Sunil Mittal, EVP & Chief Sales and Marketing Officer shares his views on modernizing customer support operations
Sunil Mittal, EVP & Chief Sales and Marketing Officer shares his views on modernizing customer support operations
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.
What is the level of adoption of new technologies such as cloud, big data analytics, and IoT among Indian enterprises?
New age technologies are increasingly changing the way products and services are delivered and consumed. Customers of tomorrow are exploring newer channels and expect personalized, proactive and even pre-emptive services. Companies across various industries are changing their sales and services strategies to attract and retain customers. In this context, businesses need to embrace adaptive and agile technologies to manage millennial expectations and growth.
2018 will see a significant increase in the adoption of technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, internet of things (IoT) and Cloud, as organizations adopt a serious approach towards digital transformation.
At CSS Corp, we have started moving aggressively with adoption and investment in customer-centric technologies like AI, analytics, cloud and digital. Our tools offer personalized and context driven insights that empower customer journeys. Some of these include Cognitive CX Platform, a conversational AI platform, Contelli, an intelligent automation platform for IT Operations and Active Insights, AI-powered customer intelligence platform.
Cloud is at the epicenter of all our modernization and transformation programs. Our approach towards cloud migration starts with application and then infrastructure. For example we have transformed the digital marketing ecosystem for a large FMCG retail major. We have developed a complete suite of solutions to shift from a “program” to “continuous delivery” model for cloud adoption through our key cloud solutions like CloudMAP, CloudPATH, and CloudDRIVE. Big Data Analytics and IoT are also important business enablers, and that’s where our customers and prospects are moving towards. Recently we partnered with GE Digital (Predix Platform) to deliver cutting edge Industrial IoT solutions.
What are the key challenges faced while adopting and managing new technologies?
Leaders are constantly looking for ways to leverage the new age solutions like AI, analytics, automation and IoT to win, grow and retain customers. However, this requires a new perspective on the implementation approach and a shift in data integration, standardization, governance, and orchestration strategies.
Enterprises face challenges during AI adoption in identifying the right use cases, data sets, and business processes and while mapping it with customer benefits in terms of revenue, convenience and experience. AI systems can behave unpredictably. A badly implemented AI system can lead to objectionable consequences, including a privacy breach. Companies must carefully evaluate the business processes and system for AI adoption and take into consideration legal, regulatory and ethical implications
Cloud has emerged as a critical enabler of business transformation and innovation – a powerful technology disruptor that constantly challenges the existing IT landscape, compelling enterprises to adopt newer cloud-based paradigms or risk losing the game. But with so many options available, choosing the right migration partner, the right service model, the best-suited deployment option, and the type of workload to be moved, are of paramount significance. Ensuring data privacy and security in cloud adoption is another crucial parameter for consideration.
Today’s digital business environment comes with high risks that will go beyond information technology. Gartner predicts, by 2020, 60 percent of digital businesses will suffer major service failures due to the inability of IT security teams to manage digital risk. As organizations continue to grow in their digital journey, necessary security measures need to be put in place to prevent any damage and not just in the organization but across all entities which form part of the value chain. To have a secure digital infrastructure, rigorous reviewing and upgradation should be done to ensure protection against newer threats. It is also important to come up with a broad approach to manage the risks involved in the digital ecosystem.
At CSS Corp, we follow a consulting-led approach to Digital Transformation which covers all aspects of the enterprise digital transformation journey by leveraging data to deliver superior customer experience. Enterprises can build deeper customer relationships with contextualized and personalized experiences, strategically plan with analytics-driven data intelligence and go to market faster. Our solutions offer personalized and context driven insights that empower customer journeys. Some of these include Cognitive CX Platform, a Conversational AI platform, Contelli, an intelligent automation platform for IT Operations and Active Insights, AI powered Customer Intelligence Platform, to name a few.
Which technology trends are likely to dominate the enterprise space in 2018?
In 2018 some of the key trends that will have an impact on our business and industry are:
a. Conversational Customer Experience: We are moving towards a conversational economy where the voice is the new frontier. A few spoken words to a smart virtual assistant can help accomplish a seemingly complex business transaction. As AI technology is maturing, forward-thinking businesses are plugging in conversational AI in their strategic investment roadmaps to leverage it for their customer service function.
b. Artificial Intelligence: Gartner forecasts that AI will lead to $200 billion in new revenue and 768,000 new positions in 2018 alone. Another study predicted that almost every new software product or service will adopt AI by 2020. Humungous amounts of data being generated each day have been the main driver as enterprises apply this data driven intelligence to automated machine learning to meet business goals.
c. Contextualization: 2018 will see widespread use of contextual algorithms to solve business problems through contextual automation, contextual security, contextual support, and contextual marketing. It will be at the epicenter of the success of customer experience programs across industries, especially AI driven solutions.
d. Edge Computing: In 2011, only 20 percent of businesses had completed significant cloud migrations. Today, the cloud is the default answer for reducing storage costs and creating efficiencies and is established as an enabler of innovation and new business models. Edge computing is set up to follow a similar path. Implementations will continue to accelerate, and early adopters are learning how to leverage the full value of the edge for better, not just cheaper, outcomes.
What were the key technology trends witnessed in the enterprise space during 2017?
Demand for personalized consumer experiences across different industries is fueling the explosion of AI. Just as electricity transformed almost everything 100 years ago, today we have a hard time thinking of an industry that AI will not transform in the next several years.
We are moving towards a conversational economy where the voice is the new frontier. A few spoken words to a smart virtual assistant can help accomplish a seemingly complex business transaction. As AI technology matures, forward-thinking businesses are plugging in conversational AI in their strategic investment roadmaps to leverage it for their customer service function. In fact, Gartner predicts that “conversational AI-first” will supersede “cloud-first, mobile-first” as the most important, high-level imperative for the next 10 years.
According to a new report from Juniper Research, smart devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home will be installed in 55 percent of U.S. households by the year 2022. In fact, RBC Capital Market’s Mark Mahney has predicted that Amazon will generate sales of an additional $10 billion to $11 billion from Alexa-related revenue in 2020.
At CSS Corp, we have embarked on a new journey in AI to disrupt the customer experience ecosystem with a new model called “Conversational X”
Conversational X aims at simplifying and personalizing customer engagements through AI based Voice platforms. We offer AI-based solutions that enable customers to have powerful, impactful conversations with brands and helps them with insights and a new radical vision to solve a challenge.
Our focus and investments in AI are helping brands adopt the right customer engagement and support strategy and help move from traditional models to new age service models that help them identify new revenue streams.
The key tenets of a conversational [x] that can help enterprises and even SMBs to personalize customer interactions are:
Conversational Customer Experience: A new era of customer experience has dawned upon us. Voice assistants and social messaging have given birth to the intelligent experience economy and made the customer experience more conversational than transactional. You can ask Apple’s voice assistant – Siri – to get you weather updates, find out and help you buy specific movies, play your favorite songs and a gamut of other specific activities.
Amazon’s Alexa can help you perform several tasks for you like booking a doctor’s appointment; sports scores and game times; important event dates, hear the latest news; tracking traffic; manage calendars, to-do list and shopping list, set alarms and timers; read Kindle books and play audio books; make purchases; control smart home devices, etc.
Conversational Support: Many B2C businesses are using conversational intelligence with bots as a platform for offering customer support. We offer tech support services with this new conversational model that would field customers’ questions and help get more real-time access to resolutions. This boosts overall business efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Conversational Commerce: Conversational commerce refers to real-time customer communication through different messaging applications and chatbots. It fits into each of the distinct steps in the customer purchase journey. These platforms empower businesses to generate a sense of need for their products to potential customers. The chatbots also act as personal shopping assistants to customers by recommending relevant products and even helping with the execution of the purchase.
The company CSS Corp, dedicated to the service sector, opens its second headquarters in Latin America in the Atlantic capital. They will work with local talent
The capital of the Atlantic will be the gateway to the Colombian market for the multinational of Indian origin CSS Corp, dedicated to the service sector, in what represents the vote of confidence of this business segment for the city.
“The range of local talent, the booming local economy, the compatibility of the language and the investments of the local government in developing bilingual skills make Barranquilla the ideal destination for us in South America”, explained to EL HERALDO , Jayagopi Andhoor, vice president of CSS Corp .
Andhoor added that “the location and the high levels of connectivity and infrastructure” make the city a “favorable place” for real-time global collaboration.
The headquarters in Barranquilla will be the second presence of this firm in Latin America, after its headquarters in Costa Rica, which was installed in 2013.
Plans in Barranquilla
The firm’s office in the city will start operations the first week of May, according to Andhoor’s advance, and the selection of personnel is already underway.
At the moment, 50 new jobs are planned for the opening date, but they clarify that the goal is to reach the end of 2021 with more than 100 collaborators.
The company will also run a long-term talent training program.
“In order to perfect the existing skills in Barranquilla, we will develop a program together with universities and training centers, and train them with the qualities required for the customer support industry , ” said the senior executive.
The Universidad del Norte, the Universidad del Atlántico, the Fundación Santo Domingo and the Sena are part of the institutions with which the training program is being prepared.
Ana María Badel, executive director of ProBarranquilla, pointed out that the arrival of this multinational “confirms the investor’s confidence in the technology sector.”
“Having human talent trained every day makes the territory an export platform for nearshore (United States) and offshore (Spain) services,” added Badel.
According to data from the promotion agency, in 2020 and so far in 2021 five multinationals from the service sector have settled in the city.
AI-defined architecture unifies three typically human characteristics to automate IT and business processes – learning, understanding and solving. Using these skills, cognitive systems today can talk to people, plan and optimize tasks, make forecasts, recognize patterns, and analyze image and voice signals.
IT operation managers are under ever-increasing pressure to increase performance while reducing budgets. With increasingly complex technologies, increased globalization, and more reliance on technology for critical business capabilities, they face constant pressure to reduce business downtime that negatively impacts customer experience, reduces employee productivity, and leads to loss in revenue. They face highly advanced security threats, which are amplified by difficulty in having the right security staff with the right skills. And they are often responsible for managing legacy systems, which come with an extra burden of manual mundane operations and heavy dependency on the IT workforce.
As advancements in technologies create additional pressures on IT operations, they can also provide new forms of relief. The introduction of cognitive technologies is an increasingly useful solution to these growing problems.
Evolution of Cognitive Technologies
Cognitive has moved dramatically beyond the conceptual stages in 2016, evolving from simple isolated automation systems to integrated enterprise-class digital automation solutions. Today, we have such diverse abilities as Runbook Automation (a sequence of steps leading to the implementation of automated tasks started by a system or user), AI Ops platforms (leveraging big data and AI or machine learning functionality to improve and partially replace a myriad of IT operations processes and tasks), and AI-led Intelligent Automation (context-aware robots that cement a strong foundation for applications and services).
Over the next half a decade, we expect the impact of cognitive technologies on different industries to grow significantly. A recent survey conducted by Deloitte of more than 200 IT executives found that over 64% intend to increase investments in cognitive technologies. Driven by new investments, AI-led cognitive systems will scale up across industries and functions including financial planning, analysis and decision making.
Simplifying IT Operations with Cognitive
Within the IT operations, cognitive technologies (especially intelligent automation) are the next game changers. These systems detect and analyze vast quantities of data and automate complete IT processes or workflows while learning and adapting in the process. This key feature allows them to facilitate autonomous and seamless decision making even when there are aberrations in the process implementation. Some of the practical applications include:
1. Predictive Maintenance
Cognitive-based predictive maintenance systems leverage huge data sets to anticipate failures before they happen. Companies can schedule preventive maintenance before likely failures, while getting important recommendations on how to prevent potential security breaches.
2. Interdependency Analytics
Many current infrastructure and application performance management suites offer visibility to a specific component of the stack, but not full stack visibility, causing the IT workforce to spend increasing amounts of time unraveling and troubleshooting complex environments. Cognitive-based interdependency analytics map relationships between systems, predict events based on dependencies and help engineers make well-informed decisions about data center optimization and planning.
3. Self-healing and Autonomous Remediation
Critical infrastructure, applications and software must be recovered after they crash, powered by either external or internal system breaches. Until recently, there was no accepted mechanism to automate this. Now, thanks to three integrated AI-based capabilities (automatic instrumentation, machine learning analytics, and integrated remediation), self-healing and auto-remediation systems can now detect the need of healing resources and utilize them appropriately.
4. Self-learning System and Knowledge Management
Intelligent (AI-based) learning systems, with self-regulated content, support self-oriented learning, enhance performance and generate competitiveness for the enterprises. Knowledge management ensures intelligence is always in reach and yielded in the context of the task. It makes it simple to find relevant information and resources, and offer relevant methods, tools, templates, techniques, and examples.
5. Role of Smart Agents to Manage L0/L1
Smart agents are intelligent and connected AI-based virtual assets. These agents can detect and respond to internal and external environment. With them, enterprises can make an intelligent shift from real-time control to predictive control to ultimately, autonomous control.
A Compelling Value Proposition
The bottom line is that using cognitive in IT operations is good for the bottom line. Compared to traditional models, companies can achieve significant operational cost reductions. Enterprises with limited developer skill set can automate most of the high-volumes, rule-based work processes round-the-clock at the fraction of a cost of a human resource.
But cognitive isn’t just cheaper – it’s also better. Preventing issues, rather than responding to them, is a win-win for business operations and IT operations. Thorough understanding of systems, through independency analysis, self-learning and knowledge management, reduced the frequency of issues as well as the time to restore.
Implementing cognitive tools also provides value in the form of critical AI experience. According to New IDC Spending Guide, global spending on cognitive and AI solutions will achieve a compound annual growth rate of 54.4% through 2020 when revenues will be more than $46 billion, and the US will be the largest market. It makes sense then to look at IT to lead the charge, adopting them internally first as a precursor to implementation throughout the organization.
Looking to the Future
AI-defined architecture unifies three typically human characteristics to automate IT and business processes – learning, understanding and solving. Using these skills, cognitive systems today can talk to people, plan and optimize tasks, make forecasts, recognize patterns, and analyze image and voice signals. In the not-to-distance future, self-aware machines might possess thoughts, feelings, and consciousness. As the capabilities of these systems expand, the opportunity to use them in administering IT operations only grows.
CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, has been recognized for its exemplary customer support services at the annual NETGEAR Support Supplier Conference 2018, held in Hong Kong on 30, 31 January 2018.
CSS Corp emerged a winner in three categories: Best Contact Center Services for All-around Performance, Best Contact Center Services in Sales and PTS, and for 15 years of Partnership with NETGEAR. The NETGEAR Support Supplier Conference is organized annually by NETGEAR to recognize and celebrate the contributions from their support partners globally.
CSS Corp has been recognized for implementing an outcome-based support model and for its novel adoption of Premium Tech Support (PTS) in support operations that transformed NETGEAR’s cost center into a profit center. PTS is CSS Corp’s flagship solution that has been built based on its extensive experience from supporting companies in the telecom, media and technology sector. PTS offers customers paid support for ‘out of warranty’ or ‘end of life’ devices focused on delivering greater customer satisfaction, new revenue sources, and lower support costs.
Speaking on the recognition, Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp said, “At CSS Corp, we obsessively pursue customer satisfaction. For nearly two decades, we have consistently co-innovated with our clients to create new efficiencies and generate new revenue streams that drive profitability.”
“As we complete 15 years of enduring partnership with NETGEAR, it is indeed a great honor to be recognized as their key support partner for global operations. This is a testament to our capabilities and resolves to consistently deliver the best value to our clients,” he further added.
About CSS Corp
CSS Corp is a new age IT services and technology support company that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence, automation, analytics, cloud and digital to address customer needs. The company partners with leading enterprises to help realize their strategic business outcomes. Its team of 5,500 technology professionals across 16 global locations is passionate about helping customers differentiate and succeed. For more information, please visit www.csscorp.com.
CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company announced today that it has been selected as a winner of the ‘5th Big Data & Analytics Converge 2018 Award’ in the ‘Best Analytics Service in Customer Analytics’ category. CSS Corp emerged as a winner for its proven capabilities in driving intelligence in customer engagements through its smart analytics platform, Active Insights. The award ceremony took place on 1st February 2018, at Taj Lands End, Mumbai.
CSS Corp was recognized for its unique capabilities that leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing to enable businesses to understand customer experience. CSS Corp’s Active Insights goes beyond traditional analytical models to predict customers’ buying behavior and identify next best actions by applying contextual algorithmic models to historical purchasing behavior.
Speaking on the occasion, Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp said, “At CSS Corp, we are leveraging artificial intelligence and analytics to help clients discover new revenue streams and leverage new efficiencies. Our digital analytics center of excellence is helping transform customer ecosystems, resulting in improved business agility, operational excellence, resilience, and enhanced customer experience.”
He added further, “We are delighted to provide a sustainable competitive edge to our customers in their transformational growth journeys. This recognition is a testimony to our growing capabilities to deliver winning results for our clients.
BENGALURU: Technology services industry said the government’s proposal for a national programme on artificial intelligence (AI) could democratise the technology and help a wider mass benefit using AI-based solutions.
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said in the interim Budget today that it has envisaged a National Programme on AI to take the benefits of this technology and as part of this initiative a National Centre on Artificial Intelligence would also be set up.
This centre will work as a hub and will be part of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and collaborate with other government-run boldies academic institutions.
“AI is set to revolutionize key sectors like healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure,” said Nishikant Nigam, executive vice president and chief delivery officer, CSS Corp.
“A National AI programme will help lend a structure to hold the AI initiatives together and ensure synergistic investment, R&D, and roll out to the masses. It will help democratize AI technologies, and also provide a fillip to the startup ecosystem for better ideation, creation and implementation of future-ready solutions.”
Data Science being one of the most sought after jobs, it needs a lot of commitment; it is an everyday challenge for almost every data science professional to strike a perfect work-life balance. One needs to have an effective priority list and strategies. In order to understand more about the life of a data scientist, Analytics India Magazine caught up with Priya Francis and Anshul Bazaz, data scientists at CSS Corp.
Francis starts her day at 6:30 in the morning and spends her day at CSS Corp from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm. However, her office timings might get stretched depending on client meetings and deliverables. On the other hand, Bazaz, whose day begins at 8 am, said, “It starts with me thinking about my work and what it is that I want to accomplish for the day. I check my emails to see the progress of any pending work and reply to any deliverables or upcoming meetings.”
Bazaz usual reaches office by 10 am and kick-starts his work by having discussions with his teammates and colleagues, where he exchanges ideas and update each other about work as well as current events. “Quite often these conversations result in suggestions which help me work better. Although the out-times vary on a day to day basis depending on the work,” said Anshul.
Talking about the duo’s job role at CSS Corp, Francis explained, “Being a Data Scientist, my role includes analysing, interpreting and managing data, and solving complex business problems using expertise in a variety of data niche.”
Francis works on massive amounts of structured and unstructured data for discovering actionable insights to shape or meet specific business needs and goals. It involves data collection, data cleaning, exploratory data analysis for deriving patterns out of data, building, validating, implementing and maintaining suitable statistical models for business use cases.
Bazaz, on the other hand, works on understanding the client requirements and designing efficient analytical as well as visual solutions to the problems. “Another aspect of my work is interacting with various teams like UX, operations, and data engineering teams to assist in solution design. I am also into coding – data cleaning, exploratory data analysis, and statistical/machine learning models,” said Anshul. He is also involved in mentoring the new teammates who join the team.
While we cruised through their lives as data scientists, the duo also told us about the projects they are working on at present.
Francis is currently working on developing and implementing a robust system for the case prioritisation of an enterprise networking company. “By flagging cases at an early stage, the system results in faster resolution of customer tickets, thereby improving customer satisfaction,” she explained. She is also working on analyzing customer sentiments and top call drivers from the interaction data.
Meanwhile, Bazaz is currently working on Adherence Impact Simulator, a research-oriented project centred around influenza vaccine uptake in various countries, and Key Phrase Extraction and Sentiment Analysis, which is about finding the leading cause of customer dissatisfaction/customer care delay by analyzing textual data consisting of conversations between customers and customer care.
The breakneck pace of technology disruption continues to cause challenges to enterprises, particularly for those which are held back by patchwork ways of working and applications built for another era. Even those who have embraced the need to make their core systems future ready face a fundamental challenge of bridging them with the new systems that allow innovation at scale.
According to experts, companies aiming for growth and leadership should plan to connect core systems seamlessly with the new technology, as applications, data, and infrastructure are merging into systems, which is diminishing the boundaries of conventional IT structure.
Therefore, the IT leaders including CIOs, CTOs and technology heads have to imaginative to create a new levels of agility with adaptable systems, exploiting trusted data and breakneck advances in AI to eliminate business friction.
According to Mohan Sekhar, Senior Managing Director – Accenture Technology and Lead – Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in India, enterprises need to elevate human–machine interactions with radically human systems, by combining high-end technology and human-centric design to create simple and relevant solutions. He said, “This will ensure that the organization continues to invest in the talent strength of the organization, while creating thriving future systems.”
Technology is now more a constant, than a trend. What is changing is the realization of the scale, speed, breadth and depth of the impact of digital transformation and disruption.
“As innovation increases, having the next generation building blocks in place and available to navigate this new paradigm will be critical for future success,” explained Sankalp Saxena, SVP and Managing Director of Nutanix India Operations, adding that this will result in smarter, more flexible businesses which are data driven, technology agnostic, software based, and self-learning digital enterprises, capable of acting, reacting and anticipating any hardware or technology, operating or market condition.
Many reports establish that organizations with efficient data management and redefined business models along with a data-driven approach for exceptional customer experience and improved operational processes are able to accelerate their digital transformation journey.
“This is true because data within organizations is growing exponentially. Along with structured data –business data – there is a significant annual growth of unstructured data – human and machine data. With this rise, several CIO’s are struggling to cost effectively manage it – especially with very limited or no insights into unstructured data – often called as “Dark Data” This inhibits the organizational ability to transform at a faster pace,” said Sanjay Agrawal, Technology Head, Hitachi Vantara.
Citing an IDC survey, Agrawal said that enterprises need to adopt new solutions and strategy to deal with the drastic growth of both structured and unstructured data, while also optimizing data quality, ease of use, flexibility to scale capacity and performance metrics to address workload management issues. “This will provide businesses with the ability to gain more relevant insights to support data governance and conquer the data challenge to deliver better business outcomes,” he said.
Agreeing with the views of Agrawal, Nishikant Nigam, EVP and Chief Delivery Officer, CSS Corp said that mass adoption of AI-driven algorithms and their contextual application in business processes has potential to be the next big thing and CIOs need to be ready with right strategy.