Express Computer, Hyderabad

ValueLabs, a software services company involved in Internet applications, mobile Internet, interactive TV applications and client/server enterprise solutions, is ramping up headcount at its Hyderabad development centre to 1,000 by 2005 from the present strength of 300. The company is building its own campus on a two-acre piece of land in Hyderabad, opposite Oracle’s development centre, at an investment of $7 million. This 1.5 lakh sq ft campus is expected to house about 1,500 professionals and likely to be completed within a year’s time.

As part of our expansion plan, we will increase the manpower at the offshore development centre here to 600 by the end of this year. We focus on application development combined with business process outsourcing (BPO) to offer end-to-end solutions to our clients. Our client list includes companies in Enterprise Application, Mobile Telecom, Banking, etc. The company is currently managing eight long-term strategic relationships on the lines of offshore development centres. We project a 100 percent growth rate both in headcount and revenues” Arjun Rao, founder and CEO, ValueLabs, told Express Computer.

ValueLabs has just won the best Indian SME award for the year 2003, instituted by the Hyderabad Software Exporters’ Association (Hysea). On this recognition Rao said: “Our attrition rate is about 3 percent below the industry average. We have over seven years of experience in offshore development with fine-tuned offshore project management methodologies. At ValueLabs, every one is treated as a peer and an equal member of the ValueLabs family that has no hierarchy. We believe in a democratic style of management.”

Set up in 1997, ValueLabs started from a humble beginning with a 3-person team in a small apartment and has now grown into 300-person company working in a comprehensive facility of 40,000 sq ft.

Interactive technologies

The company has conceived and built end-to-end solutions in the interactive TV space and for interactive FM radio programmes. The infrastructure helps connect the broadcast TV company to different mobile operators for the delivery of TV-SMS services. It also has expertise in building interactivity by programming of the set-top box (decoder). Its ability to quickly grasp new technologies and implement applications in new areas has helped it in supporting clients in diverse areas such as interactive TV and radio.

ValueLabs has a strategic relationship with a Broadcasting/Publishing company for solutions in the interactive TV and radio domain. Our client is the largest direct-to-home satellite TV company in Malaysia with over 1 million subscribers.

It has built a TV-SMS application suite providing interactive services to subscribers. This platform includes several integration components for the client’s infrastructure to connect with external systems. It has supported our client in coming up with interactive concepts, development, and implementation.

It has built applications that run on Canal+ Technologies’ set-top boxes. These applications run on the proprietary Canal+ MediaHighway middleware with Pantalk as the programming language.

With more than four years of domain expertise in the mobile applications space, it has now the ability to build, deploy and maintain a mobile data platform for any mobile operator. Its expertise ranges from integrating the mobile portal platform with SMS centres, post-paid and pre-paid billing systems, telco WAP gateways, building external content provider aggregation systems, to developing customised applications for telcos.

Mobile value-added services

The company uses a range of cutting-edge technologies to deliver the best possible solution for the end-client. For instance, it has been able to provide integrated solutions in VB/ASP, .NET, J2ME and C++ across Win 2000 and UNIX platforms to clients like a Mobile Telecom operator in Malaysia, which has over 3.2 million subscribers. This leading communications and information services company that provides voice, data, Internet and other multimedia services over its mobile and broadband IP infrastructure uses solutions developed by ValueLabs. ValueLabs also provides exclusive mobile data solutions to its client.

“Over the last two years we have provided our client with a Mobile Portal Application Suite in a Microsoft environment—VB/ASP, SQL Server and .NET, a host of applications to enable SMS, WAP and J2ME-based services, integration solutions for gateways, and interfaces for content providers using technologies on UNIX, C, VC++, MSMQ and MQSeries. We have also undertaken several proactive initiatives in emerging technologies, including J2ME, WAP 2.0, Mophun and Symbian programming. With our active support, our client has been successful in establishing themselves as the number 1 mobile data service provider in Malaysia” Ajit Kumar V, director (projects), ValueLabs, said.

The mobile data suite enables the delivery of value-added services to subscribers of mobile operators through multiple channels, viz., SMS, STK-WAP, WAP, J2ME and the Web. At the heart of the system is a content delivery platform that facilitates a synchronised user experience across all access channels.

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