InfoCepts removes communication silos, drives culture of collaboration with Microsoft 365

As seen on Microsoft

A global leader of end-to-end data analytics solutions and platform modernization—with operations in more than 20 countries—InfoCepts has placed its employees at the core of its digital transformation strategies. With Office 365 as its all-in-one collaboration and communication platform, for 1,000-plus associates across 20 countries, the company is not only ensuring seamless business continuity, but it’s also building in new levels of agility, efficiency, and productivity within the workplace.

Data is at the crux of every business decision, and it is the force behind every organizational strategy. Its ubiquitous nature and invaluable presence in the modern-day business environment requires that companies understand and ascribe appropriate value to the role of data in the overall operational framework.

How can businesses unlock actionable insights from the vast volumes of data that are generated on a routine basis? How can companies turn data-driven transformations into a competitive advantage? These are questions that InfoCepts, a leading provider of data and analytics solutions, places at the heart of its value proposition and the solutions it provides.

Founded in 2004, InfoCepts has built a formidable presence across the globe, helping companies resolve seemingly intractable challenges and find cutting-edge solutions through the intelligent use of data and analytics. With a robust team of 1,000-plus data experts working across 20 countries, the company offers modern analytics, cloud and platform modernization, managed services, and data management solutions, among others. Given its broad portfolio and geographic spread, cross-functional collaboration—with co-workers, customers, and business partners—is a critical business requirement.

Modern platforms for a modern workforce

A digital disruptor with a widespread global presence, InfoCepts is always seeking new ways to connect and collaborate. In the past, the company had adopted a mix of platforms, with Skype for Business being the primary mode of communication. In 2017, the company began re-evaluating its tools to bolster security, cohesion, and to build a seamless chat-based information exchange through a unified communication platform.

“As a leading provider of data and analytics services across the globe, collaboration is a key facet of our business. We chose Office 365 as our internal collaboration tool to empower our 1,000-plus associates spread across eight different time zones,” explains Shashank Garg, Chief Executive Officer at InfoCepts. “As more and more of our customers adopt Office 365, we are becoming much more agile and efficient.”

Furthermore, the company sought an opportunity for its young developer community. “We wanted a very simple way to navigate different hierarchies,” explains Rajendra Jodhpurkar, EVP Strategic Initiatives at InfoCepts. “When we started looking at it from our IT roadmap perspective, Microsoft 365 was the natural choice. Its advanced features, familiarity, and enterprise-grade security best met our needs,” he adds.

This decision marked InfoCept’s transformation journey with Microsoft technologies.

A collaborative culture

Post-migration to Microsoft 365, all departments and functions within InfoCepts have embraced Microsoft Teams as their collaboration platform. As the all-in-one, chat-based tool, Teams has helped break silos, bring in alignment, and drive transparency in the way people work. With Teams, InfoCepts has switched from a culture swamped by emails to a culture of informational communication to get things done.

“The biggest value comes in when you have cross-functional teams,” Jodhpurkar adds. “We wanted to reduce the number of synchronous meetings. Now, on a Teams channel, we can easily create group chats and keep talking and exchanging action items any time. Whenever people find time, they can take a look. No need to find a time slot that fits everyone’s schedule. No need for everyone to make time for something. Also, it’s been providing a lot of transparency. If the CEO is talking to the HR head about something, and the heads of sales, delivery, and finance teams are also on the same channel, they’ll all be on the same page.”

InfoCepts’ digital-first culture, enabled by Microsoft 365, was a critical enabler of business continuity when the COVID-19 crisis struck. The leaders could quickly ideate on Teams and support associates spread across countries. The company’s leadership came together on the platform to assess the needs and offer solutions. They went on to acquire approximately 400 laptops to meet IT requirements. The Teams framework also enabled the company’s business leaders to keep all channels of communication open at all times and ensure the well-being of employees and associates.

“When COVID-19 hit, InfoCepts switched to a 100 percent remote working model in less than a week. This would not have happened without Microsoft 365. Our adoption of Microsoft technologies helped us stay connected with all our internal and external stakeholders,” Garg remarks.

Sharp focus on productivity, innovation

Over the last three years, InfoCepts has accelerated its collaborative culture by weaving in these Microsoft products into its organizational fabric.

  • OneNote: To prepare for meetings and translate project goals into reality is now easier than ever. Everyone can share the call agenda, add feedback, and brainstorm new ideas on OneNote. Employees can co-author documents and access all relevant files in one place.
  • Forms: To understand how employees are coping with the pandemic, InfoCepts is conducting surveys on Forms and collating feedback across the United States, India, Singapore, and other countries. “Through these surveys, we’re checking in with people about how they are doing, how their work-life balance is. Within a week, we share the results of the survey. Such insights are helping us address the pain points of our people and support them in any way we can,” notes Jodhpurkar.
  • Yammer: To engage with employees across the spectrum effectively and meaningfully, the company has been using Yammer as its professional networking platform. With Yammer, InfoCepts has been able to spread positivity, keep its knowledge workforce engaged, and spark conversation within the community. Senior leaders are conducting monthly talk shows, to disseminate corporate communication and interact with employees on a casual note. The videos are stored on Stream to be accessed later by those who missed the sessions.
  • Sway: To share internal communication and update everyone about exciting things happening across the board, InfoCepts is rolling out monthly newsletters. Known as InfoGram, these newsletters are curated and developed entirely from a remote working team on Sway. “Sway is one of those unsung apps in Microsoft 365. When we were looking for options, we found that it was very easy to create our newsletters on Sway, without any external involvement,” remarks Katherine Gabriel, Director of Marketing at InfoCepts.
  • Power Apps: Given that the company operates in the data science space and uses various software to serve clients, it is also striving to simplify internal processes through apps strung together with Power Apps.

“We don’t want our people to depend only on the IT team to develop line-of-business (LOB) apps. We just want to give them the right platform and an easy learning curve so that they can build their own apps for their teams. In fact, our QA head built an app on Power Apps and is using it to track delivery risks. He has built another app where associates can record their achievements easily. At the end of the year, you will have a compiled list of everyone’s accomplishments at your fingertips. We’ve had such impressive use cases in other teams too,” says Jodhpurkar.

Moving ahead as a single organism

Building on its culture of chat-based collaboration and file sharing in the cloud, InfoCepts has recorded remarkable benefits:

  • Seamless transition to a remote work ecosystem within one week.
  • Smooth collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, enabling remote go-live of its ERP platform.
  • A 58 percent increase in the adoption of Yammer during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Reduction of generic emails by 20 to 30 percent. The company plans to reduce emails further by 50 percent, using Yammer to share birthday greetings, salary statements, and operations updates, such as server availability.
  • A 50 percent reduction in travel bills.

Encouraged by the success of its digital transformation, InfoCepts intends to amplify its technology focus. The organization plans to use Microsoft Power BI as the visualization and insights generation tool of its data council.

“Microsoft technologies will have a significant place in our IT roadmap. How do we improve the employee experience? How do we make them more and more productive using various apps? That’s what we are trying to get at. With complete backing of the leadership to invest in the right technologies for these purposes, we’re planning to go all out!” concludes Jodhpurkar.