Infosys Ltd., a Bangalore, India company that does cut-rate software engineering work for big U.S. firms, has "entered a partnership with IPsoft Inc., which uses software robots to replace engineers at top outsourcing customers including Comcast Corp., the largest cable operator in the U.S.," reports India's Hindustan Times here, citing three unnamed sources.
IPSoft, a New York company whose clients also include Bank of America, is also a Comcast tech vendor: It was hired by the Philadelphia-based cable-Internet-video programming giant in 2008 to provide automatic billing systems and added database server and Oracle Financials systems, often "without human intervention". Comcast employs around 3,800 in Philadelphia, including around 600 engineers, executive vice president David L. Cohen said last year.
"Robots and humanoids" from IPSoft (founded by ex-NYU Prof. Chetan Dube), UK-based Blue Prism Ltd. and other upstarts "automate and deliver information technology projects at a cost that is less than one-fourth the billing rates of engineers" from outsourcers like Infosys and Tata Consultancy; the software robots "are the latest threat to India’s $100 billion IT services business," the Wall Street Journal and India's Live Mint reported here in November. "IPsoft counts Comcast Corp., the largest US cable company and BT Group Plc, the UK’s biggest phone firm, among its top customers."
In January, LiveMint and the Journal introduced readers to IPSoft's online problem-solver "Eliza," a blond, blue-eyed "humanoid who works at one of the biggest US cable TV firms, helping hundreds of users solve technical problems over phone and even face to face, through Skype-esque interactions.