Tuesday, June 12, 2007

BPO --> KPO --> EPO

Yes - now a new one ;-) Engineering Process Outsourcing (EPO)!! Outsourcing engineering services to India holds enormous potential. With a large number of labor driven and repetitive tasks, it fits the outsourcing bill to perfection. The labor-intensive engineering processes that can be outsourced are structural drafting and detailing, conversion services, cost estimations and a lot more.

Government of India has undertaken a survey on the scope of Engineering Process Outsourcing (EPO) for Indian companies, the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) has conducted the study and it claims that EPO business would grow by 10 times in the next seven years and will touch $30 billion.

Tall claim? I don’t know. But they certainly are talking figures.
EPO is expected to keep the Indian BPO story rolling.

Read on....

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The KPO Compass

When the service industry in India started, everyone spoke of "Call Centers" (apart from software development of course). That is because, by and large, it really was nothing more than voice calls (inbound and outgoing). Then, companies started adding "non-voice processes" which gave birth to a new term - "ITES or IT Enabled Services". Time went by, and these things were called "BPO - Business Process Outsourcing". And then came KPO which broadly means the outsourcing of various kinds of "knowledge work".

Knowledge Process Outsourcing has definite connotation and can not be used for all kinds of the outsourcing activities. Broadly speaking, KPO involves the following activities:

  • LPO
LPO stands for legal process outsourcing. LPO a breadth of legal processes, such as patent application drafting, legal research, advising clients, writing software licensing agreements and drafting distribution agreements.
  • RPO

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw coined this term. RPO means Research Process Outsourcing. Clients outsource their R&D work and RPO is most popular in the biotech industry.

  • HRO

HRO stands for Human Resource Outsourcing. HRO comprises activities such as, payroll management, training, staffing, retirement and benefits planning, risk management, compensation consulting, etc. These activities are outsourced by which the client can concentrate on their core competency.

  • MBPO
MBPO stands for Medical Business Process Outsourcing. Medical transcription, billing, claim processing, etc. are the chief activities of MBPO.

As time goes by, processes mature, and new players try to carve out new niche areas and lay claim to it, new terms are coined. But at the end of the day, it's all the same idea, just a different domain.....

Thursday, June 7, 2007


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Why Outsource to India?

The answer is simple. Outosurcing to India cut costs by about 50% ;-) Outsource to India for technological agility, quality, flexibility, cost control, time-to-market and competitive advantage.

Here are some interesting facts I found on IndiaWebDevelopers relating to outsourcing:
  • India exports software to 95 countries around the world: outsource expertise in global methodologies
  • 82% of the US companies ranked India as their first choice for software outsourcing
  • Bill Clinton applauds India 's brainpower: says Indian-Americans run more than 750 companies in America 's Silicon Valley . "You liberated your markets and now you have one of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world," said President Clinton.
  • Bill Gates says India is an IT superpower: strikes strategic alliances with Wipro and Infosys to develop applications on the .Net platform
  • Outsource to a mature industry with world-class systems, systems and quality. Of the 23 software companies in the world that have achieved the prestigious SEI-CMM Level 5, 15 of them are Indian. India will soon have the highest number of ISO-9000 software companies in the world, according to Nasscom
  • IT is one of the Government of India's top five priorities.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Web 2.0: What Is It Really?

According to my pal Wiki, "Web 2.0", a phrase coined by O'Reilly Media in 2003, refers to a perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services — such as social-networking sites, wikis and folksonomies — that facilitate collaboration and sharing between users. Though the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to Web technical specifications, but to changes in the ways systems developers have used the web platform.

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As the name suggests, Web 2.0 describes a set of next-generation Internet technologies. It's about social networking, user-generated content, glowing drop-shadowed logos, blogs, AJAX, mashups, and tagging. It's the next revolution on the Web!" These protocols and tools make it easier to create online applications that behave dynamically, much like traditional PC-based software. They're also highly social, encouraging users to manipulate and interact with content in new ways. Web 2.0 pushes computing power off the desktop and onto the Internet, which means less time and money spent on PC software administration. As a general rule, Web 2.0 tools are also less expensive than traditional software — and many are even free. Because they're Web-based, all you need to get started is an up-to-date browser.

People aren't happy with just a site anymore. Now they want it sprinkled with magic fairy Web 2.0 pixie dust before they're happy ;-) But the fact is that NOBODY has any idea what it really is! Ask a dozen tech pundits to describe Web 2.0 and you're likely to get two dozen explanations as to what it is. According to Tim O'Reilly, "Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform." The precise definition remains open to debate.

Friday, June 1, 2007


Finally! I feel like a free bird ;-) Time flies when you are buried under a workload which would crush two or three demigods! Anyway, the good news is that I am back to full time blogging. So keep visiting :-) Take care all you folks!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Virtual Appliances - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I was going through Dan Kusnetzky's blog and came across this interesting piece of writing on virtual appliances. Read on.

Every now and then, a supplier of an IT application or tool tells me about their plans to encapsulate their product into a virtual machine and deliver it to the market. Although this seems to be a great idea, this approach isn't always the best way to approach software distribution.

  • The Good — an encapsulated application or tool is easy to install. All that's necessary is to copy the virtual machine file and virtual machine "Player" to the target system and away you go. All of the chores involved with installing the operating environment, database software, application framework software and the application itself have already been done. If the application or tool is difficult to install properly, the vendor might be motivated to offer it as a virtual image rather than requiring its customers to go through a painful process.
  • The Bad — virtual machine files have a tendency to be large. If the supplier's intention is that organizations acquire this software by a download process, it may take quite some time and consume quite a bit of network resources from the time the button was clicked to the time the software has actually arrived safely. If the organization is in a region known for unreliable network service, this process may be a major obstacle. Since one size won't always fit everyone, the organization would be well advised to know how the virtual image differs from the software that is delivered in another way. It would also be wise to learn what steps are necessary to tune or optimize this software.
  • The Ugly — software licensing can rear its interesting head and make the organization adopting this software into a villain! Since an entire operating system, database software, application framework and application software may be part of this virtual machine image, it may bring along with it a licensing conundrum. It's very easy to make and run multiple copies of this virtual machine. It is also very easy to share this virtual image with partners and customers. A few key questions to consider are:
    • Does the organization need to acquire (and pay for) software licenses for each layer of software in each virtual machine that is stored or used on their network?
    • Does it have the right to share this software?
    • Does it have the right to modify this virtual image in any way before deploying it?

If all of this software is protected by an open source software license, the organization may not face additional charges or restrictions. If the company has a site license from each of the vendors of each of the layers of technology in the virtual machine image, if may be able to run multiple copies within the ways of their own facilities but not share the image with others.

It would be very wise for the organization's IT department to find out what licensing applies to a virtual image. It would be much better if the terms and conditions of use are known and the appropriate operational and administrative procedures defined before a virtual image is unleashed on the network.

Some suppliers of operating systems, database management software and application frameworks have such a complicated and confusing set of licenses for their products that the answers to these questions might be hard to find.

Is your organization using virtual appliances? What tasks are they performing? Has your IT department learned something that others should also know?