One idea is all it takes
Innovation has and will continue to be the force that propels us into the future, and this is most true for the tech industry, as without fresh ideas, there will be no new technology developed to serve humanity in the years to come.
This is why, our employees are our most valuable assets. We believe that every employee has the potential to come up with new products, services, and solutions and thanks to collaborative technologies—doing so has never been easier. The concept of employee innovation is not a new one, but being able to scale it seamlessly across a global company in today’s dynamic and agile world definitely is.
In this hyper-connected world, innovation can happen, literally, anywhere. A new employee might have noticed a way to improve the employee onboarding experience, a customer support associate could have an idea to reduce call time, and a Human Resources employee may have a suggestion on how to improve employee engagement. However, in many organizations, versatile employees with innovative ideas have no way to voice their ideas or find the necessary resources to execute their plans.
At HCL Technologies, innovation is not a luxury that only a few have access to; it is a business necessity and the bedrock of our future prosperity – and it all starts with just one idea.
HCL Technologies’ unique
employee-led innovation culture
Innovation is at the core of our DNA. Since 1976, thousands of ideas have been suggested by employees at all levels. And when people know they have a voice, we thrive not only as an organization but as human beings too. At HCL Technologies, we call this culture of innovation Ideapreneurship.
Ideapreneurship is based on the fundamental belief of inverting the organizational pyramid and engaging, enabling, and empowering everyone at all levels within the organization. The employees are challenged to think, look within and look into the future, to come up with solutions for operational and business challenges.
Modular Ideation Platforms
Our online ‘Ideation Platforms’ enable every employee across the world to come forward with an idea. In fact, the whole process around innovation is structured on the following models:
Rewarding ideas, and rewarding the people behind them
We believe that the best ideas must be celebrated and rewarded, and the Ideapreneurship Awards initiative is all about that. It is an event designed to spotlight ideas that have changed lives and businesses throughout the year.
Every day, our Ideapreneurs innovate and collaborate with each other and with customers to unlock limitless possibilities that push for change that matters. These are some of our stories.
A customer had been facing constant delay in request provisioning and issue resolution. This problem was causing a loss of productivity due to repeat work, and an increased in the number of escalations—which were wasting time and effort as well as negatively impacting revenue.
Realizing the significant monetary benefit that a tailored solution would provide, Vineet, Kinshuk, and Sachin implemented an automated process for fulfilling requests and repeated tasks. They created an automated onboarding and termination script that delivered audit and compliance workflows to a dedicated team, for handling critical user requests, such as onboarding, termination, audit compliance, and hard down issues.
Their innovative solution reduced the average time it took to complete a task by 80 percent and the downtime by 65 percent. It also led to a big increase in employee productivity and impressive dollar savings. After its huge success, the trio’s idea is now being used for other service improvements. They are thankful for the support they have received throughout their idea journey and aspire to achieve more ideas in the future.
K S Mahesh always had a desire to do something good for society. He focused on finding ways to improve the life of the visually impaired who find it difficult to move around and locate objects.
Mahesh meticulously created a database to store object images and tactile images (pressure maps) corresponding to a set of everyday objects being held by a user.
The object and the tactile images are generated using a camera (smart glasses) and tactile gloves. He then created a system for guiding (or providing voice instructions to) a visually impaired user in real time, so when they gripped a target object with tactile gloves, the tactile image generated by gripping the object matched the stored tactile image of the object. The object is then identified by the camera on a smart glass, and it guides the person wearing it.
By wearing these tactile gloves, the visually challenged can recognize the objects they are handling. By transmitting pressure exerted by the object to a microcontroller that uses pattern recognition and the library of objects, they can determine what the object is.
The idea of enabling visually impaired people to experience better might have once seemed like science fiction, but with this solution it could soon become a reality. A prototype of this idea can be shared with our clients and may be of specific interest to the healthcare industry.
Vinatha Rao and Sankari Venkatachalam identified that the current data-driven sales approaches were inadequate in mapping consumer behavior accurately in real time. Product companies did not have any readily available solutions—a challenge faced by almost all industry verticals. Then, the announcement of the MAD JAM challenge encouraged Vinatha and Sankari to address the issue and proactively explore a solution.
They have subsequently developed a forecaster solution that works on historical sales and revenue data. Putting Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) into use, the solution not only helps the user in detecting missing values and balancing them, but also in determining sales outcomes. It also uses feature engineering to determine the past impact on revenue and predefines a model to accurately predict the future.
Both Vinatha and Sankari learned the predictive analytics language ‘R’ (outside of their primary skill specialization) in order to create the solution. They are classic examples of how a motivating work culture and the support of an innovation platform can inspire employees to go beyond their given responsibilities. Expressing their pride about the achievement, they said, “We are very happy that we were the only all-women team to make it to the final shortlist of 12 out of 90 ideas.”
They believe that in the absence of another readily available solution, HCL Technologies can get an upper hand by offering a product that predicts sales and revenues.
Shivaramesh identified that legacy technology across domains impedes an organization’s ability to meet business and customer demands and hampers their ability to enhance business processes for the digital age. This is detrimental to business growth and market competitiveness. Efforts to rebuild or modernize such applications can also be expensive, time consuming, and risky.
Exchanging thoughts with a senior colleague inspired Shivaramesh to develop an ‘Automated Technology Modernization Accelerator (ATMA)’ for the modernization of legacy applications. Built on an automated code transformation concept, this holistic solution supports multiple legacy and target technologies. Besides being highly configurable and customizable, it enables cloud migration and digitalization.
Strong encouragement from his reporting manager to submit the paper to GPC ensured that ATMA got its due recognition at the organization level. ATMA now has a dedicated CoE in charge of continuous enhancements and extensions built into its suite.
Shivaramesh’s Automated Technology Modernization Accelerator is one of HCL Technologies’ unique strengths. It is a key differentiator in legacy modernization and IT transformation and is recognized by analysts. The ATMA projects help customers overcome legacy application challenges with cost efficiency, faster delivery, and reduced risk. Shivaramesh went on to become one of the top four finalists at the prestigious Ideapreneurship Awards. “Being a solution architect, I am constantly challenged to design and propose solutions, which stand unique among competitors. The trust and confidence extended by the leaders for investing in the proposals was a great motivation,” he said.