October 27, 2005

Two global biggies log out of Bangalore City

Intel abandons Whitefield
By Sujit John/TNN
Bangalore: India’s ambitions of emerging a global chip design and development hub has just suffered a big knock. Intel has killed its muchhyped Whitefield chip, a multicrore Xeon processor for servers with four or more processors that drew its name from Bangalore’s IT hotspot, Whitefield, and which was being developed almost wholly in this city.
   Sources in Intel say the enterprise server platform, code-named New Town, also under development in India and which was to use the Whitefield processor, has perhaps been canned too “since no work on this has happened for over a month”.
   Intel had invested heavily in the project, both in infrastructure and people, drawing in some of the brightest talents. Some 600 people are said to be employed in the core hardware part of the project.
   Intel said the Whitefield chip is being replaced by a new processor code-named Tigerton, under development in Israel. A part of the Whitefield team is expected to be used for testing and validation of certain server platforms. An Intel spokesperson said there will be no downsizing. “We will only be ramping up in India. There are always new projects emerging that people can be redeployed into,” she said.
Bank moves 1,000 jobs to UK
By Mini Joseph Tejaswi/TNN
Bangalore: A big BPO account is being moved out of IT City. UKbased Abbey National, a financial institution that has been outsourcing to India through Bangalore-based M-Source, is moving the job back to its captive call centres in Milton Keynes, Teesside and Glasgow. M-Source has over 100 dedicated seats for the client, sources said.
When contacted, MphasiS chairman, Jerry Rao said: “No comments.’’
   However, according to a report in a section of the international media, the bank is bringing 1,000 jobs back to Britain. It also said that: “Abbey’s retreat from India was prompted by complaints from customers.’’
   The unit in Bangalore carries out basic bank accounting tasks, such as reading out customers’ balances over the phone and drawing up standing orders, said the article. However, customers were unhappy with the service; some even complained of language difficulties.
   An Abbey insider was quoted in the report as saying: “Given the risk to our reputation of moving the jobs offshore, you want the service to be top-notch. If it isn’t top-notch, then why are you there?’’

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