Optimation aims for a “broader and deeper” partnership with Indian IT services giant HCL than it had with outsourcer Satyam Computer Services, which has rebranded as Mahindra Satyam following a finance scandal and is under new management. Optimation says its agreement with Satyam is coming to the end of its term, with an Offender Management system upgrade for the Department of Corrections already completed under the Satyam partnership and an SAP project for the Department set to be finished next month. Satyam hit a crisis in January after founder B. Ramalinga Raju was found to have inflated the company’s revenue and profits, causing the firm to lose customer agreements. When asked if Satyam’s troubles were a factor in Optimation’s decision to partner with HCL, chairman Neil Butler said, “It was about a partnership agreement that was running to term and us considering what represents the most powerful relationship for us. We looked at HCL’s commitment to this market and the close alignment between our organisations.” Optimation and Satyam's relationship lasted about eight years. HCL has nearly 100 staff across its Auckland and Wellington offices, and established a local presence in 1998. Optimation has about 200 staff across its Auckland and Wellington sites. “The big difference is HCL has a significant presence in New Zealand already, and the work they’ve done with New Zealand enterprise customers,” says Optimation CEO Rhoda Holmes. “They understand the Kiwi market and the nuances of working in New Zealand. This gives us the opportunity to go much broader than we have done before.” Holmes says the HCL agreement will result in broadened and deepened services offerings, particulary in the SAP arena as a result of HCL’s acquisition of UK SAP practice Axon in December 2008. She says HCL’s extensive relationship with Microsoft will allow Optimation to broaden its .Net development expertise, and says Optimation wants to extend its capability in large-scale application development. Services offered under the partnership will include business transformation, remote infrastructure management, business process outsourcing, application development and maintenance, testing, document management, SOA and middleware upgrades. HCL’s Asia Pacific senior vice president Virender Aggarwal says the Australia/New Zealand region is important to the company, but the size of the New Zealand market doesn’t warrant its own sales force. “We established an early foothold with Fonterra two to three years ago and we want to build on that. We don’t see a reason we should replace the sales relationships Optimation has to reach a customer. We’ll be relying on Optimation for customer contact.” Optimation’s partnership with Satyam accounted for three percent of the New Zealand company’s revenue in its last full year financial results, but at the peak of the relationship it accounted for about 10 percent. Optimation hopes the partnership with HCL will account for “much more” than three percent, and could grow to comprise a double digit percent of its revenue, says Holmes. Sovon Thakur, as HCL’s Australia/New Zealand operations manager, has country management responsibilities for New Zealand. Tech Mahindra, meanwhile, is the dominant stakeholder in Satyam, and new ANZ leadership was appointed in June.
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