Thursday, February 16, 2012

Social Media @ Cognizant Technology – Cognizant 2.0 platform for employees

Cognizant Technology Solutions is a global provider of custom information technology, consulting and business process outsourcing services and it has 137,700 employees and generates revenues of around US$ 6 billion. Cognizant has significant practices in key industry verticals including BFSI, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail & Logistics, Communications, Media & Entertainment, etc. Company has seen significant growth in the past few years and it has dethroned the Indian vendor Wipro from the third positions and is chasing Infosys for second position. Employees need to communicate with one another for project related activities and also for understanding each other personally and culturally. These interactions are essential for the global organizations to run smoothly, knowledge management, innovation and operational efficiencies. Cognizant believes that social media tools and content are valuable assets for the company and it has created a social media platform that integrates its knowledge management, work management, and partner engagement strategies. Employees collaborate and share knowledge and build client relationships using the Cognizant 2.0.

Cognizant had launched internal social networking through its Cognizant 2.0 platform that allows employees to interact among themselves in 2007. Cognizant spent nearly $10 million on its C2 platform according to IDC. Cognizant 2.0 maps the entire workflow, across varied skills, geographies and business units and it reduces time to identify the best team for the project. The network connects associates, clients, and stakeholders and also helps to share knowledge using blogs, wikis, read tweets, post queries and manage projects using consistent tools and process. C2 provides a virtual “town square” for more than 137,000 Cognizant associates and over 100,000 users have collaborated on hundreds of projects worldwide. Information is exchanged at a faster pace, with over 15,000 blog posts and more than 100,000 Techforum queries. C2 is integrated with the KM Appliance launched in 2006, which featured many tools that enable participation, such as blogs, wikis, bookmarking/tagging systems, and discussion forums that allowed user-generated and externally generated content to be available for use to the Cognizant employees.

According to internal analysis done by Cognizant in 2010, projects using Cognizant 2.0 technologies perform better than those that do not: a 15% improvement in productivity, an 8% improvement in delivery time, a 7% improvement in delivery on budget, and a 70% reduction in defects. Cognizanti is an exclusive online community launched in 2007 that was developed to allow external members to build and maintain professional networks, share experiences and best practices, as well as insights into industry trends and it has 2,500 community members include clients at executive levels and industry experts, including academics and industry analysts, in addition to key Cognizant personnel such as industry/business practice leaders. Cognizanti is a learning platform for both Cognizant and its partners. The factors for social media success in Cognizant are the senior management participation and its perception of social media being an extension of corporate culture, encouraging employees to participate and use the social networking platform for their work and projects, rewarding the employees for such usage, measuring the ROI and tracking and rating every knowledge asset in the organization. Cognizant has been one of the more successful companies in adopting and achieving value from social media tools.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Social Media @ HCL Tech – Social Network platform Meme to "connect, share, learn & grow”

HCL Technologies is a global technology and IT Enterprise and it has 88,000 employees with offices in 26 countries and generates revenues of around US$ 3.9 billion. HCL Tech provides multi-service delivery in key industry verticals including Financial Services, Manufacturing, Consumer Services, Public Services and Healthcare. HCL takes pride in its philosophy of 'Employees First, Customers Second' which empowers their employees to create value for the customers. Employees need to communicate with one another for project related activities and also for understanding each other personally and culturally. These interactions are essential for the global organizations to run smoothly, knowledge management, innovation and operational efficiencies. HCL believes that younger generation work force is looking for openness, transparency and lack of command and control and collaborative work style and the organizations have to transform themselves to look like Facebook, which is not hierarchical pyramid and embrace social media in the organizations. When the idea of internal social network propped HCL management was concerned about the productivity of the employees and with belief on their employees approval was given.

HCL developed its own social network for internal use, called Meme, which was modeled after Facebook, and the site was opened for use among employees in April 2011.  MEME, has almost 60,000 registered users, 49,917 photos uploaded in 15,290 albums, 38,498 messages, averaging about 11 per connected employee, have been sent over the platform, 2,400 queries in Ask HR tab and has 1,579 groups where employees can discuss topics ranging from work-life continuity & passion factors at work, participate in contests, download Meme to their mobiles and through which they share feedback and provide enhancement suggestions. Younger employees are attracted to this platform as they are very familiar with communication and collaboration tools like Facebook, Twitter, etc and the numbers highlight that this social networking tool is well adopted by the employees. Employees can share their queries on MEME and get answers from other employees and experts within the company.
HCL Technologies had many initiatives such as social network called U&I that employees can use to interact with CEO, Communities called Employee First Councils around health and hygiene, art, music, corporate social responsibility and business related passions such as a particular technology or a vertical domain area, My Blueprint, another social networking system allowing managers to share plans for their specific business areas and get feedback from another 8000 HCL Tech managers. The company Employee First and Customer Second policy itself highlights the importance for a strong intranet within the organization to engage in open dialogue with his employees. HCL Tech CEO Vineet Nayar believes that the only way to bring innovation to the centre stage of the company to grow faster in the economic turbulent time is to get innovation going at the bottom of the pyramid to employees. He also says that only by putting employees first would you be converting the management and managers and management of the company to be in the business of enthusing and encouraging and enabling the employees. HCL is one company that has seen tremendous success with its Employee First policy. 

Social Media @ Wipro – My Wipro World for employee collaboration & networking

Wipro is a global IT services and consulting company and the company has 136,734 employees with 72 plus global delivery centers across 5 continents and generates revenues of around US$ 7 billion. Wipro has more than 150 global Fortune 500 clients across financial services, retail, transportation, manufacturing, healthcare services, energy and utilities, technology, telecom and media. Wipro believes that employee’s particularly younger generation want to interact with management regularly and social networking tools within the organizations provide a platform for communication and feedback between the employees and managements. Employees need to communicate with one another for project related activities and also for understanding each other personally and culturally. These interactions are essential for the global organizations to run smoothly, knowledge management, innovation and operational efficiencies. Wipro blog can be found on the website home page and blog posts are posted by the senior managers in the company and the topics are mostly technology and vertical related. Wipro had published blogging policy for all their Employees in 2010 which ensure that any content (Blog post, article or comments) published by Wipro Employees on internet are governed by the strict guidelines.

Wipro has a Social Media section on its company website home page called Wipro Social which has live feeds of Facebook, Twitter accounts of Wipro technologies & Experience Wipro and also Slide Share and YouTube Channels. Any discussion/posts/updates that quote Wipro are immediately updated on the Wipro Social that allows the company to keep track of various discussions and mentions about the company. Company also has Wipro TV that is part of branding initiative and also airs white papers and content developed by others like TV channels about the company and its leadership. Wipro also has social networking tool for employees called ‘MyWiproWorld’ launched in 2009, which has 116,981 registered users and 3,264 communities and has become an online forum for collaboration, networking, ideation and innovation. Employees can comment on blog posts, chat with colleagues on various chat forums and discuss various issues with HR and their bosses anonymously if they wish to do so. Wipro has integrated both Twitter and Facebook with MyWiproWorld so that employees can bring together their personal and official worlds.

The classifieds’ section of My Wipro World has 56,000 listings and employees use the portal’s classified section to sell bikes and rent homes as and when they relocate to other places. Wipro launched its employee portal ChannelW ten years ago and it has become one of the most effective employee communication platforms in the company. Today, it receives close to 3.5 crore hits a month. Employees can discuss what is happening inside the company, share ideas/thoughts and post advertisements (such as, selling old furniture, etc) in their discussion boards. The intranet provides a platform to share knowledge among Wipro employees and collaborate with one another across various locations. The company also has a knowledge repository called K Net based on Microsoft SharePoint. Both ChannelW and MyWipro World have a significant impact on the employee engagement and motivation of the employees and it has bonded together the employees working from various locations and has provided them the necessary platforms to communicate and collaborate. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Social Media @ Infosys – Infy Bubble Social Networking Platform for employees

Infosys is a global technology services company and the company has 146,000 employees with 64 offices across over 29 countries and generates revenues of around US$ 7 billion. North America is the dominant geography followed by Europe in terms of revenue contribution. BFSI, Manufacturing, Retail & CPG, Telecom, Energy & Utilities are the major verticals. Infosys believes that in today’s dynamic business world, success is significantly determined by the collective intelligence and actions of company’s employees. Infosys built an internal communication system that helps its employees collaborate and share knowledge. Employees need to communicate with one another for project related activities and also for understanding each other personally and culturally. These interactions are essential for the global organizations to run smoothly, knowledge management, innovation and operational efficiencies. Infosys also has formulated a social media policy for its employees that provide guidelines in terms how to be active on the various social networking sites without causing any damage to company and its brand reputation. Employee engagement and satisfaction levels have increased after the adoption of the internal social networking tools/platforms in the organization.

Infosys had launched InfyBubble in June 2011, internally developed social network for employees and there are 82,000 employees registered on the platform, with 392,051 connections established across the world and 102,572 average page views a day. The site looks like a Facebook page and Infosys employees can share moods, blogs, videos, photographs and other stuff. The site does not allow employees to post any personal comments on their managers or superiors but negative feedback in terms of performance and work related are invited and expects discipline to be maintained on the social platform. Employees can collaborate with colleagues not only for work but also based on the interest and hobbies. Infosys also launched InfyRadio in August 2011, an in-house radio station for employees across all development centers in India through which employees are informed about happenings in the organization and also ensures they are motivated and engaged with some fun at work. The station runs for six hours a day, five days a week and is accessible via a link on the employee’s computer and on an average it receives 10,000 hits per day.

Infosys intranet Sparsh, the information intranet of Infosys, allows every single member of Infosys to be connected at all times and was rated among the world’s top 10.  It serves as an internal social network, and members can exchange ideas by email, bulletin boards and also hold discussions. Sparsh has helped Infosys in reducing operating costs and meeting clients’ needs even more efficiently, and increase in operating margins. Sparsh is coupled with KShop; a knowledge database where Infosys has book reviews, case studies, even materials, FAQs, tutorials, downloadable software etc for every employee. Infosys in the recent years have been facing significant attrition levels and the company with an intention to regain its best employer status launched these social media initiative in the last few years. Also through the social networking platform and other collaborative tools Infosys is expecting to retain the employees and actively engage them with the management and also involve them in the organization strategy and future policy initiatives.  

Social Media @ TCS – Social Networking Platform internally for employees

TCS is a global IT services, business solutions and outsourcing company and the company has 226,751 employees with 142 offices across over 47 countries and generates revenues of around US$ 8 billion. TCS is the largest Indian IT vendor and gets most of its revenues from North America, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. BFSI, Telecom, Retail & Distribution, Manufacturing and Hi-tech are the dominant verticals. BPO contributes around 11% of total revenues. With operations in 47 countries and more than 200,000 employees across the globe TCS needs an internal communication system that helps its employees collaborate and share knowledge. Employees need to communicate with one another for project related activities and also for understanding each other personally and culturally. These interactions are essential for the global organizations to run smoothly, knowledge management, innovation and operational efficiencies.

TCS has an internal communication system that consists of wikis, forums, blogs, personalized websites & other tools for employees to communicate with the management, and share their concerns and queries. In 2011, TCS started building an integrated system that would enhance the employee engagement and communication with management further and the online program is called ‘@TCS’ that looks like Facebook page and which allows employees to share personal information, post photographs, blogs and comments on any topic and upload user-generated videos.  TCS launched this Facebook styled internal social networking platform only in 2011. Another initiative is the ‘Great India Food Guide’ which lists all Indian food joints in various regions as TCS has its employees travelling to almost all parts of the globe and has 50-60 listings of Indian hotels across the globe. @TCS will be launched in other languages like Spanish, Chinese and German and the communications team is responsible for the whole initiative. Company is also evaluating setting up an e-commerce portal for its employees and is planning to create a corporate social responsibility (CSR) corner where employees can talk about various social issues they are working on.

Tata Consultancy services (TCS) developed a platform called Ultimatix which helps to consolidate internal systems and take advantage of group knowledge. TCS invested in this platform of wikis, personalized sites, blogs that not only bring employees together but also help employees to collaborate for organizational benefits. Justask is similar to Q&A forums that enable employees to ask questions openly, Ideamax encourages employees to share their ideas about a particular technology or a process. Ultimatix integrated 50 core applications to streamline operations and internal collaboration for more than 700 business processes. It integrated all internal processes, including HR, finance, and project management, to support over 200,000 staff. TCS has always worked to bring together their employees across the globe and provide them the necessary tools to interact between themselves and also actively interact with the management. TCS also has a Facebook page and Twitter account and they interact with various stakeholders through the external social networking tools and talks about new client wins, interviews and releases. TCS also uses various social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to recruit employees.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Social Media @ Indian IT Vendors – Adoption of Internal Social Networking tools/platforms on the rise – Key Statistics

Adoption of social media is on the rise in Indian IT companies as the internal social networking tools that are similar to Facebook, twitter and collaborative tools like blogs & wikis help in communication among employees and between employees and managements, knowledge management, and also helps in curbing the higher attrition levels in the companies. The rise of social networks like the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc and millions of users that log on to these networks and actively engage with friends, communities and others have forced the Indian IT companies to build internal social networks for their employees as the employees particularly the young employees fresh from the colleges and universities (average age 22-26 years) who are already active on various external social networks are also looking for similar platforms for interacting within their organizations as these companies have more than 1,00,000 employees spread across the globe. Employees use these internal social networks not only to collaborate on projects, share knowledge and interact with colleagues and clients but also share their personal information & opinions, passions, hobbies and participate in various cultural events. Social networking tools and platforms provide employees an opportunity to engage with the management and actively participate in the organizational development activities and voice their opinions on the various strategies and policies. Employees will be motivated and will work with greater commitment for the organizational goals.

Indian IT vendors are investing in these internal social networking platforms both for engaging their employees and also sell these platforms to their clients who can use them in their employee engagement. Significant investments have been made by Indian IT vendors over the past few years as the social networks have seen tremendous growth and most of the companies be it large, medium and small are all making sure that they are present on all the major social networks and are also encouraging their employees to actively participate and interact on these networks. Most of the companies have formulated a social media policy and guidelines for their employees too. This provides an opportunity for the Indian IT vendors to extend their offerings into the social media platforms and help their clients in communicating with the employees, clients and other stakeholders, increase collaboration and knowledge management and monitor the social networks in terms of the employee engagement, brand reputation, consumer opinions, feedback and complaints so as to avoid any brand or reputation damage. Companies are looking for social network platforms that are secure, do not violate the intellectual property rights, and provide an easy to use platform for their employees, customers and other stakeholders.

Employees in Indian IT companies are actively engaging in the internal social networking platforms as evident by the details provided by major Indian IT vendors like TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL and Cognizant Technology. Employees are actively creating their work and personal profiles, expressing their interest, hobbies, affiliations and uploading content like photos, music, and videos. Lakhs of employees spread across the globe are actively interacting, understanding and appreciating the different cultures and working on their hobbies like forming music bands, dance groups, literary groups that are totally unrelated to their work or company. Managements are allowing these activities with an expectation that employees will stick with the company for longer periods, be loyal and actively involve in developing innovative products and services and improve the brand reputation of the company and ultimately increase the revenues and profitability. Some of the Indian IT vendors have announced that there has been significant reduction in the attrition levels and employee engagement and satisfaction levels have also increased.

These internal social network platforms are not totally internal but also allow consumers and other external stakeholders to communicate with the company and its employees. Consumers and other external stakeholders are provided with necessary access and secured logins. Communication among these groups is significant as it will help in innovations and development of products and services. Innovation is critical for the Indian IT vendors and the employees as well as the management have to constantly learn about new technologies and developments that are happening in the industry so as to incorporate them into their products and service offerings. Operational efficiency will increase and the costs of communication will come down significantly as employees will be using the internal social network platforms for communication and these communications will be more productive. Indian IT vendors have to use the various social media and networking tools internally for their employees before they go to their clients offering various social media related service offerings. Their implementation and usage internally will be the best testimonial for the social media service offerings. The competition among the Indian Vendors and Global Vendors is so tight and any lapses in identifying the emerging and disruptive trends and consumer preferences and necessities will have drastic effects on the business and its survival.