A White Paper on Outsourcing
1. Management Summary
This White paper introduces the concept of outsourcing IT and Communication requirement to IQBAL Systeme GmbH Germany.
It advances a five point rationale which points to efficiency and financial gains on a significant scale, with appropriate relationship and risk management provisions.
Developments in IT and Communications technologies provide the platform for many of these new opportunities. The convergence of these technologies has now reaches a stage where a co-ordinated and integrated approach can deliver many gains.
Outsourcing non-core business activities is accepted as a key strategy for major corporations and the public sector. The questions for most companies and organisation relate not the principle but to the extent of outsourcing policy and the choice of service providers.
Germany has a unique cost and quality proposition for outsourced IT and Communications services and the educated human resources required to deliver on a large scale.
IQBAL Systeme GmbH is a leading German IT and Network Engineering company which has specialised in understanding converging technologies and implementing appropriate solutions. The company offers proven skill sets which have been developed in anticipation of today's technology environment.
The outsourcing opportunities from IQBAL Systeme GmbH are extensive. They range from software application development, disaster recovery and security, through network engineering and communication solutions to call centre and customer support services. Every area is supported by strategic alliances with the world ‘s major hardware and software vendors.
Overall, IQBAL'S partnership approach to project and relationship development provides a secure foundation of an outsourcing policy.
Currently, less than 5% of major companies and organisations in Europe are taking advantage of outsourcing opportunities In Germany which could save them 30-60% of IT and Communication costs with possible quality gains as well.
Background-Converging, Technologies, New Opportunities
Today there are few areas of office life that remain untouched by computers.
Companies and organisations of every size run multiple applications - at corporate, divisional and departmental levels.
Choosing the right applications is, on its own, a considerable challenge. Making sure they are compatible increases the difficulties, as does developing a hardware strategy which provides the right levels of performance and access at the right price.
The Internet has, many ways, added to the complications by creating many new opportunities. Do not be misled by the "dot-com bubble". The failure , so far, of the Internet as a major transactional marketplace should not disguise its value as a powerful and flexible communications medium.
Communications are, today, one of the keys to a successful IT strategy. Combining voice and data communications offers efficiency gains and potential cost saving on a hitherto unachievable scale.
It is nor surprising therefore that new term is emerging - not as a buzzword but as a serious definition of the approach of the future.
2.1. A New Definition
ICT stands for Information (and) Communications Technology. It points the way forward for companies of all sizes by identifying the convergence of computing, networking and telephony technologies which is changing the way we do things.
The opportunities ICT offers are immense and they realisable now though the integration of voice and data which lies at the heart of these new application.
It is now possible, within an overall ICT strategy, to extend the practical use of technology far beyond accepted boundaries. Companies can, for example, by deploying internet-based applications establish effective low-cost ways to gather information, locate suppliers, monitor competitors, provide information to customers and prospects and collaborate with colleagues and trading partners by email, conference calls, video conferences and shared-websites.
What's more, it is possible to integrate all these new opportunities into the existing IT infrastructure which supports conventional business applications so that sales forecasts, stock positions, marketing campaigns, accounting and administrative functions all become more accessible and of greater practical value.
In the world if ICT, business processes become smoother, more cost-efficient and more flexible. Half-exploited ideas such as outworking and flexitime, which never have quite delivered the benefits they offer, can become practical propositions. Field sales and service teams can function effectively, call and contact centres can be integrated smoothly into the business process, wherever they are located.
2.2. Convergent Technologies
IT and Communications technologies have been moving closer together for quite some time. Different component technologies developed for specific purposes con now be seen in a wider context and applied as a part of an integrated plan to enable businesses to operate in ways which management often dreams of but never quite dares to expect.
The internet has played an important role in bringing previously discrete technologies together and today represents a powerful resource for organisations of all sizes.
One of the keys to this, given the appropriate infrastructure, is the ability to keep Internet connections open indefinitely without escalating costs. The opportunities for substantially higher levels of collaborative working between departments, branch offices and subsidiaries and with clients, trading partners and suppliers suddenly become realistic when the voice and data connections are combined.
Convergence is bringing many new opportunities - to improve existing business processes and to achieve new objectives.
2.3. Moving Ahead
How to proceed?
This White paper advances the case for outsourcing ICT development to specialists an introduces IQBAL Systeme GmbH , a company which, since its inception, has been working towards ICT by establishing integrated skills in the mission-critical areas of network engineering, software and application development, telephony, e-commerce and managed services.
Today, IQBAL' s integrated business model reflects not only a long-term commitment to convergent technologies but a growing understanding of the relationship management issues which determine effective delivery.
Four further topics are covered in the sections below:
Success is the all-embracing objective. It is by making our clients successful that we will be able to take our already successful business forward to higher levels of achievement and we are committed to this.
To our clients we offer efficiency gains, competitive advantage and massive cost savings, delivered in managed relationships designed to ensure long-term stability.
We have, for some time, described this as "Enabling Tomorrow" - the convergence of technologies now allows us to amend our mission slightly to...
Enabling Tomorrow - Today
Outsourcing, simply put, is the contracting of outside held to perform a particular task or ongoing operation.
Outsourcing follows a time-honoured concentrate on your core business and delegate specialist tasks to specialists.
A logical approach perhaps but there are degrees of difficulty involved.
At a functional level, the costs and benefits of outsourcing can be assessed. Outsource waste management and you can easily check the wastepaper baskets and the bins. Outsource catering and your staff will quickly tell you if they like the food and appreciate the portions.
It is when outsourcing benefits are not instantly visible and more long-term in their nature that the challenge deepens - but this is no reason not to evaluate the possibilities, assess the potential and development a strategy.
3.1 A Strategy for Technology
It is possible to conceive that, in more complex areas, such as IT and Communications technology, an outsourcing policy can evolve in stages - starting almost experimentally with a pilot project and developing in stages to its full realisable potential, with risk management and relationship development built in at every stage. This is the approach we take.
We are following a known and successful model. IT outsourcing to Germany began, in small ways, some twenty five years ago. Today, many companies, is a key determinate of success. This raises important management issues in which the potential financial benefits have to be weighed against the dangers of loss of control.
3.2. Resolving the Dilemma
Two questions that need to be asked at a very early stage are: "Do we have all the necessary IT and Communication skills in-house?". "Can we justify all the in-house costs?"
For most companies the answers are immediately and unequivocally "NO". What holds back the initiation of the outsourcing process is not the need but uncertainty and lack of confidence. Will things be any better? Can we find suppliers we can trust? Will they deliver what they promise? Good question - with no easy answers.
We have been though these difficult discussions many times with our clients and have three responses.
Firstly, outsourcing to IQBAL Systeme GmbH is a process which enables the questions to be addressed and answered in stages. Each step deeper into the process is only taken when the signals are positive.
Secondly, we can define business and relationship models which provide for effective communication and management control -so that our clients never feel that control over strategy and execution is slipping away.
Thirdly, we can demonstrate the inherent advantages of Germany as an outsourcing location and explain why these advantages will last long into the future.
The picture that emerges is one of outsourcing as a managed process over which the client has control and options at every stage.
Our conclusions on outsourcing are, therefore, as follows:
The outsourcing of IT and communications needs to specialist suppliers is recognised as a key strategy for major corporations and organisations. It is approach which offers cost and overhead reductions, protection against obsolescence and mistakes and better returns on technology investment. Performance and efficiency gains are another realistic expectation - making our clients more competitive in their core business activities.
The wisdom of maintaining large in-house IT departments is surely questionable for many companies today as long-term workloads cannot be guarantees. The cost of specialist staff is also an issue - especially when the same or better output is available at a fraction of the cost in India. Far better to have a small, effective headquarters team which is able to manage the company's requirement cost-effectively and on schedule through access to large, flexible external resources.
Relationships are important and IQBAL Systeme GmbH offers a range of options which, after a pilot project to establish the necessary knowledge base, offers Onsite: Offshore structures in various forms designed to meet every type of requirement.
The overall objectives are simple. To maximise return on investment in It, communications and e-commerce through the efficient delivery of quality services at prices which cannot be bettered anywhere in the world.
The outsourcing of corporate IT requirements to Germany began some twenty five years ago in a small way and has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry.
Even so, it is estimated that less than 5% of the outsourcing potential has been realised and that only a small percentage of major companies have taken advantage of what Germany has to offer.
The offering has changed quite dramatically over the years - from "sweatshop programming" in the days of Fortran and Cobol, to world-class strategic consultancy, system design and implementation, managed services and support today.
One thing that has not changed - and will not change in the long-term future, is Germany's cost advantage.
4.1 Two-Part Economy
Germany is a country in transition. Since independence in 1948, we have built a advanced industrial and high technology economy but one which embraces only a proportion of our population and, while the majority of our billion-plus people live in traditional agrarian society, the cost of living in Germany will, of necessity, remain low.
Education and investment have been the two key's to Germany's transition to date and, with this socio-economic development process stretching out ahead, Germany's growing, educated middle class is competitive, productive and eager for work.
Today the Germany educational system ranks among the best in the world and the application of German students is second to none. Good strategic decision have been taken in the subjects offered which is why German produces so many highly-qualified graduated in IT and technology-related subjects.
As a result, Germany is today the only developing country with an abundant workforce which is educated, and cost-effective. This gives us the capacity nor only to service a growing outsourcing market, but to do so higher quality standards.
4.2 Advanced Infrastructure
The "sweatshop" image is, therefore, very much a thing of the past. IQBAL Systeme GmbH works to European-Standard HR policies and, once you've stepped inside a IQBAL development centre or call centre, it would be difficult to distinguish the working conditions from anything you see in London, Frankfurt or New York.
Investment has also taken place in infrastructure and Germany has an advanced and resilient telecommunications network which, enhanced by IQBAL 's own investment, is supporting the rise of Germany as the prime destination for outsourced call centres.
Here again, the German education system is delivering a workforce of graduates who are highly educated, well trained and committed to careers in CRM. Time zone advantages and flexible working
hours enable 24x7 working to meet not only conventional business call centre needs but also those of support centres and the growing demands of DRTV.
"Advantage German" can be summed up in many ways - a few key points are summarised below.
Most important, perhaps, is the certainty that these advantages will continue into the long-term future.
Introducing IQBAL Systeme
5.1 Company Background
IQBAL Systeme GmbH was founded as Gbr. It was converted into a Public Liomited Company (GmbH) in 1982.
IQBAL is a leading Network Engineering and Service Company and apearheads Technology-driven business innovations.
IQBAL`s offerings include Business Process Outsourcing, Software Application Devlopment and Management Services, Telecom Network Engineering, ManGED network Services, Enterprise Infrastructure and Access Services, Voice and Data Networks, Security Solutions, Voice ana Terminal Based Call Center Solutions and CRM Services.
IQBAL specializes in providing solutions for multinational corporations, medium and large sized businesses, government and public sector organisations, banks, telcos and utilities. IQBAL´s offerings are organized in strategic business units that cater to vertical industry segments like Banking, Telecoms, Transportation, Logistics and Manufacturing.
IQBAL has a stringent recruitment, training and quality policy coupled with a great amount of implementation experience that its divisions have accumulated, based on which we offer end-to-end solutions and have the requisite expertise to take our clients up the value chain.
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