VIS Global is a company that has found great success in Australia, having grown to become not only one of the major suppliers of Avaya solutions but also one of the companies committed to bringing the most innovation to the communications space.
After relocating to Australia from its original headquarters in India, VIS Global has achieved 60% year-in-year growth, by building out its product portfolio and demonstrating to customers the value that a combination of technical expertise and an understanding of business outcomes brings to those in the IT space.
We interviewed Arijit Senchaudhuri, the founder and CEO of VIS Global, on the ongoing evolution of IT companies in Australia and what that does for IT skills and customer engagement. We also discussed the company’s plans for ongoing growth and expansion and why Senchaudhuri sees Avaya specifically as the protein that binds a communications “meal” together.
Could you give me an overview of VIS Global and how things sit for you in Australia at the moment?
Arijit Senchaudhuri: VIS Global started in 2011 with the core objective of providing differentiated services to large contact centers in India. We have come a long way since. We have added new capabilities, partnerships and we relocated to Australia in 2019.
We started with three of us here, but we have now a team of around 38 people, and we have had over 60% year-on-year growth for the last two financial years. We are very satisfied with what we are seeing with the Australian market and our success, and that has given us the confidence to also enter the U.K. and the U.S. markets.
At first, we were a pure-play systems integrator. Now, we are also pivoting to become a total CX (customer experience) transformation company. To do so, we are adding things like business consulting and adding or enhancing the existing delivery capabilities.
Through this, the services remain constant, but we are evolving as the market is evolving.
What was the motivation for that pivot (to CX transformation)?
Arijit Senchaudhuri: There are three things triggering growth in our space.
Number one is the adoption of the cloud due to the remote workers. Now that most people in our space are working from home, organizations are also moving into the cloud.
Secondly, there is a big piece around AI-enhanced CX because there are many flavours of AI inside of the contact center — things like conversational AI chatbots and speech analytics — and there’s a lot going on there.
Thirdly is the concern for cybersecurity as you move into the cloud (and) as you add more capabilities — which is great. But there are a lot of threats around the security side of things that come with that.
If you look at all these three things together, it’s important that there is an ecosystem of vendors that can address them in their totality. No one vendor can fulfill all of these things in their totality, which is what is driving our business.
If you look at our partnerships with Avaya, with Oracle, AWS, Automation Anywhere, Cyara and so on, these are all part of our effort to build that ecosystem. Within it, every partnership brings its unique value, but the best value is when you use it in conjunction.
My favourite analogy on this is that we aspire to be the Master Chef of CX where our partnerships with somebody like Avaya would be the protein in the main course. But to make it a meal, we would also need the entrees, the side dishes and the dessert.
In what way has the Australian market been different?
Arijit Senchaudhuri: Australia is a unique market in the sense it is mature — but at the same time, it isn’t a market that moves very fast, where people go and experiment with everything. We need to be patient with the sales cycle.
We’re placed well because for the first couple of years in this journey we spent a lot of time just talking to customers to understand more about what they are doing. We went to the universities and did some innovation projects with them to understand the customer psyche, and that was a process. But once you get it, then there is no stopping, and our strong results in the third, fourth and fifth years have been because we took time to understand the (contact center) market needs.
For example, in other markets, you might not need a business consulting function, but we meet the customers here, and they say, “Fine, you understand the technology, but I understand the business, and I need somebody who is going to bridge that understanding of the business to what is the tech intervention that is required.”
You can get into a contact center and start talking about speech and chatbots and all of that, but that doesn’t mean much to a customer that is talking about first-call resolution. So, we had to understand and be able to articulate how the tech innovations translate into a better business outcome.
Australia has a skills crisis. How are you internally grappling with that challenge?
Arijit Senchaudhuri: One of the other consequences of remote working is that, now, people are open to accessing the skills they need from anywhere. So if you have the processes in the projects to fully deliver the benefits, you can find anyone from anywhere in the globe to work on it.
Yes, there is a challenge in executing on that, and we are figuring out what is the best way forward. But overall, we have been able to successfully leverage our global workforce and, when we need them, find the right people to solve the bigger challenges.
We have teams in Singapore, the Philippines and in India. We have found that overall, there is that acceptability in Australia that it doesn’t matter where the work is being done as long as it does get done.
Is having somebody fill those skills gaps considered by organizations to be a critical issue in determining which partners to work with?
Arijit Senchaudhuri: Yes, and this has to do with the Australian market always being partial to going the tried-and-tested route of being very sure of what they are doing.
It’s not just the availability of skills, either. It’s the level of those skills that is of primary importance. That’s why, when we build this ecosystem that we have been doing for the last two years, one of the key things has been to not just have our people know each of these products on an individual level but also have a complex understanding and vision for how these things work together.
When we started our partnership with Automation Anywhere, we went to our Avaya customers and created bots using the Automation Anywhere platform, which helped them with the challenges of Level-1 and Level-2 support. That is a classic problem in the large contact centers. For the simple things, when human intervention is required, it slows down responses across the contact center.
But we used the knowledge that we had of both these platforms to create bots that can do that. It’s the kind of thing that you can only deliver effectively when you have a deep understanding of all the technologies, however.
Subscribe to the Daily Tech Insider Newsletter
Stay up to date on the latest in technology with Daily Tech Insider. We bring you news on industry-leading companies, products, and people, as well as highlighted articles, downloads, and top resources. You’ll receive primers on hot tech topics that will help you stay ahead of the game.