Sinocom Software Group plans to expand its mainland network of customer support centres to 30 from 17 as the software outsourcing firm attempts to lure more business from western companies. 'After we finish building the infrastructure, we will actively go after the major hardware and software vendors,' chief financial officer Pirie Siu said. 'Some [vendors] talk to us about possibilities, but we have to turn them away.' Signing up more western companies would help Sinocom geographically to diversify its revenue. In the first half, outsourcing contracts from Japanese clients accounted for 94 per cent of the $81.07 million in sales. Sinocom has its sights on large multinationals with mainland operations. 'Companies such as IBM or Oracle have established many software development centres in China for development, localisation and testing,' Mr Siu said. 'They need engineers, but hiring Chinese ones directly means a lot of work in human resources management, accounting and taxes. So our engineers go to their place and work for them. We call it 'on-site outsourcing'.' Running on-site outsourcing is a low-margin business, though Mr Siu hopes it will lead to more lucrative software contracts. 'The company is only doing it to maintain customer relations,' he said. Sinocom has been aggressively hiring staff to keep pace with its growth. It has more than 1,000 workers, up 55 per cent from the first half last year. The year-end goal is 1,200. Chairman and chief executive Wang Zhiqiang said: 'Talented people are a critical success factor in our business. There are plenty of outsourcing orders out there. We just need to have enough good people to do them.' Sinocom also wants to grow through acquisition, setting aside $15 million this year to buy small to medium-sized outsourcing companies with staff of 50 to 100.