Mahindra Satyam joins HCL on UK government contract trail

I blogged earlier about the plans of some Indian IT suppliers in terms of bidding for UK government business. I wrote this because John Suffolk recently reiterated Chancellor George Osborne’s call for Indian suppliers to bid for government contracts.

The government clearly wants as many companies to bid as possible to increase its chances of getting the technology it needs to cut costs. With budgets down it will also be looking for competitive pricing.

My earlier post told the story of how Cognizant and Infosys would not be rushing out to bid for public sector work and how HCL Technologies was going to focus on it. I also mentioned that TCS had recently been awarded a significant government contract.

Mahindra Satyam’s European boss Vikram Nair returned my call later on and told me the company currently has bits and pieces of UK public sector work and is “very keen on the business.”

It is a company which, having recovered from near collapse after an internal fraud, looks like it is ready to grow rapidly to make up for lost time.

Nair said Mahindra Satyam could get involved in building shared services capabilities for public sector organisations. He said this could be provided onshore from existing centres in Teeside and Belfast. This would overcome data protection and possible offshotring jobs fears.

Shared services seems the logical choice to me for government.

I suppose the strengths of software company Satyam and telecoms specialist Tech Mahindra would help in shared services. It will give Mahindra Satyam a strong position as a cloud supplier, which is vital when building shared services.

I also got a bit more from HCL later, about the public sector opportunity.

A statement from Bindi Bhullar, Director at HCL said: “With huge budget cuts and tough targets across the board, public sector CIOs need to engage in a radical rethink in IT delivery models to meet the challenges ahead. Clearly, sticking with traditional methods won’t deliver the kinds of savings outlined in today’s announcement. Public sector departments need to look to alternate providers that can deliver a fresh approach to management and offer accountability through outcome-based pricing models. The next four years will be extremely challenging for managers, but by outsourcing operational workloads, they can deliver much greater efficiencies to public services over the next four years.”

HCL is currently growing rapidly.

I will chase up the other big players to see what they have to say. It will be interesting to see how many Indian options government CIOs will have.