Amit Bishnoi, senior director, APAC, Communications Global Business Unit, Oracle

The digital economy is transforming how businesses and consumers interact. To stay relevant, Indian enterprises are embarking on digital transformations to help develop innovative services that enhance customer experience and employee interactions across all engagement channels (voice, video, social, etc.). Amit Bishnoi, senior director, APAC, Communications Global Business Unit, Oracle, talks about how enterprises are focusing on a digital transformation…

What are the key IT trends being witnessed by enterprises across industries?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a key trend. We see many companies experimenting with AI, especially in the customer service space. Chatbots are now getting established as an online customer service channel to help answer simple questions or respond to common customer queries. For more complex scenarios, chatbots are being upgraded to live channels that leverage HD voice, HD video and screen share. Companies must ensure that they integrate engagement, context and AI into customer service applications as part of a wider ­omni-­cha­n­nel customer experience strategy.

The digitisation of the workforce is also a key trend as organisations seek to bring their employee experience closer to the experience they deliver to their customers. The next-generation workforce is motivated by a broad range of factors such as ­workplace culture, corporate social responsibility, learning and development ­prog­rammes, as well as a flexible and ­digitally enabled environment. In order to attract and retain the best talent, companies need to ensure that they have a workspace that meets all these essential considerations of mobility, security and flexibility. Intelligent data has become a key focus area. After many years of capturing and storing data, companies are now starting to use that data intelligently, and cater instantaneously to customer needs and plan their future ­activities. Many companies are now ­or­ga­nising that data, running analytics on it and then leveraging it in real time to ensure ­better customer engagement. This takes the form of proactively offering customers the desired resolution or new products, or just creating a more informed conversation. Enterprises are reaching a point where the majority of em­ployees are data-literate, they know the right questions to ask, and they are turning insights into actions.

What benefits does unified comm­u­nication promise to enterprises?

Workplace communication is becoming incr­easingly fluid, so businesses need to have the right IT infrastructure to connect their employees whether they are at their desks or on the go. Organi­­­sa­tions are ­creating a mobile-first approach by ­allow­ing their employees to switch bet­ween app­li­cations and devices as per their need and, crucially, to stay connected. Unified communication technologies help companies to offer seamless, friction-free communication that integrate real-time and ­­near-real-time capabilities such as vi­de­o­conferencing and live collaboration tools.

What are the needs and challenges facing en­terprises as part of the digital transformation?

The key to a successful digital transformation project is to examine three key tenants of the transformation – network, customer experience and digital operations. ­­Estab­lishing a clear, agile and robust IT and communication infrastructure that is aligned with industry standards is extremely important. Besides, enterprises need to adopt a solution-driven design wherein they can leverage best-in-class technology and business processes through the cloud, thus moving away from customisation. While the benefits of digital transformation are clear, the large-scale overhaul of tech­nol­ogy and systems can ­present significant risks from a governance, compliance and security perspective. Enter­prises need to adopt strategies that help them exert maximum control over the process, while maintaining transparency and managing risks. Enterprises are leveraging cloud to minimise these risks and accelerate the digital transformation.

What is your view on enterprises’ IoT uptake?

The internet of things (IoT) presents many opportunities for Indian enterprises in the sense that they will be able to draw insights from a much wider variety of sources. Many industries and sectors are moving towards implementing IoT in their day-to-day working, which establishes that India has overcome the technology lag. Enter­pr­ises can reap benefits from IoT in multiple ways, the biggest being clocking $300 ­billion in the global technology industry in about three to five years. By 2020, a large chunk of Indian enterprises are expected to have IoT infrastructure in place so as to enable the adoption of efficiency-centric technologies and related applications.

What is your outlook for telecom/IT adoption by Indian enterprises?

To compete in a digital economy, Indian enterprises are looking for business ­mo­dels that can be adapted quickly to meet custo­mer demands. The key focus areas for enterprises would be implementing auto­m­ation, adopting data-driven ­tech­no­­­logies and exploring solutions that enable them to quickly launch and ­monetise new services.