October

CSS Corp opens 2nd facility in PHL

TECH support firm CSS Corp. has opened its second delivery center in Metro Manila as part of its continued expansion in the country.

In a statement, CSS Corp. said it plans to hire over 400 employees for the new facility, located in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), within the next six to eight months. The jobs will be for technical support, help desk, customer support and account management.

“Philippines continues to emerge as an outsourcing hot spot for global players, given its strong understanding of customers in US and EU, coupled with the surge in digital-savvy talent and technical skills,” Manish Tandon, CSS Corp. chief executive officer, said in the statement.

The 24,218-square feet facility will feature “state-of-the-art” workspaces, two training centers, technical labs, collaboration rooms and recreational areas including a 24-hour cafeteria, karaoke and billiard rooms.

“The Philippines, with its ease of doing business, burgeoning tech talent, and exceptional language skills, has become a favored destination for support capabilities, especially with the rise in cognitive technologies. Coupled with strong labor policies and government incentives, the country brings tremendous potential for growth in the near future,” Arvind Kingsly Appavu, country head and assistant vice-president — Philippines at CSS Corp., said.

CSS Corp. opened its first center in Manila in 2009. The new BGC facility will bring the company’s presence in Asia to eight.

Last year, CSS Corp. opened a development center in Costa Rica and Bengaluru, India.

CSS Corp. is a new age information technology and technology support service provider that utilizes various technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, analytics and cloud, among others. — Janina C. Lim

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Mental Health Day 2021: What Tech Leaders Are Saying?

The challenges and trauma associated with Covid-19 have put mental health front-and-center for employers like never before. According to research, 42% of global employees have experienced a decline in mental health since the pandemic began. Mental health no doubt has proved a hot topic across the tech sector, with research conducted by Harvey Nash earlier this year revealing that concerns among tech workers increased by 75% during the pandemic. Symptoms of burnout are also increasing among employees and leaders alike.

Good news is that addressing mental health and well-being in the workplace can truly make a difference to an individual and the collective workforce – helping them determine how to handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Moreover, there is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive.

However, there’s still a long way to go! That’s an obvious reason why World Mental Health Day is celebrated every year on October 10. First recognized by the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992, it aims to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and wellbeing, and advocate against social stigma around the subject.

With this in mind, we take a look at how tech companies have been dealing with the matter of mental health, and the challenges that they are looking to overcome.

“Workplace technology and corporate culture are intertwined, and their impact on employee mental health and wellbeing continues to evolve. We, as an organization, have always been mindful of the mental well-being of our employees. Therefore, we have launched a slew of initiatives to leverage technology towards advancing mental health and wellbeing. Our 24/7 employee assistance provides counseling and aid to employees, and HR chatbots automate responses to queries, leading to faster issue resolutions. Additionally, we have been conducting virtual mindfulness sessions and digital detox (digital quarantine) to enable employees to find the right balance amid their hectic schedules. We believe that while the organization could march ahead with lots of accomplishments and milestones, the health and wellbeing of the employees are vital. Technology alone does not help as it cannot replicate the human touch and reassurance, it is important to provide the experience. Sometimes, a simple pat on the back can be good enough to alleviate stress and anxiety. During times of uncertainty, it is crucial to lead with empathy. CSS Corp tracks the health status of employees constantly. Since the onset of the pandemic, I have personally spoken with more than 90% of the Covid-affected employees. This conveyed the support and reassurance to the employees in a direct personal way apart from ensuring a thorough understanding of the ground-level challenges they face. We also aim to proactively neutralize burnout, anxiety, stress, and the problems that emerge from working virtually over an extended time,” – Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, SVP and Head – HR (Global) and Head of Corporate Quality, CSS Corp

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CSS Corp wins gold at 10th Annual 2018 Golden Bridge Awards

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that its cognitive assistant platform Cognitive CX Platform has been awarded Gold at the 10th Annual 2018 Golden Bridge Awards. The award will be presented in San Francisco on Monday, October 29, 2018, during the red-carpet ceremony.

CSS Corp has built Cognitive CX Platform to help brands reorient their customer experience approach through an outcome-based model. The company enables organizations to adopt contextual digital strategies and proposes solutions that automate interactions, amplify customer service agents and simplify their operations.

CSS Corp’s Cognitive CX Platform ties four crucial components of customer lifecycle management:
1. Customer experience enhancement
2. Digital journey orchestration
3. Revenue generation
4. Outcome-based delivery

The company is investing significantly in its Cognitive CX Platform platform to help businesses anticipate and resolve customer issues at scale and at manageable costs. The company recently released the enterprise version of the Cognitive CX Platform that focuses on streamlining and modernizing enterprise support operations.

“Brands that master personalization and bring deep, intuitive customer experiences through smarter technology will thrive in the digital future. CSS Corp’s deep capabilities in digital, coupled with our obsessive focus on customer centricity has helped us to offer unique expertise to our clientele and aid in their transformation journeys,” said Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp.

“This recognition is another milestone in our innovation journey, as we continue to explore new frontiers in creating cognitive solutions for tomorrow’s business problems,” he further added.

Sunil Mittal, EVP & Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, CSS Corp said, “Our digital-focused strategy and innovation roadmap has helped us to develop intuitive solutions that identify new revenue opportunities and power growth for our customers. Our cognitive platform Cognitive CX Platform is born out of this approach, and since its launch, Cognitive CX Platform has helped us to explore greater personalization in CX, for our clients.”

“We are honored to be recognized by Golden Bridge Awards, and we will continue to push new boundaries in customer excellence through cutting-edge innovation and intelligent technology,” he further added.

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Initiatives By Tech Firms On Employee Mental Health In India

Tech companies have introduced initiatives and implemented programmes to ensure that employees’ mental health is cared for.

COVID-19 has been challenging for almost everyone across the globe. With people being stuck inside the four walls of their houses and remote work becoming a way of life, employees’ mental health has taken a toll, especially for those whose only escape from problematic homes was work. Alternatively, many complained about burnout and long hours at work.

Unfortunately, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted and even halted critical mental health services in up to 93 per cent of countries across the globe at a time when its need was the maximum.

However, mental health goes a long way when it comes to maintaining consistency and productivity at work. In line with this, tech companies have introduced initiatives and implemented programmes to ensure that employees’ mental health is taken care of.

We, at Analytics India Magazine, have curated a list of tech firms in India that have taken initiatives on employee mental wellness.

CSS Corp

CSS Corp has a slew of initiatives to leverage technology towards the advancement of mental well-being. It has round-the-clock employee assistance that provides counselling and aid to its employees. Additionally, the HR chatbots automate responses to questions, accelerating resolutions. The tech company has also been conducting virtual mindfulness sessions and digital detox to enable work-life balance.

Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, SVP and Head HR (Global) and Head of Corporate Quality at CSS Corp, said that while the organisation could march ahead with lots of accomplishments and milestones, the health and well-being of employees is absolutely vital.

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CSS Corp wins Gold in IT services at the 11th Annual 2019 Golden Bridge Awards

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology company, has won Gold in the 11th Annual 2019 Golden Bridge Awards® for its innovative network solutions.

The company was bestowed with the ‘Best Solution of the Year’ title in the IT services category. The award was presented in San Francisco on October 28, 2019, during the red-carpet awards ceremony.

CSS Corp’s innovative network solutions are designed to enable telcos to address the challenges associated with 5G installations and accelerate their 5G rollouts.

Leveraging cognitive technologies such as AI/ML, advanced analytics and intelligent automation, the solutions drive network transformation reliably and cost-effectively.

Built on their multi-vendor and multi-technology network expertise, the end-to-end solutions cover advanced network planning, NFV automation, digital quality assurance, field operations optimization, and cognitive network operations.

Developed in CSS Corp’s state-of-the-art innovation labs, the solutions enable organizations to scale up their resilience, business agility, and operational excellence.

“Building a system that is agile and intuitive with a deep focus on business operations and customer experience is indispensable today. Our digital-focused strategy and innovative network solutions have helped us to offer flexible and value-based services to our clientele, and fast-track their network transformation journeys. This award is a testament to CSS Corp’s vision to offer best-in-class solutions that leverage cognitive technologies to solve a wide range of business problems. I’m proud that our solutions have been appreciated by more than 160 esteemed jury panelists from a broad spectrum of industries around the world”, said Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp.

“We will continue to push boundaries and explore new frontiers in bringing more cutting-edge and cost-effective network solutions for our customers to enable them to succeed”, he added.

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Corporates reach out with digital detox, voice-out forums, HR chatbots

Accordingly, corporates close to home are already adapting to the post-pandemic setting and doing their bit to raise awareness and destigmatise mental health issues.

The pandemic and the lockdowns have left a trail of loss and grief and it becomes imperative, now more than ever, to scale up quality mental health services at all levels. This is what countries across the globe felt the need for at the World Health Assembly in May 2021.

Accordingly, corporates close to home are already adapting to the post-pandemic setting and doing their bit to raise awareness and destigmatise mental health issues. Read on…

‘Okay to not be okay’
While employee mental wellbeing was always a topic of discussion, the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown brought the issue to the fore with corporates aligning their goals in this direction.

Technology to drive change
While technology has received the short end of the stick, companies across the country have tried to use it to reach out to employees. Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, SVP and head – HR (global) and head of corporate quality, CSS Corp, says, “Our 24/7 employee assistance provides counselling and aid to employees, and HR chatbots automate responses to queries, leading to faster issue resolutions. Additionally, we have been conducting virtual mindfulness sessions and digital detox (digital quarantine) to enable employees to find the right balance amid their hectic schedules.”

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Three ways to gain a competitive edge in tech-talent acquisition and retention

The need for exceptional tech talent in today’s cut-throat IT market is a no-brainer. But does that mean every organisation has the dream team in place? Well, it’s easier said than done. But even if they do source the right talent, retaining that talent is an issue that trips up talent acquisition teams of top organisations.

The mounting pressure to hire and retain talent has forced companies to redraw their recruitment campaigns and rethink their employee engagement programs—by going digital. Here’s a quick look at how organisations are going about it.

Recruiters are using social media to source niche technical skills, industry experience, and domain expertise. From hire to retire, India Inc is tapping the power of new age learning platforms that aid in recruitment, learning & development, and reskilling initiatives.

Apart from using social media, companies are adopting various digital strategies to engage and retain their new hires. They’re harnessing AI, AR, IoT, ML, and Analytics to drive employee engagement through contextual intelligence that drives learning initiatives and advances careers. For example, cutting-edge platforms offer collaborative tools to engage employees. In addition to the usual hackathons and boot camps, the platform offers university-like programs, online forums, peer-to-peer learning groups, e-learning, learning communities, facilitator-led contact classes, and courses powered by top universities and MOOC providers to help employees become more agile. Alternatively, company-wide digital skilling initiatives are also executed to up-skill and cross-skill employees across new age technologies for existing employees.

These programs offer an environment that fosters a sense of engagement, innovation and creativity. Moreover, companies save a huge amount of time when it comes to bridging the gap in project requirements and skills. By offering targeted learning modules, employees are on the fast track to skilling up for their next assignment. These benefits ultimately translate to high retention numbers and satisfaction scores.

Today, companies are also investing heavily in setting up their innovation centers of excellence and leveraging cutting edge technologies to kindle a steady stream of creative ideas across teams. Teams are spurred to contribute novel ideas in solving today’s business challenges. An innovative culture that incites employees in doing things differently.

To gain a competitive edge in tech talent acquisition, companies should deeply adapt an ‘Employee-First’ approach with employee experience as the core goal. Through means of aligning people, process and technology, they can create a unique employee experience that ensures scaling and retaining high quality tech talent.

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BPOs continue to hire Filipinos

CSS Corp., a global customer experience and technology consulting services provider based in Fort Bonifacio, announced plans to add 1,000 employees by 2022 to generate equal opportunities for prospective talent in the provinces.

The company also aims to foster a culture of learning and growth via a partnership with select universities in training students with technical and soft skills. CSS sees the need to enable students and talents to successfully navigate the job market and provide professional development opportunities for employees looking to step up in their career ladder.

“We want to give equal opportunities to fresh and promising talent and nurture our employees to take on management and leadership roles as part of our commitment to their career development, to empower them to deliver world-class customer service that CSS Corp has been known for,” said CSS Philippines country head Arvind Appavu who was recently promoted to senior vice president.

Appavu leads CSS Corp.’s 2,100-strong personnel in the country—a total headcount that doubled in the past fiscal year. Driven by its “people-first” approach to employee and customer engagement, the company ensured that no one loses their job amid the pandemic.

Based in Manila, Appavu has over 20 years of industry experience, setting up successful programs and operations worldwide. With his new role, Appavu is expected to lead the company’s global customer service delivery through process effectiveness, institutionalizing global quality standards to facilitate unified customer experiences across engagements. He is also expected to facilitate the expansion of CSS Corp.’s footprint outside of Metro Manila. Appavu’s promotion took effect on July 1, 2021.

Despite the challenges brought about by this period of uncertainty, Appavu expressed confidence in his colleagues and the potential that the Philippine market has to offer.

“The Philippines has truly been a growth engine for CSS Corp. not just in the region, but also globally. I am optimistic that through our efforts, we will come out stronger than ever, as we tread the path to what the future holds for us, for the company, and the customers we serve,” he said.

CSS Corp. is among the first IT-BPO employers to fully implement the work-from-home arrangement at the onset of quarantine restrictions in 2020. With the reopening of the economy and resumption of on-site operations late last year, CSS implemented health and safety measures that prioritize employee well-being, including its pick and drop services, work “bubbles” in the office premises, and provision of nutritious and balanced meals for employees on-site.

“When the pandemic struck, we made a conscious decision to put our employees’ well-being and safety on priority instead of churning profit. We believe that if we keep our employees healthy and happy, excellent customer experience follows. We are also in the process of running a vaccination drive for our employees,” Appavu said.

Meanwhile, US-based BPO company Afni opened a new recruitment hub in the Philippines on Aug. 2 in its bid to continue building a culture and creating opportunities that attract and retain the best and brightest.

The recruitment hub started accommodating applicants on Aug. 3. It will also remain open during the enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 6 to 20 for applicants who cannot process their applications online. Strict health and safety protocols are in place, and applicants are asked to follow such measures.

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Tech Firms Put Mental Health at the Top of the Agenda

On World Mental Health Day 2020, CXOToday puts the spotlight on some technology companies that are putting mental health at the top of their business agenda.

From increased isolation due to working from home to blurring work-life boundaries, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in increased stress levels for employees. A recently released LinkedIn report that surveyed professionals between April and September this year shows that nearly 40% professionals are experiencing increased stress or anxiety due to Covid-19.

While the economic repercussions of the ongoing pandemic have made IT professionals vulnerable to job uncertainty, financial instability, and bleak company outlook, as they continue to work remotely in social isolation, it has also given an opportunity for companies to use this time to rethink work-life balance and prioritize mental health.

On World Mental Health Day 2020, CXOToday puts the spotlight on some of these tech companies that are putting mental health at the top of their business agenda. Let’s hear from the experts

“At CSS Corp, we have launched several initiatives in line with leveraging technology towards advancing mental health and wellbeing. Our 24/7 employee assistance platform called ‘Turning Point’ provides counselling and aid to employees, along with HR chatbots that automate responses for queries, thus leading to faster issue resolutions. Additionally, we have been conducting virtual mindfulness sessions to enable employees to find the balance in the midst of their hectic schedules. It is to be noted that the increasing use of gadgets and technology could lead to ‘increased digital quarantine’ which can cause other health problems. Hence, it is crucial to be cognizant of one’s priorities and use technology appropriately. Also, there are limitations in the use of technology as it cannot replicate the human touch and reassurance. Sometimes, a simple pat on the back can be good enough to alleviate stress and anxiety.” – Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, SVP, Head of HR (Global) and Quality Control, CSS Corp

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