Exclusive – AsiaInfo addresses European operations concerns

BSS vendor AsiaInfo has spoken exclusively to in response to our queries regarding the status of its European operations.

It seems that the company’s recently expanded operations in Europe are already being scaled back for as yet unidentified reasons, with AsiaInfo confirming it is “…laying off a relatively small number of staff from our European sales & marketing organisations.”

Quite what the implications are for AsiaInfo’s nearshore delivery centre in Budapest remains to be seen. The vendor announced the launch of the delivery centre in Hungary at the start of 2015, in which it stated ambitions to employ nearly 200 staff by the start of 2017.

The centre was intended to be an integral gateway for the delivery of services from China-based R&D labs into Europe. With the confirmation of forthcoming changes from AsiaInfo it would appear that a significant number of personnel will be either made redundant or relocated back to China, and one can only speculate on the future of this integral part of the company’s European strategy.

The cornerstone of AsiaInfo’s European expansion has been its work with Telenor, such as the Telenor Denmark BSS project that was a winner at the recent Glotel Awards. “We will continue to support all our existing customers and international products,” said AsiaInfo. “We are not laying off any staff from international projects or technology development roles.

“Some staff, however, will return from Europe to China, either because their part of a project is completed, or their work can be better carried out within our main R&D facility. Although the strategic aims of the company remain the same, the structure will change. In particular, we are planning to change our approach to new business development in the international market, including a move away from direct sales and marketing.”

It’s not clear what alternatives there are to direct sales and marketing if business development remains a priority, but AsiaInfo’s comments seem to imply at least a greater emphasis on running international operations directly from China. That may well have benefits but expanding into Europe was such a good idea just a few years ago you have to wonder what has made AsiaInfo change its mind.

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