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WNS: Thriving in a Climate of Industry Disruption

 

NelsonHall recently attended WNS analyst/adviser events in New York and the U.K., where the theme was “NEXT”, with the sub-text of assisting organizations in “thriving in a state of constant disruption”.

While the trend to digitalization of business processes using technologies such as robotics and cloud, artificial intelligence, and big data is causing concern within some quarters of the BPS industry, WNS is thriving in this new environment. And, while it is reducing the revenues in established footprints, it is certainly creating major new opportunities for digitalization in client organizations.

Complementing Traditional Domain Virtues…

So, how is WNS doing this? Well the company is positioning on driving transformation through its domain knowledge, process expertise, technology and automation, analytics, global delivery capability, and client centricity.

However, while the company is becoming increasingly strong in the development of new digital process models in support of its target industry sectors, WNS’ key differentiators continue to lie in its domain knowledge, where both its go-to-market personnel and its delivery personnel are fully aligned by industry, resulting in a depth of process knowledge in a domain context, and in client centricity. In addition, WNS has not fought shy of developing tier-2 delivery capability in support of its global delivery capability, though as automation takes hold the company is now likely to consolidate into existing locations rather than add new tier 2 cities.

WNS has also been ahead of the curve in building up analytics capability, with analytics accounting for 20% of WNS’ revenues, an increasingly important component of new digital process models. Accordingly, its 2017 analyst events focused extensively on analytics capabilities and WNS TRAC.

….with Platforms, Robotics, Analytics, and Cloud

WNS TRAC (Technology, Robotics, Analytics, and Cloud) is described by WNS as “a consolidated suite of next generation, all-encompassing BPM (for which read BPS rather than workflow) enablement technology solutions”. I’m not sure this is entirely the best phrasing, but in NelsonHall-speak it largely equates to “New Digital Process Models”. However, unlike some BPS firms that offer new digital process models in either client-operated or in BPS form, WNS intends to offer TRAC as part of its BPS engagements only.

TRAC encompasses each of WNS’ industry platforms, such as Verifare for the travel sector, increasingly complementing these with robotics, AI, and analytics. WNS has developed both “industry TRAC solutions” (18 solutions covering the travel, insurance, healthcare, shipping & logistics, utilities, and CPG & retail sectors), and “cross-industry TRAC solutions”, covering CFO (F&A), CPO, standalone robotics & digital automation, and CIS (interaction analytics, speech & text analytics, and omni-channel solutions).

However, while WNS has developed strong platform capability, particularly in areas such as the travel sector, there remains work to be done in fully incorporating cognitive technologies such as machine learning (where WNS is now beginning to partner with MIT Media Lab) to fully build out many of its nascent new digital process models. For example, while WNS has a number of sourcing-related platforms plus spend analytics capability within its “CPO TRAC”, the company has yet to fully incorporate the levels of NLP (in support of supplier and contract management) and cognitive technologies (in support of virtual procurement agents) that are beginning to emerge as part of new digital S2P process models.

Looking to Productize its Analytics Services

WNS continues to win major contracts in analytics, citing recent examples in the pharmaceuticals, FMCG, retail, and insurance sectors. While the company has assisted major organizations in establishing analytics CoEs, and offers an end-to-end analytics capability (from data aggregation, through processing, to visualization and consumption), WNS is increasingly looking to productize its analytics services, often incorporating its Brandttitude and SocioSeer platforms in support of specific use cases such as media spend guidance, price & promotion optimization, and shelf space optimization.

Further Investment in Digital Components Planned

Going forward, WNS will continue to focus on its key industry domains, looking to become “an integral partner to organizations in their digital adoption journey”, and incorporating new TRAC solutions in support of next-gen domain capability. While WNS will aim to develop its own core technology stack, the company will increasingly invest in proprietary tools and platforms and undertake acquisitions in key areas such as digital, RPA, AI, and smart meters.

John Willmott and Rachael Stormonth

As well as including WNS in relevant BPS and RPA/AI research areas, NelsonHall also covers WNS in the NelsonHall Quarterly Update Program - for details contact [email protected]

Comments to this post:

  • Good to see that WNS is raising the bar by introducing their global digitization strategy into South Africa.

    Jul 02, 2017, by Gareth Pritchard

  • Very incisive article - WNS will be a world beater in Digital Transformation.

    Jul 07, 2017, by Ganesh Natarajan

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