IB does BI in India

October 27, 2008
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Information Builders, the $300M privately-held BI software vendor headquartered in Manhattan, is announcing a partnership with Amtex Systems to expand its presence in India. Information Builders is the maker of the enterprise BI product called WebFOCUS and the integration product named iWay Software.

As a legal entity, Information Builders exists in the United States but works with subsidiaries in other countries, often named “InfoBuild.” For exa


Information Builders, the $300M privately-held BI software vendor headquartered in Manhattan, is announcing a partnership with Amtex Systems to expand its presence in India. Information Builders is the maker of the enterprise BI product called WebFOCUS and the integration product named iWay Software.

As a legal entity, Information Builders exists in the United States but works with subsidiaries in other countries, often named “InfoBuild.” For example, Information Builders has partners running firms called InfoBuild South Africa and InfoBuild Sweden. Typically, these third-party organizations are sales offices, helping the American business reach potential customers outside of the United States. This one in India, however, is being positioned differently.

There is some conflicting information in the press releases about the history of InfoBuild India, as it seems to have been started in 1997 by Sunny Pokala instead of being a brand new business as reported.

Possibly, Sunny is now getting an infusion of cash and publicity in some type of new relationship with Information Builders. In an October 2008 press release found on India PR Wire, Sunny says this is “the next phase of evolution” for his organization:

“Amtex Systems has committed an initial investment of INR 20 crores to the new venture and has already hired over 150 professionals in the first phase to provide marketing, sales and maintenance support for WebFOCUS as well as iWay software adaptors and integration solutions. An important mandate before the new venture is to support Information Builders global clients who are in India already such as Fidelity, Target and Verizon to name a few. The new venture is projected to earn INR 100 crores in revenues in its first two years of operations.

According to Sunny Pokala, Chairman, InfoBuild India and President, Amtex Systems, said, ‘The new venture marks the next phase of evolution of Amtex Systems and builds on the expertise we have built in business intelligence over these years. It also diversifies the revenue stream of Amtex and will mark our first attempt to look at India as a market for our services and solutions. While many have been speaking about the potential of the Indian market, am happy that we are going one step ahead and investing in what we feel is a market replete with tremendous potential.'”

If my monetary conversions are right, Sunny is talking about investing $4M USD and getting an expected annual revenue of $10M USD. With his 150 employees already hired, that is about $67K USD revenue per headcount.

In a different October 2008 article on the CIOL Network, Sunny provided some additional information:

“InfoBuild proposes to take the BI solutions of WebFocus through both direct and channel route, where it would tie-up with solution providers and system integrators across the country.

Explaining the reason behind launching the company during a slow down period, Pokala said, ‘BI is a solution that would benefit companies during these difficult times by identifying the voids in the business and keep the companies informed about that. It will also increase the productivity by cutting unnecessary expenses,’ Pokala said. “

Being one of the smallest players in the highly competitive and rapidly consolidating BI software market, Information Builders has been trying to reduce their operating costs, one noticeable method being by lowering headcount. Just a few years ago, their website reported 2000 employees. Over time, that number has declined to only about 1400 employees today.

Layoffs at IBI were unheard of during the first 25 years of the company’s history, so unsuspecting long-time employees were shocked when the pink slips started coming in the office mail in 2001. InfoBuild India appears to be another way for Information Builders to cut costs.

Using InfoBuild India, Information Builders will have the option of sending software product maintenance jobs as well as their Professional Services work to India where it can be done by lower-cost resources. Sunny identifies WebFOCUS clients such as Target Stores, Fidelity Investments, and Verizon as being some of the beneficiaries of these cost reductions.

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