November

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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Chennai’s IT services company CSS Corp to acquire US-based firm

City-based IT services firm CSS Corp plans to acquire a US company to expand customer base, CSS Corp’s CEO Manish Tandon told Express on Tuesday, adding that the deal would be closed in about six months.

We have been looking to acquire assets, especially engineering services, and now we are working on a fairly large acquisition of a US-based firm,” said Tandon. The firm has added 20 new clients taking up its base to 140 this year.

Emphasising the company is looking for talent, Tandon said it will focus on with telecom, media and technology sectors and digital business of traditional brick-and-mortar companies.

At a time when the BPO industry has reported the alarming impact of automation on jobs, Tandon claimed attrition at his company is “significantly less” thanks to its innovation-led strategy, which has “never put employees at risk due to the change in technology”. The company has a head-count of 5,600 technology professionals in 16 of its global centers across the world.

We have created a programme of virtual University for our employees, which aims to deliver internet-based training and we have also placed huge bets in newer technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning to support our customers,” Tandon said.

The IT company recently launched an artificial intelligence platform, Cognitive CX Platform, to support customers.

 “The strategy has been to stick to profitable growth through active discussions with customers regarding their requirements and provide end-to-end services,” he noted.

The firm has clocked a topline growth rate of three per cent in the past three quarters and it eyes 4 per cent sequential growth in the next quarter. “With this pace, we are expecting a 15 per cent revenue growth year-on-year,” Tandon added.

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Conversational AI: Driving The Next Generation Customer Experience

Artificial Intelligence or AI is driving organizations across industries to reimagine their customer engagement strategies for better business success and outcomes. Sunil Mittal, EVP & Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, CSS Corp, explains to CXOToday how we are moving towards a conversational economy where a few spoken words can accomplish a business transaction.

CXOToday: Artificial Intelligence is a huge topic. What are some of the areas that you find are most exciting and have an immense opportunity in the near term?

Sunil Mittal: 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 I don’t think AI will 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.

Today, voice assistants and social messaging have given birth to the intelligent experience economy and made the customer experience more conversational than transactional. For example, 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.

Also, the new trend has given rise to Conversational commerce that refers to real-time customer communication through different messaging applications and chatbots. These platforms empower businesses to generate a sense of need for their products to potential customers, they also act as personal shopping assistants to customers. 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.

At CSS Corp, we have embarked on a new journey in AI to disrupt the customer experience ecosystem with a new model called “Conversational” that 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 enterprises 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.

CXOToday: Gartner Says AI Technologies will be in almost every new software product by 2020. How are businesses using AI? What are some of the transformational benefits from AI?

Sunil Mittal: The human and AI relationship is evolving fast and making forecasts in today’s dynamic world. AI-fueled automation and predictive models have augmented human intelligence and helped many businesses drive revenue through predictability capabilities. Regardless of their customer base and business model, organizations in B2B and B2C are adopting AI capabilities that help to predict customer/system behavior, drive revenue and bring businesses closer to their customers and also streamline the operations thereby ramping up the productivity and flexibility through its adoption.

From a B2B environment, AI boosts predictive maintenance that allows for better prediction and avoidance of machine failure in industrial sectors. This, in turn, increases asset productivity and cuts down maintenance costs considerably. For instance, for a railroad and locomotive company, CSS Corp has deployed our AI based solution for predictive intelligence capabilities to pre-empt equipment failures, optimize daily operations and field resources. We constantly monitor customer’s sensor-based IoT devices and enable ideal failure prediction analysis with the use of real-time intelligence, image data analysis, acoustics data analysis, and operational intelligence.

From a B2C environment, AI is transforming the customer service space today with Virtual Customer Assistant (VCA). As per Gartner, VCAs yield phenomenal results like a 70% reduction in call and/or email inquiries, increased customer satisfaction, and a 33% saving per voice engagement. Organizations are positioning AI-powered VCAs at the center of their customer engagement strategy. CSS Corp has built Cognitive CX Platform an intelligent Virtual Assistant platform that aims at bringing together various technologies like AI, automation, and analytics with pre-built vertical assets, 360-degree customer context, intelligent process guidance, and actionable insights that enhance customer interactions.

CXOToday: What suggestions do you have for CEOs, CIOs, and other CXOs who have just started exploring the implications of AI for their business?

Sunil Mittal: Today’s digitally empowered, adventurous and experimental customer is the fundamental driver of all the business and technological changes. CEOs, CIOs and CXOs are facing some basic but tough questions and to what extent they need to go to:

(a)   Get closer to the customer

(b)   Deliver the simplest customer experiences to diverse customer segments across multiple products

In 2017, many new CIOs and CXOs have been facing a “deer in the headlights” moment since the subject of AI is so vast that they feel clueless as to where and how to start with AI. That it is a powerful and disruptive technology is a no-brainer but CIOs and CXOs need to collaborate with CEOs closely to make them understand the clear business case for AI and not take an immediate headlong plunge into the AI stream immediately.

Eventually, AI will be ubiquitous. The technology landscape is inundated with choices – from machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to Chatbots and recommendation engines. But the moot question is, are all businesses yet ready to adopt it? The CIOs and CXOs new to AI revolution must work out the business strategy part first and how it would get augmented if blended with AI. They must evaluate on how a good investment in machine learning will add a competitive edge to their product/service and whether adding AI to the business strategy will help in inching closer towards the customer with good service.  They must try to understand if it will boost employees’ productivity, simplify customer experience and help them make better purchase decisions and monetize the business.

CXOToday: Given how quickly AI is rising, and skills shortage becoming a big issue, what suggestions do you have for filling in this gap?

Sunil Mittal: The benefits of the new age technology like AI are irresistible; however, this is hemmed in by lack of qualified talent to exploit it to its full potential.  According to a survey by Tech Pro Research, only 28% of companies have some experience with AI or machine learning, and over 40% said their enterprise lack the skills required to implement and support AI and machine learning. In our opinion, it’s been a long time now that the industry has been fretting over the topics of “skill gap”. It becomes more pertinent in the age of AI. Though AI is increasingly acing the number of roles and tasks, we’re still a long time away from human jobs completely fading away from the scene. We can bridge this yawning skill gap by helping our workforce adapt to the jobs of the future through education. And, both the corporate and the governments need to participate and invest equally in imparting technical learning.

AI can also be used to fix this skill gap as it can provide personalized help to learners and identify successful teaching patterns. We, at CSS Corp, have developed a Digital Career Progression Framework called “Reimagine” which has been specifically built to fast-track employee reskilling initiatives within the organization. Our framework facilitates an innovative approach to employee up-skilling and cross-skilling in new age digital technologies. Nearly 30%- 40% of mid-level managers at CSS Corp are engaged in reskilling through this initiative, in niche digital technologies including AI, autonomics, augmented reality (AR), cloud, IoT, deep learning, and cognitive computing. The framework brings in greater personalization in employee learning, wherein employees can learn anytime, anywhere, and on any device through Virtual University, Massive open online course (MOOCs) and JAM (a collaborative tool). It has also created more career and growth opportunities for employees while seeing an overall drop in attrition. We recently won the NASSCOM Digital Skills 2017 award for having one of the best digital reskilling platforms in the Indian IT industry.

CXOToday: What are the top capabilities that are important in an AI solution that drives customer adoption?

Sunil Mittal: AI is proving to be one of the fastest-growing technology segments in 2017, and is being rapidly adopted by organizations, big or small. However, the top three capabilities in an AI solution that drive customer adoption are 1. Does the AI solution have good predictive capabilities? AI solutions are self-learning systems. Banks and financial institutions are widely using AI solutions based on machine learning models to detect credit frauds by analyzing customer’s past spending patterns and predict the transactions that the customer is likely to make and flag unusual activity if any. If we talk at the consumer level, Google Now is a great example of a self-learning application. This personal assistant tracks its user’s activities and interactions to collate and put together relevant information for the user on the smartphone. This application constantly improves based on the feedback it keeps getting from the user and its own learning algorithm.

2.  Is it enterprise class? AI solution must fit in seamlessly, non-intrusively into the technology environment of the business. It must be a traceable solution that can undergo complete auditability. The AI solution must be fast, flexible, extensible and responsive. It should be able to adapt quickly to the changes. The AI solution under consideration must be able to address all the concerns of an enterprise such as growth, cost, compliance, and responsiveness. It should be able to bring in automation of high variability processes and legacy modernization into the business and tech environment, and trigger operational efficiency, which in turn will boost productivity and consequently drive revenue.

3. Does it offer a smooth customer experience? A good AI solution acts like a great customer service channel that provides a customer experience in which customers feel the same comfort interacting with a machine as they feel with a human. The solution must understand the content as well as the context of the customer’s feedback, questions or requests. Never-sleeping chatbots offer cost-effective, powerful customer support and never make the customers wait to get their problems resolved. The AI solution must be able to collect customer data from support interactions and analyze the same to offer personalized customer experience.

CXOToday: According to you what are the top three barriers of AI Adoption in an enterprise set up in India?

Sunil Mittal: As AI accelerates up the hype cycle, its adoption in an enterprise set up in India is still relatively low. We see the following top 3 barriers of AI adoption in India:

1.  Lack of differentiation: With an increasing number of startups entering the AI space, enterprises are finding it tough to differentiate between one AI solution and another. With hundreds of AI vendors in the industry today claiming to be providing best-in-class AI solutions, enterprises are immensely confused about the true and clear AI capabilities of these vendors and what business problems these solutions will solve for them.

2. The disconnect between the current curriculum and the work skills in demand: Success of an AI engagement depends on the people that program the systems and the data being fed. Identifying and sourcing the right people and skill set from the market for AI engagements is key to any AI engagement. AI projects require people with specialized skill-sets who can apply AI techniques across business processes in real time. The synergy between the current sequential education system and the work demands in the enterprise set seems to be missing. For India to maximally benefit from the AI revolution, the challenge of talent shortage looming large on the industry needs to be addressed faster. Many Indian firms are grappling to scale resources for the new AI challenge. The lack of adequate AI talent to meet the growing demands is a matter of huge concern in India.

3. Unpredictability and uncertainty of resources required: 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.

Understanding the cost, time and effort involved to get an AI-powered system up and running is one of the most important factors that enterprises should think while building or evaluating AI solutions. Based on the maturity level of processes, the accuracy of data sets and knowledge base, the success of AI engagements varies between months to several years

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

CXOToday:  What’s CSS Corp ’s future roadmap on AI?

Sunil Mittal: CSS Corp has built two AI Platforms in the last 12 months: 1) Cognitive CX Platform to manage customer support engagements and 2) Contelli to simplify and modernize IT Operations. Our AI platforms understand behavioral aspects and relationships between customer, business processes and systems. Our solutions provide end-to-end customer clustering and deeper insights into customer sentiments, buying behavior and satisfaction-levels, to drive business success.

Despite the hype, adoption, and investments in newer technologies like AI, enterprises are finding it challenging to manage IT operations and customer support operations as they mostly carry baggage of legacy systems, infrastructure and software stacks that are aging. This significantly contributes to the complex support landscape, making life extremely painful for customers. We understood, perfecting customer support operations requires rigorous planning, focused technology investments, strategic roadmap, and execution, as it is linked to the overall productivity and efficiency of an organization.

Our AI solution enables enterprises in managing their complex IT and Customer support operations and introduces relevant frameworks, providing enterprises agility, speed and flexibility. AI is at the epicenter of all our customer engagement programs. Today as we speak we are integrating AI as a part of all our new age platforms and we will continue to encourage our customers to embrace AI solutions. We’re committed to our mission of embedding intelligence across different functions of the enterprises and help each of them innovate, grow and compete.

In this context, CSS Corp has invested significantly in AI and has plans to scale up our solutions that can help companies understand their customer’s next best action and drive additional revenue. We will continue to focus on customer support engagements and as well build AI solutions to solve unique business challenges in TMT, Healthcare, and Manufacturing.

Forrester recently recognized our AI capabilities in their Forrester Wave for Customer Analytics, we recently won the Stevie Silver Award for our AI Platform, Cognitive CX Platform. Most importantly our existing customers and prospects have shown utmost interest and enthusiasm to implement our AI solutions. Our customers feel that our technology is far superior as compared to any AI solution offered by other leading players in the IT Industry.

All of us at CSS Corp is excited to explore new frontiers with AI that harnesses the power of customer centricity and build an ecosystem that fuels unprecedented growth and innovation for our customers.

Growth for past three quarters is more than that in past 3 years: CSS Corp CEO

The Partners group entered CSS Corp, a mid-tier software and testing company in June 2013. After sailing along with the existing management, the investors pressed for change and brought in Manish Tandon from Infosys in August 2016. Occupying the corner office since, Tandon has sewn up a new CSS Corp which is growing faster than ever before. In a free wheeling chat, Tandon tells TOI that by March 2018, the company will cross $150 million in revenues. Excerpts:

What was the mandate given to you by The Partners Group?
With the evolution happening in the environment, the company had to transform in sync with the needs of tomorrow. Partners Group was keen to align the company with the market expectations and drive growth. They were looking for some fresh thinking to bring the organization back on the growth track. We have started turning around and I am expecting better quarters ahead. I think that Partners group would like to give it 3 to 5 years to maximize their ROI.

What has been the progress?
The new management has been aggressively working towards creating an impact in the market. There were some underinvested areas which have been strengthened. We have expanded our service line focus to be able to deliver a broader range to our customers. We have invested heavily in our Innovation Labs to produce solutions of the future, and to enable us to drive solution-led differentiation. We have boosted our sales and marketing machinery for better engagement with our clients and prospects.

These measures are beginning to bear fruit. Our service propositions are resonating strongly in the market. For the past two quarters we have been growing sequentially at 3% q-o-q and we expect this to further improve in the next couple of quarters. That would put us at a run rate of 15% yearly growth. At the existing growth rate we plan to close at around $155 million for fiscal ending March 2018.

The amount of growth witnessed in the past three quarters is more than what happened in the past three years.

When do you think you have crossed the hump?
After I joined, the first two quarters went significantly on fire fighting and setting things in order. We have really taken off in the last two quarters and expect this trend to continue. I think the hump of inertia is behind us.

What is the realistic estimate for a CSS Corp IPO?
All PE-owned firms need to have an exit path. Some PE invested companies go through an IPO or are acquired by strategic buyers or bought over by other PE firms. When CSS Corp’s organic revenue crosses $200 million, we could potentially do an IPO. All depends on the valuation we get. We estimate to reach this point in 3 to 4 years of time.

What changes have been brought about by you in terms of customers approach?
In terms of customers, we have been constantly reorienting our service lines with new offerings that are closer to our customer ecosystem and that will add value to our customer success. In 2017, a significant portion of CSS Corp’s investments were focused on building technology solutions around AI led solutions, analytics, automation, cloud and digital.

AI is Amplifying Human Potential: Manish Tandon, CEO, CSS Corp

The Indian IT services sector is in the midst of a huge transformation, and automation is completely changing the way IT services are delivered and consumed. Manish Tandon, CEO, CSS Corp, tells Express Computer, how his firm is preparing itself for a new world where automation is the norm

How do you see the impact of automation and artificial intelligence on the IT services industry?
While Automation has been around in some shape or form for ages, Artificial Intelligence is pushing the envelope on what machines are capable of doing and bringing in an entirely new wave of automation. Till yesterday automation was focused more on reducing “manual labor”. Today, with the advent of AI, it is focused more on reducing “intellectual labor”. Therein lies the crux of the fear, anxiety, angst that this combination is causing in the society today. It is changing the way we live in fundamental ways.

I believe AI and automation are unlocking and amplifying human potential, not replacing it. People will be able to focus much more on value-added work and less on tedious and repeatable work. They will be able to unleash their creative potential better. The challenge for businesses is not to ignore or deny the impact of this technology but to provide a more robust, customized and engaging way in dealing with their customers.AI and automation have created the path for companies to increase productivity (which has been stagnant in the developed world for some time) and enhance end-user experience.

AI is rapidly becoming a global economic engine for new experiences, business models and jobs. Companies that embrace AI will be able to create the modern experiences their customers expect, connect with them on all their devices and be able to anticipate and predict in order to better serve them. With AI and automation, there will be nothing called a “mass market”, there will essentially be micro markets with N->1. AI also plays a key role in enabling productivity, improving customer service and enabling businesses to become more agile. This will trigger a new wave of growth in generating newer jobs. The key for individuals is their ability to be flexible and re-skill to develop and succeed.

According to the MIT Sloan Management Review study, 72% of respondents in the technology, media, and telecommunications industry expect AI to have a significant impact on product offerings in the next five years. In addition, Financial Services, Retail, and CPG industries are expected to benefit from AI-based improvements in Business Process Management (BPM).

In sync with the above trends, the IT services industry is leveraging AI and automation in a big way and will be able to deliver better value and solutions to their customers, which will, in turn, lead to a better customer experience for their end consumers.

How has CSS Corp aligned itself to this new world where automation is the norm (Some details on internal platforms being created, the type of people being recruited would help)
Our vision is to build a new age services company and we have started moving aggressively on that path by adoption and investments in customer-centric technologies like AI, analytics, and digital. We are trying to break the stereotypes in the services industry through the adoption and implementation of new engagement models that would help our clients build better customer intimacy and more revenues.

In this context, we have built automation platforms like Contelli for IT Operations and Cognitive Customer Experience Platform for customer engagement. Our platforms promote symbiotic convergence between AI, analytics and automation at different junctures to drive effortless engagements. These are not generic platforms but contextual platforms built around solving specific problems in customer engagement and productivity.

We are investing heavily in new age technologiesto simplify customer technology ecosystems and bring clarity to chaos. These solutions are helping enterprises to move from traditional models to new age service models that help them identify new revenue streams. We continue to see good traction for these solutions amongst customers and prospects across various industries.

On the talent front, we recently recruited 30+ Data Scientists and Data Engineers to augment our platform capabilities. This team is instrumental in building AI, machine learning and automation solutions.

Our Digital Career Progression Framework, “Reimagine” has been specifically built to fast-track employee reskilling initiatives within the organization. We recently won the NASSCOM Digital Skills 2017 award for having one of the best digital reskilling platforms in the Indian IT industry. The framework facilitates an innovative approach to employee up-skilling and cross-skilling in new age digital technologies.

Can you give us specific examples where automation has made a big impact?
One of the successful use cases is the customer support industry where AI enables the convergence of human and machine intelligence. This results in improved business agility, operational excellence, and resilience, and brings about better customer experience. AI offers personalized and context-driven support, with a human-like interaction. The ability to respond instantaneously and accurately to customers’ questions and helping them in the decision making processes, has made AI an integral part of the brands’ customer experience ecosystem.

To fuel the growing needs of our customers, CSS Corp has built an AI platform Cognitive Customer Experience Platform that aims at bringing together various technologies like AI, automation and analytics, with pre-built vertical assets, 360-degree customer context, intelligent process guidance, and actionable insights that enhances customer interactions. Cognitive Customer Experience Platform integrates with all customer channels like voice, email, chat, and website, and provides a seamless and consistent omnichannel experience. It offers predictive intelligence, automated queuing, routing and channel allocation. Cognitive Customer Experience Platform can offer personalized recommendations based on customer analytics. It can indicate customer emotions, intentions, and other signals during real-time conversations, thus improving customer satisfaction levels.

The other use case that we have implemented using AI and automation is to simplify hybrid IT ecosystems. Early in 2017, we launched Contelli, an intelligent automation platform that combines advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities to prevent problems before they affect the customer. Contelli helps enterprises mitigate hybrid IT challenges with intelligent automation. The solution hyper-charges the enterprise IT operations ecosystem, predicts incidents, threats and business opportunities and assists in faster decisions. This platform, provided with a single-view dashboard, is powered with capabilities that eliminate problems before the environment is impacted.

Every year CSS Corp invests a significant portion of its revenue in building its innovation and research capabilities through our Innovation Labs. We continue to invest in building modular and niche solutions to simplify clients’ complex technology ecosystems.

How has this focus on automation helped CSS? Can you give us some measurable statistics (For example, productivity improvement of x% due to automation?)

During Contelli’s evolution in the last 9 months from a basic automation engine to its use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for automation, we have been able to help enterprises mitigate their IT Infrastructure challenges effectively through context driven solutions.

For instance, today we manage 4 million networking devices across 85,000 stores for a large retailer through Contelli. We integrate capabilities of AI, machine learning and deep learning to predict network related issues and proactively manage complex ecosystems effortlessly resulting in 40% reduction in TCO, 30% productivity improvements, 97% availability of network connectivity and 98% resolution rate.

For a railroad and locomotive company, CSS Corp deployed predictive intelligence capabilities to pre-empt equipment failures, optimize daily operations and field resources. We constantly monitor the customer’s sensor based IoT devices and enable ideal failure prediction analysis with the use of real-time intelligence, image data analysis, acoustic data analysis, and operational intelligence. The company observed a reduction in operational cost by 30%, improved technician productivity by 18% and an increase in Mean-time-to-repair (MTTR) by 35%.

How do you see the opportunities for your firm in emerging areas such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain?
The rapid evolution of AI, machine learning, neural networks, and computational power has ensured that a wide array of activities is in the scope for automation today.
However, we often see organizations struggle to effectively leverage and implement AI capabilities to drive customer experience, efficiency, and productivity improvements. It is about finding the right use-case and reimagining IT with AI support.

Having implemented AI in customer engagements, we have identified the key to the success of any AI program is context. Recently, we engaged with a large networking company to simplifying their network ecosystem through Contelli. We performed an in-depth assessment of the client’s network infrastructure ecosystem and developed an early warning system by integrating NLP and advanced machine learning capabilities. The solution promotes fusion of real-time log data with historical data, identifies recurring patterns and provides automated resolution to resolve complex network related issues.

We at CSS Corp strongly believe that AI is the new electricity for enterprises. We are sitting on a huge amount of data from our customers where we can find patterns in that data, apply those patterns into real-time work, in terms of either benefiting the business process or helping in terms of creating the hyper-personalized experiences for their customers. Use of AI technologies has certainly helped us to predict customer behaviors, transform support operations while reducing costs and meeting customer expectations.

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Indian enterprises leveraging the power of hybrid cloud

Hybrid Cloud is the way to go as Indian enterprises intensify their reliance on a hybrid Cloud setup, eyeing substantial cost savings and organisational benefits. To better serve the needs of Indian enterprises and SMBs, most cloud companies have either set up local data centres in India, or are in the process of doing so –

Hybrid Cloud represents the cloud model which orchestrates the mix of on premise Cloud, Private Cloud and Third party Public Cloud models to scale, meet and widen the data deployment options. This model offers several key advantages over using only private/ public cloud, especially for large enterprises that have considerable existing investments in IT infrastructure.

Nishikant

The views of Nishikant Nigam, Chief Delivery Officer at CSS Corp are also somewhat the same. “Cloud is increasingly changing the way business is done,” he observes. “But despite the increased cloud adoption, enterprises are finding it difficult to identify the right cloud strategy and model, and still lack clarity in segmentation and prioritization of applications for cloud migration. Scores of enterprises are still struggling with critical questions such as –

What applications should I move to the cloud?
Which type of cloud is best suited for my requirements – Public? Private? Hybrid?
Which provider can offer me the most flexibility and support?

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CSS Corp to Exhibit at AWS re:Invent 2017

CSS Corp, a new age IT Services and Technology Support company, will be exhibiting at AWS re:Invent 2017 on November 27th, 2017 in Las Vegas. CSS Corp will be present at booth #1537 at The Venetian, Palazzo and Sands Expo Hall as a Bronze Sponsor.

At the event, CSS Corp will be demonstrating their industrialized cloud migration capabilities and success stories in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

CSS Corp is an Advanced Consulting Partner in the AWS Partner Network. CSS Corp has developed a complete suite of solutions to shift from a “Program” to “Continuous Delivery” model for AWS cloud adoption. CSS Corp provides world-class cloud migration and management solutions to customers across various industries as they embark on their digital transformation journey. Some of their key cloud customers include the digital marketing division of the world’s leading FMCG company, engineering division of a large tire manufacturer and a learning management company.

The company has deep expertise in migrating large volumes of applications rapidly to the cloud ensuring a risk-free and secure migration. CSS Corp’s cloud transformation services enable enterprises, simplify migration planning and weed out complexities to improve productivity.

CSS Corp’s flagship cloud solutions Cloud Map, Cloud Path and Cloud Drive are designed to migrate and manage AWS workloads seamlessly, deliver exceptional results and maximize the benefits of the cloud. CSS Corp has leveraged the power of AWS to help companies across verticals transform their business operations through seamless cloud migration. The company has been providing large scale migration of apps and data to the cloud to leading Fortune 1000 companies.

To know more, please visit the CSS Corp booth at AWS re:Invent, where you will also get the chance to experience their new age solutions that are designed to reimagine customer engagement.

About CSS Corp

CSS Corp is a new age IT Services and Technology Support company that harnesses the power of AI, 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 are passionate about helping customers differentiate and succeed.

For more information please visit www.csscorp.com

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5G: How It Will Change The Network World?

Gartner’s Hype cycle chronicles the innovation triggers that is re-defining the technology trends of the future. This year’s future-ready movements include the dominance of immersive technologies, digitalized eco-systems, democratized AI and ubiquitous infrastructure. The future connected space is made possible through the tactile internet, ubiquitous IoT and hyper communications that are underpinned by 5G infrastructure.

The exponential advancement in the telecommunications trajectory is entering it next paradigm shift with 5G technologies. From the 1G analog phones; human have pushed ahead with the mobile revolution through 2G, 3G, and the current 4G standards. The decade-old fourth generation has exploded into our consciousness with high-speed internet at 100 kbps with information, entertainment and connectivity at our fingertips.

As per Cisco Virtual Networking Index, global IP traffic will triple with a CAGR of 22% over the next three years. One billion internet users will reach out through 3.4 devices consuming over 194 Exabyte of data per month. Machine to machine connections will reach over 12.2 billion engendering an IoT revolution.

A transformative force for global change

Imagine a world with no barriers where communication shrinks space and time. High-speed data with reduced latency and low energy consumption promises light speed connections with near zero information loss. This facilitates businesses, governments, organizations, and communities to seamlessly interact, proactively remove obstacles and extract high efficiencies. This is an innovation trigger that can re-invent the way of life.

5G is not an extension of 4G speed. It leverages the data crunching potential of cloud, virtual networks, edge computing, IoT and more to deliver mission-critical services worldwide. University of Surrey’s 5G innovation center reports an average network speed of 800 Gbps that will bring new dimensions to instant gratification. Qualcomm reports over $12 trillion in 5G services that can impact on how humans work and play on earth and in space.

For example, high-speed data is critical for autonomous vehicles. Seamless urban traffic to 5G driven Vehicle-to-Everything communication will make accidents passé’ and snarls redundant. Lightning speed connections and responses where vehicles share information with urban artifacts and architecture, fellow vehicles and with pedestrians will completely transform how we manufacture cars, design our cities, and use machinery and so on. The ramifications can be felt in industries such as agriculture, mining, construction, transportation, retail, etc.

Re-defining human connect

Human connects will be unconstrained by geographies with the evolution of internet speeds. Researchers are excited about Edge or Fog computing which involves personal cloud power for people.  Imagine billions of clouds churning out data that are instantly converted to actionable insights for personalized responses.

Healthcare is another sector that will reap the benefits of 5G connectivity. The “Tactile Internet” which is an amalgamation of real and virtual objects will blur the boundaries of reality. Ubiquitous sensory wearables can seamlessly map movements and project alternate realities across spaces. This means surgeons can use the tactile internet in telesurgery for patients across the globe. Data streaming through sensory devices can provide real-time health information for doctorxs to deliver accurate diagnosis a world away. But the tactile internet is only possible with low latency high-speed 5G connectivity. And this is not a sci-fi fantasy world, companies like Huawei are actively investing to power the possibilities of the tactile internet.

Why businesses consider 5G to be elusive

Capital investments, lack of business need and customer adoption stand in the way for true 5G adoption. 53% of executives believe that there is no compelling reason to shift to 5G immediately. But most of them are unified in their views about the long-term potential for high-speed 5G connectivity.

A large majority cite high capital investments as a deterrent towards 5G investments. But experts point out that exclusive 5G networks need not be built as it will seamlessly connect with 4G cells. Mobile network operators will be spending less than $20,000 inclusive of all costs for upgrading existing nodes. With more migrations happening to 5G, technological advancements will eventually allow the peaceful co-existence of 4G and 5G spectrums resulting in a better allocation of services ensuring cost savings.

5G – A change of a lifetime

Every technology does have its detractors. Therefore, it is prudent for market challengers to keep 5G within their crosshairs to ride over the disruption curve that will explode in the next decade.

Bearish outlooks are not marring the long march towards 5G. Technological advancements in autonomous vehicles augmented reality and AI is fueling this surge. The emergence of SpaceX, functional humanoids like Sophia and Smart cities across the world will necessitate 5G connectivity. Smart devices can work together only if data connectivity is 10 times faster than 4G networks and latency drops by a factor of 10. With customers demanding immersive experiences that transcends space and time, it is imperative that businesses remain bullish about 5G capabilities.

The author, Phani Kishore Burre is Senior Vice President & Global Delivery Head – Networks, Cloud, Infrastructure & Security Services at CSS Corp

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How to Leverage Geospatial Data to Map Locations and add Business Value

The story of Robinson Crusoe who survives the storm and the wilderness is one of the most enduring classics in English literature. This genre of humans surviving in the wild against all odds is immortalized on screen through films like “Castaway” and “Life of Pi.” However, the emergence of GPS, Google Maps, and satellite imagery has reduced the meaning of the word “lost” to a fictional term. A large number of people on the move, from an adventurer to a top executive are using sophisticated street maps, satellite imagery, and route planners to leverage location intelligence and identify the area of choice. This form of intelligence combines the capabilities of geospatial technologies, data analytics, and artificial intelligence to visualize the geographical patterns, routes, and spatial trends to plan, map, and optimize the positional dimension.

Location — The New Value Multiplier

Geospatial technologies facilitating high-end locational intelligence will be the catalyst for a smart, inclusive community. Internet of Things, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence integrated with spatial intelligence will transform the way we live and work. For example, United Nations Smart Cities initiative aims to create self-sustained urban pockets to combat the bottlenecks of congestion. By 2050, 70% of the global population will be concentrated in cities and planners are turning to information and communication technologies to create secure living zones for all.  Location data gathering is made possible through the network of connected sensors that delivers real-time information of community movement, utility deliveries, traffic, crime, etc. Geospatial technologies can use the power of IoT and analytics to provide real-time insights to manage basic amenities such as power and streamlining postal operations.  This form of data combined with market intelligence, demographics, and operational data can be used for building marketing networks, creating telecom infrastructure, or scheduling healthcare visits in smart cities.

Streamlining delivery- Mitigating Risks

Global supply chain experts are also increasingly depending on locational intelligence. Amazon’s highly efficient supply chain is enabled through a plethora of sensors, RFID tags, and next-gen geospatial tools. Amazon’s delivery center has complete visibility into 680 million packages delivered with real-time information of its position on planet earth.

This visibility becomes imperative for cold chain operators wherein locational information necessitates quick actions. For e.g., if a truck of life-saving vaccines is stuck due to document holdups, then executives need to take action in split seconds. IoT enabled sensors can drive real-time asset monitoring to provide reports and alternatives needed to salvage the situation. The stranded truck can then be re-directed to the closest airport or land transport location wherein the shipment can move ahead. Spatial integrated real-time asset monitoring is helping organizations to move away from reactive actions or post-mortem analytics to predictive analytics to ensure cold chain efficiencies.

Location analysis- Creating the Impact

Here are a few industry areas which are bound to witness a resounding impact through the use of geospatial data.

Telecom: 5G is bound to revolutionize mobile internet connectivity. This technology is driving a confluence of digital technologies such as big data, AI, cloud, and automation, to enable seamless, low latency, high bandwidth connectivity, and bring in a paradigm shift in customer experiences. For transmitting high-frequency 5G waves, accurate geospatial data is a must, since the waves can get disrupted even by the most negligible blocks (e.g. raindrop). Geospatial data can also boost location-based advertising, drive adoption of network-driven wearable devices, and help evolve new digital products and services.  New distributed messaging systems are also evolving which enables the transfer of large data volumes through geo-distributed replication to multiple data centers.

Automotive: The advent of digital maps has changed the way we perceive the world. It is now possible to quantify the time required to travel from one point to the other or to decide on the fastest travel route. Though widely used apps such as Google maps help in leveraging geospatial data, its real business use is in the area of logistics and transportation. Key intervention areas include mapping inventory locations, analyze faster routes, track vehicles, and govern dispatch schedules. Location data is widely used in building safe driverless cars for collision avoidance, parking assist sensors, mapless navigation, vehicle localization, mobile eye implementations, and build high definition maps.

Utilities: Renewable energy firms and utility firms leverage location analytics continually to optimize service outcomes and monitor equipment health for optimal performance. Geospatial data can be used to track power consumption and weather patterns to foresee future consumption needs, and when synergized with IoT, it can help in the overall performance of power grids. A community in rural Vermont powered by renewable energy was able to save $200,000 at the right time by using location-based data.

Geospatial Intelligence- Empowering business

For tomorrow’s connected world, geospatial data will emerge as a key differentiator for businesses while building new products and services. This form of data can also be leveraged for decisive insights and enable smarter business decisions. The synergy of analytics and location intelligence can also empower organizations to delve deeper into the customer journey and drive more location-specific business. Geospatial data, when combined with customer profiles, can make your business more contextual helping in sustaining growth momentum and competitive advantage.

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Parks Associates: More Than 50% of Consumers Who Set Up Smart Home Devices Themselves Report Setup Problems

Parks Associates research finds most smart home owners set up their devices on their own and more than 50% of these consumers report setup problems. These issues have not translated into greater adoption of tech support services—one-fifth of U.S. broadband households have a subscription. The research firm will examine opportunities to improve tech support services using cognitive and intelligent technologies and automation in the webcast “Cognitive Support Solutions: Delivering the Best Connected Experience”on Tuesday, November 1311 a.m. CT.

The webcast, sponsored by CSS Corp, presents strategies for tech support providers to automate support processes while still delivering personalized and valuable user experiences.

“In today’s connected household, support services must expand to offer comprehensive protection for the whole home network, with knowledge of all connected devices, their capabilities, and how they interact with each other,” said Patrice Samuels, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates. “This service creates multiple support challenges, so cost control is another obstacle. AI and other adaptive tech innovations can help companies develop a service that is cost-effective yet still deliver positive user experiences.”

“The power of information and choice that today’s consumers enjoy make them more aware and in control of what they want than ever before,” said Sid Victor, Vice President & Head of Customer eXperience Services, CSS Corp. “This paradigm shift has made customer experience (CX) the new differentiator as empowered customers are calling the shots. At CSS Corp, we’ve taken an experience-first approach to orchestrating our customers’ digital journeys. Our unique point-of-view from being the perfect intersection of a customer experience practitioner and digital Services provider gives us an unprecedented edge in crafting the ideal digital journey for our customers. CSS Corp’s offers modular, context-aware, and outcome-based cognitive automation models to create hyper-personalized customer experiences.”

During the webcast, Samuels and Victor will share insights on:

  • Consumer expectations for support
  • Automation built on intelligent devices that deliver personalized connected experiences to consumers
  • The impact of support on customer experience and actions
  • Outcome-based automation services and their impact on business outcomes

“Connected devices are taking a more central role in a variety of contexts,” Samuels said. “Use cases extend from entertainment to health and home security, and automated solutions with the proper intelligence can deliver convenience and personalization to the consumer through multiple support scenarios.”

For more information and to register for the webcast, visit https://www.parksassociates.com/cognitive-nov2018. To speak with an analyst about this research, contact Julia Homier at julia.homier@parksassociates.com, 972-996-0214.

About Parks Associates

Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups through market reports, primary studies, consumer research, custom research, workshops, executive conferences, and annual service subscriptions. https://www.parksassociates.com

About CSS Corp

CSS Corp is a new age IT Services and technology support company that harnesses the power of AI, 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 5,600 technology professionals across 16 global locations are passionate about helping customers differentiate and succeed. For more information please visit www.csscorp.com.

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