Posts Tagged ‘IT’

Women think big in IT sector

January 19th, 2015

A CUSTOM software engineering company is about to revolutionise the way young women perceive their role in the IT industry.

ThoughtWorks designs, creates and delivers software, and has just appointed its first South African general manager, Kgomotso Sediane. It hopes the move will change the role of girls in the technology sector .

The international organisation operates in 12 countries and has 29 branches globally.

Before Sediane took over, there was no head. The local office was run by Betty Enyonam Kumahor, ThoughtWorks’ managing director for Africa .

Sediane says the company opened in South Africa two years ago.

It targets young women to increase their creative participation in the IT industry.

“At the moment, we rely on software developed outside our continent. We are looking forward to the day a South African or African, preferably a woman, develops software that we can be proud of, own and get used by the world.”

She says their mission statement encompasses two major elements: the development of humanity as a resource – through the use of software – and driving social and economic justice.

“We’ve seen women being relegated to less important roles in the industry. This is the injustice we are talking about,” she says.

ThoughtWorks has embraced the Black Girls Code (BGC), which aims to get young black women to be not only consumers of software, but also developers.

“The BGC is meant to create a safe environment for black girls to develop software compliant to that of the African IT space.

“For instance, we are teaching them not only how to use an app, but how to create a fully-fledged app from scratch.”

The organisation generates its income from selling software developed by in-house thinkers.

Sediane says the three pillars on which the company was founded are: to build a sustainable business, to be different from other organisations involved in the business of developing and selling software and to address the social and economic injustices of our society.

Sediane started out as a computer programmer for a bank and was a project manager before she joined ThoughtWorks. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in computer science.

She strives for the empowerment of young women, but acknowledges the role men play in her organisation. “By instinctively being protective of women, men encourage disruptive thinking, which is the basis of our existence. Disruptive thinking becomes positive thinking and creative juices flow.”

ThoughtWorks has ties with tertiary institutions, so students are exposed to the realities of the IT industry, experiences and the “thinking” of an IT person.


Software for primary healthcare pilots launched in Kerala

December 25th, 2014

Kerala Health Minister VS Sivakumar has launched the official website of the State Health Systems Resource Centre, which is rolling out the Universal Healthcare-Primary Care pilots in the State.

The Health Systems Resource Centre is the nodal agency for implementing the healthcare-primary care project in the State.

The Minister also unveiled the new hospital management software to be deployed for implementing the pilots. This signals a revamp in the way public healthcare will be administered, an official spokesman said.

Comprehensive data
The software not only collects basic data about patients but also ensures that their socio-economic status, medical history and all other relevant information remain at the fingertips of the doctor.

The electronic database for each patient will go to ensure optimum diagnosis and treatment as well. The patient records system is also a step towards making public healthcare centres paperless.

The software and website were developed by an empanelled IT agency, Invis Multimedia, under technical guidance from the University of East London in the UK.


Continental Europe: Next stop for Indian IT firms like Infosys, TCS

April 14th, 2014

Indian information technology services firms are making increasing headway in continental Europe, a lucrative market where several large corporations are turning to them for the very first time.

The opportunity to trim costs, especially in the current tight economic situation, seems to have pushed large enterprises in France, Germany and Switzerland to take a closer look at Indian IT companies instead of competing local firms which have dominated so far.

For the Indian companies, contracts from continental Europe-based companies are expected to help them report higher sales growth and establish their presence in these largely untapped markets.

This year, when electrical gear maker Schneider Electric decided to renew a $1-billion (Rs 6,000 crore) technology contract it had given to local software provider Capgemini in 2004, the French company had Indian outsourcers in mind.

Schneider, which has never before outsourced technology to an offshore service provider, recently sent a team of 14 executives to Bangalore to negotiate with India’s top software services companies and outsourcing advisory firms.

“Corporations in France, Germany, Switzerland etc, most of them firsttime outsourcers, are now looking to work with Indian IT firms,” said the chief executive of one of the top 10 Indian tech firms on condition of anonymity as his company is currently in a preearnings silent period. “We get a feeling that it is the beginning of a new shift.”

A Schneider spokesperson confirmed that the company is currently “preparing renewal of the Capgemini outsourcing contracts”, to bring in cost-effective delivery models but said she does not want to comment on vendors “until the end of the re-compete process”. The Rueil-Malmaison, France-based company said it plans to work with a set of suppliers; not one IT exporter.

At least three more such contracts, each valued over $100 million (Rs 600 crore), are in the final stages of negotiations with Indian IT firms, industry sources said. Interest from Continental Europe comes as Indian software services company are wooing enterprises in that market by setting up software delivery centres and hiring local executives who can win deals with local businesses and governments without the help of a translator.

Another company—one of the largest commodity traders in Switzerland—has never outsourced to an offshore service provider, but is in talks with IT services companies from India as well as the United States, according to industry sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

Further, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL), a Norwaybased logistics company, plans to outsource portions of its IT work and is currently in talks with India’s top software providers. At least two automotive component makers from Germany, which are looking to trim costs, are in talks with outsourcing advisory firms that can help find a technology outsourcing firm. WWL did not respond to an email questionnaire.

Although Europe has been a leading destination for Indian IT services companies for two over two decades, for India’s leading software exporters TCS, Infosys and Wipro success in that market has so far been limited to the UK and Nordic countries, such as Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Indian companies say they often face trust issues with large customers in Continental Europe due to language and cultural differences.


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