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Forrester Groundswell Awards 2011

Innovation at HCL

Innovation @ HCL works at two levels

  1. At the grassroots level, Ideapreneurs (the name shared by all HCL employees) have the Value Portal, a platform for the employees, to collaborate, innovate and lead the implementation of their ideas to deliver value to the customers. The Portal brings together people from two organizations (service provider and customer), from multiple groups (like from multiple technology groups but working for the same customer), from multiple locations (distributed workforce), and multiple domains (sometimes, for cross domain best practices) to enable sharing of knowledge, ideas and solutions to address common goals/problems.
  2. Successful implementations of innovative ideas are then celebrated across the organization through the MAD JAM (Make A Difference JAMboree) program that showcases the innovation to all other Ideapreneurs.

Service Providers and Customers Co-Innovating

It is a unique example of a collaborative setting which brings together not just the employees of HCL, but also the employees of customer organizations, to share the common goal of co-creating value.

At HCL, we believe that the value zone lies at the interface of HCL's employees and customer employees - where the understanding of actual pain points and the knowledge/ skill/ motivation of addressing them is greatest.

A traditional service provider setting does not allow for such collaboration among internal groups/external customer groups beyond the contractual scope of work. The portal brings together the employees to share ideas and help bring cost optimization, reduce cycle time, improve processes, and further develop tools and technical solutions to better serve the customers they work with. The entire process is workflow-based—linking project and related master data attributes in an SAP (ERP) platform.

Here is how the innovation process works:

  1. The ideas raised by employees go through workflow cycles (including being passed through the HCL's Customer Advocacy Group for suggestions) and are shared with customers for feedback and approval.
  2. Estimates on cost and expected value generation are projected and some are chosen for implementation.
  3. The shortlisted ideas are given guidance and mentorship for its successful implementation
  4. The ideas are co-created and co-implemented with a very tight collaboration among working group members and hence it becomes much easier for the customer to measure the value realized and sign off the savings achieved through such initiative

Forrester Groundswell Awards 2011

The following are the most innovative aspects of the project to come out of using the portal technology.

  1. Enables employees to provide customers with clear visibility of the product or solution by proactively identifying problems and providing a platform where improvements can be made – and predefined by quality, timeline and available budgets.
  2. Gives employees a transparent view of how personal ideas are perceived by customers, and rewards employees whose ideas are implemented into customer organizations.
  3. Grants HCL’s customers access to an HCL portal to provide feedback directly to HCL employees.
  4. Extends the collaboration beyond HCL – to bring in fresh ideas and feedback from the customer organizations.
  5. The value portal is aimed at creating value/competitive advantage for the customer organization keeping the entire ecosystem of customers’ customer and customers’ competition into consideration
The Value Portal is a prime example of HCL’s efforts to give employees a voice and an environment in sharing the strategic direction of the customer organizations they work with.

The Value Portal began as a pilot for four HCL customers and has since been rolled out to all HCL customers due to its success in generating strategic feedback and the positive response from HCL’s customers.

An example of Value Portal’s Outcome: A recent initiative launched through the portal ‘MAD JAM’

Ideas fuel change, progress, evolution and sometimes, revolutions. At HCL, people who come up with such ideas are often called MAD. Make A Difference Jamboree or MAD JAM stands to celebrate this very MADness, this all-consuming passion to Make A Difference.

MAD JAM 2010 is focused on celebrating Innovation i.e. recognizing, rewarding and celebrating the innovations which have already been implemented between 1st JAN 2010 – 31st DEC 2010 and the Transformers who have made it possible.

The program got 377 innovative solutions ideas that were developed and implemented successfully at the customer end from seven lines of businesses across HCL. The solutions were explained in a case study format.

These 377 entries were then rated by a panel of business leaders on parameters ranging from revenue impact, innovation, and team work among others. From this list the TOP 18 ideas progressed to the next round where idea films were made for the idea teams to showcase and seek votes from fellow Ideapreneurs.

These films were screened across the organization with 20,000 Ideapreneurs voting for their favorite ideas on the company intranet. The idea with the maximum votes from each Line of Business made it to the Finale… total seven ideas and one wild card entry made up for the eight ideas for the finale.

One of the finalists aptly summarized her experience in the past six months: “MAD JAM has been like a reality TV show in the past six months that has tested us on different levels.” 

HCL Mobility Solution

Measured impact of the Value Portal

Management’s encouragement of employees in the rank-and file-positions to bring innovative thinking and strategies to improve customer-relations was the most significant aspect that contributed to the success of the Value Portal.

  • 7312 ideas generated through the value portal since beginning till 30 Jun 2011, out of which 860 ideas are already implemented till date and are in following categories:
    1. 178 ideas for new Cost Optimization measures
    2. 149 ideas for Cycle Time Reduction
    3. 259 for Process Improvement
    4. 138 for Technical Solutions
    5. 136 for Tool Development
  • Over 5000 employees are involved in idea-generation
  • 802 ideas currently being implemented
  • 522 ideas were generated (of which 140 were implemented) for a Global Fortune 500 financial institution. The sum of value delivered to this customer from these ideas was $30,610,918.
  • 17 ideas were generated (of which 5 were implemented) for one of the largest maker of security software for computers. The sum of value delivered to this customer from these ideas was $4,420,000.
  • 285 ideas were generated (of which 26 were implemented) for a leading aircraft electronics supplier. The sum of value delivered to this customer from these ideas was $3,260,780.
  • 136 ideas were generated (of which 12 were implemented) for a Global Fortune 500 Aero Manufacturing provider. The sum of value delivered to this customer from these ideas was $2,868,051
  • 198 ideas were generated (of which 70 were implemented) for one of the Global Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company. The sum of value delivered to this customer from these ideas was $2,186,988

Increased ROI to Customers

  • Value delivered by the portal on average is $15.64 million for every $1 million invested in implementation.
  • The most successful cost optimization implementation at a Global Fortune 500 financial institution returned an ROI of $21,990,000. The company had another successful cost optimization implementation which had an ROI of $3,852,807 and a very successful tool development implementation which had an ROI of $ 377,277. The total ROI on the three projects fielded through the Value Portal was $26,220,084 and the investment was just over $178,500.
  • The most successful cycle time reduction implementation at a Global Fortune 500 Aero Manufacturing company returned an ROI of $636,480. The cost of implementation on the project was $1,500.
  • A process improvement implementation fielded through the Value Portal returned an ROI of $395,000 to a global Fortune 500 product company. The cost of implementation on the project was $50,000.
  • A technical solution implementation fielded through the Value Portal returned an ROI of $1,334,732. The cost of the implementation was $ 265,268

Employee ideas generate Incremental Revenues for HCL

  • 130 of the ideas value at $4 million
  • The value pipeline is over $125 million

HCL has always focused on Employees –First as it believes that people are the most important asset to an organization and are the primary drivers of the growth of the company. HCL has continued to grow over 20% YoY even in the times of recession because of our employees’ passion for innovation. We will continue to invest in value portal, MAD JAM and many other such platforms to continue enabling the value.

For further information please contact:

Rohan Kurian Varghese
(+1) 973 2620149

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