Go from doing digital to being digital

Cognizant is an American IT corporation founded in 1994 by Kumar Nahdeva. They are a global leader in information technology, consulting, and business process services. Cognizant is headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey and operates out of over 100 delivery centers, worldwide. The fast-growing company, led by CEO Francisco D'Souza, is ranked 205 in the Fortune 500. Cognizant adheres to values of transparency, passion, empowerment, and collaboration.

 
266,000 employees
 
17.40% employee growth
 
8.60% revenue growth
World Headquarters
500 Frank W. Burr Boulevard Teaneck, New Jersey 07666
Teaneck, NJ 07666
United States
211 Quality Cir
College Station, TX 77845
United States
1 Kingdom Street
London, LND W2 6BD
United Kingdom

Focus Areas

Cognizant’s business consulting services utilize industry expertise, data science, and design thinking to enable growth for their clients. Cognizant’s strategic expertise lies in analytics, digital transformation, supply chain optimization, and IT intrastation, among others. Their consultants work for clients in a variety of industries such as life science education, transportation, information service, and healthcare.  

Through their Digital Operations unit, Cognizant helps their customers upgrade their business operations to the digital age. They apply their expertise in the intersection of business and technology to implement intelligent automation which helps lower costs and increase efficiency. Cognizant’s services can help businesses increase customer satisfaction and gain a competitive edge over their competitors.  

Cognizant offers IT solutions and services through their Systems & Technology operation. Cognizant believes the simplifying and modernizing legacy IT while bolstering its security against cyber attacks is the best way to optimize the technologic backbone of an enterprise. They offer application services in development & management, quality assurance, and security.

Strategic Initiatives
Internet of Things

Cognizant is at the cutting edge of IoT technology transformation. As smart products become ubiquitous, businesses must leverage the technology to remain competitive. Cognizant offers industrial IoT solutions such as ONEPlant smart manufacturing for end-to-end integration. Additionally, Cognizant’s expertise in this growing field informs their digital transformation consulting.

Intelligent Automation

Intelligent Automation is a suite of solutions and that do, think, and learn on their own. Cognizant also provides AI consulting services to help companies identify and implement the optimal solution. The suite has already been used by over 1000 customers in verticals ranging from healthcare to finance.

Blockchain

Cognizant’s research shows that blockchain technologies will disrupt the digital commerce ecosystem. They believe this technology must be leveraged to optimize the efficiency of transactions and therefore overall business processes. Cognizant’s is currently working with clients to help assure digital identity and secure transfers so they can get the most out of their blockchain investments while remaining protected.

Reviews

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Adobe Campaign Integration with MS Dynamics CRM

"Cognizant did very well, and there were no issues in terms of performance."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Sept. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Cognizant is providing expertise in Adobe Campaign through three members on-site plus several off-shore resources. They've integrated a CRM that aggregates all digital marketing channels.

The Reviewer
 
10,000-25,000 Employees
 
San Francisco Bay Area
Fmr. Application Manager, Large Retail Bank
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new platform incorporates multiple prioritized actions in response to customer profiles. Upon joining the project, Cognizant discovered and remedied a critical error in the proposed plan. They continue to work on customizations and training well below competitors' rates.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

My company was one of the largest financial services companies in the US. We were building out features for next-best-action in order to cover every client-facing channel and have real-time communication with all clients of the bank. We focused on the consumer side, but the bank had commercial services as well. I was the application manager for our Adobe Campaign. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cognizant?

We had brought in a new application for supporting our project. The bank didn’t have much experience with it, so we sourced a team of on-site and offshore Cognizant developers in order to build out all the features of this next-best-action program. The development team reported to me. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Cognizant was our development team for the Adobe Campaign application. Every time a customer of the bank interacts in a digital channel (e.g. authenticating on the website and being identified through a cookie), the Adobe application is notified, and it will find an appropriate offer for the customer, which will be passed back to the channel in real-time.

Our internal team had used other Adobe modules, but no one had any experience with Adobe Campaign. The company needed to decide whether to bring Adobe consultants to build everything, which would come with a large price tag, or build our own Cognizant development team. All the expertise came in with the development team.

Since this was impacting every client-facing digital channel, the bank set up individual teams for each customer channel. Everything needed to be integrated with the marketing application, and, on the data side, we wanted to have as little data as possible in the application. There was an integration with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system, which was key to making this happen. Some of that data would feed into the campaign on a daily basis, while other pieces of information were real-time.

With this development team, Cognizant brought in experience with all the different pieces we wanted to build. The team lead had been doing implementations for large tech companies in the Bay Area. He had the vision and brought other members who’d had limited exposure. Different tasks of the development were assigned to those team members, based on their experience. The biggest piece was really the integration with the CRM. It was something that was supposed to come out-of-the-box with Adobe Campaign, but it never worked. It was never fully tested, and the bank used a different version of Dynamics than what was spec'ed. There was some back-and-forth configuration work to do, and, in the end, it turned out that it couldn’t be done. Instead, the Cognizant team came up with the alternative solution which relied on FTP [file transfer protocol] files that were generated by the CRM on a daily basis and fed into Adobe Campaign. This error didn’t have anything to do with Cognizant. The bank and Adobe hadn’t done their homework when they came up with the original design. Adobe had really created the blueprint and high-level design of how Campaign and other products could be used to create this next-best-action program. That blueprint was used to hire the Cognizant team. Their lead pointed out during his first week that this could be an issue and that the project was unlikely achievable as designed. He offered to build a custom process, and it’s really what ended up happening. We also integrated Adobe Analytics and Adobe Audience Manager.

The turnaround time was quick. Cognizant found a senior person and assigned them to us. He was able to lead the team and helped us source the rest of the developers. He already had some people in mind since he had an existing network at Cognizant.

How did you come to work with Cognizant?

I came along in the middle of the process after the work had started. The bank had a good longstanding relationship with Cognizant, utilizing a number of developers and business resources from their team both on-site and offshore. We contacted the team and gave them job descriptions of what we were looking for, and they started the sourcing process, sending us resumes one at a time. We scheduled interviews, first by phone and then on-site. The approach was to hire a small, onsite team with a team lead and have that team build an offshore presence as well.

The bank has relationships with other companies. I reached out to some, but they were unable to find good resources. Cognizant came first, so I went with them. I have also worked with Cognizant for an automotive roadside services and insurance company.

How much have you invested with Cognizant?

This was a large corporate project for which almost every team within the bank played a role. I know that, for my team, the budget was open-ended. We initially only had enough for half of the final team, but, as we started developing, everyone could see that it wasn’t enough, so we kept bringing in more and more developers. For the three on-site Cognizant resources, the price per person was around $100 per hour, on average; for offshore, it was $35. We had six offshore developers. The annual cost was around $1 million.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Cognizant in September of 2016. I left the bank a couple of months ago, but the project was scheduled to have the first release in June or July. Phase one was supposed to be delivered in May, and phase two was targeted for August. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?

Cognizant built our Campaign infrastructure, including all its tables and CRM feed. They defined all schemes and workflows in order to get everything populated. The challenges which cost us the delay (everything was supposed to release in May) were really the connector between the CRM and Adobe Campaign. It was supposed to be an out-of-the-box solution, but it never worked. There was a lot of time spent coming up with an alternative solution; because some of the teams had been left out of the original planning, the project management impacted Cognizant’s team as well. They did what they could in meeting challenges and the delivery date.

The platform was built with a number of actions and rules integrated for prioritizing based on customer profiles. If a customer engages via one of the digital channels, we will come up with a number of offers and actions—typically three to ten, depending on the channel—and present them. Once this had been built, the job of our internal users was to go to the application and keep adding and prioritizing actions. Everything else would happen automatically.

Every customer interaction with one of those channels would trigger this real-time response from Adobe Campaign. As an application, it would not be able to support this original plan. It was limited to 200,000 interactions per minute.

How did Cognizant perform from a project management standpoint?

I had no issues with their performance. They knew exactly what needed to be done, and I worked with the project lead in putting together a plan. We made sure that we didn’t miss any of the pieces and put a schedule together, which was adhered to. There were some challenges along the way, but nothing was within Cognizant’s control. The contract with Adobe wasn’t really well-defined, and they hadn’t done their homework appropriately when putting the blueprint together. Cognizant did their part, and the team went above-and-beyond to fix those issues.

There were three on-site developers, including the team lead. I worked with all of them, but the lead was really the one driving it. The onsite members met with some of the business owners and myself in order to manage the project. During off hours, they would get on the phone with the offshore team and assign pieces of the project to those guys. I had little contact with the offshore team. Cognizant did very well, and there were no issues in terms of performance. They went above-and-beyond with the number of hours spent. They were onsite for at least eight to ten hours and spent a couple more hours on the phone every night.

They were billing us 40-hour weeks, but they definitely put a lot more time in. I think that there was some incentive from the Cognizant side (at least for the project lead) to get the work completed on time. It was a very aggressive schedule.

What did you find most impressive about Cognizant?

They came in as outsiders, took a look at the project, and determined the appropriate size of the team, as well as the different skill sets needed for supporting us.

Are there any areas Cognizant could improve?

We had many challenges with the project. It was not well-defined, but Cognizant did a good job of pointing those issues out as soon as they were identified. They couldn’t have done anything differently. In the end, the project would still be delayed since Cognizant couldn’t control those factors.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Cognizant?

From my experience with their team, Cognizant does a good job of cross-training everyone. If the customer only brings in one or two individuals, they really need to take a good look at the strengths of those people. They could have expertise in three or four different marketing automation platforms but may not have a lot of work experience. While developers are on a project, they are also being trained for other tasks. Cognizant continually rotates its resources in order for them to gain experience. The same person may have a lead role in one application but a supporting role in a different one. We definitely have to look at their most recent experiences when evaluating resources. 

5.0
Overall Score It was a good experience. I’ve worked with Cognizant for two different companies and continue to stay in touch with the consultants on their side.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    When I reached out to the Cognizant management team, it could take a while before they got back to me.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We could hire an Adobe solutions team at $250 per hour, as opposed to on-site Cognizant developers at $100 per hour on average.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    There was a mixed team, so some of them needed a bit more hand-holding. Others knew exactly what they were doing.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d definitely work with them again.

Development of Three Online Marketplace Products

"If I needed someone to help with a random task, they were able to provide a resource within one or two weeks."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$10,000,000+
 
2003 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Cognizant augments an internal team in developing ecommerce websites and marketplace-driven platforms. They assist in anything from coding and screen mock ups to ideation, user stories, and visual design.

The Reviewer
 
10,000-25,000 Employees
 
San Francisco Bay Area
Fmr. Product Manager, Digital Marketplace
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Cognizant maintains a steady, up-to-speed team all throughout projects, and they can work on high-visibility platforms from concept to launch. Working with one of their resources is like working with the entire company because of their ability to leverage their collective knowledge and experience.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

My former company specializes in building marketplaces. I was in charge of anything off-platform.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cognizant?

They were brought in for the full lifecycle of products, from idea to user stories, screen mocks, visuals and coding.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Cognizant has developed ecommerce websites for our company. They have a broad range of skill and talent, so, if we needed a visual design person, one was brought in. They adjusted the workload so that our team size remained constant. We have worked with business analysts, project and product managers, systems architects, and so on. The full service provided by Cognizant includes servicing any limited needs we may have.

My former company had a multitude of resources, around 13,000 in total, as well as contractors, which make up another 7,000. Of those, Cognizant is supplying 50-60% of resources.

How did you come to work with Cognizant?

I don’t know how the selection was made, but Cognizant has been a provider for the company for a long time.

How much have you invested with Cognizant?

They were somewhere in the $25 million to $35 million per year range.

What is the status of this engagement?

Many of our contract engineers over the last 15 years have been from Cognizant.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I’ve used Cognizant since the beginning, and have built three different products with their team. They kept the same core group throughout, and helped me from concept to the launch of some high-visibility platforms, all marketplace-driven. Cognizant performed very well. If I needed someone to help with a random task, they were able to provide a resource within one or two weeks.

They were good about making sure that employees are constantly working, and, if we needed something, Cognizant made sure it happened. Cognizant also supplied us resources which weren’t being used for other work, free of charge, for a couple of weeks at a time. The system is a little more rigid now due to budget constraints on their part, but this may be a sign of the times. My former company is also focusing on getting more internal employees.

Cognizant launched a very intricate platform for me in about five months. They released a cruder version in four months. It included everything from user logins, messaging, purchase and payment functionalities. It was very impressive, and I’m sure that they were working 12 hours a day or longer in order to get it done. Launching such a robust platform is a feat in itself.

Trying to continually release new products using the same team will give them a better understanding over time, make the work faster, and lead to a better MVP. Cognizant required three to five months for releasing a full lifecycle platform.

One platform had 200,000 users at MVP, and ultimately reached 1.6 million. This scaling wasn’t due to the formfactor of the platform itself, but because of our internal decisions. It was always ready for the final scale.

The second platform we built managed three million products and had an active user base of 40 people at MVP stage, only because we were careful of whom we showed it to. It included a very large relational database which tagged into other databases. It was done in five months, and was pretty impressive.

The last platform we built only had around eight active users. The only reason for that was that it was a very experimental platform.

How did Cognizant perform from a project management standpoint?

The resources ramp-up quickly, but they are also selected by Cognizant based on their past experience and fit with our company’s needs. Most of the time, they’re aligned with our internal teams and given the same stack. The overall program management is handled internally, while the technical project management can be the responsibility of Cognizant as well. It varies depending on resources, time and money, but we can mix-and-match in any way we like.

What did you find most impressive about Cognizant?

I would mention their breadth of knowledge. If there’s something that we want to do, and don’t know about, we can leverage Cognizant’s knowledgebase. This is a company which provides development for a large part of the world’s tech companies. They can bring a challenge to the entire company if needed, and ask how that can be done, bringing us the knowledge gained from every other project that Cognizant has worked on. If we hire one person, we get the knowledge of one person, whereas, with Cognizant, we get the knowledge of however many employees they have. Many of the engineers I continue to work with are ex-Cognizant.

Dollar-for-dollar, Cognizant is on-par with everyone else. They’re able to adjust dollars based on the client’s budget, and, if they really like a project, they might invest a bit of their capital and time into it. Many companies are more rigid in terms of flex labor.

Are there any areas Cognizant could improve?

I wish that they were a little less rigid, similar to how they were a few years ago. Cognizant was always willing to give a little more in order to win a business, but this seems to have gone away with their new leadership. Cognizant is still flexible, but not as much as they were.

4.0
Overall Score There has been a switch in management, and the business model has changed, leading to less flexibility.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re always available. If I need something, I can call whoever my rep is, and find them. Cognizant is always able to grab labor quickly and bring them onsite.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Cognizant is on-par with everyone else. In terms of value, they’re a 5. The knowledgebase itself is worth the price.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    There are sometimes bugs in products which take longer to fix. The deliverable is the end-product, so I shouldn’t have to pay for fixing bugs. This is an issue I have with any company.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’m always open to other companies, and I like to see what they have to offer, but my go-to is Cognizant.

Modernizing Legacy Platforms for Media Company

"Their expertise on our application and data is of tremendous help in improving our products."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
n/a
The Project
 
Confidential
The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Randolph, New Jersey
IT Senior Manager, Media Company
 
Not verified
The Review

Challenge

The project aim is centered on modernizing and updating the legacy platform to a cloud-based architecture. This will be a huge investment ranging from $100–
$250 million.

Solution

The project involved architecture, design, and implementation.

Results

So far, their performance has been good in ongoing production-support related activities. Their expertise on our application and data is of tremendous help in improving our products. They have strong knowledge of our application and products. They retain talent and trained based on need. Bench strength which can be readily deployed for any large scale requirements is needed. They can implement Agile strategies wherever possible to boost productivity and time to market. To get a good value for cost in terms of quality, schedule, etc., go with a balanced onshore-offshore model, rather than trying to go with an offshore-centric model.

Big-Data Implementaiion for Health Care Company

"They have a vast amount of domain and technical expertise that they bring to our workplace."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
n/a
The Project
 
Confidential
The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
San Mateo, California
IT Manager, Healthcare Company
 
Not verified
The Review

Challenge

There were many business goals for which Cognizant was hired to provide solutions, but the most recent one was to implement big data in-house to generate various kinds of reports, which will not only improve application usage but will also provide predictive insight on this competitive market that will help us be ahead of the competitors. The other use case we were trying to solve was figuring out what kind of products/applications will be most useful for our employees and customers. With the implementation of big data, we are much closer to our goal. The impact of our goal was global as not only are we trying to help customers have a better and more seamless experience with our various applications, but we also aim to help our employees perform their day-to-day activities more efficiently.

Solution

Four on-site and six offshore resources were engaged in developing and implementing the big data solution in-house. They work in research, development, integration, and support of this project.

Results

The first phase has just been completed a month ago, and the Cognizant team performed great. There were many challenges during the development as the implementation was new, and choosing the right technology was critical. Cognizant's performance so far is excellent, and our business leadership team is delighted with the success and have signed up Cognizant for next phases as well. Cognizant resources are talented and diligent. The company is very methodical and brings a lot of its good culture into our workplace.

So far, they have delivered on time and with good quality. Talented resource availability is a big challenge for them; they should work on that in order to provide good resources in a short time. Cognizant is a leader in digital, mobile services, and other technologies. They have a vast amount of domain and technical expertise that they bring to our workplace. They value their customers and provide a top class service.

Cloud and System Integrations for IT Services Company

"They did great and were on time and on budget."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
n/a
The Project
 
Confidential
The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
Liberty Lake, Washington
IT Manager, Information Technology Company
 
Not verified
The Review

Challenge

We needed to revamp our current IT systems and processes to take our products to the cloud.

Solution

It was a large project, worth over $5 million. The scope was to take the existing code base and data layer services and move al of it to the cloud.

Results

They did great and were on time and on budget. Their strengths are their communication and ability to get resources when needed. Communication challenges with offshore resources can be daunting at times. I recommend evaluating their talent and their portfolio of projects.