Digital Transformation all About Transforming a Business Model


Spotlight on Digital Acceleration |

Propelled by new customer needs, an unpredictable demand and remote working scenario – telecoms and enterprise community is embracing digitization in an unprecedented way. Cyient is delivering innovative solutions for CSPs and enterprise to create technology-led opportunities in this new normal.

Rohit Kumar, General Manager – Strategy and Partnerships, Communications, Cyient speaks with Zia Askari from about the company’s current focus and its future plans.

From Digital Transformation, today we are moving toward Digital Acceleration and this pandemic situation has driven organizations to go for digitization at an exponential pace. How do you look at this trend and what are some of the big innovations that Cyient is bringing to the market today?

The global economy witnessed three fundamental changes since the outbreak of COVID-19—new customer behavior and needs, unpredictable demand, and a significantrise in remote working. All of these propelled a rapid migration to digitization across industries. The crisis also underlined the fact that telecom is the backbone of economic growth, and it will continue to be so in the future.

Cyient is a trusted partner for communication service providers (CSPs) as wefast track their 5G investments. We combine our network services with geospatial and AI/ML techniques to optimize site planning, deliver resilient network infrastructure, and manage operations intelligently for consistent and connected experiences.

Additionally, we partner with enterprises in their digital journey to bring the best-of-breed offerings from private networks to digital applications. Leveraging our data-driven solutions for asset tracking and management, predictive maintenance, connected equipment, AR, and VR, we help our telecom customers improve their supply chain reliability and responsiveness.

One such recent example is our association with the Telangana State Police to provide them with drone-based surveillance technology and help implement the COVID-19-related lockdown in Hyderabad. By providing situational awareness on a real-time basis, the technology gives the police the means to understand and deploy resources very quickly to manage evolving situations. Equipped with surveillance cameras, thermal imaging payloads, and sky speakers for public announcements, Cyient’s drone-based aerial inspection capability is positively augmenting the police’s ability to combat the spread of the pandemic.

Even though SMBs and other organizations want to embrace digitization–they still want to do it in a cost-efficient manner. How can Cyient help in this regard?

Digitization is the need of the hour for every organization, irrespective of its size and the industry it comes from. While adopting digitization, organizations need to look at the overall ROI of going digital.

Cyient’s continued commitment to deliver unparalleled productivity and cost savings has been recognized on multiple occasions. In recognition of our work for cost reduction, we recently received the Supplier Innovation Award for the seventh consecutive year and the Supplier Highest Productivity Award for the fourth year in a row.

For any business, the key to innovate and embrace digitization cost-effectively is collaboration with experienced players. Cyient’s proofs-of-concept give our customers a risk-free source of innovation and enables them to avoid the costs of failures that are an inherent part of migrating to new technologies.

We develop customized testbeds for customers to make the evaluation of new technologies faster and more data-driven. Also, our knowledge of industry regulations enables us to deal with security restrictions and regulatory compliances effectively.

What are some of the most critical and important technologies when it comes to enabling digital transformation today?

A business wanting to go digital would have to look out for ways to re-pivot existing business models to achieve a connected ecosystem between individuals (customers, staff), business partners, other businesses, and things. It places the customer at the center of the business, offering new, varied, and highly-customized experiences in line with their growing expectations. Some of the most prominent disruptive technologies affecting telecom players today include mobility, cloud, IoT, digital twins, AI, and machine learning.

Mobility drives digital transformation with a radical rethinking of how an organization uses technology to pursue new business models or revenue streams. As mobile becomes more powerful with 5G, we will see ripple effects throughout the manufacturing industry through the increased adoption of automation and robotics in factories. It will also lead to quicker real-time analytics for data generated through field operations.

Cloud Computing is another tool for building the new, digitized business world. Cloud allows companies to scale their IT infrastructure as per changing business priorities while mitigating the risks of wasted resources that inhibited past investments in technology.

IoT is the digital link to connect with data and convert it into useful information for business. With insights and analytics coupled with IoT deployments, organizations can improve their operational efficiency, become more flexible in responding to market demands, and innovate their products and services in customized ways.

From telecom to healthcare, every entity’s interaction with its customers involves physical objects or processes. Digital Twins can simulate any aspect of those objects/processes and help bring the software world’s benefits onto physical assets. The simulation captures how an asset operates and is maintained throughout its lifecycle. While Digital Twins take several forms, they all capture and utilize data that represents the real world.

The possibilities of digitization are endless, and we are limited only by our imagination. Several path-breaking use cases continue to emerge and promise to transform business processes.

If you look at today’s market scenario, what are some of the challenges (technology or non-technology) that you see are most important to be addressed? How do you plan to address these?

Digital transformation is all about transforming a business’ model, processes, people, and operations using advanced digital technology solutions. It is about transforming the entire company, not just parts. However, such transformations should be undertaken with extreme care and due diligence not to affect the organization’s steady-state revenue stream.

The top challenges can be classified as:

  1. Lack of clear strategic plans

A considerable barrier that halts the digital transformation juggernaut’s rollout is the lack of understanding of the levers for change, the overall evolution process, and how the end state would look like. Sticking to a defined methodology and adopting it is highly impractical, given ever-evolving customer expectations. Cyient helps customers bring accurate insights and foresight through AI/ML and analytics tools to enable better decision-making. We help our customers choose business priorities wisely and, hence, navigate through their digital transformation journey successfully.

  1. Limited digital expertise

Creating a winning solution requires a specialized approach and hands-on experience in devising a meticulous digital strategy, exposure to tools and technology, and successfully transforming a business. Through our rich engineering experience across multiple industry verticals, expertise in digital technologies such as IoT, AI/ML, and building a holistic, connected experience through private networks, we, at Cyient, partner with our customers to enable digital transformation from concept to deployment and maintenance.

  1. Existing islands of technology infrastructure

The presence of large, monolith-based systems is perhaps the biggest impediment to digital transformation. An essential capability required to enable digital transformation is the ability to change these technology infrastructure islands into a connected, digital infrastructure that supports the rapid development and delivery of new services. Cyient not only helps in defining and implementing this roadmap, but also in obsolescence management to get better ROI from these initiatives.

Today more and more workforces are completely working from home and a lot of these workers might be required to work from home forever. How can an organization develop a future-ready strategy in such a scenario?

The health risks associated with the pandemic will change how we work and how the workforce is structured. Remote working has already become the new norm, and collaboration and regular engagement with employees and thought leaders within the organization can help employees understand and adapt themselves to new models. Businesses will need robust and secure processes to manage the new physical and virtual work environment.

Work-from-home models helped most companies navigate through the crisis while maintaining business continuity. However, to implement it as a long-term or permanent policy, they must specify the objectives they intend to achieve. These could be higher productivity, savings on office infrastructure maintenance, adjustment of cost-of-living payouts for workers, better work-life balance for employees, and/or higher retention rates. Accordingly, they can reorganize their technologies, resources, HR policies, and KPIs to keep achieving business outcomes.

Global supply chains will also need to be redesigned and optimized for the new operational realities. Technology, including Industry 4.0 and secured SD-WAN, will play a critical role in addressing these challenges.

All these developments present a unique opportunity for CSPs to expand their revenue stream and relook at their internal processes to make them more autonomous and intelligent. They need to keep pace with these developing trends and make network rollouts faster, more secure, and highly resilient.

What does the future hold for Cyient? What are some of the areas where the company will be focusing in the coming months?

Even though saying that we are witnessing an unprecedented phase sounds like a cliché, it is true. History was not a guide as we faced the COVID-19 crisis. The combination of a global pandemic and a significant recession has never occurred before. Therefore, the goal is to anticipate a range of possible scenarios and prepare to thrive in all of them.

We are working with enterprises across different verticals and are aligning our products and services in line with the new requirement. We, at Cyient, are focused on building and nurturing complex relationships, collaborating, and rapidly engaging with customers and partners in innovative ways.

As an engineering company supporting the telecom industry, Cyient’s preparations would involve enabling our customers to achieve more service differentiation for both B2B and B2C markets. They must develop capabilities for in-house automation and enhance customer experience through AI/ML tools. We are also helping them in unifying customer data from different channels for actionable insights.

Our focus on 5G will only become more intense from here on as the deployment of a newer, faster, more robust and effective network is the need of the hour.

This interview has appeared in the December 2020 issue of Disruptive Telecoms