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May 16, 2016

The Birth Of An Idea And The Truly Digital Enterprise

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 12:15 PM



Vishal Sikka talks about Infosys Mana ™ - a knowledge-based artificial intelligence (AI) platform  

Vishal Sikka, both as CEO of Infosys and as technology advisor and partner to our clients, frequently reminds us that the biggest opportunity that lies before every business today is to launch a human revolution, where we are all able to achieve much higher productivity, to bring much more innovation, and create a future limited only by our aspirations. And that can be made possible by technology - especially automation and AI.

So, one might surmise that a business that is digitized is best equipped to realize this opportunity.

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May 4, 2016

At The Confluence Of Possibilities, Leading Technologies, Beautiful Minds

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 7:28 AM


It was about zeroing the distance between what clients desire and the experience that our technology is poised to deliver. Between the promise of our expertise and expectations of clients. Between imagination, possibilities and ways and means to materialize them. Between us, across different walks of life, and the new digital reality.

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October 30, 2015

How To Become Impervious to Disruption

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:49 AM



Infosys - Oracle OpenWorld Highlights 10-27-2015 [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omIhk6YhLQY]

The prestigious Fortune 500 was first published 60 years ago. If a company features in the business magazine's annual list of America's top 500 companies by revenue, it tells the world that the organization has arrived. Yet, one statistic in a recent issue of the magazine should make us all stop and reflect: only 57 of the original Fortune 500 companies remain on the list today. The number suggests that, as one business tycoon famously put it, it's easier to make the list than to stay on it.

Indeed, the churn in large enterprises on that list in just six decades is proof that not enough of them have the tools to sustain their prominent places in a marketplace that is always changing. I'm reminded of a popular book by Harvard Business School's Clayton M. Christensen - The Innovator's Dilemma, which is a treatise on his theory of disruptive innovation. The theory goes that enterprises that were once startups become so successful in the marketplace that they sometimes lose sight of the culture of innovation that got them there. In no time, new enterprises out-innovate the established firms and create new markets, rendering the established firms obsolete.

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November 27, 2014

Insurance Companies Face Huge Regulatory Reforms

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 7:36 AM

regulation
The insurance industry has been rattled out of its comfort zone by rapidly growing regulations

Every sector has its share of regulations, some more than others. When a deluge of new regulations hits an industry all at once, that's when you begin to hear words like "concern" bantered about in the offices of c-level executives.

Around the world, the insurance industry - as venerable and traditional an industry it can be - is indeed concerned. It has been rattled out of its comfort zone by rapidly growing regulations. These regulations and compliance standards differ greatly from region to region, but one thing is clear: The global insurance industry of tomorrow will look nothing like the one that's existed for the better part of 250 years.

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October 15, 2014

Redefining The Insurance Industry

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:40 AM



What's ahead for insurance? [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqBCtakf5Nw]

The founders of the insurance company Oscar have an interesting slogan: "We didn't start this company because we love health insurance. Quite the opposite, in fact." Spend some time learning about this start-up and the state of the insurance industry in general, and it becomes quite clear what the founders of Oscar mean.

If ever there were an industry that was suspicious of innovation and penalized creativity, it's the insurance business. Take a look at your next insurance bill. Do you even remotely understand it? Is it obvious as to how you can file a claim? Is there anything clear and easy-to-understand about the entire business? The answer, I gather, is no to all of these questions. So when three young entrepreneurs founded Oscar, they wanted an insurance company that was, as one of them describes it, like your family doctor. A company that is reassuring and takes the time to know its customers. You see, because insurance is so profitable without barely any effort or know-how, it is one of the last domains that is moving away from brand centricity to customer centricity. Retail, financial services, and pharmaceutical companies have embraced this movement.

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October 1, 2014

Engineering a Bright, New Future

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 2:34 AM



Vishal Sikka's keynote address highlights from Oracle OpenWorld [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxGi7dzqf7w]

Of all the enlightening experiences I've had so far at Oracle OpenWorld, perhaps the most interesting is that voice they keep playing in the central courtyard between all the exhibition halls. The man essentially says: We're not in the smart phone age. We're not in the tablet age. We're not in the mainframe age or the Cloud age. Then he pauses and says: We're in the Information Age.

They keep that soundtrack on a loop. So whenever I'm outside, walking between the vast convention halls, I keep hearing that voice. I've been pondering the distinctions the man (perhaps it's a voiceover by Larry Ellison himself) keeps making about what defines this age. Information. Notice how our era isn't defined by a piece of hardware. It's what is stored and is amplified on all that hardware.

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June 9, 2014

The Insurance Industry and Innovation

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:15 AM


Words like innovative and nimble aren't what immediately come to mind when describing the insurance industry. Perhaps, that's because the business of insurance runs on a very basic premise: An army of actuaries utilize algorithms to determine rates for policyholders. If something such as a natural disaster occurs and the companies must pay out on some policies, those companies simply adjust the rates they charge to everyone else. So insurers typically take very highly risk-measured decisions.

In a business as predictable as this one, you wouldn't imagine that bold, imaginative thinking could ever be a part of the corporate fabric. Yet a group from had an extremely enlightening series of meetings with insurance company executives lately. We spoke of how they can use digital tools that ultimately will aid their customers and enrich their bottom lines. Not surprisingly, they listened to what we had to say.

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June 2, 2014

How the Glass Could Revolutionize the Business of Insurance

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 7:19 AM


A quick look into the world of Google Glass [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xR3ZW-AdM4]

There's a wonderful saying that some attribute to Shakespeare himself: "The eyes are the window to the soul."

Funny how today's technology can turn this quote on its head: "Digital" eyes are becoming the window to real-time events that anyone, anywhere can observe - so long as they have an Internet connection, of course. Of the many exciting digital eyes (that is, wearable computing platforms) that involve eyeglasses, none is receiving more attention than Google Glass. One of the many industries that the Glass stands to revolutionize is the insurance business.

If there's one thing that most people would agree about the insurance sector, it's that it's extremely conservative and wary of change, especially when the change in question involves technology. So the fact that insurance executives are looking to Google Glass as a way to reduce costs, boost productivity, and improve mobility is promising indeed.

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May 21, 2014

In Search of New Payment Methods

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 11:07 AM


Next Generation of Mobile Payments [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnFQ5sQ9H0g]

Ibn Battuta, the famous explorer from the Middle Ages, was amazed at how someone could write him a check in North Africa and then he could cash it when he was thousands of miles away in, say, Persia or India. The Asian trade routes of the 14th century sustained financial systems (including check-cashing) that are surprisingly similar to what we all use today. It's a testament to how advanced Asian economies were eight centuries ago. But it doesn't say much for those of us who still carry checkbooks around even today. I saw a study that estimates it costs $1.21 to make a payment by check in a grocery store versus 78 cents for a debit card. Moving to mobile payments has the potential to reduce transaction costs even more signficantly.

I have followed Bitcoin for the past year or so with a lot of fascination, largely because it looks to be the first of many digital ways to revolutionize how the world's consumers move value. Not everyone's a fan of Bitcoin, but at least its creators are attempting to address the fact that the global economic system could benefit from payment methods that aren't 800 years old.

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January 16, 2014

Make Those 2014 Goals Both Worthy and Achievable

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 12:15 PM


The Year in Technology: Follow the @Money [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7S7MnY75yA]

As leaders, we only get so many chances to follow through on our intentions and plans.

Star Trek fans know a bit about the importance of delivering on what you promise. The chief engineer of the Enterprise, Commander Scott, likes to say that if you make your promises a bit underwhelming, then when you save the ship at the last minute with a few deft moves, you'll be seen as a miracle-worker.

That's why it pays to be extra mindful of project planning our innovation journeys at the beginning of the year. Now let's face it: Everyone wants to innovate and be cherished by his or her peers as an innovator. But don't enunciate your plans until you know what your enterprise wants.

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December 24, 2013

Technology Moves Management At Light Speed

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 9:04 AM


Kodak: From Blue Chip to Bankrupt [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwfwr8eYP50]

We all have strategy maxims we cherish. So it's not easy for me to challenge the well loved musings of the greatest business thinkers of our time. I'm not the only one, however. Several strategists, for instance, have been questioning the notion that enterprises must focus primarily on building up long-term competitive advantages.

Yet it seems technology has created markets and enterprises that come and go like the wind. If we concentrate on parsing Big Data and focusing on the market-related issues of the moment, it more often than not seems that there is also a need to build 'transient competitive advantage'. This idea is one of several that have come from an ingenious essay by a well-respected business strategist.

One of the most striking things he reveals is that that every two weeks a new company replaces an old one on the Standard & Poor's 500. Plus, in recent decades the average lifespan of a company has declined sharply to 20 years from 60 years. If your organization does build up a solid competitive advantage over your rivals, chances are that advantage won't last very long - whereas in the old days it would sustain the enterprise for years against all newcomers.

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November 25, 2013

How the Market Catches Up With Innovation

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:05 AM


Digital Innovation at IFA 2013 [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWuvYaMnlwo]

We are often very good at tackling whatever challenge lies ahead of us. But sometimes we lack the ability to step back and see the big picture. How is it that we can put a man on the moon but there isn't a gasket good enough to stop that pesky leak in my kitchen sink? Are basic plumbing fixtures beyond the reach of our prowess when we now we can accomplish so much more?

The answer is that the markets are curious things. And we consumers make them that way. What a company's consumer base wants can be different from what that company can provide. The keys to success are predicated on being able to discern how to meet the expectations of consumers.

When we first set about analyzing the responses of 5,000 digitally savvy consumers across Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, we were fascinated by the disconnect that can occur when enterprises set about on their innovation journeys without the customer in mind. They do so at their own peril. In the digital age, consumers will tell an organization quite a bit about their buying habits if that organization will simply calibrate its resources to listen.

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November 7, 2013

Should They Stay Or Should They Go?

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:16 AM


Richard Branson Reveals His Customer Service Secrets [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy4lYDN1gz4]

Many of us would agree that the customer is always right. But which customer?

Recent academic research suggests that in a tight economy, organizations often have a difficult decision to make: to spend money on keeping current customers happy or to use those funds to acquire new ones. Sometimes the decision becomes clear if you're in a particular industry. Airlines, for example, are known for keeping loyal customers happy. Mobile telephone companies, however, sometimes look past their customers in an effort to sign up new people to their calling plans.

Things sure seemed a lot more apparent a half-century ago. Automobile companies had several brands, each aimed at a different demographic. The idea was that a loyal customer would "trade up" to a more expensive brand as he got older and earned a bigger salary. With customers becoming more discerning and the marketplace more competitive, I suppose today's automaker might choose, instead, to focus their marketing budget on attracting buyers who have never owned or considered one of their brands.

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September 18, 2013

IT Goes From Support to Strategy

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 8:19 AM


Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) - first steps for business [Source:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXcQ0wXj4jM]

"The Untouchables" is the name of a group of law enforcement officials who took on powerful bootleggers in 1920s Chicago. But it could just as well be a name for a certain part of every company during the past two decades: Information Technology.

No matter your industry, sector, or position, you've most likely crossed paths with members of the IT department. Up until recently, their ranks were filled with people whose function it was to support everyone else in the company. The IT department has always held a rarefied place within every organization. We all have at least one recollection of when the earth seemed to stand still until someone from IT came to the rescue and the organization could get up and running again.

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August 12, 2013

The Market's Darling of Disruption

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 8:16 AM


Jeff Bezos Advice to Entrepreneurs - Founder of Amazon.com [Source:CorporateValley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVZAIss-A-Y ]

You're only as good as your last market disruption.

Don't think so? Well, let's consider how the stock market values innovation. Upon first glance there's no discernible pattern. But if you take a closer look at companies that have track records of relentlessly disrupting their markets and creating new ones, they're usually rewarded well beyond what traditional valuation methods would ever grant them.

Make no mistake: The stock market shrewdly takes notice of those companies that innovate once or twice and then rest on their laurels. In this unforgiving economy, a company must build a solid track record of disruption. Companies that we think of as one- or two-time innovators continue to be pummeled by the market ... even if strong earnings miss the even loftier expectations of investors and analysts.

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July 1, 2013

Grassroots Innovation: Onion Transplanter

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 9:13 AM


Grassroots Innovation: Onion Transplanter, Pandharinath More [Source :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0WYreYP-B0]
  

You play the hand you've been dealt. Not only is this a good piece of advice for someone in the middle of a high stakes poker game, but those of us in other pursuits can live by it as well. I've listened to many competent professionals in Global 2000 companies (including my own) complain that if they only had an even larger budget they could develop better products.

Yet you don't have to look too far beyond the walls of corporate labs to see examples of amazing innovations born out of necessity and delivered on the tightest - and sometimes non-existent - budgets. The stories below validate my belief that breakthrough innovations that bring immediate and meaningful impact on peoples' lives can be found everywhere on any scale.

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May 27, 2013

Indy Learns from Infy

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 9:01 AM

mayor.jpg

Mayor Gregory Ballard and Winnie Ballard planting a tree in the Infosys Hyderabad campus to commemorate their visit

The sport's most passionate fans, the entire city abuzz, and the sound of roaring engines - that's what people think of when the Indianapolis 500 comes to mind.

Not too far from the famous speedway, however, there's another race going on right now. This one lacks the sounds and drama of the Indy 500, but it's critically more important to the citizens of this Midwestern city. The race is to make Indianapolis one of the major Information Technology hubs of the 21st century.

In the pole position is the city's mayor, Gregory Ballard. He just returned to Indiana from India, a goodwill trip when I met with him at the Hyderabad campus. We talked about business partnerships and I believe Ballard got a glimpse of the transformational work we do for our Global Clients in the Hyderabad Campus of Infosys.

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April 15, 2013

Turning a Business Model On Its Head

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 12:08 PM


Edward Rybicki, Process Integration Officer, Volkswagen Group of America, on Infosys' long-term approach to IT. 

Remember when the Saturn brand took the car world by storm 20 years ago? They shook up the industry by offering no-hassle pricing, friendly sales associates, and plastic, dent-resistant panels that could hold up to the meanest, run-away shopping cart in a parking lot. But the brand's initial appeal wore off after a while. For starters, the company failed to anticipate that loyal Saturn owners would be looking to upgrade to a larger, fancier model. They didn't have such a model ready for showrooms until five or so years after the brand's launch.


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October 12, 2012

Respect is its own Reward

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:02 AM

Team-Infosys-with-the-Oracle-Excellence-Award.jpg

Team Infosys with the Oracle Excellence Award for Specialized Partner of the Year - North America


Earlier last week, Infosys won the P&G GBS External Business Partner Excellence Award for 2012. An award recognizing just 6 GBS partners for their excellence during 2012. And this is the second consecutive year that Infosys has won this award - a very infrequent occurrence in the P&G GBS World. This same week, Oracle conferred a triple honor on Infosys by naming us Oracle Specialized Partner of the Year in Financial Management and Human Capital Management and jointly recognizing Infosys and Ricoh Europe, an Infosys Business Partner, with an Oracle Excellence Award: Eco-Enterprise Innovation.

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