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Tuning the digital business for world’s renowned Music company

Tuning the digital business for world’s renowned Music company

A ballad in composition...

The client, one of the world's largest independent music companies, has its presence in 70 countries and employs over 5400 people. It owns the largest catalogue of songs consisting of over a million contemporary and classical titles and represents recording artistes spanning all musical tastes and genres.

Users interested in doing business with the client usually log on to the client's Applications System, which consists of Global Account Management (GAM) and North American Application. In either case if there is a problem, the user turns to the Help Desk. In turn, if the Help Desk is not able to solve the issue, it is passed on to the Applications Support Team or the Application Maintenance Team, as per the requirements.

It is obvious that this structure requires very high frequency communication – an understanding among the three sections. Moreover, the team dealing with the infrastructure requirements must also be tuned in to the needs of the aforementioned teams to pitch in whenever required.

Discordant notes...

What happened was that through the years, the client's spectacular global growth had in a way, forced it to forge dealings with numerous contractors, led by the demands of the fluid and fickle music industry. Hence, the client ended up dealing with multiple vendors for the abovementioned chores.

Dealing with multiple vendors has its own set of drawbacks. Policies, terms and conditions have to be designed for each alliance, which obviously makes the whole process more complex than desirable. Moreover, communication between the different vendors cannot be managed very well because of the differing work culture and policies.

Another decisive factor that made the client look for an offshoring partner was cost. Most of the contractors are located in locations where the cost of service is quite high. The problem had reached a stage where it became imperative for the client to look for an alternative location.

Add to the pile, the problem of lack of workgroup flexibility and inadequate service levels, and there you have it – enough reasons to search for an ideal partner.

Strumming notes of a long-lost song...

In order to understand the client business, its problems and objectives – a three-and a-half month nowledge Transition (KT) began in June 2007.

One more flaw which got detected was that there was no systematic process to know the work allocation and work load status of different workgroups. This process rigidity was costing the client in terms of cost and quality.

The wastage of the client's resources was also detected due to the multiple vendor system. It studied the existing workflow structure and worked on building a better system.

Orchestrating the crescendo...

As soon as HCL took over the management of the Applications System, it attacked the spiraling costs by offshoring the task to the destinations that were less expensive.

The problem of dealing with multiple vendors was sorted out simply by eliminating them and by providing an integrated solution for managing the whole system. By no accounts it was an easy task because a common framework had to be built across Help Desk, Applications Support, Application Maintenance and Infrastructure Support. This included formulating and establishing processes to smoothen the flow of work between the four sections.

The lack of workgroup readiness was tackled by cross-training them over a range of applications. This ensured that if one application was facing overload of work, resources at applications that were idle could pitch in and share the work load.

The service levels were bettered by working on providing round-the-clock support.

Music to the ears...

Hardly a few months into the engagement, HCL has already gone live with Infrastructure Support on 11th September. Following close at heels, Applications Support and Maintenance as well as the Help Desk went live on 1st October.

The fact that HCL offshored the task to the less expensive destinations has already reflected in the company's ledgers. Cross-training of resources has resulted in better response to job demands. This has pushed up the quality of work and has helped in controlling costs.

A symphony in session...

As is apparent from the overview, HCL and the client have started off on their five-year engagement on a very positive note. It was very pleasant to note that we had already gone live on several applications much before the due dates.

Another reassurance for the client is the fact that the project is a fixed-pay project. If HCL encounters any unforeseen problems in the future which entail extra costs, they would be borne by HCL.

Considering the harmonious beginning of the deal, it would be natural to assume that the future holds lots of scope and possibilities for expansion of the engagement.

It is the active involvement of both the teams that has made the engagement a fruitful one.


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