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vPlus (V+) : Virtusa's internal social business platform
Overview and business problem
Virtusa’s primary goal is to create an environment marked by excellence, an environment where Virtusans can do their best work and realize their full potential. 86% of Virtusa’s workforce is made up of members of Generation Y with average age of 27 years, and they play a critical role in Virtusa (and any organization’s) business endeavours. Virtusa, a rapidly-growing organization, wanted to deploy an internal social business platform that would leverage social technology to drive internal collaboration and engagement among this group and other employees.
V+ : Co-creating business outcomes through an engaged employee and an engaged customer
V+, Virtusa’s proprietary internal social business platform, is a unique technology platform designed and developed in-house by Virtusa to transform the way Virtusans work, learn, share and connect - ultimately improving business agility, productivity and innovation. The platform creates a next-gen work environment by providing a social experience akin to platforms like YouTube, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Wikipedia. It also uses social practices such as gamification and crowdsourcing to create an engaging platform. Most importantly, V+ brings together systems of records such as ERP, CRM and IPM, as well as systems of engagement, like messaging, search and portals to transform the core business processes to social (e.g. social performance management) and further enable these applications with mobility. V+ includes various features and functionalities such as social collaboration, document management, video services, enterprise services, innovation management, social performance management and gamification.
Today more than 5,900 employees are using V+ to generate ideas, solve problems differently and voice their concerns.
Our social strategy encompassing the V+ initiative is led from the top with a strong backing from our Chairman and CEO, Kris Canekeratne. Our employees became co-creators of the strategy. V+ was initially seeded with a base of volunteers from across different offices around the globe who in turn helped in shaping the platform, becoming evangelists for its adoption.
Leveraging social technologies
With a focus on integrating social capabilities across all internal applications that team members use, Virtusa zeroed-in on Microsoft’s SharePoint technology enabled with FAST, Exchange, Office Web and Lync.
In a short time frame of implementation, the V+ platform has gained tremendous traction and adoption by our global team members. With a focus of co-creating business outcomes for the company and our clients, V+ embraces web 2.0 and social practices encompassing
- Crowd sourcing
- Enterprise search
V+ is not just a platform, but has got in-grained as a way of work for Virtusans. Some of the key highlights of V+ usage since its launch in 2012 are as below –
- Over 5900 users
- 200+ average monthly conversations
- 15000+ employee to employee appreciations in the form of RAVEs
- 100,000+ average search queries per quarter
- 20,000+ video views and 350+ video uploads with topics focusing on corporate updates, training, team events and entertainment
Our gamification strategy
We are leveraging gamification to engage and drive millennials to perform and innovate. Gamification is helping us drive revenue, delivery excellence and people excellence by integrating systems of records and systems of engagement.
Use cases of our V+ platform
Use case #1: V+ platform enabling our software engineering practices by connecting the social graph to discover relationships, content and experts.
Use case #2: V+ platform enabling our sales by connecting the social graph to discover relationships, content and experts.
Use case #3: Town hall with cross geo attendance. For example a recent town hall through the V+ platform with campus hire group saw large cross geo participation spread across countries.
Since the implementation and adoption of V+, Virtusa has seen good productivity improvements, better collaboration among team members, improved employee morale, and a rise in revenues through client innovations. The various benefits offered by the V+ platform include:
vInnovate, a crowd sourced ideation engine of V+, enables team members to share ideas, which can then be implemented for clients. There has been a 150% jump in the generation of ideas since the platform was created, with 50% of the ideas coming from the junior level team members (Tier 3 and 4).
Enabling peer recognition and appreciation
RAVE is Virtusa’s internal recognition platform which has been integrated with V+. RAVE allows end users to thank, reward and recognize co-worker’s contributions. In the last five years, there have been over 250,000 such raves. Virtusa has combined RAVE with gamification, badges and leader boards to further enhance the social engagement and recognition of employees within the organization. Based on the feedback received through team members through various internal channels, Virtusa has seen a continual increase in the morale and perception of employees.
Strengthening employee engagement
V+ both enables a very vibrant cross-organizational connection as well as increases the level of employee engagement. YamJam sessions, akin to an online town hall meeting on various topics including HR initiatives, senior leadership updates and company updates are seeing increased participation by Virtusans. For example, a recent YamJam session for new campus hires saw participation from about 200 newcomers from different countries, inquiring and sharing feedback. During this one hour live YamJam session, close to 1000 messages were posted, generating 383 likes on the platform.
Facilitating team collaboration, interactivity and knowledge sharing
V+ is integrated with the tools used by employees as part of their everyday work including emails, blogs and Wikis. Over 5,900 employees are actively participating, and there have been over 200 average monthly conversations. V+ provides opportunity to share knowledge and ideas, allowing employees to learn from experiences of other team members.
Virtusa’s current focus is to drive productivity and quality via gamification. Virtusa is also in the process of integrating social analytics with the SharePoint platform to gain important insights into the organization and employee mood so the company can evolve policies and practices accordingly. Virtusa’s vision is to transform the company to become a social enterprise at its core.
- Microsoft case study on V+
- Forbes article with reference to V+
V+ platform features and functionalities
LinkedIn like profile of expertise, badges, projects, contributions, recommendations and friends (with Twitter/LinkedIn feeds)
Gamified software engineer dashboard
Note: The numbers in the below graphic are samples only (and not real), to provide a representation of how a Gamified software engineer’s dashboard would look like.