back to article Volvo offloads IT biz to HCL, then outsources own IT to.... HCL

Swedish battering ram truck maker Volvo has offloaded its external IT business to HCL Technologies for around SEK 900m and signed a deal with the Indian outsourcing monster to overhaul its apps and plumbing. The deal, first outlined in a letter of intent written by the companies in October, will see roughly 2,500 techies …

  1. MyffyW Silver badge

    Oh dear

    Where to start? Probably with the statement "will stick to a “transformation roadmap” to drag Volvo’s infrastructure and application operations up-to-date"

    No, dear God, no. Transform first, then outsource (if you must). Better yet, you're an engineering company, surely you can manage an IT department on your own?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh dear

      They were an engineering company but it appears that the MBAs have taken over and as you know the moment they do engineering takes a back seat to eventually be left at the road side.

  2. James 51

    "along with 40 customers whose IT was previously serviced by Volvo"

    I am sure that they are pleased.

  3. TeeCee Gold badge


    Sounds like Geely have found that Ford have left some meat on the bone......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm.

      You have the wrong end of the stick mate. Volvo AB sold its car division to Ford, this article refers to the truck, engine and industrial equipment operations still part of Volvo AB.

  4. Calleb III

    I don't get it

    Carefully outsourcing parts of your IT to Indian outfits is somewhat OK there are some decent ones out there.

    But I have yet to encounter a big Indian outsourcer capable of handling enterprise size business without making a complete mess of it.

    Who keeps voting for this, are the shareholders mad, stupid or both?

    1. Bob Dole (tm)

      Re: I don't get it

      You are forgetting about the *savings*!!! You can get between 2 and 10 Indians for the same price as 1 Swede. Who cares if they can handle it, Volvo is being parted out anyway. (pun intended).

    2. Alistair

      Re: I don't get it

      Somehow the C suites still believe that they will save money.

      Most of that is due to the fact that they transfer from Capex to Opex -- which is taxed differently -- they really don't care about the baby numbers involved in actual *costs* -- its dodging those tax liabilities that makes 'em feel Schmart.

      <nod to a saying my great aunt used all the time. 'we grow too soon old and too late smart', but pronounced in heavy Hogan's Hero's german accent.

      <dammit, there really is no good TV around any more>

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: I don't get it

        Yes, pretty much like religion, or rather a cult. (The cult of tax avoidance? Catchy name, innit?) So facts and logic can take the back seat.

    3. sonik

      Re: I don't get it

      With due respect, most of the large Indian Outsourcing companies ranging from TCS to HCL to TechMahindra have been running IT for large corporations for number of years. Even the so called large outsourcers like Accenture or IBM are heavily dependent on Indian Centres for delivering services to their customers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't get it

        Ah, well there's your problem, then.

  5. John 104

    Awful Choice

    I've worked with some HLC folks. Nice people. Terrible at tech work. If it isn't scripted perfectly, they cock it up. And the language and cultural barrier is highly problematic. That was with American English. Can't imagine how they are going to handle Sweedish.

    1. Nate Amsden

      Re: Awful Choice

      I was at a company(small company maybe ~100 employees) that had outsourced tier 1 ops to HCL about 6 years ago. They were quite basic(runbook stuff only). The VP of technology was so cheap they eventually started their own india office for various things and tried to hire folks over there, I remember one person they hired never showed up for the job, another person they hired was installing key loggers on the computers. Their "DBA" for SQL server didn't even know enough to use the little slider bar in SQL server admin to increase the available memory on the server, the systems had something like 16GB but was only configured for a very tiny amount.

      The company refused to pay for anything resembling quality people over there. Eventually I left and there has been several rounds of management since. My former co-workers in the HQ where I was at actually asked to be laid off several years ago, they got their wish. Surprised the company is still around really.

      Oh and if I hear the phrase "do the needful" one more time I will kill someone.

      1. joed

        Re: Awful Choice

        BTW, where does this "do the needful" come from? I've heard it often enough but was too polite to ask. Sure enough language is a barrier, and not always in the funny way (and English is not my 1st language so I'd think I could handle some deficiencies). Even big shops like MS don't bother to set any standards (maybe just down;)

        1. sonik

          Re: Awful Choice

          We too find it amusing that folks park in the drive way and drive on the park way. Side Walk that is on the side of the road needs to be called as such. English being a international language has local nuances - no reason to make fun of one while accepting another.

          1. MyffyW Silver badge

            Re: Awful Choice

            My particular problem with "Do the needful" is the implied lack of respect for the person performing the action. More often than not it is prefaced by "Can you please" rather than "Please can you".

            I'm not just being a pedant - these things matter. They might seem like nuances, but the nuances are the differences between meaningful relationships formed and mere transactions.

      2. moonoi

        Re: Awful Choice

        Do the needful and upgradation are my most hated phrases/words.

        Just imagine that you're back in Victorian England, and then it all makes sense.......

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Awful Choice

          While we are here, WTF is a "Get Go" ?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            While we are here, WTF is a "Get Go" ?

            It's an attempt by a country with no indigenous language and only 250 years of history to try make itself "a main player" in the language stakes

            ever heard a 'Merican try speaking any other language? almost as farcical as Dick Van Dyke's cockney

      3. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Awful Choice

        Their "DBA" for SQL server didn't even know enough to use the little slider bar in SQL server admin to increase the available memory on the server,

        What slider bar?

        In SSMS there are up/down click buttons that nobody uses because it does 1MB steps.

        You just type the number in the Maximum Server Memory (MB) box after putting some thought into the matter.

  6. casaloco

    Anyone remember EDS

    This is kind of what GM (Vauxhall/Opel etc) did with EDS... it floated it's own IT department as a separate company. It was eventually a part of why the company went bust... with all the companies IT effectively outsourced, the company was crippled, unable to make the changes needed to keep up with the market without spending months of negotiation, after which they realised they hadn't ordered what they needed because they couldn't tell what they needed as all the analysts had been outsourced too. They ended up spending more on project managers etc to negotiate the contracts than they used to spend on IT, plus the over-priced cost of the IT work as well. outsourcing IT almost never works... outsourcing you whole IT department is little more than corporate suicide.

  7. Tim99 Silver badge

    It is late here

    ... and I am tired, and probably stupid, but do they really have only ~ 6 users (on average) for each server?

    I'm retired, but for a first class return ticket, accommodation in a 5 or 6 star hotel, a PA and a chauffeur, and some nice dinners, I could probably show them how to push the ratio up to at least 24 users per server.

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