L&T Tech­nol­ogy Ser­vices: Lev­er­ag­ing Engi­neer­ing for Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion

Trac­ing the rise of L&T Tech­nol­ogy Ser­vices, the 3,248 crore dig­i­tal engi­neer­ing ser­vices com­pany and $16B L&T Group is In­dia’s pre­mier engi­neer­ing group with ac­tiv­i­ties spread across engi­neer­ing con­struc­tion, realty, elec­tri­cal and au­to­ma­tion prod­ucts, I

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The L&T group has evolved over the years and achieved mar­ket lead­ing po­si­tions in many of the mar­kets. Along with that, the group had de­vel­oped com­pe­ten­cies and ca­pa­bil­i­ties in var­i­ous ar­eas that when combined cre­ated op­por­tu­ni­ties to ad­dress new mar­kets.

IDEN­TI­FY­ING THE ENGI­NEER­ING SER­VICES SPE­CIALTY

L&T Tech­nol­ogy Ser­vices was cre­ated in the early 2000s as a con­tract engi­neer­ing ser­vices com­pany. In 2011, the group was re­or­ga­nized into 3-4 busi­ness units based on bring­ing do­main-based skillsets to­gether. For ex­am­ple, IT got sep­a­rated out into L&T In­fotech. Though L&T

Tech­nol­ogy Ser­vices (L&T TS) had strong IT-led prod­uct and process engi­neer­ing skills, with $50M rev­enue and 2000 peo­ple, it was run as a sep­a­rate sub­sidiary fo­cused on engi­neer­ing ser­vices head­quar­tered out of Vado­dara, Gu­jarat in 2009.

In the same year, when the com­pany hired Amit Chadha as the busi­ness head of Amer­i­cas, it was clear that the com­pany was look­ing at growth com­ing in from global mar­kets. Amit Chadha’s ex­pe­ri­ence was in the global IT ser­vices mar­ket hav­ing worked with com­pa­nies such as Mahin­dra Satyam (erst­while Satyam) in man­u­fac­tur­ing, en­ergy and util­i­ties, sell­ing large IT out­sourc­ing deals. Amit’s man­date at L&T TS was to drive sales and be the rain­maker for the com­pany.

But the ter­rain was dif­fer­ent from IT ser­vices which needed in­dus­try do­main knowl­edge and knowl­edge about ap­pli­ca­tion plat­forms.

At L&T TS, Amit was thrown into mul­ti­ple dis­ci­plines of engi­neer­ing— me­chan­i­cal, elec­tri­cal, struc­tural, civil, pip­ing, and elec­tron­ics amongst oth­ers. Amit’s back­ground in busi­ness tech­nol­ogy and ser­vices shaped L&T TS growth pat­tern for the fu­ture.

To­day, L&T TS has grown 10X in rev­enue and 5X in man­power to clock half a bil­lion dol­lars with 10,000 peo­ple within eight years. In FY17, the com­pany’s an­nual rev­enue rose to 3,248 crore with a net profit of 425 crore. The man­age­ment at­trib­uted the growth in dig­i­tal busi­ness to the com­pany’s in­tel­lec­tual prop­er­ties & plat­forms such as UBIQWeise, i-BEMS, UBIQData for busi­ness an­a­lyt­ics and its next gen­er­a­tion wire­less pro­to­col so­lu­tions.

EVO­LU­TION FROM ENGI­NEER­ING SER­VICES TO DIG­I­TAL ENGI­NEER­ING

L&T TS now calls it­self as a ‘dig­i­tal engi­neer­ing’ com­pany. Dig­i­tal engi­neer­ing is the coun­ter­part or rather the base of the holy grail of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion or­ga­ni­za­tions are try­ing to achieve.

Says Amit Chadha, Pres­i­dent-Sales and Busi­ness Devel­op­ment, “The dig­i­tal wave is upon us and ev­ery­one is try­ing to find their own ‘Uber mo­ment’. We call it dig­i­tal engi­neer­ing and we have launched in the mar­ket­place a port­fo­lio of of­fer­ings across the dig­i­tal engi­neer­ing spec­trum — smart prod­ucts & ser­vices and smart man­u­fac­tur­ing. The launch of dig­i­tal so­lu­tions port­fo­lio will en­able en­ter­prises and R&D or­ga­ni­za­tions to lever­age pre­built ac­cel­er­a­tors and so­lu­tions to strengthen their prod­uct of­fer­ings.”

Amit ex­plains the trans­for­ma­tion of the com­pany from an engi­neer­ing ser­vices com­pany in 2009 to a dig­i­tal engi­neer­ing com­pany in 2017. The first phase was from 2009 to 2012 when the com­pany rode the wave of prod­uct devel­op­ment, not from a cost re­duc­tion or ef­fi­ciency point of view, but from an in­no­va­tion per­spec­tive. Amit gives the ex­am­ple of a sur­gi­cal sta­pler they de­vel­oped for a global com­pany to il­lus­trate the in­no­va­tion part.

L&T TS was al­ready a sig­nif­i­cant player in the out­sourced/ off­shore prod­uct devel­op­ment mar­ket that pre­ceded 2009, which was about faster and cheaper prod­uct devel­op­ment. If patents are a mea­sure for in­no­va­tion, Amit proves the point by say­ing that the for the fi­nan­cial year the to­tal num­ber of patents filed and added tal­lies to 254 out of which 197 have been coau­thored with cus­tomers and 57 are owned by L&T TS.

Then came the phase when the wave shifted from de­vel­op­ing prod­ucts for de­vel­oped mar­kets to lo­cal­iz­ing prod­ucts for emerg­ing mar­kets. An ex­am­ple of this is the ODC for Sca­nia, a Swedish bus and truck man­u­fac­turer. L&T TS opened Sca­nia’s ODC in In­dia, with ap­prox­i­mately 100 devel­op­ment en­gi­neers, pri­mar­ily fo­cused on lo­cal­iz­ing and adapt­ing Sca­nia’s buses and trucks for the In­dian mar­ket as well as for other emerg­ing mar­kets. The ODC di­vides its re­sources equally be­tween buses and trucks. In buses, the fo­cus is es­pe­cially on the lo­cally pro­duced Metrolink. Sca­nia has de­cen­tral­ized its bus body engi­neer­ing to its pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties, which in ad­di­tion to Ben­galuru are lo­cated in Finland and Poland. In trucks, the de­sign­ers also work with de­sign adap­tion for the In­dian mar­ket and in­cor­po­rat­ing do­mes­ti­cally sourced com­po­nents.

Around 2012, the tele­com divi­sion of L&T In­fotech that dealt with em­bed­ded sys­tems and prod­uct engi­neer­ing for tele­com, was merged into L&T TS. By 2015, L&T TS had a clear cut fo­cus on serv­ing five in­dus­tries: trans­porta­tion, in­dus­trial prod­ucts, tele­com, plant engi­neer­ing, and med­i­cal de­vices and life sci­ences. The time was also ripe to cap­i­tal­ize on the dig­i­tal wave. The IoT wave had also set in as part of that and the com­bi­na­tion of dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies like IoT, AR, cloud, an­a­lyt­ics gave rise to the ‘dig­i­tal engi­neer­ing’ op­por­tu­nity that the com­pany now talks about.

Re­cently, L&T TS ac­quired San Jose-based Esen­cia Tech­nolo­gies Inc, a provider of de­sign ser­vices in dig­i­tal sig­nal pro­cess­ing. The ac­qui­si­tion will deepen L&T TS of­fer­ings to global cus­tomers, par­tic­u­larly in the realm of per­cep­tual com­put­ing, In­ter­net of Things, ad­vanced sil­i­con prod­ucts and wire­less net­work­ing tech­nolo­gies. Esen­cia has a team of over 100 Em­bed­ded, ASIC de­sign and semi­con­duc­tor ex­perts in Sil­i­con Val­ley.

DIG­I­TAL ENGI­NEER­ING THROUGH AUG­MENTED RE­AL­ITY

L&T TS of­fers MARS (Mo­bil­ity and Aug­mented Re­al­ity Ser­vices) for many of the ver­ti­cals it serves. MARS of­fers devel­op­ment of mo­bil­ity strate­gies and AR so­lu­tions to en­able any­where, any­time ac­cess to OEM prod­uct data and en­ter­prise in­for­ma­tion sys­tems. Says Amit, “We are push­ing the en­ve­lope in Aug­mented Re­al­ity– We are wit­ness­ing the grow­ing adop­tion of Aug­mented Re­al­ity ( AR) tech­nolo­gies in mo­bile de­vices and wear­ables like glasses, watches, bands, and hel­mets. This is well- il­lus­trated by the abil­ity of de­vices to ac­cess con­text- spe­cific in­for­ma­tion on­line like user man­u­als, train­ing de­tails, as­set in­for­ma­tion, and prod­uct cat­a­logues.”

A unique of­fer­ing is Per­sonal Pro­tec­tion Equip­ment (PPE) so­lu­tions that cover sen­sor based wear­ables such as smart hel­mets and smart jack­ets that can mon­i­tor and en­sure safety of work­ers in po­ten­tial hazardous work­places. PPE finds use in in­dus­tries like con­struc­tion, min­ing, oil & gas, fac­to­ries, man­u­fac­tur­ing units and ware­houses.

Says Amit, “The PPE so­lu­tion is an ex­am­ple of IIoT. De­vices such as a “smart hel­met” is an In­dus­trial IoT won­der in­creas­ing con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween peo­ple, data and ma­chines. The on­site en­gi­neers can wear the smart hel­met and other ac­ces­sories such as smart gloves, jack­ets and shoes all of which act as smart sen­sors and trans­mit­ting de­vices, en­abling the worker and the peo­ple at the cen­tral of­fices to stay con­nected.”

The dig­i­tal wave is upon us and ev­ery­one is try­ing to find their own ‘Uber mo­ment’. We call it dig­i­tal engi­neer­ing and we have launched in the mar­ket­place a port­fo­lio of of­fer­ings across the dig­i­tal engi­neer­ing spec­trum — smart prod­ucts & ser­vices and smart man­u­fac­tur­ing. The launch of dig­i­tal so­lu­tions port­fo­lio will en­able en­ter­prises and R&D or­ga­ni­za­tions to lever­age pre­built ac­cel­er­a­tors and so­lu­tions to strengthen their prod­uct of­fer­ings. — Amit Chadha, Pres­i­dent, Sales & Busi­ness Devel­op­ment, L&T Tech­nol­ogy Ser­vices Ltd.

The IoT-en­abled Per­sonal Pro­tec­tive gear, an ex­am­ple of ad­vanced wear­able tech­nol­ogy for in­dus­trial us­age, em­ploys a Zig­bee in­ter­face mech­a­nism whereby alerts and no­ti­fi­ca­tions are sent to both per­son­nel’s and their su­per­vi­sors in case of any breach. The com­pany also plans to in­tro­duce PPE ax­il­lary ser­vices such as heart rate and pulse mon­i­tors wherein the health and be­havioural pat­terns can be traced, thus en­sur­ing worker safety.

DIG­I­TAL ENGI­NEER­ING THROUGH ENGI­NEER­ING AN­A­LYT­ICS

An­a­lyt­ics has been the buzz in busi­ness com­put­ing; its po­ten­tial in engi­neer­ing might be un­der­rated so far. L&T TS has a slew of ser­vices in engi­neer­ing an­a­lyt­ics. Here are a few suc­cess sto­ries:

De­mand Fore­cast­ing & Out­age Man­age­ment for Util­ity OEM

– A pre­dic­tive an­a­lyt­ics so­lu­tion that fore­casts power de­mand based on his­toric data gen­er­a­tion pat­terns – im­proved fore­cast­ing ac­cu­racy by up to 90%.

Health In­dex As­sess­ment of Power Distri­bu­tion Trans­form­ers

– A pre­scrip­tive an­a­lyt­ics so­lu­tion that analy­ses trans­former pa­ram­e­ters and pro­vides valu­able in­sights into as­set health and op­er­a­tions – im­proved as­set up­time by ~95%.

Con­di­tion- based Main­te­nance of Ro­tat­ing Equip­ment

– Pre­dic­tive in­sights into equip­ment health, op­er­a­tions and fail­ures – re­duced main­te­nance cost by 16%.

War­ranty An­a­lyt­ics for Heavy Ma­chin­ery As­sets

– An­a­lyt­ics frame­work to an­a­lyse ven­dor per­for­mance based on as­set field fail­ures and war­ranty claims – brought cost sav­ings of ap­prox­i­mately $2 mil­lion.

DIG­I­TAL ENGI­NEER­ING THROUGH IIOT

L&T TS has de­vel­oped pro­pri­etary IoT so­lu­tions such as UbiqWeise and iBEMS in emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy ar­eas to sup­port its Global cus­tomers. i-BEMS is a frame­work that en­ables Net-Zero, en­ergy gen­er­a­tion man­age­ment, pre­dic­tive and pre­ven­tive main­te­nance to help steer­away from en­ergy con­sump­tion to en­ergy gen­er­a­tion and helps cus­tomers save upto 40 per­cent of en­ergy costs. In­tel is the com­pany’s go-to-mar­ket part­ner for the plat­form iBEMS.

The UbiqWeise plat­form helps in mov­ing data securely to the cloud with the po­ten­tial to scale up so­lu­tions to nu­mer­ous de­vices, thereby cre­at­ing a com­plete smart home ex­pe­ri­ence. L&T TS has de­signed a Smart Con­nected Ther­mo­stat that is Wi-Fi ca­pa­ble and con­trols all as­pects of in­door air lev­er­ag­ing IOT, Cloud & Mo­bil­ity so­lu­tion us­ing L&T Tech­nol­ogy Ser­vices’ UbiqWeise plat­form.

One of L&T TS con­struc­tion in­dus­try cus­tomers, who has var­i­ous types of con­struc­tion equip­ment and ma­chin­ery spread across global project sites, col­lects oper­a­tional data on a near real-time ba­sis, which is then sent to a cloud plat­form. The data is then pro­cessed us­ing ap­plied an­a­lyt­ics on its UbiqWeise plat­form to pro­vide in­sights on in­for­ma­tion such as oper­a­tional ef­fi­ciency and pre­ven­tive main­te­nance sched­ules.

For another cus­tomer, L&T TS pro­vided smart ser­vices so­lu­tions in process im­prove­ment, waste re­duc­tion and im­prove­ment in yields. Its so­lu­tions are aimed at ad­dress­ing spe­cific prob­lems by in­tro­duc­ing ad­vanced sen­sors and an­a­lyt­ics tech­nolo­gies to de­tect anom­alies at an early stage of pro­duc­tion. As a re­sult, its so­lu­tions en­able re­duc­tion of the re­jec­tion rates of the prod­ucts.

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