Friday, October 31, 2014

SRL Diagnostics Tranforms Customer Experience With Oracle Service Cloud



Wipro, a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company today announced that it has assisted SRL Diagnostics transform its customer care operations by providing  successful customer experiences across multiple communication channels leveraging Oracle Service Cloud.

SRL Diagnostics, one of India's largest pathology lab networks with 12 reference labs, 4 Centers of Excellence and 281 network laboratories, explored several solutions to improve their existing customer service experience and eventually decided to implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application for its customer care department. SRL partnered with Wipro considering Wipro’s ability to provide full spectrum of services around Oracle Service Cloud which include system integration, change management, and application support. Wipro successfully deployed the Oracle Service Cloud , delivering an enhanced and virtually seamless experience across various touch-points for SRL’s customers.

Wipro’s CRM team aided SRL in streamlining their call center operations by leveraging the core benefits of the Oracle Service Cloud and providing an incident tracking mechanism. Wipro also created a unique experience for all call center agents by developing a custom built toolbar for call management, integrated to SRL’s existing customer care infrastructure.

Oracle Service Cloud combines Web, Social and Contact Center experiences for a unified, cross-channel service solution in the Cloud, enabling organizations to increase sales and adoption, build trust and strengthen relationships, and reduce costs and effort. The enterprise platform provides transparent reliability, unmatched security, and total Cloud freedom for mission critical customer experience delivery.

G Radhakrishna Pillai, CIO, SRL said, "At SRL, customers form the heart of the organization. We use our proprietary Lab Information System CLIMS for Lab process from sample registration till delivering the report to patient. In our bid to provide a better and well-rounded customer experience, we needed a scalable future proof customer experience solution which could help us keep track of the customer service history and make the information accessible to our call center staff. Wipro’s ability in standardizing processes as well as their expertise in implementing Cloud technology and adding new dimensions to reach our customers has helped us move beyond the status quo. We have now gone live with Oracle Service Cloud.”

“We are living in an era, where aligning customer experience with brands has become a prerequisite. Consumers expect a virtually seamless experience when they interact with brands; be it on social media, mobile, website, in-store, through the call center and even while making a purchase online,” said Niraj Kaushik, Vice President, Applications Business, Oracle India. “Oracle’s comprehensive and integrated CX Portfolio  will enable SRL Diagnostics to deliver a coherent customer experience Wipro’s CRM team is proficient in implementing Cloud technology and will add further value to our products,” he added.

Biplab Adhya, vice president, oracle applications, Wipro Ltd. said, “We partnered with SRL to help them scale up their customer service management operations, and enable an improved user experience for its staff and customers. We used Oracle Service Cloud to help automate the daily tasks of SRL customer care users and provided them with a tool that helped them realize better call handling times, thereby delivering a consistent service across different channels like voice, email, web, chat and social media.” 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

India's 3rd Largest Start-Up Ecosystem Globally


The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) today kick-started its three-day annual flagship NASSCOM Product Conclave 2014 in Bangalore. The conclave builds on the fast growing product and startup ecosystem in the country and  provides a platform to engage with thought leaders in the product space, discuss issues of common interest and network with startups and partners to create a common framework for the future of the product startup ecosystem in India. The event will feature 225+ international and national speakers, showcase of 120+ product companies and curated 250+ meetings.

The NASSCOM top Emerge 10 companies will also be showcased on the sidelines of the conclave. These success stories are a mixture of burgeoning product innovations and exciting new solutions.

The growth of the software product industry in recent years has signaled a transformation - in India and across the globe. With increasing numbers of online active users becoming consumers of e-commerce solutions and the related marketplaces, Indian startups today are building global digital solutions to capitalize on this rapid growth. Hyper-growth, capital availability and acquisitions are the leading drivers of the growing startup ecosystem in India. Indian start-ups today are well positioned to address the entire Asian market opportunity and also expand beyond the US and European region.

Expressing his views, R Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM, said, The Indian startup ecosystem is rapidly evolving driven by an extremely young, diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial landscape. This is leading to emergence of focused domain solutions for verticals like healthcare, agriculture, and education etc. An additional driving force is a four-fold increase in access to capital through VCs, angel investment and seed funding is allowing Indian entrepreneurs to work on building tailor-made products for their customers. Simultaneously, we need to also work addressing challenges on creating supportive government policies in terms of ease of doing business, tax incentives, participation in government contracts, availability of risk capital etc. NASSCOM will continue to actively engage with stakeholders across to address these challenges.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the conclave,Ravi Gururaj, Chairman, NASSCOM Product Council, said “Scaling up, Design and Growth Hacking are the key priority for startups today. On the innovation front, it is imperative to increase collaboration and partnerships for product companies with platform players, IT Services, Global MNCs and CIOs. The conclave this year will showcase interesting technologies that are evangelizing the product space and that are poised to become ubiquitous across both the consumer and industrial fabric of our society.” 

Panasonic India Expands Mobile Business; Enters Srilankan Market



Panasonic India launched its mobile phone series in Sri Lanka by extending its innovative product portfolio and services to the users in the country. The company will cater to different consumer segments through products in multi-priced segments. The Sri Lankan market has massive potential for growth in the mobile phone industry and there is a huge untapped telecom consumer segment offering a favorable opportunity for Panasonic to establish itself as a credible force in this market.

Speaking on the occasion of the launch, Manish Sharma, Managing Director- Panasonic India and South Asia, said, “At Panasonic, we strive to bring together innovation with style and affordability, offering users a seamless experience on our devices. Having built an exhaustive and robust range of smartphones and feature phones in India, starting April 2013, our idea is to empower our customers across the spectrum by providing them with the right value options. With the entry into this market, our ultimate aim will be cater to all customer segments in the country and build a strong and robust distribution network in the country. He further added, Panasonic has recently designated India as the sixth strategic region which will take care of SAARC nations, Middle East Asia and Africa. It is in line with this aim that we are today marking our entry in this region, given the huge market potential that exists in the country. We have also ventured into the Nepal smartphone market and Panasonic is looking forward towards building a stronger brand presence across regions.

Over the last five years, Sri Lanka has witnessed a surge in subscriber base driven by a combination of factors like increasing household incomes, expanding mobile network coverage and increasing competition between the mobile operators. With localization being a vital growth strategy, combined with strong core values, business philosophy and leadership principles, Panasonic aims to reach out to maximum consumers with its wide range mobile phones offerings.

SAP Turns 25 Years in APAC with Focus on Innovation and Skills Development


SAP SE has announced its plans to expand innovation capabilities in Singapore with an SAP Innovation Center by the end of 2014, focusing on delivering breakthrough innovations around Smart Cities, Industry 4.0, Healthcare and Digital Consumers. 
In an increasingly networked economy powered by smart devices, the SAP Innovation Center aims to foster local economic opportunities by identifying untapped market and customer needs and creating new innovative, user-centric products. This involves co-innovation with SAP customers and partners as well as research collaboration with local universities. Further fuelling the startup ecosystem, the center will provide local startups with the latest technologies and offer market access to expand their reach.

“While our technology is very sophisticated, it actually delivers a dramatically simplified IT landscape that benefits our customers,” said Rob Enslin, Executive Board Member and President of Global Customer Operations at SAP. “It ties in with our “run simple” philosophy, which includes simplifying our products and by extension, makes it easier for customers to take advantage of SAP technologies. In line with our vision to improve lives, this SAP Innovation Center will deliver a constant stream of innovative software solutions to tackle the great challenges of our time.”
“Asia Pacific is a fast-growing region. We are now entering the era of Internet of Things with the rapid growth of smart, connected devices and systems to meet the changing demands of today’s consumers.  As we embrace a networked, technology-driven innovative economy, we will focus on accelerating industry growth in public services, healthcare, financial services and retail,” said Adaire Fox-Martin, President of SAP Asia Pacific Japan. “Building on our 25-year presence in the region, we look forward to continued commitment and close collaboration with customers, partners, governments and universities throughout Asia Pacific, to drive innovation and skills development.”
SAP is also tapping on the increasingly vibrant IT ecosystem across the region to identify ideas at an early stage and leverage access to a large pool of the brightest young talent. Under the SAP University Alliances Student Entrepreneurship program, students can develop new solutions across SAP’s technologies leveraging in-memory platform SAP HANA, the SAP Mobile Platform and analytics capabilities. The students will gain access to these technologies, SAP experts, mentors and an entrepreneurship curriculum. Launched globally in March, the Student Entrepreneurship program was recently announced in Australia, Singapore and India and will be introduced in Japan and Korea later this year.
The SAP University Alliances program opens up the world of SAP to more than 1,800 universities in more than 80 countries worldwide, and aims to develop highly qualified graduates with critical skills for the 21st century workforce. Annually, over two thousand tertiary students in Singapore benefit from this program.
Through a robust Young Thinkers program, SAP is also expanding its university partnerships to stimulate interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in youths, address the gap in skills shortage and encourage entrepreneurial thinking. Across the region, this experiential learning program involves secondary/K-12 schools, government agencies and NGOs in Singapore, India and Australia to help youths understand the benefits brought about by Big Data today and its impact on societies, businesses and everyday life.
The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) welcomed SAP’s expanded presence in Singapore which helps to reinforce the country’s position as a digital innovation capital for companies and industries. Quek Swee Kuan, Deputy Managing Director at EDB said: “For 25 years, SAP has been a key partner to Singapore in its contribution to the ICT industry. By providing co-innovation opportunities, the new Innovation Centre will enable companies to pursue their desired digital transformation strategies from Singapore. This builds on SAP’s active talent development efforts to leverage the capabilities of Singaporean students and researchers, and marks a deepening of our partnership.”

Monday, October 27, 2014

SAP to Manage Bharti’s Retail Processes Across Key Indian Cities




SAP SE has announced that Bharti Retail Limited (BRL), one of India’s leading multi-brand retailers, is strengthening its supply chain, store operations and improve customer experience with the implementation of solutions from SAP.  The range of retail solutions from SAP will be used to manage retail processes in addition to improve planning, accurate merchandising and thereby enhance operational efficiencies. 

With over 210 stores across key cities in 11 states, Bharti Retail is poised to become one of the country’s preferred retail companies. The implementation aims to build a solid foundation for the future and enable the company to bring to Indian consumers the benefits of world class retailing.

“It is our constant endeavour to provide localized and personalized interactions, compelling choices and flawless transaction execution to attract and retain customers,” said   Raj Jain, CEO, Bharti Retail Limited. “With SAP, we aim to add power to our cart and thereby redefine the overall retail experience for any customer who walks in to our store,” he added.

Additionally, Bharti Retail Limited has also decided to leverage OEM SAP Max Attention services to lower the risks, safeguard the BRL IT initiatives and deliver extreme value to its business. As a part of this offering, Product engineers /Architects are engaged to help construct a scalable retail business model by addressing perceived gaps and open issues. This implementation helped to dramatically reduce the cost of implementation and achieves business transformation through the implementation of SAP solutions. “The rules of customer engagement have changed. They are now in charge of the relationship and it is up to smart companies to find new ways to engage them,” said Deb Deep Sengupta, Chief Operating Officer, SAP India. “Responding to the need for richer customer engagement regardless of department, location or interaction channel makes SAP a top choice for companies in Retail looking to create lasting connections with their customers.”

Retailers are operating in a challenging market, coupled with competition from around the world and an abundance of information available at shoppers’ fingertips making today’s shopper more powerful than ever. The ability to respond rapidly to market demands is vital in the dynamic world of retail. Retailers need to operate across channels as efficiently as possible and find new and powerful ways to innovate and differentiate as quickly as possible. To help improve customer relationships, SAP solutions provide the means to turn today’s challenges into opportunities and help drive profitable multichannel retailing by offering retailers better insight to understand their customers and business.

Accenture’s Cloud Platform Accelerates Enterprise Migration to the Cloud




Accenture has announced new industry-leading management capabilities for the Accenture Cloud Platform that give organizations the power and flexibility to manage their workloads simply, effectively and more securely across both on-premise private and public clouds. New enterprise-grade capabilities—including flexible cloud integration options and unified billing analytics—delivered via a centralized management control framework, provide the ability to broker, orchestrate, manage and govern multiple enterprise cloud solutions on demand, at speed, from a single platform, with the assurance enterprises expect from Accenture.

A new discovery engine and an exposed application programming interface now allows users to access services either through the Accenture Cloud Platform portal, through applications directly, or through the native cloud provider console. This provides flexible integration options and greater resiliency, enabling organizations to stay on top of and leverage new service introductions and innovations from cloud service providers quickly, helping to improve enterprise productivity and competitiveness. The platform also provides a centralized view of usage patterns and unified billing with access to in-depth analytics for visibility of overall cloud spend, providing full budgetary control.

“Cloud computing is essential to delivering the capabilities required by digital businesses, yet many enterprises struggle with managing separate cloud accounts and remain uncertain about moving both new workloads and legacy systems to the cloud,” said Michael Liebow, global managing director, Accenture Cloud Platform. “The new, robust capabilities of the Accenture Cloud Platform help enterprises capitalize on the flexibility and agility of cloud, while enterprise-grade governance and control and enhanced security provide the peace of mind of traditional infrastructure – all in an easily consumed ‘pay as you go’ service model.”

Since its launch last year, hundreds of clients—in industries ranging from insurance and oil and gas, to media and entertainment—have already leveraged the Accenture Cloud Platform to rapidly access private and public cloud while maintaining control and oversight. A key enabler for helping clients make the journey to hybrid cloud, the vendor-neutral Accenture Cloud Platform supports private and public cloud technology from a broad range of leading global providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and NTT Communications, among other.

“Many enterprise clients have had to ‘back into the cloud’ from a variety of legacy IT systems, rather than having the luxury of being built for the cloud from inception,” said Charles Sutherland, executive vice president of Research for HfS Research. “The Accenture Cloud Platform, which has evolved dramatically over the past year, provides the brokerage and integration services that enterprises need in order to orchestrate the acquisition and deployment of cloud services across a variety of hybrid cloud options, helping them keep pace with the ever-increasing complexity of their cloud environments.”

Additional new features of the Accenture Cloud Platform include:

* Managed service model. Now cloud management is delivered as a service to enterprises via a fully automated, self-service model. The platform can be delivered in a matter of days or weeks in a consumption-based model. This provides ultimate flexibility in composing the set of management tools that are most appropriate for individual needs.

* Public and private cloud integration. The platform now enables the management of on-premise private cloud solutions built on Open Stack, VMware vCloud Suite and others. 

* Application and platform blueprinting. Containing all the key information to successfully build a complete compute stack and deploy applications in the cloud – including server, software, storage, network, images and firewall details, and how they all relate—the Accenture Cloud Platform’s automated, self-service blueprints enable multiple cloud services to be bundled, provisioned and deployed from a single model across public and private cloud providers while adhering to enterprise architecture guidelines and policies.

* Strong security and reduced compliance risk. The Accenture Cloud Platform offers fully automated, self-serve and managed security services like patching, back-up, monitoring and the ability to set policies for networks, machine sizes and images with full integration to an enterprise directory to ensure authorized, role-based access.

* Increased control and governance. The platform simplifies oversight by providing central monitoring of service usage and delivery across multiple services and private and public clouds. A one-stop-shop to request and provision pre-approved cloud services, the platform also provides policy management and approval workflow control, along with a suite of billing, chargeback and cost analytics, helping to make enterprise management and scale of cloud services easier.

This announcement is part of Accenture’s investment of more than $400 million in cloud technologies, capabilities and training by 2015 to focus on delivering the right cloud services from its network of providers, as well as blending its own industry solutions and innovations with third party offerings. Accenture has worked on more than 8,000 cloud computing projects for clients, including nearly 75 percent of the Fortune Global 100, and has more than 14,000 professionals trained in cloud computing.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Slow Festive Season For Indian Real Estate




Views by Anuj Puri, Chairman & Country Head, JLL India

The Indian real estate market is definitely in recovery mode again. However, at this point in time, it is more than evident that the festive season was not able to fully harness the benefits of market recovery. This is because the events that have catalysed the recovery – namely the new government at the centre, its pro-business policies, the encouraging Union Budget and the provisions it has announced favouring real estate – will need more time to bring their benefits to bear on the market. 

Likewise, the RBI has held on to current interest rates in favour of safeguarding against further inflationary trends. It will take several more months for the market to get into convincing forward momentum again, so the festive season did not bring the kind of momentum that was hoped for.

While demand exists, it is still held in abeyance by various economic factors, including the natural lag between the announcement and implementation of government policy catalysts. Reduced pricing could potentially induce some further sales momentum in certain pockets, but it is not likely to happen as developers are not keen on signalling a correction, especially when demand is waiting in the wings. New projects are in any case being announced at lower rates.

Developers have been addressing the situation by offering selective discounts and incentives, the success of which has varied across cities and locations. Those with greater holding power continue to wait for the market to pick up so that sales velocity will accelerate. 

With reference to the high levels of unsold inventory, launches have decreased consistently since 1Q13, with exception of 1Q14, in which launches increased. This has resulted in unsold inventory further increasing by 6.7% in the same period because of sluggish sales. It is only after four consecutive quarters of slow launches, activities such as reconfiguration of units, reduction of total ticket price, etc. induced some improvement in sales at the country level.  

Prior to the general elections, developers had launched many projects to gain a competitive advantage, and in anticipation of a recovery in market conditions after the polls. However, the launches did not really pick up post elections, as residential property buyers continued to remain cautious. This is actually positive, because in a healthy market environment, supply needs to take its cues from on-ground demand.  

In short, sales velocity during this festive season have remained uninspiring despite the various attractive pricing schemes and discounts that developers have been offering to attract buyers. However, the current scenario is no way indicative of what lies ahead for the real estate market, for which the outlook remains very much positive.

To my reckoning, we are currently at the cusp of growth, and the tangible manifestations of the current market recovery will become visible over the next twelve months. The old dictum ‘what cooks slowly cooks well’ is very pertinent in the present scenario.