SPIT Spotlight: India's Infosys Eyes 3G Opportunity

Sensing an opportunity with the upcoming spectrum auction, Indian Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) giant Infosys Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: INFY) is developing a managed billing offering designed especially for 3G service providers.

The new service is set to become available within the next few months, a timescale that fits neatly with the newly announced 3G auction timetable. (See India Sets New 3G Auction Date.)

"We will be coming up with a managed services offering for 3G billing, and this should be ready by the end of the next three months," says Gopal Devanahalli, VP and head of the Communication Media Entertainment (CME) India Business Unit (IBU) at Infosys Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). "We will tie up with a software vendor and will offer it as a managed service to the operator, so the service provider will not need to invest in technology," Devanahalli tells Light Reading.

Bangalore-based Infosys (BBI) only began seriously targeting the Indian telecom market (ITM) during the past 12 months (PTM), having previously targeted its efforts towards North America and the U.K. (See Indian Outsourcers Proceed With Caution.)

Infosys says it's currently working with two Indian carriers, and believes it can extend its business further, despite being a late entrant.

"Our deep domain expertise and IT capabilities ensure that we don’t just offer SG&A [selling, general, and administrative efficiencies] but also help the operators reduce [operating] costs… and increase top-line revenues. We believe we have differentiating products in the market. For instance, our products can help in preventing revenue leakage," emphasizes Devanahalli.

Analytics solutions, especially churn analytics, is the key focus area for the company in the Indian market, with demand for such capabilities likely to increase in the coming months with the impending arrival of 3G. That's because the operators will be focusing more on retaining their existing customers, and analytics solutions are likely to play a key role in the development of their customer experience management (CEM) strategies. (See SPIT Week Focus: Customer Experience Management and The Buzz About CEM.)

But competition in the analytics segment is cut-throat, with other SPIT players such as Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), with its Master Data Management suite, competing hard for the service providers' business. (See The SPIT Manifesto.)

"We'll be focusing on solutions and products which help us differentiate from other players in the market. Moreover, we'll leverage our experience with the international operators we've worked with."

The company is also looking to gain traction with the mobile operators by developing service delivery platforms that can help speed up the operators' time-to-market. One example is Flypp, an applications management platform developed in collaboration with India's fifth largest mobile operator, Aircel Ltd. (See Aircel Plans Mobile App Store, Tower Sale.)

Infosys believes Flypp is relevant to overseas markets in addition to India. "We believe Flypp has potential in emerging markets such as the Middle East and Africa. It is offered to the operators on a revenue-share basis, and we're very bullish about this. We are currently talking to a number of operators," states Devanahalli.

— Gagandeep Kaur, India Editor, Light Reading

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