Infosys joins artificial intelligence gold rush; seeks Silicon Valley supercoders


India’s second largest software exporter Infosys is putting its might behind some of the biggest futuristic bets that the company is making, such as its newest artificial intelligence platform MANA, and putting key leaders in charge of developing these products, amid a scramble to hire top talent from the world’s biggest tech hub, the Silicon Valley. (EconomicTimes)

In an interview, Infosys’ head of architecture and technology Navin Budhiraja said the company is looking to beef up its products and platform teams in the Valley and has also doubled the size of its special “supercoders” team, which is called the Expert Track programme, as it looks to generate more revenue from newer areas of technology, at a time when margins are rapidly eroding in traditional outsourcing businesses. Infosys has also tasked leaders such as Samson David, who currently heads the company’s cloud and infrastructure business, to head a unit called the Expert Services team, which will play a key role in the the development of newer software platforms such as Mana.

“What I see going forward is MANA becoming the centerpiece of all of the automation work that we do,” said Budhiraja in an interview with EconomicTimes. “We want to bring AI to the enterprise to solve a set of issues that we see… MANA is a culmination of the work we’re doing around the Big Data platform, around the Automation platform, around the knowledge platform.” As part of its work around Mana, which has been designed to automate routine maintenance tasks in outsourced software projects using AI and machine learning, Infosys is hiring more executives who have specialised in these futuristic areas. “We have teams in four broad areas – one is the core product engineering team who actually works on the platforms (IAP, IIP, IKP); corresponding product management and product marketing teams; then there’s something that we call the Expert Services team – typically in a product company you would call them the professional services team. 

The third layer is the actual account teams. And lastly, it is the sales team,” explained Budhiraja. “The Expert Services team will be run by Samson David who also runs our infrastructure business. He has been instrumental around running a lot of implementations around IAP. He will have the expert services team underneath him which will primarily based out of India,” he added. While Bangalore­based Infosys is looking to beef up its teams that focus on areas such as artificial intelligence, Budhiraja conceded that hiring people for such positions had not been easy because such skills are in short supply.

“We’ve hired a couple of people already, their focus is around AI and natural language processing. This is a hard skill to find,” he said. “We are hiring key folks both in the US and India. We are also looking for talent in areas such as next­gen apps, apps that are self­healing, etc –that’s the kind of talent we are looking for. Also for product management and product marketing.” Going forward, Infosys also plans to double the strength of its “Expert Track” team, which consists of “supercoders” who the company feels are the creme­-de-la-­creme of programming talent and are capable of solving any software ­related problem.