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

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September 18, 2015

Accelerate Digital Insurer Journey through APIs and existing setups

Every industry and more importantly every enterprise should have its own Digital Journey and it should be accelerating like ‘Gravity’.

As when someone asked - is it a good time to be Digital, the answer was - it was a good time an year ago, now is the second best time.

Most of the times in an enterprise, the challenge is in converging the various tributaries of the IT work, whether current projects, legacy modernization, or different LoBs/tiers handling independent digital initiatives etc. in to the main digital river of the overall business strategy.

Second, the challenge is in the competitive world and coming second to none in offering new services and products through IT led innovations and initiatives.

For e.g.

Many leading Big-Box retailers haven’t been able to reduce the TCO to the industry levels and have been very much dependent on large ERPs, products & IT vendors. Many still are developing their online and mobile frameworks to be competitive in e-commerce.

Financial Services including leading investment banks have adopted open source in their mainstream enterprises but they clearly lack in engaging customer at a micro level or rank very low in the levels of achieving “Personalization”. There are one off cases where customer service is being handled through Social Media but most enterprise still lack a comprehensive digital framework that is equivalent to leading online retailers.

Many Insurance companies though related to financial services have neither warmed up to Open Source nor they have a good Digital Consumer Framework. Most consumers aren’t even aware of their apps or just use them twice a year for policy renewal or for claims.

To add, Internet of Things (IOT) brings in an avenue that is still largely untapped and enterprise need frameworks that can cover the current needs, immediate future needs and also be flexible to plug-in new things that the technology gives birth time to time.

Accelerating Digital Connectedness through APIs is a must in the Digital Insurer’s journey.

First with an API strategy, Digital Marketplaces are an avenue for revenue generation and incubating innovations by tapping on the crowd of developers.

Next, regardless of where the enterprise is, the existing data itself could be used to accelerate the “Digital Insurer”.

Below is a simple approach using Sense - Analyse - Respond as a framework. The two diagrams show how a combination of Event Management, APIs, Service Bus, Data Analytics & Science etc can work for the improvement of consumer engagement as well as for the distribution channels (Exclusive & Independent Agents, Brokers etc.)

1. Framework describing Eventing, Analyzing & Responding using the current elements

2. Framework extending Distribution Channels in Insurance

What are the challenges in your Digital journey? Have you made APIs an integral part of it? Do you have a framework that has all the front-end and back-end elements weaved into it? Please share your opinion.

September 10, 2015

Want to create winning designs ? Speak to the Screaming Child

Last month we were in a discussion with a small group of senior executives for a financial services organisation. The reason why we had all met up was to discuss the issues being faced by the flagship product being launched by this organisation. Essentially, the organisation had spent several months of time, effort and money to develop a product that they believed would address a very specific need in the market, but once they launched it, they realised that no one actually wanted to use it. The existing customers, within the target group, were the ones who were reverting back to the existing product upto 90% of the times. 

Positive Cognitive Bias 

As we discussed the problem a bit further, it became apparent that the product team had spent considerable amount of time in speaking to their customers and were meeting them every few months to gain feedback on the new features being developed, but the adoption still remained low. 
After the discussion, it became apparent that one of the key factors in the disconnect between the research and the real customer expectation was not so much about the kind of information that was being collected, rather from whom the information was being collected from. 

This is actually not as uncommon as it would seem. Unless you use a mass research methodology, a lot of the face to face feedback is typically chosen from the focus group are people who are already emotionally invested in the idea. Such "champions" are essentially advocates of the projects and are prone to Positive Cognitive Bias. In simple terms, they believe that the new product or idea is needed and will work and hence inherently contribute towards making it work. 

This doesn't really mean that feedback received from such groups is all positive and there can't be any material innovation achieved based on that information. However, it is noted, that for really meaningful insights that lead to radically improved products, it's the opinion of the detractors that is much more valuable.

The Screaming Child and Innovation

Before we go ahead, let us re-visit the famous story of Doug Dietz and his exploits with designing the most user friendly MRI and CT scan machine. While the story is well known, and is often cited in any discussions around using Design Thinking as a process for innovation, the part that I find most intriguing is the trigger for his journey. According to the legend (can we call it that ?) the first time that Doug felt he needed to fundamentally change the way the product was designed is when he saw a young child scream in absolute terror on being shown the CT scan device for which Doug won a design award. This "screaming child" is analogous to the detractors and disgruntled customers in any project and are often the source of the most non-obvious insights. Doug, obviously chose to focus on this particular feedback from an end-user which led to him designing the "Adventure Series" for CT Scans which not only proved to be hugely successful, but also became an industry case study on frugal innovation and design thinking.

In many cases, the focus is on not being constrained by the past and focussing only on the future. However, an overly optimistic view of the future can often lead to a design blind spot that may jeopardise the outcome that we intend to achieve. I must also add a word of caution, that listening to too many detractors may create too much negativity and that may derail any creative ideas. So, as with most things in life, moderation is well advised.

So What ?

So what does that mean to any of us that are involved in designing products, solutions and ideas that would provide organisations significant competitive advantage? Well, it means that we need to open our minds to all kinds of feedback and not just the positive feedback. In addition to that, we need to spend time and energy in understanding what is it that hasn't worked in the existing solutions and products. 

Listening to the screaming child, in whatever form they appear, will not only help us understand the real problem, but also will help us design products and solutions that will resonate with our users.

Note: The ideas expressed in this blog post are entirely personal. The organisation may not necessarily endorse them in part or full. I can be reached at maloy_patnaik@infosys.com

Encore - Wave of Lightning at Dreamforce 2015

Whoever said corporate events were only about networking, sessions and demos has not been to Dreamforce! Dreamforce'14 had 145,000+ attendees, 5M+ online viewers, celebrities, music and fanfare, and the event is getting bigger and better. In Marc Benioff's own words, younger by the day.

Salesforce has been able to living up to its title of being the world's most innovative company.  There were two major announcements at Dreamforce in 2014 that took the industry by a storm - Wave and Lightning, superb pieces of innovations in the field of Analytics and Mobility (besides the powerful and inspiring keynote by Hillary Clinton and the rocking performances by Bruno Mars and Cake).

Dreamforce'15 gets an athletic start with a breakout session by Rick Welts and Bob Myers of the Golden State Warriors followed by sessions by visionary speakers on leading industry trends - Marc Benioff (Chairman and CEO - Salesforce.com) , Parker Harris (Cofounder - Salesforce.com), Satya Nadella (CEO - Microsoft),  Padmasree Warrior (former CTO - Cisco), George Colony (CEO - Forrester) to name a few.

There will be more diversity at Dreamforce this year, with Leadership Keynotes from amazing women in the industry - Susan Wojcicki, YouTube; Jessica Alba - The Honest Company and Gayle King, CBS This Morning. 

What's in it for Infosys?

Dreamforce 2015 will be a major milestone for Infosys in many ways.  

As Platinum Partners of Salesforce, we are delighted to be Gold Sponsors at Dreamforce and will be differentiating our Salesforce offerings with the Infosys Digital: Connect More, Experience More, Be More" theme.

We have a line-up of Executive meetings, customer speak sessions and solution showcases:

- Senior Executive meeting between Ravi Kumar S, our Chief Delivery Officer and Tyler Prince, EVP - World-wide Alliances and Channels is a behemoth step towards taking this renewed partnership with Salesforce to a new level as we embark on a journey to become the Global Strategic Alliance Partners of Salesforce.com.

- Breakout session with CIO/IT Director of Caterpillar Finance on channel engagement and legacy migration to cloud.

- Customer Advocacy Tool showcase for Retail on Marketing Cloud and allied technology components to deliver streamlined branded communication and inquiry process, behavioral targeting, campaign management, channel effectiveness and social analytics.

- Channel Partner Enablement tool showcase - Complete Dealer/Partner Lifecycle management application covering Partner Onboarding and Account Management, Partner collaboration, Demand generation, Quotation, Post Sales service, Partner Performance and Incentive management.

- Partner Breakout session showcasing our solution videos and a panel discussion on next Gen Customer connect on the Salesforce Platform that will be chaired by a panel from the Infosys Digital team.

Infosys has been elevated to the status of Global Strategic Alliance Partner for Marketing Cloud and are also celebrating our 600+ certified practitioner count (inching very fast towards the 1000+ certification count).

We have impressive support from our CSG team and have lined up meetings with Toyota Financial Services, Telstra, Linde,  Adidas, Capital Group, Axalta, Friesland Campina to name a few.

Infosys has been the Partner of Choice for legacy modernizations and migrations to the Salesforce 1 platform, Portal & mobility solutions besides next Gen Sales, Service and Marketing cloud implementations. Multiple Analyst sessions with Forrester and Gartner and Salesforce Senior Executives and Industry Heads have been chalked out with our Practice leaders to discuss our Practice vision, innovations, investments and solution strategies.

The event holds so many possibilities for the Infosys SFDC Practice. We will have more exciting news to share during and after the event. We, as the torchbearer of the practice are leaving no stone unturned to make our mark at this phenomenal event.

Stay tuned for the fun and excitement at Dreamforce.

"Innovation, having fun and giving back should be the core values for everyone"- Hillary Rodham Clinton (#DF14)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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