Archive for June, 2011

Infor buyout of Lawson Software approved by shareholders

June 30th, 2011

A majority of Lawson Software shareholders approved the company’s sale to Infor and Golden Gate Capital during a meeting on Wednesday, paving the way for the creation of the industry’s third largest ERP (enterprise resource planning) software vendor after SAP and Oracle.

The $1.8 billion (£1.12 billion) sale, “is advisable, fair and in the best interest of Lawson stockholders,” CEO Harry Debes said. Shareholders asked no questions about the deal.

A number of Lawson shareholders had filed lawsuits against the acquisition, saying the $11.25 per share price agreed upon was unfair. Those legal matters were expected to be settled “on or about June 22,” Lawson said in a filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission last week.

The addition of Lawson will give Infor a strong hand in healthcare and human resources software. It would also stand as a major initial milestone for Infor CEO Charles Phillips, a former Oracle co-president who is credited with playing a key role in that vendor’s long string of acquisitions.


IT firms Wipro, HCL look beyond software development for outsourcing

June 30th, 2011

When Thanga Thambi, a pastry chef, was offered a job by India’s third biggest software exporter last year, a role at the company’s cafeteria appeared likely. “What can I do for an outsourcing company- what is the connection?” Thambi wondered.

Thambi’s role involved baking cookies, but not for Wipro’s cafeteria. Wipro was looking to hire an expert chef for designing a microwave oven for a durables manufacturer in the US. “I never thought there could be any connection between what I knew and what a company like Wipro does. But I realised that my experience with ovens was what they’re looking for,” says Thambi.

As India’s growing outsourcing firms look beyond traditional software development and maintenance business, specialised projects that range from tracking heart beats of patients, to designing the next generation of consumer products, and even developing marketing campaigns and collaterals for US automakers, mark the beginning of a shift.

Last year, NS Bala, the head of Wipro’s $750-million manufacturing business unit was looking to start a new project for a customer. The customer, a consumer products firm wanted to build a high end micro wave oven that would meet the twin objectives of maintaining taste and speed of cooking. Most products baked in a microwave lose some taste, a concern the company wanted to address in its newer products. “Thambi’s job for the next few months involved monitoring the colour, texture and taste of cookies and cakes and give feedback to the company to fine tune the product,” Bala says.

At Aditya Birla Minacs, a company traditionally known as a low-cost BPO service provider, a team of 400 advertising and marketing professionals is helping carmakers like Honda and Hyundai US sell more vehicles. Over a year ago, Minacs helped Honda sell 33,000 more vehicles and generate an incremental profit of $ 295 million in a year.

The team makes creatives, strategy and promotions for the automak-ers. They even generate sales leads, run marketing campaigns and manage incentive programmes.

“About 25 % of our revenue comes from IT enabled BPO services such as the marketing project we do for automakers. There is an 8-10% difference in margins over the traditional BPO services. But here, we have to invest on the platform and talent.” “In three years, we want IT enabled BPO services to contribute to 50% of our revenues,” said Deepak Patel, chief executive officer for Aditya Birla Minacs.

In another instance, a group of nurses have been monitoring the heart beats of hundreds of American patients. The customer, a medical equipment maker, is testing a cardiac monitoring device through which a patient’s heartbeat is monitored thousands of miles away in Bangalore. The patient or a healthcare provider is alerted if an aberration is noticed. As proof of the greater role technology plays in daily life Wipro’s head of the medical devices division, Jyotirmay Datta, cites the example of how one these nurses saved the life of an old patient whose heart beat she was monitoring a year back.

“The nurse noticed that that the patient had not been moving at all for a few hours and realized that something was amiss as it would be the middle to the day in the US, a time when the patient would normally be active. The nurse alerted the local paramedic who in turn alerted the patient’s family member. On arriving home, the family found that the patient, an old lady, had fallen in the house and fainted,” Datta recalls.


Brothers produce adds gatekeeper time & attendance software

June 30th, 2011

Gatekeeper Business Solutions, a time & attendance software company announced that Brothers Produce, located in Houston, TX has added the Gatekeeper time management solution to implement labor management controls.
Brothers Produce is one of the largest produce distributors in the state of Texas and services the greater Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth areas as well as all surrounding areas. Brother Produce distributes a full line of high quality fresh fruits and vegetables, specialty items, and processed items to a broad range of foodservice and retail customers.

Brothers Produce Inc. chose Gatekeeper’s integrated time management system to help manage the workplace in a more efficient and easier way. Ashleigh DeLaFuente, Director of Human Resources, stated “I have been thru 4 time keeping systems in the last 4 years and this is the first system that does everything I want it to do and is the most user friendly for not only myself but for my managers. I have finally been able to concentrate on other job duties besides ongoing time clock issues. ” Brothers Produce has already noticed reduced time spent weekly on payroll because managers are able to monitor the times in a much easier way.


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