cybersecurity, InstaSafe, ABM Knowledgeware, Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India 2018

Seizing the cyber security opportunity – in conversation with Mr. Sandip Kumar Panda, CEO, Co-founder, InstaSafe

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Mr. Sandip Kumar Panda in conversation with the Kalzoom Team – Achieving a growth rate of 101% over the past three years and being recognized as the fastest growing technology company in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India 2018, InstaSafe is all set to diversify and go global to solve critical needs of the customers in the cyber security space.

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IoT, Industry 4.0, Infinite Uptime, OPEX Chemical Summit 2018, CII

Seizing the Industry 4.0 opportunity – in conversation with Mr. Raunak Bhinge, Managing Director, Infinite Uptime

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Industry 4.0 is no longer a future trend. Manufacturing companies are capitalizing on the innovations brought by young technology companies like Infinite Uptime. Having recently raised $5 Million in Series A funding, Infinite Uptime is poised for the next phase of growth.

Raunak Bhinge walks us through the company’s journey and future growth plans

1. What has been the journey of Infinite Uptime? And what are the key drivers for your success?

Infinite uptime was started in the U.S. towards the end of 2015. That was when the product development started. We started with a few angel investors where we got the first initial funds to develop the product.

We came to India in January 2017 and that’s when we raised our seed round. We started going to market in about July 2017. The response from the market has been really good. We have been lucky that we have hit the market at a time when the industrial IoT space has just started to take off and is now is reaching a hockey-stick curve in the product development cycle.

Apart from India, we have a team in China and in the U.S. The team in the U.S. is mostly focused in research and development. And, we have sales channel partners in the U.S., Australia, and other countries.

2.You have mentioned in news articles that 80% of your customers are in India. What has been your experience with the Indian manufacturing sector? Is adoption of Industry 4.0 pervasive or only focused among the large players? What is the opportunity?

The market is quite fragmented in the manufacturing industry. There are a lot of small & medium players and a few large players – few as in few hundreds. Currently the adoption starts with the large companies. Large players are trying out different forms of industry 4.0.
The adoption among the small & medium companies is low because they are more driven by a P&L kind of a system.

How pervasive it gets, we will see with time. However, at least everyone’s trying it out. You never hear a “no” in the industry today. This was probably not the case about five years’ back or even three years back.

There are a large number of small & medium sized companies who are exploring solutions such as ours. But they are looking for the RoI proof with the large players before they jump into it.

3. From a sales point of view, what is your approach in reaching out to a small & medium players and large players?

The market has a very large number of small & medium players, so to go to them directly is not feasible for most IoT companies. We mostly use a channel and system integration partner distribution network for sales. We do pilots with both the SMEs and large players. It is such a new concept that until and unless they see the benefits they won’t spend on it. Our strategy is the same for both, and that’s how it will be. Whether you are one machine, one manufacturing line, or 100 you want to see results before you invest.

4. You recently raised $5 million in Series A funding. What are your growth plans?
We plan to channelize most of it in team building. We are building a pretty substantial team here in India. We have some USPs in our product. We want to focus and ensure that we always stay on the top of that. Our focus is to get a good R&D and a good innovations teams and build on top of that. Also, customer acquisition is going to be very critical for us.

5. What are the challenges that young companies like you face that might hamper or hold you back from scaling the business?

We have been lucky to hit the market at this point of time in IoT. The timing matters a lot. If we had started five years back, we would be struggling to get this kind of market traction.

For us the barriers are not on the market side or the adoption side. Our challenge lies more on the ability to execute well and better than the other players. It is mostly on an execution and on innovation fronts where we need to build up and thereafter build the business on those USPs.

6. You are mostly concentrated in manufacturing. Can your solution be used in other verticals like retail, healthcare etc?

No, we are very focused in manufacturing and we will continue to do that for at least the next five years. We are not a horizontal solution that can be used by anyone and everyone. Our USPs are specific to certain types of equipment’s and we would like to keep it that way.

7. What would you suggest a company that wants to get into Industry 4.0 sector now as a solution provider?

The point we would like to mention to new companies is that they should find their niche and should be focused on certain problems and be very focused on certain technologies. They should choose to specialize across a vertical rather than a horizontal where they can scale much faster. Horizontals have already been established, so being yet another horizontal won’t help.

SMEs in BPM sector – Scaling through Verticalization, Omnichannel, and Partnerships By Ramesh Mirakhur Director – 5F World, Principal Consultant – Kalzoom Advisors

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SMEs in the BPM sector must adopt the approach of specializing in the vertical industry and they must use customer-centric thought processes for channeling sales efforts. The success of a sales and marketing strategy lies in the approach that is used to reach new prospects and improve conversion rates…

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A New Race For Leadership

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It will need a concerted effort by the government, academia, research institutions, industry associations and industry to make India a force to reckon with in AI-led growth and enable manufacturing

There are many who believe that China, with its burgeoning costs, is losing out in outsourced manufacturing to more nimble and cheaper competitors such as Vietnam and Thailand and there has been hope that with some concerted investments in the right areas, India too will finally find its place in the global manufacturing sun. However, the time for projecting India’s pool of engineering manpower and ability to do labour-intensive manufacturing at scale and quality is now over and the baton of leadership will pass to those who are truly able to design and build factories of the future, powered by cyber-physical concepts, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

Manufacturing firms of the future will use predictive analytics to estimate demand for each product category based on demand and environment patterns and also develop new products through generative design principles on an ongoing basis to satisfy demand of discerning customers. Virtual agents will interface between information systems and production processes and feed fully automated factories with planning, materials and process inputs on a real-time basis. Materials handling, location of parts and warehouse management and utilisation optimisation with digital aids such as augmented and virtual reality are commonplace today. The real cutting edge will be provided by AI applied to quality defect management through image recognition, process quality prediction and large-scale prescriptive approaches, failure predictions and predictive maintenance including support of self-healing machines. The future is all about maximising throughput with consistent high quality and redefined role of engineering talent in manufacturing.

Jabil, one of the world’s leading designers of digital factories with several successful implementations in Asia and Latin America, enables real-time predictive analytics for its customers by connecting equipment, sensors and people and claims an ever-increasing accuracy level for predicting early equipment and process failure leading to energy, scrap and rework savings and decrease in manufacturing cycle time. Companies such as GE and Siemens, both pioneers in digital manufacturing, have reported success with the use of AI — GE through the deployment of digital twins, which models and tracks the state of the engine and provides continuous analytics and predictive maintenance suggestions and Siemens through a combination of AI with neural technologies in its Gas Turbine Autonomous Controller Optimizer which ensures that every gas turbine has over 500 sensors continuously monitoring temperature, pressure, stress and other variables enabling the neural model to alter the distribution of fuel in the turbine’s burners on a dynamic basis.

Recent studies by PW and BCG place AI and advanced analytics at the core of smart manufacturing

Advanced Analytics at the core of smart manufacturing with recent trends moving beyond traditional inventory optimisation, maintenance and data security usage to intelligent factory operations, the application of digital twins and human robotics collaborative ecosystems. They predict that humans in the future factory will be entrusted with the higher-level tasks of programming, maintaining and coordinating robotic operations. With AI driving advanced predictive and prescriptive analytics and replacing SMAC (Social Media, Mobility, Cloud and Analytics) as the core of digital transformation, it is predicted that AI will also be a valuable tool outside the factory, enabling continuous logistics and supply chain monitoring, providing route optimisation for inward and outward flow of materials and finished products, tracking customer expectations and emotional states through voice analysis at service call centres and providing personalised product recommendations for customers based on deep learning of their previous responses and social media footprint. The use of AI and advanced analytics is limited only by human imagination as newer customer journeys evolve and design thinking enables early anticipation of every need.

The good news is that the adoption of digital technologies in Indian manufacturing firms has been placed by recent research at 27 percent against a global digitisation level of 33 percent and is expected to cross 60 percent in the next five years. It is also heartening that thanks to an increasing awareness of Industry 4.0, leading industry associations such as the Confederation of Indian Industry are making smart manufacturing the core of their agenda, and there is a proliferation of scaling start-ups in the Internet of things and robotics space even Indian SMEs are placing digital and Industry 4.0 at the core of their agenda for the future. Small-scale solutions are being piloted and investment in automation and analytics are beginning to bear fruit.

However, a major commitment at national policy making level and also across industry sectors towards AI is needed to position India as a true leader in new manufacturing solutions. And the competition is already planning this on a gargantuan scale. China has committed to add over $150 billion to its economy through AI by 2030 and many announcements of magnitude have been made including an AI support fund of $5 billion in Tianjin and the Beijing municipal government declaring plans for a $2.2 billion AI development park. The research coming out of China rivals the US in quantity and quality and it will need a concerted effort by the government, academia, research institutions, industry associations and industry to make India a force to reckon with in AI-led growth and enable the manufacturing sector to finally stake its claim to global leadership.

Trends in BPM Industry

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India is among the largest offshoring destinations in the world and the BPM industry accounts for about 37 percent of the global outsourced BPM markets. According to a report by the Indian Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, the Indian IT-BPM sector is estimated to expand to US$ 300 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 9.5 percent.

Based on our research, the following key trends are re-shaping the BPM industry and driving business growth:

  1. More and more organizations are embracing digital transformation and BPM is taking a central role in the transformation. Driven by the need for speed and agility, in addition to the traditional needs of efficiency and optimization, organizations are now turning to BPM as a key driver of digital transformation. As a result, organizations are looking to work with partners that have innovative digital capability.
  2. The heart of digital transformation is a technology-powered re-alignment of organizations – to move away from internally focused business processes and look towards customer-facing engagement. With rising customer demands, companies are deploying BPM with cross-enterprise focus between front-end and back-end office processes in order to deliver end-to-end responsive customers interactions
  3. Organizations are seeing the value of adopting new business intelligence platforms and advanced analytics options providing greater data visibility to employees. BPM solutions need to ensure that the information moves seamlessly between users, thus eliminating the need for extra emails and similar communications
  4. Additionally, the year 2017 has witnessed an increase in the collaboration of IT and BPM players on the supplier front. The BPM vendor landscape is moving toward integrated/combined solutions with vendors offering case management and BPM in the same products while some vendors provide separate products for automation of different processes
  5. RPA has become the backbone of BPM, however, the industry will be further disrupted by other emerging technologies like AI, Machine Learning and cognitive technologies. Capitalizing on new technologies and re-skilling the workforce will help BPM companies to capture business especially in technology-focused sectors like banking, insurance and financial services