In an exclusive interview with Dataquest, Mr. Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head of TCS iON shared his views and vision of transforming education and IT industry. He highlights the amiable characteristics and effective business models of the company followed by a discussion on the impact of digital industry arena on market and consumers.
What’s the vision and mission of TCS iON?
Our fundamental objective is to see how we can create a large scale platform that shall create shackles of economy in the market and largely help customers to gain significant advantage in a global environment.
iON envisions to be the end-to-end solution provider for Exam Boards, Educational bodies, and manufacturing SMBs. iON has specific focus on becoming our customer`s trusted partner by enabling their growth and competitive edge in a competitive environment.
We are trying to do this through a set of platforms. We have a set of characteristics including ease of use, having acute integrated models on cloud, in a way of commercial concept. This is what we are attempting and approaching it platform by platform in specific domains and we will also launch new platforms/product in near future. Through innovative, easy to use, secured, integrated, hosted solutions, in a build a “build–as–you grow”, “pay–as–you-use” business model.
What are your operational and marketing strategies for development in cloud ecosystem in the education field, in India?
Fundamentally, our morals revolve around six characteristics on which the operation is structured. Firstly, we provide integrated software network and services. Secondly, we do this in pre-embedded business process approach for quick and secure configurations. We ensure security, compliance and the regulator requirements are complied to automatically.
Also, we will continue to run on the cloud-based model as we have no intention to put this platform on an un-premised model. The last one is the commercial model which is a transaction and subscription based revenue model. These are six important characteristics that define the operations and our overall approach.
As far as the marketing strategies are concerned there are three important aspects. One is that we create very large network or ecosystem of players who can participate in the platform. Second, we will have this platform marketed both B2B and B2C and will provide a number of capabilities for them to learn digitally. So, we will use such kind of models to create awareness.
How TCS iON will impact the digital industry arena and consumers as an IT-as-a-service platform?
iON Digital Assessment is one of the world’s largest platform in terms of number of candidates. Today, more than 80% of any competitive assessment and recruitment happens on TCS iON digital platform.
So, we will ensure that using the key characteristics that I explained, we will approach domain by domain. Similarly, we will transform it using digital technology like cloud, mobility, and artificial intelligence.
iON’s Digital Assessment has made significant digital impact in India by helping some of the most important high stakes recruitment and selection assessments in the country to become more transparent and efficient through leveraging digital technologies. Such transformations have wide reaching social implications in terms of enhanced quality and integrity of selection and recruitment outcomes for some of the most important services and academic institutes in India.
Like iON Digital Assessment platform, today we are focused on building an innovative blended learning platform supported by deep last mile reach that will help make high quality learning more accessible and democratic even for the remotest areas in the country. Such platforms have high potentials to add strong impetus and catalyse flagship programmes such as Skill India.
As organizations, we remain focused on exploring continuous innovations that leverage our key strengths of IT-as-a-Service business model and robust last mile reach and accessibility towards creating platform for high impact solutions such as high quality and convenient service delivery for citizens.
What does TCS iON mean for the average Indian consumer?
It means globalization of specific industry domains, for example, consumers can access easy to consume, easy to use and get digital value out of it. This is what TCS iON means to average Indian and business.
Today, digital technology is ubiquitous and has made it easier for consumers to have access to various things and facilities. Similarly, we are doing it for different domains. These are places we are marking and disrupting using digital technology, and that’s what it means for an average Indian business or a consumer.
For an average Indian consumer, TCS iON offers software as a service which is easily accessible, can be easily adopted, and consumed by any type of personnel (not limited to the IT team). The iON platform is an integrated yet modularly architected and ensures that information about their organization or their ‘learning’ is always available. It is as simple as ‘IT’ on tap.
Keeping the Indian IT scenario in mind, how do you plan to augment your services across nation whilst ensuring quality and skilled education environment?
In order to do that our strategy is to integrate Click and Pick and I have been talking about this. We believe any of these digital platforms will take off only when you very judiciously integrate Click and Pick and that’s what we are doing. We are making significant investment across the country of more than 1.6 lakh computers and in more than 250 cities. And that forms the part of the Click.
On the Pick side, digital tools are made available over the internet so that there is a very significant integration. We also imported a large number of ecosystem players, for example, we partnered with the CSE Network and with large network associations like NSDC.
How do you plan to bring acceptance for your brand and digital learning in the education industry of India?
It will be through our partner ecosystem, firstly. It will be through significant value and disruption that we create in the education industry through this platform. It will be very clearly through transformation impact that will create for the industry itself. These will be our approaches.
We believe in making a difference through the large transformation projects TCS is known to run and manage. The same is true in the space of education, learning and skills. The visible transformation itself will bring in the acceptance.
How your cloud-based educational solutions and digitized examinations are expected to change the scenario in India?
In case of digital examination and assessment, the value is very clear. We have a predefined field with which the examinations can be conducted and the results can be deployed. We are eliminating the chances of question paper and other information being compromised, we are ensuring harnessing evaluation and selection. We are also ensuring that enormous amount of transparency is brought in every aspect of the platform. These are some of the distinct keys by which we can ensure the cloud based platforms.
In each one of the platforms, the approach we will take in order to change the scenario will be very different. We can look at various digital learning platforms and ensuring that they are able to make learning ultra-modern by different modes of learning brought together. We will make and blend as learning is not just a single mode, we will bring in modern day learning to make journey very personal based on the capabilities of the learner.
Till date how has TCS iON impacted the consumer. Any revenue result or consumer feedback you have got?
Till date, we have completed more than 75 million candidate assessments. We have candidates in India as well as outside. We have also conducted the world’s largest single shift exam for one of our customers in India. Also, we have come up with many innovations and look forward to bring more significant transformations possibly impacting the IT and educational landscape in the country.