Coronavirus is impacting the analytics industry, but with a mixed response

Over the past few weeks, the coronavirus outbreak has made us realise how interconnected the whole world is. With an increasing number of cases of the deadly illness raising fears of a global pandemic among people, the impact of the shutdown across the world has started to hit the tech industry of the country.

At the time of writing, there have been more than 400,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with more than 21,000 deaths; along with more than 140 countries and territories have reported coronavirus cases, and the international stock market has witnessed the biggest dip since 2008.

While we are talking about the reeling impact of the virus on human life, the massive disruption in the analytics industry is also worth mentioning. According to Pravin Rao, Nasscom vice-chairman, also the COO of Infosys, the IT sector is going to see some indirect impact with the sudden outbreak of this global pandemic — COVID-19. In fact, economists have estimated that this virus outbreak could potentially reduce the global GDP by almost 0.3%.

This coronavirus outbreak is acting as a reality check of the fragility in the systems of doing business and the uncertainty associated with it. It has already caused significant disruption throughout the tech industry, with huge tech conferences and trade shows cancelled and companies expecting to miss their revenue forecasts. Additionally, the virus is shaking up business and consumer behaviour on a massive scale.

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CSS Corp named a ‘Leader’ in NelsonHall’s NEAT Report for Cognitive Customer Experience Services

CSS Corp, new-age IT services and technology Support Company, today announced that it has been recognized as a ‘Leader’ in NelsonHall’s Cognitive Customer Experience (CX) Services NEAT 2020 report in the CX improvement capability market segment.

The report analyzed and evaluated the performance of 14 global CX service providers, against a two-axis dynamic metric on their ability to meet future client requirements and deliver immediate benefits.

CSS Corp harnesses the power of cognitive technologies, intelligent automation, data analytics, and deep learning to power its world-class CX services.

The company stands tall as a distinguished industry player in combining technical innovation with strategic delivery excellence to drive successful business outcomes in CX operations for its global clients across industries.

NelsonHall’s report recognizes the unique combination of CSS Corp’s home-grown cognitive platforms and services that empower their customers to tremendously accelerate growth and profitability, provide delightful customer experiences, and eliminate unnecessary effort by leveraging cutting-edge technology interventions.

“Today, clients expect service providers to leverage emerging technologies for simplifying their CX operations and delivering tangible business outcomes. CSS Corp’s ability to proactively address these demands has made us one of the most recognized global service providers in the industry. Our robust strategy and expertise in cognitive technologies to streamline CX operations, has not only created positive business transformation and overall customer delight for our clients but also led to huge strides towards pioneering the next wave of disruptive technologies. We are glad to have been recognized as a ‘Leader’ by NelsonHall in their flagship report. It is yet another testament to our state-of-the-art technical innovation and CX services in managing large-scale operations for our customers in the burgeoning CX ecosystem”, said Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer at CSS Corp.

“In a competitive environment, continuously moving up the CX benchmark, CSS Corp has strong capabilities to predict and pre-empt technical support issues. Its position as a Leader in cognitive CX services NEAT 2020 for CX improvement is a testament to its deep IT and digital expertise to augment agents with proprietary cognitive tools and models and enhance live interactions by bringing additional value to the customer conversation”, said Ivan Kotzev, Lead Analyst at NelsonHall.

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Leveraging artificial intelligence to automate data extraction from geotagged images

CSS Corp is enabling leading mapping companies to accelerate POI extraction from geotagged images through AI-ML led automation

While navigating using a mobile device, we often select a source and a destination that are well-known and frequently visited places, such as hotels, apartment complexes, tourist attractions, corporate offices, etc. In mapping parlance, these places are called points of interest (POI). Most location-based applications and services need accurate POI data to serve their users effectively. Among several ways to capture POI data, extracting it from geotagged images is one of the most popular. Geotagged images contain geographical metadata like latitude, longitude, and place names, etc.

However, mapping companies often find it challenging to get detailed POI data generated from geotagged images accurately. Fierce competition in this field has created a demand for high quality and freshness of POI data. It necessitates using efficient processes that bring reality to the maps in real-time or as soon as possible.

A leading mapping and location data platform provider was under immense pressure to scale their services and capture the market share rapidly. A critical component of their services was seamless POI extraction from field-collected geotagged images while maintaining quality and accuracy benchmarks. Done manually, this process can be tedious and time-consuming. CSS Corp was able to support them through rapid deployment of trained resources at scale, empowered with an assisted automation approach, that accelerated the time-to-market for their services. It leveraged its proprietary Geo.Intelli system which uses artificial intelligence for automated extraction of POI data from geotagged images, resulting in faster and efficient processing.

Geo.Intelli is a smart GIS system that automates the geotag extraction for POI location from images and leverages NLP to check the completeness of POI or address name. Its AI-ML based APIs automatically extract the relevant data from images, perform a quality check on images, and reject images that are blurred, non-geocoded, or in invalid format. To ensure high accuracy, the system automatically cross-validates the extracted data with reference source data like area, city, latitude, longitude, and ZIP Code. It also allows for multiple POI addition from a single image.

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CSS Corp wins Outsourcing Provider of the Year 2020 at Stevie Awards

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India: CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that it has won the Gold Stevie Award in the ‘Contact Center & Customer Service Outsourcing Provider of the Year 2020’ category at the 14th Annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service. The awards were presented to honorees during a gala banquet on Friday, February 28 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV.

CSS Corp was awarded for emerging as the premier outsourcing services provider at the awards. Over the last few years, CSS Corp has been investing heavily in enhancing its capabilities as an end-to-end managed CX services provider, leveraging best-of-breed technologies, and has become a strategic partner of choice for global brands with its business transformation-themed services. Leveraging new age technologies like AI, automation, analytics and augmented-reality, CSS Corp has transformed customer support from an effort-led to an intelligence-led ecosystem. Customers of CSS Corp have been realizing tangible outcomes through CSS Corp’s differentiated outcome-based and gain sharing models which have helped them in their transformation journey.

Speaking on the occasion, Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp said, “global outsourcing brands look for partners that can synergistically bring together best-in-class technology, operational and people expertise, and flexible business models, to drive outcomes for them. I believe over the past few years, CSS Corp has positioned itself as a leader in partnering with reputed organizations and driving outcome-focused CX transformation for them. We are extremely proud to win the Gold Stevie award as the world’s leading outsourcing service provider while surpassing some of the industry’s biggest names at the awards. This award is a testament to our continued pursuit of service excellence driven by our values of customer centricity, deep tech innovation and spirit of partnership with our customers.”

CSS Corp’s presence as a global leader in providing exceptional customer service has grown over the past two decades. It has built a world-class delivery ecosystem through digitally-infused operations, and an award-winning talent development platform. The company drives B2C and B2B customer experience and technical support services. In the last 2 years, CSS Corp has emerged as the industry’s most awarded mid-tier global services company with over 35 international awards.

The Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development and sales professionals. More than 2,600 nominations from organizations in 48 nations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition. Winners were determined by the average scores of more than 180 professionals worldwide on seven specialized judging committees.

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Why It’s Time to Revisit Women in Technology in 2020

There’s nothing inherently masculine about cloud computing, data analytics or artificial intelligence (AI). Computers are also androgynous by nature. However, the tech sector remains heavily dominated by men, especially in the senior positions. What’s more appalling is that despite women’s participation in tech continues to be a favorite topic at every technology forum and organizations getting serious about diversity and inclusion in the last one decade, women are massively underrepresented in top management jobs. And that’s why it’s time to revisit the women in tech narrative in 2020 and beyond.

In a recent report McKinsey researchers observe, how gender imbalances emerge from as early as the first promotion point where women account for 48% of entry-level hires but only 38% of first-level managers, with a clear knock-on effect for equality in higher positions.

This naturally explains why the overall number of women in top management roles is still painfully low. Today only 5% of CEOs of major corporations in the US are women. In India too, female representation on boards increased by just 4.3 percentage points to 15.2% in 2019 from 2014, as per the latest CS Gender 3000 report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI). This is however significantly below the global average of 20.6%. India also has the third-lowest rank in the Asia Pacific with regard to female chief executive officer (CEO) representation (2%), as well as other ranks such as CTO, CIO and CFO.

Diversity makes good business sense

However, studies have time and again proved that diversity in leadership makes good business sense. As a Harvard Business School report mentions, having women on the board results better acquisition and investment decisions and in less aggressive risk-taking, yielding benefits for shareholders. As Sasikala Mahesh, Head of Delivery (India) at ThoughtWorks suggests, “Women are naturally empathetic and can contextually apply emotional intelligence to manage people effectively. This also explains why women leaders across the world have demonstrated their abilities to build a safe, open and conducive work environment.”

Jie Chen, an associate professor in Finance at Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, UK, and his co-authors mention in the report, “One benefit of having female directors on the board is a greater diversity of viewpoints, which is purported to improve the quality of board deliberations, especially when complex issues are involved, because different perspectives can increase the amount of information available.”

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How Women in Tech Are Being Disruptors

We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.

— Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook.

Similar to the colorful taut fabric of a silk sari, tech firms are going about weaving a vibrant tapestry that shows an accurate reflection and representation of women to ensure the workforce is tightly knit by a diverse mix of skills, youth, ideas, creativity, and experience.

From the vivacious Gen Z to the tenured veterans of the trade, the digital workspaces are gradually becoming avenues for women to enter the echelons of top management. The viewpoints of female digital natives are echoing.

We look around only to find women of every age, grade, tenure, and department speaking out, embracing opportunities, and foraying ahead with their strong personalities and perspectives in an industry that is preponderant with men. Times are changing, and the voices of Venuses are rising; they’re bucking the trend.

While women do not demand a numeric value on their representation, the rallying cry is toward a balanced representation, and a fair go at opportunities, especially on the way to upper strata of management. The industry has not completely fixed the distorted picture yet, but the numbers are surging.

Women are moving from the fringes of the technology market into mainstream leadership positions.

A Reality Check

The gender gap runs deep across the industry and nation. The India Skills Report of 2020 mentions that 28% of the Indian IT workforce are women. The stark paucity of participation in the overall workforce stands at 23%. Ensuring a sensible proportion of women employees is the elusive piece of the diversity and inclusivity puzzle. As the times change, women from a cross-section of grades, tenures, and skills are breaking the glass ceiling with gusto to enter the echelons of top management. As disruptors, they’re leaning in; they’re taking a seat at the table.

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Tech professionals need to prioritize their mental well-being first

The wonders of the human brain are endless. However, it also comes with its own set of emotional frailties which are often difficult to recognize and fathom. In tech-oriented jobs, the employees are at a higher risk of crumbling under the pressures due to stress, long working hours, and irregular shift timings. Such jobs are demanding, time-boxed, and isolative, leading to anxiety, increased levels of stress, and depression.

Techies who are perfectly capable of resolving deep technical problems are not necessarily as adept in solving challenges which life throws at them. In this fast-paced environment, tech professionals need to prioritize their mental well-being first, which otherwise can hinder both their health and productivity. Instead of silently suffering, it is imperative for them to acknowledge the presence of the problem and then refocus their energies into bettering their lifestyles.

HR organizations across the globe have increasingly realized the importance of having stress busters for techies in their workplace. Multi-dimensional personality and skill development programs are being run by HR organizations to overcome stress, depression, and suicidal tendencies of the techies. Minor actions like games, mini-breaks, casual chat with colleagues, the art of “letting go”, and learning when to say “no” to extra work, can go a long way in the preservation of one’s mental well-being.

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Maps that speak the same language as your consumers

Ever wanted to peek into how location-based technology has become essential to modern life? Just glance at your cab driver, checking the map on his phone before every turn. However, it’s not always a smooth drive with the maps (no pun intended). Apart from connectivity and network issues, language is often the main challenge, especially for those who are more comfortable with the local language. For instance, if your destination is a location that, perhaps, has been lost in translation and cannot be found on the map, then you’re in a soup. With more than 4000 written languages in the world (yes!), why on earth should something as critical as a map be limited to a few languages?

As globalization has become the essence of the omnichannel business landscape, there are a plethora of businesses that are looking for language-localization to connect with consumers in their preferred language. At the heart of the operational process of maps-based service-providers like cab aggregators, logistics, hyperlocal businesses, etc., lies the compelling need for translation and transliteration of maps. This would not only pave the way for regional adoption of maps, but also ensure increased ROI for local businesses, and unrivaled customer experiences. However, there are a couple of immediate challenges that need to be addressed in terms of both technology and competency levels.

Challenges for localization of maps

  • One of the primary constraints of producing maps in local languages is the quality of the translation. There are instances when names of certain places cannot be translated into the local language and having them retained in English can make more sense. Again, at times, the text in the native language must be excluded to make it more relevant. As such, translation to a different language needs to be carefully proofed and checked.
  • While many web-based translation tools are widely available, it is important to use a trusted source like native speakers, preferably those with geographic knowledge. For this, you need a strong combination of technology and human competence.
  • For maps being presented in multiple languages, the labels need to fall in the same place on each version of the map. This means the space for the label needs to accommodate the name with maximum letters, ensuring that each label does not overprint another. Also, if a name is changed, it has to be updated in several different languages.

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Gamification as Disruptor in Enterprise Technology

Whoever said that if you love your job, you won’t have to work a single day in your life had underscored the importance of having a sense of engagement at the workplace. Gamification, according to Gartner, is the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.

Brian Burke, Research VP at Gartner, mentioned in his blog post that the digital aspect makes all the difference. Be it an individual, a team, or an enterprise, gamification has donned the mantle of the silent coach who works behind the scenes to engage, motivate, and spur performance. From e-learning platforms and training programs to workday life, gamification has become the watchword for driving employee performance across the technology industry.

Embrace the Disruptor

Though full-scale adoption of this disruptor has met with some resistance, enterprises are getting caught up with the disruptive wave so much that every project’s performance metrics and quality parameters seem to increasingly weave the constructs of gamification. Gamification pioneer, Yu-kai Chou stated in his book that “Human-focused design” was a better term that emphasizes that humans are not rudimentary cogs in the system as opposed to “function-focused design” that optimizes only functional efficiency.

As managers become coaches, and their subordinates become players on the field of performance, the ensuing productivity gains and motivational spikes are clear for all to see. By the time managers schedule the weekly or quarterly reviews, teams have already brought their A-game to the table.

The synergy from the high-performance of various business units has a compounding impact on the enterprise as a whole. Gamification cuts across multiple business lines to transform production floors into premier league contests with performance scores running real-time on LCD displays.

Individuals are outdoing themselves like players, and teams are outplaying the others as though they’ve reached the finals of the playoffs. It’s real; it’s in action, its game on.

Disruptor in Enterprise Technology

In technology environments that are heavily contingent on human-support, gamification serves to boost the underlying motivation, morale of employees by inducing the game spirit. Production and operation heads are continually scanning their team’s performance metrics to see how they can improvise. It primarily performs miracles on the human factor (breaks monotony and mundanity) of support operations where production managers want their employees to put their best foot forward every day. As managers know who to coach, what to coach, when to coach, the result is an inspired workplace punctuated by competitive and productive employees who want to outperform and grow. The various aspects of gamification work to accelerate the performance curve and promote a culture of continuous learning and self-development.

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Digitalization Redefining Everything

Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Cognitive Analytics and Extended Reality (AR/VR/MR) have become the buzzwords today. Enterprises need to leverage these technologies to create a sustainable competitive advantage. We are using these technologies to develop cutting-edge geospatial solutions from our innovation labs. Building on our strength in Cloud transformation, Big Data, cognitive technologies and custom application development, we have been able to create a niche differentiation for our geospatial offerings. Our customized solutions enable faster acquisition and accurate location intelligence for enterprises and consumers. With our rich experience and global presence, we are able to work with clients across geographies and help them solve challenges in both evolved and emerging markets.

Tech at core of digitalization
Technology is indeed at the core of digitalization. Technologies like AI/ML, IoT, Cloud, Big Data Analytics, mobility and automation are enabling enterprises to redefine everything — from business growth to customer experience. In the digital age, the importance of geospatial information across processes has grown multifold. The integration and interaction of geospatial and digital technologies create a complete picture of the real world, thereby creating new solutions, productivity gains and cost benefits. Be it 5G, autonomous driving, smart cities, HD mapping, or field operations, new-age geospatial technologies are pushing the envelope of digital innovation. CSS Corp leverages digital technologies to power its industry-leading geospatial offerings.

CSS Corp is a global geospatial player with a vision to provide innovation, unrivaled customer experience and shared success for overcoming business challenges. We offer geospatial technology services across telecom, navigation and utility domains to acquire and merge high-quality location or spatial data efficiently from multiple sources. Our services allow for simplified spatial data management, geo-analytics, visualization and utilization. We leverage digital technologies like AI/ML, automation and predictive analytics to generate actionable insights from massive datasets and develop highly accurate mapping solutions. Our niche capabilities drive enhanced business efficiencies and create opportunities for our customers. For instance, we enabled one of the global mapping companies to bring improved map features and drive adoption with automated map content extraction and enrichment.

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