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5G is raising the collective industry potential: Shuba Sridhar, Torry Harris Integration Solutions

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With the scale of automation initiatives increasing at a fast pace, Express Computer spoke with Shuba Sridhar, Vice President of strategic initiatives at Torry Harris Integration Solutions (THIS), who shares with us the role of automation in service/product offerings, the evolution of the digital marketplace space, and the future of 5G

Some edited excerpts:

There is an increasing need for autonomic thinking across organizations globally. Can you tell us about the role of automation in your service/product offerings and its impact from a solutioning standpoint?
Automation is an integral practice area at Torry Harris. It forms the core of our work in the delivery of transformation projects. Some key areas of automation that we are actively engaged in are BPM, RPA, Operations (ZeroOps) and Cloud managed services. Our learnings and capabilities in intelligent automation, future-proof us to consistently drive innovation, better our service offerings and enhance the customer experience.

We have developed a product called 4Sight, a machine learning solution that uses neural networks and specialized algorithms to monitor trends, events and anomalies. This solution powers AIOps integrations and helps to predict and detect critical failures before they occur.

‘Coupler’ is another product that helps accelerate and automate back office functions and aids customer and partner onboarding processes using low code/no-code. As an integration specialist, we also work with third-party tools like Automation Anywhere, Blueprism, and UIPath to automate the aspect of service management in operations and in instances that include automatic ticket creation and auto remediation of recurring problems.

Digital marketplaces have the potential to impact people’s livelihoods and society at large. Could you tell us about your work in this space?
Digital marketplaces help democratize the world and extend benefits that reach all economic segments of society. Success in digital commerce is an important area for our clients and our work in creating digital marketplaces extends this success. The fact that digital marketplaces are some of the world’s biggest and most profitable companies indicates just how efficient they are at matching buyers and sellers of products and services.

We think 5G is going to completely revolutionize the marketplace arena. We already see the increased speed and connectivity paying dividends to customers in verticals like banking, IoT, healthcare, manufacturing and more. For SMEs looking to sell their products and services, digital marketplaces allow them to reach a larger market quickly and potentially at little cost. Interactions between buyers and sellers are automated and can take place at any time, from just about anywhere.

Our specialized Marketplace as a service platform model is a fine example of a true e-commerce differentiator for our customers. It allows them to empower their customers to create, manage and profit from their own e-commerce ecosystems. This model is also relevant for banks, telcos and enterprises with a trusted central position of connecting resources and businesses by means of B2B, B2C or B2B2X.

On a broader note, we believe that digital transformation should be purpose driven and has potential to impact people’s livelihoods, provide equal opportunity and reach the lower economic strata of our society. Our ‘HomeJini initiative’, a free-to list digital platform powered by our ‘digital marketplace solution was a testament to the same. Our initiative helped the semi-skilled labour pool in India with an opportunity to earn a livelihood using mobiles phones for e-commerce. It increased their ability to find jobs by 23% MoM average. We were recognized for our work by winning the Gold award in the UK Digital Experience Awards of 2019.

Would you agree that most CSPs still suffer from high costs and slow time to market because of inflexible BSS?
Telcos are no longer just communication service providers (CSPs). Most telcos are now capitalizing their digital investments with newer offerings – bundled services with OTTs, personalized plans, self-service tools and innovative payment methods. There is also increased M&A activity in the sector as telcos look to maximize their market share with niche services in what is now a tremendously competitive sector. As a CSP, your partners will need unified propositions and SLAs to guarantee a share of the revenue – componentized BSS and OSS are the answer.

We have previously helped Three Ireland optimize their BSS transformation post the merger with O2. This was a massive project where we upgraded the existing platform and consolidated the IT assets into a single stack before we could begin transforming the business. During this phase, 5G was very nascent but cloud capabilities and APIs played a huge role in simplifying the overall architecture. With further developments in 5G, the speed and flexibility of this underlying ecosystem will carry more impact in times to come.

5G is seen as a potential powerhouse for enabling newer and more connected experiences. What should we know about the future of 5G? Could you share some takeaways for telcos to innovate and monetize in 5G enabled services?

The 4G evolution was a step change that brought better capabilities in aspects of LTE, VoLTE, network efficiency and helped lay a standard for the future of network technologies. It enabled us to create early versions of digital marketplaces and ecosystems.

Today, 5G is a technological breakthrough that is set to modernize most sectors by ushering in newer capabilities and raising the collective industry potential. McKinsey, in a recent study observed that the number of connected devices is estimated to grow close to 43 billion by end of 2023. As we transition to a connected future, 5G is playing an important role in supporting the industrial IoT use-cases across areas of connected healthcare, precision agriculture, smart manufacturing and digitized education among others.

Mercedes-Benz Group, for instance, has partnered with Telefonica Deutchland and Ericsson to develop the world’s first 5G implementation hub for automobile production at its ‘Factory 56’ in Sindelfingen.
Qualcomm is refining the 5G NR (New Radio standard) to support high-performance industry use cases for 5G expansion in IoT. Qualcomm also developed the world’s first 5G and AI enabled flight platform for large-scale deployment in areas of public safety, asset inspection, drone operations, filmmaking and entertainment.

If we consider these examples and the 5G development timeline, the 3GPP releases 15,16, 17 and release 18, the development for which is now underway, we can see the technology standards evolve through time to better support and future proof IoT innovations. With developments in 5G standards and the use of disruptive technologies like edge-computing and AI, we can already see advancements in the manufacturing of agriculture and industrial sensors, smart city infrastructure, industrial cameras and health monitors. ‘The 5G economy’ analysis by IHS Markit estimates that by 2035, 5G will contribute to $13.2 trillion of the global economic output and support 22.3 million jobs in the coming years.

With this backdrop, a key takeaway for telcos is to innovate with disruptive business models and emerging technologies whilst exploring newer revenue streams, cost-efficient investments and out-of-the-box strategies.

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