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Views of G.G. Rao, Chief Information Officer, HCIL

May 28, 2015
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HCL Infosystems Limited (HCIL) is among India’s leading IT services and solutions companies, which enables organisations to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage by leveraging information and communication technologies. G.G. Rao, chief information officer, HCIL, talks about the company’s telecom set-up and future IT blueprint…

What does the company’s current telecom and IT set-up comprise?

HCIL’s IT infrastructure comprises a mix of platforms to create an additional layer of redundancy. The IT set-up includes an active data centre and a disaster recovery data centre located at a different site. The data centre set-up is equipped with application layer redundancy and hardware layer redundancy for business-critical applications. These applications are also co-hosted on the cloud. A secure middle layer integrates the applications as and when required. Our web portals are secured with encryption certificates.

On the telecom front, the infrastructure set-up is placed in active and standby modes across different geographies. Our entire telecom set-up is on IP,  is enabled with session initiation protocol (SIP) and H 323, and is open for integration with any SIP-enabled systems. We have an automatic call distribution application that maximises routing and resource selection, allowing service agents to handle calls more effectively and improving overall productivity. It offers conditional call routing, using context-based inputs and versatile selection capabilities. Further, virtual call routing allows businesses with multiple sites to maximise resource utilisation across all locations. The telephony set-up also includes quality monitoring tools for regulatory compliance.

What are the enterprise solutions that the company currently deploys?

HCIL has SAP as its core enterprise resource planning system and it is further integrated with various solutions to improve productivity and the user experience. The company has an application for field force automation (FFA), which is equipped with real-time dashboards and a real-time manpower (engineer) tracking system. FFA plays a vital role in improving the quality, productivity and accountability of our services and personnel.

We have also deployed an e-CRM solution for end-to-end management of our consumer service segment – HCL CARE. The company also uses an in-house developed tool, called Service-on-Line, to manage operations in the consumer segment and repair factory. The tool has end-to-end capability to support walk-in operations, supply chain management and repair factory operations. Similarly, HCIL has an in-house developed “Online Customer Engagement Application Network” portal to manage our partners in the distribution business effectively and efficiently. We also use EDGE – a mobile application that has been developed for our sales force to manage partner product inventory with distributors and retail stores in real time.

How has telecom and IT helped the company enhance business performance and lower operational costs?

We have successfully adopted cloud and mobile technologies in our overall IT and telecom ecosystem. This has helped us improve our productivity, optimise costs and achieve business targets. We have automated most of our in-house processes, created a mobile infrastructure and moved our applications to the cloud, which has reduced the dependence on the data centre. The company has also automated the workflow, which has reduced the turnaround time of critical services. The initiatives pertaining to intelligent reporting have helped us undertake in-depth business analysis for faster decision-making.

What are the challenges faced in implementing new technologies?

While working on projects with our partners and customers, one of the key challenges is the integration of new technologies for co-developing web services or mobile infrastructure solutions.  There are also issues regarding security.

What are the big technology trends likely in the business process management, IT and ITeS industry?

In the BPM industry, I can see a lot happening in the process-as-a-service, cloud BPM and mobile BPM segments. In the IT/ITeS industry, social media, mobile and data analytics are going to be the buzzwords. There will be continued growth in the enterprise mobility segment with small and medium enterprises focusing on adopting the cloud.

What is the company’s telecom and IT blueprint for next year?

Next year, we are going to focus on adding an extra layer of security to our multilayer security architecture. We are going to build a security architecture from the physical layer to the upper node of the IT and telecom set-up. In addition, the company will strengthen business continuity planning and disaster recovery by building the additional cloud environment and creating a virtual platform.

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