April

Making a difference

Several BPO firms have established presence here making the Philippines the world’s leading global outsourcing hub. As competition heats up and companies experience more challenges here and abroad, CSS Corp. remains steadfast.

CSS Country Head Arvind Kingsly Appavu is leading this young organization.
Armed with a 20-year industry experience and a sheer determination to continue succeeding, Arvind is making a difference in services the company offers along with his talented Filipino crew.

The company

CSS Corp., a new age IT services and tech support company, headquartered in Milpitas, California (US), entered a wave of business transformation and repositioned itself as a “New Age Digital Services” company in 2016.

“The new positioning was strategically chosen to align our identity closer to our customer ecosystems, to establish a niche for ourselves in the market and to meet the growing digital needs of our customers,” says Arvind.

The company integrates the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence, automation, analytics, cloud, and digital in order to provide better customer and technology support to its clientele. The company currently operates out of 17 delivery centers across the globe and has a workforce of over 5,600+ support professionals. These delivery centers are equipped with best-in-class IT infrastructure, robust security, client specific compliance requirements and sustainability standards to deliver top notch delivery to its 150 clients in transforming and managing the entire value chain. CSS Corp’s vision is to deliver tangible business outcomes through contextual adoption of digital in customer lifecycle management and technical support operations.

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Upskilling Vs Onboarding: What Do Companies Prefer For Data Science Roles?

With technologies seeing newer dawn in Indian businesses, more companies are looking to adopt disruptive technologies such as analytics, data science, artificial intelligence in their working. To enable this, companies will have to look for a workforce that is skilled enough to adopt these tech innovations and bring newer competencies in the market.

This is where the need to reskill or replace comes into the picture. We have seen in the past how companies such as Cognizant and many other tech companies have laid off employees who were not able to keep up with the changing technologies and failed to upskill themselves in this highly tech-driven time. The world is changing at a fast pace and companies need to alter the ways they work by incorporating technology in their processes.

We have published numerous studies and reports in the past which suggests that there are a lot of job openings in data science and AI field that currently needs to be filled up, which clearly indicates towards unavailability of talent that can be addressed either by reskilling or making new hirings.

But what do companies usually prefer — reskilling or hiring? Let us find out.

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Real digital transformation starts with staff for India Inc

Bengaluru/Kolkata: Employees are now front and centre when it comes to championing India Inc.’s digital transformation agenda. With technology increasingly becoming a core part of business, employees across companies such as Accenture, KPMG, ITC Infotech and RPG Group are playing a crucial role in steering this change in mind set.

Last year, RPG Group rolled out ‘digital academy,’ a programme to increase the tech quotient across its businesses. Company leaders have taken the course  and about 150 employees will participate in sessions and projects focused on analytics and smart products.

ITC Infotech started workshops to give employees practical experience in managing new technology. At ThoughtWorks, the focus is on employee communities who concentrate on technological trends and explore the intricacies of platforms powered by blockchain, machine learning and Internet of Things.

The emphasis is on ensuring the ability to constantly learn new technologies and solutions, HR experts said.

“Each month, we identify key focus areas and organise trainings on data management, develop related frameworks as well as cloud-based application development and environment management,” said Sanjay Kumar, VP of capability building and knowledge management at ITC Infotech.

Employees at CSS Corp get to test emerging technologies and develop new solutions at the company’s innovation labs. ThoughtWorks, a software company, operates a platform called ‘Insights’ that employees can tap for practical opinions and updates on aspects of digital transformation, product thinking and experience design.

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How Telcos Can Innovate to Accelerate 5G Implementation

5G, or the fifth generation of the communications technology for cellular mobile devices, is a quantum leap over the 4G (LTE/WiMAX), 3G (UMTS), and 2G (GSM) systems prevalent in most countries. 5G technology holds the promise of super high-speed data, significantly lower latency and energy consumption, thereby reducing operational costs and allowing for increased capacities for systems and connected devices.

Need to Accelerate 5G Implementation

Implementing 5G technology can offer users, organizations, and governments several benefits, some of which are outlined below:

# Speed: Faster data transfer speeds up to 10 gigabits per second

# Data volume: Higher data volumes

# Latency times: Almost 5 times reduction in transit time

# Device density: 10 to 100 times more than the current possibility

# Energy efficiency: Energy savings up to 70% – 90%

# Availability: Better availability due to distributed loads and greater redundancies

# Coverage: Close to 100% coverage in all areas of deployment

# Speed of deployment: Rapid service deployment due to self-organizing features

# IoT: Enhance the reach, effectiveness, and efficiency of IoT solutions

# Edge computing: Adoption of edge computing technologies brings compute, storage and networking closer to applications, devices and users

# Convergence: Reduced complexity due to the confluence of multiple networking functions

# Network Slicing: Network Slicing enables Service providers to build virtual end to end networks tailored to specific applications

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What Is The Hiring Process For Data Scientists At CSS Corp?

As the demand for data science jobs keeps growing, the supply of meritorious candidates is not keeping pace. According to a study we conducted in 2019, around 97,000 data science positions were available to be filled that year alone. It is a travesty then that despite the demand, companies face a lot of challenges when hiring for these positions, and CSS Corp is no different.

However, despite the struggle, the company has managed to attract and retain a significant portion of this talent. Credited largely to its stringent and unique hiring practices, CSS Corp has overcome the challenge of sourcing that small proportion of data scientists dispersed across the nation.

“Being a new-age digital services provider in the B2B space, we pick candidates who have that extra slant for AI, analytics, and automation, instead of the usual coding or testing skills,” says Brijesh Balakrishnan, SVP & Delivery Head – Digital Engineering Services and GIS, at CSS Corp. “In short, we map a career for those who have the inner thrust to learn and grow,” he adds.

So who would be the ideal candidate for a data science position at CSS Corp?

“We look for candidates with a knack for thinking logically and analytically toward solving business problems,” says Balakrishnan. “It’s about fresh thinking, not clichéd answers. An ideal candidate would be one who balances technical forte with soft-skills, right attitude, and personality in a team setting,” he adds.

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Learn, Unlearn & Relearn: 3 mantras for future-ready leaders

As the demand for data science jobs keeps growing, the supply of meritorious candidates is not keeping pace. Market research firm Gartner highlights that just 20 percent of employees currently have the abilities required to succeed in their current and future job roles. In another recent survey, an average of 43 percent of young people said that they were confident that they will need to retrain and have the ability to do so.

As revealed in the Future of Jobs Report 2018 released by the World Economic Forum, ubiquitous high-speed mobile Internet, artificial intelligence, widespread adoption of big data analytics, and cloud technology are only some of the drivers of change that could lead to demand for new skills and create the need for continuous learning for entire workforce, irrespective of their industry or domain.

As uncertain as it could get, the entire world of work has taken a hit with COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses across many sectors have been urged to now operate remotely and quickly adapt to the new ways of working. The role of leaders has become most critical, they have to help the organizations and the entire workforce navigate through this uncertainty looming around the whole ecosystem.

To be able to navigate the complexities of the business ecosystem at present and in the future, as it gets more uncertain, leaders of today and tomorrow have to follow the mantra of ‘Learn, Unlearn & Relearn’.

The need to learn, unlearn & relearn
The metaphor, ‘Change is the only constant’, is as real as it could get in the era of industry 4.0. The onus thus, comes on the business and HR leaders to invest in continuous development of their workforce and ensure that they are always up to date with the in-demand skills.

Anurag Bansal, Senior Director and Business Head, HUGHES Global Education shared, “In recent times, businesses across the globe are increasingly facing complex problems due to rapid changes in technology, disruptions happening through innovation, turbulent market conditions and changing consumer behavior. During such uncertainty, especially, given the complexities COVID-19 pandemic has led to, it is very important to have leaders at the helm who can steer their companies to success in these scenarios.”

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Is It Possible To Become A Successful Self-taught Data Scientist?

WHILE THERE SEEMS TO BE ADVOCATES OF BOTH FORMAL AND INFORMAL EDUCATION IN THE DATA SCIENCE COMMUNITY, WHAT DOES THE GENERAL HIRING LANDSCAPE SUGGEST?

We may be living unique lives, but there are a few common experiences that tie most of us together. While the instinctive response seems to be what the Covid-19 pandemic has left in its trail, a less grim example would be the chain of events that mark a few decades of our lives – school -> college -> job

While most of these remain unchanged, there has been a growing clamour to rethink education systems as we know it; to one, that both shields learners from the negative effects of new technologies in the workplace, as well as reskills them to prepare for new cross-functional roles that will inevitably be created as a result.

While one way of addressing this talent and labour market issue would be to enrol and improve the quality of education, upskilling in silo would be a more efficient way of achieving this without burdening the formal education system across the world.

Tied to lifelong learning, upskilling through relevant certification is increasingly becoming an accepted norm. But the field of data science is faced with a critical question – can its vast universe be merely acquired through self-study?

Hiring Trends In Data Science

While there seems to be advocates of both formal and informal education in the data science community, what does the general hiring landscape suggest?

While IT services company CSS Corp places an ‘inestimable value’ on a formal academic background, LinkedIn admittedly hires candidates based on skill sets alone, and not necessarily on their educational background.

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CSS Corp partners HERE Tech to spearhead innovation in geospatial services

California-headquartered CSS Corp, a leading IT services and technology support company partners with HERE Technologies, the global mapping to provide advanced location analytics solutions for their customers. Through the partnership, CSS Corp will ultilise the HERE Platform and products to create and deliver innovative location-based solutions using geospatial data and advanced analytics.

Through this collaboration, CSS Corp says it will leverage HERE’s products and solutions such as HLS, routing, traffic, positioning and tracking fleet telematics for its geospatial solutions to drive contextual intelligence for faster decision-making, scalability, improved efficiency and productivity. Customers will be able to accelerate their businesses and generate new opportunities to gain competitive advantage, leveraging CSS Corp’s bespoke solutions for fleet management, supply chain management and logistics built upon the HERE platform and products.

In the last two years, CSS Corp says it has made significant investments to build its digital solutions portfolio in the geospatial services space in line with its strategy to position itself as the leading provider of customer experience and location-based services to brands globally. Digitalisation has opened new ways for monitoring and getting efficiencies from autonomous vehicles, location-based services, asset and fleet tracking and management offering opportunities on a global scale. CSS Corp says its portfolio of digitally-enabled geospatial services, combined with HERE’s expertise in location-based solutions, presents a great opportunity to address the emerging market needs and drive major disruptions across industry segments with further reduction in costs and better efficiencies.

Speaking on the partnership, Sunil Mittal, executive vice-president, CSS Corp said, “Location-based intelligence is emerging as a critical driver for providing enhanced and personalised services to global consumers. With our portfolio of best-in-class digital solutions in automation and advanced analytics, CSS Corp is in a strong position to deliver compelling business outcomes through this partnership with HERE Technologies. Our experience in product design and development, coupled with our 360-degree geospatial capabilities, will enable us to provide enhanced value to our customers while exploring new avenues of growth and performance.”

“The HERE Technologies partnership is aligned to CSS Corp’s digital vision and comes as a logical extension of our geospatial offerings. We are very excited to bring location analytics solutions built on the HERE Platform to our customers while driving meaningful impact to their businesses,” added Mittal.

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City corporates ensure employees’ well-being during lockdown with fun activities

For most corporate employees, the occasional work-from-home option was a relief from having to brave Bengaluru’s infamous traffic. Back then, they had the luxury of household help, and could focus on the official tasks at hand. The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, though, turned things around. Not only did work-from-home get a more permanent status, but it also meant that they had to work for home as well. And if maintaining a work-life balance was tough earlier, imagine now, when you are doing everything yourself.

Realising that the morale of employees needs some serious upliftment in these gloomy times, most companies have begun conducting fun online activities and exercises.

Fitness classes, music concerts and more to motivate employees

From online mediation, yoga and zumba sessions to virtual music concerts, organisations are doing their bit to ensure their employees’ well being. Shraddhanjali Rao, vice president – HR, SAP Labs India, says that they have been conducting online fitness sessions to give employees a well-deserved fun break from work from home. Their next initiave was also well received. “We conducted a virtual music concert that was attended by 800 employees. Some even joined the session with their families and it was nice to see people bond over music overcoming language and distance barriers,” she says.

Walmart Labs’ employee engagement programme involved some special family members – pets. “On April 11, which was the National Pet Day, associates were asked to share pictures of themselves with their pets. Not only did this help them have some fun, but it also made them feel connected with each other while being socially distant. The initiative had great participation and created a lot of buzz on our internal platforms,” says Sunita Venugopal from Walmart Labs.

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