TCS is developing and marketing Ignio, a neural Artificial Intelligence platform as a stand-alone product, with an individual brand identity, limited TCS branding and a sales organization to steer direct product-led sales. With this 360-degree shift from a service based company, TCS is testing the waters of a product-oriented cloud platform with Artificial Intelligence as the fulcrum.
So, what is Ignio and how does it work?
Ignio is a neuroscience-based self-learning platform that delivers intelligent automation to minimize operational risks and simultaneously improve efficiency and responsiveness. So, the moment you install Ignio and put it into a setting, it feeds the complete data of its surrounding and creates a context of the environment.
Ignio can immensely help in automation by accurately predicting if your jobs will fail due to inadequate storage. It can run algorithms and tell you that next week you will run out of storage and suggest ordering it for you as it has pre-acquired knowledge of your existing contracts with providers. It will also enable automation for things that can be automated.
For example, If an error occurs in your system, and Ignio is aware of the troubleshooting mechanism, it will fix the glitches on its own. In case it does not know how to fix it, Ignio will pass the problem to a human for a solution, and train itself by learning how the issue was solved.
How TCS is driving Ignio as an individual brand
In the development phase, Ignio was code-named “Neo” and it took over 100 scientists from two of TCS’s research and development labs a period of three years to create “Ignio”. Industry analysts and clients regard the development of Ignio as a “bold vision” after gauging the benefits promised by Ignio. As TCS starts to sell Ignio as a standalone product along with its service offerings in the coming months, it must ensure that the product can stand on its own. From sales and branding perspective, TCS intends to create an identity for Ignio that has minimal branding of its parent company.
TCS has built a sales organization that drives direct product-led sales for Ignio. The team is approaching customers where there is no service–RFP and where TCS does not provide services. So, TCS is entering new markets with the help of their AI product, Ignio. The company will also look at patents to drive valuation as it is strategically important thing to do. It is also in the process of making Ignio a cloud-based product, that can be sold on a software-as-a-service model. With Ignio, TCS will be the first IT organization to sell its AI platform as a standalone product, so it is obvious that rest of the IT companies will follow suit in the future.
What lies ahead
As commoditized back-office maintenance work faces intense pricing pressure, home-grown software exporters are encouraging investment in new technologies to help clients cut operational costs and avoid human intervention in repetitive tasks. They are betting on technologies such as automation of their internal processes and creating AI-powered platforms, with the hope that it could be a key differentiator when vying for outsourcing contracts against their global competitor like Accenture Plc. In this context TCS, Ignio offers a differentiating delivery and strategy planning capability to help in infrastructure management for the present and application and business process management in the future. Given the very challenging and competitive service market, TCS is betting on this new brand which is completely different from its traditional model, to help it survive the future of technological wars.
Effect on culture and employee engagement
When we think about the launch of an innovative and creative product which represents a paradigm shift of a company’s orientation, we think about how does it impact the culture within an organization. Culture is heralded as one of the most crucial factors for a business’ long-term success as it is related to the people aspect of an organization. Companies that achieve alignment between their culture and innovation strategy stand a better chance to grow in the changing business environment. By launching Ignio, TCS has demonstrated it by advocating innovation among its employees and encouraging them to think different. Such steps instill trust and confidence in the workforce and have a positive impact on the overall culture.
Every company is different in the way it manages innovation or supports new-age technologies. But all innovative companies must define the cultural traits that support their innovation strategy. Companies should encourage ideas and make provisions for it to to be shared either by all employees or by employee groups tasked with specific roles in the innovation cycle. There are no two thoughts on how innovation boosts employee engagement and fosters a positive culture in an organization. Therefore, companies must create an innovative culture at work that fosters creativity, flexibility and tolerates failure.