Infosys experts share their views on how digital is significantly impacting enterprises and consumers by redefining experiences, simplifying processes and pushing collaborative innovation to new levels

August 15, 2017

Integrated Blockchain with API & Microservices

Industry leaders, economists, scientists and researchers have called out the most promising change agent that will impact day-to-day businesses and even our lives to be Blockchain. The impact will be more than any other technologies like AI, robotics, IoT, Driverless cars or Passenger spaceships that continuously make to the news stable. Knowing this, numerous FinTechs, Venture Capitalists, and Fortune 1000 firms are aggressively investing and researching to become the early adopters and gain advantage of this nascent technology.

Bottom-line, as Don Tapscott a leading technology author conveys “Blockchain is the revolution to bring the Internet 2.0 (Internet of Value) and it will become as ubiquitous or more as the current internet (Internet of Information)

Continue reading "Integrated Blockchain with API & Microservices" »

July 18, 2017

Chatbots: Transforming Customer Experience

Author: Jitendra Jain | Senior Technology Architect | HILife-ADG (Architecture & Design Group)

Chatbots- What is it?

Chatbots are special kind of smartly designed artificial intelligence enabled computer programs to simulate or mimic conversation with human users over the Internet. Chatbot are also known as chat robot, means a robotic system who can answer different questions. In pure technical terms a chatbot is also referred like a service engine, derived by some logical rules and fixed set of predefined pathways that a user or customer interact with via a chat interface. This service could be well integrated inside any major chat product like (Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Text Messages, etc.)

Chatbots can transform the way you interact with the internet from a series of self-initiated tasks to a resembled type of conversation. Now chatbots are not just a possibility, chatbots are already starting to significantly change everything we do know about customer communication. Chatbots are now also seen as one of the promising way of Digital engagement. A lot of business enterprises have understood the fact that they can increase their business revenue by offering qualitative chatbot to provide digital user experience to customers.

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July 1, 2017

The New UX using VR, AR and Touch less gestures

Author: Arshad Sarfarz Ariff, Technology Architect

Introduction

UX in web applications were always driven by mouse and keyboards. Similarly, UX in mobile applications were always driven by touch screens coupled with gestures. But advancements in the field of virtual reality, augmented reality and touch less gestures are gearing up to challenge the status quo. AR and VR has been listed in Gartner report titled - "Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends 2017". Gartner has predicted that AR, VR and mixed reality (MR) solutions will be evaluated and adopted in 20% of large-enterprise businesses by 2019.

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June 21, 2017

Locating Marketing Moorings in the Digital World

 

 

 

 

 

It's quite interesting how enterprise orientations have changed from efficient manufacturing to global competitiveness to finally being more simplistic, and 'customer centric' i.e. intensely Customer oriented.

This evolution, if we look at, is neither radical nor abrupt. The world moved on from the concept of 'Manufacturers' & 'Consumers' in the pre and post-world war era of 'isolated focus on manufacturing efficiently, with cheaper resources, closer to 'raw material sources' and 'consuming them in another part of world or profiting from them in a completely different part of the world' to a world which became even more resourceful and adaptive- where everyone could manufacture and sell anywhere and the differentiations in profit making or market expansion was to come from:

  • Quality (this is when the Japanese found quality of national importance)

  • Intelligent localized market targeting strategies (Globalization being theme)

  • To the now- intensively aggressive customer centricity (digital enabled targeting and product positioning)

    How fast, how close one is to understanding its customer or finding new ones, and how quick they are to react on the customer data determines not just the immediate bottom lines but long term business strategy and enterprise viability.

    The focus was on 'providing' for 'pre-conceived needs or demands' - the world neither had the assurance of global trade rules' to foster healthy market practices nor the wherewithal of knowing global needs, global consumers, their preferences, paying capacity or the means to find and factor what decision parameters customers, in a diverse and expansive markets, are applying for deciding on manufacturers fate.

    A simple look at a scenario, for instance, how a beverage or a FMCG companies did marketing in pre- second world war, post second world war and post the internet evolution era would give interesting insights into:

  • How this space evolved- Today what shapes this activity and a rationale forecast of how this is likely to bring new, unheard dimensions into marketing and create a paradigm shift, already we see this happening in many areas, in how enterprises are going to use insights (data), agility (ability to not reactively but proactively adapt to what customer may want in real-time) and tailored experiences - to differentiate themselves. It will be na├»ve to suggest that product features, product qualities etc. will seize to evolve and only customer experience will differentiate in isolation- but it will be the customer experience and centricity of customer which will lead changes in various product and enterprise strategies - at a much faster speed

  •  

  • This marketing and customer experience orientation is almost certain to be the single biggest factor determining enterprise success, success of almost all of enterprise function and to a great extent determine enterprise viability and its sustenance altogether

    So a beverage company which in early 20th century found a need to have accessible packaged drink for people and runs "awareness" campaigns changes to - finding local flavors, local branding and extrapolates positioning in line with regional, local nuances in the 1960's and 70's to a more holistic customer-led product creation, customer oriented product delivery and branding infused with specified segment targeting (youth, executives, kids, sports, health conscious etc.) and building ability in its product positioning and marketing strategies to enable that.

    In the coming days, Marketing - which if we quote the Guru- Philip Kotler defining this as- "the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit" is going to be something like this- "the techniques by which you lead customers' thoughts, needs & desires to your offerings, use customer behavior & insights to extend customer aspirations and creating new markets and having a unique positioning to fulfill those"

    And the techniques and the pace of marketing evolution is going to be extremely fast-tracked by technologies like big data, GPS, augmented reality, real-time decisioning ability, to real-time enterprise process orchestration for experience creation across factors covering pricing, product delivery, product core features, post sales experience management and leverage for further customer targeting. This space is going to see innumerable shocking, disruptive shifts - complicating what seems like a simple sale to customer- bringing a huge set of dimensions on which to differentiate an enterprise - in a nutshell:

  • The ability to proactively listen, absolutely precisely engage and enabling an individualized interaction with customer defines what enterprises will do for its product strategy, their manufacturing process, pricing strategies, quality nuances, its brand positioning strategies and not the other way round

  • Today enterprises are listening to client aspirations and juxtaposing their branding to those- before customers move onto something which suits their personas better

    In addition to the differentiation and customer experience & aspiration led, there are certain environmental, global changes as below, that are bringing completely new dimension to marketing today:

  • Democratization of supply, and demand: Today the supply chain, distribution or fulfilment cycle is part of marketing strategy. These are no more fixed, and affect not just organization strategy but influence customer choices and buying behavior. A J-I-T offer for a premium mobile device for someone in the U.S can be very different from someone in India, because of fulfilment cost and availability factors. Similarly, a dealer in India can transpose it's marketing strategy at real-time if an relevant accessory for that device is available or can be procured from a nearby market

  • Virtual and augmented reality: This is another powerful change; the extent of the impact is still not fully assimilated. Customers will no more go by the asynchronous isolated content but will experience, know much finer nuances of their purchase than what was ever possible. Augmented realities would force marketers to think ahead of future needs and ensure they meet expectations that far ahead

  • Customer led promotions, user generated content mapping: Customer is no more a passive entity in marketing cycle, they are part of marketing chain. They form a potent channel of marketing and leveraging customer delight & satisfaction for accentuating brand value is going to be a force multiplier with completely non-linear ROIs possibility

  • Extreme data sciences creating unique, live- opportunities via Patterns, trends & projections: with close to four billion people and more than those many number of digital touchpoints, content & data is indeed the King and the ability to make sense of that data using BI, AI or machine learning is likely to create unforeseeable dimension & possibilities, presenting marketers with new segments, markets and personas with intelligence at their disposal which will help devise products suiting customer aspiration & experience (a big change from experience & marketing coming after the product strategy)

     

    The world has changed in terms of fulfilling customer needs, giving better experience (what they called marketing), the rate of change has been exponentially increasing with passage of time. Marketing today is trying to keep pace with this change and this is a journey than destination- robotics, machine learning, greater democratization of buyer-supplier relationship is going to keep pushing at these changes with greater force than ever and it will be an interesting attempt to keep track of where this heads to.

     

June 19, 2017

'THUNDER' Power in Salesforce (IoT)

'THUNDER' Power in Salesforce (IoT)

 

Quadrant (Magic) leader in CRM -Salesforce is scaling up on the latest Buzzword - Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is and will be affecting the world through its human free transfer of large quantum of data over the network.

 

What a better name than 'THUNDER' being christened to power the leader in this space for Salesforce. Thunder is a phenomenally scalable, real time event processing engine.

 

Below are the 3 key tenants on which Thunder is envisaged:

 

Prateek_IoT.PNG




What will it allow: CONNECTIVITY!!

 

With the Power of Thunder, Salesforce equips the organizations to connect and capture tsunami of data from every source -be it Hand held devices, sensors if any, websites, PoS, social media or any other channel of interaction or data capture. The biggest source of data generation is Smartphone followed by social media. As of now there are exabytes of data being created daily with little or no use. This data 'dump' first needs to be connected and captured.

 

Data assimilation: Organizations need to not only capture these data threads but have the ability to traverse through data, search, analyze as well be able to present in meaningful format for deriving benefits. With the help of tools - in house and external, the large volumes of data captured from multiple sources can be traversed to understand patterns and significant events and allow for real time action (triggers).

 

Informed and outcome oriented interaction: The ultimate aim is to take the right decision to affect outcomes. Once the data is converted to meaningful and actionable intelligence, users can leverage salesforce to proactively reach out to their prospects and customers for intelligent interactions and ensuring a focused and informed decision making. This is about moving from system of records to systems of intelligence.

 

Multiple cloud based analytical tools are in play empowering business users to derive actionable intelligence on click of a button--real time. Since devices and sensors will be key in this equation, machine learning and algorithms start gaining importance in the intelligent decision cycle. Organizations will thus start banking on artificial intelligence to reduce if not eliminate human intervention.

 

In this field of technology the quest is to move from unaware / unknown to being proactive and ultimately predictive. Being predictive through juggling of data, deriving actionable intelligence and outcome oriented action will be key in times to come.

 

 

 

May 24, 2017

Improving the Win ratio through Salesforce AI - Einstein

Improving the Win ratio through Salesforce AI: Einstein

 

World leader in CRM space, Salesforce has continuously evolved. From an early mover in digital cloud space it is now focusing on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to ensure a more meaningful data convergence.

Einstein is being designed with a focus on ensuring that the users are provided a focused set of data - Leads, Opportunities and Insights into decision making and Improve ROI. Einstein is designed to go through and learn from the data that is available including online feeds and provide focused data sets for improved decision making. Salesforce users will now have more bandwidth to focus on what they do best rather than trying to decipher through multitude of data and manual slicing and dicing to arrive at actionable data sets.

 

Some of the key aspects of this robust AI incorporated into Salesforce are:

 

1.       Lead Scoring

2.       Opportunity Insights

3.       Account Insights

4.       Activity Capture

5.       Follow ups.

 

Key features are pictorially depicted below:

Einstein1.png


















Infosys being a Platinum partner of Salesforce is uniquely positioned to be onboard this latest offering and help its clients in improving their sales cycle time thereby enhanced ROI on the CRM front.

Continue reading "Improving the Win ratio through Salesforce AI - Einstein" »

May 3, 2017

Salesforce service cloud, social media and IoT - Winning formula

B2C organization and industry  find it challenging to maintain ever increasing expectation from customer to meet SLAs and first call resolution. Client requests are also growing complex due to  dependency on other teams.

If we take the example of an automobile manufacturer,  leveraging service cloud is a huge area . It's not any more limited to opening job card , checking warranty of vehicle, spare part management but also to  deliver customer experience.

Typical customer service will be able to capture customer issues when he comes to service station with his vehicle for servicing. Within certain time  a service person attends him, inspects the vehicle, understands the issue and suggests an estimate for the repair.

During the resolution time, customer has to be intimated if his vehicle needs some more work and hence the cost has changed or if there is some campaigns being run - so email, message or  website can be leveraged for the same.

The automobile manufacturer will also have his dealerships for sales, service and spare parts which needs customer service and there will be separate module and process for the same.

In this case typically dealerships may have challenges pertaining to pricing, spare part availability and requisition, royalty management, sale of vehicle, taxation issues, AMC etc .Clients can also use knowledge base to improve TAT and improve efficiency.

However, now using IoT cloud, automobile manufacturers should be able to help end customers on how to service vehicle as vehicle condition can be captured in more proactive manner.

Globally we have seen people communicating with each other for customer service but now we will see lot of machine to machine communication. From maintenance reporting and diagnostic view point, the sensors in vehicles will periodically send key information and based on a pattern there will be alert sent to customer service team which will intimate end consumers automatically with regards to servicing of vehicles.

This proactive measure will help end consumer reduce maintenance cost by timely servicing and also improve his vehicles availability on road leading to better revenues.

Also imagine the cost and effort saved where typically people wait for a component to breakdown and here this will be managed more proactively. For the organization the benefit also stems from the fact that they can see a pattern developing and can take action on it. For example in certain class of vehicles undergoing numerous breakdown, the management can get into details to understand the trend. They may also launch some campaigns based on feedback about vehicle performance which in turn  contributes to additional  revenues.

Organizations can also   create a closed community of vehicle users which will help them to share ideas and inputs and leverage this to increase traction with the brand. All this is possible by using social platform. Nowadays, consumer awareness about using vehicles and maintaining them is increasing.  Having a community will make consumers stay connected with each other and the brand.

Automobile manufacturers can also encourage its employees and dealers to work on a social community platform using Salesforce chatter for better collaboration and answer to issues and ideas.

Salesforce helps customer to give a better view about customer .It helps collaborating in such a manner that what might have taken  week to resolve can be done in few minutes using community platform. Also leveraging social media, its  easier to bring the brand closer to consumer and dealers by allowing them to provide feedback, raise complaint or share compliment .

It gives a sense of feeling to end consumer and dealership that the brand CARES. 

April 21, 2017

Salesforce: Changing Paradigm in Sales

Salesforce: Changing Paradigm in Sales

 

Sales has always been an engaging people to people contact process. We all being consumers and providers in our own right have been at one of the ends. Never thought that the physical engagement of speaking to an individual can and will go away one day. The world of technology has come a long way from room size machines to palm and wrist size computing marvels.

 

In the world of technology, we are seeing a paradigm shift from people based engagements to technology intrinsic processes, from hard sales talk to informed sales cycle. In this context, we see that in the world of tomorrow, consumers will purchase purely on being informed and connected. Convenience, speed and agility, information at fingertips, visibility and power to take own decisions will be crucial. There may be a gradual shift from people to people interaction in the sales cycle to being replaced with technology - gadgets, information....decisions.

 

The above is being implemented in various domains where Salesforce acts as the face of the product and service provider. Salesforce has an early cloud mover advantage which has shaken the COTS based application services. This is largely due to its highly customizable and interactive user interface, agility and speed to market as well as a robust availability of APIs which allows for seamless integration across the overall landscape.

 

A multitude of industries are moving to Salesforce as their 'FRONTEND' where their offerings are available on handheld devices, catalogs -products, pricing available at the point of sales, self-service options, increased user awareness and knowledge base leading to decisions being taken on the fly. Enhanced and intuitive UI through lightning ensures easy adoption enabling a user to take decisions on his /her own without any other intervention (read human). Taking a cue, reducing cost, ensuring these 'Apps' are available free for everyone to use on their devices, no physical stores or walk-ins, we may not need a sales person ----each customer will act as a Sales representative with information being knowledge, ensuring higher business volumes, reducing sales cycle, faster delivery due to real /near real time data dissemination and enhanced satisfaction with a phenomenal reduction of cost.

 

A key aspect of Salesforce leading the way and acting a true force multiplier for organizations in their sales cycle is a rich and vibrant AppExchange wherein the best in class solutions are available for easy adoption based on business needs. Each organization comes with its own unique requirements but one thing traverses across in today's times---Customer centricity. This is the basic tenant of Salesforce which has ensured a high level of customer acceptability of the product and its features. With easy rendering of the solution on Omni channel and handheld devices any organization's frontend is closer to the customer. Going forward, customers are taking control of their own requirements through intuitive UI and being facilitated through guided selling from being contacted to placing orders and payments....all through minimal clicks.

 

It is not long before organizations realize and exploit the true potential of Salesforce to harness their reach, availability of offerings and seamless integration capabilities to cut down on sales cycle, improve time to market, reduce Capex as well as optimize Opex and ensure an enhanced Customer Experience.

 

 

April 17, 2017

Join us at MuleSoft Connect 2017

Please join us at one the biggest conferences of this year and learn how industries are tackling Enterprise Integration, Cloud Integration, Legacy Transformation and Digital Enablement with iPAAS, Microservices and API Enablement.

Infosys at MuleSoft

Full Conference Agenda

Switch to salesforce or remain on-premise?

Some organizations have used on-premises customer relationship management (CRM) applications for over a decade. However, in an increasingly competitive and digital ecosystem, they need more robust solutions that offer agility and improve market presence.

Companies that work on decades-old application systems, end up investing a lot of money and resources to sustain the white elephant.  They face some typical challenges that include:

1.      Lack of visibility in product life cycle from product vendor

2.      Absence of consumer-friendly user interface

3.      Huge investments in infrastructure to support on-premises CRM

4.      Poor uptime of solution

5.      Lack of documentation about changes made to  the solution

6.      Gap in critical knowledge, caused by high people attrition, which causes issues in managing solutions

 

I think migrating to cloud applications like Salesforce CRM offers strategic advantages to customers because of the following:

 

1.     Fast response to change: Cloud-based solutions operate at lightning speeds. This helps customers to make quick changes to their business process and configure CRM with less downtime

2.      Effective social media presence: By leveraging social media cloud using Salesforce Marketing Cloud enables better management of marketing and social strategies

3.      Lower investment costs (infrastructure investment)

4.      Better versioning of the solution

5.      Improved data quality and lifecycle management

6.      Easy integration with various applications, by using various tools including Informatica Cloud

7.      Readymade connectors to support processes and solution mapping

8.      Effective integration tools that make it easier for an organization to use multiple cloud tools. For example, it has become easier now, if you want to use cloud security tool to run virus scan on all files before uploading in  Salesforce. In some cases, it will take two days to complete implementation and integration of cloud security tool with salesforce , if all licenses are in place.

9.      Quick access to several AppExchange Salesforce apps, where companies can find apps for their specific requirements 

 

Working in Salesforce environment should always be seen from the prism of business where organizations want new changes to be incorporated fast and execute new requirements in lesser time, so that revenues can flow in quickly.

 

Organizations can leverage Salesforce to quickly connect with consumers and understand sentiments -- what value and benefits they are looking for -- and take product / marketing decisions to reach out to end consumers faster.

 

Management cannot take decisions in silos anymore. Salesforce CRM strategies can be used across markets for better results. Below are few examples to show that be it any kind of business, there is always an opportunity to leverage Salesforce CRM to connect with your customer and deliver what they expect.   

 

  1. If you are a toy manufacturer, it becomes evident that you do various roadshows and campaigns, collect feedback, make product development iterative, and reduce turnaround time (TAT) to bring new toys to market and create better traction.
  2. If you are a bike manufacturer, you can reach out to target audience like bike riding groups and understand what they are looking for, and how to meet those values by leveraging marketing cloud.
  3. Service-oriented organizations can leverage service cloud to collect feedback and complaints from multiple sources and respond in a time-bound manner.

And of course, Salesforce components help to deliver quality in optimum time.

 

Time has come. Be the change ...