Life Reimagined with Seamless Travel Experience

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Reimagining life in every aspect and bouncing ideas that create better experiences is the motto of this blog page. As per the AARP research in 2018, 57% of leisure travelers like to spend time with family and friends, 49% want to relax and rejuvenate, and 47% try to get away from routine stressed life. But the real-life experience of travelers is just the opposite of these expectations. Solutions that offer seamless travel experiences is the need of the day for better leisure outcomes. The ideal travel experience of current generation passengers would include:

  • Real-time journey information delivered to their personal devices
  • Biometric identification to facilitate their travel processes
  • Automation of more airport processes
  • Wait times of less than 10 minutes at security/immigration
  • Bags tracked throughout their journey
  • A human touch when things go wrong

What if a passenger arriving at security and immigration checkpoints has been previously vetted at check-in allowing a seamless, contactless process where the passenger simply needs to look at a smart camera to be cleared and allowed passage? Offering universal travel pass integrating cross-border security checks, hotel check-ins and entire travel life cycle tied with digital identity should be the new mantra of the travel industry.

Such universal travel passes will create a newfound demand for travel consultants to be more integrated with various service providers, making it a lucrative profession. Each traveler will be assigned a passenger record name/record locator so that all the services they opt for will be availed and kept secure, and the travel consultants will be the integral component of providing this.

Seamless universal travel experience is a great value to the travelers. And such a seamless travel experience is becoming a reality with new digital technologies. These technologies can enable travel agencies to transform into ‘digital travel agents’, enabling the booking process to become a trip planning experience, where agents will be able to provide more content, information and booking details. The congruence of technologies like IoT, Cloud, AI, Voice-Enabled Devices, Blockchain, and 5G has the potential to offer better experiences to travelers. As tourism continues to grow and route availability continues to shrink, airports are turning to seamless travel initiatives to help passengers stay on the move and increase their satisfaction.

The dominant technologies enabling seamless universal travel experience include,

  • Internet of Things: IoT can create a seamless trip where travelers are connected to their travel agents at every stage. IoT has the ability to connect customers with travel consultation throughout the entire lifecycle of the travel experience. For agents, a global or universal passenger record can allow travel consulting to change according to any requests from the customer. As for travelers, agents can provide a universal ‘travel pass’ that can be used for a trip, without separate boarding passes, hotel check-in, bus passes, and even theme park tickets. This universal travel pass would also handle multiple currencies, where travelers won’t need to worry about exchanging currencies when traveling between different countries.
  • Cloud – Improves the collaboration with travelers for a more personal experience transforming the offline model of the travel agent to have access to all cloud-based bookings regardless of location
  • AI and voice-enabled devices – AI has the potential to transform the inevitable hassles and inconvenience of airport travel into delightful passenger experiences. AI could enable travelers can leave their home with one single biometric identifier – and board a plane or cruise, check into their hotel, and hire a car with that unique identifier. Acuity Market Intelligence forecasts that the total number of airport biometric touchpoints – increasingly AI-enhanced facial recognition – at check-in, bag drop, security, and boarding gates will increase at a 27% CAGR from 2019 – 2022. Voice will be the future of booking travel. Travel agents are then able to take advantage of this and sell high value and high engagement products via voice
  • Blockchain – Blockchain technology could develop a ticket-booking solution that integrates multiple agencies – long-distance, regional,  and local agents, including Uber/Lyft car- or any other car-sharing firms. With a blockchain-based solution, travelers can book their travel with agents participating in the network with just a few clicks on a single website, without the need to switch across multiple sites and providers. The blockchain ledger can then record single customer purchase and even accurately can split the payment among the providers.
  • 5G network high speeds – 5G will give agents a better way to connect with travelers during their trips. If the traveler has a 5G connection, that allows the agent to be able to have a better video call with the traveler, without physically being there with them, assisting them along the way. 5G combining with VR/AR technologies offers a more engaging and immersive booking experience

Travel & Tourism sector should embrace the change creating a mass personalization contextualized to the travelers and leveraging ecosystem working with all stakeholders involved to maximize value leveraging biometrics and universal digital identity for truly seamless passenger experience.

Future of Financial Services Workforce

UntitledFinTech disruptors have been finding a way in by focusing on a particular innovative technology or process in everything from mobile payments to insurance. A forte of technologies “AI-ML-DL-NLP-CV” is fueling the FinTech innovations. The large financial services companies can’t be complacent as FinTechs have been attacking some of the most profitable elements of the value chain and as well as areas which were historically subsidized.

Let us refresh our memory on these AI technologies and their relevance to the financial services industry.

  • AI makes machines to learn from experience and perform human-like tasks – AI offers robotic & intelligent process automation (RPA/IPA) of financial processes
  • ML is a specific subset of AI that trains a machine on how to learn – ML is enabling algorithmic trading lead to better predictability and decisions around credit and consumer lending, thereby lowering risk to the bank or financial institution
  • DL is s a type of ML that trains a computer to perform human-like tasks, such as identifying images – leverage big data (customer demographics, consumption records, etc.) to parameterize a DL model that can simulate the likely response to new product/service configurations (e.g. new credit card with cash rewards, moderate interest, zero interest on balance transfers, etc.)
  • NLP is a branch of AI that helps computers understand, interpret and manipulate human language – NLP is shaping the future of banking with voice assistants and ubiquitous computing.
  • CV s a field of AI that trains computers to interpret and better understand the visual world –  CV is transforming financial services by using appealing visuals and new solutions for a new world where seeing is believing

These new-age FinTech developments are leading to a continuous transformation of the financial services workforce. The changing landscape and evolving financial services resource pyramid is presented in the diagram above. I would like to highlight a few trends reshaping the talent of financial services on this blog post.

  • AI automating business-as-usual activities of financial services: Robots and AI already started addressing key pressure points, reduce costs and mitigate risks. Building capabilities to target a specific combination of capabilities such as social and emotional intelligence, natural language processing, logical reasoning, identification of patterns and self-supervised learning, physical sensors, mobility, navigation and more are in swing. The goal is to look far beyond replacing the bank teller. There are whole categories of work that had not been seen as cost effective to automate. However, with lightweight software ‘bots’, workers are freed up to focus on higher value activities.
  • Changing patterns with Human vs Machines foray: Are financial services firms moving to re-shoring of work with talented machines? The answer seems to be, Yes. In the last two decades, many financial firms have ‘offshored’ repetitive tasks to lower-cost locations such as India, China, and Poland. However, relative costs for labor in those regions have started to rise. Combine this with improvements in robotics and AI capabilities and machines are becoming credible substitutes for many human workers. As the capabilities continue to improve and technology continues to drive down the cost of machines, these forces will combine to spur re-shoring, as more tasks can now be performed at a competitive cost on-shore. Even functions that seem dependent on human input, such as product design, fraud prevention, and underwriting, will be affected. At the same time, the need for software engineering talent will continue to expand
  • It is not just automation, Technology is picking high-end work: ML is enabling next-generation algorithmic trading systems are moving from descriptive and predictive to prescriptive analysis, improving their ability to anticipate and respond to emerging trends. And while algorithm trading programs were once limited to hedge funds and institutional investors, private investors can now get access to them too. AI soon automate a considerable amount of underwriting, especially in mature markets where data is readily available. Even in situations where AI does not completely replace an underwriter, greater automation would allow humans to concentrate on assessing and pricing risks in the less data-rich emerging markets. It would also free up underwriters to provide more risk management, product development advice and other higher value support for clients.
  • While building machines, the real focus is on accessing the necessary talent and skills to execute strategies and win markets: Financial services firms lack the internal knowledge and expertise need to implement a customer-centric approach. For example, a mainframe programmer who maintains a core banking platform may not have the skills or interests to learn to code AI applications. Many senior IT executives, non-IT staff-members, and even technical personnel do not have the skills needed to build and operate an effective digital channel offering. Financial institutions are starting to realize they will need talent with very different skills. This might mean finding more industrial engineers for robotics work, or retraining underwriters to do higher value work once AI is used to automate certain existing functions. But the issue runs deeper than developing a different competency model. First, firms to understand what is already working and what needs to be done differently. This might involve changes across the human capital strategy through revitalized recruitment, learning and development, partnering and cultural initiatives.
  • The contingent workforce is creating the talent-exchange mindset: financial firms need to address is the growing preference for flexibility and entrepreneurship among many in the labor force. In the United States, the US Chamber of Commerce has found that 27% of the labor force is currently self-employed, and some believe that this ‘contingent workforce’ could rise to 40% or more within several years. Practically, for this reason alone, financial institutions will need to adopt a ‘talent exchange’ mindset, leveraging part-time and/or self-employed individuals in a creative manner. This may range from bidding out specific tasks or work to expanding the use of seasonal or temporary workers. Of course, this will introduce challenges around culture and quality, and this will introduce new opportunities as well. For example, we might see employers using online platforms to manage confidentiality and legal risks in creative ways.

Artificial Intelligence capabilities impacting the financial industry and thereby attitudes toward work continue to change, some of the attributes that have benefitted institutions in the past such as big firm and stable employment are slowly losing their appeal. Refreshing financial firm’s approach to recruiting, learning and development, and culture may offer an effective way to address issues that FinTech has brought into the open market.

Welcome your ideas in further spotting future trends in financial services workforce.

 

AI in Operations (“AIOps”)

AIOps

Recently I was searching for verbatim “AIOps” on Google and got 624K results. Without many surprises noticed that there have been over 100 times rise in search trends since July 2017. That signifies the momentum for AI led Operations.

As my curiosity on AIOps increased, I looked at market opportunity for AIOps. From MARKETSandMARKETS analyst data, the global AIOps platform market size is expected to grow from USD 2.55 billion in 2018 to USD 11.02 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 34.0% during the forecast period (2018–2023).

In this blog post, I am attempting to capture some highlights gathered from my learning curve over a past year or so. Refer to the schematic above that provides a high-level “AIOps Framework”. The following are key elements of the framework.

“AIOps” Verbatim Defined: Simply stating AIOps stands for Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations. Extending AIOps to business operations is inevitable in near future. Adding further, AIOps automates various aspects of IT and utilizes the power of artificial intelligence to create self-learning programs that help revolutionize IT services

AIOps Context: There is a significant opportunity to leverage AI for analyzing enormous data being created by IT and business operations tools, to increase the efficiency of operations, speed up services delivery and ultimately create superior user experiences. The resulting power of AIOps is enabling the progress from siloed to integrated operations backed by intelligent insights.

Signals: In today’s business and IT operations environment, the user is adapting multiple channels of communication for ease and enriched experience. So the backend operations teams as well should expand their ability to sense, analyze and respond to such structured, unstructured and semi-structured data signals. With this in mind, the AIOps platforms are being developed with built-in capabilities to receive and response signals that can encompass any events, alerts, service requests, IoT sensor data, Email, Video, Text, Voice support, UX, Social channels and many other forms.

Interfaces: The way enterprise operations backbone interfacing with signals and external queries also is shaping up in this transformation.

  • The first layer is Machine-First: Giving software/machine/bot the first act on sensing and responding to operations requisitions not only improves the automation of repetitive tasks but also augments cognitive intelligence in complementing human intelligence.
  • Human-Next Touchpoints: Human-next layers take up the operations requisitions that are not solvable by machines. These are the requests which involve human interventions.
  • Ensuring Reliability of Services: Alongside the above two layers, taking an engineering approach to services reliability for constant monitoring, triaging and incorporating insights from advanced analytics of enterprise data brings the culture of continuous improvements and stability to operations.

AIOps Platform: The entire AIOps ecosystem is based on the underlying Platform and Enterprise Core that ties all the components together. As Gartner defined, “Artificial Intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) platforms are software systems that combine big data and AI or machine learning  functionality to enhance and partially replace a broad range of IT operations processes and tasks, including availability and performance monitoring, event correlation and analysis, IT service management, and automation.”

As businesses are increasingly software-driven, operations downtime is becoming more costly and slow is the new down. This is leading businesses to proactively manage and improve experiences of services, applications, cloud, and networks. Along with this business 4.0 is digitally shifting the businesses offering the technologies that increase the volume, velocity, and variety of data. As traditional systems and manual efforts are facing challenges in correlating and analyzing the data or alerts, AIOps is stepping up to augment the enterprise intelligence in operations.

To conclude, the future is bright for IT and business operations with AIOps. The increasing shift of organizations core business toward the cloud, raising investments in the AIOps technology ecosystems, exponentially growing data volumes and increasing end-to-end business application assurance and uptime are driving the growth of AIOps market demand.

 

 

IoT enabling Manufacturing Platforms progressively deliver better Connected Cars

connectedcar

In the Digital age customers prefer experience over features. Aided by plethora of IoT technologies, the evolution of connected cars with a balance of features vis-à-vis experience is phenomenal from vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) to vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and now vehicle-to-everything (V2X) leveraging vehicle-to-cloud (V2C). In my view IoT technologies are enabling connected cars to deliver value from integrated ecosystem of industries including automotive, telecom, health, insurance and industrial automation. Manufacturing platforms are designing and delivering connected vehicles that are truly leveraging the aplenty Internet of Things technologies as described below.

  • V2I, V2V and V2X end point connectivity with mobile wi-fi offload (wi-fi hotspots, 802.11u, 3G/4G LTE/latest 5G), DSRC roadside infrastructure (802.11p), consumer network (femtocells, dealer hotspots) and energy service providers (charging stations etc.)
  • In-Vehicle-Infotainment enabled with intuitive human-machine-interface (HMI), advance driver assist solutions (ADAS), voice communications, around view monitor, and rear seat entertainment with 4G LTE speeds available via built-in mobile hotspot enables services such as Internet radio, video streaming, Web browsing and personalized music etc.
  • Public/Private/Enterprise cloud connectivity offering real-time navigation, weather forecast, traffic information and online route planning, audio & video streaming, health data updates and remote car monitoring
  • Telematics promoting passenger safety with smart SOS (e-Call), a wide range of security features that keep drivers connected and safe in the event of an emergency, including automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle tracking, and roadside assistance.
  • Leapfrog towards Autonomous Vehicles with advanced state of the art embedded sensors and actuators, contextual voice recognition, interconnectivity V2I/V2V, improved decision making algorithms beyond ADAS and efficient navigation technologies enabling hands-free driving with right balance of driver-in and driver-out of the loop scenarios
  • Vehicle advanced diagnostics and analytics enabling cost reduction across industrial value chain tying insurance telematics, remote diagnostics, and condition-based maintenance
  • Enabling modern day payments with electronic toll collection, parking reservation and payment

New age Healthcare evolution fueled by Digital reality

Digital Health

As Healthcare is shifting from being reactive to proactive, Digital is progressing that move a step further through intuitive aids that anticipate patient problems before they happen. Healthcare IT companies are attracting a lot of interest as a result of this. As per Analysts reports the digital healthcare industry has reached a new investment high in 2015. The past year saw nearly $5.8B invested, a two digit increase from the breakout year in 2014 (which itself saw more than double the funding over 2013). 2015 saw more than 1,000 entities that made an equity investment in at least 1 digital health company, up more than a 361% from the 234 that invested in digital health in 2010. The federal government is also on the rolls to spend up to $29 billion in incentives to encourage healthcare players to take advantage of digital investments.

I) OUTCOMES:

Digital is contributing to enhance the outcomes of entire value chain of Healthcare touching all players in the ecosystem.

  • Providers: Achieving “meaningful use”, which is the use of certified Electronic Health Records (EHR) technology to achieve health and efficiency goals.
  • Payers: Enable payers to shift from B2B to B2C model of business for new consumer market that survive and thrive in this new reality
  • Patients: Transforming healthcare delivery with promising care coordination and improved patient experience
  • ISVs: Meeting healthcare organizations demand of better quality modules and features to allow enhanced usability, access to data in the cloud and on the go, and the liberty to analyze data for predicting patients’ future health

II) DRIVERS:

Just how is digital technology enabling healthcare evolution? Here are few drivers helping to achieving the above healthcare outcomes.

  • CONSUMERIZATION: Healthcare is transforming from wholesale to retail. The patient or consumer, now expects the same experience in healthcare like in all other parts of their “consumer life.” This is a radical change is driving Patients take advantage of connected technologies, social tools, and information resources in more active role in their own health, and it extends further into the payer market. Consumers are no longer limited to the single plan offered by their employer – they have more options than ever on the open insurance market. To compete in this new marketplace, payers and providers need to rethink their offerings to give tailored experience to patients considering to provide plans that include performance incentives, transparency, and flexibility. The consumerization in Healthcare defines the problem statement for the Technology. Technology should enable industry collaboration and pricing transparency, increase hospitals use of business intelligence tools to derive patterns and consumer trends, solve information asymmetry between the medical professional and the patient and help overcoming the dichotomy between consumer and payer
  • PERSONALIZATION: Healthcare industry has historically treated patients en masse. But the move from the group to the individual is inevitable now. Today’s healthcare consumers expect to be able to engage in a highly individualized, personalized manner, whether it’s in the services and treatments they receive, or the way they pay for that treatment afterwards. Technology should lead the personalization in Healthcare by building consumer centric CRM solution driving loyalty and providing personalized care is a key factor for sustaining long term growth for a healthcare organization. As well deploying advanced analytics will enable us to better understand which treatments deliver the best outcomes and to tailor treatment, messages, and services, as well as provide early alerts. And an increased emphasis from payers on branding themselves and sharing personalized, engaging content will help to differentiate them and build loyal relationships with consumers who have more choice than ever.
  • DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT: The belief among industry practitioners is that Technology will replace 80% of what doctors do. Data-driven healthcare won’t replace physicians entirely, but it will help those receptive to technology perform their jobs better. Lifecom showed in clinical trials that medical assistants using a diagnostic knowledge engine were 91% accurate without using labs, imaging, or exams. A MassGen study found that 25% of the time, a medical record for patients who wound up with ‘high risk diagnoses’ had ‘high information clinical findings’ before a physician finally made the diagnosis — in other words, there was a significant delay that might have been avoided had a clinical decision support system been used to parse the notes! New technologies will make the receptive doctors better at their jobs – quicker, more accurate, and more fact-based. There is a tremendous opportunity in the influx of data that has never before been available. Once we have a large enough dataset, and an addressable database of research studies, we’ll be able to identify patterns and physiological interactions in ways that weren’t possible before. Another development worth mentioning is IBM invention of the computer “Dr. Watson.” the supercomputer to help physicians make better diagnoses and recommend treatments. Doctors could potentially rely on Watson to keep track of patient history, stay up-to-date on medical research and analyze treatment options.
  • COMMUNICATION: Enabling doctor’s effective and easy communication with patients for improvising care coordination is another pertinent role of technology in Healthcare. One example to provide a perspective here is, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) development of Omnifluent Health, a translation program for doctors and others in the medical field. The suite of products includes a mobile app that lets doctors speak into the app — asking, for example, if a patient is allergic to penicillin — and translate the message instantly into another language. Given that there are 47 million U.S. residents who don’t speak English fluently, the program could be a boon for doctors who would otherwise need to rely on translators and medical assistants to communicate with their patients.

III) CAPABILITIES:

Building healthcare digital capability backbone encompassing all players of value chain – payers, providers and ISVs is critical in adopting to digital reality and realizing the true benefits. The key capabilities and their high-level usage patterns is discussed below.

  • Internet of Medical Things (IoMT): IoMT is enabling remote patient monitoring of consumers with chronic or long-term conditions, tracking patient medication orders and the location of patients admitted to hospitals, and patients’ wearable devices, which can send information to caregivers. Telemedicine which is gaining momentum also use IoMT devices to remotely monitor patients at their homes.
  • Electronic Health Records (HER): EHR is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users. While an EHR does contain the medical and treatment histories of patients, an EHR system should be built to go beyond standard clinical data collected in a provider’s office and can be inclusive of a broader view of a patient’s care
  • Cloud – Big Data – Analytics: For healthcare industry, the cloud seems a natural fit. From EHRs to data storage to software as a service (SaaS) capabilities, cloud-based products offer lower costs, greater capacity for scalability, dedicated service and support, and near-continuous uptime. But huge volumes of clinical data added to EHRs at every moment cannot be quickly and thoroughly translated into concrete, timely clinical decision support (CDS) information due to the limited computing resources of most healthcare organizations. Cloud-based analytics-as-a-service tools alleviate those pressure points and provide real-time CDS capabilities that will improve the quality of patient care by “combining the on-demand aspects of cloud computing with the democratization of information enabled by big data analytics.”
  • Wearables & Bio-sensing: A growing number of mobile apps and gadgets aim to help people stay active, sleep well and eat healthy. Among them are Fitbit, a pedometer that tracks daily sleep and activity and uses social networking and gaming to motivate its users. Lark is a silent alarm clock and sleep monitor that tracks and analyzes a person’s quality of sleep over time, offering suggestions to help the person get better rest. And there are dozens of calorie-counting, food-monitoring and menu-tracking apps to aid the diet-conscious.
  • healthbots: There is a growing experimentation to using robots as health aids for the elderly. People are opening up to the idea that robots and drones can be used as a force in healthcare. As aging population grows, so too will use of robotic health aids or ‘healthbots’.
  • Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI finds purpose in healthcare. IBM’s Watson made a splash in 2015, and catalyzed the concept of AI in healthcare. These innovations are transitioning out of the lab and into the spotlight
  • User Experience (UX): UX focus has acted as an important opening salvo in the integration of user-centered design principles into the healthcare industry processes, products, and workflows.
  • Digital Channels: Omni channel digital capabilities are making healthcare more accessible, cost-effective, and engaged. Omni-channel healthcare opportunities empower people to seek care from anywhere and at any time, from their channel of choice (smartphone, tablet, computer, in-person). Importantly, it has the potential to improve overall health outcomes by minimizing a few key constraints that prevent people from receiving proper care — time, money, and a lack of engagement or knowledge

In summary, the future of healthcare is bright and exciting. Enormous strides have been made to move to a more personalized, meaningful model of care. New digital technologies and analytics are changing the way healthcare is delivered, and it’s important that healthcare players keep up this momentum to meet the needs of today’s patients.