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US outsourcing firm opens BPO centre

Athenahealth Inc, the US-based provider of online accounts management for medical centres, has set up an innovation centre in Chennai to supplement its existing outsourced operations.

After three years of ramping up outsourced operations in cooperation with Perot Systems, the US company has opened AthenaNet India which would employ software developers and process engineers. “The innovation centre will be a combination of two of India's core strengths - business process outsourcing and software development,” said Jonathan Bush, co-founder and CEO, Athenahealth.

“However, unlike other US-owned operations, this centre for BPO innovation will be based right here in Chennai, rather than in the US. Centering innovation here makes AthenaNet India a much better career choice for enterprising Indians who want to do ground-breaking work,” he said.

Athenahealth has been operating in Chennai through contract relationship with Perot Systems for over four years, currently employing more than 300 residents of Tamilnadu. The newly opened innovation centre was expected to add high level software development and process engineering and would take over the ownership of both the outsourcing relationship and its underlying technologies.

While the innovation centre would not be directly employing business process agents, it would manage all of the BPO work done for Athenahealth throughout India.

“These jobs are unique because the business management and process innovation add so much to the software development aspect,” said Ryan Wise, managing director, AthenaNet India Pvt. Ltd.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, health expenditures were projected to reach $3.6 trillion in 2014, growing at an annual rate of 7 per cent from 2003 to 2014. The National Centre on Healthcare Statistics estimated that healthcare spending was 4.3 times the amount spend on US defence and expected it to outpace growth in the rest of the economy for the next 10 years.

“Healthcare in the US is growing vastly and more rapidly than technology as a sector,” said Wise. “Indians seeking long term career with US high tech players would do well to look into firms focused on healthcare. The ability to apply technology to healthcare effectively will provide a valuable, long-term career trajectory,” he said.


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