The rising scope of digital transformation: A conversation with Amit Gautam
Amit Gautam, Chief Digital & Solutions Officer, Next Level Business Services, throws light on how companies in India and around the world are scaling their efforts of digital transformation and,if correctly implemented, how it can help deliver business outcomes and gain a competitive edge.
Tell us about NLB Services.
We are a technology services company focused on solving business problems by leveraging digital, process and talent services. We have four Centersof Excellence – Digital, Business Process Excellence, Talent Supplementation and Training. Over the last 13 years the firm has grown to become 6,000+ strong across 12 global locations.
Our clients don’t engage us to implement technology or provide talent; they engage us to solve a business problem. We have never encountered anyone asking us to deploy AI or IoT for them. The requirement has always been to drive outcomes like improving current customer acquisition strategy or improving demand forecasting or managing spends etc. Solving business problems like these, in turn, leverages our expertise around digital, process, and talent to provide a viable holistic solution.
What are the Digital services you offer?
Our digital business comprises three core offerings - Digital Architecture, Analytics, Artificial Intelligence & Business Insights. The cloud forms the very heart of digital architecture - moving data and applications to the cloud, building APIs,IoTmicroservices, data pipeline, and data cataloging. Customers might not see it, but the technology and architecture for digital readiness are essential and must be robust.
Once the architecture is in place, the next level – which is analytics or data science – comes into play. We take this data and find signals in it. At this point, we convert the information into data.Once this conversion is complete, we have the third layer which is Business Insights, and it involves rendering information to businesses and decision-makers.
So, the top-most layer is the thinnest, but the most important and distinguishing. It is for this layer that we have created a differentiated product strategy.One of the areas NLB Services has invested in is making your data speak to you as if you are talking to me. Imagine if your data could translate into information, and then those insights can be rendered to you in a natural language. That will be so powerful. We have invested in creating an AI, and NLP based Business Insights platform, we call it CAIATM – Conversational Artificial Intelligence Assistant. With this tool, weare makingdecision-makers and enterprises more powerful when it comes to decision making
Are you in the System Integration business also?
NLB focuses on solving business problems, and as part of that we often need to integrate systems, so the short answer is yes. We have several strategic partnerships across technology platforms including Microsoft and Adobe. Another strategic partnership for us is Thomson Reuters in Direct and InDirect Tax solutions. We also have deep expertise in all leading ERP solutions in the market today. Along with these enterprise partnerships, we have more than 15 point solution partnerships. These collectively provide NLB comprehensive technology expertise.
How are you focusing on the India market?
We have some very large global clients with a significant presence in Southeast Asia in general and India in particular. Hence India has been a large and growing market for us. We are bullish on the potential of India markets and are committed to investing in both – our client base expansion as well as developing our engineering centers.
What is it about Talent Supplementationthat sets you apart?
The talent and not the employer dictates 90% of today's job market. Companies, therefore, are faced with unique challenges in attracting and hiring the right talent; and this becomes an even more daunting task when you are looking to hire someone with in-demand skills.
One of the largest e-commerce company was recently in the news for spending $750 million to retrain its employees. This company is undoubtedly already a market leader and on the cutting edge of technology. And if theyare spending that kind of money, can you imagine how deep the need is for other companies to do the same?
NLB Talent Supplementation and Training is a business that sets us apart. We have one of the largest talent acquisition engines, and we have leveraged digital technologies to create a differentiated model. Right from identifying talent, matching it to the given requirements, and ensure we render it to our clients with agility, flexibility, and quality. It involves a significant amount of evaluation – right from fraud detection to matching suitable candidates to the requirements. It also provides both our clients and candidates, with a seamless, self-service process to ensure they get what they need.
Training and up-skilling have become a major differentiator. Enterprises are looking for talent with multiple combinations of skills that are hard to find in one person – we use a funny term – “purple squirrel” to indicate how difficult it is to find such combination of skills. NLB bridges this demand with the reality of talent supply by its up-skilling program. We find the best available talent and then put them through a rigorous training program to build skillsets that are needed for the resources to be readily deployable in digital transformation projects.