Design for Happiness, A Model that Delivers


I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with Niranjan Ramsunder, the CTO of UST Global, a leading digital technology services company with headquarters in Aliso Viejo, California. Like many service providers, UST Global provides solutions to Global 1000 organizations looking to transform their business through technology. My meeting with Niranjan helped me see how UST Global is differentiating itself from the pack.

Let’s first set the stage. UST Global was founded in 1999 with delivery center and office locations globally, including the U.S., South America, Australia, Spain, France, U.K., Germany, Poland, China, Philippines, Malaysia, Israel and India. Today, the company’s key clients include several of the largest retail and healthcare companies in the world. Why is it so successful? It goes to market with an approach it calls Design for Happiness. Learn more about this what UST Global calls Human-Centered Innovation.

Here are the key elements of Design for Happiness:

  • CREATE DEEP UNDERSTANDING: When UST Global engages with a client, it doesn’t just address what the client describes as its issue. It earns the client’s trust over time through smaller successful projects, so the client is willing to include UST Global in all its technology discussions. This deeper approach helps UST Global identify root causes that may not always be apparent.
  • START WITH THE CUSTOMER: A lot of organizations say this, but few implement it effectively. UST Global’ s “Innovation Garage” includes a working garage door to the outside and tool chests filled with tools, wires and circuits. There are even 3-D printers to help create minimal viable products (MVPs). The goal is to create products in days or even hours in some cases. This is one of the many ways UST Global’s clients get to participate in a collaborative approach.
  • USE GRAPHIC NOVELS: This is unlike anything I’ve seen. UST Global creates actual graphic novels to walk someone through the day in the life of an end customer or a client’s employee. It is an easy, fast and cost-effective way to explain an issue and solution to an executive or team member, from the chief technology officer to the president to employees who might work in the retail store. This way, everyone is on the same page.
  • REDUCE RISK: For clients who are concerned with upfront costs and benefits, UST Global has developed an outcome-based pricing model. The client invests a small amount up front to reduce risk while UST Global develops a strong solution that will pay dividends over time. This model has potential to take hold across the industry as enterprise clients look for ways to reduce their exposure.
  • USE RIGHT-SHORE AND AGILE: How do you create an agile methodology that allows you to deliver an MVP in a few days or weeks? The answer is in a combined workforce of onshore and offshore resources. UST Global understands it cannot easily compete for talent in major metro markets like San Francisco, New York and Austin, so it opted to open delivery centers in rural Midwest cities that offer untapped, lower cost resources they can train and get up and running quickly. This agile approach benefits the enterprise client as well as UST Global.

Is the Design for Happiness approach working for UST Global and its clients? The answer is a resounding yes!

ISG helps enterprises identify, select and negotiate with innovative service providers in today’s changing marketplace. Contact us to find out how we can help you. 


About the author

John Boccuzzi, Jr.

John Boccuzzi, Jr.

What he does at ISG

John was named Partner and President of ISG Research in January 2024 and is responsible for the ISG Research business globally, including such products as ISG Provider Lens™, ISG ProBenchmark™, ISG Momentum® and ISG Events.

Past achievements for clients

John serves enterprises, technology and software companies globally to help them achieve operational excellence and accelerate growth. John joined ISG in 2019 and most recently was Partner and Chief Sales Officer, ISG Research. John is the creator and co-host of the ISG John and Ola Show, a LinkedIn Live broadcast. John has twenty-five years of executive and sales management experience working in the retail and data analytics industries.