In an exclusive interview with InBusiness.ae, Dr. Vinod Vasudevan, CEO, Flytxt explains the significance of data analytics and the role Flytxt is playing to help customers make use of their data.
Give us a brief background on Flytxt and the milestones you have achieved since inception.
Flytxt started its journey in 2008 with a vision to provide customer data analytics technology for enterprises to realise more than 10% measurable economic benefit. We chose Telecom industry to pitch in this technology first, our products are now used by leading Telecom Service Providers in more than 40 countries for digital customer engagement, customer value management and other digital services. In select markets, we serve mobile consumer insights to global brands for their marketing and other needs, together with our Telco partners.
Last year, we acquired a company, mVentus to strengthen our product portfolio for consumer analytics and digital customer engagement with mobile app technology. Our Big Data analytics products, now in their third generation, have evolved to address customer data analytics and monetisation needs of any B2C enterprise navigating their digital transformation journey. Apart from Telecom, we see an increasing traction for our products in other verticals like banking and financial services where we already have a few active engagements.
What is the role that data analytics is playing in this digital era?
The digital era places the customer at the “centre” of all business innovation. Businesses undertaking the digital transformation journey also realise this binding need to get customer-centric in their operations and interactions. For this, enterprises need to have a deeper understanding of customers, their behaviour, their intentions and expectations as well as devise mechanisms to act on them quickly through multiple touch points. Customer data analytics is fundamental to deriving deeper insights from a plethora of customer data available now in digital world and delivering insights to users in an actionable form for decision making.
We have seen enterprises generating 2 to 7% incremental economic value through customer data analytics, and we believe it is possible to achieve over 10% measurable economic benefits.
How is Flytxt helping customers make use of their data?
Flytxt provides enterprise class data analytics product for acquiring, managing, modelling and analysing data, in real time where needed, along with built-in applications for digital customer engagement and digital services. We complement our products with full suite of consulting and technology services so that our enterprise customers can quickly get off the ground and start reaping the benefits of customer data analytics solutions.
At the core of our products is advanced analytics technology with the ability to ingest any type of enterprise and 3rd party data as well as to derive actionable insights and recommendations from these underlying data assets. The products feature purpose-built packaged analytic models and template driven self-serve analytics so that business users can infer insights quickly for their decision making. Our R&D team partners with leading institutions like IIT Delhi and TNO, the Netherlands, they focus on continuously enriching packaged analytics with the most advanced models and machine learning algorithms. In addition to these packaged models, data scientists can also tap the rich set of model templates available within the model development environment to create new models and easily deploy them across the enterprise.
The products are architected to allow enterprises create digital customer engagement and digital services solutions quickly to meet their specific business needs. Solutions that we see more common are in digital customer value management, digital self-care, mobile advertising, customer retention and churn management, audience measurement, etc.
How can Big Data analytics help enterprises better understand their customers’ needs?
The nature of each and every interaction of the customer with the enterprise is an indicator of customer’s needs, behaviour and intentions. With digitalisation, the volume and type of data generated from customer interactions has grown manifold. As a case in point, the Telco customers are now using handheld devices not just for communication, but also for accessing informational, entertainment and even financial and shopping needs. This leads to an explosion of customer data generated and available for Telcos to have an in-depth understanding of demographic profiles, socio-economic behaviour, psychographic interests, movement patterns, etc. The same holds true for almost every B2C enterprise. Big data analytics can combine historical as well as the contextual data to create a holistic customer view to help enterprises stay relevant while engaging with customers across lifecycle journeys and touch points. With advanced analytics techniques, enterprises can now even understand customer’s intentions and predict their needs accurately and be proactive too.
What are the challenges and risks associated with digital engagement?
Digital engagement is disrupting the market play requiring enterprises to rewrite old rules of customer engagement and competition. Enterprises need to be highly agile to make decisions as well as act on them quickly across the spectrum of customer interactions. This demands a sophisticated and enterprise scale infrastructure for data management and analytics to continuously understand and act upon changing customer behaviours and preferences. Enterprises who have seen each other as just competitors will also have to realise that digital ecosystem as a whole will gain if they can pool in consumer insights and collaborate meaningfully in specific areas. Creating or subscribing to platforms that provide pooled access to shared consumer insights honouring data privacy regulations and data security norms would be the way forward for digital economy to thrive.
We have to understand that this transformation will challenge some of the established wisdom and will be a time consuming process. Different sectors and different enterprises within the same sector will move at different paces. However, the agility and understanding with which enterprises adopt the required technology, processes and partnerships will determine their success in digital economy.
What is your growth strategy? Any particular plans for the Middle East?
Our products are now in their third generation and have been consistently proven in the most demanding markets. Through our technology and analytics R&D, the data management and analytics capabilities of products continuously evolve to meet the current and futuristic needs of B2C enterprises. Our focus is to increase the customer base of our products rapidly across industries and geographies using direct sales as well as our growing partner ecosystem.
Middle East is a significant geography for us – our operating headquarters is located there – and it is a major market for us too. There was a recent announcement of group-wide relationship with Zain Group. This is another milestone towards establishing our position in this region.