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Retailers betting big on enterprise mobility solutions

In a candid conversation with Retailer Media, Kushal Nahata, CEO & Founder, FarEye explained why does any and every company/brand need enterprise mobility? He also shared compelling insights and future roadmap of EMS industry at large.

Tags: Bluedart, DTDC, Snapdeal, Gojavas, Ecom Express, Bajaj Capital, Hitachi, Apollo Healthcare, Pepperfry, Guardian Pharmacy, Foodworld

BY Sahil  |  August 04, 2015  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Kushal Nahata

Enterprise Mobility has become a top priority for most of the retailers not just to boost sales but also to scale on employee productivity and growth. It would be apt to say that the EMS era has arrived and it will soon disrupt the entire retail ecosystem.

In a candid conversation with Retailer Media, Kushal Nahata, CEO & Founder, FarEye explained why does any and every company/brand need enterprise mobility? He also shared compelling insights and future roadmap of EMS industry at large.

Talk to us about FareEye and the business model?

FarEye is a cloud SAAS based enterprise mobility platform. It enables efficient field workforce management and transparency in field operations across industry verticals and geographies. The FarEye solution increases companies' productivity and reduces cost, thus transforming businesses to be more efficient, flexible and customer centric. FarEye work with companies across industries like BFSI, consumer durables and Healthcare sector and is a leader in the logistics ecommerce industry providing exemplary services to organizations with field workers.

It's a solution to the most critical problems of manager i.e. real-time coordination with mobile workers, field jobs and customer requests. With FarEye platform organizations can schedule jobs, monitor execution and evaluate performance, all automated and in real time helping companies to increase productivity and customer experience.

What is your outreach in the market and who are your potential clients?

A global initiative FarEye transacts over 1 million transactions a day across 10 countries for 35 clients.

India - Bluedart, DTDC, Snapdeal, Gojavas, Ecom Express, Bajaj Capital, Hitachi, Apollo Healthcare, Pepperfry, Guardian Pharmacy, Foodworld 

Overseas -Zalora, Acommerce, Luxola, Souq.com, Namshi, Markavip, Century Express

We have about 1.5 Billion mobile workforces in Asia-Pacific where more than 80% have no access to technology to help them perform their jobs more effectively. Present focus is in domains like Logistics, Sales and Field Services for any industry. 

Explain the core services you provide?

The main offering of FarEye is its enterprise mobility solution through which it helps organizations address challenges faced during field operations. It increases the efficiency and effectiveness of operations by helping organizations to schedule jobs, track execution and evaluate the performance, all in real time. Real time co-ordination with mobile workforce, task automation, constant job updates, tracking workers, identification of best worker to perform a task, reduction in manual work, analytical reports, smart decision making are among few benefits that FarEye gives its clients. 

FarEye has a niche positioning in the industry with its cashless transactions enabler (wallets), network impact & data analytics to conquer the market by having superior functionalities. We are not restricted by the type of industry, function (sales, supply chain, services), employee strengths or geography. Our customizable solution can seamlessly integrate into the existing workflow of the organization to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its field operation. 

What all segments of a business does it aid and how?

Using FarEye empowers all the stakeholders involved. For e.g.: From the manager's point of view  he knows the productivity of his team, can address customer vagaries due to identification and traction of any field worker, identify problem areas through heat maps and other analytical reports, his real time reporting allows him to make smarter decisions and address concerns. 

From the field worker's point of view FarEye reduces administrative work (manual data entry, cash reconciliation etc.) leading to increased productivity, increased first-attempts. The time that was used to generate these reports can now be used more productively. 

From the customer's point of view FarEye includes last minute request, addresses ad-hoc requests, gives an option to the consumer to rate the experience at point of service, reduces TAT and there is an increased responsiveness towards the customer.

How good it is for mCommerce companies to outsource their technology wing to an enterprise mobility solution provider?

In today's time when m-commerce industry is rising, they need technology assistance to make their work smoother, and outsourcing technology needs to a third-party service provider makes the work more efficient and smooth:

i.There are some glitches that can't be avoided but some can be taken care of by outsourcing this requirement to specialist who can deliver enterprise mobility as a managed service.

ii.IT feels threatened as they face many challenges primarily because of enterprise integration and technological volatility. If built in-house the other worries would entail security issues, increased costs, restricted IT budget, increasing complexity.

iii.An IDC report indicates that 20% organizations found it hard to maintain and support such solutions in-house and 40% faced integration challenges. Since organizations such as FarEye are not applications but mobility platforms the mobility solutions provided by them seamlessly integrate into existing workflows of companies eliminating challenges that would have been faced otherwise. Since it is not short-term goals that they plan to achieve through such solution, it is necessary that organizations ensure successful deployment at once. 

iv.Transfer the risk to FarEye- we are a cloud enabled enterprise mobility platform that absolve you of huge infrastructural cost, technological volatility and the burden of a support to constantly maintain, evolve and support your mobility solution. Don't risk losing out to your competitor because of the need to constantly upgrade to be in sync with ever evolving systems and software. 

v.Transfer your risk of technology becoming obsolete to FarEye. The outsourcing model gives the organization an option of a flexi - operational budget involving a monthly fee depending on the licenses or consumption rather than huge cap-ex investments. As this space is still evolving, an updated version of a certain technology may be available just when an organization integrated and finished with the prior version of this solution. Hence, it is necessary that it is deployed to a specialized player in this space who can deal with the advancements in technologies, software's, applications, operating systems and so on.  The organization can end up incurring huge capital expenditure since there is a risk of an entire implementation failure involved.

What are the latest tech trends in the Indian retail market?

One of the motifs that had taken hold in 2015 is a distinct crossover between consumer and enterprise technology. We're entering brand new territory with some of these breakthroughs, and they all are having a major impact on both the business and mainstream worlds. Certain key trends have emerged in the enterprise mobility market in India are:

i.Mobiles have become the core requirement for enterprise to work in real-time and in more collaborative ways - changing the way we do business. And with smartphones /tablets becoming ubiquitous elements in improving the user experience and business efficiency; enterprises are focusing on solutions for empowered customers using new engagement models and channels on their terms to deliver business impact. At the same time, enterprise mobility has become a real competitive requirement for increasing number of organizations, considering placement of mobility strategies at the top of their agenda.

ii.In today's digital world, mobile is ubiquitous in both our personal and professional lives. It's no surprise then that IDC forecasted worldwide smartphone shipments to surpass 1.2 billion units this year - a 23 percent increase from just a year ago. Moreover, the number of app downloads is expected to rise to almost 270 billion by 2017. With this explosion of mobile apps, organizations are adopting enterprise mobile strategies to enhance productivity, streamline internal processes and increase revenue. Unfortunately, IT and developers are challenged to keep pace with the demands of business units.

iii.In an era when we seem perpetually glued to our phones and tablets-typing out texts, swiping through social media feeds, and tapping through food orders and gift purchases-the way we interact with mobile applications in our personal lives inevitably blends into our behaviors and expectations of mobile technology in the workplace.

iv.Businesses are specifically demanding a native mobile experience to meet both employee and customer demand. If a business is looking to implement a mobile eCommerce experience or equipping their sales force with mobile order writing tools, offering a native mobile app is vital.

Where do you see the future of enterprise mobility solution industry 3-5 years down the line?

Enterprise mobility is no longer an option, but rather a critical business requirement. Winning the future will require companies across industries to embrace mobility platforms that unlock productivity and competitive advantage and optimize ongoing process changes that span the core operating model. Whether organizations are expanding existing architectures or starting fresh by building or acquiring new IT infrastructure via managed services, they will need to tread carefully by making tradeoffs that balance the aforementioned risks and rewards that co-exist with today's business constraints and tomorrow's demands for anywhere, anytime information access. Organizations that delay embracing the inevitable proliferation of enterprise mobility may find themselves hamstrung by inflexible legacy systems environments that put them at a severe disadvantage compared with more adventurous and risk-tolerant competitors. By taking a gradual and measured path, organizations can more effectively rewire their operations and survive ongoing business challenges, while embracing tools and techniques that power new organizational structures and facilitate more collaborative and real-time ways of working.

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