In Brief

Outsourcing mega-deals

Under the heading of “My, that’s a lot of money…”, in 1998, 12 outsourcing deals worth US$1 billion or more were signed worldwide. That’s twice as many billion-dollar deals as were signed in 1997.

According to IDC, the top 100 outsourcing contracts came in at between $14 million to $10 billion. The largest number of deals were worth less than $100 million, IDC officials said.

Most of these contracts were for a mix of information systems outsourcing, processing services, and business-process outsourcing, according to IDC.

Leading outsourcing vendors in 1998 were IBM Global Services with 25 of the top 100 deals, Computer Sciences with 18, and Electronic Data Systems with eight.

The longest outsourcing contract signed was for 15 years, but the average length of a deal was seven years, according to IDC officials.

Handheld population explosion

Wireless handheld access is seen as the driving force for handheld growth, according to a recent study by Dataquest, a unit of the Gartner Group.

Worldwide handheld computer shipments are predicted to exceed 5.7 million units in 1999, a 47-per-cent increase over 1998 shipments of 3.9 million units.

This market is projected to grow by more than 30 per cent through 2003, when Dataquest predicts that worldwide handheld shipments will reach 21 million units.