Information technology services company MindTree had a challenge till a few months before. Like most IT firms, it had loads of data being generated within the company. Despite having an intranet, it took several hours to identify the right data.
The company took the help of Microsoft's Sharepoint and developed People Hub, their corporate portal. The portal also had an in-built search engine, not only fine-tuned to bring out the best hits in a proper order, but also create groups of the results when there were multiple options.
"In our business, accessibility to data is very important, and on a real-time basis. After this implementation, at least 15 minutes of productive time has been added to each person per day. It has also helped us in increasing the retention rate. We are in the process of extending it to the customers," said Sudhir Reddy, CIO and vice-president. In the next two to three months, all the project-related files and individuals will be available on intranet and extranet.
Increasingly, firms are adopting social networking platforms for engaging employees and also giving them tools to engage with the entire organisation. Take the case of Pune-based Persistent Systems. The firm developed eMee, an employee engagement platform specifically developed for small & medium enterprises and large enterprises with a distributed workforce. The aim of the platform, available to all its 6,600 employees, was to nurture two-way communication. "Our portal is now accessible on a wider platform. It has only helped in collaboration. We have seen our attrition rate fall by 350 basis points since the platform was launched," said Siddhesh Bhobe, associate VP.
With collaboration and social networking entering the professional landscape, organisations cannot ignore the trend. All technology vendors have been gearing up their offerings to cater to this phenomenon.
"Over the next two years, we will see social media applications being created by traditional technology companies such as Microsoft, Google and Apple; committing themselves to inter-operability and platform agnosticism. With the big guns entering social media analytics, smaller and niche social media companies will need to reconsider their strategies to adapt or they will perish," said Anil Bajpai, senior VP & head, research & innovation, at iGATE Patni.
It is not just about social collaboration. Employees are increasingly becoming more active and vocal for solving everyday issues as well. In the case of heavy vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland, automation of processes was crucial to increase employee productivity. For instance, if an employee had a breakdown call for any tools, it would take at least 10 days before the problem was solved. Engineers from Leyland's IT team handled these calls in person or through remote management tools. However, for any IT service requests such as requisition for a new laptop, replacements, mobile phones and even internet data cards, it was a manual process. An employee would put in the request through email or standard paper forms. He would then take an approval over email or on the paper form from various approvers. With more than 1,000 requests per month, the manual process was slowing the response time.
This is when the company decided to go for a technology that would address their needs. With Sharepoint, today an IT services requisition is completed within three working days.