As technology keeps shrinking the world, it may be time to ask if there is any aspect of enterprise computing that cannot be done in another country, another time zone and in another culture. The Internet has enabled Procter & Gamble to manage the first two hurdles, with outsourced business process operations in 56 countries. For the third, P&G had a very simple answer with its partner, Hewlett-Packard: Bring the culture with you.
In Bangalore, India, HP processes 120,000 accounts payable transactions monthly for P&G, according to Executive Editor Stan Gibson in the latest eWEEK Road Map feature. Gibson visited HPs P&G India operations unit, a place that can only be described as a little bit of Cincinnati, re-created in Bangalore. Complete with conference rooms named after founder William Procter, the center houses about 140 HP employees acting as P&G staffers.
What has enabled the two companies to go "nearly halfway around the world to get close to one another," Gibson writes, is common ground in corporate culture. "There are lots of similarity between cultures," said Arunkumar Srinivasan, operations manager for HP BPO in Bangalore. HPs revered "Rules of the Garage" legacy and P&Gs own "Values and Principles" together form a foundation of "integrity, trust and competitiveness," Gibson writes.
Back in November, eWEEK put together a retrospective on the 20th anniversary of Windows. Does Senior Editor Carmen Nobels look at the 10th birthday of the first Palm device mark the beginning of a trend? Not necessarily, but its worth noting how far the industry has come from the first PDAs to todays handheld computing devices.
In fact, Apples Newton predated the PalmPilot 1000, which was released in 1996 after many fits and starts and acquisitions (USRobotics and 3Com). But while today the Newton is living on the Island of Misfit Toys, the Palm, in one form or another, keeps chugging along. Actually, compared with the first units, todays Palm and similar devices are blazing. The new Treo 700w contains 128MB of memory, while the first Palm came with 128KB.
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