TCS, Wipro, TechM, Infy are Key to Apple's Supply Chain
Apple is secretive about almost everything it does. And among its best kept secrets is the work it does with Indian IT vendors.
The vendors themselves are sworn to secrecy through stringent non-disclosure agreements. And since Apple is invariably among their most valued clients, they don't disclose a word about their relationship with the Cupertino-based iPhone and iPad maker.
But some of the secrets are spilling out. TOI spoke to some research firms and industry sources to put together details of which vendor does what for the $200-billion US consumer electronics brand.
Four large Indian IT companies -- TCS, Infosys, Wipro and Tech Mahindra -- and a relatively small vendor Exilant are the primary vendors.
The five together provide a host of services to Apple in areas of enterprise applications, business intelligence and data-warehousing, application development and maintenance (ADM), channel sales, customer relationship management, product lifecycle management, finance and customer care.
Infosys is focused on customer care and supply chain.It works on SAP modules in material management, warehouse management. It is also involved in application development and maintenance of customer care applications including Apple Certified Server Engineer (ACSE), an industry certification to provide server-based solutions and troubleshoot issues related to server installations.
India's largest IT services player TCS is focused on customer relationship management. It provides business intelligence and data warehousing services for customer data analytics. It also ports Apple's web applications into iOS-compatible mobile apps. Wipro does the master data management for its supply chain. It also provides advanced analytics for database marketing, retail marketing and web-based marketing. Tech Mahindra does work related to finance and product lifecycle management.
Wipro, Infosys and Tech Mahindra did not respond to mails from TOI enquiring about the work they do for Apple. TCS said it was in its silent period prior to the quarterly results announcement and that they do not comment on market speculations.
Peter Bendor Samuel, CEO of US-based research advisory Everest Group, believes the Indian firms have the potential to capture significant revenue from Apple across areas and that the business could grow into hundreds of millions of dollars.
"It looks like Apple is considering a significant reworking of its provider portfolio. Given their spend and what they are doing in the market place, this could be very substantial not only in terms of the revenue from Apple, but also in terms of partnerships; there could be a partnership similar to the one which they had with IBM," he said.
Apple and IBM last year announced a high-profile deal to collaborate on mobile enterprise software, and the first set of apps from that relationship were launched recently.
Pareekh Jain, research director in US-based HfS Research, said that since 2013, Apple has had dedicated IT outsourcing vendor managers based out of Bengaluru. "They act as a bridge between Apple's IT managers and India-based IT service providers," he said.
Source: The Times of India