Apr 23, 2021

HCL: Helping businesses adapt for the digital age

HCL
covid-19
SAP
Digital
William Girling
2 min
Recently featured in the April ‘21 edition of Technology Magazine as part of our SAP profile, HCL is a global tech expert dedicated to digital
Recently featured in the April ‘21 edition of Technology Magazine as part of our SAP profile, HCL is a global tech expert dedicated to digital...

Recently featured in the April ‘21 edition of Technology Magazine as part of our SAP profile, HCL is a global tech expert dedicated to digital.

Possessing a distinguished 44-year heritage in the sector, HCL Technologies (formerly Hindustan Computers Limited) is an Indian multinational headquartered in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.

With a client base that includes half of the Fortune 500 and 650 of the Global 2000, its expertise and value as a partner for digital transformation are well recognised.

“Enterprises across industries stand at an inflection point today,” states HCL on its website. “In order to thrive in the digital age, technologies such as analytics, cloud, IoT, and automation occupy centre stage.”

The HCL approach

HCL has managed to carve its renowned reputation on the basis of a highly innovative and specialised approach stemming from three key concepts:

  • Ideapreneurship: inverting the “organisational pyramid”, HCL empowers front line workers to develop concepts derived from their first-hand understanding of the customer experience.
  • Relationship beyond the contract: the sum of strong values combined with culture, HCL fosters trust, transparency, and flexibility to fulfill customers’ best interests
  • Mode 1-2-3 Strategy: this combines ‘core services’ with ‘next-gen services’, products and platforms to create a distinctive three-layer digital enterprise

The company is focused on delivering “technology for the next decade, today,” and its reach extends across the industry spectrum, from aerospace and defense to banking, healthcare, retail and more.

Tech against COVID-19

HCL has taken the challenge of COVID-19 and met it head on. Working with clients and partners to ensure their needs continue to be met, it has spearheaded efforts based on empathy, an employee-first approach to operations, embracing remote working capabilities, and continuing to explore technological innovation.

This is indicative of the care and attention to detail that HCL brings to everything it does. Cited by SAP’s Nis Boy Naeve, VP of Platform Adoption Enablement, for strong contributions to its SAP Discovery Centre, it is, perhaps, no surprise that HCL was labeled a “knowledgeable and valuable” partnership. 

Read more about SAP and HCL in the April ‘21 edition of Technology Magazine

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Jun 16, 2021

Amazon Deploys Cashierless Checkout Tech

Amazon
AmazonFresh
Technology
Cashierless
Elise Leise
3 min
Amazon integrates cashierless technology into its first full-size grocery store. Is this the future of retail?

On June 17th, the first Amazon Fresh store without cashiers will open its doors to the public. Instead of queueing up to scan their products, customers will be able to grab items off the shelves and head out the door without worrying about checkout. The store will also have Amazon package pickups, kiosks, and Amazon One payment systems, which withdraw money at the scan of a palm. 

 

Most importantly, this will be the first time that Amazon has launched its “Just Walk Out” system in a full-size grocery store. ‘Do customers like standing in lines?’ asked Amazon Vice President Dilip Kumar. ‘This fundamentally tackles a problem of how you get convenience in physical locations, especially when people are hard-pressed for time’. 

 

How Do Customers Pay? 

When you walk into the store, you can scan a QR code from your phone’s home screen, a credit or debit card linked to your Amazon account, or Amazon One. As you stroll through the aisles and select goods from the shelves, weight sensors and vision cameras will track what you take. Finally, once you’re finished, Amazon will bill your account sans cashier. 

 

Does It Have Any Competitors? 

Startups like Standard Cognition, Grabango, and Trigo have received venture capital investments to pilot similar cashierless technology, but they can’t match the sheer scale of Amazon. Instead, their pitch to retail stores is that they won’t try to outcompete them in the marketplace. For the most part, they pose no threat. 

 

How Did Bezos Get Here? 

 

  • 1994: Invests US$10,000 of his own money
  • 1997: Takes Amazon public 
  • 1998: Expands into music 
  • 1999: Patents “1-Click” checkout system 
  • 2005: Launches Amazon Prime 
  • 2012: Acquires robotics company Kiva Systems
  • 2017: Acquires Whole Foods 
  • 2020: Amasses massive profits during the pandemic

 

Over the past twelve months, Amazon Prime has grown from 50 million to 200 million subscribers. At this point, the company can launch whatever its heart desires. 

 

Where Does Amazon Go From Here? 

Instead of keeping its cashierless technology to itself, Amazon intends to sell it to other retailers. An Amazon subsidiary, Whole Foods may also integrate it into its checkout lines. At the Newark Liberty and LaGuardia airports, several CIBO Express stores will install cashierless systems. And the company’s plans extend far beyond the United States. In South Korea, Amazon partnered with Hyundai to launch the world’s first cashierless department store; in India, Bezos announced that he aims to remake the nation’s retail economy

 

But Amazon will soon pass hands. On July 5th, 2021—27 years after Amazon was first incorporated—Andy Jassy will take over as CEO and Bezos will move on to other projects. Therefore, it remains to be seen what the remainder of 2021 will hold. But if the company continues on its current path, cashierless tech may soon conquer the retail market. 

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