November

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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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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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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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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