HCL is attempting to hijack Infosys's deal to buy SAP integrator Axon.

So what, you ask. The interesting point here is that both HCL and Infosys are Indian firms, while Axon is British. And suddenly, the concept of global competition in IT seems to be a reality.

Of course, most of us like to think that globalisation is a trend set in stone but in IT, the US has long been a dominant force. IBM, HP, Dell in hardware; Cisco, Novell in networking; Microsoft, Oracle and Adobe in software. Guess what they all have in common.

If you're talking ICT then the old protected incumbents ensure that the marketplace is more of a segmented picture but services is much more interesting. The rise of offshoring is a sea-change in the business and the only question was how long it would be before Indian firms made stargic acquisitions of foreign firms.

HCL-Axon points the way and the smart money says that an Indian acquisition of a large European or American firm will happen in 2009.