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October 6, 2020

Beat the Covid 19 pandemic with the best in breed vaccine management solution

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According to WHO, there are currently 190 vaccines in development and more than 2 dozen vaccines in human trials. However, managing the vaccination program will be an unprecedented task for government organizations across the globe. It is of prime importance that these government organizations choose the best in breed solution for managing the vaccine programs efficiently.

Any successful vaccine management solution should follow a rule of 3Ps - Plan, Prepare and Prioritize. The digital solution modules will be designed and executed to fit into the 3Ps - Plan, Prepare and Prioritize

Here is my take on the key areas of focus that will fit into the 3PS and determine the success of the digital vaccine management solution:

Ability to deploy quickly and meet the volume of requests:

The organizations will look forward to a platform solution that is easy to configure, build, integrate and manage end to end supply chain of the vaccination program. The platform should also be flexible to meet the different requirements of the states and secure to store data.

 A single view of data to take strategic decisions and execute actions:

The solution must also provide a single view of data according to the role and designation of the personas involved in the ecosystem. The holistic view of the data must cover the below prime areas:

·         Vaccination status of the community

·         Rate of adherence to schedules

·         Patients with preexisting conditions and not eligible for vaccination

·         Medical device inventory status

·         Health status of people post-vaccination

Demand forecasting will be a key to determine the facility readiness and manage the supply chain:

The availability of enough stocks of medical kits and equipment required for the program is a must to manage the vaccination programs of such a scale with challenging supply chain management and logistics ecosystem. A robust AI-engines should predict and forecast demand to plan the inventories and reduce wastage that can be used elsewhere

Robust calendar management and scheduling facilities for the community:

An inbuilt calendaring and scheduling capabilities in the solution is a must for the entire appointment management process for the community. Separate administrators and task force team must be appointed with access to manage and administer the calendar of the communities handled by them.

Ability to capture the health status with inbuilt survey and consent management system:

The vaccination program will involve adherence to various norms and guidelines of WHO. Hence the solution must have an inbuilt survey capture feature that can gather relevant patient data related to health as well as take their consent before they enroll themselves in the vaccination program.

Training of health care workers:

The solution should be easily managed by the health care workers and medical professionals. Vaccine management courses and inbuilt training modules will help them to quickly adapt to the technology, log the activities and track the status.

Analytics to monitor the post-vaccination health status:

The responsibility of the organizations doesn't end with the vaccination program but extends far beyond to monitor and track the health status of the people post vaccination. Inbuilt analytics with easy integration to data from wearables and other patient health monitoring mechanisms will play a key role in the determining the success rate of the vaccination program.

September 2, 2020

How empowered are your sales and service teams?

Very recently, I got to taste 3 variants of customer service that made me wonder in these tough times too are organizations doing the needful to empower their sales and service teams to continue to deliver promises and services that we as customers are used to. 

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June 8, 2020

COVID - 19 - Redefining Digital Transformation Priorities

Since the onset of the new year 2020, we all have been spectating the unfurling of the pandemic, COVID - 19. With each day, the contagion is expanding its reach to every possible community and geography, disrupting economic, social and work lives while re-defining the ways of living and working. Be it the ways of remote working or simple living or innovation-led collaboration, COVID -19 seems to have changed the fundamental definitions of some of the BAU operations.  

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April 9, 2020

My recipe of Intelligent Service for Manufacturing

As manufacturing enterprises are wading through a pivotal transformation in digitizing their landscape, customer-centric strategies continue to filch the focus with shiny variants of CX solutions being onboarded. Experience enhancement accelerators like Smart Sales, Intelligent Service, Insight based marketing, Personalized Portals are being huddled into the ecosystem in alignment with the foundational principles of the 04th industrial revolution. 

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March 2, 2020

Enhancing Application Security around Requirement Engineering in CRM Projects...

Inspite of several best practices and proven techniques advocated by Agile application delivery methodologies, data breach is still a common concern across the globe. Data breach cases in the year 2018-19 reached all time high with a greater number of well-reputed organizations coming under threat, with their customer information being compromised.

Large IT enterprises too are hit by security vulnerability time-to-time inspite of having best in class security policies and technology advancements in place. Several IT giants have embraced several security shields such as Deception, Threat Intelligence, Security by design, Security ratings, AI cyber security, BOTS, Threat hunting, including outsourcing to managed security companies inspite of all these countermeasures; data breach incidents are on constant rise year after year.

Official sources such as Common Vulnerabilities & Exposures (CVE) - (lists vulnerabilities grouped by year, per type and per product across the industries). National Vulnerability database (NVD) maintains common weakness enumeration (CWE) coded weakness in a hierarchical structure. CRM space alone amounts to huge data leakage from both on-premise as well as cloud infrastructures leading to reputation damages.

As part of COE engagements and in-dept study of how an vulnerability becomes a threat at later phases, we devised three milestone approach to tackle application security concerns:

Milestone 1 - 

To study evolution of vulnerabilities and determining injection point in the SDLC life cycle below techniques can be utilized:

1. Inverted Tree approach or the Attack tree

Attack trees helps in defining and analyzing possible threats expressed in a node hierarchy, allows the decomposition of a nonrepresentational attack into several concrete attack steps.

2. Affinity 

An Affinity Diagram gathers large amounts of attributes (ideas, opinions, issues) and organizes them into groupings or clustering based on their natural relationships.

Based on the prior known attack paths either through rule-based engine or via machine learning based training set a specific attack tree will be modeled for a given security incident.

A detailed investigation of data breach along with the path traversed by the intruder is highlighted through log forensics. 

Other possible attack paths or vulnerabilities waiting to be exploited are called out and prioritized for the process or technical fix

A detailed root cause analysis is then taken up to zero down in SDLC life cycle which was the originating point for this vulnerability to get injected (specific case-wise). 

o Backward traversal from post-Go live phase  Deployment  User Acceptance testing  System Integration Testing  Implementation  Design  Requirement Elicitation phases. Each SDLC phase where there could be contribution towards injection of this vulnerability will be tagged with associated weightage. 

Leveraging Affinity principle and weighted average mechanism, the earliest and core phase where this vulnerability took birth is determined and highlighted. 

Cost of data breach and efforts to fix at each SDLC phase can be called out.

Milestone 2 - 

Our next milestone was to study and innovate a mechanism to adopt early prevention of Vulnerability injection in SDLC life cycle. As from our Milestone 1 experiences, it was evident that most vulnerabilities enter as early as requirement phase itself and some of non-technical logical requirements were the major suspects.

"Logical vulnerabilities are flaws injected due to improper business logic. Logical vulnerabilities are security gaps ascended due to improper business logic and not from coding".  These vulnerabilities are exploited by understanding how an application works and circumventing the typical business flow. These vulnerabilities manipulate the logic of the application to enforce functionality which application was never intended to do.

Below Techniques can be utilized to decide whether requirements are vulnerable free or not!?

3. Design Thinking - for security requirements vulnerability detection. Design thinking enables the identification of the presence or absence of security requirement attributes at atomic level.

4. Binarization - Concept of security requirement template has been innovated in our study that can be used in quantifiable model through binarization approach.

Stage 1: Security Requirement Analysis

Stage 2: SRA template

Stage 3: Design thinking to extract and identify SRA

Stage 4: Binarization and Vulnerability Detection

Stage 5: Determining Vulnerable and non-vulnerable SR

Based on INVEST principles try to break the requirements into Atomic level.

Identify the requirement attributes (as defined in our SRA template) presence or absence in each Use-case. 

Apply binarization (1s or 0s) to the respective attributed based on its presence or absence

A logical AND and OR operation based on the requirement attribute category (BASIC / PRECISE / PRIMARY). 

A requirement with SRA score 1 is categorized as Vulnerable and needing further refinement, whereas SRA score 0 represents well defined non-intrudable logical requirement which can proceed to Design and Development phase. 

Milestone 3 -

Our final milestone to innovate a mechanism to anticipate and prepare for a possible security attack and propose a framework towards eliciting resilient requirements as below:

Application security attack deterrence inherently depends on two factors: higher grade Quality of Application Security (QAS) and optimized risk. In turn these two aspects are dependent on good quality security requirements (SR). Currently, there exists no methodology to delineate the limitations of SR. we propose framework to elicit resilient requirements to deter attacks by identifying the attacker's objective. 

5-phase approach:

 Application classification

 Vulnerability Evaluation

 Countermeasure Evaluation

 Countermeasure Selection

 Countermeasure Decomposition.

The study focuses on attack preparedness or resiliency in SR. In general, the word 'resiliency' is the capacity of a system to withstand and recover quickly from both known and unknown threats.

Application resiliency depends on how well resilience concepts are embedded in security requirements. Though resilient applications are of essential need, its development is at conceptual level. Resilient security requirements are not yet explicit in the current practice of application development. 

Application classification provides a roadmap to know the relevance of each application in the organization. Get the necessary protection against vulnerabilities to maintain continuity of service and compliance. Provides insight into the importance of vulnerability relative to the context in which the application operates.

Vulnerability identification gives a view of vulnerabilities that affect an organization. This uncovers the deficiency in SDLC. Integration of the information such as vulnerability density in each application category, application criticality, and repeated vulnerability in applications can determine the type and trend of security attacks 

Resilient Security Requirement generation process provides awareness on the nature and strength of vulnerabilities present in applications. The security team can prepare organization specific vulnerability distribution chart that reveals redundant, frequent and dominant vulnerabilities with a common strong countermeasure.

Countermeasure's adherence ensures the efficiency of countermeasures to address vulnerabilities. Vulnerability verses countermeasure analysis gives the mapping of vulnerabilities against respective countermeasures. This analysis helps to frame the required set of countermeasures without redundancy.

Building Resilient Use Cases from countermeasures is a great way to test the application's defensive ability against the attacker's potential. Resilient Use Cases provide a distinct coverage of what must be implemented to address a given vulnerability.

This article is applicable beyond CRM space considering all digital application landscape of an Organization. The entire process of building resilience into their requirement engineering phase allows the organization to identify, remediation and transform only the vulnerable applications and not those that have acceptable level of protection. This action of directing the organization to focus only on needy systems than focusing on all applications of the organization results in many benefits such as cost saving, time saving, efficient management of applications and better achievement of security resiliency. 

As a conclusion, we saw 3 milestone approach which can be further tailored to each program to Identify the vulnerability injection point, measure the requirement elicitation maturity by testing for presence of vulnerabilities or not as early as requirement engineering phase, finally a framework to consistently define a resilient requirements to uplift the quality of requirement plus its resilience which in turn shall elevate project success rates in midst of severely hacked world today.

Note: Thanks to Shubhamangala B.R for guidance

February 27, 2020

Field Service Management - Have you explored the ocean?


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February 6, 2020

Customer Experience Management - Transformative Journey for Utilities


A chronology of events for an enquiry/complaint about the increase in water charges, resolved in a conventional manner. Well typical example of a Reactive Customer Service. Food for THOUGHT and CHANGE!

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January 1, 2020

BSS in the cloud with 'Industry' cloud

In a series of recent technological developments, many enterprise level capabilities have migrated to cloud sphere and Salesforce as leading cloud based CRM player has expanded its wings many fold in tapping this movement. Enterprise capabilities such as product design to configuration and fulfillment, rating, billing etc. have all started taking a center stage now. Certain services like communication, video, collaboration etc. as one Cloud platform is an innovative trend as well. Possibly, we may hear about activation, provisioning etc. also joining this league and marching ahead. These applications are very industry specific e.g. enterprise billing processes in telecommunication and finance industry can vary significantly...similarly, Product configuration for insurance and telecom comes with varied level of challenges. 
       In addition, Omni-channels are becoming truly Omni present now and outpacing the traditional channels at faster speed. These are actually the real digital chords that should be tuned well for enhanced user experiences. Customers enjoy multitude of channels today and initiate interactions with the service providers in number of ways. All this actually brought my attention towards Omni-channel guided selling or service based interaction where Vlocity is an industry leader and comes up with 'industry cloud' offerings and not merely a 'cloud' based solution.

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November 6, 2019

Infosys Agile Planner - A NexGen agile based software building platform

Agile Planning: Challenges

In this era of competitions and innovations in the world of software development, there is a continuous pressure of delivering high quality solutions/ products which can be deployed speedily, are of low cost and flexible to absorb the dynamic needs of the end user fraternity. While the advent of the Agile Methodology seemed to address these demands, it brought in a need for structuring, planning, controlling and managing the project in an agile manner. If this was not enough, the agile ways of working necessitated a demand for dynamic collaboration and communication mechanisms further tightening the pressure of managing all these aspects within a single agile management tool.

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October 29, 2019

Dreamforce 2019 - What can we expect this year ?

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Dreamforce is one of the most talked technology events and a magical gathering that invites more than 100,000 professionals all over the world. The entire Moscone Center becomes a Disneyland for Salesforce Enthusiasts with Music, Monks and Marketing of Salesforce products happening around them.  This year, most of us were able to get a sneak peek on what is going to happen at Dreamforce this year with a series of talk shows called "Road to Dreamforce 2019" that went live every Tuesday starting on September 3rd 2019. Watching this series every week, I was thinking of writing a blog on what can Salesforce professionals in IT companies like Infosys, benefit from attending this event this year and what key notes sessions to focus on to plan our Calendar accordingly.

Dreamforce for Sales Cloud Professionals:

If you are planning to attend the key note sessions around Sales Cloud features, then you can expect the below topics focused to enable our customers to win deals better:

·     Salesforce Maps for Field Sales - All the partners have already attended the webinar on Salesforce Maps which is released this year. At dreamforce, we can have detailed sessions on how this can be leveraged to offer better selling experience to our customers.

·      Enhancement in Salesforce CPQ / Billing Features - Most of our customers always face problems in their billing engine which is going to be simplified and enhanced this year with newer and upgraded features to be announced at Dreamforce.

Dreamforce for Service Cloud Professionals:

Some of the key topics to focus around Service area includes:

·      New Digital channels to be integrated with Service Cloud for enhancement of Self Service Portal

·      Empathy factor as a feature to play a great deal for Field Service Agents and Contact Center organization.

·      Build Sites and Portals faster with the New Lightning Components using Community Cloud. With Salesforce partnering with Automattic this year, we can expect a lot of enhanced features at Community Cloud Digital Experience Key note session this year at Dreamforce.

Dreamforce for Marketing & Commerce Cloud Professionals:

I felt that Marketing cloud, Pardot and Commerce cloud team will play a huge role at this edition of dreamforce with some of the exciting key note sessions including:

·     Salesforce - Google Strategic Partnership for marketing - G Suite integrated with Salesforce for 360 degree marketing needs is going to simplify the ROI measurement of marketing efforts faster than any technology offering can do globally.

·     Journey builder Is getting a brand new upgrade and it is important to attend the Demo at dreamforce.

·     Product bundling feature with Einstein will be a great add on to the Pardot / SFMC offering

·     Interesting Use Case Demo - How Metallica band uses Commerce Cloud for online sales.

Dreamforce for IT professionals aka Technology Innovators

Apart from the above solution based key note sessions, Salesforce has a routine practice to set up a dedicated playground for IT professionals namely "Dreamforce for IT - Drive your Business Partner" which I am sure will be the place to be for Infoscions to get the scoop on all the networking and learning opportunities. This year, Salesforce have made sure that the relationship factor with IT companies will be directly proportional to the number of technology innovators that they groom in-house, with the support of their internal and external stakeholders, to increase the business value. Hence, we can look out for a lot of full force and innovative solutions from various competitors across the globe. This year at dreamforce, participants can see the shift of IT companies from just being a service enabler to a Technology enabler and how they are encouraging their Salesforce practice to embrace the technology for innovation. Salesforce has also made it clear that their customer SPOC, not just includes CIO or members of CIO office but also CTO (Chief Technology Officer), CDO (Chief Digital Officer) and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) who also sit in the office of CIO these days and embrace technology for their business needs. Hence, Salesforce believes that their IT partners as Technology Innovators can increase the demand for Salesforce in the market with such sessions. Salesforce also encourages their customer to establish a co-working relationship with their IT partners to drive their technology driven business in real time. Salesforce has also worked on an enterprise application and tested on Heroku for IT security needs of customers and will be needing IT partner support to enable their vison on Cyber Security and other security related needs of their customers. Above all, Mulesoft sessions will also be importance to IT players who are enabling digital transformation projects for their customers. Indeed, there is an increasing demand for OOB integration services to connect different platforms used by the customers in their IT transformation journey.

Infosys on the playing ground:

As a technology innovator and platinum Salesforce Partner ourselves, Infosys will be presenting on some of the Solution Innovation POCs /POVs that we have created with  the Salesforce Platform enabling our customers to perform better. Few notable ones are:

·         Auto-remarketing Solution

·         Efficient 360

·         Provider Experience

·         Channel Partner Management Solution

·         Customer Advocacy 2.0

·         Lightning Experience Solution

·         Agile Planner

·         Agile Pro

·         CRM Broadcast

Dreamforce for AI enthusiasts

There will definitely be Einstein AI feature releases  across all the cloud solutions that we have to watch out for that can help build use cases instantly for our clients.

 "Every great AI project starts with great use case", recalls Salesforce AI experts.

For IT professionals, Salesforce has bucketed Einstein sessions into 2 categories:

·     Building Smart Apps with AI enabling Business Visions using Einstein NLP / Translations & Voice Capabilities

·     Customizing Salesforce with Einstein AI which will talk about predictions & recommendations features that can be created and embedding within Salesforce Cloud Solutions

Einstein sessions will be held at Moscone West Zone with 3 floors worth of demos and hands on sessions on Einstein AI.

·         1st floor - Trailblazer Zone

·         2nd Floor - Einstein Platform Zone

·         3rd Floor -  Einstein AI summit

If we have any questions or sessions or demos to be arranged at dreamforce we can tweet the request with a hashtag #NowYouKnowAI

Other Interesting events: Apart from the above technical events, following are some of the interesting events to watch out for at Dreamforce:

·     Pardot puppies - All the Pet Lovers can visit the Pardot Puppies store to adopt the rescued puppies at Dreamforce

·     Mindfulness - On the last day of dreamforce there will be a session on Yoga / Mindfulness / Stress Management for the attendees with a popular figure driving the same.

·     Musical evening - As a routine practice, dreamforce will have a famous band at Dreamforce 2019 Concert.

For travelers to dreamforce, I hope this article will help you make a proper Calendar plan and coverage at dreamforce. For non-travelers to dreamforce, hope you are updated on what will be happening at Dreamforce this year.

Cheers and happy Dreamforcing!

#Dreamforce #RoadtoDF19 #Infosys #NavigateYourNext