Studying Indian Call Centers, Onyx CRM 6.0, Bluespring Q3, Turk Kahve

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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Studying Indian Call Centers, Onyx CRM 6.0, Bluespring Q3, Turk Kahve

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Wallflowers' Bringing Down The Horse:

Hey, Western IT services providers? We're the Indian outsourcing providers, and we will bury you! You hear us? BURY you! Bwahahahaha!

New research by independent market analyst Datamonitor has found that "shares in the major India-based IT services providers have vastly outperformed their Western rivals so far this year, despite falling sharply in May and starting from valuations based on much higher multiples of earnings and revenues."

The share prices of the largest four India-based vendors -- Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro and Satyam -- all increased by double-digit percentages, a feat that "none of the largest five US service providers managed, and only one of the largest five European players, Capgemini, achieved," according to Patrick O'Brien Senior Analyst for Global Computing Services atDatamonitor.

Yeah, but Hollywood still makes better movies than Bollywood, so there.

"Our research has shown that overall shares in IT services companies have offered a poor return on investment in the first three quarters of the year, with overall increase in prices of less than three percent, far less than most of the capital markets' indices," O'Brien said.

Datamonitor's Global Computing Services Index shows that while IT services investments have been easily outperformed by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the NYSE Composite Index this year, over the last three months, they've been doing much better.

Of three regional indices which track the top five IT services companies in India, US and Europe, the Indian Top Five has risen to 117 over the last nine months, while the US Top Five has struggled to 98.3, with the Europe Top Five index barely breaking even at 100.4.

European IT services vendors have "struggled with low growth and in some cases poor management," Datamonitor officials say, pointing out Atos Origin, LogicaCMG and Tietoenator as suffering big hits to their market caps this year.

US IT services providers' efforts to ramp up their global sourcing strategies "have only served to mitigate the damage being done by the likes of Wipro and Infosys, which are competing for larger contracts and winning deals in markets previously the preserve of IBM and Accenture, such as finance and accounting outsourcing," the study finds.

However the best performing stock on the GCS Index was Cognizant, a company which offers a total offshore delivery model, but is based in the US. Its shares have risen by almost 50 so far this year, after consistently delivering revenue growth even stronger than its India-based peers.

Still, reminiscent of the days when American car manufacturers and other industrial execs went to Japan for photo ops to pretend they were "learning" from the Japanese companies who were slowly pushing their bloated carcasses into oblivion, some Americans are starting to take India seriously, not just as a source of cheap labor.

Because, as you'll remember, that's how the Japanese and Taiwanese started out: Making shoddy junk to sell cheaply in America. If you're of a certain age "Made In Japan" means low-quality electronics and plastic toys. If you're of a more recent vintage "Made In Japan" means better than American-made. Remember how cheap and ridiculed Toyota Rice Rockets were when they came out? Priced a Lexus or Infiniti recently?

Even the rhetoric is recycled -- back then you had idiot Congressmen doing things like smashing Japanese imported stereo equipment on the steps of the Capitol to protest how the well-made Japanese products were pushing American-made crap out of market, today idiot Congressmen are driving their Japanese cars to press conferences to protest offshoring, where Indian companies are doing call centers more efficiently and cost-effectively than American labor unions are allowing them to operate here.

Daniel C. Smith, dean of Indiana University's Kelley School, will be taking a group of students to India to visit government ministers of commerce and economics, as well as senior administrators at companies and universities across India during a seven-day trip starting today. The focus of his discussions and presentations will be on creating partnership opportunities for student/faculty exchanges, Kelley Direct programs and executive education.

Also, Smith plans to make what university officials are characterizing as "an important announcement" tomorrow in Pune. Gee, wonder which industry that might concern?

"I am excited about the wide range of opportunities that India offers the school. Our goal is to have a significant and sustained presence there," Smith said.

In conjunction with Smith's trip, M.A. Venkataramanan (lemme guess, in Indiana he's known as "Dr. V."), chair of the undergraduate program in Indiana University's Kelley School of Business and a native of Chennai (formerly Madras), India, will be leading a group of about 60 sophomores there.

"I want them to see their future competition," said Venkataramanan. "They will see people who probably are going to make one-tenth of their starting pay after coming out of a similar four-year institution and how hard they are willing to work." (Or hey, save the travel charges and just come by TMC.)

Bluespring Software, which likes to call itself "the Business Process Management software company that puts the power of business process design, execution and management in the hands of business people," has announced record Q3 2006 growth.

The company is announcing 246 percent revenue growth over the same quarter last year and 51 percent revenue growth over Q2 2006; a trend the company expects to continue through 2007.

The growth is marked by a sharp increase in BPM Suite license revenue, highlighted by new deals with Tempur-Pedic International, Colliers International, Lynx Professional Grills, Children's Hospital of Cincinnati and The Kroger Company.

"Our competitive differentiation is without question our product's ease-of-use," said David Noonan, President of Bluespring Software. "It's a pretty compelling story when your deployments require no custom coding and the user experience consists of e-mail, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office."

Following its acquisition by M2M Holdings Inc. less than two months ago, CRM vendor Onyx Software has announced the controlled release of Onyx Version 6.0.

"We were pleased to be able to begin the process of integrating Onyx into M2M Holdings while also honoring our commitment to customers," said Tom Millay, general manager of Onyx Software. Jeff Tognoni, CEO of M2M Holdings, said Onyx will continue to operate as a separate business unit of M2M Holdings.

Onyx v6.0 contains a variety of enhancements to core Onyx products, company officials say, including Onyx Employee Portal, Onyx Process Manager, and Onyx Business Intelligence. In addition to underlying architectural enhancements, v6.0 offers new tools for "greater system flexibility, increased collaboration across the organization, and simpler system upgrades."

And here's the sort of e-mail that makes your day:

Good afternoon David,

Dmitri Eroshenko here with Relenta. Thanks for the ink! Support for courier pigeons is our number one standing new feature request.

Noticed from your bio that you're based in Istanbul. Fed up with American-style drip coffee? I can't start a day without Türk kahvesi. Except my faithful jezve is Armenian-made.

Keep up the good work.

Any fan of good Turkish coffee is a friend of mine; Relenta CRM has just won itself slightly biased coverage.

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