Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wipro putting videos on Youtube to reach out to customers

Wipro, the third largest IT exporter in India is making use of viral marketing to reach out to customers, as the company successfully uploaded some of the company videos on YouTube and got many viewers visited the page within one week. The videos are intended to act as a primer to information showed on its website, reported Financial Chronicle.

When Wipro uploaded its first video named Penguins and SOA story on YouTube(embeded below) on December 23, more than 1000 viewers viewed the page within three days. The animated clip uses Penguins and problem of constructing a housing structure to illustrate the benefits of the service-oriented architecture (SOA) technology. Viewers are provided a link to Wipro's website to get more information about the offerings.

Inspiring from the success of first video, Wipro is in process of making another Video on SOA to be uploaded in January 2009. The company is also planning to make similar films on like green IT and unified communications segments. Moreover, Wipro has recently paid to an official channel on YouTube to upload its videos.

Bangalore-based design firm Pepper Square is making such videos for Wipro and the budget for a single video production would be a little less than Rs.1 lakh. "Spending more would not make sense since the video clips on networking sites had a small shelf-life of about one to three months," Paul added.

Bangalore leads in IT race in India

Source: The Economic Times
BANGALORE: Bangalore continues to be the number one destination for IT/ITeS companies in the country.

For all those who thought Chennai and Hyderabad were eating into Bangalore's status as the IT capital of India, here are some facts.

The annual year-end report by global real estate consultants Cushman & Wakefield shows that Bangalore witnessed the highest commercial space absorption in the country of 10.4 million sqft - the highest in the country for the fifth consecutive year. Of that, IT and ITeS companies absorbed 88%, followed by automotive, telecommunications and other sectors.

Leading the way was i-Flex Solution, which absorbed 1,100,000 sqft of commercial space in Whitefield, followed by 350,000 sqft of space each by ABB and ANZ IT in Whitefield and the Marathalli-Sarjapur belt.

Chennai absorbed only 4.1 million sqft of commercial space of the 9.8 million sqft of supply this year, as against its absorption of 6.5 million sqft of space in 2007.

Hyderabad witnessed a whopping 67% drop in commercial space absorption -- from last year's figure of 4 million sqft to only 1.3 million sqft this year. The total supply in the city amounted to nearly 3.8 million sqft.

Mumbai and the National Capital Region (NCR) absorbed 8.5 million sqft and 8.6 million sqft of commercial space in 2008 respectively.

"Bangalore & Mumbai were the only two cities that showed an increase in absorption from last year," reads the C&W report. Meanwhile, commercial rental rates in Bangalore appreciated between 4% and 9% in the peripheral areas and by a whopping 18% in the central business districts.
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Satyam Crisis[update]: Possible takeovers

Satyam Computer is understood to have grabbed the attention of private equity investors, rival IT firms and other institutional investors, which are looking at the IT major as a possible takeover target with attractive valuations.

Satyam Computers is available at a bargain:
Though the company looks attractive, the three top Indian IT services companies are unlikely to bite. According to market sources, the Big 3: TCS, Infosys and Wipro are most definitely not going to make a bid for Satyam. The reasons are simple. The foremost being acquiring Satyam would be "more of the same." Same suite of businesses, technologies and clients. Market participants also believe that considering the cash one would have to fork out, the only thing assured are 53,000 employees. The big 3 don't necessarily want those number of additional people at the moment.

While there has been market speculation that IBM or Accenture might emerge as strategic buyers, the general perception within the industry seem to be that they might also stay out. Both the companies have hugely grown their local operations and today have 74,000 IBM) and 37,000 (Accenture) employees in India. Adding more people through acquisition might not be a priority while they can be grown organically especially in the current environment where quality people are available at reasonable prices.

Satyam for Cash:
A controlling 26% stake in the company can be acquired for $520-million, given that the company's market cap is around $2-billion. Then, of course, the cherry on the cake: $1.2-billion in cash.

Cognizant interested in Satyam?
As speculation mounts on who could be a potential ‘buyer' of Satyam Computer Services, the one name repeatedly touted as a very interested party is Cognizant Technologies. The Teaneck, New Jersey-based, Nasdaq-listed company with a huge India back-end has not hid its ambitions of wanting to be in the big league. The company that has clocked very aggressive top line growth in the last few years grew 50% in 2007 with revenues at $2.13 billion.

If it were to buy Satyam which had revenues of $2.14-billion last fiscal, then Cognizant with has 59,000 employees would easily pip Wipro to emerge as the third largest IT services company. Wipro's IT services business closed last fiscal with a topline of $3.41-billion. Cognizant and Satyam with combined revenues in excess of $4-billion would easily move Wipro to the fourth slot among the top Indian IT service providers. When contacted Cognizant Technologies' spokesperson R Ramkumar, said, "As a policy, we do not comment on market speculation."

Among the big IT players, analysts say Cognizant is likely to gain the most if it acquires Satyam as the deal will give it scale, an opportunity to diversify from concentrations such as banking, financial services and pharmaceuticals and access to a robust SAP business.

Is Hewlett-Packard eyeing stake in Satyam?
BANGALORE: Hewlett-Packard (HP) is evaluating the possibility of acquiring a stake in IT services provider Satyam Computer, attracted by the latter’s lucrative business software practice. The opportunity to challenge rival IBM with bigger, low-cost offshore capabilities is also alluring, those familiar with the strategic options being considered by the company said.

Raju tells Satyam staffers to stand by him. Letter to all Satyam Employees.

Silicon Valley looks towards 2009

Source: BBC
The world of technology is set to face a challenging year in 2009 but many in the industry say it will weather the storm better than the rest of the US. Here Maggie Shiels presents the first of a two-part assessment of how technology will fare over the next 12 months. Click here for complete story on BBC.

8 Tech Predictions for 2009: By PC Magazine

1. Windows 7 will bring tech out of the doldrums.
2. The tech industry will be the first to recover.
3. The unemployed will start small businesses to survive—and will need PCs to make a living.
4. Netbook sales will double in 2009.
5. Smartphones will gain market share.
6. Android will expand its reach.
7. Apple market share in PCs and smartphones will grow.
And for my outrageous prediction
8. Microsoft makes a play to purchase RIM.
Click here for complete story on PC Magazine.

Satyam crisis[Update]: Satyam Chairman Raju's letter to employees

Below is the Letter/Email sent to Satyam employees by Ramalinga Raju

Dear Associates,
I am writing to inform you of what has developed since my note of December 18th and to outline plans to restore our stakeholders' faith in Satyam.

The events of the past two weeks have raised many questions, but these can be distilled into two basic issues: the viability of our business strategy to diversify; and the effectiveness of our corporate governance.

Re: Business strategy, you should understand that Satyam is completely committed to the IT services and BPO business, as we have been since our inception. While the idea that we could diversify into an unrelated business was rejected by our investors, it was formed with the belief that doing so would not imperil our leadership in our core business or lessen our commitment to it, and that all stakeholders would benefit. Satyam did not - and does not now - intend to retreat from IT and BPO services in any way, and going forward, Satyam will focus exclusively on these markets.

Re: Corporate governance, the board arrived at its decision to bid for Maytas by following all required processes and procedures, and while there was a spirited discussion among members, their vote to approve the motion was unanimous. Further, Satyam has won numerous awards for excellence in corporate governance, including the Golden Peacock Global Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance on two separate occasions, most recently in 2008.

Over the past two weeks, we have been communicating these facts to our customers, and I'm very pleased to report that customers continue to show a high level of trust in Satyam.
We have also been in contact with many of our investors, and we have taken key steps to regain their confidence. These include strengthening the board by changing its size and composition, and engaging DSP Merrill Lynch to provide strategic advice and options. The board will meet on January 10, 2009 to consider these options and to chart a course of action that would boost stakeholders' confidence further.

Please be assured that the board and the leadership team are doing everything possible to get Satyam back on track. We cannot do this without your help, however. I ask for your continued faith in Satyam and for your steadfast focus on your customers, especially in the face of wild speculation and unchecked rumor. There is simply no more effective way to strengthen the company and to secure its future - and yours - than by delighting your customers.

Thank you very much for your commitment and support. Once again, I wish you the very best for 2009.

With warm regards,

Google's Top search queries in 2008 (in USA and India)

Search queries from USA: - Fastest Rising (U.S.)
4.iphone news
8.beijing 2008
9.david cook the channel

Google News - Fastest Rising (U.S.)
1.sarah palin
2.american idol
5.ike (hurricane)

Google Image Search - Fastest Rising (U.S.)
1.sarah palin
4.miley cyrus

Google Book Search - Fastest Rising (U.S.)
1.breaking dawn
3.lora leigh
4.vampire kisses moon

Google Translate - Fastest Rising (U.S.)
3.thank you

Search queries from India:
Fastest Rising (India)
3.katrina kaif
7.genelia d'souza
8.beijing 2008 olympic games
9.sixth pay commission

Most Popular (India)
7.indian railways
10.katrina kaif

Top searches on Mobile (India)
6.katrina kaif

Top Bollywood Celebrities (India)
1.katrina kaif
2.aishwarya rai
3.salman khan
4.hrithik roshan
5.kareena kapoor
6.shahid kapur
7.deepika padukone
8.shahrukh khan
9.mallika sherawat
10.genelia d'souza

Top holiday destinations (India)

Top 'how to' searches (India) to reduce weight to kiss to earn money to get pregnant to learn english to gain weight to play guitar to create a website to impress a girl to tie a tie

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Layoffs in USA: Layoffs scheduled for January-February 2009 in California Tech companies

Source: California EDD WARN
According to California EDD WARN statistics, the following layoffs are scheduled for January - February 2009 in hi-tech companies with number of employees greater than 50: (Many companies are located in Silicon Valley)

ADOBE SYSTEMS INCORPORATED, Location: SAN FRANCISCO, Layoff date: 2/3/09, Employees affected: 75

CADENCE DESIGN SYSTEMS, INC, Location: SAN JOSE, Layoff date: 1/4/09, Employees affected: 245

NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR CORPORATION, Location: SANTA CLARA, Layoff date: 1/13/09, Employees affected: 151

PALM, INC, Location: SUNNYVALE, Layoff date: 1/19/09, Employees affected: 107

SANDISK CORPORATION, Location: MILPITAS, Layoff date: 1/11/09, Employees affected: 96

SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY LLC, Location: MILPITAS, Layoff date: 1/3/09, Employees affected: 48

SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY LLC, Location: MILPITAS, Layoff date: 4/3/09, Employees affected: 43

SHUTTERFLY, INC, Location: HAYWARD, Layoff date: 1/16/09, Employees affected: 70

SIEMENS, Location: LOS ANGELES, Layoff date: 1/30/09, Employees affected: 6

SIEMENS MEDICAL SOLUTIONS, Location: MOUNTAIN VIEW, Layoff date: 1/5/09, Employees affected: 2

Location: SACRAMENTO, Layoff date: 1/5/09, Employees affected: 3
Location: SACRAMENTO, Layoff date: 1/18/09, Employees affected: 2
Location: EL SEGUNDO, Layoff date: 1/5/09, Employees affected: 1
Location: EL SEGUNDO, Layoff date: 1/18/09, Employees affected: 1
Location: IRVINE, Layoff date: 1/5/09, Employees affected: 4
Location: IRVINE, Layoff date: 1/18/09, Employees affected: 3
Location: MENLO PARK, Layoff date: 1/5/09, Employees affected: 19
Location: MENLO PARK, Layoff date: 1/18/09, Employees affected: 6
Location: PLEASANTON, Layoff date: 1/5/09, Employees affected: 5
Location: PLEASANTON, Layoff date: 1/18/09, Employees affected: 7
Location: SAN DIEGO, Layoff date: 1/5/09, Employees affected: 2
Location: SAN DIEGO, Layoff date: 1/18/09, Employees affected: 2
Location: SAN FRANCISCO, Layoff date: 1/18/09, Employees affected: 4
Location: UNIVERSAL CITY, Layoff date: 1/18/09, Employees affected: 1

Location: CUPERTINO, Layoff date: 1/19/09, Employees affected: 55
Location: MOUNTAIN VIEW, Layoff date: 1/13/09, Employees affected: 38

Location: SANTA CLARA, Layoff date: 2/6/09, Employees affected: 97

Location: WALNUT CREEK, Layoff date: 1/1/09, Employees affected: 192

Location: ANAHEIM, Layoff date: 1/1/09, Employees affected: 5
Location: ANAHEIM, Layoff date: 1/22/09, Employees affected: 2
Location: EL SEGUNDO, Layoff date: 1/1/09, Employees affected: 8
Location: EL SEGUNDO, Layoff date: 1/22/09, Employees affected: 3
Location: HUNTINGTON BEACH, Layoff date: 1/1/09, Employees affected: 19
Location: HUNTINGTON BEACH, Layoff date: 1/22/09, Employees affected: 42
Location: LONG BEACH, Layoff date: 1/1/09, Employees affected: 50

Satyam Crisis[Update]: Directors resigned; Raju may quit; More takeover chances

Four independent directors resigns from Satyam
Satyam Computer Services Ltd. said four directors quit as the Indian software company struggles to regain investor confidence after fumbling acquisition plans and drawing a sanction from the World Bank.

The shares rose 9.2 percent in Mumbai trading after the company said Vinod Dham, Krishna Palepu and M. Rammohan Raoresigned, bringing the number of board members who have stepped down since last week to four. Satyam didn’t give a reason.

Infosys also in race for stake in Satyam Services Ltd??
Software bellweather Infosys Technologies Ltd is likely to contemplate acquisition of 8.61 per cent stake held by promoters of Satyam Computer Services Ltd. So far HP, Oracle, IBM, Accenture and CapGemini are in Satyam takeover race.

Satyam ripe target for corporate raid, takeover: Brokers
Satyam has become a ripe target for a corporate raid - market parlance for takeover, brokers said on Monday after the country's fourth largest IT firm revealed that its promoters have pledged all their shares with lenders.

Do Ramalinga Raju and family have any stake in Satyam?
HYDERABAD/MUMBAI: Satyam Computer sank deeper into a crisis with four directors quitting the board and the company announced that lenders were possibly selling promoters equity that is entirely pledged with them.

Coinciding with dilution of promoters equity in the troubled company, suffering from an embarrassing failed-bid to acquire two firms promoted by the family of Chairman B Ramalinga Raju, the firm announced that Krishna G Palepu and Vinod Dham have quit taking the total resignation to four.

Was Rajus' exit pre-planned?
Did the Rajus have a long range exit plan out of Satyam ? In September 2006, over two years ago the promoters of Satyam Computer Services formed a holding company called SRSR Holdings Pvt Limited and transferred all their shares to this entity. This accounted for 8.5 per cent of the shares of Satyam. The four promoters of the company were founder of Satyam Ramalinga Raju, his brother and co-founder Rama Raju and their respective wives Nandini Raju and Radha Raju.

According to a company statement at that time these transfer of shares were executed through a block deal of 1.95 crore Satyam shares on NSE at a price of Rs 809 per share. Even at that time there was speculation that this Raju move was a prelude to their exiting Satyam. This was however steadfastly denied by them at that time and they contended it was just an easy way to handle their scattered holdings.

But now it is clear that the family shares were consolidated so that they could be pledged to institutional investors - in return for loans. In fact the pledgings happened simultaneously with the formation of SRSR Holdings. It is these shares that have now been sold off by the institutions, leaving the Rajus without any stake whatsoever in the company that is synonymous with their name.

Layoffs in USA: Three out of Five Employers Say Layoffs Likely in 2009

Source: SmartPros
A new poll by the Society for Human Resource Management shows 48 percent of organizations laid-off employees in 2008. Even worse, 60 percent of surveyed organizations said they expect to lay off employees in the next 12 months. Click here for complete story.

Microsoft layoffs are coming on January 15th???

Microsoft layoff rumors are catching up in MiniMicrosoft blogs.
Mini-Microsoft blog has drawn an ominous red circle on his calendar around Jan. 15. Microsoft is not commenting on Mini's posts. Noting that Jan 15th is a week before the company reports fiscal second quarter earnings.

Wipro is looking for new opportunities

Wipro is eyeing on IT firms servicing oil, telecom and healthcare industries for takeover/buying opportunities.

MUMBAI: After buying Citi Technology Services (Citos), Wipro is now scouting for IT firms servicing oil, telecom and healthcare industries. The move  seems to be driven by the company’s desire to cushion against slowdown. Healthcare spends are relatively recession-proof and the IT exporter is looking at expanding its footprint in this industry as well as in life sciences in the area of drug discovery, where use of IT can help reduce time to market drugs. The company also continues to look for opportunities in consulting and in western Europe, although the relatively low growth rates and profitability of these firms make acquisitions less attractive, said KR Lakshminarayana, chief strategy officer for IT businesses. 

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Survey: Tech firms freeze pay, jobs in ‘09

Many technology companies are freezing both salaries and hiring in 2009, according to Radford’s surveys and consulting firm in San Jose, Calif.

Radford’s quarterly summary of industry trends revealed the “drastic measures companies are making with their employee and executive compensation programs in response to the economic downturn,” the company said.

Radford said “an unprecedented number of companies report decreasing their overall salary-increase budgets for next fiscal year rather than increasing” as has been the case in the fourth quarter for each of the past six years.

In addition, nearly half of surveyed respondents are reporting current change or predicting future change that will impact their U.S. workforce. The actions most likely to occur are freezing all hiring except for replacements, followed by a reduction in staff or layoffs.

And as hiring slows to a halt, companies are focusing on retaining employees rather than attracting new hires. The number of companies implementing or re-establishing retention programs doubled in the fourth quarter, according to the survey.

Six Indian cities among top 8 global outsourcing cities

Source: TheEconomicTimes   -   Study by: CyberMedia’s Global Services
The Top 8 Global Outsourcing Cities includes as many as six Indian cities led by Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi National Capital Region, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune.

Dublin (Ireland) and Makati City (The Philippines) are the other two cities in the list, according to a study by CyberMedia’s Global Services and investment advisory firm Tholons. 

India’s representation in the top 50 Emerging Global Outsourcing cities has grown to four, from last year’s three, with the addition of Jaipur to the list at No 31. Click here for complete story.

Britain faces 600,000 job cuts in 2009: study

Jobs Losses 'Worst For 20 Years' :
Some 600,000 British workers will lose their jobs in 2009 and a million could go before the worst is over, according to a study Monday giving the latest gloomy forecast on a deepening recession.

Around a million jobs may be lost in all before the economy starts to recover and the next three months will be the worst for job losses since 1991, warned the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Renesas Technology Corp. to Cut 1,000 Contract Jobs

Renesas Technology Corp., the world’s largest privately held chipmaker, said it plans to cut 1,000 temporary jobs by March 31, eliminating all such workers.

#1 Job Threat Is Technology, Not Globalization

In these high-anxiety times, are you worried your company will send your job overseas? The authors of a new book say you're right to be afraid -– but not of outsourcing. They contend the real job-grinder has been the productivity engine of IT and that fears of outsourcing and other globalization issues are "wildly overblown." Click here for complete story on WSJ. 

Monday, December 29, 2008


Microsoft might layoff 9,000

The world's top software firm Microsoft has been asked to cut its workforce by 10 per cent, or about 9,100 employees, to tell the market that profits are more important than revenue growth in difficult times.

From CNet News: Posted by Matt Asay
"I've been competing with Microsoft for years--at Lineo, Novell, and now Alfresco. But I can't get even remotely excited by the prospect of a big layoff at the software giant, with some speculation suggesting it could go as deep as 10 percent of Microsoft's 91,000 full-time employees.

Another 9,100 people out of work is not a good thing, no matter how much you may dislike Microsoft. I, for one, do not dislike Microsoft, and have profound respect for the company's execution and many of its products. I want to see Microsoft giving Google real competition on the Web, just as I'm glad to see Google forcing Microsoft to innovate on the desktop again. It may well be that Microsoft will be a stronger competitor for pruning its workforce, and I'm a big enough believer in the free market to think that in the long term, the people affected will be better off, too.

But I still don't want to see Microsoft layoffs. Not this Christmas. Not when the market can't absorb the displaced employees. Microsofties have families, too."

Satyam in crisis: Takeover rumours - Board meeting postponed

IBM, Accenture, Cap Gemini are in race for Satyam
A clutch of global IT services firms, including IBM, Accenture and Cap Gemini, could be suitors for Satyam Computer Services, according to IT analysts. The chances of a strategic takeover have brightened after the company announced the possible dilution of stake by founder and promoter B Ramalinga Raju on Saturday. 

Satyam could be first Indian outsourcing firm to merge 
India’s embattled Satyam Computer Services could become the country’s first large outsourcing company to merge or be taken over amid increasing doubts over whether its founding family still controls the company.

Raju seen facing reduction in Satyam stake
HYDERABAD: B Ramalinga Raju, chairman and founder of Satyam Computer Services, may see a considerable reduction in his stake in the company. This is because an investment company owned by Mr Raju's family may be facing margin calls from institutional investors because of the massive fall in the Satyam share price. 

Caretel Infotech hires 600 people for BPO ops

Dalmia group company Caretel Infotech is upbeat about the opportunities in the BPO space and has hired about 600 people, even while others are handing out pink slips to employees amid the current slowdown. 

"In last 30 days, we have recruited 619 employees for our various projects from metros and even small towns like Chindwara at Rajasthan for our Kisaan Call Centre Project. For our various assignments, we will be recruiting more and more people from all over India and train them for the future," Caretel Infotech Chief Executive Officer Amit Roy said in a statement. 

IBM bags Five-Year IT Outsourcing deal with Madhav Nagrik Sahakari Bank in India

IBM has announced a five-year IT outsourcing agreement with Madhav Nagrik Sahakari Bank, a co-operative banks in the state of Rajasthan in India.As part of the agreement, IBM said it will host and manage the IT infrastructure to help the bank focus on its expansion plans while reducing its capital expenditure.

Friday, December 26, 2008

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50,000 techies may lose jobs in next six months in India

Bangalore: It is really tough time for employees in IT and BPO sectors in India as worsening economy may cause to lose over 50,000 jobs in these sectors over the next six months. Employees in Big and small firms are likely to be the most impacted section of the downturn in next six months, while it was employees in medium-sized companies met job losses largely during September-December period.

Karthik Shekhar, General Secretary, Union of IT Enabled Services (UNITES) India finds that there was a loss of 10,000 jobs in IT and BPO sectors during the September-December period. According to the UNITES India, companies in trouble could resort to salary and incentive cuts without trying to squeeze the staff, rather than adopting the layoff path.

Karthik further added that employees are willing to agree with cuts in their salary and other incentives for 12-16 months and when the demand picks up again such benefits should be restored to them. He said senior officials of the industry had concurred with the figure of 10,000 job losses in September-December, stating that it accounted for bottom 5 percent of the performers.

"Continued slowdown, likely tax application to companies outsourcing jobs under the new U.S. regime and tightening procedures with regard to H1B visas are among key reasons cited for acceleration in issue of pink slips," he opined.

Job seekers may go to YouTube to put video resumes

Source: Computer World

Job seekers may go to YouTube, and hiring pros are giving video serious thought. Job cuts next year are expected to surpass 1 million, outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. said today, but rising unemployment will also bring about its own boom in the use of social networking and tools such as video resumes.

Challenger, a Chicago-based firm that tracks job cut announcements, said 156,000 tech-sector job cuts were announced through November, or about 15% of the just over a million announced reductions this year. That's in contrast to the period of the bust, when tech job cuts accounted for 36% of the overall total of job cuts in 2001 and 32% in 2002, the firm said.
As layoffs continue, job seekers will increase their use of Web 2.0 tools to network and to stand out in a crowd. "YouTube could become the sandwich board of the new millennium," Challenger said.

On YouTube, a search for "video resume" brings up less than 2,000 results; a search on "resume" alone returns 26,000 results but includes anything using the word "resume." Video resumes may still be too new and different for most. Management Recruiters International Inc. in Philadelphia did an online poll of visitors to its Web site last spring, and out of the 500 Web site responses, 4% said they had used video in their job search.

But video is getting serious consideration from recruiting professionals, such as Kip Hollister, CEO of Boston-based recruiting firm Hollister Inc. Hollister said she may use it to market some of her clients.

"One has to be very careful using this as a tool, because the first impression is a lasting impression," Hollister said. "If one is going to do this, you really need to do it right. And if you do it with low quality, that will, in essence, leave a cheap impression of video resumes," she said.
Hollister's clients range from programmers with skills in .Net and Java, to business analysts and chief technology officers. Ideal candidates for video may be those seeking management jobs who may interact with marketing and other departments. Video might enable potential candidates to demonstrate their communication skills and charisma, she said. But sending a video link to a large company may not help.

"The average recruiter at a big company is recruiting for 20 different positions simultaneously," said Michael Neece, chief strategy officer at Pongo Software LLC, which operates PongoResume, an online resume service. Those recruiters, "are trying to screen as rapidly as they can" and may spend no more than 10 to 20 seconds looking at a resume.

Neece also said some employers may see video as a legally risky way to screen applicants because a video may give information unrelated to an applicant's qualifications, such as race, size and disability.

Della Giles, director of, the career management service of the Association of Executive Search Consultants in New York, said resumes will become more graphically rich and may include snippets of video as part of an overall presentation. BlueSteps is now working with VisualVC Inc. in Reston, Va., which combines multimedia elements, including video, in a resume, she said. The association represents search firms that recruit executives.

"The resume should be more than just a simple kind of paper document" that "gives you the essentials, but it doesn't necessarily tell you a lot about the broader aspects of an individual," Giles said.

Satyam in crisis: Board member resigns and rumours about the takeover

Dr Srinivasan quits Satyam Board
In a Christmas gift to Satyam Computer Services' chairman, Ramalinga Raju, a long standing member of the Satyam board,Dr (Mrs) Mangalam Srinivasan today resigned.

Satyam Comp considers legal action against World Bank
Satyam Computer on Thursday said it is considering legal options in the face of the World Bank's refusal to withdraw its (the Bank's) statement that made public the decision to ban the IT major for eight years from doing business with the international lender.

Satyam promoter loses Rs 2,373 crore in 8 months
The price of the beleaguered Satyam Computer share plunged by 19% on Wednesday, hitting a 52-week low of Rs 114.65, but narrowed down the losses by closing higher at Rs 134.95 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Rumours about the Ramalinga Raju resignation on Dec29th and about the Satyam takeover is still going on!!

Cognizant eyes on India deals

Cognizant, which derives a major portion of its revenues from North America and Europe, sees major opportunities in the Indian market.

Past deals in Indian market with other companies:
Deal of Bharti Airtel ($750 million for ten years) several years back went to IBM, the recent deal for their DTH services was signed with Infosys for all their devices, application server
and interactive applications.

In the banking space, there are examples in Vijaya Bank, Union Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce, where Infosys won the core banking solution business while Wipro won the systems integration piece. State Bank of India works with Infosys on the core-banking front and Mphasis (part of EDS) for its BPO functions.

What this essentially means is that even without competence in the infrastructure or the hardware side, IT companies can win fairly large pure-play services contracts in India.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

No Blackberry(RIM) Jobs For Ex-Motorola Workers?

There is an interesting story out in technology, and it is far more interesting if you are a laid-off or disgruntled technology employee. Bloomberg has a report outlining a lawsuit where Research In Motion Ltd. sued Motorola Inc. over claims that Motorola is improperly blocking R-I-M from offering jobs even to laid-off or soon to be laid-off Motorola workers.

The report notes that R-I-M is seeking to invalidate a non-solicitation pact which the company said expired in August and is unenforceable. What is interesting is that this is not just covering key personnel. Motorola is reportedly trying to prevent laid off workers or those are soon to be laid off from joining the competition.

Cognizant extends joining dates of freshers

Source: Business Standard and others
Cognizant, a leading information technology services company, said it is pushing back many of its campus offers valid this year to 2009.

Cognizant conducted 2,700 campus recruitments in the third quarter ended September 30, and is reasonably bullish about meeting its revenue growth target of 31.6 per cent in the quarter ending December 31, which marks the close of the financial year in Cognizant's books.

"We are pushing a small proportion of our campus offers over to the next year as we have achieved our original growth gains through recruitments for this year," a Cognizant spokesperson said, without specifying the numbers. He maintained that the company would honour every single offer made on campus, including the level of compensation offered to prospective joinees.

"This year, fresh graduates across disciplines — engineering, management, science and humanities — started joining us, as usual, in the June-July timeframe. However, consistent with the rest of the industry, we have extended the joining dates over a somewhat longer period due to the economic environment," the spokesperson said.

"Our policy has always been to absorb fresh graduates over a period of time following their graduation, and this year was no different. Of course, each year, we stagger the joining dates in order to accommodate our business needs and also based on our capacity to provide them the required training to transition to our practices."

This is a downgrade from the earlier growth outlook of 38 per cent even as the industry expects its results to be adversely affected by the battering on the financial services front. The company has given a revenue guidance of around $2.81 billion for 2008.

The weakening financial sector has seen leading IT vendors like TCS, Wipro, Infosys and Patni cite the credit squeeze, slower sales cycles, delays in project ramp-ups, and strained pricing power as impediments to future growth. IT firms have been hoping that vendor consolidation through mergers and acquisitions and network and IT architecture integration will steady demand from the financial services market. On the other hand, research firm Forrester expects the US financial services industry to cut its IT purchases by 3 per cent in 2008 and 4 per cent in 2009.

Good sequential growth rates were posted by Wipro (7.8 per cent), Cognizant (7.9 per cent) and Infosys (3 per cent) in the key financial services vertical during the quarter ended September. While on the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) front, Cognizant has scored higher than fellow SWITCH (Satyam, Wipro, Infosys, TCS and HCL) vendors, recording CAGR of about 56 per cent in the last five years.

"If the pace of financial consolidation does not pick up into the first quarter of 2009, we will see companies placing their bets on Europe even more. We could see an increased focus by Tier-I IT firms on the retail and manufacturing sectors in northern Europe as they target deals in $30 million-$50 million range," said an industry analyst. Forrester had recently revised downward its 2009 overall US IT spending forecast. It is now projecting mere 1.6 per cent annual growth in US IT spending for next year, down from 4.1 per cent in 2008.

Further, the demand for tech consulting and systems integration from the financial sector is expected to drop to 2.2 per cent in 2009.

First-Time Jobless Benefit Claims in U.S. Surge to Highest Level Since 1982

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week rose to a 26-year high, indicating employers are stepping up job cuts as the recession deepens.

Initial jobless claims increased more than forecast to 586,000, the most since November 1982, from a revised 556,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The four-week moving average of claims, a less volatile measure, also was the highest since 1982.

More layoffs in Silicon Valley as Technology Outlook Worsens

Silicon Valley, the technology mecca once considered immune to fallout from the global financial meltdown, now faces the biggest cutbacks since the dot-com crash.

“Lots of my friends have been laid off,” Peter Raulwing, a project manager for Microsoft Corp., said during lunch at a Starbucks in Palo Alto, California. “I absolutely watch what I spend. I feel lucky I’ve survived, but you never really know.”

He has reason for concern. Global spending on computers and software will slide 8 percent next year in the U.S., Western Europe and Japan, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. With a 7 percent unemployment rate, Silicon Valley has about 4,000 fewer jobs today than this time last year, the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy said last week.

Technology companies with headquarters in Silicon Valley -- a corridor of office parks stretching between San Francisco and San Jose -- have announced at least 38,000 job cuts since September. Hewlett-Packard Co., Yahoo! Inc., Adobe Systems Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Palm Inc. are among the firms paring their workforces.

The region will probably feel more pain starting next month, said Madeline McMenamin, a senior consultant for workforce consulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide Inc.

Yahoo India is to continue its hiring plans

Mumbai: Yahoo India has decided not to freeze hiring and is expected to continue its recruitment plans as earlier. The specific numbers that the company is planning to hire is still unknown. Recently, Yahoo had laid off three percent of its total work force in India as a part of its cost-cutting drive in the wake of the global economic meltdown. Globally, the company has cut down its workforce by 10 percent. 

Starbucks ends 401(k) match program

Coffee shop chain Starbucks Corp has informed employees it won't guarantee matching contributions to their 401(k) retirement plans next year, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing a letter from the company.

According to the letter sent last week, Starbucks said it will switch to a fully discretionary match program from a fixed employer match as of Jan. 1.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

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Indian IT majors cut onsite staff

Source: Silicon India
Bangalore: Suffering to counter the economic slump, Indian IT majors are now reducing the number of onsite work force as many major customers tend to cut their IT budgets and focus more on offshore projects to bring down the cost. Largest IT firms in India such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro are cutting back onsite employees between three to five percent and even more depending on the projects, reported The Economic Times.

Based on the new trend, onsite roles like manager, requirement analysis professionals and tech employees involved with development of technical specifications with a customer are being brought offshore. "The customers are asking for more savings, attempting to have fewer people on projects wherever possible. We are obviously under tremendous pressure to bring back these roles offshore," said a Senior Executive involved with delivery of projects at a top Indian tech firm. As offshore works from countries like India need billing rates which are less than half of the costs in U.S. and UK many major outsourcing customers such as GE, RBS and Bank of America plan to focus on offshore outsourcing. "We will have to move more work offshore, and the question really is about how much more we can deliver remotely," said Sambuddha Deb, Chief Global Delivery Officer, Wipro.

Recently, RBS has cut down the number of onsite staff in UK by almost one third, and expert says that the company has relocated many employees at its Indian captive center. RBS is also pushing Infosys, to which the Bank gives work to outsource, to do more from offshore centers and is also shifting more positions to its captive center in Delhi.

Industry officials had earlier mentioned that Indian offshore vendors could bring back hundreds of professionals from the markets of U.S., UK and other European countries. A top executive, who requested anonymity said, "Each of us (top five Indian tech firms) have few thousand professionals working onsite, the pressure to move offshore will result in over five percent reduction of onsite exposure, which might come down to around 10 percent, from 15-20 percent currently."

Moreover, the Indian outsourcing firms are also under pressure to consolidate dedicated offshore delivery centers. "With customers now slice core and non-core work, they are looking at ways to reduce the total number of professionals being billed, thereby putting pressure on the dedicated centers," the executive who did not wish to be quoted said.

Customers have now begun to ask about the total number of people work in a project. "We are now receiving queries about the exact number of people working on a project apart from many other specific details, which the customers never asked," pointed out a Manager with a leading offshore firm based in UK who did not wish to be identified.

New strategies adopted by foreign customers are expected to affect the revenue of Indian IT majors. "Infosys' EBITDA is expected to decline from 31.4 percent in 2008 to 23.6 percent in 2011, while TCS could see its margins go down from around 26 percent last year to 18.2 percent over next three years. Wipro is also expected to see its EBITDA decline from around 20.1 percent last year to 13.5 percent by 2011, finds an Anand Rathi Research.

Relocate or quit, MphasiS tells Noida unit employees

NEW DELHI: IT services firm MphasiS has asked all 1,300-1,500 employees at its Noida office to either move to a low-cost location or quit. Most of the employees have quit or are in the process of quitting the firm. Only a few have decided to shift to another centre, informed four former employees who quit recently.

MphasiS, majority-owned by EDS that was acquired by HP this year, offers outsourcing services in financial services, healthcare, communications, transportation, consumer & retail industries and has over 28,000 people on its rolls. It set up the Noida centre in 2005 for BPO operations and has over 1,000 BPO employees, besides some IT employees.

The four former MphasiS employees ET spoke to said the company had told the BPO employees about three months ago to decide between quitting or relocating to other MphasiS centres such as Indore and Vadodara. All employees were given time till December-end to decide and were not given any reason behind the move.

A company spokeswoman said that MphasiS continues to work out of the Noida centre. “We continue to shape our operations as per our client needs, and have recently set up a new centre in Vadodara. MphasiS, is known for its sensitive HR policies and the interests of its employees are a priority,” she said. The spokeswoman did not comment on the decision to relocate people.
Besides giving the option to relocate, MphasiS had invited rival firms such as HCL, ExlService Holdings and Tech Mahindra to recruit from among its employees. One of the four ex-employees, who bagged a job with one of these firms, said most BPO employees at the Noida centre had managed to find another job.

However, those in the IT services business were not so lucky. One former IT employee at Noida said the company informed the team about a month ago that they need to find another job. “They also said that if we quit early, we will get our retention bonus, which was due later, with our November salary,” he said, adding he is yet to find another job.

Earlier this month, MphasiS opened a 400-seat BPO centre in Vadodara. The company had said it plans to increase the number of seats to 800 seats and employ 2,500 people within a year.

Convergys Corp closes Houston call center

Convergys Corp. is closing its call center in Houston and will eliminate the jobs of 653 employees beginning Feb. 7, according to a notice the company filed with the Texas Workforce Commission. Call volume has fallen and the rental costs have risen, said Convergys spokeswoman Amy Williams from her office at the company’s headquarters in Cincinnati. She said she couldn’t identify the client except to say it was in telecommunications.

The call center on Interstate 45 North opened in 1998, she said, and is the only Convergys location in Houston. Convergys has 75,000 employees working in 84 call centers around the world.

Satyam in crisis: Chief Ramalinga Raju resigns?

Satyam Computers Founder and Chairman Ramalinga Raju resigned from the Board, Economic Times and Times of India reported citing unconfirmed reports. Raju has put in his papers and is waiting for the Board's decision.

Satyam Board meeting was scheduled on December 29. Analysts are of the view that Raju's resignation would not make much of a difference to investors. They further said that the responsibility lies on the whole Board as it was an unanimous decision where this Board is in no place to decide on the issue.

The resignation could raise issues of succession, which is far greater that quitting, the report said. Shares of Satyam were down 8.5% to Rs 148.60 on the BSE in intra day trading.
The company's shares have been plunging since the Board announced the acquisition of its two subsidiaries. The Board had to reverse its decision on acquisition later.
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Satyam in crisis: Rumours about the takeover

Rumours about the Satyam Takeover by IBM or Oracle: Offering 19$ per share???
IBM already waiting for many days/years for this situation to buy Satyam??

Satyam in crisis: Satyam barred from business with the World Bank for 8 years

After Maytas(reverse word of Satyam which reversed Satyam's fate) issue, another pain for Satyam:
The World Bank on Tuesday confirmed an earlier report that it has barred Satyam Computer Services from doing business with it for eight years, starting September this year, due to data theft and paying bribes to its staff. Now Satyam is ineligible to receive direct contracts.

Since 2003, Satyam had been writing and maintaining all software for World Bank across all locations. This also included maintenance of software in back-end offices.

A Fox News report said Satyam was straying badly across the bank’s ethical warning lines. Quoting sources, the report said that one of the worst breaches apparently occurred last April in the network of the bank’s super-sensitive treasury unit. “ investigators had discovered that spy software had been covertly installed on workstations inside the bank’s Washington headquarters allegedly by one or more contractors from Satyam,” Fox News said. According to the report, Robert Zoellick reportedly told his deputies, “I want them off the premises now.” The report pointed out that A World Bank official denied that Satyam was behind any of the bank’s security breaches: “I am not in a position to tell you,” adding that “we’re confident” it wasn’t Satyam.

Reacting to reports in the US media on charges of data theft, a company spokesperson said that they were aware of the reports but it was the company’s policy not to comment on client relations. “We have seen the reports. Satyam has a policy not to comment on or discuss client relations,” a spokesperson said today.

The World Bank's disclosure on Tuesday could be an embarrassment for the company which is embroiled in an unrelated controversy after its scuppered bid to buy two firms linked to its promoter B Ramalinga Raju.
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Oracle trims staff cost

Source: The Economic Times
MUMBAI: Oracle Financial Services Software, formerly called i-flex solutions, is now taking various steps to cut down its employee costs.

After Oracle’s acquisition of i-flex last year, the company is trying to prune its costs given the current scenario. The firm provides IT solutions to the financial services industry. The news that its is trimming costs as well as manpower is spreading to other sectors as well.

According to sources close to the company, those employees on the bench will be given only 50% of their salary and have been asked to work for fewer hours a day. An employee working with the firm said that even management graduates, who had joined in November would be given a part of their salary, around 40% of the Rs 4.4 lakh pay package that they are entitled to, for December, January and February. A mail sent to the company by ET remained unanswered. The company employs around 11,000 people.
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Wipro set to acquire Citi Technology Services for $127 million

BANGALORE/MUMBAI: Wipro Technologies on Tuesday said it is buying the IT arm of Citigroup in India for around $127 million. The deal could yield contracts worth up to $1 billion for India’s third-largest software exporter from the global financial services provider.

The all-cash deal to acquire Citi Technology Services (Citos) comes with a commitment by Citigroup to outsource all future infrastructure management contracts to Wipro, which will absorb some 2,000 Citos staff in Mumbai and Chennai. As part of the deal, Wipro will deliver infrastructure services and provide application development and maintenance to Citi for six years, assuring the Bangalore-based company of at least $500 million in revenues over the period. “It could be twice as much over the next few years,” said Jagdish Rao, Citi's global technology head. “As we face these challenges, there will be greater demand for moving more work to offshore locations,” he added.

Captive organisations of large customers have always been an attractive target for technology vendors such as Infosys, TCS and Wipro. In October, TCS acquired the Indian BPO arm of Citibank for around $505 million in a deal which came with assured business of some $2.5 billion over nine years from Citibank. Citigroup Global Services, the BPO arm, is expected to generate revenues of around $278 million this year alone.

Citigroup outsources IT contracts to leading vendors such as IBM, TCS, Wipro and Infosys. “A large part of our IT budget is dedicated to infrastructure and application maintenance, and that will remain a mandatory spend,” he added.

Move affects employees?: Yes
The move incidentally would also help Citi in cutting down its employee strength. Citos employs close to 2,500 people and has offices in Mumbai and Chennai. Citi had earlier said that it is looking at cutting down 15% of its employee base or 52,000 employees in the next one year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


More Companies Are Cutting Costs Without Layoffs

Even as layoffs are reaching historic levels, some employers have found an alternative to slashing their work force. They’re nipping and tucking it instead.

The rolls of companies nipping at labor costs with measures less drastic than wholesale layoffs include Dell (extended unpaid holiday), Cisco (four-day year-end shutdown), Motorola (salary cuts), Nevada casinos (four-day workweek), Honda (voluntary unpaid vacation time) and The Seattle Times (plans to save $1 million with a week of unpaid furlough for 500 workers). There are also many midsize and small companies trying such tactics.

Kodak Cuts Employee Voicemail to Save Company
Absolutely determined not to suffer the same fate as Polaroid, Kodak is going through, cutting costs anywhere that it can. You've got to do what you've got to do to stay alive and Kodak definitely recognizes this.

In an effort to stay afloat during tough economic times, Kodak has reportedly eliminated employee voicemail altogether. If you were hoping to reach someone at Kodak but that person was out of the office at the time, you have no choice but to call back later. You will not be able to leave a message. Kodak is doing away with the voicemail system as of December 31. This is when the company's current voicemail contract expires.

Layoffs in USA - Dec 22nd: Update

Mac game developer Aspyr confirms layoffs
Although Apple hasn't been drastically affected by the economy thus far, some of the companies that sell accessories, software, and other Apple-related items haven't been so lucky. The latest casualty of the laggard economy is Mac game developer Aspyr, which confirmed to gaming site Kotaku last week that it had laid off some of its staff, citing the "current economic environment."

Unisys to Cut 1,300 Jobs, Suspend Raises
Unisys Corp. said it would cut 1,300 jobs, or 4.3% of its worldwide work force; consolidate plants; suspend its 401(k) matching program; and not offer raises to most employees next year.

Dell layoffs 2000 people in their Ireland unit
The American computer giant is expected to confirm early in the New Year that it is to drastically reduce its manufacturing operation in Limerick, at a cost of over 2000 jobs.

Citigroup Inc. plans to close one of its offices in San Antonio and lay off 55 employees in early 2009.

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center has reported it will lay off 200 workers beginning Jan. 7. 

Textron To Cut 2,200 Jobs, Close Most Of Finance Unit
Textron Inc. (TXT) said it will cut 2,200 jobs, or 5.5% of its worldwide work force, and will shut most of its commercial finance business to enhance its long-term liquidity position amid unstable credit markets.

Outsourcing firms warn of possible H-1B visa cutbacks

Source: Computer World
Several companies have alerted investors that a changing U.S. political environment could limit access to H-1B and L-1 visas, which they say could hurt their businesses.

In filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, offshore and U.S.-based outsourcing firms said they are unsure how the election of Barack Obama and the seating of a new Congress will affect their efforts to maintain adequate visa levels.

Bangalore, India-based Wipro Ltd., one of the largest users of H-1B visas, warned in documents filed shortly after the November elections that "increasing political and media attention" directed at outsourcing may lead to legislation that restricts visa use or "imposes disincentives" to expanding the use of foreign workers in the U.S. Click here for complete story.
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Infosys BPO, Mphasis keep on hiring

Source: IT Examiner
The top two BPO companies in India, Infosys BPO and Mphasis have rubbished the recent report of Indian BPO industry chopping 2.5 lakh jobs by the first quarter of 2009 which has been creating doubt and uncertainty in the minds of many BPO employees in India.

Speaking to IT Examiner, The Infosys BPO vice-president and HR head, K Raghavendra rubbishing what he called a mere speculation said BPO sector will lose 2.5 lakhs jobs. Commenting on the report, Raghavendra said, “the reports was completely bull and speculative”.

One more relevant article from Market Watch

Microsoft Rumored to be Preparing Large Scale Jobs Cuts

Mini-Microsoft, one of Microsoft's anonymous and wholly unofficial bloggers, has floated the wholly unofficial rumour that the Microsoft might be planning to shed some staff:

The Mini-Microsoft blog is getting and posting a lot of comments purportedly left by Microsoft employees who are being warned/told that job cuts are coming on January 15, 2009. Some of the comments are just things heard on the grapevine, while others are from people specifically told in meetings that they have “four weeks left.” The blog appears to be written by a MSFT employee, and most of the comments are pretty obviously from company employees. If the rumors turn out to be true, Microsoft would be following in the footsteps of Yahoo, who just did a big round of layoffs earlier this month, and Google’s cutbacks of its contractor workforce.

Here is some list of head-count cuts or expected percent cuts so far??
3 in omps
9 in stb
12 in msd
7 in devdiv
18 in UA
5 in MSX

Hexaware announces new organisation structure

Source: Business Standard
IT and BPO services provider Hexaware Technologies, announced a new organisation structure with focus on three major verticals--BFSI, travel and transport, and emerging verticals (manufacturing and healthcare).

“The planned structure will facilitate aggressive account mining, enable us to define and penetrate target accounts better and provide greater value to our customers. We believe it will also foster a more collaborative approach within Hexaware, spurring our accelerated growth in the future,” said P R Chandrasekar, CEO and vice chairman, Hexaware.

BPO, IT companies may have to pay more for 24X7 broadband

Source: The Economic Times
MUMBAI: BPOs, IT firms and enterprise users of Internet should brace up for higher prices of bandwidth if they want capacity that is disruption-proof even in case of disasters like the latest undersea cable cuts in the Mediterranean region.  Possible restoration by Friday.

Operators are mulling increasing prices for offering round-the-clock or restorable leased line services, top industry sources told ET. Leased lines are dedicated circuits which provide permanent Internet connectivity and are heavily used by IT and IT-enabled services industry for voice and data transfer. 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Layoffs in USA - Dec 21st: Update

United Airlines warns of more possible layoffs
CHICAGO - United Airlines has warned its flight attendants union that it may seek to cut 250 more jobs in January, after furloughing 1,550 flight attendants earlier this fall. 

Silicon Storage to layoff 120, or 17 percent of workforce
Silicon Storage Technology, the Sunnyvale maker of flash memory, said it is in the process of cutting 120 employees, or 17 percent of its staff, according to a filing it made Friday. The action is being taken “to streamline the organization going forward” so as to “to reflect changes in anticipated levels of business.”

Galveston planning to cut employee pay
721 workers would be affected; Hurricane Ike, lower tax revenues blamed for projected shortfall

California State Issues Layoffs, Mandatory Unpaid Leave For State Employees
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order mandating all state employees take two days a month of unpaid leave. The Republican governor also ordered a 10-percent workforce reduction for all departments, which could be accomplished through layoffs. The furloughs and layoffs will begin in February and run through 2010, Schwarzenegger said in his executive order.

Polaris Software to invest Rs 350 mn for expansion

CHENNAI: At a time when the domestic software sector is going slow on hiring of personnel and expansion, the city-based Rs 11-billion Polaris Software Lab is taking a contrarian path. The company has decided to construct a new 1,500-seat facility at Siruseri near here with an outlay of Rs 350 million. 

Agilent Technologies won’t cut pay, forces vacation

NEW DELHI: In a novel way to ease the pressure on resources, Agilent, the world’s largest measurement and testing software company, has made a two-day leave mandatory every month in India for its 1,800 employees. Over and above that, the company has announced a two-week vacation effective December 20. 

On December 17, the $5.2-billion company announced a retrenchment of 800 jobs globally. Instead of tendering pink slips, Agilent India’s senior management executives are being asked to take a two-day ‘vacation’ every month. Junior employees have been asked to take a day’s off in lieu of their earned leave. “Those who don’t have paid leave left will have to take a leave without pay for those particular days,” Agilent India country manager Venkatesh Valluri said. 

Tech cos go slow on campus hiring; TCS, Infosys buck trend

MUMBAI: Top four IT companies made 58,000 campus offers for the financial year 2009-10, down by 2,000 from the current year. Recruitment for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys has gone up by nearly 2,000 each, a large chunk of this has come from tier I and tier II colleges, while this has gone down for Satyam and Wipro. 

Campus recruitments for the year usually start in May-June of the previous year. IT companies are given first preference as they hire in greater numbers than other sectors. Engineering colleges, traditionally the recruitment bastion for IT companies, have felt most of the brunt of this drop in recruitment. 

However, the decline in demand was not reflected in the pay packets as salaries being offered for 2009-10 recruits remain flat compared to 2008-09, which saw a hike of at least 10% across the software companies. TCS and Infosys offered Rs 3.15 lakh per annum to engineering graduates which is the highest salary for 2009-10. 

TCS to hire PhD students from IITs without interview

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) CEO and Managing Director S Ramadorai said that the company would hire computer science PhD students who have graduated from any Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the country without any interviews for the next five years.
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Companies likely to cut planned salary hikes

New Delhi: Here is a bad news again for employees as many companies are likely to move away from the planned salary hikes in 2009. Indicating further reduction in work force, a recent Mercer survey says companies have conceded that workforce reduction would occur and hiring would become more selective and skill- based.  

Of hundreds of human resource and finance professionals in India surveyed, 83 percent believe that their companies have planned to look closely at holding down the level of compensation increases and salary increases are likely to be lower than originally planned in 2009. But surprisingly, very few Indian companies surveyed are considering the more drastic step of freezing 2009 salaries at 2008 figures, with 19 percent of survey respondents saying that such a step is likely and 24 percent saying a salary freeze is somewhat likely.

Half of the Indian respondents say that their company is likely to reduce previously budgeted 2009 bonus payouts for performance in 2008. "It is now time to plug gaps where mediocre performance has been rewarded with high pay. Companies need to drive robust performance management and adopt a performance-based reward strategy. Employees should increasingly focus on acquiring new skills and developing an entrepreneurial mindset," opined Padma Ravichandar, Country Leader, Mercer Consulting (India). 

The survey also focuses on human resources and says that in an environment in which they are asked to operate with reduced resources, HR continues to be considered core strategic to most companies' business. 27 percent of the respondents said their companies plan to maintain their investments to improve the overall HR services. 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Layoffs in USA - Dec 19th: Update

Sovereign Bancorp and Electronic Arts announce 2,000 job cuts
Sovereign Bancorp and video-game designer Electronic Arts announced on Friday that they are cutting a total of 2,000 jobs, laying blame on the recession.

Barclays Capital
fires Lehman Brothers staff
Barclays Capital, the investment banking branch of Britain's Barclays Plc. is dismissing a report it was delaying the layoffs of 3,500 employees, who have lost their jobs as part of the company’s takeover of Lehman Brothers. The New York Post said Barclays was delaying with the layoffs until after the New Year celebration.

Indefinite Layoffs At CAT Mossville
Caterpillar is indefinitely laying off more than 800 workers at its Mossville plant starting February 23rd.

Aspyr Confirms Layoffs
Aspyr Media has confirmed it's laying off an unspecified number of staffers due to the economic downturn.

Citizens Financial lays off 900
Citizens Financial Group announced 900 layoffs today in their commercial, retail and global transaction services divisions.

Glam Media cuts Salaries to Avoid Layoffs

Sovereign Bank announces 112 layoffs

Parker Hannifin announces layoffs in Alliance

Silicon Valley jobless rate up amid thousands of job cuts
The unemployment rate in the San Jose region rose to 7.2 percent in November as the number of non-farm workers dropped by 4,300 from a year ago.

Oracle India rules out salary cuts

Source: IT Examiner
Allen Mathew, senior director in human resources, Oracle India has ruled out salary cuts in the company.

Mathew said, “We don’t go outside to recruit and we don’t go to consultants for recruitment. We run our own recruitment agency. So we have a very different model. We don’t have requirement at this point of time. We only find people in specific domains to hire, but it is difficult.” He added, “There are no salary cuts or job cuts as of now. Coming to our pay cycle, we have got last year’s bonus. December will be the latest period. And we are still hiring. So far, we don’t have any such move in our company”.

However, he is unsure about the future. He said, “We don’t know what will happen in three years or five years or one year down the line. In the near future I don’t see anything like that.” On an optimistic note, he spoke about the situation in 2004 when Oracle started mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of other companies.  At that time everyone said that M&A won’t work for Oracle as there will be a great number of job cuts and layoffs.

Mathew said that difference of culture could be of great significance in M&A. He said that Oracle had acquired multicompanies and was quite successful. He also gave an example of cultural adaptation. At one company they had acquired, the cafeteria had no non-vegetarian food on the menu. Now all cafeterias in Oracle offer non-vegetarian food. Mathew used this example to show that Oracle could adapt to other companies’ policies and merging was not only in business but also in culture.

However, employees of I-flex solutions limited, now Oracle Financial Services Software Limited, have a different story to tell. They said that the vendors in the company were in the process of being sent out. The senior employees in the C and D bands got 10 to 15 per cent salary cut. The company has also cancelled bonus for the year. The company’s staff in the prime sourcing division was given a pay cut of about 50 per cent and was required to work only for three hours a day. The old I-flex management supposedly wanted to layoff the entire staff in the division. However, the Oracle management decided against it as Oracle feared that it would give an impression that the M&A was a failure.

Employees also said that the company had cancelled perks such as transport charges. Earlier, 50 per cent of the employees' transport charges were borne by the company. The company has also cancelled free snacks for the staff in the evening. Free food for its support staff also has been cancelled. The recruitment procedure is said to have become more rigid following M&A. The employees’ version gives a completely different picture to that given by Mathew.

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