MphasiS Architecture Community is at the core of our success - Express Computer, August 6, 2001

Looked upon as one of the most successful mergers in recent times, MphasiS-BFL derives its core strength from a pool of around 40 professionals across the globe having expertise in domains ranging from finance to retail. A core group of four professionals spearhead the MphasiS Architecture Community (MAC) initiative at MphasiS and are responsible for delivering perfect solutions to clients as well as retaining them on a long-term basis. According to the company, its solutions and services business grew by Rs 50 million this year due to this initiative. Mohan Krishnan, Chief Technology Officer, MphasiS-BFL along with other members of MAC spoke to Pankaj Mishra in Bangalore about the role of MAC in achieving overall organisational growth

What is the MphasiS Architecture Community (MAC)?
Mohan Krishnan: The MphasiS Architecture Community (MAC) drives the architecture practice at MphasiS. This community is the technology think-tank of the company and it lets us manage scalable technology frameworks of our clients. MAC ensures that each client solution is relevant and consistent in the larger organisational context and does not undermine the organisational strategic goal. The core group of MAC consists of four personnel, with each one having close to 20 years experience in various domains and business practices.

Lee Chen: Then there is also a ‘Big MAC' group consisting of around 35 professionals across our development centres in Mumbai, Bangalore and California. Our responsibility is to groom them for ensuring the dynamic nature of the core MAC group. It is MAC's role to define and group domains and functionalities, set standards for interfaces, identify technology and software development tools and manage for variances.

How does MAC enhance the performance of your company?
Lee Chen: MAC's involvement in customising a solution and delivering it to perfection is conducive to enhancing overall performance. The community ensures that even if the chief architect for a particular project is absent, required guidance and expertise is made available to the team. However, there is no direct accountability attached to the MAC portfolio. In fact, we are held responsible if something goes wrong with a local account.

Mohan Krishnan: Not only do we provide a technical interface to our external and internal clients but also take care of the business aspect of a particular project. This is where we differ from most of the Knowledge Management initiatives at various companies. We play an instrumental role even in preparing sales presentations and there have been instances wherein a MAC member has accompanied the sales team while making the sales pitch for a particular solution.

What is the role of MAC during project delivery?
Mohan Krishnan: In the context of project delivery, MAC participates through architectural workshops, definition of high-level functional and technical architecture, approval of the detailed component design, review of time and effort estimates, definition of project risks and mitigation plan and recommendations on component and product selection. MAC also serves as an institutionalised system to track technology trends.

Dr S G Wagle: A MAC member also plays an instrumental role in disseminating the learning from a particular project, thereby creating an atmosphere that facilitates fruitful interaction between developers across various projects.

Is the community also responsible for coming out with Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)?
Mohan Krishnan: During project development and delivery,MAC plays a parallel role in identifying potential IPR components. A MAC member overseeing a particular project identifies the extractable component of the project. But roadmap for an IPR to become a product is a very complex process. Even if we decide to come out with a product, we would prefer to hive it off as a separate entity.

Dr S G Wagle: Identifying an IPR can happen either at the component level, or at the integration level of project development. The screening is done entirely by the MAC team.