Perspective: Infosys Confluence 2016 — New and Renew, at Zero Distance
This IDC Manufacturing Insights Perspective reviews the Infosys Confluence 2016 conference that was held April 27–29, 2016, in San Francisco. Renew and new has been the driving mantra for Infosys since Vishal Sikka came onboard as CEO 20 months ago. After a rough five-year stretch before Sikka joined because of the financial crash of 2008, the global economic slowdown, and reorganization, the ship has righted, so to speak, with 9% growth YoY for 2015–2016, $9.5 billion in revenue in FY16, and continued expansion of consulting, design, and software capabilities.Infosys Confluence 2016 opened with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore speaking about the urgent need for action on climate change, framing his presentation with three key questions: Must we change? Can we change? Will we change? Indeed, the statistics he showed were sobering and if you were in the audience, you couldn't walk out of the packed conference hall without thinking about what your company can do to help alleviate global warming, reduce stress on our energy grids, and, well, make the world a better place. Infosys, to its credit, powers its campus in Hyderabad, India, completely with a 6.6MW solar plant — which is a product of infrastructure limitations and is reflective of the company's desire to do its part for the environment.Sikka, along with members of his immediate team, presented for much of the second day on what "Zero Distance" means, which is "closing the gap between code, clients, and end users" to solve business problems and challenges and enable ongoing innovation through an innovation framework. Infosys also spoke extensively about its continued foray into design thinking (25 customer projects currently) and a new software offering from the company called Mana, a knowledge-based artificial intelligence (AI) platform.