JD Edwards to increase SW outsourcing from India

CIOL Bureau
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BANGKOK: Leading ERP vendor J D Edwards is planning to outsource significant part of its software development work relating to testing, application development and consultancy to India, either through joint ventures or by consolidating its existing operations. This was announced at the Quest Asia Conference of JD Edwards Users at the Bangkok Convention

"Outsourcing some of these testing and other development works would definitely make more sense and enhance our competitiveness," revealed the company's Senior VP (international strategy) Richard Mathews in an exclusive chat with Cyber News Service.

The $874 million, Denver (Colorado)-based maker of popular ERP suite, JD Edwards 5, has been increasing its presence in India of late. It started its direct presence with a subsidiary to handle sales and marketing in Mumbai in March 2002.

"We are attracted by the quality of work, programming capabilities and the cost advantaged provided by basing operations in India," said K C Yee, Managing Director, J Edwards Asia Pacific division." We are very optimistic about the benefits that will flow from enhanced India operations and sky is the limit." JD Edwards is working through its 3 partners, Larsen and Toubro Infotech, Accel Icim and Systime Computers to provide support to its growing customer base in India.

JD Edwards is evaluation the options of either outsourcing the testing and other such work to top Indian companies. Joint venture and later buying small companies in this sphere in the long run also not ruled. The 25-year-old software company is admired for its steady growth and has over $ 200 million in cash reserves.

Mathews said a large number of consultants working with its ERP tools are present in India. Many of its global customers are already tapping these skill sets in India for their development work. " So if we tap these skills ourselves, it is good for us and very good for our customers who will feel even more confident by our relationship," Mathews explained the reasons for moving consultant work to India.

However, it will not be done by moving large number of consultants from elsewhere. But it will be done by enhancing the numbers here. Also, the Indian presence of JD Edwards will be boosted by virtual development center' models rather than brick and mortar models in the short term, he added.

In India, JD Edwards is focusing on three verticals- utilities, manufacturing and distribution -companies for increasing its client base. " We feel the intended privatisation of large utilities and also the big e-governance projects will give us the foothold to tap the Indian market in a big way," Yee said.

JD Edwards has recently announced strategic tie up with IBM to provide its entire suite of ERP tools along with IBM products. " This is a win-win situation for us and the customers who are mostly small and medium enterprises who look forward quality solutions at one go. The buyer trend itself is now changing towards such alliances which provide much better value to the end customer," Mathews said.