Emerging Enterprise Technologies and their Applications

This article first appeared on the equalinnovation.com website. 

Equal Innovation partnered with Infosys to scout emerging technologies in the areas of information technology, artificial intelligence and automation.  Equal Innovation scouted startups launched in 2021 across universities, startup accelerators and federal labs to identify research breakthroughs, early-stage innovations, recently launched startups, US-based SBIR award winners and others that fit the collaboration needs of Infosys and the corporate clients that it serves.  

Infosys’s information technology needs, and those it will share with clients, represent a change in the business process, consulting and IT support sectors.  Rather than focus on business processing systems, Infosys is looking for emerging startups in areas such as artificial intelligence, automation and productivity that represent the next generation needs of their corporate clients and their own product development.

Through Equal Innovation’s partnership with Infosys, we were able to identify over 60 new startups for collaboration.  These startups are identified below and in our database.

Overview of Infosys and emerging IT sector

As technologies like cloud computing, AI and SaaS become more pervasive in everyday life, technology companies need to keep up and keep innovating. Infosys is a global professional services firm that helps businesses to implement intelligent digital operations in their corporate processes. Infosys has recently started focusing on areas such as AI with its Infosys Cora platform to provide its consulting services.

Infosys is also a large player in the business process outsourcing industry, where it has leveraged cheap labor costs and India’s huge talent pool of skilled, English-speaking professionals. Some positive trends in the Indian BPO space are that there has been a 54% hike in revenue for the industry from 2020. Indian companies also handle around 56% of the global BPO business, of which Infosys is one of the largest.  Globally, Fortune 500 companies relied on Infosys and others to quickly adapt to pandemic conditions and rapid growth of e-commerce over the last year.  

Tech startups are always improving business processes and operations.  Infosys has asked Equal Innovation to identify those startups with new technologies that are relevant to their offerings. There is a constant need for tech scouting, experimentation, and integration. Although Indian IT’s core competencies and strengths have attracted significant investment from major countries and Infosys has found success in this space there is a great need for diversification, to stay ahead of competition and ride the new wave of emerging technology it is imminent that Infosys diversifies its offerings and innovate in areas of Blockchain, AI and cloud computing technologies through R&D in order to deliver differentiated services.

A key area in which there has been a lot of activity is the AI frontier. Infosys’s Cora seems to be implemented in several services. Cora’s ability to automate and improve business processes while generating crucial insights that enable winning customer experiences and better decision making are a step in the direction of this much needed diversification and innovation. 

Examples of Innovation identified on the database

There are 64 startups identified for potential partnership with Infosys; diversified across several areas. The most promising areas in which these are concentrated are AI technologies, cloud computing and AR/VR technologies with the fourth category including start-ups ranging from e-commerce ventures to digital and data driven solutions.  

Cloud computing is a technology reshaping data storage because of its low cost, rapid scalability, and elasticity. 

​​Decision Lens is a cloud-based strategy execution solution that enables a comprehensive business process for strategically identifying, prioritizing, analyzing, and measuring which projects and resources will deliver the highest returns. Through advanced analytics and flexible, custom visualizations and scenarios, organizations can make selections and immediately see the trade-offs to move forward with confidence. Decision Lens improves the speed and quality of prioritization and resource optimization, while maximizing portfolio outcomes. Decision Lens combines valuable organizational data with experts’ judgement to establish priorities in an efficient, intelligent framework. Decision Lens streamlined and automated solution saves organizations countless hours and dollars while simultaneously providing the optimal value for investments. 

Streamlining data storage and moving traditional business to digitally driven ones is Infosys’s expertise and a way of achieving these is combining AI and machine learning with cloud-based technologies.

Tech-X Corporation believes that high performance computing HPC) plays a key role in materials science, climate research, energy technology and others. Artificial intelligence AI) and machine learning ML) are currently used for pattern recognition, email filtering, predictive analytics and others. However, recent surveys have shown an under-representation by companies that could leverage HPC technologies. One reason is that simulation codes of interest can be complex to build for local compute clusters. A second reason is that moving away from local workstations to take advantage of HPC resources can be filled with difficulties particularly for small and medium commercial users. Tech X will develop an easy-to-use product ’Chemistream’ that streamlines access to a variety of material properties databases some funded by DOE) to enable artificial intelligence AI) and machine learning ML) to take advantage of HPC cloud computing resources. Simulations of advanced materials and energy technologies speed development of novel products and the identification of new domestic energy sources and will help US industries compete and be more efficient. Better utilization of cloud computing resources will promote development of better computing infrastructure generally and broaden the use of DOE funded codes and databases. 

AI is another area that has huge implementation potential in Infosys’s business verticals. With the applications of AI in the IT becoming more widespread by the day Infosys needs to capitalise on this opportunity to interweave AI components into its services.

An example of a startup from this area is Geometric Data Analytics. The startup outline a proposed mathematical framework for the detection of and adaptation to novelty in online AI systems. This framework is founded on two existing theories in which GDA personnel have particular talents: shape analytics and reinforcement learning. Phase I is dedicated to performing the research necessary to develop this framework. Phase II would involve developing the algorithmic design into a computational tool for specific applications that offer promising commercial development and/or future government use. The entire framework is sensible in any context that satisfies the following general assumptions. There is an AI system acting as one or more agents, taking actions in response to observations. Each observation can be evaluated to a “reward” value, providing the agent with positive or negative feedback from its actions.  The agent can store and access records of previous observations and actions and resulting post-hoc observations, to develop predictive models.  Each observation can be placed in a metric space, so that there is a notion of the distance between any two observations. These assumptions are met by many practical examples, such as autonomous driving, tracking, DCI (detection, classification, and identification), and automated cyber-defense.

TCG, Inc. is another startup that is developing sophisticated Machine Learning and AI driven technologies self-coding technologies which make otherwise long and expensive tasks quicker and easier. This start-up has technologies has great potential to be applied to Infosys’s services.  TCG, Inc. seek to incorporate AI/ML to offload tedious cognitive or physical tasks. Their innovation is self-coding software that reacts to business changes as they happen at low effort and cost. It enables code reuse across the enterprise by referencing code from a common database, so any change can be immediately applied across all applications where it is used. They propose combining tools and techniques currently in use and creating a machine learning foundation that applies algorithms to generate a significant proportion of the code, as well as algorithms aimed at security, usage, and numerous other currently manual efforts. Since developers need to produce less code to generate working software, systems can be developed more quickly, maintained more easily, and are less expensive. Data gathered on applications constructed with the tool and data points collected from legacy applications are stored and updated in real-time. This provides insight into all software projects from a central console / dashboard. From the centralized management portal, it’s possible to push updates to multiple projects simultaneously.

With the Covid-19 pandemic completely changing our outlooks on how important virtual functions are to business operations AR/VR technologies are now more important than ever. Application for these technologies is immense and as customers demand a more immersive experience AR/VR technologies are the solution to this problem.

An example from the SBIR winners in the AI/VR space is Corvid Technologies LLC. The US Navy seeks an Augmented Reality (AR) solution to support maintenance and operations. The desired Job Performance Aid (JPA) will consist of a Head Mounted Device (HMD) and training content which can be used with any HMD or other AR enabled device of the Navy’s choice. The JPA will facilitate the education and assistance of crew members for maintenance and operations. This solution will convey expert knowledge through video recordings, animated 3D AR animations, and interactive AR cues for a variety of tasks for use both on and off the ship. Corvid Technologies’ proposed solution will not only achieve all desired capabilities, but also provide additional benefits to crew members for training and maintenance procedures while supporting individual as well as collective training. Content is generated using proven technology platforms and educational methodologies, including content scaffolding, to expedite content creation and maximize engagement and knowledge retention.

Virtualitics, Inc. is another very interesting start-up in the AR/VR space that could be a beneficial addition to Infosys’s portfolio of products. The planning and successful execution of all US military missions and engagements depend on participants being adequately prepared and having accurate and real-time information about the proposed “theater of operation”. Unforeseen developments and conditions take time to address during a mission/engagement, and time is crucial for the successful execution of the stated mission objectives. As a result, it is imperative that personnel have access to as much information and training prior to the mission itself. The virtual environment allows remote participants to train and evaluate the personnel, leading to better preparation, and even evaluation post mission or training. The Virtualitics commercial software is designed to promote intuitive and insightful remote collaboration by placing users in a shared virtual space. This customizable space allows many collaborators to view the same visualizations a fully interactive environment. Virtualitics would like to adapt this tool for Navy purposes, and proposed to demonstrate the feasibility of displaying georeferenced data on terrain maps. Using obj files of terrain models generated from drone imagery, Virtualitics proposes to create an interactive, sandbox style map where stakeholders can plan missions and evaluate personnel, and then disseminate the information, all in the virtual space.

An example in the last category is Delloop, which is a central hub for all e-commerce customer service. Buying online is as much about service as it is about quality products and a fair price. Customers want to be welcomed, they want help if they need it, and they want to be engaged.

Delloop’s bi-directional communication channel enables customers and retailers to stay connected. One single channel to communicate with all Retailers. This pioneering Engagement as a service ensures that everyone in the e-commerce loop has the vital communication tools, they need to enjoy an exceptional experience.

The last category also includes startups like Ethos which provides sustainability or impact related data for investors for financial well-being. The problem is that consumers/investors are concerned about sustainability but no source of data that is accessible for financial well-being. The solution Ethos proposes is that they provide the information in a consumer-friendly way-greenhouse emissions/impact related data and rolls that into ratings across 45 causes. Private/public-financial advisors will pay them a monthly fee to help their portfolio clients make more ethical financial investments.

CONCLUSION

The last 30 years has seen an explosion in information technology solutions alongside the growth of the Internet.  Companies are increasingly automating and transforming their organizations to be digital, and they are relying on companies like Infosys.  Equal Innovation was proud to partner with Infosys to identify the most promising information technologies launched in 2021 at universities, accelerators and research labs.   We focused on technologies that will be useful for Infosys to provide to its clients, or to better serve its clients.  There are thousands of information technology startups, but the key for us was to identify those serving the goals and products of Infosys.

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