4-page Case Study - Posted 3/27/2012
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Mindtree

IT Services Firm Consolidates Content Management, Improves Employee Productivity with a Unified Corporate Portal

 
Customer Solution Case Study


IT Services Firm Consolidates Content Management, Improves Employee Productivity with a Unified Corporate Portal

Overview
Country or Region
: India
Industry: IT Services

Customer Profile
MindTree Ltd is a global IT solutions company specializing in IT and R&D services. It employs more than 10,000 people in 23 offices around the world.

Business Situation
MindTree had a plethora of intranet applications and portals which were developed at different points in time on different technologies with varied user interfaces. This made it difficult for new employees to locate/share information or transact with ease.

Solution
MindTree created PeopleHub, a unified corporate intranet portal, using Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. It is an intuitive, ubiquitous portal that seamlessly brings intranet transactions and knowledge management content to the knowledge worker.

Benefits
• Drives consolidation of point solutions
• Reduces response time to 2-3 seconds
• Promotes a sense of community with a social network

With SharePoint Server 2010, we have an intranet solution that supports enterprise content management, application development, and collaboration—all in one. I personally think that it will enable at least 15 minutes, if not more, of productivity improvement per person per day at MindTree.” Sudhir Kumar Reddy, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, MindTree Ltd.

MindTree, an IT services company that delivers affordable business and technology solutions through global software development, were in search of a system that would make it easier for employees to work together and share knowledge across geographic and business boundaries. The company chose Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for building PeopleHub, a unified corporate intranet portal that extends to employees across the organization. There is now a single access point to all application content, transactions, and information sources. The portal offers a personalized user experience along with integration with SAP and knowledge management applications. It crawls about 8-10 TB of data and has an average of 1,500 hits per day. In addition, the integration with FAST Search helps deliver faster, accurate, and relevant information to employees. Response time has now come down to 2-3 seconds. Enhanced social networking capabilities create a sense of community and promote cross-unit collaboration. 

 
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* FAST Search integrated with PeopleHub helps users search for content across different sources from a single search box. Improved and customized search scopes yield more accurate and useful results. *

Sharmila Prakash, Project Manager, MindTree
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Situation
MindTree Ltd is a global IT solutions company that provides offshore software development, product engineering, and outsourcing services on a global delivery platform. Started in 1999, the company is headquartered in Bangalore, India. It has six development centers in India and 23 offices spread across Asia, Europe, and the United States. The company recorded an annual sales revenue of U.S.$ 331 million in the last financial year.

MindTree already had intranet, SAP, and knowledge management portals, which provided employees access to a variety of transactions, content, and tools. The company had about 48+ applications on the intranet site, all individually branded. Apart from running on different technologies (ASP, .NET, and Java) these applications had different user interfaces and menu structures. They existed as silos, so interoperability, maintenance, and updates were a problem. Single point of entry, role based authentication, and single sign-on were missing. “While information access was quirky and cumbersome, and existing employees knew how to navigate in that landscape,” says Ajay Mittal, GM Corporate Applications, MindTree, “for new employees it was a painful and difficult task. They had to be educated on where to go for what.”

MindTree’s ERP, called mPower, was powered by SAP. This was accessed through a separate portal and had a different look and feel for the end user.
While distinct boundaries existed and user manuals clearly stated where to go for what, employees felt that there was needless complexity in the era of touch, search, and mobility.

Search performance and speed was also inadequate. Searching through multiple repositories of data was a laborious task . “Search had to be relevant, intuitive, and refinable so that people could find accurate, fresh, and relevant content quickly,” says Sharmila Prakash, Project Manager, MindTree. “With no integrated search facility, we were doing a basic people search, which did not meet our needs satisfactorily.”

So, when MindTree embarked on this journey towards a unified portal platform, enterprise search capability was deemed a fundamental building block, one that was a key to the successful adoption of the platform.

Konnect - MindTree's Social Networking Platform
Konnect - MindTree 


Solution
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* How we handled SAP integration was also economical and quick *

Sudhir Reddy, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, MindTree
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MindTree found a solution with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and its FAST Search capabilities. “We wanted to deliver a personalized user experience coupled with search capabilities tailored and scaled to meet the needs of our enterprise, and SharePoint Server delivered it all,” says Sudhir Reddy, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, MindTree.
The new platform, PeopleHub, offered a personalized user experience and a single window to key applications. Integrated with SAP and knowledge management applications, it delivered a useful search experience and was more intuitive. More importantly, this is the only portal that will be available, with all application identities being dissolved.
It took a team of approximately 35 employees and a period of nine months (from concept to implementation) to make this portal live.

We customized the PeopleHub environment to reflect the MindTree brand (Differentiated, Employee Centric, and Productive),” says Vinay Dixit, User Experience Lead, MindTree. “We try to make it easy for users to jump right in and find the activities or communities that they want to engage in. Making PeopleHub user friendly, simple, intuitive, and personalized was our primary goal.”

How we handled SAP integration was also economical and quick,” says Sudhir Reddy. “We could have taken a laborious and rather expensive approach to writing web services for all relevant SAP transactions. Instead, we ensured that the menu structure, navigation, and style guide were kept intact on the enterprise portal as well, and passed connections back and forth between Netweaver and SharePoint as needed. This reduced duplication of effort and allowed us to launch a unified portal in a shorter time frame.”

Search Screen
Search Screen

All authorizations have been consolidated into Active Directory so that permissions and single sign-on can be managed centrally.

MindTree also implemented Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint. “FAST Search integrated with PeopleHub helps users search for content across different sources from a single search box,” says Sharmila Prakash. “Improved and customized search scopes yield more accurate and useful results.”

Today, with approximately 50 applications behind it, the portal has five microsites and expects another 10 in the coming quarter.

PeopleHub was designed to integrate social networking capabilities of SharePoint Server 2010, such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, bookmarks, and communities. Pulse, a twitter equivalent, is also a hit among employees.

Today, if your PeopleHub profile is up to date, people can find you easily and instantly reach out to you on your areas of expertise. It promotes visibility and ensures maximum utilization of your skills.

People can follow your blogs or discussion threads. They can be alerted if tagged words show up in Pulse or other social mediums. The leadership team has made this a mandatory channel for communication with MindTree minds. Various events such as KYL (Know Your Leader) or organization changes/announcements and quarterly results routinely happen on social channels.

PeopleHub Communities
PeopleHub Communities
Road Ahead
We intend to strengthen the PeopleHub platform significantly by adding the following features in the months to come:
Video on demand: This will be MindTree’s own video space. People will be able to upload various videos by filling required fields (Meta data) on the upload template. These could be self-help videos, technology, marketing, plain hobbies, or communities. These videos will be searchable, embeddable in discussion forums, and also allow users to rate the content. So, if a video has poor ratings and hasn’t been looked up by anyone in the last three months, the search engine will archive it.
U drive (personal network storage) and G drive (group/project network storage): These will move to SharePoint Folders and will be accessible from PeopleHub, using a browser. In addition, this will be enabled using Office Web Apps, which will allow MindTree minds to access any file from any location on any device.
Search enabling various applications: Search will be used as a key component in designing and building applications/customized content streams going forward.
Federation of search: MindTree minds will be able to search internal data sources and external data for given key words or phrases by clicking on a radio button.
Browser/device agnostic portal (HTML5): The entire portal will be HTML5 compliant allowing browser and device independence.
Cloud integration: The platform will allow portability of applications, thereby allowing for seamless migration of applications in the back end to a hosted facility.



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* Our goal was to bring employees together using various modes of communication. The social networking tools in SharePoint Server 2010 mean better sharing of information, which in turn saves time and money, and furthers innovation *

Sagar Paul, Head – Knowledge Management Function, MindTree
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PeopleHub averages about 3,000 hits daily for an employee strength of 10,900. With 2,000 blogs and growing, 1,300 active discussion threads and growing, 100 wikis, and 60 communities, the company has a robust and busy portal platform. The average hit ratio per day grew from 2,250 to 3,000 in a span of six months as more and more employees made it their landing page and figured ways of getting things done quicker.

We now have a unified platform across the board for transactions, content, and social networking,” says NS Parthasarathy, Chief Operating Officer, MindTree. “The new environment encourages information sharing through its ease of use, boosts efficiency, and has resulted in higher employee satisfaction. Separation of UI from the application layer allows us to transition applications seamlessly in the backend, thus minimizing issues related to change management for end users.”

Benefits
By creating a unified portal using Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, MindTree has given its employees instant, targeted access to required documents and expertise, which helps them make decisions and execute projects faster. In addition, the company is using its social network to help employees form social connections and improve collaboration.

Drives Consolidation of Point Solutions
By using FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, MindTree has made it possible for its employees to find information stored in different content sources. It crawls about 8-10 TB of data and has 1,500 average hits per day. It is fine-tuned to not only bring up the best hits in a logical order, but also create groupings of multiple results (refiners).

“Earlier we had trouble finding the relevant information. For example, a search on ‘Holiday Calendar’ or ‘Vacation Policy’ would return documents and links which were not context or location aware. Employees would have to figure out the correct calendar or vacation policy for their regions or geography,” comments Babuji Abraham, Head – People Function, MindTree. “However, FAST Search delivers appropriate content due to intelligence related to context, location, role and several other corporate attributes.”

Reduces Response Time to 2-3 Seconds
MindTree had already started seeing performance related issues while accessing the earlier portal. Now, with PeopleHub, the response time, which earlier used to be 8-10 seconds depending on the application, has come down to 2-3 seconds.
Know your Leader
Know Your Leader
 
Promotes a Sense of Community with a Social Network
Social collaboration gives MindTree employees a new way to engage, learn, and disseminate information. By supporting the use of social networking tools, such as blogs and wikis, PeopleHub encourages employees to connect with each other and create their own sense of community. “Our goal was to bring employees together using various modes of communication,” explains Sagar Paul, Head – Knowledge Management Function, MindTree. “The social networking tools in SharePoint Server 2010 mean better sharing of information, which in turn saves time and money, and furthers innovation.”

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is the business collaboration platform for the Enterprise and the Internet.

For more information about Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, go to:
www.microsoft.com/sharepoint

 
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 3900 employees

Organization Profile

MindTree Ltd is a global IT solutions company specializing in IT and R&D services. It employs more than 10,000 people in 23 offices around the world.


Business Situation

MindTree had a plethora of intranet applications and portals which were developed at different points in time on different technologies with varied user interfaces. This made it difficult for new employees to locate/share information or transact with ease.


Solution

MindTree created PeopleHub, a unified corporate intranet portal, using Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. It is an intuitive, ubiquitous portal that seamlessly brings intranet transactions and knowledge management content to the knowledge worker.


Benefits

  • Drives consolidation of point solutions
  • Reduces response time to 2-3 seconds
  • Promotes a sense of community with a social network

    The company chose Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for building PeopleHub, a unified corporate intranet portal that extends to employees across the organization. There is now a single access point to all application content, transactions, and information sources.


Hardware
• 3 web servers
• 2 application servers
• 2 database servers
• 2 FAST search servers

Software and Services
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
  • Microsoft SharePoint technologies
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 For Sharepoint

Vertical Industries
IT Services

Country/Region
India

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Enterprise Web and Search

IT Issue
  • Digital Content Management
  • Document and Records Management
  • Personal Productivity
  • Integration with SAP

Languages
English

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