Infosys, WPP Start Service to Mine Facebook, Social Media Data

Infosys Ltd. (INFO)India’s second- largest computer services company, started a service with WPP Plc to help clients track marketing information on sites including Facebook Inc. (FB) and Twitter Inc.
The pay-per-use service will be hosted on the cloud, the company said in a statement yesterday. It contains “listening tools” that help users gather, organize and analyze consumer responses to online campaigns, according to a product brochure.Infosys is moving into products as revenue growth in computer services slows and profit margins narrow, and after competitors outside India built similar platforms. Larger rivalAccenture Plc’s Accenture Interactive also offers services to help customers benefit, as online advertising is forecast to surge to more than $102 billion in 2013 from an estimated $88 billion this year, according to ZenithOptimedia.

“They’re moving into products and platforms because it’s definitely got higher margins, for one,” said Ankita Somani, an analyst at Angel Broking Ltd. in Mumbai who rates Infosys buy. “You develop products, you develop IP, and you sell it.”
Infosys aims for products, platforms and solutions to contribute one-third of its total revenue, compared with 5.8 percent in the year ended March 31, most of which came from the Bangalore-based company’s banking products.

Slowing IT Spending

Worldwide spending on IT services will increase at a slower pace of 1.3 percent to $856 billion this year, after climbing 6.5 percent in 2011, Stamford, Connecticut-based research company Gartner Inc. said April 5.
The new Infosys platform, called BrandEdge, has customers including GlaxoSmithKline Plc and has been released in a test version, said Sanjay Purohit, global head of products, platforms and solutions at Infosys.
Competing platforms include Sapient Corp.’s SapientNitro, Accenture’s Accenture Interactive and a digital advertising suite from Adobe Systems Inc.
“Whether it’s Facebook pages, whether it’s presence on Myspace, presence on Twitter -- there’s a lot of build involved,” Purohit said. “Nowadays, the number of channels opening up in the social media space are so many that you need to know the pecking order, where is the maximum consumer interaction happening? And you need to understand consumer sentiment.”


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