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Digital Transformation

32 posts
Rakesh Kumar

What is Digital?

Posted by Rakesh Kumar Jul 17, 2017

What is Digital?

mobile-web-testing-on-real-devices

First Thing First: Appium Equals Selenium

Appium is just like Selenium – but only for mobile apps and games “. One should have heard about it many times, but in fact, Appium is much more than that.

selenium webdriver

It is also suitable for mobile web apps testing, where real devices and real browsers are used in testing. With the same effort and cost, a test automation framework can be built with Appium using real stuff or use an emulator/simulator for the automation.

In a nutshell, Appium is a mobile test automation tool that works for native, hybrid as well as mobile web apps for iOS and Android with the aid of Selenium server. Appium is an excellent choice for test automation framework as it can be used for all these different app/web types.

Fundamentally, Appium derives its root from Selenium and it uses JSON Wire Protocol inside to interact with iOS and Android apps using Selenium’s WebDriver.

In its architecture, Appium is an HTTP server written in Node.js which creates and handles multiple WebDriver sessions. Appium starts tests on the device and takes notes for commands from the main Appium server. It is basically the same as the Selenium server that gets HTTP requests from Selenium client libraries.

Appium has proven its flexibility and scalability in a native mobile app and game testing, as those apps and games tend to be much identical on both platforms i.e. Android and iOS. The benefit of having this cross-platform testing framework helps by using the identical script for running app/game on either platform. The same applies to the mobile web.

Appium scripts run smoothly when web testing is done on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or WebKit-based browser on Android and iOS where applicable.

Another significant benefit of Appium is that users can write tests using their favourite development tools, environment and programming language, such as Java, Objective-C, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Python or C#, among many others.

How to get started and what things to consider?

Don’t worry about the learning curve. If you are familiar with Selenium, then you’ve got Appium covered: They use WebDriver and DesiredCapabilities in the same way. There is a great chance the existing Selenium scripts work as they are with Appium setup. However, configuring an application to run on Appium has a lot of similarities to Selenium — for example, as those of DesiredCapabilities.

Don’t know about Selenium – Follow the URL http://www.seleniumhq.org/ 

The below instructions provide everything to ensure a smooth start with Appium, real devices and real web browsers.

Bear in mind that the mobile ecosystem is very different compared to the desktop world. As mobile OEMs are building their own stuff, they also tend to ‘differentiate’ on various standards – such as browsers.

In fact, mobile browsers – regardless how standard they are – is also one of the areas where almost all devices manufacturers want to add their ‘innovation’.

This is quickly leading to a happy mix of different web kit versions with different functionalities; when combined with the OS version, hardware configuration, sizes of displays, memory and so on can significantly ‘differentiate’ what user gets as a form of these browsers. Building your test scripts with Appium/Selenium and automated testing can quickly get the understanding that how well does the web work on those devices and browsers.

Another area that any mobile web developer needs to pay attention at is performance:

Web page rendering time varies expressively from one device to another.

To ensure satisfactory end user experience it should be tested that how the CSS & Javascript renders across devices. There are already great benchmarks – such as BrowserMark by Rightware can be used to measure the performance of the hardware together with certain versions of browsers. This gives an understanding of the workload with certain device and web browser combination.

Selenium has already cemented its place in web test automation standard and Appium is providing very clean high-level API that can be quickly adopted by Selenium developers. It nicely abstracts a lot of the messy stuff related to parallel running tests.

NASSCOM organised a Blockchain meet-up event with Fidelity International as the knowledge partner on the 17th of May.  The theme of the event was ‘Beyond the Hype: Blockchain in Financial Services’.

 

Mark Muir from Fidelity Labs, presented the main talk of the day, wherein he positioned Blockchain on the Gartner Hype Cycle. Mark shared insights into two key factors that should help decide if a Blockchain solution can be a good fit for a use case: (a) if there is a trust deficit in today’s setup; and (b) ability to generate profit (will people pay).

 

The talk was followed by a panel discussion with panellists from IBM, Quattro (a payments company), and Satoshi Studios (a Blockchain Incubator in India). They joined Mark in an engaging discussion that delved into topics such as applicability of Blockchain in financial services, consortium approach, smart contracts, democratisation of trust and potential pitfalls. The discussion was moderated by Kamaljit Singh from Fidelity International. The panel also explored the opportunities for the FinTech ecosystem and discussed some initiatives undertaken  by some of the regulatory bodies and governments across the globe.

 

The audience of about 60+ people from across the industry and Fidelity also engaged actively in the discussion, with a lot of questions being put up for the panel.

 

The last event of the day was a speed talk by Sahil Baghla, one of the founders of Satoshi Studios, where he explained nuances of the Blockchain technology from a non-technical perspective. He also talked about a couple of businesses they’re building, one of which is looking to build the world’s largest user insights platform.

 

This event proved to be a catalyst to bring forth the knowledge and experience of large companies like Fidelity International, Quattro and IBM to the larger community. It was also a good networking opportunity for all those who participated.

 

 

 

  1. Please tell us about your journey at Altimetrik, Mr Satagopan.

Four years in business now, Altimetrik started off with an aim to render business transformation through technology, for large Enterprise customers. By focusing on Platforms more than Products or Services, Altimetrik is able to bring about rapid acceleration of business outcomes for its end customers. In an increasingly digitzed world, Altimetrik focuses on the three pillars of digital transformation, viz., assets, experiences and processes. Inasmuch, the two key enablers IoT (enables more data generation) and Analytics (which aids visualization techniques) are considered as closely aligned to the digital revolution.

 

Business transformation in its parlance here, is about delivering Enterprise Capabilities through consumer technologies (not large enterprise systems). From an industry standpoint, the next five years will be about enterprises adapting to technology used by end consumers. The industry verticals currently under focus for Altimetrik are: Fintech, Healthcare (more wellness), Lifestyle (aka consumer facing Retail), Utilities & Telecom which are perhaps among the quickest adapters of this technology-led business transformation.

 

  1. Your views on talent that is available in India.

Mr. Satagopan is extremely upbeat and has the highest regard for Indian talent. Indian talent is at the forefront of innovation and business leadership across the world, and Altimetrik is no different, he said. For instance, outside of US, India and Uruguay are the largest centres for Altimetrik, focused on product engineering. In the 4th Industrial Revolution that is often touted, Indians certainly have a major role to play in it.  

 

The talent they sport in India is young by experience and would predominantly fall into the 3 – 6 year range. It is another matter altogether, where technical expertise is concerned, number of years of experience is highly irrelevant. The organisation believes in a lean leadership structure and a healthy pipeline is maintained by investing in people who are within the 0 – 3 year range. In process, the culture is hands-on that provides a full stack exposure to hires.

 

Talent hiring is also not stereotypical for Altimetrik. Rather than relying on time-tested methods, they significantly focus on hackathons to map the right fit. It isn’t just about people or products alone, but being able to combine people with the accelerators (enablers, as mentioned earlier). A modus operandi that has worked well, and has given Altimetrik a high degree of non-linearity in its productivity curve.

 

  1. Your views on “software eating the world.”

 The world is driven by innovation both in hardware & software and the two are interconnected. When we say, ‘software is eating the world’ it essentially means a piece of intelligent code that resides in hardware to make it more efficient or make it do things hitherto not done. So essentially software feeds hardware, and the intersection of these is creating newer possibilities for the world.

 

On the other hand, if the argument is about software replacing humans, then it isn’t true. Or not as it is made out to be. Software is only augmenting human efficiency (http://blogs.nasscom.in/augmented-intelligence-systems-of-future/http:/blogs.nasscom.in/augmented-intelligence-systems-of-future/which is again beneficial for the world. So, in essence, Software can never eat the world. But it certainly can make it better, and that is what we are seeing around us in terms of Automation, Autonomic Behaviors and creating Human Intelligent Systems. Altimetrik is at the forefront of all of these capabilities.

 

  1. Please share your thoughts on Bi-Modal IT. How have you leveraged it in your organisation?

How do you transform and efficiently operate at the same time? Bi-Modal is a structured approach to what is otherwise a common-sense transformation rightly operating under Organizational constraint. But here is a clue – something that Altimetrik has used to truly implement Bi-Modal with its customers. The world is often inclined to think in silos. For instance, either we run operations or we bring about change or innovation. The reality is, we cannot function effectively in silos for long. If it’s about innovation, then it as much about execution. This philosophy is always borne in mind when a sound Platform / Product thinking is driven by Altimetrik with its customers even while executing regular projects. That, combined with a full-stack talent mix gives the ability to “assimilate capabilities to transform”, while “running the current world through projects”. Within the organisation, platforms and solution engineering have no restrictive Great Walls. Essentially, they are two sides of the same coin and when KRAs get defined, a crucial element is about teams assisting one other and not remaining mutually exclusive. When customers spend dollars on change, it has to be about execution. That is how Bi-Modal is implemented and the desired change achieved.

 

  1. On “data being the new oil.”

With IoT, a whole new world of data has been made available. It gets machines to spew more data which can then be leveraged from an engineering and design standpoint. As prices of hardware continue to fall, it has become even cheaper to store it all. But, the important insight to be drawn here is, research shows 87% of data stored by enterprises is useless and it’s only 13% which is useful. However, to get to the 13% we have to be prepared to go after all of it i.e. 100%. It’s the job of data scientists to sift through humongous data and cull out the vital 13%.  

 

While we have to store all of it somewhere, technologies must help get to this 13% data faster and process them efficiently. This aspect of Data mining, along with focus on simple data correlation, as opposed to complex data analytics, followed by rich data visualization interfaces - broadly, these three form the cornerstone of Altimetrik’s business fundamentals in making data a “fuel” for driving transformation.

 

  1. On Gen Y

Altimetrik thinks of itself as being an organization that is “led by the Gen Y and guided by the leaders”, as Mr Satagopan likes to articulate.  

 

Uniqueness that Gen Y brings, may best be captured as:

  • Uninhibited, boundary-less thinking which aids in differentiated thinking
  • They question status quo. The challenge for leaders is being able to manage this approach and not be straight-jacketed in a top-down hierarchical approach

 

The work culture in Altimetrik propagates this kind of thinking and is able to put up stimulating challenges for the young workforce. They have also been successful in being able to groom managers who enable this kind of thinking all across, and sustain very high motivation levels. Diversity in thinking, more than gender diversity, is one of the major strengths of the company.

 

  1. Please share your thoughts on the collaborative model of doing business. How has been your experience in working with startups?

They started out by acquiring three startups in areas of Mobility, Cloud and Enterprise Applications. Inorganic growth strategy has worked well, and it has not only been about acquisitions, but also about building partnerships. Mr Satagopan spends a significant amount of time working with startups which are part of the NASSCOM 10k programme, and is always on the lookout for startups which have competencies complementing Altimetrik, so an appropriate fit may be effected.

 

  1. 3 business pivots, 3 large bets and business mantra?

3 business pivots would be:

  • Digital transformation for clients
  • Connected solutions
  • A strong focus on consumer technologies

 

3 big bets:

  • Focus on Analytics including User Behavioural Sciences
  • Personalised computing based on user preferences
  • Focus on Human Intelligent Systems, a strong interplay between machines and humans so that the latter can deliver more effectively.

 

Business Mantras:

  • Talent with the right attitude - high calibre talent, without the right attitude is useless. Talent can also be wasted if there isn’t a definitive purpose
  • Innovate, but with a purpose
  • Simplify technologies … Amplify possibilities …

 

To read more interviews, follow leader talk

What IS BLOCKCHAIN?

First of all, let us understand the concept of block chain. Simply put, it is a distributed ledger secured by encryption which obviates the need for verification by a central authority. It builds a decentralized database of different entries using complex algorithms and peer to peer network of computers. This makes it difficult for anyone to hack or get access to the information. Being a shared open system enables all parties involved in an exchange to have an open access to the digital record of transactions which cannot be altered.

Thus, block chain can be characterized as robust and adaptable, secured and distributed, and fit for all types of use cases in any sector- financial, retail, healthcare, and insurance and so on.

In this article, we will look at the luxury retail sector.

LUXURY RETAIL SECTOR

The luxury retail industry is increasingly being shaped by the millennial generation who are highly impulsive and go by the latest trend and not by necessity. Highly engaged by digital, these consumers demand more as they possess information in a click. Influenced by global competition and increasing acceptance of e-commerce, the brands face a plethora of challenges. A report by Assocham states that globally counterfeit luxury products market accounts for 7 per cent of the overall luxury market and the market in India likely touched INR 6000 crores in 2016. Copies of luxury products such as bags, apparels, watches, shoes, belts, pens, perfumes and jewelry are found in abundance. The proliferation of counterfeit products online has increased multifold forcing brands to take to building their own e-commerce platforms. Companies like Ray-ban, Louis Vuitton, etc have implemented numerous activities to stop such malpractices. In this scenario, blockchain is an effective measure to address the challenges in the sector.

Future contribution of blockchain to luxury retail

Getting rid of counterfeiting:

The black economy, in respect of luxury goods is posing a nightmare for the manufacturers as more and more of such counterfeit products are entering the market. The global luxury industry is worth $320 billion of which the fake luxury product market stands at $22 billion. Finding out ways to reduce and stop this parallel business gives rise to significant business cost and also consumers are not at peace with their product authenticity. The erosion of brand trust is even more damaging.

This problem is solved by blockchain. It enables assigning a unique ID to the product which helps verify if an item is genuine or not. Products are tagged with Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology at their origin in the factory and that data stored on an immutable shared ledger where it could be tracked through a supply chain, consumers could then buy with confidence knowing the goods were legitimate. Transactional information made available to the consumer increases trust in the brand which reduces the trust tax expenses for the manufacturer. The tagging of the product also enables tracking of the product in case it is stolen. Product authenticity and quality assurance are maintained thereby.

Product attachment:

Today, customers are becoming increasingly demanding. They believe concepts like “organic”, “tailor made” and “boutique” are just marketing stunts to sell more of a product. This belief can be detrimental to the brand and needs a lot of investment to convince the consumer. However, if the consumer can see the above himself, he will become a preacher for the brand. This can be easily addressed by blockchain.

Blockchain helps maintain a record of who currently owns the product. Tracking the product and its past, enables the brand to tell a story about the product, its history, how it originated and it’s ingredients or make. Customers not only get information on the authenticity of the product but also the sustainability practices of the brand. The transactions also depict all the supply chain practices of the brand. This gives a sense of satisfaction to the consumer as he is well informed of his product. Customers get an indisputable proof of the provenance and authenticity at every step of the supply chain. This can also be used as advertisement and for marketing as well.

Supply chain

Supply chain dynamics have changed drastically over the years. The process has become compressed and automated leaving less scope of intervention for individuals. This in turn has led to increase in conflicts and trust issues between manufacturers, suppliers and consumers. Manufacturing organizations spend large amounts of time, money and effort on negotiation, communications and paper work to overcome absence of trust.

Blockchain can dramatically improve visibility into complex retail supply chains, such as information on product status and location, visibility into the entire value added process, and also for advanced analytics.

1.      Tracking ad Monitoring of High Value Goods-

a.      Transaction are saved in the form of permanent records that can’t be altered and are well suited for tracking high value goods where buyers can track the history and story of the product

b.      Large amount of data gets stored through complex supply chain which helps identify and track the location of a particular product and its stage of completion

2.      Supply chain visibility and sustainability-

a.      Every step is recorded as transaction and therefore gives a full picture of the process. Trials prove that the necessary steps have been taken towards all stakeholders

b.      Helps justify premium pricing, while fostering sustainability

c.       Meet CSR requirements

3.      Analytics-

a.      Supply chain efficiency and effectiveness - recording every transaction allows a huge set of data to be analyzed and metrics to be measured basis of this reliable data

b.      Consumer analytics - Blockchain allows quality analysis of consumer behavior and habits

The use of blockchain can make the entire value chain faster, secured and cheaper and give insights to both the manufacturers and the ultimate consumers. It can empower individuals to track the entire journey of the item from assembly to vendor.

IN A NUTSHELL

The recent display of blockchain technology at the Shanghai Fashion Week asserts the acceptance of technology in the luxury retail sector.  Core influences and values of brands are increasingly coupled with technology to deliver maximum value to ultimate consumer. Blockchain with its ample opportunities to solve the major key problems in this sector is something yet to be explored at full scale.

 

This article was a pen down by Prerna Goel and published on Indian Retailer.

http://bit.do/PrernaG_Altimetrik

 

Franchise India is one of the most coveted platform providing the news, information and market intelligence in the retail sector with an Alexa ranking of 2,449 in India.

 

Want to see more lessons ? Please use the tag communitytutorial to look them up.

Commodities today are defined to a greater extent by their abstract value rather than their utility. This situation is characterized best by the luxury goods industry that has always catered to a largely predictable audience in the past. This, however, is no longer the case, as millennials have now come to disrupt this smooth cycle and present in new challenges to be addressed.

Luxury goods market was valued at almost $250 billion in 2015, accounting for almost a quarter of the total retail market. With the retail industry slated to grow by 4 – 6% in the next two years, luxury retail is set to become a major player. Within this sector, online retail is seen as an important component, forming a deceptively small 5% of the luxury retail market now, though it is projected to increase to as much as 18% in the next decade. Of this share, fashion is seen to dominate in terms of luxury items bought (accessories, beauty products etc.) These changes can be credited to the rise of new technologies and solutions to persisting problems that plagues the industry.Customers too have undergone a significant evolution – lifestyle transformation – which in its simplest essence ensures products and services instead of being pushed to the consumer are now governed and dictated by the consumer. eCommerece, FoodTech and even FinTech are illustrious examples of the said transformation. Consequently, there have been significant changes over the past few years in terms of shopping patterns. Traditionally, the web was used simply to canvas for options which would later be bought in person at the store. These roles have been reversed in today’s world as the store becomes the testing ground for the product which will later be bought online. This migration of ‘touch and feel’ to the shopping experience prompts brands to focus on what the customer wants rather than where the customer is.

Thus, social media is now a major indicator of both customer and brand satisfaction. These new developments however, raise certain challenges for brands and the customers they serve. One of the major concerns is targeted marketing on a global scale for brands that wish to increase their presence in the industry. This involves making the product accessible over great geographical distances. E-commerce represents the most viable tool to achieve this, though many brands are usually forced into utilizing it rather than doing so voluntarily.

A change in customer mindset also prompts challenges for brands. Customers now demand personalized products that in turn raise the cost of production, a consequence that customers wish brands to mitigate. This issue of cost leads to the flourishing counterfeit trade that benefits customers in the present but affects the brand loyalty and image in the long run due to a lack of quality checks.

Addressing these challenges, hence, becomes the primary focus of the industry. A solution that has steadily gained traction is digitization. The move towards becoming ‘GloTal’ (global and digital) is one of the major trends today and customers expect brands to utilize digital media effectively in order to appeal to them. Digital solutions hence must cater to the following needs:

 

For the seller

For the consumer

Leverage loyalty

Know product information- heritage, production, availability

Supply chain effectiveness

Virtual reality any time, any place

In store & at home user experience

Personalized product and experience

Omni-presence

Feedback and review mechanism

 

Some of the solutions that can be used to meet these needs are listed below:

  1. Convenience is the ultimate luxury. Hence, e-commerce must be able to effectively convey the product’s content, restrict itself to only potential customers and provide both customer and industry reviews.
  2. Digital media must be able to integrate customer data from multiple media and converge it in order to deliver a uniquely optimised product to the customer.
  3. Augmented reality can be used in retails stores with mannequins displaying people of all body types.
  4. Based on previous data, experience shopping can be introduced where customers are automatically guided to the product they wish to purchase as soon as they enter the store.
  5. One click checkout options such as PayPal and AliPay.
  6. Blockchain technology can be used to curb counterfeiting by creating logs and a unique identity for every sales transaction.

The fashion retail sector is well and truly on its way towards its goal of being ‘glotal’, as these solutions indicate. Thus, digital solutions are the way forward for the retail industry as a whole as it works towards increasing profit margins while also providing effective services to customers by steadily integrating technological advancements.

 

As a former Mayor of a US city aptly said, “The 19th century was a century of empires, the 20th century was a century of nation states. The 21st century will be a century of cities.”

 

However, urbanization brings with it a set of associated challenges as well. Situation in India, which is all set to replace China as the most populous country by 2025, is no different. In response to a myriad of social, economic and demographic shifts happening in India and in alignment with the paradigm shift in focus to-wards cities happening globally, Government of India launched the 100 Smart Cities Mission in June 2015.

 

It is probably not a coincidence that today we are also in the middle of disruptions in the technology land-scape. Technology led innovations which are possible now can go a long way in resolving the challenges which are being faced by the resource constrained cities in their efforts to become the engines of future growth.

 

Information and communication technologies (ICT), the emergence and adoption of sensors, converging data standards, and improvements in computational methods and technologies leading to innovative opex based business models are combining to provide new possibilities for city management. The ability to integrate and analyze massive amounts of data leveraging and big data analytics can lead to very insightful findings and new ways of servicing the needs of the city. Increased smart phone penetrations and mobile broadband access are acting as catalysts in this transformation. Collaboration across city sectors is the key.

 

In light of the above, there are few suggested thoughts and ideas for consideration of the city leadership. Seeding in these ideas right at the concept stage itself would only make the transformation process more effective.

 

a) Selected cities have identified IT initiatives in their detailed plan either as a pan city smart solution or within measures proposed under area based development or both. It is very likely that there are several other IT initiatives which may have been undertaken at different points of time in the city or proposed to be undertaken each trying to address some or the other challenge. Interventions proposed in the Smart City plan may also have to be supplemented with several other interventions over a period of time to make it more holistic. A comprehensive way of approaching this would be to consider developing a digital master plan for the city which outlines the roadmap of all the technology led interventions the city would undertake for it to meet the current and anticipated challenges in the years ahead, and related infrastructure requirements.

 

b) Integration is the essence of a Smart City. For applications running in various departments/sectors of the city to be interoperable and deliver services seamlessly transcending the departmental boundaries, taking a city wide IT architecture view while designing the IT strategy of the city would be beneficial. It will go a long way in promoting interoperable functional building blocks which are at the foundation of a Smart City.

 

c) Seamless delivery of citizen centric services cutting across departmental boundaries in a city relies on ICT as a key enabler. Like any other technology based system, the Smart City technological and communication eco system including the network infrastructure are vulnerable to cyber-attacks which could seriously jeopardize and bring the system to a halt. Therefore, right from the design stage itself, cities should consider architecting solutions keeping in mind potential threats arising out of cyber-attacks. Cyber Security Model Framework for Smart Cities published my Ministry of Urban Development, may be considered while developing the solution architecture of the cities.

 

d) In order to respond to the technology related challenges in the most effective way, institutional strengthening of urban local bodies is a must. Today, within India and globally, there are technologies available to solve various urban governance challenges. What is required to be developed in the Urban Local Bodies and city level para-statal agencies is the capacity to absorb these technologies to make the proposed technology interventions really sustainable over the mid to long term horizon. Creating a position of CIO or CKO in the SPV, as the case may be, and building an organization under him, can signal the right intent. Globally, this has met with success and some of the more progressive cities in India seem to be thinking on similar lines. Building in-house capabilities is an imperative for the success of this transformation.

 

e) Procurement of ICT by government has evolved. Several rounds of discussions facilitated by NASSCOM, between the government and technology players on various aspects of technology procurement have led to a balanced procurement process where the risks are more equitably distributed. However, learnings from this evolution should be suitably leveraged by Smart City SPV’s for buying technology and SI services.

 

The above cited measures and learning sourced from successful smart city implementations across the globe on, governance and program management, financing models such as PPP, Baseline+Opex, issuance of Municipal bonds and others, leveraging open data, frugal innovation, process reforms within the urban local bodies etc. can potentially ensure a greater degree of success as cities embark on this transformational and ambitious journey to become a Smart City.

 

The article was originally published in BW Smartcities November issue

PM Modi just built a tomb for all those who evaded tax. Those who did not pay heed to the Income Declaration Scheme will now face the blunt of his step. The salaried person is safe and slept peacefully but not the others. Be it any business sector, cash drives majority of the transaction. When people were busy devising strategies for liquidity for the next couple of days, tech startups into payments were busy tapping the market opportunity. As per the IT department, the physical cash circulation in India is Rs 17 lakh crore and out of this, 88 per cent is Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Official data suggest that 40 per cent of black money is generated in real estate, while stock market and bullion transactions are other big sources. In 2015, investigative agencies and the Reserve Bank of India recovered 6,32,000 fake currency notes worth Rs 30.43 crore. With a threefold objective of curbing black money, addressing counterfeit currency and increasing bank transactions, he has given open opportunity for wallets to tap the market.

 

The mobile wallet market in India is projected to reach $6.6 billion by 2020, as per the ‘India Mobile Wallet Market Opportunities and Forecast, 2020’ report by TechSci Research. According to a leading consulting company 99% of transactions by volume are done by cash in India. With the step of rendering high denominations as an illegal tender, wallets and UPI are the ones who stand to gain. Non-banking payment solution companies like Paytm and freecharge will see a surge in the volume of transactions. Free guerrilla marketing for Paytm as it was swift in rolling out its notification. “Ab ATM nahin, Patym karo”- is a perfect fit for the cashless economy.

 

With approval from RBI, to set up services under Bharat Bill Payment System, the NPCI and wallets stand a partnership deal to aid all utility bill payments. One can also pay school’s tuition fee or even for milk at a booth using just a scan code. The 0% transaction fee will further help people in the transition from cash to wallets. Increase of presence in kirana stores and other point of sales is what wallets will look upon now. Tie-ups with ecommerce companies also goes a long way as they are curbing on COD orders and putting upper limits. Banks and financial institutions will integrate their systems with wallets to ensure convenience and expand presence. The very benefit a cashless economy possess is the traceability element. Once money comes online, it is easier to match the income and expenditure of a person leading to investigations in case of discrepancies. It also saves RBI a huge Rs 42000 crores incurred in printing currency.

 

But will transactions be only on the rise? The scheme is implemented for a period of 2 months, during which citizens will increasingly resort to online modes of payment. But once new 500 and 2000 denominations are floated in ample in the economy, people exchange their currency and are back to the cash zone, this time being monitored, and the growth these wallets gain during the next few days will plummet again. Moreover, one person needs to have multiple wallets to convert his money because pre kyc limit is INR 10,000.

 

The act of keeping banks closed and making the announcement at 8 pm clearly demonstrates how meticulously and secretively was the operation done. This is not an overnight act but the foundations were laid ever since Modi govt came into power. The Jan Dhan Yojana itself had around 25.45 crores of accounts opened for rural villagers. The DTAA & IDS Scheme, the penalty on real estate transactions exceeding 20,000 and undertaken in cash, the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Amendment Bill were nothing but a foundation to implement the rendering of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes as invalid.    

 

Indeed, Modi’s emerged as the perfect doctor for “the black money” disease dealing with not just the symptoms but ailing it from the grass root level. With all this, an addition required to the government policy of curbing black money is to set up another platform like Income Declaration Scheme wherein people can deposit illegitimate Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and get it converted by paying tax or by opening a new window for all those who did not pay heed as an ultimate warning. This will surely go a long way in earning more tax revenues than the IDS Scheme as people now understood they have no shelter to hide black money and all they will be left with is a heap of designed paper.

change-same.jpg

Gone are the days, when companies used to decide strategy and then execute it for next five years as planned.

 

Today company’s life on Fortune 500 or S&P 500 is just 15 years. Digital businesses like Uber, Airbnb did not exist before 2008 but now they are multi-billion dollar poster children for digital disruption.

 

Today due to digital, every business has to change how to operate, interact with their customers every day. Long term strategies are no longer valid or sustainable and change is constant feature.

 

Culture is a key determinant of this successful digital transformation. We can change our technologies, our infrastructure, and our processes. But without addressing the human element, lasting change will not happen. Culture is the operating system of the organization. It is like air, it is there but you can’t see it.

 

It's important for leaders to understand the business's current culture to map the right solution and timeline that will work for that business. No two organizational cultures are the same. Executives underestimate the importance of culture in an era of digital.  Most cultures are risk averse at a time, when taking risks is the most direct path to innovation.

 

But we have to remember that without the involvement, cooperation and feedback of the workforce, any digital transformation will struggle to maintain momentum.

 

Building an organizational culture for a successful adoption of digital technologies like IoT, Big Data Analytics, Mobility requires everyone in the organization, from leaders to front-line employees, to be prepared to work in an open and transparent way. It’s hard for an organization to undergo digital transformation if the culture is one built around silos. In cases like these, cultural change would need to be addressed before the transformation process could begin

 

Culture leads the adoption of technology. The ability to innovate depends on the impatience of the organizational culture. Organizations have to build the culture and community, making the time for people to share experiences, test and learn what works, brainstorm and collaborate.

 

It takes time to develop a digital culture; the sooner a company acts, the more quickly it will be in a position to compete in this fast-paced, digitized, multichannel world.

 

Southwest Airlines, in operation for more than 40 years, brought in culture change and empowered employees to go Digital and help customers.

 

Imagine how GE, which is more than 130 years old and operating in more than 175 countries now, has a quest for cultural change to be leader in Digital and Industrial Internet of Things.

 

Coca Cola has reinvented itself with culture change by focusing on digital natives while offering more than 100 flavored drinks.

 

For Digital Transformation Culture is top most enabler. Without people, tools won’t make any difference!!

 

Originaly published Simplified Analytics: Why Culture change is essential for Digital Transformation

With world in your palms, user experience is becoming a necessity in every domain. Everyone is looking for a memorable and seamless experience that is intuitive, intelligent and definitely a solution provider. 

This is why today UX is gaining extreme importance and is playing a major role in simplifying the complexities. It is undoubtedly the foundation to success and all the passionate designers have proven this time and again. Many companies, be it product or service oriented are acknowledging the role of designing in the pavement of success like Fintech, Travel & Tourism, E-commerce, Enterprise Applications. But, there are few industries who still lag behind like Healthcare, Oil & Gas, Insurance etc. 

Our first step in Healthcare UX

We started in the field with ‘Context media’, a US based client that aimed at designing an interactive tab app that helped patients gain more knowledge about the chronic diseases. Though, it was not a big project but helped us touch the unanswered vacuum of the industry. Soon, we got our milestone project ‘Surgeon logbook’, a project of ‘Narayana Health’. Dr. Varun Shetty approached us to design an extremely simple app that would aid surgeons in maintaining their log book digitally. We spent hours with the doctors understanding their requirement (conscious and sub-conscious) and them. We were appalled to discover how healthcare industry was so heavily paper dependent in 21st century! With our mobile first approach and research, we were happy to unearth that the world of surgeon’s was looking forward to an App like this.

 

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3 Years in Healthcare industry and after spending 4000 plus hours with doctors, nurses, surgeons and patients, we have been entrusted with immense knowledge and thrust to design many more healthcare products. Below are important tips before you begin designing for Healthcare industry:

 

Start with Design Thinking aka Solution Based Thinking Session

This session with the stakeholders is the first and most crucial step. Involve the entire team, right from product owners, dev team and marketing team. Here are some links for a design thinking workshops.

 

Keep it device friendly

Desktop version of EMR is history; let’s think of mobile or tabs. In one of our research, we found that doctors were more comfortable using EMR on iPad. IoT can be smartly used to supplement patient treatment through remote monitoring and communication, and to keep track of patients as they move through a healthcare facility or connect your EMR with smart wearables.

 

Create a UX Process

Every project has its own challenges, be it budget, timelines or development constraints. It is very important to understand them, sit back and draw your process that is adaptive to the project. We followed following steps for one of the healthcare projects:

 

  • Empathy: Understand users (doctors and Patients) wants and needs.
  • Discover: Research, create user scenarios, interview stakeholders, users and others playing a major role, create personas, competitor analysis.
  • Define: Create user journey, process flows. wireframes, clickable prototypes.
  • Test: Wireframes can be turned into clickable prototype, test it before you fine tune the pixels, heuristic evaluation.

 

Know your Users and Know them better than them

A good product is the result of good IA. Card sorting helps you group and organize necessary information by getting users involved. For example:  What information doctor needs before prescribing medicine and in which flow can be easily determined by having an internal discussion and also by involving doctors involved.

 

Our team at Lollypop loves this activity, as Card sorting is simple, cheap, fast and user-focused. Card sorting also helps in bonding with clients and knowing the users better.

 

Understand HIPAA Compliance - Health Insurance, portability and Accountability.

Make sure you are aware of all the laws before you start designing fancy things. Few healthcare products fall under regulations that can impact the User Experience. Not being aware of these laws could delay the products release and could also lead to other issues. Understand the laws in handling and protecting personal healthcare information. Most of these laws are around who can access what information.

 

Once your personas are ready, map it to the roles and create user flows. Health insurances and their coverage are different in every country, it’s important to understand insurances role and regulations while building a product. As a designer be responsible and consider privacy of patient’s information.

 

Follow “Intelligent Devices, Dumb People” rule

Yes, you read it right. We should not overweigh anyone to go out of there genre and become extremely tech savvy. Keep it simple, doctors are interested in treating patients and definitely not learning your software.

 

Conclusion:

When you understand “What users need and not what they want” you are treading on a right path. We can order pizza, call for a taxi, maintain our finances, plan our holidays with few clicks, because, these products have invested time and finances continuously in UX and making the experience emotional intelligent. Now it’s time for healthcare to pace up and build an amazing product for hospitals and patients.

 

@Anil Reddy, Founder/Creative Director, Lollypop Design Studio

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      photo credit: IndiaDiasporaForum

 

NPC finally becomes a teenager!

 

The thirteenth edition started off on a very different note (as one would expect from a teenager), and for the first time we had five “Summits” in parallel before the main sessions. I was there at the Deep Tech Summit, and it was a hard choice to give the other four a miss – Design, Fintech, Product Management and Sales & Marketing. What tilted my choice was obviously the fact that an industry doyen would be sharing his thoughts about opportunities that lay ahead. Kris Gopalakrishnan, one of the founders of Infosys, and he needs no further introduction. An unalloyed joy for us, to be able to stand on the shoulder of a giant, and see the future unfold.

 

At the very outsets, he set the tone and tenor, and spelt out clearly the aim for having a Deep Tech Summit. Deep Technologies is the future, and we will see an explosive growth in the next 20 – 30 years. However in India there are certain gaps which need to be fixed. The idea is to create a synergy between startups, academia, large companies and the government bodies, so all can leverage the ecosystem more meaningfully. The startups require help from academia to solve critical problems related to these technologies. On the other hand, academics are more enthused about publishing research papers than working with startups for solving specific sectoral problems. Challenges of resource scarcity remain on both sides, though glimpses of synergy which exists in pockets was showcased at the summit.

 

He underscored the significance of the ecosystem in Bangalore. Despite obvious infra related challenges, it was still amongst the most attractive destinations globally. Its real strength lay in talent – more than a million people in the IT sector alone, which was probably second only to the Valley. Moreover, upwards of 350 MNCs have their back offices, R&D centres and GICs in the city. Equally noteworthy is the presence of such great academic institutions like the IISC, IIM B among others, providing a hotbed for innovation. The sheer breadth of available talent was quite extraordinary and has few parallels even globally. 

 

Cloud, AI, Machine Learning, Nano Technology, Gene Editing, Stem Cell Research were all in various stages of advancement – some early, and others already exploited. Problems that we are faced with require a multi-disciplinary approach with cross-border linkages. He went so far as to say that for every 5 dollars spent on Research in US if India spent even a dollar, the output would double.

 

The IoT impact in future is likely to be 4 trillion USD. It’s very easy to plug in devices but governments need to protect the internet from such “Hacked Toasters” or else the impact would be severe because of breach in cyber security, frequent attacks and denial of services. From a future sustenance standpoint, the following are essential which will also create opportunities: New technologies for security, new operating systems (every new cycle has seen new OS come in), scalable platforms which can integrate with existing systems and advanced battery technology which will continue to power all these billions of devices.

 

On the future of work. Computing performance is growing exponentially – an explosion of sorts - whereas human performance has shown a linear growth. In specific areas, computers were always infinitely faster but now the outreach is much greater. The first wave of AI was observed in the 1960s but it died down. This is the second wave that we are witnessing. This time what we are likely to see different, is understanding the brain much better, new computing models, new process and memory chips and solve the software maintenance challenge once and for all. AI ought to be specifically directed to solve sectoral problems in financial services, healthcare among several others. We have to work towards incentivising academic institutions to work with startups, and also garner the support of incubators and accelerators in an intensified manner.

 

And he really did keep us in thrall. We came out richer.

 

Want more blogs, session updates, videos and discussions from NASSCOM Product Conclave, 2016, Bangalore? Use the hashtag npc2016  and find them all.

Punjab

Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion (Bureau) has been set up by the Government of Punjab as the single point of contact for regulatory clearances and fiscal incentives approvals for investors who are looking to set up a business in Punjab.

 

33 departments coordinate at a single physical location in Invest Punjab programme to provide regulatory clearances and fiscal incentives approvals with in 3 - 4 weeks. As the nodal agency, the bureau has been entrusted the responsibility to ensure a smooth transition of the project from the proposal stage up to the implementation stage.

 

Maharashtra

 

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Delhi

 

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See more in our report here

Gone are the days when we used to carry big fat wallet filled with cash, coins, multiple credit cards, business cards, travel tickets, movie tickets, personal notes, papers with names, numbers and the list can go on.

 

Mobile technologies have transformed the way we live, work, learn, travel, shop, and stay connected. More than 80% of time is spent on non-voice activities.

 

The rapid growth in Mobility, Big data, IoT and Cloud computing technologies has changed market dynamics in every industry and is changing customer behavior. Digital Transformation has become the norm.

 

Mobile is spearheading this transformation by putting businesses on the move and by connecting the enterprises with customers, partners, employees and machines.

 

Businesses are fast realizing that they need to offer their customers cutting-edge mobile applications that will help them engage with the brand and its services, in near real-time.

 

Some innovative use of mobiles in digitization:

  • Payments - NFC payments, Biometric payments using finger scans, facial recognition, voice recognition, retina based check. Major players in this space are PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay etc.
  • Virtual or digital currency
  • Tsunami of Apps from Google maps, to zomato helping us throughout the day
  • Retailers can use targeted mobile campaigns for customer acquisition, retention
  • Live streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope delivering targeted content to site-specific users which benefits both the consumer and the creator.

 

Impact of mobile enablement:

  • With mobile enablement, a merchant can enhance your payment experience and boost operational efficiency
  • Real time communicating with the customer, can be greatly enhanced through mobile enablement. Businesses can quickly respond to customer complaints or questions through social media, or the apps
  • By analyzing the data generated by mobiles using Big data Analytics, businesses can give personalized experience to consumers
  • Digital assistants like Google Now, Siri are helping everyone

 

Here are some well-known industry examples:

  • Starbucks processes over 8 million mobile transactions each week, this data of mobile user behavior to customer preferences, is then analyzed by a team of data scientists for insights.
  • Coca Cola is using mobile apps for field sales folks, equipment service teams and knowledge workers and commercials like get free coke on mobile
  • The emergence of hyper-local startups like Jugnoo, Zopper, Grofers and PepperTap using mobile first strategy
  • Virgin Atlantic, Bank of America, Delta, Chipotle have their industry leader apps for fantastic customer experience

 

As the penetration of smartphones and internet is increasing with 5G and beyond, along with the changing shopping behaviors, the mobile revolution is here to stay and impact the Digital Transformation further.

dive-into-digital-water-Fotolia_46762481_Subscription_Monthly_L.jpgToday every part of the business is subject to new expectations, competitors, channels, threats and opportunities. Every business has the potential to be a digital business. 

 

Businesses that digitally transform will be able to connect more closely with customers, speed up the pace of innovation and, as a result, claim a greater share of profit in their sectors. Today digitally transformed companies have an edge; tomorrow, only digital businesses will succeed.

 

Here is my version of A-Z of Digital Transformation.

 

Artificial Intelligence: AI is the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior. BMW, Tesla, Google are using AI for self-driving cars. AI should be used to solve real world tough problems like climate modeling to disease analysis and betterment of humanity

 

Big Data: This serves as foundational backbone for digital transformation. Hyper-personalization and real time recommendations based on geo-location of the customers, will be the key to success. Big Data Analytics are driving force for action.

 

Customer Centricity: The most important theme of digital transformation is it should be customer focused with a consistent, enjoyable and very personal experience to customers.

 

Disruption: Digital has disrupted many businesses so far who did not take it seriously like Blockbuster, Kodak, Borders and brought new leaders on the horizon like Airbnb, Uber, Netflix, Spotify.

 

Employee driven: Digital Transformation will be successful only when employees are involved, educated and empowered to enhance the customer experience.

 

Fail Fast: Digital is all about deploying quick PoCs and check the outcome. If it does not work then drop the concept/idea and move on to new one. Be prepared to change the pace or direction as necessary.

 

Growth Hacking: Focuses on building products that fit the market needs, with a viral push to market with a very simple idea & all the digital tools like email, tweets, blogs. Zynga used FB alerts and online adverts while DropBox offered extra storage space for referring friends for growth.

 

Hyper-personalization: Use of browsing histories, past purchases, social media data and internal customer data to provide more personalizedand targeted products, services, and content. It is about being relevant at the right place and right time to the right person.

 

Internet of things: All the businesses are aiming at reaching their Customers anywhere, anytime, any platform with any device.  All such smart devices or physical objects that are connected to internet, are continuously emitting data and communicating with each other. IoTbased real time predictive maintenance in manufacturing is becoming important to save costs and downtime.

 

Journey Maps: Creating customer journey maps is the prime and initial milestone for digital transformation where you understand the pitfalls and pain points with every touch point you have with customers. Once they are in place then plan with most impacting problems.

 

KNN: K nearest neighbor algorithm in Machine Learning used for classification problems based on distance or similarity between data points.

 

Leadership Support: Without actual drive from CEO and Board members, digital will not move further as it involves cultural business transformation.

 

Mobile First: Today we live in “always on, always connected” world, and use mobile for almost everything. We spend more time on mobile than any other digital channel. Start your digital implementation with mobile first in mind. More than half of the world population is on mobile now and

 

NFC: Near Field Communication used for a contact less, WiFi style technology that could already be in your smartphone. Few years from now your credit cards, bus pass, train tickets, loyalty cards for high street coffee shops will be gone due to digital transformation and you only carry your phone.

 

Omni-Channel: It is about true continuity of customer’s experience even when they flip channels to complete a single transaction. Disney, Virgin Atlantic, Starbucks are great examples of Omni-Channel digital transformation.

 

Prioritize: Spend where you’ll make the biggest difference for business. Small and quick successes will be drivers for digital transformation.

 

Quality: Quality of data collected by all the channels is extremely important in digital transformation for generating meaningful insights. Garbage in, Garbage Out still remains valid in digital age.

 

Robotics: Robots are machines with programmed movements that allow them to move in certain directions or sequences. Artificial intelligence has given robots more ability to process information and to learn.

 

Sentiment Analytics: Sentiment analysis is all about helping companies gain better insights into their customers, and helping them to bridge the gap between insight and action by analyzing positive and negative sentiments.

 

Talent: To deliver on the digital transformation, organization have to get right talent. As Jim Collins said in his book “Good to Great”, get the right people in the bus put them in right sits and then decide where the bus will go.

 

User Experience: This is extremely important considering the focus on customer. Use of responsive webdesigns to adjust to any screen sizes with ease, make the web site accessible on any platform, intuitive and pleasant to use is the key.

 

Virtual Reality: Virtual Reality is making a lot of impact on the world we live in today. Everything that we know about our reality comes by way of our 5 senses – Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch & Taste. Today Real Estate, Travel companies are coming up with VR gadgets to give the feel of virtual walks of houses or destinations like Eiffel tower / or Grand Canyon experience on your living room couch.

 

Wearables: They come in various forms, like smart watches, health trackers, Google Glass, interactive clothing, gesture controllers and list goes on. Sooner or later, all of us are identified by the data we generate, and wearables represent a quantum leap in the type and quantity of data collected — which is both an interesting and a scary proposition

 

Xamarin: A modern programming language for iOS, Android & Windows mobile platforms.

 

Yarn: The earlier map-reduce has undergone complete overhaul and now called yarn that allows multiple data processing engines such as interactive SQL, real-time streaming, data science and batch processing to handle data stored in a single platform.

 

ZooKeeper: ZooKeeper is a Hadoop centralized service for maintaining configuration information, naming, providing distributed synchronization, and providing group services.

 

Digital Transformation brings changes in product creation and delivery, changes in IT infrastructure, changes in the consumption and payment methods to ‘go digital’.

 

originally published at Simplified Analytics: A to Z of Digital Transformation