Venkat Iyer Of Capgemini Explains Why They Are More Invested In Augmented Intelligence Than AI

Venkat Iyer, who currently serves as the VP, global practice, for insights and data at Capgemini, is focused on providing insights to customers at the point of action. In his current role he is responsible for client engagement, strategy, solution architecture, pre-sales and ensuring that these organisations are future-ready to realise the potential of data being used to get insights. With experience spanning across multiple domains including retail, manufacturing, logistics, telecom and technology industries, Iyer has worked with clients across different regions and geographies such as North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Analytics India Magazine interacted with Iyer, where he took us through his analytics journey, and talked about how Capgemini is unlocking the potential of data science and analytics. He also discussed various analytics tools used by them and commented on Capgemini’s SMART analytics platform.

Analytics India Magazine: How is Capgemini unlocking the potential of data science and analytics? What have been the benefits of adopting analytics so far?

Venkat Iyer: Our Insights and Data global practice brings together the latest in data science techniques with leading business consulting skills to build models and solutions that can bring about the “art of the possible”. With a rich catalogue of horizontal domain analytics, our approach lies in the ability to abstract models of real-life business and commercial problems that are intuitive to use, yet sufficiently realistic to support robust decision-making. This helps our clients achieve their business objectives.

The benefits of adopting analytics are multi-fold: Here are a few examples of what we’ve helped customers achieve

  • Our revenue assurance analytics solution identified $3 million in duplicate invoice payments for a global beverage company, 80 percent of which we are recovering
  • We applied supply chain accounting analytics for a leading consumer goods manufacturer to reduce waste from slow moving stocks with yearly savings of $15 million
  • We helped an electronic gaming company gain critical insights into how the market responded to a new product launch through social media analytics.

Our approach is based on our theme of Applied Insights, so it must be actionable and actioned.

AIM: How is the company using the latest data science techniques and big data technology to provide insights to various aspects of business operations? What are various analytics tools at disposal?

VI: Our offering portfolio within Insights and Data embeds value creation for our clients’ facilitating decision-making. Our industry and functional technology accelerators provide the capabilities, tangibles and services to combine data and analytics along with artificial intelligence and automation which helps derive insights and apply them. We are constantly leveraging the most current technologies, tools and frameworks, in partnership with our clients and technology partners.

Our Applied Innovation Exchange (AIE) is our global platform that we designed to enable clients to discover relevant innovations and contextualise and experiment with them within the specific industry. The AIE leverages a framework for action, a network of exchange locations, and a high-performance engagement experience with a global curated ecosystem to proactively plan for shifts in technology. We continue to advance a diverse, global ecosystem to expose clients to the latest thinking, technologies and experiences from a range of ecosystem partners, particularly those in Silicon Valley — but also covering other crucial innovation hotspots across the world. We now have 16 AIE labs worldwide — in US, Europe, India, Singapore and Australia.

AIM: Tell us about Capgemini’s SMART Analytics Platform?

VI: SMART Business Insights Suite, is a pre-built, multi-cloud, suite of comprehensive business insights solutions on enterprise performance focus areas like asset management, procurement, human resources and customer management.  With a set of accelerators and prebuilt set of out-of-the-box KPIs, they enhance rapid deployment through ready insights and recommendation across focus areas all the while ensuring data security and scalability.

AIM: Please highlight a few analytics success stories in various industries, which have been facilitated by Capgemini?

VI: We believe applied insights will drive competitiveness in the digital world; and at Capgemini Insights & Data we deliver those insights for clients with agility, teams that are spread across geographies and assets that deep dive into the business. Our sector and domain specific analytics and insights address business drivers across industry. For example, for a Global Consumer Products company, our industry-first capability, or the Consumer Insights Center, has driven significant changes in the company’s marketing processes by giving it a virtually infinite number of ways to access and use consumer insights.

For a water company, our insight-driven transformation solution addresses the apparently intractable solution of driving down leakage. Our solution has been proven to detect nearly 85 percent of leaks.

In the manufacturing and life sciences space, our Smart Asset implementation with cognitive business analytics solution has resulted in improved asset availability and reliability; predictability in maintenance costs and reduction in labor cost and enabling data-based insights.

Another example is where we are deploying the latest AI and cognitive computing technologies to create universally appealing, highly differentiated customer experience for a large cruise liner.

AIM: What does your role in Insights and Data at Capgemini involve? How has been your growth story so far?

VI: I started with Capgemini nine years ago, and have played a number of different roles, leading delivery of Insights projects for clients, to solutions and presales. It has been quite an enriching and learning experience. At the same time I have been exposed to a number of different business challenges facing our clients that are looking to us for help.

In my current role as the global sales lead for Insights & Data, I am responsible for engaging with clients around the opportunities to leverage data as a strategic asset and help them in their journey to Applied Insights. Much of my time is spent in that, in addition to helping craft solutions for them, I am also responsible for one of our core offers, the Applied Insights Center which is a flexible model of delivering many of our services in a simplified commercial model.

AIM: What is the size and hierarchical alignment (both depth and breadth), of your analytics group?

VI: People are at the heart of everything we do in Insights & Data. With close to 16,000 professionals, we leverage the global resources effectively to bring together the best talent — drawing on Rightshore® which is our delivery model.

India is the hub for all activities driving innovation and competitiveness — delivering solutioning, IP development, data science capabilities, content and knowledge management. With a clear focus on key sectors and domains, we continuously focus on upskilling our talent in the latest of technologies via the Applied Innovation Exchanges, academies that drive big data and analytics, automation, boot camps on hot skills along with our university and through tie-ups with academia and start-ups. More than two-thirds of our people are based out of our centres in India.

AIM: What kind of knowledge and skill-sets do you look for, while recruiting your workforce?

VI: Our practical and dedicated approach to hiring and retaining talent includes evaluations and application of new trends in talent development and retention; analysis of market trends on AI hiring, engagement and retention and strategic adoption of such initiatives. We strongly believe in shaping a strong professional development plan through our learning and development; big data; and automation drive academy, boot-camps; ongoing training through networking events, active participation in alliance-based and social projects; and certifications. Above all, our core values are at the heart of our organisation and we look at that when we hire people.

AIM: What are the most significant challenges you face being at the forefront in analytics space?

VI: Until a few decades ago, simple business models sufficed for businesses. However, with the advances in digital technology, huge amounts of data being available at finger-tips, coupled with rapidly-changing needs of the clients, it has become imperative to deliver insights consistently within the enterprise using a data landscape that is diverse. Our ability to react in this fast-changing environment; creating a culture of data science/insights and applying those insights to action not only maximises profit but also helps clients reduce their cost of doing business. In many cases, insights also fuel new business ideas making clients a fast and first mover in a new area — the accuracy of decision-making enhances the insight.

AIM: What is your roadmap for analytics at Capgemini?

VI: Accompanying our clients on their journey to insights, helping them to bridge the gap between data and insights, and bringing insights to the point of action — remains at the core of everything we do. We will continue to co-innovate with our clients and partners, and constantly evolve to provide the best of business analytics consulting and system integration services — all this by leveraging the most current technologies, frameworks, tools and methodologies.

AI, AE, AU is our mantra — augmented intelligence, analytics everywhere and automation to drive efficiencies — these three topics to help our clients in their applied insights journey.


AIM: How do you think Analytics as an industry is evolving today? Tell us about the most important contemporary trends that you see emerging in the present analytics space across the globe

VI: Analytics has evolved quite a bit and today we see the adoption of AI (we refer to it as augmented intelligence) at a scale that is driving even more analytics. In a recent DTI report that we published, one out of three organisations we talked to were implementing AI at scale. This opens up the opportunity to utilise methods like visual intelligence, NLP/NLG, machine learning, deep learning, cognitive and use an AI-first approach in implementing applied insights. This opens up a wonderful new possibility of creating new opportunities, of extending what humans could do, and at a scale not possible earlier. It’s a new frontier to solve problems and create new opportunities for our clients.

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Srishti Deoras
Srishti currently works as Associate Editor at Analytics India Magazine. When not covering the analytics news, editing and writing articles, she could be found reading or capturing thoughts into pictures.

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