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Volume 17, Number 48 -- December 15, 2008

IBS Awards Offshore Programming Contract to HCL

Published: December 15, 2008

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

Swedish ERP application software maker International Business Systems has been looking for ways to boost its business, and having made the jump from RPG to Java many years ago, the company is now expanding from the i platform it has supported to Windows, hoping to drive some new business in new accounts that are not only familiar with Windows, but that prefer it.

Java might be Java, but there is a lot of work to tune a set of Java applications to work well atop Windows, its various middleware add-ons, and the SQL Server data base management system. And it is expensive work, too. That's why IBS has been shopping around an offshore programming contract to help cut its costs in supporting existing i shops and helping out future Windows shops as they update and customize their IBS Enterprise suites.

IBS has had near-shore and offshore application development projects running in Portugal and Poland for several years and has also farmed out some programming work to India. Last week, the company said it has hired HCL Technologies, a $2 billion software engineering company that is three decades old, that is based in Noida, India, and that has almost 53,000 employees. IBS said that one of the key reasons why it tapped HCL to do some of its programming work was that it has over 1,200 professionals (presumably that means mostly programmers and product managers) with experience on the AS/400 and successor platforms.

As part of the arrangement between IBS and HCL, IBS will launch something called the Upgrade Factory, which will be offered to the 5,000 existing customers on the i platform that are running RPG and Java versions of the IBS ERP suite to move quickly up to the most current IBS Enterprise stack. HCL is also, according to IBS, going to contribute technical expertise and staff for the development and rollout of the Enterprise for Windows variant of IBS' software, which is scheduled for release globally in 2009. (See IBS Picks Windows Instead of i as Strategic ERP Platform for more on that.)


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