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The Power of Predictive Analytics

Here’s an exclusive article for AiThority, where Moshe Kranc, Chief Technology Officer at Ness Digital Engineering, delineates the power of predictive analytics. There’s no doubt that predictive analytics has the power to help all types of organizations unlock new value at a previously unimaginable economic scale. But, before moving forward with a major investment, it’s important to understand how to build a strategy, how organizations can ensure data quality and how predictive analytics models can be improved.

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Ness je hlavním partnerem SAP NOW Week 2018

Přijďte na konferenci SAP NOW Week 2018, na které se dozvíte o trendech v digitální transformaci a novinkách ze světa SAP. Připravili jsme pro Vás prezentaci našich zkušeností s pokročilým systémem plánování a možností využití SAP PP/D ve výrobní firmě.

Zveme naše stávající i potenciální zákazníky na konferenci SAP NOW Week, která se se uskuteční ve dnech 17.-20. září v Praze a bude věnována trendům v digitální transformaci a novinkám ze světa SAP.

Naši experti vystoupí v programu FactoryNOW věnovanému logistice a výrobě, konkrétně představí zkušenosti s pokročilým systémem plánování a možnosti využití SAP PP/DS.

Zvyšujeme potenciál digitální transformace

Jsme strategickým partnerem pro komplexní digitální „end-to-end“ transformaci a se společností SAP dlouhodobě spolupracujeme v oblastech systémové integrace, implementace a podpory podnikových systémů.

Námi navrhované a vytvářené platformy propojují firemní procesy a zvyšují potenciál digitální transformace pro naše zákazníky i jejich zaměstnance mj. v odvětvích energetiky a průmyslu, telekomunikací, maloobchodu, farmaceutického průmyslu a veřejné správy.

  • Podnikové systémy ERP (SAP S/4 HANA, )
  • Manažerské informační systémy (BI)
  • Řízení a optimalizace výroby v reálném čase (MES)
  • Systémy pokročilého plánování (APS, PP/DS)
  • Integrace datových zdrojů a reporting (BW)
  • Sledování výrobních toků pomocí systémů čárových kódů, dispečerské řídící systémy
  • Zákaznické portály a konfigurátory výrobků (CRM)
  • Technické informační systémy (HR, GIS)
  • Správa aktiv podnikání (EAM)
  • Outsourcing ICT

Process Automation is No Longer an ‘OPTION’, but a ‘NECESSITY’

Organizations from various industrial sectors like manufacturing, processing, chemical, retail, food & beverages, oil & gas, transport, and more seek to streamline their key business processes for simplicity. Today, these industries are also using advanced technology methods to achieve digital transformation and deliver exceptionally high levels of service on a consistent basis, while simultaneously increasing their day by day productivity and ROI. Hence, process automation is no longer an option, but it has become a necessity that helps businesses — not only in driving efficiency, agility, adaptability and optimization, but also to reduce errors and waste, increase predictability, quality, productivity and profitability.

With the huge progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and robotics technology, automation has reached a tipping point. Robots can accomplish human tasks and are also becoming increasingly ubiquitous, showing up in more unexpected areas of business and performing extremely intelligent, iterative, and error-free tasks. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is also a recent trending technology, which has transformed automation to the next level through the use of sensors and connected devices, networks, and software across multiple operations. IIoT’s ability to convert data into several units of measure, and transform the systems of the new age factories or business operations to interact with each other better will profoundly allow for optimized operations and costs. For example: Smart grid, smart city, connected cars and many other advanced applications to name a few. These technology trends, which are gaining more prominence in today’s industries are expected to grow and impact the future of automation. So how do companies choose which business processes or operations to automate and the reason to invest in it?

Tasks are most suitable to automation if they are:

  • Intricate manual tasks that are risky, dangerous and subject to error
  • Time consuming and resource-intensive tasks
  • High volume and repetitive tasks
  • Tasks involving high-precision
  • Tasks that require high attention to detail and prominent levels of involvement

These high-volume, highly repetitive, multistep tasks with many validation rules, and manual processes include a myriad of queries, calculations and maintenance of records and transactions. These tasks can be automated end-to-end using Robotic Process Automation (RPA), which can execute rule-based tasks and mimic human work, enter data, perform cognitive tasks by sensing, and make efficient predictions.

In the end, by automating these business processes or operations, organizations can speed products to market, improve revenue capture, and reduce operating expenses. It’s worth investing in automation, as the automated systems collect reliable data, enabling organizations to leverage most of the valuable information for making better business decisions. At the core, automation is healthy and ensures that the industry remains lean with reduced inefficiencies and is globally competitive.

I believe that RPA will have wide-ranging effects, across geographies and sectors, but it will not occur overnight. There are few key factors that will influence the pace and extent of its adoption.

  • Technical feasibility- The need to unlock the potential of modern technologies into the critical business operations
  • Less risk and inconsistency across operations
  • Optimized production processes
  • Supply, demand, and costs of human labor
  • Operational safety and process reliability
  • Economic benefits- higher throughput, increased product quality and maximized production efficiency

While RPA is increasingly focused on efficiency, accuracy, productivity, manual labor cost reduction, compliance and increased customer focus, its scope is wide in many industrial sectors. It’s gaining traction across industries such as manufacturing, construction, banking, insurance, healthcare, telecom, and more to automate labor intensive processes, transform work, enhance customer experience and deliver accurate and reliable results. Some of the best RPA use cases:

Manufacturing Industry: With RPA, the manufacturing sector is experiencing an error-free and streamlined production unit—from assembly, checking the quality and packaging it and more, alongside maintaining control over managing its back-office and operational processes. It also aids manufacturing companies by reinforcing supply chain procedures and bridges the gap between redundant activities such as quoting, invoicing, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and general ledger operations — thereby adding substantial value to the business outcomes.

Banking Industry: With the influx of voluminous data each day, banks are advocating the use of RPA to deliver the best possible user experience to their customers and reduce the need for human intervention. RPA has become an effective tool to maximize efficiency and keep costs as low as possible while also maintaining maximum security levels in various processes such as accounts payable and receivable, credit card and mortgage processing, fraud detection, underwriting support, service desk and more.

Healthcare Industry: Healthcare is one area where RPA is helping to streamline clinical services and workflow processes. RPA has a great potential for transforming processes in the healthcare sector like scheduling patients, billing, insurance claim processing, care management, revenue management, patient onboarding, monitoring and more.

Telecom Industry: While there are a myriad of people turning to the telecom companies to connect them with global networks is increasing on a daily basis, there are numerous challenges faced by these telecom companies in terms of controlling costs and business efficiency, managing data flow, increasing business agility and developing unique services and so on. RPA offers them a unique solution to deliver the fastest, most affordable, and cutting-edge services. Moreover, telecom companies can also keep control over costs from maintaining data integrity and security, marketing and advertisements, data communication and transmission, and more.

While, automating business processes and workflows has become hugely important in the digital revolution, the nature of jobs and work is continuing to change at a rapid rate. For example, by automating business tasks, organizations can scale their workforce (since robots are able to perform a range of routine physical work activities better than humans) and utilize independent professionals for specialized works.

2020 is not far away; the next rapid developing cycle of automation applications might arrive sooner than expected. Industries across the world are quickly embracing best-in-class technologies more than ever and unlocking new opportunities. Professionals in the workplace will need to interact more broadly with machines as part of their routine activities, and attain exclusive skills that will be in demand in the next-gen automation era. Organizations need to increasingly invest in running upskilling campaigns for their staff and retraining as a top business priority. While it’s true that automation will have a far-reaching impact on the global workforce in the future, preparing employees into analytical thinking, complex problem-solving, and decision-making individuals is essential to help them tide over the next automation wave.

At, Ness we firmly believe that automation is at the forefront of the next wave of digital transformation. Innovative automation tools like chatbots, natural language processing, machine learning and AI are quickly growing in popularity and will have deep implications to essentially reshape and digitally transform businesses. By coupling together automation with an ever-widening set of business processes and operations, we bring digital optimization within the business environment, simultaneously seeing impactful results in ROI, efficiency and better, more personalized customer interactions.

Smart Wearables: The Present and the Future

As per “What is the Internet of Things” on the IoT Agenda, “The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

In layman’s terms, abiotic and biotic objects that are not ordinarily connected to the Internet, can now accumulate data with the help of sensors/actuators (wired or wireless) embedded in devices and transmit them over the Internet through Internet Gateways to a cloud premise where analytics, management and archival of data is performed and presented to the end user as a set of intelligent inferences. This aforementioned premise is now possible with the help of IoT. Presently, a new technology, Edge IT, has been introduced wherein the analytical assessment of data is done at the sensor/actuator level itself in times of exigencies, to decrease the time taken to transmit the data to the cloud. For instance, a driverless automobile’s sensors pick up an obstacle within 100 meters of its path which requires instant analytical decision making to stop the car. In normal scenarios, this data is transmitted to the cloud where the analysis is done, but in such a moment, the Edge computing starts analyzing the data as soon as the sensors picked up the obstacle information and make a decision to apply brakes at the quickest possible moment to avoid hitting the obstacle.

One such application of IoT is seen extensively in wearables.

According to a report for Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC), the overall wearables market is expected to grow from 113.2 million shipments in 2017 to 222.3 million in 2021 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.4%. Consumers can expect a wide range of wearables being introduced in the coming years which includes sensor-laden intelligent clothing (step counting shoes, smart jackets with sensor-laden fabric) and smart ear-wear (fitness tracking wireless headphones). Recently, Levi’s clothing company collaborated with Google to develop a smart jacket which connects effortlessly to the mobile phone, assisting the user to control music on their phone, get call notifications and receive map directions with a single tap on the jacket cuff.

Following are some of the areas where wearables utilizing IoT technology are making an impact in today’s digital age:

  • Smart ID: The corporate ID card is equipped with IoT technology that provides identification and security within the work environment — identifying the employee and recording swipe-in and swipe-out data, coupled with providing security by not allowing entry to unauthorized personnel. Some of the corporate IDs are also embedded with biometric capabilities such as fingerprint activation, providing enhanced security by allowing only authorized employees to access the workplace facilities.

Recently Estonia has created a digital identity for all its citizens, thus, simplifying the authentication process of people without any type of physical contact. Every Estonian citizen can provide digital signatures using their ID-card, Mobile-ID or Smart-ID, so that they can safely identify themselves and gain access to all of Estonia’s secure e-services. These IoT enabled ID cards are used for:

  • legal travel ID for Estonian citizens traveling within the EU
  • national health insurance card
  • proof of identification when logging into bank accounts
  • digital signatures
  • i-Voting identification
  • checking medical records
  • submitting tax claims
  • using for e-Prescriptions

It has been a huge success in Estonia and around 98% of Estonians have ID-cards and 67% of them use the ID-cards regularly.

  • Fitness Tracking bands: Fitness-oriented bands provide the user with biometric measurement information like heart rate, distance covered while walking/running, calories burnt during exercise, oxygen level in the bloodstream, sleep tracking, etc. These devices use IoT to transmit these values to a connected smartphone for the user to analyze and make intelligent inferences about one’s health. Nowadays, numerous insurance companies are designing their products, claims processing and customer service based on the data provided by the fitness bands worn by their customers. Insurers, with the customer’s approval, can access the data shared by the wearable to provide personalized service and improve customer engagement. For instance, Vitality, the UK health and life insurer, rewards customers for following a healthy lifestyle by accessing data via wearable devices like Garmin, Polar, Fitbit, Apple Watch, etc. An app called FitSense collects insights from mobiles and wearables and enables insurance companies to provide personalized service to their customers.
  • Health bands: In the healthcare sector, many of the patients are provided with health bands that assist them in accessing personalized attention from medical professionals. With IoT enabled health bands provided to patients, healthcare professionals can track the real-time location of the patient together with his vital stats such as pulse rate, blood pressure, body temperature, etc. These bands are also capable of ameliorating the patient’s hospital experience by allowing the patient to control the temperature and lighting of the room, communicate with friends and family via video calling or call for nurse during an emergency with the help of the band.
  • Smart Home fulfilment: In a connected household, wearables can be used to control the smart devices such as turning on the air conditioner before reaching home, switching off the lights even after having left home, etc. The connected devices can be controlled with a simple touch of the wearable or device in the owner’s hand.
  • Smart glasses and gloves: Smart wearables like gloves and glasses are yet to be accepted at large by all industries but it can nevertheless bring forth several benefits. For instance, a baggage handler in an airport with the help of smart gloves does not have to manually count the baggage loaded onto a plane. The crew supervisor can view this data in real-time to validate that every piece of luggage has been counted. In dangerous working environments, users can use smart gloves coupled with virtual reality technology to experience a simulation environment to prepare for any negative ramifications. These smart glasses and gloves are also used for training interns in the medical field to make themselves aware of all of the possibilities that can go wrong in an emergency scenario.
  • Livestock monitoring: Wearables can be a boon in animal husbandry for livestock monitoring. With the help of IoT technology, the animal breeders can monitor the health and real-time location of their livestock in their wearables’ screen and remove the sick animals from the herd on time to prevent the spreading of any infection.

As the market for wearables is increasing, it is a fact that a lot more innovations and novel ways will be employed in the field of wearables. There is surely a future and more serious sustainable applications will emerge over time. We can expect wearables to perform a wider gamut of activities including:

  • Using the captured biometric readings of the user, the wearable can predict early warnings for a possible illness. In the future, the data from the wearables can be accessed by the wearer’s personal doctor who can also analyze the vitals of the person’s health. In the case of early signs for a possible illness, an emergency message can be sent to the doctor to inspect and take preventive measures.
  • Wearables connected over the Internet are beneficial for monitoring the health of an older relative staying in a different location. In the case of any emergency, an alert can notify the wearer so that they can contact an emergency doctor to check on the older relative.
  • The wearable can be used to detect the exact location of inanimate objects which we normally misplace all the time like keys, jacket, socks etc. The same has already been developed for live objects like pets (a chip in the pet collar can be used to locate a truant pet)
  • Wearables can receive messages from the vehicle as and when a body part needs inspection and care. For e.g., in case the wheel air pressure gets lower than a predetermined threshold, the owner will get a notification in his wearable stating the condition.

We at Ness are helping customers to identify monetizable products and features using our unique “Connected” approach to product design. We always strive to cater to the various digital needs of our customers and delight them with our proficient expertise in IoT, Big Data Analytics, Customer Experience, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, and Platform Engineering, to name a few. For example our IoT practice involves intelligent platforms for interacting with machines like Smart Mobility, Smart Living and Smart Machines. We also have a Ness Connected Lab which is dedicated to developing frameworks, accelerators and tools that enable faster development/solution implementation cycles. We have numerous success stories in IoT (Ness customers include a turbine manufacturing company, e-commerce travel site, automotive safety supplier, mapping and location data specific company, next-generation TV provider, Smart Home company etc.). For a privately held consumer technology and wearables product company, Ness implemented and maintained their Fitness Mobile app for better stability and higher user experience.

Nessian on Job Series – Neeraj Garg

Through our On the Job Series, we introduce some of the unique talents who play a pivotal role in the success story charted by Ness. In this edition, Neeraj Garg describes his role as a Technical-Lead, the learning experiences, and the life and work culture at Ness along with few fun facts.

Name & Title: Neeraj Garg, Technical-Lead

Career Path

I pursued my Post Graduate degree in advanced computing and was placed through a campus interview as a software engineer in one of the reputed IT firms. During my post-graduation course, I started mastering the basics of programming languages and got really interested to practice coding and use in all types of software development.

Prior to working in Ness, I had the chance to gain various work experiences as an enterprise application developer and a business requirements analyst – I was always curious to identify multiple solutions for a single task. I have also worked with various esteemed organizations, tried extracting their best practices and simultaneously implementing the same in different business lines with regards to either products/services, markets or technology. I firmly believe that it’s my self-learning and personal skill development which has helped me to strengthen my expertise in core areas and that’s where Ness has recognized me.

Roles and Responsibilities:

As a technical lead in Ness, I am responsible to drive the team in ensuring smooth delivery of assigned projects with the stipulated timeline. I analyze the business requisites, discuss with my team, and then provide an estimation to the client based on their requirements. I am also responsible for technical upgradation of projects and provide value added services to clients through new innovative solutions that can solve real business issues. As a part of my job, I am involved in the design and architectural and deployment phases of the project, by providing them with best-in-class solutions for every production issue with low turnaround time. I also ensure to keep the client updated about future technical risks and provide them with the contingency plan for the same.

What are your best learning experiences at Ness:

Ness has a flexible and friendly work culture. Online and classroom training, and webinars provided through the Ness academy are very helpful to keep updating yourself with the latest technologies in the market. I always believe learning is a continuous process and Ness makes it possible. It also keeps every employee motivated by rewarding them with the quarterly and spot awards. The Ness My Idea Contest and Hackathon are also some of the platforms which enables every employee to showcase their innovative skills. The Ness internal Buzz newsletter helps to keep every employee updated about the company’s events at a global level. At the core, what makes Ness a unique place to work is the technically strong and supportive team that is held largely accountable for the success and smooth running of the projects, alongside working together efficiently on tasks and driving the company forward.

Your favourite part of working at Ness?

My satisfaction and happiness often rests on how quickly I can solve a customer’s problem. Learning job related skills from co-workers and seniors also helps me enhance my knowledge repository, which is extremely important for my career success. Together as a team in Ness, we’ve worked on many complex projects that are implemented effectively for upgrading the client’s business processes.

Besides this, spending time with friends and having lunch as a team is one of the greatest stress-busters, which helps me to stay refreshed and resume work with more energy. Moreover, birthday recognition is a good way to build the team culture; by celebrating birthdays of our colleagues we have some fun together as a team at Ness.

What do you spend time on when not working?

I love to spend time with my daughter, explore new places with family and friends and watch movies. I like to read financial news and keep myself updated with the latest technologies that make its entry into the business arena. Technologies such as artificial intelligence and data science excite me a lot and I make it a habit to read articles regularly on these topics and keep myself equipped with the latest advancements in the technology.

Machine Learning Workflow: A New Product Category is Born

Machine learning (ML) is transforming all business functions, and software development is no exception. There’s no doubt that the development of ML solutions is unique compared to that of other types of software, as it solves unsurmountable problems in every phase of the software development product lifecycle. One of the distinctive characteristics of ML software is that it is far more brittle than traditional software, because of its non-deterministic nature, and also due to it being highly sensitive to the characteristics of the trained data and tightly dependent on every other step.

The norm in the ML environment is “Change Anything Changes Everything.” While many engineers have deployed existing open source tools and integrated them together to create their own ML operational environment, but for some teams, the potential costs and complexity of this approach may not be a perfect fit. They seek a new category of products that provide an end-to-end ML operational environment. In an article for InformationWeek, Moshe Kranc, Chief Technology Officer, Ness Digital Engineering, shares some of the new products in this category that can massively streamline the process of creating and deploying ML algorithms with a few caveats. “ML is poised for explosive growth in the enterprise and ML workflow environment tools. It will be interesting to see how this product family matures in the coming months,” states Moshe.

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