The Bottom Line: Infosys’ big deal boom amid a talent crisis demands careful planning to avoid delivery disasters
Infosys must ensure it doesn’t bite off more than it can chew. Delivering these large-scale transformation deals is resource hungry, and if Infosys’ mega-deal engine maintains current success, it could find itself lacking capacity. In the context of the current global talent crisis, it’s going to take meticulous planning to avoid delivery disasters.
Infosys is making a local pitch to transformation-hungry European enterprises, arguing it is as local as any thanks to heavy investment in capacity, boots on the ground, and innovation centers in the region.
With its headquarters in India and at least 60% of revenues coming from North America, president Mohit Joshi’s confident assertion that “We are very much a European company now—very much a local company” may have raised a few eyebrows during the analyst breakout session at the Infosys leadership event in London. But Infosys was among the fastest-growing systems integrators (SI) in Europe last year, and now it boasts regional quarterly revenues of close to $1 billion. It has seen double-digit year-over-year revenue growth to date in 2021, too.
It invested in building capacity in the Baltics and across Eastern and Western Europe and claims 75% of the staff deployed in Europe today are local to the region. It established digital innovation studios to work closely with customers in the UK, Germany, and Romania, where it also set up its first cyber defense center.
Local capacity and mega-deal wins put Infosys on a very short list
Couple this local capacity with the emerging credentials Infosys is busily earning itself in landing large-scale and complex deals across the continent, and Infosys is well placed to become one of a very short list of potential suppliers European enterprises can take seriously when tackling the biggest of transformation challenges.
Infosys walks its talk on customer centricity. It placed customers front and center at this leadership event, allowing their European customers to do the talking for them. One example was Posti, Finland’s national postal and logistics service, whose story cast light on an Infosys approach we increasingly hear more about—its willingness to go deep on a customer’s problems and work with them to offer solutions.
Posti invited a selection of potential providers into its business, explained its goals, and asked providers how they would achieve Posti’s ambition to pivot from delivering mail to being a personal logistics provider. Infosys won the business and is now three years into delivery.
Approaches like Posti’s offer an SI the opportunity to stop being an order taker and become a collaborative and strategic partner. That’s an opportunity Infosys has been seeking to build on since.
Infosys is turning lessons learned into templates aimed at increasing mega-deliveries’ throughput
At Infosys’ 2020 analyst event, it announced a focused transformation program with the intent of pursuing company-wide deals. A year on, in the embrace of a larger, end-to-end transformation role for its customers, it is finding success. Deals done at over $50 million have increased by 4.5 times since 2018.
The Daimler mega-deal is the best known of the outputs of Infosys’ big deal engine, landing hard on the heels of a billion-dollar Vanguard Financial deal. In working its way through the sheer scale and complexity of deals like Daimler, Infosys is learning. There are 400 Daimler entities with nearly 300,000 employees in 950 locations. Infosys had to set up two new entities, take over thousands of contracts, reduce 100+ data centers to 10, and navigate a partner ecosystem counting more than 100.
A mountain to climb, perhaps? But if climbed successfully, the lessons learned could prove invaluable. Infosys believes it can template and apply what it is learning to deliver a production line of complex transformations in large enterprises. Of course, first, it must prove it can deliver the completed programs with the kind of success worth repeating.
If only the technology used to stream the live event had been as impressive as the customer stories Infosys had to tell. Buffering and outages marred the online experience—not a good look when Infosys is engaged in (as it claims in the shape of the Daimler deal) “the most complex transformation ever.”
Infosys has worked hard to make itself a serious competitor in the largest European transformation deals. It has improved its win rate by focusing on proposal quality and building bid teams that include pricing and negotiation specialists. It is trying to keep pricing competitive and is working well with customers to spread the word. And Infosys wouldn’t even be at the table without the will to lead with proactive transformation solutions rather than simply respond to customer demands.
Now it is adding the experience of the Daimler delivery. If it gets that delivery right, it can muscle its way into the small group of global service providers with the will and the credentials to deliver genuinely large-scale transformation in large, complex organizations.