Being at the forefront of driving digital transformation for their clients, IT/ITeS companies carry a special responsibility to walk the talk and imbibe the same culture of digital innovation internally. Evalueserve, one of the leading knowledge services companies offering solutions and specialist services for research, analytics and data management, takes its business’ tagline ‘Mind + Machine’ quite seriously, internalizing it to its own digitization strategy.
According to Sachin Jain, CIO, Evalueserve, “Our company’s tagline of ‘Mind +Machine’ is deeply ingrained in our own internal digital transformation initiatives as we try to balance and use the best of the mind and the best of the machine in terms of the best of technology.”
Consolidated Shared Service Desk Powered by AI
In a largely people driven industry with high attrition rates, employee satisfaction can be a key differentiator. With a huge focus on driving employee experience, Jain has taken upon himself the massive task of consolidating all the company’s shared services desks into one and powering it with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to better understand employee sentiments and behavior.
Previously the company had separate service desks built using homegrown and third party tools for different functions, including HR, finance, legal, admin, IT, etc. The consolidated system, which will mostly cater to internal employees and to some extent external clients as well, will provide a single window view and seamless access to any of the corporate functions. It will be further connected to backend systems like ERP, CRM, etc. to extract the necessary data.
The consolidated shared service desk will be powered with an AI enabled chatbot. The bot will answer any employee queries by pulling out the answer from the database and producing the results dynamically. For example, if somebody wants to fetch salary slips, leave balance, tax calculation, etc. The sales workforce can also raise queries like quota, payments, commission, accounts receivables, etc. with the chatbot.
Evalueserve is targeting to not only improve efficiencies by optimizing operations but also looking at reducing costs through this consolidation exercise. However, the primary target is enabling a superior and seamless experience for both its employees and external customers for the support services. “The initiative provides a single view of the organization, which is a huge boost from a user experience viewpoint. Accessing multiple tools and remember multiple login passwords for enlisting the different support services creates delays and adversely impacts user experience,” explains Jain.
Jain further adds that the whole behavior around consumption has changed with people, especially millennial, not having patience and wanting to consume things very quickly. “It’s like an app-based environment where you want to download the app and start working immediately. And, if we tell our employees to wait to get information they need then they will try to figure out something else.”
Using AI to Understand Employee Sentiments
Built in AI will help understand and analyze employee behavior and sentiments. If a person is asking some specific type of questions repeatedly, then it analyzes that behavior and raises an alert if there are any warning signals. For instance, if somebody is asking too many questions around exit policy, performance rating, gratuity, leave encashment, then the system can identify that this person is probably planning to leave.
According to Jain, AI can help track many other employee sentiments, such as whether an employee is happy or not or whether a certain employee wants to do certain things. For example, if an employee is querying about the training ecosystem within the company then there is likelihood that the employee wants to undergo some kind of training and skill development. Or, if a certain employee is trying to understand more about opportunities across different locations, then the likelihood of that employee wanting to shift base to another location are quite high.
“In all these scenarios, being able to track and understand the employees’ behavior patterns can help us proactively address their requirements, enhancing their whole experience with the organization. It is all about creating an image of Evalueserve as an employer or as a brand within the company. We should follow what we preach to our clients,” adds Jain.
RPA to Improve Process Accuracy and Efficiency
Evalueserve is also in the process of bringing in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for some of its internal processes, starting with finance. It is targeting processes that are repetitive in nature and involve a lot of manual intervention, such as invoice processing, payments processing, etc.
It is currently evaluating various use cases and plans to eventually extend RPA to other functions beyond finance, such as admin, legal, HR as well in the future. Jain sees a huge potential for RPA in the area of recruitment, which is a big focus area for IT/ITeS companies.
According to Jain, while cost is an important factor, the biggest driver is making the processes more accurate and efficient, which could be processing invoices on time, reducing the hiring time, processing payments faster, etc. “What we are looking at is increasing the efficiency of the organization without having to hire more people on the operations side even as we grow. With the same number of people we want to be able to support our growth and keep on increasing the efficiency of all the functions,” he explains.
Jain doesn’t see RPA adoption at Evalueserve impacting the existing jobs. He rather sees re-purposing of the skillsets of the existing employees involved in these processes, who can be directed towards more value added work.