One of the government’s approved IT suppliers has signed a five-year deal with an Indian outsourcing provider, placing 25 IT support workers’ jobs under question.
The deal between 2e2 and India’s Patni Computer Systems is worth around £20 million and will see Patni provide “a range of support services for 2e2’s end-user clients and the delivery of in-house support services”.
CLARIFICATION: Nick Grossman, 2e2’s business development director, today told Information Age that 100 Patni staff are now working for 2e2, comprising 75 permanent staff and a ‘buffer’ of 25 other employess. He said that 25 2e2 roles have moved to Patni and that the people in those roles may be redeployed, or may be "let go".
Grossman acknowledged that Patni may wish to move some of the 75 permanent roles to one of its global delivery centres in India, China or Mexico as time goes on. He also said that if the deal is successful, 2e2 may expand its engagement with Patni. “If we continue to grow and win more business, we may use more offshore [resources],” he said.
He said that the majority of affected customers, which include public sector clients, were “supportive” of the deal, although some sought reassurances that service levels would be maintained.
The deal will enable 2e2 to provide “agility” and to “react quickly” to customer requirements, Grossman said. “We do a lot of cloud computing stuff and virtual infrastructure, which is labour intensive."
When it was revealed earlier this year that 2e2 was in talks with Patni, people claiming to be current or former 2e2 employees left comments on a story on channel news website Computer Reseller News.
One, who described themselves as ‘A Once Loyal Employee’, claimed that “a significant percentage of 2e2 customers have objected to this move”. Although acknowledging that the affected employees are “not too chuffed and I can’t blame them”, Grossman said this claim is incorrect.
Another commenter, calling themselves ‘Ex employee’ remarked that “if customers wanted there [sic] IT to be carried out in India, then they would go direct to Patni”. Grossman rejected this point also, saying that 2e2 provides sophisticated services that Patni cannot.
2e2 acquired rival IT services provider Morse earlier this year, and now employs around 2,000 people.
In August 2010, it reached a ‘framework agreement’ with the UK government’s procurement arm Buying Solutions, meaning that it will provide “a range of cost effective IT managed services to the public sector” over the next two years. Around 16% of its revenue, £200 million in 2009, comes from public sector clients including the London Borough of Brent and Islington Primary Care Trust.
Earlier this year, Patni Computer Systems was rumoured to be up for sale, with potential buyers including Japanese technology provider NTT.