May 17, 2020

Exponential innovation: Rethinking roadmaps with HCL Technologies

Kalyan Kumar
chief technology officer
Jonathan Dyble
4 min
Kalyan Kumar, CTO and CVP, HCL Technologies
Some 85% of companies are planning to invest in digital transformation initiatives in 2018.

Driven by rapid advances in technology, business has and co...

Some 85% of companies are planning to invest in digital transformation initiatives in 2018.

Driven by rapid advances in technology, business has and continues to become more and more centered around innovation, transformation and digitisation, with firms turning more readily to digital plans and transformation initiatives.

One company that knows all about the potential that technology harbors is Indian garage startup-turned multinational IT service provider HCL Technologies, a firm that prides itself on its ability to help businesses reimagine and reinvent their internal structures in the digital age.

Driven by a culture of ‘ideapreneurship’, HCL continues to support the innovation of a range of companies including Manchester United, Deutsche Bank and JLT, helping them to realise the potential of new technologies such as IoT, AI and the cloud.

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Spearheading the company’s next generation IT, infrastructure and operational services is Kalyan Kumar, Chief Technology Officer and Corporate Vice President. Six times published author and graduate in engineering and technology, Kumar is considered an innovator in his field of expertise.

I sat down with Kumar at HCL’s London office to discuss the capabilities of AI and the cloud, and he was quick to stress that companies need to embrace change if they are to see true success when pursuing technology roadmaps.

“Ideapreneurship,” muses Kumar. “The way I really see it is that firms have to move from being siloed to being cross functional, whilst retaining the ability to operate in a highly agile fashion, recognising and correcting inefficiencies in strategic direction.”

Agility remains a key element of this – a word that has become entwined with technology as it continues to change, develop and adapt perpetually.

“There is not any single movement in technology,” Kumar adds, “but an exponential shift, and companies need to be prepared to continuously evolve as technology does.

“The old way of doing things is trying to define roadmaps in 36 or 24 months. However, now this is changing, and companies ought to be constantly iterating and evolving their roadmaps because the rate of change in technology is so high.”

Deloitte uses the evolution of supercomputers to show this exponential change: In 1997, the $46mn ASCI Red supercomputer had 1.3 teraflops of power, standing as the world’s fastest computer at the time. Today, an Xbox One X gaming console has six teraflops, whilst the Argonne National Laboratory’s Mira supercomputer has well over 7,000 times the power of ASCI Red.

For Kumar, a large part of this is breaking down the barriers that have historically defined these roadmaps, where IT is thought of as a tool to assist business.

“IT in business has previously been thought of as a secondary factor – business was the focus and IT the solution. However, now technology is creating new business possibilities, meaning you will start to create new things based on the technology capabilities at hand.

“You need to be very agile. You need to be highly collaborative. You need to break down this wall.

“It’s a change in mindset and this whole classic behavior of business and IT as separate has to go. Instead it has to become business technology. It’s not information technology and business, but rather, combining them to solve the end outcome."

HCL is attempting change this through its Mode 2 strategy. Here, it looks to enable firms to create new business possibilities by leveraging the power of IT, particularly looking at digital, cloud, analytics and IoT, where business demand for these technologies is on the rise.

“Our customers are wanting to do big bang, large scale digital programmes,” Kumar continues. “They want to do cloud migrations. They want to undertake large scale IoT deployments. This requires the ability to scale those concepts in a global model and that’s what we’ve really been focused on.”

For more on HCL and Kumar’s innovative approach to digitising business, check out the May issue of Gigabit Magazine for the full interview.

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Jul 26, 2021

Five9: the cloud software industry leaders acquired by Zoom

contact centre
Catherine Gray
2 min
Following the announcement of Zoom buying cloud company Five9 for almost $15billion, we take a deeper look into the company’s history and success

Five9 is the leading provider of cloud contact centre software. Driven by a passion for transforming contact centres into customer engagement centres of excellence, Five9 have a deep understanding of the cost and complexity of running a contact centre.

Founded in 2001, Five9 help contact centres of every size create powerful connections. 

The company has over 20 years of cloud contact centre experience, reaches over 2,000 customers worldwide, and annually reaches over 7 billion customer interactions. 

Built on a highly reliable, secure and scalable cloud platform, Five9 makes it easy to rapidly trial and deploy new services. Its software also future proofs businesses by supporting AI and other emerging technologies.

Utilising cloud capabilities for improved customer experience

Offering software that creates more successful customer interactions, Five9’s cloud contact centre software increases contact centre productivity. This is without the capital expense and maintenance costs of premise-based systems.

Built on flexible architecture that adapts to a company’s changing needs, Five9 customers benefit from a secure, reliable and scalable contact centre.

Five9’s cloud contact centre platform also gives customers access to an extensive ecosystem of partners. Its platform can be enhanced with leading customer relationship management, analytics, workforce management, performance management solutions and telephony providers.

By utilising cloud technology, Five9 customers have access to the latest capabilities through no-touch, non-disruptive real-time upgrades.

Five9’s recognition for industry-leading software

As a leading cloud contact centre software provider, Five9 has been recognised by leading industry publications and organisations for its success and innovative solutions.

For the fourth consecutive year, Five9 has ranked as a global leader for The Aragon Research Globe for Intelligent Contact Centres 2021. 

Five9 was also one of only three providers to earn the MetriStar Top Provider award when evaluated as part of Metrigy’s global 2021-2022 Workforce Optimisation and Engagement research study.

Five9: Zoom’s first major acquisition

Zoom Video Communications has agreed to buy Five9 for about $14.7bn, marking the company’s first major acquisition.

This deal with Five9 will help expand the company’s Zoom Phone offering.

“I believe the combination of Zoom and Five9 will be a game-changer. Joining forces will create a transformative opportunity for two strong companies with complementary capabilities and shared values,” said Five9’s CEO, Rowan Trollope.

With Zoom’s reach and brand, the acquisition will help Five9 propel forward and help the company deliver on its goal of significant international expansion

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