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Infosys Spreads its Wings from Wingspan to ‘Live Enterprise Suite’

The tone at the recent Infosys Confluence Americas event in Arizona was, unsurprisingly, quietly confident: Infosys has delivered five straight quarters of strong CC growth, with its largest sector Financial Services delivering improving topline growth (having been affected by market softness in some areas), Digital now representing over 38% of total revenues, and the order book looking strong. It is now over two years since the abrupt resignation of Vishal Sikka; under the auspices of interim CEO Pravin Rao and then Salil Parekh (with Rao resuming his former COO role) Infosys has enjoyed a period of relative stability.

In NelsonHall’s Key Vendor Assessment of Infosys published just before Confluence, we noted that the company is generally executing well on its strategic priorities to increase its relevance with clients, which it has summarized in terms of four pillars:

  • Expanding localization
  • Scaling its agile digital business
  • Energizing the core
  • Reskilling its people.

The main emphasis at Confluence Americas was what Infosys is calling its ‘Live Enterprise Suite’, comprised of tools and approaches it has used internally launched the same week: we expect to see Live Enterprise Suite assets increasingly feature throughout the company’s portfolio.

U.S. localization targets ahead of plan, expanded

Many of Infosys’ strategic priorities are evolved from ones first outlined under Dr Sikka’s time as CEO. One of these is a much greater emphasis on localization (in place of using visas; the proportion of offshore delivery is not reducing), initially focusing on the U.S.

Back in May 2017, Infosys outlined its ambition to open four Innovation and Technology Hubs in the U.S. and to hire 10,000 American workers by end 2020. This July, just over two years later, Infosys declared it had already achieved this 10k target, ahead of plan. And it has expanded its initial ambition from four hubs to six, the newest a center in Phoenix, AZ inaugurated during the week of Confluence, focusing on autonomous technologies, IoT, full-stack engineering, data science and cybersecurity. Currently in a temporary site, the hub will move to a permanent 60k sq. ft. facility next year.

Articulation around ‘Navigate your Next’ has developed

Last year, as part of a stronger corporate focus on digital, Infosys launched its ‘Navigate your Next’ tagline – i.e. positioning on its abilities to help enterprises navigate their digital transformation. Concomitant to this was its concept of an underlying digital services architecture: a ‘digital pentagon’ of Experience, Insight, Innovate, Accelerate, Assure. At the time, we felt there was some work to be done in fine-tuning the articulation of what this might mean for clients. Progress in this respect is now evident; for example, the marketing messaging for most industries now incorporates the agile digital services architecture, and all the digital offerings are aligned within it. We note also that most large clients are now familiar with the tagline. Furthermore, the image of the digital services architecture pentagon is now surrounded by another pentagon, describing an operating model that includes Agile, Design, Automation, Learning and Proximity.

This year, Infosys’ messaging around ‘Navigate your Next’ has evolved to the concept of the ‘Live Enterprise’, which it describes in terms of being ‘connected, observable, responsive, sentient, and always learning’ – attributes required to be able to adapt nimbly and frequently and continuously evolve and innovate: quite a challenge for large enterprises with complex legacy landscapes. This also reflects Infosys’ ambitions to increase its relationships with key clients outside the IT function – in his short keynote at Confluence Americas, Salil Parekh highlighted that the client panels featured personnel from functions such as finance, HR and operations.

And Infosys is emphasizing how it has internalized the concept of ‘navigate your next’ to become more of a knowledge- and data-driven, continuously evolving organization. It is now commercializing some of the assets it is using internally in its own transformation.

Introducing the Live Enterprise Suite

Infosys posits that the Live Enterprise places the employee at the center of its operating model, with features including eliminating non-productive work (automation); networking and easy collaboration, rapid access to relevant data for knowledge sharing, and AI-driven guided self-service and self-learning.

Last year, Infosys introduced Wingspan, an IT skills training platform it had developed for internal use (as Lex) now being offered commercially. Several organizations we spoke to during and shortly after its introduction at Confluence 2018 expressed interest in Wingspan, though questioning the pricing. A year later, and Wingspan has already been bought by several large clients.

Infosys has now combined Wingspan with various other assets it is using internally, mostly proprietary, to launch a platform which sits on top of existing SORs it is calling the Infosys Live Enterprise Suite.

The current emphasis is on tools that support HR processes around recruitment, onboarding (Launchpad) and initial training, and ones that help employee productivity (Infyme). Infosys highlights that it has reimagined processes to significantly improve the UX; for example, onboarding activities are now covered in just three mobile apps.

Expect to see an increasing emphasis by Infosys on the intelligence layer of the architecture of the Live Enterprise platform and on how it helps reimagine business processes by applying sentient design principles and hyper automation. Key components include the Infosys enterprise-wide knowledge graph, that maps and links information from silos such as transactional data, information content, and from mapping interactions between employees and devices, and the ‘Digital Brain’, that provides a layer of intelligence on top to provide personalized recommendations to a user or nudges them to complete a process or transaction in a particular way, one, of course, that is designed to be user friendly.

Further work needs to be done in articulating clearly all the components within the Live Enterprise suite, also to where they can apply to a client organization (for example, the onboarding app is applicable to a range of job functions, whereas other elements are specific to an organization’s IT function).

Infosys claims that its ambitions to become a ‘Live Enterprise’ is already changing mindsets internally, for example sharpening its focus on process simplification, knowledge sharing and continuous learning.

While the overarching emphasis that these tools can help incumbent enterprises (as opposed to the digital disruptors) is likely to resonate with some large enterprise clients, the messaging currently emphasizes “we have done it to ourselves and are now offering it to clients” – and this kind of messaging has not always worked well for certain competitors: organizations generally prefer to hear how a vendor’s solution or service has worked in other client organizations. There are a few examples of components of the platform being used by clients: Infosys cites examples at a consumer goods firm and fashion retailer (personalized recommendations in customer engagement platforms) and chocolate manufacturer (centered on improving supply chain visibility); expect to see case studies being produced. We also expect to see messaging around the concept of how Infosys is leveraging components of the Live Enterprise Suite become prevalent across its portfolio and also across its vertical propositions.

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