The evolution of digital technologies such as Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud [SMAC] is having a significant impact on IT within enterprises. By 2020, a staggering 20+ billion connected devices will be in place, which would be about three times the size of the current world’s population, enabling us to crave for a perfect synchronization with just about everything around us. You will need to decide if you are one of the early adopters of technologies that will drive your business just ahead of your competition, working with the newest and most advanced solutions and leaving your competition to play the catch-up game.

Image Source – Digital Transformation

Transformation today begins with digital Infrastructure and data is the key theme within the orchestration layers of digital infrastructure. Enterprises have been accumulating data and literally have not even come close to exercising the real worth of it. Empowering business with actionable information can fundamentally change the way business can operate and transform. Here is where automating managed services operations will accelerate digital transformation journey within an enterprise.

So what are the areas one can possibly apply intelligent automation within the IT operations framework? Let’s look into the top three areas where automation is already underway.

Automating Service Desk Operations – We need to re-look at how enterprises engage service desk for end-user support. With digital transformation accelerating at very high speed, information technologies are changing rapidly in the way businesses are getting done today. With rapidly changing technologies there are high turnover of services desk engineers that leads to lack of knowledge and experience.

This leads to high risks and low quality of services. Besides providing a 24×7 support takes a toll with the costs going north. Enterprises can look into building AI/RPA into their service desk support operations. In fact, with roughly 30-40% of Level 0/1 services desk support cases being repetitive, you can leverage the power of Natural Language Interpretation [NLI] and cognitive automation in the form of AI bots. AI powered RPA and cognitive automation are quickly becoming the main driving force for digital transformation today. Traditional service desk and being transformed to Digital Service Desk providing end users the flexibility to talk to someone anytime from anywhere with 50~70% reduction of costs to handle each incident.

Automating IT Operations Management – Modern enterprises that are adopting Hybrid-IT will need a solution that will allow them to discover everything they have in real-time. Auto-discovery of IT assets and complete visibility of all your IT resources, no matter where they are will also require automation in management of incidents.

Automation in streamlining the process of creating and managing incidents, as well as notifying the right teams with correlation between the resources in real-time basis, it becomes even more important on how you handle the false positives from here on. Escalation and alert on critical events to ensure rapid problem resolution and consistent service performance will lead to meaningful insights to providing the actionable information to the CIO organization to better manage the business of IT today.

Integration of RPA/AI in IT Operations Management – The network operations center or the digital command center [as I would like to put it in today’s scenario] is the focal point for a 24×7 IT Infrastructure /Application and Data Monitoring and Management. With everything-as-a-service, connectivity becomes the principle driver for any digital journey. Ensuring health of these connected devices to ensure 24×7 availability is the key element for a greater customer experience [CX].

Enterprise will need to plan to bring in RPA that will perform health check [including security checks] of systems & applications and take corrective remedial actions to ensure the environment performs giving the experience that is needed. Automation on service requests post work-flow approvals coming out of IT service management needs to be automated.

Robotic process automation [RPA] is the important step in the evolution of new business models since it significantly reduces the need for IT service agents to perform routine, rule based, high volume activities, enabling them to instead focus on more innovative ideas.

Thinkers, enthusiasts, market researchers and many others place 2020 and 2025 as an important milestone in the coming years. Is this because of ‘conversational‘ banking, ‘self-driving‘ vehicles, and ‘drones‘ to deliver packages? You are talking to ‘robo-advisors’ on market trends and investments, ‘cognitive‘ coach on your phone designing your next day diet based on your previous days workouts and the list keeps adding up. To make all this a reality, enterprises that develop or adopt such innovation must have their IT Services automated to handle the kind of demand in implementing Hybrid IT in their journey of digital transformation.

About the author

Nilesh Gupta is the VP & Global Head – Digital Infrastructure Management Solutions & Strategy, at 3i Infotech Ltd. More details about him can be found here

Capital Float [Zen Lefin Pvt Ltd], India’s largest digital lender has raised $22 Million [INR 144 crores] in equity funding from Amazon. This latest fund raise takes Capital Float’s total equity funding to nearly $110 million from Amazon and other existing investors including Ribbit Capital, SAIF Partners, Sequoia India, Creation Investments, and Aspada. In addition, the company has also raised debt amounting to $130 million till-date [INR 840 crores] from leading banks and NBFCs. Capital Float has enabled large numbers of SMEs with customized credit solutions and is actively expanding into new customer segments. The company’s unique model of lending from own balance sheet as well as a co-lending model of loans for other lenders [banks and NBFCs] gives it access to large pools of capital to serve a vast customer base.

Image Source – Capital Float

Gaurav Hinduja and Sashank Rishyasringa, Co-founders, Capital Float, said

We are tremendously excited to bring Amazon on board as an investor at this key juncture in Capital Float’s journey. This partnership has enormous potential. In the past 6 months alone, we’ve added several new products and crossed INR 1,200 crores [$185 million] in overall loan portfolio outstanding. We have also achieved tremendous growth on the customer acquisition front, adding 50,000 new customers across the country. With this investment from Amazon, we enter FY19 with relentless focus to add 300,000 customers and originate over INR 5,000 crores [$800 million] in loans this year.

The funds will be used to bolster Capital Float’s proprietary end-to-end digital loan origination system and to design innovative credit solutions for customers.

Amit Agarwal, SVP and Country Manager, Amazon India, said

We are excited to work with Capital Float and invest alongside other investors. We are highly impressed with what Gaurav and Sashank have built and we back missionary entrepreneurs and management teams. Credit in India is highly under-penetrated and Capital Float is bringing the right kind of credit solutions to the underserved and informally served segments of SMEs to help realize their full potential. The company is well positioned for the digital age with its strong technology and data-driven approach to lending.

About Capital Float

Capital Float is the pioneer of digital lending in India. The company leverages technology and big data analytics to deliver innovative credit products to businesses and individuals across the country. Through its proprietary digital loan underwriting and origination platform, it has been able to deliver financing solutions to large sections of the economy traditionally underserved by large financial institutions. It has also developed partnerships to finance SMEs across various ecosystems such as e-commerce, manufacturing supply chains, retail, travel and hospitality, and digital remittances.

Founded in 2013, Capital Float is the trade name for Zen Lefin Private Limited, a Non-Banking Finance Company [NBFC] registered with the Reserve Bank of India. For more information, please visit Capital Float

We’re all familiar with games, right? From board games to video games to card games, there’s a little luck and a little skill involved in winning—but with winning comes rewards, too [even if it’s just gloating power for a few hours]. Companies have long evolved an approach to gaming with ensuring or enhancing customer loyalty.

Image Source – Gamification

Airlines are the best example – Earn miles and you can earn flights or other types of rewards. So the more you spend with that particular airline, the more you earn, and the better you feel about your purchases. That is called gamification of the buying experience.

And gamification isn’t just about rewards; boosting the gameable aspects of your customer service also has a feel-good aspect. Gamification also allows you to think differently about what rewards you want to use. So what’s the process and how can you boost the gaming in your process? The graphics below explains the same

Click To Enlarge


The Benefits of Creating an Entertaining Customer Experience With Gamification

Via Salesforce

 

ALC India, has announced the second Batch for ‘Transforming India Initiative’ [TII], a unique 2-year social entrepreneurship programme. The programme is open for anyone with a graduate degree: Start-up enthusiasts, Corporate professionals who nurture entrepreneurial aspirations and Young professionals who want to make an impact for the country.

The 2-year programme has been designed to give in-depth entrepreneurial experience and practical knowledge of how to run a social venture before the candidates start their own ventures. After completion of the programme, each individual will receive incubation and funding support for a period of 6 years to set up a profitable social enterprise. TII is supported by the NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission and is offered in partnership with the prestigious Institute of Rural Management Anand [IRMA].

The first batch of the program witnessed enthusiastic response from 418 candidates from across India. ALC India selected 10 candidates after much deliberation and with a rigorous screening process. The current batch includes people who were earlier working in eminent corporates, start-up founders, educational and environmental enthusiast, etc. and wanted to start up their own enterprise that would tackle pressing social concerns.

ALC India is a 12-year old social enterprise that has been incubating companies belonging to the economically marginalized. Last year, it was recognized by the NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission as an established incubation centre and received scale-up support of INR 10 crores to incubate social enterprises, including support to the Transforming India Initiative [TII].

Since, its inception in 2005, ALC India has impacted 65,000 households in 17 States through 300 Projects. The organization has helped people in the unorganized sector build sustainable livelihoods and double their incomes. ALC India helps incubate enterprises that the communities own – typically cooperatives or producer companies and develops their technical, managerial and entrepreneurial skills, as they move up in the value chain from just being a producer to an entrepreneur.

Speaking about the success of Transforming India Initiative, Krishnagopal Grandhi, CEO, ALC India said

In the current economic scenario, entrepreneurs are key to job creation, at the same time they need to evolve solutions that can address the most pressing challenges facing the country today. With the Transforming India Initiative, we are looking for talented youngsters who have the passion and grit to become social entrepreneurs. We will support them with not just education and practical understanding but also with incubation support to set up their enterprises after completing the programme.

USPs of the Transformation India Initiative [TII]

TII is a comprehensive 2-year programme that will equip the fellows to establish profitable social enterprises. Setting it apart from other academic and incubation programmes, TII is designed to enable the fellow students to first understand the developmental challenges of the country. It enables you to develop an entrepreneurial solution, test and evolve the design and establish an enduring enterprise rather than expect to have an innovative idea at the beginning of the programme itself. TII’s uniqueness lies in the integration of academics & incubation. Some of its notable USPs are:

  • 6-month facilitated learning module certified by the Institute of Rural Management, Anand [IRMA], including practitioner interactions and reflection workshops
  • 18-month experiential learning module certified by the Development Management Institute Patna, where the fellows will work directly with the founders of social enterprises
  • End-to-end incubation support, including seed funding for setting up an enterprise for select entrepreneurs, as decided on merit by the independent committee, will receive a financial grant totaling INR 30 Lakhs as seed fund for their social ventures
  • Each individual will be placed with an enterprise in their preferred sector and be paired with a successful social entrepreneur as a mentor who is aligned to their interests and aspirations.
  • Fellows will be placed with an already existing social enterprise, where they will work directly with the CEO to solve five key organizational challenges and accelerate the enterprise growth.
  • ALC India provides access to seed fund of INR 40 Crores, Incubation Space of 20,000 sq.ft, over 30 Industry Experts, and 350 partners for the initiative.

Who is it for?

The first cohort had individuals coming from across India with different background and experiences: Corporate professionals, Fresh graduates, Start-up founders, Educational and Environmental enthusiast.

A graduate degree is a minimum requirement to apply for the programme. Graduates from any discipline or professionals with work experience are eligible to apply for this programme. Interested people of any age group are encouraged to apply and their experience will be taken into account when they are placed with an enterprise during the experiential learning module.

The Pioneering Cohort [2017 Batch]

The pioneering cohort of 10 individuals joined Transforming India Initiative’s Social Entrepreneurship Programme in October 2017. The cohort comes from the age group of 21 – 29 years from across India with diverse interest in the social space: Education, Health, finance, Agriculture, Livelihoods & Policy. Over the course, they have developed skills, mindsets and knowledge required to lead and establish a responsible social-enterprise.

Application Process

Each applicant will go through a four-step process that involves Online Application, Psychometric & Aptitude Test, Telephonic Interview and a 2-day direct Assessment. Interested candidates can know more about the programme and apply, on or before April 26th 2018 by visiting ACL TII Website. For any queries, they can send an email to TII Admissions.

About ALC India

ALC India is a Hyderabad-based social enterprise established in 2005 to work with economically marginalised communities who battle great odds to eke out fragile livelihoods. To such producers, ALC offer professional services that they can use to turn the odds in their favour and build livelihoods that are more certain, rewarding, and sustainable. The enterprises incubated of women farmers, tribals and weavers have together done business of more than Rs. 70 crores in the last few years, employing more than 80 rural youth and supporting the livelihoods of more than 21,000 women.

Phonup, a joint venture between Franchise India and Phonup Italy, launched its first store in Karnataka, Bengaluru. The store will be a ‘one-stop-destination’ for all mobile phone solutions. Phonup, offers the widest range of new and certified pre-owned smartphones and tablets from leading brands such as Apple iPhone, Samsung, Xiaomi Mi, OnePlus, Motorola, Lenovo, etc., under one roof.

Image Source – PhonUp

A pre-owned smartphone is a smartphone less to dispose. Extending the life cycle of a device involves environmental care in terms of emissions and energy necessary for disposal. For these reasons, Phonup is committed to improving the sustainability of the high-tech frontier, both for the collection and re-use.

Driven by the philosophy of high quality and precision, every pre-owned phone from Phonup goes through extensive 40+ quality checks before being rolled out to the customers. Phonup is here to revolutionize pre-owned mobile phone market in India. The company provides umbrella solutions for mid and high-end mobile handsets across pan-India. Further, every smartphone offered from Phonup comes with 12 months of warranty. The phones for repair, gets handpicked from customer’s home.

Gerardo Taglianetti, CEO, Phonup Italy, said

The mobile repair market in India is largely unorganized and people find it hard to get reliable repairing solutions at an affordable cost. Phonup will be a game changer in this category offering process driven, world class repair to the Indian customers and additional services like extended warranty packages, accessories, repairs and technical training.

Sanjeev Arora, COO, Phonup India, said

At Phonup, it is our endeavor to enable our customers with trust and transparency and our first retail store here is a step towards the same. Our objective is to provide customers with a platform to buy pre-owned mobile handsets that are not only affordable but also offer a warranty of 12 months which is equivalent to a completely new piece.

Phonup also offers special packages that help in gauging the overall health of your smartphones and tablets.

Gaurav Marya, Chairman, Franchise India, further added

We are very happy to launch Phonup’s first experience store in Karnataka. We believe Bengaluru being a technology hub will be a great fit for the brand and our offerings. We are sure to challenge and add value to the existing pre-owned phones and mobile repair market in the region.

Just in a few months of its launch, Phonup is currently on a fast expansion mode across India via the franchisee model. A Franchisee can opt to have a Unit, Kiosk or Multi Brand Franchisee. Swan Enterprises is the master franchise in Bengaluru, which is expected to have about 120 franchise stores in the next couple of years.

About Phonup

Phonup is a joint venture between Franchise India and Phonup Italy and based on the idea of providing people with world class repairing of smartphones at affordable prices. Founded on the principles of trust and transparency it offers wide range of services to the phone owners such as extended warranty, a comprehensive health check among others. It also offers the widest range of phones and tablets to users to buy from. It is expanding its roots in India via the franchisee model. For more information, please visit Phonup India

Truecaller has announced that it has reached over 100 million active users who use the app on a daily basis. In less than a year, the app has leapfrogged from 100 million monthly active users [MAUs] to 100 million Daily Active Users [DAUs], and is growing faster than ever.

In a company blog post Alan Mamedi, CEO & Co-founder shared a letter to express his delight on the milestone

It was so big, in fact, that Truecaller is pleased and excited to announce that we now have more than 100 million daily active users using our app for their daily communication. There are only a handful of mobile-only services that impact as many users each and every day, and we are humbled to be able to join this exclusive group.

We could never have predicted that Truecaller would become a resource for women’s safety in many countries; or that it would be used for e-commerce and courier services around the globe to facilitate the difficult last mile of delivery, or allow more people to experience a data-only product in offline mode. Truecaller is more than just an app on your phone, it has aided in bridging the digital divide between the urban and growing semi-urban/rural markets in India, and has even enabled more African businesses to accept online payment.

The world has come a long way

From people mostly using Nokia and BlackBerry phones years ago, to a wide array of Androids and Apples, technology is constantly evolving around us and the world of communication has come a long way. The cost of both mobile phones and data continues to plunge, which allows more and more people to come online with just their phone.

In emerging markets, Truecaller is seeing the importance of smartphones in peoples’ daily lives. It’s their primary gateway to the internet, their connection with family and friends, people abroad, and increasingly their main banking and finance tool. Smartphones and Truecaller have become indispensable in the lives of our 100 million daily users.

Making your communication safe and efficient

With technology evolving, Truecaller has also come a massively long way since the day we founded the company. From simple beginnings as a Caller ID and spam blocking app, to a full-fledged communications platform with calling, SMS, Flash Messages and payment services.

Ebix, Inc., a leading international supplier of On-Demand software and e-commerce services to the insurance, financial, e-governance and healthcare industries, has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in India based Smartclass Educational Services Private Limited [Smartclass], a leading e-learning Company engaged in the business of education services, development of education products, and implementation of education solutions for K-12 Schools.

Image Source – Ebix

Ebix expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to its earnings and forecasts up to $0.20 in increased Diluted EPS, once the acquisition is fully integrated over the next 6 months. Under the terms of the agreement, Ebix will pay up to $8 million in cash for its stake in SmartClass.

Smartclass is one of India’s leading e-learning companies catering to the fast-growing K-12 education sector in India. With staff strength of approximately 500 employees out of a total of 1000 staff, dedicated to research & development and customer engagement, the Company caters to accredited school education through rich media like 2-D, 3-D, Virtual reality animation etc. Smartclass’s 500-strong sales and marketing staff across the country has helped create a strong growth trajectory, in terms of top line and reach for the Company.

Smartclass today has a customer base encompassing thousands of classrooms, paying for Smartclass e-learning products and services in an on-demand subscription basis. Smartclass will be tightly integrated into Ebix’s Education and e-learning initiatives in India and is seen as one of the many steps, that Ebix intends to take with an intent to invest up to $100 million in the sector.

Robin Raina, Ebix Chairman, President & CEO  said

The e-learning business model is typically asset lite and caters well to strong recurring operating margins, once the customer aggregation crosses the threshold levels. We have been eyeing India’s fast-growing e-learning sector for many years now, fueled by education being one of the highest spending areas traditionally for an Indian median household.

Towards that extent, we have earmarked a $100 million amount for investment in India’s e-learning sector and the acquisition of Smartclass is a logical first step for Ebix to establish its presence in the country’s e-learning markets.

A few years back, we started investing in the healthcare e-learning sector through our Indian subsidiary acquiring Birmingham based Oakstone LLC. Any business-like e-learning where you can create an asset and sell it thousands of times, has strong possibilities of generating strong operating margins and cash flows.

When you consider the strong focus that the Indian Government has put on investing in the e-learning sector in the recent budget, the present nascent state of the country’s education infrastructure, and the fast growth that high tech companies like Smartclass have experienced in India, the decision to take up a strong position in the country’s e-learning markets became an easy one for Ebix.

Divya Lal, Smartclass Chief Executive Officer said

We are very excited by the possibilities of growth, geographical reach and financial strength that this investment from Ebix brings to Smartclass. We look forward to becoming a part of the Ebix family and replicating Ebix’s international success over the last two decades, to build upon our existing strengths and take a leadership place in India’s e-learning industry.

About Ebix, Inc.

With 50+ offices across 5 continents, Ebix, Inc., endeavors to provide On-Demand software and E-commerce services to the insurance, financial, e-learning and healthcare industries. In the Insurance sector, the Company’s main focus is to develop and deploy a wide variety of insurance and reinsurance exchanges on an on-demand basis, while also, providing Software-as-a-Service enterprise solutions in the area of CRM, front-end & back-end systems, outsourced administrative and risk compliance, across the world. For more information, please visit Ebix and EbixCash.

Nazara Technologies Limited and Royal Challengers Sports Private Limited [Royal Challengers Bangalore] have come together to launch their second mobile cricket game RCB Epic Cricket. RCB Epic Cricket is a 3D realistic and simulative game for fans featuring multiplayer mode that allows users to play versus other players across India. In this game, play as Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers along with team sensation Safaraz Khan and rule the pitch.

Image Source – Nazara

Nazara has exclusive mobile gaming rights for a multiyear partnership with Royal Challengers Bangalore to license the intellectual property for curation of freemium games.  HP has come on board as the title sponsor for the official game, RCB Epic Cricket. It has been integrated in the game in the form of jersey branding, billboards, real estate branding, user interface branding and much more. HP is one of the key sponsor brands for RCB for the 11th edition of T20 Season.

Last year, the RCB Star Cricket game rose quickly through the charts and had even reached the No.1 top free games spot on Google Play within few days of its launch. While the peak engagement was during T20, more than 54% of the engagement happened post the T20 season during the rest of the year.

Amrit Thomas, Chairman of Royal Challengers Bangalore, said

Over years, RCB has become more a lifestyle brand than just a cricket team. RCB has immensely transcended the experience of fan engagement. Fans connect with the team across multiple touch points on digital platforms. We strive to give them a seamless and more personalized experience for the love and support they have shown for the team.

Manish Agarwal, CEO, Nazara Games, said

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new muliti- player game RCB Epic Cricket with Royal Challengers Bangalore. It feels great to work with a team which is always eager to push new boundaries whether it is ‘play along’ aspect within the stadium or hall of fame on social media.

RCB fans are in for a treat this year with exciting merchandise to be won within the multiplayer launched in the game. We have also printed a QR code on all the tickets sold at the RCB stadium for them to have an interactive experience while watching the game.

RCB Epic Cricket is currently designed to be played in three modes – Multiplayer Mode, Live Events and Career Mode. The unique part about the game is its multiplayer system which enables the player to create your own RCB Dream Team and play against an opposing team [RCB Dream Team] in a turn based multiplayer match along with elements of strategy. The player can compete on– Daily, Weekly and Monthly Leader-boards to win plenty of original RCB merchandise.

The Live Events enables the player to play real time matches of RCB during the T20 Season. This mode gives the players a chance to help RCB defeat their rival teams. The players can compete in these Live events to win existing RCB merchandises.

The Career mode, on the other hand, will enable the player to play as their favourite RCB stars. To begin with you can step into the shoes of ace cricketer and RCB Captain, Virat Kohli. This mode offers the cricket fans to face 7 bold Teams on-field that have been simulated from T20. This mode also has other cricketing heavyweights such as Yuzvendra Singh Chahal and AB de Villiers. The game is available for download on Google Play Store for android devices and is expected to be available for iOS by mid-April 2018.

RCB Epic Cricket for Android can be downloaded from here