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Incessant Tech: Redefining the Future of Work with Digital Automation Strategies

January 09, 2019

As businesses continue to undergo their digital transformation projects, many of them are looking to automation as part of the answer.  While it may be easy to see automation as a solution to many business efficiency problems today, effective implementation isn’t always as easy.  Kasi Viswanath Kollati, Associate Director Business Consulting, Incessant Technologies, explained more as I caught up with him in advance of the upcoming Future of Work Expo, part of The New Intelligence Expo in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Here’s what he had to say.

Please tell us a bit about the latest news at your company

Incessant Technologies, an NIIT Technologies company, helps global organizations realize their digital integration goals through the agile delivery of enterprise iBPM solutions.  Incessant’s BPM Practice has unmatched certification levels in the industry, thereby providing highly experienced teams on customer engagements.

Incessant is the largest niche global BPM services vendor, specializing only in this field.  Our focus is 100 percent on two technology platforms: Pega & Appian.  With 700+ employees and delivery centers in North America, ANZ, APAC and EMEA, we empower companies to accelerate business growth by transforming the consumer experience, and creating lasting value.

Some recent exciting recognition Incessant has received includes:

  • Cited as a strong performer in Digital Process Automation by Forrester;
  • Received the ‘Partner Excellence in Driving Customer Success’ award from Pega;
  • Earned the Appian 2018 Regional Partner of the year 2018 award at Appian World.

What pains are you taking away for customers?

Our customers feel that in order to obtain more significant benefits from automated business workflows, users need to invest more to reengineer the entire workflow, while taking into account compliance and regulation restrictions

The major pain points in Digital Process Automation are:

  1. Documents that initiate a workflow are often in paper format
  2. Inability to find the right document or information when needed
  3. Manually extract content from digital- and paper-based documents in order to update enterprise applications

We help our customers in Orchestrating their digital processes and help in redefining the enterprise digital strategy.

How is cloud acceptance changing how your customers or your company operates?

Cloud technology is regarded as a highly useful application for organization due to long-term cost savings, easy access of data at any given time, and being economical.  We see a large number of Government customers are also looking at Cloud options.  Both government and private sectors are looking into optimizing their cloud data storage.  However, some of them are still in the early implementation phase with both technological and human factors needing to be properly taken care of to ensure its success.

What are the most important recent communications technology innovations in your industry?

Global companies led the integration of different technologies to improve communication.  Internal studies and analysis showed that the average employee uses many devices, such as a PC, a work phone (landline), possibly several mobile phones, a tablet, a fax, a notebook and/or a Netbook.

CTI-solutions linked to telecommunications with the electronic data processing allows functionalities such as adoption, termination, and the automatic dial-up telephone calls from a personal computer (PC) to be possible.  Fax and voicemail are also part of unified messaging.  Electronic fax can be dispatched and received from any workstation.  Voicemails can take and play back voice messages using unified messaging applications.

By using these solutions there is not only comprehensive efficiency but also cost saving without investing in more new telephone systems, add-ons (plugins), proprietary software, fax machines, telephones, and more.

How is mobile changing your business strategy?

If done right, mobile marketing is unobtrusive.  It fits right into a person’s life and they can control how they interact with our brand and how much.  That creates a more positive relationship.  Further, through timing, tracking, and intelligent use of data, it’s possible to anticipate and seek to fulfill a customer’s needs before they realize they have them.

Mobile is heavily cemented into everyday life and we are finding ways to weave themselves into those daily mobile actions so that the experiences are adaptable, personalized and human.

Do you think the FAANG (Facebook, Amazon,ZApple, Netflix, Google) companies will ever face serious competition?

Every business, in all industries, faces the task of handling competition.  Regardless of whether you are selling products online or providing a valuable service in your community, it is highly likely that another company is offering a similar product or service.

Competition is healthy in the business world as it encourages creativity and innovation.  You can combat competition by getting to know your competitors and using information about them to your own advantage.  The key to all of the tips above is building strong relationships and communicating effectively with business owners and customers in your community.  Take a proactive approach to handling competition, and your business can’t go wrong.

How is open source changing technology and how your company does business?

Open source business models evolve to address the challenge of monetization.  The proliferation of frameworks will continue.  Open source will play an even larger role as unique business logic is layered on top.

There will be an uptick in adoption of open source tools. More companies will offer proprietary services with an open-sourced core (open-core model).  Open source software will start focusing on usability and adoption by the mainstream as opposed to focusing on innovation.  Open source technology challenges us to keep innovating and come up with personalized service offerings for our customers.

How can blockchain transform your industry?

The following are the common use cases that we are concentrating on to transform our banking customer’s core business processes:

  1. Fraud Detection:  Traditionally, bank ledgers have been created within a centralized database.  This model has been more susceptible to hackers and cyber-attacks as all the information is located in one place – usually secured behind outdated legacy IT systems.  Hackers and cyber-criminals are well aware of evolving digital technology and have been able to bypass these security systems to commit data breaches and fraud.  In contrast, as the blockchain is decentralized it is less prone to this type of fraud.  By using blockchain, there would not only be real-time execution of payments, but also complete transparency, which would enable real-time fraud analysis and prevention
  2. KYC - Know Your Customer requests currently can cause delay to banking transactions, typically taking 30 to 50 days to complete to a satisfactory level.  Current KYC processes also entail substantial duplication of effort between banks (and other third party institutions).  While annual compliance costs are high, there are also large penalties for failing to follow KYC guidelines properly.  Once a bank has KYCd a new customer they can then put that statement, including a summary of the KYC documents, on a blockchain, which can then be used by other banks and other accredited organizations (such as insurers, car rental firms, loan providers etc.) without the need to ask the customer to start the KYC process all over again.

What implications does AI have for your business and your customers?

  • Enhances efficiency and throughput – Concerns about disruptive technologies are common.  AI today is a huge benefit to society because it enhances our efficiency and throughput, while creating new opportunities for revenue generation, cost savings and job creation
  • Frees up humans to do what they do best – Humans are not best served by doing tedious tasks. Machines can do that, so this is where AI can provide a true benefit.
  • Adds jobs, strengthens the economy – We all see the headlines: Robots and AI will destroy jobs.  This is fiction rather than fact.  AI encourages a gradual evolution in the job market which, with the right preparation, will be positive.  People will still work, but they’ll work better with the help of AI
  • Enhances our lifestyle – The rise of AI in our society will enhance our lifestyle and create more efficient businesses.  Some of the mundane tasks like answering emails and data entry will be done by intelligent assistants.  Smart homes will also reduce energy usage and provide better security, marketing will be more targeted and we will get better health care thanks to better diagnoses.

What new opportunities does IoT bring your company?

We are constantly looking at the age-old business problems (Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing) through an Internet of Things dimension.  Software is “where the action is” in the IoT space and is segmented by IoT platforms, Big Data and security.  Data storage provides an example of the challenges as well as the opportunities in IoT technology.  Currently, the industry and the world produce 22 zettabytes of data annually, and these numbers are growing 20-30 percent.

Manufacturing data analytics are helping manufacturers improve and streamline their operations and are what turn the information gathered from hardware and transmitted through the network into cost-saving actions.

What is your perception of the The Future of Work and how new tech is changing the face of communications?

As organizations undertake digital transformation efforts, an important realization emerges: process matters.  Investments in beautifully designed web and mobile experiences won’t move the needle unless application development and delivery (AD&D) professionals ensure that the processes on the back-end align to support a true end-to-end customer experience.

I believe “The Future of Work” Expo is a great enabler in creating everlasting relationships between the industry leaders to collaborate and share their viewpoints in this never-ending age of disruption.

What is the greatest opportunity facing your industry? 

In the digital world of continuous change and evolution, Digital Process Automation is the driving force which will lead organization to succeed. The greatest opportunities in this segment are:

  • Helping organization improve operational stability and prevent errors
  • The opportunity to become more customer-oriented organization
  • To be better at product innovations while saving time and money

What is the greatest challenge?

Essentially there are some very basic questions to look at when deciding on where to digitize and automate.  The answers are less easy.  While each question and approach to look for the answers is valid and useful as such, it’s a least as essential to look at the full ‘value’ picture.

An example: while it is possible to highly automate customer service with artificial intelligence and this automation could lead to huge cost savings and efficiencies, they might erode the overall value equation if customers want to interact with human agents for more than just exceptional cases which can’t be treated in an automatic way.  Nothing is more unpredictable than sudden shifts in customer preferences, even if today digital interactions and self-service are increasingly gaining traction.  If the gains of such a highly automated approach are partially undone by losses, for instance on the customer experience level, full automation is not the answer.

What do you hope to achieve at the event?

To listen, learn, and connect with the world’s most powerful brands. Hear about big ideas and bold innovations.  At the same time, get the real-world technology and knowledge to solve our toughest business challenges.

I want to understand on how to:

  • Create more meaningful customer relationships with proven, transparent AI – every interaction, every channel
  • Turn business into an operational powerhouse, bringing humans and bots together for end-to-end efficiency
  • Start fast and scale big with tools that drive success in a cloud-centric world

Why should your session be on the list of must-attend sessions at this year’s conference?

In today's Digital Pangea where the entire world and 'things' are interconnected, you can no longer just manage your enterprise, but must collaborate across the entire Value Chain.  There won't be one cognitive system at your service, there will be many, many COGs (cognitive systems) serving all the companies and customers in your Business Network.

The session throws light in helping Business Users, Architects to rethink, reimagine the way their business processes are designed and orchestrated.  The session is for organizations, the places where innovation takes place, where new digital products and services are developed, where organizational restructuring occurs to adapt to the needed outside-in transformation demanded by today's fully-empowered customers

Please make an interesting prediction about tech in 2019?

Software as we know it is changing rapidly.  Previously, software never used to be “User-Friendly” and over a period of time it became stable and user friendly.  From Web applications to Mobile Applications, the software is now in a “User-Guidance” mode.

With the advent of AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) technologies, 2019 will be the year for Industrial AR applications to dominate and provide “Immersive” customer experience.  However, big businesses will find it hard to source AR experienced developers.

Kasi will be speaking on a panel, The New Wave in Automation & Business Process Management, on Friday, February 1 at 9:00am.  If you haven’t made your plans yet, there’s still time to register for The New Intelligence Expo and all the other opportunities taking place beside ITEXPO in Ft. Lauderdale.

Edited by Erik Linask