Enterprise Security Special Company Spotlight: AgeTak Mentis Software
PUBLISHED SINCE 1997
BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY IN THE U.S. & INDIA APRIL - 2009 SILICONINDIA.COM
Kapil Nanda, President & CEO
[ Cover Story ]
By Poonam Bhattacharya
nfogain’s President and CEO Kapil Nanda loves golden-haired English Setters. His pet Sketch is
gentle and affectionate and reminds one of how Infogain treats its clients. And just as how English
Setters are known for their hunting abilities, Infogain has got its act right in spotting growth oppor-
tunities and winning customers despite the slowdown. Infogain’s business from its top ten clients
has continued to grow since the beginning of the macroeconomic downturn. Also, the services
company headquartered in the Silicon Valley (Los Gatos, California) has not lost clients but instead its
clientele has grown to close to 100. And Nanda insists that the performance stellar, given the times we are
going through has very little to do with the competitive rates Infogain offers its clients.
Quick Facts www.infogain.com
US based, Privately Owned Application Management Services
1000+ Employees in US, UK & India Partnerships with Technology Vendors
Worldwide Presence and Delivery Capability Referenced client Base
Sales Offices in Los Gatos (HQ), Irvine, Austin, Industry focus on: Enterprise, Retai,l
Dallas, London Software services, Claims Management
Development Centers in India (New Delhi and State-of-the-Art Facilities & Infrastructure
Pune) CMM L5 Quality Certification
Fortune 1000 Customers Ranked ‘Top 15 Exciting Emerging Companies
Extended Enterprise Services to Work for’
Product Engineering Services
Instead, he attributes Infogain’s success to the relation- The company’s mission statement, which says, “Our
ship his company shares with the clients. Over the past 18 goal is to understand your business, share a common busi-
People: The Super Achievers The Dualshore Model
years, Infogain has acquired customers through its perfect ness goal with you, and help you reach your objectives. We Infogain's dual-shore delivery
understanding of the business elements of its customers’ People, processes, and technology make a product, but the most
value the long-term relationship we create with our cus- model, says Eddie Chandhok, Pres-
important part of the equation is people. Eddie Chandhok, Presi- ident of Infogain’s Global Delivery,
products and their business landscape. Today, says Nanda, dent of Infogain’s Global Delivery, says that being self-driven and tomers and ultimately become an extension of your busi- ensures more returns over the
Infogain is what can be termed a development-to- smart with the right attitude are the ideal traits in a prospective ness,” bears witness to Nanda’s opinion. long term.
deployment company. employee. “During discussions with cus-
“One of our biggest accomplishments over the past couple of tomers, our thrust is not on cost,
Companies tend to outsource if it helps them years has been upgrading our training programs. We now hold “When we work with a client, servicing a specific but on value,” says Chandhok. The
training assessment fairs focusing on a given technology. In the fair company places senior people,
improve the time to market, not just because a technical leader gives each employee a personal evaluation of any
part of its business process, we try to under generally domain experts, on site;
someone offers to do the same thing at a gaps between his or her skills and what the market is demanding stand the impact the process has on the rest of these experts interact with cus-
today and what is needed to progress the employee’s career. The tomers to understand their pain
lesser cost employee then signs up for training to put him or her on the cut- the business. Based on that, we develop tools, points on a regular basis.
ting edge of technology, which is good for both the employee and deploy them and integrate them with the other The forked approach has a
Infogain. multiplier effect, says Chandhok.
“When we work with a client servicing a specific part “We would love to pack the entire team with super achiev- business systems in the company" And while it is easy to discount this as mere talk, he says that the
of its business process, we try to understand the impact the ers,” Chandhok says, “but that is never possible. We take people company has data to prove the efficiency of the model.
with the right intrinsic characteristics, and with the right training In fact, measuring the RoI for customers is one of the key de-
process will have on the rest of the business. Based on that, make them super achievers and thereby build high performance As a result of such ‘extensions of businesses’, Infogain liverables of Infogain. This is done in two ways: measuring efficiency
we develop tools, deploy them, and integrate them with the teams.” acquired expertise in providing outsourced application man- in terms of mapping the time, money, and manpower devoted to a
other business systems in the company,” says Nanda, ex- At Infogain, employees become part of our global family. They have agement; product development, application software im- project while the project is with Infogain and also while it is not. In-
plaining how his company is different from the services be- access to global career opportunities with Infogain's presence in
plementation, and building integration solutions at client fogain’s RoI measurement also considers effectiveness, by mapping
the U.S., U.K., the Middle East, and India, and onsite opportunities the level of customer satisfaction.
hemoths that restrict their presence to the specific projects to work with our clients across the globe. companies. As their business widened and the India story Its India delivery center has solid experience with significant en-
they handle. The 1,000-strong company has day care centers for its employees’ started gaining ground around ten years ago, the company gineering programs, a seasoned engineering staff, and established
“We are a long-term partner, and our clients look at us children, and has a pro-active career development and mentoring opened its first delivery center in Noida in 1996. This was processes, says Chandhok. Current productivity levels are deter-
that way,” he says, describing the company he started in the system. These training programs differ from the ones that are of-
followed by another development center in Pune, acquired mined at the outset of each program, and they target achievement
fered by their competitors. While some competition may keep em- of higher levels within a six months period. Infogain's guarantee is a
early ’90s.Infogain has built deep domain knowledge over ployees in a given role for years on end to avoid ‘rocking the boat’, just last year. It also has global footprints in the U.K. and 30 percent increase in productivity with equal or better product
the years in four specific verticals: retail, Infogain actually works together with its clients and jointly plans the Middle East. quality.
the claims processing area of the career progression for Infogain team members. Over the years, presence in multiple locations has be-
insurance industry, enter- come one of the key assets of the company. Unlike com- to add value to the client’s business. Since coming on board
prise, and independent petitors in the services space, which have 99 percent of their Infogain, he has taken that philosophy forward. “When we
software vendors “But we were dedicated to engineering. We resources offshore in, say India, and one percent of the re- talk to clients, we talk not only about the project on the table,
(ISV) and software understood that companies tend to outsource sources onsite in the U.S., Infogain’s presence is spread but also other areas of the business and the challenges they
as a service if it helps them increase their speed to mar- more equally. Prospective clients, therefore, are far less wary face,” says Allen.
(SaaS) compa- ket, not just because someone offers to do about outsourcing critical components of their business to He says that their retail knowledge and experience with
nies. And un- the same thing at a lesser cost. We Infogain. “They don’t have to worry about which number Oracle Retail products help win trust and business from cus-
derlining all wanted to win the trust of our clients to call, and what time zone to adhere to. We are always tomers. “We have a unique capability to consult on retail
its relation- and build long-term rela- within their reach,” reasons out Nanda. best practices as well as ability to leverage our advanced
ships has tionships,” says Nanda. engineering skills when we work with clients. That puts
been flexi- Database companies Focus on Retail us in a unique position.”
bility, com- like Informix, Sybase, Uni- Infogain started focusing on retail as an area of ex- Nanda says that clients who are with Infogain
mitment, fied, and Oracle were pertise about five years ago. What helped the would probably need more than two vendors to
and mutual among Infogain’s early company garner clients instantly was the pres- manage their business if they were not with Info-
understand- clients, and were followed ence of industry veterans in its team. The story gain.
ing. by the CRM companies like about how they joined Infogain is fascinat- “For instance, large retail companies have
Siebel, Clarify, and People- ing. legacy solutions, and they try to extract max-
Two Way Soft. Infogain’s Vice President and General imum value out of them. Making legacy
Communication “Working with these compa- Manager, Retail Business Practice, Ray solutions work seamlessly with new sys-
“Getting started in engi- nies helped us understand the Allen, began his association with In- tems involves heavy integration work
neering outsourcing was chal- inner working of their products, fogain as a satisfied customer with and could be very difficult if one has
lenging,” says Nanda. He started his thereby deepening our knowledge. We 360Commerce. Ray, who was a no background knowledge,” quips
company in the ’90s, when competitors like also worked on implementations at end- Vice President with Oracle after Nanda. His company has, on sev-
TCS, Infosys, and Wipro were courting big companies users of the products, and that broadened our it acquired 360Commerce, was eral occasions, developed appli-
in the U.S. with a value proposition based on economy. picture,” says the CEO. impressed by Infogain’s ability cations for legacy integration.
April 2009 siliconindia
The company has a framework that allows adding modern “Our clients have also rolled back portions of such cap-
store system functionalities such as e-receipt to existing tured information to their clients, which in turn has made
At the Helm of Affairs: Kapil Nanda
legacy systems. Infogain counts several large retailers the insurance company’s client relationships more robust,” Kapil Nanda moved to the U.S. in 1968 after his undergraduate
among its clients. Nanda says the list includes ‘a $10 billion opines Gramling. studies. He earned an MS at the University of Kansas, and then
his MBA at the University of Southern California.
retailer with multiple brands’ and ‘a large electronics goods After graduating, he joined the Burroughs Corporation.
chain’. Tech Competencies Nanda joined Intel in 1974, when it was still a semicon-
But so do players like Infosys and Wipro, where’s the Most of Infogain’s early customers were in the database ductor company. Through Nanda’s years in the company, the
difference between them and Infogain, one might ask? and CRM space, and a vast majority of them have since shift within Intel from a semiconductor company to a micro-
processor firm happened. This gave Nanda exposure to the sys-
Nanda is quick to answer. “They surely can, and do been acquired by Oracle. The company therefore, by de- tem side of the business, while architecting and programming
come in, as approved outsourcers of projects. But when fault, is strongly aligned with Oracle’s tool set. This means microprocessors.
clients want specific point solutions, they look to commu- that it is conversant with many of Oracle’s products, rang- Seven years into Nanda’s stint with
nicate with experts. Not only do we have experts who have ing from database to middleware to applications including Intel, another wave hit the industry; mi-
croprocessor-based multi-user systems
considerable experience of working in the retail space on EBS, Peoplesoft, Siebel, and Oracle Retail. came into being, and Nanda played a hands-
board, an added advantage with us is that clients do not The long association with Oracle has put Infogain in a on role in the transition.
have to deal with a huge bureaucracy. CIOs are at ease unique position; this assumes more importance given Or- This gave him an idea about how sys-
when working with us,” he claims. acle’s recent emphasis on Fusion middleware transition. tems are constructed. Working with dy-
namic people like Microsoft’s Bill Gates
Also, says Allen, Infogain helps clients deploy best “We are among the very few partners who transitioned helped, says Nanda. Intel was one of the earli-
practices from across the from BEA to Oracle,” says Nanda. est customers of Microsoft Corporation.
world. For instance, when tomer transaction side, which are typically large projects Infogain is, as a result of its expertise in Oracle tech In the ’90s, Nanda was called
a retailer wanted to adopt and also highly prone to risks. Our track record and the stack, involved in identity management and master data upon by his friends to start a new
business. His interactions with VCs
a new payment solution, spectrum of work we have done in the space helps take the management along with BI for many of its clients. Info- while at Intel, and also his serving in
Allen’s team first gave risk out,” he says. gain has experience in Oracle’s BI product, OBIEE, and a number of VCs as a limited part-
them a lowdown of the recently hosted a BI forum to discuss and evaluate the ner, helped him figure out the avail-
different payment options Insurance, Incidentally product. ability of funds. He gained an
understanding of the market require-
from across the globe: en- Glenn Gramling, Senior Vice President of Sales and Mar- Over the years, Infogain has also built skill sets with ments and plunged into starting Info-
cryption system like the keting, Infogain, says that the company entered the in- Siebel, OnPremise, and SaaS versions. It has created serv- gain. In less than two decades, Infogain
ones used by European surance vertical incidentally through a client. ices for the customer support area and, as Nanda says, is has become one of the most admired
companies, debit facility “A large insurance company brought us in to provide also uniquely positioned to provide long-term application companies in the IT services world.
from Canada, chip system them with integration capability. In turn, we ended up ex- management for the solutions.
from the U.K., et al. Allen panding; leveraging our skill set in QA and testing. We “We provide performance management and long-term What has helped Infogain through the years, and in-
says that his team has subsequently extended our involvement to development application support, along with deployment services,” he creasingly now, is its forked presence, in the U.S. and
often enabled solutions and application management as well. stresses. “Our flexi-model approach enables the customer India. Presence in the U.S. has helped mitigate a large part
Glenn Gramling that were not otherwise The breadth of experience of that encounter gave In- to dynamically adjust his portfolio of app management of the clients’ fears and win their trust, while the India con-
present in the U.S. mar- fogain in-depth knowledge about the insurance vertical. skills as his needs change.” nection has helped rope in a 1,000-strong talent pool while
ket. It has since built its strength in the claims processing keeping the cost manageable.
“We have an unique capa-
In addition, the com- area, both in claims management product development Weathering Rough winds Going ahead, Infogain seeks to align itself to changes
bility to consult on best
practices as well has ability pany also has deep ex- and in providing services to claims management compa- The honchos at Infogain say that the company is relatively in the technology cycle. It seeks to enhance its integration
to leverage our advanced pertise in Oracle stores nies. doing well in the face of the global economic downturn. technologies and evolve with Oracle’s technology direc-
space, merchandising, “Claims processing might seem like a small and sim- This is more so because Infogain has kept up its strategy of tion. Nanda also sees the company playing a big role at
ple thing, but it isn’t,” Nanda says. It involves payments clients transitioning to Web 2.0, characterized by rich In-
engineering skills when we
work with clients. at puts and integration of all this customer engagement, providing executive level attention
with middleware compo- to multiple claimants; also, fraud is a major concern. In- and responsiveness to changing customer needs even mid- ternet apps and user experience.
nents. Some of its recent fogain’s past experience in other industries enables the stream in the service delivery process. The company has Clients have also started looking at the pay-as-you-go
us in a unique position.”
projects in retail include company to provide data pattern recognition and fraud won over tier1 competitors by combining this responsive- model, and Nanda is mulling starting that service to boost
full implementations of Oracle Retail Suite, including detection systems yielding an immediate RoI to claims ness with its technical expertise, be it in technology area, customer numbers and trust. He also sees a lot of potential
ORPOS (Oracle Retail Point-of-Sale) and ORMS (Oracle processors. business processes, or deployment, as the need may be. spending in the healthcare segment, in terms of hospital
Retail Merchandising System). It has also recently imple- Infogain also offers other business intelligence solu- In cases where the company approaches small to records and electronic data integration.
mented Retek in the front end and Oracle Financials in the tions for claims processors. Many companies in this medium sized firms, it brings the big-picture consultative The economic downturn too has led to a new business
back end, handling tricky integration issues and impress- space are trying to understand what is happening, says approach on stream. In such arrangements Infogain fo- prospect, in a way, for Infogain. Clients are now looking
ing observers in the industry. Gramling. Insurance companies need business intelli- cuses on evaluating and providing a vision for the clients’ at SaaS, in effect migrating to new business models to
Nanda offers a simple reasoning as to why retail has be- gence to understand their claims exposure and the pro- evolving IT landscape, and Nanda says that Infogain beats suit the economic condition. Nanda has his eyes set on
come one of the key growth areas for the company in recent cessing time for claims. Such information help insurance competition in such cases on the basis of its ‘long-term’ these waves; always a skillful player, he has his sail set
times. “Most of the challenge for retailers is on the cus- companies understand their business better. argument. for a long haul. si
April 2009 siliconindia