“We are looking at replicating our success models in India.”

-Doug Presley, President, Metamor
Enterprise Solutions.

In the last one year, Doug Presley,
MD of Metamor Enterprise Solutions (MES), who is overseeing the take-off activities of the
company’s India operations, has been shuttling in-and-out of the country. Presley joined
the operations of the $850 million Metamor Worldwide after a successful 24-years of
service at IBM. In Hyderabad recently to announce the operations of Metamor School of
Excellence at Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Doug Presley spoke to
DATAQUEST on a varying number of topics, including where India stands in the globalization
plans of Metamor Enterprise Solutions. Excerpts:

Metamor has in a way staged a late
entry into the Indian ERP scene. Any comments.

No, I don’t think we have staged a
late entry as far as ERP business is concerned. In India, though there are a lot of
players, the market is young and there is low penetration. As the economy grows, we see
huge opportunities.

What do you think are your strengths
as an ERP implementation partner?

There are two things that
differentiate us. In many cases, it is the level of experience of consultants. For SAP, I
have consultants with experience of six years, which is very high. Another unique factor
is that we have developed SAP and Baan industry solution packages for specific sectors.
Hence, we actually have a more useful package than just the generic SAP.

We are also trying to tell our
customers that we have the capability to implement your system anywhere in the world.
There are only seven to eight companies in the world that can truly say that they are
global in their implementation capabilities.

Have you also developed any specific
ERP methodologies?

Typically, each ERP vendor develops
their own methodologies and we supplement, augment that methodology with something like
project arm, unique proprietary project management. We are also developing some additional
methodologies. For example in SAP-where the implementation time is long, we have developed
something like ‘load and go’ to accelerate the implementation process. That is a
proprietary methodology for SAP. We have similar methodologies for all vendors. But
predominantly what we try to do is use the vendor’s methodology, tools and processes.

Don’t you think there is a glut in
the ERP marketplace today?

I don’t think so. I suppose if I was
a client, I would like to have choices. If you look at the ERP scene in the world today,
88% of all revenues come from core companies such as SAP, Baan, Oracle, etc. Only 12% are
in these other choices.

Will competition in any way affect
the price level in the implementation business?

A lot depends on whether there is a
pent-up demand at the end of year 1999. Right now the year-to-year demand for ERP is
relatively flat though not shrinking. It is very much a function of supply and demand. As
recently as end-1997, lack of experienced consultants allowed every implementation partner
to set their way and for every way that was set, there were few people who could negotiate
their way. But the situation has changed drastically. Now everything depends on the demand
curve.

What is your perception of the
Indian IT market?

The only observation I will make is
that the system is still very quasi-governmental. A lot of the industry today still has
some strong ties with government or even government owned and operated agencies. The
dependence is much more than in US or Europe, or even Japan where there has been a lot of
privatization. I am not saying that this is positive or negative. However, the level of
awareness is very high. In fact in the state of Andhra Pradesh, I see more interest than
practically anywhere in the world.

What is the market profile that you
are looking at in India?

Broadly speaking, in the ERP space,
we are looking at how to penetrate the SME market. So one of the focus areas is how can we
either take an existing pre-package and make it much cheaper, less expensive and more
efficient, or implement them in other parts of the world.

The strategy is to create
accelerated process or an expressway or even create prepackage for industry segments. This
way we could offer a value-add in terms of efficiency. The other area we are looking at is
e-business. We clearly see e-commerce as a huge potential sector. Of course there are
infrastructure problems. One of the areas we are looking at is how we can quickly create a
capability to exploit that opportunity. And one area we are concentrating on is to develop
re-usable objects or reusable applications.

Where is India placed on the
business map of Metamor considering only 10% revenues flow from here?

I look at the India business in two
ways. One is the relatively immature domestic market place where I want to find a way to
penetrate that market. The other thing is to trap the vast proven raw material, that is
people and skills. We want to use the Metamor School at IIIT in developing these skills
and give students some practical experience. A typical business model in India would
comprise atleast 60-70% exports.

Right now we are also looking at
India for documentation solutions, which is basically creating technical documentation for
companies. We actually outsource these technical documentation skills. So eventually the
Indian operations will build ERP learning, outsourcing, and documentation services. This
apart, we will be looking at replicating our business models in the US in the country.

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