4-page Case Study - Posted 12/10/2012
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IT Services Major Builds a Millennial Enterprise Social Platform
Virtusa Corporation is a global Information Technology (IT) services company providing IT consulting, technology and outsourcing services. Founded in 1996, Virtusa is headquartered in Massachusetts, USA. Virtusa provides high-value
IT services that enable organizations to enhance business performance, accelerate time-to-market, increase productivity and improve customer service. With over 86% of employees being ‘Millennials’, Virtusa wanted to transform the way its employees worked,
learned, shared and connected to accelerate innovation, increase collaboration and transparency and to drive productivity across the company. To make this possible, Virtusa needed a single platform that would combine the needs of enterprise collaboration and
content management with integrated social networking capabilities. With the help of Microsoft SharePoint, Virtusa created a platform that integrated a range of business and social engagement functionalities.
Virtusa Corporation is a global Information Technology (IT) services company providing IT consulting, technology and outsourcing services. Founded in 1996, Virtusa is headquartered in Massachusetts, USA. Virtusa provides high-value IT services that enable
organizations to enhance business performance, accelerate time-to-market, increase productivity and improve customer service.
||We built an engaging ‘millennial’ experience with core social capabilities using SharePoint Server. It gave us an ideal technology foundation that we could leverage on to build as we scaled
| Mr Madu Ratnayake, Vice President, Virtusa
As a young multinational organization with a large number of ‘Gen Y’ employees who are social media savvy, the company wanted to provide an engaging work environment. Its vision was to build a computing environment that closely resembles the social networking
experience that its employees have on the net with a business outcome focus. The company, therefore, wanted to build a ‘millennial’ collaboration and social enterprise platform to enhance the way people work.
As Virtusa’s headcount was increasing at a rapid rate year-on-year, it was becoming challenging to enable employees to engage with peers, share and find information and have access to experts. To overcome this, Virtusa was looking for a platform that could
empower and motivate its employees with collective wisdom, drawn from experts, past experiences and best practices.
Being in the consulting business, a large number of Virtusa’s employees were interacting with clients on a daily basis. As a lot of innovation “happened at the periphery of this interaction,” Virtusa wanted to channel that and enable this innovation to flow
rapidly to its clients and back into the organization to better engage with its clients.
In its quest to overcome these challenges, Virtusa decided to build a collaborative social platform using SharePoint.
“We wanted a platform that can provide the foundation of our social computing strategy. We wanted the social capabilities to permeate across all applications that Virtusans use as opposed to it being a place that people go to collaborate. SharePoint enabled
with FAST, Exchange, Office Web and Lynch provided us an ideal platform to build our platform,” says Mr Madu Ratnayake, Vice President at Virtusa who is responsible for the internal social business initiative.
Leveraging on the features offered by SharePoint, Virtusa built a business platform called V+.“We developed this platform to bring together our systems of records – ERP, CRM, IPM, etc. and our systems of engagement – Messaging, Search, Portals etc. - to transform
and enable our core processes to be ‘social’. For instance, we integrated our HR platform with a Virtusa built social feedback and gamification engine to transform our performance management process to a social performance engineering system,” says Mr Ratnayake.
“When you are considering adopting a social platform, it’s very crucial to think about how your ‘social graph’ (i.e. all social information such as friends, likes and profiles) can be carried across to all applications and processes where your employees work,
learn, share and connect. If your technology strategy fragments your social graph then you will lose the full power that social business enables in an organization. So it’s imperative that you carefully think about what lies beyond the simple microblogging,
wikis, portals etc. to know how you can truly transform the core business processes. We have been able to achieve this with SharePoint and a tightly integrated set of Microsoft platforms,” says Mr Ratnayake.
With its V+ platform, Virtusa has been successful in creating an engaging platform for its employees with a next-generation work experience. This has made it easy for employees to not only share knowledge but also foster a rich culture of innovation.
“Our teams who are engaged with our clients at the periphery of the organizations are the people who see the opportunities to innovate for our clients. vInnovate is the crowd sourced ideation engine of V+ built on SharePoint that enables Virtusans to
||Our teams who are engaged with our clients at the periphery of the organizations are the people who see the opportunities to innovate for our clients. vInnovate is the crowd sourced ideation engine of V+ built on SharePoint
| Mr Madu Ratnayake, Vice President, Virtusa
share ideas and have the leadership teams route them to client executives for evaluation. vInnovate enables ideas to come from every nook and corner of the organization and ensures that new ideas get picked up quickly,” says Mr Ratnayake.
Citing a specific example, he says, “we were working with a big healthcare customer in the US when one of our engineers came up with a solution that delivered a new set of services using a mobile platform. The customer liked it. We are now developing it into
a new product line for them. This is what we call connecting the periphery”.
Peer Recognition and Appreciation
With the aim to recognize and value its star performers and motivate employees, Virtusa has developed a functionality called RAVE on V+. This platform allows the end users to thank, reward and recognize contribution from co-workers.
“In the last five years, there have been over 250,000 such raves. They get rolled into performance appraisal inputs. We have combined these with gamification, badges and leader boards to further enhance social engagement,” says Mr Ratnayake.
The Next Gen Collaborative Social Platform
Virtusa has also utilized the flexibility provided by SharePoint to integrate all the productivity applications such as email, IM, Blogs, Wikis, podcasts, videos and portals together on a single platform.
“We wanted the social experience to be pervasive. Social cannot be a webpage you go to. It has to be integrated with the tools people use every day to get the work done. It must enable people to find the right inputs at the right time,” says Mr Ratnayake.
During the first month of beta launch, employees uploaded 300 videos to the video sharing platform which were viewed over 10,000 times.
Rich Interactive Knowledge Enterprise
||We will be the early adopters of the next generation of this platform – SharePoint 2013
| Mr Madu Ratnayake, Vice President, Virtusa
The enterprise search platform called Vingo, developed on SharePoint and powered by Microsoft FAST Search server has helped in delivering information, insights and expertise at the point of need.
“On the web, you remember only a handful of sites such as your bank, email or airlines. For almost everything else, you just go to a search engine. It is the same within an organization; over time a knowledge base can grow quite rapidly and you need a powerful
searching capability to be able to harness your collective wisdom. Every little piece of digital information that we have on our network is now indexed with Vingo. In the first three months of rollout we served over 100,000 search queries. With a well-defined
taxonomy, there is a lot of refinement delivered by the search experience and Vingo provides the relevant information whenever and wherever it is needed,” says Mr Ratnayake.
As the next step, Virtusa is combining SharePoint and its social analytics. “By leveraging social analytics, we will get important insights into the “mood” of the company that will help us to lead effectively and engage our employees,” says Mr Ratnayake.
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
On Virtusa’s future plans with Microsoft SharePoint, Mr Ratnayake says, “We will be the early adopters of the next generation of this platform – SharePoint 2013. We will also build more functionality on it. The new platform contributes to our Social strategy
with a lot of out-of-the-box capabilities”.
“Our vision is to transform the company at the core to become a Social Enterprise. We’ll use the SharePoint platform as one of the key enablers to drive this transformation,” adds Mr Ratnayake.
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:
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