggested by the Bharat Petroleum Corporation was given work to the tune of Rs 60 lakh. However, the contractor stopped the work in the midway citing shortage of funds.

Earlier, the pump owner and the BPC was not happy with the shape of the land allotted to them. Following the complaints, the Cabinet approved the change.

The contractor has now asked for a meeting with the authorities as he needed more funds to complete the work. According to sources, the Infosys authorities are not happy with the delay in relocating the petrol pump from the land earmarked for them.

Monday, September 17, 2007

IT's top-four see exodus of about 10,000 employees in Q1

Indian IT companies, grappling with an appreciating rupee eating into their profits, are also finding it hard to retain employees with the top-four firms TCS, Infosys, Wipro and Satyam witnessing an exodus of about 10,000 people in the first quarter.

Although, all the four firms collectively hired more than 25,000 employees in the April-June period, the net addition was just about 16,300 -- taking their total headcount to 2,85,357 employees.

Except for Satyam Computers, attrition rate went higher at Infosys, Tata Consultancy Service and Wipro from both the previous quarter as well as the year-ago period.

All the four companies reported an adverse impact of rupee rise on their profitability and margins, and are looking at various hedging measures, which include improving employee utilisation rates.

However, analysts believe the high attrition rates, mostly triggered by employees seeking higher salaries, could adversely impact the companies' plans to improve utilisation rates.

TCS, the biggest in terms of revenue as well as headcount, saw an exodus of about 2,500 employees, while just over 2,000 people quit the country's second largest software exporter, Infosys.

The employee loss is estimated to be much higher at about 3,500 at Wipro, the country's third-biggest IT firm, while Satyam, the smallest of the four, saw the lowest number about 1,600 people leaving.

Original Story

Infosys Technologies Joins Shared Assessments Program

Company is the First International IT Services Provider to Advocate Security Standards and "Financial Institution Shared Assessments Program" Adoption

BANGALORE, India--Infosys Technologies Limited (NASDAQ:INFY), today announced that it has joined the Financial Institution Shared Assessments Program, the financial services industry's leading standards body that provides tools for evaluating the security practices of information technology (IT) services providers.

The Shared Assessments Program was created by BITS, the technology division of the Financial Services Roundtable, to combine the expertise of financial institutions, IT service providers, and accounting firms in creating global security standards. Companies that use the program gain significant efficiencies in the security assessment process through a standardized questionnaire and assessment report. Both can be shared with an unlimited number of clients.

Infosys is the first company based outside of North America to join the organization's working group.

In addition to indicating Infosys' commitment to regulatory accountability, participation in the Shared Assessments Program enables Infosys clients to verify Infosys' adherence to more than 45 security controls. The Program's standards are aligned with ISO 27002, PCI DSS v1.1, and other financial services regulations, and reduce redundancies in the entire security assessment process. Because it reduces overlap among various financial institution information requests, the Program can eliminate the burden for clients of sending teams to conduct on-site security audits.

"We are pleased to welcome Infosys, our first international service provider member, into the Shared Assessments Program.," said Leigh Williams, president of BITS. "By participating in the Shared Assessments Program, Infosys has demonstrated that it is a forward-thinking organization committed to providing a secure outsourcing environment for clients."

The Shared Assessments Program was launched by BITS in 2006. Leading financial institutions, service providers, and the Big 4 accounting firms (serving as technical advisers) created the program to help standardize on security controls and reduce inefficiencies for the financial services industry.

Participating in the Shared Assessments Program Working Group creates a unique opportunity for Infosys to contribute its expertise within the data security and financial services space to the evolution of the program's rigorous standards. Participation in the Working Group provides an open forum for both service providers and key financial services leaders to discuss IT security issues affecting the industry today as well as develop standards that help mitigate future risks.

"By becoming a Shared Assessments Program member, Infosys continues its commitment to meeting each of its clients' security standards and regulations in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible," said Ashok Vemuri, Infosys' senior vice president for Banking and Capital Markets. "It's vital to consumers, financial institutions and their IT partners that data security practices must be consistently reviewed and improved. Reducing fraud and managing risk requires a formalized, standardized approach, to ensure that adequate protection is in place."
Original Story

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Infy’s bards

The music room at Infosys Technologies has brought together diverse musicians from different cultural backgrounds. A team of dedicated Infysians who shared a passion for music formed a band which they christened Chameleon. Their music is very electic. The songs range from English to Hindi and adapted to the rhythms of Deep Purple, KK, Altaf Amin and Yanni.
The band comprises Malli, Jithesh, Nikhil, Pratik, Soumo, Lloyd and Sanjesh and it was formed in May 2005.

As one of the members put it “Working in Infosys, the seven of us came to know one another through common friends or just happened to run into each other in the Infosys music room.” They formed the band to play for a Bangalore corporate competition — Touchbass — which was well-appreciated. The success of its first show was motivation enough for them to stick together and achieve more.

The name Chameleon for the band also has its genesis from the diverse musical tastes and influences each member contributed. For example, Lloyd has passed the Grade 7 in piano and being a devout Christian, is fond of Gospel music. Jithesh had played the tabla with a Kerala film music troupe before he started playing drums for his college band.

Most of them have had the experience of playing at college bands and other musical forums giving them the much-needed experience to form a band. According to a band member, “Now, after more than two years, having performed at a good number of concerts and having developed a good sense of team-spirit while playing with each other, we have found our groove.” But for Chamelon, experimentation is the name of the game.

For the past few months, they have been working on original scores and trying out many different styles and genres. As one of them put it, “We have recorded one Hindi and two English numbers so far; it’s a small step towards our first album!”

Original Story