August

Prioritizing Customer Success Is Key In The Subscription Economy

Sunil Mittal

EVP & Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at CSS Corp, responsible for driving business growth and providing strategic leadership.

 

The global marketplace has evolved in recent years, becoming more utility-based than ever before. The rise of the subscription economy has been one of the major developments to illustrate this change.

The subscription model, under which companies shift from selling products to selling services, has many advantages over traditional business models. While the trend was initiated by business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, the subscription-based model is now being adopted in earnest by many business-to-business (B2B) enterprises.

 

The Emergence Of The B2B Subscription Model

Simply put, the subscription model allows customers to pay periodically for the product functionality they need without having to buy products in full.

Today, with the rise of the on-demand economy, many business customers have come to expect anything as a service (XaaS). Subscriptions make it cost-effective and efficient for businesses to access resources without having to invest the capital to own them outright. It promotes agility and positions businesses to leverage the rapidly advancing world of technology.

Subscription models can be equally alluring to B2B services providers. By investing optimally, you can provide high-end products to your customers for a periodic subscription fee, ensuring consistent revenue and recovering investments steadily. Rather than chasing one-time sales, this model allows you to bring in a predictable, stable revenue in each billing period.

 

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CSS Corp wins the Gold Stevie® Award in 2019 International Business Awards®

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that it has won the Gold Stevie® Award in the “Best Technical Support Solution – Computer Services” category at the 16th Annual International Business Awards® 2019. CSS Corp was acknowledged for its Digital Customer Experience Suite which leverages emerging technologies to revolutionize complex enterprise technical support ecosystems. The awards will be presented to winners at a gala awards banquet at the ANDAZ Hotel am Belvedere, Vienna, Austria on 19 October.

CSS Corp’s Digital Customer Experience Suite enables it to provide a comprehensive set of services that offer a 3-pronged strategy to transform enterprise support – digitized end-user experience, automation-driven operational efficiency, and technology-amplified engineer productivity. The modules included in the platform are cognitive assistant, mobile-based support, process automation and integration, smart case analytics, and customer 360 workbenches. The platform leverages cognitive technologies like AI, intelligent automation, and advanced analytics to accelerate customer resolutions, reduce operation costs, optimize workflows and amplify employee performance. It empowers enterprises to simplify their complex technical support function by improving service outcomes, boosting efficiency, and reducing overheads.

Speaking on occasion, Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp, said, “Modern technology ecosystems are complex, and so are their support needs. Enterprises need to use automation to optimize their support resources and deliver stellar customer experiences. As automation experts, CSS Corp is a frontrunner in building AI-enabled automated technical support solutions that solve customer problems swiftly while also amplifying the support agents. The efficiency gains from support automation have brought about tangible cost advantages to our customers while boosting CX.”

 “We are excited to be recognized once again by Stevie, for our suite of automated support solutions.  We will carry the momentum forward by continuously upgrading our offerings to drive better outcomes for our customers.”, he further added.

The IBA judges from across the world were highly impressed with the platform’s capabilities. One of the judges noted, “Perfect! You address not only the end-user but also the support engineer. In creating a seamless support experience, this is an absolute prerequisite.” “CSS Corp’s integrated intelligent enterprise solutions help various clients to simplify their digital transformation journey.”, another judge commented.

More than 4000 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition. Stevie Award winners were determined by the average scores of more than 250 executives worldwide who participated in the judging process from May through early August.

 

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How Geographic Information System Can Transform The Utilities Industry

In the utility industry, assets form the core of all business activities. In order to maximize the ROI, the modern utility business needs a reliable system to manage tangible assets like technology infrastructure and heavy equipment, as well as intangibles such as energy and water. Tracking and managing infrastructure assets can be a considerable challenge for utility companies. Hence, working with a capable partner ensures you surmount these challenges. But first, let’s talk a little about GIS, its components and challenges.

As such, the valuable information from a Geographic Information System (GIS) is critical for utility companies to visualize scenarios, integrate data, create insightful maps and develop effective solutions to solve complex issues, quickly and efficiently.

Out of the three components of GIS that include data, hardware (computer systems), and software (GUI & DBMS), it is the data that is of utmost importance. An estimated 80% of all data generated is spatial in nature. By pooling data about utility assets such as water, gas, energy, and telecom with socioeconomic or user-consumption trends, utility companies can foster real-time and smarter decisions, as well as deliver personalized offerings. Moreover, the enhanced three-dimensional representation of data not only helps in comprehending the utility infrastructure much more efficiently but also expedites problem identification and resolution, ensuring timely maintenance and operational efficiency.

Why GIS can be your most advanced solution
As infrastructure ages, asset management such as repair, replacement, or rehabilitation of utility assets becomes more expensive. A proactive asset management program can stretch the useful life of utility systems while reducing operating costs.

Through GIS, an enterprise can visually monitor layered datasets in multiple dimensions, constituting land features, assets, networks, and high-velocity sensor data streams. Every new layer of asset data translates to more opportunities for an in-depth analysis, higher accuracy, and simplified management. Moreover, GIS mapping also ensures improved accessibility and interoperability across different platforms. The system enables seamless consistency in data across multiple devices, providing improved collaboration and communication between on-field teams.

Implementation Challenges
These inaccuracies in the spatial-position data can percolate to the digitizing process, creating a ‘digital variant’ of the inaccurate physical system; however, by enforcing a set of critical measures, enterprises can ensure the corresponding digital system is a ‘duplicate’ that is free of inaccuracies and not merely a faulty variant.
For a utility company, hiring an expert partner or service provider with a strong reputation in asset management can help in measuring the reliability of its data, as well as keeping its maintenance history up-to-date. The partner’s expertise can also be utilized to minimize the expenditure on construction and maintenance, and achieve new quality benchmarks in data capturing and cleansing.

Advantages of hiring an expert partner
A specialized partner can ensure reduced downtimes caused by asset breakdown through proactive maintenance that includes quick identification and resolution of complex issues. The utility company can also get access to the advanced processes such as real-time analytical insights of high-velocity data streams, which can maximize the capabilities of its GIS. Additionally, the professional support on crucial functionalities offered by a partner including data conversion and migration, conflation and accuracy improvement, as well as data curation and validation, can be a massive advantage.

How to choose the right partner
Utility companies should analyze the partner’s expertise to develop a customized GIS strategy based on a critical assessment of their unique business requirements. Subsequently, they can also check for the capabilities required for optimizing the asset management using GIS, such as streamlining field data collection, organizing networks, and optimizing maintenance programs.

 

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Indian IT companies’ headcount remains volatile amid COVID-19 pandemic

It’s hard to see a pattern in the hiring and firing, with some IT majors holding on to staff and others shedding underperformers and not replacing them

Mass layoffs in the IT sector have been happening for the past few years but now – blame it on the pandemic – it seems to be accelerating. An uncertain business environment, lack of projects and investments, and non-performers are the contributing factors. Many IT firms have been hinting at mass layoffs, leaving employees in fear of when it will be their turn to leave.

Most likely to receive a dismissal notice are employees on the bench. These employees are not allocated to any projects and are a resource backup in case a new project comes along. They are considered to be ‘non-billable’ resources, as their cost is not billed to any clients, making them the most vulnerable to layoffs.

Here’s an overview of how IT companies operating in India are looking at layoffs and hirings.

India’s highest paying tech jobs and the skills that rake in the big bucks
Involuntary attrition
Cognizant Technology Solutions’ April-June financial report shows around 9,000 employees were laid off during the quarter, more than chose to leave the company voluntarily. Around 68 percent of Cognizant’s workforce are based in India.

Cognizant didn’t blame the lay-offs on the coronavirus though, saying that the headcount reduction was part of its “Fit for Growth” program, announced last October, which aims to reskill, reassign or remove underperformers. This will see the removal of 10,000 to 20,000 mid-to-senior level associates from their current roles, with half of them reassigned internally and the remaining employees eventually terminated.

There have also been departures at the top at Cognizant: Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, chairman and managing director of Cognizant India, and Pradeep Shilige, global delivery head, have left with no replacement named, while Chief Financial Officer Karen McLoughlin will be replaced by Jan Siegmund.

IBM too has resorted to layoffs to reshape its business amid the pandemic. It plans to fire 2,000 employees globally over non-performance, a few hundred of them in India where around 33 percent of IBM’s global workforce of 350,000 are based.

Assurances
Wipro has not laid off any employees as a result of the pandemic, nor it will lay off anyone in the near future, Chairman Rishab Premji assured attendees at Wipro’s annual general meeting. Wipro’s employee attrition rate was 13 percent for the 12 months to end June, the lowest it has reported in at least 20 quarters. However, it is not replacing all staff that leave: in the April-June quarter its headcount dropped 1,082 to 181,804, after dropping 4,432 in the previous quarter.

While there have been economic headwinds across the industry, CSS Corp has been able to weather the storm with its vertical-focused strategy. “We onboarded over 1,200 new employees in the April quarter when the pandemic was at its most disruptive level. We continue to hire in Q2 and our hiring outlook remains stable in the coming months,” said Sunil Mittal, EVP at CSS, referring to the company’s second fiscal quarter, from July to September. “As part of our learning and development plan, we are continuing to roll out upskilling and re-skilling initiatives across the organization, especially towards digital technologies,” he said.

Indian IT services company TCS has also said it will not cut any jobs as a result of COVID-19. TCS saw the onboarding of 12,000 fresh graduates in the April-June quarter, with 18,000 expected to join in the June-September quarter. TCL reported an attrition rate of 11.1 percent in its IT Services business for the twelve months to the end of June, lower than its rivals.

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CSS Corp positioned as a leader across all four market segments in NelsonHall’s NEAT vendor evaluation for CX Services in telecom and media

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], Aug 10 (ANI/BusinessWire India): CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that it has been recognized as a leader across all four market segments in NelsonHall’s NEAT vendor evaluation for CX services in telecom and media sector.

The report critically evaluated the performance of 17 global customer experience (CX) service providers, against a structured two-axis dynamic model on their ability to meet future client requirements and deliver immediate benefits.

CSS Corp’s offerings are built on five essential pillars of customer support, i.e. end-user experience, agent experience, systems, CX analytics, and process automation. The company provides best-in-class services, leveraging their home-grown Digital Contact Center 2.0 suite of solutions with integrated modules like augmented reality based CXM, mobile assistant, cognitive chatbot, self-service, knowledge base management, smart routing, sentiment analytics, agent 360 and team lead dashboards and over 100 cognitive and RPA-based processes.

These factors make their offerings highly dynamic, adaptable, and customizable; hence fit seamlessly into any customer environment, resulting into desired business outcomes.

NelsonHall’s report recognizes CSS Corp’s technology capability in integrating their platforms to the customer environments by harnessing the power of disruptive technologies that maximize customer experience and accelerate digital transformation.

“There is an increasing need for organizations to provide seamless customer experience and support while mitigating risks and demands. Over the last couple of years, our innovative value propositions in the Hi-Tech CXM arena have enabled clients to embrace the power of technology-led and outcome-focused services and drive CX transformation. We are proud to emerge as the chosen partners for our clients in their journeys to provide simplicity, consistency, and customer-centricity at every touchpoint. NelsonHall’s leadership recognition corroborates our proficiency in delivering powerful combinations of our indigenous digital solutions and managed services to provide customized offerings to our customers,” said Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp, while speaking on the recognition.

“Digital technologies have disrupted the current CX landscape and clients now look for a partner to help utilize them efficiently. CSS Corp is leveraging transformational CX capabilities across the telecom and media segment. The company’s approach towards delivering mature and differentiated commercial models to support digital transformation with a portfolio of outcome-based contracts is the foundation to build next-level CX,” said Ivan Kotzev, CX Services Lead Analyst at NelsonHall.

This NelsonHall Vendor Evaluation & Assessment Tool (NEAT) analyzes the performance of vendors offering CX services. The NEAT tool allows strategic sourcing managers to assess the capability of vendors across a range of criteria and business situations and identify the best performing vendors overall, and with a specific focus on CX improvement, revenue generation and cost optimization.

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IT Leaders Pledge for a Better India This Independence Day

“This Independence Day brings with it, the inspiration to accept the new normal and proactively lay out strategies to adapt to these unprecedented times. For CSS Corp, employee-centricity has been a core guiding philosophy. When the pandemic struck, we were among the few IT services providers that rolled out annual hikes in April along with variable pay and promotions. We were also committed to hiring and onboarded 1,200 new employees in Q1FY21. From a future standpoint, our customers and prospects globally are looking to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives and there is a tremendous opportunity to partner them with compelling value propositions that would enable them to provide unparalleled customer experiences to their end-consumers. It will also be imperative to reinvent employee engagement and operational models, and set the organization up for the future of work. We were among the first in the industry to move to a 100% WFH model in March. As part of our plans to thrive in the upcoming times, we will soon be launching a comprehensive virtual operations platform which will simulate the office environment in a ‘Work from Anywhere model’, and enable secure and seamless remote operations globally.” – Sunil Mittal, EVP, CSS Corp

The Independence Day could be an opportunity for the IT industry to evaluate new ways of responding to the ongoing situation and preparing for the future. Accelerated adoption of technology and sound workplace policies, coupled with a strong vision and leadership will help companies in remaining connected with their customers, employees and the larger business ecosystem in these challenging times.

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In a world where machines and AI rule, re-skilling is the only way out

Gartner says more than 3 million workers across the world will have a ‘robo boss’ by 2018. High time businesses reorient skill development programs to help mid-level managers stay relevant.

In July, the Vodafone-Idea merger was approved by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). The mega deal will make the shareholders of both companies become part of the largest telecom company in India, and reward them in the future. It will also create a situation that can quickly escalate into a nightmare.

As many as 6,000 senior-level leaders will have overlapping roles in the new entity. Industry sources say at least 50 percent of these will have to be let go and will be “not employable”. These individuals, who have put in at least 20 years of work in various roles within the organisation, have not been trained to keep pace with the digital era. But turning unemployable at the age of 45 is scary.

Nishikant Nigam, EVP & Chief Delivery Officer, at CSS Corp, an IT Services company, says: “In this context, the mid-level management, the future leader/CXOs, in organisations also need to evolve and reinvent as traditional roles and structures come under increasing strain.

India’s IT workforce comprises roughly 1.4 million mid-level managers, and they are finding themselves at the centre of reskilling and restructuring conversations across organisations.

NASSCOM believes the IT industry’s current reskilling focus is on emerging technologies like Big Data, Analytics, Cloud, IoT, Mobility, and Design Thinking, while also investing in emerging skills like Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, DevOps, Robotic Process Automation, and Cybersecurity.

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Cloud: A silver lining for businesses amidst pandemic

“We have been witnessing a mixed trend in cloud adoption depending on the health of different sectors. While telecom and healthcare companies have significantly increased cloud solutions adoption, the IT & ITES and the BFSI segments have maintained their spend. However, we have witnessed a slight decline in cloud spends by the retail and manufacturing industries, who were heavily affected by the pandemic. As forecast by IDC, as a result of the pandemic, 64% of the organizations in India are expected to increase demand for cloud computing and 56% for cloud software. We witnessed an increased market demand in hybrid cloud migration models, especially in the healthcare sector.”

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After years of flat revenues, CSS Corp expects 15% growth: Manish Tandon

CSS Corp is open to acquiring firms with a ticket size of around $50-60 mn to support organic growth

Chennai-based information technology (IT) services firm  has clocked around three per cent growth in the past two quarters and is expecting the same rate of growth every quarter from now on, said CEO 

Tandon, the former executive vice-president of Infosys, had joined the  services firm almost a year back when the company’s revenue growth was flat.

In the past couple of years, had been seeing flat revenues. Furthermore, towards the start of financial year (FY) 2017-18, NASSCOM projected the slowest growth rate for the  industry in nearly a decade at seven-eight per cent. In this testing environment, has started clocking a q-o-q (quarter-on-quarter) topline growth rate of three per cent in the past two quarters,” said Tandon.

We are also confident that our innovation-led strategy will continue to yield consistent topline growth beyond FY 2018,” he added. The company is expecting a 14-15 per cent revenue growth during FY’18.
Tandon said that the strategy has been to stick to profitable growth through active discussions with customers regarding their requirements. The company has been profitable in the past too, but the revenue was almost flat. The company will continue to focus on the US, apart from its business in Europe and the Asia-Pacific.

My vision is to create a new-age company,” Tandon explained. The company is working on the latest technologies and has come out with an artificial intelligence platform, called Cognitive CX Platform, to support its customers.

The company is also open to acquiring in the ticket size of around $50-60 million to support organic growth. would look at adding more people, cloud, and infrastructure capabilities through the inorganic route. A private equity firm owns the majority stake in the company, which can either raise funds from the owners or look at other options for funding.

In 2016-17, the company earned $150 million in revenue. expects this figure to go up by around 15 per cent this year.

In 2013, Switzerland-based investment manager Partners Group had picked up the majority stake in for around $270 million, according to reports. Through this deal, SAIF Partners, Goldman Sachs, and Sierra Ventures made their exit from the company.

Preview: Business Standard

CSS Corp trains over 1,000 needful youth in partnership with ICT Academy

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, in partnership with ICT Academy, has trained over 1,000 youth in the past one year on employability skills. This program was part of an initiative started in March 2019. As a part of this initiative, CSS Corp held an extensive training program to skill the youth of rural, urban and low-income family groups in Tamil Nadu on the latest technology and soft skills that helped them to be employable in leading IT companies across the nation. As a result, out of the total trained candidates, close to 700 students have received offer letters from reputed IT/ITeS companies in the country.

The training programs were conducted in 20 colleges across Tamil Nadu that provided 100 hours of intensive activity-based training in soft and technical support skills for over 1000 final year graduating students from engineering, arts and science colleges located in the rural and sub-urban areas of the state.

The students were mentored by CSS Corp employees with mock interviews and group discussions. Moreover, a special focus was on encouraging women participation, in line with CSS Corp’s objective to empower women in the technology sector, which helped secure close to 600 female participants (of the 1000 plus) in the program.

CSS Corp has signed another MOU with ICT Academy towards training a fresh batch of 1,200 students in the states of Tamil Nadu & Karnataka this year. Training will be based on soft skills, tech support skills and emerging technologies (Angular, JavaScript Development Suite, RPA, Selenium 3.0 and SQL database).

Speaking about the initiative, Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp said, “India has a large workforce with skills that need to be honed and upgraded with changing times. With the pandemic looming over us, the globe is witnessing a paradigm shift in the way businesses work. It goes without saying that the need of the hour is for the youth to be trained and skilled across a plethora of disruptive technologies to bend the curve. CSS Corp’s initiative introduces students to skills beyond their regular curriculum and ensures their holistic development across a wide paradigm, enabling them to seek opportunities and truly make their mark in fields of their choice. Each student that has been trained by this program will have the opportunity to showcase their abilities, learn, grow and stay relevant amidst the changes taking place.”

M Sivakumar, Chief Executive Officer, ICT Academy said “Skill development is critical for economic growth and social development. The country presently faces a dual challenge of severe paucity of highly trained, quality labour, as well as non-employability of large sections of the educated workforce that possess little or no job skills. The skill development issue in India is thus pertinent both at the demand and supply level. To meet the supply side challenge, ICT Academy focuses on the skill development of youth as one of its core objectives. CSR is a proper channel to reach the underserved people of the society. The positive economic impact achieved by this initiative is huge and has improved the earning capabilities of not just 5,000 students but 5,000 families with most of them being first-generation employees.”

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CSS Corp is now Movate

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