July 9, 2021 Inside the Modern Workforce: 5 Stories from Leaders Using On Demand Talent

From hybrid work to a hybrid workforce

Everyone is talking about hybrid work right now. While some people are returning to the office and others are home for good, the future will likely be hybrid. The next step goes beyond WHERE work is happening to WHO it’s happening with. The next big shift is in how you architect a workforce.

The most innovative global companies are restructuring their talent sourcing around a hybrid workforce model. A workforce that blends FTEs with skilled contractors and on-demand (crowd) talent can increase productivity, and produce higher quality products and services for organizations who are ready.

What does it take to become resilient? Our new Ebook goes inside the modern workforce, sharing stories of 5 leaders who jumped all-in to form winning hybrid workforce models. All of them faced different situations, pain points, and had to make key unique decisions that led to success.

This blog series will shine a spotlight on three of those leaders, starting with Michael Vollmer, General Manager, Interactive Experience and Apple Practice at Wipro. Here’s a look at how he built and scaled an on-demand talent program inside his organization, and how you can do the same at yours.

Digital Innovation – Michael Vollmer, Wipro

It’s nearly impossible to keep pace with the rate of technology changes, let alone stay ahead of the curve. Especially in the areas of Michael Vollmer, General Manager of Interactive Experience and Apple Practice at Wipro, and his team—Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), computer vision, and machine learning. “Once you think you are ahead, you wake up the next morning and you are behind again,” says Vollmer.

An additional problem he had was finding and onboarding people with the skills he needed in an industry that changed every day. “How do you find these skills at the moment you need them?” he says. “You have to have foresight to when you need them, which has a massive runway if you onboard talent the traditional way.” A runway that could take months.

“People on our teams, as great as they are, can’t be an expert in everything.” —Michael Vollmer

Finding experts in the crowd

This is when Vollmer began to experiment with Topcoder as a resource. He found people from all over the world who were not only already experts —but completely geeking out – in skill areas that addressed gaps on his team. “If you know the project you are working on, the skills you need, and the objective you are trying to achieve you can start engaging people right away,” says Vollmer. “The timeline in getting these skills dramatically shrinks.”

“I can find people who’ve sifted through all the information, have the skills I need who can meet the objectives I’m trying to achieve and engage them almost instantaneously.” —Michael Vollmer

He and his team have used Topcoder as a technology and R&D resource that helps them do more faster, stay current, and create new areas of revenue, as well as:

  • Select and improve tech stacks 
  • Provide proof of concepts 
  • Do research to support technical decision making
  • Develop and scale edge projects.

In one case, Wipro wanted to see if a certain type of 3D modeling was possible. Experts in Topcoder’s global community tried different tools for the use case, came back with a definitive answer, and made recommendations on the technology stack to use. Crowd sped the traditional R&D process from 3-4 months to less than 1 week.

“Crowdsourcing brings speed, it brings agility, and by the way, it’s fun.”  —Michael Vollmer

Want more stories like this? Download the 5 Stories to learn how you can start wielding freelance talent to be more productive.

Annika Nagy

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