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One Hundred Stories of IT Ingenuity

SEptEmbEr 15, 2009 | rs100.00 www.C I O. I N

From The Editor-in-Chief

The CIO 100 Awards recognize and honor excellence in technology implementation that

Witness to Excellence IT helps NGOs establish a reputation for credibility and transparency.

has given some of the largest of Indian organizations strategic business benefits. It’s been a tough many months out there, and CIO Magazine applauds the dedication, perseverance and enthusiasm of the winners in weathering the storm. For an honor given to IT leaders, the CIO 100 Awards have never been about IT for technology’s sake — for that’s a game of narrow vision, and narrower endurance. What they are about is tangible business impact, for the time when projects could be run with nebulous business goals is long past; What they are about is consequence; for this year ROI is being measured not in years but in months and sometimes weeks. What they are about is value; for this year IT has also been about getting things done on waferthin budgets or sometimes even for free. What they are about is your colleagues, for no project ever succeeded if end-users didn’t buy in to them. What they are about is you and The CIO 100 Awards your self-belief, for without definitive have never been about IT leadership and a thorough understanding for technology’s sake of business roadmaps; technology would — for that’s a game of remain an enabler and not an integral part narrow vision. of an organization’s DNA. The lessons in ingenuity that I learned from going over the 335 projects that were submitted and from spending time with so many of you, were thus: IT leadership entails a willingness to get into the game, a willingness to take on responsibility as well as a self-disciplined ability to face the big decisions, make them, and learn from the challenges one faces. These past many weeks I’ve also been gathering lessons in staying relevant to your requirements across the print, online and event platforms we’ve created for you. Already in the past many months your feedback reveals that many of you peers have experienced a quantum difference in how the information on is structured as well as the quality of thought that our face-to-face events have marshaled — be they the first CIO Leadership Series or the vertically focused Powershift for the automobile sector and Money Matters for CIOs from BFSI organizations or even the recently concluded CIO 100 Symposium. Based on your generous suggestions, prepare to witness a similar evolution in the magazine as well. Not change for change’s sake; but a value creating progression in our new monthly avatar. Kindly await our October 15 issue to know more. Salud.

Vijay Ramachandran Editor-in-Chief


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cont n ent nt n nt

40 I The ingenious hundred

september 15‑ | ‑Vol/4‑ | ‑issue/21

From a pharmaceutical that wanted to track promises made at meetings to Fortune 500 companies that have integrated their backend systems, we look into the projects that won this year’s hundred their awards.

24 I The road To innovaTion

There are two vital factors that encourage innovation in India: diversity and adversity. Kiran Karnik, former president of NASSCOM, now a member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the PM, explains why.


28 I scaling new heighTs 24 I

32 I china’s ingenious sTraTegy

Jehangir Pocha, co-promoter of NewsX and veteran China correspondent, takes a close look at the Chinese growth story and points out what we can learn.



28 I

Motivational speaker and mountaineer, David lim, draws analogies between the lessons he’s learnt from multiple expeditions and corporate team work, to demonstrate how CIOs can push the limits.

36 I sniffing ouT good ideas 32 I s E p t E m b E R 1 5 , 2 0 0 9 | REAL CIO WORLD

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36 I

Young companies are hotbeds of ingenuity. A smart way to spot them is to watch where venture capitalists park their money. Sudhir Sethi, founder, chairman and MD, IDG Ventures India, tells you where to look.

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(cont.) departments Trendlines | 11 IT Leadership | Take Aim But with Care The Web | Recession Hasn’t Slowed Global

Internet Traffic Internet | Where’s the Net Going? Personnel | Cautious Optimism Guides CIO Hiring Plans Applications | Culture Shock for BI Hardware | Move Over Smartphones

Essential Technology | 180 Virtualization | Reuse Old Virtual Hosts

Feature by Matt Prigge Pundit | Cloud Computing Drives the Recovery

Column by Michael Hugos

From the Editor-in-Chief | 2 Witness to Excellence

By Vijay Ramachandran


2 0 Applied Insight The Case Against Private Clouds | 20 The benefit of cloud computing is tremendous, but at the cost of organizational upheaval, that benefit comes at too high a price. Column by Bernard Golden


For more opinions, features, analyses and updates, log on to our companion website and discover content designed to help you and your organization deploy IT strategically. Go to


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GOAL settIING: tAKe AIm bUt WiTH CarE leadersHiP For decades, business schools have extolled the virtues of goal setting. Entire corporate cultures have been built on the merits of setting towering targets for performance. But contrary to popular opinion, goal setting does not always yield positive results. Quite the contrary, in many cases, says Maurice Schweitzer, associate professor of operations and information management at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Management. Look no further than today's more besieged industries, cars and financial services. Many of their problems can be traced not to goals met, but to "goals gone wild," Schweitzer says. Take GM, which once held 28.2 percent of the car and light truck market in the US when management raised the bar to 29 percent. "In trying to reach this goal, employees made a series of very costly mistakes," says Schweitzer. "They started to sell cars with no money



down to risky buyers. They sacrificed profitability — and prudent management — in the pursuit of a narrow goal." Setting goals is not inherently bad. When tasks are routine, easy to monitor and easy to measure, it can work. But in other instances, goal setting can degrade employee performance, corrode office culture and motivate risky or unethical behaviors, says Schweitzer. CIOs can be tempted to set goals for easy-to-measure outcomes alone, like the number of hours devoted to a project or lines of code written. But such goals may have no intrinsic value. "My broader concern is what bad goals do to the organizational culture," says Schweitzer. "If employees routinely write inefficient code or misrepresent the number of hours they work, these behaviors may [be harmful]." Dee Waddell, Group CIO of Amtrak, calls goal setting "the key intersection point between strategy and execution," but even

Recession Hasn't Slowed Global Internet Traffic Not even the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression could slow the ongoing explosion of traffic over international Internet connections, and service providers are still building to accommodate it. the world economy slid into crisis about a year ago, crippled by key events such as the bankruptcy filing by investment bank lehman Brothers, which occurred one year ago. But between mid-2008 and mid-2009, the volume of Internet traffic between countries has actually grown faster than the prior year, according to research company telegeography. International Internet traffic has grown at 79 percent since last year, up from 61 percent in 2008, a recent study found. the study focused on links between, rather than within, countries. International traffic has more than doubled in the past year in emerging markets, including Eastern Europe, South Asia and the Middle East, but more mature regions are also seeing rapid

tHe weB

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he admits there's a risk in IT of aiming too high. "The reality is, IT sometimes sets or agrees to overly aggressive timelines in delivering new projects, then finds out too late that either quality must suffer or time lines must expand." One strategy Waddell employs for better goal setting is involving his team. "A favorite question is what they would like to achieve to leave their legacy in their role," he says. "This provides the open environment for my staff to envision the great outcomes they would like to achieve, and then use this as the foundation for creating clear, realistic and measurable goals." — By Stephanie Overby

growth, the company said. traffic on international links connected to the US and Canada grew 59 percent. Despite hard times, carriers have not been shy about building their networks to handle the new traffic, which is being driven by new video services as well as mobile data hitting the wired backbone and other factors. for example, India's tata Communications recently announced that it would increase the capacity of its 6,700-kilometer tGN-Intra-Asia undersea cable. the cable was designed partly to alleviate bottlenecks between Japan and Singapore and has a capacity of 650Gbps. It originally was set for expansion next year, but demand has grown, partly because it bypasses a seismically active area around taiwan where some other cables have suffered earthquake damage. Service providers have been building up their international network capacity by 60 percent or more since 2007 and added 9.4tbps of new international capacity just this year. only two years ago, all international Internet links combined added up to just 8.7tbps, according to telegeography. Despite that expansion, the average utilization of networks has grown in some areas, rising from 56 percent to 62 percent within Asia. — By Stephen lawson rEal CiO WOrlD | s e p t e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 0 9


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Where’s the

Net Going?


I n t e r n e t The Internet has turned 40 and it's not difficult to look back and see the changes it's brought to the world. E-mail. Instant messaging. Buying and selling stocks online. Watching surgeries performed in real-time. All are now widespread activities thanks to the Internet. Internet pioneer Leonard Kleinrock says that while the Internet is turning 40, it's definitely not hitting middle age. In fact, far from it. "The Internet has just reached its teenage years," Kleinrock says. "It's just beginning to flex its muscles. The fact that it's just gotten into its dark side — with spam and viruses and fraud — means that it's like an [unruly] teenager. That too will pass as it matures." So what's next? "We're not through the evolutionary stage," said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group. "Clearly, it's going to be taking the world and the human race in a quite different direction. We just don't know what the direction is yet. It may save us. It may doom us. But it's certainly going to change us." Marc Weber, founding curator of the Internet History Program at the Computer History Museum, agrees with Kleinrock that the Internet is still in its infancy. As it grows, the Internet is continually swallowing up other media. "It's a mass medium that absorbs other mass media," he says. "We make telephone calls over the Web. We have the equivalent of postal mail in the form of e-mail. You can watch TV over the Web." Weber also noted that the Internet's increasing mobility will probably guide its growth through the next several decades. "Think about when you're traveling," Weber says. The mobile Internet "will show you things about where you are. Information will become topical. Obviously, it'll be important for shopping, for connecting with people, and getting information related to where you are. Point your mobile phone at a billboard and you'll see more information. The mobile device is also going to become a mobile form of payment." For Sean Koehl, technology evangelist for Intel Labs, the future of the Internet has a much more three-dimensional look. "What's going to happen when you bring the visual experiences you can get in a modern game to the Internet?" asked Koehl. "It really has been mostly text-based since its inception. There's been some graphics on Web pages and animation, but bringing life-like 3D environments onto the Web really is only the beginning. We're really excited about transitioning from a 2D Web to a 3D Web."

— By Sharon Gaudin 14

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Cautious Optimism

Guides CIO Hiring Plans Industry watchers expect the worst is over in terms of IT layoffs as many companies re-assess current staff levels and begin to slowly fill holes in high-tech skills within their organizations. Survey data from Robert Half Technology shows that 86 percent of 1,400 CIOs polled intend to maintain their current staff levels for the remainder of 2009. Six percent plan to expand IT teams and 6 percent expect to see more cuts, according to the IT staffing and consultancy firm. Separate data released recently with the latest CDW IT Monitor reveals that 17 percent of 1,048 IT decision-makers intend to add staff, while three-fourths expect numbers to remain the same and 8 percent anticipate further reductions in personnel. And announced job cuts continue to decline, according to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "That does not necessarily mean that there will be a sudden surge in job creation as 2010 gets underway, but we will at least be heading in the right direction," says John Challenger, of CIOs say they plan to CEO at the firm. "Unfortunately, the maintain their current aftermath of this severe downturn may staff levels for the rest see excessive caution among employers of 2009. when it comes to hiring. So even, when job creation begins, it could be a slow process." Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology agrees. "Businesses are cautious about adding employees," he says "Employers are willing to invest greater time in the recruiting process to find individuals who will meet all of their criteria." CIOs who indicated to Robert Half Technology they would hire staff appear confident, saying they will hire in the fourth quarter. More than 60 percent are expecting to add full-time positions in the coming months, up from 52 percent in the third quarter. Another 9 percent anticipate adding full and part-time, contract or project workers. As for skills that hiring managers will seek in the next quarter, network administration topped the lists of 69 percent of CIOs polled by Robert Half Technology. Sixty-four percent indicated that desktop support would be sought after and 61 percent identified a need for Windows administration expertise. Help desk/technical support and networking are the two jobs areas 18 percent of CIOs said were experiencing the most growth, while applications development was cited by 9 percent of technology executives surveyed by Robert Half Technology.



— By Denise Dubie

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Culture Shock for BI


App l i c a t i o n s Business intelligence software may have been around for several decades, but it remains an esoteric niche in most companies, according to an analyst. Unfriendly corporate cultures, not the BI tools or apps themselves, are preventing BI from becoming pervasive."The technology has been around for a long time. It's the people that often get in the way," said Dan Vessett, an analyst with IDC. IDC recently conducted a study of 1,100 organizations in 11 countries measuring how pervasive BI is in companies, what factors helped make it more pervasive, and what triggers IT leader can use to further spread BI in their companies. IDC measured BI's pervasiveness via six factors: Degree of internal use. According to IDC, that was between 48 percent to 50 percent. Degree of external use, or how much it shared data with vendors or customers. Sharing BI data keeps customers loyal, Vesset said. And canny BI users in industries such as retail can sell that data to generate non-trivial revenue. Percentage of power users in a company. The mean was 20 percent in surveyed companies. Number of domains inside the data warehouse. Over five years, the average at surveyed companies grew to 28 from 11.

Data update frequency. While real-time updates can be indicative of heavy dependence upon BI, "right-time data updates" is more important. "Daily, weekly or monthly could be sufficient," he said. Analytical orientation or how much the BI crunching helped large groups or the entire organization make decisions, rather than isolated individuals. "The fact is that most individuals and companies are not data driven. They still rely more on experience rather than analytics," Vesset said. According to Vesset, these factors in descending order had the most impact on BI pervasiveness: Degree of training, not in the BI tools — the vendors do a pretty good job — but in the meaning of the data, what the key performance indicators (KPIs) mean, etcetera. Design quality, or the extent to which IT-deployed performance dashboards are able to satisfy user needs. Satisfied users will talk up the BI software, creating ‘BI envy’ in other employees, helping spread the software's use. Unsatisfied users will go around IT and use Excel or some SaaS applications. Involvement of non-executive employees. Prominence of a performance management methodology.  —By Eric Lai

Move Over Smartphones Hardware A Forrester Research report produced some interesting tidbits about workplace technology usage, findings that challenge conventional wisdom. Take Smartphones. While handheld systems have become a huge market overall, just 11 percent are used by workers, says the survey of over 2,000 information workers (defined as any office worker who uses a computer). These results suggest that Smartphones remain more of a perk for senior managers than a tool. The survey also drew interesting conclusions about the business use of instant messaging, social networking and Web conferencing tools. IM gets the most traction, but still, less than 25 percent of workers use it with some frequency. Only about 10 percent say they use video conferencing at work. Only 15 percent report using social networks at work.


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problem could be issues with The survey found that e-mail While Smartphones training or the technology itself, and the telephone remain the have become a huge market overall, just 11 Schadler said. primary means of business percent are used by Schadler said he does expect communication. These results workers on the job, that Smartphone use will grow, indicated that IT may be out which suggest that of sync with their workforces, handhelds remain more and that IT should ensure of a perk than a tool. that those users have mobile who are often collaborating browser access to e-mail and with people based in different other corporate data. "That is a must," he locations. A significant number of said. "If you are an enterprise architect you respondents, some 30 percent, say they ought to figuring out how to do that now." work in teams where members are in Another interesting data point: Desktops different locations, and nearly 11 percent still dominate the working environment, say they regularly work with employees of as 76 percent of respondents are using other firms. such systems. Forrester said it found that Ted Schadler, the Forrester analyst who 63 percent of desktop users spend four or led the survey, said the survey results show more hours per day at the keyboard, which that IT should ensure that workers in their means the ergonomics of desks and chairs companies have the ability to work with "are critically important to the long-term distributed teams. If tools are provided health and productivity of these workers." for such communication but are unused, — By Patrick Thibodeau IT should find out why, he added. The

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Bernard Golden

applied insight

The Case Against Private Clouds The benefit of cloud computing is tremendous, but at the cost of organizational upheaval, that benefit comes at too high a price.


've examined the role of private clouds for quite some time. I have pondered over why private clouds are the most likely way mainstream IT organizations will implement cloud computing. I don't think so anymore. Private clouds are not the future of cloud computing, and, in fact, will prove too daunting for IT organizations. One of the main assumptions is that they enable IT organizations to re-purpose existing infrastructure. But is that really true? The key to automating the bottom half of the chart — the infrastructure portion — is to use equipment that can be configured remotely with automated measures. This kind of functionality is the hallmark of up-to-date equipment. Unfortunately, most datacenters are full of equipment that does not have this functionality; instead they have a mishmosh of equipment of various vintages, much of which requires manual configuration. In other words, automating much of the existing infrastructure is a non-starter.

Attaining Cloud Nirvana

Il lustratio n by MM Shanith

Worse, even if the datacenter equipment is mostly of recent vintage, additional investment will be necessary. Add-on equipment to manage networking and storage will be required for cloud capability. More capital investment is going to be required to get to the Nirvana of a private cloud. And in these economic times, where IT is slashing budgets, an initiative that calls for more investment is not really practical. Second, what most vendors aren't saying right now is that, even if you're ready and capable of supporting incremental capital investment, a private cloud is not an easy-to-assemble arrangement like something from Ikea. In order to make all the 20

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Bernard Golden

applied insight

pieces ready to work together and be provisioned in a holistic fashion, a great deal of manual work is required. Each of the vendors offers a range of professional services designed to help IT organizations get their cloud up and running. Left unsaid is the fact that creating a private cloud requires great slathers of expensive consulting. So, on top of the additional hardware costs, there will be additional fees for the vendor's personnel to "help you take advantage of your existing infrastructure." The ambition to leverage existing infrastructure to create a low cost private cloud may be a chimera — a misguided vision of achieving vast improvement with little investment. Far more likely is vastly lowered marginal costs achieved by the investment of large amounts of capital and consulting. Another thing that becomes clear if you look at the private cloud chart, is that there are lots of services that either don't exist today, or, if they do, are accomplished via manual processes. Just to take one example, policy. This is the function that determines whether an individual has the authority to request IT resources — a new server, storage, etcetera. Today, that is hashed out at some kind of project meeting, or an architectural review board, or something of the like. The infrastructure representative takes notes that a new system needs to be set up, leaves the meeting, sends one

disruption occurs in a setting of working systems. Every major IT organization has hundreds, even thousands, of applications. The amount of disruption imposed by the need to reconfigure all of the hardware and the disruption imposed on everyday working processes by the move to automate are mind boggling.

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It One of the first rules of IT is not to mess with stuff that's working, if at all possible. Only a brave — or foolhardy — CIO willingly invites disruption in order to putatively improve things. The more likely — and more rational — response is to leave what's in place alone, and create a segmented section of the datacenter devoted to a cloud environment. That section initially can be dedicated to low-risk uses like internal Webbased apps, and so on, which can prove whether there is real value in cloud computing. The real challenge will come a year or so later, when the undoubted benefits of cloud computing are manifest. Then the CIO faces the question — impose disruption on the existing infrastructure or not? On the one hand, there's obvious value in the agility and scalability of the cloud. On the other, all those existing apps in the existing infrastructure have managed to

For private clouds to work effectively, the operating assumptions of IT — the culture — needs to transform, which makes the challenges of upgrading the equipment look small. or more pieces of e-mail (or convenes another meeting) and ultimately, a new collection of compute resources is available. This is communicated back to the requesting party via an e-mail or, just as likely, in the next sit-down meeting. Finally, the requestor can get to work. In a private cloud, the rules for who has authority to request resources must be captured in rules that can be checked during an automated request for resources. That is, someone fills out a Web form requesting compute resources, and the request flows in an automated fashion through a number of steps, one of which is a check to see whether the requestor has the authority to obtain resources. All of this illustrates a fundamental fact about private clouds: For them to operate effectively, a huge number of informal and manual processes must be changed. Put bluntly, the operating assumptions of IT — the culture — require transformation, which makes the challenges of upgrading the equipment look small. The cost of human capital, embodied in processes and executed by emotion-laden individuals, each with their own motivations, dwarfs that of physical capital. The inertia to be overcome is enormous. That brings us to our third issue — the disruption. Remember, all of this capital change-out and process 22

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operate for months or years without cloud capabilities, so do they really need it? It's quite possible that the long-term cloud strategy vis a vis the datacenter will be to leave it as is and use external resources — whether a cloud-capable outsourcer or an external cloud provider like Amazon, Microsoft, Google or their brethren. Gradually, as the systems running in the datacenter are replaced by new ones running in some cloud environment, the square footage of the internal center will shrink, until all that is left are critical systems that, for one reason or another, can't be moved outside. So there you have it — the con case against private clouds. While the instinctual response by many IT organizations is to assume that a private cloud is the obvious, nay only, way forward, it should be clear that migrating a typical IT environment to a private cloud is not trivial. It may be, as the saying goes, a bridge too far. Certainly, one should not lightly assume that the logic of private clouds is obvious and unassailable. CIO Bernard Golden is CEO of HyperStratus, a virtualization and cloud computing consulting firm. He is the author of

Virtualization for Dummies. Send feedback on this column to

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Innovation isn’t just about inventing something new, it’s also about getting to a result in different ways, says Kiran Karnik, former president of NASSCOM and now a member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the prime minister.

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The Road to

INNOVATION Two traits inherent to India foster innovation: diversity and adversity. Kiran Karnik, former president of NASSCOM and now a member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the prime minister, explains why.

There’s always been a buzz

around innovation, but why do we need it, really? Why is India poised to innovate and to benefit from it? How can organizations create an atmosphere that encourages innovation? These are some of the areas I would like to explore.


The Need for Innovation The downturn has driven most organizations operating in an already competitive market to an inevitable price war. But this is always a losing battle. Companies that cut cost are doing pretty much similar things. As their margins go down and they cannot raise prices, they try to cut costs, what else can they do? The solution to standing out in a crowded and price-sensitive market is to differentiate. And to differentiate, you need to innovate. What makes syrupy, colored water sell for over 10 times what it costs to produce? People buy Coke or Pepsi because of the differentiation that is created by their brands and their positioning. The point I am making is: companies need to differentiate in one way or another. Let me take a concrete example from an industry I am familiar with. While India is the biggest offshoring base in the IT and ITES sector, we are going to see competition from countries like South Africa, those in Eastern Europe and, of course, China. The industry needs to introspect; we need to ask ourselves: what can we do to prevent from being driven down the cost and value chain and continue to work with the margins we have today? The answer again is to have differentiators. When you look three or five years into the future and ask: what is going to be different about the Indian IT services and BPO industry, it becomes clear that we have to innovate and do things differently. No matter which industry you are in, the future looks more favorable to those who can do things differently and capitalize on that, be it with premium pricing or gaining a larger market share.

The Many Kinds of Innovation Most people associate innovation with inventing something new. Sure, that’s one kind of innovation. But it is also about achieving an end result in different ways; it’s about finding new solutions. You can innovate by optimizing a process,

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No matter which industry you are in, THE FUTURE LOOKS MORE FAVORABLE to those who can do things differently and capitalize on that. or by finding a whole new business idea. Let me illustrate with an oft-repeated example of how the Americans and Russians solved a problem that puzzled their space programs. Since fountain pens and ball pens don’t work in low gravity, both countries had to find a way to allow their astronauts to write in space. The Americans did it in typical fashion: they called for RFPs for a device that could write in any orientation and in low gravity. Two companies then came out with what was called the ‘space pen’. The Russians? They simply used a pencil. If you look at these two approaches, both are innovative and both are great. The Americans used funding and encouraged R&D to invent new technologies which no doubt have other uses. The Russians innovated and used an existing technology to solve the same problem. Innovation is not the exclusive domain of the Americans and the Russians. Right here in India, the dhabas in Punjab have come up with a brilliant idea to churn large amounts of lassi. Since a normal mixer is too small for the large quantities needed to be mixed, they turned to a washing machine. If you think about it, what better (and more economical) way is there of whipping large quantities of yogurt into a refreshing drink? That’s innovation right here in our backyard.


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Innovation can also be about introducing a whole new business model. I give the following example with some reluctance, but nevertheless it is a great example of innovation. Anyone who has lived in Mumbai knows that its local trains are the city’s lifeline. Given its importance, the queues at the ticket counters are long and this prompted travelers to take their chances traveling without a ticket. If they were caught, they would have to pay a fine. Some years ago, a savvy businessman saw an opportunity in this and offered insurance for ticketless travel! In exchange for a monthly fee, he would reimburse travelers who were caught without a ticket. Not only did this business model earn him a lot of money, it also had an interesting spin off. Instead of bribing a ticket collectors, offenders suddenly started demanding receipts (because it was a form of proof for the insurance) when they were caught — which worked out well for the Railways because it encouraged proper payment of fines.

The Indian Advantage I think India is uniquely poised to innovate because it is in our genes to find workarounds and do things differently. Sure, we are disorderly compared to many other countries, but from motorists driving on pavements to factory workers

telling their peers how they can do their job differently, we think differently as people. The very things that lead us to chaos, that same indiscipline and inefficiency, are also the things that indicate our ability to do things differently. This stems from something that is inherent to India: diversity. The fact that the people we work with speak different languages, have different interests and even look very different, leads Indians to think in diverse ways. Another factor that makes us innovative is adversity. Be it power outages or water shortages, we have to constantly innovate to make the most of what we have. Contrast this with China: they are disciplined, efficient and hardworking. But they are not terrific at thinking differently. The old Confucian ethic of discipline and hard work followed by a totalitarian rule which told the population how to think and what to do, have made them extremely efficient — and we cannot compete with them on that front — but it has stunted their ability to think differently. And despite our chaotic society, we are miles ahead of them when it comes to thinking and doing things in a different way.

How You Can Innovate The biggest challenge in organizations today is to channel their employees’ innate ability to rebel and do things differently. In most companies, organizational structure and ambience are not geared towards encouraging creativity and innovation, and this needs to change. Encourage people to give ideas, take risks and learn to accept failure. When you do new things, you take risks and it is only natural to fail at times. Organizations needs to be tolerant of risk-taking and new ideas will flow. CIO Kiran Karnik is the former president of NASSCOM and currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India. Send feedback on this column to

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Scaling New


Motivational speaker and mountaineer, David Lim, draws analogies between the lessons he’s learnt from multiple expeditions and corporate team work, to demonstrate how CIOs can push the limits.

Mountaineering is not something

people associate with the largely flat, tropical city-state of Singapore, from where I come. In fact, when we came up with the idea of putting a group of Singaporeans on the top of Mount Everest, we were suspected to being part of what people called the ‘lunatic fringe!’ Since, there was no scope of mountaineering in Singapore, it called for a change in mindset to even make a bid for the world’s highest peak. From ‘opportunity nowhere’, we needed to go into ‘opportunity now here’ mode. Here’s the lesson: achieving the seemingly impossible starts with the desire to do it and the conviction that you can do it, even when the world around seems unsupportive. I want to share five other ideas I picked up in the course of several expeditions.

Most people are motivated to do something when they are presented with stretch goals that mean something to them. If a stretch goal is something which does not excite a person, or something he or she is not passionate about, then they might as well forget about success. The reason I say ‘stretch goals’ is because most people are excited when there is an element of uncertainty. The goal must, hence, be above what is commonly deemed possible. Management lessons often talk about SMART goals, which is short for Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic and Time Bound. I respectfully disagree with this approach. The reason SMART goals don’t work is because a goal that is easily achievable doesn’t excite — it does not have the spice of uncertain success. Only when an outcome is uncertain, do people really feel like going the extra mile. Or, many miles, when it comes to mountaineering. Mount Everest was a stretch goal for Singapore’s mountaineers — the highest peak any Singaporean had climbed at that time was 6,000 feet and Mount Everest is much bigger than that! The team gave it all it had, and the end result: we made it to the top.

Belief Drives Results As a leader, you have to inculcate the belief in your team that your stretch goal is achievable. Beliefs translate into everyday actions that bring you closer to your goal. For instance, it was the belief of my team that we could conquer


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Stretch vs SMART Goals

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David Lim, celebrated motivational speaker and mountaineer, says that in mountaineering — as in life and in business — there is a greater respect for people who manage with fewer resources.

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Everest which motivated us to do things that took us closer to it, like making phone calls and drafting letters to sponsors or taking extra time out to meet sponsors. It is the cumulative effect of several small actions, specific observable behaviors, driven by a strong belief in a a goal that helps in attain a desired result.

Finding the Right Guys If you were to put together a team to scale Everest, evidently you would look for people who are committed to the task, for, it is no easy job. They also need to be physically fit and capable — that’s

and I think we should go another way’. And this marked a positive turn of fate for us. The traits of commitment, competency and compatibility aided by open and free communication and courage is the recipe for building a team to take on stretch goals.

Being Resourceful An all handicapped team I know ascended the highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro in 2004, choosing the hardest of the routes. Jamie Andrew, my hero, who had lost both hands and both legs in a single accident, was part

We cannot always change what we have, but WE CAN CHANGE WHAT WE BELIEVE WE CAN DO WITH WHAT WE HAVE. If you optimize what you have, it’s amazing how much you can do with fewer resources.

competency. Mountaineering is not a one man job and the people you pick must be willing to work with others — that’s compatibility. Commitment, competency and compatibility: these traits hold good not only for a team that wants to take on the world’s highest peak, but also in corporate offices. But these are still not enough to make a successful team. To get that picture-perfect team, you need communication within the team as well as between the team and you, the leader. To enable this communication, you need to build an environment that gives the team the courage to do so. I remember specific instances when a team member had the courage to stand up and say ‘I disagree with what we are doing

of that expedition. It was motivation and belief in the final goal that drove him and others in a that team of mixed abilities to achieve what they did. Remember: we cannot always change what we have, but we can change what we believe we can do with what we have. If you optimize what you have, it’s amazing how much you can do with fewer resources. Two years ago, I was part of a two-man expedition crossing the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt desert. When I got hurt, we combined the supplies from both our trolleys, put them into one, emptied the water we did not need (we reckoned we would cross the desert with a day to spare), and my companion pulled the trolley and we made it across the

desert. That’s team work, and that’s doing more with less by being resourceful. In the corporate world, when you have to do more with a smaller team, it has a bright side too: you get agility within the team. In mountaineering, there is a greater respect for people who manage with fewer resources — as in life, and in business. If you believe you can do it, you will find a way to do it.

Seize Opportunities, Take Risks Seizing the right opportunities at the right time often involves taking risks. I recently conducted one of my favorite types of expedition — one with very little support, a lean team and no professional guides. The aim was to scale virgin peaks in Kyrgyzstan — if you climb them, you get the privilege of naming them. The three of us were the only human beings in about a 100 sq. km. On the seventh day of the climb, we woke up to nasty snowfall. Not dangerous, but extremely unpleasant. One member of our team decided to opt out but two of us chose to continue. More than once, we felt like giving up and returning to the warmth of our tents. But every time that thought popped up, we pushed ourselves to go a little further. Soon enough, the sun came up and the climb became very enjoyable. The morning was beautiful and we felt that our friend who stayed down must be regretting the fact that he did not continue with us. We named the peak, ‘Resilience Peak.’ The day after we came back, it started to snow, and did not stop for four days. This was one opportunity we seized, took a risk, and savored the reward. If you don’t seize opportunities as they come, you may lose them forever. CIO

David Lim is a motivational speaker and a mountaineer. He was part of the first Singaporean team that successfully climbed the Mount Everest. Lim is also the author of the book Mountain to Climb. Send feedback on this column to

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Indians, like the Chinese, need to be less sensitive and more pragmatic about their problems, says Jehangir Pocha, copromoter of NewsX and veteran China observer.

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China’s Ingenious

STRATEGY Jehangir Pocha, co-promoter of NewsX and veteran China observer, takes a close look at the Chinese growth story and points out what we can learn.

I have spent a significant

part of my journalistic career in China. As a China correspondent with the Boston Globe, I have been a keen observer of the country’s growth story and have closely watched its ascent on the economic development hierarchy. The scale, scope and speed of our neighbor’s economic growth have outpaced all the other economies and today it has evolved into a potential competitor to developed Western economies. India, too, is on the fast track to growth. It has emerged as one of the fastest developing economies of Asia. But China has clearly sprinted ahead of us. I often wonder how India can leapfrog the Chinese dragon. How India can break the hoodoo of the other Asian giants. Some people say it imitates American economics and others believe it replicates Japanese management styles. I believe it has formulated an ingenious winning strategy to accelerate its growth momentum. If India has to vault into the big league it needs to take a leaf out of China’s book. Here’s how.


Scaling Up India is a big country. Yet so many things about us are small. Take the media for example. It’s very small. People say there are numerous channels but there are actually very few and they are small in size. The largest one is about Rs 120 or 140 crore. The advertising market is also very small; I’ve been told that our advertising market is just 0.23 percent of total GDP. Yet, we think we are a big country. When I lived in China, the one thing that ignited my imagination was that it was a very big country and everything about it was big. China thinks big and does big things: look at the Great Wall. It’s a country that takes big risks and reaps big rewards. The Chinese have the ability to work with scale; its advantage lies in the fact that it has built scale at all levels and that’s something India needs to learn. As a nation, our neighbor has faced big tragedies as well. It lost between 50 and 60 million people in the course of modernization. Yet, it bounced back.

Psych Up for Growth I have also noticed a striking difference in the national psyche of the two countries. Take for example, how a certain preciseness in thinking is part of the Chinese DNA. They have a certain disinterest in all of life’s amorphous complexities

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I firmly believe that India is at the cusp of a national renaissance. IF INDIA CAN

LEARN SOME LESSONS FROM CHINA, it can take giant steps on the global economic stage.

and in all things abstract. Here’s an example: ask the average Indian what his idea of death is and he will point you to the voluminous Katha Upanishad. Now take the Chinese. Their philosophy is fundamentally rooted in Confucius, who once said: “I understand little enough about life what can I tell you about death.” The Chinese have a fixation with the pragmatic, with getting ahead, with a sense of purpose and achievement. The Chinese national psyche wrestles with the tangible dynamics of process and system — not a bad thing to learn.

Embracing Processes When I joined the electronic media recently, I realized that television is 90 percent IT. It’s all about being precise, organized, methodical and systematic. It’s all about being process-driven. In India, the IT industry has been a harbinger of this preciseness in thinking. It has lent corporate India the ability to create linear, fixed solutions. It has the ability to organize data and business critical information for prompt decision-making. IT brings processes into organizations, which facilitates management. IT also introduces a more logical approach to decision-making. Streamlined processes make life simpler. This is an idea that the Chinese

have embraced. China’s process-driven systems effectively provide it with a sustainable competitive advantage. In that country, there is a certain discipline of work, a certain acceptance of the importance of order. Of course, you could say that it’s because of an authoritarian government but even otherwise order is not fundamentally alien to the Chinese. Their societies everywhere follow the same instinct. They believe in bringing order to the chaos of life. They have recognized that the chaos of life is best managed not with passion and the desire to roll up your sleeve, to go and tackle things head on but with meticulous planning. India has not yet learnt this, which is precisely why life is so chaotic here. We need to become comfortable with processes and we have to let processes become a part of our DNA. I have always said that India has law but China has order. India does have a judiciary but it’s the sort of judiciary that is not willing to reveal a judges fiscal assets to the populace, it’s also one that has numerous judges charged of corruption. China doesn’t really have a judiciary — it’s building one now — but it has order; an order that applies to 1.3 billion people. In India, we need to inculcate an enhanced linearity in thinking and a more disciplined approach to managing people. CIOs are uniquely positioned to achieve

this. This is the great untold story of IT in India: CIOs bring order to the chaos that is our economy. As developing economies, both India and China are grappling with numerous problems at the grass-root level. India is a hypersensitive society and does not analyze its problems openly. The Chinese are much less sensitive. They are more open to accepting their problems. They are seized with their problems both at the top and at the micro level. This has helped them overcome their problems at a rate much faster than ours. This is something we have to learn from China. We need to be seized with our problems. We cannot pretend that they don’t exist because we don’t like them at an emotional level. We need to develop a mature attitude and an open outlook towards our national issues. Look at America: it has a poverty rate of 19 percent; it also has the world’s largest deficit, but it is seized with these problems and it’s not embarrassed to talk about them. India should acknowledge and tackle micro issues; issues at the grassroots. National issues cannot be resolved in the North Block. The local government is where we are the weakest so problems have to be identified and solved right there. India needs to be acutely aware of the maladies that impede its growth. It needs to change the lens with which it views its problems. This will help it emerge as an economic powerhouse while raising its teeming million to prosperity. When India fires the economic pyramid from the bottom it will achieve sustainable growth. The Indian society needs to challenge established perceptions and time-honored views. I firmly believe that India is at the cusp of a national renaissance. If India learns these lessons from China, it can take giant steps on the global economic stage. CIO Jehangir S. Pocha is co-promoter of NewsX and former editor of Businessworld. Send feedback on this column to

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Sniffing Out


Young companies are hotbeds of ingenuity. And a smart way to spot them is to watch where venture capitalists park their money. Sudhir Sethi, founder, chairman and MD, IDG Ventures India, tells you where to look.

The drive for entrepreneurial technology

investment in India is about 15-years-old now. We are going through a second tech-investment cycle and we are seeing plenty of serial entrepreneurs. The kind of applications that typically get invested in, come from different domains and include enterprise, mobility, BI, security, machine-to-machine communication, robotics, healthcare, engineering, automotive, aerospace and maintenance for on-road and off-road capital equipment. What’s the big trend today? It’s that almost 45 percent of new companies are product ventures. It is apparent that the global Indian has acquired the expertise to develop world-class technology products. These companies also have a sharper focus on product, the range, and the market, and I think these are safe formulas for success. Here’s another trend: investor interest (and the number of companies that are looking for investors) aren’t ebbing with the slowdown, as many may think. In 1999, during my first year as a venture investor, we sifted through 297 new ventures. In 2008, our fund looked over 700 new companies, most of them typically less than three- or four-years-old. And in the current year, we have been studying about 250 companies every quarter.

The geographical spread of these investments seems to have a lot to do with the local industry of the region. So, for example, Delhi has a high concentration of mobile technologies (taking after the success of Bharti Airtel) and media companies (since it’s the home of channels like NDTV and others). Bangalore remains a technology hub and, true to that reputation, the largest venture chunk goes to companies that deal in technology, the Internet, software products, aerospace, for instance. Interestingly, there are just under 300 investors in the country which focus only on technology and, combined, have between $2 to 2.5 billion (about Rs 10,000 to 12,500 crore) at their disposable. We believe that the Internet is picking up good investments because there is still a large return expected from it. Mobile devices and mobile apps are other hot areas mainly because India has a large market for these — both in the enterprise and consumer space.


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Where the Ideas Are

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Sudhir Sethi, founder, chairman and MD, IDG Ventures India, says that the big differentiator in new ventures is that they have an IT roadmap and a sharp business focus.

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In the Western sector (like Mumbai and Pune) there is an emphasis on media and Internet-related ventures, in addition to a substantial amount of interest in automotive and civil engineering industries. Take for instance, how during a meeting in Pune, I learnt that in the next 15 years, 80 percent of the bridges in the US will have to be re-constructed or re-engineered and a large part of those projects will come to India.

Where the Money’s Going One area of interest (with a high return potential) — where I believe Indian

top 20 IT players, only five have relevant and serious practices in security. Another observation is that there’s enough investment going into energy generation but very little is going into managing it. We found that there were no young companies in that area. Also, electronic waste management is another area for good funding. Most product companies are also focusing on remote management. Reva for instance, has a remote management application that helps in car maintenance — whether their clients are in India or elsewhere.

As customers, CIOs should talk to new ventures. TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

AVAILABLE IN INDIA ARE WORLDCLASS and even though the focus is on less expensive platforms, there is no compromise on quality.

companies have the domain expertise to see success is BI and analytics. This is because BI is used in areas like retail, finance, telecom, and general enterprise applications, too. Facilities management is also attracting a lot of venture capital. This includes water, oil, gas, electricity, and waste products management. Of course, software, engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, and medical devices never go out of fashion. These are the areas where you will see a lot of capital flowing to, from both domestic and international investors. Security has potential. We recently conducted a landscape survey in the domain of digital security to study its profitability. We found that among the

The New Dynamic Among Ventures What seems to drive these newborn companies, irrespective of their domain, is the fact that their first customer shipments are headed for domestic consumption — mostly to big Indian companies. Earlier, companies like these aimed their first shipments to global markets (because they had no domestic customers). This is a very heartening trend because this makes it easier and therefore faster for young companies to fine-tune their services. Also, these companies have enough funds to create world-class teams and their investors have the patience to stick with the company and build products — rather than focus on quick gains. Also, investors

are helping their ventures broaden their horizon to a global scale. A big differentiator in new ventures is that most of them, in addition to having a technology map, also have a sharp business focus, and a compelling business case. Revenue enhancement seems to be a key focus. Also, the approach is on getting IT to help increase revenue, even advertising. Increasingly, companies are using IT for processes like shipments, logistics, human resources and energy. And this is resulting in sizable cost savings for many large companies. At the same time, we’ve observed that IT deployments have lower costs because a renewed focus on ROI requires that these deployments have a 12- to 18-month payback period. The key here is simplicity — in terms of usage and the speed of a deployment — and an increased focus on product. Another trend is that because Indian companies are beginning to emerge as global players, they need to supply service at international locations. So with the clear business opportunities, there is also a growing pressure on smaller companies to service their clients on a global basis. On the flip-side, customers today are more willing to take a risk with young companies. One reason could be the international quality of products and services they offer. That is a very powerful theme because the benefits of a product or a service are available at a much lower cost today. I would say that the technology solutions available in India are world-class and even though the focus is on less expensive platforms, there is no compromise on quality. If CIOs feel the need to de-risk themselves, they should open talks with new ventures when their first customer shipment is already out of the door. CIO

Sudhir Sethi is founder, chairman and MD, IDG Ventures India, early-stage venture capital firm investing in technology and technology-enabled companies. Send feedback on this column to

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ngenuity is a shy word. It’s hard to pin down; dissect it too much and it may disappear. But anyone who has ever come across an ingenious idea recognizes its sharp glint from afar. If there is one thing this year’s CIO 100 winners know well, it’s the traits of being ingenious. For their agility and resourcefulness and for the benefits they lent their companies in these harsh times, we celebrate India’ most ingenious IT leaders. The following pages tell their stories.



undreds of organizations filled out the nomination form this year for the CIO 100 Award as well as the five special awards (to be precise this translated into 335 projects). To be a CIO 100 award winner this year, companies and their IT leaders had to demonstrate that they could adapt their plans despite tough economic conditions, by digging deep into their bag of tricks and working the passion of their teams. Each application was reviewed by a jury of CIO editors, who evaluated them according to three criteria: technology usage, business impact and the ROI horizon involved. The awards jury looked for unique practices and substantial results; examined how each organization stacked up against the others in the pool; and sought to honor the most interesting initiatives for the CIO 100 honor. The organizations that we selected for this year’s CIO Award cut across a range of organizations — both in terms of revenue and industry.

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INGENIOUS: Because he delivered three projects in a short span of five months to kickstart his company’s journey in India. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO

““We had to deliver three systems within five months.

That was quite a challenge.”

Srinivasan Iyengar, Director-IT and Change Management Aegon Religare Life Insurance


egon Religare Life Insurance is a JV between Dutch insurance major Aegon, Bennett, Coleman & Company, and Religare one of the leading integrated financial services groups in India. The insurer launched operations in July 2008. As a late entrant in the market, Aegon Religare faced stiff competition from other well-entrenched players. It aimed to launch operations across 25 locations at once. The IT team had to deliver three systems within five months. So, Srinivasan Iyengar, director-IT and


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change management, Aegon Religare, saw a need to build agility and adaptability into both process and technology. “We wanted a BPM solution to streamline our sales management process and the dissemination of information on the agency and customer portals,” says Iyengar. However, implementing the BPM project was going to be difficult. It was the first of its kind in the industry. Also, the vendor did not have a prior experience of implementing this solution in the Indian life insurance industry. This was for the first time in the industry that select

: BFSI : Rs 47 crore : 1,500 : 24 : Rajiv Jamkhedkar

peripheral systems like sales management system and procurement management system were being automated. And the project had to be delivered within a very tight timeframe. “We had to deliver three systems within five months. This was quite challenging,” says Iyengar. The first project to be implemented was the sales management system to increase sales productivity, and track all agents. The second project was creating an agency portal — a single window for all agents’ activities that includes tracking new business proposals, alerts and information regarding policy servicing, etcetera. The incidence management system, the third project, was devised with the aim of extending ROI using a single system to monitor all user complaints, helpdesk support and queries. The projects helped business alliance partners keep track of the latest status of proposals, enabling them to get their work done without having to follow up with the company. The collection window, which used to close by 5 PM so that staff could reconcile accounts, now stays open for an additional two hours everyday. The extra two hours could make the company over Rs 6 lakhs a year. Also, all agency related requirements are now met from the portal, saving between Rs 12 and 15 lakh. CIO

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“So many industry firsts became possible

for us only due to our new IT stack." Ravinder Jain, CIO Aircel


ircel, the Rs 3,500-crore subsidiary of Maxis Mobile Services is fast emerging as a name to reckon with in the India telecom space. Within 18 months of its launch, it has become the leading telecom operator in Chennai. But the company wasn’t always this successful. “Till 2007, Aircel was a regional operator,” says Ravinder Jain, CIO, Aircel. “While Aircel was leading in four of its 10 circles, it was eighth or ninth in most new circles it wanted to launch in — including two metros. We wanted to shed the regional tag and have pan-India operations.” So in July 2008, the company set a target for itself: to launch eight new circles by March 2009. In the way were IT systems that were “all obsolete”, says Jain, complete with homegrown applications; disparate, non-standard networks; and nonintegrated systems. All of these lengthened time-to-market for new products. “We wanted to create a tier-one telco grade IT landscape to deal with future

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growth and technology obsolesce. We were looking for total transformation,” Jain says. The challenge? To go from one end of the IT spectrum to the other in 18 months. “It was a stiff and challenging target,” he says. In February 2008, Jain decided to take the outsourcing route. Still there was


INGENIOUS: Because he delivered three projects in a short span of five months to kick start his company’s journey in India. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM COO HEADQUARTERS

: Telecommunications : Rs 3,500 crore : 7,500 : 100 : Gurdeep Singh : Gurgaon

much to be done. Aircel had to evaluate a new set of products, document their existing processes and develop a new set of world-class ones as well as a new system architecture, and set up the infrastructure for development, testing, pre-production and production environments. By running product evaluation in parallel with business process mapping, adopting Agile methodologies and empowering project teams, Jain and his team met the deadline. He also credits their success to including dedicated business teams to the project teams and using eTOM framework to define their new processes. Along the way, the team also built a datacenter in 24 days. By February 2009, the project which cost Aircel and the outsourcer Rs 500 crore, went live and the eight new circles were launched. Today, all Aircel’s applications are integrated using an enterprise service bus. Individual user IDs and passwords have been replaced by single sign-on. And the new platform has been the basis for the launch of some industry first’s including Aircel’s ‘Pocket Internet’. CIO

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lthough many people assume that healthcare is immune to slowdowns, they are wrong. “People have become highly cautious about their healthcare spends. They are becoming choosy about which therapies to use and the implant of medical devices has decreased,” says K.T. Rajan, director operations, information systems & projects, Allergan India, a joint venture between Allergan and Nicholas Piramal India that offers high-tech solutions and drugs primarily for ophthalmic and cosmetic requirements. The slowdown put pressure on Allergan's costs. “We were looking for high-impact reductions with no or minimal impact on results,” says Rajan. They found that in their promotional budgets. Pharma companies tend to spend a significant percentage of their revenue in promotions. “Promotional expenses were about eight percent of overall sales at Allergan,” says Rajan. “Any reduction in these expenses would not only impact the bottom-line but may also increase the topline five times over.” So Rajan and his team deployed an electronic promotional expenses management solution called eXpro, which works in tandem with a system that captures the modalities of generated prescription data. It effectively establishes the link

between the cost of a promotion and what the company’s getting out of it. This gave the marketing team and product managers better decision-making powers and ensured that promotional activities that were not contributing could be abandoned quickly. But for the project to take off, Rajan needed to get through the marketing team. “Promotions is the exclusive domain of the marketing team. Because a one-to-one correlation between effort and result was not easy to establish, concerned personnel operated on intuition,” says Rajan. “The

success of the project was dependant on their maturity and their permission for an external review of their operations.” Today, eXpro lets Allergan to reduce promotional expenses by about four percent (Rs 32 lakh), and realize its ROI on the Rs 22 lakh project in four months. “Our solution provided ample visibility to every cost element that goes into promotional expenses. Today, budgeting is possible to the last detail and the estimates are more accurate. There is little ambiguity and more certainty in the entire exercise,” says Rajan. CIO

K.T. Rajan, Director Operations, Information Systems & Projects Allergan India


INGENIOUS: Because by establishing a clear link between the costs and results of promotional activity, he gave Allergan the ability to make better marketing decisions. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM


: Pharmaceutical : Rs 120 crore : 270 :4

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“Allergan’s promotional expenses were about 7 to 8 percent of sales. Any reduction would add to the bottom line.”

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mway India leverages a network of over 450,000 Amway business owners (ABOs) in India to sell its products. The company aims to achieve a revenue target of Rs 2,500 crore by 2012, a little over double where it is today. To do that the organization needed to chalk out aggressive growth plans. Sanjay Malhotra, VP-IT/BS and eBiz, decided that the time was ripe to foray into e-commerce. But, other than being an ambitious expansion plan, there was

a pressing need to take the online route because the company wanted to offer ABOs the flexibility of working from anywhere anytime. “A considerable number of ABOs work part time with Amway. They need to visit Amway offices to either place orders or to take delivery of goods. Sometimes the office could be far. This was time consuming and inconvenient,” says Malhotra. Amway already had a custom-built ERP and a website serving ABOs,

Sanjay Malhotra, VP-IT/BS and eBiz Amway India Enterprises

customers and casual visitors, but these were still not equipped to meet growing business needs. “We needed an e-commerce framework that was robust, available 24x7 and rich in features,’’ says Malhotra. The new platform basically created a virtual office offering all the facilities of a physical one. Thanks to it ABOs can now order, cross sell, add new distributors, and evaluate their business performance and their line of sponsors — from the comfort of their homes. However, devising the e-commerce strategy was easier than implementing the solution. Malhotra realized that with thinning budgets, the amount the company wanted to invest (Rs 3.5 crore), meant that the project would not pass muster on the basis of just ROI. So, he convinced the management with intangible benefits like convenience and ease of use and real time information for the business, among other benefits. Today, the profits the project generated speaks for itself. From an average sale of Rs 30 lakh a month to Rs 7 crore in just about nine months on Amway’s website since the day it launched is a feat a few companies can achieve. CIO


INGENIOUS: "Amway needed to reach out to a wider consumer base and

an enhanced Internet would fuel that."


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Because he helped expand the reach of Amway’s distribution network in a secure manner. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD AND CEO

: FMCG : Rs 1,128 crore : over 500 : 24 : William S Pinckney

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INGENIOUS: Because at a time when companies were cutting costs, he convinced the management to invest Rs 2.5 crore to converge multiple technologies. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES CEO

“Travel is one of the largest cost components for us. We expect to save

around 10-15 percent of the company’s overall travel budget on an ongoing basis.”

Mike Webb, CIO Aricent Technologies


ne of the largest privatelyheld companies in Silicon Valley, Aricent Technologies operates in 19 countries worldwide. When you have operations crossing continents, it becomes pertinent for your company’s global workforce to constantly communicate and collaborate with one another. And that’s exactly what Mike Webb, VP and CIO, Aricent Technologies, wanted to achieve. So, in April 2009 he launched a global platform called ‘Aricent Connect’ for all its employees to instantly connect


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with each other. ”This was achieved with the help of many different tools. We set up a community network, an IM platform and a voice communication and conferencing platform,” he says. The community network, which is the company’s social networking platform, empowers employees to establish subsites for their department, project, and technology interests. As a part of the company’s intranet, the network hosts blogs, wikis, forums, tracks projects, shares calendars and also allows polling. ”The application also allows employees to

: IT/ITES : Rs 20,000 crore : 8,000 : Sudip Nandy

send instant chat messages and set up voice conferences that helps them communicate effectively,” says Webb. A new in-house audio conferencing system was introduced and fully integrated with the company’s e-mail platform. The system supports around 500 conference calls per week. With Web and video conferencing in place, employees can now share presentations. Most recently, this practice enabled the company to organize a live video meeting instead of repeating the meeting at all global locations. “It was a huge success with live questions and answers and it saved the company around Rs 25 lakh (about $50,000) in travel costs alone,” says Webb. But getting the management to invest Rs 2.5 crore wasn’t easy. Yet, the team was able to convince the enterprise that the implementation of the project will bore serious long-term benefits and compensate for the overall investment. And those benefits are hard to miss. “Travel in our company is one of the largest cost components after salaries. We reasonably expect to be able to save 10-15 percent of the company’s overall travel budget on an ongoing basis,” says Webb. The framework for the community network was introduced around 9 months ago and today boasts of more than 600 websites across the globe. CIO

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"Improved financial visibility through BI has helped move us into overdrive."

Umesh Mehta, VP-IT Asia Motor Works


stablished in 2002, Asia Motor Works (AMW) is the latest entrant in the business of manufacturing medium and heavy commercial vehicles. With a network of over 35 dealers and 132 service stations, the company has grown through the years. But despite growth, it couldn't escape the slowdown, simply because it belonged to a sector severely hit by the downturn. Running on ERP, its various business processes like planning, purchase, production, sales, and finance were falling short of providing complete visibility to all its users, especially for the senior management. Timely availability of data in the required format to enable decisionmaking was a challenge for the company’s operational users. Spotty data access was slowing down collaboration and efficiency while costs were escalating. Umesh Mehta, VP-IT, AMW, knew that he needed to change the way the company works. So, he turned to business intelligence.

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“To understand the current overall scenario and for quick and user friendly MIS reports, BI had become imperative for us,” he says. BI gave AMW innovative tools and an agile infrastructure to generate the kind of business insights managers needed. The project was initiated with output from the


INGENIOUS: Because he infused a proactive spirit in his organization that combined technology and business insight to give them a competitive edge. VERTICAL : Automotive REVENUE : Rs 620 crore EMPLOYEES : 800 CEO : Anirudh Bhuwalka HEADQUARTERS : Mumbai

ERP in an Excel format. A database in SQL server was created and connected to the BI platform for reporting and analysis. The Rs 8 lakh implementation took under two days and users were trained over a week. “It was tough to get the top management engage on the subject of BI, especially with the economic slowdown,” says Mehta adding,” We came up with an idea of doing a proof of concept. We generated reports from SAP that helped understand the data in terms of sales, warranty trends, and so on. It won the approval of the top management.” The benefits that BI brought are hard to miss. With improved visibility into business performance, AMW expects to grow by 10 percent year on year. BI’s access to information fulfils every department’s needs, aiding quick decision-making. ”Costs have reduced by 20 percent and employee productivity has increased by 25 to 30 percent,” says Mehta. With BI, AMW can now clearly correlate low sales volumes with high warranty cost in certain products and spot trends quickly, predict risk more accurately and manage inventory more efficiently, giving them a definite competitive edge. CIO

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ow critical are dealers to a supply chain? Ask Asian Paints. Riding on a network of over 40,000 dealers, Asian Paints colors the country far, wide and deep. Yet executives at the company realized how irritating it was for dealers to place an order with them. A dealer had to call up a local Asian Paints depot, who passed their request on to a go down, where the order was noted on an order pad. Go down personnel would then enter the order on the ERP, generate an invoice and dispatch the material. This game of inventory Chinese whispers, put dealers on edge. “The dealers had to chase various entities in the warehouses,” Manish Choksi, chief corporate strategy and CIO, Asian Paints. “It was not a pleasant experience.” To alleviate their pain, Choksi and his team set up a central order processing service (COPS), which leverages recent improvements in telephony technologies. To create COPS, Choksi also leveraged the company’s investment in SAP. A SAP CRM with a user-friendly and optimized ordertaking and query-handling dashboard was commissioned. Aspect telephony system was integrated with SAP systems for advanced call handling, distribution, IVRS and predictive outbound dialing. Rollouts of the COPS project started in January 2009 and should be complete by

March 2010. The main function of the COPS cell would to take orders and handle dealer queries. Dealers can now place their orders by calling a toll-free number. “The COPS cell is like a professional call center. It will ensure high quality in all interactions. The further processing of orders in terms of dispatch and billing will continue to happen at the go down,” says Choksi. By strategically segregating ordertaking and order-fulfillment, Asian Paints can build capabilities in both areas by outsourcing them to specialists in contact

centers and logistics. “We can now further segregate the fulfillment centers from our sales offices resulting in improved locations closer to the markets for our sales personnel,” says Choksi. The speed of order-taking has improved substantially. According to a recent survey, 70 percent of the dealers find the COPS service better than the old system, a similar number said their queries were answered in the first call and over 70 percent said that errors in order taking have reduced drastically. CIO

Manish Choksi, Chief Corporate Strategy and CIO Asian Paints


INGENIOUS: Because he revamped the way that the company interacted with 40,000 of its dealers. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD AND CEO HEADQUARTERS


: Manufacturing : Rs 5,463 crore : 5,460 : 50 : P.M. Murty : Mumbai

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“Dealers are our contact with the external customer. We wanted to offer them a

standardized and improved experience.”

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s one of the country's largest vertically-integrated pharmaceutical companies, the list of Aurobindo Pharma’s products covers an impressive span. The Hyderabad-based pharma company makes almost 60 percent of its sales (in volume terms) from exports to over a 100 countries. But while the company did well by sending out its products, it didn’t do so well when it outsourced its IT. For over five years until 2008, Aurobindo had outsourced its IT infrastructure to well-

known vendors and for five years the cost of IT had escalated — by six-fold. Even taking into account the growth of the company, the rising costs ran contrary to management’s attempts to control costs to meet the slowdown. “Bringing down the cost of managing IT infrastructure was part of the management’s initiative to bring down cost in any area without compromising quality,” says Mahesh Kumar Pinnamaneni, CIO, Aurobindo Pharma. So Pinnamaneni did what most CIOs would typically consider unthinkable: he brought IT back in-house. Although the

Mahesh Kumar Pinnamaneni, CIO Aurobindo Pharma

plan flew in the face of most management practices, Pinnamaneni knew it would meet the needs of the company. Yet there were plenty of risks, including a likely drop in SLAs and a team that was unfamiliar with Aurobindo’s IT set-up. One insight saw Pinnamaneni through. “We observed that 90 percent of the resources deployed on site were from the channel partners of our outsourcing partners, except for the program manager and team leader, says Pinnamaneni. By bringing all those 24 people (except the program manager and team leader) over to Aurobindo, Pinnamaneni solved his problem. There was no need for a knowledge transfer, potential change management issues were avoided — both of which helped achieving similar levels of service. “The objective of bringing down the cost of IT support was achieved as well,” explains Pinnamaneni. The turnaround brought down the total cost of IT helpdesk and facilities management by 15 percent in 2008 (despite a higher number of resources), a figure Pinnamaneni estimates will increase to 22 percent this year. CIO

SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Mahesh Kumar Pinnamaneni is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for CIO's Hall of Fame.


INGENIOUS: "The decision to insource was taken with a sense of risk, especially

since most organizations were moving the other way."


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Becaue he went against the grain and brought IT back in-house and gained. VERTICAL : Pharmaceutical REVENUE : over Rs 3,100 crore EMPLOYEES : over 5,000 IT TEAM : 50 MD : Nityananda Reddy K. HEADQUARTERS: Hyderabad

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INGENIOUS: Because he not only got rid of legacy systems but also deployed several solutions in one go. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CMD HEADQUARTERS

“We are the only company in the world to have implemented so many critical solutions together in one go.” Pratap Gharge, VP and CIO Bajaj Electricals


u mb a i - b a s e d B aj aj Electricals is a part of the reputed Bajaj Group. The consumer electrical products manufacturing company has 70 years of experience in the electrical market. With 30 branches, 600 distributors and 3,000 authorized dealers, the company was growing at a blistering pace but its legacy systems and processes were ill-equipped to support this business growth. “Based on 12-year-old business processes, they (legacy systems) lacked advanced features like CRM and supply


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chain solutions. Managing the obsolete legacy system was also getting expensive and difficult for us,” says Pratap Gharge, VP and CIO, Bajaj Electricals. He knew that the 12-year-old legacy ERP solution was due for upgradation. But that wasn’t it. Business required improvement in back office operations along with timely and accurate MIS generation to be more responsive to market conditions. Streamlining pricing and discount schemes was deemed necessary for a good customer relationship and proper control

: Manufacturing : Rs 1,801 crore : 1,100 : 25 : Shekhar Bajaj : Mumbai

over price delivery. “To rationalize cost and build operational efficiency it was necessary to optimize inventory, improve warehouse management and logistics,” says Gharge. He decided to embark on a transformation project for BPI with ICT (information and communication technologies), which meant that the project would bundle ERP, CRM, SCM and BI together. It was conceived with the objective of simplifying business processes, migrating to new technology, innovate and integrate, learning orientation and to make the organization effective and efficient. The project was named SMILE. But Gharge had to mitigate several challenges. Integrating all the software together was an issue. Internal change management was another thorny issue. “Getting people to adopt the changed processes was difficult. The change in mindset was difficult to bring about. Different applications were touching different set of teams and a lot of effort was required to make people adapt to the new set of processes,” he says. Once these issues were addressed, the project went live in April 2009. It has provided end-to-end connectivity across the organization and upgraded the company’s IT infrastructure to meet business requirements. CIO

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“My mission is clear: simplify processes and build a path to the future."

S. Francis Rajan, Head-ICT Bengaluru International Airport


engaluru International Airport aims at making itself one of the most modern airports equipped with state-of the-art information and communication facilities in the world. And to get there, S. Francis Rajan, headICT, BIAL, consistently comes up with innovative communication technology implementations. Installing IPTV across its campus was one of them. "But, the roll out of IPTV by TRAI approved operators in Bangalore had taken more time than expected. And we had to create a master TV infrastructure if we wanted BIAL to stay ahead," says Rajan. To take the TV content feed outside the terminal building is a challenge as the airport needed to run coaxial cable across the campus. So, he decided to converge his IP network. “Now we are geared to deploy IPTV as we have a converged IP network across campus and hence IPTV content can be delivered to any office in the BIAL campus on a separate VLAN,” says Rajan.


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But Rajan didn’t want to stop with just that. He also wanted to equip the airport with mobile check-ins — allowing passengers to check in using their Web-based mobile phones — which is a concept only a handful of airports around the world have. The converged network would help them


INGENIOUS: Because he futureproofed the organization in compliance with IATA’s mandate. VERTICAL EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO HEADQUARTERS

: Services : 625 : 84 : Marcel Hungerbuehler : Bangalore

deliver this in the future. “If the security mandate does allow mobile check-ins, then BIAL would be off the blocks with a few international airlines that have the facility for selective routes,” he says. Also, the IATA has an ongoing ‘simplify the business’ initiative and the mandate is for all airlines operating in India to conform to 2D bar code standards by 2010. IP convergence has made that possible for the airport. BIAL is the first airport to deploy 2D bar code scanners to accept gate check-ins. But getting there wasn’t easy. “This is a new experience for all airlines in the country and for other stakeholders and acceptance of this mode was a challenge. Convincing the management and the board was another issue, but thanks to the confidence reposed by the management, we could see the fruits of our labor,” says Rajan. The project has not only helped the airport become the first one to comply fully with the IATA’s mandate but also futureproofed it to accept mobile check-in, the next wave of travel. CIO

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he Bank of India is one of the first in India to establish fullycomputerized branches and ATMs in Mumbai — twenty years ago. But 1,868 of its rural branches were not part of its core banking system, which put its rural clients at a disadvantage. “With 70 percent of the country's population living in rural areas and with the kind of economic growth they have seen, it became imperative that they were provided similar types of services. Moreover, with new Government schemes like the New Pension Scheme and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Program, rural customers needed better facilities,” says P.A. Kalyanasundar, general manager, Bank of India. The immediate challenge before Kalyanasundar was a problem that plagues many businesses operating in rural India: connectivity. “The infrastructure at the datacenter was already available. The challenge was in providing infrastructure and last mile connectivity at these branches,” says Kalyanasundar. Given India’s spread-out geography and poor Internet penetration, Kalyansundar turned to VSATs to overcome the bank’s connectivity problems. What was harder was getting electricity to these branches which typically suffer from prolonged power-cuts. Using generators to run the servers and VSATs would have been

expensive so Kalyansundar’s team chose to use the sun. They started one of the largest solar-powered initiatives in the country. The next step was training users in rural branches to use core banking applications. The skills of these workers needed upgrading, which the bank is tackling with ongoing training. The project which will cost the bank Rs 175 crore over five years went live in May 2009. “With all 3,000-plus branches now on a uniform system, we integrated them to the various payment systems like foreign

inward remittances, RTGS/NEFT, SWIFT, electronic clearing services, etcetera. Today, all inward and outward remittances happen in a seamless manner via straight through processing," says Kalyansundar. The benefits have begun to show with rural areas bringing in low cost deposits. Plus, Kalyansundar adds, the government has chosen the Bank of India as the trustee bank for its New Pension Scheme and the beneficiaries expected to have banking arrangements with them. The project achieved ROI in seven months. CIO

P.A. Kalyanasundar, General Manager Bank of India


INGENIOUS: Because he brought core banking to 1,868 rural branches of the Bank of India, despite multiple challenges including a lack of electricity. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CMD


: BFSI : Rs 12,500 crore : 40,000 : 600 : A.K. Misra

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“With 70 percent of India living in rural areas it became imperative to extend

core banking facilities to them.”

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he erstwhile Burmah Shell Group of Companies — what is today Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) — was taken over by the government of India in 1977. Being a trusted brand and one of the top oil manufacturers in the petroleum industry for more than three decades is not easy. More so with international crude prices fluctuating the way they have. “Our largest customers are petroleum dealers and LPG distributors across the country. These dealers and distributors are resellers of petrol, diesel and LPG and

their business was running on cash-andcarry strategy, managed through cheques, demand drafts,” says S. K. Joshi, director (finance), BPCL. Around 10,000 banking instruments to the tune of Rs 150 crore per day were handled at over 350 BPCL locations across the country. “The cash and carry strategy was leading to inordinate delays and put pressure on liquidity,” says Joshi. He knew that he had to revamp the entire collection process. BPCL realized that if it automated the whole process, life would become a lot easier.

S. K. Joshi, Director (Finance) BPCL

The oil giant went the e-banking way and integrated the process of money transfers from the customer’s bank to BPCL’s bank through the E-biz portal. In the new system, says Joshi, the customer has to place an indent over the Internet for the product to be purchased and ask his bank to remit funds to the designated BPCL account. The BPCL banker receives the funds and credits the BPCL account, after which the customer account in BPCL’s ERP system is credited with the amount. The requested product is dispatched to the customer who receives an SMS informing him about the status of the order. The customer can check his statement of account with BPCL using the E-biz Portal. Though the project was implemented using largely available technologies, it was not without challenges. “The dealers and distributors had to be educated on using the electronic fund transfer process. Workshops were conducted at each location,” says Joshi. Although the banking systems in metros and II-tier cities were geared up for e-banking initiatives, banks in III-tier and rural locations took time to mature. But, the benefits were substantial. Within eight months from the project's launch, 90 percent of the total collections (Rs 5,000 crore per month) was moved to the e-banking mode — all this without any cost to the company. CIO


INGENIOUS: Because he improved relations with consumers and banks through an e-payments strategy.

"Within eight months of the launch, 90 percent of all collections were moved to the e-banking mode."


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VERTICAL : Manufacturing REVENUE : Rs 145,392 crore EMPLOYEES : 14,003 IT TEAM : 160 CHAIRMAN AND MD : Ashok Sinha HEADQUARTERS : Mumbai

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SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Dr Jai Menon is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for CIO's Hall of Fame.


INGENIOUS: Because he created a platform that provided consistent service experience to users across media — mobile, PC and TV. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM

“Airtel SDP is currently built to cater to 100 million subscribers, and is being scaled

up for 200 million subscribers.”

Dr Jai Menon, Director Technology and Customer Service, Bharti Airtel, Group CIO Bharti Enterprises


ith various services under its fold — from the ubiquitous mobile to the rather new IPTV — Bharti Airtel had to find a way to ensure consistency of its services across platforms. Consistency of user experience in an extremely competitive telecom sector was essential. To attend to this business need, Airtel built a service delivery platform (SDP) that provides a framework for the delivery of telecom services. The platform is built on SOA principles ensuring interoperability


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between and across various services. The SDP components are coupled with each other on a bus-based infrastructure and each component is independently scalable. The platform also provides service abstraction for media control and integration for consumer (B2C) and business (B2B) applications. What it has meant for the business is a paradigm shift in offering value added services (VAS). "Now, application developers can steer clear of the complexities of network and IT systems and focus only on building the business logic," says Dr Jai Menon, director technology and customer service,

: Telecom : Rs 36,961.5 crore : 24,000 : 3,000

Bharti Airtel, and group CIO, Bharti Enterprises. But getting there was tough. Because Menon needed to bring different mediums on a single platform, “The SDP had to integrate distributed multi-vendor network components and existing distributed services had to be migrated to the new platform,” says Menon. With the deployment of the SDP, Airtel has been able to speed up deployment of services (time to market); converge multimedia services across networks and terminals (mobile, broadband, DTH and IPTV); and increase VAS revenue. A ‘self-care’ feature for customers reduced the load on customer service, reducing cost in the process. The SDP also provides small developers and content providers with the opportunity to get into the market easily. The SDP handles 500,000 rich content downloads and over 80 million recharge requests per day. It maintains subscriber records of over 100 million subscribers each having over 50 profile parameters. The Airtel SDP is currently built to cater to 100 million subscribers, and is now being scaled up for 200 million subscribers. CIO

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“The switch to increased automation not only boosted efficiency but also

enhanced and delighted staff."

Sanjay Kotha, CIO Bharti Retail


harti Retail, a subsidiary of Bharti Enterprises, operates a chain of multiple stores that offer consumers a variety of choices at affordable rates. To increase efficiency however, all processes that existed at a manual and rudimentary level had to be digitized. Sanjay Kotha, CIO, Bharti Retail, says, “As a start-up organization, we needed to create a central platform to provide employees with a single point interface for all communication, processes and applications.” In its endeavor to create centralized communication, Bharti Retail built an Intranet portal (myAccess). The portal is divided into three sections: myOrganization, myFunction and mySpace. The first section, provides the employees with enterprise-wide information and engagement tools like company news, policy and forms, company announcements etcetera. “Data pertaining to an employee’s specific function is available in the second section of the portal.

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Here, users can engage with their functional heads, and set functional priorities,” says Kotha. The last section is more personal. Employees can customize the information they require like check news, weather, jokes, cartoon and astrology. In addition, the portal provides a link to an online facility for users to



Because he ushered in a technology-enabled communication culture increasing productivity and happiness employees. VERTICAL : Retail REVENUE : Rs 20 crore EMPLOYEES : 1,030 IT TEAM :6 PRESIDENT AND COO : Vinod Sawhny

log IT related issues for resolution. But, for a start up like Bharti Retail, this wasn’t easy. Kotha had to convince the business to invest in the initiative. Tight timelines didn’t help his cause as he also had to train the users, and hence, the first phase of the project was completed in a short span of two months. Today, the number of hits that the portal receives has crossed six lakh a month. By automating various workflow processes, the portal has enhanced employee productivity and satisfaction levels. ”The application has become the lifeline for employees. The travel and expense management feature of the portal has helped in tracking expenses and trends, thus leading to better cost management and optimization,” says Kotha. Kotha is proud of the results the project has generated. “This is a landmark project because a non-technology oriented organization has made the paradigm shift towards technology,” he says. The project epitomized Kotha’s vision for change: The age of automation is going to be the age of ‘do it yourself.’ CIO

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n November this year, India’s first biotechnology company will turn 31. Starting as a joint venture in 1978, today Biocon has grown to a robust Rs 1,600 crore company, with a reputation for ground-breaking research and products. The company has five subsidiary companies in its stable: Syngene International, a custom research organization, Clinigene International, a clinical research organization, and Biocon Biopharmaceuticals, a joint venture with CIMAB to develop and market a range of monoclonal antibodies and cancer vaccines. In addition, there is AxiCorp, a Germanybased pharmaceutical marketing company and, NeoBiocon a research and marketing pharmaceutical company in Abu Dhabi. Combined, Biocon, Syngene and Clinigene have approximately 3,600 employees. Communication between these employees and the companies is crucial for the business and the research its products are based on. So when Radhakrishnan G., GM-systems, Biocon, decided to migrate the company’s communication platform, it was not a decision he could take lightly. “We needed a uniform communications platform across the divisions of the company. We were looking for seamless integration with other apps and achieving a future path for unified communications,” he says.

The Rs 3 crore migration process faced the hurdle of migrating users from the existing mail platform without losing any e-mails, archives, folders and contact data. “The challenge was to achieve minimum downtime for each mail user and simultaneously provide training on the new platform,” says Radhakrishnan. Using, a migration tool that transfers all mail boxes and related data, he planned the migration so that it did not coincide with office hours. To meet the issues of change management, Radhakrishnan trained users

in batches before the migration and also opened an round-the-clock helpdesk facility at different campuses. His hard work paid off when executives in the field started communicating using the company’s e-mail ID thereby ensuring authenticity and building a better brand image. “The migration also increased the efficiency of people in communicating with others which has resulted in business gains. Savings to the IT budget were in the range of Rs 1 crore apart from achieving operational and technical efficiencies,” he says. CIO

Radhakrishnan G., GM-Systems Biocon


INGENIOUS: Because in a biotech company, where collaboration is crucial, he helped take communications to the next level. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CMD


: Bio Pharma : Rs 1,600 crore : 4,000 : 30 : Dr Mazumdar Shaw

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“We were looking for seamless integration with other apps and achieving a future path for unified communications."

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n 2002, Delhi Vidyut Board was privatized and came to be known as BSES Power. Bringing light to over 2.26 million homes is anything but easy. And, if you’re fixing outages most of the time, that customer base could become history. K.B. Singh, VP and head-IT, BSES, was determined to get these outages out of the way. “Complaints of consumers regarding electricity supply, breakdowns and shutdowns always reflect negetively on the business and this had to change," he says. In electricity distribution, operations &

maintenance (O&M) requires data exchange and communication with support functions like stores and meter management. For operational efficiency and good customer service, the O&M department needs proper visibility of the electricity network. “And unless all this data is available online, there is always a tendency of glitches in the operations which lead to delay in fault restoration and long outages resulting in poor customer service and other negative cascading effects,” says Singh. So, he took charge of the situation by automating O&M, through a business

K. B. Singh, VP and Head-IT BSES

process automation solution titled CORE (converged operational & reporting engine). BSES implemented SAP R/3 for stores and meter management and GIS for network visibility. The OMS (outage management system) is the main O&M module used for monitoring electricity. It was seamlessly integrated with SAP R/3. Interestingly, the OMS was also integrated with GIS so that the equipment used could be tagged to zero in on fault locations, cutting fault resolution time. It was a challnge for Singh to integrate different functional modules working on different platforms. And that too with zero downtime. Also, since this data is crucial and sensitive and any minor flaw during integration could cause a cascading effect for the operation. But, structured planning, regular joint meetings with vendors and dedicated teamwork helped the team overcome these hurdles. “We developed a pilot and tested it to minimize risk and track its effectiveness,” explains Singh. Today, 90 percent complaints are attended to and resolved in less than two hours. Power outages have decreased by 98 percent and transformer failure rate has come down from 15 percent to less than one percent. CIO


INGENIOUS: “Complaints from consumers reflect negatively on the business and this

had to change.”


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Because he made sure that 2.26 million customers didn't stay in the dark for too long. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES CEO HEADQUARTERS

: Services : Rs 6,229.75 crore : 11,263 : Arun Kanchan : New Delhi

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SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Surekha Sahu is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for Green IT.


INGENIOUS: Because she found a way to green CRIS' datacenter and increased energy efficiency by 18 percent. INDUSTRY REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD

" If CRIS’ datacenter design and equipment induction policy continued, it would have created a bulky,

energy-gulping, unreliable datacenter."

Surekha Sahu, Chief Manager Electrical Center for Railway Information Systems (CRIS)


he Indian Railways, Asia’s largest rail network, is forever expanding and so are its IT needs. Where it ran only three or four mission critical applications in 1986, today it has 20 including nationwide systems for ticketing, crew and material management, and asset tracking, among others. For the Center for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), the IT wing of the railways, this growth saw its datacenter guzzling power at an unprecedented rate. “With the Indian Railways growing more IT conscious, CRIS’ datacenter had


an exponential growth in power, cooling and space requirements. If CRIS’ datacenter design and equipment induction policy continued, it would have created a bulky, energy-gulping, unreliable datacenter which would have severely impacted our IT initiatives,” says Surekha Sahu, chief manager electrical, CRIS. To counter this, Sahu envisioned a more efficient, more eco-friendly datacenter. Her plan called for a revamp of the datacenter’s design, a re-design of its HVAC and power systems, and a new level of consolidation. And it had to be done without impacting

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: Government : Rs 160 crore : 800 : 700 : Madhav Pathak

the operations of one of the most busy rail networks in the world. The first concern was improving cooling efficiency. To achieve this, CRIS replaced a traditional centralized air-conditioner system with a microcontroller-based precision AC system, and re-designed and relocated air-condition ducts. The entire datacenter was re-aligned to fit a hot-aislecold-aisle formation and for more effect, blanking panels and perforated doors were installed in its racks. Improving power efficiently was the next step. The datacenter’s thyristor-based UPS, which was only 80 percent efficient, was replaced by a IGBT-based system, which is 98 percent efficient. The way power was distributed from the UPS to the racks was also re-designed. Finally, equipment that was shared across applications was consolidated and centralized in the datacenter. Ghost servers were switched off and removed and thinly-populated server racks consolidated. Today, the Rs 2.3 crore project which went live has trimmed the number of racks from 100 to 62. The efficiency of the power supply distribution system has also improved by 18 percent. CIO

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“What’s radically different is presenting a concept as

complicated as BCP in a simplified form." Satish Kumar Das, CSO Cognizant Technology Solutions


hen you are as big and as widespread as the Rs 13,500 crore, 62,000strong Cogniz ant Technology Solutions, you are exponentially more vulnerable to risk. Terrorist attacks, swine flu, transportation strikes and bad weather for instance threaten your business more than it does most others. Then there are those SLAs. All of which make planning for business continuity a must. Cognizant’s various departments and projects did create their own business continuity plans (BCP), but “compliance to the process was very low,” says Satish Kumar Das, CSO, Cognizant Technology Solutions. “We were always prepared, but there were gaps.” That’s why Das launched a BCP portal in June 2009. This enables the project teams to register online and create an entire business continuity plan — and get it reviewed and approved — using an online workflow system. The challenge was to make the system simple. “What’s radically different is


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presenting a concept as complicated as BCP in a simplified form,” says Das. “The portal has a simple form-based structure and some details are pre-captured from PeopleSoft. It SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Satish Das is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for Security.


INGENIOUS: Because he created a SPECIAL AWARD RECIPIENT simplified and automated For more presentation and opinions onBCP the importance of data, log onmechanism to our companion and compliance that cut turn around time on projects. VERTICAL : IT/ITES REVENUE : Rs 13,500 crore EMPLOYEES : 62,000 PRESIDENT AND CEO: Francisco D’Souza HEADQUARTERS : New Jersey

has no complicated templates and can be created with just a few clicks.” The system supports automatic document versioning when a plan is updated and reviewed. It packs a dashboard which allows executives to view all projects in a specific facility, location, or country and set priorities for recovery in an emergency. It also is intelligent enough to verify if specified recovery time objectives and recovery capacity objectives are feasible given various needs including project location and network architecture. Das also had to ensure that the portal didn’t get lost in a company that launches many in any given month. He says he had to “brand the portal through e-mailers, posters, intranet websites, screen savers, and workshops to make associates aware of how easy it is to use the portal.” With an investment of nearly Rs 50 lakh, it’ll take anywhere between seven months and a year for the project’s full payoff to emerge. But, in the meanwhile, it’s already helping project teams achieve faster turnaround in terms of plan documentation and approval. And come the next crisis, Cognizant will be prepared. CIO

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he Rs 700-crore construction company DLF Laing O'Rourke provides engineering and construction services across India. Currently is has over 25 projects including housing, malls, commercial offices and SEZs. Each of these projects are independent, but their staff interact with central functions such as finance and accounts at the company’s head office. The projects generate a high number of financial documents including bank payments, invoices and journal vouchers. As the business grew, so did the numbers of documents. “When we started this project, we had 8 lakh pages which were hardbound and stored on expensive real estate at our head office. Moreover, these documents needed to accessed for audit purposes and it was very expensive and time-consuming to archive and retrieve a document,” says Deepak Madan, GM-IT, DLF Laing O'Rourke. “It impacted business efficiency.” Madan knew the company needed to digitize these documents in an electronic repository and implement a document management system that could search and retrieve documents at the click of the mouse. And it had to be done quickly: the pile of documents was growing at the rate of 30,000 pages a month. Madan evaluated several document management systems in the market before

zeroing in on DocImage. The next step was interfacing it with the company’s existing ERP system to validate unique data fields on the different kinds of vouchers that were being scanned. Scanned images were converted to text using OCR and matched with data captured from the ERP. In July 2008, the digitization of the initial lot of pages was outsourced to a vendor who organized, scanned and indexed them. End users at all project locations were then trained to use DocImage by the vendor employing the ‘train-a-trainer model’.

In the meanwhile, scanners were procured and implemented at all project sites. By August 2008, the application was tested and implemented. The Rs 38-lakh project has helped the company save Rs 1.65 lakh a month in real estate and manpower costs. Today, users have an electronic, indexed and searchable repository of all financial documents. Each document is now digitized within 48 hours of its creation. DLF also maintains a complete back-up of records on tapes, thus mitigating the risk of complete data loss. CIO

Deepak Madan, GM-IT DLF Laing O'Rourke


INGENIOUS: Because he revolutionized the way DLF stores its financial data thus saving the company Rs 20 lakh a year. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO HEADQUARTERS


: Construction : Rs 700 crore : 1,100 : 10 : Hugh Waters : Gurgaon

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"The project improved employee morale and trust in the IT function as a partner in the company's growth.”

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n an industry that’s growing at 17 percent on an average, the Rs 900crore Emami, which manufactures and markets personal and healthcare consumer products, has maintained a 25 percent CAGR. It’s a track record Emami wants to maintain, but it was threatened by inefficiencies in its sales data. “Production was not forecast on the basis of consumer demand. The FMCG business is purely market driven so it is extremely important to measure secondary sales; which are a better reflection of demand,” says Vikram Saxena, senior GM-IT, Emami.

Saxena is referring the manually-made, secondary sales reports that the company’s sales teams worked with. The result? Inaccurate data caused inventory to pile up at distributor and C&F warehouses and delayed product launches. It also forced the company to manage its working capital in a less-than-optimal manner. “We focused on reducing the cycle time to produce secondary sales reports by automating the process of collecting and summarizing secondary sales data from 4,000 distributors. This significantly increases its accuracy and our decision-

Vikram Saxena, Sr. GM-IT Emami

making capacity once it’s integrated with our ERP,” says Saxena. In March 2009, Saxena deployed OutReach, and integrated it with an existing SAP ECC 5.0 ecosytem. It was tough work, especially integrating the “masters with the new software including pricing, customer, purchases, etcetera. We did ABAP/4 development to extract data in the required format,” he says. By June, the implementation started to show results. But before this success, Saxena had to market the project internally. It took time, he says, to convince the management and board of the system’s benefits. He also had to battle resistance from distributors and train a 1,300-strong field staff. “We conducted classroom training for all the stake holders, says Saxena. “It was a tremendous undertaking.” The time it took to get everyone’s buy-in was worth it. Today, the Rs 1.2-crore project ensures that Emami can accurately track any product’s movement at about 30 lakh retail outlets, analyze sales trends for all products across territories, ensure that stock is maintained at optimal levels and is better able to measure the success of promotional schemes. And it has helped reduce company stock levels by 10 days. “We expect to improve our field effectiveness by improving efficiencies and productivity by 25 percent,” says Saxena. CIO



“We reduced the time to produce secondary sales reports, which will improve our field effectiveness by 25 percent."

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Because without his contribution, Emami might still be basing itself on inaccurate sales and product data that hurt its business. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD

: FMCG : Rs 900 crore : 1,500 : 25 : S.K. Goenka

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9/19/2009 12:19:45 AM


SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Tamal Chakravorty is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for CIO's Hall of Fame.


INGENIOUS: Because he fostered SLAs between business and IT and cut costs dramatically without affecting IT service levels. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MU PRESIDENT

"To remain competitive, it was vital to shrink cost drastically — yet keep IT services unchanged. We reduced IT cost by 8 percent on a per-employee basis."

Tamal Chakravorty, CIO (India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan) Ericsson India


ricsson India, part of the Sweden-based Ericsson AB, manufactures communication equipment. It’s an extremely competitive business, made harder by the company’s Chinese rivals. “With revenues under pressure and margins dipping fast, it was important for the business to cut costs further to remain competitive,” says Tamal Chakravorty, CIO India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, Ericsson India. And the business had a clear mandate for him: cut IT cost by 12.5 percent on a


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per-employee basis — with no disruption to IT services. “IT costs are about 4 percent to 5 percent of total turnover and in some IT-centric businesses like R&D or network services, it is as high as 15 percent. This makes it a natural target for cost reduction. To remain competitive, it was important to cut costs drastically — yet keep IT services unchanged,’ says Chakravorty. To do that, Chakravorty had to first create business SLAs (BSLA). “It was extremely difficult to get the business to understand IT costs,” says Chakravorty. “Setting the right BSLA was difficult as everything

: Telecom : Rs 8,000 crore : 6,000 : 21 : Gowton Achaibar

needed to be translated into a cost and then demonstrated. It took long negotiations to hit the right price point.” Then he consolidated applications, jobs and datacenters and ensured services were wrapped in small packets to make them suitable for a pay-per-use model. He also got business to sponsor some of their own people to handle IT as ‘business partners’. Despite the strong business need, cost cutting was an uphill task. For instance, it was extremely difficult to move datacenters from different locations and locate them centrally with change management issues cropping up. “IT was spread throughout the organization seamlessly, hence it was necessary to de-classify each part of an IT service and look at it modularly and dispassionately,” says Chakravorty. All the pruning cost the company Rs 3 crore but brought it closer to its goal. IT has managed to reduce spends by 8 percent on a per-employee basis. Yet, this did not result in the diminishing of any IT service. Although customer satisfaction dipped marginally as a result of cost cutting, admits Chakravorty. CIO

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"Being able to reduce resources and expenses, yet

increase output was worth it." Amit Gupta, Head-Technology Infrastructure Services Fidelity Business Services India


elhi-based Fidelity Business Services India, a provider of investment solutions, launched operations in September 2001. With over 6,500 employees the company operates from Gurgaon, Bangalore and Chennai. The company is growing at a fast pace but in the last four to five years, dynamic business needs were putting pressure on IT. The IT team had to respond to business’s growing needs — like faster provisioning, providing on-demand scalability, optimizing the system performance — at lower cost. “Each business team had its own justification for a dedicated physical IT hardware, as a result of which, we had close to more than 1,000 servers and average utilization of these servers was a dismal two to three percent,” says Amit Gupta, headtechnology infrastructure services, Fidelity Business Services India. The IT team was battling several issues. There were frequent requests for upgrade in memory, processor or disk space.

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“I was convinced that virtualization would address these challenges. It could also optimize our spend on servers, inclusive of hardware and software,” says Gupta. SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Amit Gupta is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for Green IT


INGENIOUS: Because to cater to multiple problems — dynamic business needs and staying ahead of competition — he brought in one solution: virtualization. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM HEADQUARTERS

: BFSI : Rs 1,000 crore : 6,500 : 120 : New Delhi

However, the project brought with it a set of challenges. It was difficult for Gupta to secure buy-in of all stakeholders. There were technology know-how related challenges with in-house resources as well as vendors. ”Ensuring an effective program management for a project that touched almost everybody within the organization was challenging. Finding a project sponsor during recessionary times was another prickly issue,” he says. Gupta finally embarked on the project in a gradual manner by migrating low-risk platforms to a virtualized environment. Implemented in a phased manner, the project delivered considerable results. It reduced technology costs including support costs by 20 percent. “It led to cost avoidance due to hardware sharing as well as software re-deployment. It affected a 30 percent reduction in power consumption and increased availability of space within the datacenter by 20 percent,” says Gupta. Postimplementation, the number of physical servers reduced by almost 35 percent (from over 1,000 to 660). Not only that, the project ensured on-demand scalability and reduced provisioning time by 60 percent. CIO

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uture Generali Life Insurance (FG) is a joint venture between the Kishore Biyani-led Future Group and the Generali Group from Italy. Being the 22nd entrant in the market, it was keen on enhancing its footprint across India. The fledgling insurer needed to quickly reach out to remote areas and establish a large customer, and service base. “We decided to adopt a multi-channel, multiproduct and a pan-India approach. The company planned to roll out 93 branches by December 2008,” says Rajeev Shirodkar, CIO, Future Generali. He knew that IT would have to script the growth story of his company. Setting up 93 branches within a short span of five months is an incredible target by any standard. Shirodkar had to ensure that all 93 locations had proper connectivity and reliable communication channels. But, the renowned implementation partners who were managing the project did not provide him with much needed support. Shirodkar realized that results his parners were delivering were falling short of the company’s expectations and, “we immediately terminated this relationship

and an in-house team took over,” he says. But that was just the beginning. “We decided to set up temporary branches to kickstart the operation. This ensured that we did not lose any business opportunities while the permanent branch setup was in progress,” says Shirodkar. Migrating from temporary to permanent branches was a hassle, especially in the first quarter when business is at its peak. But with IT holding the reins, it wasn’t difficult for the company to pull out of trouble. IT quickly rolled out single

sign-on, e-mail, Blackberry and other necessary infrastrucutre for its employees. A full-fledged helpdesk ensured 99 percent availability. Not only that, the project also aided in delivering local servicing capabilities — even in rural areas. It improved customer service as users don’t have to depend on a single branch to attend to them. “We conducted a user satisfaction survey and scored four on five,” says Shirodkar. CIO

Rajeev Shirodkar, CIO Future Generali India Life Insurance

SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Rajeev Shirodkar is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for Infrastructure.


INGENIOUS: Because he helped his fledgling company gain a foothold in the competitive insurance industry by establishing 93 branches in just five months. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES CEO


: BFSI : Rs 154 crore : 4,500 : Jayant Khosla

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“We had an extremely ambitious timeframe of five months to roll out

93 fully connected branches."

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hen Gati launched in 1989, it was a small cargo management company. But over the years it’s evolved into a consumer 'superbrand.' But with this growth came challenges to the brand. It sought to be a trusted: if Gati said it would be delivered, it would be. The evidence? A scrap of paper called a POD (proof of delivery). The problem was tracking and couriering signed PODs back to senders. With lakhs of shipments criss-crossing the country, (Gati covers 3.2 lakh kilometers

every day), ensuring that PODs found their way back cost a lot of effort and money. Worse, it took about three days before PODs reached senders, making Gati look slow in an age of real-time service. “We needed to provide customers with real-time delivery results and eliminate the risk of losing physical copies of PODs.” says G.S. Ravi Kumar, CIO, Gati. In addition, the solution needed to be lowcost and easy to implement across a nontechnical workforce. Kumar’s solution uses inexpensive, entry-level handheld devices with GPRS

G.S. Ravi Kumar, CIO Gati

and image capturing capabilities. On delivery, the image of a POD and related information is uploaded to a central database. This ensures that delivery information is updated almost in real time and removes the processing time and effort formerly associated with POD delivery, including data entry operators, about 100 workstations and their associated electricity and real estate costs. It also made tracking physical PODs irrelevant and did away with the cost of couriering PODs. “Sometimes we faced GPRS connectivity challenges,” says Kumar. To solve this, offline software was developed in J2ME, which captures the image and information and synchronizes with the central database whenever a GPRS connection next presents itself. And because the captured information has been made available on Gati’s website, customers get more immediate updates on their deliveries. Currently the project, which cost Rs 90 lakh, has been rolled out to over 240 locations with 900-plus users and over 20,000 transactions a day. And because the solution was so simple, it was completed in a third of the time and achieved ROI in under six months. CIO


INGENIOUS: "Today, we’ve eliminated the cost of couriering PODs and updated

delivery information is almost in real time."


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Because his simple and lowcost solution strikes at the heart of an important and expensive problem in the logistics business: getting PODs back to senders. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES MD AND CEO

: Services : Rs 576 crore : over 6,200 : Mahendra Agarwal

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INGENIOUS: Because he helped standardize processes across various units of GHCL, simplifying them and taking IT systems up many notches. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD

““GHCL believes in being an IT-enabled organization and its

vision is: ‘decision-making through IT'.”

Chandan Sinha, CIO GHCL


ncorporated in 1983, GHCL is a global chemical and textile company. On the chemical side, it is one of the largest producers of soda ash in India. In textiles, it produces yarn, griege fabric, bed linen, curtains and duvet covers. GHCL caters to the upper end of the market both domestically and internationally and owns Rosebys, a home decor and lifestyle products company. To make world-class textiles, the company needed world class systems, systems that could track its products, from


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both quality and cost perspectives. “The manufacturing of textiles involves various processes like warping, weaving, finishing, cutting, stitching, inspection and packing. There are numerous bills of material and routings at various stages of production. A major concern was tracking workin-progress against an order, especially export orders which have strict deadlines,” says Chandan Sinha, CIO, GHCL. “It was also important to ensure production was achieved within a budgeted cost.” Another challenge was managing the entire supply chain across the group’s

: Manufacturing : Rs 1,230 crore : 2,700 : 35 : R.S. Jalan

multiple plants. There was a need to cut down inventory costs and track its movement, especially with sub-contractors. Keen on meeting these business needs, Sinha decided to implement an ERP system that was suitable for the complex operations of a textile company. But he had to be quick. His mandate from the business was to implement the system in the shortest possible time without compromising functionality or quality. “Since our implementation partners had a pre-configured solution, we decided on a six-month target for the go-live,” says Sinha. The Rs 3-crore project took off on time and introduced substantial benefits. The new ERP standardized processes across the different units of GHCL, and made accurate information readily availability online to all of them. Where the cost analysis of an order after production was once time consuming, it became immediate. Reports were also now easily available, giving the business a better understanding of the health of the organization. “GHCL believes in being an IT-enabled organization and its IT vision is: ‘decision-making through IT’,” says Sinha. And they stood by their word. CIO

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“We secured the quality and availability of desktop-based data

which could have otherwise hampered decision-making.”

Anjan Bose, Sr. VP, CIO, and Head HR&A Haldia Petrochemicals


o l k at a- b a s e d Haldia Petrochemicals (HPL) manufactures naphthabased petrochemicals and is based out of 16 locations and employs 900 people. The company had a SAN in place which was dedicated to its SAP servers. But as the company grew, its SAP servers were not the only ones that were critical. In addition, many of the company’s PCs stored data which was critical to key business processes including pricing management, discount management and daily reporting — all of which could be lost in the event of a crash. To make the problem worse, the company’s document control center said that 60,000 pages from 11 functional groups needed to be digitized and stored in central repository. In the meanwhile, the business was under pressure to meet compliance requirements. “We needed all our transactional data and e-mail data to be archived and maintained for at least


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seven years,” says Anjan Bose, Sr. VP, CIO, and head-HR&A, Haldia Petrochemicals. All of this meant that it was only a matter of time before data outgrew the available storage space. A single solution to address all of these issues came in the form of another SAN — this one would work for non-SAP application servers and mails.


INGENIOUS: Because he got a single SAN implementation to solve multiple issues — from e-mail retrieval to compliance and cost-saving for new servers. INDUSTRY REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD

: Manufacturing : Rs 8,500 crore : 900 : 20 : Swapan Kumar Bhowmik

HPL installed an HP Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) 8000 for this project. The system came with a mail archiving solution and a three-year comprehensive warranty that ensured there were no additional costs for that period on maintenance. This system was designed to be fail-proof at multiple levels, with features such as automatic de-staging of cache to the disks in a power failure (graceful shutdown), global hot spare disks that could be used automatically when any live disk failed, each controller having two or more CPUs for redundancy, etcetera. The project cost about Rs 1.5 crore and went live in February 2008. With the SAN up and running, about 60,000 pages of documents were digitized and made available through the company’s document control center. The data generated by engineering documents due to project activity is projected to be 6TB per year. Apart from being a data store of the application servers, data on user machines is now protected on the SAN. New servers to be deployed do not need massive storage since the SAN works as a single dedicated backup system. CIO

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he 30-year-old HCL Technologies BPO Services is India’s original IT garage start-up. But today the company has a large range of offerings, a 60,000-strong workforce and operates from 23 countries. “We started from scratch and today we have managed to reach 99.99 percent uptime. Every single minute counts in the BPO industry; downtime is an absolute no-no at HCL,” says P.V. Ramadas, VP-technology, HCL Technologies BPO Services. “In order to achieve this, backend processes need to be completely in sync and we need 24x7 monitoring so that we can proactively cater to queries and issues.” Ramadas and his team had already created a platform called eNSURE IT. But to get to the level of day-to-day efficiency the company was aiming for, it became necessary to have a process-oriented approach. Towards that end, Ramadas and his team followed IT Service Management (ITSM) processes. He also says incident management was crucial. “99 percent of desktop related incidents are resolved within 60 minutes and stringent SLAs have been developed to respond to and resolve issues,” he says. “It was a major challenge to bring together all activities into one centralized

system, and work in consonance,” he adds. “For this platform to be an effective customer-service-friendly application, process innovation and change management played a major role.” He also watched out carefully for any changes. Any modifications to infrastructure he says has to follow a change management process. “This is very useful,” he says, “any change that is raised is analyzed before it is approved.” The Rs. 1.8 crore spent on the platform, which went live in January 2008, has

been already recovered says Ramadas. Services are available continuously and the team now has multiple parameters to watch out for. Take for instance how his team does a monthly analysis of the topfive contributors to disruptions in order to resolve them faster. The new system also allows remote access support and all critical devices are monitored in real time. The culture of working in silos is also discouraged and this adds to the productivity of processes leading to enhanced process capabilities. CIO

P.V. Ramadas, VP-Technology HCL Technologies BPO Services


INGENIOUS: Because he nurtured a multi-pronged strategy to ensure 99.99 percent uptime. VERTICAL : IT/ITES REVENUE : Rs 1,134 crore EMPLOYEES : 12,750 IT TEAM : 130 PRESIDENT AND CEO: Ranjit Narsimhan HEADQUARTERS : Noida


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“A turnaround time of 60 minutes for resolution is a key differentiating factor.”

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DFC Standard Life Insurance (HDFCSL) is a dominant player in the insurance industry with 27 lakh policies as of March 2009. In line with the industry’s competitive pressures, HDFCSL has been scaling up rapidly. And it has been doing it the way everyone in the industry does: by getting more financial consultant boots on the road. But, HDFCSL couldn’t recruit, train, test and license them fast enough. “At 8,840 financial consultant recruited a month, the recruitment level was low compared to our

target of about 13,200,” says Sunil Rawlani, EVP-IT, HDFCSL. The insurer was also experiencing a high dropout rate, mainly because branch operations could not provide timely updates on training and exam schedules. At the high cost of Rs 3,000 to train financial consultants, dropouts were the last thing HDFCSL needed. But it was having a hard time just keeping track of the number of candidates it had to license. With growing competition, these were inefficiencies Rawlani knew HDFCSL could ill afford. So he decided to align

Sunil Rawlani, EVP-IT HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company

various sub-processes into a centralized and consolidated operation. A small group of cross-functional teams envisaged a project they called ATLAS (Agency Training Licensing and Servicing System). It would map every activity required to take raw recruits and turn them into licensed financial consultants. But because ATLAS had a pan-Indian implementation, it was a challenge just to train its users and provide post implementation support. It was also daunting, recalls Rawlani, to streamline geographically-dispersed departments that were involved in different stages of training and licensing. But once these problems were overcome, ATLAS opened a world of benefits. The project, which cost about Rs 1.47 crore will help HDFCSL save Rs 4.74 crore in its first year. It allowed HDFCSL to improve its turnaround time by 30 days. It’s eliminated multiple types of queries and rescheduling, saving Rs 10 lakh a year in recurring costs. And MIS reports are now available online saving the insurer Rs 80 lakh a year in peoples’ time. “Over the next five years, ATLAS is expected to achieve ROI of 642 percent,” says Rawlani. CIO SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Sunil Rawlani is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for Security.


INGENIOUS: “Over the next five years, ATLAS

is expected to achieve an ROI of 642 percent.”


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Because he found an inexpensive way to ensure that his company could hire more financial consultants, quickly. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM HEADQUARTERS

: BFSI : Rs 5,564.69 crore : over 14,500 : 51 : Mumbai

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SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Vijay Sethi is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for Green IT.


INGENIOUS: Because he combined barcodes and WiFi to increase dispatch accuracy and trim the space needed for inventory. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD AND CEO

“We used readily-available, simple technology to achieve big business benefits without increasing

manpower despite higher volumes.” Vijay Sethi, VP-IS Hero Honda Motors


he world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturing company, Hero Honda Motors has sold over 20 million motorcycles in India alone. With three globallybenchmarked manufacturing facilities, two of which are based in Haryana and a third in Uttarakhand, the company can now produce 4.4 million bikes every year. To stay at the top, Hero Honda Motors dispatches 11,500 motorcycles everyday. With numbers like that, making sure that the right bike was going to the right dealer was incredibly hard. “One of the pain areas

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was tracking the frame numbers of vehicles being dispatched,” says Vijay Sethi, VP-IS, Hero Honda Motors. “We needed guarantee that the right dispatches were being made at all times.” The company also wanted to ensure that bikes that got off the assembly line first, were also the first ones that be dispatched. If Sethi could find a solution, he could improve not just the picking and loading process but also the efficiency of each picker moving bikes to the loading area. Using barcodes, wireless access points, wireless-enabled handheld terminals a

: Manufacturing : Over Rs 12,000 crore : Over 4,500 : 40 : Pawan Munjal

middleware application, Sethi’s answer mapped the bike assembly and all related processes to an existing SAP system through bar-coding. Every detail of each motorcycle including its model, color, frame and engine number, and its inventory location is captured. Once a sales order is created, a pick list is loaded onto the handheld of a picker. At this point the barcode is scanned marking a specific vehicle for delivery. Pickers then place the bike in a loading area in front of the correct dock (each docking bay has a unique ID). When it’s loaded into a transporter, the bike’s ID is scanned and validated against a delivery number. At the same time, its engine number and the truck’s number are also updated on SAP. With the technological challenges out of the way, Sethi now had to train his users. “The majority of the manpower involved in these processes are casual contract workers and the required skill level is just not there, so enormous efforts were put in order to train them,” Sethi says. Now, Hero Honda Motors has no problems identifying inventory. CIO

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"When the top line doesn't look very good, it is

paramount to ensure that all resources are billed in full and in time.” N. Nataraj, CIO Hexaware Technologies


ike almost every software services player, the Rs 1,083crore Hexaware Technologies, which provides business intelligence solutions and business analytics enterprise applications, etcetera, was impacted by the global recession. This made it critical to create more visibility in the resources each project consumed and the monies it brought in. “Considering the effects of the slowdown and pressure on operating margins, managing projects better financially and managing the finances of the company more efficiently became two major needs,” says Nataraj. “When the top line does not look very good, it is paramount to ensure that all billable resources are billed in full and in time.” Nataraj’s solution was an integrated suite of applications that, combined, would optimize the lifecycle of an IT project — from opportunity to contract, project management insight, cost optimization, billing, invoicing and collections. By


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creating more visibility from one end of a project to another, he knew he would be able to reduce revenue leakages. After a massive data cleanup job and preparations to reduce the risks of launching a wide spectrum of applications, the Rs 3-crore project went live in June 2009. “Since the right automation gaps were addressed


INGENIOUS: Because he put together a complex set of applications that enabled the company to get better visibility of its projects, allowing it to lower operating costs. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO

: IT/ITES : Rs 1,083 crore : 5,296 : 105 : P.R. Chandrasekar

and systems were effectively integrated, the cycle time for the implementation was cut significantly,” says Nataraj. Better controls decreased reconciliation efforts by the finance department, leading to a reduction in manpower costs. The apps for customer collaboration ensured that requirement-sharing, risks and dependencies were tracked and did not take projects by surprise and increase operating costs. This also gave executives a realtime snapshot of the company, improving decision-making, revenue forecasts, and guidance to the market. The increased visibility, combined with the advantages of a new collection portal, resulted in invoices that were sent to clients earlier and improved collection. This brought down daily sales outstanding by 8 percent (q-o-q). Part of the overall solution was also a travel management system that cut nonbillable travel by 50 percent and reduced overall travel expenses by 30 percent. Finally, the project optimized resource allocation, saving the company Rs 50 lakh, and increased operating margins in Q2 2009 by 49.8 percent (Q-o-Q). CIO

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n 30 June 2009, India got its first eight-lane freeway over the open sea. Thanks to Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), the Bandra-Worli sea link is, like they say, a marvel. And so is the company that built it. In the business for over eight decades, HCC, a 3,000- strong construction enterprise wanted to take IT beyond the organization's boundaries — to its suppliers and sub-contractors. It had reasons. “Establishing a long-term connect with suppliers and sub-contractors was important because of the changing ecosystem which increases dependency on them. At the same time, there is now the possibility of working with global service providers,” says Satish Pendse, CIO, HCC. Also, the supply chain comprises large volumes of documents and the need arose to provide access to suppliers across locations. What Pendse needed was a portal that would eliminate manual data entry — filling physical forms for tasks such as quotation submission, request for proposal, purchase order and payment details. Like the sea link gave Mumbai a quick and easy way to get to the other side, HCC’s portal was devised to do the same for its suppliers. The solution deployed consisted of components of supplier relationship management and document management

software. The project was a combination of in-house and out-sourced development. But like all big projects, this one wasn’t devoid of challenges. “Getting buy-in from different classes of suppliers and subcontractors to appreciate the utility of the portal was difficult. A change in mindset was necessary to interact with HCC and move to a Web-based mode of interaction,” says Pendse. On the company’s part, it required extensive communication, training and perseverance. Another challenge was to get a buy-in across hierarchies within the

organization, which was achieved through extensive involvement of user teams throughout the initiative. The results are easy to see: the cost and time invested in communicating with vendors has reduced. Pendse says, “The platform facilitates access to larger number of suppliers and service providers, including global ones, giving us an edge in negotiations.” Another benefit is the transparency across supply chain, developing mutual trust, critical for a long term relationship with vendors. CIO

Satish Pendse, CIO Hindustan Construction Company


INGENIOUS: Because he bridged the gap between suppliers and the company, providing them with quick and easy access and HCC with better negotiating power. VERTICAL : Infrastructure EMPLOYEES : 3,000 REVENUE : Rs 3,518 crore CHAIRMAN AND MD : Ajit Gulabchand

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“The supplier portal offers access to a larger number of suppliers giving us an

edge in negotiations.”

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etting into the Fortune 500 isn’t easy, but living up to it is even more difficult. Ask Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) . Established in 1952, the company operates from 500 different locations, including refineries, terminals, LPG plants, aviation service facilities, etcetera. “Each year, over 2,000 budget proposals originate from these locations requesting for capital budgets for various purposes like expanding operations, replacement of assets, etcetera,” explains Nishi Vasudeva, executive director-IS, HPCL.

These proposals, along with supporting documents were being couriered to regional, zonal or head offices for review and approval. During reviews, clarifications are often sought and the paper flows back to the originator, and a new loop is formed. This manual process not only involved huge amounts of paper flow, but had other inherent issues. There was a complete lack of discipline in meeting timelines to complete the budgeting process and activities subsequent to it. Monitoring the budgeting process was hampered because there was no ready access to facts and figures by various

Nishi Vasudeva, Executive Director-IS HPCL

monitoring agencies at different levels within the organization. “The need, clearly, was to eliminate paper flows and ensure that the information was readily available for review and decision-making,” says Vasudeva. So, she developed a Lotus Notes workflow tool and deployed it across the organization. “Now, any capital investment proposal from any operating location in the country can be routed to relevant reviewers and approving authorities,” says Vasudeva. The implementation of the new online system entailed a paradigm shift from the way the entire capital budgeting process was being carried out. So, change management was an issue. But extensive end-user training and feedback mechanisms helped Vasudeva fix these problems. Today, the system provides the means to justify the investment, mention the estimated timelines for completion and the estimated ROI. Proposals can be enabled online and even be converted into capital budgets with necessary controls and validations built into the system. This system has also brought in high level of discipline and adherence to the timelines. “The total cost savings as a result of reduced man-hours amounts to about Rs 25 lakh per annum,“ says Vasudeva. CIO SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Nishi Vasudeva is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for CIO's Hall of Fame.


INGENIOUS: “Now, any capital investment proposal from any location can be routed to relevant reviewers and approving authorities.”


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Because she revolutionized the process of capital budgeting, making life easier for employees and other stakeholders. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES CMD

: Manufacturing : Rs 1,16,428 crore : 11,200 : Arun Balakrishnan

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INGENIOUS: Because he knew which problem to attack and how to fix it to ensure that costs are cut and sales increase. Vertical Revenue Employees IT Team CEO and MD Headquarters

"By eliminating errors from

misreading data, turnaround time dropped by 12 hours while sales

zoomed by 25 percent."

Veneeth Purushotaman, Head-Technology HyperCity Retail


yperCity Retail is a big-box hypermarket with three stores covering over 2.2 lakh sq.ft. All the hypermarkets have ‘back-stores’ to store merchandise, but because retail space is expensive these store-rooms only hold a day’s worth of inventory. The bulk of HyperCity’s inventory is maintained at mammoth 200,000 sq.ft. distribution centers (DCs) on the outskirts of a city. These DCs handle about a million SKUs and 1,200 vendors. To make certain that the hypermarkets’ shelves are always stocked, the DC's

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processes have to be automated. DC personnel set themselves a target of achieving a minimum of a 95 percent fillrate across all categories for store transfers and also receive goods with minimum vendor vehicle turnaround time. “It was clear that to ensure on time fulfillment of store transfers, the DC’s processes had to be automated. In order to help optimize various processes and reduce the time spent in the DC, we knew that the solution had to run on a mobile device,” says Veneeth Purushotaman, head-technology, HyperCity Retail.

: Retail : Rs 800 crore : 1,200 :6 : B.S. Nagesh : Mumbai

Today, when a product arrives at the DC, the receiving team loads its purchase order on a handheld scanner device. This helps reduce manual entry (and its accompanying errors). Once the items are received, the warehouse management system prints out a ‘put-away’ document. This document is now available on the scanner and guarantees that a DC staffer puts items away correctly. Finally, when it is time for inventory to be moved to a store a ‘pick’ document is assigned to a ‘picker’ using a wireless hand-held scanner. This document shows the exact location of a product and the number of pieces to gather. If an item is not on the pick list an error message informs the picker. Within a month of the implementation, staff costs at the DC fell by 23 percent, and sales rose by 25 percent. As envisioned, turnaround time fell by 12 hours, because errors from misreading data virtually disappeared. Purushotaman’s solution also created a unique bond between IT and business processes, creating happier employees. “Attrition is near zero and the enthusiasm and motivation that the DC management system has generated has helped the DC set new benchmarks for retail logistics and warehouse management in India.” CIO

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“This project has successfully tested over 300 core applications and significantly reduced our risk exposure."

Pravir Vohra, Group CTO ICICI Bank


ith about a million customers, ICICI Bank manages close to Rs 50,000 crore in assets. A lot of that money is processed by about 550 bank applications that both its customers and about 10,000 of the bank’s employees use. However, it was not always clear how open to vulnerabilities these applications were. It was not a state of affairs, the bank wanted to continue. “The bank wanted a high level of assurance for all its applications,” says Pravir Vohra, Group CTO, ICICI Bank, “Within 18 months.” The problem is traditional application security testing takes between 10 to 15 days to do. “At that speed, it wouldn’t have been possible to cover all the bank’s applications in 18 months,” recalls Vohra. He needed to get organized if his vendor was to cover all those security tests within deadline. To start off, 300 applications were shortlisted as high-priority cases. Then, to meet the 18-month deadline, Vohra


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and his team created a multi-pronged strategy. Crucial to their approach was a customized application risk assessment framework and a workflow. SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Pravir Vohra is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for Innovation and CIO's Hall of Fame.


INGENIOUS: Because he envisioned and rolled out an application security framework and program. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD AND CEO

: BFSI : Rs 3,758 crore : Over 35,000 : 1,000 : Chanda Kochhar

The framework prioritized applications for various levels of testing and the workflow coordinated 300 security tests and their re-tests. Vohra says it helped reduce the lead time to start a test from three-to-six weeks to two to five days. He also invested in an automated scanner, which cut the time wasted in doing manual testing for simpler flaws, and negotiated with his vendor for better prices given the large number of tests. What also helped quicken the process was simpler, standardized reporting templates, which people understood and could act upon. To help manage the project, his team used a dashboard which gave executives a snapshot of the security posture of any application and showed progress. Despite all the planning, the job wasn’t easy. “Testing and fixing a wide range of application platforms was a significant technical challenge. The sheer breadth of the platforms was a huge challenge,” says Vohra. The project cost Rs 45 lakh but ensures that the bank’s applications are more reliable from a security standpoint. It also reduced the cost of security testing by a third. CIO

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hen the Rs 500-crore ICICI Securities decided to create its own ERP, the immediate job at hand was integrating and bringing 15 applications on the same platform, including HR information systems, performance management systems, expense tracking and travel booking. Senior executives knew this was the only way the company could speed up the delivery of crucial reports and reduce the number of errors in them. But in order to get all its data on one platform, it first needed to create one version of all its data. “Some of the existing systems carried a huge amount of unclean data collected over years,” says Joydeep Dutta, CTO, ICICI Securities. In a bid to get uniformity, departmental MIS teams were dismantled and Excelbased reports were discontinued. “We also had many paper-based processes which we knew could be eliminated by implementing this project,” Dutta says. With the major clean-up in place, Dutta’s next challenge was to get various systems to refer to the same data. “It required the re-engineering of some systems so that data which entered the framework was replicated to the extent required in the individual module/system,” he says. Since the Rs 60-lakh project went live in January 2008, ICICI Securities has been

able to reduce 200 Excel-based data sheets into 35 reports, trim manpower needs and achieve sizeable cost savings from operational efficiencies. Various functions including HR, finance, sales, infrastructure and operations have, combined, lowered staff requirements by 20 people and the development team now functions with five fewer staff members. More importantly, the implementation has given the company the ability to made decisions based on accurate, quick and

automated reports. Reports that used to take over a day to compile are now available on the same day a request is made and data that once took up to five day to analyze now takes a day. More accurate and more timely information has in turn saved the company 10 percent in costs across the organization. “What we have now is a seamless enterprise database enabling consistent and accurate reports across functions, and a complete framework for other modules to fit in,” says Dutta. CIO

Joydeep Dutta, CTO ICICI Securities


INGENIOUS: Because he lent his business more agility by bringing applications and data on to a single platform. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD AND CEO HEADQUARTERS


: BFSI : Rs 500 crore : 2,700 : 135 : Madhabi Puri Buch : Mumbai

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“Reports — which used to take 24 hours or more to deliver — are now available

on the same day."

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s the world’s largest producer and distributor of fertilizer, IFFCO is responsible to over 40,000 co-operative societies located all over the country. It’s a complex operation: just its marketing division is divided into five zones, 20 state offices, 68 area offices and 455 field locations and 177 retail outlets. Fertilizer is sent from plants and ports via rail and road and then stored in about 5,000 warehouses. Just the number of trucks used to move material from rake points to warehouses? 6,90,000. Its widespread operations and multiple

variables created major challenges. Because a majority of IFFCO’s data sources were in rural India, information moved through the system slowly, which resulted in delayed decisions. Another challenge was entering data of what was produced and dispatched from every plant, every day. The cooperative also needed to monitor inventory at each of its warehouses. “The release of government subsidies in thousands of crores is linked to this data,” says S.C. Mittal, senior executive director management services and IT, IFFCO. “Many ERP systems were evaluated but none of them met our requirements.”

S.C. Mittal, Sr. Executive Director Management Services and IT Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO)

That’s when the cooperative decided to develop its own comprehensive enterprisewide Web-based system called eVIKAS. The cooperative’s ERP has modules for master data, inventory, sales and remittances, H&T and storage, port operations, farmer service centers and promotional activities. As he pushed the project through its final phases, Mittal met with multiple challenges, one of them being educating users. “The field-force is not computer literate,” he says. “And since field officers are located in remote locations providing them with support was also a major challenge.” Training programs and identifying computer-savvy area account officers who were trained in resolving hardware and software-related issues went a long way in breaking these challenges. Today, the Rs 15-crore project has enabled faster decision-making, which allows salespeople to generate more revenue. From 2006 to 2008, IFFCO’s turnover tripled but it added on only 18 marketing people. eVIKAS has also created greater visibility. “The lead time for depositing remittances reduced from seven to three days resulting in huge interest savings,” says Mittal. “This initiative simplifies the ever-increasing complexities of IFFCO’s business processes due to its geographical spread.” CIO



“Making complex issues simple permits faster reaction times.”


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Because he brought more visibility to the world’s largest producer and distributor of fertilizer, which boosted revenue and efficiency and cut costs. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES MD

: Agriculture : Rs 32,933 crore : 6,747 : Dr U. S. Awasthi

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INGENIOUS: Because he built an integrated claims management system that ensures happier customers. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD AND CEO HEADQUARTERS

"Claims processing and handling have always represented key touch points. It’s here that customers

can either be retained or lost."

U.C. Dubey, EVP-IT IFFCO Tokio General Insurance


ustomer satisfaction is a big deal at the Rs 1,515-crore IFFCOTokio General Insurance. When the private insurer launched in 2000, it aimed at being an industry leader not by offering the cheapest premiums or having the most offices, but by “building customer satisfaction through fairness, transparency, and quick response time.” But the company was having a hard time living up to its credo — especially where it mattered most. “Claims processing and handling have always represented key touch points. It’s here that customers can


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be retained or lost,” U.C. Dubey, EVP-IT, IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance. The problem was that the company’s AS400-based claims processing system had many manual processes and couldn’t cope with increasing business demands and growing customer expectations. It forced a duplication of data entry and time-consuming documentation. It also meant higher turnaround time for claim settlement, which made no one happy. To alleviate these pain points, Dubey and his team rolled out a Rs 1.5 crore integrated claims management system

: BFSI : Rs 1,515 crore : 700 : 27 : S. Narayanan : Gurgaon

(ICMS) developed using Java programs, a CRM system, a document management system, an enterprise service bus, and an SMS gateway. The ICMS covers the claims process from when IFFCO-Tokio’s call center receives a first ‘notice of loss’ call to when a customer receives a check. The system empowers the claims department to manage the settlement cycle through its various stages including appointing surveyors, examining survey reports online, and approving a claim. It also relieves the accounts department from the tedium of examining and tallying each bill, preparing payment vouchers and generating various reports. Today, thanks to the system, work assignments are automated and most activities are performed electronically, eliminating the use of paper. It has facilitated straight-through processing for the entire claim system. It has also increased transparency across the organization, reduced turnaround time and data entry (and associated errors). “The legacy application could not be opened up to various partners via the Internet to improve efficiency. Today, we have provided an efficient tool to our business partners to process claims seamlessly. The project has also improved customer service and reduced turnaround time, translating into happier customers,” says Dubey. CIO

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“Linking our backends with those of other oil giants has been a

game changer.”

S.S.Soni, Executive Director-IS Indian Oil


elebrating its golden jubilee this year, Indian Oil (IOCL), the country’s largest oil company, in terms of sales turnover, has crossed many milestones. The company and its subsidiaries account for 48 percent of petroleum products market share. The company carries out regular oil exchange (buying and selling of petroleum products) with other companies — an essential feature of companies in the petroleum sector. Petroleum products are also purchased and sold to other marketing companies on sale and purchase basis. “The manual settlement and reconciliation of huge volumes of oil products between companies was far from being optimal,” says S.S. Soni, executive director-IS, Indian Oil. Due to constraints in collecting documents from across the country, ad-hoc deposit was exchanged on due date on a monthly basis. The actual settlement was carried out on the 25th of each month after settling all anomalies in product quantity and billing. “In case of discrepancies, dispute


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settlement became a long drawn process wherein the concerned parties had to trace back all the documents emanating from a transaction in support of their claim,” says Soni. A direct result of the ensuing delays SPECIAL AWARD WINNER S.S.Soni is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for Innovation and CIO's Hall of Fame.


INGENIOUS: Because he convinced another gigantic PSU oil company to do business worth over Rs 35,000 crore from a linked IT-enabled platform. VERTICAL : Manufacturing REVENUE : Rs 2,85,337 crore EMPLOYEES : 34,550 CHAIRMAN : Sarthak Behuria DIRECTOR (FINANCE): S. V. Narasimhan

is that a substantial financial amount is left unrealized translating to losses. So much so, that these delays were even criticized by the auditors of the companies concerned. Soni knew that it was time he did something. “Linking our ERP systems with the companies that we conduct oil exchange with seemed like a good idea,” he says. Built on open source, the first phase saw the automation of ERP systems of IOCL and BPCL, where transactions worth over Rs 35,000 crore were involved. Once BPCL’s management was convinced of the project’s feasibility, a common platform was implemented for B2B exchanges. But, convincing IOCL and BPCL’s managements and other departments to adopt the B2B approach was a huge challenge. “After the implementation of the inter-company integration, we needed to train employees in about 50 locations, but the results were rewarding,” says Soni. Automating the billing and stock transfer process saved about 90 percent time and reduced the amount of effort. Because of which there are no errors in data entry and settlements are faster and more transparent. CIO

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he Indian Rayon unit of the Aditya Birla Nuvo group is the second largest producer of viscose filament yarn (VFY) in India, in terms of its market share. With the distinction of constituting 50 percent of VFY exports from India, the company has consistently raised the bar. But, with the financial crisis, there was pressure on the IT team to contain costs. The best way to do that was to consolidate its servers. H. Krishnan, assistant VP-IT, Indian Rayon also needed a DR solution for one of his remote sites. “The ERP installation was done on two servers — one for development and other for quality assessment. Two years into the installation, the IT team found the servers were grossly underutilized,” says Krishnan. He decided to install both instances in one server. This required the re-installation of the OS, ERP kernel, and configuration. While most IT teams would have stopped here, satisfied that some consolidation had been achieved, Krishnan’s IT team did not. An online DR server was proposed. “To maintain the same performance of the production server, the DR server had to be identical to it. We decided to put both the app

and the database on a single physical server which acts as a DR server — to be used when the production server fails,” says Krishnan. The first challenge was going against the advice of technical experts and convincing the management to consolidate ERP applications and the database server in one box. “We also risked a potential business loss for one day (time window to switch back to production server, and update all transactions) in case one server DR system failed,” says Krishnan. Considering the company’s average daily sales of Rayon and

chemicals are about Rs 45 crore per day, this was a huge risk. To counter performance degradation, the memory on the DR server was enhanced from 8 GB to 24 GB. When users were switched to the DR server for testing purposes, the IT team was in for a pleasant surprise. With the enhanced RAM, the single DR server (running both, the application and the database) was faster than the production server (cluster) which actually consisted of a separate box for application and database. CIO

H. Krishnan, Assistant VP-IT Indian Rayon (A Unit of Aditya Birla Nuvo)

SPECIAL AWARD WINNER H. Krishnan is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for CIO's Hall of Fame.


INGENIOUS: Because he pulled off a neat yet tricky cost cutting measure by going against the advice of industry experts. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM PRESIDENT


: Manufacturing : Rs 537 crore : 3,150 :6 : Rahul Mohnot

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“We got better returns spending Rs 4 lakh on memory, compared to Rs 12 lakh on a new server.”

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tarted in 1981, today the one-lakhstrong Infosys Technologies is a global leader in its space. Headquartered in Bangalore, the company operates in over 20 locations and has revenues of Rs 21,693 crore, but it's still scaling new heights. The company’s large and complex IT network supports thousands of IT projects. Besides keeping this network running, IT infrastructure and services had to be agile enough to respond to the changing business environment. So, the company’s Computers and Communication Division (CCD) adopted

the Global Delivery Model and initiated an Agile IT project. “This Agile IT project was multifold, from ISO 20,000 (ISO 20K) best practices to Green IT, enhancements to a collaboration platform and optimal IT asset utilization,” says Murali Krishna, VP and Head-CCD, Infosys Technologies. With the ISO 20K initiative, all services were redefined from the end-user perspective and also service and process ownership were put in place. As part of the green IT initiative, the company has optimized over 50,000 desktops. Considering an average power consumption of 10w per hour by a desktop

Murali Krishna, Vice President and Head-CCD Infosys Technologies

in sleep mode, as opposed to 110w per hour during normal operations, the project has reduced power consumption by 20 percent. The collaboration initiative has helped Infosys upgrade video, audio and web conferencing infrastructure and it has also helped it introduce high definition audio and video. “With this, the average number of video conferences have increased from 300 to 1,000 per month. This has reduced travel costs,” says Krishna. But each initiative came with its set of challenges. For ISO 20 K, there was a need to benchmark the practices and performance and there was no structure in place to track service improvements. Involving business reps and other stakeholders in rolling out key changes helped the company combat these challenges. User awareness was very important when it came to deploying green IT initiatives. A series of mailers were sent to the employees to alert them about adopting green practices. The collaboration platform was a multi-team, multi-vendor project posing pre-implementation integration challenges. The solution also had to be secure and user-friendly. But, the team took care of these requirements and a unique tightly integrated solution was built. CIO SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Murali Krishna is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for Infrastructure.


INGENIOUS: “Competitive advantage is centered on agility

and overall experience of our customers.”


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Because he turned the core of the global delivery model into an agile and collaborative platform. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO AND MD

: IT/ITES : Rs 21,693 crore : 1, 03,905 : 800 : S. Gopalakrishnan

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SPECIAL AWARD WINNER B.L.V. Rao is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for Storage.


INGENIOUS: Because he fixed his company's storage woes and enhanced performance by 22 percent. VERTICAL : IT/ITES REVENUE : Rs 889.7 crore EMPLOYEES : 7,800 HEADQUARTERS : Hyderabad CHAIRMAN AND MD : B.V.R Mohan Reddy

“Our ability to handle larger file sizes has won us 14 new customers this year. Project profits

have also improved by 12-16 percent.” B.L.V. Rao, VP-IT Infotech Enterprises


roviding IT services to companies in almost all sectors: from aerospace to the telecom industry, for close to two decades, Infotech Enterprises enjoys a coveted position in the market. Operating in over 27 countries, the company is one of the most sought after by a number of Fortune 500 companies. However, internally, it was quickly running out of storage space. Its existing storage resources couldn’t support large projects and this hindered the timely deployment of those projects. Most of these


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projects were dynamic, demanding frequent changes. And that was a huge problem for B.L.V. Rao, CIO, Infotech Enterprises. “This massive amount of customer data and project information needs to be preserved, processed, analyzed and archived securely on heterogeneous platforms. There was an urgent need for storage optimization.” Scaling up storage demanded higher capacity and speed. Rao decided to consolidate and virtualize all file servers and applications with a new server farm. Tiered storage architecture was deployed depending on data criticality and performance needs.

“Customers and our project teams were both strict about timelines, otherwise project’s kick-off and delivery dates are impacted. We were hoping that providing projects with more storage capacity would solve the problem,” says Rao. As with any new innovation, managing expectation with customer advocacy was crucial. “To earn the confidence of the customers we first provided them with interim solutions, while ensuring alternate plans were ready. IT came out with highcapacity disks for archiving data and also ensured that data is protected using compression and encryption, which brought additional value to our customers," says Rao. The project has enabled the company save Rs 80 lakh per annum. “Our ability to handle larger file sizes has won us 14 new customers this year. Project profits have improved by 12-16 percent and customers are a lot more satisfied than before," he says. Also, data is better protected and more reliable. Today, the company has been able to successfully scale up projects with a more proactive and predictable approach within one week compared to three weeks. CIO

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“We wanted to make the bank easy to deal with

for our customers and make them happy." C.V.G. Prasad, CIO ING Vysya Bank


stablished in 2002, the Bangalore-based ING Vysya Bank is an entity formed with the merger of erstwhile, Vysya Bank, a premier bank in the Indian private sector and ING, a Dutch financial services company. Financial institutions are perceived to be opaque and inwardly focused. And ING Vysya Bank’s worldwide market research suggested the same: customers do not feel in control of their money when dealing with financial services companies. C.V.G. Prasad, CIO, ING Vysya Bank, wanted to change that. He decided to launch the ‘customer first’ initiative that would use technology and BPR creatively towards the objective of making the bank ‘easy to deal with’ for customers. Using pre-generated kits for accessing telephone banking and ATM, including instantaneous replacement of lost cards was the first step. “Stocking pre-generated inventory of accounts and access devices like PINs and ATM cards at all customer


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touch-points took us closer to our aim,” says Prasad. He says that the company’s focus was on pre-processing all operations and technology elements associated with these processes, so that the only task would be to activate the account and channels as soon as the customer’s request is received.


INGENIOUS: Because by making his bank easier for customers to interact with he helped save Rs 2.5 crore. VERTICAL EMPLOYEES REVENUE MD AND CEO HEADQUARTERS

: BFSI : 6,000 : Rs 1,200 crore : Shailendra Bhandari : Bangalore

However, there were some roadblocks in the implementation. “From a technology perspective, all customers facing core banking processes relevant for account opening and account maintenance had to be re-engineered for the project. This was very challenging,” says Prasad. Users were comfortable with the existing processes and didn’t want to change the way they work. Initially, there was a significant disconnect between the people who designed the new processes and people involved in user acceptance testing. To tackle that, additional training on the current and modified business processes with inputs on the benefits of the re-engineered process was provided to the users. Once these challenges were surmounted, the final roll out was completed in August 2008. The project resulted in overall cost savings of Rs 2.5 crore at the time of project closure. “The project reduced account opening and service request fulfillment cycle times by more than 90 percent, making our customers very happy,” says Prasad. CIO

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NG Life forayed into the private insurance industry in 2001. Since its inception, the insurer has been expanding its footprint across the country. However, the company’s largescale expansion plans was beginning to pose a challenge. ING life was grappling with the escalating IT cost of setting up new locations. Ravishankar Subramaniam, director–IT, ING Life, realized that optimizing IT cost was a business imperative. Subramaniam began to proactively explore cost optimization initiatives. Open Source seemed like a potential candidate. Subramaniam realized that a substantial cost was incurred in procuring licenses for desktops at the branches. The license and software support cost for every desktop at the branch was approximately Rs 52,000 for the first three years and Rs 9,000 thereafter. The OS platform would help them trim these costs. If they moved their desktops to Linux they would incur a cost of Rs 43,000 over six years. That would save the company Rs 43,000 on every system over six years. This came to a cost savings of Rs 7,000 on every desktop per year. With such significant savings in sight, Subramaniam was bullish about Open Source. But, just as there’s no free lunch, the implementation process was not easy.

Migrating desktops to Linux was a huge challenge for the IT team at ING Life. Interoperability was another issue. There were more than 2,000 desktops and 5,000 users across more than 250 locations to be migrated in a limited time span. Subramaniam wanted to ensure that migration was end-user friendly. “We had three separate teams (migration team, training team and support team) to support users and handle the different queries and calls during this project,” he says.

Once ING Life successfully tackled the challenges, the project went live in two phases. In the first phase, about 1,100 desktops were progressively moved across over 70 locations. In the second phase, over 900 desktops were migrated at over a 100 locations. With the deployment of OS, the organization saved about Rs 10,000 per year (for the first three years) for every new desktop added to the enterprise. “Now we can establish cost efficient sales and service centers countrywide,” says Subramaniam. CIO

Ravishankar Subramaniam, Director-IT ING Life


INGENIOUS: Because he spearheaded an Open Source initiative within the global ING group that will save Rs 8.6 crore over six years. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD AND CEO

: BFSI : Rs 1,950 crore : 5,945 : 56 : Kshitij Jain

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“Now we can establish cost efficient sales and service centers across the country.”

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ne of India's foremost private sector companies with a turnover of Rs 15,000 crore, ITC has a diversified presence in cigarettes, hotels, paperboards and specialty papers, agribusiness, packaged foods, IT, personal care, and other FMCG products. It’s a massive business and it wasn’t slowing down. But as IT did its best to keep up, the pressure was beginning to show. “On an average, 44 processors of computing capacity was needed by the business to host applications or

enhance the performance of existing applications,” says Partha Sengupta, CIO and head-IT Shared Services, ITC. “The sizing of this requirement was done by application vendors, who tend to keep buffers at every level, resulting in 50 to 90 percent under-utilization of resources.” All that fat began affecting the heart of ITC’s operations: its datacenter. It had 650 racks and it was so crowded there wasn’t enough space for new provisions. It was also pushing the datacenter’s cooling and power capacities to their limits.

Partha Sengupta, CIO and Head-IT Shared Services ITC

Sengupta decided to meet these challenges with one elegant solution: virtualization. The technology had the added benefit of creating a more centralized, flexible IT infrastructure. To start, he assessed the utilization levels of existing servers. Those with the least usage were virtualized. The virtualization license and additional storage cost him just under Rs 30 lakh. But the project, which went live in January 2008, saved ITC Rs 38.08 lakh in its first year. And it will create opex savings of Rs 12.77 lakh from the second year onwards. In the immediate, it freed up costly datacenter space and the power and cooling needed to run 44 processors. Just the cost of running those processors (without accounting for cooling expenses) will reduce annual power consumption by 72,270 KW. Beyond the numbers, the project cut the cycle of negotiation-approval-procurement that bogged down IT’s ability to deliver. “Now we have minimum waiting time for IT infrastructure deployments, ensuring savings in project timelines and application development costs, and guaranteeing faster time-to-market,” says Sengupta. “This is huge business benefit.” Last but not the least, it opened the doors for further virtualization. According to Sengupta, this project has the potential to generate cost savings in the range of Rs 14 crore over next five years. CIO


INGENIOUS: “Beyond the obvious savings, it's shrunk IT infrastructure deployment time.”


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Because by virtualizing his infrastructure he’s avoiding expenses on multiple fronts with the potential to save about Rs 14 crore over the next five years. VERTICAL : Diversified REVENUE : Rs 15,000 crore EMPLOYEES : 25,000 FINANCE DIRECTOR : K. Vaidyanath

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INGENIOUS: Because he helped management prioritize work and identify problems well in advance to meet shipment export deadlines. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM HEADQUARTERS

“This project has been a game changer because not only does it help

in better planning but also incorporates changes in the plan.” Subhasis Sarkar, Divisional CIO ITC Lifestyle Retailing Business Division


f you are in fashion retail, you’ve got to stick to timelines. Subhashis Sarkar, divisional CIO for ITC's Rs 4.5 crore Lifestyle Retailing Business Division (LRBD), was spending many sleepless nights worrying about meeting shipping deadline for the next export order. “There were times when to meet deadlines we’ve had to air freight finished goods or raw materials at a very high cost,” he says. Procuring raw materials, manufacturing garments and shipping them on time needed a proactive planning system.

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At ITC’s LRBD, capacity planning and critical path management was mainly performed on Excel spreadsheets, based on information contained in its ERP. Different spreadsheets were used to control different facets of the plan (like pre-production cut, sewing, etcetera) and these were not linked. Changes that occured in the plan and communicating those changes to multiple stakeholders was time consuming and difficult. Sarkar realized if the company wanted to stay ahead, the system had to change. “Plans are not concrete in a changing world. One should have the ability to re-plan and

: Retail : Rs 4.5 crore : 550 : 35 : Gurgaon

react quickly to market changes and those changes need to be communicated to the team on time,” he says. He resorted to ‘Fastreact Evolution’ — a specialized planning tool for the apparel and textile business. “The tool provides companies with heightened visibility into the status of all orders being planned, and allows users quick and easy access to changes in plans," says Sarkar. It would help management prioritize work and identify problems well in advance to take corrective action. The software is server-based and has been integrated with existing ERP. Users can access the relevant modules through the company’s intranet. One of the challenges was breaking the power heirarchy that had established in the organization because information which was earlier available to a select few, was now available to all. Sarkar had to bring the management in to change that. Now, status of each order is visible to all stakeholders on a common scoreboard. Proactive alerts in the system as well as e-mail alerts are sent to the concerned employees as well as their superiors on a daily basis so that they can prioritize. Planners can re-plan quickly based on the circumstances resulting in quicker turnaround times. “Thanks to this project, today ITC is better committed to delivery dates,” says Sarkar. CIO

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"A complete project that cut costs

and improved the work-life balance of my co-workers." S. S. Sharma, Chief GM-IT J.K. Tyres & Industries


.K. Tyres & Industries, a part of the J.K. organization, has been the leading automobile tire manufacturer in India since 1977. With over 8.7 million tires sold per annum, understandably, the company operates in a huge distribution network with a large number of SKUs (stockkeeping units). A lack of co-ordination between heterogeneous systems across head offices, its 4 plants and sales offices was causing information delays and discrepancies in sales and operation planning, demand visibility, forecast, collaboration and inventory management. “We needed to make the business agile by making the right information available to the right person at the right time,” says S. S. Sharma, chief GM-IT, J.K. Tyres & Industries. To optimize its supply chain function and bring in operational efficiency, the company deployed 16 conventional and new dimension ERP modules. These


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modules translated into a statistical demand forecasting system that gave rise to an accurate production plan. Today, finished goods, created on the basis of the production plan, from all the plants are sent to the SKUs. Based on the demand, stock is


INGENIOUS: Because he found a way to bridge the gap in the company’s supply chain, saving crores. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM PRESIDENT

: Manufacturing : Rs 3,660 crore : Over 7,000 : 40 : A. K. Bajoria

transferred from SKUs to the respective depots. The system creates transportation orders from plants to the SKUs and from the SKUs to the depots. But Sharma had to combat a few hurdles. The project encompassed complex planning processes that included change management and standardization of processes across plants. “The principle focus was to align supply chain objectives with business objectives,” says Sharma. J.K. Tyres has raked in savings of Rs 6.86 crore over a period of one year, post implementation. According to Sharma, “Beside monetary gains, the social life of people has improved. They are now able to finish their jobs much faster and their work-life balance has improved significantly.” The business now interacts with its suppliers through the ERP Portal. Various modules for purchase order, schedule lines and suppliers have been created together with the roll out of raw materials for efficient functioning of the supply chain. CIO

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part of the Rs 3,000-crore B.C. Jindal Group, the 25-year-old Jindal Polyfilm is the largest manufacturer of PET film and BOPP films in the country with revenues of Rs 2,000 crore. Like all companies, Jindal Polyfilm depended heavily on the Internet, e-mail and its intranet for communication and collaboration. But these technologies were also the source of great insecurity. They posed significant risks to the company’s intellectual property and left it open to spam, virus attacks, and hacking. There was also the issue of internal users violating the Indian IT Act, which held legal implications for the organization. “There are good things about collaborative technologies, but they come with side effects. This made information security the need of the hour,” says R.D. Malav, VP-IT, Jindal Poly Films. Because the problem was on multiple levels, Malav came up with a two-pronged plan to secure the enterprise. The solution he envisaged defended the company at the gateway and desktop level. He installed Barracuda’s anti-spamming solution, UTM boxes from Sonicwall and deployed a central active directory policy as well as central Microsoft patch management at the server level. At the desktop level, Malav deployed Microsoft ForeFront Client Security.

Although he needed to invest Rs 32 lakh into the project, that was not the only challenge he faced. “We needed to bring all desktops and laptops to the requisite patch level and standardize operating systems across all locations,” says Malav. Another issue he had to face but managed to tame was change management. Unlike many security projects, Malav quantified the results of his efforts clearly. According to his calculations, each spam e-mail cost the company Rs 0.50, which accounted for network

bandwidth, space on the server, and employee productivity. With about 46,000 spam e-mails pouring into the company every day, Malav calculated his savings at about Rs 82.8 lakh a year. In addition, he saved Rs 1.2 crore in downtime due to virus attacks (about four hours a month for 2,000 users). “And this does not even take into account the cost of legal liabilities and the value of our intellectual property that would have added to the company’s loss,” says Malav. CIO

R.D. Malav, VP-IT Jindal Poly Films


INGENIOUS: Because he made security a priority during the slowdown and saved over Rs 80 lakh annually. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO AND COO HEADQUARTERS

: Manufacturing : Over Rs 2,000 : Over 2,000 : 12 : Sumant Singhal : New Delhi

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“Collaborative technologies are great, but they have side effects. This made

information security vital.”

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robably better known for its art d’inox designer ware, JSL (Jindal Steel) is also the largest integrated stainless steel producer in India with 35 percent of the market. Started in 1970, the group has grown into over 30 companies with 4,000 employees globally. However, some systems had not kept pace with that growth. “IT infrastructure monitoring was still manual and mostly reactive,” says Ajay Kumar Dhir, group CIO, JSL. “Often, problems were reported by users after a failure had already

occurred. The fact is networks are complex and it’s hard to identify any point-offailure using manual processes.” In one case, Dhir describes how a redundant WAN link failed, but since the datacenter’s connectivity needs were met by the primary WAN link, no one noticed. That was until the primary also went down and business deadlines were missed. “That would have never occurred if there had been a notification mechanism when the redundant link failed,” says Dhir. Today, an Open Source system and network monitoring application,

Ajay Kumar Dhir, Group CIO JSL

does that. It monitors JSL’s entire IT infrastructure and alerts technical staff about a problem, allowing IT to fix before business is affected. It consolidates monitoring across all platforms and operating systems and integrates other network services and processes. And also it’s a fiscally-responsible solution, says Dhir. The implementation, which started in February 2009, took two months to roll out. Dhir recalls having to get the IT team to accept the tool. But once he got them on board, “data was collated on a war-footing so that we could prototype and do a formal launch,” says Dhir. Today, over 100 hosts and 450 services are monitored. It took Rs 10 lakh to cover the cost of a server and a modem, but the investment allows the IT team to monitor disk space in key servers, router throughput and the average memory and processor utilization of key servers. "If you wait until memory is used up, users will never let you forget it," says Dhir. It also reduced average downtime across all locations by over half: from about 210 hours between January and March, to about 72 hours between April and June. CIO


INGENIOUS: “Post the project,

total downtime has reduced to less than half.”


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Because he found a lowcost option to keep his IT infrastructure primed for success. VERTICAL : Manufacturing REVENUE : Rs 6,000 crore EMPLOYEES : 4,000 IT TEAM : 70 VICE CHAIRMAN AND MD: Ratan Jindal HEADQUARTERS : New Delhi

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INGENIOUS: Because he created a platform over which JWT staffers from 200 offices in 90 countries can store, find and access advertising material and stock images. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES CEO

“We wanted to provide a graphical user interface for all archived data and

put it online. Today, users rave about it.”

Sunil Mehta, Sr. VP and Area Systems Director (Central Asia) JWT India


ne of the world’s oldest and most prestigious advertising agencies, JWT has 200 offices in 90 countries. In India, its client list read like the who’s who of the corporate world including Unilever, Microsoft, Nokia and Rolex. But its size worked against JWT: it took too long to search for something in the company’s studio archive. “Our biggest challenge was finding and accessing print advertisements, commercial films advertisements as well as data from planning departments. It was scattered

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across offices and existed in duplicate and even triplicate. Finding anything using a text search was laborious,” says Sunil Mehta, senior VP and area systems director (Central Asia), JWT. So he envisioned what is called project Hunter: a digital archiving system for media assets. “The idea was to give a graphical user interface to all archived data and put it online,” Mehta says. But because there were no readymade solutions, the system would have to be created in-house, and it needed to be done on the cheap. Basing themselves on the

: Services : Rs 469 crore : 800 : Colvyn Harris

day-to-day needs of its client servicing arm and creative department, Mehta and team created five categories of ad material under a ‘home’ page for quick navigation. Further classifications and sub divisions were added. Designing was done on FrontPage and an Apple server was used as a host. An important part of the project was guaranteeing secure access to the company’s data. Using RSA 2048 bit SSL security, user access management tools and users and groups management tools, Mehta controlled access. He also put in anti-hacking measures that barred any unauthorized access within 10 seconds and ensured that only pre-defined IP addresses could use the Web. Because of the multiple formats the media house used, the biggest challenge to the project was capturing all of the company’s data. Mehta got the production team to pitch in, which he says was not hard given the support project Hunter received. Today, the Rs 1 lakh project has made it easy to identify ad material using thumbnails. New search functions allow employees and clients anywhere in the world (using a VPN connection) to surf through JWT’s archives. It enables users to access a higher number of already-paid for stock images and permits clients to search through their own material — and added service. CIO

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"Group companies can now share IT resources, reducing real estate and power costs." Sanjay Belsare, Head–IT Infrastructure Kotak Mahindra Bank


otak Mahindra Bank, was established in 1986. Today it has over 450 offices (including offsite branches and ATMs) and a customer base of over 6.4 million. The company was scrambling to cope up with the dizzying speeds at which it was growing. The bank and the rest of the group's companies couldn’t curb mushrooming datacenters, all entwined in a sprawled network infrastructure. With 10 datacenters and 5,000 users scattered all over Mumbai, Sanjay Belsare, head-IT infrastructure, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and his team decided to set it all right. A nine-storey, five-lakh-sq.ft. facility was setup in a suburb in Mumbai. “We consolidated the datacenters and converged the data and voice network across Kotak Mahindra Bank and other group companies,” says Belsare. Each entity continues with its existing architecture, which blends into the converged architecture Belsare deployed. Despite migration of datacenters to


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a single one, there was no need for different businesses to change their IP addresses and application URLs. Also, group companies can follow their own SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Sanjay Belsare is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for Storage.


INGENIOUS: Because he consolidated disparate datacenters and converged data and voice networks, saving costs. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO HEADQUARTERS

: BFSI : Rs 3,423 crore : 8,000 : 60 : Uday Kotak : Mumbai

operational, compliance and regulatory processes and within a consolidated infrastructure, thereby saving costs. But because the IT team deployed emerging, cutting-edge technologies, there were some teething issues. These were resolved by the company’s internal team. “With the help of a path-breaking technologies, IT resources can be used optimally used among group companies and across different shifts, reducing real estate and power costs,” says Belsare. The project cost about Rs 15 crore and went live in April this year. “We expect to achieve ROI in about 13 to 24 months,” says Belsare. Post the deployment, the group saw an increase in employee collaboration, productivity and efficiency due to wireless LAN mobility across all floors. Moving resources from one group company to the other has also become a lot easier than before. Quite obviously, the project has invigorated the IT backbone of Kotak Mahindra Bank and the other companies of the group, equipping them to cope better with business growth. CIO

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oo much time, energy, and resources were being wasted at the 3,350-man, tax, advisory and auditing firm KPMG because data was not being shared. To offer its clients best-in-class service, KPMG, one of the world’s Big Four auditors, puts a team of people on any one account. But these teams were not collaborating to their full potential. “The earlier version of our audit application only allowed auditors to work independently and later combine their work by assembling different files,” says Suresh Kumar, director-IT, KPMG. “This used to lead to wasted effort especially when two team-members were not aware when one had completed the work of another. The old system also created inconsistent reports, which meant more effort in identifying and removing inconsistencies.” It was a problem Kumar was sure other offices had faced before. So he went to KPMG’s Global ITS Audit team based in Montvale, USA. They offered him an audit application called Vector 2008, which enables employees “to work collaboratively and the ability to work while online and offline,” says Kumar. The application synchronizes changes made by any team member with all other members of a specific workspace. It allows

the use of the Microsoft technologies including Word, Excel, Infopath and simplifies the creation and sharing of audit documentation. Using Groove 3, it stores all documentation and auditrelated information in a single shared and secure workspace. “It’s like an electronic audit binder,” says Kumar. It also assists teams in leveraging old work quickly and easily. The solution has an application that houses knowledge and guidance to help users complete audit documentation efficiently.

Despite these advantages Kumar had to get auditors to accept the new system. “It took many rounds of training and some live disasters (when work done by one team member was lost due to the mistake of another), for users to effectively use the new application,” says Kumar. “But soon they were convinced that the application was beneficial and was a real time-saver.” And save time it did: about 50,000 hours a year or Rs 2.75 crore. More significantly, it helped the company tackle the effects of the slowdown. CIO

Suresh Kumar, Director-IT KPMG


INGENIOUS: Because he enabled his organization to maximize the potential of its auditors with the use of a collaboration tool — for free. VERTICAL EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO HEADQUARTERS


: Services : 3,350 : 60 : Russell Parera : Mumbai

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“The collaboration tool provides real-time synchronization between auditors, resulting in cost savings.”

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uoni Travel India is the country's largest travel and tourism company. It offers multiple services and its BPO company VFS Global processes visas (as an outsourced partner) for 29 governments and has operations in 44 countries on five continents. All of these businesses are supported from India. “Our infrastructure was becoming extremely dependent on two key components: our datacenter in Mumbai and our network,” says Dhiren Savla, CIO, Kuoni Travel India.

To reduce risk and IT’s overall cost, and improve services, Savla carried out three tightly-integrated initiatives: DR and business continuity plans, consolidation and service management. He first started by consolidating business apps, thereby trimming the number of his servers and standardizing platforms. He then balanced his Mumbai and London datacenters so that in a disaster they could accommodate each other with a 30 percent degradation in service. He also created secondary centers in both cities for smaller failures. Focusing on India, which forms a significant part of

Dhiren Savla, CIO Kuoni Travel India

Kuoni’s business, Savla wanted to create redundancy in the country’s network. “Though we had provisioned backups at each site, if the MPLS cloud of our ISP went down, business would come to a standstill,” he says. So he built a parallel MPLS cloud which is used for less critical apps lications on regular days. “We had to be resourceful,” he says. “If we were spending $100 (about Rs 5,000) on the primary network and $25 (about Rs 1,250) on the secondary, then we redesigned and negotiated with the primary network to bring down their costs to $60 (about Rs 3,000) and built the secondary MPLS with the competition at, say, $50 (about Rs 2,500). We had to be clever and creative to achieve these objectives and others within optimal budgets.” He also had to talk to business to get realistic recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives. Apart from this he battled resistance to changing from current delivery model. Today, project guarantees that Kuoni has 99.5 percent infrastructure availability. It’s also improved latency for VFS’ operations in CIS and African geographies by at least 60 percent. It trimmed IT cost KPIs down from 8.1 to 5.9 percent. CIO SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Dhiren Savla is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for Security.


INGENIOUS: “Instead of investing in a costly setup, we used local redundancies and a simplified technology landscape.”


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Because he built more redundancy into India’s largest travel and tourism house and still managed to reduce costs. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO AND MD

: Services : Rs 2,400 crore : 3,250 : 35 : Zubin Karkaria

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INGENIOUS: Because he found a mechanism to keep track of IT projects, thereby ensuring alignment with the business. VERTICAL : Diversified REVENUE : Rs 34,045 crore EMPLOYEES : 31,477 IT TEAM : 550 CHAIRMAN AND MD : A.M. Naik

“In IT, we design solutions to help others alleviate their pain areas but we do not focus at removing our own. This project was a

medicine for the IT department.” S. Anantha Sayana, Head-Corporate IT Larsen & Toubro


he Rs 34,045-crore Larsen & Toubro is an organization on the move. Over the last few years, it has grown at about 40 percent year-over-year and it’s also entered new areas including insurance, railways and ship building. As a result, the company has a phenomenally high number of IT projects that are either under study, being implemented, or supported at various stages of their lifecycles. “In large and diversified organizations such as L&T, there are a number of IT

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initiatives in progress at any given time,” says S. Anantha Sayana, headcorporate IT, Larsen & Toubro. “In such a scenario, it’s vital to identify, prioritize and pursue the most effective projects. Closely tracking so many IT projects is important for IT’s success.” He needed a tool that would give the IT team visibility, insight, and control across all IT initiatives. This would enhance decision-making and improve business alignment. He found that tool in Microsoft Project Portfolio Server 2007-based Project Portfolio Management system.

But the implementation was not as straightforward as running the application. Sayana needed to convince people to enter all the relevant data into the system. “We needed to train them to look at the tool not as an information hungry system, but as a tool that would facilitate prioritization and help them make objective and informed decisions,” he says. Today the Rs 13.67-lakh project, which was nicknamed ‘Physician, Heal Thyself’ helps managers control projects better and deliver increased value to the business. It has also helped with identifying risks earlier. And through a dashboard, the CIO and IT’s senior management can monitor the health of various projects. “Prior to the PPM implementation, it was not humanly possible for the CIO to monitor all IT initiatives. There wasn’t a single view of all the initiatives across L&T. The PPM system has made these possible,” says Sayana. “Physician, heal thyself is a perfect phrase for this initiative. In IT, though we design solutions to help others alleviate their pain areas, we do not focus at removing our own pain areas. I consider this project as medicine for the IT department,” says Sayana. CIO

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9/19/2009 1:02:22 AM

“Increasing agility and financial visibility

was always going to be worth the effort." Daya Prakash, Head-IT LG Electronics India


G Electronics India (LGEIL) is a market leader in consumer durables in India. It’s got there by straddling India’s vast geography with two manufacturing plants, 14 electronic manufacturers, 800 vendors of raw materials, 37 sales points, 44 stock points, 140 area offices, 5,000 dealers and 12,000 sub-dealers. It’s a complex supply chain that demanded attention if LGEIL wanted to maintain its 20 percent year-onyear growth, immaterial of the slowdown. “Our widespread network posed a big challenge for IT in its bid to enable tight business integration of various key functions. We needed to track demand, supply, manufacturing status, logistics and distribution at an ever increasing rate,” says Daya Prakash, head-IT, LG Electronics India. What it needed was a system that would allow the company to better synchronize sales forecasts, production and procurement. That need could be met by GSCP (global supply chain process), a tool


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for supply chain optimization. It works off weekly sales forecasts inputted by branch personnel who collect sales requirements from their area. It then uses inventory and production data from the ERP, adds production and dispatch constraints, and generates a weekly production and dispatch plan.


INGENIOUS: Because he created end-toend visibility in the supply chain, helping LGEIL reach its year-on-year growth target — despite the slump. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD

: Manufacturing : Rs 10,000 crore : 3,200 : 80 : M.B. Shin

It also has an integrated inventory management tool that links production, logistics and commercials which give LGEIL greater inventory and dispatch control. More importantly, “it better equips us to respond to the needs of multiple, increasingly customer-driven markets,” says Prakash. Finally, it reaches all the way down to the customer and lets LGEIL know when a delivery was made. The system has a Web interface that allows transporters to submit the details of a delivery, closing the loop from procurement to delivery. The entire implementation cost was Rs 2.4 crore. And once Prakash got past training and change management issues, and the lack of basic infrastructure to implement the solution across the country, the benefits poured in. The project improved the productivity of SCM staff, reduced inventory scrap and transportation costs, and improved logistics. Using the tool also allowed Prakash to help reduce LGEIL’s defect ratio by 50 percent and the logistic cost ratio by 2.5 percent. Outstanding inventory fell from 29 days to 22 days. CIO

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n the retail world, few things are as important as customer loyalty: because it’s that surprisingly small group of customers who bring in a bulk of sales. But at the Rs 830-crore Landmark Group that piece of business insight was only being put to work at its flagship company, Lifestyle. This left out other brands under the Landmark umbrella including SPAR, Max, LMG, and Citymax hospitality. The retail chain’s management decided to do something about it. “To improve the footfall at our stores, we needed a robust loyalty program. We wanted to scale up the existing loyalty program across the Landmark Group of companies in India and make it a group loyalty program,” says Sudesh Agarwal, VP-IT, Landmark Group. “A customer should be able to earn loyalty points anywhere and burn it anywhere across the group’s companies.” The problem with extending Lifestyle’s loyalty program was the way the group was structured. Different group companies had their own point-of-sale systems. One idea was to throw manpower at the problem “But collecting CRM data on a daily basis from locations that did not have dedicated IT personnel was big challenge,” says Agarwal. Another idea was to take a Web approach. “Initially, the process was designed around

a Web-based module which would connect to a POS database and transfer data to a central Oracle database. But because some group companies had POS systems with other databases, this proved difficult. After some deliberation, the solution that we came up was this: a small application on each POS would generate a text file containing sales data and this text file would be uploaded through a Web program to a central server,” says Agarwal. At the store end, there was a question over how loyalty card data would be collected.

Some stores had magnetic strip readers on which loyalty cards can be swiped, but others didn’t. And manually punching in card numbers was prone to error. “So group loyalty program cards were issued with barcodes since scanners were already available at all outlets,” says Agarwal. The Rs 20-lakh project, which got underway in November 2008, used a Java/Oracle Platform and was launched in March 2009. Despite the challenges, it has been well received and expects to achieve ROI soon. CIO

Sudesh Agarwal, VP-IT Landmark Group


INGENIOUS: Because he extended Lifestyle’s loyalty program to the rest of the group’s companies, increasing customer retension. VERTICAL : Retail REVENUE : Rs 830 crore EMPLOYEES : 5,300 IT TEAM : 84 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR : Kabir Lumba

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"A customer should be able to earn loyalty points anywhere and burn it anywhere

across the group’s companies."

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he about Rs 31,500 crore Mahindra Group is among the top 10 industrial houses in India and the world’s third-largest manufacturer of tractors. Its operations, run by 10,000 employees, span the globe. But as the company grew, communications between its staffers became more tenuous. “E-mail is good communication tool but it does not facilitate real-time collaboration. Hence a lot of decisions invariably get delayed. And because it was the back bone of our communications, mail volume grew exponentially,” says Arvind G. Tawde, senior.

VP and CIO, Mahindra & Mahindra.The IT team knew it had to find a less expensive way to connect the company’s employees. “Multiple communication devices and the cost of inter-company communication was high,” says Tawde. “What we needed was a common platform to reduce overall communication cost. Our objective was to create a unified communication platform which would enable users to collaborate at anytime, anywhere and on any device including computers, laptops, PDAs, IP and analog phones,” says Tawde. Soon, other communication media was

Arvind G. Tawde, Sr. VP and CIO Mahindra & Mahindra

added to the platform including traditional telephony, IP telephony, video conferencing, and audio/video calling. The team also had to ensure that the solution was user-friendly. “The younger generation is more exposed to new technologies and is heavy user of collaboration tools, while the older generation is comparatively less IT savvy. The solution needed to be easy to use to facilitate effective deployment across all segments,” says Tawde. Today M&M staffers can collaborate using IM, online file sharing and real-time editing, user presence and search, audio conferencing, on-demand video conferencing and multi-party engagements. “It is a single server architecture to provide VoIP services to all users. We have provided 100 VoIP connections for enhanced calling features and international calling.” Tawde says. The result of this single platform has been substantial cost savings and improved employee productivity. Staffers no longer have to travel or trawl through e-mail trails. With dependence on e-mail diminishing, the volume of e-mails has also reduced. The company has also eliminated the need for multiple communication devices and its staffers can still multi-task better. CIO SPECIAL AWARD RECIPIENT Arvind Tawde is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for Infrastructure and CIO's Hall of Fame.


INGENIOUS: “We wantede to create a

unified communication

platform to enable users to collaborate anytime, anywhere and on any device.”


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Because he built a less expensive, yet smarter, way for 10,000 employees to collaborate. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM VICE CHAIRMAN AND MD

: Manufacturing : Rs 14,983 crore : 10,000 : 150 : Anand Mahindra

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INGENIOUS: Because despite major challenges he successfully revamped organizational processes to drive accountability and deliver operational benefits. VERTICAL IT TEAM CEO HEADQUARTERS

“We needed to revamp the processes of the whole organization, if we wanted to get ahead in the race.”

Srinivas Kishan Anapu, VP-Enterprise IS Mahindra Satyam


stablished in 1987 as Satyam Computers Services, this global business and IT firm, was taken over by Tech Mahindra in June 2009. Today, known as Mahindra Satyam, the company has had its fair share of issues lately. Among other things employees’ roles were not clearly defined, therefore accountability was missing. Performance management and measurement tools were skewed and IT controls were not standardized. “We needed to revamp the whole organization process, if we wanted to get

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ahead in the race,” says Srinivas Kishan Anapu, VP (enterprise IS), Mahindra Satyam. He envisioned an innovative organizational structure supplemented by stringent IT controls and a metrics driven performance management system using the balanced scorecard methodology. The main challenge in driving this initiative was change management. Anapu says, “We had to clearly define what constitutes the main organization's units, and the terms of engagement for employees.” The success of the project necessitated stringent IT controls. This

: IT/ITES : 400 : C. P. Gurnani : Secunderabad

was a risky proposition, since it was not the most popular method with the employees. But, despite some resistance, Anapu decided to take the plunge. The new performance management system was designed with a forward looking view across additional perspectives. “It took a while to gain popularity with all the stakeholders. But once it did, it enabled the business to segregate responsibilities and strategy into chunks that the team could relate to,” says Anapu. Having stringent IT controls simplified many things. Most importantly, it strengthened security. By moving individual customized authentication mechanism across more than 100 applications into an active directory authenticated system, the ticket volumes for security related issues came down by three percent. Further, the number of deployments per application has reduced significantly. Instead of having 1.4 deployments per application per month, they now have 0.6 deployments per application per month. Today, Mahindra Satyam can proudly claim to have successfully leveraged its processes involving organization structure and IT controls. CIO

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9/19/2009 1:08:14 AM

“Cutting overdues to nil has given a fillip to our

credit ratings." Girish Rao, Head–IT Marico


MCG major Marico boasts of a wide array of products in the hair care, skin care and wellness space. To fight for mind space in such a highly competitive and fragmented market, the company, like all other companies in the sector, resorts to advertising. “We spend around Rs 160 crore including media (Rs 92 crore) and nonmedia (Rs 68 crore) on advertising. That’s why analyzing advertising and sales promotion (ASP) expenses is extremely essential for us, “says Girish Rao, head–IT, Marico. But, the level of efficiency in managing such huge volumes of transactions between the company’s media management team and media agencies left much to be desired. The system also lacked transparency and visibility because of which analyzing the ASP spend became an issue. This hamstrung efficient decisionmaking. “There was a need to reduce the cycle time of each transaction and increase


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the transparency of processes,” says Rao. A B2B media management portal — which would act as the middle-man between Marico’s media management team and media agencies — was the answer. The core objective was to enable financial and accounting control on spends management


INGENIOUS: Because in an industry where advertising spend is a differentiator, his media management portal reduced overdues to zero. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES CMD HEADQUARTERS

: FMCG : Rs 2,388 crore : 1,500 : Harsh C. Mariwala : Mumbai

and payments to media agencies. It wasn’t smooth sailing, though. “In order to ensure smooth data transfer between the systems and on-line controls like budget checks and data validations, integration with the existing ERP was a must. Unless both the teams used the portal adequately, the required information would not be present on it,” says Rao. A series of debates and discussions between the IT team and the users brought them on the same page. Once these impediments were overcome, the project went live in June 2008. “Before we had the portal, processing media bills took about 15 days. Now it takes less than five days. The system reduced the chances of duplication during bill processing. Earlier, the final closure of the estimates of media vendors was carried out on phone — a process that used to take a week. Now it takes about two-three days,” says Rao. Moving away from Excel sheets has reduced overdue to zero — from about 5-10 percent. Subsequently, the credit rating of the company in this area has improved. CIO

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aruti Suzuki has sold over 7.5 million cars since it opened its doors and exported 500,000 units. In 2008-09, it exported over 70,000 cars, growing the exports business by over 30 percent — and making it a clear focus area for the company. “With the economic downturn, OEMS are evaluating various methods to increase their customer bases. In order to enter new markets, Maruti Suzuki has ventured into contract manufacturing. We manufacture vehicles in India to be sold under the Nissan brand in European market,” says Rajesh Uppal, chief GM, Maruti Suzuki India. To support the growing business, Maruti needed a transparent system to interact with its partners abroad. The challenge was to create an integrated, foolproof, automated system which could talk to multiple systems. “The complete cycle from order to dispatch needs to be configured in such a manner that it caters to the needs of all the stakeholders including Maruti Suzuki India, Suzuki Motor Corporation Japan, and the distributor community in the entire export market,” says Uppal. Uppal and his team got to work. First they had to understand the distributor's

supply chain processes and line them up with Maruti’s business process. Then they needed to design a common format for data transfer. “As the new system integrates with external systems, strict adherence to process is essential. We had to align Maruti’s internal business functions and users to the new processes,” says Uppal. Using a combination of Unix Shell programming, Oracle forms, .Net, and Windows FTP technology, the internal team brought transparency to the export supply chain. The projectcovers the entire process

from when a distributor orders a vehicle to production to shipment. It provides all stakeholders complete visibility of an order’s progress. It also updates distributors’ systems to facilitate their dispatch planning. It facilitates electronic transfer of orders and acknowledgements, and communicates the daily progress of a production plan, and dispatch status to the distributor. “The entire process is IT driven and any exception during production, planning, and factory dispatch can be traced and corrective action made with no delay,” says Uppal. CIO

Rajesh Uppal, Chief General Manager IT & Distribution Maruti Suzuki India

SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Rajesh Uppal is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for CIO's Hall of Fame.


INGENIOUS: Because he helped the car manufacturer access new markets with a transparent supply chain designed for contract manufacturing. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD

: Manufacturing : Rs 21,453 crore : 7,000 : 70 : S. Nakanishi

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“Our prime driver with the supply chain project was to increase our customer base in the current economic downturn.”

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ax New Life Insurance has over 15,000 employees and a turnover of Rs 3,857 crore. It also has about 1 lakh agent advisors at 712 offices across 389 cities. But agents were not the only way the insurer’s customers could approach the company. It also had a website, tie-ups with banks and distribution partners. The problem with these multiple customer touch points was that the organization didn’t have single view of the customer. This had an impact in multiple areas: from customer service to agent management and training

and a decline in the company’s ability to effectively control collections, renewals, and retention processes. It also impacted Max New York Life’s ability to increase profitability. “One of the key business challenges that paved the way for this project was a lack of an efficient lead management system, which could enhance our ability to increase our wallet share from existing customers,” says Hitesh Arora, EVP and head-IT, Max New York Life Insurance. These problems brought about the decision to implement a “pivotal enterprise CRM” says Arora. It would lead to the implementation

Hitesh Arora, EVP and Head-IT Max New York Life Insurance

of a customer service management system, a lead management system, a policy holder portal, a collection, renewals and agent management and performance system. Because it sought to fix many problems in many departments, the project needed to be wide and deep. And that made it unwieldy. “Managing cost and schedule overruns of a project of this magnitude was a major challenge,” says Arora. The project was also the first of its kind in the Indian insurance industry, which left Arora and his team with little guidance. They had to start from scratch by documenting requirements and working out the flow and design of the system — and simultaneously manage changing requirements and additional request that impacted the project’s timelines. Despite these challenges the first three phases of the Rs 4.5-crore project were launched by August 2009 and they have seen wide acceptance. Today, the system has over 1,600 simultaneous users and it has served about 75,000 customers. “It has also resulted in fewer customer calls because they can access information for themselves. The system has registered more than our target expectations,” says Arora. CIO SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Hitesh Arora is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for Infrastructure.


INGENIOUS: "Managing cost and schedule overruns of a project of this magnitude was a major challenge."


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Because he built a comprehensive system that gave the private insurer the ability to increase its profits. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO AND MD

: BFSI : Rs 3,857 crore : 15,000 : 87 : Rajesh Sud

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INGENIOUS: Because he built scalability into infrastructure, while transforming weaknesses into strengths. VERTICAL EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD AND CEO HEADQUARTERS

“The lack of knowledge was converted into an advantage by the

freedom to question accepted practices. This led to some very innovative solutions." Rajeev Jorapur, Head-IT Mercedes Benz India


ven after fifty years of ruling the roads, Mercedes Benz India spells class. Operating from a leased property since 1994, the company was keen to expand and more importantly, move to its own location. In December 2008, the company shifted its operation to a new field location. “We had to set up the IT infrastructure from scratch: from building a datacenter to physically shifting 50-odd servers,” says Rajeev Jorapur, head-IT, Mercedes Benz India.

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If that wasn’t a Herculean task by itself, Jorapur also had to shift physical businesscritical servers and network infrastructure in a day to ensure minimum downtime. For integrating communication networks and business apps the company went in for IP telephony. To add to Jorapur’s troubles, “Only one of the three team members had some prior experience in IP telephony and converged network. And the same team members also had to manage day-to-day operations of the business in the existing location,” he recalls.

: Automotive : 400 : 10 : Dr Wilfried Aulbur : Pune

He made this weakness his strength. “The lack of knowledge was converted into an advantage by the freedom to question accepted practices. This led to some very innovative and cost-effective solutions,” explains Jorapur. And the results speak for itself. All the fifty-odd servers and the MPLS-VPN connectivity to their 40-odd dealer locations had to be shifted to the new location. However, on the D-Day, says Jorapur, physical shifting was executed to near-perfection. All the critical applications were up and running before start-of-work. The most significant achievement was the sound infrastructure setup, capable of supporting business in the coming years. Not only did Jorapur build the datacenter, he also scaled it to meet its projected business volumes for the next ten years. The IT architecture is now equipped to handle volumes seven times more than the current volume. Not someone to be easily satisfied, Jorapur raised the bar and built the whole infrastructure based on green practices. “This includes use of PACs and efficient airflow design to reduce air-conditioning load. In addition, good quality insulation and a compact floor design resulted in reducing the energy consumption for air-conditioning by 80 percent,” says Jorapur . CIO

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9/19/2009 1:14:49 AM

"If we had to attribute our success to a factor, it would be

the meticulous planning and orchestration of the event by the IT team."

Sudhir K. Reddy, CIO MindTree


tarted in 1999, Mindtree is a global IT solutions company, with just under 8,000 employees in 20 countries. As a practice, the company gathers its best minds every year in Bangalore to participate in the company’s annual planning exercise. With the slowdown, that seemed like a luxury. “The unprecedented turmoil required MindTree to scrutinize every expenditure item,” recalls Sudhir K. Reddy, CIO, MindTree. “One day, I received a call from our chief strategy officer asking me if there was anyway to minimize travel for the annual plan meeting using technology.” Reddy examined telepresence-on-rent and HD video conferencing. But given the size of the meeting — 120 people from up to 14 cities around the world — and the duration of the meeting — six full days — Reddy and his team quickly zeroed in on video collaboration. The solution Reddy and the corporate information systems (CIS) team deployed


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included video, IM, and presentation sharing capabilities. An audio bridge was kept as back up. Reddy’s team then evaluated the voice and video quality over different conditions. An SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Sudhir K. Reddy is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for Innovation.


INGENIOUS: Because he deployed a video collaboration platform across 14 countries and saved about a crore of rupees in just seven days. VERTICAL : IT/ITES REVENUE : Rs 1,237.47 crore EMPLOYEES : 7,901 IT TEAM : 175 EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN : Ashok Soota

optimal configuration was demonstrated to two top management representatives and when they got the go-ahead, the team asked for the meeting’s timetable. The list of participants was broken down into those from the local MindTree campus and those from elsewhere. Cameras were shipped to all participants at remote locations. Test conferences were scheduled by CIS teams in all time-zones. “We had carefully reserved about 384 kbps per external participant and all conference rooms (about 15Mbps in total) to ensure that the video did not freeze or break-up,” says Reddy. But the solution wasn’t all technology. The senior management team, which was not used to conducting such important meetings over video conferencing let alone desktop video conferencing, needed convincing. To ensure the technology did not let them down, 10 CIS members babysat the meetings. “If we had to attribute our success to one factor, it would be the meticulous planning and orchestration of the event by the CIS team,” says Reddy. The initiative, which cost Rs 14.25 lakh saved the company just under a crore. CIO

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udra Communications is the third-largest advertising agency in India. One of the consequences of being that big was that each of its advertising unit (across multiple locations) had its own studio, which led to under-utilization of resources. Mudra wanted to carve out the geographically-dispersed studios into a separate SBU and help Mudra be more efficient and scale up operations more easily. The integration would also enable it to seamlessly assign jobs across locations depending on workload and specialization. In tune with this business objective, Sebastian Joseph, EVP and head technology, Mudra Communications, decided to embark on Project mTRACT. The project would help carve out a separate SBU for 'studio outsourced operations' and make their services available to any client globally. It would also create a central repository of all existing artworks. The project would introduce transparency and define processes, resulting in increased accountability. However, several challenges threatened to derail the project, including people. “There was apprehension and resistance from users,” says Joseph. To overcome this, Joseph roped in change agents right at the start and kept users informed at every stage. He also conducted regular training sessions to individuals and groups.

Once Joseph addressed these challenges, the project went live in February 2009. The completely Open Source solution brought many benefits to Mudra. It led to efficient job allocation and re-assigning of jobs based on workloads. Now each stakeholder can ascertain the status of a job through a dashboard and studio managers can see job queue, operator-wise workloads, etcetera. The move also helped the company realize significant cost savings. Earlier, images and artwork were stored in source formats like PSD and AI files. Just to view them users

required Adobe software licenses. mTRACT has a built-in function that automatically converts source files into thumbnails on the fly and displays them as JPEGs. This has saved Mudra about Rs 15 lakh in licenses. Also, prior to the implementation, each client servicing resource spent four hours everyday physically explaining a job to a studio operator to get artwork executed. With the mTRACT system, instructions can be relayed online thus saving travel time. This has resulted in savings of around Rs 40 lakh per annum. CIO

Sebastian Joseph, EVP and Head Technology Mudra Communications


INGENIOUS: Because using an Open Source platform, he enabled the integration of multiple studios into a cohesive whole, creating new efficiencies everywhere. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM

: Services : Rs 1,300 crore : 1,000 :8

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“Depending on the urgency of a job a studio manager can now split and assign it to multiple operators.”

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9/19/2009 1:18:30 AM



ony Entertainment Television (SET) is one of India’s leading television channel operators. It’s stable includes SET, a leading Hindi general entertainment channel; MAX, a premium movies channel; and PIX, a Hollywood movies channel; among others. To run its business, SET employs 400 people. Managing all their paperwork was getting hard because all office processes including employee reimbursements, interoffice memos and travel management were paper driven. This manual system was beginning to take a toll on productivity. “It

took employees a lot of time to search for documents,” says Ajay Kumar Meher, VP-IT, MSM. And because it was hard to find anything staffers “created similar documents again and again,” he says. Worse, hard copies of important documents like contracts, tax-related papers, and revenue management documents were stored on file servers, individual hard-disks and even e-mails. This created a security issue that was an executive concern. Meher knew he had to set things right quickly. He wanted a solution to manage documents efficiently, so he turned to a

Ajay Kumar Meher, VP-IT MSM (Sony Entertainment Television)

document management system (DMS). The solution would scan all documents and store them inside the DMS with proper metatagging. This would make them easily searchable. It also allowed MSM to manage all its internal and external websites easily with a Web content management system. However, before SET could reap these benefits, it had to overcome several challenges. The scattered documents were stored in diverse platforms and in various formats. Collecting all the different types of documents required extensive coordination, says Meher. And metatagging was not easy. “That required a detailed meeting with users to understand how they searched for documents,” says Meher. Once Meher handled these challenges, the Rs 60 lakh project went live in February 2009. Post the implementation all workflows were integrated with SAP and e-mail, making them completely automated. “That means a reduced turnaround time for every transaction,” says Meher. The project has also improved document quality and data integrity. More importantly, it decreased document duplication and search times significantly. Today the project saves each employee two hours a week, the average equivalent of Rs 250 a week. On an annual basis that works out to Rs 13,000 per employee or Rs 52 lakh across the organization. CIO


INGENIOUS: “The document


system has increased employee productivity substantially.”


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Because a document management system he put in place saves staffers hours of work every week. VERTICAL EMPLOYEES IT TEAM COO HEADQUARTERS

: Services : 400 : 17 : N.P. Singh : Mumbai

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INGENIOUS: Because his cargo management system is an example of how technology can unclog a system and create space for growth. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD

“We identified key users and ensured that they drove the project rather than the IT team. That quickly increased user confidence in the system."

T.P. Anantheswaran, Head-IT Mumbai International Airport


joint venture between GVKled consortium and the Airport Authority of India, Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) was formed in 2006 to develop Mumbai’s Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport, which caters to 24.3 million passengers and handles over 530,000 tons of cargo. The airport is planning on a new cargo complex, which will be able to handle 1 million tons of cargo a year. That quantum of business might have overwhelmed its 10-year-old cargo

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management system. A largely manual system — with some billing even done on Excel sheets (which opened the potential for revenue leakage) — it was also getting expensive to maintain and had not managed to keep up with changing business needs. All in all, it needed replacement. “This led us to develop a new cargo management system which would allow us to automate business processes and give our clients a Web interface,” says T.P. Anantheswaran, head-IT, MIAL. The solution was simple: an application that would kill manual processes, improve

: Services : Over Rs 900 crore : Over 2,000 : 80 : Sanjay G.V. Reddy

efficiency, increase turnaround time, allow performance measurement, and have the provision to roll out RFID in the future. The two-phase project cost MIAL Rs 3 crore and the first phase for cargo being exported went live in January 2009. The systems to handle cargo being imported started in May 2009. But it wasn't easy. Anantheswaran says change management for both internal and external users was the biggest issue. “We identified key users and ensured that they drove the project rather than IT,” he says. It also helped that their implementation partners supported them, adds Anantheswaran, in making quick changes to the system when bugs were identified. “It quickly increased the user confidence in the system." The solution has paved the way for further improvement in cargo movement, and prevented revenue leakage. And because it has a Web interface which allows customers to track their cargo, the number of calls and visits to cargo center has diminished. “It is also compliant with cargo 2000 standards and EDIU standards of Indian customs. Importantly, it lets us interface with SITATEX — an airline data interchange which gives us access to flight schedules allowing for advanced cargo planning," says Anantheswaran. CIO

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9/19/2009 1:20:53 AM

"Mobility's value lies in cutting lead times, augmenting teamwork, and, yes, cutting cost." V. Srinivas, CIO Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals


ne of the most recognized agricultural brands in India, Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals (NFCL) is the flagship company of the Nagarjuna Group. Established in 1985, the company has around 90 field marketing officers with over 700 warehouse locations. A network of encrypted secure broadband connected the corporate headquarters to the regional office level. “Typically, the marketing officer (MO) needed to communicate with the regional offices through phone, fax or courier regarding sales orders. This sales order would then be entered into the ERP at the regional office which would approve the order from the central ERP server at Hyderabad after considering parameters like availability of stock, credit limit check of distributor etcetera," explains V. Srinivas, CIO, Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals. Once this was communicated back to the MO, he would send the sale note-cumdelivery order to the concerned warehouse


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for execution through fax or courier. The warehouse would then make a delivery order and dispatch the material. These documents would be sent to the respective regional offices where invoices would be generated within three to four days or at the end of the month from the actual date of dispatch.


INGENIOUS: Because he capitalized on mobility solutions to improve collaboration between the company's field force, warehouses and offices. VERTICAL : Manufacturing REVENUE : Rs 2,378 crore EMPLOYEES : 1,560 DIRECTOR AND COO: R. S. Nanda HEADQUARTERS : Hyderabad

However, the last mile connectivity between the marketing officers and warehouse agents was missing since most of these operations were concentrated in the rural areas where there is no Internet connectivity. “The challenge was to implement a wireless technology which would enable the remote marketing and warehouse field teams to interact with the OLTP SAP at very low transactional costs,” says Srinivas. So, Srinivas migrated to a GSMbased mobile network. Built on SOA, this .NET infrastructure offers multiple communication channels with the mobile clients in the form of GSM Modems. Today, the entire field staff carries out transactions with SAP using their Windows mobile phones via the GSM platform. One of the major benefits of this implementation was a manageable reduction on TCO of SAP due to reduced number of licenses. Lead time in order processing has reduced from two to three days to less than 10 minutes. Srinivas says, “The sales teams are now better informed about the status of various business processes. This helps them revert back to customers with up-to-date data.” CIO

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ew Holland Fiat India, a wholly owned subsidiary of CNH Global — the world’s leading agricultural equipment company — is a majority owned subsidiary of the Fiat Group. Since its inception in 1996, the company had posted robust growth. In 2008, it manufactured over 23,000 tractors for the domestic and global market. Despite the debilitating economic conditions, the organization was able to post 38 percent growth. To keep up that pace, the company wanted to attain faster production speed through improved visibility. “Eliminating stock-outs of critical items was imperative. We wanted to advance our relations with suppliers by giving them the benefits of greater visibility using auto generated e-mails and SMS notifications,” says Avinash Arora, director-IS (India & S.E. Asia), New Holland Fiat. The organization also wanted to rationalize costs with better business practices and less clerical tasks. Arora knew IT could deliver on these business priorities. He resolved to deploy the E-Kanban system (an innovation over Japanese Kanban System). This system can be integrated with an ERP and it allows realtime demand signaling across the supply chain and provides the company with improved visibility. Data extracted from the system can be used to optimize inventory

levels by better tracking supplier lead and replenishment times. The system resulted in accurate requirement call outs to the supplier via e-mail and SMS. Conceiving the idea was easier for Arora than getting the project off the ground. “Convincing stakeholders that IT could play a significant role in speeding up business performance and delivering information on-demand on preferred platform (mobiles, Web services, dashboard reporting and ERP reporting) was a key challenge,” he says.

The cost and time for building the EKanban system was less than Rs Rs 4 lakh and 25 man-days of development and deployment. Currently, 187 critical items are covered under the E-Kanban system. Within a year of implementation, the project led to a 15 -20 percent reduction in overall inventory of E-Kanban items. It reduced lead times by 60-65 percent. E-Kanban increased delivery reliability by 98 percent. It also increased material availability up to 100 percent. CIO

Avinash Arora, Director-IS (India & S.E. Asia) New Holland Fiat India


INGENIOUS: Because his innovative and inexpensive idea eliminated an key challenge in manufacturing: stock-outs. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CMD

: Automotive : Rs 1,200 crore : 750 :7 : Mario Gasparri

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"E-Kanban brought down inventory levels by Rs 75 lakh, and that number is expected to touch Rs 2 crore shortly."

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9/19/2009 1:22:59 AM



unctioning from 50 owned facilities and 350 partnerships, the National Institute of Information Technology, better known as NIIT is an IT talent development corporation and a household name. In India, catering to students in over 40 countries, the company thought it made logical sense to have over 20 individual websites for different geographies with a centralized content management system. But that decision was beginning to hurt. “We realized that promoting multiple

websites was not feasible for the brand in the long term. Since traffic gets split to 20 different websites, consumer exposure was limited only to information present on the site that he or she has landed on,” says Sunil Sirohi, VP, NIIT. To promote NIIT as a global brand and serve country-specific local business content, Sirohi felt that a single universal destination would be a smart move. That gave birth to uNIITe or A single website that would offer higher brand visibility and help NIIT showcase its varied offerings.

Sunil Sirohi, VP NIIT

"Now, all marketing spends promoting various brands lead to a single landing point and this has dramatically increased visits on the corporate site,” says Sirohi. He also set up a Web content management solution to enable business content owners to create content on their own. The site now has fresh content and update delays have been eliminated. But, convincing business leaders of the strategic advantages of opting for a single website for all business units proved to be a roadblock. Extensive communication and presentations explaining the information architecture of the new website helped NIIT deal with the situation. The website was designed so that visitors from different geographies could receive information pertaining to them, based on where they are located. Prior to the implementation, the various NIIT websites were ranked between 112,000 to 7,600,000 (according to Alexa). Now, the consolidated website is higher than rank 50,000. “A visitor to the new website now ends up staying longer than before hence opening up the possibility of higher rate of consumer conversion. Server consolidation helped save running costs and at the same time reduced our carbon footprint,” says Sirohi. CIO


INGENIOUS: “All marketing spends lead to a

single landing point dramatically increasing visits to the corporate site.”


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Because his idea of consolidating over 20 NIIT websites into one increased brand visibility and reduced server costs. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO

: Services : 1,148 crore : 3,600 : 36 : Vijay Thadani

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INGENIOUS: Because his collaboration initiative not only prunes cost, it also help with change management. VERTICAL : Services REVENUE : Over Rs 45,000 crore EMPLOYEES : Over 25,000 IT TEAM : 300 CHAIRMAN AND MD : R.S. Sharma

"The system has ensured that hierarchy and geographical distance don't come in the way of capturing ideas and figuring out ways to harness them." Dinesh Kumar, Executive Director NTPC


olling out an ERP throughout an organization is one of the largest and toughest exercises before an IT team. And, usually, all of an organization’s resources get so absorbed in ensuring its successful deployment that other IT initiatives are sidelined. Dinesh Kumar, executive director at NTPC, India's largest power company, decided he wasn’t going to be a statistic. Last year, as his team was neck deep in rolling out a SAP implementation across NTPC and change management initiatives

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were in full swing, Kumar decided to introduce a collaborative framework across the enterprise. This would not only help with change management, he reasoned, but also take the organization beyond the ERP deployment, enable increased productivity and reduce costs. Part of the collaborative framework was audio and video conferencing that would enable the company to reach out to all its employees. Change management for the ERP required a lot of interaction with all users and the audio/video conferencing facility would come handy.

“A major challenge was getting people to adapt to the technology. To ensure we had really effective conferencing, do’s and dont’s were circulated among all project heads and repeated at the start of such meetings,” says Kumar. Post the rollout, the new system is being leveraged to conduct crucial activities such as management committee meetings, project monitoring, and reviews of upcoming thermal or hydro power generating projects. Management committee meetings take place regularly across all of the organization’s 40 locations with over 150 participants taking part simultaneously. “The conferencing initiative not only helps us save costs and time but also helps us in coming together to find speedy solutions to critical issues that need to be tackled immediately during various stages of upcoming projects. It has also ensured that hierarchy and geographical distance do not come in the way of capturing ideas and figuring out ways to harness them,” says Kumar. “That should go a long way in reducing the lead time in meeting the XI Plan target of achieving 50,000 MW by the end of 2012,” he adds. CIO

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9/19/2009 1:25:55 AM

“The migration was not easy, but the rise

in our flexibility and overall manageability justified it."

S. Hariharan, Sr. VP Infrastructure Solutions and Services Group Oracle Financial Services Software


racle Financial Services Software(OFSS) caters to banking and capital market companies across the world. Part of what it offers its customers is the ability to cut costs and respond rapidly. But it was having a hard time practicing what it was preaching. Part of the reason was the everincreasing demand from business users for development and testing environments. Their constant requests had created a 225server sprawl. “Many of these servers were underutilized and even unused at times,” says S. Hariharan, Sr. VP Infrastructure Solutions and Services Group, Oracle Financial Services Software. This situation also put the company’s datacenter under stress. It was a challenge, says Hariharan, to control and manage the costs of multiple servers at multiple locations and also to ensure they had effective security controls and to be able to scale up. The state of affairs begged for virtualization and datacenter consolidation.


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The IT facility management team used in-house virtualization software to shrink the physical server count from 225 to 15. This cut facility costs by 50 percent and annual maintenance costs by 60 percent. SPECIAL AWARD WINNER S. Hariharan is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for Storage.


INGENIOUS: Because by virtualizing 225 servers to 15 and consolidating three datacenters into one, he unleashed a host of cost and efficiency benefits. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD AND CEO

: IT/ITES : Rs 2,900 crore : 11,500 : 480 : N.K. Raman

The IT team then consolidated three active datacenters in Mumbai to a single location. The process involved moving over 180 servers from three locations to a newly-built datacenter. This big move enabled better security, overall control, scalability, and trimmed datacenter costs. But these wins didn’t come without challenges. The datacenter consolidation project came with technical as well as legal issues. The migration, for instance, needed clearance from the customs department and approval for downtime had to be sought from clients and project heads since most of the servers were production servers. “The migration had to be planned meticulously keeping in mind global operations and different time zones,” says Hariharan. Put together, the two projects cost about Rs 1.75 crore but they enabled the company to put their assets to optimal use. After migrating data from standalone servers to virtual servers with shared storage, OFSS saved 5TB of disk space and will save Rs 3.8 crore annually. It’s made it easier to meet storage demands. Finally, the project cut provisioning time for new test environments to five hours from six weeks. CIO

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ervicing its elevators is a large part of Otis’ business. With over 2.2 million Otis elevators in operation worldwide — 40,000 of which are in India — Otis has to continually re-jig its processes and systems to continue giving their customers excellent service. “Service is an important business operation and a key revenue generator,” says V. Subramaniam, CIO (India and UAE), Otis Elevator Company. “We have a huge service base across India. And it’s complex. We needed to streamline our processes.” The comapany's older, standalone service systems had standard challenges, including the consolidation of data. To meet the servicing focus of the business, Subramaniam implemented a global service management system (GSMS) and integrated it into Otis’ ERP. GSMS is a centralized, Web-enabled system (Intranet-based) that captures a service customer’s data including the technical details of an elevator, the type of service contract, and the customer’s AMC agreement with Otis. Subramaniam also plugged in a billing module to this system to quicken service turnaround time. “GSMS also has OTIS LINE (the company’s helpline) to capture call backs. It analyses call details and escalates based

on fixed parameters. It also routes calls to mechanics and supervisors. This includes short messaging and e-mail alerts. OTIS LINE is a critical module which is used 24x7 by customer care personnel. We track time-to-respond and time-to-resolve a call because these are important parameters in service excellence,” says Subramaniam. There were other systems that he attached to GSMS. These included an order management system and an annual equipment survey system, which captures and analyzes information of the units Otis

has installed. “We have also re-developed the performance pay system. The timely processing and payout of incentives are important motivating factors for our service team,” says Subramanian. The project went live in June 2009 and all service functions are now online. Thanks to the project Otis has standardized processes across service operations and has high quality data. It has also increased information visibility, which has improved response time and employee productivity and reduced turnaround time. CIO

V. Subramaniam, CIO (India and UAE) Otis Elevator Company


INGENIOUS: Because he brought sense to the multiple, standalone processes that make up the business of servicing elevators — a big part of his company’s business. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES MD

: Manufacturing : Rs 700 crore : Over 2,000 : Sundar Parthasarathy

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“Since servicing elevators is a key revenue generator, we needed to streamline our service

management system.”

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he Indian pharmaceutical industry is worth Rs 25,200 crore and is likely to triple by 2015, making it one of the world’s top 10 markets. This growth is reflected in the large number of companies and products available in the market — which causes problems for companies even as large and well-known as Pfizer India. With more companies, comes more medical representatives, and less time for each of them with doctors. It's a problem almost everyone in the space faces.

But for Pfizer this made it crucial to make the best of the little time their medical representatives got. “The challenge was to improve the effectiveness of the field force in utilizing the few minutes they get with a doctor,” says Venkat Iyer, director business technology, Pfizer India. The way to do it, reasoned executives at Pfizer India, was to get into the heads of the doctors. If their medical representatives could sync with the needs of their doctors from the moment they walked into their offices, Pfizer’s representatives stood a greater chance

Venkat Iyer, Director-Business Technology Pfizer India

of staying longer in their doctors’ room, making a sale, and being invited to visit again. With an investment of about Rs 30 lakh, Iyer and his team started on an initiative in January 2009 that allowed medical representatives to profile doctors based on a number of parameters. “The idea is to identify the potential of the customer (doctor) thereby creating messages tailored to address ‘doctorspecific’ needs. This supports a Pfizerspecific ‘cycle plan’ that helps the field rep identify doctors, determine how frequently they should visit that doctor, the objective of a specific cycle, etcetera,” says Iyer. However, even such a good idea had its problems. At the end of every day at about 9 pm, after meeting between 10 and 12 doctors, medical representatives have to go to a cyber café and punch in the information they collected during the day and plan for their next day. “If they have to spend between 30 and 40 minutes doing that, they are going to give up,” says Iyer. So, Iyer and his team got down to work and used lean Six Sigma processes to trim down this number to less than 10 minutes. And it worked. CIO



“The challenge was to

improve the effectiveness

of the field force in the few minutes they get with a doctor.”


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Because he improved the effectiveness of Pfizer India’s its medical representatives — and consequently its profitability. VERTICAL EMPLOYEES IT TEAM HEADQUARTERS

: Pharmaceutical : over 2,000 :7 : Mumbai

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INGENIOUS: Because being a global company, his idea of converting international roaming calls into conference calls saved a ton of money. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO

“There has been a steep decline in the money spent on international roaming calls by traveling associates — as high as Rs 20 lakh per monthly.” V. Balakrishnan, CIO Polaris Software Lab


hennai-based Polaris Software Lab is a software solutions company focused on the BFSI sector. But being a global solutions provider for the banking sector, for decades, comes at a price. The organization was beginning to feel the pressure of mounting communication costs. Running into one to three percent of revenue, this was a substantial expense. The problem intensified as the enterprise reduced corporate travel to promote energy efficiency and profitability. With operations across the globe, Polaris needed to cater

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to the requirements of widely dispersed workgroups. These groups needed cost efficient usage of communication and collaboration techniques. V. Balakrishnan, CIO, Polaris Software Lab, knew that this cost had to be contained. “The cost of voice communication for a mobile workforce was huge, due to stiff roaming tariffs,” he says. He wanted to ensure that the mobile workforce benefited from the best tariff negotiated by the corporate for bulk use from fixed locations. The best way to get there would be to convert all roaming international calls —

: IT/ITES : Rs 1,200 crore : 7,000 : 100 : Arun Jain

outbound calls from the corporate — to free incoming calls for roaming users on any local line. “If the call from point A to point B on the globe is converted to a conference call initiated by the corporate network, the effective cost of the call drops by upto 50 times,” he says. The challenge was establishing an easy to use and reliable system. Balakrishnan employed two solutions for this. First, he developed a centralized corporate facility to establish an international voice connect between two or more international telephone numbers. This would be on demand (or pre-scheduled) either through a self-help automated route or a manual assisted route. The connections are made through outbound calls placed from the corporate network at a discounted corporate tariff. Second, it provided a facility for a roaming associate to easily ask for an international voice connection between two telephone numbers and get connected instantly at zero or low cost. The project went live in July 2009. Since then, there has been a steep decline in the money spent on international roaming calls by traveling associates to almost Rs 20 lakh per month. The deployment has eliminated the need for employees to incur heavy costs for official voice communications while on tour and submit claims for the same. CIO

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“PNB has become the first public sector bank to implement an enterprise-wide data warehouse solution."

R.I.S. Sidhu, Chief General Manager Punjab National Bank


nabling over 55,000 employees in over 4,500 locations to serve customers and conduct regular banking duties is an IT budget of Rs 285 crore and a 500 strong IT team in Punjab National Bank. Like other banks, PNB too had to adhere to risk compliance and have a 360 degree view of its customers and MIS. Not to forget, with the downturn pushing the BFSI sector into rough waters, cost optimization was a necessity. R.I.S Sidhu, chief general manager, PNB, attempted something big. He wanted to attend to all of these problems with one solution: implementing an enterprise-wide data warehouse (EDW). The EDW was meant to leverage the bank’s operational data available in multiple sources systems and give access to data required for regulatory, statutory reporting and analytical purposes. The existing heterogeneous data sources included a core banking solution and a total bank automation solution. On top of that, there were various other systems in different head


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office (HO) divisions across the country and data available was often incomplete and inaccurate. There was a need to cut manual intervention as much as possible. "For providing a 360 degree customer view and SPECIAL AWARD WINNER R.I.S. Sidhu is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for Storage.


INGENIOUS: Because he deployed an enterprise wide data warehouse to integrate multiple data sources while managing extremely high data volumes. INDUSTRY : BFSI REVENUE : Rs 3,090.88 crore EMPLOYEES : Over 55,000 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR : M.V. Tanksale

aiding the bank in strategic decision making, the EDW needed to integrate data from these various source systems," says Sidhu. The EDW project not only brought dispersed data under one umbrella, it also enabled the bank to meet regulatory requirement and implement an anti-money laundering solution (AML). With the AML, alerts regarding suspicious transactions are now generated automatically based on the set rules and are resolved at head offices. Prior to this, such information was sought from branches which were collated at head offices for identifying suspicious transactions, requiring much higher levels of manual intervention. ”An additional benefit was the resulting CRM solution deployed across all the branches of 11 identified circles. This enabled the marketing teams to effectively implement their strategy, making good use of higher visibility,” says Sidhu. The CRM helps the bank now to better retain existing customers by cross-selling and up-selling, to attract new customers by offering various value added products and services, and even convert loss making customers into profitable ones. CIO

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quick search on the Internet will show you five ways of sneaking into a movie theater without a valid ticket. If you think the problem is not widespread enough to have insignificant cost implications, you would be wrong. For the Rs 355-crore, 108-screen theater chain PVR, the issue was important enough to appear on its CIO’s agenda. “The challenge was to check the loss of revenue due to the entry of unauthorized patrons. We initiated a project to compare the number of people in an auditorium against the number of tickets sold,” says Atul Luthra, head-IT, PVR. The most obvious solution was to manually verify every ticket just before and just after an intermission. But this approach would inconvenience paying patrons so Luthra looked at other solutions ranging from RFID on tickets, installing pressure sensors on seats, and thermal imaging of auditoriums but none were viable. That’s when Luthra came across iCount. The solution takes a photograph of an auditorium 40 minutes after a movie starts. It then compares this picture with the image of an empty auditorium. An application that Luthra and his team built in-house then compares the number of people in an

auditorium against the number of tickets that were sold at the box office. There was one big problem. How do you take a picture in a dark auditorium? Another challenge was the placement of the camera — if it was placed in front (where it can get a full picture of the auditorium) and used a flash, it would disturb movie-watchers. These were sorted out by using a high resolution camera with an appropriately adjusted aperture, which was placed in a corner next to the screen.

A pilot was tested with a Rs 4 lakh investment and now “the plan is to implement this project on all screens across India,” says Luthra. “It’s has already been rolled out in Mumbai.” He estimates that the cost of covering all the chain's current screens should be around Rs 2 crore. Figures from PVR demonstrate that the number of unauthorized entries has been brought down and payback should be achieved in about a year. CIO

Atul Luthra, Head IT PVR


INGENIOUS: Because he put in place a system that nabbed ticketless moviegoers and saved his company plenty. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO

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: Services : Rs 355 crore : over 2,000 : 32 : Amitabh Vardhan

“With iCount the unauthorized entry of people in a theatre has been brought under control.”

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9/19/2009 1:32:20 AM



ndia’s largest pharmaceutical company, the Rs 7,300-crore Ranbaxy is present in 125 countries, all of which run off a single instance of SAP. The company has also witnessed double-digit growth for several years which reflected on its 2.25TB database: it expands at about 45GB a month. All of these factors put tremendous stress on its ERP. The average response time on its SAP servers was over 1,200 milliseconds and about 1,000 milliseconds on its DB server. Ranbaxy also regularly hit 90 to 100 percent

capacity utilization levels on its database server. “We applied plenty of band-aids but systems began to crawl and impact the business,” says David Briskman, VP & CIO, Ranbaxy Laboratories. To avoid an imminent crisis, Ranbaxy strategically decided to sync a SAP environment upgrade with a hardware refresh. An ERP upgrade on this scale would have left most organizations scampering to find the closest consultant, and hordes of subject matter experts — immaterial of the price. But Briskman, who maintains a SAP center of excellence,

David Briskman, VP and CIO Ranbaxy Laboratories

decided to leverage his internal team to carry out the project. With help from SAP and Microsoft and led by Briskman, this team took care of the entire technical and functional upgrade of SAP, database and OS onto the newer 64-bit architecture. Doing the upgrade internally saved Ranbaxy plenty. “When organizations enlist consultants for such high-level projects, the cost of consultancy usually makes up between 60 and 70 percent of the total cost of the project. The rest largely goes in procuring hardware and software,” says Briskman. By handling it all in-house, Ranbaxy lowered the total price of the project and reversed that ratio. “In our case, 70 percent of the costs we incurred were billed for hardware and software. That gives you a sense of how little consulting we used,” says Briskman. Post the upgrade, maximum CPU utilization levels at the database server dipped from about 100 percent to 40 percent, bringing life back to the sluggish servers. Similarly, the maximum RAM utilization level at the server slid from 74 percent to 48 percent and the average response time for an application to respond improved from about 1,000 milliseconds to just 350 milliseconds. The upgrade also reduced costs by 18 percent. CIO


INGENIOUS: "Seventy percent of the upgrade co st was spent on hardware an d software. That’s how little

consulting we used."


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Because by undertaking a large SAP upgrade project in-house, he saved costs, got tighter project control and quicker business results. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM

: Pharmaceutical : Rs 7,300 crore : 12,800 : 350

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INGENIOUS: Because he gave company the ability to get to market quickly and gain the first mover advantage to keep it ahead of the competition. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CHAIRMAN

“This is the first time that an initiative of this nature has been

successfully implemented to meet the internal requirements of the group."

Manoj Shrivastava, VP-Group IT Reliance ADA Group


he Reliance ADA Group is mainly into services domain covering telecom, utilities, entertainment and financial services. The success of the service industry depends on the development of new, automated processes and products to meet the requirements of a continually expanding market. The business expects an improved time-to-market to get the first mover advantage. “This results in peak demands on resources. These requirements are temporary and typically come in times

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of expansion or launch of new product and services. During these times, group companies augment their teams by IT professionals from other IT companies,” says Manoj Shrivastava, VP-group IT, Reliance ADA Group. Each resource augmentation requirement used to be initiated and approved separately by individual group companies. Each group company had a separate process for resource augmentation and for each such requirement, a new legal contract was executed with the providing company. There was no feedback

: Diversified : Rs 55,000 crore : Over 40,000 : 2,000 : Anil Ambani

mechanism on the quality and review of the augmented resources because the process was not institutionalized. Shrivastava created a Web-based portal of IT partners to enable just-in-time sourcing to cater to the peak but temporary demands. The portal provides access to progress on selection, feedback, provision to redress HR concerns of augmented resources and extension of contract to all stakeholders involved. But, since each group company is an independent entity and many of them are publicly listed, each company has a different commercial and legal process. The challenge was to arrive at a common agreement, which was simple and manageable for all stakeholders. Shrivastava enabled this by seeking buy-in from all stakeholders. “To the empanelled IT partner, the initiative provides a single view of IT resource requirements of the entire group and helps align its business development team to increase its productivity,” he says. The initiative reduced the cycle time for sourcing from 20 working days to five working days. Furthermore, there has been a 15 percent reduction in resource rates due to better negotiation resulting from the centralized process. CIO

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9/19/2009 1:34:15 AM

"Getting people, process, and technology to work

together seamlessly ensured that all critical data is secure."

Sandeep Phanasgaonkar, President and Group Technology Officer Reliance Capital


f it’s true that information is the currency of today's organizations, it’s even more true for financial institutions, which process sensitive data that translates directly into revenue. The loss or misuse of their data can impact both the bottom line and top line, costing these companies in revenue and reputation. Sensitive to these business concerns Sandeep Phanasgaonkar, president and group technology officer, Reliance Capital, identified what was needed in order to protect sensitive customer and corporate information. The thrust was to mitigate data loss risks from roaming users, avoid the distribution or replication of critical documents by unauthorized users and get users to adhere to standards enforced by several international regulatory bodies. The corporate data confidentiality strategy he envisaged stood on four key initiatives: data flow analysis (DFA), document rights management (DRM), data loss prevention (DLP) and encryption security. The four projects worked hand-in-glove to identify


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critical data within business units, identify users with access to that data, mark out systems on which it was stored, analyze the processes and channels which allowed data to flow outside the organization and then SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Sandeep Phanasgaonkar is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for Security.


INGENIOUS: Because his multi-pronged data security initiative helped create a stronger, more secure, more compliant organization. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO HEADQUARTERS

: BFSI : Rs 5,976 crore : 21,000 : 149 : Sam Ghosh : Mumbai

implement data protection strategies. “We identified several broken business processes which resulted in a violation to our data protection strategies through this project and corrected or removed most of them,” says Phanasgaonkar. Today, the Rs 66-lakh project has brought access rights to 2,700 critical documents — and growing — and they are being monitored. Phanasgaonkar says that from their DLP console, they’ve seen a drastic reduction in the number of critical documents that are sent out without being secured. Moreover, assets like laptops are monitored and protected even when they are not connected to the corporate network. Endpoint security has been deployed in the assets of all roaming users to prevent potential data leaks. “We believe that adopting this holistic strategy has ensured a proper and coordinated approach towards data security and guarantees that no channels are left unmonitored. Getting people, process, and technology to work together in such a way that each initiative is interlocked into the other helped make sure all critical data was secured,” says Phanasgaonkar. CIO

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eliance Communications is one of the top 10 telecom companies in the world, with a customer base of over 80 million. Although it only offered CDMA services initially, the company changed that in 2007-08, when it decided to offer GSM services as well. In doing so, it would attempt something no other operator in India had done before. “The introduction of GSM services was a first of its kind in India in the sense that customers would be able to choose or switch between two different technologies (CDMA and GSM) with the same operator,” says Dr Sumit Chowdhury, CIO, Reliance Communications. To lower the cost of doing business, the company wanted to re-purpose its existing IT infrastructure, including billing, customer acquisition, and other operations like its contact center. Chowdhury’s task was to create the IT platforms to support the rollout of GSMbased mobile services. He says his business wanted him to “replicate all CDMA business processes for GSM on the existing CDMA platform, saving cost and time.” The project to provide a single platform for cross-technology products and services to customers across 14 circles was conceptualized and started in May 2008.

The IT platform was ready in November 2008 and it was in that six-month deadline that lay one of Chowdhury’s biggest hurdles. “Ensuring the seamless integration and replication of all business processes for GSM within the expected timelines and using existing resources was a big challenge,” says Chowdhury. He also had to work within constantly evolving parameters. For example, the initial base capacity planned for was 10 million subscribers. But midway through the project this changed to five million subscribers a month. And it did not

help that he didn’t have a prototype to work to. “The unavailability of a reference was another challenge,” he says. But he ensured that nothing derailed the Rs 10,000-crore project. The launch of services within a year of being awarded spectrum is a world record. The entire GSM project was completed six months ahead of schedule, says Chowdhury, completing in 15 months what other operators have taken 15 years to do. RCOM is India’s first and world’s first (outside China) to add over four million new subscribers in 30 days. CIO

Dr Sumit Chowdhury, CIO Reliance Communications

SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Dr Sumit Chowdhury is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for infrastructure and CIO's Hall of Fame.


INGENIOUS: Because he created a single IT platform to support both CDMA and GSM business processes. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CHAIRMAN

: Telecom : Rs 22,941 crore : Over 18,000 : 1,600 : Anil Ambani

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“Integrating and replicating all the CDMA business processes for GSM was done six months ahead of schedule.”

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earch for the Rs 1,200-crore Reliance Consumer Finance on the Web and you’ll get a link that announces ‘Fast Approval Home Loans, Personal & Business Loans, Commercial ...’. The four-year old company which offers home loans as well as personal, business, healthcare, and commercial vehicle loans, among others, is focused on making an impact on the consumer finance space. It’s a business where speed counts. But to process loan forms they needed to be scanned, indexed, and stored away.

All of this was done manually, taking time and creating inefficiency. Shashi Kumar Ravulapaty, CTO, Reliance Consumer Finance, realized that automating documentation management using a scanning mechanism would help. So he stuck a barcode on the first page of each document before it went for scanning. He then developed an application that could read the barcode and instruct the scanner. By doing this he eliminated the need for a user to select whether a document needed to be scanned in duplex, or in color vs black-and-white,

Shashi Kumar Ravulapaty, CTO Reliance Consumer Finance

etcetera. This in turn reduced the need for manpower, pared turnaround time and improved efficiency. The scanned images then get unique IDs and are stored in a central system. The user at the central desk can search and access the scanned documents making them readily available without manual intervention and “at no extra cost,” says Ravulapaty. Moreover, the sytem has capability to track, design and provide different types of reports, says Ravulapaty. “What we have developed can also be extended to other departments. For example, we will extend this facility to the finance and credit teams,” he says. Initially, Ravulapaty implemented the solution at 11 locations across India but it’s seen so much success that the organization wants to expand it to 22 other offices. With an investment of Rs 9.5 lakhs, Ravulapaty has managed to plan for an ROI of Rs 4.5 crore. The scanning project has trimmed the turnaround time for each document by 20 minutes, reduced cost, increased in productivity and cut manpower needs by 33 percent. It also allows each branch to act as a back-up for others when one branch cannot operate. But most importantly he say, “it will facilitate the quick processing of loans to customer.” And that’s key in his business. CIO


INGENIOUS: “We created a process which saved 20 minutes

in the turnaround time for each loan form.”


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Because he introduced a process that improved an important metric in his business: loan turnaround time. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM HEADQUARTERS

: BFSI : Rs 1,200 crore : Over 1,000 : 10 : Mumbai

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INGENIOUS: Because he deployed a mechanism for surveyors to file their reports from the field, saving both time and money. VERTICAL : BFSI REVENUE : Rs 1,915 crore EMPLOYEES : 2,050 IT TEAM : 35 PRESIDENT AND CEO : Somasekharan K.A.

“We became the first to introduce an offline survey solution in the Indian insurance industry.”

Naganathan Sriram, Chief Technology and Operations Officer Reliance General Insurance


eliance General Insurance (RGI) is a leading private sector general insurance company catering to corporate, SME and individual customers with over 94 insurance products. The company reviews about 3 lakh motor accident claims a year. But for a claimant to get reimbursed, surveyors first have to visit the site of a crash, carrying out their investigation, and then head back to the office to upload claim forms, pictures, driving licenses, etcetera, on RGI’s claims processing application called Motoveys.

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The problem was that the process forced, “surveyors to waste a lot of time and this hampered their productivity," says Naganathan Sriram, chief technology and operations officer, Reliance General Insurance. It also put a huge load on the Motoveys server at the end of each month. “There was a need to introduce an offline survey solution which would take care of all these productivity issues. That application is called Motoveys Claimlook,” he says. Using a data card or mobile phone connectivity, the new solution allowed surveyors to upload and download all the

required forms they needed and prepare survey reports while on the move. This quickened the pace of preparing reports and ensured a standardized, electronic format, which is useful in case of litigation. It also allows RGI to analyze data more easily. However, there were challenges in deploying the solution including synchronizing data between the client and the server, and implementing compression algorithms for the voluminous attachments. The Rs 50-lakh project which went live in May 2009, has enabled RGI to reduce its claims turnaround time from 26 days to 21 and trimmed its conveyance bill by 15 percent. It’s also enabled the company to do away with physical photographs. “Now that we use digital photographs, the cost of paper photographs has reduced. Each photograph used to cost the company Rs 10. On an average, a standard claim would have five to six photographs. With 3 lakh claims per annum, we are saving Rs 1.5 crore,” says Sriram. Finally, it has allowed them to bring down the amount they paid in-house loss assessors, who process 60 percent of RGI’s claims. They used to get paid Rs 75 per claim but now get paid Rs 65 per claim. CIO

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9/19/2009 1:38:18 AM

“The project has set a new benchmark

in the insurance industry by reducing operational costs by over 45 percent."

R. Chandrasekaran Mohan, CTO Reliance Life Insurance


ne of the the top private sector insurance companies in India, Reliance Life Insurance is a unit of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group. The Rs 4,536 crore insurance company with a recent addition of 1,250 branches is fast expanding. While this was good news, the company lacked a formal system for managing the steps involved in underwriting: receiving submissions, analyzing data, and providing approvals. ”The system required insurance policy underwriters and application process agents to manually assemble all the information they needed from large paper files, analyze the data, and determine whether the customer should be offered coverage at all. This manual system took two weeks and was prone to errors,” says R. Chandrasekaran Mohan, CTO, RLIC. On top of that, opening so many new branches wasn’t helping his cause. Mohan realized that he needed to reduce average


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underwriting turnaround time (TAT) from two weeks to a few hours. “We needed something that would have the scalability to meet future needs and the agility to react to changing market conditions, “he says. Delay in revenue generation and reduced productivity motivated Mohan to go for a BPM solution to automate the process.


INGENIOUS: Because he automated one of the most important pieces of the insurance business: the underwriting system, making life easier for both consumers and employees. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM

: BFSI : Rs 4,536 crore : 18,000 : 50

Now, an agent arrives at the branch and scans the application form and uploads them to the server. After the agent validates the information and enters required inputs, the data is updated on the document management system. “This data is then used to send as an underwriting and policy issuance request to process the response, which then automatically sends an e-mail notification based on business rules,” explains Mohan. The project was envisioned to cater to multiple business requirements and the solution addresses the issues of all stakeholders. Today, the project has set a new benchmark in the insurance industry by reducing processing error rate by 67 percent and operational cost by over 45 percent. TAT has reduced from almost two weeks to a day. Automation has provided Reliance Life with complete visibility reducing errors, and subsequently increasing the quality of the process and customer satisfaction. Mohan says, “Today, the solution supports 900 concurrent users and volumes of up to 10,000 new policies per day during the peak season of January through March.” CIO

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eliance Life Sciences (RLS) develops business opportunities in the domains of medical, plant and industrial biotechnology. But with new research happening every day it was getting hard for biologists to keep track of genome sequences like evolutionary history of organisms, their biological function, and their chemical structure, etcetera. So, Gopal Rangaraj, VP-IT, Reliance Life Sciences, created a platform that would allow research entities to collaborate. He decided to do this by launching the R-Genomics database to facilitate research into Jatropha (a crop used for bio-fuel). This would also serve as a knowledge repository for future research. “I conceived R-Genomics as a comprehensive database to store, search and retrieve information about genome sequences of the Jatropha plant for the Plant Metabolic Engineering group," says Rangaraj. R-Genomics does this by storing information on unique expressed sequence tags (EST), in the form of a searchable database. The database allows researchers to share data. The solution would also include the integration of different environments — Internet, Intranet and console services. But the project wasn’t devoid of challenges. “We had to incorporate

features in the software to address the fast changing requirements of an emerging research area. The architecture had to be flexible to accommodate changes,” says Rangaraj. Rangaraj’s efforts paid back handsomely. Within few weeks of launch, R-Genomics on the Internet received close to 3,000 hits from all over the world. “The benefits of an application such as R-Genomics go beyond financial measures such as ROI, primarily because investments on development

and deployment of R-Genomics were not significant in comparison to its utility to the research community,” he says. This initiative presents many partnership opportunities for the research group and the company to partner with Indian and international research agencies and organizations to collaborate and share information related to genomics and molecular breeding. It helps also identify genes responsible for specific traits and crop improvement thereby enabling increased production. CIO

Gopal Rangaraj, VP–IT Reliance Life Sciences


INGENIOUS: Because with one application he made his company the most sought after in the world for global genome research on Jatropha . VERTICAL : Biotech EMPLOYEES : 1,200 IT TEAM : 40 PRESIDENT AND CEO: K. V. Subramaniam

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“The investments in R-Genomics were trifling in comparison to its utility to

the research community."

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9/19/2009 1:40:38 AM



pencer's Retail was formed when the RPG Group and Dairy Farm International (JV partners in Foodworld Supermarkets) decided to part ways. As a result 48 Foodworld stores and other Music World stores were merged with RPG's hypermarket format. On the backend, the merger created chaos: different businesses had different IT systems and multiple article masters with different merchandise hierarchies. These made it next to impossible for executives to get a handle on the business, conduct

accounting, and create consolidated reports — leave alone opening new stores. “The legacy systems worked on a distributed architecture. This was not conducive to a centralized organizational structure. Neither could they handle the exponential growth the company planned for,” says Amit Mukherjee, head supply chain, Spencer's and CIO, RPG Group. What the merged entity needed was an integrated IT solution that would standardize processes, automate routine activities, and increase visibility. After sifting through various possibilities,

Amit Mukherjee, Head Supply Chain, Spencer's and CIO RPG Group

Mukherjee and his team settled on a battery of technologies led by their ERP 's retail solution. But even that choice had problems: an ERP is only good when you have established processes. Spencer's Retail was a fledgling organization characterized by rapidly evolving processes. And “between the business blueprint and the first rollout, many business process owners — and most of the module leads — left,” remembers Mukherjee. In the meanwhile business wasn't allowing any of these problems to slow it down as it rolled out more than a store a day. As he got pulled in both directions, Mukherjee’s first aim was to create a team. He got 15 project trainees who became integral members of the core team and six management trainees. With a team behind him, he resolved to control the situation instead of letting it control him. “It was decided that all new regions would use the new solution, but new stores in existing regions would stick to legacy,” says Mukherjee. He then focused on building a common article master. It took plenty of work but today the group has standardized processes, information is readily available, and financial reports come in three days instead of eight. “The result is a leaner, better-informed and better-equipped management and operations team,” says Mukherjee. CIO


INGENIOUS: “The result of our work is a leaner, betterinformed and better-

equipped management and operations team.”


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Because he pulled together a company that had just been through a merger and wanted to expand quickly — in the face of significant constraints. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM

: Retail : Rs 1,071 crore : 6,000 : 60

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SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Arun Gupta is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for Innovation.


INGENIOUS: Because he gave Shoppers Stop one view of its customers — across retail formats a feat few have matched in India. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CCA AND MD

“Getting users out of a ‘reports mindset'’ and into thinking analytics was the biggest challenge."

Arun Gupta, Customer Care Associate and Group CTO Shoppers Stop


hen executives at the 18-year-old Shoppers Stop Group noticed their sales falling into an 80/20 pattern, they knew they were onto something. The chain observed that its loyalty card holders — despite being only 15 percent of its customer base — contributed over 70 percent to Shoppers Stop’s revenues, 50 percent to Crossword’s, and 35 percent to HyperCity’s. If the chain could use the data it collected from the loyalty cards maybe it could use it to beat back its rivals. “I wanted to understand

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what the customer buys, when she buys, why she is buying what she buys, and how we can improve her experience thereby increasing the frequency of her visits and targeting a larger part of her overall spend,” says Arun Gupta, customer care associate and group CTO, Shoppers Stop. It was a tall order, especially since the chain wanted a single view of its 1.5 million loyalty customers across all six of its businesses and three loyalty programs. (Most retailers use analytics for specific formats or segments of merchandise.) Project DRISHTI, Shoppers Stop’s data warehouse and mining project,

: Retail : Rs 1,500 crore : 4,800 : 41 : B.S. Nagesh

was set up to do just that. Conceptualized in 2007 and launched in early 2008, the project combined a never-before-attempted stack of best-of-breed solutions from various technology domains. But like all pioneering IT projects, although the technology was tricky, it wasn’t the biggest challenge. “Getting users out of a ‘reports mindset’ and into thinking analytics was,” says Gupta. Today, however, the chain is focused on results. Project DRISHTI enabled microsegmentation across Shoppers Stop’s multiple retail formats to create offers targeted at its high spenders, resulting in a 3 percent increase. It’s also allowed the chain to analyze customers by demography. One six-month study of the Gujarati community, resulted in targeted offers and increased that customer base (within a city) by two percent. In addition, it’s allowed the retailer to check whether multiple stores in the same city were cannibalizing each other’s customers and measure merchandise availability in a store. “It also offers us the ability to analyze over three years of data across formats thus tracking the evolution of customers, which is valuable in understanding churn and wallet-share,” says Gupta. CIO

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9/19/2009 1:42:30 AM

“As another first in the cement industry, we implemented a RFID-based truck movement tracking system."

Rajat Sharma, Senior GM-IT Shree Cement


ast year, the largest cement manufacturer in North India, Shree Cement spent nearly 20 percent of its total cost of production — a whopping Rs 349 crore — just in freight. And that wasn’t all. The company’s transportation needs were met mostly by a bevy unorganized truckers. The prices they charged were essentially controlled by truck unions or local trucker cartels. They practically “dictated freight rates,” says Rajat Sharma, senior GM-IT, Shree Cement. Because they had the upper hand, truckers didn’t always commit to a job and, often, simply didn’t show up. And when they did, the amount of time it took for them to load up, deliver, and return took too long. Sharma says the company needed to reduce the “cost of freight by breaking the transporters’ cartel and improving a truck’s turnaround time.” His solution was something no other player in his industry had tried: a freight bidding system, clubbed with an RFIDbased vehicular access control system.


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The bidding system allows transporters to bid for freight on various routes. A bid for a consignment is open for 30 minutes, after which the lowest bid wins. The company SPECIAL AWARD RECIPIENT Rajat Sharma is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for Innovation.


INGENIOUS: Because with less than Rs 5 lakh he found a way to deal with trucker cartels and improve loading efficiency, saving his company over Rs 12 lakh a month. VERTICAL : Manufacturing REVENUE : Rs 2,715 crore EMPLOYEES : 2,600 IT TEAM : 32 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR : M.K. Singhi

defined basic freight rates on a per-metricton-per-kilometer basis. This way, Shree Cement took control back in its hands. The vehicular access system, which is integrated into the freight bidding system, governs the movement of every truck once it reports for duty. From the moment a truck enters the plant, is loaded and weighed — all of it is automated by an RFID activated system. This has helped cut truck turnaround time and consequently truck availability. The project, which was launched in November 2008, is generating benefits at multiple levels. First, it’s won over truckers by reducing the amount of time they waste waiting for a load, both inside and outside the plant. By integrating the system with Shree Cement's accounting system, truckers are also paid sooner. It reduced the burden on those involved in logistics and accounting at Shree Cement. Elsewhere, it helped contract laborers by introducing efficiency into the system which meant that they have more bags to lift and hence earn more money. Finally, it allowed Shree Cement to save Rs 12.24 lakh every month. CIO

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istema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL), a joint venture between Sistema of Russia and Shyam Group of India, is one of the latest entrants to India’s highly competitive telecom space. Started under the brand name MTS, the company’s focus was to quickly launch its services in all circles pan-India before other new players. So, SSTL designed a unique IT framework for project roll-outs and operations. “We envisioned an IT system that would have a green datacenter, a virtualized environment and a robust IT infrastructure that could deploy the latest technologies and manage explosive growth,” says Rajeev Batra, CIO, SSTL. The datacenter at SSTL, as envisioned by Batra, conforms to a green design of equipment placement and air-conditioning for minimal power consumption. There is a conscious effort to minimize paper consumption and to maximize laptop use. For increased scalability, the company virtualized servers, which have resulted in massive cost savings. Reflecting on business alignment, Batra says, “We have designed the organization structure in line with ITIL and BSM (business service management), rather than ITSM. This ensures better governance, especially when multiple projects are in progress,” says Batra.

SSTL identified and outsourced several components of their IT framework. This has made world-class technologies more accessible. Being a new player, Batra had to concentrate on getting a respectable credit rating and the appropriate skills and resources to execute the project model. Batra keeps an eye on the project to ensure that both short-term and long-term objectives of the organization are met. “We have rolled out our services in six telecom circles and are about to announce launches in Delhi, Mumbai and Karnataka," he says.

SSTL has saved approximately Rs 25 crore by using enterprise architecture design and best practices underlined in ITIL and BSM. The project has enabled CDMA mobile services to use the concept of RUIMS (analogous to SIMS in GSM) to de-link CDMA from the mobile that were till now operator-locked. “CDMA subscribers in India now have a choice to select a CDMA operator of their choice without having to change their handset,” says Batra. This unique initiative has radically changed the way the telecom sector works in India. CIO

Rajeev Batra, CIO Sistema Shyam Teleservices


INGENIOUS: Because he revolutionized the concept of CDMA mobile services in India by freeing the end–user from operatorlocked handsets. VERTICAL : Telecom EMPLOYEES : 1,500 IT TEAM : 125 PRESIDENT AND CEO : Vsevolod Rozanov

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“Subscribers now have a choice of selecting a CDMA operator without

having to change their handsets.”

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9/19/2009 1:45:13 AM



ince its launch in May 2005, SpiceJet has single-mindedly focused on becoming a key player in the highly-competitive low-cost airline segment. And today SpiceJet is India’s second largest low-cost carrier in terms of market share. To get to its current position, SpiceJet needed to run on a lean operating model. So it integrated processes and technology to save operating cost and one of the best ways of doing that was enabling customers to book tickets online. Today, about 70 percent of the carrier’s business

comes via online credit card transactions. But with incidents of credit card fraud increasing steadily, SpiceJet saw dangers to its business: the revenue loss from such fraud was making a dent in its razor-thin profit margins. Alarmed by the scourge, Virender Pal, CTO, SpiceJet, began scouting around for an automated, advanced and flexible online risk management solution that could screen online transactions efficiently. There was only so much the company’s manually operated fraud control unit could cover. “We were losing

Virender Pal, CTO SpiceJet

between Rs 50-60 lakh per month. And when you operate in a fiercely competitive low-margin segment, such a significant revenue loss can make you bleed. This also impacted the credibility of our website,” says Pal. “We needed real-time verification of credit card transactions. The thrust was to make a secure place.” Pal found a solution in Decision Manager, an automated online risk management application. Based on a set of rules SpiceJet defines, Decision Manager examines each transaction, and determines whether an online order should be accepted, reviewed or rejected. In addition, the rules can be updated at any time using a simple interface, allowing SpiceJet to continually adapt its strategies as scam artists change theirs. Tight timelines was a tricky issue, especially with fraud rates and chargebacks escalating with every passing day. But the Rs 10-lakh project went live in February 2008 and the implementation has helped SpiceJet automatically screen credit card transactions reducing the burden of manual intervention. Within two months of the project’s deployment, SpiceJet’s chargeback rates plummeted from between 4 to 5 percent to 0.002 percent. “It has not only secured online transactions but also boosted the credibility of our website,” says Pal. CIO


INGENIOUS: “Post the project, chargebacks from

our online transactions has plummeted from 4 to 5 percent to 0.002 percent.”


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Because armed with Rs 10 lakh, he took on a fraud problem that affected 70 percent of SpiceJet revenue and saved his company about Rs 50 lakh a month. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES CEO

: Services : Rs 1,800 crore : 2,800 : Sanjay Aggarwal

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INGENIOUS: Because he led his bank into an industrywide movement that would enable checks to clear much faster. VERTICAL : BFSI REVENUE : Rs 200,000 crore EMPLOYEES : 27,000 IT TEAM : 500 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Vinod Kumar

“Very few countries in the world have implemented this system and we are proud to be

associated with this project.”

Atul Kumar, Assistant GM-IT Syndicate Bank


he Indian banking system has evolved rapidly. Today, banks are embracing innovative technologies to enhance the banking experience of its customers. Syndicate Bank, a public sector institution that was established in 1925, is one of them. When RBI introduced the check truncation system in NCR, Syndicate Bank’s Delhi branch was quick to embrace the change and undertook project. “Very few countries in the world have implemented this system and we are proud to be associated with this project,”

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says Atul Kumar, assistant GM-IT of Syndicate Bank. But Kumar was also quick to appreciate that embarking on such a project would be a daunting task. The path towards implementation was strewn with challenges. First among these was changing the mindset of users. Apart from the change in routine, many were not convinced that the system was secure. Motivating the bank’s staff and instilling confidence in them that image-based clearing is safe and secure was difficult, recalls Kumar.

“The age-old reliance on physical checks was very difficult to break,” he says. “We explained to them that there was no need to worry about someone scanning a fraudulent check and taking money away.” Kumar says he overcame user resistance and secured their buy-in by training them in the new system and holding multiple workshops. Another extremely critical aspect of this project, says Kumar, was security. The bank took around six months to test because it wanted to obviate any possible risks. They created a comprehensive information security framework to ensure that there was no problem in scanning checks and finally processing it at the RBI gateway. Once these challenges were encountered, Syndicate Bank started incorporating the check truncation system in 2008 for all the branches in NCR. These branches were progressively moved over to the new system over a six-month period. They followed a cluster model in which 30 nodal centers at convenient locations were created to take care of the entire clearing operations of around 40,000 checks. Syndicate Bank incurred an expense of Rs 20 crore on the system but besides leading to cost savings, it also resulted in checks being cleared within a day. CIO

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“The automatic sales performance chart bolstered the competitive spirit of different units, leading to higher performance.”

V. Sundar, CIO T.V. Sundram Iyengar & Sons


he parent company of the TVS group, T.V. Sundram Iyengar & Sons was established in 1911. The company, with an employee strength of 4,000, operates in three divisions: TVS, Sundram Motors and the Madras Auto Service. However, the largest automobile distribution company in India was running on legacy systems. It desperately needed an online real-time business information system for its distributed line of business. V. Sundar, CIO, T.V. Sundram Iyengar and Sons, explains, “Marketing unit heads needed to be informed on a daily basis about where they stood with respect to their monthly targets. They also needed the collection status to meet their targets. More importantly, we also wanted to improve our revenue.” The only way he could achieve this was to do away with legacy systems and move to an integrated and flexible ERP set up. Project AX was just that. “Many of the existing business processes were


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enhanced and automated as part of the integrated system. Thus, the solution includes inventory management, reporting and analytics and integration with the company’s existing financial management system,” says Sundar. Project AX handles about 175 concurrent users at any point of time, 3,000 sales


INGENIOUS: Because automating processes saved Rs 31.6 lakh per year and increased sales turnover by Rs 6 crore monthly. VERTICAL

: Manufacturing


: Rs 2,168 crore


: 3,368


: R. Dinesh


: Chennai

invoices and 4,000 automobile part dispatches in a day. “The system also sends out automatically generated daily sales performance charts broken up according to marketing units,” he says. This helps sales personnel plan efficiently and also enhances decision-making. But, users needed to be trained and urged to move to the new integrated system. Module-wise user manuals and focused class room training with hands-on sessions were provided. Today, sales turnover per month has increased to Rs 27 crore from a previous average of Rs 21 crore. “This is due to the daily sales order analysis which shows stock availability in various stages at the warehouses and thus the estimated dispatches for the day. This information allows the business to increase daily billing and dispatches,” says Sundar. The project also saved 3,545 man hours per month because of automation, amounting to a recurring saving of Rs 31.6 lakh per year. The automatic sales performance chart bolstered the competitive spirit among different units, leading to overall higher performance. CIO

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ata Consultancy Services (TCS) holds the distinction of being the largest employer in India. It also wants the distinction of being one of the top 10 global companies in its space by 2010. It meant that the company would have to grow fast and add global facilities involving networks, datacenters, etcetera. It also needed to strengthen its existing IT infrastructure to service a large number of locations globally. But as it gunned for a place in the top 10, Alok Kumar, VP and CIO, TCS, didn’t want to ignore the company's carbon footprint. So he set up a green IT program to improve productivity and simultaneously reduce cost and TCS' carbon footprint. “Some of these initiatives are focused toward greening the datacenter, office environments, and optimizing systems to help reduce carbon emission,” he says. A high density rack solution, server consolidation and virtualization helped TCS reduce power consumption at its datacenters, enabling rack power management and optimizing cooling load using thermal modeling. In an office environment, Kumar implemented an IT-enabled way to reduce the use of paper. “This was achieved by enabling distributed file sharing. Power

consumption was reduced by using power efficient TFT monitors and desktop virtualization,” Kumar explains. Apart from this, Kumar also reduced travel costs with VoIP, video-conferencing, and other collaboration tools. But getting here wasn’t easy. “We operate from a large number of geographically spread out locations, so implementing these initiatives was a major challenge. This was addressed with green IT program management governance with a local sponsor at every location," he says.

Also, prioritizing initiatives that could provide high return and were sustainable was a concern. An analysis of the industry helped the company prioritize. Today, its green IT initiatives have improved the company's operational efficiency, "They have helped TCS service more users with fewer resources and decrease carbon emissions — while trimming cost,” says Kumar. Server consolidation and virtualization of datacenters resulted in 79 percent savings in power consumed by servers. CIO

Alok Kumar, Vice President and CIO Tata Consultancy Services

SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Alok Kumar is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for Green IT and CIO's Hall of Fame.


INGENIOUS: Because he fulfilled the needs of a growing business and simultaneously found a way to reduced its carbon footprint. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM

: IT/ITES : Rs 27,813 crore : Over 1,40,000 : 2,000

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"Our green IT initiatives help TCS

service more users with fewer resources and reduce power and carbon emissions."

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he Nano tends to outshine all the other vehicles in the Tata Motors stable. The fact is, India's largest automobile company, the Rs 25,354-crore Tata Motors, offers plenty of other cars including a series of Jaguars and Land and Range Rovers. “Competition has been increasing in the sector, so it is imperative to keep rolling out new models with advanced features and functions. But it is equally important for us share this knowledge with our sales, marketing and servicing channels,” says Jagdish Belwal, CIO, Tata Motors.

Traditionally, training over 50,000 channel partners was handled by area managers and dealer account managers. But with increased pressure on their time and the costs making physical visits, the model became unfeasible “The company spent an enormous amount of money and time to train people at over 1,800 locations,” says Belwal. The answer? A remote training facility. Tata Motors already had a CRMbased solution that connected over 1,800 locations. The remote training solution included providing Web-based software and dedicated connectivity through a

Jagdish Belwal, CIO Tata Motors

closed, user-based VSAT/VPN network. This network was utilized to deliver audiovideo feeds for training, thus saving costs on network and bandwidth. Multicasting further optimized bandwidth usage. As ingenious as the idea was, it did not come without challenges. Since the CRM and the remote training application used the same network and bandwidth, the CRM application slowed down when training was in progress. This was addressed in two ways. The first was buying additional bandwidth for short durations and the second was scheduling trainings during offpeak hours. Another challenge faced was change management: trainers who were used to a classroom environment were now facing cameras. Despite these challenges, the results of the remote training facility were real and immediate. When it was first used to conduct field training for the Nano, Tata Motors went through the training of 2,000 people in just a month, mainly because it could reach 200 to 500 people in single session. The project, which until then cost the company Rs 50 lakh (in capex and training), saved it about Rs 30 lakh. And today, neither its trainers nor partners need to travel. CIO SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Jagdish Belwal is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for Innovation.


INGENIOUS: "With remote training, Tata Motors reached across to hundreds of field-level dealership executives simultaneously."


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Because he used existing bandwidth and multicasting technology to efficiently enable remote training to Tata Motors’ dealerships across the country. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM

: Manufacturing : Rs 25,354 crore : 24,000 : 17

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INGENIOUS: Because she found a relatively inexpensive way to keep a 4,000-strong workforce happy. VERTICAL : Automotive REVENUE : Rs 3,600 crore EMPLOYEES : 4,000 IT TEAM : 110 DIRECTOR AND CEO: S. Mallika Srinivasan

“Our internal survey, post the implementation, revealed that

95 percent of employees were happy with the new system.”

P. Shobhana Ravi, Chief Information and Learning Officer Tractors and Farm Equipment


ounded in 1960, Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) is not only a tractor manufacturer but also a passenger car distributor. Today, its 4,000-strong workforce is widely distributed both within and outside India, with some located in fairly remote areas. This created hurdles for the company’s HR processes. “There were islands of systems for competency, employee objectives and project deliveries,” says P. Shobhana Ravi, chief information and learning officer, TAFE. “This led to subjective performance

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evaluation, delays in performance evaluation, leave and travel approvals, and reimbursements, which in turn led to employee dissatisfaction.” What TAFE needed was a simple and transparent HR process to connect all its employees. The solution came in the form of the aptly named Employee Connect initiative which was developed in-house and integrated with the company’s SAP Business Intelligence 7.0 for dashboards to enable decision-making. The Rs 50-lakh Employee Connect project introduced online, personalized employee pages.

Each page comes with a performance management system and self-service applications for leave and travel approval and reimbursements. It also has training management, an e-learning system that tracks progress and evaluation, and microsites for knowledge sharing. In addition, it offers a Web-based, end-to-end recruitment system with SMS and e-mail integration. Like other implementations of this kind, one of the project’s challenges was change management. Ravi says that knowledge transfers of emerging technologies like BI and mobile integration had to be worked on. Other challenges included “changes in processes and requirements and questions of ownership of applications and data,” she says. So, she got buy-in from various process owners, commitment from senior leadership, and generated excitement over the new technologies and its advantages. Benefits ranging from purely qualitative and measurably quantitative were evident all around. Employee productivity increased. Competency and individual development plans which earlier took up to four months to complete, got done in a month. But, perhaps most importantly, the company’s internal survey post the implementation revealed that 95 percent of its employees were happy with the new system. CIO

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“Making complex and sophisticated state-of-the-art technology simple, is an achievement." Subrata Banerjee, Head-IT and AVP (Aluminium Sector) Vedanta Aluminium


edanta Aluminium is a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources PLC. Operating from two principal locations (Kalahandi and Jharsuguda) in Orissa, the company has a refinery that produces one million ton of aluminium per annum in Lanjigarh. In any manufacturing company, procurement is one of the most critical components. Subrata Baner jee, head-IT and AVP (Aluminium sector), Vedanta Aluminium, felt that there was an immediate need to integrate the procurement process for multiple reasons. There was potential for corruption and it took more than a week to process payments and receipts and there was no transparency across the procurement cycle. “That’s why we deployed an integrated procurement system that covers the procurement process end-to-end from requisition to payment,” says Banerjee. This integrated ecosystem includes


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several key components: dynamic material requirement planning (DMRP), electronic note for approval (eENFA), dynamic pricing engine (DPE), customized and automated mySAP modules and a vendor portal. While the DMRP automates the process of generating purchase requisition based


INGENIOUS: Because he found a way to provide all vendors with equal opportunity by integrating the procurement process. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO HEADQUARTERS

: Manufacturing : Over Rs 4,100 crore : Over 6,000 : 40 : M. Siddiqi : Orissa

on several key parameters, the DPE is a strategic tool for e-procurement that effectively eliminates the limitations inherent in traditional procurement systems. “This tool leverages the Internet to build a dynamic negotiation environment between pre-qualified suppliers to drive the price of goods or services being acquired towards the current market price,” explains Banerjee. The buyer can then generate an electronic note for approval through e-mail and SMS. Once it’s approved, the system automatically generates purchase orders and sends them to the selected partners. This automated integrated system brought with it many benefits. The project has reduced the time to process payment from a week to just about a couple of hours. Receipt processing time has come down from eight days to a few minutes. “The integrated procurement process has ensured material availability for production and maintenance. We have also managed to save manpower in various departments such as stores, finance and purchase,” says Banerjee. CIO

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azir Sultan Tobacco or VST Industries is a 90-yearold, Hyderabad-based manufacturer of cigarettes. When the Rs 1,100-crore company took to SAP early in this decade, it first decided to outsource the implementation. But soon the idea looked better on paper than in reality and Ratnakar Nemani, CIO and head-IT Projects Wing, VST Industries decided to bring IT back in-house. “Even after giving our outsourced partner sufficient time to prove themselves, we got unacceptable service levels,” says Nemani. The company, which has first focused on bringing home its ERP, now offer it’s SAP expertise to other companies. Payroll was a part of the outsourced services deal but it stayed out. But when problems of service cropped up in that area too, Nemani decided to bring it home. He says he simply could not afford the drop in efficiency. And in any case, his own customers now wanted him to handle their payroll too. So he developed a payroll module which could be integrated with ERP as a part of his SAP consulting services business. “With this shift, VST now manages its entire IT setup in house. We can now develop skill sets in IT facilities management and provide these

services to the local market. In fact, we started selling the payroll product on the 1st of April 2009. Now we were a one-stop solution for SMEs. We offer SAP plus payroll plus FM services,” says Nemani. To top it all, instead of dropping his partner, he convinced them to clear the transit phase, so that there was no impact on the business. He also hired freshers and trained them to enable the takeover. “A detailed request was sent in advance

to the company to bear with us until we took over completely from the partner. All our internal customers supported us during the transition,” he says. The move cost him Rs 1.25 crore, but Nemani has already saved Rs 50 lakhs in the first year and will save another Rs 20 lakh next year. “Apart from these savings, we are now providing low-cost FM services, which is another revenue stream for the company,” he says. What a way to fight the slowdown. CIO

Ratnakar Nemani, CIO and Head-IT Projects Wing VST Industries


INGENIOUS: Because he took in-house skills to a level that he could market them as well. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM MD HEADQUARTERS

: Manufacturing : Rs 1,011 crore : Over 1,100 : 41 : Raymond S. Noronha : Hyderabad

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“The move from being a customer to being a service

provider was a radical change.”

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n the business of providing integrated technology and process solutions on a global delivery platform, Wipro Technologies is a frontrunner. And when you are a global leader, it is imperative that multi-location operations within and outside your organization are collaborating well with instant communication and integrated information. Laxman Badiga, CIO, Wipro Technologies, realized that the heterogeneous environment within and outside Wipro inhibited smooth co-ordination. He had an interesting proposition in mind: to integrate appropriate

communication technologies into various business processes (like the recruitment process or the knowledge acquisition process) to increase agility and reduce cost. “Integrating communication technologies into business processes, would improve co-ordination between teams spread across geographies, working on interdependent tasks,” says Badiga. Badiga zeroed in on a communication model that converged voice, video, web and data for collaboration and enabled smooth communication through instant messaging, chats, etcetera. The new model would

Laxman Badiga, CIO Wipro Technologies

facilitate VoIP over the Internet and integrate with other business processes. ”We created multiple user profiles based on their need for communication and technologies. We piloted the same within these profiles,” says Badiga. Audio and videoconferencing were also included in the project. Alongside, they set up a federation of IMs with IM systems in their companies in other parts of the world as well as public IM’s like Yahoo, AOL, and Hotmail. But to work the new technologies had to be interrelated with the business process and the distributed delivery model. “Because of the unique nature of the project, we had to put special focus on adaptation campaigns and organize internal training on web conference service,” says Badiga. The project has realized cost savings to the tune of Rs 12.5 crore. Wipro have the largest minutes on usage in the Asia Pacific region. Thanks to the project, Wipro is in instant and constant touch with their customers through Wipro's IM client. With more than 10,000 users on its network, the company has created a controlled and secure environment for instant efficient communication that is well ahead of its time. CIO SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Laxman Badiga is also the recipient of the CIO Special Award for Green IT and CIO's Hall of Fame.


INGENIOUS: “We needed a

communication enabled business process and

software development model that would co-ordinate between teams.”


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Because he envisioned a futuristic communication model that would facilitate instant, efficient communication with customers. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM

: IT/ITES : Rs 6,452 crore : over 90,000 : 1,200

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SPECIAL AWARD WINNER Sanjay Jain is also the recipient of the CIO 100 Special Award for Storage.


INGENIOUS: Because he freed WNS from the inefficiency and the cost of maintaining two communication platforms. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO

“Our flatten-consolidate-extend strategy has reduced opex and capex spend as well as the rollout time for a new location."

Sanjay Jain, Group CIO WNS Global Services


stablished in 1996, WNS Global Services has 215 global clients, over 150 customer-specific business operations, and 21,000 employees in 22 delivery centers. Between the last two fiscals the company grew at over 30 percent. But to continue to be successful, the business needed the ability to get talent from across geographies, rather than being tied down to certain regions. “At the same time, we wanted to be able to meet service levels more effectively, increase agent productivity, reduce costs, and improve our environmental footprint,” says Sanjay

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Jain, group CIO, WNS Global Services. In the way was WNS’ distributed Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) environment (ACDs basically distribute incoming calls to agents). This prevented WNS from having a consolidated view of the organization, from using its resources and licenses optimally, and it doubled its administration requirements. The answer was consolidating WNS’ dual ACD platforms to a single platform using a “flatten-consolidate-extend strategy”. The solution Jain used was based on a set of technologies from one vendor. “This new

: IT/ITES : Rs 2,585 crore : Over 21,000 : 420 : Neeraj Bhargava

platform enhances the links between our contact centers in multiple locations via predictive ‘monitoring and matching’, which connects each customer to the right agent in real-time,” says Jain. The project took a lot of planning to execute. “Our major challenge was the technical migration and ensuring there was no impact to business — all of this in a high call-volume environment. It required detailed planning, tight project management, and extensive coordination with client and operations teams,” he says. But the project has paid off. “Implementing this single platform has reduced opex and capex outlays for WNS. “Plus, we cut the rollout time for new locations by approximately 30 percent and the ‘average speed of answer’ for multi-location customers by 5 percent,” Jain says. The consolidation has reduced overheads by centralizing the administration of the ACD platform, and achieved savings by eliminating duplicate equipment and infrastructure. Annual support costs fell by 70 percent and support staff by about 20 percent. CIO

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“We had to move employees to a systemcentric process and we

convinced them that this would enrich their profiles. Suresh Shenoy, Sr. Vice President Wockhardt


he global pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, Wockhardt, earns more than 65 percent of its revenue from Europe and the United States. While their operations in India were remarkably successful, a need was felt to restructure the business by integrating Wockhardt USA, Wockhardt EU operations with Wockhardt in India. The erstwhile business process had a distributed approach and many processes were duplicated resulting in little business clarity. "We were looking for a business integration model that would bring not only process concentration and centralization but also a huge net saving," explains Suresh Shenoy, sr. VP, Wockhardt. The answer was integrating the flow of products, sales, inventory information. Reports were fine tuned and re-engineered to bring greater efficiency. But bridging three continents wasn’t easy. Integrating multiple countries with the external heterogeneous systems


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required new age technologies to facilitate robust connectivity. If that wasn’t daunting enough, change management was another problem area. Shenoy had to move employees from a people-centric process to a system centric process. "We convinced people


INGENIOUS: Because he successfully integrated four heterogeneous systems across three continents in just four months. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES CHAIRMAN HEADQUARTERS

: Healthcare : Rs 3,000 crore : 6,000 : Habil Khorakiwala : Mumbai

how this would enrich their profiles," he says. The project was implemented by an in-house team of IT experts, with a strong knowledge of the business and best practices of Wockhardt. In a record time of four months, Wockhardt successfully integrated their US, EU and Indian operations using SAP and went live in March 2009. The implementation brought in a net saving of Rs 20 crore per annum and is dependant directly on sales growth. Qualitatively, the systems are better aligned and bottlenecks in the flow of materials and information have been removed. The project enabled Wockhardt to successfully integrate four legal entities (two in the US, one in Switzerland and one in India) along with third party logistics. With disparate systems, turnaround time for each process used to be one to two days. This has now come down to a couple of hours. "Manpower has been reduced and customer service and delivery has improved. MIS reports available across the globe have brought in a lot of business clarity and insight," says Shenoy. CIO

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stablished in 1947 in India, under the name Lederle Laboratories, Wyeth, a pharmaceutical company, is a market leader in oral contraceptives, folic acid and depilatory cream. The company came up with a solution for a problem almost every company in every vertical faces: following up meetings. Anant Pundlik, director-IS, Wyeth, says, “A top executive asked me one day: ‘During meetings, participants make commitments but do not always follow-up on them, nor do they keep me informed of progress. I end up wasting a lot of time in following-up both between and during subsequent meetings. Can you find me a solution?’” What followed, says Pundlik, was a brainstorming session in which the IT team decided to create an off-the-shelf application that would help managers and CIOs stay in sync with the issues discussed and milestones set during business meetings. Pundlik decided to go online with his solution. He created a portal and called it the ‘tracker system.’ It helps create individual dashboards, send e-mail reminders and enhance the ability to park agenda items for subsequent meetings. “All points discussed and commitments made in a meeting are captured online during the meeting, at the end of which, the minutes of the meeting are mailed to all participants,” he says.

Every participant is provided with a dashboard which lists his or her commitments with deadlines, date and time. The employees were also allowed to update the list with color codes, as soon as their projects were completed. “The system generates reminders to employees when an activity nears deadline,” says Pundlik. The only challenge was to make sure that the system was user friendly and for that they banked on an experienced member of the IT team.

The system helped the enterprise monitor the projects allotted to individuals and teams, and at the same time assess the progress made on a regular basis. Since the distribution of work thus became clear, it was possible for the participants to straightaway discuss the progress of projects. It was hugely beneficial for Wyeth because it helped it regulate the cost and time spent on all its meetings, which helps the pharmaceutical concentrate on actions plans rather than wasting time on progress assessment. CIO

Anant Pundlik, Director Information Services Wyeth


INGENIOUS: Because he solved the universal problem of following up on actionables from meetings. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM LOCATIONS

: Pharmaceutical : Rs 414 crore : 850 :4 : 21

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“We are now able to focus on actions plans rather than wasting time on project assessment."

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n the extremely competitive banking industry where several banks offer identical products, YES Bank, one of India’s new age private sector banks stands out in more ways than one. With over 120 branches across the country, YES Bank is the only bank in India that has been awarded a Greenfield license by the RBI. Belonging to a sector severely hit by the slowdown, the bank needed a CRM solution to arm its retail and corporate sales teams with information to reach out to the consumer. The expanse of information that the CRM was required to present included

customer demographic data like customer segment, income group, etcetera; customer profile data like address, contact numbers, etcetera, and financial relationship data with the bank such as current account, savings accounts, etcetera. "Customer information was available, but not as a single view. It was spread across different systems that did not always maintain the same customer identifier. Thus, a key challenge was transforming such data to provide meaningful business information,” says Umesh Jain, president and CIO, YES Bank.

Umesh Jain, President and CIO YES Bank

Since no ready application was available, the YES Bank OneView was developed in-house. While this was the technical challenge, the solution presented Jain with its share of business and project management challenges as well. Since the success of OneView was based on its use and adoption, business and IT worked together to make sure that the system was user-friendly. Mailers were sent from top management emphasizing on the advantages of the new solution. “Once the solution was rolled out, user feedback started pouring in with suggestions. These requests were prioritized and incremental enhancements were delivered, increasing the value of the solution,” says Jain. Today, the sales and service delivery teams can obtain customer information instantly in a single page view rather than having to collate data from multiple systems. Data captured on the medium through which a customer prefers to transact, allows the bank to educate him towards a lower cost, more convenient channel (in turn, driving customers to use Netbanking). Jain is happy that the solution has resulted in business benefits of nearly Rs 1.5 crore per annum. Cross-selling opportunities have increased, particularly in the FD and MF businesses. Higher debit card activation and Net-banking registration have resulted in greater customer loyalty. CIO



“A key challenge was achieving a single

view of customer information.”


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Because at a time when the banking sector is getting more competitive, he developed a system that ensured customer loyalty. VERTICAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IT TEAM CEO AND MD

: BFSI : Over 900 crore : Over 3000 : 49 : Rana Kapoor

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WINNERs BY name Ajay Kumar Dhir, JSL���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������120 Ajay Kumar Meher, MSM (Sony Entertainment Television)�������������������������������138 Alok Kumar, Tata Consultancy Services ��������������������������������������������������������������165 Amit Gupta, Fidelity Business Services India���������������������������������������������������������81 Amit Mukherjee, RPG �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������158 Anant Pundlik, Wyeth���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������173 Anjan Bose, Haldia Petrochemicals����������������������������������������������������������������������� 88 Arun O. Gupta, Shoppers Stop �����������������������������������������������������������������������������159 Arvind G. Tawde, Mahindra & Mahindra���������������������������������������������������������������130 Atul Kumar, Syndicate Bank���������������������������������������������������������������������������������163 Atul Luthra, PVR ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������149 Avinash Arora, New Holland Fiat India������������������������������������������������������������������ 141 B.L.V. Rao, Infotech Enterprises����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 112 C.V.G Prasad, ING Vysya Bank������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 114 Chandan Sinha, GHCL�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 86 Chandrasekaran Mohan, Reliance Life Insurance�����������������������������������������������156 David Briskman, Ranbaxy Laboratories�������������������������������������������������������������� 150 Daya Prakash, LG Electronics India�����������������������������������������������������������������������128 Deepak Madan, DLF Laing O'Rourke��������������������������������������������������������������������� 78 Dhiren Savla, Kuoni Travel India����������������������������������������������������������������������������126 Dinesh Kumar, NTPC���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������143 Dr Jai Menon, Bharti Enterprises��������������������������������������������������������������������������� 64 Dr Sumit Dutta Chowdhury, Reliance Communications������������������������������������153 G.S. Ravi Kumar, Gati���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 84 Girish Rao, Marico��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������132 Gopal Rangaraj, Reliance Life Sciences����������������������������������������������������������������157 H. Krishnan, Indian Rayon Unit - Aditya Birla Nuvo��������������������������������������������� 108 Hitesh Arora, Max New York Life Insurance����������������������������������������������������������134 Jagdish C. Belwal, Tata Motors������������������������������������������������������������������������������166 Joydeep Dutta, ICICI Securities��������������������������������������������������������������������������� 100 K. B. Singh, BSES������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������72 K.T. Rajan, Allergan India����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 44 Laxman Badiga, Wipro Technologies��������������������������������������������������������������������170 Mahesh Kumar Pinnamaneni, Aurobindo Pharma���������������������������������������������� 54 Manish Choksi, Asian Paints���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 52 Manoj Shrivastava, Reliance ADA Group�������������������������������������������������������������� 151 Mike Webb, Aricent Technologies���������������������������������������������������������������������������50 Murali Krishna, Infosys Technologies �������������������������������������������������������������������110 N. Nataraj, Hexaware Technologies������������������������������������������������������������������������ 94 Naganathan Sriram, Reliance General Insurance�����������������������������������������������155 Nishi Vasudeva, HPCL �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 96 P. Shobhana Ravi, Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE)�����������������������������������167 P.A. Kalyanasundar, Bank of India�������������������������������������������������������������������������60 P.V. Ramadas, HCL Technologies BPO Services����������������������������������������������������90 Partha Sengupta, ITC�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 116 Pratap Gharge, Bajaj Electricals����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 56 Pravir Vohra, ICICI Bank������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 98 R.D. Malav, Jindal Poly Films���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 119 R.I.S. Sidhu, Punjab National Bank�����������������������������������������������������������������������148 Radhakrishnan G., Biocon�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 68

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Rajat Sharma, Shree Cement������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 160 Rajeev Batra, Sistema Shyam Teleservices���������������������������������������������������������� 161 Rajeev Jorapur, Mercedes Benz India������������������������������������������������������������������135 Rajeev Shirodkar, Future Generali India Life Insurance���������������������������������������� 82 Rajesh Uppal, Maruti Suzuki India������������������������������������������������������������������������133 Ratnakar Nemani, VST Industries�������������������������������������������������������������������������169 Ravinder Jain, Aircel������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 43 Ravishankar Subramaniam, ING Vysya Life Insurance �������������������������������������� 115 S. Anantha Sayana, Larsen & Toubro�������������������������������������������������������������������127 S. Francis Rajan, Bengaluru International Airport ������������������������������������������������ 58 S. Hariharan, Oracle Financial Services Software������������������������������������������������144 S. K. Joshi, BPCL������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 62 S. S. Sharma, J.K. Tyres & Industries��������������������������������������������������������������������� 118 S.C. Mittal, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO)����������������������������������102 S.S. Soni, Indian Oil ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 106 Sandeep Phanasgaonkar, Reliance Capital���������������������������������������������������������152 Sanjay M. Belsare, Kotak Mahindra Bank������������������������������������������������������������122 Sanjay Jain, WNS Global Services �������������������������������������������������������������������������171 Sanjay Kotha, Bharti Retail������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 65 Sanjay Malhotra, Amway India Enterprises���������������������������������������������������������� 46 Satish Kumar Das, Cognizant Technology Solutions��������������������������������������������76 Satish Pendse, Hindustan Construction Company���������������������������������������������� 95 Sebastian Joseph, Mudra Communications��������������������������������������������������������137 Shashi Kumar Ravulapaty, Reliance Consumer Finance�����������������������������������154 Srinivas Kishan Anapu, Mahindra Satyam����������������������������������������������������������� 131 Srinivasan Iyengar, Aegon Religare Life Insurance ���������������������������������������������� 42 Subhasis Sarkar, ITC Lifestyle Retailing Business Division����������������������������������117 Subrata Banerjee, Vedanta Aluminium����������������������������������������������������������������168 Sudesh Agarwal, Landmark Group�����������������������������������������������������������������������129 Sudhir K. Reddy, MindTree������������������������������������������������������������������������������������136 Sunil Mehta, JWT India������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 121 Sunil Rawlani, HDFC Standard Life Insurance������������������������������������������������������ 92 Sunil Sirohi, NIIT�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������142 Surekha Sahu, Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS)��������������������������74 Suresh Kumar, KPMG��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������124 Suresh R. Shenoy, Wockhardt ������������������������������������������������������������������������������172 T.P. Anantheswaran, Mumbai International Airport���������������������������������������������139 Tamal Chakravorty, Ericsson���������������������������������������������������������������������������������80 U.C. Dubey, IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance�������������������������������������������������������� 104 Umesh Jain, YES Bank ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 174 Umesh Mehta, Asia Motor Works����������������������������������������������������������������������������51 V. Balakrishnan, Polaris Software Lab������������������������������������������������������������������ 147 V. Srinivas, Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals�������������������������������������������������140 V. Subramaniam, Otis Elevator Company �����������������������������������������������������������145 V. Sundar, T.V. Sundram Iyengar & Sons���������������������������������������������������������������164 Veneeth Purushotaman, HyperCity Retail�������������������������������������������������������������97 Venkat Iyer, Pfizer India�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������146 Vijay Sethi, Hero Honda Motors����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 93 Vikram Saxena, Emami������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 79 Virender Pal, SpiceJet��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������162

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technology Virtualization increases in popularity and new, better platforms emerge, the question is: what do you do with your old equipment?


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From Inception to Implementation — I.T. That Matters

Reusing Old Virtual Hosts By Matt Prigge

Virtualization | EMC VMware's ESX 3.0 was released a bit more than three years ago. While ESX 2.5 was a solid virtualization platform, ESX 3.0 seemed to push server virtualization into the realm where a lot of small and large businesses alike could really sink their teeth into it. The new high-availability features in ESX 3.0 were a huge draw to many businesses seeking better uptime, and the refined centralized management offered by VirtualCenter 2.0 was compelling. Support for a wider set of hardware such as iSCSI SANs also allowed high-end functionality at a lower price. Now that we're three years down the road, many of these initial adopters of ESX 3.0 are starting to replace their hosts with new ones and preparing to upgrade to vSphere 4.0. That seems to be leaving a lot of server admins staring at a stack of three-year-old virtualization hosts that aren't yet finished doing their jobs. Sure, they might not be quite fast enough to go the distance with increased production loads, and you might like to

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have some more performance headroom, but it's always a painful decision to turn off a bunch of expensive servers and not do anything with them. Instead of tossing their old hosts in a dumpster, many enterprises are opting to reuse them. Some turn them into development clusters to separate development loads from production loads. Some make them available for testing and training. And some use is as the seed hardware for a warm site. Even if the old hardware can't run all your production resources at 100 percent resource availability, having some immediately available production capability in a production site failure scenario is better than none — and it bridges the gap between the time of the disaster and the time that you can get replacement hardware on site. Assuming that business continuity is important to your organization and you have multiple offices or a sufficiently large campus, building a warm site is a great use of your old hardware. It certainly isn't free and there are a number of common pitfalls that you'll want to steer clear from, but it's

It may be that, to be useful, a warm site would cost more than you can currently afford to spend on it. In that case it's better to save your pennies and do it correctly than to implement something that won't accomplish your organization's goals.

Assess Your SAN Situation The SAN is the first piece of hardware that needs to be looked at, as it tends to be the most expensive. If possible, using asynchronous SAN-to-SAN replication is the best way to implement a warm site. Depending on the SAN platform in use, such replication might simply be impossible or uneconomical. For example, if you run a FibreChannel SAN with no iSCSI connectivity and don't have the tremendous luck to have dark fiber running to your warm site, implementing SAN replication might be out of the question without hardware such as an FCIP gateway or software such as EMC's RepliStor. If you're in this boat, be sure to consider these factors the next time you are weighing an upgrade to or replacement of your current SAN.

If business continuity is important and you have multiple offices or a sufficiently large campus,building a warm site is a great use of your old hardware. definitely a worthy endeavor if downtime costs you money. Here’s how to do it.

Define the Service Level First, you need to define the level of service you want to grant with your warm site. Do you want to protect all of your machines or just a subset? How quickly do you want to be able to recover (RTO)? How old can your data be when you do recover (RPO)? Your answers to these questions may change as you work through the design process and start attaching price tags to varying levels of service, but you should never let what you can afford directly drive what you provide.

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On the other hand, users of devices such as NetApp filers should add more SnapMirror licensing, and users of Dell EqualLogic PeerStorage arrays have everything they need already. No matter what your SAN, to perform SAN-to-SAN replication, you're going to need a second one. If performing SAN-to-SAN replication is out of the question, you still have options. There are several good host-based replication software packages available that will run on the ESX hosts and do direct host-to-host replication. These include Vizioncore vReplicator and NSI DoubleTake for VI. They are usually licensed per VM


Of Indian CIOs say that business continuity drives their information security spending. Source: CIO Research

rather than per host, which can make them unattractive depending upon the number of guests you want to replicate. The big caveat here is that you will need a large amount of directly attached storage on the old hosts that are being moved across to the warm site. (If they had been attached to your production SAN, they may no longer have any disks in them.) No matter how you decide to do it, your storage configuration — whether it involves SAN or host-based replication — is the most important part of the warm site design and should not be treated lightly.

Figure Your Bandwidth Needs Once you've determined what the storage is going to be at your warm site, you need to consider how you're going to get your data there. If your warm site is on your campus or otherwise fiber-attached, there's not much to worry about unless your data sets are truly massive. Although the network connectivity to your warm site is probably the most straightforward of all of the decisions that you need to make, it can easily blow your budget, since WAN bandwidth generally REAL CIO WORLD | s ep t embe r 1 5 , 2 0 0 9


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has a recurring monthly cost. Failing to properly estimate the required WAN bandwidth can have disastrous long-term budgetary consequences. For example, let's say your initial calculations show that you're going to need two T1s' worth of bandwidth (3.0Mbps) to replicate an estimated 25GB of storage deltas per 24-hour period to maintain whatever RPO you've set. But it turns out you actually need to move 35GB per day to meet that RPO — a difference of roughly one more T1 circuit. Depending on your bandwidth costs, that small difference could cost as much as an entirely new SAN or a few new virtualization hosts over three years' time.

SAN may replicate data in larger blocks than VMware's snapshot files allocate. Thus, a single change of a 1KB file within a VM may be seen as a change to a 16MB block on your SAN — essentially magnifying the amount of data that needs to move by 16,000 times. This magnitude difference would be a fairly rare occurrence, but it shows that you can't easily predict actual data volumes based on snapshots. To combat this problem and generally increase the amount of data your WAN can carry, using some form of WAN accelerator that includes de-duplication technology is a wise move. Examples of such products include Cisco's WAAS and Riverbed's Steelhead. Both platforms have

Virtualization,coupled with modern storage and networking,makes it far easier to build always-on standby failover capacity than it did ever before. So if estimating your replication bandwidth needs is so important, there must be a tried-and-true way of doing it, right? Not really. There are some tricks to determine how much data is turning over on your VMs, but you can't always trust what they tell you. The first and easiest method is to use VMware's built-in snapshot functionality. Take a snapshot of every VM you want to replicate, wait a period of time equal to what you'd like your replication period to be based on your RPO, then examine the snapshot files on your VMFS volumes to see how big they are. (Note: Be sure you have enough free space on your VMFS volumes before you do this.) That figure is roughly how much data has changed on those VMs in that period. If you do this at several times during different parts of your production day and month, you should get a reasonably good idea of how quickly your data is changing. However, that's not all there's to it. Depending on your SAN platform, your 182

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their own strengths and weaknesses, but they operate in much the same way. They optimize the WAN data flow through intelligent re-windowing and other TCP enhancements, but they also retain a remote cache of what has previously been sent over the WAN link. In the event that they get a cache hit (a packet that has the same data payload as one seen previously), that packet is not re-sent. Instead, just a pointer to that packets payload is sent to the device on the other end of the circuit. In the example of a 1KB change requiring 16MB of data transmission, a WAN accelerator could essentially nullify the problem.

Consider Your Hypervisor Licensing Needs The last thing to think about is what additional hypervisor licensing you may need to acquire for your warm site. You could configure new ESX hosts and run them unlicensed, only moving the production licenses to them in the event

of a production site failure, but this will make it impossible to test anything while the production site is active without breaking your license agreement. Another option is to purchase licensing for VMware vSphere Essentials, which will operate with a much more limited feature set than on your production site, but still be able to start and run your VMs. Another issue to consider is whether you want to implement VMware's Site Recovery Manager (SRM). SRM requires that you do SAN-to-SAN replication with SANs support it (most do), and it is somewhat expensive. However, if being able to test your recovery plan frequently and having a completely automated failover process is important to you, implementing SRM is certainly worth a close look. It's also worth noting that vSphere 4.0 support for SRM likely won't be available until later this year. If you do it right, reusing retired hardware is a great idea Taking advantage of retired hardware to build a warm-standby datacenter is a fantastic use of resources and builds in backup computational capacity you'll be happy to have if you ever need it. However, blindly building a warm site without a plan — regardless of how much extra hardware you have kicking around — isn't likely to work out well in the long run. Failing to do any of several things — set goals properly, consider storage resources, keep WAN bandwidth in mind, or take into account software licensing limitations — will almost certainly make the exercise more expensive and less effective than it could be. Notwithstanding all of these challenges, today's virtualization technology, coupled with modern storage and networking technology, makes it far easier to build always-on standby failover capacity than it ever has been in the past. If your organization places a high value on uptime, now is the time to put your toe in the water and give it a try. CIO Send feedback on this feature to

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Cloud Computing Drives the Recovery

Economic recovery is happening as companies free themselves from the constraints of expensive fixed-cost operating models. By Michael Hugos

| In 2010 businesses will widely recognize the emergence of a new variable cost business model which is better suited to our economy because it reduces the need for large capital investments to enter new markets and its flexibility protects cash flow. Companies moving to this model are creating products and services based on a group of related technologies like cloud computing, and server and network virtualization. These technologies provide to customers with

cloud computing

also more easily exit unprofitable markets because they do not have to write off large capital investments and related sunk costs that go with them. Global cloud computing platforms are being built and equipped by companies that offer their customers pricing based on the economies of scale resulting from these enormous platforms. Cloud computing vendors can offer computing services at lower price points than companies can provide on their own. They enable companies

leverage cloud computing and variable cost operating models will achieve responsive business models that make them optimally suited to succeed in our present economy. Cloud computing platforms provide ubiquitous storing and processing of data just as electrical power grids provide ubiquitous availability of energy. They are both scalable ways to deliver services while matching supply and demand across the grid. Universal access to low-priced electric power made possible by electric

Variable cost models reduce business risks by doing away with the need to make large upfront capital investments to enter new markets and develop new products. a pay-as-you-go model determined by the number of users and their volume of transactions. A widespread switch to this model will fuel economic activity not seen since the 1990s, which will also be a lot more sustainable. Variable cost models reduce business risks by doing away with the need to make large upfront capital investments to enter new markets and develop new products, and they enable companies to protect their operating cash flow because operating expenses become a function of business volume; expenses rise when business volume (and cash flow) rises and decline when volume declines. Companies can 184

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to take advantage of rapid commoditization of IT services for non-strategic core business functions like running datacenters and standard applications such as e-mail, ERP, and CRM. Companies adopting cloud computing services and leveraging the resulting economies of scale will see their total IT spend versus company revenue go down even as IT spend versus total company operating expenses actually goes up. This is because business operations and IT are so closely intertwined there is hardly any meaningful distinction left between the two, so variable IT expenses will rise as business grows. Companies that understand how to

utilities drove a wave of innovation in business operations and made possible the introduction of thousands of new products based on related technologies such as electric motors and electric lights. We have only begun to see the business innovations and new products that will be introduced based on universal access to low priced cloud computing power and its related technologies. This will drive sustainable economic growth for many years to come. CIO Michael Hugos is an expert in business and IT agility. He has also authored several books.Send feedback on this column to

Vol/4 | ISSUE/21

9/18/2009 6:25:12 PM

CIO September 15 2009 Issue  

Technology, Business, Leadership

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