Luxoft data revealed

October 17, 2013

Luxoft IPOI stumbled upon Luxoft earnings call transcript recently. If you are into outsourced software development like I am, then you’ll find this transcript to be pure gold. Public companies are required to disclose much more information than private ones. Even though the revealed information is not supposed to harm the company and give any edge to its competitors, it is still really interesting stuff. At the very least, you can compare industry leader’s metrics to your own, and sometimes learn useful practices. The entire F1Q 2014 Results Earnings Call Transcript is huge, so I’m going to list most interesting points here:

total of 6161 personnel, 5213 of them IT, utilization is about 80%, $83.8 million revenue for quarter. This single line contains like 5 key metrics of an outsourced software development company.

– 40% of the revenue come from US, 30% from UK, 15% from Germany, and 9% from Russia;

– top 5 clients bring 72% of the revenue;

– Deutsche Bank is the largest client responsible for about 30% of total revenue, UBS second at 19%;

– trade receivables are roughly equal to the quarterly revenue;

– wage inflation in the company is about 6-7% last year and is similar this year;

– they say about less than 10% on-site vs off-site presence for their clients and claim this to be a competitive advantage, not sure that it’s completely true nor if it is actually an advantage;

And finally, one more golden quote: “Our GAAP effective tax rate for the first quarter was 5.6%. We have been able to lower our effective tax rate due to successful completion of tax restructuring, involving migration of contracts to Swiss operational headquarters.

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Amazon adds “Help me!” button to its Fire tablets

October 6, 2013

The button is actually called “Mayday” – this is a new Amazon-MayDay-Buttonbig new feature Amazon added its Fire line of tablets. While general public rarely hears this word (normally only in movies), it is a well-known emergency procedure word, used to signal a life-threatening emergency primarily by mariners and aviators.

The button is supposed to take you to live video support. A video chat window opens on the screen. You see the person, but she can’t see you.┬áThat person can see the screen of your device and therefore help you to figure out the problem you are supposedly having.

Now this is some real innovation going on in the tablets market. I don’t know how it is going to work out for Amazon’s customers, but this feature has even greater potential for the enterprise use. And if we take it a bit further…

Say you have a problem with the car. You press a button on the car dash panel and get a “Mayday”-like service from your car dealer! The person from the dealership would be able to read data from the car’s computer real-time, thus being able to pretty much accurately determine the reason for a malfunction and whether there is a quick fix for it. This is pretty much the same as they have it on Formula-1 cars, but this time it’s for everyone. Wouldn’t it be great?!