The centralization of knowledge and its maximum utilization is very important in organizations. Patni Computer Systems Ltd has succeeded in the achievement of the above stated tasks. This explains the success that the company has realized in information technology (IT), servicing almost half of the most successful companies in America. The company has been adept in its practical application of the theoretical models of management. This is evident in its utilization of both human and technology based networks related to Knowledge Management Initiative (KMI). The exemplary success of this company should act as a benchmark for people management and use of networks in companies (Davies, 2004, p. 17).
The growth of the outsourcing industry is considerably rampant in the contemporary society. This can be partly attributed to the growing number of companies within the developed countries such that the population of these countries is inadequate for the professional needs of the companies. Outsourcing therefore comes in handy in this situation, especially in the Information Technology sector. Patni Computer Systems Ltd is one of the outsourcing companies in the field of IT. This report uses theoretical models to evaluate the role of human networks in knowledge creation and knowledge sharing (outsourcing) within Patni. Let us first have a look at the background of the company.
Patni Computer Systems Ltd is one of the most successful IT services providers in the world. It has more than fifteen thousand employees providing quality services to companies in a variety of industries. Patni was founded by Naren Patni, its CEO and an MIT graduate. Naren Patni is based in the United States. Patni has 23 sales offices in the world, strategically located in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific. Patni has provided its services to approximate 400 of the 1000 largest American companies ranked solely on revenues. Patni is widely known for its management of manpower and its efficacy in outsourcing (Tanenbaum, 2003, p. 1).
To make knowledge applicable and preserve its quality, it should be identified, made readily available for use incase of need, applied , enhanced and organized to suit expected needs and disbursed to people in need of it at the right time. In order to achieve this kind of Knowledge Management, several mechanisms have to be laid down. The most basic of these mechanisms is to create both human and technology based networks to help in the acquisition and nourishment of knowledge. Patni has set up a Knowledge Management Initiative that is meant to achieve the above stated goals. First, the company identifies talented individuals and gives them the opportunity of building their knowledge by using the resources of the company, its knowledge base and through their interaction with the clients of the company. The company has thus formed networks with client companies such that when expertise is required in a given company, Patni is consulted. It either solves the problems of the company remotely or sends a team to sort the company out. For instance, an overseas company may be in need of custom software to aid its operations. In this case, Patni may decide to dedicate a team of experts in solving this problem remotely or send a team of professionals to solve the problem within the premises of the organization (McFarlane, 2005, p. 1). The Knowledge Management Initiative also gives employees a knowledge base to make informed decisions and thus enhances their knowledge. This knowledge base has a search engine (KMI search engine) that helps developers and other professionals make references when they encounter problems. They refer to project reports, case studies, proposals etcetera (Shashi, 2006, p. 272).
The company has also formed networks with other similar companies. This helps it in sharing ideas related to technology and knowing the current trends in technology. For instance, with the dynamics nature of Information Technology, several platforms can be used to solve a particular problem. A web development or software development project can be approached using different software platforms. It is the customer preference trends and professional advice of the developers that will determine which technology is most suitable. Therefore, networks with other players in the industy are very helpful. These networks may also lead to productive and growth-stimulating business agreements. An example of the importance of this kind of networking is the Cymbal Corporation acquisition by Patni in the year 2004. This acquisition brought in experienced workforce, products and clients. After the acquisition, the CEO of Cymbal brought in his management experstise becoming the head of Telecommunications in Patni. As stated earlier, the company has greatly used drafted proposals in solving technical problems. These proposals are either local or from other similar companies. Thus the network the company has formed with other similar companies has been very helpful in sharing of professional information (Shashi, 2006, p. 273).
The company has also formed networks with people from various sectors of the economy, and who are themselves experts in different domains. It actively encourages these people to share their thoughts and ideas with the company. These ideas are then recorded and transcribed into documents. This information so obtained has been very useful in solving technical problems encountered by professionals within the company (Anderson, 2008, p. 1).
The IT networks have also been very useful in the running of the company and the maintenance of its profile. The company has automatic mailing services that have helped it manage internal communications and mailings. There are weekly mails sent to employees with crucial information on their careers or information on the general aspects of life like self improvement. Its branches are also technologically networked to enhance communication among them. The company also has technology controls for its resources that limit access to certain individuals to prevent its resources from misuse (Patni Ltd, 2010, p. 1). It involves its employees in discussion forums where its employees share technological knowledge with other professionals. This helps its employees interact with exemplified strengths of neglected technologies and builds their knowledge in their profession. The company also invites professionals in unrelated fields like lawyers, doctors, etcetera to share their knowledge on their areas of expertise through a technology network known as Mindshare (Patni Ltd, 2010, p. 1). This way, these professionals provide helpful information to the public like stress management, and eating habits. This has contributed substantially to the popularity of the company. Technical knowledge is also regularly shared in sessions like K- limited and the information is stored in the KMI system for reuse. Weekly self improvement presentations are also invited and identified as Knowledge Nugget in KMI home page with credit to the presenter. This has attracted a lot of contributors which has led to the worldwide recognition of the company and its services. The company also hosts numerous technology contests aimed at marketing their products that bring professionals together and also help in identifying talent (Alavi, 2001, p. 107).
As a result of its active involvement in developing Knowledge management, Patni received the Best Knowledge Management Initiative (KMI) Solutions award. It can be confidently that Patni has succeeded in the productive use of the concepts of KMI (O’Brien, 2009, p. 1).
The ideas of knowledge management have proved to be productive especially given the success they have yielded in Patni. In companies that provide Information Technology Services, the employment of KMI will certainly improve the competence and performance of employees, increase employee motivation and also the ability of employees to solve technical problems promptly. This will in turn improve the productivity of the company. The most commendable advantage of a KMI to employees is its contribution in building their knowledge. A KMI is also very instrumental in growing the client base of the company (Deitel, 2008, p. 1). The human and technological networks that come with a KMI make the public aware of the products and services of the company and thus a person who needs such of services will most definitely seek the services of the company. Technological networks in a KMI improve the stability of the organization. This is because technology networks are characterized by immaculate security controls. The company will thus be safe from malicious technology attacks by outsiders because it is already aware of the exposure the KMI creates. It will also be safe from unauthorized insider misdeeds since, as stated earlier, the use of technology comes with security.
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