How did Birlasoft, the ISV partner and the customer manage to work remotely in this collaborative environment during the pandemic?
We did three things,
Communication and ongoing sharing of information in a structured way is a very important element to manage this transition from an office centric model to a remote centric model with various stakeholders involved.
We set up in the initial phase with our entire delivery organisation an overall communication centre. There were periodic exchanges with the clients.
We also ensured that we are personally reaching out to all the top clients with their senior stakeholders, CISO, partner organisation we all were communicating a lot and that helped very much.
How did Birlasoft look at balancing between retention of existing customers and acquisition of new customers?
We had to keep our eye on the existing customers even more to make sure that we are reachable to them on top as it related to deliverables and our teams were more in touch. The approach we followed was
We are looking at building expertise and deeper domain and business solutions focusing a certain set of micro verticals.
A lot of the customer spent a lot more time by the virtue of working remote not travelling on the other digital channel. Whether it is looking on LinkedIn or looking for information relevant to the problem that they are trying to solve.
We created a value based content assets. For example we ran webinars partnering with the analyst in this case the ISG who we work with on several projects, to talk about the problem with lack of automation, in the underwriter’s life.
It was a combination of highly targeted approach towards value creation at micro verticals where we believe we will continue to build strengths.
What were some of the use cases for these value-based content assets other than underwriters and insurers?
There are several use cases. One that comes to mind is where we put together a whole point of view on the cloud operating model and the employee experience in this new operating model. We did that by creating a landing page with specific content assets around it and this was on back of a conversation that we know was very important for one of the insurance reassurance client in the industry.
It is an industry wide issue that as your operating model is moving more and more into cloud how do you control your own employees or how do you provide better employee experience? We were on to amplifying that message as we thought that it was relevant and more and more insurers and enterprises will have to be agile in terms of reconcile and close books. So that was another example of messaging in a content in a campaign was very relevant that we worked on.
How is the exposure for Birlasoft BFSI from the Top 5 clients?
One of the prides that we take in our business that we are a concentrated business unlike other providers or business who often have the problem of long tail. In BFSI ,at Birlasoft we are concentrated with a set of large customer which I think is an asset because we can bring more value to them and bring more domain solutions. The data of the top 5 or top 10 clients are available at Birlasoft site as I will not publicly disclose their names.
Since Birlasoft BFSI does not have a long tail, does it mean your GTM focus more on upselling and cross selling different horizontal solutions?
Absolutely this has been one of the strategies we are focused on. Our approach to creating value and goal is very planned account centric approach, cross-selling, up-selling, co-selling and co-creating. In cases where we understand the clients are the ways we are trying to create more values for our customers and that process goes with our existing clients. So these are the ways we are trying to create more value for our customers.
Talking of co-creation are some of these solutions offered in a templatized or packaged software mode?
Today within our digitalised offering or digital service line we have a templatized approach of how can Birlasoft come in and run the ideation, starting with the basics of running ideation workshops to proof points or idea that the customers and us are thinking. We need to go further on creating rapid prototypes, we have a framework, we regularly run hackathons with some of our key clients and partners like Microsoft, SAP and others. Whether it is about a high level partnering with the customer to co-innovate or co-create on an ongoing delivery of our programmes, both of these side of our organization we have framework which is being implemented.
How critical it was for BFSI organizations to leverage analytics or insights to mitigate the challenges of NPAs?
In every organisation what we have seen is the investment on data and analytics. In many cases there was a Chief Data Officer role which was an subset of the entire CIO organization, now we are seeing that to become an direct role in the business organization. The importance of data and insights is critical for NPAs in looking into the business organization. Some of the largest programs that we are talking to with our customers want involve data state modernization.
How were technologies like AI, ML or blockchain leveraged to bolster cyber security?
Cyber security is an increasing huge area and it is getting complex and also getting more layered because of the different level of cyber regulations and compliance in the different regions that the BFSI firms had to meet. We think this will be an area which will see the evolution of many offering services and even products that will leverage AI, machine learning and NLP to simplify, automate and how cyber-security threats are managed.
How would you compare the pandemic challenges for BFSI with the economic downturn challenges of 2008?
I would say that technology and digital technology is far more in the forefront today for solving the challenge the pandemic has thrown at us. The thing that was missing in 2008 was the shift to a virtual heavy world. Back then it was a more of an economic crisis but in this case the crisis has shifted the way the world works and will continue to work and has brought the core technologies that will drive productivity, connection, compliance and it will continue to be the fuel for BFSI and other segments to come out of this challenge we are in.