December - 2007 issue > Company of the Month
Endeavors in the ECM Solutions Space
Michael Paulraj
Friday, November 30, 2007
The Enterprise Content management (ECM) solutions space in India is yet to expand to bring major organizations within its ambit. This particular area of business has not seen many remarkable players yet. The Bangalore based R2K Software India Private Limited focuses on ECM and Business Process Management (BPM) solutions to a wide range of industries that include finance and banking, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, and government. It offers its customers a range of services including new enterprise implementations, solution consulting, application support, and ECM education services.

Established five years ago R2K India, a wholly owned subsidiary of R2K, caters to customers in North America through its parent company, and to markets outside North America directly. It plays a key role in the group’s global outsourcing strategy, increases its project capacity, and further strengthens the group’s competitive edge in the expanding market. The headquarters of the company in New York City provides engineering, project, and account management to engagements in America. The company guides the design and progression of work, using quality metrics across the project lifecycle to ensure recurrent project success.

Market segment served and the competitive edge
Customers seek a solutions provider to deploy technology to serve their business goals and expect the solutions to be reliable, robust, scalable, and be an aid to increase productivity. R2K’s solutions meet exactly these expectations.

R2K has a very wide scope for its solutions in the global ECM market. According to market statistics, only about 20 percent of any organizations data is in the structured form and is managed by core business applications. This leaves 80 percent of the organization’s information scattered in unstructured form and is available only on paper documents, emails, and various other office documents. Managing information in such disparate forms is always a time and effort consuming task for organizations. Application solutions from R2K help its customers address exactly this problem. R2K India’s customers are predominantly from banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI), real estate, manufacturing, healthcare, and IT and ITES services industries.

R2K India has grown to be an established name in a growing ECM solutions and services market. There is a lot of stirring that is taking place in the ECM sphere of late. Until about two years ago, small companies dominated the ECM products sphere. The potential future opportunities in this specialty area have convinced IT majors like IBM, Oracle, EMC2, and Microsoft to join the bandwagon recently. The interest shown by such IT pioneers in any particular domain of business naturally makes everyone turn their heads in that direction. This happened in the ECM space in the recent years when IBM acquired FileNet, EMC2 acquired Documentum and Captiva Software, and Oracle acquired Stellent.

The entry of such powerful organizations also is evidence to the fact that the ECM market has come of age and it has matured. However, there is a dearth of implementation capabilities in the market. ECM and BPM implementation requires specialized skills and experience levels that are often unavailable in even major IT services companies. R2K has the competence and the necessary experience to stand abreast with the major IT services companies in implementing ECM solutions like FileNet and Documentum. This confidence proceeds from the fact that some of the major IT services companies are customers of R2K where they have taken services from R2K to deliver their ECM projects. This is a unique position enjoyed by R2K. The company is firmly placed in its partnership with top ECM product companies like IBM (FileNet), EMC2 (Documentum and Captiva), Oracle, Global360 and Unisys.

R2K has been in the ECM solutions business for more than a decade and this long presence in the field presents the company certain advantages over the new comers. Many of the people in the company have years of experience in this space. The company is deft to capitalize on its experience and knowledge of the market. “We have the understanding of the technology. We particularly play in the enterprise segment. It is difficult for others to get into this domain primarily because the products are very complex and expensive,” says Sushanth Kurunthil, Managing Director, R2K Software India.

Work culture and career development in the company
The techies working in R2K India have a unique work environment. Radically differing from other IT companies, R2K does not look at the employees as software engineers, project leads, programmers, developers, testers, and so on. Instead, the company prefers to call them ECM specialists. This actually goes to show the deep relationship that exists between the company and its employees and also the extent to which the employees are trained and fully entrusted with the knowledge of the niche technology domain the company deals with.

Being a specialist in the domain gives the individual confidence about his future career prospects and assures him of a surefooted progression.

Everybody in the organization is informed of what is going on in the company, what it has been selling, and the company’s business dealings. There is transparency about all these and other aspects of the management. The intimacy and close personal bonding that brings the company and its employees together have a positive effect on the growth of the company. There are a lot of team activities that encourage and facilitate the exchange of information between employees at different levels.

Every one, whether he is a junior person or a senior engineer, is actively involved in selling the solutions, and take part even in strategic discussions that determine the future course of the product and marketing strategies. All are engaged in the business with an equal importance and are participating in the same journey.

According to Kurunthil, a programmer is basically a specialist in a particular business domain area. When a junior employee gets the opportunity to directly interact with the customers, his confidence grows and he quickly finds that he has the ability to understand the needs of the customer as well as to solve their problems. It is challenging for people to work in and gain exposure to technology solutions that solve a customers actual business problems.

The big names in the IT industry do attract young engineers and some people leave their organizations to take up a job in them. But, size alone is not the only factor that decides the quality and standards of work environment. This is well demonstrated by a young employee of R2K who left the company to join a big firm and returned to R2K’s stable just after a year. Apparently, the visibility and job satisfaction one gets in a company like R2K have no substitutes anywhere.

Vision, philosophy, and future
R2K has established itself well in the ECM solutions space and the customers know its capabilities. The number of niche players in the area is not very high. The base the company has built over the years has helped it position itself well as a specialist solutions company. “People know that we are experienced professionals in the area and that we know what we are talking about,” an enthusiastic Kurunthil explains. “There is a huge market for ECM in India as well and we have the capacity and strategy to positively tap this market,” he continues.

R2K worldwide has approximately 100 people working for it and the India head count is 50. R2K India grew by 15 percent from 2006 to 2007, while the revenue growth for the same period stood at a significant 300 percent. The company aims to scale up to 300 people globally in the next 2 years.

The India center hopes to add 150 people in the same period and expand its business to other parts of India from its present preserve of southern India. This will enable R2K to tap the $100 million worth ECM market in India more efficiently. The company’s revenues in the U.S. for fiscal 2007 are upwards of $ 15 million.

R2K was working its way up then and was laying the foundation for a secure future. The company has achieved this with remarkable precision. Its meticulous planning and persistent efforts has paid off.

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