Podcast Audio Transcript
Alisha: Hello listeners, this is Alisha; thank you for tuning in to yet another exciting and informative podcast from us at Infosys BPM. Today, we are taking a gander at the digital transformation initiatives here at Infosys BPM. And to talk about this, we have here with us, Ravishankar, who is the AVP and business head of BPM analytics. Welcome Ravi. How are you?
Ravi: Thanks Alisha. I’m doing very well.
Alisha: Great to hear that. The last year has been hard on most industries due to the global pandemic. In your experience, how has this changed the expectations of clients in terms of digital adoption?
Ravi: You might have come across the internet meme that digital adoption was driven more by the pandemic than any corporate initiative. I would say that it’s true to a great extent, because we really did see a major spike in digital transformation initiatives during the pandemic.
While people started working from home or were quarantined, clients were looking to accelerate their digital journey. This was because they wanted to ensure that customer experience continued to improve. The pandemic caused disruptions in their normal supply chains. At the same time, they needed more funds to drive these initiatives. Extracting efficiency from their business processes became a key area of focus.
A lot of these companies reached out to Infosys BPM to drive transformation. Some of our existing customers who didn’t have enough digital capabilities quickly started exploring the scope of digital transformation. Essentially, this led an IT and BPM company like Infosys to experience a further spike in work, both old and new.
Alisha: Absolutely! I think that the people were extremely productive during the lockdown. What are the various aspects of digital transformation journey?
Ravi: Well, Alisha, the truth is that technology is an enabler that keeps changing, and newer things will keep coming up. On the other hand, what is more important is how we use technology to accelerate a customer’s journey towards the 4 E’s of efficiency, effectiveness, experience, and empathy – enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes and improving stakeholder experience (be it employees or customers) with a lot of empathy. Digitisation improves focus on all these outcomes.
Anything which accelerates this journey will assume the prime position here. For instance, even before thinking about technology, customers really need to think about why they are reaching out to us:
- What is their end customers’ perception about them? Is it a positive or negative experience for their end customers? How does it compare with peers?
- How can they ensure a seamless process transaction with minimal touches?
- What kind of process changes are needed to enable this?
- How can internal change management be sequenced and accelerated?
- Are there other ready-to-deploy platforms or tech solutions available off-the-shelf that can be implemented to accelerate the journey?
- What kind of data infrastructure is needed to enable analytics?
These are some of the issues that clients want to resolve when they get in touch with Infosys BPM. As you can see, there are so many dimensions in this process, which brings these 4 E’s together. So, technology is an enabler and it keeps changing, but the focus should be on what customers are doing to accelerate their digital journey and make it a very positive experience for their end customers.
Alisha: Indeed! Transformation journey is all about bringing the 4 E’s together. Let’s talk about the approach you would take in implementing digital transformation. How do you structure your solution for a client?
Ravi: Sure. Digital transformation, being a key concept, is all about the journey. We can’t think that by implementing a platform, a customer’s problems can be magically solved in a day. The journey starts from where the customer is now and through what he wants to achieve as an outcome. So, I would approach it from an end-to-end perspective and understand some key aspects like:
The combination of journey mapping and benchmarking of metrics defines what is it that you really want to achieve, and also the right path to achieve it.
- What kind of process breakages are there?
- How do we streamline a process?
- Do we have to perform a customer journey mapping or value stream mapping to identify areas of improvement?
- Is there any waste in the process that we need to eliminate?
- What are the metrics the customer needs to achieve?
- Where does the customer stand in terms of benchmarks?
Then, we arrive at the solution. You decide, based on what you want to achieve, what are the things you need to do: What would be the enablers, what is the critical path, etc. This analysis allows you to bring in the right streams and right sequences to deliver the solution.
So, in every way, Infosys BPM is becoming increasingly focused on transformation, and the Digital Transformation Services are all about orchestrating this transformation process end to end.
Alisha: That’s indeed a very detailed roadmap for transformation, isn’t it? What kind of levers would you have in it?
Ravi: Yes, let me elaborate. To structure the solution, you have to take stock of the current scenario, find out metrics about efficiency and customer experience: Are there increased levels of interaction or a marked lack of it; are you able to mine the end customer, etc. As you can see, there are several dimensions here. So, you literally do a process mapping and benchmarking of a particular process, and decide on a roadmap for transformation. Budgets also play a key role.
Now, to speak about the levers: For me, typically the starting point is customer journey mapping and value stream mapping. They help us generate a clear picture of how the process is being executed presently.
Then we examine whether the customer has a workflow, which is something that a lot of customers may not have. In case workflows are absent, we implement a workflow, so that transactions which we are processing progress very smoothly. In this case, we may decide on our in-house workflows or off-the-shelf workflows, based on customer preference.
The third step is identifying the outliers. For instance, if workflows take care of 80% of transactions in a particular process, we identify the 20% outliers. We decide whether those outliers can be automated. This could be done through a simple rule-based RPA process or an AI-interlinked automation process.
Quite naturally, all of these should be stitched together with a strong layer of analytics. We need to bring in advanced analytics and predictive capabilities. Then, machine learning & AI will further accelerate this journey. That’s a parallel process. So, as you can see, there are many layers, and the entire process is primarily about the preferences of our customer.
Alisha: I totally agree with you. Infosys BPM has been at the forefront of digital transformation for years. What in your opinion are the factors behind this success and leadership?
Ravi: In my opinion, our customer centricity is key here.
We have done transformation initiatives even at the expense of reduced revenue for us. For instance, in case of a project where we bill a customer based on the number of FTEs, if we implement transformation and reduce the number of FTEs needed by 20%, it means we lose out on the FTE-based billing. Still, we are very comfortable doing that because we keep the customer in mind.
Secondly, we are quite outcome-focused. We take pride in guiding customers to be best-in-class in their particular processes. We want to work closely with them, and want to be seen as a partner to help them achieve and exceed the KPIs across their business processes.
So, in essence, it comes down to customer centricity; our ability to bring all the levers together in a one-stop shop manner; and our own conviction that we are a transformation-led organization and not just an operations-driven organization.
This culture of Infosys BPM plays a very crucial role. Our entire senior management including the CEO really look for transformational stories. My own reviews with our CEO are primarily about new transformation initiatives. This culture, in fact, keeps us on our toes, and we continue to be at the forefront of transformation.
Of course, our parent being a technology company, we have access to newer and newer technologies, which continue to help us accelerate this journey.
Alisha: Yes, that customer centric approach is so admirable. Thank you, Ravi for such an informative talk today. I am sure our listeners have fully enjoyed it.
Ravi: Thank you, Alisha. It was such a pleasure to have this conversation.
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Also, if you have any queries, do reach out to us through the email address on the podcast description. Watch this space for more exciting podcasts coming up. Once again, thank you for tuning in, stay healthy and socially distanced. Have a nice day!