Results tagged “customer experience”

AI- Going Beyond Labor Substitution to Data-Driven Experiences

AI- Going Beyond Labor Substitution to Data-Driven Experiences

Many enterprises fail to capitalize on the potential that artificial intelligence and automation have to offer by equating it with labor substitution. For instance, I was recently interacting with the client team of a large bank. Their target was to reduce costs of internal and customer transactions by implementing 500-600 Robotic Process Automation (RPA) bots in a single year. They had already tried doing this with a toolset they had invested in, but were unable to meet the target. A few questions on overall process design revealed that they had not really thought through their plan. For instance, they had identified 50 use cases for immediate automation since these had a large number of people associated with them. However, the company did not know how to systematically identify new problem opportunities in the enterprise. I encountered a similar situation in a large manufacturer that was looking at IT outsourcing. They were keen to learn how artificial intelligence (AI) could help them automate work drivers and outsource the rest of the work. A retail customer, on the other hand, had already implemented RPA but needed assistance to leverage AI to respond to evolving consumer expectations.

Consistently engaging in problem finding can be a struggle for enterprises, especially if they do not refer to the data existing within the enterprise. Many of today's enterprises find themselves overwhelmed by data. Unlocking the right data and making it available across the board gives users the opportunity to engage with stakeholders in a more meaningful way than ever before.

The Uber Effect On The Food Industry

The Uber Effect On The Food Industry

Startups with a loyal user base are entering the food delivery business. Digital enterprises such as Uber, Sprig and Good Eggs are combining accessibility and cost-effectiveness with unique offerings, such as healthy meals, organic ingredients and fine-dining experiences. On-demand food delivery companies provide an interesting learning for the operations-intensive food services industry: strike a balance between simple ordering and prompt fulfillment.

Technology to better the customer experience

Technology Amplifiers for the Retail Customer Experience in 2017

Amplify the Human Experience [Source:]

I find it extraordinary that shares of Amazon have a price-to-earnings ratio of 173.35. That is amazing for any stock, but Amazon's unique situation tells us something important about the retail success of the company. Especially when it comes to amplifying the customer experience. That is, investors in the stock market place a premium on Amazon's ability to innovate and make its website and associated digital devices and platforms a seamless, one-stop shop for today's plugged-in consumers. Why else would a company have such a high p/e ratio? The answer: Investors have confidence that the company will keep pushing the digital envelope.

As I prepare for the annual "Big Show" of the National Retail Federation, where Infosys is presenting a host of tech showcases, I can't help but give readers of InfyTalk a brief preview. I am constantly asked what I see as the top technologies that amplify a customer-centric retail experience. The fact is: You don't have to be a global retailing giant to harness these technologies. They are available to all, and if you are able to get the combination of technology with responsive customer strategy right, you could well be on your way to being the next big thing.

The Utilities Model Is Transforming - Power To The Consumer

The Utilities Model Is Transforming - Power To The Consumer

Fact: The electrical grid in the United States experiences more blackouts than that of any other developed nation. Much of the physical equipment on our grids has aged to the point of obsolescence. And most industry experts would agree that the American utilities industry has reached a critical point. The message is clear: Update the infrastructure now or face serious consequences. At the same time, utilities are also experiencing a transformation to their business models (some of which, like the grids themselves, are more than 100 years old). Green energy sources, referred to as Distributed Energy Resources, are turning the centralized power generation and distribution model inside out.

The good news for the electrical grid in the United States is that for the first time in a long time, organizations and the government are coming together to make significant investments in infrastructure. Government subsidies such as the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 have provided US$ 4.5 billion for use in grid upgrades. But, that's barely a drop in the bucket compared to the infrastructure investments of other countries. Still, such investments will not only improve and upgrade the physical infrastructure in the United States, but will also better enable and optimize a 'smart grid' that can recognize, circumvent, and even prevent problems before they occur. Ultimately, smart infrastructure will improve the reliability and resiliency of our power grid.

Bookstores Make A Comeback Through Customer Experience

'The Guardian' Names 'Powell's' Best Independent Bookstore Worldwide [Source:]

The end-of-the-year shopping spree is fun if for only one reason: To see what the creative advertising firms of Madison Avenue have come up with in terms of memorable TV spots. My favorite this year is an ad for the Barnes & Noble bookstore. Pop music stars Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett are shopping for books and meeting each other inside the store, which, of course, results in the two of them belting out a duet. Both Bennett and Lady Gaga are holding up the books they presumably are going to purchase. The store, decked up in resplendent holiday decorations, is part of an overall TV commercial that proclaims that the death of the brick-and-mortar store has been greatly exaggerated.

Not too long ago retail analysts were predicting the death of bookstores like Barnes & Noble. So what, they said, if the store had coffee boutiques within each space or impromptu concerts by local chamber music groups? None of these mattered when compared with the sheer power and influence of the giant web retailers. Could it be, however, that we as consumers became downright intimidated by unmanned delivery drones, and reports in the press about the lousy working conditions in the fulfillment centers of the web retails? Could a quick walk or car ride to a local Barnes & Noble, beautifully decorated for the shopping season, actually be an enjoyable experience?

The Retailer That Killed Bookstores Is Opening...A Bookstore

Amazon Opens Bookstore in Seattle [Source:]

There are plenty of examples of the relatively new phenomenon of omnichannel retailing, but none is quite so striking as that of Amazon. Omnichannel retailing aims to appeal to all of a customer's senses and to empower her to buy whatever she wants at her convenience. On the surface, the fact that Amazon, a global online retailer, is opening a 'brick-and-mortar' bookstore in a single location, seems to be a validation of the omnichannel trend.

But then there is the fact that Amazon is indeed a global retailing behemoth and it is opening (for now, at least) just one store in a Seattle neighborhood. The move, given that it's right before the holiday shopping season, could be a one-off. It doesn't spell actual commitment to dealing with the many challenges that come with operating physical outlets (hiring and training sales associates, leasing real estate, etc.) on Amazon's part.

Financial Services Serve Up Social Media

Digital connections can help financial services companies connect with customers in a more meaningful way

An important metric for any industry is to measure conversation length over social media. Some sectors, like the retail industry, know how to foster consumer loyalty and get them talking about it over social media channels. I bring this point up because some industries have a long way to go when it comes to leveraging this valuable medium.

Among them is the financial services sector. Recent analysis found that the average length of time spent discussing banks online is just 30 percent of the time consumers discuss telecommunications. And it's just 15 percent of the time that those same people spend chatting about media and entertainment companies.

How Fast Food Is Learning About Billions of Customers

Fast food apps growing in popularity [Source:]

Call it the hyper-consumerization of the enterprise.

If you don't think we're in the midst of a consumer-focused boom, then consider what the fast food giant McDonald's is reported to be testing in certain markets. No, it's not a new sandwich - it's a new app.

If Mickey Dee's does indeed roll out this app after its initial test phase, I think we could be entering an entirely new era in which fast and consumer-friendly apps radically transform the customer experience. I am completely fascinated by a McDonald's app because we're not talking about a staid and conservative department store that is using apps to attract a new generation of customers. It's a global fast food enterprise that already excels in the marketing, distribution, and sales of its fast food products.

The Top 10 Mobility Trends for 2013

mobility trends infographic 

It's safe to say we at Infosys know a thing or two about the benefits of being mobile. I think about some of the enormous projects we've completed over the years in which some of our closest and most trusted co-workers were thousands of miles away. Their actual location on planet Earth didn't matter; what mattered was how everyone could collaborate, strategize, and innovate as a seamless team because (in part) of their mobility.

Ready to Rethink your Business Yet?

infy blog_38 v01.jpg

The challenging business environment is clearly compelling organizations to think anew. Of course, most enterprises appreciate the need to 'rethink the business' but I am uncertain if we all pursue this agenda - down the ranks - with equal enthusiasm. With 'rethinking' perceived to be mostly synonymous with colossal structural alterations and deep-rooted changes in strategy, I suppose I won't be entirely incorrect in saying - several prefer to defer, delay or deny the inevitable not wanting to give up the comfort of the familiar or even perhaps risk business continuity. But rethinking the business need not necessarily be an agonizingly painful period before the enterprise emerges stronger in a happier future, as several of us may well imagine. It can be as simple as developing new or even just improved existing capabilities, with a holistic view of the larger business intent, through a framework for small but strategically significant multi disciplinary change.

The American industrialist Henry Ford once said this. Bet he'd heard the adage "the customer is always right".  Yet, he trusted his business instincts and visioning rather just the somewhat limited wish-list of his customers. I'm not, for a moment, suggesting that it's a good idea to blind oneself to customers. But, it's important to see that striving to give customers what they want does not mean delivering it in the exact manner they may have envisioned it - because envisioning that tomorrow is the provider's job. Our job. And, so it has always been.

Musings from Oracle Open World


    S.D Shibulal, CEO, Infosys delivering the keynote address                             Infosys at Oracle Open World

Serendipity. I have always found this word and its connotation of possibility rather intriguing. The implicit promise of a happy accident waiting to happen is so exciting. Shibu's presentation, yesterday, at Oracle Open World made me think of this word again. Citing some of the defining moments in modern history - such as the discovery of penicillin, the invention of the airplane, and the spinning of the World Wide Web - he observed that these big bang discoveries were the result of relatively small advances, acclaimed as seminal ideas only in hindsight, after they had changed the world.Historically, individuals and then research labs have been the hotbed of groundbreaking thought. But in this day and age, such events are continuously simmering within enterprises in the form of conversations, insights and ideas - sometimes as yet unrecognized - yet waiting to break free and bring about radical progress.


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