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Top 3 Benefits of Using an Ecosystem Partner- featuring Forrester Research

What are the advantages of using a partner like Ness Digital Engineering for digital innovation? Here’s a Ness video featuring Amanda LeClair, Forrester Analyst at Forrester Research, who describes the advantages of using an ecosystem partner. Today, we really see the partner ecosystem as one of the core pillars of digital business initiatives because they allow organizations to move faster and tap into a richer pool of expertise — whether its idea contributors or testers that they don’t have within the confines of their own organizational walls.

In this video, Amanda explains the top three reasons why firms engage with their service partners. “First, it’s faster to implement change, second is that it provides an outside perspective on their organization, business processes, and technology to drive innovation, and the third reason is that the outside service providers are able to bring in best practices and reusable assets to accelerate and catalyze that change,” states Amanda. Partners can also be a great orchestrator to help companies accelerate innovation.

Enablers and Inhibitors To IoT

There’s no doubt that the IoT arena is evolving and shaping the future of many industries. As with any other technology, there are enablers and inhibitors to IoT. In an article for Express Computer, Ketan Karia, Head of Europe Delivery & the Global IoT Practice at Ness Digital Engineering delineates the key enablers and potential inhibitors to IoT.

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IoT – The Secret to Winning Customer Experience

Recent research from consulting firm, Walker, shows that by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. So, what’s the secret to winning customers and growing your business? Our head of IoT, Ketan Karia, has authored a column in CMSWire  titled, “The IoT Brings New Meaning to the Omnichannel Customer Experience” to explain how brands can leverage IoT to ensure great customer experiences.

While the IoT omnichannel evolution is here, delivering proactive, predictive and personalized experiences is the key to meet customer expectations. “Companies hoping to succeed in 2019 and beyond (and what company doesn’t?) must continuously up the ante on the customer experiences they deliver,” states Karia. To win customers, companies need to carefully consider the customer journey and align their messaging, goals, objectives and design across channels and devices to deliver seamlessness and consistency.

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Applying Agile Practices to the Business – featuring Forrester Research

What does it mean to be agile at the business level? Here’s a Ness video featuring Amanda LeClair, Forrester Analyst at Forrester Research, who explains the importance of taking an “agile approach”.

According to Amanda, the best piece of advice on how to take an agile approach is to apply the core values and principles of the agile process across the organization and actively seek feedback loops to drive business decisions. This level of agility means that everyone across the business understands who your customers are, what problem you’re trying to solve, how you’re going to work internally to deliver services, and your responsibilities in that particular role for delivering a superior customer experience. “Agility at the business level is about applying the core principles of agile across the business — not trying to take a waterfall or process approach,” adds Amanda.

The IoT Brings New Meaning to the Omnichannel Customer Experience

Research shows that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. To win customers, companies need to carefully consider the customer journey and align their messaging, goals, objectives and design across channels and devices to deliver seamlessness and consistency. Our Head of Europe Delivery & the Global IoT Practice at Ness Digital Engineering, Ketan Karia has authored a column in CMSWire titled, “The IoT Brings New Meaning to the Omnichannel Customer Experience”, to explain how brands can leverage IoT to ensure great customer experience.

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Using Continuous Innovation to Drive Revenue Generation with IoT

Continuous Innovation is an important component in the identification and validation of new business models. In my last article, The Exponential Value of IoT Solutions, I wrote about the strategic opportunities available by using insights gleaned from IoT data. The key to maximizing the value of those opportunities is to combine Continuous Innovation principles with the development of those opportunities to drive new business models.

One of the most important concepts that Eric Ries teaches in his book Lean Startup is the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop. It is indeed a critical tool for companies to use in determining when to fine tune the business model and when to pivot. In addition, it is a great mechanism for enterprise companies to test and evaluate new ideas. Enterprises use many mechanisms to identify new ideas. From employees to customers to consultants to crowdsourcing, new ideas for driving the business abound. The key to maximizing the value of these ideas is to quickly test the hypothesis and determine whether it has merit. This is where the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop is helpful. Creating MVPs to test the hypothesis and having an analytical foundation to evaluate the results identifies worthy business model candidates and, just as important, narrows the field by discarding those that are not worthy.

IoT creates yet another funnel of innovative ideas. Sensor data applied to everything from machines in the Smart Factory to products distributed from manufacturers to data from the entire customer ecosystem can be distilled and analyzed by employees to generate ideas for creating new business models.

The operational aspects of IoT center on reducing cost by increasing efficiencies in production and maintenance of machines. Predictive maintenance, condition-based maintenance and Industry 4.0 production efficiencies are the key drivers of these operational initiatives. The sensors used in these endeavors generate data that is orders of magnitude larger on both a macro and micro level than just a few years ago. This plethora of data can be distilled into useful information to drive new business models. For example, data used in the condition-based maintenance of power turbines is used to create new models of energy efficiency for the facilities in which they are used. Sensor data from the devices used for industrial cleaning supplies is combined with geolocation data to create new models of cleanliness for employees and customers.

IoT data creates an almost never-ending source of innovation potential. The difficulty is in determining which ideas to move forward with and which to back-burner or discard. The merging of Continuous Innovation principles with the stream of innovative ideas generated from sensor data is the key to solving this problem. At Ness we work with customers to set up Innovation Labs to enable this process. Cross functional teams are assembled, and Innovation Labs are created to quickly develop MVPs to test hypotheses generated from the wealth of information ingested from Smart Machines. Analytics frameworks are created to objectively analyze and evaluate ideas based on criteria created to drive the goals of the organization. The front end of the funnel is idea generation based on the sensor data. These are prioritized into a backlog of hypotheses that are then tested by the Innovation Lab with the creation of MVPs and measured for their results.

The data generated by connected devices creates enormous innovation potential for organizations. Building out Innovation Labs that employ Continuous Innovation methods is the most efficient means of identifying those ideas that will most quickly and effectively drive revenue for your business.

Developing Digital Strategies and Innovation Frameworks

In an interaction with Fast CMO, Amber Blaha, CMO of Ness Digital Engineering, shares interesting insight into how Ness helps clients stay innovative in today’s competitive, digital market. She also talks about what excites her most about marketing at Ness and lessons learned from her own career journey in marketing.

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Reimagining HR in a V.U.C.A World- Are you ready?

To thrive in today’s dynamic corporate world, each of us must overcome challenges of anticipating unpredictability and handling the speed of change. VUCA, a U.S. military acronym that stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous, is also relevant in the current business context as it perfectly describes the changes taking place in the global business world.

In real-world business scenarios, the VUCA framework is often used to categorize tricky situations, foresee trends and analyze responses to changes. Today, business leaders need different strategies to successfully lead and manage change – as traditional management methods are quickly turning obsolete. A VUCA world does not completely disregard the rules and discipline of strategy. Instead, it raises the bar on the discipline needed to reflect beyond the obvious and enhances our perspective on the situation and enables management of the opportunity to achieve success.

What does the VUCA acronym stand for?

“V” stands for VOLATILITY. It means speed, relative instability and changes are frequent and unpredictable.

For example; Implication for Financial markets, the rate and amount of change from buying to selling (in terms of shares) in any given market is a volatile condition.

“U” stands for UNCERTAINTY. It means vague, change is unknown, the future is not clear, expect surprises, unpredictability.

For example; “When is the competitor’s product launch?” is a question that attempts to decrease uncertainty.

“C” stands for COMPLEXITY. It means confusion, a combination of issues leads to difficulty understanding and lessens the ability to make decisions.

For example; Writing code – Information overload and unintended consequences from interventions can lead to complexity.

“A” stands for AMBIGUITY. It means no prior experience prepares one to make predictions, the cause and effect are not clearly understood, an inability to abstract the threats and opportunities.

For example; `Vendor risk assessment document’ – we do not know how the content would be consumed by the client and there is definitely a risk which could lead to an ambiguous situation.

Leading in a VUCA World– Each element within VUCA is unique and requires different responses. The table below provides insight into each element of the VUCA framework – along with the challenges it may involve, strategies that we must adopt, actions needed, and skills required to manage each element.

Why organization must embrace the disruptive impact of VUCA?

For organizations, embracing VUCA requires the willingness to take considerable risks and devise new business models which go beyond the traditional management framework. It will be imperative to bring bottom-up changes with new approaches to skill enhancement and training focused around creating next generation solutions through more effective collaboration. Supporting a culture of entrepreneurship that leads to innovation capabilities and stronger engagement for staff and leaders can help drive competitive advantages for the organization. Maintaining trust in decision making, accelerating change and innovation by simplifying the business environment, and promoting collaboration will be key to navigate the challenges of the VUCA world.

Though there are many factors which influence success in a VUCA world, it’s essential to focus on developing the following competencies:

  • Be prepared and be flexible
  • Ask different types of questions
  • Take on multiple perspectives
  • Develop a systemic vision for change
  • Innovation combined with entrepreneurship
  • Collaborate across all boundaries
  • Continuous learning
  • Look at the whole picture; take a step back to see what’s possible

The Way Ahead at Ness:

Digital Engineering is the mantra at Ness, which drives to focuses on future technology demand in the market and creates an opportunity to upskill our employees to keep up with the changes and achieve their goals. At Ness, business leaders identify skill gaps stemming from digital transformation and unique customer expectations which need to be aligned to software development objectives. Employees have multiple platforms and opportunities to learn with the right framework, processes, tools, and mentoring to evolve for future readiness.

To Conclude

Organization need to have a new perspective on the rapidly changing and interconnected environment of dynamic business not only to endure but also to thrive in these turbulent times. They also need to embrace the learning eco-system with a plethora of initiatives that challenge technical minds, and the opportunity to work on new technologies which can differentiate them from the marketplace.

It is crucial for the organization to understand and upskill the workforce to keep up with market changes and gear them with an ABILITY TO FOCUS and CHANGE THEIR MINDSET to navigate the challenges, increased pressure and expectations placed on employees from time to time to win efficiently for a better future. Also TRANSFORM to be agile significantly both emotionally and mentally which primes better engagement, development, and innovation.

In turn, employees need to leverage the opportunities where each of them feels empowered and excited to continuously learn and reinvent themselves to enhance their competencies and ensure they are equipped to meet future needs in this VUCA world.

Value of Experience Design for Customer and Employee facing Applications – featuring Forrester Research

Why is experience design important for employee facing applications as well as customer facing applications? Here’s a Ness video featuring Amanda LeClair, Forrester Analyst at Forrester Research, who briefs about why both customer and employee-facing application are essential.

The topic of employee experience has really started to pop like the topic of customer experience did 4 or 5 years ago. Part of the reason it’s important to think of applying experience design to internal and employee facing application is because our expectations for what creates and makes a great digital experience doesn’t change by time nor day. “We really have the same expectation for a seamless and intuitive type of digital experience whether we are at work or at home. And that really depends on the type of technology that we use…,” states Amanda. When employees are working, they expect and appreciate an interface and digital process that is intuitive and that helps them do their job. It’s important that firms think about applying concepts like experience design to their employee-facing applications and to move from being process-centric to employee-centric.