Collaboration and Workflow

The Digital Pumpkin: Inside Mindtree’s innovation hub

Digital Pumpkin

We all know the fairytale of Cinderella. Remember the part when Cinderella was crying to go to the ball, and her fairy godmother then asked her to go into the garden and pick a pumpkin. Cinderella picked the finest pumpkin she could find from the garden. Her godmother hollowed out the pumpkin until there was nothing left but the shell, struck it with her ring – and instantly the pumpkin transformed into a beautiful golden coach.

India’s mid-tier IT firm Mindtree borrowed the concept from this story to create “The Digital Pumpkin,” a collaboration space to transform an idea (pumpkin) into reality (Cinderella’s coach).

“The Digital Pumpkin is a collaborative environment that provides space, people and technologies to collaborate and co-create innovative solutions for and with our customers. The idea is to foster and accelerate digital innovation, conduct primary research and create functional prototypes and pilotable solutions,” says Suresh HP, Senior Vice President, Digital, Mindtree.

The need to start this innovation hub at its Bangalore HQ arose when the team at Mindtree observed that many of their customers wanted to accelerate the business case for digital solutions but found themselves limited by several factors.

“An idea first needs to be conceptualized into a business case before it moves to the realization stage. We found that for an idea to navigate its way to reality, it took anywhere between 5-8 months for our customers. On an average, 70 percent of the time was spent on conceptualizing an idea,” informs Janardhana Reddy, General Manager, Digital Experience, Mindtree.

Reasons for stagnation at business case stage included conducting due diligence, limited bandwidth, identifying the right technologies, financial viability etc.

With the Pumpkin in play, users now can have a readily available framework, with ease of business case creation and release more projects into build phase. Customers visit the hub with their own ideas or seek Mindtree’s help for ideation or co-ideate to create a solution.

Not just a fairy tale

To know if an idea will be cost-effective, iterative and impactful or not, customers can now walk into the Pumpkin and ask for a demonstration of their ideas.

For example, a payment services provider was looking to reduce the time taken to on-board merchants for their business. “We helped them create prototypes and showcased which one of their ideas could be realized and were viable,” says Reddy.

From the time a customer walks in and shares an idea, the innovation team at Mindtree can create something of value (within a day or two) and showcase whether it will work or not.

In another scenario, a manufacturer of health and safety equipment visited the innovation centre to transform their business and move beyond merely selling their products in the market. “Our team went into an ideation mode and came up with a solution where the company could move from the business of providing health and safety equipments to prevention of casualty. This required creating a layer of data services on top of their products with a focus on casualty prevention,” says Reddy.

The Digital Pumpkin provides solutions around the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), cognitive solutions, virtual and augmented reality, machine learning, conversational, cloud and big data. The hub has resulted in the creation of more than 50 major transformations.

“All solutions are tested internally before we offer them to customers. In recent times a lot of conversations happen around the need to have intelligence-enabled solutions,” informs Reddy.

Mindtree believes that the space has become a key differentiator in its pursuit of digital innovation for enterprise clients. In September last year, the company opened its second Pumpkin in New Jersey, U.S.

“The success of our Bangalore-based Digital Pumpkin has been overwhelming and it led to creating a similar space in New Jersey for our U.S. customers,” says Suresh.

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