November

Re-Inventing The B2C Marketing Landscape With Human-AI Partnerships

Marketing is approaching the point of singularity with innovation triggers like AI transforming it into a tech-driven function. Gartner’s Laura McLellan in her seminal blog predicted that CMOs would be spending more on technology than CIOs by 2017. A recent blog says that tech spend in marketing equals that of CIO’s budget for IT.

The phenomenon of data overload needs higher number-crunching capabilities. AI has the ability to read through terabytes of data, understand un-structured information and analytics modeling to monitor market dynamics in real time. Thanks to AI, marketers can go back to doing what they do best – create powerful ideas that can energize the brand and market.

AI in the driver seat

There has been no dearth of data in marketing, but it existed in siloes preventing marketers to access a single version of truth. Large majority of these tools and platforms crunch numbers in isolation and do not provide a holistic view of the entire market. AI can be instrumental in unifying data driven decision making by integrating platforms, tools, applications, and datasets. This can be a game changer for marketers with unlimited avenues for reach, conversion, and engagement.

55% of CMOs expect AI to have a bigger impact on marketing than social media. Global entertainment giants like Disney are tapping the AI frontier by training artificial neural networks that mimic human brains to understand the story lines that may appeal to their audience. Disney’s decision to move away from mainstream characters to feature counterculture leads were based on their information gleaned from their digital data sets. Recently, according to another blog, Nike’s gamble to feature anthem-kneeling NFL player Colin Kaepernick paid off with online sales surging by 31% in a week. This executive decision was based on sound principles of market data, crunched through Nike’s AI platform that showed its intended audience’s sympathy for social justice causes like BLM.

Marketers are already excited by the emerging AI applications in conversational intelligence, haptics, holographic imagery, and semantic research. Artificial Intelligence is already making its presence felt through machine learning, natural language processing, applied propensity models, and predictive customer service sets.

AI for maximizing your reach

AI generated content and smart content curation capabilities are democratizing digital content access. Writing programs like “Wordsmith” can generate SEO-rich, targeted content that can get maximize conversions. Wordsmith produced over a billion pieces of content in 2017 alone and has been extensively used by retail, e-commerce, financial services, media, and allied industries to achieve scale and reach for their marketing efforts as mentioned by another leading magazine.

Business content may or may not be written by a robot, but smart content curation is heavily dependent on AI.  The popular Netflix recommendation system uses sophisticated machine learning algorithms to understand the customer’s innate and expressed needs. So, Netflix customers find value in trusting the recommendation engine to lead them to show they really want to watch.  Similarly, Tinder, the world’s trusted matchmaker is employing AI for its “Super Like” and “Top Picks” feature. Of course, it kept the swiping customer closer to their soul mates but also has added over 3 million singles to the dating app till date as revealed by TechCrunch.

Facilitating action – Chatbots, Robo-advisories

AI has a big role in customer management. New age propensity models can map the customer buying journey and personalize the content. Predictive analytics underpinned by AI, understands dissonance and reaches out with more personalized engagements. The best examples are the dynamic emails triggered by analyzing customer digital behaviours. The customer is always presented with email content that is specifically curated to reflect his/her buying journey.

Conversational intelligence is another area that AI is making the biggest wave. Voice is not just an interface, but a personification of devices which is then mirrored on the brand. Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and the most recent Google Duplex are capable of carrying out almost seamless conversations. Conversational intelligence is extensively used in the BFSI sector to help customers navigate the loan management, insurance premium payments, or wealth advisories. With sophisticated algorithms, these Robo-advisors are able to provide the best price for loans, insurance premium calculation, or settle your tax returns.  Voice assistants are a mainstay for fashion brands like Levis or hospitality providers like Hilton. These ubiquitous assistants’ help customers find the right jeans, book a getaway, or even personalize the perfume.

Future proofing with AI

AI is slowly but surely emerging as a natural ally for the CMO. Over 85% of customer interactions in 2020 will be powered by Chatbots and Robo-assistants helping customers to understand, engage, buy and invest. Next frontiers are tactile-rich-haptic AI which would bring in multi-sensory interactions to fruition. For the CMO this is a data goldmine where in human creativity partnering with AI-assisted delivery can create unique and personalized experiences for customers. As we go along, we will see greater democratization and adoption of AI-based solutions in the marketing function’s day to day activities.

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How businesses aim to leverage disruptive technology to get the most out of their digital investments in 2023

Rahul Joshi, CTO at Movate (earlier CSS Corp)

“There’s no doubt that cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate. From making it possible for employees to work remotely, allowing flexible hours, to making business communication and collaboration a lot easier, while also amplifying the company’s growth by modernizing operations and expanding IT capabilities – cloud computing has given us all!

  • Investment in cloud security and resilience: The industry will keep spending on cyber security and building resilience against everything from data loss to the impact of a pandemic on global business in the coming years. At Movate, we have made investments in our Contelli platform which offers great cloud security and resilience. Our solutions combined with industry leading solutions gives a greater real-time detection and prevention of known and unknown threats.
  • Multi-cloud to become popular strategy: In 2023, most businesses will start leveraging the advantages of diversifying their services to different cloud providers taking a multi-cloud approach. This approach offers several benefits, including improved flexibility and security with no vendor lock-in.
  • Low-code and no-code cloud services: We can expect continued innovation in the field of hyper-scale cloud services. Low-code and no-code solutions are becoming available for building AI-powered applications for companies wanting to leverage AI/ML without getting into the complex coding job. Many of these services are provided via the cloud, i.e., people can access them “as-a-service” This trend will pick up in the upcoming years. At Movate, we have built our Analytics and BI platform on top of LCNC platform. This has helped us to reduce our GTM over ~60%. This also enabled our business users to develop the dashboards on their own through DIY model.
  • Leveraging the efficiency of the cloud to meet sustainability goals: Today, sustainability is the most critical criterion in IT buying decisions. Organizations will continue to shift towards sustainable efficiencies by leveraging software and cloud-based infrastructures.
  • Innovation and consolidation in cloud gaming: We all enjoy binge-watching and listening to music. Thanks to the cloud that has brought us streaming services like Netflix, Spotify, etc., revolutionizing the way we consume content today. Although, streaming video gaming is taking a little longer to gain a foothold as it requires higher bandwidth than music or videos. With the ongoing rollout of 5G and other ultra-fast networking technologies, 2023 could be the year cloud gaming will impact. 

 Developments in AI/ML in 2023

Out of all the technologies that have been introduced into the mainstream over the last few years, AI has proven to be one of the biggest buzzwords in the IT industry. Every year new use cases are being discovered and are becoming feasible with advances in AI and efficient hardware. Here are a few examples that can help companies to be more efficient in leveraging AI:

  • Advanced Cybersecurity: AI and ML can be used to enforce best cybersecurity practices, reduce attack surfaces, and track malicious activity proactively. More and more companies will start to invest in building AI systems that can analyze large volumes of data, including malicious code, malware, and code anomalies, to help cybersecurity teams identify potential threats. At Movate, we are leveraging AI to fight AI-powered cyber-attacks, where AI and ML-based algorithms adapt to new threats faster than humans, as they can quickly spot the similarities between the new generation of malware and cyberattacks and others.
  • Efficiency in IT Operations: As machine data explodes, businesses are in a race to find value in their data and stay competitive. However, metadata initiatives are failing, and data discovery and retrieval is becoming challenging. This paves the way for the Growth of AI-as-a-Service. The emergence of the industrial internet and the integration of complex physical machines with networked sensors and software have forced these two areas to work together to improve resiliency, availability, and cybersecurity. Observability and controllability are areas of focus as organizations leverage AIOPs and data initiatives to make enhanced correlation with increased adoption of SRE, DevOps, APM and other technologies.
  • Customer Service Excellence: I believe AI can help provide personalized customer serviceby leveraging the data pertaining to demographics, past interactions, choice of channels, improved self-service, and enhanced search capabilities. Interestingly, we are seeing rapid adoption of voice bots/self-service, which leverage conversational AI, NLP, and deep learning capabilities not just for informational use cases but for complex self-service use cases, including interactions with multiple systems. Additionally, AI helps reduce customer effort by providing excellent search and next-best actions based on historical transactions.”

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CSS Corp’s customer ALE wins certified support Staff Excellence Center Award 2018

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology-support company, today announced that its customer ALE International operating under the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise brand (ALE) has been awarded Certified Support Staff Excellence Center status for operational excellence in their support operations, a fourth year in a row. The recognition was awarded by the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA).

CSS Corp has been providing technical support to ALE for over 16 years in order to enable the company to deepen client engagements and bring exemplary customer service. Leveraging CSS Corp’s technology support platforms, ALE was able to bring down recurring ticket incidents by nearly 20%, while fully resolving customer queries, thus improving customer satisfaction across four regions and global support centers.

It enables enterprises to move from a reactive support model to a pre-emptive and proactive support model by leveraging the automation and high-end data analytics.

Sunil Mittal, EVP & Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, CSS Corp said, “Delivering seamless CX is a critical imperative for telecom companies in today’s digital age, and they are looking for the right experts who can partner with them in their digital transformation journey. As a trusted partner for major telecom players globally, CSS Corp is committed to delivering tangible, measurable outcomes and exemplary customer engagement through a unique combination of technology and expertise.

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Can the Outcome-Based Engagement Model be the Key to Your Firm’s Success? By Rajasekharan Sankaralingam

To businesses following a Fixed-Price Pricing or even Time & Material model in 2022 — hate to break it, but linear pricing is struggling.

In a recently conducted Enterprise Customer Success Study and Outlook survey, Deloitte researchers found that 76% of enterprise customers were keen to discuss outcomes with their IT providers. The evolution of customer preferences has begun. Surviving in today’s volatile market scenario without a progressive monetization strategy is as difficult as it gets. This is where outcome-based pricing comes in.

Customers seek high values first; industry giants have cracked this code and are charging based on the outcomes they deliver or pay-as-you-go, not fixed rates. But should hypergrowth or mid-size enterprises care? I think so. Outcome-based pricing could give such businesses a much-needed boost with a lower initial capital requirement despite the high uncertainty factor.

The emergence of outcome-based pricing

Pricing is an exchange rate for the value an enterprise offers to the market. But here’s the problem: the market is always out of control. Effort-driven services leveraged traditional pricing strategies, including cost/value-based or market/competitor-based in the yesteryears. Then the pandemic happened, and the market has been volatile like never before.

Simultaneously, we saw the advent of an all-digital world in which the traditional models were incompatible with technology-led disruption and increased clients’ demands of higher value and reduced costs over bone-stock product features.

Outcome-based pricing rose as the well-deserved shift from traditional pricing. The “why” is simple. In 2023, customers will have loads to choose from. It’s all about linking the cost of service to the value derived from them. These models are flexible enough to take various shapes and forms depending on the client’s unique situation and the nature of the business. IT companies that commit to certain outcomes and promise an attractive ROI will have the upper hand.

Outcome-based pricing models have multiple variations, including:

  • Progressive value-sharing model: When providers deliver incremental value over time, they are incrementally paid more. Quite fair, honestly.
  • Utilization-based model: Here, the service provider charges their clients only for the services they utilize, or simply put, based on consumption, in other words, pay-as-you-go.
  • Expense-sharing model: The parties split some of the costs in this model. In a different variation, the provider is responsible for covering any deviations from the agreed-upon result greater than a certain amount.
  • Mixed-hybrid model: Tailored to specific enterprise requirements, here, a fraction of the incentive is fixed, and the remaining part is contingent on performance.

One-size-fits-all approach or not?

Not as far as we can see. While outcome-based pricing can reap rich rewards, it requires thorough consideration. Although many of Movate’s clients have 10x-ed their business with these models, we have advised quite a few to choose alternatives.

Clients and providers engaging in an outcome-based model must thoroughly study every underlying parameter in detail — the client’s need for control, investment requirement, plans, and scaling vision, and the provider’s current operational expertise, risk appetite, and core competence. Blanket adoption without due diligence only leads to failure. However, overcoming the temporary roadblocks with strategic planning leads to incredible paybacks.

Outcome-based pricing for the win

More customers, more revenue

Outcome-based pricing makes increasing revenue and customer retention easier for IT companies. First, customers today only continue using and referring service providers to others if they consistently exceed expectations. Post the initial contract, repeat service agreements, project-based service agreements, etc., are governed by the provider’s performance. This strategy creates a win-win situation for both clients and providers.

Flexibility in pricing

Enterprises want to avoid paying for lofty promises and ill-fated efforts; outcome-based pricing solves this challenge by charging for practical solutions and results while eliminating unanticipated costs and haphazard budget provisioning.

Risk-sharing

Outcome models transfer the risk to the provider significantly from the client. Service provider revenues are a direct reflection of customers’ business outcomes. Being bound by a risk-sharing engagement in hand cuts out any room for slack and motivates the provider to perform better.

Addressing the key challenges

Despite numerous benefits, even outcome-based pricing has its fair share of roadblocks. Forecasting the efforts or resources, factoring the risk-to-reward margin, and integrating both into a mutually agreed pricing strategy is complex.

Getting the metrics right

Establishing an array of outcome metrics on which all stakeholders of the corporate hierarchy can mutually concur is the most difficult struggle. In most cases, the metrics that the customers prioritize vary from those that the provider finds important. The outcomes must be carefully drafted by having both parties on the same page.

Utilization of resources

When a provider willingly pivots toward outcome-based pricing, instances, where the capacity fluctuates from predicted results, are common. Thus, the provider must revise its resource allocation capabilities for optimal utilization and better output.

Managing expectations

Macroeconomic factors, like declining revenue within or across industries due to external influencing factors or changing priorities with internal challenges, can impact the results and should be factored in.

The right tool in your enterprise arsenal

Customers today are highly value-driven and cost-conscious. The key to customer acquisition and retention in today’s market is constantly reinventing ideas and revamping operations.

Outcome-based pricing is definitely an answer. But right now, pure outcome-based pricing excels in a limited number of environments. It is only for some, but if chosen with the right awareness, shared enthusiasm, and proper approach, it could significantly boost your business growth with predictability, transparency, and flexibility in budgeting and pricing.

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Outlook & Priorities 2019

As we sign out of this year and step into 2019, what is in store for supply and demand side of IT? Here we present insights from prominent leaders from the tech industry who share their strategy and roadmap for 2019

It is that time of the year the air is abuzz with a new beginning as a year comes to a close. All these years we have seen technology as an evolutionary entity, graduating from one milestone to the next, forever upping the ante and bringing new set of challenges and problems to solve.

In all 2019 looks like an exciting year for tech and in many ways see the firming up of many tech trends like IOT to AI, taking deeper roots and impacting enterprise computing in ways we have not seen before.

As we look at the year ahead, we need to see through a dual lens- one from the supply side of IT and the other from the demand side of things. The supply side (the vendors) needs to stay focused and relevant to capture larger mandates from the tech disruption and the demand side (the enterprises) needs to ink progressive strategies to adopt newer tech to stay ahead of the race. In a nutshell, the way things are progressing, technology will be common denominator that will determine the success of companies across verticals, no matter what their core business is, they need to induct massive dose of modern tech to transition to the next orbit of growth and profitability. 

CIO PRIORITIES

According to a recent Gartner study, it said, that the top five areas that Asia/Pacific CIOs will invest new or additional funding in 2019 are: Business Intelligence and Data Analytics (42 percent); Core System Improvements and Transformation (33 percent); Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (33 percent), Cybersecurity and Information Security (32 percent); and Digital business initiatives (30 percent).

The 2019 Gartner CIO Agenda survey gathered data from more than 3,000 CIO respondents in 89 countries and all major industries — 671 CIOs are from 16 countries within Asia/Pacific, representing $6.1 trillion in revenue and $73.7 billion in IT spending.

Gartner also said that AI and Cybersecurity will shape the CIO technology agenda. “The CIO Agenda survey indicates that disruptive emerging technologies will play a major role in reshaping business models in Asia/Pacific as they change the economics of all organizations. Thirty-four percent of CIOs in the region expect AI to be the most disruptive game changer for their organizations in 2019, taking the top spot away from data and analytics, which now occupies second place at 26 percent.”

Moreover 49 percent of Asia/Pacific CIOs have already deployed AI technology or deployment is in short-term planning, coming in second behind cybersecurity (86 percent). The top three ways Asia/Pacific CIOs are using AI are for chatbots (37 percent), process optimization (27 percent) and fraud detection (20 percent).

“This rapid shift to AI looks revolutionary on the surface, but this bump in adoption rate may indicate irrational exuberance instead,” says Rowsell-Jones, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner. “While CIOs can’t afford to ignore this class of technologies, they should retain a sense of proportion. This latest batch of AI tools is yet to go through its Trough of Disillusionment.”

“The strong focus on cybersecurity shows the necessity of creating a secure base for digital business that shields their organization and clients. The survey indicates that 45 percent of Asia/Pacific CIOs still own the responsibility for cybersecurity. However, the IT organization alone cannot provide cybersecurity anymore,” adds Rowsell-Jones

Moreover Gartner observers that the rise of social engineering attacks, such as phishing, require a broader behavioral change of all employees. In 24 percent of the digitally top performing organizations in Asia/Pacific, the boards of directors are accountable for cybersecurity rather than the CIO alone. Nevertheless, CIOs are combining measures to harden information processing assets with efforts to influence the people that use technology to improve security against cyber threats.

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Column: Where do we draw the line for automation in CX?

Automation has always been equated with efficiency and progress. Due to the growing cost of resources and the rise of the consumer driven economy, most organizations have rushed towards automation to optimize their business processes. While automation has influenced every business function, the biggest impact has been on customer service.

In the pursuit to deliver a delightful experience to customers and also to manage cost, enterprises have placed AI-driven chatbots, IVRs, and voice AI at the heart of their customer service strategy.

In the process, many companies continue offloading the traditional human-to-human touch points from their consumer related communication. Gartner has estimated that by 2020, 85% of customer interactions with a company will be handled without human involvement.

While AI-driven automation can help enterprises relieve their customer service teams from repetitive and mundane tasks, most companies have pushed the boundaries beyond acceptable limits. As a result, enterprises have often over-automated their CX function with AI, which has come at the expense of the much needed ‘human-element’.

In this respect, automation should not be seen as a solution to replace human effort. It should be used as a leverage to augment human productivity and lower costs to engage in a sustainable business model and have better conversations with the customers.

Why over-automation can be a risk

Humans are wired to communicate. The inferences from conversations however, depend on context, intent, and tone. The problem in automating interactions is that sometimes, key aspects of the interaction get lost in translation. The “human” factor is missed out and it becomes a set of commands that are executed.  This is why such implementations can be overwhelming for consumers.

But, by forcing customers to communicate with machines that lack a human element, over automaton can drive companies to put their hard earned brand equity at stake.

Why is human-centric CX important?

Automation hasn’t reached a point where it can address all the customer requirements. It is still not accustomed to helping customers in unexpected situations which it is not programmed to handle.

 

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5G operators using low-band spectrum vs mmWave: CSS

How are organizations handling 5G infrastructure challenges, globally? For instance, why are some operators opting for low-band 5G spectrum instead of the so-called mmWave technologies? Arun Kumar, VP – Network Solutions from CSS Corp., tells us more in an exlcusive chat. Excerpts:

V&D: Why are some operators opting for low-band 5G spectrum instead of the so-called mmWave technologies?

Arun Kumar: Opting for low-band spectrum enables communication operators to deploy 5G at a much larger footprint when compared to mmWave implementation. This band range is ideal in covering wide areas, both indoors and outdoors, with efficient connectivity and highly-reliable low latency communication networks.

Low-band 5G spectrum is an optimal and cost-effective option for service providers who are deploying greenfield networks. For instance, a network company based in the USA is currently building a virtualized 5G network from ground up that aims to provide both IoT connectivity and low-latency broadband service.

Since their network equipment is based on network functional virtualization (NFV), the opportunity for a lower cost deployment by implementing a low-band spectrum is significantly high. Additionally, the ability to create network slices brings in a new dimension of utilizing the same base hardware or setup, to create networks that are custom built for every situation (eMBB / eMTC / URLLC) thus, fueling cost efficiency.

V&D: It is that said despite 5G offering a significant increase in speed and bandwidth, its more limited range will require further infrastructure. How can this be overcome?

Arun Kumar: There are immense developments happening through 5G technology. However, the complexities that arise due to limited range is a significant challenge that is constantly being dealt with. To that end, service providers are working on overcoming this through a combination of measures:

* The providers are opting for non-standalone deployments (5G + 4G) that facilitates optimal coverage, while providing required data rates.

* The providers utilize the mmWave technology that enables them to offer focused area coverage and high data rates needed for the urban and city center areas.

* Alternatively, the service providers also opt for low-band options of deploying 5G to enable extensive coverage with the trade-off of lower data rates, but still significantly higher that 4G speeds.

V&D: How can 5G help industrial cases of ultra-low latency applications?

Arun Kumar: The ultra-low latency offered by 5G will power applications that are yet to be seen on mobile phones. With the processing power inching closer to the edge, we will see mobile phones and other modern appliances perform at whole new levels in terms of efficiency, quality and consistency. The following are some of the use-cases that 5G could transform in the coming years:

* Autonomous vehicles
* Logistic management (with high efficiency levels)
* AR/VR applications built for human safety in high risk environments like technicians working on towers or power lines.

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CSS Corp Addresses Commercial Challenges of Cognitive CX Transformation

One of the main challenges facing front-office automation projects is the adoption of commercial terms protecting the interests of both clients and CX services providers. In an industry dominated by traditional per FTE and per hour/minute pricing, to be successful, end-to-end digital transformation requires significant initial investments, new KPIs, a stake from the vendor, and a longer project horizon.

The cannibalization dilemma

Cost saving is a direct benefit of front-office automation, generated by deflecting traffic from live agents to self-service and improving productivity to enable reduction in required FTEs. Effective cognitive bots deployed in key customer journey stages or back-office workflow can eliminate the need for human intervention and decrease the volume handled, thus reducing vendors’ revenues.

So far, CX services providers have responded by absorbing the financial impact, hoping to protect their position from competitors, gain additional share of the client’s business down the road, or use it as a lever in the next renewal negotiation. However, this approach cannot be sustainable because cognitive CX is not an end solution but a continuous journey addressing customers’ increasing service expectations and growing acceptance of bots. Even in narrow-scope deployments, traditional performance metrics such as AHT lose their relevance when more complex and challenging interactions end up with human support.

Footing the robot bill

Clients commonly do not want to invest heavily upfront, especially when they do not know what outcomes to expect from CX automation. CSS Corp addresses this pain point with an upfront contract commitment to achieve cost out while backloading most of the investment and blending it in the rate. The company’s commitment stems from its significant experience with the specific client and vertical and from its cognitive IP. For example, its first large-scale CX automation project was with an existing home networking client, which CSS Corp has supported since 2005 and is now the sole supplier. The digital transformation with the client evolved from several joint RPA implementations and simplifications such as screen scraping in the past to 22% TCO reduction through automation. The vendor’s domain experience in home networking with multiple clients, accumulated customer data, and digital assets integration practice gives it confidence to accept the risk.

In another example, for a U.S. VoIP service provider, CSS Corp manages sales, customer care, technical support, and retention. It is responsible for increasing sales, reaching retention numbers, maintaining credit per line, and achieving customer satisfaction levels. CSS Corp charges on a ‘cents per active line per month’ basis. The provider owns the automation and tools but has agreed on a penalty matrix for FCR, CSAT, retention rates, etc.

Contracting with ‘unknowns’

In cases where the domain is less mature for the provider, or the client RFP does not give access to internal data, cases, or existing infrastructure, CSS Corp utilizes reference information and demands a clear view of the internal development roadmap. An example is a hardware storage manufacturer which CSS Corp supports in APAC, U.S., India, and Europe with 200 employees. The contract is based on flat per hour pricing with targets to reduce the headcount by year, 1, 2, and 3 with an increasing rate per hour.

A vital element here is the realistic assessment of meaningful results to justify the cost to the client. When these results do not bring savings, the company contracts against customer satisfaction improvements delivered through the CX automation. CSS Corp’s best practice is to employ a conservative calculation in generic cases. For example, it underwrites only 14-16% TCO over three years when the level of automation is limited by the product, languages, or degree of customer base exposure to chatbots.

Workforce model for bot-human support

With both established and prospective clients, CSS Corp applies a workforce model based on the number of eliminated contacts, volume of self-service, percentage handled by a chatbot or voice bot, and efficiency improvement for technology augmented live agents. It also includes the usual quality and SLA terms. If the automation benefits do not materialize, the provider accepts the need to overstaff. If the benefits exceed targets, CSS Corp gains from the additional savings. For ROI calculation to come through, the contract duration typically needs to be three or more years. Also, to win the buy-in from the organization, CSS Corp shares its calculations and research data, conducts onsite consultations, and organizes workshops.

The proper due diligence from CSS Corp requires sign-off on the client product release and IT update schedule. For these requirements it works with marketing, product development, IT, and operations in addition to customer service departments. The client’s IT approval is crucial to ensure an alignment of deployment dependencies and timelines. For example, in one instance, the client’s delayed telephony upgrade pushed the introduction of parts of the automation components back by six months. Here, the outcome-based pricing kicked in only after the infrastructure upgrade was complete.

Co-innovation with pricing

CX automation programs require investments from the client and vendor, and advanced pricing models are a must to ensure ‘skin in the game’ from both sides. True co-innovation entails a more flexible commercial approach which translates into a next-level CX services partnership. One of the main challenges facing front-office automation projects is the adoption of commercial terms protecting the interests of both clients and CX services providers. In an industry dominated by traditional per FTE and per hour/minute pricing, to be successful, end-to-end digital transformation requires significant initial investments, new KPIs, a stake from the vendor, and a longer project horizon.

The cannibalization dilemma

Cost saving is a direct benefit of front-office automation, generated by deflecting traffic from live agents to self-service and improving productivity to enable reduction in required FTEs. Effective cognitive bots deployed in key customer journey stages or back-office workflow can eliminate the need for human intervention and decrease the volume handled, thus reducing vendors’ revenues.

So far, CX services providers have responded by absorbing the financial impact, hoping to protect their position from competitors, gain additional share of the client’s business down the road, or use it as a lever in the next renewal negotiation. However, this approach cannot be sustainable because cognitive CX is not an end solution but a continuous journey addressing customers’ increasing service expectations and growing acceptance of bots. Even in narrow-scope deployments, traditional performance metrics such as AHT lose their relevance when more complex and challenging interactions end up with human support.

Footing the robot bill

Clients commonly do not want to invest heavily upfront, especially when they do not know what outcomes to expect from CX automation. CSS Corp addresses this pain point with an upfront contract commitment to achieve cost out while backloading most of the investment and blending it in the rate. The company’s commitment stems from its significant experience with the specific client and vertical and from its cognitive IP. For example, its first large-scale CX automation project was with an existing home networking client, which CSS Corp has supported since 2005 and is now the sole supplier. The digital transformation with the client evolved from several joint RPA implementations and simplifications such as screen scraping in the past to 22% TCO reduction through automation. The vendor’s domain experience in home networking with multiple clients, accumulated customer data, and digital assets integration practice gives it confidence to accept the risk.

In another example, for a U.S. VoIP service provider, CSS Corp manages sales, customer care, technical support, and retention. It is responsible for increasing sales, reaching retention numbers, maintaining credit per line, and achieving customer satisfaction levels. CSS Corp charges on a ‘cents per active line per month’ basis. The provider owns the automation and tools but has agreed on a penalty matrix for FCR, CSAT, retention rates, etc.

Contracting with ‘unknowns’

In cases where the domain is less mature for the provider, or the client RFP does not give access to internal data, cases, or existing infrastructure, CSS Corp utilizes reference information and demands a clear view of the internal development roadmap. An example is a hardware storage manufacturer which CSS Corp supports in APAC, U.S., India, and Europe with 200 employees. The contract is based on flat per hour pricing with targets to reduce the headcount by year, 1, 2, and 3 with an increasing rate per hour.

A vital element here is the realistic assessment of meaningful results to justify the cost to the client. When these results do not bring savings, the company contracts against customer satisfaction improvements delivered through the CX automation. CSS Corp’s best practice is to employ a conservative calculation in generic cases. For example, it underwrites only 14-16% TCO over three years when the level of automation is limited by the product, languages, or degree of customer base exposure to chatbots.

Workforce model for bot-human support

With both established and prospective clients, CSS Corp applies a workforce model based on the number of eliminated contacts, volume of self-service, percentage handled by a chatbot or voice bot, and efficiency improvement for technology augmented live agents. It also includes the usual quality and SLA terms. If the automation benefits do not materialize, the provider accepts the need to overstaff. If the benefits exceed targets, CSS Corp gains from the additional savings. For ROI calculation to come through, the contract duration typically needs to be three or more years. Also, to win the buy-in from the organization, CSS Corp shares its calculations and research data, conducts onsite consultations, and organizes workshops.

The proper due diligence from CSS Corp requires sign-off on the client product release and IT update schedule. For these requirements it works with marketing, product development, IT, and operations in addition to customer service departments. The client’s IT approval is crucial to ensure an alignment of deployment dependencies and timelines. For example, in one instance, the client’s delayed telephony upgrade pushed the introduction of parts of the automation components back by six months. Here, the outcome-based pricing kicked in only after the infrastructure upgrade was complete.

Co-innovation with pricing

CX automation programs require investments from the client and vendor, and advanced pricing models are a must to ensure ‘skin in the game’ from both sides. True co-innovation entails a more flexible commercial approach which translates into a next-level CX services partnership.
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CSS Corp recognized by CIOReview as one among the top 20 most promising AWS Solution Providers in 2016

With two decades’ worth of knowledge in building and leading large IT services business across all service lines, Nishikant Nigam, EVP and Chief Delivery Officer, CSS Corp, acknowledges that cloud technologies impact every aspect of a business. From being a mere buzzword, cloud has become a proven computing model with long term business benefits. As an early adopter of cloud and with the capability of building intelligent cloud tools, CSS Corp stays ahead of the technology curve. However, Nigam stresses that many organizations are struggling with hybrid cloud adoption, which fundamentally changes the IT landscape, requiring reengineering of enterprise IT architecture and integration with enterprise data centers. “Another concern that CIOs face is the long timeline for workload migration. The industry needs a solution that accelerates workload migration while decreasing cost and downtime, and enhancing the customer experience,” adds Nigam.

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Here are the top employers looking out to hire in 2020: Top Jobs in India by Indeed & People Matters

Indeed & People Matters bring to you, “Top Jobs in India”- A Hiring Week, starting from November 2 to November 6, 2020. The week showcases India’s top organizations hiring actively now. Here is a list of top companies in India participating in the hiring week as they look out for talent like yours for their organization.

As employers, employees, and economies transform amid the COVID-19 times, it is essential to identify the jobs that will be in demand and help the current and future workforce prepare for them. It’s critical for governments, workers and employers to come and work together to build a sustainable future as we step into the future of work.

Being at the center of the People and Work, Indeed and People Matters bring to you “Top Jobs In India” a hiring week starting from November 2 to November 6, 2020 to get job seekers back to work.

Here is a list of organziations participating in this hiring week and looking forward to hire for prime job roles.

[24]7. ai

November 2, 11:00 am

[24]7.ai is a customer experience software and services company that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand consumer intent. It helps companies create a personalized experience across all channels.

Join Shivesh Kundan, Head of Talent Acquisition at [24]7. ai on November 2, 11:00 am as he shares some of the basic skill sets and top roles the company is looking to hire for.

VMware

November 2, 4:00 pm

VMWare is a global leader in cloud computing and virtualization software and services. It was also one of the first commercially successful companies to virtualize the x86 architecture.

Join Ashish Goyal, Director – Talent Acquisition India, Co-Lead D&I India Chapter, VMware on November 2, 4:00 pm as he takes you through the company’s culture, some of the assessment types, and what can get you hired at VMWare?

Credit Suisse

November 3, 11:00 am

Credit Suisse Group AG is a global wealth manager, investment bank, and financial services firm founded and based in Switzerland.

Join Prashant Bhatnagar, Director – Human Resources, Credit Suisse on November 3, 11:00 am as he shares what kind of talent the company is looking to hire, what are some of the parameters the candidates will be assessed on, and what it looks like working at Credit Suisse.

UST Global

November 3, 4:00 pm

UST Global operates in 25 countries and deliver future-ready digital transformation strategy services, products, and platforms that create new possibilities and help you imagine what’s next in financial services, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, semiconductor, and communications.

Join Kavita Kurup, Global Head – Talent and Organizational Transformation at UST Global on 3 November, 4:00 pm and uncover what it is like to work at UST Global.

CSS Corp India PVT Ltd

November 4, 11:00 am

CSS Corp is an IT services and premium tech support solutions company to harness the power of digital, cognitive IT service management to address customer needs.

Join Brijesh Balakrishnan, SVP, Global Head – Talent Fulfilment at CSS Corp on November 4 at 11:00 am and know what are the major roles they are hiring for, what are the locations they are planning to hire for and some tips to stand out in the interview.

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CSS Corp is now Movate

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