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When you think of India’s Infosys, TCS, and Wipro, you naturally picture hordes of engineers laboring away on huge software programs for corporate clients. And when you think of their style of innovation, you think about new service business models, and the like. But Infosys, for one, has begun innovating closer to the consumer. One example is its magic mirror solution for retailers, which is just now launching. For this project, Infosys teamed up with a tiny retail design specialist, thebigspace, to provide the most powerful in-store interactive experience for shoppers I have ever seen.

magicmirror is a mirror that is designed to be installed in a clothing store dressing room. In addition to being able to see their reflection in the glass, consumers can find out more about the items they’re trying on, get tips on other items that might look good with them, and, by touching a spot on the screen, summon a clerk to bring a clothing item in a different size. For the stores, the mirror helps them track consumers buying patterns, cross-sell other items, monitor theft, and spot problems with styles, fits, and fabrics.

The mirror uses RFID technologies to detect what clothing items the consumer has brought into the dressing room. It has a large surface upon which information and advertising can be displayed via text, graphics, animation, and video. Most of that expertise was brought to the project by thebigspace, which specializes in consumer interaction technologies. Infosys provides what it calls smart visual merchandising software that makes the application widely deployable, connects with other information systems, and analyzes the data collected from the interactions. Infosys offers the mirror and software to retailers as a service, so they don't have to buy the technology or manage it.
The collaboration with thebigspace is part of a new strategy by Infosys that it calls global modular innovation. It teams up with other companies around the world with niche skills it doesn't possess. The hope is that by offering this kind of customer facing service and technology, Infosys will be able to change clients' perceptions of what the company can do for them. "People may not have looked at us as an innovative company in the past," says Devon Ferreira, a principle in the company's RFID practice. "This shows what we can do and puts us in a different bracket. Maybe they'll think of us as their innovation partner."
One day before Ferreira demonstrated the magicmirror for me, I got a press release from the World Bank about a study it had just completed warning that Indian industry needs to do much more to realize the country's full potential for innovating. The study points out that of the top 50 applicants for patents in India between 1995 and 2005, 44 were foreign firms, and only two were private Indian firms.
Infosys' magicmirror shows that the Indian services firms don't have to be pigeonholed as run-of-the-mill service providers. They can be technology and experience innovators. It's an important step forward for the country's tech industry.

From India, Kakinada
I have read somewhere that as a cost cutting measure Ifosys has deducted certain amount (sorry I don't remember the figure) across the board for all employess. I feel this can be set as a model for cost cutting measure wherever required for other companies too. As a guideline retrenchment should be the last option. Share and Survive being the motto. This will create the bond among the employees which in turn will give rich dividends.
Biresh Narzary

From India, Mumbai
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