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Case Studies : Swisscom

Company Background
Swisscom IT Services is one of the Swisscom Group of companies. Swisscom delivers services and products for mobile, fixed and IP-based voice and data communications and has a turnover of 9.7 billion Swiss Francs and a workforce of 16,088.

Today the company offers its IT services to a broad rossection of Swiss enterprises including the telecom, banking, healthcare and government vertical domains. In 2004, Swisscom IT Services decided to evaluate a number of Indian outsourcing companies to partner with to extend the scope and scale of the services it could offer and to leverage the talent pool and cost arbitrage offered by Indian software services companies.

The Challenge
Under the guidance of Niklaus Fuchs, Head of Business Operations Support at Swisscom IT Services, the company undertook a comprehensive review of 78 Indian companies with a view to finding an exclusive off-shoring partner. Eventually they narrowed it down to a shortlist of two companies, who were evaluated on the basis of how well they helped the organisation to achieve their business goals, which are:

  • Cost reduction

  • Innovation

  • Revenue growth

  • Process improvement

In 2005, after a rigorous year long selection process, they eventually signed a contract with Indian global outsourcing specialist Satyam. Says Fuchs, "I was impressed by Satyam's technological experience and its domain- specific knowledge. I was also struck by the maturity of its processes and felt confident that our combined skills would help us to jointly open up new and exciting markets for our services."

The Solution
The Swisscom IT Services/Satyam team has already undertaken a number of projects on behalf of Swisscom and other enterprise customers. The first project that the combined team embarked upon was to reverse engineer an in-house legacy billing application for Swisscom that had become difficult to maintain owing to a lack of documentation and the fact that the original architects and support team had either retired or moved on. Once the reverse engineering task was completed a new set of documentation and object oriented artefacts were developed to aid future trouble-shooting and maintenance of the system. According to Fuchs Satyam was able to deliver better than expected quality, faster and at a cost saving to the customer of nearly 60% over the cost of undertaking this work in-house. With the system now secure and well maintained, the team can now plan the next steps of migrating this legacy application to a new platform.

Another project that has been successfully outsourced to the Swisscom IT Services/Satyam team has been inter-operability testing for a new end-to-end billing, provisioning and subscriber management system for Swisscom Mobile. The system comprises of the selection of a variety of different vendor's solutions. Satyam's role was to undertake comprehensive systems integration testing to ensure that when the system went live there would be no glitches.

The next phase of the software testing project will be to transition from an onshore to an off-shore operation in order to realise even greater cost savings. However, even with the onshore model, Swisscom Mobile has already benefited in terms of access to rare software testing skills as well as cost savings due to the lower costs of Indian personnel over the high cost and short supply of Swiss personnel with the requisite skill sets.

More recently Swisscom IT Services has acquired a specialist financial consultancy called COMIT. Satyam and COMIT have recently landed a project with Credit Suisse to develop and enhance a number of Human Resources (HR), Investment Banking Portfolio Recommendation and Performance Calculation applications for private banking. The next step is to develop a roadmap on how to take the application development and maintenance of these applications offshore to tap into the vast reserves of technically skilled staff in Satyam's Indian off-shoring operation and realise better cost efficiencies.

The Benefits
According to Robert Ferenc, Head of Global Sourcing Services (GSS) for Swisscom IT Services the benefits of being able to call upon the extensive resources and experience of Satyam have been invaluable. "In Switzerland we have a shortage of personnel with in-depth experience in the area of integration testing, particularly in view of the complex nature of different technologies involved, ranging from Siebel, TIBCO Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) tools to Java J2EE and legacy system languages like PL1 mainframe development language: Such a combination of different skills is very difficult to find in the Swiss market."

"The second problem that Satyam has helped us overcome is enabling us to scale up our resources without taking on permanent staff. We can add in resources quickly and efficiently as need dictates, which enable our internal customers at Swisscom Mobile and Swisscom Fixnet to increase speed to market for new products and services which is vital to success in the fast moving world of telecoms," said Ferenc.

"The third key ingredient that Satyam has brought us is exposure to skills and experience on a global level and particularly from more advanced markets like the US and UK which can't be found by using local staff alone."

René Lûscher, Head of Workplace Engineering at Swisscom IT Services, summed up his perspective on the Satyam relationship," With our partner Satyam we get access to a huge pool of skilled, highly qualified specialists. Our customer interface is located here in Switzerland in our own offices. This means that communications are fast and simple. Our Satyam contacts understand very well when we have a problem and can support us in an optimal way."

About Swisscom:
Company LogoWith revenue of CHF 4.8 billion for the first half of 2006 and a workforce of 16,739 full-time employees, the Swisscom Group is one of Switzerland’s telecoms company. Swisscom is present nationwide, delivering all services and products for mobile, fixed and IP-based voice and data communications.
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About TechMahindra:
Company LogoTech Mahindra is a leading provider of solutions and services to the telecommunications industry with a majority stake owned by Mahindra & Mahindra Limited, in partnership with British Telecommunications plc.
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