by December 6, 2001 0 comments

We visited the Infosys campus in Electronics City, Bangalore to see how they develop their world-class software here. Take a look around the sprawling 50-acre campus–the infrastructure will have something to do with too.



World-class software comes from world-class infrastructure

The campus has about 4500 people now, but will soon host 2000 more. Among the highlights of this campus is the customer care center with its conference rooms, video walls, and an experience theater that showcases the history of software and Infosys’ achievements. There are three large food courts with different cuisines, a pizza outlet, a café, and an ice cream parlor. About 1700 people can eat at the same
time.

The Education and Research center has a huge library, class rooms to seat 200 people and labs that take 150 people. This entire complex can train 1600 software engineers at a given time.

The Education and Research department can train 1600 software engineers at a given time

For sports and recreation, there is a gymnasium, a basket ball court, two tennis courts, billiards and snooker facilities and, a swimming pool with changing rooms and showers. Saunas, steam baths and an outdoor jacuzzi are also available. There is a range for golfers. All this is open to the employees after work hours and during weekends. There are bicycles, and buses to get
around.

The campus has 5000 PCs, 100 servers, and a mainframe with about 6500 active nodes running on a fiber based 1 Gb backbone connecting the campus. Infosys has a satellite connectivity of 5.4 MBps. Other facilities include a travel center to book tickets and taxis for employees, a medical center, a dance hall, and ATMs. For water purification, there’s a reverse osmosis plant and a wastewater treatment plant that uses the water recycled for gardening.

With such impressive infrastructure, it’s no wonder this company is in the forefront of the industry.

To come up with a proposal for a client, the manager works with market support people, domain experts and SETLabs members, and the quality assessment team

Infosys has five regions–three in the US, one in Asia-Pacific and one in Europe. And more often than not, members of a project could be from any region. To land projects, software companies start working on future technologies (which will be much sought in a couple of years). For this reason, Infosys has the SET (Software Engineering and Technology) Labs. The SETLabs does extensive research of building methods and frameworks so that when the time comes, Infosys is ready with the technology and the processes for future projects. SETLabs has technology alliances with software majors like Microsoft, Intel and Tibco so that they get work with their future technologies. The Education and Research department works with SETLabs to pass on the required expertise to the employees involved in particular projects.

A gym, tennis courts, a swimming pool, spa. and there’s more in the pipeline

Infosys uses different models to work on different projects depending on the client’s requirement and the area of the project.

Their global delivery follows the process described here.

Infosys has BDMs (Business development managers) in the different regions, who scout for opportunities. They convey what they spot to the delivery managers who sit with market support persons, experts from SETLabs and people who are competent in the domain under the DCG (Domain competence group) which the prospective project will fall into. The quality assessment team is also involved to estimate the effort likely to be involved in the project. The delivery manager then comes up with a proposal that the BDM presents to the client. The proposal contains the methodology and tools that will be used in the project, the schedule, team-size, commercials, price, and the terms and conditions.

Once the customer approves the project, the BDM gives a go-ahead to the Practice Unit Head who starts building the team by selecting people with the required expertise from the different regions of Infosys. Depending on the size of the project and the team, a structure is drawn up. She handles the team and also decides the amount of help required from the SETLabs and the DCG. A software quality advisor works in close co-ordination with the team to see that the project follows all the processes and quality norms. Depending on the customer’s requirements, the project is worked upon onsite or offshore. The project at each stage keeps getting reviewed by the senior management at
Infosys.

The three food courts can seat 1700 people at a time

The team members are selected based on their availability and their past projects. Most of the big projects have a home page to share the project-related information with the others in the team. This home-page is maintained by the team members, which lists the project goals along with the complete project plan, and maintains a status report.

As the project develops, testing happens at all levels. Infosys has a motto of zero-defect delivery for this. In fact, Infosys has a test center that tests products from other companies, and a test-certification is also given to them. This test center trains the people in different projects so that the quality of the product can be improved from the ground level itself.

If required, the customer is given a prototype of the project and gets reports on the progress of the project. Once the project is done, the installation is done. The warranty support is then provided depending upon the Service Level Agreement drawn up by the client and
Infosys.

Suma EP and Vini Goel

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