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Digitization of the Retail Sector with Emergence of Cloud Technology

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Decades ago before online buying and digitization, retailers only got profits off their small stores. Online retail is not just meant for online selling rather it helps improve offline sales by leveraging online data. As retailers are dealing with their offline and online stores, they are obliged to leverage the newest solutions built using advanced technologies.

According to the predictions of Gartner, there will be a rise of 3.6% internationally in the tech retail expenditure and it may reach $218.5 billion by 2021 across the world. At the same time, the predicted online retail expend in India could touch $50 billion during the same time, as per a Deloitte report. For retailers in India, it is very important to continue their online stores with digitizing their physical outlets to simplify and improve the shopping experience.

In this report, Deloitte also told that around 70% of Indian shoppers wish digital devices (own or kiosk) personnel for in-store activities like pricing comparison, procuring product information, checking product availability, etc. This demonstrates the growing interests of the new-age customer. Currently, when customers become more self-conscious, retailers are trying to provide more customer-focused experiences — enabled by data, digital and CRM platforms. This balancing modernization is leading another Retail Digital Reset (RDR) with a growing compromise on omnichannel as the ‘retail way’ and data-driven points becoming more significant in the buyer’s journey guiding the digital appetite of retailers.

Digitization has a broader range of possibility than automation, and it stays focused on the effectiveness of established workflows. It invents Net-New data and workflows and is enabled by more players in the retail ecosystem. Digitization allows everyone —a store manager, a regional manager, an auditor, the legal coordinator, the VM enabler and several others — to render their personal spaces into digital, adding it up to the ultimate consumer experience.

This extent of mass participation and data creation requires constant access to computing infrastructure and several accessible tools and these contributors can use to drive the digital agenda. There is modernization and by decreasing threshold to market entry, new ideas and solutions are existing at a faster rate than ever before. The simplicity of distribution, technological advancement and time to market are driving cloud adoption at a very fast pace in India.

Cloud is the latest desktop

The person with an initiative to develop the retail journey can convert it into a cloud service and plug into Enterprise platforms for fast probability and implementation. A rising movement viewed by these digitization platforms is the surfacing of innovators within the organization. Employees understand the business really well including what the consumer wants now. Enabled with user-friendly tools on the cloud, employees are turning entrepreneurial creating a win-win all around. The 24/7 convenience through the cloud (private or public) enables employees to interpret their ideas into micro-services at the highest speed never seen before.

Retailers are digitizing everyday operations so as to convey steady user experiences; retailers are proactively taking measures to adjust their retail operations and to drive better consumer commitment. Attaining insights into such digitized retail measures will open up new business opportunities for retailers.

Digitization helps retailers in analyzing millions of data points every day on digitization platforms to recognize new consumer insights that are coming through different engagement channels and perform on those which may require instant attention. Examples of such data include collecting modification data at stores to be fed back into the range/season plans or discovering reasons why customers did not buy on a specific day or excitedly discovering changing consumer likings.

Though a lot get conversed about digital in the background of consumers, there is proof for a similar big push on digitizing the supply space, which regularly gets neglected. Since retailers enhance their spend on revitalizing customer experiences to drive attraction and stem churn, it needs to be borne in mind to synchronize faithfulness programmes with user expectations, to collect more touch point data and successfully leverage it in order to bring individualized experiences at scale.

Implementation of cloud makes all this easy for, particularly in retail. Increasing accessibility of secure, robust infrastructure from realistic players and falling costs make cloud everywhere and markets are confident that SMB retailers will speed up the adoption of cloud usage to above 90% by end of 2019.

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5G will pace up Industry 4.0 in the Middle East and Africa

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5G

The arrival of industry 4.0 is going to ignite an exceptional wave of innovation in the Middle East and Africa (MEA). This industry combines operational, information and communication technologies with cyber-physical systems, facilitated by advanced wireless communication and industrial Internet of Things (IoT) services. This digital and wireless revolution will be powered by 5G networks, which have the probabilities to impel economic growth in the region like no previous generation of mobile technology.

For example, in the Middle East and Africa, the security, high speeds, low latency and a massive number of connections in 5G networks will prop up the smart city and agriculture alteration in many countries. Thus, new revenue streams will be come out from IoT and industrial applications, and speed up digitalization.

Agriculture 4.0 will mainly renovate both the demand side and the value chain/supply side of the food-scarcity equation, and take the help of technology to deal with the real needs of consumers.

The UAE already has started using the SCADA system, which unites current, real-time data from weather stations with data from soil moisture and salinity sensors. Besides this, IKEA, David Chang and the ruler of Dubai have spent $40 million in vertical farming. Similarly, other Arab countries are also giving stress to expand their agriculture highly, and performing experiments with various new technologies.

The Middle East and Africa region is also the world’s largest hub for mineral mining (diamond, phosphate, gold) and for oil and gas excavations. 5G is the best domain choice of IoT connectivity for these industries.

Use of 5G in the Middle East

In 2019, Ericsson will start the commercial use of 5G with operators in highly developed markets like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and this will get important traffic volumes by 2021. Ericsson was just selected by Batelco to install 5G commercially across Bahrain, and we announced 5G commercial launches with Etisalat, STC, and Ooredoo at Mobile World Congress 2019. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report MEA, all major service providers in the region are moving positively to launch 5G commercially. Several regional start-ups including Fetchr, Souq, Careem, and ReserveOut have been working successfully, and some others have had a strong impact on the market.

Increased network capacity, lower cost per gigabyte and new use case requirements are the main drivers for immediate 5G deployment. The bulk of the 5G subscriptions in the MEA are likely to come from highly developed ICT markets like Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar, but in Africa, significant momentum is taking the shape in South Africa.

The MEA region’s telecom market is considered by increasing uptake of LTE. The region will be the leader in the globe with an estimation of 9x mobile data traffic growth (1.8 to 17 EB/month from 2018 to 2024) and see a doubling of mobile broadband subscriptions (850 to 1,630 million from 2018 to 2024), according to Ericsson Mobility Report MEA.

The exponential role of troublesome technology in climate action

Besides recovering efficiency and reducing cost, digitalization and IoT have wide human inferences. Today, nobody can underestimate the advantages of IoT. It is helping us in getting smart homes, power grids, connected transport systems and many more; as a result, our personal lives becoming safer, healthier and greener.

Combination of ICT with a well-integrated corporate sustainability strategy can help undertake a variety of global challenges. When the digital sector is trying to reduce its own productions, representing just 1.4% of the global total, it is still in a distinctive position to persuade other sectors.

Social and technological innovations are already showing their dimensions. For example, shared and “on-demand” transportations of more energy-saving electric vehicles could lessen the global energy requirement for transport by more than 50% by 2050, with decreasing the number of vehicles on the road.

Similarly, adoption of circular-economy approaches has the possibilities to reduce global emissions from industry by 45% by 2050. Heavy industries like steel, aluminum, cement, and plastic production can reduce emissions by 50% in all over the world by using current technologies and efficiencies.

5G is the stamina which can craft it all work, not only in the Middle East and Africa but also all over the world, driving economic value from improved mobile broadband to digital industry to survive climate change. In sequence, that will need an environment of technology, regulation, security and industry partners to convey on the potential.

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FSS Launches ‘FSS Voice Commerce’: The Next Wave Of Friction-less Banking

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FSS (Financial Software and Systems), a global payments technology company, has launched FSS Voice Commerce, a real-time voice banking platform that offers customers, meaningful, contextual and personalized banking interactions. Enabling banks to deepen customer engagement via conversation-led banking and deliver interactive service experiences to its customers, FSS Voice Commerce is set to take friction-less banking to the next level.

FSS Voice Commerce uses machine-learning language processing techniques for analysis and synthesis of language and speech to deliver personalized service experiences. Furthermore, with ML capabilities embedded into the solution, consumer patterns will begin to emerge and result in insight-led banking and personalized customer experiences. At the backend, FSS Voice Commerce interfaces with any retail banking system to provide real-time information of accounts and balances, thereby enabling delivery of a unified and seamless omni-channel banking experience.

FSS Voice Commerce supports an extensive set of 200 transactions, enabling seamless 24/7 secure access to a broad range of financial banking services such as fund transfers, bill payments, card controls and non-financial transactions such as service requests, like ordering for a cheque book, new credit / debit card and loan request.

Instances of use-cases include:

  • Drive Sales: Based on the recommendation engine and by transaction analysis, banks can craft a personalized offer to customers. E.g. special interest rates for fixed deposits, eligibility for personal loans etc.
  • Customer Support: Instead of customers reaching out to support centres of the banks to raise the services request, the customer can just log in to Alexa to raise the service request which will land on the bank CRM system to facilitate the customer request.
  • Lead Generation: Generate customer interest towards respective banking products/offers/cash backs through an advertisement.

All financial transactions initiated are completely secure. FSS Voice Commerce supports out-of-band multi-factor authentication including one-time passcodes and biometrics, to maintain the integrity of the transaction ecosystem and prevent fraud.

Speaking at the launch, Suresh Rajagopalan, President FSS, Retail Payments, said; “Voice is fast becoming a preferred medium of transaction among digitally connected customers and millennials. FSS Voice Commerce extends an all-encompassing personal assistant that can enable customers to conduct banking transactions as well as shop and make payments. The intersection of voice and commerce will provide banks a powerful new way to embed themselves deeper into their customers’ lives and deliver contextualized services experience tailored to their lifestyle.”

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India Needs Human-Centric Artificial Intelligence To Reduce Fake News

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Fake News

Currently, when the social media giants struggle to control fake news prior to the Lok Sabha polls in India, an Indian-origin tech junkie is not happy with this and according to him, the nation needs better human-centric Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based solutions to fight the escalation of wrong information. Lyric Jain, a 22-year-old Cambridge and MIT graduate, says social media platforms and other stakeholders, including the government, may design solutions to fight fake news but there will be anomalies, as is with the case with any technology.

Jain told, “India needs to prepare better as the stakes are high. Facebook is taking the problem of fake news seriously but there are many other digital platforms that aren’t working towards that direction.” Depicted by Jain, Logically has been developed by a varied team of data scientists, coders, designers and journalists.

Addition of a layer of reliability to the Internet to battle wrong information, the Logically platform works as a real-time, user-friendly filter, guaranteeing users can quickly consume information that is fair, authentic, credible and trusted (FACT). “News isn’t just limited to media houses anymore. The idea is to create ‘responsible sharing’ among people,” said Jain. “Logically will analyze whether the information is fake or not, even if the information is being provided by a well-known journalist from a credible publication,” he added. When asked how the technology works, Jain replied: “It is a human-centric AI effort”.

Further Jain added – “We then combine these indicators and conclude whether the news is credible or not. Also, our human fact-checking team complies with the international fact-checking standards.”

Jain told that the fake news and political debate about Brexit and 2016 US Presidential elections compelled him to launch the platform.

According to Jain, during the approaching Indian General Elections, Logically will try its best to monitor the information flow with its deep learning algorithms and web graph of several websites from top publishers across the globe. The tracing of these websites leads to the identification of top quality sources of trending and quality news per category along with queries and articles.

Additionally, Jain asserted – “Logically will look for information that is misleading, distorting or interfering with the elections”

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