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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Software development firm CEO settles in Deerfield Beach

99xxxxDavid and Roberta Noderer bought a three-bedroom, two-bath home at 1968 N.E. Seventh St. in Deerfield Beach from 1521502 Ontario Limited for $355,000 on July 6.

1521502 Ontario Limited paid $460,000 for Unit #2-3 in May 2006. The 1,374-square-foot home was built in 1995 in the Deerfield Beach East neighborhood.

Noderer has served as the president, chief executive officer and founder of Computer Ways Inc., a software development firm which specializes in Microsoft technologies, and the founder and treasurer of the Florida Dot Net User Group. He has held technical, management and marketing positions at Prime Computer and Encore Computer and managed architecture, hardware and software design teams. He was also the director and treasurer of the Florida Chapter of the Internet Society, a founding board member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a former Trustee of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.

He received his B.S. from the Rochester Institute of Technology and completed continuing education courses at the University of Rochester and Northeastern University.

There were 1,064 sales in Deerfield Beach in 2008, with a median sales price of $51,000.

Source: http://southflorida.blockshopper.com/news/story/300028786-Software_development_firm_CEO_settles_in_Deerfield_Beach

Engine Yard launches robust Ruby cloud-based deployment platform service

Engine Yard is working to make life easier for Ruby on Rails developers. The San Francisco-based application automation and management start-up rolled out two new products on Monday with an eye toward the cloud.

Ruby on Rails is a Web programming framework that’s rapidly emerging as one of the most popular ways to develop Web sites and Web applications. Popular Web 2.0 applications like Twitter, Hulu and Scribd are built using Ruby on Rails, and Ruby usage has increased by 40 percent in 2009 alone, according to Evans Data. Even though only 14 percent of developers are using Ruby, Evans predicts 20 percent will adopt the technology by 2010.

Engine Yard is preparing for Ruby growth in the next 12 months and beyond with its latest offerings: Engine Yard Cloud and Flex. Engine Yard Cloud is a services platform that leverages 100 man-years of experience deploying, managing and scaling some of the world’s largest Rail sites and makes that know-how accessible to companies looking to run Rails in the cloud. Meanwhile, Flex is a cloud service plan for production-level Rails applications.

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What Engine Yard is, in effect, taking Ruby a step beyond application development. These new tools tackle tougher issues like deployment, maintenance, scalability, uptime and performance — skills most developers either don’t have or don’t want to acquire. Cloud management solutions abound, but Engine Yard charging forward with a platform to specifically address the needs of developers building applications in Rails.

Unlike an infrastructure cloud, Engine Yard Cloud provides application-aware auto-scaling, auto-healing and monitoring and a highly optimized, pre-integrated Rails runtime stack. Engine Yard Cloud is also backed by 24×7 Premium Support from Engine Yard. It runs on Amazon EC2 infrastructure cloud.

Pricing for the Flex Plan starts at $349 per month. Pricing for Engine Yard Premium Support starts at $475 per month. Engine Yard Cloud will be generally available in August.

“Companies like Amazon and Rackspace are doing a good job at the hardware resource provisioning level,” said Tom Mornini, CTO of Engine Yard. “But they don’t actually help you with assembling your raw virtual machines, storage, object stores and file systems into an application architecture. Engine Yard Cloud is the layer on top of the hardware that helps you get from raw resources to functioning application architecture.”

Under the Hood

With its Flex plan, Engine Yard Cloud serves customers running production applications that want to leverage the on-demand flexibility of a cloud but also need application-level scaling, reliability and support. With developer features like automated deployment from source check-ins, handling rapid application changes driven by agile development is easier for developers.

Behind the scenes, Engine Yard Cloud is automatically scaling applications. Engine Yard can come to the rescue of a site that’s under stress or low in memory by adding more application capacity on the fly. Here’s how it works: Essentially, the technology provisions a new Amazon virtual machine, lays down the operating system, lays down Ruby on Rails, lays down the source code, hooks it up with a load balancer, and assembles the monitoring so the developer — who is not a systems administrator — doesn’t have to.

Engine Yard Cloud also offers reliability features to make sure sites don’t go down, such as an automatic database replica and an auto-healing capacity in case a server fails in the application tier. Engine Yard Cloud even offers what it calls “one-click cloning” that lets developers duplicate production sites — even if they are running 15 or 20 or more servers — in order to perform testing or stage new code.

This is all coming together for integrated app-stack in one cloud automation. I expect this will also be of interest for private clouds. And I’m hip to the notion of personal cloud as a means to ease the deployment of robust apps.

Competing in the Cloud

On the Ruby front, Engine Yard has a strong position in the market. Engine Yard’s competitors are Joyent, Rails Machine, Devunity and RailsCluster, among others.

But Engine Yard isn’t just competing with vendors in the Ruby space. It’s competing with other platforms. Google App Engine is doing something similar for Java. Microsoft is shipping Azure in November. Even if Engine Yard dominates on the Ruby front, there’s still a battle for market share in cloud platforms.

Source: http://blogs.zdnet.com/Gardner/?p=3083

Monday, May 25, 2009

AT Kearney: Bulgaria holds ground in office outsourcing

The latest rating of the global business consultant AT Kearneyindicates that Bulgaria still has positive potential for outsourcing ofoffices in spite of the economic downturn. It is still an attractivedestination, especially in the financial and accounting sectors, maintenance anddevelopment of computer systems and databases, client support, research anddevelopment and labour intensive services.

Office building investors have an increasingly arduous task inthe midst of the downturn: finding tenants for hundreds of thousands of sq m ofoffice space at a time when managers are trying to cut costs.

According to the latest edition of global management consultingfirm AT Kearney’s Global Services Location Index (GSLI), deteriorating costconsiderations and improved labour quality are driving a dramatic shift inoutsourcing locations.

The GSLI report shows that once competitive central Europeancountries have yielded ground to countries in Asia, the Middle East and NorthAfrica. India, China and Malaysia retain the top three positions they haveoccupied since 2004.

The downturn has been particularly marked in central andeastern Europe where established premier outsourcing destinations have slumpedin popularity. The Czech Republic, for example, has fallen to 32nd place from16th, Hungary to 37th place from 24th and Slovakia to 40th from 12th. Meanwhile,Bulgaria has also registered a decrease, albeit a significantly milder one -from ninth down to 13th place.

Reasons for the decline of central and eastern Europeancountries were said to be the drastic escalation in costs driven by wageinflation. Meanwhile, low-cost countries in Southeast Asia and the Middle Easthave made substantial advances as the quality and availability of their labourforces improve. Egypt, Jordan and Vietnam ranked in the GSLI’s top 10 for thefirst time ever.

In Bulgaria, in particular, according to Stroitelstvo Gradut,the market has been facing increasing pressure over the past few months due toeconomic weakness. This forces companies to reduce spending on office space, soreleasing more unused areas.

Vacancy rates in Sofia have soared up to double digitpercentages while rent levels have regressed to the values of two years ago. Afew major property transactions like Hewlett Packard Global Delivery BulgariaCentre, which completed a 8 000 sq m move in an office complex in Kambanitebusiness centre, and the VMWare software developer with five storeys in the East Tower at GMDimitrov Boulevard, have been hailed as positive indicators for the future bylocal analysts.

Source: http://www.sofiaecho.com/2009/05/25/724507_at-kearney-bulgaria-holds-ground-in-office-outsourcing

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Infosys hiring 100+ in Bellevue, CEO sees rebound in '10

Bangalore-based outsourcing giant Infosys is hiring - in Bellevue.

The company plans to add more than 100 new employees as part ofa big US expansion in anticipation of growth resuming in 2010.

Altogether, Infosys plans to hire about 1,000 people across theUS over the next 12 to 18 months, according to Chief Executive KrisGopalakrishnan, who is in town for Microsoft's CEO Summit this week and who satdown for an interview before making a presentation there.

Already, 14,000 of the company's 104,000 employees are based inthe US.It remains to be seen whether the hiring will blunt concerns aboutoutsourcing during a time when the US is spending billions to create andpreserve jobs.

But Infosys isn't trying to score publicity points with thejobs as much as finding more people to work with its big customers such asMicrosoft.

"We believe business will be there if we add capabilities, moreservices and solutions to our portfolio and increase the business volume withthe existing customers - that's how we see growth coming to our business,"Gopalakrishnan said.
Since it was started in 1981, Infosys has grown tobecome one of the top three outsourcing firms in India, where its stature is comparable toMicrosoft's.

Gopalakrishnan said the CEO Summit is "a good way to networkwith the leadership in the industry, especially in times like these."

"It's important to understand and get to know differentperspectives, what everybody thinks," he said. "A lot of impact and influence isbecause of the collective thinking of people, right? If everybody believesthings are going to become better, they do become better."

Gopalakrishnan also is hoping the gathered executives will haveinsights into what fundamental changes will result from the downturn. To figurethat out, you need to distinguish between the greed that marked the financialmeltdown and innovations that were happening, he said.

"If you look at the Internet boom, everybody jumped in, many ofthose companies got funded, lots of money was poured in," he said. "Of coursemany of those companies failed, lots of money was lost but some good thingshappened - some companies emerged very strong, became the leaders in that space.In telecom, the same thing - a huge amount of money was spent creatingbandwidth. A lot of us are benefiting from that.

If there was no expectation of higher returns, that money wouldnot have been spent. Because of the higher returns, a lot of people jammed in, alot of risk is taken, but I think everybody benefited out of that. Then therewas a period of consolidation, a lot of players dropped out. A few companiessurvived and it goes on."

What's next?

"I think we need to figure out what is the role of regulationin this and how we can manage it better."

Has the recovery begun in India?

"Very early stages," Gopalakrishnan said. "I hope it issustained and picks up. The difference with the US is in the US it has gone from2, 3 percent in GDP growth to approximately zero, about a 3 percent decline.India has also declined 3 percent - it's gone from 8 to 9 percent growth to 5percent to 6 percent.

On the positive side it's still 5 to 6 percent growth, but thedecline is similar, actually."

How concerned is Gopalakrishnan he about US perceptions of outsourcing,especially now that the country is spending heavily to create new jobs?

"I'm concerned," he said. "It is a very important question tobe addressed. There is a short-term and a medium- to long-term issue. Shortterm, it's about job losses and what are the right things to do. Medium to longterm, you need to focus on the underlying causes, the underlying issues relatedto that.

If we talk about our industry - if we look at medium to longterm - there will be shortages of people in this industry for multiple reasons.If you look at the people coming into this industry, it has been declining indeveloped countries and increasing in developing countries."

Source: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/technologybrierdudleysblog/2009244972_infosys_hiring_100_in_bellevue.html

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

HCL inks outsourcing deal with MTV

HCL Technologies, part of the Rs. 24,000 crore HCL Group, todayannounced that it is entering into an outsourcing services engagement deal withMTV networks. MTV or Music Television is owned by US-based Viacom.

HCL will provide technology solutions to MTV in digital content creation,media asset management, community networking and cross brand programming ondifferent platforms.

The platforms include media player development, sitesdevelopment, social networking site development, games development,application and data support and platform development.

The offshore development centre will be based in Chennai, whilethe user interface design services will be located in Noida.

Source: http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/hcl-inks-outsourcing-dealmtv/62422/on

Monday, May 18, 2009

E-learning Outsourcing in India to be Worth $603M

ValueNotes Outsourcing Practice has published a report on theIndian e-learning outsourcing service provider landscape where it has revealedthat revenues from the latter will touch US $603 million by the end of 2012. Atpresent, the Indian e-learning outsourcing segment has reported to have earnedapproximately US $341 million at the end of 2008. Titled 'E-learning Outsourcing2009: Advantage India', the report documents the competitive landscape ofproviders in the e-learning space in the country.

Market will Recover

According to ValueNotes, the economic recession will continueto impact growth in the industry for the next six to eight quarters. The marketwill recover and grow much faster until 2012. As a result, according toValueNotes suggests that the e-learning offshoring industry will grow at a CAGRof 15 percent till 2012 -- though this growth will be more subdued till 2010.This 'growth' will be to the tune of US $603 million by the end of the calendaryear 2012.

According to ValueNotes, since companies are forced to maketheir 'training dollar' last longer, outsourcing e-learning operations tocountries such as India are a more viable solution. Realizing the cost advantageand service expertise available India, companies will move from internationale-learning service providers to Indian ones.

The E-Learning Outsourcing Industry in India

According to the report, today the Indian e-learningoutsourcing industry consists of third-party providers, offshore deliverycenters of international e-learning providers and consulting firms. In the lastdecade or so, apart from 'pure-play' e-learning firms, companies from fieldssuch as IT, BPO, publishing and domestic retail education have also made a forayinto the market.

At the same time, Indian e-learning providers are now moving onfrom doing low-end outsourced work for international providers to rivalinternational standards in emerging technologies like Web 2.0 applications,high-tech learning environments, and tools to develop better, faster andeconomical learning. This includes small, niche providers that are nowdeveloping specialized applications such as rapid mobile learning tools.

ValueNotes estimates that there are no more than 35 e-learningproviders who have more than 100 employees and there are well over a hundredother smaller providers in this space.

Source: http://www.enterpriser.in/India/Know_It/E-learning_Outsourcing_in_India_to_be_Worth_603M/551-102071-449.html

General Motors Leaves US Workers by the Wayside as it Accelerates Operations in China

For decades, GeneralMotors Corp. was an icon of American industry. But over the past decade itssales in China have steadily increased, while dwindling sales at home haveturned the company into a relic.

Now facing bankruptcy, GM has an opportunity to shift itsoperations to China, its fastest growing and most profitable market. The companyis already attempting to move its manufacturing operations to the Asianpowerhouse, and that has given rise to speculation that it will move itsheadquarters as well.

Of course, if GM – which has already received $15.4 ingovernment loans – were to pick up stakes, the political fallout would be epic.What could be more “un-American” than a 101 year-old American automotive companythat’s being propped up by taxpayer dollars moving to a communist nation?

But the reality is that American consumers aren’t buying GM vehicles andChinese consumers are. That means if the company is going to remain viable,China, not America, is GM’s land of opportunity.

GM CEO: Bankruptcy ‘Probable’

GM still has two weeks before the government imposed deadlineto demonstrate sustainable viability expires on June 1. But even GM ChiefExecutive Officer Fritz Henderson has admitted that bankruptcy is “probable” atthis point. And in the minds of analysts, it’s almost certain.

“[Bankruptcy] is looking like a real high probability,” BrettD. Hoselton, an analyst with KeyBanc Captial Markets, told the New York Times.“Chrysler is the best indicator at this point of where we’re heading with GM.”

GM reported a first-quarter net loss of $5.98 billion, comparedto a loss of $3.3 billion a year earlier. Revenue fell to $22.4 billion, a 47%drop from 2008. The company burned through $10.2 billion in cash in just threemonths. GM has now lost $88 billion since 2004.

Last year, GM lost its crown as the world’s largest carmaker toJapan’s Toyota MotorCorp. And a company that 40 years ago produced one out of every two vehiclessold in the United States, has seen its US market share slide to just 19%.

On Friday, GM notified 1,100 of its 6,000 US dealerships thatit is terminating their contracts, and it plans to cut its network down to 3,600dealers by next year.

“This company is sick,” Charles Ballard, an economics professorat Michigan State University told Michigan NBC television affiliate WILX 10,“they’re likely going to file for bankruptcy.”

Investors are equally pessimistic. GM stock has plunged 70% since the Obamaadministration announced it would give the company 60 days to restructureoutside of bankruptcy court. GM has lost 94% of its equity value in the pastyear.

Is China the Right Cure for GM?

So if GM is sick, what then is the medicine? Many analystsbelieve it’s a healthy dose of China.

While its US sales have plunged, sales in China continue togrow exponentially. In fact, GM sold more vehicles in Asia in the first quarterthan it did in the United States. Only 26% of GM’s first-quarter sales came fromthe US, a 36% decline from a year ago.

And while global car sales continue to plunge, auto sales inChina are expected to grow between 8% and 9% this year. China actually overtookthe United States as the world’s largest auto market for the first time inhistory in the first quarter.

And unlike the United States, there is actually a strong demandfor GM model cars. In China, where the company is neck and neck with Volkswagenfor the market-share lead, GM set a monthly sales record of 151,084 vehicles inApril. That’s a 50% increase from its April 2008 results.

“Within 10 years, this will be our largest market in theworld,” Kevin Wale, president of GM China, told TIME magazine.

GM has been so successful in China it is reportedly negotiatingplans with US lawmakers that will send the carmaker’s production overseas, theUK’s Telegraph reported.

GM will start shipping cars to the United States from Shanghai in 2011. Thecompany plans to export slightly more than 17,000 vehicles in the first yearbefore ramping up to 50,000 by 2014.

Backlash from GM’s China Plan

While many carmakers import components from China to save onlabor costs, GM would be the first company to import whole cars from theMainland.

Of course the plan doesn’t sit well with unions.

“GM should not be taking taxpayers’ money simply to finance theoutsourcingof jobs to other countries,” Alan Reuther, a Washington lobbyist for the UnitedAuto Workers (UAW) union wrote in a letter to US lawmakers.

Indeed, the UAW and others argue that the whole point ofbailing out the US auto industry was to save American jobs and help prop up thesagging economy.

Two weeks ago, GM CEO Henderson said his company would cut anadditional 21,000 factory jobs, close 13 plants, eliminate about 2,600dealerships and close its Pontiac division. GM aims to shed 23,000 jobs – 38% ofits workforce – by 2011.

But the company expects to open a new factory in mainland Chinawithin the next few years and continues to build upon its 21,000 Chineseemployees.

“I think that’s wrong,” Keith Pokrefky, a Michigan autoworker,told NBC’s WILX. “I think that’s wrong for America. I think it’s wrong forAmerican jobs. It’s un-American.”

On the other hand, GM argues that it is only logical to producecars where they’re going to be sold.

“GM’s philosophy has always been to build where we sell, and wecontinue to believe that is the best strategy for long-term success, both from aproduct development and business planning standpoint,” GM’s China office said ina written statement to the Associated Press.

Plus, GM already imports cars from other countries, just notChina. The Chevrolet Aveo and Pontiac G3 come from South Korea. The Pontiac G8comes from Australia. The Saturn Astra comes from Belgium, and the Vue fromMexico.

Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christenson – who wasalso a consultant to Richard Wagoner, the architect of GM’s China strategy –told TIME that inexpensive, Chinese-made Chevys, exported to the United Statescould be the “disruptive” force the company needs to resuscitate North Americansales.

“It’s exactly the right thing for them to do,” Christensonsaid.

While China keeps its data on labor costs under lock and key,analysts estimate that wages and benefit payments per factory worker are lessthan a tenth of what they are in North America, TIME reported.

MSU professor Charles Ballard says that while the notion ofoutsourcing more jobs to China may not be pleasing, it is also in GM’s bestinterest.

“I think everyone needs to keep in mind that if this companyfails, that’s the worst case scenario," Ballard said. "It would be really goodfor the people of Michigan and for Lansing for GM to become a viable company.Right now, it’s not."

And perhaps that’s the root of the issue. There was a time whenwhat was good for GM was good for America. But somewhere along the line, theinterests of the two diverged. Now, they’re too far entangled for there to be anamicable solution to this problem, and the Obama administration is left with apolitical powder keg.

The government stepped in to fire former GM chief RichardWagoner, but it doesn’t want to be too heavy-handed in its treatment of theprivate sector. It has already spent months sidestepping questions about whetheror not it would nationalize US banks.

“We didn’t think in America that the President could fire theCEO of a private company,” one Chinese executive told TIME. “For us Chinese itwas very confusing.”

But if the Obama administration lets GM move ahead with itsplans, it must confront the unpleasant reality that it is subsidizing theoutsourcing of US jobs with taxpayer money.

“Production location is a corporate decision, but when it’s onthe taxpayer dime, there are different sensitivities, so the notion of billionsfor a rescue package and offshore production, I think, could be politicallycombustible," Harley Shaiken, a professor at the University of California atBerkley who specializes in labor issues

Source: http://www.moneymorning.com/2009/05/18/general-motors-china/