Running a large consultancy requires careful allocation of time, skills and other resources. How could Genpact ensure that its financial and operational planning and reporting processes were up to the task?
Genpact consolidated its departmental data marts into a single digitized cloud-based analytics platform built on IBM® Db2® Warehouse on Cloud, IBM Cognos® Analytics, IBM InfoSphere® Data Stage and IBM Planning Analytics.
2x fasterbusiness planning and budgeting processes
2x fastermonthly close and management reporting cycle
35% reductionin operational costs by moving to IBM Cloud
Business challenge story
Genpact has carved out a niche in helping clients shape digital transformation journeys to gain competitive advantage. To design and deliver each transformation on time and on budget, Genpact must ensure that it has the right people with the right skills available at every moment during the project.
To succeed in this high-pressure environment, the company’s financial and operational planning need to be accurate, and its decision-makers need continuous insight into both current engagements and the future pipeline.
Transformation initiatives often involve state-of-the-art technologies that require specialized expertise, so ensuring that the right resources are available is a constant challenge—especially at Genpact’s scale. The company is engaged in hundreds of multi-year projects at any given time, and has more than 78,000 people working across 70 locations in 16 countries.
Vimal Dev, the company’s Vice President – IT, Global Enterprise Applications Leader, explains: “To better plan our finances and operations, we needed a clearer view of our pipeline, revenue and expenditure. The challenge was that the data we wanted was spread across departmental silos, so performing any cross-functional analysis was complex and time-consuming.
“To give an example, if we wanted to analyze the profitability of a given project, we would need to gather and combine data from sales, HR and finance. Each department maintained its own on-premise data warehouse, and it often took time just to get hold of the data and ensure that we were getting accurate, consistent answers. In short, as an IT team, we were spending too much time just keeping the lights on, when we wanted to be adding more value to the business.”
Taking to the cloud
Genpact undertook a comprehensive review of its IT landscape and core business processes, including employee training, hiring, budgeting and more. The company decided that to break down silos, the best option was to engage a single global provider to help it build a fully centralized data warehouse, data integration and analytics platform. For maximum flexibility and scalability, Genpact also decided to deploy this entire new technology stack in the cloud.
Vimal Dev explains: “The cloud enables us to hand off low-level tasks such as server administration and IT capacity planning to a vendor, so that our own IT personnel can focus on strategic projects that add value to the business. IBM was a natural choice of partner, as it was one of very few vendors that was able to provide an end-to-end platform in the cloud.”
Genpact became an early adopter of IBM Cognos Analytics on Cloud, which generates intuitive, interactive reports and dashboards. Soon afterwards, Genpact also upgraded from its on-premise IBM Cognos TM1® solution to IBM Planning Analytics on Cloud, to support budgeting and forecasting.
To integrate data from diverse functions such as sales, finance and HR, Genpact moved from its existing Oracle and Informatica solutions, and established a central data warehouse built on IBM Db2® Warehouse on Cloud. To transfer data from the operational systems to the data warehouse for analysis, the company relies on ETL processes powered by IBM InfoSphere® DataStage® on Cloud.
“We were one of the first companies to put our entire analytics stack on cloud, so understandably we hit some challenges along the way,” recalls Vimal Dev. “For example, we were among the first IBM clients to deploy Db2 Warehouse on Cloud on such a large scale, and at that time, the product was at an early stage of maturity.
“What impressed us was that whenever we hit obstacles, IBM worked closely with us to resolve them, and the project has been a valuable learning experience both for us and for IBM. We have built strong relationships with the IBM product teams in particular: whenever we reported an issue, they were almost always able to fix it in the next release, and often found a workaround for us to use in the meantime.
“Despite those initial teething problems, the project has been a huge success, and the software is now robust and stable. Results have exceeded our expectations in several areas, and we have been able to bring more areas of the business into the cloud than we initially anticipated.”
Today, the cloud-based IBM Analytics solutions help teams across Genpact perform activities such as planning, budgeting, monthly closing, sales planning, and monitoring the employee lifecycle. In each process, the teams can run analyses on-the-fly to guide their decision-making, drawing on data from multiple departments to paint a full picture of the company’s financial position and operational status.
Vimal Dev remarks: “Around 2,000 employees consume reports generated by Cognos Analytics from data in our central data warehouse. One of the biggest advantages of moving to the IBM Analytics solutions on IBM Cloud has been the rise in self-service reporting; whereas before, people depended on the IT team to generate reports, now around 200 power users on the business side can access operational data and run their own analyses, without IT as a bottleneck. To ensure insight is spread to all corners of the business, we have embedded power users in each department.”
Sparking better decision-making
By consolidating on a single data warehouse and adopting cutting-edge IBM Analytics solutions, Genpact has transformed its analytics, reporting and planning processes. The company has cut its planning cycle in half, and can complete monthly closing twice as fast as before. In addition, because actual figures are now imported from the ERP system in four hours rather than eight, employees can run reports and base decisions on more recent data.
The move to cloud has also sparked major benefits for Genpact’s IT team, as Vimal Dev explains: “A few years ago, my team probably spent around half their time just keeping everything running – now it’s around 10 percent. With the move to IBM Analytics in the IBM Cloud, we have 40 percent more time to focus on working with the business to add value. Instead of asking ‘how do I make it work?’, we ask ourselves ‘how do I make it better?’. It’s a quantum shift in mindset.”
“Another advantage of cloud is that it’s much easier to stay on the latest software release and take advantage of up-and-coming technologies. For example, the latest version of Cognos Analytics features much better visualizations, is more user-friendly, and offers better support for self-service reporting. We have monthly meetings to discuss new features and how we can use them to our advantage.
“Moving to cloud has reduced our on-premise hardware footprint, and we have been able to cut IT operational costs by 35 percent. At the same time, we have escaped the capacity limitations of the on-premise model, and can scale our cloud environment up to run more reports in parallel when we need to.”
In future, Genpact plans to extend its use of cross-functional analyses and dive deeper into forecasting, for example creating short-term revenue forecasts using IBM SPSS® software. The company is also exploring potential use-cases for machine learning and data science.
Vimal Dev concludes: “Demand for analytics tends to increase exponentially, so we can always expect to be faced with new demands. With IBM Analytics solutions on IBM Cloud, we are in a strong position to keep our capabilities in line with users’ expectations and deliver real value to the business.”
Genpact (NYSE: G) is a global professional services firm that makes business transformation real. The company drives digital-led innovation and digitally-enabled intelligent operations for its clients, guided by experience of running thousands of processes for hundreds of Global Fortune 500 companies. From New York to New Delhi and more than 16 countries in between, Genpact has the end-to-end expertise to connect every dot, reimagine every process, and reinvent companies’ ways of working. Transformation happens here.
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