How to be a disrupter

Today, right now, is a transformative moment. You are as likely to read this on your phone or tablet as you are on a laptop or in print. Every company wants to remodel itself as a lean, mean digital disruptor. Hotel companies look in awe at Airbnb, whose digital model propelled them from nowhere to a $30-billion valuation. A hotel giant that owns no rooms – groundbreaking. Transport companies fret over Uber, which at $66 billion is more highly valued than Ford. Can any “traditional” auto business compete with Uber’s super-streamlined app-based model?

In every industry the message is change and compete - or die.

But how? Many companies flounder when attempting to rethink their model. An external management consultancy may offer insights, but they lack the firepower to turn them into action. Internal management may get bogged down fighting traditional working practices.

The solution? Partnership with a global outsourcing leader can bring both fresh insights and the technical solutions needed to move forward. For example, global outsourcer Wipro is working with companies in a range of sectors as an agent of transformational change.

“The tools needed to compete in our new age of disruption are numerous,” says Wipro senior vice president and global head of business process services Nagendra Bandaru. “Artificial intelligence, robotic process automation and cognitive computing are all part of the equation. These are the natural strengths of companies like Wipro.”

foo_wiproThis point is worth highlighting: India rivals Silicon Valley in advanced software fields like artificial intelligence and cognitive platforms. Wipro has led the market in building cognitive and robotics expertise for the past decade.

Wipro’s flagship product is the Holmes artificial intelligence engine. The name is an audacious allusion to the Sherlock Holmes-Watson relationship. After all, it was Holmes who had the brains. Holmes brings the full suite of artificial intelligence functions to the mass market: machine-learning, natural language processing and deep learning algorithms, all accessible through the cloud. “It’s an API-based [application programming interface] product,” says Mr Bandaru. “This means it can be used for essentially any industrial application or use-case.”

Another Wipro innovation is the Marvel Enterprise operations transformation suite that has four pillars of transformation supported by a rich intellectual property. It features a complete automation of lean processes, automation through bots and unified interface. Users have a 360-degree view of customer operations. This increases cross and up-selling opportunities, and includes rich functions such as issue anticipation modelling.

In the business intelligence and analytics arena, Wipro has the Opera Solutions suite that it invested through its venture capital arm Wipro Ventures. Actionable insights from Wipro analytics teams empower healthcare companies to impact patient and financial outcomes positively, provide financial companies with the data they need to succeed with know-your-customer initiatives, and help telecom companies to excel at customer service with better-than-ever net promoter scores.

To improve continuously the value it offers clients and bring innovation to its customers, Wipro Ventures has acquired and integrated global leaders in a variety of software fields. These include Vectra Networks (cyber security), Insights Cyber Intelligence, Altizon (internet of things), Avaamo (Silicon Valley artificial intelligence messaging company) and DesignIt, a Danish firm applying design-thinking to enterprise transformations. Most recently, Wipro acquired US-based healthcare business-process-as-a-service provider HealthPlan Services to deliver policy administration services for leading carriers.

“These investments and acquisitions complement our internal record of innovation,” says Mr Bandaru.

With this diverse toolkit, Wipro is uniquely equipped to help companies re-engineer their business models. For a Swedish industrial manufacturing group, Wipro helped transform global shared services. More than 3,000 people in 30 countries were using a jumbled variety of processes. Wipro moved all business processes to a simplified Harmony platform. Lean management analysis with swaths of tasks that can be automated through robotics are in the roadmap. The Holmes engine will bring cognitive intelligence. DesignIt will undertake a rethink of the internal look and feel for the company. It was a top-to-toe reimagination of the business process

“Every company knows it needs to make the change from its traditional way of working to being digital first. We have the scale, experience and technologies to help you disrupt your market. Wipro can be your true enterprise transformation partner,” says Mr Bandaru.

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