Share to lead the transformation

In Focus

Mahendra Upadhyay, CIO

Broadcast Audience Research Council

We are skilled at using AI for analyzing troves of data efficiently

BARC India is a statistical and measurement science company which is ‘Of the Industry, By the Industry and For the Industry’.

The company is registered with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) as a self-regulated, not-for-profit Joint Industry Body that provides the most authentic audience estimates of What India Watches, to Broadcasters, Advertisers and Advertising Agencies. The Big Data driven insights generated by BARC India, is built upon a robust and future-ready technology backbone which powers efficient media spends and content decisions in a highly dynamic and growing broadcasting sector.

Commencing operations in 2015, today BARC India manages the world’s largest and most diverse TV measurement system covering approximately187000 individuals in 44,000 households, in 513 districts covering over 600 towns and 1300 villages, across India.

Jatinder Singh of Better World recently interacted with Mahendra K Upadhyay, Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India to get in-depth understanding of how BARC has leveraged technologies such as AI, machine learning (ML) and robotics to analyze, predict and process various metrics for driving effective business and customer experience. Excerpts of the interview:

Better World: How have you leveraged the latest technologies and innovations to strengthen credibility, transparency and instill confidence in all stakeholders in the TRP measurement system?

Mahendra K Upadhyay: Our data serves as the trusted “currency” for the Indian broadcast industry. Through this “currency,” broadcasters and agencies make several vital decisions relating to programming, strategy, and audience targeting. Providing the data in usable forms in an unfailing and timely fashion, week on week is highly dependent on technology.

Collecting data from over 44,000 household television meters and 15,000+ individuals’ digital meters daily while integrating with massive databases and alternative data sources requires the data to be stored safely, scalably, efficiently, accessible, and cost-effectively. The kind of data BARC India collects, compiles, and provides insights for is a brilliant example of the 5Vs of big data – Volume, Velocity, Variety, Veracity, and Value. BARC India processes ten petabytes of data annually, larger than the Aadhar Card database’s data size and the US Census Bureau.

With this large and variable data, extensive use of the latest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies is required to minimize human intervention and extract and represent the information accurately as per the prescribed methodology.

We have set a strict standard for releasing our clients’ data, doing so diligently every Thursday at 11 am. Performance, improvements, quality, and consistency are few parameters we experience and implement each passing day – without a firm Information and technology framework, this would not be possible.

Besides, we have deployed and enriched Lambda (λ) architecture that utilizes cloud services (Native & Custom) and on-premises data center capacities. An in-house created Enterprise Data Lake (EDL) helps end-to-end Data Validation Processes (DVP), fully automated, removing any human intervention. In addition to this, the application framework learns system patterns to help us identify areas for improvement.

Better World: Can you please elaborate more on AI and ML technologies to strengthen business resiliency levels and navigate the disruptions?

Mahendra K Upadhyay: At BARC India, rather than serving as a replacement for human intelligence and ingenuity, we use AI as a supporting tool. We are skilled at processing and analyzing troves of data efficiently to generate the insights needed by our clients.  This way, we use AI to help get the best-required output and streamline the decision-making process.

BARC India has eliminated human intervention end-to-end in the data validation journey. All admin access on the system and the data is via Identity and Access Management and activity recording.

We prefer networks rather than hierarchies. BARC India has created cross-technology groups to share knowledge. To ensure that our systems/networks and applications are robust and mitigate process lapses, we regularly undertake third-party audits.

To generate authentic and accurate data of ‘What India Watches™’ is a responsibility we take with the highest sense of commitment and integrity. Also, we are implementing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to do the daily repetitive operational jobs, not only in the Tech stream, but we are experimenting with it across the organization.

Better World: How do you prevent data tampering in your business?

Mahendra K Upadhyay: To generate authentic and accurate data of ‘What India Watches™’ is a responsibility we take with the highest sense of commitment and integrity.

Mahendra K Upadhyay, CIO, BARC India

Mahendra Upadhyay is a senior management professional in digital, data and technology space; presently working with BARC India as Chief Information Officer. Mahendra comes with 20 years of rich experience in telecom, banking, retail, media, and advertising industries with expertise in the entire data/digital value chain, i.e., ingestion-insights-analytics-interventions-auto AI and digital transformation.

Mahendra Upadhyay has previously worked with multinationals such as Mindshare, Ericsson, SAS Institute, among others.

Expertise

  • Digital transformation and automation
  • Digital marketing, marketing automation and measurement
  • Consumer Insights, interventions and advance analytics
  • Big data analytics, business intelligence (AI/ML)
  • Data/process management, security and governance
  • Large scale program management

Education

  • Executive Management, Business Administration and Management, General, Harvard business publishing, 2018
  • MBA, Business Management, Institute of Technology and Management, 2011
  • MCA, Rajiv Gandhi Prodyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, 2001

To ensure that we have deployed enterprise-level security architecture with robust perimeter and access control measures with the entire data path, from source to delivery, being end-to-end encrypted and monitored while maintaining vigilance through privilege identity management.

To ensure that endpoint security controls are in place, we’ve implemented Mobile Device Management (MDM) on the devices used/accessed by employees and the field force for data collection.

Over a Virtual Private Network (VPN), a single sign-in option for all corporate applications (on-premises, SaaS, IaaS) and Privilege Identity Management (PIM) based access methods ensure we have control over the actions being taken at every logging.  Further to this, we have network/user-level access controls for information to ensure it never crosses the BARC boundaries.

We have multi-layer firewalls and encryption methods; most importantly, we ensure that our data resides within India for effective law enforcement. Excellence is continuous. We do audits/checks of our IT systems and general control policies periodically to ensure we have updated protocols in place to resolve digital/cybersecurity-related challenges effectively.

Better World: How have you navigated the transition to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Mahendra K Upadhyay: BARC India drafted a comprehensive work-from-home (WFH) framework for its internal and external users by focusing on its key pillars: Communication, Collaboration, and Checks (security, integrity, and authority).

Secure processes and information flow are keys for success, so ‘Checks’ are critical to ensure their integrity. We have implemented two additional security layers and encryption protocols to ensure information is secure and applications function smoothly in the new normal environment of WFH.

Better World: What, according to you, are the key technology trends that will likely have the most significant impact on the enterprise ecosystem in the post-COVID environment?

Mahendra K Upadhyay: The FOUR key trends I see are:

  1. ‘Security Frameworks’ for securing information, application, networks, and end-users.
  2. ‘Robotic Process Automation’ for 100% uptime and optimum process utilization.
  3. Data-driven use cases and auto-discovery/treatments using advanced AI.
  4. Edge computing.

Finally, while technology and innovations can help, it’s ultimately human intelligence that makes the outcome business-friendly. This requires continuous investment, not only in tech but also in PEOPLE.

MORE FROM BETTER WORLD

It’s time to invest in a Chief Transformation Officer!

It’s time to invest in a Chief Transformation Officer!

In the current VUCA (Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) times, most organizations are under constant pressure to innovate and transform themselves to compete well and offer exceptional client service. This has intensified the importance of employing a specialist executive, Chief Transformation Officer, who can supervise the change in real-time and enable organizations to deal with the shift and changing dynamics.

Any transformation program entails risk around existing processes, technology and culture. A well-supported transformation leader at the executive table can play a pivotal role in reducing the risks and successfully executing a digital transformation initiative.  (See: How is digital transformation shaping the new future?)

While such roles have been in existence for some time, their demand has grown recently. This may be primarily due to the massive expansion of digital transformation programs by various organizations at all levels.

Chief Transformation Officer

According to a recent report by EY , the CEO and Chief Strategy Officer are traditionally charged with formulating strategy. But executives now indicate that a broader group is joining them, including the Chief Growth Officer, Chief Transformation Officer, and Chief Sustainability Officer. The report notes that this may sign the pace of change and the importance of non-financial measures, such as environmental and regulatory factors in a company’s market value.

Why do firms need transformative leaders?

When the coronavirus pandemic confronted enterprises, not many were well-equipped to manage the crisis. The pandemic’s outbreak pushed enterprises of all scales to control cost, find a workaround for business continuity, integrate various digital technologies in their business ecosystem, and remain innovative.

At the beginning of the pandemic, several organizations had a hard time managing the turbulent business environment and sought expert advice to drive change. After all, creating healthy balance sheets and maintaining relevance in an ecosystem of significant change requires a targeted approach that can only be carried out by a specialist. The disruptions caused by the pandemic were no different from a global war-like situation. And events like these have far-reaching economic repercussions than we think. (See: Online project management tools: Top office suite analysis)

Tech leaders were trying to catch up with the growing uncertainty and interrupted cash flows. In addition to allowing a thriving remote work environment and protecting their workforce from the pandemic’s impacts, there was also a blur around political and economic agendas, testing the mettle of businesses, and technology leaders. Most small- and medium-sized businesses were concerned about shutting down soon.

In this context, the importance of Transformation Leader or Chief Transformation Officer has been widely relayed through numerous leading companies’ executive committees. Businesses have increasingly realized that someone must take responsibility for leading change because transformation requires strength, attention, collaboration, and clear accountability.

The Transformation Leader’s role is to lead the transformation program and enable all employees, external stakeholders, or customers to drive change. This is about guiding the organization through the disruption and getting buy-in from all stakeholders.

A paradigm shift

A few years ago, not many organizations had this role, and it was also short-lived. The main reason was that the transformations were relatively infrequent and that companies were afraid of investing money in a temporary role. However, today, in growing complicated circumstances, businesses realize the importance of developing a consistent goal-oriented transformative strategy that can bring both short- and long-term value to their stakeholders while keeping operational costs under check.

The Chief Transformation Officer is responsible for analyzing the customers changing behavioral patterns and continually look at the market dynamics to help organizations stay competitive. They work in partnership with the company’s technology, human resources, and financial leadership, improving processes and metrics.

As transformation programs move forward, the Chief Transformation Officer will focus on the evidence-based perspective and a managing behavior resistant to change. They play a crucial role in enabling employees to embrace new changes through training and necessary information sharing.

Given that in 2021, technologies such as robotic process automation and the internet of things (IoT) will take center stage to drive productivity, new age models, and standardization, investing in the role of Chief Transformation Officer will help enterprises accelerate their business strategy. (See: RPA-led tools helping enterprises sail safely through a storm)

 

AWS pumps $2.77 bn in India to retain cloud supremacy

AWS pumps $2.77 bn in India to retain cloud supremacy

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has committed US $2.77 billion (INR 20,761 Crores) to strengthen its cloud infrastructure services in India. Amazon’s cloud computing arm will use this money to launch a new cluster of data centers in Telangana, Hyderabad.

“Happy to announce the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the history of Telangana! After a series of meetings, AWS has finalized an investment of Rs 207.61 bn ($ 2.77 bn) to set up multiple data centers in Telangana. The @AWSCloud Hyderabad Region is expected to be launched by mid-2022,” tweeted Telangana state minister for information technology and industries, KT Rama Rao (KTR).

Within its lexicon, AWS identifies its data centers cluster as Availability Zones. AWS set-up two data centers in Mumbai in 2016. It added another data center in Mumbai last year. Across the Asia Pacific, AWS already has 26 Availability Zones spanning India, Australia, Greater China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore.  

The investment will further enable AWS’s position as a leader in India. AWS currently has around 30% market share of India’s cloud service market, followed by Microsoft’s Azure.

AWS leases server space and bandwidth to enterprises of all sizes with cloud computing capabilities. This allows businesses to accelerate their digital transformation goals without building up their in-house servers or data centers.

Growing cloud services market in India

Over the last few years, Indian enterprises are quickly embracing cloud computing services to upsurge agility, deliver innovations, and modernize their infrastructure. With businesses focusing on well-carved out cloud strategy in the wake of the digital transformation rush, there is a bigger emphasis on getting experts on-board who have the experience to help organizations prepare for a new tomorrow. (See: Bharti Airtel gears up for digital transformation opportunities and IBM to split into two companies for better cloud opportunity)

The pandemic-induced work-from-environment has made the market even more lucrative, and cloud players are taking strong initiatives to strengthen their presence in India. These fast-evolving dynamics have made India one of the biggest and fastest-growing cloud services markets in the Asia Pacific, which is likely to touch $10 billion in another five years. Industry body NASSCOM projects that the market will grow to $7.1 billion by even 2022. (See: Technology trends for businesses in 2020)

The top players dominating the Indian market include Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Google Cloud, and Nutanix. Amongst all, Amazon and Microsoft are leading the market and intensely vying to be the market leader in India’s cloud services market. While AWS’s position at the top is indisputable, both Azure and Google are growing at a remarkable rate, posing a threat to Amazon’s dominance in the cloud services space.

Early this year, Amazon and Bharti Airtel, India’s leading telecom player, entered into a strategic collaboration to deliver cloud computing solutions to enterprises. The partnership was formed to combat a similar engagement announced by Microsoft and Reliance Jio to provide enterprise cloud solutions powered by Microsoft Azure.

AWS had the first-mover advantage as it started its operations seven years earlier than many of its competitors. It gave Amazon an opportunity to get its offerings tested and make it more functionally rich as compared to the others.

In August 2019, Amazon inaugurated its biggest campus globally in Hyderabad, which supports 15000 employees. Through its AWS Academy and AWS Educate initiatives, AWS has also been providing ready-to-teach curriculum to higher universities in India to upskill local developers, students young IT professionals.

AWS’s client in India includes Ashok Leyland, Aditya Birla Capital, Axis Bank, Bajaj Capital, ClearTax, Dream11, Druva, Edelweiss, Edunext, Extramarks, Freshworks, HDFC Life, Mahindra Electric, Ola, Oyo, Policybazaar, Quantela, RBL Bank, redBus, Sharda University, Swiggy, Tata Sky, YuppTV, Zerodha, and several others.

AWS registered a 29% year-on-year growth in revenue to posting $10.8 billion in revenue in the second quarter of 2020.

 

 

 

RPA-led tools helping enterprises sail safely through a storm

RPA-led tools helping enterprises sail safely through a storm

The unprecedented COVID-19 environment has thrown up several challenges for industries across the globe. The growing distributed workforce environment is pushing businesses to deploy new-age digital operational methodologies to deliver a tailored and personalized experience to their customers.

Amidst the digital transformation wave, a technology that has been swiftly gaining ground worldwide to enable businesses to revolutionize their conventional processes is Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The pandemic has made organizations rethink their operational models and integrate artificial intelligence and automation in their processes to ensure that there is no pause.

Incorporating AI and machine learning capabilities, RPA uses software robots that allow organizations to automate multiple high-volume, repeatable tasks. It includes calculations, approvals, invoice creation, server maintenance, merging data from other sources, and copying and pasting data.

There is a growing emphasis on deploying digital bots to reduce employee workloads and accelerate business transformation. Through the RPA bots, organizations are able to empower their employees to concentrate on productive tasks and respond to new challenges more effectively.

Customer centricity driving new automated models

Business process management solutions are widely adopted to streamline processes and transforming enterprise value propositions. Customer-centricity is a highly discussed subject today across the CXO boardrooms, and businesses are rapidly exploring the best ways to cut down on time lost on repetitive tasks.

By automating a business process, organizations can minimize work as it enables them to provide round the clock support to their clients from the bots.

At Better World, our recent interactions with several technology leaders and senior executives suggest that approximately 15 to 20 percent of all human hours are unexploited across industries due to repetitive tasks. The ratio is even higher in the IT sector, where about 25 percent of working hours are lost due to repetitive transactional tasks. With RPA enabled tools, companies can let employees focus on high-quality tasks with better efficiency and productivity. (See: Anshuman Tiwari, Global Head of Delivery Excellence, DXC Technology)

The RPA workforce comprises different software robot levels, performing monotonous and admin-driven tasks at an exceptional speed with minimal human intervention. Take the case of German automaker Volkswagon in India. Its Indian arm has substantially leveraged the capability of RPA to transform several of its processes. From its finance department to the customer service department, the company has automated over 80 processes successfully through RPA tools. Amongst the highlights, it deployed a bot to help its customer service team fetch real-time data that can be utilized to address customer queries.

A similar case in point is Thomas Cook India, a leading travel management firm. To navigate the lockdown-induced disruption, the company partnered with an RPA solution provider, ‘Automation Anywhere,’ to support its virtual workforce and drive automation in several of its processes.

Sectors such as BFSI, healthcare, and travel are aggressively exploring the best ways to implement software bots to improve their bottom lines and automate back-end operations.

Mushrooming market          

In India, RPA growth has been primarily driven by the need to optimize various back-end processes in accounting, IT operations, and human resource management. Many companies are finding it tough to keep up with the increasing demand for services in an environment filled with anxiety. And this is where technologies like RPA are creating a strong impact.

According to several industry estimates, in the next four years, the RPA market is expected to reach around $80 million in the country, helping organizations manage growth in a sustainable manner. 

The RPA vendors are expanding their presence in India, and 2021 will be a crucial year for this technology to thrive in the domestic market. The industry onlookers expect several rounds of consolidations and collaborations that will strengthen the RPA models in the country.

Besides top vendors like UiPath, Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, and WorkFusion, several exciting startups are gearing up to make a mark in the RPA space. Most of the vendors are investing heavily in research and development efforts. There is an increased push to launch ready to deploy bot solutions that can quickly take on human-intensive transactional work.

 

 

 

Intel’s AI investments in India have these strategic goals

Intel’s AI investments in India have these strategic goals

Intel is taking strategic steps in the Indian market to build a competitive advantage through artificial intelligence (AI) investments. The US-based semiconductor giant has been taking a holistic approach to developing an AI ecosystem by partnering with several leading academic institutions and governments on national AI programs. The company intends to develop a rich pool of AI talent that can help it achieve greater efficiencies and act as a catalyst to fast-track India’s AI vision.

Artificial intelligence has intrigued everyone with its vast capacity to propel a transformative new world. The concept includes deep learning, machine learning, and predictive analytics technologies that enable organizations to gather more data, analyze it, and automate processes. (See: AI in banking now geared for a takeoff and CIOs to focus on network transformation for business continuity)

Amidst the digital transformation wave, AI holds a huge potential to address several challenges of the Indian economy, comprising, healthcare, disaster management, and smart mobility. (See: AI is a must now to speed up digital transformation)

Taking an all-inclusive AI approach in India

Intel has been at the cutting edge of the AI revolution. As AI is becoming mainstream, it has been widely used in developing technologies and apps in speech recognition, virtual agents, machine learning platforms, cyber defense, biometrics, and facial recognition. (See: India gears up for AI leap in post-Covid-19 era)

With 5G technology at the doorstep, Intel, through its initiatives, preparing coders, data researchers, and analysts for the future of artificial intelligence-based technologies.

More emphasis has been given to increasing the computing power of diverse processors while simplifying their architectures. And none of this can happen without a solid talent pipeline. The company has launched programs such as AI for Youth, an initiative to prepare India’s young talent on AI-skills and Intel AI academy.

Last July, Intel invested US$253.5 million in India’s Reliance Jio platform. It is expected that this investment will support Jio’s future university projects. The next university will likely offer programs about future technologies, such as artificial intelligence, data science, and digital media.

Last month, Intel teamed up with IIIT Hyderabad, the Public Health Foundation of India, and the Telangana government to launch an applied research center in artificial intelligence. AI-powered solutions need significant capacity and power to match application demands. Intel is rapidly developing capabilities to meet the scope of AI’s future workloads.

Thanks to its AI developer education program, Intel has already trained Indian professionals on AI platforms like Machine Learning and Deep Learning. Another key initiative run by the global tech major is “Responsible AI for Youth,” which focuses on promoting artificial intelligence among Indian school students.

Attempt to win the AI race

In the post-COVID-19 world, a robust ecosystem supported by powerful computing capabilities is needed to speed up the technological change in all companies. This is where the technology company like Intel is attempting to make a difference.

Amidst growing digital transformation focus, data analysis, and innovation based on artificial intelligence have been used extensively by India’s growing e-commerce and research sectors. The tools are being rapidly deployed to understand the new digital behavior and demand trends. Besides, manufacturing firms have started to use the benefits of AI tools to control quality, reduce the size of the design team, and build predictive models for supply chains. Then, there is the healthcare sector, where AI-based tools are being used to improve diagnosis, treatment, and patient monitoring. (See: How artificial intelligence is transforming Indian retail sector)

Throughout the world, Intel has been making aggressive investments spanning technology, research and development, and collaborations with enterprises and governments, enabling efficient decision making based on algorithms. Early in May this year, Intel’s funding arm parked aside $500 million for investments in several startups that operate in business data and analytics.

In October this year, Intel purchased SigOpt, a San Francisco-based provider of a cutting-edge platform to optimize Artificial Intelligence (AI) software models at scale. Intel announced its intention to use SigOpt software technologies across Intel Artificial Intelligence hardware products to accelerate, amplify and extend Intel Artificial Intelligence software solution offerings to developers.

Intel’s latest efforts are in line with developing production-ready solutions for various enterprise-wide deployments. The company recently introduced its 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable processors and additions to its hardware and software AI portfolio to help its customers accelerate artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics workloads running in the data center, network and intelligent-edge environments.

In 2019, Intel gained over US$3.8 billion through AI-based solutions. With the AI market expected to become worth more than $30 billion in the next 3-4 years, Intel seems to be going in the right direction to capitalize on the opportunity.

Salary hikes at IT firms on cards as COVID disruption eases

Salary hikes at IT firms on cards as COVID disruption eases

Buoyed by the early signs of enormous digital transformation opportunities and demand for cloud-based solutions, salary hikes at IT firms in India appear to be returning ever since the COVID-19 disruption had made an adverse impact.

The COVID-19 led economic slowdown resulted in a monumental setback for many tech companies across the world. Low visibility of revenue growth and market gloom resulting from the pandemic forced India’s IT majors to suspend employee salary increases and promotions earlier this year. The decision was taken to control operational costs and provide business continuity, even during the crisis.

However, with optimism returning to the sector, salary hikes at IT firms, along with promotions across all grades are being considered by top Indian tech majors such as TCS, Infosys, HCL, Wipro, and Tech Mahindra. 

Timeline considered for salary hike at IT firms in India

Company               

Revenue in Rs crore (FY2020)

Current headcount

Salary hike effective from

TCS

1.62 lakh

453,540

1 October 2020

Infosys

93,594

240,208

1 January 2021

HCL

71,265

150,000

1 October 2020 (Junior staff)

1 January 2021

(Senior staff)

Wipro

63,862

180,000

1 December 2020

Tech Mahindra

38,060

125,000

Early 2021

Transitioning to the new normal

At the beginning of the year, most businesses put their energies on deploying a thriving remote work environment and delivering consistent services.  However, beginning in the second quarter, companies have accelerated the implementation of digital transformation solutions and increased spending to meet customer expectations to remain competitive in the current environment.

These evolutionary dynamics are having a positive impact on these tech majors. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was the first Indian IT major to announce a salary increase for its 453,540 employees as of October 1, 2020. Quickly after the nationwide lockdown announcement, TCS rolled-out Secure Borderless Workspaces Framework, which instantly enabled 90% of its employees to work effectively and meet client expectations remotely. TCS’s consolidated revenue from operations for Q2 stood at Rs 40,135 crores, clocking a 3% year-on-year growth.

The IT Major deferred salary increases in April this year to ensure that employees are not laid off.

For over 2,400,000 Infosys employees, salary hikes are expected to stay the same as in previous years. In recent years, Infosys has rapidly increased its digital and cloud capabilities that have helped it reach 2.2% revenue growth year-on-year, even in challenging times. The company is banking big on the large-scale digital transformation deal wins that materialized recently to accomplish higher than the average growth in the upcoming quarters. (See: Infosys buys GuideVision to boost Dx capabilities)

HCL tech joined the list recently by announcing salary hikes for its junior staff from October 2020 and senior staff from January 2021. The company’s net profit stood at Rs 3,142 crore for the September quarter, up 7.4% sequentially, and 18.5% year-on-year.

India’s fourth-largest IT Services provider, Wipro, witnessed a strong second quarter, which resulted in better margins and robust revenue growth. It celebrated the performance by announcing salary increases from December this year for 80% of its 1.85 lakh workforce. Throughout 2020, the company made a significant investment in acquisitions that could lead to substantial gains in the fiscal year 2022. (See: With Encore buy, Wipro eyes DX edge in fintech)

Tech Mahindra has announced that its employees’ salary increases will begin next year on a phased basis. The company states that the hikes for junior-most employees will be implemented first, followed by senior employees.

Big boost from fast-track digital transformation roadmaps

The sudden spike of COVID-19 cases compelled organizations to enforce fully work-from-home environments. To minimize the impact and support customers virtually within the new standard, organizations have stepped up their digital engagement strategies. The pandemic’s complex challenges are placing large and small businesses in a delicate situation that can only be solved by redefining work and developing agile business models.

During COVID-19, organizations’ dependence on digital solutions, has peaked at new heights, and at BM NXT research, we do not see the interest in digital technologies waning even when the pandemic ends. Businesses worldwide are expected to harness digital channels and continue modernizing their IT infrastructure to innovate faster and reimagine the business landscape. (See: AI-driven analytics is CIOs’ mantra in the new normal)

Going ahead, there will be a continuous rise in the adoption of cloud-based solutions and new-age technologies such as machine to machine (M2M),  artificial intelligence, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and data analytics amongst enterprises. Almost every industry and sector will need to identify new seamless digital communication channels to interact with their customers. This will further open up new revenue and growth opportunities for the IT Services firm to help enterprises build their digital resilience for any such future incident.

 

With Encore buy, Wipro eyes DX edge in fintech

With Encore buy, Wipro eyes DX edge in fintech

Indian IT Services major Wipro continues its acquisition run this year to strengthen its digital transformation and cloud capabilities. After acquiring 4 companies earlier this year,  Wipro has now entered into a decisive agreement to buy Encore Theme Technologies, a SaaS and Cloud solutions provider in financial services, for INR 95 crores.

Headquartered in Chennai, Encore Theme implements a broad suite of Trade Finance solutions, developed by Finastra, one of the world’s largest fintechs to bolster digital transformation support for financial institutions across the globe. The purchase will enable Wipro to further fortify its capabilities to modernize the IT and digital infrastructure of financial institutions.

Encore buy

The acquisition of Encore Theme is subject to customary closing conditions and likely to close in the quarter ending December 31, 2020, Wipro mentioned in a statement. This transaction represents Wipro’s fifth buyback this year, with an overall investment of INR 18 bn in purchases in 2020.

Businesses are taking rapid transformation routes toward next-Gen integrated cloud technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT), and analytics. To successfully overcome the ongoing crisis and emerge stronger in the growing virtual ecosystem, enterprises seek smarter IT environments and accelerating their digital transformation efforts.

IT services companies realize the importance of network transformation-related investments that can help meet growing clients’ needs to construct agile, integrated, and insights-based network architectures. This brings a unique opportunity for the IT Services firm to bring more value to businesses.

Along with Wipro, several other IT Services firms such as Infosys and HCL are on an acquisition spree this year, utilizing their cash reserves to fortify their digital transformation and cloud offerings. (See: Infosys buys GuideVision to boost Dx capabilities)

Supporting networks modernization

Wipro’s aggressive push toward acquisitions is also likely to lead to increased investor confidence in the future. Wipro is now having much more capacity and packaged offerings to deliver its services to enormously investing in IT infrastructure modernization.

This year, Wipro’s notable acquisitions include 4C, IVIA Serviços de Informática Ltd, and Eximus Design. (See: Wipro’s 4C buy to firm up its Europe presence)

Along with the latest Encore buy, Wipro also announced its plan to expand its strategic relationship with IBM to strengthen its Hybrid Cloud Practice. The practice is an initiative led by IBM to support global system integrators and independent software vendors to enable their clients to modernize workloads for any cloud environment.

In its Q2 results announced last month, Wipro posted a 3.2 percent sequential growth in consolidated profits and 3.7 percent QoQ growth in IT services revenue, ahead of the previous industry estimates. The results reflected strong growth across all its verticals.

At BM NXT research, we expect Wipro’s revenues to get a significant boost in the next two to three years because of its strategic investments this year and the organization’s continuous efforts to build capacities for remote working. Wipro, however, will need concrete execution efforts to gain a larger market share than its peers in the industry.

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