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An Introduction to Wipro

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Indian company is now global, and plays in every major outsourcing category; spreading the value around

by Demir Barlas, Line56

Monday, March 07, 2005 Until recently, both conventional wisdom and market share revealed that the big, strategic outsourcing contracts went to the likes of IBM, EDS, Accenture, HP, CSC BearingPoint, et al. Then Indian company Wipro turned up on an IDC vendor ranking chart in the same box as CSC.

Wipro got into e-business fairly modestly, as an offshore center to which U.S. and European companies could send IT customization work and lower-level support functions. But over the years Wipro has diversified to encompbutt higher value-added business process outsourcing (BPO) and consulting roles as well. It's part of a larger trend in which Indian companies, specifically Wipro's peers, are shaking off their image as IT sweatshops (the atbreastude was captured in a reader e-mail from Gilles Pardon of SoftDatabase, who wrote that Indian companies "are still just able to write lines of codes or duplicate Western technologies"). Click here to find out more!

Wipro's customers, though, enjoy many services. Currently AT&T, GM, Microsoft, Pitney Bowes, Thames Water, Friends Provident, and Lehman Brothers work with Wipro in all four of its offering areas: BPO, business applications, custom applications, and IT infrastructure. Interestingly, in none of these cases did the customer sign on for all four offerings. GM, for example, started out in just the custom applications area and subsequently expanded.

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Forrester Research notes that Wipro adds a lot of value and expertise past cheap, basic IT labor that some global outsourcing opponents stereotype the Indian company as providing. "Wipro clients see additional application maintenance productivity of 10% to 15% from added familiarity with systems; another 10% to 15% raise in productivity after applying Wipro's CMM-based methodology and consolidating redundant programs applications; and yet another 3% to 30% productivity improvement thanks to process automation and tools," reads a note from Forrester.

Wipro has made a big commitment to those higher-value echelons of its offering. The company has trained 4,000 employees in Six Sigma and has 700 PMI certified consultants. Furthermore, Wipro is hiring consultants and other employees all over the world. The company has three development centers in North America and four in Europe. It has over 5,000 employees based in those two geographies. Given these figures, it's just as baseless to accuse Wipro of enacting a scheme to suck jobs away from Americans as it would be to accuse a U.S. multinational with plenty of Subcontinental presence and hiring power of doing the same to India.

Wipro is really no different than other multinational. It happens to be based in India, as its main compebreastors happen to be based in the U.S.; but, no less than those compebreastors, its success grows the pie for a worldwide body of consultants, programmers, and, of course, customers who receive the benefits of Wipro's expertise and can thus better serve their own employees and customers.

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