EDS to boost BPO offerings

Electronic Data Systems (EDS) has created a new group to develop new business process outsourcing (BPO) services, the Plano, Texas, company announced Tuesday.

"BPO is a very large market and it's growing very quickly. We see tremendous opportunities there," said Guillermo "Gil" Mármol, division vice president of the new group.

The group is entrusted with beefing up the company's BPO portfolio in three main areas:

  • Enterprise shared services, such as human resources, accounting services and procurement.

  • Customer relationship management, such as call center outsourcing.

  • Financial process management, such as credit card and mortgage processing.

The new group, which EDS refers to as a "portfolio organization," is in charge of setting EDS' BPO business agenda, growing BPO revenue, developing the BPO strategy and establishing BPO alliances, Marmol said.

Previously, EDS' BPO strategy was developed in a dispersed manner throughout the company, but now that task is coming under this new group's umbrella, he said. His group will be supported by the company's global sales and service delivery teams to, respectively, sell and provide the BPO services, he said.

EDS is well established in two of the areas his group will focus on -- customer relationship management and financial process management -- and is starting to expand its presence in enterprise shared services, where EDS sees a big growth opportunity, he said.

EDS currently generates about US$3 billion in annual revenue from its BPO services. A goal of the new group is to grow that revenue, Mármol said. He declined to say what the annual percentage growth target is for EDS' BPO revenue, other than to say his goal is to see EDS' BPO revenue grow faster than the company's overall revenue. EDS grew its revenue 2 percent in fiscal year 2002 over 2001.

BPO is a fast-growing segment of the IT outsourcing market. In a typical BPO engagement, complete business functions, such as payroll and billing, are outsourced along with the IT tasks that support them. Thus, BPO projects are broader in scope than the typical IT outsourcing engagement, which concerns itself with IT tasks but not with business functions.

Marmol comes to EDS from Marmol and Associates, an IT consultancy specializing in BPO of which he was president. That company, which he founded three years ago in Dallas, hasn't officially been closed but is for all practical purposes dormant and inactive, he said.

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