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Digital Transformation

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In this Digital age, Superheroes are becoming more popular…. Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Avengers Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and many more…


There are a lot of superheroes and it is up to you to decide in which character and style you fit in. You don’t need masks, tights and a cape to qualify, but a zeal to demystify the role of the truly transformational leader, superhero style!


“With great power comes great responsibility.” We have heard this quote, in Spiderman. This quote can also be used as a mantra for Digital Transformation.


A CEO should be like The Hulk, who when angered or provoked, would transform into the uncontrollable, green-skinned monster. CEO should be giving a very strong message of Digital Transformation to the entire organization, which everyone should take seriously. He or she runs the company and does this from a digital-native perspective, by personally taking up the digital agenda.


CMO is like a Thor, having a legendary hammer with immense power in his hand, called Marketing.  She understands the real power of digital channels because her department was the lead for most of the online activities that were developed over the last two decades. She owns the customer-facing touch points of the company which are increasingly becoming digital.


Just as Tony Stark built an armored suit to protect his human core and transform himself into a hi-tech superhero, the CIO is protecting the core technology and systems of an organization and can transform the company into technological advances. He understands technology better than anyone else.


It is important to note however that even Iron Man had to continue evolving his technology, as his opponents adapted to his capabilities so do the CIO has to innovate with new ideas and adopt new technologies & trends like IoTRobotics, Artificial Intelligence & Blockchain to name a few, in order to stay ahead.


A Chief Digital Officer was not existing for so many years, is like Captain America who was trapped in ice for 70 years and revived in the present day. Like the super patriotism of Captain America, CDO has only one goal – becoming Digital.  CDO is a permanent part of the team with all the skills to manage a lot of internal and external change.


Digital transformation has to be taken like a team of Avengers and is a permanent process. It will never stop. Once you digest one wave of disruption through the proper transformation, you will face another one.

#Digital transformation has led to soaring the investments in the automotive industry which are forecasted to go to $82.01 billion in 2020 from $19.57 billion in 2015. With the advent of the technology, today, mobility on demand has become a reality in the cities and developed countries. #Digitization is all set to change the face of today’s #automotive #industry in more than one ways.

Digitized customer experience

Buying a car is no more stressful as it was considered a few years ago. Today’s customer is ready with his research even before stepping in any dealership. There is a range of websites available where one can get to know the nitty-gritty of the buying at few clicks. Even the look and feel of the showrooms is slowly changing with virtual reality capabilities. These virtual showrooms are designed to give the consumers closest to real experience with all the actions and effects relevant to the traditional showroom like opening the door, getting 360 degrees peak inside out with relevant sound effects.

Connected Supply Chain

Dealer Management Software is facilitating the connected supply chain resulting in cost optimization, effective consumer engagement and collection and use of data for better customer service and satisfaction leading to more customer loyalty. Social media and Internet Of Things assists the instant feedback to reach the OEMs who can take respective actions and use advanced algorithms clubbed with the artificial intelligence to create schedules and workflows. It leads to significant reduction in turnaround time leading to business profitability.


Today’s dealer management system providers highly invest in Mobility and Cloud Solutions. With cloud-based dealer management software that provides centralized control and the real-time spares data, today’s dealers can efficiently manage the minimum inventory without getting any parts obsolete and thus, save on the unnecessary safety stock cost. Electric Vehicle Management Software is aiding the optimization of the business processes for the emerging electric vehicles market.

Autonomous Vehicles

With the flawless coordination between various technologies, Autonomous Vehicles (AV) is expected to manage all scenarios by themselves causing a significant reduction in the auto accidents and deaths. The more accepted ‘Assisted Driving’ in the present day is targeted to be available in the less expensive models. It is predicted to save customers of one trillion dollars over next ten years in terms of insurance cost due to reduced accidents along with saving about 90,000 lives.


With a break away from proprietary software, OEMs are focusing on open-source, mobile friendly platforms to provide location and condition-based services based on consumer preferences. It includes end-to-end efficient routes across all modes of transportation.


Technology development has facilitated the DMS for Digitization. Digital transformation is providing new alternatives to accomplish the traditional tasks in a simpler and efficient ways making everyone’s life easy.

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Digital transformation for business is no longer optional but is on the top of the minds of most of the CEOs.  From global companies to local Mom & Pop stores, everyone is gearing up to enter on this digital bandwagon. As digital is bringing all the latest technologies into the game, keeping the human relationship is equally important to interact with customers.


In the end, Digital Transformation is for people. Social media is such an integral part of our everyday lives today, that we share our thoughts, pictures, videos with our family and friends.


Today most of the businesses are using Social Media to their advantage for this human relationship. They know the significance of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp and Google+  in reaching prospects, customers, and partners.


More than 3 billion people are now online, and they are spending more time there than watching TV. They are making and watching videos about products they like and tweeting enthusiastically about customer service they do not like.


Social media can help build a vibrant brand, allow global reach & create and maintain better relationships with customers. Research says that Twitter is the most powerful communication tool, which shows real-time updates about what world is saying.


Here are top benefits of Social Media:


Search Engine Optimization: When someone searches for your business on Google, the social profiles are likely to be amongst the top results. For instance, when you search for Ferrari, their Twitter profile appears as the 2nd listing. In addition, the Ferrari’s other social media profiles are displayed on the right-hand side of the page.


Customer Service: Today, we see many people turn to social media to vent their frustrations with organizations. Consumers ask questions, provide feedback on a brand’s customer support team or seek assistance. Many big companies have recognized this, and have dedicated social media customer service agents employed to actively engage on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.


Brand Recognition: Using social media also helps to boost the business visibility with both current and potential customers. It gives you the perfect platform to share your brand's voice with your audience and spread the word about your products, services, offers and more. Burberry used social media to directly stream their fashion shows, which generated millions of dollars for them in new customers.


Marketing: Advertising on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn and YouTube goes viral today and helps great global marketing. Engaging with your brand’s loyal consumers bring more business and spread word of mouth publicity.


Business Insights: The best way to listen to your brand mentions in social media. It shows what your customers are saying about your competitors and discovering your competitive advantages in the process.  With Big Data, businesses learn about customers, their demographics, interests, preferences, etc. Using further helps marketing to improve the relevancy of messaging and build targeted campaigns.


One positive impact of social media is in the distribution of information in today’s world. If you don’t have a dedicated social media team, create one. If you do have one already, then make it even more efficient. If people are the soul of digital transformation, then social media is the heart.

Being fueled by the latest wave of technology: advances in artificial intelligence, data analytics, robotics, the Internet of Things, and new software-enabled industrial platforms, digital disruption is changing how businesses are being conducted worldwide. Boardrooms across the country are today dominated by conversations of transformation, as the data driven economy increases competition.


Organisations of all shapes and sizes are sitting at crossroads, as digital, cloud and emerging technologies flood the market. As disruption is taking place everywhere, with change comes opportunities.


The question is, how do you embrace this change and make the most of the opportunities?


  • Think about the customer

For business, it’s time to raise the game to meet customer-centric requirements and the best way to begin challenging these disruptive insurgents is by digitising their operational processes that help incumbent players rise to the challenge posed by platform-based pricing models and remain competitive. They also need to seize the value-generating opportunities that the application of new technologies delivers.


Customers are now more accessible than ever across a range of platforms, meaning there is unprecedented potential to connect with them. For customer-facing businesses, it’s, therefore, crucial that digital innovation is geared towards enhancing the customer experience. There is little point in investing funds and resource into technological change if the front-end experience isn’t also improved or refreshed. Businesses need to ask themselves: how will this technology not only improve internal processes but deliver our services in the best way to our customers? What brands like Uber have done is bring a new level of convenience to customers, as well as revolutionising the whole taxi-booking process.


  • Keep up with start-ups

The advantage that start-ups have is they can learn from the lessons more established brands had to learn the hard way and can enter the market at an accelerated pace. Customers are empowered and adaptable and have the power to switch between brands and businesses with ease. Incumbent businesses are at risk of losing customers if they do not respond quickly to keep up with challenger brands. But marketers of long-standing businesses have the advantage of leveraging their existing status and refreshing the experience they offer customers.


  • Empower employees with the right technology

Of course, businesses have a bottom line to maintain and limited budgets within which to invest and execute change. Too often, skilled, highly engaged marketers are let down by the technology they rely upon to do their jobs. Marketers need to build a relationship between the business and the customer, by delivering a great experience which keeps them happy and loyal.


  • Get the basics right

Behind every innovative leap forward towards digital transformation should be a solid back-end system that contains customer data in a consolidated and easily accessible way. Businesses need to break out of the silo mentality and think of the customer experience as one that is consistent across all departments. This means all customer-facing teams (sales, marketing, customer service and so on) need to have the right tools to identify their customers amidst a sea of data. Having complete control of customer data and confidence in how to decipher it will all help to deliver a seamless customer experience.


We’re living at an exciting time, with digital innovation transforming how we connect with the world. For businesses, the first step towards transformation is having the right mindset and infrastructure to enable disruption. Marketers need to be open and agile to change to not only keep up with their competitors but lead the way in their industries. I look forward to seeing more industries shaken up by brave businesses forging a new path for customer experience.

Consumers are at the heart of the digital transformation, in every industry starting Retail, Financial services, insurance & Health Care. 


Consumers are most concerned with getting quick, easy and effective results from any interaction in their professional or personal life.


Consumer Packaged Goods companies are typically relied heavily on traditional media like TV and display advertising to drive brand awareness among consumers. You will see multiple advertisements for toothpaste, detergents, and dairy products and so on.


They have so far relied on mass marketing; focused on physical brick & mortar sales. They still have to catch up on online ordering like electronics, books etc.


The physical store still enjoys a major share of the market: customers like to feel a product before they buy it.


CPG companies are quickly adopting digital to connect with millennial consumers.


They are using Big Data Analytics:


  • To identify consumers who will convert with less spend on marketing.
  • Trying to identify the best and most profitable channels to sell select products and pack sizes.
  • To gain deeper insights into price-sensitive consumers
  • To be able to send unique offers to every consumer with extreme personalization
  • 360 degrees customer views to build loyalty


Here are some innovative ways CPG industry is using digital for excellent customer experience:


  • Social media to understand the needs, gaps, brand performance, and purchase behavior leading to significant input for targeting, positioning as well as new product development.
  • Using geo-fencing to provide real-time deals when a consumer approaches the store.
  • Stores like Amazon Go has come up with cashless checkouts. When the customers have the Amazon app installed on their mobile device, any product added to the cart gets billed to the customer’s account automatically.
  • Mobile payments: most of the physical or online stores are accepting mobile payments like Apple Pay, Samsung pay, PayTm etc.
  • Beacons: to ease finding products in a store, a customer can download the retail store app, and be able to connect to the store’s “beacons” and get details of the best deals available
  • Smart Shelves: these indicate inventory levels, and instantly update product prices on display.


The future is digital and CPG companies are adopting it with an open heart.

NASSCOM's latest report “Digital Customer Experience Services – How India Can Lead the World” in collaboration with NelsonHall is based on interviews with CX Services providers and customers with delivery operations in India. The purpose of the study is to identify the client requirements and providers’ best practices to deliver CX services across the different stages of the customer lifecycle; the development and use of digital channels and technologies including omnichannel delivery, analytics, automation, and RPA; and co-creation for digital transformation delivered from India for domestic and international markets.


Key Findings & Highlights:

Digital transformation is having a major impact on CX services, and the level and scale of analytical and technology expertise in India provides the country with a natural advantage. The move to digital channels and the increased need for digital transformation and analytics skills are likely to drive more work from onshore to India.


In particular:

  • Organizations’ requirements are changing from voice-enabled, low-cost handling of simple customer care and technical support queries to customer-centric shifts to digital channels, with increased emphasis on customer retention and sales
  • Organizations are looking to introduce new digital customer service models with increased customer-centricity and a greater focus on customer retention and sales. India’s CX value proposition is moving from agent scalability to digital customer experience centers of excellence
  • Key success factors for vendors include the improved ability to identify and map key customer journeys; their capabilities to design the UX; their expertise in new customer service technologies and channels; and their ability to enhance customer service agents
  • To take advantage of the digital transformation opportunities, India’s CX delivery needs to move to a model of continuous co-innovation with its clients in the introduction and management of new digital delivery model

 Roadmap for Growth in Digital CX

The scope of the report includes:

  • The market size and projected growth of the CX Services market delivered from India
  • The market size of the CX Services marked delivered from India by end user location, by service line, and industry
  • The changing client requirement for CX services, both internationally and within the Indian domestic market
  • Expected changes in the levels of voice and digital customer interactions over the next three years
  • Expected changes in the level of use of CRM, domain-specific platforms, and NLP and cognitive technologies over the next three years
  • The new approaches and the best practices to deliver enhanced value from CX services in India, as well as the expected levels of benefits
  • Level of maturity of new CX business models and technologies in India
  • Roadmap showing how India can lead the world in next generation digital CX services.


Download details.

Digital disruption has turned the telecom industry upside down. New digital technologies are entering the market forcing telecom operators to adapt to new business models.


We went from analog to digital few decades back and then GPRS, Edge & came 3G, which brought data and web services to us. With 4G and smartphones now customers have the power of the supercomputer at their fingertips.


After iPhone, smartphones are penetrating deeper in many countries. Carriers now have to focus on customer churn more than on acquiring new ones. Today telecom operators are leveraging big data technologies to analyze call pattern data to better understand their customers’ habits and predict their requirements and thus offer better services at right time and price.


Operators are using analytics to identify customers at risk of default in bill payments and optimize their outreach for higher collection.


Today with so many disrupters, telecom companies have to think of survival. SMS or text message & MMS were some of the core services just a few years back, and then came WhatsApp, which changed all the communication paradigms. Further Skype, Viber, WeChat have entered the market to pressure the prices down for text and voice.


With the digital age, telecom companies have to:


  • Add new services to capture consumer’s attention
  • Accelerate time to market these new services with technology advancements
  • Map end-to-end customer journeys  from acquisition, engagement, retention
  • Use Big Data Analytics to focused market segmentation and hyper-personalization
  • Automate customer care and digital self-service options
  • Revamp website and give customers access to personalized information, offers and buying options


Leaders like Vodafone, Verizon, AT&T have leveraged all the digital technologies to reach out to their customers in a most efficient way.


Digital payments via mobile wallets have become a boon for telecom, as mobile payments are generating tons of Big Data on shopping behavior & preferences, enabling more sales opportunities via targeted marketing


Many technology players such as Apple, Samsung, and Google are collaborating with telecom players to make consumer’s life easy.


A good customer experience is now essential with help of digital. We live in a time when convenience, personalization, and speed are the bare minimum people expect and telecom companies have to take aggressive measures to exceed these expectations.

Digital transformation consists of multiple interdependent and intersecting changes driven by technological disruption. An organization’s ability to not only survive digital transformation but thrive, is dependent on its ability to manage complex change with a cohesive strategy. Research data from multiple sources indicates that slightly more than half of major change initiatives are viewed as successful. That means that nearly half fail to achieve their goal, a clear indication that organizations will need to sharpen their change management skills to transform to the digital state. Does your organization have a plan in place for managing digital transformation?

“Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way”

When it comes to the unstoppable force that is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), this is sage advice from US General George Patton as these are the three choices available to organizations. Leaders will thrive, followers will survive, and those that choose to get out of the way do so at their own peril. The leaders will be those that excel at implementing disruptive technology and leveraging the data it provides to strategic advantage. A few years from now, when we study this initial wave of IIoT adoption, this analyst expects that the leaders will have also excelled in managing change.

Strange perhaps to discuss management of change (MOC) at a technology conference, but ARC did just that last week at its 22nd Annual Industry Forum in its “Digitization of Asset Performance Management” workshop. As the initial IIoT killer app, asset performance management will transform the who, what, when where and how of maintenance and operations. According to workshop moderator and ARC Sr. Analyst Paula Hollywood, “All the technology in the world will not successfully and sustainably transform an organization without including the people who perform the work and the work processes they employ.” Check out a blog written by my colleague, Greg Gorbach.

Management of Change Basics (MOC)

What’s the big deal? Change is all around us. It seems simple enough, so why aren’t all major change initiatives successful? Obviously, the process failed somewhere along the line. Perhaps it was in building the business case; drivers were not accurately identified or weaknesses and threats understated. Did an unanticipated change in regulations have an impact? A leading cause of failure is the inability to clearly communicate change to internal and external stakeholders. Timely communication to employees, partners, and customers is critical to obtaining their acceptance and collaboration. Technology can be the easy part. Getting people to change can more challenging, making workforce engagement a critical factor to success. Was the workforce not fully engaged in the process? They must implement the tactical aspects of technological disruption and deserving of a seat at the MOC table as their feedback is essential to sustaining change. Managers must identify the workforce leaders who will guide their peers and hopefully bring any resistors on board. Most importantly, failure to properly train the workforce in the use of devices, software, and work procedure jeopardizes success. Biting off more than can be chewed, so to speak, is another leading factor to change failure. Pilot and scale is a familiar term to IIoT implementers, meaning test on small scale, prove success, and grow it in size. For APM purposes, user case studies indicate this approach to be successful. However, this phased roll out approach becomes much more complex in large-scale deployment of new business models. Regardless of pilot size, the intended strategic objective(s) must be the impetus of the endeavor.

The consequences of failed MOC are enormous! Unlike previous industrial revolutions where machines displaced human work, the IIoT revolution replaces brain power with artificial intelligence. The challenge for digital transformers is merging humans and AI. The very nature of AI can create distrust between humans and the data generated artificially. That could be a demotivator for the workforce and potentially negatively impact productivity. It could also lead to increased turnover as unhappy workers seek to change their environment. Resources dedicated to the effort are essentially wasted due to the inability to leverage or scale. Ultimately, all these factors crush the bottom line.

Keys to Success for Managing Digital Transformation

In successful MOC, the most important responsibility for executives is to walk the walk, and talk the talk. They need to demonstrate the behavior they desire to implement. They must communicate the change loudly, broadly, and clearly throughout the organization with defined goals that set the vision for the organization’s desired state with a sense of urgency. They must establish a cross functional team representative of all constituents in the organization impacted by the change. The feedback from this team will have tremendous impact on change tactics. This team along with management should define the change milestones with KPIs that are both measurable and achievable. Last, but not least, celebrate the wins to instill a sense of achievement and nip resistance in the bud.

This is the first in a series of blogs dedicated to the Digitization of Asset Performance Management and MOC. Check back soon for more.


“Reprinted with permission, original blog was posted here”. You may also visit here for more such insights on the digital transformation of industry.

 About ARC Advisory Group ( Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is a Boston based leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.

For further information or to provide feedback on this article, please contact

 About the Author:

Paula Hollywood

Senior Analyst

Paula's focus area is Asset Lifecycle Management and Asset Performance Management, specifically Plant Asset Management and Asset Reliability. She also contributes to ARC's Process Automation and Field System teams.

Paula's focus is on Asset Lifecycle Management, specifically Plant Asset Management and Asset Reliability. She has authored Worldwide Outlook reports in both of these areas of the Asset Lifecycle Management domain. Other areas in which Paula has been involved include Field Devices (Flow, Level, and Pressure), Process Analytical Chemistry, Intelligent Pumping Systems, and Laboratory Information Management Systems.

“Every generation needs a revolution.” – Thomas Jefferson.


Needless to say, technology has always given infinite revolutions for humans at every stage. Adapting to the changing technology has now become very important for all the business units in order to strike the competitive edge. Amidst this competition, we have also witnessed business that lately have adapted to this change. No doubt that this change will only bring a positive affirmation to success, it is imperative too, to understand the impact that it has on every single step.

Many new technologies like cloud services, augmented reality, machine learning, big data, Virtual reality etc. has completely changed the way the business and organization runs these days. There are many sectors who have become prone to use the updated technology in their day to day business.


Few such sectors are mentioned below:



The increased craze and sales through the online stores have left retailers to acclimate to the newer approach and serve the customers with what they want. In a first, the retail business are now choosing to go digital with touchscreen inventory, automated data store of all the products, easy information to the customers, new product placement design and the list goes on. The retails sectors have well embraced robotics, e commerce platform, drone delivery and many other technologies for better operations. The advancement has also reached to a level where entrepreneurs are using the latest heat map technology that will help them read the consumer behavior and measure the maximum time where the customer is focusing on.



Food is bliss. However, restaurants that just offer food and basic facilities now a days are not something that we choose for. There lies a greater degree of customer experience with smart technology. Many of the restaurants are choosing digital options like, digital menu, easy ordering of food, easy billing, and much more. While, food no doubt is the primary look out, the technological touch would certainly make a big difference. High end technologies like drone, food waste trackers, and hackathons are also being used to make things much easier.


Financial Services

There is a lot of scope for the technology to play around in the financial space. Owing to the criticality and accuracy of the work, hands down, technological interference to make the process easier is much required here. Lot of companies are now adapting to various technologies spanning from cloud services, financial software’s that can perform complex operations, digital signature to investments tools and you name it. In addition, usage of bitcoins, API’s, automated identity system etc. has taken the industry to the next level.



Manufacturing is on the go. All the areas that operated manually without much technological touch, can now do wonders with the support of technology. This doesn’t just save a lot of time but also has a positive effect on the cost of production leading to increased demand. The usage in this field, is a win- win situation to both the manufacturers and the consumers.



What was once thought to be have required great manpower can now be done easily with the technology at minimal efforts and time. You can just play around with the supplies data and estimates. There are tools that gives predictive analysis, direction to work etc.


Life has only become easy with the technological revolution. However, this is not the end. There is much more to be witnessed and many more wonders to experience.

That’s right, you read it correctly.


Pullela Gopichand, the legendary badminton player-turned-coach was a marquee speaker at WCIT-NILF where he articulated this fascinating idea. Some people will always be #2 (do they remain contented?) but will never quite reach the pole position, ever. Make no mistake, they are incredibly smart, hard-working and to be found in all walks of life. Quite capable too, but something holds them back and they are unable to take that final lunge to knock off the breast-tape. And yet, there’s a rare breed of individuals who are “born to win.” Perhaps, very little separates the two but it’s the latter that history remembers.


Keshav Murugesh – the WNS boss, who most adroitly chairs the fireside chats with sports celebrities at NASSCOM events – ran past us an overwhelming list of Gopichand’s achievements; not least being a special mention of awards such as Arjuna, Dronacharya and Padma Bhushan. His students have gone on to break great records themselves, thus bequeathing him with a cult-like fan following in sports circles. Inasmuch, his academy is regarded as a temple of sorts by young aspirants and their equally ambitious parents.      


Early Days  

Surprisingly, badminton was not Gopichand’s first choice at the age of 10, but cricket. Thankfully, it was lack of facilities which weaned him away to badminton and then on there was no looking back - like the proverbial duck taking to water. In 1996, Gopi (as he is fondly known) became the national champion, and later in 2001, he became only the second Indian player to have won the All-England Open (Prakash Padukone being the other).  


When he started the academy, he took on a huge risk. Financial liability was not the only burden because failure at that point would have dealt a body blow to his reputation as well. However, he chose to listen to his inner voice and was guided by his soul’s calling. He hails from a middle-class South Indian family which puts a premium on education (his elder brother is an IIT alumnus) so the pressure earlier on to excel in academics, is understandable. Today’s generation may not fully comprehend the hardship of yesteryears, especially with success stories abounding, but back then (30 years ago) things were very different for those who aspired to take up sports as their chosen career. As expected, Gopi’s iron will prevailed. 


Coping with Failure & Excruciating Physical Pain

In the year 1994, Gopi was the reigning #1 in India and things couldn’t have been better. A freak collision with his partner on court left him with a damaged left knee which was to plague him throughout his career – often costing him major championship wins. In the next four years, he had to undergo three surgeries with alarming regularity (94, 96 & 98). Till 1994, his focus had always been on beating others but afterwards, the physical pain would be so excruciating (and often crippling) that Gopi learnt how to focus on himself instead. It dawned on him, a revelation of sorts that others’ performance did not matter anymore.


All in Good Time     

The big stage was set - Olympics 2000. He had trained incredibly hard and his mind was just as agile – an integral aspect of sports training. Yoga, visualization techniques et al, he had left nothing to chance. And then the unthinkable happened!


The toils of playing on a concrete court in Sydney took a massive toll on his knee. The next day he was down with fever and had to forego the hope of winning an Olympics medal. Understandably, this left him in a state of despair for months afterwards. The heart-breaking anguish refused to die down and would often give vent to a morbid cry within: “I will never again expect anything.”


Life, of course, had other plans. The very next year (2001) Pulella Gopichand became the second Indian player in history to win the All-England Open! He says, “You will be tested. If you keep trying it will happen. You need to push, push, push, push and push some more. Often, it’s that last push which will suddenly get you results.” Is that how we overcome the “fear of winning?” That zone is but a step away from despair, and yet there are many who continue to miss it. His profound wisdom left us in awe: “It will happen not when we want but when we deserve it.”   


Mind Power & State of Calmness

Naysayers are too quick to pass judgements: Why is the guy still trying? Careless and insensitive remarks can be extremely hurtful, but to great champions like Gopichand, it’s often motivating enough to keep pushing and proving them wrong. Someone else’s opinion does not matter but what really does is what the mind believes in. For that, one has to lie still, be calm and observe (even) the breathing patterns. Often the most productive ideas come out when the mind is in a state of calmness. As competition keeps humans on their toes, the habit of winning gets ingrained in their DNA.


The Role of Tech in Sports

With hawk-eyes, copious analyses, sensors etc. tech has gotten ahead. Undeniably, the assistance provided to sports medicine and nutrition has been rather extraordinary which has benefitted in extending careers by 6 – 8 years at the very least. However, he strongly believes that AI at present is not yet a viable substitute for human intervention in badminton.     


On Motivating Athletes

Hanging on to or dwelling on mistakes does no good. The coach must encourage the player to let go and move on to the next phase of the game. Having said that, subtle changes in training may be required to address the issue at hand. It has been his observation that athletes often come back and open up on their own. Just as there is success, failure is also a part of life. It’s unavoidable. It’s important to make the other person feel that committing a mistake is not a criminal offence. Gopichand had a special word of praise for the modern generation which really believes that it can win major tournaments across the globe. Perhaps a departure in thinking from players of the past, who may have been no less talented and hardworking, but lacked self-belief and were often contented with propping up the also-ran tag at major global events. Those who are able to retain their enthusiasm for hard work even after crippling losses and monotony, are likely to go the distance.  


Quick Grabs – Pearls

  1. We are always judging people whether they are talented or not. The truth is, humans are talented and as leaders we will have to find the right fit. Humans deserve respect.
  2. India has grown tremendously in terms of intellectual capital but not equally so in sporting achievements. What we need right now in India is Physical Literacy.
  3. Most Cherished Title – the All-England Open.
  4. The most important woman in his life – mother!
  5. A sportsman he looks up to – Roger Federer.
  6. Gopi the father or Gopi the coach – without even blinking: FATHER!
  7. Life’s lesson: Competition is within yourself.
  8. What would he like to change? Nothing, he believes he has had the best life he could have imagined.
  9. As a coach, he is always mindful of the fact that flaws in a player need to be discussed in a way so as not to break the individual.


Finally, Keshav Murugesh asked him what keeps him humble. To which he added philosophically, “It lies in the knowledge that our ideas (which we are often hasty to claim as our own) aren’t really ours. It emanates from nature, from God even. That’s probably why he unfailingly prays before every match and after.

Ladies and gentlemen, that’s Pullela Gopichand for you. A super-achiever but humble to the core and always sensitive to fellow humans around him. The audience simply went berserk and gave him a standing ovation – one of the very few speakers at WCIT-NILF to have been accorded the honour, and deservedly so!       

The life science manufacturing and automation sector is faced with many changes and challenges for 2018. ARC believes no matter how complex, how small or how large your process is - the digital transformation can help accelerate, scale up and solve pharmaceutical and biotech engineering, manufacturing and supply chain challenges. Albeit slower than other industries, the pharma and medical device industries are transforming and will continue to do so. Along with the new FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb in 2017, the pharma and medical device industry has enjoyed two years of record-breaking drug approvals. Likewise, our European counterparts have also been having a banner year, although the European Medicines Agency transition to Amsterdam as a result of Brexit may make it difficult to maintain the same levels of drug approvals in the coming year. The digital transformation and rapid technology advancements including new drugs designed to change DNA and cure diseases rather than and more combinational drugs with medical devices, wearable technologies, new diagnosis tools and more new digital technologies. The adoption of new technologies lead by the FDA’s guidance document “Advancement of Emerging Technology Applications to Modernize Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Base,” issues in 2016, will continue to help drive new pharma innovations. 

There were also several mergers and acquisitions such as Gilead’s acquisition of Kite Pharma, in 2017 that will affect their technologies. will also be a Trump bump in the US – where many pharma companies were waiting for the promised tax break – and pharma tends to follow the taxes and this may bring back some manufacturing to the US this year. There is an opioid crisis in the US and one way this will be addressed is with an increase in drugs that can help reduce usage. However, what happens with Obamacare is yet to be determined but I don’t think it will be drastically different from the current situation in the next year. Modern life science manufacturing in both pharma and medical devices can lead to operational excellence but it will require using new technologies and doing things in new ways. There will also be new product due to the continued development of newer and more innovative vaccines and medicines that cure disease.

Advanced Analytics are one component for digital transformation

Additionally, we started seeing new advanced analytic applications being applied in pharma to such problems as predicting the bioreactor or fermenter end point, predicting valve failures across filling lines, and improving the clean in place process across manufacturing sites. Fastest growth for cloud computing is in the discrete side of the business and medical device industries where production stoppages do not profoundly affect the product.

Adopting new technologies and elimination of silos helps realize operational excellence

ARC believes that the life science industry can meet manufacturing challenges by adopting new technologies that help improve manufacturing efficiencies, production and product quality. Using the digital transformation and automation software to help ensure operational excellence including product utmost quality, safety, efficacy and out the door at the lowest possible cost are still paramount for successful companies.

ARC’s top trend list for the life science digital transformation include:

  1. An increase in data that results in an increase in the use of newer technologies such as new platforms or data infrastructure, new data tools, cloud computing, security software, manufacturing software and advanced analytics. Implementation of new software tools that be easier to access and use.
  2. Elimination of more silos with technologies that make it easier to integrate, access and store data and obtain manufacturing intelligence.

  3. Growth in newer technologies in manufacturing including 3-D printing of pills, augmented reality, virtual reality, robots, drones, manufacturing intelligence, auto-intelligence software like auto-configuration, and additional use of simulation.

  4. Implementation of automation standards including a simplified and robust IT/OT infrastructure to reduce risks, improve security and prevent outages.

  5. Moving products from batch to continuous will continue and could help to drive down the cost of some drugs and lessen drug shortages. Although only a handful of companies have received approvals (e.g. Janssen Pharma, Novartis, Vertex, GSK etc.) in most cases, rather than a completely continuous process, most of the examples involve a hybrid approach for either manufacturing or separation processes. This is another trend to watch.

  6. Increases in genetic and personalized medicines will means many more flexible production, new smaller batches and more and newer automation technologies (e.g. batch automation software, MES software, social media, modular manufacturing, etc.) to enable manufacturers to adjust to demand and modifications made for each batch and to keep track of the documentation that is required for regulations. Companies will need to implement technologies that allow them to efficiently manufacture individualized drug products that are both high quality and affordable. This trend will continue in 2018.

  7. Use of more wearables in combination with drugs, including the use of smartphones for analysis and diagnosis. Additionally, clinical trials are using for better results. FDA approved the first Cardio band (AliveCorECG Kardia Band that uses the Apple Watch) this year. This results in more data, new software and new automation methods to make the new digital products. Companies need to adapt easily and quickly to new manufacturing processes and the volume of new data being collected.
  8. Newer, better and easier to use software tools for collecting and automating global regulatory documentation and validation process.

  9. Use of new technologies that help calculate ROI or KPIs due to the pressure to use automation to drive down manufacturing costs, and prove value. Many companies are building value calculators into the automation software to make this easier.

  10. Growth in the deployment of track and trace software that starts with the raw material and tracks throughout the supply chain with continuous feedback and the ability to do limited recalls.

Digital transformation

FDA believes that the pharmaceutical industry can learn from other industries such as the chemical, automotive, aeronautics, electronics and other industries that have already improved manufacturing and business performance by exploring and implementing new and advanced manufacturing technologies. We believe the digital transformation is important for life science companies to meet their operational challenges. While making a digital transition is a common strategy, making sure your company is progressing with the right digital technologies is important. Before you can begin your journey and tap the potential of next-generation, big data-driven, intelligent automation you may want to compare what you are doing with your peers. Failure to do so can mean production delays, compliance issues, and spending more time and energy on resulting problems. How can you address these issues with technology?

Pharmaceutical industry requirements

Continue visiting the ARC website for more information as ARC covers digital and automation technologies and trends throughout the year.

“Reprinted with permission, original blog was posted here”. You may also visit here for more such insights on the digital transformation of industry.

 About ARC Advisory Group ( Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is a Boston based leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.

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About the Author:

Janice Abel

Principal Consultant

Janice Abel is a principal consultant at ARC and lead analyst in the areas of enterprise manufacturing intelligence, manufacturing execution systems, operational analytics, batch management software, and operator training simulators.

Janice has done extensive research and consulting on automation technologies spanning the entire spectrum of process and manufacturing industries.  Her experience includes over 25 years of helping both suppliers and end user clients develop strategic plans to market, adopt, and use technologies.  She has been doing research and consulting for the chemical, oil & gas, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical, consumer products, medical devices, and other industries throughout most of her professional career. 

The digital transformation storm is sweeping various businesses like retail, banking, insurance, media, and travel and has entered into our personal lives.


Another industry that has joined the above list by being hit by the storm is the healthcare.  

The advancements in digital technologies like cloud computing, mobile communications, advanced analytics and the internet of things have positively helped healthcare.


Healthcare companies are among the most heavily regulated, facing unique compliance challenges. They were always struggling to figure out how to integrate, aggregate, harmonize and analyze all of the data they have captured, to discover actionable business insights.  Further, accelerated time to market and adding value to patient’s lives are the key drivers for digital adoption.


Digitization of healthcare has gone beyond the drug development. It is no longer providing the drugs alone but services as well.


The healthcare industry had witnessed an impact on the entire product life cycle starting from the early drug development to delivery and finally patient care. Drug discovery is immensely helped by machine learning. Researchers will have access to much more detailed analysis on real-world data, which will assist in better understanding the effects of a drug.


Internet of Things is used to digitally transform manufacturing and supply chain. Temperature sensing tags are used to monitor cold chain conditions and thus ensure and maintain product quality in transit.


Electronic Health Records of any patient who is under the care of multiple doctors helps them to use these valuable data points to deliver appropriate treatment and make decisions about patient’s care.


Wearables have improved the patient care substantially. There are many wearable devices that provide real-time monitoring of disease symptoms along with reminders for prescribed treatment. Ingestible medicines like Proteus pill sends patient data in a secure transmission to the physician, which helps in more accurate diagnostics and personalized treatment.


Fitness wearables such as Fitbit and Apple Watch have increased the ability of patients to take responsibility for their own health.


Portals like “PatientsLikeMe” are helping people with chronic health conditions get together and share their experiences living with the disease. Where newly diagnosed patients can improve their outcomes by connecting with and learning from others. Also, researchers learn more about what is working and what is not, so that they can develop new and better treatments.


Patient engagement has become easy with mobile apps for recovering patients to help manage stress. find information, learn about caregiving and chat with a doctor.



In clinical trials, digital is helping by standardizing data exchange and replacing several data repositories with a centralized information hub. Patient finder technology combines clinical knowledge with big data to allow drug manufacturers to identify potential patients that may have a disease that is hard to diagnose.


With Telemedicine, Patients no longer have to schedule their routine follow-up visits but they can a video call to get the prescription update or check-up they need.



With digital, consumers are now in the driving seat. They have better access to quality doctors and quicker wellness. Digital is helping healthcare and humanity.

Digital Transformation has brought several changes in our lives, changes in technology, processes, workflow, communication, and even overall services and products. But more changes will come in near future due to millennials getting active in workforce environment.


Millennials are those who are born after 1985 and grown up with the internet. They are the first to grow up surrounded by digital technologies like broadband internet, home computers, video games, social media, and smartphones. They don’t know what is a floppy drive or audio tape or beeper.


Millennials are very different from their parents and grandparents. While my wife and I prefer to go jewelry shop and buy something for us, my daughter will order anything and everything on Amazon. So much cross-selling is happening to them that they take the decision in a split of the second.


Millennials employ a variety of devices and are omnichannel to conduct research prior to a purchase and expect a seamless experience across every channel. 


On-demand is a way of life for them. They use mobile apps for transferring money, checking balances and getting loan approvals, or calling an Uber, watching movies they like.


Further, they believe in using all the mobile payments like apple pay, google wallet or Samsung pay more than cash. This way ATM machines will vanish from the streets as the telephone booth had gone. 


P2P payments like Paytm are made more popular by millennials leading to less use of cheques or cards.


They prefer to have the digital relationship with the service provider – whether it is a bank or telephone or insurance. They don’t want to visit physical branches anymore and want to get all their problems solved immediately – digitally.


They value their time more than anything and instead of driving around to buy products they want to buy, they prefer online shopping.


They are faster at adopting the innovative technologies like IoT, Augmented/Virtual reality, wearables or Artificial Intelligence enabled digital assistants.


This has led to more and more businesses becoming digital to service them.



As we enter a time where millennials begin to dominate the global workforce, it is important to acknowledge and understand what they are bringing to the table and how times have changed and evolved for all generations.

A perspective on advanced western economies - US, Europe (Originally posted on LinkedIn). 

Digitisation of the telecom sector – better later than never!

It is fair for the telecom industry to take adequate pride for facilitating digitisation across sectors. One should take cognizance of the fact that but for the mobility and connectivity enabled by the telecom players, the rapid rise of the Ubers and the PayPals of the world wouldn’t have been possible. The sector, in its modesty, actually paved way for industry buzzwords such as ‘e-wallets’, ‘e-health, ‘e-retail’, ‘e-travel’, among others. But what is surprising is that the sector itself has been left behind in creating enough value for itself, which has of course impacted revenue growths and margins.2 In fact, telecom stands only second to media in digital disruption, as highlighted in a 2016 study by HBR.1 Nevertheless, there is always an opportunity to pivot – important is how one adopts and executes. 



The similar goes for the telecom sector, which is now trying to digitise its core by the following means:

  • Building talent and capabilities
  • Using data-driven analytics for streamlining businesses
  • Harnessing digital channels for customer engagement; at the same time improving experience across touch-points
  • Integrating products and services from adjacent industries to spread across the value-chain

Customer experience at the heart of digitisation

At the heart of this transition lies customer experience – making buying experiences simpler, easier, faster, IMMERSIVE, ENTERTAINING, and MEMORABLE. From a buying perspective, the first three quite very well defines online, whereas the last three indicates what a retail store can offer. To delve deeper, and adequately answer whether in the western economies mobile stores will continue to have a relevance in the digital world, let us review some statistics2:


The above data highlights that consumers will want to do more than the mundane with their mobile phones – more immersive experiences using AR and VR; and more connectivity to things around them. So, although as per a Mckinsey analysis3, investing in digital sales had enabled some of the telecom leaders to boost revenues by 30 percent, doing away with retail stores had never been indicated, because the emphasis is always on greater customer experience across various touch-points – both digital and physical. 
Similarly, important it is to use data-driven consumer insights to decide what sells well online vis-a-vis offline, thus, creating and selling appropriate product-service bundle across various channels. 

Telecom’s foray to media, entertainment and IoT – necessitates the need for next-gen retail stores, for better customer experience

As discussed earlier, reciprocating to digitisation and in an effort to create compelling value proposition, the telecom companies, particularly in the US, are looking towards expanding their core offerings, foraying into content, media, entertainment, and connectivity. Let us have a look at the following examples:

  • Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo (2017)4; acquisition of Fleetmatics and Telogis in the Telematics space5 (2016)
  • AT&T’s proposed merger with Time Warner6 (2017)
  • Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Singtel, and Telefónica - joint selection of start-ups in the IoT space to develop newer technologies (2017)7


All these indicative of the changing business models of these companies, who are now beginning to offer solutions, which are more experience-driven - prompting the need for consumers to visit physical stores. The change is also from ‘traditional retail stores’ to ‘next-gen retail stores’, which provide immersive experiences and engage deeply with customers. Take Verizon’s next-gen retail store for example, which is intuitive, consumer-friendly, store-staff friendly, and takes retail store experience to a new level. Verizon’s head of design highlights that the entire look and feel is the outcome of research, which gave them several insights that got translated into meaningful designs, namely:


Customers want the same experience as that of online – The Verizon store has a ‘Suggested Items’ section next to complementary products – just like online purchasing


Many shoppers come with an idea in mind, having done some online research – hence, the store allows adequate touch and feel of the products


Technology should not be used just for the sake of it – Verizon has not gone completely bot-crazy stating that customers don’t come to stores just for a transactional interaction, but for deeper human expertise. Although, bots can be used for admin purposes, so that store staffs can engage in more interactive discussions.


The store also has a collaboration/social zone (coffee shop), where customers can come together and discuss technology. A large amount of the floor space has also been dedicated to Virtual Reality experience, which takes the store experience to a whole new level.


Verizon is not just the only one; AT&T has begun launch of its concept entertainment stores, offering modern merchandise such as virtual reality and streaming devices. Again, the experience is very much digital – no cash registers, and employees use iPhone to process orders.

Melissa Bahoora, director of sales for the Greater Los Angeles Area, AT&T says9, “If you think of AT&T, you think of a place to get your phone. We wanted a place where you could get other things as well — like your TV service.” – indicating that the telecom companies of today want to spread across products and services, to become a one-stop stop, to create long-lasting customer relation, and improve their overall value proposition.



So, although most of these companies are investing and exploring various digital touch-points such as mobile-apps, social media, and virtual assistants, their focus on offline retail stores continues, with a bigger objective and momentum.

Perhaps, this is not the right time yet for the telecom operators to close down their stores. Thriving in ‘VUCA’ times is tough, but seems like the telecom players want to fight along.



1 ‘’The Industries That Are Being Disrupted the Most by Digital,’’ – by Harvard Business review, 2016

2 “How telecom companies can win in the digital revolution,’’ – by Mckinsey, 2016

3 “Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2016–2021,” - White Paper by CISCO

4 CNBC News Article

5 Verizon Annual Report - 2016

6 Forbes Article

7 WebWire Article

8 “What can we Learn from Verizon’s Next Gen Retail Experiences?” – Huffington Post, 2017

9 The Orange County Register, 2017


Originally Published at:  Natural Language Processing with IBM Watson and Stanford NLP – For latest updates and trends subscribe Zerone Consulting… 


Understanding Natural Language with IBM Watson

IBM Watson is one of the most prominent Natural Language Processing tools that supports information retrieval via question answering. Watson is guiding us with decision-making in literally any domain, such as weather, healthcare, insurance, banking, media and more. Let us see how IBM Watson works through an example.

We will analyze how Watson NLP works using the demo available on the IBM website.

  • Open the following URL in a browser

  • Enter a sample text as shown in the following screenshot:

IBM Watson NLP Analysing Interface

  • Once you enter the text in the text box, click Analyze.
  • Click on the required parameter to get the corresponding results.

Currently, Watson provides text analysis against seven parameters as shown above – Sentiment, Emotion, Keywords, Entities, Categories, Concept, and Sematic roles. We are sharing two of the results for your reference:

Watson NLP Interface parameters

Watson NLP interface parameters detail

Natural Language Processing with Stanford NLP

Stanford NLP provides human language technology tools that can provide the base forms of words and their parts of speech. It can identify whether the words are names of companies or people. Stanford NLP is an integrated NLP toolkit with a wide range of grammatical analysis tools. It supports a number of human languages and supports high quality text analytics. Stanford can be run as a simple web service and APIs are available for most of the latest programming languages.

We will analyze how Stanford NLP works using the demo available on their website.

  • Open the following URL in a browser

  • Enter a sample text as shown in the following screenshot:

Stanford CoreNLP Interface

  • Once you select the required Annotations as well as the Language, and click Submit, Stanford NLP displays the corresponding results.

We are sharing two of the results for your reference.

Stanford NLP Parameters

Stanford CoreNLP Interface2

A Quick Comparison of IBM Watson and Stanford NLP


Note: Stanford’s Part-of-speech (POS) tagger and Co-reference resolution system are not available in IBM Watson.