India: Beyond the Back Office

Knowledge@Wharton along with Boston Consulting Report has put together a report on India: “In December 2006, Mumbai-based Tech Mahindra won India’s biggest outsourcing deal to date — a five-year, $1 billion contract from British Telecom to provide technical support. While the deal further underscores India’s rapid ascent in global business, it also signals a transition for the world’s “back office” from its current status as a provider of data processors and call-center workers to its new role in outsourcing high-end, knowledge-based skills. In this special report, experts from Wharton and Boston Consulting Group look at India’s move up the service value chain through KPO, or knowledge process outsourcing, as well as its increasingly successful forays into global manufacturing, driven by the emergence of a vast domestic market and the availability of low-cost, highly skilled workers. In addition, the report looks at India’s attempts to overcome the problems with power and infrastructure that have stood in the way of a sustainable GDP growth rate, as well as the key part that foreign investment and competition will play in the upgrade.”

Mobile IM

WSJ writes about mobile Instant Messaging:

Unlike text messaging — known as short message service, or SMS — MIM features “presence” services that tell a user if and when their buddies are on the network. It also allows instant delivery of messages, and MIM users can chat in groups rather than just one to one. In addition, MIM allows users to communicate using aliases, whereas text messaging reveals the sender’s telephone number.

With the technology in place or getting there shortly, what has taken wireless operators so long? No small matter for cellphone companies is deciding how to market and price instant-messaging services in relation to text messaging.

“I believe that the biggest reservation that mobile operators have about IM is the danger that it might cannibalize or otherwise damage SMS revenues,” says John Delaney, a principal analyst at consultancy Ovum Holdings Ltd.

Two Mobile Industries

MEX writes: “The mobile industry has become two businesses. On the one hand, developed markets such as Western Europe, North America and Japan are driven by a constant cycle of technological development, extensive consumer marketing to gain acceptance for new products and a battle to off-set declining margins amid a climate of stagnant subscriber numbers. In developing countries, such as India, China and Latin America, subscriber growth is rampant and the challenge is to manufacture handsets and deploy infrastructure cheaply enough to make services accessible to the maximum number of people.”