On the occasion of Hindi Diwas, Microsoft has shared details of how AI powered technologies are breaking down barriers across devices, operating systems and applications, helping improve productivity and the computing experience for India’s 422 million plus Hindi language users. These advances are in line with Microsoft’s commitment towards democratizing technology across products to enable more people to use the powerful benefits of computing in their native language.

Image Source – AI

A host of Microsoft’s digital tools across its Windows 10 and Office 365 products are leveraging Artificial Intelligence [AI] to transform the way a Hindi language user communicates with computers and works with the applications in typical productivity scenarios. Features such as Dictate and Presentation Translator for Office 365 and Cortana, Microsoft Narrator and Windows Ink for Windows 10 are providing Hindi language users with innovative ways for user-device interaction and access to intelligent technologies like never before.

To know more about how Microsoft is breaking the linguistic barriers by enhancing the experiences of communication for Hindi languages users in India and across the world, click here

The third edition of Drivers for Deploying Speech Analytics 2018, an annual survey commissioned by Uniphore Software Systems revealed that 60% of Indian companies deploy speech analytics for marketing initiative support and quick identification of customer intent, equally. This is in line with the finding of the previous year’s survey underlining the growing relevance of speech analytics in increasing sales and delivering superior customer experience. Root cause remediation of customer experience failures came a close second with 58%.

Image Source – Uniphore

In North America and South East Asia, the top driver for deploying speech analytics was quick identification of customer intent. This is in line with the global trend. At 46% identification of customer intent emerged as the primary driver, globally.

During the 2018 edition of the study, Opus Research interviewed 502 decision-makers across the regions and varying verticals like Banking, Financial Services, Insurance, Telecommunications, Business Process Outsourcing, Retail, Consumer Products, Transportation & Travel. The sample spanned North America, South-East Asia [India, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines] and Western European [UK, Germany] regions.

Speaking while unveiling the survey, Umesh Sachdev, Co-founder & CEO, Uniphore, said

The findings of the survey reaffirms what we are witnessing in the market place. Enterprises globally are looking at speech recognition technology to mine the big data that resides in their customer contact centers. Today, on an average about 52 million hours of data is recorded every day in these call center of which only 1% of the data is analyzed.

A speech recognition tool like Uniphore’s auMina which is powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, can help enterprises analyze the entire data quickly and in real time as well. This can help unleash critical data for delivering better business outcomes and empower organizations to provide superior customer experience.

Primary Drivers for Deploying Speech Analytics [India Only]

The survey revealed a clear shift from compliance which emerged as a clear driver in the 2017 edition to long-standing drivers with direct impact on customer experience and loyalty. The list of drivers that bracket the 40% value include core customer experience concerns [e.g. remediate root cause of CX failures and support escalation of service calls], as well as classic workforce management/optimization issues. This establishes a direct link to business objectives which also falls into this bracket, including to support marketing initiatives and increase sales and collections.

Issues under investigation closely parallel surveys conducted in 2016 and 2017, giving Opus Research the opportunity to observe year-to-year changes and draw conclusions about the implications for companies as they contemplate the potential of speech analytics solutions to support their customer care and general business objectives.

The complete report of Drivers for Deploying Speech Analytics 2018 is available here.

About Uniphore

Uniphore Software Systems is a leading provider of Speech Recognition solutions for enterprises and has worked with over 70 enterprise customers and served over 4 million end users. It has offices worldwide including in USA, Singapore and India with 150+ employees. Uniphore’s investors include John Chambers, IDG Ventures India, IIFL, Kris Gopalakrishnan, Ray Stata, YourNest Angel Fund and India Angel Network. Uniphore was founded in 2008 at IIT Madras.

Highways are meant to facilitate swift movement of vehicles. Whether you drive a commercial vehicle or a private vehicle, highways help you to reach your destination much faster. However, toll stations on highways stop this free-flowing traffic. Many-a-times, such tolls cause traffic jams resulting in increased travel time. This is where electronic toll collection comes in the picture. Read ahead to know more about electronic toll collection, its functioning and application.

Image Source – Fast Tag

Reducing Traffic Congestion

National Highways Authority of India [NHAI] has brought in the concept of National Electronic Toll Collection program. This concept is suggested to be applied across highways in India. This move is aimed at reducing traffic congestion arising due to manual collection of toll at toll stations on highways. Such electronic toll collection is set to benefit vehicle owners, commercial entities, as well as the government.

How It Works?

This electronic toll collection is based on a Radio Frequency Identification [RFID] tag. This tag is placed on a vehicle and is known as FASTag or toll tag. Every time a vehicle with such a tag crosses the toll plaza, the toll is automatically deducted from the registered bank account of the vehicle owner. This means that instead of paying toll physically, you pay toll online. Going ahead, various online wallets can also be linked to facilitate online payment. Such an initiative is in sync with the Indian government’s endeavor to promote cashless transactions and build smart cities.

Promoting Transparency and Demanding Accountability

Apart from easing the flow of vehicles on highways, such an initiative will also help keep things transparent regarding the amount of money collected through the toll stations. Electronic toll collections on highways will be transparent and make the authorities more accountable. NHAI has come up with mobile Apps to help people pay toll online. People can buy and recharge FASTags through the following Apps: MyFASTag and FASTag Partner. The process is similar to popular e-commerce Apps. This way, those who have been transacting online will have a similar experience when it comes to paying toll online.

Other Application

FASTag has the potential to impact various other industries as well. For example, RFID tags can be used to facilitate transactions at drive-through food outlets, fuel stations, etc. Real-time data from such tags can be used for mapping the movement of vehicles. This can be looked at from an enhanced security perspective along with traffic control measures.

There has been a tectonic shift in the insurance industry with the advent of digital insurers. Such insurers leverage technology to reduce manual intervention across the insurance experience. Apart from this, they also focus on making insurance simple by reducing jargons and creating a convenient user journey.

RFID and Vehicle Insurance

In vehicle insurance, real-time data can be extremely useful in analyzing the risk potential of a particular policyholder. Currently, such data can be tracked with the use of telematic devices. This allows the insurance providers to offer customized calculation of motor insurance premium based on the risk exposure of an individual driver as opposed to arriving at a premium based on generalization. Real-time data collected through RFID tags can be useful to insurance companies. They can work towards analyzing that data in a way to promote personalized pricing. This way, drivers who ride safe will have to pay less insurance premium.

The New Normal

Years ago, highways were a new concept in India. Today, they have become a norm. Currently, highways in developed nations do not face traffic issues because of toll stations, as they collect toll electronically. Just as highways have become a norm in India, it will take some time for electronic toll collection to become a norm.

Investec Capital Services (India) Ltd has announced that it acted as an an exclusive financial advisor to Kissht for the Series C fund raise of $30 million. The funding round was led by Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings, and Sistema Asia Fund, with participation from existing investors Fosun RZ Capital, VenturEast & Endiya Partners. This is one of India’s largest consumer Fin-Tech deal.

Image Source – Kissht

Investec India had also advised Kissht on its Series B led by Fosun in November 2017. Investec India has built a strong advisory business over the last few years within the Indian Venture Capital ecosystem. Investec India has advised companies across a wide range of sectors on Equity Fundraises at Series B and above, including Kissht, Bizongo, Treebo Hotels, OfBusiness, BigBasket, Pepperfry and Quikr. The firm also advised on the sale of CitrusPay to Naspers – one of India’s largest Fin-Tech M&A, and on the sale of Sokrati to Dentsu – one of India’s largest Digital Media M&A.

Frankie Brown of Investec Capital Services (India) Ltd said

With our unique position in the Indian market, we believe that Investec India is well placed to advise businesses across the Fin-Tech spectrum. We have a long-term relationship with Kissht, and this partnership has successfully resulted in both the Series B and Series C fundraises. The $30 million Series C round will see Kissht perfectly placed to consolidate their market leadership position. Investec is investing significantly in the Fin-Tech space across the both in India and globally.

Vinit Barve of Investec Capital Services (India) Ltd said

Technology led lending has opened up a huge credit opportunity in India. Kissht has established a leadership position in the consumer Fin-Tech segment. With its consistent growth, strong unit economics and enviable NPA record, Kissht has taken the right steps in the direction of building a mighty lending institution. This investment, led by Vertex and Sistema with participation from existing investors, will enable the company to achieve the next level of growth and cement its leadership position in the consumer financing segment.

Founded in 2015 by Krishnan Vishwanathan and Ranvir Singh, Kissht provides product financing and personal loans to its customers through a financial technology platform which is integrated with online and offline merchants. Kissht has developed its own self-learning proprietary algorithm which assesses a customer’s credit profile in a fraction of a second based on 2,000+ digital footprints.

Kissht has demonstrated remarkable growth with impressive record on credit costs. The business had previously raised its Series B round from Fosun RZ Capital, Prophet Capital, VenturEast and Endiya Partners in 2017. Currently Kissht is present in 50+ Online and 2,000+ Offline points of sale across categories including consumer durables, electronics, health, alternative energy & education, enabling customers to easily access credit for their purchases.

Kissht will use this funding to penetrate its business further into both offline and online merchants, and deeper across categories and further enhance its data and analytics capabilities as it seeks to cement its leadership position in the highly under-penetrated Indian consumer credit market, as well as investing further in technology and building the team.

Microsoft India and SRL Diagnostics announced their partnership to expand the AI Network for Healthcare to pathology. This collaboration will help improve the quality of digital pathology for population screening by bringing together Microsoft’s Azure and AI innovations along with SRL’s world-class expertise in the study of cells and tissues [histology]. With this addition, Microsoft’s AI Network for Healthcare has now expanded to include pathology along with eye-care and cardiology, thus representing the continued efforts made by the organization to democratize healthcare.

Image Source – HealthCare

Growing prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer is one of the key factors for the need for pathology to transform. Digital pathology is increasingly being preferred as it has helped bring improvement in service delivery, patient safety and communications while reducing errors and lowering costs. Histopathology is a specialized form of pathology for analyzing tissue biopsies [mounted on glass slides] and is used for detecting numerous diseases. Histopathologists require highly efficient tools to assist in diagnosis, thus augmenting the demand for automated and innovative implementation of cloud and AI.

Commenting on the partnership Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India [R&D] Private Limited, said,

Microsoft is committed to empower both the healthcare industry and patients by using AI to democratize healthcare for all. Our partnership with SRL Diagnostics will assist pathologists by equipping them with technology that will augment their capability. This is the third area where we have expanded our AI Network for Healthcare after eye-care and cardiology. We will continue to look for other areas where we can deploy technology to make healthcare more accessible.

Commenting on the partnership Arindam Haldar, Chief Executive Officer, SRL Diagnostics said

In line with SRL’s vision to help people on their path to better health, we are delighted to be partnering with Microsoft to co-create solutions and generate both social and business value. Diagnosis is the first step to disease management, as without accurate identification of the cause there is no possibility of a precise treatment.

With the growing number of samples of cancer, as well as of other diseases, there’s a need to quickly and accurately analyze the samples to help doctors arrive at a diagnosis faster. The AI platform that Microsoft will build in collaboration with SRL is expected to create a software environment infused with millions of data points and knowledge gained from SRL’s expert laboratory professionals.

Microsoft AI Network for Healthcare aims to maximize the ability of AI and cloud computing to accelerate innovation in the healthcare industry and improve the lives of people around the world. By working side-by-side with the healthcare industry’s pioneering players, Microsoft is bringing its capabilities and applying AI to devices for early detection of diabetic retinopathy to prevent blindness. Microsoft has also recently launched an AI-powered Cardiovascular Disease Risk Score API for Indian population.

As the largest diagnostic laboratory in the country, SRL Diagnostics has a repository of more than a million histopathology slides which would be used for training an AI algorithm. By increasing efficiency in the initial steps in a biopsy tissue analysis through artificial neural networks, it will be possible for a histopathology laboratory to cut down on inadvertent manual errors and process more samples in a day with higher level of accuracy.

Are you on a lookout for a sofa online? Great. Sofa is an integral part of your home.  It’s a great equalizer. It’s an excellent option to increase seating space and your social status. Choosing a sofa set wisely means you are going to invest in a piece of furniture that will last you and your family for many years.

Image Source – Sofa

Listed below are five smart tips to buy sofa set online.

Consider a sturdy frame

Solid wood construction is durable and long-lasting. It’s cheap and best quality. Though pine is softer and affordable option, it may warp or buckle after a few years. So, when choosing a sofa set online, make sure its frame is sturdy and made of solid wood and metal.

Know your joinery

It is essential to know the method by which the frame is joined at the corners. When choosing a sofa, you should consider corner blocks, wooden corner blocks, wooden dowels, metal screws with brackets. These are the quality joints. It’s essential to avoid a sofa that’s solely held together with nails, staples, or glue. These elements are used to reinforce a frame.

Buy sofa set online
Image Source – HomeTown

Hand-tied springs are best

Hand-tied springs are the creme-de-la-creme of sofa springs. They’re generally durable comfortable and very well constructed, with a price tag to match. If you go for the less expensive materials, the chances are that you’d not get the right products. So, don’t go for the price, but go for the quality.

Check Back

When buying a sofa, you should consider its back. It should be stable and sturdy, ensuring the back of the couch is robust and strong. When the sofa is delivered to you, pat the center of its back to confirm it is not hollow. A good sofa has a strong back with cushioning.

Comfortable Seats

If you want to bring a recliner or comfortable seat, make sure the seats are comfortable in all positions. Check the height color, materials, etc. You can choose from thick or shallow seats. For more height, go for a deeper seat.

To conclude, a sofa is one of the most important pieces of furniture for your home. When you shop for it online, you should consider all the points mentioned above to choose the right products.

You spend a third of your life in bed. So, it’s important to choose the right product. Using wrong bed may lead to ample health problems, including back pains, sleep insomnia, sore muscles, and many others. Not only that, but a good quality bed also adds excellence to your home décor. It keeps your home clutter-free, etc.

Image Source

Here some smart tips to buy the right quality bed online.

Choose a bed together

Are you going to share a bed with your partner? If so, you should seek his/her company while selecting a bed. This allows for picking the right furniture online and lets you have comfy enough for both of you.

Measure Room Size

Before bringing a bed, measure the size of your room. For a small room, a single bed would go well. For proper relaxation, you need to have a reasonable space around your bed. So, consider the overall bedroom size before picking your bed.

buy bed online
Image Source – Home Town

Storage Beds

If you can’t place a big wardrobe in your room, consider choosing a storage bed. This will allow you to put your space sheets, cushion, pillows, blankets, quilt, etc. A storage bed comes with plenty of space to store your things in an easy and convenient way.

King or super king beds

King or super king beds are suitable for a big or reasonable size bedroom. If you think your partner is taking up all the space in the bed, then go for king size or super king size beds. King size beds are also an apt choice for comforts.

Kids Beds

You should not overlook the importance of kids’ beds. After all, your children should also enjoy comfortable and sound sleep. The beds should be well-designed, colorful and low height. Low height allows kids to get on and off the bed. Also, make sure the kids’ beds have drawers, cabinets in its frame to keep toys, and other materials.

Mattresses

Whether you are buying beds online or offline, never choose your beds without thinking about the mattress. You should know that spring mattresses are suitable for spring beds whereas salt beds go well with foam mattresses. If possible, it’s advisable to buy a new bed and a new mattress at the same time.

In summary, whether want to buy a bed online for your bedroom or living room, you should always consider all the points mentioned above. This will enable you to choose the right beds for  your home.

NSRCEL the startup hub at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore has incubated over 225 startups, created over 5400 direct jobs and associated with roughly 46,000 entrepreneurs. Its ventures have a total portfolio of over $1.5 billion. As NSRCEL readies itself for the future its new logo and website reflects its transition, scale and trajectory of growth.

The increased scale & scope of operations include NSRCEL preparing to mentor 4000 entrepreneurs, to launch 3-5 new programs supported by industry partners and to incubate 200 new ventures. The new logo and website mirrors the centre’s value system of being an open incubator, sector agnostic, agile and flexible. It has been running incubation programs for women, social sector, engineering students within and outside the IIMB community. It has been successful in bringing together innovators, academicians and industry giants to create a real-world impact in the entrepreneurial community.

Sharing NSRCEL’s future plans at the launch of the new logo and website of NSRCEL, here on campus today, the NSRCEL Chair and faculty from the Entrepreneurship area at IIMB, Prof. Suresh Bhagavatula, said

Success stories are important, but impact made on society is more significant. Future businesses must have a commitment to the environment. India has so many social challenges. That is why NSRCEL encourages social and women entrepreneurship. We are the first incubator in the country to have started incubating social impact ventures, and we hope to build on all these positives in the coming year.

In 2017, NSRCEL was selected by NITI Aayog’s Atal innovation Mission as one among the top 10 incubators in India. It partners with government bodies, global corporations and foundations for it programs. In 2018, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India [DST] also joined in to support its initiatives.

The India Innovation Design Challenge [IIDC] was launched with Texas Instruments for engineering students. Women Startup Program [WSP] with support from Goldman Sachs and the DST, and the social venture incubation program with support from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Mphasis Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

The centre has on board a panel of over 50 mentors that include entrepreneurs, IIMB alumni, academicians, investors and industry veterans. Private equity, venture capital funding and government support has led to the growth of a number of start-ups making Bengaluru the startup capital of India. Capitalizing on this opportunity the scale and scope of NSRCEL’s operations has also grown exponentially.

Rajiv Sawhney, Chief Operating Officer of NSRCEL, said

An idea is at the centre of everything at NSRCEL. Every person that walks through the door with an idea will be assessed on two parameters – willingness and ability. At NSRCEL, we believe that these two aren’t mutually exclusive. If you have the willingness and the passion, with a gentle nudge, you can learn skill and ability. Our job is to focus on helping every venture, that incubates with us, take the next logical step.

The well-known startups that began their journey at NSRCEL include global private equity (PE) major KKR backed Amagi, Mango Technologies that was acquired by Qualcomm, One Click that got sold to Freshdesk, among many others. The centre is betting on the success of some of its newer ventures that include Milaap, Vsnapu, Settlrs, Automoville, GoDesi, Tenexer, Zoojoo.be

With plenty of plans in store, NSRCEL will work with entrepreneurs to help them build successful business models. It is also looking to add its network of mentors, partners and build an ecosystem for ventures.