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August 31, 2005

Keane to target verticals to land big deals

IT services provider Keane is eyeing its vertical markets in hopes of landing large-scale, transformative projects similar to the $367m transit ticketing contract it won in July from the Australian state of Victoria. According to president and CEO Brian Keane, this strategy includes steady organic growth, targeting new areas within its existing verticals, and some possible future acquisitions.

By CBR Staff Writer

Keane currently offers IT and business services to several different industries. Financial services contribute 33% of revenue and the public sector, including state, local and federal governments, account for 20%. Health care brings in 18% and manufacturing another 13%, with smaller contributions from the life sciences, retail, energy/utilities, hospitality, and transportation verticals.

With the Australian ticketing project, Keane obviously improves its presence in the transportation sector. Keane said the solution it is bringing to this project leapfrogs other ticketing offerings in the transportation sector, and that other major cities in North America, Europe and Asia are currently exploring similar upgrades for their systems and could be good opportunities for Keane.

It is exactly this sort of offering – a vertically targeted, overall platform-based solution that includes application development, support, relevant business process services, a global delivery model and potential to be resold to multiple clients – on which the company is staking future large signings, Keane said. He said the company will be announcing some substantial projects and contract wins in the near future.

In terms of specific targets within the company’s verticals, Keane said there is potential in Internet banking, life and annuities, and the health care payer market.

A good part of the company’s 5% to 10% growth over the past year has been offshore, Keane. It now has some 2000 employees at four Indian centers, delivering a range of application and BPO work.

Keane also staffs another 600 in its centers in Toronto and Halifax, Canada. Keane said this near shore capability appeals to clients, particularly those in the financial services sector, who aren’t yet ready to move to a fully offshore delivery model.

The company expects to continue growing organically at the 5% to 10% rate, although this number could increase with the signing of new larger initiatives, Keane said.

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On the M&A front, the company has totally integrated recently acquired NetNumina, an enterprise architecture vendor with strong life sciences experience. In July it also brought on a handful of testing experts through its acquisition of Cresta Testing.

Keane said that there could be more significant acquisition activity on the horizon, with an emphasis on deals that could improve its vertical offerings, ERP capabilities, or its position in the North American, UK, Indian or Australian markets. Keane said that it was not looking for similar opportunities in continental Europe or parts of Asia other than India.

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