HCL has had exponential growth, and opened offices in multiple countries across the globe. As employees are the core of the HCL sales process, the management wanted to transform the way its global sales force communicates and collaborates. The
goal was to enhance sales productivity, shorten sales cycle and close deals faster. To achieve all this, its Sales Excellence Team came up with a sales portal, Wikiportal, developed on Microsoft SharePoint Server. The platform has proved to be an excellent
means of connecting over 10,000 sales, marketing and solutions employees spread across 31 countries in order to share ideas, knowledge and collaborate. Moreover, successful innovations, such as customer reference management directly impact revenue, while knowledge
sharing and collaboration amplifies employee productivity.
||In the very first year of launch, we had 100 percent of the target audience on Wikiportal. Reponses to customer queries and RFPs were faster, thus reducing the overall sales cycle by 30 percent for a large deal.
| Krishnan Chatterjee
Senior Vice President and Head ─ Strategic Marketing, HCL
HCL is a leading global technology enterprise with annual revenues of U.S.$ 6.3 billion. The HCL group comprises of two companies, HCL Technologies and HCL Infosystems. With a presence in 31 countries and 92,000 employees, HCL’s offerings span research and
development (R&D) and technology services, enterprise and applications consulting, remote infrastructure management, business process outsourcing (BPO) services, IT hardware, systems integration and distribution of technology and telecom products.
Since 2008, HCL has seen tremendous growth worldwide. It is growing at 35.2 percent each year. The management realized, however, that the sales team was spending far more time on non-sales activities such as finding content in old emails, and finding the
right experts to create impactful request for proposals (RFPs) that would improve their chances of winning a contract.
HCL’s core agenda then focused on the need to eliminate all challenges from the sales process. It spent several months talking to employees to identify key challenges and imperatives, which were:
Shorten proposal cycle by culling suitable information to make proposals more persuasive
Connect experts and information seekers on an easily searchable tool
Quick on-boarding of sales representatives
Make qualified references available that can help close deals quickly
Build quality metrics in the sales processes by enabling people to connect easily with assets and experts
Connect sales and marketing teams working in silos
Well known for its innovative initiatives, HCL undertook an ambitious goal to create a platform that would deliver the precise knowledge, content, experts and collaboration to its large, global workforce.
During the evaluation, HCL realized that off-the-shelf products could not deliver the functionality and collaboration expected. “What we needed was to bring elements of enhanced collaboration, improved time-to-market, and sharing best practices among the
sales and marketing users, all of which would benefit the organization as a whole,” says Manoj Kumbhat, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, HCL.
SharePoint Server Implementation
HCL’s Enterprise Information Solutions (EIS) team developed the solution on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007. The first version, called Wikiportal, launched in 2008, delivered a robust content management system with unique collaboration features. Says Manoj,
“Microsoft SharePoint Server gave what our sales teams needed, which was to improve employee productivity. So, when SharePoint Server 2010 was launched, we decided to upgrade to benefit from the new functionality. Integration with Lync and SalesForce Automation
(SFA) were other big wins for this implementation. All this further brought Wikiportal at the center of all collaboration.”
||With 300 top customers and more as references, HCL was able to influence deals worth US$ 1.5 billion last year, playing a pivotal role in 23 percent of our overall booking. It resulted in an increased bid-to-win ratio of 80 percent
over the average HCL ratio.
| Apurva Chamaria
Head ─ Sales Excellence, HCL
The migration was a big exercise. A team of 30 people focused on various executive, strategic and tactical roles to implement the solution over six months. “A well-executed change management plan, accompanied by strategic guidance and executive sponsorship
contributed to the success of the implementation,” comments Manoj Kumbhat, CIO, HCL.
The change management focused on training the team to ensure smooth migration, tutorials and constant communication with employees to ensure quick and easy adoption, accompanied by constant feedback through surveys and SharePoint Web Analytics to assess
To minimize impact, HCL used a hybrid approach. It continued to offer content access while it upgraded the server farm. The team deployed three SharePoint web front-end (WFE), each also acting as a query server ─ with two application servers for indexing
and handling core SharePoint services. In addition, it added a Storage Area Network (SAN) and a SQL Server cluster for content database.
Connecting Third-Party Line-of-Business Applications
HCL customized SharePoint to integrate Wikiportal with line-of-business applications, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and its enterprise user profiling solution. It also integrates with global social media
tools such as Twitter and Crush (external vendor that provides in-depth sales intelligence reports). “The integration ensures that Wikiportal is the simplest way to manage and improve the sales cycle and benefits over 10,000 employees across sales, marketing
and other related roles,” explains Bhawna Narula, Operations Director, Enterprise Information Solutions, HCL.
Access control is maintained centrally using roles-based access; therefore, the system automatically identifies which employee should get what level of access across the portal.
The portal is actually a combination of nine sub-products, each contributing to the sales process. Likewise, more than 50 teams are responsible for providing content and ensuring veracity. “The platform allows access to structured data and unstructured information
through social and collaborative features such as tagging, wikis, blogs, discussion forums, expertise locations, social networks, and more,” states Shakti Srivastava, Product Manager, Sales Excellence, HCL.
Some of the major features include:
Enterprise Search: Delivers results using keywords, user-generated tags (folksonomy) and taxonomy. The portal currently holds more than 1200 GB of content and facilitates more than 600 search queries per day. The search sees high traffic
with an average of 140,000 visits per quarter.
Power Search: Built on FAST search, this facilitates a quick preview of documents on the browser without downloading them. There are deep refinement options to do a search- within-search to get fast results
and search based on social tags. Visual “best bets” together with contextual search creates a unique behavior. It also enables taxonomy-based refinement and creating a dictionary of keywords along with their synonyms so that people can search in the language
My Site: One of the major business needs of the sales organization is to find the right people. This was enabled for the sales community with a platform called “My Site.” By integration with the organization’s
wide user profiling system, most of the essential properties such as the past and present experience, projects, skills and expertise, along with their key milestones and future goals are updated in My Site so that the relevant content is available for searching.
This user profiling system is integrated with the Twitter and blogging platforms of the users, so that the tacit knowledge is available for the larger sales community.
Reference Management System (RMS): A custom solution, it maps prospects with existing customers to create a reference to help closure of a deal. Search for references in the second generation
include 18 parameters. The stakeholders get to know impact through SharePoint Designer-based, workflow-triggered emails. It also integrates with the customer advisory forum, central analyst team and with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution to track
the total contract value (TCV), ensuring consistency and integrity of information on deals.
Expert Exchange: An elite forum, Expert Exchange brings subject matter experts in direct contact with employees to answer critical business queries. It currently has 400+ experts. It seamlessly combines with My Site to bring
information and experts together by extending the SharePoint discussion thread along with the customized workflows.
“We are proud to say that Wikiportal has won the InformationWeek 500, 2011 award for the most innovative usage of business technology and helped us increase sales productivity by connecting the global sales team with the right information and people within
minutes,” acknowledges Apurva Chamaria, Director, Head ─ Sales Excellence, HCL.
After successful implementation, the team at HCL is already gearing up for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013. It is currently creating a migration plan and running some pilots to get a better understanding of the new version. It expects to complete the migration
by the end of the year. The innovative features in areas such as search, social mobility, analytics and records management will be deployed to extend the features of Wikiportal.
Used globally by 10,000 employees across entire sales team, sales support, pre-sales marketing team and the senior management, Wikiportal is the one-stop-shop for all sales related activities at HCL. Wikiportal captures discrete events across the sales processes
that were missed earlier. The company acknowledges improvement in operational efficiency and productivity coupled with higher revenue and faster deal closure rate.
|Search/ Find Buddies
|| • Heavily customized, user friendly front end feature of the portal
• Displays information and search results
• Integrates search with CRM, makes deal information available on Wikiportal
Integrates with user profiling system for auto profile updates
• Searches and updates essential information such as the past, present experience, projects etc. to My Site
• Integration with Twitter and blogging platforms allows knowledge sharing at large scale
• Facilitates interaction with recognized experts of their field
• Experts receive questions directly in their Inbox by following the link to Expert Exchange and respond
|| • Uses SharePoint blogs to share and learn from win summaries, executive stories, reusable components
|Reference Management System (RMS)
|| • Allows access to most relevant references for a prospect deal, e.g., customer, analyst, C-level
• References include video, text, call, and face-to-face
• Ensures mapping of a prospect with an existing client to facilitate quick deal closures
• Integration with CRM and ERP delivers status trackers to prevent overuse of account references.
|| • Extends out-of-the-box Information Management Policy to create automatic archival process
• Refreshes and updates the content
Enhances Sales Productivity
Sales Excellence Team at HCL internalizes and practices the 5-pronged strategy for effective sales enablement and excellence. Each prong of this multi-pronged strategy impacts a key aspect of sales productivity management, including revenue growth, reducing
cost of sales, cutting short sales cycle, increasing win rate, among others. Out of these key areas, Wikiportal directly impacts three of them – reducing cost of sales, cutting short sales cycle, and improving win rate. Says Krishnan Chatterjee, Senior Vice
President & Head ─ Strategic Marketing, “In the very first year of launch, we had 100 percent of the target audience on Wikiportal. Reponses to customer queries and RFPs were faster, thus reducing the overall sales cycle by 30 percent for a large deal.”
It simplifies processes like Reference Management across the board, adding value at every stage of the sales cycle. The Reference Management System influenced U.S.$ 2.5 billion worth of deals in the pipeline by streamlining and providing the most relevant
references for the deals.
Improves Global Communication
The reach and use of Wikiportal is evident from over 1.6 million page views compared to 20,000 in 2009. As far as user satisfaction is concerned, the Sales Excellence Team conducts a quarterly survey and Wikiportal’s satisfaction reached 3.9 out of five.
Apart from access to information, the ease with which they find and collaborate with peers and experts is extraordinary. “Employees no longer speculate where and how to find the people of desired expertise,” says Shakti Srivastava, Product Manager, Sales Excellence,
HCL. The combination of Microsoft Lync and SharePoint tremendously enhances internal communication. The status and employee contact information is available immediately. “Employees now communicate directly with each other using Expert Exchange or My Site without
having to search for email addresses in Outlook. More importantly, with presence, they can start a chat or call instantaneously,” he adds.
Increases Scope for Innovation
“Connected employees exchange ideas and collaboration, thus increasing innovative initiatives across the boundaries,” says Apurva Chamaria. Head ─ Sales Excellence, HCL. “We also recognize people by sharing rewards and recognitions, which fosters others
to excel as well.”
Increases Closure Rate
RMS has a higher bid to win than HCL and the industry average. Apurva Chamaria states, “The Reference Management System really works. It motivates account managers to mobilize their customers to join the program, and increases the bid to win by 80 percent
compared to the company standard.” He also explains, “With the top 300 customers and more as references, HCL was able to influence deals worth US$ 1.5 billion last year, playing a pivotal role in 23 percent of the overall booking. It resulted in an increased
bid-to-win ratio of 80 percent over the average HCL ratio.”
Concludes Kalle Toivonen, Global Account Director, HCL Europe, “I find the reference management tool on Wikiportal very useful, both in terms of managing reference requests and requesting references. No more wondering who to contact, or how to keep track
of multiple requests, lost in emails. It is all in one place. And, best of all, you are entitled to a reward when providing a successful reference!” This process of rewards integrates and brings on board other teams like Human Resource and Finance through
automated SharePoint Designer based workflows.
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is the business collaboration platform for the enterprise and the Web.
For more information about Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, go to:
For More Information
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