Headquartered in Fremont, California, and Bangalore, India, iGATE is a leading telecommunications, consulting, and business-process outsourcing company. Founded in 1996, the organization has 27,554 employees and supports more than 300 clients, globally, including several Fortune 1000 businesses. In 2012, it recorded revenues of US$1.1 billion.
iGATE provides customers with project consulting and outsourcing services, such as application development and management, enterprise application solutions, infrastructure management, and business and technology consulting. The company operates Indian development and training centers in Bangalore, Chennai, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Noida, and Pune.
In 2011, iGATE implemented a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, based on Oracle’s PeopleSoft applications, to run critical human resources (HR), financial, and procurement tasks. The company has improved the accuracy of its customer billing by 30%, enhanced management decision-making by cutting quarter-end reporting times from two months to 14 days, maintained 99% accuracy of its employee records, controlled project budgets and costs, and reduced training costs by US$42,000 per annum.
Between 1996 and 2003, iGATE used Lotus Notes-based applications and basic Microsoft systems to manage critical HR management tasks. These systems required extensive manual data entry, and often contained outdated information because employees could not update their details directly.
Different iGATE offices were also using a variety of systems, including Tally Solutions business accounting software and Excel spreadsheets, to manage their finances. In 2003, the company replaced the Microsoft systems used to manage employee records and entitlements with PeopleSoft Human Capital Management 8.8. In 2004, iGATE implemented an integrated PeopleSoft ERP system, including PeopleSoft Financials 8.8.
“The PeopleSoft applications gave us a comprehensive financials system that managed our consultancy contracts and projects, accounts receivable, general ledger, billing and asset management, as well as an HR system that managed employee records and performance,” said Bhaskar Debiswas, director, information systems, iGATE.
“However, there had been a considerable evolution in available ERP systems, so in 2009 we decided to review the latest versions of products from PeopleSoft, SAP, and Microsoft Dynamics, as well as one or two open-source solution providers,” Debiswas said.
iGATE initially decided on an SAP ERP system, but in January 2011 the company acquired Patni Computer Systems, expanding from a midsize outsourcing business to a top-tier organization. The merger increased iGATE’s employee numbers from 8,000 to more than 24,000 and ensured it could compete with large rivals in the professional services market. iGATE needed a robust, scalable, and easy to install ERP platform that could handle the growth in business and the increase in end-user numbers. It quickly realized that PeopleSoft 9.0 would best meet these requirements.
By implementing PeopleSoft Financials as an integrated financial system, iGATE has improved the accuracy of its customer billing by 30%.
iGATE bills its business process outsourcing clients, based on whether it achieves the outcomes specified in its customer contracts. It needs to ensure the invoices accurately reflect the work it has done and whether those outcomes were achieved. PeopleSoft Financials allows the company to prepare draft invoices, match them against the quotes supplied to clients for projects, and identify and correct any errors before the final invoice is prepared.
“It was important that we focused first on improving processes that generate revenue for the business,” Debiswas said. “We needed to ensure there were no mistakes in our billing process that could impede payment from our clients or partners. As a result, we have significantly reduced the average number of days it takes to collect revenue after a sale has been made.”
iGATE is using PeopleSoft Financials to conduct quarter-end financial reporting across the company, significantly reducing the time required to prepare the reports for management consideration and decision-making.
“Previously, it took nearly two months after the end of a quarter for different departments to prepare reports about the revenue generated from various business services and projects,” Debiswas said. “This meant senior managers were using outdated data when deciding which new business areas to pursue or where the company should direct its investments for growth.”
The reports are now available within a fortnight of the quarter closing, allowing managers to quickly and accurately see how they can grow the company on a global, country, or business-unit level, or where they need to correct problems.
PeopleSoft Human Capital Management has enabled iGATE to significantly improve the accuracy of employee details in its HR system.
“We now have a self-service HR system, so employees can apply for leave and other entitlements online,” said Debiswas. “The system also makes employees more accountable, by giving project managers insight into the contribution each worker makes to a project and the costs they incur.”
The company is also updating employee data from the project and travel management modules to ensure it is current in real time.
Debiswas believes that the system has allowed iGATE to attain a 99% accuracy rate for the details of its 27,554 employees. This is despite the fact these employees are spread over several different regions and countries, and operate under a variety of leave, remuneration, and taxation regimens.
The PeopleSoft system has allowed iGATE to implement rigorous budgetary controls and oversee costs for outsourcing and consultancy projects. Project staff can also ensure senior managers receive regular reports on a project’s progress.
“The system efficiently allocates resources to different client projects, depending on their needs or progress, including making additional people and technology available to bring projects that are over budget back on schedule,” said Debiswas. “This has helped us minimize overruns and extra costs incurred during projects and improve our overall profitability. For example, our Q4-2012 gross margin was 40.6%, compared to 34.7% in Q2-2011.”
In February 2012, iGATE deployed PeopleSoft Learning Management to reduce the cost of training employees and enable them to learn at their own pace from any location.
“Implementing a new e-learning system, based on PeopleSoft has increased the skills of employees across the company,” said Debiswas. “We can offer training to employees who are at client facilities rather than in our offices, and we have reduced the cost of the IT infrastructure required to deliver training by US$42,000 per annum.”
iGATE initially selected SAP to replace its legacy PeopleSoft ERP system. However, after merging with Patni Computer Systems, iGATE realized the complicated SAP implementation project was limiting its ability to quickly and easily integrate the two companies.
“When deploying SAP, we found that the technology was much more complex than PeopleSoft, and we were relying heavily on our internal team and external partner to carry out the implementation,” said Debiswas. “We did not want to implement a system that we knew very little about at the same time as completing the merger. We already knew and trusted PeopleSoft products and believed they could better handle the increase in data and end-users bought about by the merger. We also had skilled PeopleSoft resources in-house.”
In addition, Patni Computer Systems was also running an ERP system, based on PeopleSoft 9.0. This meant iGATE could simply upgrade the PeopleSoft 8.8 system in its existing operations and undertake some basic integration work to have an ERP system that spanned the merged business.
In June 2011, iGATE started standardizing its business processes across the merged companies in preparation for the PeopleSoft 9.0 implementation.
To meet its deadline, the company received assistance from Oracle Consulting and Oracle Partner Citagus Software Pvt. Ltd. Three Oracle consultants helped develop project costing and explain the benefits of the PeopleSoft system to business users.
The new PeopleSoft system went live on January 1, 2012.
Citagus played a significant role in helping iGATE to migrate data to the PeopleSoft system.
“We were very happy with Citagus’ work during the project—the team conducted the migration in an efficient, professional manner,” said Debiswas.