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[x]cube LABS is a leading digital strategy and solution provider specializing in enterprise mobility space. Over the years, we have delivered numerous digital innovations and mobile solutions, creating over $ 2 billion for startups and enterprises. Broad spectrum of services ranging from mobile app development to enterprise digital strategy makes us the partner of choice for leading brands.
Big Data

How Is Big Data Influencing Digital Marketing Strategy?

Big Data

Big data helps an enterprise to understand their customers. It steers a service provider to utilize the data in more innovative and stable way when designing a product for a potential customer. As the world becomes more digital, enterprises have enormous data to deal with. Big data pulls out all the valuable data that can trigger company’s benefits.

Enterprise who uses customer analytics on a large-scale is going to witness 126% profit upgrade over their competitors.

-McKinsey research,

The Role of Big Data In Digital Marketing

Enterprise management and maintaining big data are going to have more accurate and advanced strategic marketing decisions. This will allow digital marketers to acquire better insights and transparency in an organization.

Big Data plays a key role in digital marketing strategy. It is an immense group of data that is analyzed computationally to release conclusions and show the company’s ongoing discovery. It has transformed how businesses use to evaluate their customer’s behavior around the world.

Along with the potential of analyzing the past trends, it can also envision the upcoming customer behavior and unbar numerous new opportunities for an enterprise. Marketers are continuously focusing on predictive analytics as it provides significant insights into the end-consumer base, which helps them to keep a track on the demand flow. Also, it helps to plan how they can successfully engage their customers by using the data from their company’s database for achieving accuracy in demand forecasting, optimal fleet utilization and drive benefits.

According to the B2B Predictive Analytics Technology Report published by TOPO, there is going to be a rapid growth, with 36.8% of high growth companies investing in predictive analytics over the next 12 months.

The Impact of Big Data In Digital marketing

According to Research and Markets, “the market for global cognitive computing is expected to reach $12.5 billion by 2019.”

Personalized Targeting

As marked by the researchers one of the notable value brought by big data in the digital marketing is that marketers saw a decline in their expenses plus were able to increase their product development process. Besides the ability to engage the customer on a large scale, big data can also be used in creating personalized campaigns targeting individuals – marketers can recognize significant patterns of customer behavior which will help to engage audiences at the individual level. Therefore, knowing it’s potential and integrating it into the operations has helped organizations discover how to build an advanced branding for the long run of their business.

For example, all the e-commerce sites use big data to accumulate information from a simple online registration form to have a deeper insight into their customers’ shopping behavior. This marketing strategy is to have a tailored content and a personalized customer experience for all the shoppers based on their web searches and their shopping history.

Enhance Equipped To Target

Big data is powerful when it’s used with internal research and insights and it’s also equally essential for a company to look at various sources like third-party companies’ analytics. Human element also plays a major role to incorporate big data with insights gathered from outside sources like directly interviewing people, surveys, feedback from the target audience. This improves the research endeavor as well as secure the research to upgrade the relevancy to achieve the desired goals.

Once the marketer successfully gains an accurate and deep understanding of their audience’s behavior they can strategize how to make use of the existing data and insights and how to impart it into their digital marketing operations.

Uplift The Sales Chart

Big data has automated the entire sales activity and helped marketers to create more effective algorithmic marketing model for their business. The model uses self-directing and advanced data examination to establish an appropriate and valuable customer relationship.

This approach helps marketers to set campaigns targeting the right audience by using behavior match analytics. It also empowers digital marketing leaders to spot the prime time and different ways to reach their potential and existing customers. Besides each customer, their specific interactions are stored in the organization backend. This data can be used to retarget based on the purchase history and also enhance sales opportunities with cross-sell or upsell approach.

For instance, online retailers use big data to perform the effective pricing approach. Also, based on shoppers behavior they recommend them with the similar product they may find interesting and buy it.

Future of Digital Marketing with Big Data

Big data has transformed the way businesses use to spend and generate the revenues. According to International Data Corporation (IDC) report, “total revenues from big data and business analytics will rise from $122 billion in 2015 to $187 billion in 2019. And enterprises who invest in big data and obtain the power to quickly analyze the large-scale data and extract actionable information can get an additional $430 billion in terms of productivity benefits over their competitors.”

The enterprises are going to evidence lots of investment in big data in the coming year. Though the investments might vary from enterprise to enterprise, the investments on big data are going to discharge a higher return on investment (ROI).

McKinsey studied how different sectors will withdraw significant financial benefits from big data.

  • US healthcare will generate $300 billion value per year.
  • US retail will see 60% increase in their net margin.
  • Manufacturing industries will notice up to 50% decrease in product development and assembly costs.

Big data has raised the opportunities for organizations to use data to track benefits, customers’ and company’s activities across the world. According to NewVantage Partners Big Data Executive Survey, 48.4% of corporate executives say that their firm has achieved “measurable results” from their Big Data investments.

The question now for the digital marketers is how to affiliate such new potential into their performance strategies to build a meaningful insight and enhance their efficiency.

Artificial Intelligence

Use of Artificial Intelligence Technology In Customer Care

Artificial Intelligence

“Global GDP will be 14% higher in 2030 as a result of AI – the equivalent of an additional $15.7 trillion.”


With an upswing of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in customer care, the need of human participation in customer care has reduced significantly. AI-enabled service is today’s reality and as it continues to emerge it is going to have a huge impact on the rapidly growing digital businesses.

Gerard Verweij, Global Data & Analytics Leader, PwC, said, “no sector or business is in any way immune from the impact of AI. The impact on productivity alone could be competitively transformational and even disruptive. Businesses that fail to apply AI, could quickly find themselves being undercut on turnaround times as well as costs and experience, and may lose a significant amount of their market share as a result.”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is going to be a game changer for the organizations who are moving towards automation to boost customer engagement and experience. Interestingly, 38% of enterprises are already using artificial intelligence (AI), and it is predicted to grow up to 62% by 2018.

How is Artificial Intelligence (AI) applicable to customer care?

There is a huge amount of data that is produced in a customer care center. What Artificial Intelligence system does is, it absorbs all the data, systematically organizes it and helps the contact center to enhance their customer experience in the same way as the computer uses natural language processing to recognize disorganized data like voice recordings. It uses a database of sounds which builds identifiable words, and algorithms that recognize caller’s intuition and reaction which is then compared with a human voice on a call.

There are few enterprises who have already incorporated AI system in their calling services. So when any caller contacts the service center a computer-generated voice asks them the intent of their call. With the help of natural language processing AI recognizes the caller, replies and directs the caller to the suitable department.

Speech analytics is an Artificial Intelligence model designed to help contact centers to understand their customers’ query and provide them with personalized experiences. For example, if a caller is unhappy or angry the AI recognizes the voice and assigns the call to the escalation call specialist who can deal with the angry customer with ease and provide appropriate solutions to the caller.

Following are the predictions made by Gartner;

  • By 2019, more than 10% of IT hires in customer service will mostly write scripts for bot interactions.
  • Through 2020, enterprises using cognitive ergonomics and system design in artificial intelligence projects will achieve long-term success four times more often than others.
  • By 2019, artificial intelligence platform services will cannibalize revenues for 30% of market-leading companies.

How is Artificial Intelligence benefiting?

Boost Representative Performance

AI eliminates the possibility of personal bias issues in the workplace. If the call monitoring is done manually then there is a slight chance of favoritism. It can keep QA staff from making a flawless evaluation of a representative performance. On the other hand, AI gives a rating based on the representative’s tone and how well they are handling the customer on call. If you have AI integrated into the framework, your representatives have a high chance to excel in their performance.

Quick Response

According to MIT Technologies Review 2017, 91% of companies with world-leading brand recognition and high levels of customer satisfaction use AI solutions to increase customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction cannot be compromised at any level. It acts as a fuel that keeps your business run seamlessly. One of the key to satisfy your customer is a quick response. Failing to revert them quickly with a viable solution would cost you a replacement with your competitors. Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps you to design interactive contact center software that can assist your customers with detailed and error-free information in less time.

Personalized Customer Care

There is a large amount of data in the database and research says only 30% is of real value that too if it’s analyzed properly. AI can help contact centers to accumulate all the customer data to deliver unmatched personalized care throughout the customer journey.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are able to detect the caller’s emotion, tone and their expectations within a fraction of seconds. It creates opportunities for an enterprise to provide personalized customer care that meets the caller’s expectation on call. For example, AI technologies chatbots with the help of natural language processing can interpret the language and offer a customized reply to the callers. Also, if the representative handling the customer on-call needs any help, his/her supervisor is able to provide instant support.

Predictive Analysis

AI is the smartest technology in the digital era. Incorporating AI technologies in contact centers have helped the service provider to trace caller’s nature by using speech analysis. Data from each call is stored in the AI system, such as speech patterns, words, and phrases. When it detects callers with the matching keywords it quickly displays how to handle such caller and helps the contact center to predict the call expectations. This saves a lot of time and reduces the possibility of leaving the caller unhappy or angry.

Enhance Service Quality

With so much data and calls that get stored each day, care center can use AI technologies to monitor such calls and give proper feedback to the agents time-to-time. If there is any training required, managers can arrange training sessions for the agents where they are trained to provide first call resolutions by minimizing the call time. All the operational activities are recorded and supervised thus enhancing the service quality in the organization.

These key benefits are going to help contact centers to offer outstanding customer experiences and 24/7 customer engagement across channels such as chatbot, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), emails, messaging, and so on.

Artificial Intelligence technologies are transforming the complete customer care experience in numerous ways. With the major part managed by digital technologies, human agents will be free to focus more on other priority issues which may require human attention.

How Is Blockchain Technology Transforming Different Industries?


“Blockchain has the potential to leapfrog technology advancements in emerging markets, in both the public and private sectors. CIOs must plan and adopt blockchain wherever it has the potential to support business, economic and social objectives.”


As the world is being disrupted by the technological innovation, people are rapidly embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets in their day-to-day lives. However, data safety becomes the prime concern for everyone. In such cases ‘Blockchain Technology’ offers a convenient and virtual solution for connected devices.

The authors of Blockchain Revolution (2016) Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott said, “the blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”

This emerging technology geared up soon after the Bitcoin and Ethereum raised their token value in the recent past. People are more fascinated and are more engaged in earning digital money, at the same time business leaders are occupied in using this technology to drive real value for their business. However, it’s going to be a huge challenge for an enterprise to lead business expectations for blockchain in this evolving marketplace.

“By 2020, new businesses and business models will emerge based on smart contracts and blockchain efficiencies.”


Enterprises have recognized the potential of the blockchain technology and how it can benefit their business in the future. Gartner has identified the benefits and cost of blockchain in the business.



How ‘Blockchain Technology’ secures your data?

It revises the conventional data distribution and storage methods. It generates multiple chained blocks of information and each block maintains cryptographically approved data which is impossible for an individual to break.

Each transaction is exclusive of the other. The database seals the file for editing but the multiple editing is not permitted. So, every time you write on a blockchain database it’s reviewed as a block. Seeing that all transactions are chained, all the transactions are unshakeable, which means any person can access the information, but they can’t change it.

It is not necessary to store your exact personal data into the network. It will automatically modify all the data, like your name, mobile number, email IDs and your other sensitive data into a numeric value of a set extent. Now the set of numeric value will uniquely identify the data, however, the user basically remains unnamed within the chain.

Let’s see how different industries are extracting benefits from the blockchain technology.

The technology has transformed the whole financial industry process, however, blockchain can be used in other companies in real time.


Though the technology will take some time to reshape the retail industry, retailers have already identified the power of blockchain and the impact it will have on this industry in the coming year.

Blockchain technology replaces the middleman requirement or any related fees and connects retailers and customers. Here the major concern of retailers is how to gain the trust of the audiences. A large amount of benefits can be acquired from this technology such as smart contract systems. These contract systems can help them earn trust and lower operational costs. It offers security of exchanges, and inbuilt relationship management systems. By integrating blockchain in their retail processes, retailers can deliver undeniable evidence of originality and excellence.

Real Estate

Real estate is also using blockchain as a tool to track the properties, verify ownership, ensure valid documents, and transferring property deeds. It has accelerated the deal process by minimizing the paperwork. Formerly, the real estate transactions used to take place in the presence of the buyer and the seller. Blockchain has modified the whole process by introducing smart contracts that enable real estate agencies to generate a  unique number that can be used as cryptocurrencies.

Cook County Recorder, County government office in Chicago, Illinois stated, “as soon as the counter received the data, it will be promptly scanned and transform into a digital report. The original documents are immediately sent back to the customer with a physical label placed on it indicating the time and date of receipt and its unique document number.”


The entertainment industry is also in the race to squeeze the maximum benefits from blockchain. The most engaging feature like smart contracts can be used to make content sharing fairer for creators, whereby the revenue on purchases of creative work can be automatically circulated according to pre-agreed licensing agreements.

Susan Wang of Goulston & Storrs explained Inside Counsel why blockchain in the entertainment industry needs our attention, she said, “most people probably first heard of blockchain as the underlying technology behind Bitcoin, a digital token payment system that in some ways is akin to cash. So, since every transaction is apparent on the blockchain and rules can be embedded for how the content is used or shared, the use of IP became trackable and controlled. As we experiment more with blockchain technology, we will gain a better understanding of its usefulness and limits.”


Healthcare industry has got the answer to interoperability and shield that can protect their confidential data. Blockchain technology secures the medical data, which can be accessed by only authorized professionals or the patient themselves. This has enhanced the data security system and offered accuracy and speed of diagnosis.

According to Forbes, “by 2020, an estimated 20-30 billion healthcare IoT connected devices will be used globally. Blockchain-enabled solutions have the potential to bridge the gaps of device data interoperability while ensuring security, privacy, and reliability around the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) use cases.

Stock Trading

Stock trading operations are not so easy to manage. It takes a lot of time, cost, and the process is risky too. Blockchain technology has the potential to streamline all these processes and can offer automated and most secure solutions for buying, selling, and trading stocks.

The technology has revolutionized the stock market by pacing the complex transaction processes while reducing the risk involved in the trading with absolute transparency and efficiency.

Winding Up

All these new technologies have left us to think about our future. What’s next? Will these emerging technologies such as AI, Blockchain, Machine Learning, etc., continue to maintain the balance and add more value to this digital world in the coming year?

Virtual Reality

How Is Virtual Reality Bringing Reality In The Healthcare Industry?

Virtual Reality

You’re floating in nature’s paradise. You see a clear sky, the stars are shining bright and you feel like holding it all up in your hands. When you look down, you see peaceful waves hitting the sands. You’re walking on the seashore, and feeling the majestic waves crashing on your legs. Isn’t it a beautiful experience and sound like paradise? Now remove your virtual reality (VR) headset, where are you? You’re at your workplace and your manager is calling you for a meeting.

Virtual Reality is engaging many industries apart from gaming. Among the numerous industries such as retail, manufacturing, air, and space, travel, real estate; healthcare was the early adopter of this new technology. They have a clear vision of how virtual reality (VR) is going to add benefit and bring in untold opportunities to the healthcare industry. According to Key Market Insights, “the global augmented reality and virtual reality in the healthcare market are anticipated to reach $5.6 billion by 2022.

The healthcare industry is using ‘virtual reality’ technology in medical applications, educating, training new interns, and also treating patients. For example, immersion therapy is already under practice with the help of which patients are able to overcome their fears. Also, Emil Salazar, an analyst at Kalorama said, “the term ‘virtual reality’ is used in different contexts. Broadly, virtual reality is the means or capability to visualize and manipulate, or otherwise interact with, digital data representative of a real-world entity or environment. These digital data representatives are called virtual environments or VEs. VEs in healthcare could be an operating room, surgical site, patient anatomy, or therapeutic simulation.”

The extension in the use of virtual reality (VR) in healthcare is unstoppable. As per Kalorama Information, “the US market for virtual reality in healthcare has seen a growth from $525 million in 2012  to an estimated $976 million till the present day.

VR in the Healthcare Industry

Beating Phobias

We all fear something like water, heights, snakes, open or crowded spaces, dogs and the list goes on. This is one of the most inveterate forms of VR therapy to help patients overcome their fears. The therapy like graded-exposure therapy, where the doctors help their patients to discover their anxiety and slowly allow them to grab control over their anxiety problems one step at a time.

Virtual reality is the best way to beat any kind of phobia as it can be adjusted accordingly and the treatment can be done anywhere as per the preference. Let’s say the most common spider phobia. The medical center has introduced an application called Spider World, the very first medical application that is used by doctors to treat people who have this phobia.

VR Fitness Insider interviewed Maples-Keller, Ph.D. of the University of Georgia who explained, “Virtual reality is potentially a powerful tool for the psychiatric community. It allows providers to create computer-generated environments in a controlled setting, which can be used to create a sense of presence and immersion in the feared environment for individuals suffering from anxiety disorders.”

Training Healthcare Professionals

Virtual reality has also drawn the interest of healthcare professionals. Doctor’s job is not an easy one, it requires years of study and mainly proper training from experienced professionals. It has always been challenging plus a time-consuming process, however, VR technology allows trainees to learn human body structure, create a real-life situation to help them practice and guide professionals to become a successful surgeon.

It has taken the classroom training to the next level. It gives a real control, the trainee can rehearse on it as many times as he/she gets their hands on and ofcourse, it involves less cost as it doesn’t require expensive trainers, equipment, etc. trainees can just put on the VR headset and start practicing.

Control Pain

Virtual reality has played a major role here by helping the patient to control their pain. David Patterson designed the first method of applying VR for pain control in 1996. SnowWorld was the first VR application introduced to minimize the pain caused due to burns.

Augmented on a mirror therapy, surgeons can trick the patient’s brain by placing a VR headset and distract them from physical pain such as operating amputee. VR applications excellently aid to relax and divert the patients from distress situation to a pleasant place that allows patients to tolerate their pain or uneasiness.

Physical Therapy

Patients can do their physical therapy by using virtual reality technology and proofed as the most effective treatment method in the healthcare. It adds fun and motivates patients to do movements. It traces the body movements and gives instant feedback to the patients. For example, physiotherapist uses VR headset to boost their patient’s confidence to do therapy exercises. The patient will be given virtual things which they are asked to touch by lifting their hands or legs. While doing the exercise, the patient will also be given feedback if they are doing it correctly or need improvement.

Future of Virtual Reality Technology

As per the PwC survey report, 86% of healthcare CEOs see technology reshaping their industry in next five years.

As more innovation moves forward, virtual reality technology will span in all spaces of medical and patient treatment. The technology has revolutionized the entire healthcare sector by increasing the doctor-patient engagement and amplify their digital experiences. This technology has the potential to grow even more in future, where there will be multiple healthcare applications to help doctors and patients.

The technical director of Ready Set Rocket, Gareth Price predicted, “VR is going to witness the biggest reach in training and virtual surgery. Virtual reality opportunities are going to revolutionize the healthcare industry with its post-traumatic stress disorder and phobia treatment. VR is estimated to have a high impact on the medical field.”

With so many opportunities of VR in healthcare, this is just the beginning. You need to keep an eye on VR healthcare solutions to amplify, investigate, invest and integrate VR technology to enhance users interactions.


Gamification Elements That Can Boost Employees’ Engagement


The global gamification market is expected to touch $22,913.0 million by 2022.

-P&S Market Research

Gamification upshot into a prompt success. Organizations whose strategies include gamification techniques are going to sustain their employee participation for the longer period of time. It increases organization’s productivity, employee adherence, and customer satisfaction. The Gamification Research Network says “Gamification primarily aims at increasing users’ positive motivation towards given activities or use of technology, and thereby, increase[s] the quantity and quality of the output of the given activities.”

There are various industries who have embraced this concept and used this game mechanics to increase their efficiency. Gartner recognized how the “UK Department for Work and Pensions” had implemented the mechanics in their most recent report. According to Gartner, “The Department for Work and Pensions created an innovation game called Idea Street to decentralize innovation and generate ideas from its 120,000 people across the organization. Idea Street is a social collaboration platform involving game mechanics that includes points, leaderboards, and a “buzz index.” Within the first 18 months, Idea Street had approximately 4,500 users and had generated 1,400 ideas, 63 of which had gone forward for implementation”.

The primary focus of a company should be to engage their employees and customers efficiently and rest everything will fall in place. These techniques take actions and perform the most solid way to secure the feedback of their employees and customers. Incorporating game elements such as rewards, badges, trophies, rules, target, feedbacks, etc., can aid your enterprise to untangle the real-time challenges. And of course, using the right technology makes gamification more effective, more efficient and easier to deploy and manage.

Karl Kapp, Gamification analyst and consultant said, “originally, gamification was mostly about points, badges, and leaderboards, but it has changed to include additional game elements such as story, feedback loops, and the freedom to fail.”

Let’s see how implementing gamification can benefit your business.

Effective training

One of the basic elements that you get by integrating game mechanics into your workforce is effective training. It will turn your normal everyday training into a fun, more engaging and more interactive activity for your employees. The benefits are indicative of how gamified training has inspired employees, enhanced their productivity while growing their knowledge. Forbes report states, according to The Federation of American Scientists (FAS), games are a powerful learning tool, resulting in 20% increase in player confidence, 90% improvement of learning retention, and 300% lift in task completion.

Focused behavioral change

Employee experience is a foremost priority of every enterprise. It’s often mistaken by leaders that competition is the most powerful process to motivate their employees. When you look into the bigger picture this isn’t the correct motivation process. Maybe to some extent presenting your employees’ performance in the leaderboards will motivate some of your employees but others will not. You’re simply running a campaign which is driving sales for your company.

Therefore it imparts an additional inspiration for an organization to have a focused behavior. So, when you have gamified behavior throughout the enterprise and if you’re able to measure them, you can make the toughest assignment into an easy one for your employees. Gabe Zichermann, an author, and CEO of Gamification Co. said, “the last mile is getting the consumer and employee to change their behavior. Gamification gives us a roadmap for how to do that. If you can engage, inspire and delight people, they will feel more empowered to make changes at work and in the world.”

Better engagement

What is the real game behind gamification? Game mechanics that are used in a business operation to encourage employees, manage behavioral change, and drive effective training leads to a better engagement.

Gamification design is focused on a more personalized employee experience, that gives employees a fair opportunity to evaluate and improve their performance. And when they see their individual performance improvement it drives better engagement in the workplace. As per LiveOps study, adding gamification increased 8% of their sales, reduced call times by 15% and increased their customer content by 9%.

Ford Canada Gamification Success Story

Brian Burke, a consultant with the Gartner Group and author of Gamify, defines gamification as the use of game mechanics to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals. Gamification is one husky approach employed by a company which is still in its introductory phase in the digital world and we are yet to explore its potential. Automobile manufacturer and seller Ford Motor Company of Canada initiated gamification for their employees in the training system to upskill them about the advanced technologies, current models, sales, and so on. Gamification approach boosted their employees’ engagement to 47% and the actions per user by 100% within 5 weeks, as per Yu-Kai Chou report.

Implementing gamification in a workplace has changed the entire work culture of an organization. Also, it has helped employers to build a healthy environment by energizing employees to stay fit, such as wearables tracker. The device allows employees to initiate health-related activities for themselves plus employers can offer healthcare benefits like insurance as per the data received from the tracker.

By 2020, 40% employees can cut their healthcare costs by wearing a fitness tracker.


Although it is enhancing productivity, you must always be willing to experiment even if you don’t get the desired outcome. Everything has its limitations and deadline, and this includes gamification too. Gamification originality can also fade away like Pokemon Go or any other trend in the market. But for now, it makes sense to invest in gamification, so, have a solid design prototype, as Gartner predicted 80% of corporate gamification efforts will fail because of poor design. Identify your constraints and your objectives before starting with gamification for your enterprise. You need to be prepared to control inflation and we believe that every enterprise in the next street will have an element of gamification in their business systems and in their company’s vision. This will be straight away chained to employees’ performance.


How Chatbots Are Driving Value At Your Enterprise?


Disruptive Technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) has raised the customer experience to another level in most of the enterprises across all industries and is flooded with emerging opportunities. While the enterprises have perceived the potential of AI, chatbots, for instance, have become a key feature of all digital industries.

“AI platform services will cannibalize revenues for 30% of market-leading companies by 2019.” -Gartner.

Chatbot has enhanced the company’s reach and helped them to engage their customers by providing the best experience. Bots have introduced an unmatched operational efficiency be it in product designing or manufacturing, delivering or even consuming.

Let’s say your customers are having some issues that need quick attention and want to get in touch with your business. Nobody wants to sit on a call for an hour to discuss their problem. 50% of them wish to get a reply within an hour and if you fail to resolve their issues then you’re not meeting their expectations. This means you are losing out on that 50% who will take action to express their dissatisfaction. Implementing chatbots in your business will help you drive customer experience at a lower cost compared to the human manpower. As per Ubisoft’s survey report, 45% of consumers say they would choose messaging apps over email to get in touch with a business.

How is it driving value?

Today’s buzzword ‘Chatbot’ engages users via auditory or textual methods to provide digital services. A digital service that has an ability to indulge in natural-language interactions with the customers. The interactions may include answering questions or assisting customers to place their order. Gartner estimated, by 2019, 40% of enterprises will be actively using chatbots to facilitate business processes using natural-language interactions.

Contacting customer care is old school now, today we prefer faster resolution to our queries. This has necessitated the need for chatbots. Now, we have 7 out of 10 customers who prefer to use messaging app to interact with their service provider.

Where chatbots empower customers to better interact with your business, it also enables your employees to excel in their interactions with the company’s systems. Chatbots have served buffet service where employees can obtain answers to their questions easily and drive value for the workplace.

According to Gartner, “Chatbots are entering the market rapidly and have a broad appeal for users due to efficiency and ease of interaction.”



How are chatbots empowering digital workplace?

Chatbots as virtual assistants

You simply can’t have a personal assistant for everyone in your company. It would be a non-viable investment for your company as it requires more space and involves more costs and thus have zero return on investment (ROI).

This technology can work as a virtual assistant in your digital workplace, enabling your employees to prioritize their task, stay focused and simultaneously work together to run a seamless workflow. For example, setting reminders for the priority work, organize meetings, hotel or travel reservations for the business trip, and so much more can be done with the help of chatbots.

Effortless Internal Communications

Chatbots have a huge potential in facilitating internal communications while offering interactive features to customers. It has the ability to access the company’s internal data to provide employees with immediate responses. For example, HR portal or the intranet where employees can have a live chat with their HR to ask their query and quickly get an acknowledgment.

Mary Brodie, UX Magazine content contributor expressed, “the user could ask the bot to show the projects that someone is working on, or ask to show projects in a particular department. The bot could then list the project names and you could request access to a specific project and the bot would arrange it. Or the bot may proactively suggest related projects that complement your work, or there may be a way to find a document that you need.”

Enhance Productivity

Irrespective of the technology used in your business process, at the end it should yield an increased productivity.

Apart from assisting and communicating with your employees, chatbot can upskill your employees about the most trending technology and help them with relevant operation management.

Chatbots have a potential to show a clear insight to your employees and manage multiple tasks at the same time. This will help you to ensure that everyone in your company is updated with what’s trending in the digital arena and you will not have to personally follow up with each individual. As per experts, the ability to manage multiple tasks by a single chatbot helps your organization to cut down on the production cost and enhance 40% productivity in the organization.

Analyze & Secure Data

As an enterprise you have to deal with enormous data daily and to keep a track of all can be very challenging. Especially, when you have a CRM system to manage your customers’ data you have to be very careful with the data security.

Here, chatbots can help you overcome these challenges. Chatbots can customize user interactions based on their initial interaction. You just have to give text instructions to flip across your data and get quick responses. With the ability to comprehend your customers’, employees’ and business’s internal data, it can automatically analyze your data for you and come up with a quick resolution in very less time. For example, if there is any change in your employee’s contact details, chatbots can cross-verify the details and make the appropriate changes accordingly. This will help your enterprise to have a well-organized and clean data thus maximize user engagement.

Chatbots are promptly overtaking every corner of the market and seizing business hype, however, do you know what impact can chatbots have on your enterprise? Digital leaders are required to embrace this technology in their business strategies to keep up with this trend or it will twist the order of employees’ interaction with no enterprise involvement. Regardless of the department that uses the chatbot, it’s has a huge potential to transform both digital world and your workplace.

Internet of Things

How Internet of Things Is Impacting Omnichannel Enterprises?

Internet of Things

“IoT devices connected to the Internet will more than triple by 2020, from 10 billion to 34 billion. IoT devices will account for 24 billion, while traditional computing devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, etc.) will comprise 10 billion.
”–Business Insider

Our digital world is connected with internet and it has changed the way we live and work. As the technology of Internet of Things (IoT) progressed, it has made the devices smarter and changed the way consumers interact with the products or service providers.

We are experiencing prime digital engagements in our personal lives which has led enterprises to focus more on customer experience strategy. To furnish a consistent experience & engagement across multiple channels, the omnichannel experience has become the key to business strategy and success.

There are some companies who have already restrained omnichannel customer experience and embraced IoT technology to enhance connectivity of their devices with their customers. The concepts of IoT technology and omnichannel are focused on designs that help them to escalate relevant notifications and create personalized experiences that are accessible over all devices at their convenience. Also, this concept assists them to deliver smart marketing solutions that identify each customer as an individual, at the same time drive the company’s bottom line.

By 2018 there will be around 500 smart connected devices in the home via Internet of Things. Therefore, enterprises who are still in a dilemma, now it becomes essential for them to embrace these two concepts in their customer engagement strategies.–Gartner

Though the integration process may appear complex, it has added twofold advantage to the organizations. Sandy Carter, CEO, and founder of Silicon-Blitz says, “IoT’s impact will be felt in the marketing world. Omnichannel has been a hot topic owing to its focus on a single face to the customer. With IoT, presenting a single view of the data becomes easier whether you are a B2B or B2C company. The convergence of digital and physical worlds across multiple channels has created opportunities to measure and influence customer behavior beyond traditional purchasing cycles. Sensors, beacons, subscriptions, and digital capabilities have dramatically changed how businesses reach and manage customer relationships. This results in a transformation of marketing.”

Let’s see how the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to whack omnichannel service providers.

Smart Offerings

At present most of the companies follow the traditional way where they focus on problem and incident resolution. Internet of Things (IoT) offers smart services to the service provider by sending them a real-time notification in advance even before the issue arises. For example, all the hospitality industries are using smart devices that are connected to video and audio. This empowers them to take preventative action and at the same time, customers will have a favorable insight of the service/product that they are offering. By adding a high chunk of resolutions online and fixing the issues prior to the customer’s notice drives more traffic, deliver the extraordinary experience and boost the company’s growth.

Acquiring and Retaining customers

Spending enormously in customer acquisition and retention has always been a challenge to all the organizations. Internet of Things (IoT) allow CMOs to have an absolute visibility of their customers, they can use their customer’s data for the complete lifecycle of the customer and work towards enhancing their offerings.

Omni-device has built a fantastic connection between the consumer and the service providers. It has become a channel for the marketers to promote, cross-sell or upsell their services or products in the market to engage more customers. Omnichannel has given seamless shopping experience and no doubt shoppers are loving it! The multichannel approach has empowered them to pick what they like and what they want. Now the challenge is how service providers are going to keep up with the shopper’s expectations and stand success.

For example, 4G LTE connected cars notify the drivers when their car needs maintenance and provide a sensor feedback to the manufacturers to know their customer’s preference.

Sales Opportunity

Internet of Things connected devices has created huge opportunities in the sales division. An organization can keep a track of a product status through IoT technology and whenever the product expires or not in the usage condition, there the sellers have an opportunity to make an offer before the customer switches to another provider.

Also, imagine this, your smart refrigerator is synced with Amazon pantry app. Your smart fridge scans the content of your fridge and detects that you’re running out on the groceries for the next week. The fridge will automatically add all the items in your Amazon Pantry app and you will get a notification saying you have items in your cart please proceed for the payment. You quickly check the items and make the payment and you’re done. Your order will be delivered to you the very next morning.

Takeaways For Omnichannel Service Providers From IoT Solutions

  • Enhance visibility and ensure precise data.
  • Real-time data validation.
  • Easy access to systems and can interact from any part of the world.
  • On time delivery and improve customer experience.

Omnichannel and Internet of Things (IoT) has a huge potential to drop-ship best selling opportunities and customer experience for your organization. Celent, experts in financial services says, “IoT takes contextual commerce to an entirely new level, as connected devices start facilitating customer orders, orchestrating commerce transactions, and ultimately acting as independent economic agents.”

Internet of Things (IoT) technology is going to take this omnichannel approach to a next level by customizing and adding up the skills to promote service/product via this emerging channel. Consulting company McKinsey & Company estimates the economic impact of those IoT things will be between $3.9 and $11.1 billion annually by 2025, and Juniper Research has predicted 160 trillion mobile and online messages will be sent each year by 2019, and omnichannel messaging will drive a significant amount of these. Different communication channels will be brought together, with new approaches to manage this technology and more simplified methods of integration introduced.

Aimed at providing a personalized experience, digital disruption has changed the way consumers are interacting with the brands as well as enterprises utilizing customer’s data. This has made Internet of Things (IoT) as a massive game changer in an omnichannel equipped business.

Amazon Go Technology

Revolutionizing The Future Of Retail With “Amazon Go” Technology

E-commerce giant Amazon has been steadily expanding and this isn’t its first brick and mortar expansion. Physical stores can learn a lot from how Amazon is successfully bringing the digital experience into the physical realm. The new store “Amazon Go”, is all set to eliminate checkout lines and allow customers to shop at their convenience using a new mobile app.

The super techy store allows customers to pick up their groceries and just walk out without having to queue up and pay at the checkout. You just need to scan your smartphone upon entering the store, and the store’s “just walk out” technology will detect when products are taken off shelves (or returned to shelves) and keeps track of what is in your virtual cart through these smartphones. When you’re done shopping, and you leave the store, the company will charge your account. This grab-and-go retail experience of Amazon Go has not only grabbed the attention of consumers but also left techies & retailers mesmerized with its cutting edge technology.

The grocery shopping experience is more about finding the right product easily, at the right price and finishing the purchase seamlessly. There are a couple of technologies that have been put to work to get this advanced shopping structure in place. Amazon describes its technology as a combination of sensor fusion, computer vision, deep learning and AI. Let’s take a look at few of the technologies involved…

Artificial Intelligence: AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. These processes include learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (using the rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions), and self-correction. Particular applications of AI include expert systems, speech recognition and machine vision.

Computer Vision: Computer vision is concerned with the automatic extraction, analysis and understanding of useful information from a single image or a sequence of images. It involves the development of a theoretical and algorithmic basis to achieve automatic visual understanding which in turn enables to automate tasks that the human visual system can do.

Deep Learning: Deep Learning is a subfield of machine learning concerned with algorithms inspired by the structure and function of the brain called artificial neural networks. It is already driving innovation at the cutting edge of artificial intelligence by enabling data scientists to crack a number of difficult cases which had proved challenging for decades. It helps in functions such as speech and image recognition, and natural language generation.

Sensor Fusion: Sensor fusion is the aggregation of data from multiple sensors to gain a more accurate picture of the sensors’ subject or environment than can be determined by any one sensor alone. This is being employed to detect the placement and movement of items on the shelf.

Bluetooth Network Technology: Bluetooth wireless technology is a short range communications technology intended to replace the cables connecting portable unit and maintaining high levels of security. It is used to send/stream audio, transfer data and broadcast information between devices, which enables the store to gain a widespread access to all the areas.

Combining these technologies with the shelf cameras, image recognition software, and weight sensors to interpret what items are on the shelves, the store can deduce who is taking items off the shelves in real-time.

This self driving grocery store is a fusion product of computer visioning , artificial intelligence, automated decision making and deep learning. The amalgamation has given rise to “Just Walk Out technology” which is intended to make customers happy with a checkout-free shopping experience.

Amazon’s incredibly groundbreaking retail store has left many mouths wide open and many retail chains awestruck. Initially there were supermarket shelves, then came in barcode scanners, then self-checkout lines, then online shopping. Currently the trend is such that the grocery checkout counter is completely out of the picture. Retailers are being compelled to work on ways to streamline grocery shopping, using automation and robotics. And the competition to diminish the brick-and-mortar retail experience could heat up quickly.

How To Stay Ahead In This Race?

The contradictory side is the “how” of the execution. According to a report on Geekwire,

“The top challenge for brick-and-mortar retailers will likely be the technology itself”–Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus Commerce

The trick is to adopt and adapt Amazonian innovations that enhance your value proposition as a retailer. Retail CIO’s need to keep a check on the pilot development and determine how this technology could be implemented to meet the needs of their customer base. Retailers who want to get ahead in this technology race, need to create a huge impact on the entire retail supply chain, be it any industry, manufacturing, distribution or inventory management.

Unfortunately, traditional retailers are not really aware enough to identify accurately what customers value. In order to create that impact, retailers must have a hands-on experience on the cutting edge technologies currently trending. According to experts research, majority of them don’t have the technical know-how or the resources to create or install it themselves.

They should know how these technologies or other digitization efforts could enhance the customer’s life, experience, and transaction. To be able to do this they’ll need to rely on external firms to pursue a similar, completely in-house operation in their organization. This might seem to be unrealistic and cost-prohibitive for retailers, but those who are reluctant to evolve over the next decade will inevitably become less and less relevant to their ever-evolving customer base.

Gear-Up To Transform From Retailers To E-tailers

As per Gartner

“The competitive advantage traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have over online retailers (e.g., convenience of fulfillment) would be disrupted if Amazon’s Go stores prove to be successful.”

As the technology becomes more widespread , enterprises realize the need for transformation into a more digitized platform, providing the best of customer experience. The biggest value is created when multiple technologies are combined to drive real operational efficiency and a streamlined customer experience. The best “technology thing” you can do to match the pace of digital disruption is to invest in digital transformation consulting services that leverages technology creatively to solve some of the tough business problems. Such businesses and brands are geared towards enabling enterprises to innovate, build awesome products and transform customer experiences.

There are a plethora of technologies that these digital transformation companies are experimenting with, like using AI for making smart shopping lists, personalized offers based on the physical location and shopping behavior of customers, in-store navigation, and leveraging AR/VR for queue busting, among others. Amazon and newer e-commerce startups have pushed traditional grocers to incorporate more of these technologies into their customer experience. The Amazon Go concept represents a broad threat to the retail model as we know it, because it could combine the convenience of online with on-premises retail to possibly provide the best of both worlds. Retailers need to collaborate with marketing and customer insights leaders of digital transformation agencies to understand and learn from Amazon’s innovation, see what works, and implement their own digital programs accordingly. Brick-and-mortar retailers have the potential to not only to follow Amazon’s innovation, but build and perfect it to create an even better experience.


Driving Customer Engagement With Gamification


“The market for gamification is expected to reach the $5,500 billion mark by 2018.”


The digital innovation has transformed the marketing technique to encourage their customer’s engagement by adding elements of the game into it. New tools are being tried out in order to drive maximum customer engagement for the longest time. Among the various new tools, gamification has pulled the maximum buzz in the technology by the digital leaders.

The term gamification was coined by Nick Pelling in 2003. It embraces game mechanic to non-game frame basically to engage users with the company’s brand. The main objective of this technique is to make the engagement fun, challenging and entertaining. Kevin Werbach, the author of “For the Win: How Can Game Thinking Revolutionize Your Business”, said you shouldn’t forget that gamification isn’t about building a full-fledged game. It’s just about using some elements of games, and because it operates at the level of elements, using gamification offers more flexibility than using a game.

“Brands that successfully engage their customers through gamification realized 63% lower customer attrition and 55% higher share of wallet.”–Gallup

GamificationAn American multinational footwear manufacturing company, Nike fueled gamification in their customer engagement strategy to gear up their marketing and sales operations around the world. They introduced their first gamified app Nike+ in 2006 to track the user’s running, speed, and time. The app stores the user’s data which are useful for the user to track progress. The app also allows users to view other Nike+ users status and can compete with their friends. The app has leaderboards for different time frames which is updated weekly or monthly where app users can see who is on the top. The aim of this app is to keep the user fit and active by implementing gamification to secure a controlling portion of the sports shoe market.

By implementing the game elements, Nike was able to control 57% of the market by 2007 and 61% by 2009. The bar kept increasing and in 2013, there were 11,000,000 Nike+ members and it’s still counting.

-Source: Gamification Co

Enhancing your business should be a continuous process and incorporating gamification into the process will escalate your conversion rate, brand awareness, and raise your customer loyalty. As per the TechValidate’s report, “30% of companies using gamification improved registration conversion rates by 50%.”

Here are the four different industries that have infixed gamification in their business process to transform their customer engagement:

Gamification In Retail

Gamification“Gamification” is not an alien word in the retail industry. Although it isn’t a new concept, long before retailers have been running campaigns with exclusive deals or loyalty programs to drive new customers and retain their existing ones. At the same time technology is a game changer in the retail industry. It has ushered retailers to transform their process from simple purchase transactions to an intense customer centric engagement.

Using game mechanics like, scratch cards, gift cards offers that create a fun shopping experience into the retail operation will enhance the customer engagement by satisfying every customer and raising the sales bar. Boston Retail Partners surveyed & found that around 87% retailers are willing to use gamification methods in the next five years and 46% of those retailers identified that a loyalty program incorporating these elements is one of their top priorities.

Badgeville founder, Steve Sims, says, “for consumers, gamification might just mean fun, but for brands and retailers, it means collecting crucial customer data, while increasing engagement and conversion rates. Fundamentally, gamification is taking techniques and the psychology behind games, and using it to get more people to do more stuff more often, and for longer periods of time. It can help your salespeople to be more productive, or it can boost engagement for your social channel or loyalty program.”

Gamification In Healthcare

GamificationTechnology has transformed every aspect of the healthcare industries. Now we don’t have to go to a doctor every time we fall sick. We can stay fit or have a home consultant with the healthcare app available today, like Fitbit. The company was found in the year 2007. An American company launched their first product called “Fitbit Tracker” that tracks the user’s daily activity, calculates data like heart rate, exercise, sleep and weight. Such gamified tools are helping healthcare service providers to engage more patients in a healthy lifestyle.

Meticulous Research reports, “the global healthcare gamification market is expected to grow at a healthy CAGR of 54.7% from 2017 to 2022 to USD 3,780.6 million by 2022, driven by the growing technological advancements, rising use of smartphones, changing lifestyle, increasing digitalization, and growing focus on wellness at workplace.”

Gamification In Hospitality

Hospitality industries were the early adopters of  gamification in their marketing strategy. They used game mechanics to upgrade loyalty programs, promotions, and increase customer engagement by offering reward points to their customers on their spend per visit.

Best Western Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona are trying to arrange Augmented plus Virtual Reality devices for their guest as well as for their staff. They believe this will open up new opportunities for them to increase their productivity and profit margins while making the guest experience more fun.

Gamification has become an essential Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in hospitality industries. As it emphasized on fun experience, hospitality providers are discovering and surveying new sets of data. Gamification is a hotelier’s new approach to win over their competitors and amaze their guests every time they visit.

Gamification In Banking

Digital Technology is acquiring the banking world as we know it and transforming people’s interaction with the banks. Now with the launch of mobile banking, people can take their bank with them wherever they go and access their bank benefits from anywhere. Research says, mobile transactions will increase by five times in 2022.

Gartner predicted in 2011, “that more than 50% of organisations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes by 2015.” and here we are! Banks have incorporated gamification into their processes which they offered to customers in order to drive more loyalty and revenue. Mobile-banking apps allow users to check their account status, pay bills, transfer money, instant transfer, and so much more. Here with the great innovation idea, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)a multinational Spanish bank added points to the user’s account each time they finished a transaction. The user will be given some challenges and missions which they have to clear to get their rewards. The rewards can be in form of medals or badges which can be shared on their social networking site.

Organizations are integrating gamification techniques into their business processes to become more customer-centered. It’s not about just playing games, gamification includes play rules, ideas, and more game-like features to increase customer engagement and boost retention with the brands.

Immersive Technology

Is Immersive Technology Revolutionizing Fintech Companies?

Immersive Technology - [x]cube LABS

“The majority of global financial services companies plan to increase FinTech partnerships as 88% express concern they will lose revenue to innovators.”


Immersive technologies such as Artificial intelligence (AI), Virtual reality (VR), Machine Learning (ML), Augmented reality (AR), and so much more are already transforming almost all industry sectors. Immersive technologies have played a gigantic role in revolutionizing Banking and Fintech industries.

Fintech term is a combination of two words “Financial” and “Technology” that is focused towards driving the new operating model in the financial services. Fintech has evolved significantly over the past few decades where technology has played a crucial role in driving innovation and evolution into the business model.

“A large majority of global banks, insurers and investment managers intend to increase their partnerships with FinTech companies over the next 3-5 years and expect an average return on investment of 20% on their innovation projects.”


PwC survey report: The potential impact of FinTech in the Financial Service Sector:

As per the recent article published in Forbes, “Credit cards were introduced in the year the 1950s to ease the burden of carrying cash. ATMs were placed to substitute tellers and branches in the year 1960s. In the 1970s, electronic stock trading began on exchange trading floors. The 1980s saw the rise of bank mainframe computers and more sophisticated data and record-keeping systems. In the 1990s, the Internet and e-commerce business models flourished. The result was the introduction of online stock brokerage websites aimed at retail investors, replacing the phone-driven retail stock brokering model.”

According to PwC estimation, “Fintech companies have embraced this outlook wholeheartedly, becoming a dominant force in the global startup ecosystem. The cumulative investment in fintech globally could vastly exceed $150 billion within three to five years.

Immersive technologies are designing an advanced business that is going to lift fintech companies with billion of dollars in coming years. The conflux of Big Data, Virtual Reality(VR), Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI) has produced a progressive environ for smart and automatic software that are built on data analytics, model identification, picture and natural language processing.

Immersive technologies pursue to grow at its surprising pace and it has been already predicted by the market experts that around two billion population are going to use mobile banking for their financial transaction by 2019. Most of the financial companies have already realized the importance of the immersive technologies and begin engaging and retaining customers by providing personalized customer service.

“Fin-techs are startup technology providers that deliver emerging digital technologies that approach financial services in innovative ways or can fundamentally change the way bank products and services are created and distributed and generate revenue. The term may also refer to the technologies these providers offer.”


Here are the four technologies that have dramatically revolutionized fintech

1. Virtual Reality (VR)

Now financial service providers have digitized every process and have already started experimenting with technology like Virtual Reality. It has opened a new opportunity to blend extraordinary interfaces with the ability to provide an immersive experience for the customer.

VR with its data visualization products is helping the financial companies to analyze the huge bunch of data. Financial leaders are able to comprehend complex concepts using VR and are able to recognize new model visually. Also, customers can ingress a wide picture with virtual reality headsets into extreme areas and act personally with a bank staff member.

2. Augmented Reality (AR)

Recently augmented reality (AR) has already escalated and built an enormous impact in the financial sector. There are so many AR mobile apps launched which help bank’s customer to scan and draw data on their way. For example, there are this “Home Finder” apps helps users to find properties for sale, rent and open houses around them. The Application uses AR technology that allows users to customize their search and show them the details with the photos of the properties in their smartphones. Users can contact the property dealer using the app and find a direction to the properties.

3. Machine Learning (ML)

There are many risks involved when we do financial transactions. Decision makers have to be extra careful when they are dealing with everyday credit management, fraud detection, and so much more. It requires technologies that can rapidly refine all the data and deliver the authentic result.

Machine learning uses algorithms that allow machines to acquire knowledge from data and accordingly identify the framework to supply actionable understanding. As per the recent report, almost 40% of the time has been cut down by the tax issue by using ML technology in tax filing process. All data works are done by this machine learning technology in almost all financial companies.

4. Block chain

Financial companies have seen a huge possibility in block chain for their future. Block chain has helped financial service providers to retain all sorts of digital operations in a concealed and tamper-proof manner. There is no chance for any fraudulent activity to occur as block chain only supports data that are encrypted and verified by each block. That means any corrupted data is easily identified and makes it impossible for hackers to break the chain.

The key feature of the blockchain technology enables the bank to eliminate all the third-party payment systems like NEFT and build their own means of processing the payments. The technology has helped fintech companies to establish “Know Your Customer” (KYC) process to recognize and verify the identity of its customers.

PwC reports, “81% of banking CEOs are concerned about the speed of technological change, more than any other industry sector.”

“There are many large forces sweeping the society, from demographic and social changes to shifts in global economic power. But one force in particular – namely, technological breakthroughs – is having a disproportionate affect on financial services”


Fintech companies have truly recognized the potential of the immersive technologies in enhancing their business with new opportunities. It is impossible to imagine how financial service providers used to secure their customer’s sensitive data. With the high-end technologies available today, fintech companies are able to secure the sensitive data and can easily communicate with their customer from any part of the digital world. Immersive Technologies are going to create an enormous impact on fintech companies and hence, keep rolling out new opportunities across the board.

Digital Product Development

4 Pitfalls To Avoid In Digital Product Development

Digital Product Development

We all agree that digital disruption has created urgency. Every engineer, product designers, or developers have flipped towards this urgency by pursuing opportunities throughout the design process of any product to make a significant impact in their digital product development process.

Designing a product is not easy. It requires a clear roadmap that aligns closely with the business objectives and strategies. The whole digital product development process is headed by the Product manager. They set up roadmaps, plan, coordinate and organize the entire development process by executing their ideas in digital business innovation.

Shifting from manual to digital product development process is indicative that the firm has to tackle with challenges. Challenges that involve numerous stages each business has to go through while designing their strategy for digital product development. Here are the four major challenges encountered by an organization when developing a digital product:

Identification & Correction Of Problem Component

  • Challenge: As per the survey taken by the market experts, around 50% product managers agree that their major challenge is to be able to perform a complete market research to identify the actual needs of what they are building. The role of the product managers is to ensure that they are manufacturing the right product for the right people. They are responsible for the strategy, roadmap, and quality for that product or product line. However, the majority of them say that they don’t have enough time to do a complete market research because it is a time-consuming process plus they have to put in a lot of money and efforts too.
  • Provision: It is essential for an organization to identify their problem component and come up with a perfect strategy to fix it in order to meet user’s expectations. According to McKinsey large enterprises like Amazon, Facebook, and Google inspire their product managers to build a strong strategy to optimize their customer interaction through digital. It is the most effective approach to keep the key business assets and customer base intact. Though Digital Product Development is new to many enterprises, it requires a potent outlook to be at the top. You need to pick a product that is right for digital in order to meet your user’s expectation which keeps changing day in-day out.

Product Management

  • Challenge: The second challenge soon after knowing your user and their expectation comes to the product management. It happens mostly when you are busy solving your user’s problems, it’s easy to stack on inessential features. Features that will disorganize your user’s experience, clog development process and eventually it will lead to delay in product delivery. If you fail to manage your product development process it will hold your entire business operation to launch your digital product in the market.
  • Provision: You must have a clear understanding and a well-defined approach that outlines the overall experience for your digital product. Start with a solid plan, set realistic objectives with a rock-bottom profit margin from a new digital product. As a product manager, this will help you and your organization to be positive about the project period estimations, required resources and build a strong framework for the successful product development process.

Extracting End Product

  • Challenge: As a product manager, you are trying hard to put your entire focus on the digital product development process to maintain the top market position without analyzing the sales process. Failing to review the key components in the development process can insanely influence the outcomes from the product.
  • Drafting a plan, setting realistic objectives, testing, and post-launch surveys are the key components in marketing and sales of the product, which cannot be overlooked by the product managers in the entire digital product development process.

  • Provision: Each enterprise has its own technique to run their business which at the end should sync with the company’s mission and vision. Hence, one must do a complete and proper research before processing a new digital product. The new product development research is divided into two clear stages,

    (i). A truth-seeking early stage: Mainly focused on estimating new products, prospects and separating bad bets.

    (ii). A success-seeking late stage: The research here is largely focused on enhancing the value of products that are ready for development.

Continuing The Growth

  • Challenges: Once the digital product is ready, it will be your biggest mistake if you think the digital product development process is complete. Well, you have just entered the race and you have to keep recapitulating your product and push it forward in order to grow and meet your user’s expectations.
  • Provision: You can keep the growth cycle running by keep adding new features in the digital product. After launching the new digital product in the market you will start receiving user’s feedback. High-priority needs to be given to apprehend the user’s feedback and try to implement it in the digital product development process. Align your development process with continuous product growth and enhancement.

Christian Bonilla, a product manager and founder of UserMuse published his survey in the “Mind the Product” page to identify the biggest challenges of product managers. Christian says, “my advice to all the product managers is to ask the market directly for feedback and just do it – right now. If your website gets significant traffic, website polls can be a great way to get quick feedback on user needs. If you want to talk to people who aren’t customers yet, Google Consumer Surveys lets you spin up a survey fast and collect results for as little as $0.10 per response. If you have an email list, you can ping them too with any number of tools. Ask for forgiveness rather than permission and just start doing it.”

Always have a clear vision of what is appropriate for digital to build a successful digital product and keep creating a first-hand experience for your users. So, you can turn these major challenges into the opportunities.

Bimodal IT

Driving Innovation In Enterprises Through Bimodal IT

Bimodal IT

Information technology (IT) has turned out to be innate to the evolution and success of every enterprise. The idea behind embracing Bimodal IT into the company’s processes is to differentiate the traditional IT team and the agile IT team. It has been long since we witnessed the rise of the technologies and their delivery methods with enterprises intensely focusing on digital transformation.

Use of technologies like Big Data and software like DevOps to meet the delivery challenges has transformed the whole IT from a conventional cost core to a radically life-changing and unconventional element in an organization.

As the burgeoning of the innovative technologies became a significant part of the business, leaders, and resources also needed to cope with the transformation. According to Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research, “CIOs can’t transform their old IT organization into a digital startup, but they can turn it into a Bi-modal IT organization. 45 percent of CIOs state they currently have a fast mode of operation, and we predict that 75 percent of IT organizations will be bi-modal in some way by 2017.”

What Is Bimodal IT?

“Bimodal IT“ originally coined by Gartner, is a term drafted to have the agility that can support the business with exploratory (new) digital innovation mode, and at the same time operate in the traditional mode. It is also referred as “two-speed IT” that develops and executes customer-facing applications.

Both have different structural and management principles. Traditional mode emphasizes on safety and accuracy,  and exploratory mode highlights agility, non-sequential workflow, and speed. Where traditional mode deploys sequential approaches to run IT operations, while in Exploratory mode, customer experience and business outcomes are kept in the front and agile workflow is applied, e.g., scrum techniques.

Why Enterprises Need Bimodal IT To Succeed In Digital World?

Enterprises have embraced the two different kinds of management and development processes in order to have a superior connectivity with the digital world. If the traditional and exploratory mode is perfectly linked, then, as an enterprise, you will have a digital environment where you will be able to brace the whole management transformation and obtain high-quality performance.

“IT leaders must recognize the equal importance of both modes in delivering the digital strategy. The bimodal capability that marries the renovation of the IT core with the exploratory approach to developing new digital products and services is essential for an enterprise to survive and flourish in the digital era. Both modes will play a crucial role in innovation and in the digital transformation.”–Simon Mingay, research vice president at Gartner

Help Enterprises In Supply Chain Optimization

Bimodal IT can help you enlist the collective brainpower from various categories and help enterprise select from the right audience such as employees, customers, partners, suppliers or the public.

Bimodal IT helps your organization to have a separate funding option based on fear, fact and faith-based categories of spending, as explained by Gartner. As in today’s digital world, we need to be always ready to grab new opportunities and mitigate threats. Here, the sole ROI-based viewpoint will not work to get funding approval.

It can help enterprises to have separate metrics to estimate the value of the business and the supply chain. This is essential for an enterprise to know how they are performing.

Schneider Electric Case Study 

Adoption of Bimodal IT for remodeling the supply chain
A French multinational corporation, Schneider Electric (SE) is a global specialist in energy management and automation which is spread across more than 100 countries. Their approximate revenues were counted to be €24.7 billion and have 1,44,000 plus employees worldwide.

Schneider Electric designed a key transformation component strategy to globalize its supply chain and usher innovation along with the six regional operations to monitor the uninterrupted enhancement. Bimodal IT adoption hit Schneider Electric with a perfect balance in the supply chain process. Over 1,70,000 plus employees were a part of this project covering 230 factories and processing 1,30,000 orders every day.

It is a 3-year project plan where all the action plans are listed down in their objectives, which are put at two levels. To ensure all the objectives are met, the annual improvement plans are put within that by dedicated teams. To speed up the tempo of the transformation team, Schneider’s supply-chain leaders needed to do a monthly inspect of betterment in pushing innovation for the company.

Rajara, Chief supply officer at Schneider said, “The CSO participates every month for this particular reason to strategize what is important. Where do we need to invest money, is it going right, and what needs to go into Mode 1 in terms of deployment, or do we need to cancel? This is really the key area where the innovations are tested with the regions and the communication happens. This is an important step because every month we have this regular follow-up.”

Supply leaders ensured that all the appropriate useful skills are put together in one place. As per the Schneider’s ROI report, the company reinvested around 10% of its productivity gains back into transformation projects.

How It’s Helping Enterprises Structure Agility?

As per Gartner, “traditional IT is focused on “doing IT right” with a strong emphasis on efficiency and safety, approval-based governance and price-for-performance. Agile IT is focused on “doing IT fast”, supporting prototyping and iterative development, rapid delivery, continuous and process-based governance, and value to the business (being business-centric and close to the customer).”

According to Lydia Leong, Gartner analyst, “the organizations which have two modes of IT with different people, processes, and tools supporting each, are most successful. And someone can’t just simply add a little agility to get full-on agile IT as it requires fundamental transformation.” She adds, “at some point in time, the agile IT mode becomes strategic and begins to modernize and transform the rest of IT, but it’s actually good to allow the agile-mode team to discover transformative new approaches without being burdened by the existing legacy.

GE Case Study

Recognition of Bimodal IT Needs of a Start-Up
As per the Gartner report research by Bruce Robertson,  General Electric (GE), a 125-year-old American multinational mix corporation designed FastWorks. Their approach was to render ‘Lean Startup’ principles and other disruptive strategies across its ecosystem. It included experiments to test Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) with customers early in the process. The team is able to simply modify the project based on what they learn with the customer, which is opposite to the traditional method. FastWorks motivates early customer discovery and collaboration, frequent testing of critical assumptions to validate or invalidate them, and making adjustments based on these customer-validated lessons.

From the time FastWorks was initiated, GE focused more on driving better & faster upshot for customers, in a situation that is unpredictable.

According to Johanna Wellington, CEO of GE-Fuel Cells, “MVP was a key data sheet that is validated by customers before significant development could commence. This is reminiscent of the Amazon approach called “Working Backwards,” where you create the customer-facing sales materials and press releases first. A related technique is “postcards from the future.”

As per the Gartner’s Report, business leaders at GE took actions to implement bimodal IT in their business transformation. They are:

Pushed for the business-level adoption of MVP and other lean startup techniques immediately for investment opportunities and projects already underway and those about to start.

Allocated time and resources for this type of experimentation to prove to your own enterprise that this new approach can work and then scaled it out widely as a new enterprise culture or mindset.

Established an enterprise capability to fasten up scaling the new techniques across the enterprise.

The FastWorks approach brought speed, experimentation, and scale of validated customer needs, markets and business models in the organization.

Bimodal IT concept is all based on cloud computing and other allied tools like agile development and DevOps to support the concept. By ignoring Bimodal IT, you are going to lose what you already have, which means you are letting your competitors devour your business. In order to avoid that, digital leaders need to embrace new processes and tools continuously and keep delivering faster, better and more flexible support to the new changes in their organization.

Tina Nunno, Research Vice President at Gartner said, “In digital business, you must change your relationship with risk. The digital risk is not something to mitigate. Instead, embrace risk. Taking risk is a conscious leadership decision. Treat your ability to manage specific risks as a competency and capability. Focus, so you can see what risks are worth taking. Accepting risk is okay; ignoring risk is tragic.

iOS App Update From 32-Bit To 64- Bit?

Why Should You Transition IOS App From 32-Bit To 64- Bit?

iOS App Update From 32-Bit To 64- Bit?

In the age of the fast moving technology world, where world’s leading smartphone makers are racing to make mobile phone’s processors faster, Apple leaps forward with another declaration of mandating all the iOS 7 and core apps to be ported to 64-bit. Apple smartphone devices account for around 17.9% of the global market share, according to Gartner’s most recent quarterly sales report. This has saved them a top spot although they have a compact variety of phones as compared to their competitors.

Apple has updated the pop-up warning in the iOS 10.3 beta to say that the 32-bit app you’re running “will not work with future versions of iOS.” This is indicative that the ability to run a 32-bit app is coming to an end.

Apple has required all new iOS apps and app updates to be submitted to the iOS App Store to support 64-bit . Since then, Apple has begun phasing out support for 32-bit apps, and plans to stop supporting them all together with iOS 11.

iOS App update from 32-Bit To 64- BitSource:

What Does This Mean?

The switch to 64-bit only support means that older iOS devices built on 32-bit architecture will not be able to upgrade to the new iOS. This includes the iPhone 5, 5c, and older, the standard version of the iPad (so not the Air or the Pro), and the first iPad mini. 32-bit and 64-bit, in simple terms, refers to the amount of data a processor can handle. Since a 64-bit processor processes more data at a time than a 32-bit processor, you get a faster performance. You’re not affected, if your app is built in June 2015 or after. Particularly apps that have not seen an update before June 2015 or at all, or anything built prior to that, could be on the butcher’s board.
Ideally the best practice is to update each of your apps at least once a year. This should preferably be done towards the end of the year or start of the next year, in order to coincide with the release of a new iOS version in September. This ensures eradication of any bugs in the new system before you update your app. If this is followed, you should not experience any problems, and your business will continue along happily with an app that can be used by the vast majority of Apple iPhone users.

Why To Transition?

Businesses whose apps have not been recently updated or overhauled are taking a serious risk. You won’t be able to upgrade to the next major version of iOS, if you’re using an older device. It should not come as a surprise to you as Apple has a history of cutting off support for older computers and devices in its new operating systems.
If you’re using older 32-bit apps on newer devices, you’ll need to upgrade your apps to make sure you can still use them. Businesses not ensuring an upgrade during the switch to 64-bit development, might miss out the new version because some developers released new versions of their apps that you may have to buy instead of updating the old ones.

How To Transition?

Apple has included a tool in iOS 10.3, to check when an app was published or last updated.  Go to Settings, General, About, Applications. A list titled “These apps may slow down your iPhone and will not work with future versions of iOS if they are not updated” will show you the apps that are not currently 64-bit.
The app will need to be updated, rebuilt or be scrapped. In some cases, the app may be so out-of-date that it is more economical to start from scratch than to update the original. You will need to decide accordingly.

Impact On Developers

Since the launch of  iPhone 5, Apple deliberately decided to replace its less advanced but cheaper 32-bit counterpart with 64-bit processors. As soon as Apple ushers in the new version of its operating system, iOS 11, around September this year approximately 200,000 iOS apps will be rendered useless.

The pioneer step of Apple has created ripples in the market, but there is nothing illustrated like existing apps with 32- bit architecture will be removed or its performance will be affected, if they don’t comply with 64- bit.

Apple wants to make life easier for itself and push for use of newer technology. It looks to streamline its codebase and exterminate support for apps built for 32-bit systems. Due to the backward compatibility apps built for 32-bit systems could run on a 64-bit system but would often suffer from sluggishness. Even, after porting to 64- bit, the app will run in both 32-bit and 64-bit.

Earlier developers had the choice to submit only 32-bit apps or universal binaries, but it will no longer be an option. To enable a project, default Xcode build, setting of “Standard architectures” can be used to build a single binary with both 32-bit and 64-bit code. So, it is logical that the developers need to be updated with the 64-bit support. All newly released games, will need to take advantage of iOS 8 and 64-bit ARM chips in newer iOS devices.

Benefits Pertaining To The IOS Upgrade

  • Customer Engagement: It is an excellent opportunity to captivate large consumer base with latest iOS 8 SDK. Apple device fanatics are quickly adopting the new version of operating system. Due to the marvelous sale of new devices and impeccable performance of the new upgrade iOS 7 adoption has diminished.
  • High Execution Speed: The demands of present era are better performance and best graphics in apps. The 64-bit processor is twice as fast as the 32-bit processor. It provides CPU boosts 42 times faster than the original iPhone, with graphics up to 56 times faster.
  • Latest Device Support: Apple’s recent declaration enables developers to use X-code 6.1.1 version, which makes apps support almost for all devices. Those iOS apps are having just 32-bit support are not compatible to run on Apple’s latest offerings of such as iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6+, iPad and iPad mini.


Many considered it as an Apple’s aggressive rollout., however, Apple’s transition to a comprehensive 64-bit app store is commendable. Accommodating Apple’s requirement will improve the performance of iOS application and becomes a way to reach large consumer base.
Apple has created a big bang in the industry by including iOS 8 and 64-bit architecture in apps. This incredible move of Apple is a great opportunity for the developers to delight their users by making the app more dynamic & robust with 64-bit support incorporation.

Big Data

Transforming The Retail Industry With Big Data Analytics

Big Data Analytics in Retail

Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.”–Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice President, Gartner Research.

Every industry has absorbed data in real-time, customized it and are in the modern digital landscape. This change necessitates retail industries to join the race to optimize services of business processes and their customer expectations. Digitization has given power to consumers and today they are called ‘digital-customers’ or ‘omni-customers’. They don’t care what channel it is as far as it’s convenient and matches their expectations. In order to survive or keep running in the race, retailers must stop selling only the things and start selling the experience along with the thing.

“Cross-channel retail sales in the U.S. will reach about $1.8 trillion by 2017.”–Forrester

With the evolving digital technology, there has been a plenty of operational changes in the retail industry. Big data analytics has played a critical role in helping smart retailers to manage valuable data. The e-commerce platform is one of the best examples of big data user and has acquired the most benefits.

For example, Amazon, the world’s largest electronic commerce company is the massive adopter of big data analytics. Whenever a user browses their website, based on the user’s behavior, it starts sending recommendations of the similar products on which the user has shown interest or based on an algorithm prediction of what the user may like. Research says around 30% of their sales are from the recommendations. Therefore, big data is helping  Amazon to increase their sales percentage immensely.

What Is Big Data?

Big data is a huge information set. Big data analytics helps enterprises to obtain tie-ups and resolution from the large data using powerful tools to extract conclusions from both systematic or nonsystematic data to provide insights. It provides a reliable vision and an enormous opportunity to the enterprises. Big data analytics provides three major benefits, they are;

  • It can be used in company’s strategic planning.
  • Help the company to enhance their decision-making skills.
  • Reduce company’s costs and refine the efficiency of performance.

How It’s Transforming The Retail Industry?

The acquisition of big data analytics helped retailers to better interpret their customer or potential customer’s behavior. It’s cost-effective technique has helped both online and offline retailers to embrace analytics solutions to effectively target their audience and upgrade their supply chain operations.

The retail industry has come a long way and this analytics helped them to not only identify their customers but also know their customers inside out. Leveraging the fast transforming digital world, retail industries are now able to grab a deeper insight using big data analytics. This is only possible if you have the appropriate tools, a flawless strategy, and manpower who can extract most benefits from the Big Data Analytics.

“Retailers that embrace big data analytics yield a 60% boost in margins and a 1% improvement in labor productivity.”–Mckinsey

How Is Big Data Helping Retail Industries?

Price optimization is no more a choice, it’s a need: Big data analytics plays a vital role in price control. Algorithms provide a deep insight on the demand flow, inventory status and help retailers to have a smart peep on their rivals. Depending on the data, price optimization helps them to decide when to drop and when to raise the price. Earlier most of the fashion retailers used to change their merchandise prices depending on the change of the season. Like at the end of any season, having the assumption of less demand, they used to reduce the prices. However, after implementing big data, retailers will have informations that are data-driven and prices that are optimized based on the real time demand. Now with the updated and analyzed big data, prices can be changed any minute as per the demand.

Prediction for future trends and demand: Big data helps retailers to weigh the present situation and envision the future. Advanced machine learning algorithms are used to predict the upcoming trend with the help of social media and web browsing pattern. The gathered customer data will help retail industry to forecast the product demand and target their users accordingly in a particular category.

According to KPMG 2017 Retail Survey report, Millennials choose social media to collect information about trending fashion, products or brands that toll with them. All these information are used by the retailers to leverage a digital gateway which helps them to create a database of customer preferences. With the right data and analytics retailers will have the ability to predict and set a campaign to target their users based on demographic, gender and user’s behavior.

Offer smart experience to the customers: Retail industry’s competition is warming up and customer experience is on their priority strategy list. Each transaction or the activities that the customer does will be recorded and will have a unique ID, which can be accessed by the retailers. Big data analytics plays an essential part here to ensure which customer showed interest in what product. With the accumulated data, the retailer can create a smart shopping experience on every interaction with their customers.

Retailers determine which product has more demand in the market, using data analytics and ensure that there is no shortage in the stock. They are able to regulate the product price, send relevant promotions to the customers to have pleasant shopping experience. As per the Harvard Business Review research, retailers who are able to provide the smart shopping experience to their customers are likely to increase their ROI from 5 to 8 times and raise their sales up to 10%.

The key to enabling a better customer shopping experience in retail industry is to integrate high-end technologies to gather data. Augmented Reality and Internet of Things (IoT) are the two emerging technologies that have a huge scope in the future for the retail industry. It was already predicted by Juniper in 2015 that retailers are going to spend $2.5 billion on connected devices by 2020.

A retailer’s real assets to run his retail business are the customers and the data. Therefore,  to better understand their customer’s behavior, all smart retailers are going to use big data analytics to ensure an efficient customer experience.

Digital Twins

Exploring Digital Twins: Bringing Innovation To Enterprise

Digital Twins

“The emergence, adoption, and hype around digital twins are growing. Digital leaders should drive discussions with their business unit peers on the potential business value of digital twins, and their limitations in IoT and digital businesses, while driving policy on their architecture and use.”


The Rise of Digital Twins

A term coined by NASA, “digital twins” refers to a virtual model of a physical product, process, or a service. NASA introduced digital twin to solve huge complicated challenges they were facing in their early days of space exploration.

The major challenge was how can they operate, monitor or repair systems which were impossible and beyond their engineer’s ability to physically monitor or modify. Pairing technology helped NASA during the hapless Apollo 13 occurrence. The innovation of mirrored systems rescued engineers and astronauts from the problem that occurred in the space from the earth.

NASA’s innovation “digital twin” utilizes data from sensors that are installed on real objects. Now, this technology is being used to develop a new direction, roadmaps, and next-generation aircraft and vehicles.

John Vickers, NASA’s leading manufacturing expert and manager of NASA’s National Center for Advanced Manufacturing, said, “the ultimate vision for the digital twin is to create, test and build our equipment in a virtual environment. Only when we get it to where it performs to our requirements do we physically manufacture it. We then want that physical build to tie back to its digital twin through sensors so that the digital twin contains all the information that we could have by inspecting the physical build.”

How Do Digital Twins work?

The idea of a digital twin has already existed for the past decades. With the evolving technologies, it has successfully pinned fifth on Gartner’s Top 10 strategic technology list for 2017.

Digital twin is a technology that pairs physical objects and virtual model to monitor systems and analyze data. It uses sensor data to find and fix the problems in advance, predict and plan for the future. And that brings in a new opportunity for enterprises to stay ahead in this digital world by utilizing simulations. According to Gartner, there are four core elements of digital twins:

  • Model of the physical object
  • Data from and about the thing
  • Unique one-to-one alignment
  • The ability to monitor the specific object.

“By 2020, there will be more than 21 billion connected sensors and endpoints, and digital twins will exist for potentially billions of things.”


PwC report says, according to Colin J. Parris, Vice President of Software Research at the GE Global Research Center, digital twin uses sensors to gather the data first. He describes digital twin models perform in three stages:

  • See. The model constantly updates itself with new information about individual assets, the system, and external data sources. It analyzes data using machine learning and other AI techniques.
  • Think. Users can ask the digital twin questions. Based on this input, the digital twin runs simulations looking at historical data, current data, and forecasts. The model then considers what might happen, as well as the relative risk and confidence level associated with each option.
  • Do. The digital twin proposes a course of action for a person to review. The person, or even the twin, can then take action.

Digital Twins Transforming Enterprises

Digital Twins

Source: Gartner

Digital Twins are raised amongst a history of innovations and insights. Digital modeling such as computer-aided design (CAD) is designed for enterprises to pull key benefits from complex assets. The technology allows enterprises to trace their products throughout their development period. The technology helps them in the decision-making process that is affiliated with physical products.

Gartner predicted, “billions of things are going to have digital twins in the next five years because the number of devices will be able to interface data keeping Internet of Things as the base.

Enterprises foresee the significant value that digital twin technology can add to their business operations by optimizing assets and minimizing defects. Gartner described a digital twin is that it provides physical objects digitally within the appropriate software tools, so it can instantly monitor and perhaps even control them.

Digital twins have taken the modeling to a whole new level. It renders a real opportunity to the enterprises to understand customer’s needs and boost customer experience.

Imagine the fusion of a smart upshot specialist paired with advance device tracking abilities that bring out the advance business models to drive revenue and help enterprises in various aspects to enhance their business. For example, the designer can inspect and monitor which part of the design needs replacement keeping the safety matter on the priority list that may occur in the future, without being in physical proximity to them.

The idea behind creating digital twin technology is to make everyday decisions about the physical world. However, we see few industries started using this technology and among them, one of the adopters is manufacturing industries. But, International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted that by 2018, enterprises investment on digital twin technology will see 30% rise in cycle times of their critical processes.

Manufacturing industries such as vehicle manufacturers can mock-up the model into 3D visualizations. This will help them to monitor which parts need attention if it requires any replacement. Once they find it, fix it or notifying their relevant team to repair and review the quality of the vehicles. Digital twins can be used to plan preventative maintenance that will help manufacturers to eliminate problems before it arises. Other benefits from digital twin technology are that they enable operators to minimize their company’s production costs, downtime and evolve insights to perform better and faster at low cost.

Gartner has envisioned new business models emerge, facilitated by digital twins. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are the means of injecting intelligence into new and existing apps to form the smart digital network. They are shortly progressing to be embedded into everyday equipment such as appliances, speakers, and hospital equipment. This phenomenon aligns with the emergence of conversational systems, the expansion of the IoT into a digital network and the trend towards digital twins.

Well, this is just the tip of the iceberg, there’s still a lot more to explore and test its potential. When digital twins – the digital portrait of physical systems is integrated properly it allows you to have a better understanding of ongoing operations. Also, it helps you to predict the future to improve your business performance.


How IoT Is Providing A Smart Infrastructure For Remodelling A City?

The concept of the IoT was drafted in the 1980s in a Coke machine at Carnegie Mellon University. That’s right, it was the first Internet-connected machine to check its inventory and if the drinks were cold. As the technologies evolved we saw rapid discoveries in the innovations and Internet of Things are the base of the technology on which all digital businesses rely today. It’s a network that has bloomed from connecting laptops to connecting wearables, cars, smart homes, smart cities and so on.

“By 2020 connected devices across all technologies will reach to 20.6 billion.”

-Gartner’s Report

The buzz technology ‘Internet of Things’ is enhancing the quality of urban life, has a huge impact on our lifestyle and perhaps the major contributor to the rise of smart cities. It is one of the most powerful applications of IoT which includes smart surveillance, self-moving transportation, smarter energy administration network, water conveyance, urban safety and environmental examination. It’s an ecosystem that includes transmission, applications, data, and analytics to unlatch the competence of the IoT and has certainly made the gadgets around us more smart and intelligent.

Gartner report says, “smart homes and smart commercial buildings grew to represent 45% of total connected things in use in 2015, due to investment and service opportunity and the research firm estimated that the figure will rise to 81% by 2020.” It’s a huge rise!

Smart City Technologies

Having the potential to decode essential muddles, Internet of Things can accelerate the urbanization process by utilizing all smart city technologies. How? Here are the few technologies that are bringing change

  • Smart Infrastructure: The smart technology has the ability to examine the larger amount of raw data and convert them into useful information. So, the collected data can help the city to stay alerted for the future uncertainty and plan the city’s sustainable development future well in advance. According to Gartner’s forecast, “about 20%, or 1.39 billion, of IoT units shipped into smart city applications by 2020 will be utilized for sustainability and climate change use cases, especially in transportation and smart buildings, as well as homes.”
  • Smart Data: It is the technology that provides quick analyzed data available for public use in the city. It is a digital information that can help citizen to find out free parking place even before the data is sent to an analytics platform to be analyzed. For example, the self-driving car requires immediate analysis by the automobile’s processors and quickly send it to the operator that control the brakes, steering and so on. Here, we can’t have the data sent to an analytics platform and wait for the output.
  • Smart Mobility: Smart Mobility help Smart Cities to find sustainable transport options. Director of Principal Engineers, UL, Tom Blewitt said, “mobility refers to both the technology and the data which travels across the technology. The ability to seamlessly move in and out of many different municipal and private systems is essential if we are to realize the promise of smart cities. Building the smart city will never be a project that is “finished.” Technology needs to be interoperable and perform to expectations regardless of who made it or when it was made. Data also needs to be unconstrained as it moves between systems, with all due attention to intellectual property, security and privacy concerns. For this, public policy and legal technology need to be state of the art.”
  • Smart Energy: Energy- saving is the major focal point of the smart city. The smart energy technology collects the data and Cisco the research says, the cities that run on the information can improve their energy efficiency by 30 percent within 20 years. By using renewable energy sources, manage water supply and have a waste management system, cities can reduce pollution and use less energy.

IEEE Experiment In Padova

Tools connected to the Internet has a potential to quantify the anonymous and convert them into some practical insights that can boost the comprehensive standard of life. In 2014 there was an experiment conducted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) in the city called Padova. The city’s streets light were connected to the internet through different sensors which help them to watchdog the street lighting, estimate the carbon monoxide levels, air temperature, and humidity.

According to the IEEE report, “the collected data was analyzed to detect anomalies and events that may occur in the monitored area, to profile the user’s behaviors, and to gain insight into the use of city resources, which may serve to optimize or create services for the community.”

Analysis of these results led to a variety of potential uses of the information. Real-time information such as those pertaining to weather, traffic or lighting etc can be shared and fixed accordingly in no time. This information could be used to inform public administrators of similar problems immediately, rather than problems going unsolved for days, weeks or even months causing disruption to citizens.

(Source: Dublin Tech Summit)

A Sneak Peek To The Future Smart City


Source: Gartner

Likewise, there are multiple cities around the world who have adapted to the smart city to improve the standard of life. For instance, as per Business Insider information, €365 million is assigned for the expansion of smart cities like Denmark, France and the United Kingdom by the European Commission.

As the Internet of Things is evolving, smart cities are no more a dream project now. The future of Internet of Things will be more enchanting, we are going to witness millions of things talking to each other and making cities smarter and bring a phenomenal difference to our life.  Mckinsey research predicted that “by 2020, the smart city industry is projected to be a $400 billion market, with 600 cities worldwide. These cities are expected to generate 60% of the world’s GDP by 2025.”

Well yes, this is just the beginning of a technological transformation, there is much more to explore it. What Internet of Things can literally do for us? Until then users are going to keep extracting and enjoying from these smart amenities, on the other hand, developers are going to keep innovating and experimenting the ability of Internet of Things.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality: Strategies To Shape Your Learning Environments

Virtual Reality - [x]cube LABS

“Virtual reality technology is maturing at an unprecedented rate. Well-designed content is now required to drive adoption of the platform.”


Virtual Reality, Games, immersive fantastical universes– we’re all thrilled by the idea of experiencing such magic.

But isn’t just about entertainment and games; it has the potential to make us more productive, more efficient, and more empathetic. And perhaps the most powerful manifestation of this potential is in the field of training and education, where VR is all set to introduce a whole new paradigm. It’s not hard to see why Immersive learning in healthcare, manufacturing, or in the retail industry offers an engaging, and contextual learning experience. Virtual Reality (VR), a computer-generated simulation that creates an immersive experience for users in a digital environment, has certainly become a popular method of knowledge sharing, and this has led to a huge investment in VR products. If numbers are your thing, let’s be clear: the numbers involved are big; anticipating a multi-billion dollar business. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. an American multinational finance company, predicts that hardware sales from virtual and augmented reality devices will reach $80 billion by 2025. And that’s just the hardware.

Still wondering where exactly VR can help on the education and training front? Let’s begin with a few examples:

  • Oil and Gas: The oil industry can use VR for operational training as well as safety and emergency related training
  • Aviation: Immersive learning or VR training for flying a plane, flight simulators are used to train pilots by providing the virtual experience before actually flying a real plane.
  • Healthcare: Simulated surgeries help medical professionals to have an effective hands-on training

Which is why many organizations are adopting VR technologies to offer the great immersive learning experience and create a realistic framework to train their professionals for real-life scenarios.

In general, VR can help with on-the-job training and operational training in almost any domain. VR stands out as a differentiator in this regard as it can replicate reality in great detail, offering the opportunity to learn hands-on with clear spatial awareness, leading to a more engaging, effective, and memorable learning experience. Additionally, in many real life scenarios, live on-site training be dangerous as well as expensive. In order to reduce these risk factors and costs, virtual reality training is the perfect solution.

Benefits Of Virtual Reality (VR) Learning

The only way learners can have unquestionably immersive learning experience is if there is an element of interaction. Virtual Reality is a technology that creates a three-dimensional image simulation for an immersive experience to have exceptional upshot in learning and development. It simply blurs the lines between the real and digital world that allow learners to have the 360-degree view and ability to interact with the training environment. VR-based learning has opened countless opportunities for many professionals, not restricted to only gaming or entertainment world. Per Gartner’s prediction, by 2020, 50% of the 50,000 largest businesses globally will have piloted or integrated immersive head-mounted displays (HMDs) for enterprise and customer use.

  • Benefiting Corporations: Companies are offering VR-based training to their employees. In addition to being cost-effective, VR also boosts the employee confidence and increases their efficiency and skills. Particularly for new employees, the initial training and onboarding can leverage VR effectively in many cases.
  • Participant Engagement: It is the most innovative model of learning which has made the whole learning process or experience more entertaining. Virtual Reality technology helps create a sensational experience that helps learners comprehend complex concepts and also boosts their interest and motivated them to participate in the training sessions.
  • More Personified Experience: Virtual Reality has the ability to create an intense participation in a virtual world. This high-quality interaction to touch or move the objects has always left the users dazzled. Evolving technology has enhanced the whole training experience by creating a more personified experience. For instance, architects are using VR to turn 3D modeling into virtual reality and quickly walk around the project plans envisioned.

Walmart Using Virtual Reality To Train Its Staff

Walmart, one of the world’s largest retailers in U.S. is hunting opportunities in the virtual reality world to train its staff. They have begun with a 360-degree video that offers a real-life scenarios experience to the staffs in their training initiatives.

Staffs are asked to wear Oculus Rift headset which is linked to a video screen that can be seen by the trainer to guide the trainees and ask employees to make decisions based on the situation. This allows the instructor to deliver training at scale and has a potential to personalize each Walmart staff. Therefore, helping them to stay prepared for any kind of situations say like dealing with holiday rush crowds or cleaning up a mess in the store.

The VR training program was launched this year in January and so far they successfully expanded to 30 Walmart Academy training centers and are targeting 200 Walmart Academy training centers by the end of 2017. Walmart also anticipates that around 150,000 of its employees to go through this Walmart Academy training this year.

Industries Leveraging Virtual Reality For Training

We have talked about the benefits and the potential of Virtual Reality in learning and development. Now that the VR technology has developed so much, it has become accessible and affordable for more training purpose.

“Based on the increasing “range of devices such as a mobile handset or a fully immersive headset, 171 million people will use virtual reality in 2017 and it is estimated that the sector could see more revenue than the television industry by 2025.”


There are many industries that are trying to extract the best that they can from Virtual Reality and some of them are already specializing in this field. To name a few, industries like healthcare, retail, manufacturing, education, automotive, and so on. Watch this space for updates on detailed information about how different industries are benefiting from VR technology. We’ll soon be back with all the new kinds of technology upgradations that VR would be offering us in near future.

The stage is all set for some sensational transformation in the industries utilizing Virtual Reality, and the world at large. Get ready!

Customer Experience

Leveraging Next-Gen Operating Models To Enhance Customer Experience

Customer Experience Transformation - [x]cube LABS

As technology continues to emerge, digital transformation is no more just a popular buzz phrase. It is the most robust trend that is transforming the whole digital ecosystem by gently stirring the technologies, business strategies, culture and the process to drive digital innovation. As per Gartner’s survey report, CEOs consider digital transformation as their top priorities and already 56% of them state that it has increased their business revenue and efficiency.

Being digital necessitates enterprises to reinvent and align their customer experience by creating innovative upshot that can meet customer’s demands. Besides driving revenue, technologies have also changed the customer engagement models as a whole. To stay competitive in the evolving digital world, meeting customer expectations has become a focal point for every organization. Gartner’s 2017 research says, “the next-gen operating models will furnish massive opportunities for digital business to meet customer’s new demands. Along with a lot of advancement in the technologies, it is also going to cause a huge disruption in the most of the business process.” It also said enterprises which can transform rapidly to meet customer’s demand, deliver the experience and bring out disruptions will not only win the digital race but also apprehend the new sources of value.

Technologies have touched everyone. Being accessible to everyone (customers and employees), technology has amplified the level of expectation for every interaction between an enterprise and people. For an enterprise to outperform it is essential for them to focus on customer experience as well as on employee experience to sustain. As technologies have empowered users, they demand more and share far more about their experiences at home and in office. Therefore, every business leader should consider making the customer experience the top priority in their strategic planning. The strategic planning should include two major points, understanding the customer’s value and the challenge to put it into the business process for the improvements. While keeping the experience at the center of the plan, CX leaders also need to understand the ‘Post-Millennials’ and the impact they are going to make for the future organization.

“By 2025, the number of consumer goods items (SKUs) that consumers can choose from will increase by 30%” –Gartner

Next-Gen Operating Models

Strategizing company’s future is not simple as it sounds, designing and digitizing customer journeys also create challenges for an enterprise. They have to manage operations, keep a track of omnichannel performance and thus coordination becomes a big task. The conventional operating models had a downside of focusing only on the internal capabilities whereas, next-gen operating models are designed to focus more on customer’s need. Of course, there are challenges, but next-gen operation models can usher huge opportunities for an organization to increase the speed and develop agility in the business process.

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As customer experience remains on the priority list of the business leaders, Gartner’s 2017 research report has two different perspectives for the future organization.

  • How enterprises will execute technology to enhance CX in the future: Customer analytics, web content management, business process management and master data management are going to increase technology investments in the next 12 months. Technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) 3D printing, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and wearables are set to entirely restyle many sectors over the following five years. It is predicted that the connectivity is likely to change enterprise’s view of customers. In the long term, the use of scenario planning reveals that a trend to use algorithms, in contrast to experts as a means of value creation, when mapped against a trend toward subscription access rather than ownership will create new business models based on differing CX types.
  • How the customer experience will change with the use of technology in specific industries: The retail, consumer goods, high-tech, and telecommunications sectors have long invested in technology to improve the customer and brand experience. Their focus is on Generation Z. Although media and market research companies have labeled them as “screen addicts” with short attention spans, in reality, they are a financially conservative and research-oriented group, and keen to maximize their impact on a global scale. Insurers, universities, utilities, government departments, and healthcare companies are now also facing similar challenges, but each industry faces unique technical and organizational challenges.

This research result will help all the C-suite to comprehend the importance of customers and how to use technology to pull customer experience into their operations. Once the C-suites are able to comprehend all these, implementing it into the process to satisfy all the customers is not going to be a cake walk. Remember! Even though you have satisfied your customer at multiple touch points but in the end, it’s not enough to ‘wow’ them. To create a significant customer journey, customer’s needs and their preferences should become the company’s objectives.

Customer Experience-Customer journey at the individual touchpoints by McKinsey & Company.

It’s no more a secret that technology has created a huge impact on all the business models. We saw a drastic change in customer’s behaviors as the digital world continues to evolve, which is where we have seen enterprises changing their focal point in order to understand their customer’s need. With these adoptions, monitoring, and examination of new technologies, digital leaders recognize how these new technologies can be used on the CX of the future and how it can improve the CX for their organization.

Digitization has brought so much value and opportunities for the enterprises to gain the experience from. It has helped them to create a great customer journey and delight their customer’s experience. Already 41% of enterprises are expecting to increase their investments in customer analytics in 2017, which is higher than any other technology type as per Gartner research. Understand your customer’s need and build a customer journey map by keeping the customer experience at the top on your strategy list. Your business performance depends on the how well you can retain your customers by using new technologies like bots, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and so many more and create a ‘wow’ moment in every interaction with your organization.

Bimodal IT

CIOs & Digital Business Leaders: Should Bimodal IT Be The Strategy For Your Enterprise?

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“Digital business transformation requires leveraging a broad set of sourcing options to enable rapid digital innovation and accelerated legacy modernization. Sourcing and vendor management leaders will learn how to choose from a spectrum of bimodal sourcing options for digital business success.” –Claudio Da Rold, Analyst at Gartner

In the world of Enterprise IT and innovation, a new concept, a new method of functioning is taking its root: bimodal IT.

The term bimodal IT was coined by Gartner in 2014. The idea here is that businesses are better served by running and managing their IT initiatives under two distinct umbrellas, or in two separate modes.

One Mode is the traditional approach intended to optimize information while having a strong emphasis on safety, stability, and accuracy.

“Mode 1 is essential as it preserves a company’s cash cows. It not only retains a company but also funds the innovative projects that are designed to respond to threats from disruptive upstarts like Airbnb, Uber, and Kickstarter,” said George Spafford, Research Director of IT, Operations at Gartner.

Mode 2, on the other hand, is exploratory, focused more on agility and speed to drive innovation in the organization. As Spafford asserts: “organizations must try different approaches and experiment with IT to challenge the range of needs presented by digital business.”

Drive Digital Innovation With Gartner’s Bimodal IT

In order to operate in an evolving business where new digital technologies like IoT, cloud computing, big data are emerging quickly and going mainstream even quicker, you must adapt your business to the rapid technological changes. If you are still clinging to the outdated technology your competitors, are quite likely to gain a competitive advantage over your business. The bottom line is anything that rests only on an outdated technology is a potential liability to the enterprise, and therefore technological upgrades  are a must along with a conventional workflow.

Simon Mingay, Research Vice President at Gartner outlines the importance of bimodal IT, saying: “Bimodal capability that marries the renovation of the IT core with the exploratory approach to developing new digital products and services is essential for an enterprise to survive and flourish in the digital era. Both modes will play a crucial role in innovation and digital transformation.”

Today every sector is IT dependent, be it sales, business development, customer or employee engagement. Bimodal IT empowers enterprises to organize their IT needs that provide firm and reliable solutions to run an efficient business and at the same time manage uncertainty to drive digital innovation while meeting various business requirements within an enterprise. According to the survey by Gartner, “more than half of organizations have a clearly defined digital business strategy. The percentage of organizations that have formally implemented bimodal IT has doubled from 6% a year ago to 12%. 36% of organizations have been using some forms of agile/faster modes of operations, and another 20% of organizations plan to implement bimodal in 12 months.”

Importance Of Bimodal IT In The Digital Era

Enterprises need to understand the importance of both these modes as they offer great opportunities in today’s digital era. Most enterprises are changing their methods and adopting suitable control and a culture which gives them the freedom to experiment with their capabilities and proceed further even when they are unsure about the future. Most of the organizations have not only adopted the bimodal approach but also started getting benefits both internally and externally. Gartner research says Bimodal brings together, capabilities inside and outside IT. It provides an iterative solution or application development methodology, which includes methods such as agile or lean software development.

CIOs and digital business leaders are challenged to align business performance goals and stay up-to-date with the technological trends. According to Gartner’s survey,“CIOs are growing versatilists to drive digital business and bimodal IT, from an average of 21% of IT workforce with a versatilist profile today to 32% in three years.”

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Agile Innovation

Enterprises aiming to undergo a successful digital transformation need to be creative and break the routine process to initiate innovation. Implementing Bimodal IT helps organizations build an agile software & technology-led business innovation.

Digital business leaders need to identify the requirement to design Bimodal IT and how it helps an enterprise to acquire its strategic goals and usher value to the business. Per Gartner’s research, IT operating model entitles an enterprise to determine and configure the optimal balance between centralized, federated and decentralized governance, decision rights and structures. It recognizes the maturity and capabilities in relation to the goal operating model by designing a roadmap for change via Gartner’s ITScore Maturity Model and helps enterprises to enhance its agility, speed, innovation and the renovation of the IT core by simply implementing the bimodal approach.

Yes, it is important for IT leaders to implement the right strategy using the data and analytics to develop new and innovative products. Nick Heudecker, an analyst at Gartner says, “delivering on new, innovative uses of data and analytics requires new approaches to managing data and analytics programs. Data and analytics leaders must master how to react to these different approaches, how they vary as conditions change, and the associated impact on program management.”

Gartner predicted 75% of IT organizations will have a Bimodal capability but only half of those organizations will succeed by 2017 and so far in this digital era bimodal approach has evinced positive responses. Therefore, IT leaders must enact both reliability (Mode 1) and innovation (Mode 2) into their digital strategy to determine key strengths and enhance their capabilities. Gartner’s research report says,“CEOs are predominantly focusing on growth levers, with 35% concentrating on technology among top-five priorities with the customer experience and workforce enhancement, and two-thirds of CEOs are raising investments in technology.”

The enterprises who want to be recognized as a digital business or want to enter into the digital transformation era must start engaging their leadership team now. This model not only empowers enterprises to face uncertainty but also enables CIOs and other business leaders to create and develop the bimodal capability to keep up with the rapid technological changes.


Enterprise Gamification Creating Immersive Engagement In Recruitment and Training

“People do not take actions that are necessarily the most economical, but actions that make them feel the smartest.”― Yu-kai Chou, Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards

In a perfect world, the right company chooses the right candidate and as a happy and productive employee, he lives happily ever after. The dynamics that dictate the real world, however, are different. Organizations around the world find themselves hiring employees that are not so suitable for their culture and spend millions in engaging and retaining them. It’s hardly surprising that, according to a study by Gallup, 51% of employees are not engaged or that 17% of employees are, in fact, actively disengaged. In a job market where the demand for talent far outweighs the supply, recruitment teams have to spend enormous amounts of time and money on filtering the candidates best fit for their roles. Failing to choose the right candidates adds further to their woes as disengaged employees are costly to the organization.

Gamification, fortunately, has created a bright spot in this area.

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So, What Is Gamification?

It is the application of game-design elements and game-principles in a non-gaming context. It taps into the individual’s desire for achievement and recognition. The latest crop of gamification tools is developed by a team of designers, writers, developers, data and behavioral scientists. It works on the premise that it brings about more involvement in a candidate or an employee subject to an immersive gamified experience.

  • First, anyone would enjoy the feeling of achievement that comes with acing the game.
  • Second, they are likely to view the learning experience more objectively when they are given feedback in a gamed environment.
  • Third, they are likely to retain what they have learned.
  • Fourth, they are more likely to carry a positive image about the brand of the organization they have just interacted with.
  • Fifth, it is quite easy to participate in a game, which these days is available on a variety of devices including the favorite of the millennials, the smartphone.

How Does Gamification Help Recruiters?

Recruitment specialists often juggle with quite a few tasks and though automation does help them out, they find themselves compelled to choose candidates from a talent pool which is usually spoilt for choice. Here is how gamification tools assist them:

Measure A wider range of skills: Assessing a candidate by his job profile is one thing, but assessing things like his problem-solving abilities under duress, aptitude and behavior is another – something that has been given the short shrift. To ensure that a more comprehensive assessment of skills is done in a short period of time, recruiters can use gamification tools.

  • A case in point is Shell, which has launched ‘The Shell Explorer Game’ to test candidates on problem-solving and thus arrives at their aptitude and the motivation even prior to the recruiting process.

Simulate the role played by a potential employee: By creating a simulation of real work scenarios that the candidate is likely to engage in, the recruitment gets a clear perspective regarding his suitability for the job.

  • For instance, according to Forbes, by deploying a game, the organization gets a wealth of information about the candidate – if he is empathetic, risk averse, cool-headed, perceptive, a quick thinker, agreeable, an introvert/extrovert – something traditional time and methods of interviewing would easily miss.

This is also useful in the long term because an employee who is thus made aware of what his future likely has in store is more likely to make an informed decision about joining the company. Such an employee is likely to be more productive and retainable for the organization.

Reach out to a bigger talent pool: The beauty of gamification tools is that they can be deployed on social media, thus reaching out to a bigger talent pool, overcoming the barriers of time and place. Candidates who have aced these games can then be invited for the next round of interviews. Thus, recruiters can save a lot of time and money even before the interviewing process begins. Moreover, they are also in a better position to choose candidates who are more suitable for the job.

  • For instance, PwC has invited students on Facebook to play its game called ‘Multipoly’ that simulates the nature of work involved in an audit and consulting profession, a gray area for those not familiar with it. According to PwC, 78% of students were more eager to join the firm after completing the game. The company saw a spike in the number of applications, too.

How Does Gamification Help In Training?

In the complex workplaces of today, usually, a training program aims at imparting knowledge and influencing the behaviour of the employees. Using traditional methods like a classroom session or a one-on-one presentation, engaging the employee’s attention is a big challenge. While the training content may have the best talent behind it, it may not be absorbed or retained by the employee, much less create the behavioral change it needs to bring about. Here is how gamification aids training:

Makes learning exciting with rewards: When an employee uses a gamification tool, he is likely to be visually engaged in a work scenario that he will relate to and learns changes in policy or applications quickly. She would have to participate in quizzes that provide him instant feedback, win him points on the leaderboard and even encourage him to display it as a feather in his cap. Gamification can make it exciting using a gamut of techniques.

Retains the learning for a longer period of time: Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Gamification is a tried and tested approach to involve the employee in various simulated work scenarios and this helps him retain what he has learned better.

  • For instance, Tesoro, a Fortune 100 oil refining company, has deployed our HR solution for recruitment and training, which simplifies the complicated process of oil refining. It was reported that using this tool, they have achieved higher rates of retention.

Makes learning cost effective: Several organizations use gamification tools to simulate extremely complicated functions such as pilot training.

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  • At Arizona’s Luke Air Force Base, 70 percent of F-35 pilot training is completed in a simulated environment using a Virtual Reality game before the pilot climbs into a cockpit. Imagine the cost to live and resources saved when a prospective pilot gets adequate exposure in a simulated environment.
  • Similarly, the US Department of Defense conducts large scale drills training through gamification, something extremely costly using traditional methods.

Plays its part in employee engagement: Digital workspaces are radically changing the way employees are engaged. Since it is likely that the candidate chosen for the job is not always the ‘best fit’, organizations need to have a practical approach to engaging him. Training is a great opportunity to hold his attention and using gamification can engage him effectively.

Improves employee productivity: Since gamification has a direct impact on employee engagement and post-training retention, it results in a much more motivated workforce. And, a motivated employee is a productive employee. Further, since it stimulates the competitive spirit of the employee, he is more likely to take on his team members. With each member of the team giving his level best, the team is assured of scaling greater heights.

Helps achieve desired behavior with greater ease: According to Gamification by Design co-author Gabe Zichermann, “Gamification is 75 percent psychology and 25 percent technology.”

Since even the best employees are prone to inertia, enforcing behavioral change through training is often challenging. By stimulating the brain’s reward circuit, gamification works on the psychology of the employee and brings about change.

What should organizations focus on?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2015 millennials will overtake the majority representation of the workforce and by 2030, the hyper-connected, tech savvy generation will make up 75% of the workforce.

And here is what the Zogby poll is saying about them: “A majority of 18-34-year-olds (57%) told us that they play video games at least three times a week. We wondered how important they feel that playing video games is to the development of several works and life skills. Two in three (67%) said it was important in helping them to learn how to create winning strategies. Seven in ten (70%) felt it aided them in learning how to solve problems. Almost two in three (63%) noted the importance of video in teaching them how to work smoothly and successful on a team. (70% of younger Millennials 18-24). Fifty-nine percent said these were a big part in helping them resolve conflicts (64% of the younger group). And two in three (66%) felt playing video games was vital to help them understand new technologies that will be useful in life.”

Gamification will immediately connect with the psyche of the millennial who is playing video games to achieve purposes that are beyond what constitute the usual. As employers are considering how to empower their organizations digitally, it is important to consider who will work with them in the future and explore the possibilities.


Chatbots In Insurance : Your Friendly Virtual Agents

The insurance industry is usually associated with lengthy form-filling, elaborate questionnaires, time-consuming background checks, shortage of staff, and a cumbersome customer service. Global consumers trust the insurance industry less than they trust supermarkets, banks and car manufacturers, according to a new survey from Ernst & Young. With the limitless possibilities of innovation Artificial Intelligence now has to offer, insurance companies find themselves in the fray to win customers.  And, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, insurance industry is adopting chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence to stay in the game.

What’s A Chatbot?

It is a software program that interacts with customers using voice or text, interpreting their queries using Artificial Intelligence. A chatbot is a smooth operator: efficient, consistent, tireless, and available 24X7. It can interface several customers at once without missing a beat. Today,  a customer typically has to wait on the phone, or put several details together in an email to get the simplest of queries answered. But with chatbots, she can instead interact with the friendly neighbourhood bot which can resolve her queries in a split-second.

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How Are They Relevant To Insurance Companies?

Millennials make a big piece of the potential-customer-pie: According to a survey by Swiss Re, US consumers under age 44 are more than twice likely to buy life insurance on the internet than those over 65. And, since millennials are dependent on smartphone for everything from texting friends to buying financial products, it is in fact, best to reach them at places where they inhabit – their messaging apps. Recently, in an act that brings its users closer to companies through conversational commerce, Facebook has opened up its Messenger app to chatbots. Customers can now talk to a chatbot from their favourite messaging app.

Insurance companies involve repetitive, time-consuming, and lengthy questionnaires: Chatbots have a way of engaging customers by texting them little snippets in response to questions soliciting to-the-point answers. They avoid redundancy as they can quickly connect the dots of data they collect from the customer to arrive at the risk profile. Chatbot avatars have a way of making the conversation very personal and friendly, so the customer almost enjoys the experience.

Customers expect an on-going communication from insurance companies: According to a study by, customers of insurance companies world over want more frequent, meaningful and personalized communications. This is best facilitated by chatbots who can make conversations with the customer from time to time, ranging from wishing him on his birthday to arranging relevant assistance during accidents.

Customers find the fine print of insurance lengthy, arcane and almost intimidating: Chatbots help share the same information in digestible chunks and make insurance something easy to deal with. In turn, the insurance companies gain the trust from the customers.

How An Insurance Company Benefits Out Of Chatbots

Bringing in new customers: According to Forbes, 70% of people are now buying insurance on the phone. Each time a customer visits the website of the insurance company, the chatbot can talk with him about what he is looking for and make it exceedingly easy to position a relevant product. It can fetch a quote for what he is interested in with no time to lose. A virtual assistant doubling as an insurance agent simplifies the obscure aspects of insurance to a great extent.

In their marketing efforts: Chatbots have a way of engaging customers in a friendly way. They can be used to position relevant insurance products as a part of their ongoing conversation. Since chatbots can potentially reach an unlimited number of customers in one go, this means of communication slashes the marketing costs for insurance companies. That the customers are more likely to pay attention to a chatbot also implies more conversions. The exercise also reinforces a positive image of the brand in  the customer’s mind.

To process claims: Think of all the data that needs to be gathered, carried and submitted to an insurance agent. Chatbots make it a breeze to collate and process all the information. Lemonade Insurance Company has recently used its claims-bot to process a claim in just three seconds, with zero paperwork. It also used its algorithms to run a speedy  fraud-detection check. Chatbots even facilitate the process by suggesting the fastest way to reach the insured.

For customer service: A chatbot answers customers questions in the simplest language possible. In case a chatbot is not able to interpret a customer’s question using its algorithm, it can connect him to a customer service agent seamlessly. For the customer who has a ton of things on his mind, insurance is usually not at the top of the list. Moreover, he’s likely to have home, travel, car, and health insurance and it takes time and effort to stay on top of them. To ensure that he doesn’t miss payment of premium and go through the hassle of renewing his policy, chatbots can remind him in time. In fact, chatbots are so reliable that in case of impending storm, they offer advice about how to submit a claim. In so doing, imagine the reach a chatbot can have!

Insurance Companies, Don’t Miss The Big Opportunity!

According to a  report by PwC, “Social and technological trends, which shifted customer needs and expectations, are a source of opportunity for tech-savvy insurers. Those market players who have been taking action and adapting their offerings to changing client demands will at least maintain their market position.”

Providing innovative solutions using Artificial Intelligence (AI) throws up a big opportunity for insurance companies that want to increase their market share by giving them competitive advantage. The corollary holds true, too: Insurance companies who will not take advantage technology will miss out on a customer base that is eager to get insured. So, companies need to take a deep and strategic approach to drastically change the their operational efficiencies. Those who  automate customer-facing roles, underwriting and claims processing are likely to emerge as the market leaders. And those who use reliable algorithms to identify potential fraud will have better profit margins as they would be able to offer a more risk-aware underwriting.

Artificial Intelligence

Attention Healthcare Providers: Here’s 5 Ways You Can Leverage AI to Transform Care

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Forrester predicted that investments in AI will grow 300% in 2017.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly being considered as a game changing technology to achieve further breakthroughs in healthcare sector. There’s currently a scarcity of over seven million physicians, nurses and other health workers worldwide, and the gap is widening.

Doctors are being overextended to respond to the growing needs of the population. Also, training physicians and health workers is historically a strenuous process that requires years of education and experience.

OpenText research revealed that nearly two in five (38%) UK consumers would trust the medical diagnosis given by AI and just over 1 in 10 (11%) said they would trust the diagnosis of AI more, or just as much, as a doctor’s diagnosis


Artificial Intelligence, is the cornerstone of digital transformation for healthcare and you must infuse intelligence into all of your products, applications, services, and experiences.

Here’s how AI algorithms and software are improving the quality and availability of healthcare services.

1. Optimization Of The Clinical Process

One of the most basic yet efficient use cases of artificial intelligence is to optimize the clinical process. Usually, when patients feel ill, they go to the doctor, who checks their body functionality, asks questions, and gives a prescription. AI assistants can now take charge of a large part of clinical and outpatient services, freeing up doctors’ time to attend to more critical cases.

Ada: Is a health assistant that integrates  its technology with Amazon Alexa to improve the user experience. Ada becomes smarter as it gets familiar with the user’s medical history. Ada also provides the option to contact a real doctor, besides generating a detailed symptom assessment report.

2. Personalized Experience

The assistant provides a personalized experience by using natural language processing and generation to provide a rich and fluid experience, and machine learning algorithms to create a complex map of the user’s condition.

AiCure: Is the only clinically-validated and scalable platform to confirm medication ingestion on mobile devices. This helps patients with a personalized experience and ensures accurate data on a dose by dose basis. It has the potential to transform and streamline the clinical trial process.

3. Early Detection Of Diseases

The treatment and prevention of rare and dangerous diseases often depends on detecting the symptoms at the right time. Early diagnosis can result in complete cure. Conversely, a late or wrong diagnosis can have damaging or potentially fatal results.

Google’s AI division, utilizes DeepMind’s AI technology to analyze more than one million eye scans and find out the early warning signs of visual degeneration. Machine learning is expected to recognize those symptoms that even experienced doctors may miss.

4. Unlimited Competence

Human skills and experience are limited and hard-to-earn when it comes to examining images and samples and making reliable decisions. AI algorithms can quickly ingest millions of samples in short order and glean useful patterns. And unlike humans, they don’t lose their edge with age. Several institutions and firms are investing on this scheme in developing healthcare solutions.

Your.MD: Is an AI-powered mobile app that provides basic healthcare. The chatbot asks users about their symptoms and provides easy-to-understand information about their medical conditions. The platform has a vast network of information that links symptoms to causes.

The assistant uses natural language processing  to provide a rich and fluid experience, and machine learning algorithms to create a complex map of the user’s condition. These two collaborate to provide a personalized experience. Your.MD suggests steps and measures to remedy the illness, including warning users when they need to see a doctor.

5. Sustainable Future

With rising costs of treatment, ageing populations and doctor shortages, today’s healthcare is not sustainable. The future of medicine will be innovative, patient centered, digital and sustainable. A healthier and more inhabitable future for societies depends on scaling the art of medicine which is being facilitated by AI.

Babylon: Currently provides video consultations with doctors. The AI-driven app receives and checks patient’s symptoms against  its database. In addition to its database of papers and textbooks, the app also considers the individualized history and circumstances of the patient including family health history, medical records, daily habits, heart rate, cholesterol levels, allergies, and more.  Babylon examines hundreds of millions of combinations of symptoms and  offers appropriate pieces of advice.

There will be technical and ethical challenges that will certainly scatter our pathway forward—all of us in the health industry need to stay the course and continue to dream big about AI. We’ll need to navigate carefully and thoughtfully to ensure the effectiveness of AI in healthcare. Fortunately, artificial intelligence can help the healthcare sector to overcome present and future challenges.

Artificial Intelligence

It is necessary to  digitize healthcare to ensure access to quality, affordable and outcome based care. Here are a few recommendations on how to go about it

  • Make devices and sensors that record health data.
  • Develop integrated systems that can store and analyze it, growing our understanding of disease and measuring physician performance.
  • Design smart algorithms to support decision-making, prescribe personalized treatment and ensure compliance with therapy.
  • Make access to someone’s own health data a basic human right.
  • Protect health data and privacy of patients to avoid misuse of information.

Where will AI impact healthcare the most? Respondents said that the maximum impact would be around improved customer service (35%), operating efficiency (27%) and decision-making (22%). These could be considered as broad indicators of where investments in AI will be made for the industry as well as where we may see the first widely successful implementations of the emerging AI technology.

5 Ways Chatbots Are Changing The Face Of Travel Industry

Chatbots in Travel Industry

In the race of who will impart the best experience to its customers, companies started experimenting with chatbots. It has taken over everybody’s imagination and is now being used almost everywhere. It all started when Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook said, “people will be able to talk to Messenger bots just like they talk to friends.” A year later Facebook launched its Bots for Messenger app which has the ability to deliver automated customer support. The software has a significant inference for enterprises in making e-commerce suggestions, content and interactive experiences much easier than ever and most effective. Chatbot is now the key practice for all businesses to interact with its customers. A personal service assistant to customers that books tickets, appointments, orders food for them and thus help enterprises to be more effective.

What Is Chatbot?

Chatbot also known as chatterbot is a computer program designed to imitate conversations with a human via natural language text or voice methods. It scans keywords and responds with the matching keywords from a database. Its features can be used in providing more personalized customer service, product recommendations, and so much more, therefore, chatbots are the future of Customer Experience.

“Chatbots have become the biggest thing in tech. They unlock the ability to provide personalized, interactive communication akin to talking to a human customer service or sales rep, but at scale for much cheaper than call centers. A conservative estimate is that chatbots could replace 1-800 numbers, offering more comfortable customer support experiences without the hassle of synchronous phone conversations, hold times and annoying phone trees.” –TechCrunch

Chatbots Growing Travel Industries

Chatbot is a buzzword today. Research says, over 2.5 billion users have at least one messaging app in their smartphone and it is predicted to go up to 3.6 billion users by 2018. Travel industry was amongst the early adopters who found the grip on new technology like bots, virtual attendants to book flight tickets and hotel rooms, wearables, etc,. Adoption of all these technologies has revolutionized the whole travel and hospitality industry by generating efficiencies and elevating customer service. BI Intelligence report says, messenger app usage has become more extensive when compared to  social networks, which brings a huge opportunity for travel industries to target their customers in these platforms.

Online travel organizations such as Expedia,, Kayak, Cheapflights, Skyscanner, are already experimenting with the new Facebook Messenger Bots to assist their passengers to find flights at the reasonable prices. Using the bot messenger app users just have to select the date, time and their destination. The app will then  show five different available options to choose from and without leaving the Messenger app users can also select hotels and confirm the booking. Kayak, is a fare aggregator and offers multiple travel sites to the travelers to compare and filter the results. They too have got Alexa, a voice interaction app which allows users to search and compare flights as per their preference and once the user is done with the selection they are taken to the Kayak site to complete the booking process. Kayak CEO, Steve Hafner says, “there’s a whole generation who are more familiar with text messaging and voice via Siri looking for a different interaction with an online travel agency. We have voice interaction with Alexa, where you can actually talk to Kayak and say, ‘Hey Kayak, what’s the status of my flight to Denver later today? Where can I go this weekend for $300?’”

Chatbots in Travel Industry
Source – Social Media Today

Chatbots brings competence and efficiencies to the organization by providing a personalized customer experience and 24/7 service to interact with the travelers in different languages. For example, most of the time travelers have some basic and simple queries for which they need to contact the call center which on the other hand could be handled over a chat interface. With all these automations the dependencies on agents will be less which also means company has to spend less. Travelers also get a quick resolution by simply sending a chat message and the chat robotic will answer and help the customer at any point of time, plus they will have the record of their full conversation in the app. On a recent survey taken by Travelzoo, a global Internet media company reports more than 6,000 travelers in Asia, Europe, North America and South America, said yes to have robots assistant and 80% expected robots to play a bigger part by 2020 in the travel industry. It ensures consistency, accuracy and prompt information to customers which are the key element for a travel industry to run a successful business.

Impact Of Chatbots In The Travel Industry

The evolving technology has furnished unmatched experience for enterprises as well as for customers. It is a well-known fact that the enterprises which provide excellent service are the ones who will lead the brand name and chatbots, having the huge impact in the travel industry are helping the travel and hospitality organization to reduce customer churn, increase sales and revenues.

Chatbots in Travel Industry
Source – Gartner
Though AI is quite in its infancy in the hotel sector, however, it has a massive potential to reshape the entire travel and hospitality industry. As the usage of messaging options is growing, already there are various hoteliers and travel agencies that are building their own apps or initiating messaging apps like Facebook Messenger.

Here Are The Five Ways Chatbots Are Revolutionizing The Travel Industry

1. Acts As A New Digital Touchpoint

For a business to run an agile process it becomes essential to first understand what their customers want and then identify a platform where they can serve a great customer experience. There are multiple channels available, therefore, opportunities to reach broad audiences are plenty. The Chatbot is a new digital medium for the travel industry. It has opened an advanced dimension for customers to book their holidays. It’s easy and 24/7 customer service, which makes it convenient for travelers to resolve their queries or concern at any point in time. Chatbots also offers cost savings by serving millions of customers around the world and take customer experience to the next level.

2. Accentuates Customer Engagement

Chatbots offers a great personalized customer service and boost travelers’ experiences in every stage such as pre-arrival to the post trip experience. For example, chatbots assist potential customers by giving them multiple options to book their holidays. Once the booking is done, it starts sending out automated reminders to travelers about the booking date, time and their reservations in advance. When they arrive at the destination guest will receive a suggestion from the bots about the location, like hotels, spa treatments, transport facilities, and so on. It can even interact with the guest post-trip, by asking them for a feedback of their overall journey.

3. Augments The Staff

Chatbots have the potential to interact with humans at twice the speed. It allows hotel staff to foresee where their service is needed and move accordingly. It helps staff to optimize the guest experience and shun bottlenecks. Well, the front-office needs a human interaction because AI chatbots are skilled in responding only to uncomplicated question. Leaving everything to the bots will help online travel organization to have add-on features, without the aerial or training and payroll. This will lead to maximizing profit and at the same time saves customer time with the quick access and instant booking facility.

4. Creates Cross-Sell And Upsell Opportunities

Google reports, 65% of holiday travelers and 69% of business travelers go online to plan their travel. Research says 92% of millennials are pleased with live chat and 23% are predicted to travel and spend $1.4 trillion by 2020. Chatbots offers solutions to the travel industries to build a powerful relationship with customers and are more likely to bring opportunities which will increase revenue through the Cross and Upsell. These opportunities will allow travel industries to engage with their customers with little risk and drive definite ROI in a small duration of time.

5. Quick Access To Data For Personalized Service

Gathering valuable customer data is one way how chatbots are revolutionizing the entire travel industry. All the chatbots are integrated with PMS, that facilitates bots to interact with the travelers throughout their journey. As all interactions with the customers are recorded it lets travel agencies to create seamless experiences for frequent travelers and offer more personalized services. Chatbots create fantastic opportunities for the travel industry by enhancing customer experience with enlightened service.

In the travel industry, AI chatbots deliver a very simple and effective customer experience. Having a huge potential in future, chatbots offer a superior customer experience that drives superior revenue growth for the organization.

The Ultimate Guide To Home Automation And Smart Homes

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Introduction To Home Automation

Technology has fast evolved in the last decade. Web, mobile, cloud, social, big data analytics & Internet of Things- disrupting the way we live and work. Powered by powerful gadgets and advanced technologies, our homes too are in for a massive transformation. While connected homes are going mainstream, the market still has a long way to go before it reaches its full potential. Awareness with respect to value propositions has not been realized by most of the consumers and early adopters face significant pain points that needs to be addressed. In this post, we will discuss connected homes in great detail to understand its potential, the technology behind it, compare smart home hubs, various challenges blocking the growth of connected homes and what it holds for the future.

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We use so many appliances at home that often it becomes difficult to keep track as to whether everything is switched off or not, especially after stepping out of the house. Smart homes do make life easier and more convenient. Who wouldn’t love being able to control lighting, entertainment, and temperature from their couch? The Internet of Things has made it easier than ever to set up a smart home in which you can remotely control your door locks, lawnmowers, lights, thermostats, vacuums, and even pet feeders, using your smartphone and an app. It’s also made it very easy (and relatively affordable) to monitor your home from just about anywhere. Connected devices have reached every nook of the home.

In this ultimate guide, we will explore









What Is A Smart Home?

Home automation or smart home (also known as domotics) is a house that is equipped with network-connected products or “smart products,” connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or similar protocols. These protocols are used for controlling, automating and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer or a separate system within the home itself. All such automated devices also receive as well as interpret their owner’ instructions and then behave accordingly.

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The home automation concept utilises Internet of Things technology that integrates objects with the internet, thereby connecting them all to a common platform which can be controlled by the user. Whether you’re at work or on vacation, the smart home will keep you informed about what’s going on, and security systems can be built to provide an immense amount of help in an emergency. For instance, not only would a resident be cautioned with notification of a fire alarm, the smart home would also unlock doors, dial the fire department and light the path to safety.

It is speculated that the home automation industry could witness highly favourable sales figures in the upcoming years. Looking forward to this speculation, consumer electronics manufacturers are ramping up their product lines in the hope that home automation finally hits the mainstream. Thanks to smartphones and tablets, and the many home automation apps that are now available, this trend is only expected to move north.

Benefits Of A Smart Home

What’s the benefit of all this super advanced connectivity? In a single word, convenience. Having a smart home lets you do a lot of the things that you’d normally do — like adjusting the air conditioning, turning off the lights, preheating the oven, lending a key to your neighbor — with a lot less effort. Some appliances will learn your schedule and activities while you can set schedules for few of them, so that certain things will happen at specific times of day, and the amount of effort you have to put toward managing your home is drastically reduced.

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Connected Home Solutions

There are a lot of great smart home products on the market right now, and many others are entering the market as we talk. The “smart home” concept is taking off and you should be keeping up, otherwise you’ll end up missing out on the future. A lot of folks ridicule the idea of smart appliances but we’re shifting into an age where it’s becoming less of an equipment with a purpose and more of a desirable luxury.

Smart appliances are cutting edge models that can connect to the Internet and perform more advanced tasks than traditional appliances. What exactly can they do? Well, that depends on the particular model at hand. Let’s take a look at some of the more useful smart gadgets currently available.

Home Surveillance System

Security cameras are the first line of defence when it comes to protecting what’s most important—your home, property and family—and they are a crucial part of any home surveillance system.

Not everyone understands how to go about making their home safe and secure, But they do  want a shielded home. There are just too many products on the market, and with the advent of smart tech like the Samsung SmartThings and Google’s Nest, the possibilities are nearly endless. So what should a homeowner do? You need to figure out exactly what your home needs only then you can begin to narrow down the type of home security system that’s right for you and your family.

A smart home security system connects to your home Wi-Fi network so you can monitor and control your security devices using your smartphone and an app. Basic systems typically include a couple of door and window sensors, a motion detector, and a hub that communicates with these devices using one or more wireless protocols such as Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, ZigBee, or a proprietary mesh network. A smart security system offers components that work together in a seamless environment and can be manipulated using customized rules. Most of the systems have a mobile app that lets you use your smartphone as your command center to arm and disarm it, create rules, add and delete components, and receive push notifications when alarms are triggered.


A typical room thermostat just gives you the option to change the temperature in your home using a dial or control panel whereas Smart thermostat is a smart technology allows you to remotely control your home’s temperature via a tablet, smartphone or desktop for greater control over your central heating.

It’s smart because it “thinks” and remembers for you. It learns your normal schedule by taking your movements into consideration, and turns itself off when nobody is home. Some models can even detect occupancy in different rooms of the house and adjust temperatures accordingly. And of course, it provides you the ability to change things on the fly from wherever you are (via smartphone, tablet or laptop) when your schedule changes.

A smart thermostat gives you more user friendly, more efficient, and more accessible control over your home’s heating using three basic components.

The first component plugs directly into your boiler and can wirelessly talk to the second component, the in-home device that is the thermostat and main control. The third component is an app that is downloaded to a smartphone (or tablet). Users can remotely control the thermostat/main control device via the app, allowing them to adjust their heating from wherever they may be. This is the basic functioning of most smart thermostats.


Smart lighting networks fit into the home automation trend and will surely modify the home lighting style, forever. Smart lighting incorporates many technologies so that either indoor or outdoor lights will work automatically under certain conditions. Every smart lighting network is different from the other, but some of the more significant solutions feature smart lights that are capable of instantly switching on when someone enters a room or changing colour when something occurs.

Smart lighting networks vary drastically, but generally, their lights can either work independently or together when connected. There are two types of smart lights: sensor-integrated and non-sensor integrated and two main ways of controlling smart lights: control hubs and smart devices.

There are some of the most popular smart lighting options out there like Philips Hue, LG Smart Lamp, Samsung Smart Bulb and many more.

Smart lighting eliminates the need for you to get up and flick that switch. The network does all the work for you, automatically, though you can still program the lights to respond as you wish. The sensors that the smart lights have  help identify people and things like when they need light, as well as how much they may need.

Home Automation

Home Automation Hubs

Smart homes are no longer some sci-fi fantasy—they have truly arrived, thanks to home tech hubs such as Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit, and Google Home. These devices allow homeowners to access all of their smart home integrated technology from locks to thermostats to music and far more through voice commands. Those days are gone where you had to type a question or command into a search bar or manually manipulate a control panel.

Only with three strong options available , you might be wondering: Which smart home hub is right for me? They may all do similar things and be compatible with the same third-party products (including Nest thermostats, Philips Hue lights, and SmartThings home security), but there are some significant differences among these devices.

Home Automation

Amazon Echo : “Alexa”

Amazon Echo is a smart voice assistant speaker which has been released by Amazon and controlled by a cloud-based voice assistant called ‘Alexa’. Amazon has stood out in the digital market by launching Amazon Echo in November 2014. It is basically a bluetooth connected speaker that plays music from Spotify and Pandora. Another very remarkable feature of Amazon Echo is that it can control light automatically and HVAC home tech paradigm with a voice-activated voice assistant name Alexa. Amazon Echo ($179/£150) is one of three speakers that has become a part of Amazon’s lineup of Alexa-powered home devices. Joining the Echo earlier this year were the Amazon Tap ($130) and Amazon Dot ($50/£50).

Amazon Echo has seven microphone sensors called “beam-forming technology,” situated under a LED ring at the top of the device  that will hear your voice from any direction. Amazon Echo is a good listener as it can hear your voice even if there is any background noise. You can start chatting with Amazon Echo by saying ‘Alexa’ or ‘Amazon’ which you can change in setting in Alexa App. Alexa is similar to Google Assistant, that processes data in the cloud. It will run without any internet connection. So, you don’t need to spend money on internet packages. So, Amazon Echo is very interesting device it can do more when you begin chatting with it.

Amazon Echo is a minimal cylinder that measures 9.25 inches tall and 3.27 inches around and weighs 2.34 pounds. It’s a bit tall for shelves but otherwise unobtrusive. It comes in black or white.

The lower half of the Echo is covered in tiny perforations for the speaker grille, while the top half has a volume ring that lights up whenever Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, is activated. It has two buttons: one that turns the microphone off, and a multipurpose Action button.

Amazon Echo was specially designed for the music. You can ask Alexa to play music with Alexa Voice Service. You can also ask Alexa to provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more. You can also play music from Amazon Music, Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. You can connect your phone with Amazon Echo via Bluetooth. You can also ask Alexa to book Uber or order a Pizza. Amazon’s Alexa skill is an app that works with Amazon’s hardware system which gives you more personalized experience. There more than 3,00 Alexa skills that allows any third person to create the skill sets. You must install skills from the Alexa App, it is not included by default. As long as the sleek cylindrical speaker is within earshot, you can say “Alexa” hen ask it to play music, lock your doors, and more. Thanks, Alexa!

The Echo is by far the leader of the pack when it comes to the number of definable “skills” with 300 and counting—from reading your Fitbit stats to calling Uber. And if you’re a Prime member, the Echo can order products. Just say, “Alexa, buy me a toothbrush,” and it’ll place the order. It’s almost too easy to order stuff. To keep in mind, Echo may not understand everything you’re asking. You may want to go ahead and give it a shot if you want a tried-and-tested product. If you’re put off by the nearly $200 price tag, try the Amazon Dot ($49.99), which has the same capabilities only with a smaller and less sensitive speaker.

Google Home: “Ok Google”

Google Home is a voice activated “Ok Google” voice assistant device introduced by Google. Google Home was first announced in May at Google I/O event and then after five months it went official from November 04. Google Home is now available in fabric and metal varieties and is integrated with high-excursion speaker that delivers “crystal-clear highs and rich bass.” So, you can play music on multiple Google Home devices at one time. However, Amazon Echo doesn’t communicate with each other well like Google Home.

The Google Home measures 5.62 inches tall and 3.79 inches around. It weighs 1.05 pounds, and it comes in white, with swappable bases available in several colors and materials, including carbon, copper, snow, mango, marine, slate, and violet.

Google Assistant is one of the significant features of Google Home. Google Assistant uses cloud to answer your questions just like Alexa does. However, Google Assistant uses the everyday language hence, you can easily chat with Google Home. Google Home is compatible with Google Music, YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, and TuneIn to play music. You can also set alarms, get dictionary definitions, and, of course, control lights and thermostats with Google Home. Google Home works with Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT. Its also compatible with other Alphabet products, including Google Chromecast and Nest.

With the simple phrase “OK Google,” Google Home is ready to play music from your app of choice (Google Play, Spotify, Pandora), manage your grocery list, set alarms, translate phrases, turn on your lights, and essentially “Google stuff” with your voice and accomplish anything you could type on your laptop or Android phone.

While the voice-tech capabilities between Google Home and Amazon Echo are similar, experts generally agree that Google Home’s assistant has a better grasp of language so you end up with fewer conversational dead ends.

Google Home is feeble in comparison to the Echo in the number of “skills”: Echo boasts over 300, from telling jokes to thumbs-downing songs, while Google Home has only around 80. But that’s likely to change as Google starts to roll out newer versions.

Purchasing can be a decision , if you want the smartest smart home hub where it feels like you’re talking to an actual person. It’s also $50 cheaper than the Echo and “a little more friendly looking than Echo thanks to the interchangeable bases” with different colors and coverings (metal or fabric).

Apple HomeKit: “Hey, Siri”

Apple HomeKit was announced in 2014, Siri works with Apple HomeKit on iOS. Apple HomeKit is specially designed to control home automatic appliances. It can also work like Google Home and Amazon Echo to control home appliances. Apple HomeKit means Siri is integrated with iTunes and Apple Music. Apple HomeKit is preferred by people who have iOS 10 equipped gadgets or Apple TV. So, you can use easily control your Apple products.

Unlike Google Home and Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit isn’t trying to sell consumers on a new, physical hub. There are some benefits there: Your existing, iOS 10-equipped iDevice (including iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, or Apple TVs) can serve as the nexus for your intelligent apartment through the Home app and with voice activation commands to Siri, the longtime virtual assistant available with Apple devices. This means you can stock up on all the HomeKit compatible products you want and simply make sure your devices’ operating systems are up to date.

The main thing to understand about the Apple HomeKit is that it’s not a physical hub you buy, but Apple’s framework for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home. Apple HomeKit is the choice for iPeople—folks who already have iOS 10-equipped or iOS 10-ready mobile devices (that’s a lot of us) or a new Apple TV from the company. If you primarily use an Android device, HomeKit likely isn’t the best option for you. The Home app comes standard with iOS 10 on any Apple mobile device. You can purchase Apple devices capable of launching the Home app at the Apple website or at an Apple retail shop. Just tap Siri, and the iOS built-in “intelligent assistant” will make your wish its command.

“Mac-heads and Apple fanboys will gravitate toward this technology,” Bradford says. So if you can’t go a day without your iPhone, MacBook Air, or Apple Watch, this might be the smart home solution for you.Although the HomeKit brings the convenience of having control at your fingertips, that’s kind of a problem.You don’t see a lot of people adopting the HomeKit for the simple fact that on older versions of this app, you have to push a button to activate Siri to make a voice command.

People are looking for the quickest way to do things, and having to push a button adds an extra step. They’d rather be able to just yell into their living room to get their device to work. This has been worked upon and the latest iteration of Siri can be activated by voice alone with a “Hey, Siri.” Yet some phones must be plugged in, or at least pulled out of your pocket. So, hands-free, this is not. You can get give it a try if you’re a diehard Apple fan and never plan to change.

The Amazon Echo Vs Google Home Vs Apple HomeKit

Home Automation

Here’s a rundown of your three main options, along with the features they support and the devices they are compatible with.

Amazon Echo Vs Google Home Vs Apple HomeKit Feature-wise Comparison

Features Alexa (Echo) Google Home HomeKit/Siri
Price $180 $130 $230 approx.
Responds to voice commands Yes Yes Yes
Always listening Yes Yes Yes
Wake word Alexa, Echo, Amazon or Computer OK Google, or Hey Google “Hey, Siri”
Music streaming options Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, others Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn Yes, Available
Smart home partnerships Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell, SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, Lifx, Lutron, August, Logitech Harmony, Anova, Big Ass Fans, IFTTT, Control4, Crestron, other devices via skills Nest, Honeywell, SmartThings, Wink, Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, Lifx, Lutron, August, Logitech Harmony, Anova, IFTTT and others iOS 10-equipped iDevice (including iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, or Apple TVs) can serve as the nexus for your intelligent apartment through the Home app
Customizable appearance No Yes Info not available
Output to stereo system Yes, via Bluetooth and the Echo Dot Yes, via Chromecast Yes, via Siri
Synced audio playback to multiple devices No Yes, to any Google Cast device Via Siri
Personal assistant highlights Add items to calendar, make a shopping list, make a to do list, check flight status, track a package Search Google, get a personalized daily briefing, check traffic, check your calendar, make a shopping list, check flight status, track a package send texts messages, search Twitter, and open up your front-facing camera,payments, VoIP calling, and ride booking.
Other features Order a pizza, play a game, arrange an Uber pickup. Echo has an ever-growing list of thousands of skills and counting Cast to your TV with Chromecast, launch and control YouTube or Netflix via Chromecast Info not available


Amazon Echo Vs Google Home Vs Apple HomeKit Device Compatibility

Lights/switches Alexa (Echo) Google Home HomeKit/Siri
Philips Hue Yes Yes Yes
LIFX Yes Yes In Process
Lightify Yes No No
TP-Link bulbs Yes Yes No
Sengled bulbs Yes No No
Lutron Caseta Yes Yes Yes
Belkin Wemo Yes Yes No
D-Link smart plug Yes No No
Leviton switches Yes No Yes
Smart hubs Alexa (Echo) Google Home HomeKit/Siri
Wink Yes Yes No
Logitech Harmony Yes Yes No
Insteon Yes No Yes
Scout Yes No No
Lowe’s Iris Yes No No
Control4 Yes No No
Crestron Yes No No
SmartThings Yes Yes No
Smart thermostat Alexa (Echo) Google Home HomeKit/Siri
Nest Yes Yes No
Ecobee3 Yes No Yes
Honeywell Lyric Yes No Yes
Sensi Yes No Coming
Netatmo Yes No No
Other smart devices Alexa (Echo) Google Home HomeKit/Siri
Roomba Yes No No
Neato Yes Yes No
Garagio Yes No No
Gogogate Yes No No
August lock Yes Yes Yes
Rachio Yes No No
BAF Yes No No
IFTTT Yes Yes No
Yonomi Yes No No Yes No No


Challenges Facing Connected Homes

Home automation is still limited to a few households because of its high cost and complexity. There are certain reasons because of which smart homes are not quite the mainstream. Manufacturers from all industries are coming up with their own solutions to the table but are also have a tough time with their own pain points. A significant amount of adoption is required to unlock the value in this market.

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Operational Knowhow: People’s ability and knowledge to handle and comprehend the technicality of the system. It’s not as simple as it seems.  No device can work without instructions so one should know how to operate and set the device so that it works as per the demands.

Unsure Investment: People are reluctant to invest a huge amount of money for something about which they are unsure because there is still not a standard system for home automation. Many think of it as a concept that may not flourish for long.

Hacker Risk: A smart home is subject to a lot of risk of being hacked allowing intruders to break-in because of its advanced automation. Once hacked, the whole control would be handed over to the hacker and then even the owner would lose access to his/her own house.

Data Monetization: Software and ecosystem players are deciding which piece of the value chain to play in as monetizing data collection in the ecosystem is difficult.

Equipped Salesforce: Service providers (e.g., utilities, home security) need to build sales force capability for complex connected-home devices and create technological capability across the company.

Distinctive Features: Hardware manufacturers and consumer electronics have difficulty creating distinctive features that could increase margins as they suffer lack of brand loyalty in an immature market.

Data Ownership: Telecom and cable providers experience a tough time fighting for ownership of customer data and home interfaces with ecosystem players. Connected home competes with existing, high margin products for sales associate and marketing focus.

Merits and Demerits of Smart Homes

Who doesn’t love automatically managing security systems, controlling sprinkler systems, coordinating outlets, and turning appliances on and off while away?

Although these devices are certainly not new to the market, many systems have become much more affordable in the past few years, and the use of home automation is now more widespread than it has ever been before.

But is it right for you? Here are a few ifs and buts to help answer that question.

Saving Energy: Home automation systems have definitely proven themselves in the arena of energy efficiency. Actual energy savings ultimately depend on the type of device you select and its automation capabilities. But on average, product manufacturers estimate the systems can help consumers save anywhere from 10 to 15 percent off of heating and cooling bills.

Convenience: The less you have to worry about, the better. Right? Convenience is another primary selling point of home automation devices. Many systems come with remote dashboard capabilities. Simply pull up the dashboard on a smart device or computer, and turn the device off in a matter of seconds.
Security: Remote monitoring can put your mind at ease while you’re away from the house. With remote dashboards capability combined with automated security systems help you mitigate the risks of intrusions: you will be alerted immediately if something uncharacteristic happens.

Installation: Depending on the complexity of the system, installing a home automation device can be a significant burden on the homeowner. It can either cost you money if you hire an outside contractor or cost you time if you venture to do it yourself.

Technology: Sometimes a good old-fashioned flip of the switch is a lot easier than reaching for your smartphone to turn lights on and off. Automating everything in life may sound extremely appealing, but before you decide which system is right for you, think about how far you really want to take home automation in your household.

System Compatibility: To truly leverage the convenience of home automation, you may need to invest in centralized platform technology to control all systems and devices from one location. Controlling all aspects of home automation from one centralized platform is important, but not all systems are compatible with one another.

Cost: Even though the price of home automation systems has become much more affordable in recent years, the cost to purchase and install a device can still add up.

Business Opportunities In Home Automation

The trend of automating home activities by using intelligent terminals to control appliances and equipment has started gaining popularity. Connected home presents numerous growth opportunities for businesses. However, in order to utilise these opportunities, service providers will need to develop innovative business models,  embrace new technologies, create new partnerships and address new markets.

Explore new business models: Healthcare and assisted living has been transformed with patient monitoring, device management and communication merging seamlessly in real time. This was possible due to the emergence of connected devices. This will enable better collaboration between medics, hospitals and drug companies, improve diagnostics and give rise to innovative business models. For instance,  the billing could be based on usage/time or nature of intervention, rather than a fixed consultation fees.

Establish partnerships: The demand for media sharing services that can connect all the devices used in a home already exists, but the surge in demand for personalized entertainment services will call for new partnerships. The demand for online content seems to be very promising in the near future and the migration to an all-IP environment will enable consistency and convenience anytime, anywhere media and on any device.

Technology Integration: As evolving networking technologies move towards uniform standards, new possibilities are emerging out of this convergence. For instance, a data download can raise a notification if it is already present on any device in the connected home.

Or a call on a mobile phone could automatically and seamlessly switch to the home’s wi-fi network once the user is home. Such convergence will give rise to many new services.

New billing & revenue models: Combining several services into a single mobile number will eliminate the need to manage multiple bills. This will initiate the emergence of new billing models based on time of day, seasonality and location or even the type of device. Targeting specific customers with content based on screen size, location, season will be much easier for advertisers and will also give an understanding of the home’s technological ecosystem (devices owned, usage, etc). This will increase the flexibility and effectiveness of the advertising models. An advertisement delivered on TV over cable can result in an immediate purchase via the TV’s online connectivity.

Smart Home Is Future

Home automation is the present and future. There are already a plethora of smart products you can pick up to make your home smarter. Despite all the technological advancements and innovative products, there is a constant mental conflict as to how important it is to automate everything around us. The question is, do we really need smart homes? Although it’s less about convenience and more about home security, yet the most basic things always start with handing over the work to machines.

Home Automation

The market for smart home solutions is promising. The smart home market is predicted to boom to a $121 million market by 2022. Even so, entrepreneurs may have to wait for some consumers to catch up with the technology. Although prices of the devices are now within reach for most consumers, a third of consumers say they’re not comfortable with smart technology, which could hinder adoption. Older generations are especially reluctant, as they consider themselves technology novices or beginners, potentially hindering their adoption of smart home solutions. This may explain why nearly six in 10 respondents still don’t have any automation devices for the home.

Home Automation

Smart home companies still have a large untapped market for the devices. Rapid urbanization, growing tech savvy population and modern day living challenges provide great opportunity to the growth of digital homes. However, businesses need to quickly address practical challenges to boost customer confidence in home automation technologies. The future looks interesting for smart homes.

Customer Experience

5 ‘Can’t Miss’ Considerations To Build A Highly Effective Customer Experience Framework

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Who are your customers? What do you want to do for your customers and get better? Are your employees aware of your vision? Answers to these questions are an absolute necessity for business leaders to deliver a seamless customer experience.

“The most powerful journey maps are produced when the right leadership support is provided, the appropriate people are involved and the necessary data is analyzed.”
-Augie Ray, Research Director, Gartner for Marketers.

What is Customer Experience (CX)?

Customer Experience (CX) is the term used to describe a company’s interactions with a customer. It is an essential chunk of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) which is divided into three elements such as, the customer journey, the brand touchpoints, and the environment where the customer’s expectations are being matched.
According to a recent Gartner survey, “89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago”.

Why Is Customer Experience (CX) Important?

As per experts research, customer choice has become the main differentiator, they have multiple choices between products and services to pick from and can call for an omnichannel experience, so, it becomes very important for enterprises to not only deliver a product or a service to their customers, they also need to shift their focus to customer experience management (CEM) by delivering it with a customer service excellence and differentiating the brand from competitors.
The kind of experience they get, decide their loyalty and advocacy, as customers carry experiences throughout their journey. Always remember a company cannot run successfully without its customer, thus your customers owe your brand name, not you. Bloomberg Businessweek took a survey and found that delivering a great customer experience has become a primary strategic objective. Also, a recent Customer Management IQ Survey says, 75% of customer management executives and leaders rated customer experience as the highest importance.

A Journey Framework

Customer Experience Transformation
Source- Gartner
A customer journey framework provides a structured approach to Customer Experience. The framework is needed to align company’s ideas to be more customer-centric and have omnichannel exposure and interact with customers to deliver an outstanding customer experience.Here are the 5 key points to be kept in mind while strategizing the foundation for a customer experience framework: 

1. Map Customer’s Journey

A customer’s journey framework shows how company’s vision and transformation activities are created, with a more detailed customer experience. It helps business leaders understand the customer’s interaction with their product and unveil improvement opportunities. Lewis C. Lin is a bestselling author and according to him, there are 5 stages of the customer experience which are called 5Es. They are;

1. Entice: What event triggers a user to enter into the UX funnel?
2. Enter: What are the first few steps in the UX funnel?
3. Engage: What task(s) is the user trying to accomplish?
4. Exit: How does the user complete the task?
5. Extend: What follow-up actions occur after the user completes the task?

2. Understand Customer’s Perspective

It is one of the most imperative foundations of the Customer Experience (CX) framework. It’s all about customers and the way they interact with your brand, so it becomes important to know your customers. Divide your customers into categories, into personas based on their behaviors, thoughts, and feelings, as each customer needs different approaches and so the framework. One of the common approaches is ‘Mystery Shopping’. It is a tool used to measure the quality of service, or compliance with regulations, or to gather specific information about products and services. The second one is the ‘Business Diagnostics’ approach used to analyze the strength of the business. Gartner defines it as a form of advanced analytics, which examines data or content to answer the question “Why did it happen?”, and is characterized by techniques such as drill-down, data discovery, data mining and correlations. And the third one is ‘Voice of the Customer’ approach, a term that is used to describe the in-depth process of grasping customer’s expectations, their preferences and aversions.

3. Identify Required Action

While creating a customer journey framework, enterprises have to go through both positive and negative experiences. As the framework design helps to determine what the future customer experience is going to be like, leaders can identify their business opportunities and align their business priorities. But before designing the framework, it is important to adhere to the business promises and loyalty. This indicates the effort that the enterprise is making to transcribe the perfect customer journey framework and evaluate an actionable framework. When altering the framework, initiate changes according to the customer’s behaviors and expectations and make sure there is no inconsistency in delivering what was promised to the customers.

4. Transforming The Customer Experience With Multiple Touchpoints

Touchpoints are interactions between the enterprises and the customers. Design a touchpoint to know what customer feels or thinks and find a way to improve. Once the relevant action is identified, the next step is to transform the business which demands leaders to arrange customer experience across multiple touchpoints. This helps to fill the gap between the touchpoints and the customer’s experience. Also, being the key strategy to identify and estimate the investments and plan accordingly. An organization needs multiple channels and touchpoints to have a deeper strategic visualization of the customer experience to build a significant competitive advantage.

5. Build The Journey Framework On Data And Insights

Data works as a fuel to build a strong framework because an enterprise cannot exercise on the assumption basis to drive value in the future. According to Gartner, frameworks which are built on data and insights provide a solid foundation to develop an accurate journey and expand collaboration. It also becomes the guide to gain harmony when there is any dispute. ‘

Gartner data includes, direct feedback surveys such as relationship, transactional or special purpose survey, indirect feedback such as text, speech and interaction analytics for customer care calls, operational data from CRM systems, call center software and marketing analytics to infer customer perceptions, market research to understand the target audience, qualitative research including focus groups, online research communities and ethnographic research.

Google uses ‘HEART’ framework to identify their customers and their emotions. It is the first user experience tool that helps Google to measure progress towards their key goals and drive product decisions. It uses user-centered metrics which are integrated with traditional metrics with emotion-led indicators. HEART framework helped to make decisions that are both data-driven and user-centric. The HEART – Happiness Engagement Adoption Retention and Task success that tells what customers think and behave to interact with the customers.

Having the framework will help an organization to proceed with current journey to the expected journey. It is an area which requires focus for higher retention and empowers decisions to enhance end-to-end customer experience, address vital touchpoints and build a customer-centric approach.

We’re Amidst 4th Industrial Revolution! Here’s What You Must Know

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Innovation has a come long way from the first industrial revolution to the fourth industrial revolution which the world is witnessing today. It has brought unbounded opportunities to the business leaders and changed the way people live, work and interact with the world. Let’s fly back and overview our journey of the Industrial Revolution and how did we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The First Industrial Revolution took place between 1750 – 1840 in Great Britain. Water and steam were used to mechanize the production process during this period. The term “Industrial Revolution” was given by an English economist named Arnold Toynbee. During this time steam engine, iron making techniques, new textile machines, cement, printing press, banking industry, and railways were invented. All these inventions replaced older and revolting methods and lead to a larger industrial workforce.

The Second Industrial Revolution was in between 1850 – 1969. This was the greater Industrial Revolution in the Revolution history also known as the “Technological Revolution” powered by electric power to create mass production. It originated in the US and moved to European countries like Germany, France, UK, then to Japan. It highlighted the time period where iron, engines, steel, rail, electricity, petroleum, telecommunications were developed towards modern business administration. Innovation such as railway networks, telegraph, telephone, typewriter, electric generators, and so many mass production boosted the economic growth.

The Third Industrial Revolution was driven by Information Technology in the year between 1980 – 2000. In the new era of the industrial transformation business leaders used electronics and information technology to automate production. The first computer model, smartphones, the Internet, 3D printing, the laser was invented in this period. Jeremy Rifkin, an American economic and social theorist pointed the third industrial revolution is all about the Internet of Energy and how energy, mobility, and digitization will change the future. How technology growth will increase mass outputs in less time and reduce costs.

Soon after the Third Industrial Revolution ended, the year 2000 opened a portal to the Fourth Industrial Revolution also known as Industry 4.0 to digitize production. Technologies that are mixing physical, digital and biological component are causing a huge impact in all the industries and reshaping business models for a better future. The revolution includes scope, velocity, scale and systems impact that takes business leaders into a new age. As internet being more powerful in the fourth revolution linear solution is no more an option. Where exponential thinking is evolving, it is transforming every industry without any exceptions and the transition is still in process.

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Source- Wikimedia

Shaping Path To The Next Industrial Revolution?

German Government refers Industry 4.0 as “a technical evolution from embedded systems to cyber-physical systems where Machines no longer simply ‘process’ the product, instead, the future product will communicate with the machinery to tell it exactly what to do. This revolution connects all embedded systems and smart production processes which will radically transform industry and production value chains and business models.”

It is essential for every organization to not only survive in the market but also to stay ahead of the curve. In this current revolution era company’s size doesn’t matter, what matters is the adoption of new technologies and how business leaders are blending it with digital innovation to thrive. The Industry 4.0 that includes all the smart production, Internet of things, digital ecosystems, cyber-physical systems, AI and so much more have engulfed all the industries. Experts say, “we stand on the cusp of a fourth Industrial Revolution” where innovation in technologies will emerge into a new path for growth and development in the future.

“At the end of this transformation process, successful industrial companies will become true digital enterprises, with physical products at the core, augmented by digital interfaces and data-based, innovative services. These digital enterprises will work together with customers and suppliers in industrial digital ecosystems. These developments will fundamentally change individual companies, as well as transform market dynamics across a whole range of industries. And that’s true in countries all around the world – in both the developed as well as the emerging markets”.


The Key Essential To Embrace Industry 4.0

Information technology (IT) skills are the essential key to embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. It leads to automation, Big Data Analytics and comprehends how cyberspace is opening a new dimension for the organization. Innovation strategy drives digital innovation and helps companies identify their potentials and sharpness to embrace Industry 4.0.

As per the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Information Technology 2016 Report, countries like Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Israel, Singapore, the Netherlands and the United States are the lead generator of economic gains from information and communications technologies (ICT). On average, this group of high-achieving economies at the pinnacle of the report’s Networked Readiness Index (NRI) economic impact pillar scores 33% higher than other advanced economies and 100% more than emerging and developing economies. The seven are all known for being early and enthusiastic adopters of ICT and their emergence is significant as it demonstrates that the adoption of ICTs – coupled with a supportive enabling environment characterized by sound regulation, quality infrastructure, and ready skills supply among other factors – can pave the way to wider benefits.

Opportunities Of Industry 4.0

Driving Income: The Fourth Industrial Revolution has lifted industry’s income levels worldwide. Along with the income, it has also brought a tremendous impact on the work style and the individual quality of living.

Increased Efficiency: Industry 4.0 unlatches opportunities for technologies to increase the efficiency, optimized workflow, and smart manufacturing. World Economic Forum research says, in the future, technological innovation will also lead to a supply-side miracle, with long-term gains in efficiency and productivity.

Driving Economy: Transportation and communication costs will drop, logistics and global supply chains will become more effective, and the cost of trade will diminish, all of which will open new markets and drive economic growth.

Challenges Of Industry 4.0

Automation: Industry 4.0 where digitization becomes the top priority it also becomes the biggest challenge for a company due to automation, which requires flawless connectivity and data sharing, the company’s security and privacy becomes the major concern.

Precision and Stability: To run a successful cyber-physical communication a high amount of accuracy and stability needs to be retained plus the transformation requires huge investments.

Job Segregation: Inequality being the Fourth Industrial Revolution major concern, it is nearly impossible to anticipate what the situation is likely to emerge and it carries the potential to kill jobs and skills in future. This has the highest probability of segregating the job into segments such as low skill will be paid less and high skill will get paid more.

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Although there are challenges, experts realized that the fourth Industrial Revolution is more likely to enhance living standards by increasing the level of digitization and making the technologies available for all. PWC took a survey of 2000+ companies and 33%, says their company is advancing today and it’s predicted to increase over 72% by 2020. Their study declared that at the end of the Industry 4.0 transformation process, successful industrial companies will become true digital enterprises, with physical products at the core, augmented by digital interfaces and data-based, innovative services. These digital enterprises will work together with customers and suppliers in industrial digital ecosystems.

Digital Transformation

How & Why CIOs Must ReInvent To Successfully Lead Digital Transformation?

Marc Cecere, vice president and principal analyst on Forrester’s CIO role team said, “When companies were considering a digital transformation, they were looking for somebody who knew technology, who had a lot of clout in the organization, and who touched the bulk of the organization. It comes down to either the head of marketing or the CIO.”

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Digital technologies are transforming workplaces by bringing IT innovation and evolving business culture to adapt to these changes. As it continues to evolve business, digital transformation is becoming more imperative and companies who are embracing the change are taking over the market. According to a research,  125,000 large organizations are launching digital initiatives. International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted digital transformation initiatives to double from 20% to 50% by 2020.

Here’s the thing, one cannot integrate digital transformation without a plan or a leader. It needs good understanding and knowledge of technology. It requires experts who can use the tools to digitally transform all the processes and reinvent platforms. That’s when CIOs play a vital role in the technology section of the digital transformation process. Industries like healthcare, finance, etc., are already accelerating adoption of digital technologies to engage customers and CIOs are responsible for offering essential IT assets and equipment to support the change.

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As per Gartner’s 2017 CIO survey, CIOs are investing 18 % of his/her budget in digitization which is expected to increase 28% by 2018.

How Can CIOs Lead Digital Transformation?

As per IDC research, by the end of 2017, over 70% of the Global 500 will have dedicated digital transformation/innovation teams.

CIO focuses more on IT agility and IT exploration to enable digital transformation. They have to consistently look for the opportunities that extend the company’s digital capabilities by embracing “Bimodal IT”. This helps CIOs to support the business with exploratory (new) digital innovation mode, and simultaneously operate in the traditional mode.

CIOs, offer digital solutions to the company with a clear understanding and vision of what IT can contribute to the business. Gartner’s recent survey has found that 75% of executives expect digital to help double the revenue, which creates an enormous opportunity for the CIO to become a key source of wisdom and advice. They are responsible for retaining discipline and operational excellence in the enterprise while changing the IT culture and becoming more flexible. It requires a remarkable skill to lead digital transformation and CIOs are the valuable assets that drive value to the organization by leveraging technology. They point out technology trends to all c-suite leaders and help them make strategic decisions with the real-time insights. At the top, they are expected to furnish steady IT solutions to all departments and ensure IT security by protecting company’s data and utilize it to bring maximum benefit to the enterprise.

Opportunities For CIOs

Digital transformation is shaping and enhancing the market with a significant touch and almost all enterprises are becoming an IT company. It is increasing the efficiency of customers as well as enhancing employee experience. This creates a huge opportunity for CIOs to envision the transformation’s bigger picture and provide security, reliability, and scalability to the organization. Expert research says, 52% of companies surveyed, CIOs and CTOs are responsible for creating the organization’s digital vision.

CIOs have a distinctive opportunity to usher the digital strategy with the right skills and leadership quality. With a vantage to see the company’s position, they know how digital can alter the fundamentals of their company and participate in generating value by strongly shaping and improving the process.

CIOs with a goal to drive digital innovation in the organization are pushing the limits of their traditional responsibilities to become more than technology experts. Since digital is a capability, IDC predicted, 75% of CIOs will recognize the limitations of traditional IT and embrace a leadership approach that embodies a virtuous cycle of innovation by 2019 and 45% of CIOs will shift their primary focus from physical to digital and move away from BPM and optimization by 2018 to deliver the scale, predictability, and speed.

Challenges For CIOs


Leading digital transformation with so many disruptive technologies encountering the business world brings a massive challenge for CIOs. Chris Howard, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner said, “the biggest challenge is reaching escape velocity. CIOs must apply energy to reduce technical debt while converting innovations into scalable capabilities, all of this while resisting the gravitational pull of the pre- transformation organization. Top-performing CIOs use bimodal techniques and renewed influence to accomplish these goals.”

The most common challenges CIOs must be prepared to address

Gaining Tech Talent

Tech talent is one big concern of CIOs today to accomplish their goal and more than 28% of CIOs agrees. It has always been a company’s priority to retain and attract new talent and with the rapidly evolving technology, CIOs are finding difficulties to address this skill gap. Understanding the trends and adapting new technology is a challenge every CIO has, which needs to be foresight to add value in the future.

Drive Digital Environs

Driving a digital environment is substantially different from driving a tech environment. Culture and employee mindset is key and integral to a digital environment and hence would require a different approach and holistic leadership vision. Research report states that CIOs that have taken the “digital leader” challenge is booming, but still under 40%. 2017 has been the ideal time for CIOs to take over the challenge and drive digital transformation in their enterprise.


This is the biggest challenge for CIOs to keep up with the security breaches. The more devices are connected, the more is the threat from hackers stealing company’s data. More than 36% of CIOs pointed security as their top concern and growing use of the Internet of things are bringing up a new aspect of risks for them. They are struggling to keep their organization away from a security storm. Cybersecurity firm McAfee reported 2.5 million IoT devices were infected by malware Mirai botnet in Q4 2016.

Innovate To Grow

Gone are the days when CIO’s only priority was cost savings. With the evolving technology, their priorities have also expanded to bring efficiency, improve processes and drive innovation in the enterprise. As the priorities expanded it requires more resources which are essential to growing innovation. Here’s where CIOs are facing a big challenge to keep up with the speed of innovation. But it’s not innovation, it’s the resources that are needed to bring innovation and the pressure to do more with less. They have to think about the innovation and calculate the risk of investing in new technologies while keeping the company’s budgets in mind.

Despite all challenges in digital transformation, enterprises are focused on their digital investment. Gartner’s 2017 CIO Agenda Survey says, 38% of CIOs are keeping analytics, cloud services, digital market management and security as their top priorities to invest in and enterprises who have already embraced digitization in their business models are spending 34% of the IT budget and will increase to 44% by 2018. With top dollars being spent on digital transformation, the role of leadership in digital transformation becomes crucial. The old style will bring limited results. CIOs need to reinvent to take successfully drive their digital transformation initiative.

Immersive Technologies: How VR/AR Are Driving Innovation In Businesses?

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Immersive technology comprises virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR), all of which merge the physical and digital worlds to create a unique customer experience. AR will naturally morph into MR, while VR will incorporate elements of MR. Virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies have been evolving for many years and are already demonstrating how they can prove to be impactful for businesses. Digital transformation and Innovation through immersive technology will be the game changer for a range of enterprises.

“We are making a long-term bet that immersive, virtual and augmented reality will become a part of people’s daily life.”–Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO ( Facebook)

Immersive technology provides many implications including ease of use, scalability, and new types of content and application experiences for customers and employees.Technology innovation leaders should consider integrating AR and VR to improve customer and employee interactions and business performance.

To achieve an impacting result over and over again, companies need to put the customer right at the center of their digital innovation and use digital technologies to create ‘wow’ experiences for them. AR and VR offer new ways for customers to engage with brands and for organizations to achieve efficiencies via devices like smartphone VR, head-mounted displays (HMDs), smart glasses and 3D experience rooms.

AR and VR will transform today’s user experience into a more continuous and contextual one that significantly changes how people interact with each other and computing systems.

“We predict by 2019, AR, VR and mixed reality (MR) solutions will be evaluated and adopted in 20% of large-enterprise businesses.”–Gartner

Two of the biggest technological developments attracting attention at the moment are augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Once merely indulged in science fiction films, AR and VR have propelled onto the tech scene and are taking the world by storm.

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AR—Immersive Beyond Science Fiction

Augmented Reality is poised to disrupt nearly every industry over the next decade by supplementing human instinct. Enterprise leaders should consider this space if they haven’t already explored it. Augmented reality can fetch digital information into your environment and make it seem real. It leverages and elevates the use of other technologies such as mobility, 3D content management, and location, imaging and recognition. It enhances the user’s senses via digital instruments to allow quick responses or decision-making and proves to be especially useful in a mobile environment.

Augmented Reality (AR) has come a long way into technology from the science fiction stories. This transformation has taken place over the recent years and immersive AR is driving innovation and transforming many businesses. The use of smartphones has increased tremendously in the past few years due to which the technology sector has put a deep impact on business and marketing.

Business owners and marketers are benefitting from these trends and are thus constructing innovative strategies to achieve a cut-throat edge from enhancing marketing communications. This has helped them take customer experience to a new level thus increasing the efficiency of their business operations. AR is proving to be one of the top impending game changers which can create a seamless customer experience and simultaneously bring rich, engrossing virtual content. AR can be leveraged to build an enduring relationship with your customers, increase sales and adding value to the customer experience. The future is already here, and it is virtual.

Impact Of AR On Businesses

AR favors business innovation by enabling real-time decision making through virtual prototyping and visualization of content. Although the adoption of AR in the enterprise is in its initial stages, AR technology has matured to a point where organizations can use it as an internal tool to augment and enhance business processes, workflows, and employee training.

AR will transform the structure of business within no time, the most important transformation for business being AR development for smartphones, tablets, and wearables. Industries are employing top most AR technological tools to provide superior customer experience. Many retail companies(eg: IKEA) are introducing AR tools for customers to try clothes without actually wearing it, and all this just with the help of an Android or iPhone AR app.
“Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality market is going to hike up to $150 billion by 2020. Moreover, AR has got a larger market share of $120 billion and VR gets only $30 billion.”
Augmented reality is the real-time use of information in the form of text, graphics, audio and other virtual enhancements integrated with real-world objects. The business potential for AR has increased through improvements in location services and image recognition. The increased precision of indoor location services has allowed businesses to use AR location features for vehicle, campus and in-building navigation and identification.

Processes that require staff to visually identify objects and parts and for real-time decision making, allow user organizations to use these AR capabilities because of their significant image recognition capabilities.

For instance, firefighters can use AR to find out ambient temperature or a building layout so they know exits, and potentially dangerous areas. AR can prove to be very beneficial as it acts as an internal tool for enhancing current business process, facilitating and optimizing the use of current technologies, and providing business innovation.

The augmented reality technology is still in its infancy, but we can see its steady expansion and evolution, one of the crucial reasons being the increased number of smartphones, tablets, and wearables. As an enterprise you should start analysing how you can use AR for your business or can run a brilliant marketing campaign and draw customer attention. IT leaders should examine the value proposition of AR as an internal tool to enhance business processes and provide business innovation.

VR—Making ECommerce More Immersive

VR enables you to bring the catalogue and rooms to life and it can make you feel transported somewhere else.

Virtual reality could change or completely disrupt the retail industry over the next 10 or 15 years, and cause a monumental shift in the way we surf, shop and experience the web, thanks to the pure power and imagination of human thought. It will dramatically transform the way we learn, live, communicate and connect with others around the world.Once this technology is acceptable, a whole world of possibility opens up to retailers, and many other industries, to reinvent the way we used to do business.
The number of active VR users is forecast to reach 171 million by 2018, according to a 2015 Statista survey.
Technically speaking, virtual reality is a computer-generated environment created in the third dimension that can be explored, and one in which objects can be manipulated. It is the creation of an artificial surrounding through the use of software such that it prompts a sensory experience affecting sight, touch, hearing or smell. It suspends a user’s belief to the point that they accept the simulated environment as a real one.

Over time, VR will transform every aspect of life. It has been around for some time, but it’s the mainstream transition and saturation of this technology that’s going to transform the world on a number of different levels. In fact, years from now, we’ll look back and wonder how we ever lived without immersive technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality, which are set to dominate the technological landscape in the coming years.

Impact Of VR On Businesses

VR will affect businesses both internally and externally. Internally, with more and more businesses conducting their affairs remotely, and often even further afield, an assurance on software such as Skype and Google Hangout to teleconference has emerged. However, with virtual reality technology creeping in, we are able to receive clearer interactions and non-pixelated faces. Due to VR in place, these intercontinental meetings have become more personal by incorporating facial expressions and eye contact, some of the human elements currently lost on Skype.

With the development and advancement of VR we may even see reduced business travel and costs as geography and location become less relevant. On the same note, the HR departments might become remote. This would mean that no matter where you are in the world, you will still have access to the necessary support and help of your company’s HR department.

The immersive nature of VR enables job interviews and training to be conducted remotely. Also, it will help candidates and trainees to get a better insight into what a job actually involves or deliver more experiential training.

Designing process of products will also be assisted by VR – it will create more efficient, life-like user testing and provide much quicker feedback at early stages of production. This will ensure less time consumption, and also cut costs. Businesses will better create and manufacture products that consumers want, the way they want them.

VR technology will create a tidal wave of change for online shopping. When combined with AR, it will help users imagine how items will “fit”. It might be with reference to a spatial arrangement (i.e. furniture for a bedroom) or a piece of clothing on a person. Virtual reality is capable of even bigger changes for businesses, beyond inner workings and processes. For instance, VR will create story-driven experiences for consumers to build relationships with businesses, allowing an individual to get emotionally tied to brands. Customers will explore themselves as active participants when immersed in a VR environment.

In the coming years, VR is also expected to transform the world of entertainment – bringing movies and games to life and totally immerse you when watching a concert or sporting event. And of course, it will revolutionise the way we buy cars, choose holiday destinations and even book hotel rooms. It could even reach as far as military training – putting prospective soldiers into virtual war zones to help better prepare them for combat.

While virtual reality is already impressing thousands over the globe , it’s important to realise that this technology is still is in its initiation phase and has a bit of a way to go. Over the course of the next eight to ten years, virtual reality will become more embedded in everyday life changing the way future generations are educated and altering how we interact with brands.

Virtual Reality Opportunities

Technology has given consumers more choice, and simultaneously made them more demanding. Hence, customer needs to be at the centre of digital innovation. However, organisations must not lose sight of the bottom line, and how digital technologies can drive the cost efficiencies.

Especially, mixed and augmented reality are proving effective in allowing consumers to engage with brands and interact with products like never before.Unlike virtual reality – which totally immerses the user in a new environment – mixed and augmented reality allows consumers to superimpose the world in front of them with virtual elements while eliminating the need for expensive headsets. From a commercial standpoint, this is proving more beneficial and cost effective for businesses because it is allowing consumers to visualise products in front of them, in the environments they would be used.

Before plunging into the pool of opportunities immersive technologies can present to the enterprise, it is necessary to see greater access to state-of-the-art immersive facilities to test and clarify the innovative ideas already being created across the enterprise. Everything we do is digital. Companies won’t see the full impact of their digital investments, until this digital mindset is reflected within an organisation. Digital technologies fundamentally change how companies get launched into the market, what they go to market with, and how they organise themselves internally. For digital technologies to deliver high impact, the whole organisation needs to be on the same page and needs to buy into this new way of thinking.

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The Digital Shop Floors- How Immersive Tech Is Transforming Manufacturing?

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Are manufacturers actually using immersive technology on the factory floor? Is the technology delivering beyond commercial and advertising applications?

Well, yes, actually it has! Immersive technologies have a huge impact and potentially changed the way businesses are done. It has helped enterprises to increase their internal productivity and minimized overall expenses. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), by 2020 the total revenues in the augmented and virtual reality market are predicted to reach over $162 billion.

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How It’s Helping Manufacturing?

Immersive technologies have found a grip in the manufacturing industry, and are taking the business to the next level. Gartner reports, VR and AR are its top ten strategic technology trends for this year. Enterprises are using these efficient techniques to innovate and facilitate the production process.

In manufacturing industries, it is very essential to have the production process ongoing because every process has its own importance to deliver a final product and immersive technologies have a potential to simulate every little thing on the factory floor. The key benefits of using the immersive technologies in manufacturing industry are to present predictive analytics and boost the product development process.

As per the tech pro research, 48% of enterprises are considering adopting VR and 23% within the next 3 years. Their research also says 67% of enterprises are considering adopting AR and 30% within the next 3 years. According to tech pro the top areas of interest for using VR and AR are simulation exercises, employee testing and training, computer modeling and for use in product development.

Virtual Reality (VR) In Manufacturing

Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that generates realistic images, sounds and other sensations that imitate a user to an imaginary environment. It is defined as “near-reality” where virtual means near and reality is what human beings experience in real.

Virtual reality acts as a fence between a tedious 2D experience on screen to a real experience and from improved worker safety to marked up efficiency. Even though its first impact was in entertainment, manufacturing industries are also benefiting from this technology. VR can predict the consequences by giving companies a valuable foresight and quickly help manufacturers find inaccuracy in a product blueprint and fix it! VR analytics can be used to pull out customers insights and help enterprises to focus on their point of sale by keeping the customers in the centered point.

The technology allows manufacturers to interact with the VR model in a practical way before building a real model. This is a cost effective approach, allows agility and saves time. This is why enterprises are interested in investing in VR and as per Digi-Capital report $1.1 billion investment occurred in Q1 2016 and its forecasted revenues of $120 billion for AR/VR by 2020.

Ford an American multinational automaker company was the first one to adopt virtual reality in its manufacturing process and the first one to build a VR model. They use Oculus Rift and HTC Vive to see the changes and how it can impact the model. Ford uses their own in-house solutions into virtual models to improve their automotive designs. Their designers utilize immersive technology to participate virtually from different part of the world to take a tour of a new car.

ESI group a virtual prototyping software company, newly introduced HTC Vive Business Edition equipped with IC.IDO upgradation. This solution is designed to have a performance advancement in functionalities that are used for prototyping, designing, planning, verification and validation. The update allows users to join the VR session from anywhere and interact with designed model.

Augmented Reality (AR) In Manufacturing

This technology adds a new digital layer to reality. It is a real-world environment whose elements are embraced by a computer-generated image such as sound, video, graphics and adds 3D effects on a user’s view.

Augmented Reality is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry. It is turning the factory floor into an interactive field by furnishing all the imperative data to make an analysis. The technology helps to cut down the production downtime and increase the performance efficiency. The technician can view KPIs in real-time, spot out any issues beforehand and resolve the issue to let the agile production process ongoing. It has established a huge potential in training field too, like in operations, aircraft pilots, advanced surgery and so on. Multiple manufacturers  have started considering the augmented reality benefits in the manufacturing industries, for an instance, it helps manufacturers to place all the complex components together in no time. Augmented Reality also can be used in maintenance of the manufacturing materials and to give an expert assistance to the technician.

DHL a German logistics company first used the augmented reality program in 2015. They used Google glass and other AR head-mounted displays for vision picking. The devices helped their workers with the navigation, find their allocated packages by simply highlighting in the displays, so that the packages are identified quickly. Initially 10 workers were able to pick 9,000 orders which allowed workers to perform more effectively and efficiently than before.

Manufacturing industry can use AR devices like Microsoft HoloLens, a headset that allows users to view, hear and interact with holograms within a real environment.Lockheed Martin a global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technology company, use augmented reality glasses that have cameras, depth and motion sensors to cover a digital images against the real working environment. Using the AR the technician was able to read the instructions on how to assemble a specific parts promptly and in an accurate manner. This has increased their accuracy to 96%, while working 30% faster.

Immersive Technology Prospects

Manufacturing industries are considering huge investments in augmented and virtual reality to have a digital work experience that includes, training, design, factory floor service, safety, repair and convenience. UI LABS and The Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance (AREA) declared the world’s first augmented reality functional requirements guidelines for manufacturing industries. As per Credence Research report, the global AR market is expected to exceed $95 billion USD by 2023. Big Market Research reports says, the global augmented reality and virtual reality gear market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 37.45% between 2017-2021.

The guidelines were created in March at the DMDII workshop. Thomas McDermott, executive director of DMDII said, “Augmented Reality has immense potential to transform manufacturing, and early adopters are seeing impressive productivity and quality improvements. However, wide adoption of immersive technology requires collaboration among the industrial companies operating on the front lines and the AR providers designing solutions to ensure the technology under development meets the needs of industry.”

Immersive Technology will prove to be very promising in the manufacturing industry as we see its implications every now and then. It seems there are growing investments in this area, from Google, Facebook, Sony, eBay and HTC to list a few. While VR has been around for decades now, identifying a breakthrough consumer use case for the technology has not yet been achieved. The biggest roadblock for VR is its limitations to a single user or solo activity. AR has been a step ahead and appears to be surpassing the use case and solo activity issues. AR is an immersive technology that overlays a computer generated image on a user’s view of the real world; for example, in 2016 Pokemon Go, launched by Nintendo,  became a smash hit. Immersive technology has  already forged ahead in education, workplace on-the-job training, retail industry and will be spanning many more industries in the immediate future.

chatbots in eCommerce

Chatbots in eCommerce: How Smart Bots Are Boosting Customer Engagement & Revenues

chatbots in eCommerce

“A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human.” – Alan Turing (Computer scientist)

Digital technology has made it easier for brands to learn customer’s behavior, their needs and offer them the best experience. Technologies that include Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, mobility, wearables, IoT platforms, and analytics has taken the customer experience to the next level.

Chatbots or virtual assistants are creating an uproar in the digital market today. The Retail industry is embracing this technology majorly to redefine the customer experience. According to the Business Insider, more than 11,000 bots came online soon after Facebook released a bot-development platform for Messenger. Macy’s, an American departmental store has launched AI-based app, “Macy’s on Call” for their retail operations. This service is now available in 10 of its stores across the country.

Gartner predicts, by 2020 more than 85% of customer interactions will be managed by artificial intelligence. Also, chatbots are expected to be the subset of Artificial Intelligence technology in the next five years.

What’s chatbot?

Google defines chatbot as a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.

According to Techcrunch, Chatbots are programs that respond to natural language text and, optionally, to voice inputs in a humanlike manner. They can execute tasks, give specific commands (think voice control, or most Slack bots), but their raison d’être is that they listen, talk and seem to converse.

Chatbots in E-commerce

Chatbots perfectly fits into the e-commerce space. The business owners are finding numerous benefits and are encouraged to use and create chatbots. Chatbots has grabbed all the big brand’s attention, as the study says, user penetration of messaging apps is estimated to be more than 68% by the end of 2019. It’s basically a messaging app that offers an amazing customer experience, boosts business opportunities, interacts with customers, retains them, and provides personalized shopping experience.

Dylan Bourguignon, CEO and founder of insurance startup So-Sure says, “My take on chatbots is always: ‘what do customers want?’ My answer to that is: ‘a quick, correct and complete answer to their question’. Until AI is able to do that, humans are the best respondents.”

Chatbots act as an interface between the customer and the brand by conducting an intelligent conversation in natural language. It not only automates customer service by helping customers to make a shopping decision, but also solves problems and answers trivial questions. Therefore, helping e-commerce to build a faster relationship with their customers. Spring, an e-commerce company was the early adopter of this technology. Similarly, Taco Bell’s also tested TacoBot where customers can order on chat. Other big brands like, Amazon, a giant e-commerce site has also launched their bot ‘Alexa’ to help customer have an excellent experience while shopping online.

Why Chatbots?

There are multiple reasons why chatbots have been able to establish themselves in e-commerce. It is completely changing the e-commerce functions, it holds multiple platforms that bring potential opportunities for the sellers. Once it’s integrated it makes the retailer’s job easy by driving sales. For example; you want to book a movie ticket with a chatbot— by simply opening your Facebook messenger and typing movie ticket, the bot will book it for you. It will ask your preferences like time, location, seats and show you some alternatives too. It also saves the order history so next time it will be more convenient for you to shop online! Chatbot cuts down all the extra apps, save lots of time and allow users to shop in a conversational way.

Also, helping sellers to generate more lead opportunities. For example; there is a chatbot for cooking recipes and 50K people have subscribed to it. The chatbot sends daily healthy food recipes to the subscribers. Now, a grocery store can target them and advertise its products on the chatbot or the chatbot can simply recommend the store’s product with a link to make the purchase.

Likewise, chatbot can also act like salesman and do upselling and cross-selling of your product. Based on the order history it makes the recommendations or shows complementary products that the shopper might like while placing the order. All these things will help sellers to boost the customer experience by engaging with customers and providing personalized, quick and convenient service to their users.


Retale, a technology company that develops mobile-first shopping experiences, took a survey among 500 Millennials ages 18-34. Their study says, nearly 60% of Millennials have used chatbots. 40% who have not used a chatbot when asked, more than half said they’d be interested in trying one. Dan Cripe, CTO of Retale said, “chatbots are a relatively new consumer application, but it’s a growing trend, especially among millennials. As we have seen with their embrace of other bleeding-edge platforms, millennials, as an audience, are early adopters – and they see real value in chatbot services.”

Among those who have used chatbots, 70% described their experiences as positive, with 39% of that group saying they were “very positive.” Alternatively, 21% have had negative experiences with chatbots. Of that group, just 6% described their experiences as “very negative.”

In recent years, major brands have launched their own chatbot applications. When asked whether or not they had any interest in trying chatbot experiences from consumer brands, 71% of millennials surveyed said that they are interested versus just 18% who said they are not. When asked if brands should use chatbots to “promote deals, products and services” to consumers, nearly 90% (86%) of millennials said “yes,” while just 14% said “no.”

When asked how likely they are to purchase items and services from brands via chatbots, 67% said they are likely to do so, with 36% of that group calling it “very likely.” Only 14% said that they were not interested and 19% were “neutral.”


E-commerce future with Chatbot

We are living in the most advanced digitally empowered world where the expert says this is just the start! Chatbots have become the engagement tool that is convenient, easy and fun to use. With further developments in the bot space and artificial intelligence becoming more advanced, chatbots are expected to become more intelligent. In the near future each brand will have their own e-commerce chatbot to interact with their customers, solve issues and connect with human on an emotional level. Experts research says, Chatbots or virtual assistants are going to understand human emotional state, analyze itself and give accurate responses.

Digital Transformation Is Challenging? Here’s How To Build A Winning Enterprise Digital Strategy


“90% of CEOs believe the digital economy will impact their industry, but less than 15% are executing on a digital strategy” – MIT Sloan

Simply focusing on the technology is not enough. The first step towards digital transformation begins with a solid strategy. A strategy that can haul the real value of digital technology to create competitive advantage and business growth.

This includes business strategy, customer experience strategy, product, and services strategy, digital technology strategy. Also, digital information and digital investment roadmap are required to provide a great user experience.

What Is Digital Strategy?

Enterprise Digital Strategy is a blueprint of digital technologies for digital initiatives to achieve business goals. A strategy that is focused on deploying digital technologies to improve business performance by creating new products or reimagining current processes. As per Mckinsey’s case study, a correct digital strategy can reshape every aspect of the enterprise and bring benefits. It will lead to high-level policies, business priorities, investment limits, innovative problem solving, and long-term goals. To build an enterprise digital strategy, an organization must prioritize the integration of technologies and adopt digital solutions into their business strategies to survive in the digital world.

Become An Instinctive Enterprise

The focus here needs to be able to use technologies to transform the businesses. As per the Interxion and IDC report, they have defined digital transformation as the use of digital technologies such as cloud, social media, Big Data, mobile apps to fundamentally change an existing process or to do something new that was previously unfeasible/impractical. A digital enterprise is defined as an organization that uses multiple digital technologies to transform a part or all of its business. On that basis, it is clear that companies appreciate how significant enterprise digital strategy is today and to what extent it will be in the future.

An organization must have an enterprise digital strategy to become an instinctive initiative and use the analytics and data to sense and reshape the opportunities to win over their competitors.

50% of CIOs believe that their business is experiencing digital disruptions from competitors through innovations in products/services and new forms of customer engagements in their sector.
17% of CIOs admit to not knowing where the digital disruptions are coming from.
35% of CIOs have developed an enterprise-wide digital strategy.

[Source: Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey 2016]

Often, enterprises are mistaken by the buzzwords and they intend to use all the latest and most exciting technology to create strategies. This approach may provide short-term fuss, but if the strategy is not strong enough it may collapse soon. Always remember that digital is a tool and strategy is a fence to foster the business goal. It includes digital customer experience, digital marketing, digital analytics, etc., that help the organization to provide a consistent digital experience across all the digital channels.

Like any other, enterprise digital strategy comprises of –

  • It includes people who are of digital natives, like developers, designers, marketers, strategists, etc., who can reinvent your entire business.
  • Once the right team is placed, you need to integrate the strategy into their work and depending on your organization’s goals, you need to select platforms like cloud servers, content management systems, data analysis systems, or artificial intelligence.
  • Now once you have selected your platform it’s time to identify your digital products like apps, wearables, responsive websites, IoT smart products, augmented reality experiences and much more that will help you identify your digital strategy.

Considering the user experience it is important to streamline your employees, customers, business partners in your digital strategy framework. At the end, it’s all about people.

Digitalization is far more complex than we think. It becomes challenging when it comes to implementation of digital transformation strategies and of course, it’s not an overnight thing. For example, A store wants to increase its sale. The common strategy would be to pull out data analytics from the consolidated data to determine which buyer generated the highest invoices. This would capture the real data along with digitizing customer interaction. It doesn’t end here, new capabilities, and teams are required to process and maintain the consistency across the organization.

Enterprise Digital Strategies seems to work best when the customers are the point of focus. Enterprise leaders require a process to strategize and determine how to invest and become a competitive differentiator in the industry. Today customers are expecting a flawless digital experience every day, whether large or small, and one way to satisfy them is to have an omnichannel sales strategy. This will enable customers to have more options to place orders from any place, any time, any device and in any quantity. This becomes quite challenging for the manufacturers and service providers to have the efficiency of mass production and to customize it.

Let’s See How DBS Bank Leveraged Enterprise Digital Strategy

Singapore-based DBS bank was awarded the best digital bank. In the year 1968 Government established DBS bank and now it has around 22,000 employees. Their journey of the extraordinary digital transformation started when they brought Paul Cobban who is now Chief Operating Officer, Technology, and Operations for DBS in 2009.

The bank was at it’s worst when DBS CEO Piyush Gupta initiated a strategy that emphasized on the concept of ‘Asian-ness.’ According to Paul, they spent 6 months narrowing down the definition of ‘Asian service’ to respectful, easy to deal with, and dependable. This led to the acronym ‘RED,’ an adjective that became part of the corporate vocabulary. They adopted a customer-centric approach to understand the customer at a whole new level. The third digital strategy was to make the banking invisible. Paul says, “digital is all about the business model, enabled by emerging technology and data. Great user experiences based on ecosystem plays to make the banking component invisible.” he also added, “as banking becomes commoditized, we need to control the ecosystem. That’s how any bank avoids being a dumb balance sheet.”

The third approach was to identify the blockers and take actions like weekly decision-making meetings to discuss problems and present ideas. Paul noticed that the digital transformation is more about culture. He changed the culture to drive innovation within DBS. He says, “We recognized innovation was all about culture and behavior. So we took our leaders and put them in ‘hackathons’ with startups. Hackathons replaced the executive training budget.”

DBS recently launched Digibank in India, a mobile-centric banking service. In order to employ a small fraction of the back office staff, they utilized artificial intelligence-driven automation. This has helped Digibank to span across the subcontinent with virtually no additional investment.

Omnichannel experience

7 Key Considerations To Create An Omnichannel Experience

omnichannel experience

Let’s see how Walmart has blurred the lines between physical and online customer experience leveraging omnichannel strategy. It is known for its value-driven culture and creative acquisition strategy. Walmart drives a major chunk of its business through its app. It has accomplished this by revisiting the basics of user acquisition while simultaneously prioritizing the fact that customer habits drive customer engagement just as much as their online shopping experience does.

Walmart came up with an innovative in-app feature called Savings Catcher. This highly recognized feature guarantees app users the lowest-price-possible by scanning QR codes directly into the Walmart app instead of manually entering into the app the long form codes. This simple feature of the Savings Catcher influenced Walmart’s target market (who frequently visit the brick and mortar locations) and led to 10 million Walmart app downloads within a week of its release.  The growth was obviously immense as they considered the top-two reasons to compare: prices and redeem discounts for using retail apps in-store

Walmart understands that app longevity and scalability are closely related to customer engagement. By offering more ways to automate the user savings experience and earn rewards, Walmart customers have become eager to download the mobile app, and regularly check their balance, scan receipts, price items, and refer the app to friends (i.e. a real world example of social proof).

Technology is fast changing the way we live and work. People are experiencing high-quality digital engagements in their personal lives which has led to a paradigm shift in the way they think and behave as customers. Your customer today expects a similar engagement which he experiences in his digital life every day. This has led to companies focussing on transforming customer experience in sync with their customer expectations. Omnichannel strategy helps brands deliver a consistent experience & engagement across multiple channels- in-store, web, mobile or kiosks.

Omnichannel experiences are all flared up these days. From customer service to marketing to sales strategy, the omnichannel experience is becoming central to business strategy and success. “Multichannel support” is sometimes used mutually with “omnichannel support.” Although both indicate customer support across channels, the former does not include a holistic view of the customer experience. Omnichannel experience is about having a continual conversation and relationship across channels, not just being available on multiple communications platforms.

The key to omnichannel experience is realizing that it’s not about channels, but about the consumer. It’s not about messages, but about utility and experiences. It’s about helping consumers to make reliable choices, and uncover an enjoyable experience for themselves throughout the year.

Here’s a glimpse of seven fundamental considerations with which you can create a consistent omnichannel experience for your customers.

1. Monitor, Scale & Strategize

A contingent commerce strategy enables customers to shop anywhere, at any time, simplifying increased interactions between dealers and consumers. However, having every channel open is not always achievable, making it necessary to gauge demand in each channel and distribute the resources accordingly.

You can learn more about your customers who are outside of basic geographic information by focusing more on behavioral data and asking the right questions leading to deeper meanings and understanding. Insights obtained from various data sets can help brands know their customers better.

However, it’s important to figure out which data requires more consideration. When retailers can successfully measure their social outcome, they will be able to attain the actionable judgment that they need to formulate their strategic business plan.

Armed with the analysis regarding consumer preferences and engagements, merchants can avoid misusing resources on less-effective platforms while potentially underutilizing channels through which more customers arrive. By auditing quality across multiple channels, businesses can learn from their customer interactions and modify their omnichannel strategies accordingly, leading to better customer assistance and experiences.

Still, allocating resources based on past data is only half done. The fact that omnichannel retail changes so quickly means the only way to lead is to be ahead of the curve and plan for new developments. Businesses will find themselves losing time and resources if they do not take scalability into consideration while laying the foundation of their infrastructure.

2. Integration Of Physical And Online Experience

Apart from analyzing customer behavior and setting up appropriate triggers, there should be a strong relevance between the brand’s physical and online stores. Customers today expect easy transitions between physical and online stores.

Retailers and brands should leverage innovative new technologies to help cohere the gap between the physical and online worlds to deliver uninterrupted and consistent customer experiences.

Online-only stores will lose out on a huge section of customers if they do not have a presence in the physical world and vice-versa. Even today, customers are motivated by touch and feel and a majority of retail sales happen in physical stores.

3. Consistency In Customer Experience

Shoppers are ardent to their favorite brands due to their consistency and predictable services. Customer behavior and consistency in the omnichannel space is relatively more complicated. Customers expect persistent experience across all devices they use to engage with the brand.

With several influencing factors, purchases can be made at any time of the day or night, either directly at physical stores, or at online stores. This requires enterprises to develop sound omnichannel strategies that take into consideration the different customer paths and expertise across all channels. Understanding the customer’s decision-making process is crucial to developing an omnichannel experience strategy.

A consistent, superior experience across all interaction channels provides a great opportunity for brands to build loyalty. It is something that customers not only expect, but they demand it, and the brands that can best meet this demand will build an exemplary customer relationship.

4. Get Customer Feedback

It’s important to gain an insightful view of the customer to get a complete picture of their likes and dislikes, as well as their buying habits, preferences, and how they behave across all channels. This data will help create an enhanced customer experience. By collecting and analyzing relevant customer data, a brand can build buyer persons, which will help them to use the right tools and technology at the right time in the buying cycle. It’s also critical for a business to test out the buying experience they offer through their customer’s eyes. Make sure the experience is seamless, user-friendly, and free of barriers.

Understanding the customer decision-making process is key to developing an omnichannel experience.  The rise in mobile use for product research provides retailers with the convenience to harness product reviews in store. For example, an app that scans an item’s barcode, and pulls up all the customer reviews related to that product. Retailers could use the app to then provide added incentives to purchase, such as discounts or free gifts and surprises.

5. Blend Local And Social Media

Social media is pitted to be one of the strongest influences in today’s retail space (both online and physical stores). Consumers today not only seek multiple channels to shop but also value product surveys and feedback on social media platforms. For instance, when customers visit, they would not purchase products that have only one star. Social media review platforms have a huge impact on brand loyalty and bad/poor feedback could lead to long-lasting negative effects on retailers. A well planned omnichannel experience strategy will definitely integrate social media and e-commerce in order to ensure retail success.

In-store experiences can also be reinforced by integrating with social media platforms. Retailers can have screens or walls that relay live social media feed or commentary. This can also include images, tweets, and videos in order to drive customer engagement. Dressing rooms can have displays that allow customers to obtain real-time product reviews from social media platforms on the products they intend to buy. Such integrations will also help store staff to monitor in-store social commentary and respond in real time.

6. Personalize Experiences

Retailers can maximize their interaction with customers by personalized emails, recommendations, and promotions. In order to establish a worthwhile connection, consumers are likely to be bombarded with marketing messages. Here retailers need to make sure they deliver information on the products their customers are interested in, and not the ones that the retailer wants to push.

Utilize social media channels to encourage shoppers to share physical experiences with one another. Personalized technology can help create customer experiences that will far surpass less tech-savvy brands.

If your business is majorly online, personalize your store’s checkout experience and provide product recommendations to increase average basket size and improve customer involvement. To add a human touch to an otherwise impersonal shopping experience you can invest in 24×7 phone support and live chat services.

The advantages of selling online versus in stores differ in a few important ways. With online sales, purchasing is only a click away, and customers can buy from anywhere and at any time. In-person, consumers receive specialized assistance from employees who not only help with the sale but also leave a lasting impression on the customer.

7. Stimulate In-Store Technology

In-store technology encourages customers to shop while promoting brand reliability. It also enables consumers to interact with products that create unique shopping experiences.

Being greeted by a trusted associate at a favorite store, having someone remember their buying preferences and being shown what they want rather than sitting through the generic sales pitch, all makes shopping more promising. Most consumers want the in-store experience to have more features like they find online –convenience, ease of use and personalization. Some stores are rolling out apps that help their employees accomplish these things with each customer. There are other apps being developed that deliver information about in-store sales and events to customers as they shop. Physical stores can help in creating fulfilling omnichannel experiences, by also acting as fulfillment centers for the stores’ online counterparts, hence, traditional marketing strategies cannot be ignored.

According to a report by Cisco, 48 percent of consumers use a smartphone to help them shop while in-store. Customers still like to shop in-store, even after the digital world has taken over, so it makes sense to merge the two together.

For instance, the UK fashion retailer, Oasis, have equipped their retail stores with iPads so that shoppers can find out a plethora of product information. If the shop doesn’t have a particular item in stock, the customer can place an order online. As a matter of choice,  they can use their “Seek & Send” service which allows the retailer to locate other stores that have the product and get it sent to the shopper. The customer receives an email with all the information and is notified when their product is on its way.

A well planned omnichannel strategy must seamlessly accommodate social media and e-commerce in order to ensure retail success.

With the emergence of omnichannel experience retail, brands and businesses have to reconsider their strategies in order to meet the requirements of today’s demanding customers and reach them with the most fascinating, flawless, consistent and contextual experiences across all channels.

With ever-increasing customer expectations, omnichannel customer experience is now an important part of the small business approach. Although large retailers have dedicated resources for multichannel selling, new and innovative mass-market solutions now enable smaller businesses to compete more effectively with larger retailers. By carefully considering and implementing some of the tactics shared, you too can access a wider range of consumers and achieve omnichannel expertise.


7 Considerations To Your Digital Transformation Journey


This new era of digital transformation brought about by the emergence of new technologies like mobile, cloud, analytics, Internet of Things etc., is highly reminiscent of the e-business era. There are many business opportunities to pursue, enabling technologies to be utilized, and customers to be influenced.

The key difference, however, is that IT is becoming a core and essential part of today’s products and services and is opening up, even more, possibilities for business innovation. One of the most important aspects of the disruptive trend that is being observed is its ability to enable digital transformation across the business.

The major focus area within this transformation sphere is the development of “omnichannel” or “digitally connected multi-channel” capabilities. To deliver a seamless, consistent, integrated and holistic customer experience is the goal today.

Figuring out what digital means for your business is hard enough. However, translating that into what you need to do, in what order and subsequently driving the enterprise-wide transformation makes for a daunting challenge.

This discussion delves into the key considerations that underpin a successful digital transformation in virtually any organization. The following seven initiatives serve as building blocks to a successful and profitable digital transformation strategy:

1. Digital Is A Fundamental Change

It’s an elemental change in traditional siloed businesses evolving to become truly agile, flat and much more accessible. You need to expedite new business models.

There is quite a bit of widescale digital ratification happening right now – and a large part of the market is planning and executing efforts. Seize the opportunity for innovation, but you need to plan for quick adoption to gain the maximum market advantage. The need for agility has never been greater and the embracement of new technology has never been faster.

However, unlike other traditional marketing methods, the successful adoption of digital necessitates an intelligent cultural change. Change does not come easily. It starts with concrete steps and actions.  And, those behaviors and actions must be adopted, in priority, by top management.

2. Simple Yet Different

In an era of unprecedented ramification,  businesses are becoming more dynamic and distributed with trends like cloud, mobile and social. All this leads to complexity so, we need to simplify to deliver the messages we want while making it easy for audiences to listen without having to connect the dots along the way.

Simplify everything in order to deliver IT as a service.There is a need for simplicity in infrastructure. And, it is not just the channels serving the customer that need to be simple. The services portfolio, pricing and network availability all have to be in sync to be able to deliver the expected simplicity. Bridging the gap between an ever more complex IT and network environment and a simple customer experience requires a holistic approach to digital transformation that must be grounded in strategy throughout.

Simplicity is the foundation of Digital Transformation. If businesses cannot simplify they cannot react to the market faster and cannot innovate.

3. Build Quick And Automate

Automated build, configuration administration, and translation  tools are already being adopted, but many still require extensive, time-consuming scripting, which is prone to human inaccuracies

Rapid product release cycles include real customer understanding and real customers. These digital sprints create visibility and credibility for your digital transformation. More importantly, as you release these improvements into the market, you’ll listen to real customer feedback which will allow you to kick off your own righteous cycles of continuous improvement to your processes and iterations of your digital strategy. One of the most critical success factors for any digital transformation is gaining cross-functional patronage.

4. Attract Talent For Digital Transformation

The success of any middle market digital transformation plan articulates on the ability of an organization’s workforce to implement it to full capacity. As a host of new digital channels and technology are introduced, it’s essential that the right people are in place to operate them and make sense of the greater incursion of customer data. All the technology in the world won’t deliver results without the people to drive it.

On the marketing side, new potentialities are required to build coercive content, leverage new channels and analyze customer data. An overall shift to a more viable approach also needs to take place for marketing to deliver lead flow and revenue.

For sales, reps need to be prepared for a higher level of interaction, delivering greater value and insight. Sales must possess the commercial acumen and tech savvy to effectively leverage this data in order to deliver a new level of relevance and value.

Plans for digital transformation should strategically address talent retention, with steps in place to either expand the skill sets of existing employees or to target experienced consultants and technology resources to speed and optimize the digitization process.

5. Maximize Data & Insights: Data Integrity and Integration

The process of designing end-to-end customer experiences that are digitally enabled kicks off when a customer is made aware of your offering and closes out at fulfillment, only to start again (or never stop) in an endless stream of feedback loops. This generates insights and leads to improvements.

Every part of your business can generate data, which provides intelligence for other parts of the business, whether these are customer experience metrics or process improvement stats from your production facilities.You need to deliver data that informs business decisions.

It’s imperative that companies who want to go digital understand that digital businesses are data-driven. The virtuous data cycle is one of the continuous improvements and is constantly evolving performance and customer satisfaction.

6. Know What Your Customers Want…Adopt Continuous Delivery

In today’s internet-enabled world, it is no longer optional to be customer centric.

Companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Google and Twitter have delivered a high-quality user experience to today’s consumer. Quality becomes paramount in an era when a customer of several years can be lost overnight if an app crashes or there is no continuity between the physical and online store.

In e-commerce companies, communications must be even more personalized and relevant to increase the chances of opening emails, clicking on links and engaging in conversation, much less in creating conversion. Choose one or a few projects that offer a mix of both, least effort and great value to your customers.

7. Planned & Thoughtful Digital Strategy

The organizational transformations and the digital strategy required for your enterprise are not only a business plan with digital added in, it’s a digital operating system for your business. Hence, it has to focus, not just on technology or marketing, but on the whole range of people, processes, and policies that will allow you to operate your business successfully in a digital world.

The digital transformation journey often marks a pivot or a move into unfamiliar territory for most existing organizations. As the digital market is moving so rapidly and in such unpredictable ways, it’s essential to get strategic advice from experts who have helped other organizations disrupt themselves profitably.

Ultimately, your digital strategy will come into focus when you don’t just ask, “What will digital do for my company?” but rather, “How will digital add value to my customers?”

Possible Challenges In Your Digital Transformation Journey

– Why is a change needed?  Creating a vision for the digital transformation journey

– Enterprise leaders need to share and buy into that vision

– The cultural transformation required to get the entire enterprise focused around the execution of that common vision.

– Need for new skills and competencies (such as data scientists and analytics professionals) that are in short supply.

The pursuit and embrace of revolutionary gains in efficiency and automation have long been cornerstones of business success. The ability to keep up with the rapid and sometimes disruptive pace of change often determines the degree to which an organization both thrives and ensures its pertinence into the future. Companies must compete against similarly-sized counterparts, and also against larger enterprises able to fully leverage economies of scale and smaller industry players capable of the nimblest of operations.

To meet these challenges, many organizations are considering digital transformation strategies that maximize the use of technology across the enterprise. It’s imperative that the shift towards a fully digitized and automated environment must be approached with careful consideration to ensure long-term sustainability, full-scale user adoption and maximum return on investment (ROI).


Without a doubt, enterprises that have digital DNA embedded in them have turned out to be leaders in the past year. However, the pace of transformative changes will continue to sweep the market and only the toughest and the most ‘digitally innovative’ will survive the onslaught. Not having a digital blueprint is a risky game to play right now. You’re encouraging disruptive competition into your business. Remember, those “born in the cloud” will always do it economically. If your approach to transformation is to launch disintegrated initiatives that don’t adhere to a single vision or blueprint, it will never get off the ground.

The journey to Digital Transformation demands enterprises to take immediate action while also planning a strategy for sustained improvement down the road. Thinking through the key shifts mentioned above, taking the time to educate the business and then creating a clear transformation vision and guideline will be the key to delivering organisation-wide transformation success.

Customer Delight in the Digital Age









The “new renaissance”, as we speak is primarily experience driven. Over the last decade or so, we see that design has acquired a prominence that eluded it for decades. Apple under the direction of Steve Jobs has always been a design and usability oriented company. While these values brought in a lot of buy-in from certain segments of the population, it has been by and large a specialized phenomenon. It’s only after the emergence of the iPhone and its torrential popularity has the appreciation of design become so mainstream.

We now see a lot of apps and initiatives that are created completely fresh and spontaneous across a variety of industry verticals. A classic example is the seamless customer experience that an Uber app provides, which is extremely simple and intuitive to use and provides real-time updates on what’s happening with your ride and the driver. All of this is being taken up a notch higher by the new Amazon GO retail outlet which uses a cocktail of new age technologies to make shopping so easy, you never have to stand in a queue to pay the bill.

In this article, we explore some of the key principles that dictate a high-quality customer experience in today’s world.

Follow your customer

In today’s world, the opportunities for the number of channels to engage your users has exploded. While earlier it was primarily in person, phone and later the web, you have a lot more channels today. This presents a challenge as well as an opportunity.

Today your customer can be on Facebook, on your website, using the mobile app, or an apple watch or the person can be in your store browsing products. The opportunity here is to lambently engage with your customer irrespective of the channel. Apart from all the customers’ personal devices like mobile phones, wearable etc, there can also be opportunities to use commonly provided assets like a touch screen based station in a retail outlet that helps the customer get more information about your products or overhead displays that promote a specific product or offer. Every successful channel has a clear purpose and brands should create a strategy accordingly.

Anticipate needs and anxieties

While the ability to access on multiple channels, whatever grasps the customers’ attention in the moment, is extremely important. The experience that is being provided matters a lot too. One of the ways of achieving this is to be able to anticipate the needs, wants and anxieties of your customer ahead of time, and cater to them. A lot of this information can be gathered by doing extensive user studies before you start building your product.

Provide continuity

A cardinal aspect of creating a wholesome customer experience is to provide continuity for your activities irrespective of the channel. For example, I could be watching a video on youtube on my laptop. The minute I switch from my laptop to mobile and I start watching youtube again, I should be able to watch the video exactly from the point where I left off watching it on my laptop.

Integrate information

Engagement data from how a person is using a website can be used to influence his experience on a mobile app and vice versa. It’s quite important to be able to integrate engagement information from all channels, combine that with data from transactional systems like CRM so the best possible experience for each specific situation can be created.

Be instantaneous

Customers make buy/ no buy decisions, or form impressions in a matter of milliseconds. It’s therefore quite important that any intelligence that you’re looking to drive customer experience should be able to react immediately and in real time to any initiatives that the customer could be taking on your platform.

Personalize your interaction

Technology today has made it possible to create a million different experiences for a million different people. This is going to be very important as people like to be treated as individuals with specific needs, wants and personality than as a group. The sense of individuality happens to be core to every person and solutions that cater to this need and personalize the conversation, experience, and interaction has a higher chance of being successful.

Create high points

A smooth customer experience can at times be a bit different from customer delight. Customer delight happens when you exceed customer expectations so much that she goes about talking positively about your product to all her friends. It’s important to do user research, find the high and low points, accentuate the high ones and smoothen out the low experience points.

Customer Experience Transformation

5 Tips For Customer Experience Transformation


“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” –Steve Jobs

How can you make your customers want to come back to you? By promoting your products/services aggressively? No! Remember, there are other competitors in the market who are sharing the same space and they too can fulfill your customer’s need.

Of course! Promotions are one important way to let your customer know about your products and services, but also your processes, policies, skills, and motivations have a lot to do in prioritizing your customer’s needs and expectations. That’s when they want to come back to you.

Customer experience is not immobile, it’s a process that needs to be transformed with innovation. You need to keep on innovating customer experience by developing new product ideas, making processes and policies that are convenient for your users and creating new ways for customers to access value. So, what you deliver to our customers is not just enough, it’s how you deliver.

Here are the 5 tips which will help you gain momentum to reinvest in your customer experience transformation

1. Enhance Your Customer Experience Vision

We all are in the customer experience business. Whether it’s Amazon, the online retails giant, or Uber, an American worldwide online transportation network company, every organization is bound to this principle for their success as businesses. To build a unique customer experience, every organization must deliver the conviction and should know their aspiration pivot on what matters to their customers and how it can affect their business. A shared aspiration serves as a guiding light for strategic decisions and execution. Every company should have a shared aspiration, that can unify all interested employees to work together towards a common purpose to have the desired outcome. To build a shared aspiration you need to engage frontline leaders who can fully engage with the problems and are committed towards the goal of promoting change in the organization.

2. Identify Opportunities Within Customer Feedback

To start with, an organization can gather and segment data, which is the typical way of understanding customers. Sources like social media can be used to gather customer’s feedback. This will help an organization identify opportunities to improve within functions, and also help them to identify upstream and cross-functional issues and address the root cause of problems.

Collecting data is not enough though, it needs a human filter, which means, the collected data needs to be analyzed. With the help of the analyzed data, the company can pull out who are their audiences? What motivates them? What can they do to meet and exceed their expectations? The benefits of this approach are that it emphasizes answers to all the questions and then the plan of action can be implemented to embrace the company’s goals.

3. Set Priorities For Customer Experience

Every action will have its impact, whether it’s high or low, so it’s important to set priorities first when planning for your company’s future goals. Should you pick the low-hanging fruit first, which may have less impact, or jump on high impact which may have revenue growth and reduce costs immediately. Again, the impact can be measured in both short and long- term impact. For example, when an organization abolishes some of their policies that might cut down the cost, but it doesn’t really benefit their customers, likewise, when an organization takes pricing actions that can have a quick impact, however, it will reduce the company’s revenue. Impacts are often measured operationally, and other costs are measured through simplifying the business.

By having customer experience data from the customer’s feedback, companies might have to change or eliminate their old policies to drive the long-term impact. This approach will help to create more promoters for the brand. Find the existing problem and fix it! Appreciate each customer for giving their valuable time. This will help you gain more customer experience and exceed their expectations.

4. Digitize Customer Experience Transformation

Advanced technologies and the digital channels have changed customer’s behavior. Digital has transformed the traditional way of doing business along with the quality of the customer experience. It has made products easier to commoditize, bringing in immediacy, personalization, and convenience. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and give them a delightful experience. For example, if you provide a banking service, then improve or minimize the process for your customer and surprise them with some rewards to exceed their expectations.

For the established businesses, it requires following a new method to drive customer experience transformation through digitization. They have to transform their digital customer profile and try to achieve a quick digitization process using concurrent-design approaches. The company also has to keep adding and refining elements in their cycle of testing and learning. This process will result in the company to know what action will have what kind of impact. For example, Starbucks has introduced an app where their customers can order coffee using the app. The objective is to make the coffee-buying process a unique experience. They created a new set of processes that integrated the company’s mobile loyalty program and point-of-sale applications. They re-engineered the flow of line operations and they also built a fully functional mock store within the company’s Seattle headquarters.

5. Measure Employee’s Performance

The collected data helps to determine what programs failed and where did they go wrong? Also, with the help of the same data, they will be able to bring out a solution and motivate leaders to take actions. Measuring the performance, as an organization, will engage their employees to know their goals and encourage them to bring a change. To help employees realize their goals and identify their strength areas, it’s important to understand and plan strategically important capabilities. Based on which they can intervene, like leadership, role modeling, training and career-development programs, etc.

It is vital for an organization to make each individual’s effort count in the process of achieving the business goals. At the same time company must establish a customer experience transformation, by aligning its functional and cross-functional initiatives with metrics.

Case Study

“You’ve got to develop relationships. You can’t do things just in a formal context.” –Kenneth Chenault, the CEO of American Express.

American Express, the financial services brand, established in 1850, best known for its credit card and traveler’s cheque businesses. The company that is roughly worth $15 billion and acquired 22nd rank as the world’s most valuable brand in the BusinessWeek magazine, is extremely focused on providing excellent experiences that enrich their customers’ lives and build business success. They believe, with a heritage built on service and sustained by innovation, the company ably lives up to its reputation, ranking at 16th place in the 2015 US customer experience excellence rankings, with scores across The Six Pillars that are 16 percent higher than the American average.

They changed their business practices and their contact center employees are now referred to as Customer Care Professionals. The employees are specifically taught to adapt their interactions depending on the personalities of the individuals and trying to resolve customer’s issues at first contact. Employees are empowered to take necessary actions to ensure the customers are satisfied.

The key part of American Express’s customer experience transformation is ‘service recovery paradox’, which means, recognizing issues beforehand and finding a process that ensures the swift resolution of customer issues. The company has learned how to harness the pillar of resolution to build its business and reputation. It describes itself as one of the most “respected” and “trusted” service brands in the world, laying down a list of Blue Box Values that remind customers and employees of its core beliefs. These include

A Customer Commitment – “We develop relationships that make a positive difference in our customers’ lives.”

Integrity – “We uphold the highest standards of integrity in all of our actions.”

Respect for People – “We value our people, encourage their development and reward their performance.”

Personal Accountability – “We are personally accountable for delivering on our commitments.”

For Tamsin Jenkins, head of Customer Experience Excellence, KPMG Norwood, the consequences of the brand’s improvements are far-reaching. She says, “American Express’ switch from call duration of engagement has benefited both customers and its business as a whole. The brand’s emphasis on more authentic conversations has optimized customer loyalty, leading to a 400 percent increase in retention. In addition, the company’s stock price is now higher than it was before the global financial crash and as such, demonstrating the impact of such customer experience transformation.”

An organization requires to frequently transform their customer experience efforts to meet their customer’s expectations. Keep redesigning the program, see what goes well, engage your customers and minimize the inevitable resistance. The Customer Experience Transformation program helps you to identify, design, and implement strategic solutions to the customer management issues.

5 Ways Enterprise Gamification Can Help You Build An Engaged Workforce


“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers,which leads to profitability.”– Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox

Digital transformation has transformed every aspect of a business today including product development, customer experience, and even employee engagement. Today’s millennial workforce wants to work in a lively environment which is at par with what they experience in their personal lives. A recent Gallup study shows that only 31 percent of employees feel engaged at work, 51 percent disengaged and 17.5 percent actively disengaged. The least engaged workers are Millennials. Since this group will reportedly make up 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, it’s a problem you can’t ignore. Today digital technologies have come up with a range of solutions that can transform employee experience and make work fun.

Enterprise Gamification is a process that can help organizations to build an actively engaged workforce with game mechanics. It motivates employees and inculcates a sense of competition at work. This approach recognizes employees who have achieved points for the reward. A 2013 survey by the Aberdeen Group showed that organizations using gamification improve engagement by 48 percent and reduce turnover by 36 percent, compared to 28 percent and 25 percent (respectively) of companies that don’t use this approach.

Gartner defines gamification as, “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people, driving the achievement of business goals.” Gamification implementation, when done correctly develops new skills because it’s isn’t just having fun. It’s about encouraging learning behaviors that will lead to improved performance.

1. Motivate Employees

What motivates employees at work? Once you learn to inspire your employees and instill the importance of the intrinsic motivation, you can implement your strategies accordingly. “People might get motivated by receiving a gift card, but what actually drives them is recognition [as well as] status, appreciation, and an identity,” says Gabe Zichermann, author of The Gamification Revolution and founder of Dopamine. You can motivate your employees by giving them power and tell them where the job is done well. Likewise, there are different ways how employers can use the appreciation tool to motivate their employees in the long term. Some are motivated by achievements, hence keeping a centralized reward system can create an objective workforce among the employees and it also maintains the enthusiasm with proven, quantifiable results.

2. Engage Employees

Gamification is one of the most proven techniques among the various ways to drive learning which engages employees. Both gamification and eLearning work together towards building a team and driving performances. Also, it creates a healthy work environment where employees get to know their areas of improvements. Gamification can help each employee to track their performance, know where they or their team stands and the goal that needs to be achieved. Designing gamification apps can break the communication wall and thus improve the team spirit. So, you can keep your employee engaged as well as measure their progress on the projects. “Oftentimes, employees know when they’re in a rut. They may not want to acknowledge it or address it, but typically employees recognize it. The gaming side of gamification gets employees motivated, but the analytics side of gamification gives employees and managers deeper insights into productivity,” says Gimbel.

3. Transform Performance

Introducing gaming into the workspace will create a certain level of competition among employees. It sets performance goals for the employees. They will compete to win among their peers as well as try to outperform their own best. This in turn will improve the company’s performance and help the employee to gain a sense of expertise and autonomy at work. Introducing gamification like gamified virtual apps, team quiz, company culture quest, questionnaire to spread the safety awareness will keep your employees engaged. This will change the laid back attitude of employees and also the way performance is managed, thus elevating the production level.

4. Attract Talent

Now everyone has the chance to freelance and have multiple sources of income. To keep up with competitors, companies need to get creative to attract fresh and brightest talent. Gamification can attract young professionals who think out-of-the-box, it also helps to find new ways, blend company’s objectives with a touch of fun and excitement. It not only attracts prime talent but also motivates employees for the challenges.

5. Meet Objectives

Understanding goals and staying focused is a huge challenge today. Multinational companies, especially contact centers have integrated gamification and Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) software solutions into their workspace to overcome this challenge. It’s a cost-effective tool that helps them develop, share and communicate. It also keeps the track of goals in a timely manner with reliable data. This process falls under SMART criteria associated with Peter Drucker’s influential Management Objectives theory, i.e., Specific Measurable Assignable Realistic Time.

To adopt enterprise gamification in your business you need to first identify your employee’s ability and their area of knowledge. Take a look at the metrics and compare the results. Design a gamification approach and then integrate the gamification tools with your systems for employees to focus on strategic goals and work to surpass them. Finally, an effective enterprise gamification platform can incentivize the process and inspire employees to take a required action in your company’s favor.

Case Study- How we helped Tesoro leverage gamification for employee engagement

Tesoro, a Fortune 100 oil and refinery company, partnered with us to build a serious game that would simulate their day-to-day operations and make it easier for schoolers, job aspirants and employees, to understand the oil refining process.

The Tesoro introduced a simulation game, where players have to manage a virtual refinery and marketing company. It takes the gamer through the entire oil refining and marketing process, roles of various stakeholders and what it takes for them to be a part of the industry. The main motive of this game is to educate the employees by showing the bigger picture so that they understand their responsibilities and let them interact with various units at work and simultaneously learn the functioning of the industry as a whole.

The game was designed wherein users will gain points by taking quick actions for alerts and maintaining equipment. The user will also earn points for successful deliveries and each time a new supplier or customer is added. The gamers are penalized when vehicles and aircrafts (customers) run out of fuel. At the end of the game, other bonus score elements are added to make the final score.

The Tesoro Refinery Sandbox Game has brought a deeper engagement amongst the employees which in turn has increased efficiency and safety ratings in the workflow. It has helped to deliver high engagement scores across its target groups. The game helps Tesoro to comprehensively assess the skill set of the job aspirants and filters high-quality talent for them. The game is also helping the company to get optimized value from its training programs with employees reporting higher retention scores.