Mphasis, one of India’s biggest BPO companies (majority owned by HP), has acquired a US-based firm that makes insurance management software for an undisclosed sum.
Mphasis, listed on the Indian bourses, said the acquisition is part of its strategy to focus more and more on specific verticals, one of which is insurance.
The move is seen as further evidence of the blurring of software product and IT services companies in the age of cloud-computing and Software as a Service or SaaS offerings.
“This acquisition is in line with MphasiS’ strategy to concentrate on a few chosen verticals. This will further accelerate MphasiS’ value proposition to customers, leveraging Wyde’s Wynsure platform,” Mphasis said.
Wyde, whose software Wynsure, helps insurance companies manage policy administration, claims and billing, currently has 25 customers the US, France and Canada. The product has been deployed in Life & Annuities (L&A), disability, health, and Property & Casualty insurance areas, according to Wyde.
The move will give HP Mphasis 200 senior domain professionals, mostly at its “modern” Research & Development (R&D) centre in Paris, France. After the acquisition, a new research centre will be opened in India, but the companies were quick to emphasize that it will “strengthen” the French centre as well.
Wyde was founded in 1997 by Pierre Barberis, Chairman, and Jean-Rene Lyon, CEO, both distinguished leaders from the insurance industry, the announcement said.
Pierre Barberis, a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and Institute of French Actuaries, has held executive leadership positions in several global corporations including being the Deputy Chairman and CEO of AXA. Jean-Rene Lyon, a graduate of Stanford University and Centrale Paris, has held CIO roles in leading financial services and insurance companies.
“Wyde will operate as a product business within MphasiS Insurance vertical. The current Wyde management team, led by Jean-Rene Lyon, will continue to drive and grow the business after the acquisition,” it said.
Pure-play services companies are increasingly forced to acquire ‘IP’ or intellectual property in the form of software to add value to their offerings and provide a complete solution. Software know-how is especially important when trying to offer services through the cloud under the new ‘SaaS’ model.
“The acquisition of Wyde will extend MphasiS’ insurance footprint in Life & Annuities segment and strengthen its existing capability in the Property & Casualty segment.
“MphasiS’ offering will encompass a broad range of IT, platform based BPO and integrated services in areas such as policy administration, claims and billing while branding Wynsure as a market leader in the insurance industry,” Mphasis said.
Mphasis was one of the pioneers of the BPO business in India, led by its charismatic CEO Jaithirth ‘Jerry’ Rao and was acquired by US software giant EDS in 2006, even as it was listed in the country.
With HP acquiring EDS after two years, it also came to own around 61% of Mphasis, which continues to be traded in India.