Tier-two IT suppliers can differentiate

There are lots of IT service providers out there. Whether they are onshore, offshore or nearshore they are options for any UK business. Tier ones are not the only answer, even for large corporates that need financially stable suppliers.

Businesses can be key customer of a smaller supplier rather than just another client at a big one.

I recently wrote an article about an outsourcing agreement signed between Eurostar and supplier NIIT Technologies. The long and short of it was that the rail firm wanted to build an IT infrastructure of its own, rather relying on that of SNCF which was previously joint owner of Eurostar.

NIIT is a tier-two Indian IT service provider and as such it was interesting to see how it competes in a tough market.

The big Indian companies seem to get bigger and bigger with more and more businesses choosing to offshore. Infosys, TSC and Wipro for example are household names, at least in IT households. These companies have built huge businesses by charging customer for time and materials.

But what about the second tier? NIIT is one of a large second tier of suppliers with an interesting story to tell.

NIIT can’t compete on time and materials so they have to be a bit different. But how different are they? I am always interested to hear some of the household names that are using these suppliers who are not particularly well known. NIIT has worked with British Airways for over 10 years providing software systems.

I met up with Sunil Surya, who is European President at NIIT.

He says NIIT  focuses on specific verticals as well as Intellectual Property (IP).

The company focuses on three verticals with Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), Travel and Transportation and manufacturing making up about 55%, 35% and 10% of its business respectively.

In terms of IP NIIT develops software specific for particular sectors and leaves room for them to be customised to fit a specific need. Surya says the company will work closley with customers and share strategic plans to see where the company can support the customer in the future. Sharing strategies means the client is able to plan better in the knowledge of what partners can do and will get a faster response to a call for action. Meanwhile the partner will be better prepared and attracted by a strong and probably long relationship.

And NIIT seems to be having a bit of success. The company’s travel and transportation business boasts customers such as Eurostar, Sita and has worked with BA for 15 years, while its financial services business, which includes insurance, has customers In the Lloyds of London insurance market using its highly bespoke core insurance system.

There are options out there that are tried and tested. Businesses should look beyond the usual suspects.

See also how Indian tier-two supplier MindTree differentiates.

How nearshore tier two suppliers can support your business.

NIIT fact-file:

7000 employees with over 80% of in India
Headquartered in Delhi,
Customers in 3 regions; North America, Europe and Asia.
15 Delivery Centres Worldwide
European presence in UK, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Spain.