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November - 2006 - issue > Company Profile
Opportunities-galore-at-InfoSTEP
Sanjeev Jain
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Mahesh Pakala is looking for techies who have fire in their bellies. And what Infostep can offer them is an opportunity, he claims, no other Indian IT Company can provide—
challenging assignments coupled with a responsibility to build products and the freedom to directly interact with the clients.

That’s the reason, in the last six months, he has motivated 45 software engineers from MNC IT companies like HP, Oracle, IBM and others, to join InfoSTEP, as they are energized by the exposure they get here. He lures techies with a few years of experience by exposing them to challenges and opportunities. “What I see in them is the inquisitiveness to learn. I keep them charged up by having brainstorming sessions,” says Pakala, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, InfoSTEP.

For the last one-year that InfoSTEP has been in India, techies heave been busy building products in Business Intelligence and Compliance space—two of the fastest growing segments worldwide. Their
engineers build sophisticated algorithms and reporting tools that provide measurements at micro and macro levels using balanced scorecards, efficiency metrics and workflow and focused data integration.

They are also offering services. For InfoSTEP and Pakala, this combination works well if they have to grow fast. Not only does it bring in more revenues but also helps techies in the company, because of the two pronged model. When a client has deployed a compliance product bought from InfoSTEP, there are hosts of other services that are incorporated into the system. The client need not go to another vendor for the new software. It could just get them from InfoSTEP’s consultants. “Selling products and offering services around it, goes hand in hand and helps both the product and the services oriented techies,” says Pakala.

Having both the services and products engineers under one roof has its own advantages for InfoSTEP as it helps them improve the product quality. The first kind pours his heart and soul in developing a product and has the hunger to know the kind of reviews it is getting. When the InfoSTEP services engineers go to deploy the products, they receive the customer’s feedback and give inputs to the product engineers. They in turn, work to improve the product, thus helping the company in more ways than one. “They take the ownership and don’t depend on the managers to tell them what needs to be done in the product,” Pakala says. This is the extent of freedom that one gets in the organization.

To get into InfoSTEP, one needs to be an expert in atleast one of the following skills. It could be either Business Intelligence or JAVA or even a go-getter attitude. Once techies are in, Pakala says they are specifically trained by a core group or made to work in a group. Pakala insists he needs these skills because if there is a requirement, he could send techies with experience in Business Objects BI to work on an Oracle application. Pakala’s biggest challenge might be finding engineers with exposure to BI and compliance. But he believes he can find people and train them to work for him.

Technically, InfoSTEP is currently in a very interesting sphere. Its compliance products can be integrated with Oracle applications and Business Intelligence product—both diverse segments requiring different skill sets. This technology makes it easier for the companies to figure out the regulatory constraints of accounting and auditing, and also develop Data Warehouse solutions. In Business Intelligence, its tools help companies create data models to check the key factors that affect profitability.

Creating a tool using BI, InfoSTEP’s dashboards can help CEOs to figure out problem areas and rectify them, all at the click of a button in the form of numbers or graphs. InfoSTEP has been building its products in the U.S. since 1998, but today the India team is developing and building newer versions.

Sounds interesting. Take a look at companies that have spawned around both BI and Compliance and you will know how this industry is growing. Certainly for a small, but growing, company like InfoSTEP, the stakes are high. As it gains a better foothold in the Indian market, techies at Hyderabad can look forward to more challenging projects in future. In the process, InfoSTEP will find its place under the sun.
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