India has a Distinctive Advantage over Other Markets: Narayan Mangavalli

With over two decades of hands-on experience in outsourcing, IT services, business process re-engineering, sales, and customer account management, Narayan Mangavalli leads global Service Desk, as a part of the Cloud and Infrastructure Services tower of Global Delivery Services. Narayan also wears the mantle of site leader for Unisys’ Hyderabad facilities and leads the Crisis Management team for Unisys India. In an interaction with Dataquest, Narayan Mangavalli enlightens us about the impact of consumerization of IT and the scope of End User Services.

Q. What is your ‘go to’ market strategy for End User Services (EUS) in the Indian market?

We look at the Indian market in an opportunistic manner which means we pursue deals that make financial sense to us and potentially profitable. India has a distinctive advantage over other markets as it can leapfrog and adopt disruptive and emerging technologies without the burden of legacy. For instance, mobility solutions that enhance end user productivity are being deployed rapidly in the market across sectors. Given our deep domain expertise and experience of such deployments globally, we are well poised to pursue any such opportunities in India too.

Q. What is the impact of consumerization of IT and BYOD in driving demand for EUS and impacting evolution of service desks?

Consumerization of IT and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work present challenges to the team managing end user support, as they now have to deal with a plethora of applications, devices, and models. This has led to the rise of self-help systems wherein the end users resolve their basic issues through a tool or get help from a social group. For more complex problems, resolvers can now rely on encyclopedic knowledge systems to help end users solve their problem.

Q. How receptive are end users to this changing scenario?

The scope of the resolvers has changed due to the encyclopedic knowledge delivery to end users who are more receptive today. End users can distinguish complex issues which can be solved only by a field team. That kind of maturity is now visible as far as the end users are concerned.

Q. What is the role of analytics in reducing service incidents and improving end user productivity?

Our analytics practice within the end user services group is tasked with identifying incident trends, analyzing resolution patterns and identifying opportunities for moving service incidents to the right level of support, shifting best. Predictive analytics uses Advanced Data Modelling to derive futuristic data results and behavior. This helps analyze current/historical factors to make predictions about future or otherwise unknown events.

For instance, for one of our large IT clients, we were able to identify problems even before they cropped up. This led us on to the path of automation, as whenever an end user has an issue, the service desk only carries out a series of steps and then looks at one particular solution. All of this is driven by analytics which culls out these ideas and inferences giving us actions to work on.

Q. Could you explain more about the Unisys’ People Computing approach and role of personas?

In simple terms, our persona model is a role-based access provisioning system. In the persona system, there are multiple levels of pyramids and at the bottom of the pyramid are the delivery teams, and just above that level are the support teams followed by client management. Today, a lot of companies do not differentiate between these multiple levels. In our approach, we lay down the parameters for a right set of the hardware and software requirements across these levels based on insights – what essentially entails a particular set of people inside a department, their job functions, types of software they use, and amount of computing power they need.

Based on these parameters, we define role based ‘personas’. The end user can be better resourced and computing aligned properly from the bottom of the pyramid to the entire IT infrastructure. This approach is what we call ‘people computing’.

Q. What are the security concerns around EUS service offerings?

At an end user level, we must appreciate that today a lot of them have wide access to the internet and multiple applications causing an equal number of security concerns. It is critical to find the right balance between ensuring the security of business and better end user productivity.

I do not think we are adequately meeting the security challenges with the evolution of new gadgets and new applications. So, cyber-attacks continue to evolve even as mobile technologies expand. At Unisys, we have developed a micro-segmentation based encrypted security product called Stealth that takes a different approach to protect organizations’ assets and entire user communities.

The Stealth platform darkens the end points effectively and keeps them hidden from internal and external threats. It also wraps up individual applications on a device, therefore limiting the potential of hacking. We also look at harmonizing our identities across various portals while maintaining and managing our internal and external client data. We work within a secure three-tier architecture which is hosted in our data center with high levels of disaster recovery.

Q. What are the milestones achieved for EUS? Can you also talk about your recent big wins?

Unisys EUS offerings for US and Europe are highly rated by analysts from Gartner and Everest. We are consistently ranked highly in the Gartner Magic Quadrant. So that gives us a leg up over most of our competitors. Today, we support 28 different languages, 16 million contacts on the service desk and are working with about 100+ clients globally.

Recently, we bagged some high-profile deals with a global food store chain, a Commercial Real estate services company, a large government organization in APAC, and with a well-known auto-components company in the US. A lot of the backend support for these clients will be consolidated at our India centers.

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