Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

12

Four firms dominate IT consultancy: IBM, Accenture, EDS and Cap Gemini. They are often referred to as the 'Global Giants' [...] have high-end IT consulting capabilities but also offer various other services. Of the four, IBM is by far the largest, dwarfing the other three firms. For example, IBM's total revenues are nearly $100 billion and it employs nearly 500,000 people. In contract, both EDS and Accenture have revenues closer to $20 billion and employ roughly 150,000 people. Cap Gemini has revenues of approximately $10 billion and has a workforce of just over 120,000. [...]

IBM has the longest history per se, and is also the most embedded in the IT industry. Many still perceive IBM as a computer hardware manufacturing company. However, by the mid-1990s IBM had already started a major corporate restructuring process, shifting its core focus from computer manufacturing to software services. In 2002 it acquired PwC Consulting to further its consultancy capabilities. But the seismic shift was finally completed in 2005 with the sale of its computer manufacturing line to the Chinese firm Lenovo.

[...] EDS was never a computer manufacturer. It was established in 1962 as a data processing firm [...] In 2008 it was acquired by the computer manufacturing behemoth HP and renamed HP Enterprise Services. [...]

Cap Gemini was founded in 1967 [...] acquiring Ernsy and Young Consulting in 2002.

Accenture started as a small data processing division within Arthur Anderson, the global accountancy group. [...]

[...] two distinct types of service. First, they provide software services across all tiers of the industry. Second, they provide business services, which essentially means management consultancy. IBM and EDS arguably have the great strengths in software services, while Cap Gemini and Accenture are more formidable in management consultancy.

i would love to see a chart of companies in this space (or other tech spaces) to see who owns what. kinda like the CPG chart

the next section explains the Indian Majors: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) with $8 billion in revenune and 200k workers; Infosys and Wipro at $7 b, 150k

—p.12 The Global Software Services Industry: An Overview (9) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Four firms dominate IT consultancy: IBM, Accenture, EDS and Cap Gemini. They are often referred to as the 'Global Giants' [...] have high-end IT consulting capabilities but also offer various other services. Of the four, IBM is by far the largest, dwarfing the other three firms. For example, IBM's total revenues are nearly $100 billion and it employs nearly 500,000 people. In contract, both EDS and Accenture have revenues closer to $20 billion and employ roughly 150,000 people. Cap Gemini has revenues of approximately $10 billion and has a workforce of just over 120,000. [...]

IBM has the longest history per se, and is also the most embedded in the IT industry. Many still perceive IBM as a computer hardware manufacturing company. However, by the mid-1990s IBM had already started a major corporate restructuring process, shifting its core focus from computer manufacturing to software services. In 2002 it acquired PwC Consulting to further its consultancy capabilities. But the seismic shift was finally completed in 2005 with the sale of its computer manufacturing line to the Chinese firm Lenovo.

[...] EDS was never a computer manufacturer. It was established in 1962 as a data processing firm [...] In 2008 it was acquired by the computer manufacturing behemoth HP and renamed HP Enterprise Services. [...]

Cap Gemini was founded in 1967 [...] acquiring Ernsy and Young Consulting in 2002.

Accenture started as a small data processing division within Arthur Anderson, the global accountancy group. [...]

[...] two distinct types of service. First, they provide software services across all tiers of the industry. Second, they provide business services, which essentially means management consultancy. IBM and EDS arguably have the great strengths in software services, while Cap Gemini and Accenture are more formidable in management consultancy.

i would love to see a chart of companies in this space (or other tech spaces) to see who owns what. kinda like the CPG chart

the next section explains the Indian Majors: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) with $8 billion in revenune and 200k workers; Infosys and Wipro at $7 b, 150k

—p.12 The Global Software Services Industry: An Overview (9) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago
15

A special trend has bee the evolution of the integrated services model from the late-1990s onward, whereby software services firms provided services across tiers, from highest-end IT consulting to low-end IT outsourcing. The integrated services model was pioneered by the most successful Indian software firms - the Majors - who capitalised on their rapid growth via remote delivery of IT outsourcing and basic IT services to diversify up the value chain into higher-end software services. This was primarily via the acquisition of small Western business and/or technology consulting firms. Given the intra-firm efficiencies generated by the provision of integrated services, it was soon copied by the Global Giants. [...]

the part about diversifying up the value chain is interesting. should think about more

—p.15 The Global Software Services Industry: An Overview (9) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago

A special trend has bee the evolution of the integrated services model from the late-1990s onward, whereby software services firms provided services across tiers, from highest-end IT consulting to low-end IT outsourcing. The integrated services model was pioneered by the most successful Indian software firms - the Majors - who capitalised on their rapid growth via remote delivery of IT outsourcing and basic IT services to diversify up the value chain into higher-end software services. This was primarily via the acquisition of small Western business and/or technology consulting firms. Given the intra-firm efficiencies generated by the provision of integrated services, it was soon copied by the Global Giants. [...]

the part about diversifying up the value chain is interesting. should think about more

—p.15 The Global Software Services Industry: An Overview (9) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago
20

[...] those claiming that Indians have a special aptitude for mathematics and software programming tend to focus on the educational performance of Indian students in multi-ethnic societies. [...]

[...] To understand better the performance of students of Indian origin in the USA and the UK, it is necessary to consider other factors such as social class (Indians tend to be the most professionalised of all ethnic groups in both countries, with implications for educational attainment), family background (due to immigration policies, Indians in the West tend to come from scientific and technical backgrounds, influencing the subject preferences of their children) and perceptions of the job market (views of endemic racism in the labour market, particularly in the UK, has meant Indians have tended to expend more effort in education generally, and in subjects with greater employability, such as mathematics in particular).

Thus, the notion of some genetic or racial link between Indians and software programming must be tempered by a whole array of social factors. [...]

applies to Asians in general

the point is that you can't really draw conclusions without controlling for all these confounding factors

—p.20 The Development of the Software Industry in India: Existing Explanations and their Shortcomings (18) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago

[...] those claiming that Indians have a special aptitude for mathematics and software programming tend to focus on the educational performance of Indian students in multi-ethnic societies. [...]

[...] To understand better the performance of students of Indian origin in the USA and the UK, it is necessary to consider other factors such as social class (Indians tend to be the most professionalised of all ethnic groups in both countries, with implications for educational attainment), family background (due to immigration policies, Indians in the West tend to come from scientific and technical backgrounds, influencing the subject preferences of their children) and perceptions of the job market (views of endemic racism in the labour market, particularly in the UK, has meant Indians have tended to expend more effort in education generally, and in subjects with greater employability, such as mathematics in particular).

Thus, the notion of some genetic or racial link between Indians and software programming must be tempered by a whole array of social factors. [...]

applies to Asians in general

the point is that you can't really draw conclusions without controlling for all these confounding factors

—p.20 The Development of the Software Industry in India: Existing Explanations and their Shortcomings (18) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago
36

[...] political sovereignty was handed over to Indians in August 1947. However, the capability of the Indian government to implement domestic policies according to its own will and needs was heavily circumscribed [...] indirect Western rule was maintained [...]

Indirect control was enforced by a variety of levers which would be applied should the Indian government ever stray out of line. The most important of these levers was access to food. At independence, India was barely able to feed itself. Maintaining access to food imports was thus a high priority for the Indian government, particularly in times of drought. A bad monsoon would, therefore, necessitate a massive importation of food which, given India's financial constraints, could only be met on concessional terms. Invariably, the only country able to offer concessions on such a scale was the USA, leading to Indian dependency on US largesse. This situation famously ensured India's compliance with the US operations in Vietnam. More importantly, it meant that India would not be able to follow policies which went against US interests until it achieved food self-sufficiency.

The other key Western lever over the Indian government was Pakistan. Pakistan is considered by many scholars to be the creation of Western and, in particular, British political scheming and geopolitical strategising in light of decolonisation and the emerging Cold War. [...]

[...]

While Pakistan was primarily established as a base and bastion for the projection of Anglo-American power into the Middle East and South-East Asia, its proximity to India also served to inhibit the Indian government from pursuing policies which might be deemed negative in London and Washington.

Owing to these conditions, the Indian government's economic policies following independence were highly conservative, particularly with regard to how Western capital was treated. [...]

that changed in the late 60s when agriculture improved and India became less reliant on food imports (esp the US govt). and in 1971, after the Indo-Pakistan war, East Pakistan broke away to form Bangladesh which weakened the Western proxy (now Pakistan) and made Pakistan less of a nat sec threat to India

so cool - never knew any of this before

—p.36 IT Started with a War (35) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago

[...] political sovereignty was handed over to Indians in August 1947. However, the capability of the Indian government to implement domestic policies according to its own will and needs was heavily circumscribed [...] indirect Western rule was maintained [...]

Indirect control was enforced by a variety of levers which would be applied should the Indian government ever stray out of line. The most important of these levers was access to food. At independence, India was barely able to feed itself. Maintaining access to food imports was thus a high priority for the Indian government, particularly in times of drought. A bad monsoon would, therefore, necessitate a massive importation of food which, given India's financial constraints, could only be met on concessional terms. Invariably, the only country able to offer concessions on such a scale was the USA, leading to Indian dependency on US largesse. This situation famously ensured India's compliance with the US operations in Vietnam. More importantly, it meant that India would not be able to follow policies which went against US interests until it achieved food self-sufficiency.

The other key Western lever over the Indian government was Pakistan. Pakistan is considered by many scholars to be the creation of Western and, in particular, British political scheming and geopolitical strategising in light of decolonisation and the emerging Cold War. [...]

[...]

While Pakistan was primarily established as a base and bastion for the projection of Anglo-American power into the Middle East and South-East Asia, its proximity to India also served to inhibit the Indian government from pursuing policies which might be deemed negative in London and Washington.

Owing to these conditions, the Indian government's economic policies following independence were highly conservative, particularly with regard to how Western capital was treated. [...]

that changed in the late 60s when agriculture improved and India became less reliant on food imports (esp the US govt). and in 1971, after the Indo-Pakistan war, East Pakistan broke away to form Bangladesh which weakened the Western proxy (now Pakistan) and made Pakistan less of a nat sec threat to India

so cool - never knew any of this before

—p.36 IT Started with a War (35) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago
42

[...] Of the various TNCs operating in India, IBM was singled out [...] 'abuse' of a bureaucratic loophole had allowed it to exert a stranglehold on the market while importing outdated, second-hand and overpriced computers for resale in India. Morever, its operations were seen as leading to a net export of foreign exchange. Dilution of the IBM subsidiary as a means of obtaining control over its activities was therefore most apposite. Control would not only curb many of IBM's economically damaging activities, it would also facilitate the country's computerisation as well as support a more favourable balance of payments.

In the end, IBM refused to dilute its stake in its subsidiary [...] IBM made a number of alternative offers - including a high export commitment from domestic production. These offers were all turned down by the Indian government. IBM - at the time the largest corporation in the world - was forced to close down its Indian operations in 1977.

However, the absence of IBM in the Indian market prompted another computer firm - Britain's International Computers Limited (ICL) - to engage in a joint venture. ICL deemed the potential commercial gain through enhanced market share as outweighing any costs attached to sharing managerial control. [...]

wonder how feasible this would be for tech companies in this day and age (and whether it's even a desirable proposal)

—p.42 IT Started with a War (35) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago

[...] Of the various TNCs operating in India, IBM was singled out [...] 'abuse' of a bureaucratic loophole had allowed it to exert a stranglehold on the market while importing outdated, second-hand and overpriced computers for resale in India. Morever, its operations were seen as leading to a net export of foreign exchange. Dilution of the IBM subsidiary as a means of obtaining control over its activities was therefore most apposite. Control would not only curb many of IBM's economically damaging activities, it would also facilitate the country's computerisation as well as support a more favourable balance of payments.

In the end, IBM refused to dilute its stake in its subsidiary [...] IBM made a number of alternative offers - including a high export commitment from domestic production. These offers were all turned down by the Indian government. IBM - at the time the largest corporation in the world - was forced to close down its Indian operations in 1977.

However, the absence of IBM in the Indian market prompted another computer firm - Britain's International Computers Limited (ICL) - to engage in a joint venture. ICL deemed the potential commercial gain through enhanced market share as outweighing any costs attached to sharing managerial control. [...]

wonder how feasible this would be for tech companies in this day and age (and whether it's even a desirable proposal)

—p.42 IT Started with a War (35) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago
43

And so the 1972 Software Export Scheme was born. The scheme set out to harness the software programming talent within India's management consultancies. While providing software services was by no means the chief source of income for these consultancies, they would often have on their books a number of people educated in computer software and would lease them out to Business Houses to write specific software programs. This process - an early, domestic form of body-shopping - was widespread [...]

The scheme sought to transform these management consultancies with a side interest in software services provision into bona fide software firms competing in the global market. [...] providing 100 per cent loans on computer purchases to all firms that signed up. Given the small size of such firms and the prohibitive costs of computers at the time, this was the only means by which firms could gain access to their own computers [...] it needed to ensure that firms would use these computers to produce software for export rather than for the domestic market. As such, firms signing up to the scheme were prohibited from providing services to the domestically installed hardware base. Moreover, loans had to be repaid through foreign exchange generated only via the export of software. [...]

—p.43 IT Started with a War (35) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago

And so the 1972 Software Export Scheme was born. The scheme set out to harness the software programming talent within India's management consultancies. While providing software services was by no means the chief source of income for these consultancies, they would often have on their books a number of people educated in computer software and would lease them out to Business Houses to write specific software programs. This process - an early, domestic form of body-shopping - was widespread [...]

The scheme sought to transform these management consultancies with a side interest in software services provision into bona fide software firms competing in the global market. [...] providing 100 per cent loans on computer purchases to all firms that signed up. Given the small size of such firms and the prohibitive costs of computers at the time, this was the only means by which firms could gain access to their own computers [...] it needed to ensure that firms would use these computers to produce software for export rather than for the domestic market. As such, firms signing up to the scheme were prohibited from providing services to the domestically installed hardware base. Moreover, loans had to be repaid through foreign exchange generated only via the export of software. [...]

—p.43 IT Started with a War (35) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago
50

[...] While explanations for the Emergency differ - with the government claiming it was a response to national security threats and opponents claiming it had much more to do with Indira Gandhi's own thirst for power - all are agreed it had nothing to do with the Business Houses. However, while the Emergency was called for reasons unrelated to the Business Houses, by outlawing strikes and imprisoning the most militant trade unionists the biggest beneficiaries were the large industrial conglomerates: with no days lost to strikes, industrial production boomed; and with wages frozen, profits soared

Flush with cash and aware that the Emergency would be a temporary phenomenon and elections would be called sooner or later, the Business Houses set about insuring themselves with any future government. They did this in the time-honoured fashion of pumping huge amounts of money into both major political parties (Congress and Janata), wisely hedging their bets. [...]

don't really know much about Indira Gandhi's intentions here. maybe partly a case of having no option & hoping things would turn out ok - someone else would surely fix thugs if they became too powerful - or just ignorance, but ultimately naive.. harks back to le guin, good end via bad means

also would love to read more about what happened with unions during that period (and before, and after)

—p.50 Catalytic Corruption: The Domestic Software Services Boom, 1978-1986 (49) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago

[...] While explanations for the Emergency differ - with the government claiming it was a response to national security threats and opponents claiming it had much more to do with Indira Gandhi's own thirst for power - all are agreed it had nothing to do with the Business Houses. However, while the Emergency was called for reasons unrelated to the Business Houses, by outlawing strikes and imprisoning the most militant trade unionists the biggest beneficiaries were the large industrial conglomerates: with no days lost to strikes, industrial production boomed; and with wages frozen, profits soared

Flush with cash and aware that the Emergency would be a temporary phenomenon and elections would be called sooner or later, the Business Houses set about insuring themselves with any future government. They did this in the time-honoured fashion of pumping huge amounts of money into both major political parties (Congress and Janata), wisely hedging their bets. [...]

don't really know much about Indira Gandhi's intentions here. maybe partly a case of having no option & hoping things would turn out ok - someone else would surely fix thugs if they became too powerful - or just ignorance, but ultimately naive.. harks back to le guin, good end via bad means

also would love to read more about what happened with unions during that period (and before, and after)

—p.50 Catalytic Corruption: The Domestic Software Services Boom, 1978-1986 (49) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago
56

The licensing system engendered by the Minicomputer Policy was the major policy shift [...] the DoE was essentially offering licenses to any Indian firm applying to enter the computer hardware industry. [...]

This impacted directly, rapidly and negatively on the competitive structure of the Indian hardware industry. The outcome was a heavily fragmented industry comprising numerous small computer firms. Lumbered with limited market share, excessive price competition and uneconomic scale, most firms were unable to generate the profits required for reinvestment in upgrading and expansion. [...] Reinvesting profits with a longer-term view of breaking into export markets made little sense in the absence of government commitment towards developing the industry.

im with peter thiel here ... sometimes monopoly is good (tho ofc it has to be democratically accountable in the end)

—p.56 Catalytic Corruption: The Domestic Software Services Boom, 1978-1986 (49) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago

The licensing system engendered by the Minicomputer Policy was the major policy shift [...] the DoE was essentially offering licenses to any Indian firm applying to enter the computer hardware industry. [...]

This impacted directly, rapidly and negatively on the competitive structure of the Indian hardware industry. The outcome was a heavily fragmented industry comprising numerous small computer firms. Lumbered with limited market share, excessive price competition and uneconomic scale, most firms were unable to generate the profits required for reinvestment in upgrading and expansion. [...] Reinvesting profits with a longer-term view of breaking into export markets made little sense in the absence of government commitment towards developing the industry.

im with peter thiel here ... sometimes monopoly is good (tho ofc it has to be democratically accountable in the end)

—p.56 Catalytic Corruption: The Domestic Software Services Boom, 1978-1986 (49) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago
63

Service provision by remote delivery also directly helped firms increase productivity and move up the value chain. [...] body-shopping had spawned much employee poaching by the TNC clients of Indian software firms. [...] With body-shopping reduced, so too was poaching. The potential of firms to upgrade was, therefore, significantly bolstered. Second, remote delivery allows firms to keep most of its employees under one roof. This facilitates knowledge and experience transfer within firms. Again, this boosts a firm's ability to take on more complex projects. Thus, as service provision by remote delivery became more common, firms were able to win increasingly advanced and lucrative contracts. [...]

—p.63 Manna from Heaven: Satellites, Optic Fibres and the Export Thrust, 1986-2000 (59) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Service provision by remote delivery also directly helped firms increase productivity and move up the value chain. [...] body-shopping had spawned much employee poaching by the TNC clients of Indian software firms. [...] With body-shopping reduced, so too was poaching. The potential of firms to upgrade was, therefore, significantly bolstered. Second, remote delivery allows firms to keep most of its employees under one roof. This facilitates knowledge and experience transfer within firms. Again, this boosts a firm's ability to take on more complex projects. Thus, as service provision by remote delivery became more common, firms were able to win increasingly advanced and lucrative contracts. [...]

—p.63 Manna from Heaven: Satellites, Optic Fibres and the Export Thrust, 1986-2000 (59) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago
73

The competition in the domestic labour market between Giants and Majors initially induced the Indian Majors to move up the value chain. [...] the Majors had long since settled on informal anti-poaching agreements amongst themselves, acknowledging that the costs of poaching far outweighed the gains. Second, the Giants, who could in theory, reap all the benefits of poaching while facing none of the costs (given their superior ability to attract and retain talent), also refrained from such practices during this period. They were just beginning to enter India, had not yet secured NASSCOM, and did not want to trigger any antipathy to their expanding presence.

Without poaching, competition took place in graduate-level recruitment [...] the Majors were forced to raise their entry-level salaries. The commercial imperatives of ensuring they then got 'their money's worth' from such graduates impelled the firms to embark on significant organisational efforts to improve productivity. In particular, serious investments were made in staff training, quality control and other human-resource practices. [...]

These changes transformed the Indian software services firms, catapulting them up the value chain [...]

reminds me of the no-poaching agreements in SV, and also in Germany. what should the left take on this be???

—p.73 Passage to India: The Giants in the Land of the Majors, 2000-2010 (67) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago

The competition in the domestic labour market between Giants and Majors initially induced the Indian Majors to move up the value chain. [...] the Majors had long since settled on informal anti-poaching agreements amongst themselves, acknowledging that the costs of poaching far outweighed the gains. Second, the Giants, who could in theory, reap all the benefits of poaching while facing none of the costs (given their superior ability to attract and retain talent), also refrained from such practices during this period. They were just beginning to enter India, had not yet secured NASSCOM, and did not want to trigger any antipathy to their expanding presence.

Without poaching, competition took place in graduate-level recruitment [...] the Majors were forced to raise their entry-level salaries. The commercial imperatives of ensuring they then got 'their money's worth' from such graduates impelled the firms to embark on significant organisational efforts to improve productivity. In particular, serious investments were made in staff training, quality control and other human-resource practices. [...]

These changes transformed the Indian software services firms, catapulting them up the value chain [...]

reminds me of the no-poaching agreements in SV, and also in Germany. what should the left take on this be???

—p.73 Passage to India: The Giants in the Land of the Majors, 2000-2010 (67) by Jyoti Saraswati 3 weeks, 3 days ago