Tuesday, August 24

IBM Daksh, Aegis, 24/7 Customer eye $500-mn deal

Business process outsourcing firms IBM Daksh, 24/7 Customer and Essar Group’s Aegis are eyeing an outsourcing deal worth $500 million (around Rs 2,330 crore) in West Asia and Africa.

The deal from a leading telecom player in West Asia and Africa will cover the firms entire BPO lifecycle, including managing its call centre, billing process, auditing and training, among others

The telecom player with about a 25-million user base has presence in Kuwait, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey and South Africa.

When contacted, an IBM spokesperson refused to comment on the issue. “We do not comment on market speculations,” said a spokesperson from Aegis.

The deal is expected to be finalised by the end of this month and will be one of the largest in the telecom sector in recent times. While the telecom segment has bore the brunt of the recession, analysts are of the view that they have been big IT spenders and will continue to be so.

“If you look at the Middle East and African telecom players, very few have opted for outsourcing their non-core activity. Besides, IT spends among the telecom players will continue to grow in the coming years. Moreover, if you look at the revenue growth of some of the leading global players, it was hardly impacted during the slowdown, especially in the consumer market segment,” said Alok Shende, principal analyst, Ascentius Consulting.

After banking financial services and insurance (BFSI), telecom along with Hi-Tech is the second largest vertical for Indian IT/ITeS players, accounting for 22 per cent of BPO exports in FY2010, said the Nasscom Strategic review 2010.

Last year, despite the industry being laggard in its growth, the total contract value from the telecom (including media) sector touched $7 billion in the second half of 2009 — an increase of 23 per cent from $5.7 billion in the first half of 2009.

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