Category: Blog

Embracing Strategic Business Outcomes in Digital CX: A New Benchmark for Success in CXM Service Delivery | Blog

As digital CX continues to grow in importance, strategic business outcomes – aimed at establishing a genuine partnership between enterprise and providers based on mutual trust – are set to redefine the measurement of success. Delve into this blog to explore the advantages and potential hurdles of adopting a strategic business outcome in CXM.

The revolutionary integration of digital CX solutions is significantly transforming customer experience service delivery. Already a driving force, this evolution is poised for even greater momentum with the rapid evolution and substantial investments in generative AI. Amid these advancements, achieving outcomes for enterprise businesses has become more crucial than ever.

Adopting strategic business outcomes in CXM operations has emerged as a key differentiator for enterprise success. In today’s dynamic business landscape, staying ahead necessitates not just embracing digital technologies but also cultivating a results-oriented approach, ensuring customer interactions seamlessly translate into tangible business value. This emphasis enables companies to stay competitive, adapt to rapidly changing market dynamics, and foster customer loyalty by consistently delivering meaningful and impactful experiences.

The paradigm shifts toward delivering meaningful and tangible outcomes go beyond the conventional and transactional metrics that have historically dominated the Customer Experience Management (CXM) industry. While benchmarks like Average Handling Time (AHT), First Call Resolution (FCR), and other Service Level Agreements (SLAs) have been integral, the current era demands a recalibration. Metrics now need to go beyond merely gauging efficiency; they must directly contribute to strategic business objectives.

The advent of strategic business outcome metrics in CXM

Strategic business outcome metrics are aimed at accomplishing specific business objectives. This collaboration transcends mere verbal agreements or contractual obligations; instead, it entails establishing a genuine partnership between enterprise and providers characterized by commercial alignment and the pursuit of shared, measurable goals. Strategic business outcome metrics in CXM, marked by measurable impacts on the broader business landscape, are poised to become the new benchmark for a provider’s success.

Strategic business outcomes in CXM can be categorized into four categories: cost optimization, customer excellence, revenue enhancement, and digital transformation as illustrated below:

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Adopting strategic business outcome metrics requires a nuanced approach that acknowledges the industry-specific nature of certain metrics. Rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all model, CX providers must customize their metrics to align with the unique needs and goals of specific industries.

For example, decreasing the patient dropout rate may emerge as a pivotal metric a provider can achieve in helping accelerate the clinical trial process for a life science enterprise. Conversely, increasing the volume of orders across channels might be essential for optimizing strategies for a retail or Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) enterprise. In the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector, a targeted metric could be reducing forbearance negotiations or improving loan collection efficiency. This industry-tailored approach ensures the metrics chosen are directly relevant and impactful in addressing each sector’s specific challenges and objectives.

Obstacles to realizing benefits of a strategic business outcome metric approach

Adopting a strategic business outcome metric approach poses challenges, demanding a fundamental shift in measuring and pursuing success. This shift, particularly for large global businesses, demands standardization across all global practices.

Several factors contribute to the difficulty of this transition including:

  • Cultural change: Adopting strategic business outcome metrics in CXM entails a cultural transformation, often necessitating collaboration among multiple teams. Contact centers may not solely influence certain CX metrics. Achieving this shift requires buy-in and commitment from all organizational units, with employees embracing new ways of thinking and working collaboratively
  • Data complexity and attributability: Strategic business outcome metrics often demand a more sophisticated approach to data collection, analysis, and interpretation that might make it difficult to track, validate, and attribute actual benefits
  • Measuring intangible outcomes and baselining challenges: Some strategic business outcomes, such as brand perception or customer loyalty, are inherently intangible and challenging to quantify. Moreover, limited information to establish the baseline metric or outcome might pose a challenge. Developing effective measurement mechanisms for these outcomes can be complex
  • Contractual adjustments: Traditional service contracts may need restructuring to accommodate the shared responsibility model. This could involve renegotiating terms, aligning revenue recognition models, introducing performance-based incentives, and establishing clear expectations for success and failure
  • Regulatory hurdles and billing: Changes or conflicts in tax and compliance rules could potentially impact revenue recognition and billing mechanisms as well as timelines

The success of the strategic business outcome metric approach hinges on establishing a robust collaborative partnership between CX providers and enterprises. Building trust is central to this collaboration. Trust forms the basis for open communication, a willingness to share insights, and a joint commitment to success, which can serve as the bedrock for achieving shared objectives and driving meaningful differentiation within the market.

This approach involves equally sharing responsibilities and benefits for business success and failure. Both providers and enterprises must acknowledge that success/failure is a collective effort. Enterprises should acknowledge the role of providers in contributing to meeting agreed-upon targets, including fairly sharing commercial benefits, whether through performance-based incentives, revenue-sharing models, or other mutually agreed-upon mechanisms. On the flip side, in cases where strategic business outcome metrics are not met, providers should also be open to bearing the burden.

If you have questions or would like to discuss strategic business outcome metrics, frameworks, strategies, and best practices, reach out to Chhandak Biswas, [email protected], or Uday Gupta, [email protected].

Explore the anticipated shifts in sourcing expenditure and strategies, and the digital CX services expected to be in demand in our report: Customer Experience Management (CXM) Services CXO Insights: Key Issues Report 2024.

Discover insights into CXM outsourcing during early maturity stages and strategies for the effective selection of suitable outsourcing partners in our webinar, Navigating the CXM Outsourcing Landscape: A Comprehensive Guide for First-time Outsourcers.

Agentic AI – Exploring its Enterprise Potential | Blog

The emergence of agentic AI represents the next frontier in AI-based automation, offering enterprises the opportunity to revolutionize work processes through increased autonomy, enhanced decision-making capabilities, and greater adaptability. But can it move from consumer applications to the enterprise environment? Read on to explore agentic AI’s potential to transform operations and the challenges of this rising technology.

Enterprises today increasingly prioritize generative AI (gen AI) to enhance individual knowledge and assist employees. However, newer models, such as agentic AI, are emerging as promising solutions that can make decisions and fulfill goals. While agentic AI shows considerable potential, can it be adapted from consumer use cases to enterprise workflows? Let’s explore this further.

What is agentic AI?

Agentic AI is a new evolution that enables end-to-end task execution through natural language-based inputs. It goes beyond retrieving information or increasing knowledge and can take action with minimal human oversight.

For example, gen AI can help employees write code for tasks. Agentic AI takes this to the next level by running, debugging, and executing the code to achieve the desired outcome. Ultimately, agentic AI promises to combine the reasoning, execution, and course correction mechanisms humans typically use to accomplish goals, as illustrated below:

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The early promise of agentic AI has been demonstrated in consumer use cases through practical tools such as Auto-GPT and innovative AI devices such as rabbit r1. These applications show that when pushed to its limit, agentic AI can significantly reduce the reliance on multiple applications/products for distinct workflows, achieving actions simply through chat interfaces. This offers a glimpse into agentic AI’s potential for transforming enterprise workflows.

Given the potential agentic AI has demonstrated in a business-to-consumer context, it is intriguing to consider how this technology could be applied in an enterprise setting. At the lower end of the realization spectrum, it could more effectively automate mundane or repetitive tasks with limited human supervision. On a larger scale, agentic AI could be leveraged to have fully autonomous agents that think through and achieve outcomes and goals communicated in natural language. Regardless of the promise eventually realized, agentic AI will likely boost employee productivity and provide greater end-to-end automation.

Agentic AI in the enterprise

Currently, agentic AI seems somewhat more elegant in a consumer use case. In an enterprise environment, automated dynamic workflow generation and execution pose risks for multiple reasons, including the cost of error (such as incorrect workflows) and enterprise technology complexity.

However, given the potential benefits, it is unsurprising that multiple tech vendors – from prominent tech providers to early-stage startups – are working on building platforms and solutions that enable agentic AI in the enterprise.

Despite workarounds and solutions that are being developed for these risks, agentic AI in an enterprise environment encounters the following obstacles:

  • Explainability: For critical processes in particular, the ability to explain why a specific workflow was generated to solve a problem is essential
  • Supervision: Fully automated execution of dynamically generated workflows may be problematic in many enterprise circumstances. Agentic AI will require human review for generating workflows and often for execution and handling exceptions
  • Ecosystem complexity: With the many products and solutions within the enterprise landscape, generating and executing workflows tailored to specific ecosystems will require specialized training and execution tools/interfaces
  • Governance and security: As is the case with any automation, agentic AI will also need robust governance, privacy, security, audit mechanisms, and other guardrails

What does this mean for existing automation tools?

In the near future, Agentic AI will likely augment existing automation tools, not replace them. Agentic AI can work with automation tools in certain situations to enable smoother execution. For instance, data and insights gained through task mining can be used to train and refine the agentic AI model for workflow generation. This model, embedded within a process orchestration tool, can then be used to build workflows that are subsequently executed using application programming interfaces (APIs), robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent document processing (IDP), and other automation tools.

What does the future hold?

Although using fully autonomous agents may appear to be a magical remedy to the software sprawl problem, it is hardly that simple. Even if users could generate and execute workflows instantaneously in an enterprise environment, mechanisms to trace actions, capture related data, and enable the right access levels to different user groups are necessary.

In the near future, it is improbable that agentic AI will threaten larger systems designed to address high-value enterprise use cases. Nonetheless, agentic AI will undoubtedly simplify and enable goal achievement and end-to-end execution, shortening the time to productivity for new users. As both core technology and guardrail mechanisms improve, multi-vendor point solutions with incremental benefits may become unnecessary due to agentic AI’s efficiency.

While still a nascent technology, agentic AI has the potential to be adopted more quickly in an enterprise environment due to its functions and benefits. As the technology and ecosystem rapidly advance over the next few years, we will monitor the progress and adoption. Follow this space for more insights, and contact Anil Vijayan at [email protected] to discuss further.

Watch the event, Distinguishing Gen AI Hype from Real Applications, to learn about practical applications shaping the future of intelligent technologies.

Unlocking Revenue Potential: Service Provider Strategies for Tools/Accelerator Monetization | Blog

IT service providers are increasingly exploring monetizing their proprietary software tools and accelerators as independent products. This strategic decision can create new revenue streams and differentiate providers. While these accelerators offer numerous benefits, they face challenges in gaining client acceptance. In this blog, we explore the pricing strategies for accelerators and discuss five crucial factors that providers need to consider to maximize the value of their assets. Contact us to explore further.

IT service providers have invested heavily in developing homegrown intellectual properties and proprietary accelerators, tools, and software solutions that have demonstrated impactful results and value creation for clients.

Many providers are now actively pursuing monetizing these assets as standalone offerings. TCS and HCL have created subsidiaries, TCS Digitate and HCLSoftware, respectively, focusing on software and accelerator monetization.

Suppliers have developed software solutions used in different phases of the technology development lifecycle (build, quality assurance, run, modernize, and transition/transformation). Some examples are TCS Ignio and Mastercraft, Infosys LEAP and Nia, Wipro Holmes, and HCL Tech Advantage.

Let’s delve into the opportunities and obstacles service providers face in this pursuit.

Challenges to asset monetization

Despite the money-making potential, success has been limited for various reasons. Some of the primary factors we have observed contributing to this shortcoming include:

  • Internal challenges – Difficulties with legal and procurement process delays in maintaining and executing separate license agreements for these accelerators
  • Post-implementation challenges – Issues related to continued support and maintenance requirements of the accelerators, particularly after the end of services Statement of Work (SoW) term, and the ongoing need for product innovation and marketing investments
  • External challenges – Struggles with low revenue and profitability from product licenses

How accelerators are sold

Let’s take a look at the two ways accelerators are sold:

  • Bundled with services: Service providers frequently include accelerators in their solutions and position them as key differentiators. These accelerators are bundled with services within the provider’s scope and delivered to the customer. This model is preferred when:
    • The accelerator adds value to the existing services offered
    • Customer preferences and market trends show demand for all-inclusive solutions
  • Licensing models: Licensing models can be structured as follows:
    • One-time fee – Service providers propose that customers use the capabilities of their accelerators for a one-time fee
    • Recurring fee/subscription-based – Charging the customers for accelerators through recurring monthly or annual fees is another prominent commercial model

In addition to the one-time/recurring fee, some providers charge for professional services separately. This model is preferred when:

    • The accelerator addresses specific pain points with a standalone solution
    • Customers seek flexibility and independence in using the product

While service providers ultimately aspire to move toward standalone licensing for accelerator monetization, bundling with services is currently the more dominant model. Providers tend to leverage services to grow the reach and mindshare of their accelerators through bundling.

Service providers typically provide the costs of these assets separately in deals where external advisors are involved or where the client’s procurement function is mature. There is a growing emphasis among service providers to focus on asset-led models, with many expecting high asset revenue growth in the coming years.

Research findings

To unlock the value that service providers can realize through their asset and accelerator monetization, we conducted detailed research to understand the key areas that providers must consider.

Here are five key insights from our research:

  1. Positioning: Providers position assets as “investments” in some deals until a predefined threshold is met. This strategy helps to increase the penetration of their specialized accelerators and tools in a client’s ecosystem. The provider then starts charging for these assets when the client has consumed services proportionate to the initial investment
  2. Value proposition: Providers tout numerous benefits for clients using their accelerators, including increased productivity, streamlined costs, reduced rework, automation of routine tasks, instant simulation, end-to-end incident remediation, predictive failure, and proactive decision-making
  3. Fee amortization: The period over which the accelerator fee is charged is determined by its share of the total contract value (TCV). For deals where the share of accelerator fees is minimal, the accelerator fee is charged in the first year. Conversely, the duration is longer when the share of the accelerator’s fee in the overall deal value rises
  4. Return on investment (ROI) articulation: ROI articulation is critical to reinforce the client’s confidence and willingness to invest in accelerators. ROI in the 2.5 to 5 times range has been observed in large deals covering services across the technology development lifecycle
  5. Sales channel: Service providers use different sales channels to increase sales of their assets, including leveraging channel partners, independent software vendors (ISVs), the third-party marketplace, and, in some instances, their subsidiaries

As service providers move towards establishing alternate revenue streams through their accelerators, the observations in this blog will help move them toward devising a robust accelerator monetization strategy.

Everest Group collaborates with leading global and Indian service providers to help identify suitable commercial model(s) and pricing strategies for tools and accelerators. To discuss software solutions and accelerator monetization in more detail, contact Rahul GehaniUdit Maheshwari, and Manan Arora or email us at [email protected].

Broadcom’s Acquisition of VMware: Navigating the Impact on Pricing | Blog

Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware represents a significant shift in virtualization and cloud computing pricing, licensing, and product offerings. Explore the implications of this deal and recommendations for customers and partners to navigate these sweeping changes in this blog. Contact us to discuss.

In a move that has sent ripples through the tech and cloud services industry, Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware marks a pivotal shift in the virtualization and cloud computing landscape. This deal has led to sweeping changes in VMware’s product offerings, licensing models, and, most notably, its pricing structure.

Broadcom’s strategic move from perpetual licenses to subscription-based models and bundled offerings has significant implications for VMware’s existing and prospective customers. Let’s delve into the changes further.

How will the changes impact cost

Since being acquired by Broadcom, VMware has shifted to a more streamlined, subscription-based model as part of a strategy aimed at simplifying offerings and aligning costs with customer usage patterns.

This new strategy will impact user segments in different ways. Here’s a look at the key changes:

  • Consolidation into two primary bundles: VMware has significantly simplified product offerings from nearly 9,000 product SKUs to two main bundles: VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) and VMware vSphere Foundation (VVF)
  • Transition to subscription-based models: The shift from perpetual licenses to subscription access will allow customers to benefit from recurring payments instead of one-time purchases
  • Impact of core-based licensing: Moving from socket- to core-based licensing could significantly impact costs, especially for organizations with high-performance computing requirements
  • Mandatory core and socket purchase requirements: The new requirement of buying at least 16 cores across a minimum of two sockets (effectively requiring 32 cores as a base) will significantly increase costs for some users
  • Pricing structure adjustments: The new subscription model includes pricing tiers and bundled offerings. Discounts can range from 8% to 35%, depending on the bundle and subscription term. This restructuring might reduce costs for customers deeply integrated into VMware’s ecosystem but dramatically raise expenses for users buying single products

Market and customer reactions to the acquisition of VMware

VMware customers have reacted to these changes with concern, confusion, and frustration. The end of perpetual licenses and the initial uncertainty about continuing the partner program have been particularly contentious.

Educational institutions and small to medium-sized businesses that previously received significant discounts are now grappling with increased support costs and the elimination of traditional discount structures.

The market’s reaction has been further exacerbated by reported delays in licensing renewals and support and OEM portals not operating, disrupting license activation and support services.

Adapting to change

Customers and partners should reassess their VMware strategies in response to these significant changes. We recommend existing customers take the following steps to adapt to the situation:

  1. Explore alternatives: VMware customers should identify alternative vendors to the existing VMware product stack to alleviate cost increases stemming from the new subscription model. Given this transition will require considerable time and effort, customers must consider their long-term virtualization strategy when moving to an alternate product
  1. Renegotiate with VMware: Customers should renegotiate their VMware contracts while exploring options. They should seek clarifications on product bundling and renewal terms and understand the new model’s impact on their VMware product suite and total cost of ownership (TCO). In addition, customers should seek information on Broadcom’s discounts against deal term commitment and leverage this information to strike a deal that gives them maximum cost savings
  1. Understand the market pulse: The unclear changes in the licensing model and pricing of VCF and VVF bundles have created uncertainty. Most customers are struggling to navigate this unprecedented change in their virtualization journey. Customers need to stay agile and informed to form effective virtualization product strategies

The outlook for the industry

Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware represents a significant turning point in the cloud and virtualization industry, with profound implications for pricing, licensing, and product offerings.

As customers and partners navigate this evolving landscape, the need for transparency, flexibility, and strategic planning has never been greater. While challenges lie ahead, opportunities also exist for those prepared to adapt to these changes. The coming months will be telling as the industry adjusts to a new era of cloud computing and virtualization services under Broadcom’s ownership of VMware.

To discuss Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware, contact Ricky Sundrani, Vaibhav Jain, and Udit Maheshwari.

Explore outsourcing pricing trends in our webinar, Delivering Commercial Value in Outsourcing Contracts to APAC Clients in 2024.

Respect the DNA | Blog

Not too long ago, I was chatting with one of my Global Business Services (GBS) leader friends who was talking about filling a critical GBS vacancy with an internal, non-GBS native. We pondered whether that was a good move. And it came to me—because the skills and capabilities required for the job trumped deep GBS knowledge, he was respecting the DNA of the company by appointing a colleague from another part of the business.

All too often, GBS organizations are seen as a graft onto the enterprise, a unit standing apart, for a range of reasons. Sponsors don’t spend the effort to support the concept that GBS is of the business, not on top of it. Stakeholders position GBS as a scapegoat, not part of workflow. And because leaders often lean toward GBS tribal hiring—often from their former gigs—the concept of GBS as a separate team is amplified. While lack of sponsorship and positioning can be eliminated over time with change management and education, the last—hiring from the outside—is totally in the remit of GBS leadership. Big miss, folks, exclusively hiring GBS natives into the leadership from the outside and not respecting the DNA. Every leader doesn’t have to be able to recite GBS concepts book and verse to deliver tangible value to the enterprise. In the right environment, and often in the right roles, internal hires can not only deliver exemplary performance, but they can also elevate GBS acceptance, value, and sustainability.

Why is respecting the DNA so critical?

Getting down to the heart of the matter, GBS can’t afford to disregard internal talent, both politically or financially. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Endorses GBS as part the fabric of the enterprise, not separate and apart. When the GBS team is comprised by outsiders, it can send a message that suggests that those in the business are not capable of transforming or operating, and that institutional knowledge has no value.
  • Lends credibility. If internal high performers think GBS stints are worthwhile, GBS’s credibility can advance several notches.
  • Messages that a GBS stint is a critical part of corporate career progression. GBS then becomes a vital component of the enterprise’s career path.
  • Creates a network of endorsers. When a leader has had a rotation through GBS and they become champions, commonly held myths and beliefs can be debunked.
  • Accelerates the productivity curve. Internal hires have established networks. They know where the skeletons are buried and can advise the new kids on the block.
  • Expands the talent pipeline. At times, talent pickings in the market are slim. Looking internally can expand the pool exponentially.
  • Grounds external hires. “Savior syndrome” is real when an exclusively external team runs the show. A blended organizational DNA keeps the GBS team honest.
  • Helps GBS create measured change. Internal hires understand how hard to push, and when to back off.
  • Improves sustainability. It may be easy for management to deconstruct a GBS that is primarily comprised of employees that the enterprise considers “outsiders.” It’s another thing entirely to release respected, long-tenured staff.

How does a GBS leader put “respect” into action? Whether starting a GBS from scratch, rebooting the model, or managing a mature organization, the strategy remains the same:

  • Maintain an open mind. Failure of a GBS organization to perform is more often than not down to poor leadership; the root cause of subpar performance is due the quality of the entire team. Take the time to evaluate existing talent and figure out what capabilities GBS needs to thrive.
  • Hire talent for sustainability, not roles. When we evaluate talent, we tend to think about the opening at hand. However, when we also put talent through the lens of GBS goals and the capabilities required to achieve them, the criteria may very well change.
  • Create job descriptions that align within the enterprise. GBS capabilities are not separate and apart from those that currently fuel operations. Take the time to review functional and operational roles in order to better align them.
  • Work with HR to map rolesdon’t go rogue. It’s vital to use the same job families, hierarchies, and language. We think GBS is special, but it’s not. The skills and capabilities that fuel performance in other parts of the enterprise are often over 90% similar in GBS; only the model and the language is different for many roles.
  • Go shopping. Ask other leaders for recommendations. As you interact with others in the enterprise, take their measure. Can they add value based upon what they do today? Can they move the goalposts because they have capabilities that will challenge GBS thinking or future-proof the organization? Are they a good fit, and will they add stability and sustainability?
  • Set up a formal GBS rotation. Too few GBS organizations take advantage of tours of duty. They are a great way to test and try internal talent.

Formalize a “GBS for the uninitiated” program. GBS isn’t rocket science, nor is it mysterious. Supporting internal hires by giving them a bit of education will set them up for success.

Last, you are probably asking whether there’s a cheat sheet to determine which roles are best filled internally, and which require outside expertise. Here’s a simple way to think about it:  the most innovative, evolved, and sustainable GBS organizations blend their DNA—some roles from the outside, some in.

So, the next time you have an open role, don’t run out to hire your tribe. Take the time to think about respecting the DNA of the enterprise you support. You’ll be glad you did.

Navigating the Shift to Next-Gen Customer Engagement Technology Products in the Life Sciences Sector | Blog

Life sciences enterprises are undergoing a generational shift, transitioning from outdated legacy customer relationship management (CRM) systems to modern Customer Experience Platforms (CXP). Discover the three emerging customer engagement layers in these platforms, the readiness of enterprises to adopt the latest solutions, and the factors to consider when selecting customer engagement technology in this blog. Reach out to us to discuss this topic further.

In the rapidly evolving life sciences landscape, a significant and crucial transformation is underway as companies move from traditional CRM systems to cutting-edge CXP. Let’s explore this further.

As illustrated below, the life sciences CXP technology architecture has two distinctive foundational structures: CRM and next-gen customer engagement management.

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In the widespread realm of next-gen customer engagement management, the following three main customer engagement layers are emerging:

  • End-to-end content management: These tools provide features to enable intelligent content management across the entire content lifecycle, including automated and modular content creation, cognitive-capabilities-powered digital asset management (DAM), content distribution recommendations, real-time content analytics, dynamic libraries, and third-party integrations
  • Engagement channel optimization: Tools that manage all channel types (digital and non-digital) with CX-focused capabilities, including dynamic recommendations based on customer behavior analysis (personas), ideal content-channel combinations, third-party messenger integrations (including regional requirements), and channel analytics
  • Commercial learning and training: Embedded platform features to enable complete learning experience management (preferably covering the entire commercial function), including smart assistant-led training navigation, multi-format training modules, and personalized learning journeys

Enterprise adoption priority

The pandemic has reshaped customer engagement channels, resulting in a diverse blend of traditional communication methods (face-to-face, phone, text, conferences) and digital channels (video calls, webinars, Healthcare Professional Portals).

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This shift has made it essential for enterprises to adopt an efficient channel management system. As a result, engagement channel optimization has become the most demanded module in next-gen customer engagement management, followed closely by content management and learning and training.

While the life sciences commercial segment is synonymous with sales and marketing, it also includes other vital functions such as medical affairs, market access, and patient services. However, not all functions within the commercial segment are equally equipped to adopt these tools.

The overall maturity of the necessary technology, data architecture availability, and optimal processes vary significantly by function. These factors will influence platform and tool selection decisions as illustrated below:

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Customer engagement technology platform sourcing factors 

Enterprises looking to make sourcing decisions for next-gen customer engagement platforms and tools have moved beyond considering pricing as the sole or major driving factor. They are looking at platforms and tools that offer a better user experience and a flexible technology stack that seamlessly integrates into existing systems.

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“We prioritize how the platform fits with the existing enterprise tools and how well they work with current enterprise CRM and incorporate enhancements that come from them. Additionally, geographic infrastructure to provide support in global adoption, ease of working with the provider, and the price are the key criteria for selecting the provider.”

 – Director, Content Strategy and Operations, Large Pharmaceutical Company

“Our top sourcing considerations include ease of use for all stakeholders, user friendly and intuitive design, how well it integrates with other platforms, cost for implementation and the licensing fees, and product enhancements included in the fee or for small service fees.”

– Global CRM Lead, Global Life Sciences Enterprise

Outlook for the life sciences landscape

With enterprise objectives constantly shifting and generative AI technology continuously evolving, the innovation pace on the supply side is equally frenetic. Commercial technology players are swiftly rolling out highly tailored solutions in the life sciences industry. This rapid progress also gives rise to a new wave of specialized providers catering to niche needs. Consequently, enterprises must continuously assess the evolving landscape of commercial technology offerings and enhance their tech infrastructure accordingly.

To discuss customer engagement technology trends in life sciences or other developments in this space (especially after the Veeva-Salesforce announced split), contact [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected].

Watch our LinkedIn Live session, Key Insights: The Evolving Commercial Technology Landscape in Life Sciences, to learn more about the critical shift from CRM ecosystems to CX platforms and the next-gen technologies poised to deliver personalized CX.

The Rise of AI Developers – How Devin and other Autonomous AI Agents will Reshape Software Development | Blog

Cognition AI’s Devin and other autonomous AI agents are poised to revolutionize software development. Read on to explore Devin’s features and benefits, the impact of AI developers on IT services delivery, and the challenges that accome with moving into the age of intelligent software development. Reach out to learn more about this topic.

The world of software development is on the cusp of a paradigm shift. Cognition AI’s launch of Devin, the first fully autonomous AI software engineer, marks a significant leap forward in AI capabilities. Devin and other AI agents promise to transform how software is built and profoundly impact the IT services industry. Let’s explore this further.

What can Devin do?

Devin is different from your average coding assistant. This AI agent can independently plan, execute, and complete complex software engineering tasks. For example, if Devin were given a problem statement to build a website with specific functionalities, it would:

Craft a step-by-step plan: Break the project down into manageable tasks, considering factors like technology stack, user interface design, and API integrations.

Develop the software: Write code, handle errors, and build the core functionality using tools familiar to human engineers, such as code editors and debuggers.

Deploy the solution: Deploy the website it built on a server and ensure user accessibility.

This level of autonomy is groundbreaking. While Devin might still require human oversight for complex projects or strategic decisions, its ability to handle entire workflows independently opens a new frontier in software development.

What does it mean for software development?

The advent of Devin AI marks a significant leap in the software development process. This transformative technology heralds a future where AI can undertake intricate coding tasks, driving numerous benefits.

Below are some potential benefits of AI developers:

Increased Productivity: Repetitive tasks like coding basic functionalities or fixing bugs can be automated, freeing human developers for more creative and strategic work.

Reduced Development Time: AI handling of routine tasks can significantly shorten development cycles, allowing companies to bring products to market faster.

Democratization of Development: AI tools could empower non-programmers to build basic applications, fostering innovation and citizen development.

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Concerns with AI developers

However, it is important to remember that Devin AI doesn’t have all the answers yet, and many unknowns must be addressed. Below are a few concerns surrounding Devin AI:

Infrastructure Requirements: The infrastructure required to run Devin may prove to be a limiting factor for its adoption.

Security and Compliance: Security, governance, and regulatory compliance factors can significantly influence the applicability of Devin across use cases.

Pricing Uncertainty: Cognition has not released any information about the potential price points for Devin AI.

What does it mean for the IT services industry?

The rise of AI developers presents both challenges and opportunities for the IT services industry that will affect the following dimensions:

Shifting Skillsets: Demand for traditional coding skills may decrease as AI handles routine tasks. However, the need for skilled professionals who can manage AI tools, design complex systems, and ensure security will rise.

Evolving Service Offerings: IT service providers must adapt their offerings to leverage AI development tools. This could involve offering AI-powered development platforms, AI integration services, and expertise in managing human-AI collaboration.

Focus on Consulting and Strategy: As the technical aspects become less labor-intensive, IT service providers can focus on higher-value services like consulting, project management, and providing strategic guidance on AI adoption.

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The road ahead

Devin’s arrival is just the beginning. As AI capabilities continue to advance, even more sophisticated development tools and agents will emerge. Leading IT services providers that embrace this change, invest in workforce reskilling, and leverage AI effectively will be well-positioned to thrive in the age of intelligent software development.

This shift will not be without its challenges. Ethical considerations about AI bias and potential job displacement need to be addressed. However, the potential benefits of AI development are undeniable. As we move forward, embracing collaboration and fostering a human-AI partnership will be crucial to unlocking the full potential of this exciting new frontier.

To share your thoughts and discuss our research on the future of software development and the rise of AI developers, please contact [email protected] or [email protected].

Watch the webinar, AI-driven Sourcing: Discover the Best-in-Class Features in Autonomous Sourcing Tools, for insights into the complex technology landscape of autonomous sourcing tools and the various functionalities autonomous sourcing tools offer across the sourcing workflow.

Boosting Project Readiness in Technology Talent: A Comprehensive Framework for Developing Project-Ready Workforce | Blog

To combat the technology talent shortage and improve project readiness, technology firms are investing in comprehensive initiatives across the talent management value chain, including learning and development platforms, niche partnerships, and other strategies. Explore how Everest Group’s 3A framework can help firms assess, acquire, and activate project-ready talent at scale. Reach out to speak with us further on this topic.

With rapid technological advancements and an acute specialized talent shortage, IT firms increasingly recognize the importance of developing technology talent internally. As a result, they have accelerated developing comprehensive learning and development (L&D) frameworks backed by robust tech-driven learning solutions to upskill/reskill technology talent. These strategic investments are aimed at ensuring future readiness and resilience to technology disruptions.

However, even after these focused L&D investments, organizations still struggle to build a sustainable pool of project-ready resources. According to the Talent Readiness for Next-generation IT Services PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2023, IT service providers reported the lack of project-ready resources as a critical barrier in building a future-ready workforce.

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Recent excessive hiring by technology firms has resulted in large benches with lower-quality talent unprepared to be deployed in client projects. Firms continuously train their benches on emerging and in-demand technologies while optimizing talent-sourcing strategies to improve project readiness, particularly in the entry-level talent pool. However, they still face several key bottlenecks in enhancing the project-readiness quotient, as illustrated below:

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Solving the project-readiness puzzle: The 3A framework focused on Assess-Acquire-Activate.

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  • Assess – Effectively assessing project readiness is as critical as embedding it in the L&D journey. Most technology firms lack a dedicated project readiness assessment framework. Developing a robust framework to evaluate and identify gaps in workforce project readiness is crucial.

The framework must be holistic and able to evaluate granular-level details specific to a particular role, project, and service line. It must include all skill types, including technical skills, domain expertise, cognitive and interpersonal skills, and related attributes such as proficiency level and experience.

Additionally, it’s critical to move beyond the conventional metrics of gauging project readiness, such as certifications and skill tags to digital readiness quotient.

We have invested in an in-house tool designed for conducting technical assessments of trainees. Customized assessments are created in the tool based on the skill matrix, and trainees are evaluated using these assessments to assess their level of upskilling. The assessments include scenario-based and coding questions to evaluate conceptual and hands-on expertise of candidates.” – Leading IT service provider

  • Acquire – Leading organizations are strategically shifting their focus on developing technology talent at early stages. By adopting a train-hire-deploy talent acquisition model, companies aim to build project-ready pipelines. Here are some initiatives top firms are using to acquire project-ready resources:
    • Forming in-depth alliances with academic institutions to focus on building talent from the ground up through tailored learning content, internships, apprenticeships, dedicated courses, or degree programs targeted at industry-relevant and in-demand skills
    • Creating pre-onboarding programs with learning content and hands-on practice modules in simulated environments to prepare freshers for a streamlined transition and integration
    • Partnering with training firms to acquire specialized talent equipped with niche or next-generation skills

We have an exclusive job program for individuals looking for full-time jobs after high school, thereby making them financially independent. This is a hybrid training program focusing on the overall education and personality grooming of students to make them job-ready.” – Leading Indian IT service provider

We currently have seven master’s programs running across six premier institutes in India to channelize the talent generation in the IT industry. We have handstitched the curriculum interventions and provide internship opportunities to students, which eventually leads to conversion to FTE.” – Leading global system integrator

  • Activate – In addition to traditional learning interventions, firms should promote on-the-job learning opportunities such as peer learning forums, collaboration and knowledge-sharing platforms, and sessions to exchange expertise on niche topics, projects, accounts, and roles.

Further, firms can explore strategic partnerships with specialized technology providers to build and integrate tailored learning exercises into their L&D ecosystem. This may include hands-on projects that mimic real-world scenarios, customized simulated environments, and labs specific to particular use cases or industries.

We partner with multiple providers of advanced-level technology programs who design and deliver training in boot camps as well as virtual instructor-led training (ILT) mode for training in higher order competencies. They also provide cloud labs along with the program, apart from personalized subject matter expert (SME) guidance. In fiscal year 2023, 33% of our deep-skilled learners were deployed in projects where they could use their new skills” – Leading Indian IT service provider

Following are some examples of the partnerships leveraged:

Technology Talent

Future outlook

The sharp decline in the project-readiness quotient of the workforce in recent times and the ever-evolving client expectations have led technology firms to take holistic measures to ensure they have sustainable pipelines of ready-to-deploy talent.

To effectively tackle the issue, firms must continue adopting proactive measures to enhance the project-readiness quotient. These approaches can include comprehensive assessment frameworks, optimized talent sourcing strategies, and establishing a balanced L&D ecosystem.

Firms with robust workforce strategies that strongly emphasize project readiness will   be better positioned to build and sustain scalable project-ready pipelines – giving them a competitive edge in the talent crisis.

To gain further insights into how leading service providers are transforming their workforce strategies to extensively focus on enhancing project readiness and technology talent, contact Arpita Dwivedi [email protected], Amit Anand [email protected], and Abhigyan Kumar [email protected].

Watch the webinar, Locations and Workforce Strategy 2024: Insights, Trends, and Key Priorities, for trends shaping 2024’s workforce and locations strategies.

Argentina’s Dollarization Dilemma – Assessing Potential Implications | Blog

Implementing dollarization can help resolve Argentina’s economic woes and ongoing inflation, but it poses complex challenges for stakeholders. Read on to explore the opportunities, obstacles, and financial and operational impacts for global companies in Argentina.

Argentina’s chronic economic struggles, characterized by persistent inflation and macroeconomic instability, have reignited the debate surrounding dollarization – adopting the US dollar as its official currency. This alarming scenario of soaring inflation signifies the culmination of decades marked by fiscal mismanagement and monetary recklessness that have deeply impacted the country.

In 1991, Argentina implemented a currency peg between the peso and the dollar to combat inflation. Then-president Carlos Menem proposed fully dollarizing the economy in 1999. However, the dollar peg collapsed amid a severe recession, leading President Eduardo Duhalde to dissolve the 1:1 link in early 2002. During his winning campaign, Argentina’s newly elected president, Javier Milei, championed the dollarization proposal.

While dollarization holds the allure of offering a solution to the country’s woes and chronic inflation, it presents complex challenges for global companies, investors, and other stakeholders.

Potential benefits of dollarization

The potential benefits of dollarization are enticing and include:

  • Hyperinflation tamer: Argentina is experiencing its highest annual inflation rate in three decades (soaring to 254.2% in January 2024), eroding the value of the peso and crippling economic activity. By anchoring the currency to the relatively stable US dollar, dollarization could bring immediate respite from this inflationary ordeal

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  • Fiscal discipline enforcer: Fiscal discipline is paramount, and dollarization would eliminate the central bank’s ability to print pesos and fuel government spending. This could potentially lead to more responsible budgeting and reduce deficits
  • Foreign investment magnet: A dollarized economy would eliminate currency risk, bolster investor confidence, and attract foreign investment. This influx of capital could stimulate economic growth and job creation

Risks of dollarization

While dollarization has the potential to control hyperinflation and stabilize the economy, adopting it also poses the following significant risks:

  • Surrender of monetary sovereignty: By adopting the dollar, Argentina loses control over its monetary policy, a powerful tool for managing economic cycles and responding to shocks. This can limit the government’s ability to stimulate the economy during downturns
  • Reduced export competitiveness: While dollarization may attract investments into the country, it is also likely to make Argentine exports relatively more expensive, hindering international market competitiveness. This could hamper overall economic growth, particularly in export-oriented sectors
  • Heightened poverty: Reduced government spending due to fiscal constraints could stretch social safety nets thin for the already vulnerable two-thirds of the population below the poverty line. This could exacerbate social inequality and unrest
  • Impact on relations with China: This proposed move brings to light a crucial but often neglected concern regarding the continuity of the currency swap line between the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) and The People’s Bank of China (PBOC). This swap line has recently played a pivotal role in averting default on Argentina’s obligations to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Dollarization has financial and operational implications for global companies operating in Argentina. Let’s explore these repercussions further.

Financial implications

During the transition to a dollarized economy, global companies may face challenges in hedging due to foreign exchange fluctuations, necessitating careful currency risk management and financial strategy adaptation to maintain profitability. As the currency strengthens, local costs (such as salaries, rentals, and other expenses) will increase, prompting a need to reconsider cost structures through automation or outsourcing to remain competitive.

Additionally, determining transfer pricing between the Argentine subsidiary and other branches will raise new challenges, requiring close compliance attention as tax authorities might scrutinize pricing strategies under the new regime.

Operational repercussions

The uncertainty surrounding dollarization’s impact in Argentina may lead global companies to postpone investments until the dust settles, potentially stalling short-term economic growth and job creation.

Moreover, exchange rate fluctuations during the transition could disrupt supply chains, impacting the seamless flow of goods and services. To address this, building resilient supply chains that incorporate local sourcing alternatives to mitigate potential disruptions effectively becomes critical.

Impact on the competitive landscape

Dollarization could potentially level the playing field for global companies compared to local competitors, as currency risk would cease to be a distinguishing factor. This would likely heighten competition and market consolidation. In the medium to long term, a stable currency environment may attract a wave of investors, further intensifying competition for existing global firms.

However, this stability may also pose challenges for talent retention, as the stronger currency could inflate the cost of retaining skilled employees. To counter this, global companies will need to offer competitive compensation and robust career development opportunities to attract and retain top talent amid changing economic dynamics.

Impact on investors

For investors, dollarization presents a multifaceted landscape. On the one hand, it offers the potential for reduced uncertainty through a stable currency environment, mitigating exchange rate fluctuations and providing greater predictability for investments.

Additionally, dollarization may attract skilled expatriates, thus adding diverse perspectives and enhancing the talent pool. Moreover, if successful, dollarization could pave the way for potentially higher returns on investments in the long run, fuelled by economic growth spurred by the new currency regime.

However, investors must also be wary of these challenges that come with dollarization:

  • Firstly, an influx of foreign investors drawn by a stable currency could intensify competition in certain sectors, necessitating strategic adjustments and potentially impacting profitability
  • Secondly, Argentina’s economic fortunes would become inextricably linked to US monetary policy, introducing new risks and potentially limiting the government’s ability to respond to local economic needs
  • Finally, if not implemented carefully, dollarization could aggravate social tensions and inequality, impact overall stability, and create a less conducive investment environment

What lessons has history taught us?

Valuable insights can be gained by looking at Ecuador and Panama’s experiences with dollarization. While both countries adopted the measure to tackle economic instability, their experiences illustrate the differing potential outcomes of this complex policy.

Panama adopted the US dollar as its official currency in 1903, driven by political uncertainty and a desire for economic integration. Its dollarized economy has enjoyed remarkable stability and growth over the past century, albeit with ongoing challenges related to income inequality.

Ecuador adopted dollarization in 2000 following chronic inflation and currency devaluation. While it saw initial success in taming inflation and attracting investment, long-term challenges such as dependence on oil exports and income inequality persisted. Despite improved macroeconomic stability, Ecuador still struggles with high unemployment and poverty.

Other countries that have gone through dollarization include El Salvador, Zimbabwe, Cambodia, and Turks and Caicos.

The outlook for dollarization

In June 2023, the average monthly salary for a software developer in Argentina was about 500,000 pesos, as reported by the country’s software and computer services observatory. At that time, this salary translated to over US$2,000. However, by January 2024, the equivalent amount decreased to US$650 owing to the peso’s depreciation.

To counter this, some private firms in Argentina have been partially paying employee salaries in dollars to retain skilled talent. Companies such as Mercado Libre, Accenture, and Globant offer partial salaries in dollars as the peso crashes. Along with this, some businesses have started to accept payments in dollars. For example, GoDaddy has stopped accepting pesos and only accepts US dollars in payments. However, this is the exception, not the norm, and everyone doesn’t share the enthusiasm to dollarize.

Investment bank JP Morgan, among other economists, has cautioned that Argentina lacks the necessary prerequisites for implementing the plan, which requires a substantial foreign currency reserve and significantly higher savings rates.

While dollarization promises to be a silver bullet solution if executed effectively, its potential adoption in Argentina presents a complex scenario with inherent risks. Adopting dollarization would entail relinquishing Argentina’s control over its economic policies, representing a significant gamble with long-term implications. It’s crucial to recognize that dollarization is not a one-size-fits-all remedy and does not offer a comprehensive solution to Argentina’s economic challenges.

Stakeholders must carefully weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks to ensure they are well-positioned to thrive in the evolving economic landscape. Seeking expert guidance can help enterprises navigate this intricate landscape and make informed choices that align with individual strategic objectives and risk tolerance.

To learn more about key market dynamics and related opportunities in Argentina, read our latest report, Location Spotlight – Argentina.

To discuss the global services industry in Argentina, please contact Parul Jain ([email protected]) or Harshit Mittal ([email protected]).

Explore Everest Group Talent Genius™, the AI-powered insights platform to guide IT and BPS location and workforce decisions.

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