Infosys Guns for Accenture, Deloitte, Others in Comeback
Infosys, the India-based outsourcing giant that fell on hard times a year ago, has mounted a comeback that is heavy on digital services and local hiring.
So far, the strategy appears to be working.
In fiscal 2018, sales climbed 3 percent, to nearly $11 billion, while earnings per share jumped more than 13 percent. More recently, sales jumped almost 7 percent in the company’s 2019 first fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2018.
This is a quite a turnaround from a mere few months ago when layoffs, slow growth and a management struggle engulfed the company. Things began to turn around after Infosys appointed Salil Parekh to CEO in January. Soon after, he introduced a three-year turnaround plan for the company. In year one, Infosys would embrace plans to stabilize the company, he said. In year two, it would introduce programs to build momentum and then accelerate growth in year three.
One of the pillars of the turnaround plan is something Parekh calls, “Navigate Your Next.” It’s a strategy taking agile business practices and digital services to market using Infosys’ own Nia platform.
For more on the company’s turnaround plan, which will put it in direct competition with Accenture, Deloitte and smaller MSPs and IT consultants, Channel Futures turned to Anant Adya, the senior vice president and business head for cloud, infrastructure and security services at Infosys. Adya has been with the company since 2008. Prior to that, he served as a regional practice manager at WiPro. Adya is responsible for solutions engagement and delivery for the company’s customers in the U.S. and Pacific region.
“Everyone is talking about digital transformation today,” says Adya. “But we have a plan that puts digital transformation into five different buckets for customers.”
- Accelerate a transformation to digital services.
- Innovate with emerging technologies such as IoT, blockchain, AI and more.
- Develop greater insights on customer needs by leveraging big data and machine learning.
- Create new and differentiated customer experiences with personalization, digital marketing and omnichannel initiatives.
- And, lastly, provide assurance to customers by securing their infrastructures, applications and data with rigorous testing and validation services.
Most customer engagements today revolve one or more of these buckets. And underscoring all of these services are cloud innovations. They are helping Infosys take advantage of three key trends: digital marketing, data monetization and mobility.
To make sure that it can provide these and other solutions and not get ahead of itself, Infosys has taken a long, hard look at several aspects of its business. This includes the companies it aligns with, the talent that it hires and the customers that it pursues. Take alliances.
In the last year, Infosys has made a significant effort to get closer with key cloud providers including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and Rackspace. It’s also honed its relationships with HP, Hitachi, McAfee, Symantec and Cisco. In addition to these core hardware and software relationships, it has invested a great deal of time and money to nurture relationships with niche upstarts and startups. These includes companies such as Chef and Layered Insights, just to name a few.
The new focus is essentially changing the DNA of Infosys, whose technology roots have been application development, application maintenance and business-process outsourcing. To customers, Infosys is now saying, “Yes, we can help you with all of that. But there are new ways to do things and we can help you there as well,” says Adya.
This message applies to its largest 900-or-so customers, nearly two dozen of which spend more than $100 million annually with the company. It’s also appealing to newcomers drawn to its dedication to advanced digital services. Add it all up and you begin to realize that Infosys, once known as a low-cost, offshore services company, is repositioning to compete against the likes of DXC, IBM, Accenture and Deloitte.
Another reason why Infosys is attracting greater attention is its push toward “localization.” In May 2017, for example, the company announced that it would hire 10,000 U.S. workers over the next five years. This comes after the Trump administration threatened to come down hard on companies that prioritized workers brought into the U.S. with visas. In a little more than a year, Infosys has hired more than 4,000 U.S. workers and unveiled plans to open several innovation hubs where engineers will study emerging technologies including AI and machine learning.
In Hartford, Connecticut, for example, the company has teamed with the Rhode Island School of Design to develop new customer experiences for the insurance and financial-services industry. It has similar relationships with Purdue University, the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and more.
“Infosys is no longer just an offshore company but actually one that brings a lot of talent onsite,” says Adya.
In the spirit of that evolution, Infosys has launched yet another initiative, “Zero Distance,” which is a plan to extract thought leadership and business insights from its 200,000-plus worldwide employees. More than a retraining program, the effort amounts to an attempt to change the company’s culture.
New alliances. New talent. A more inclusive workforce. While the company continues to battle with former management, it’s nonetheless moved a big step from where Infosys was just one year ago.