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CIO Review >> Magazine >> June - 2015 issue

Ascendum Solutions: Bringing in the Power of IoT to Deliver Decisive Information

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You are out with your family for a weekend trip away from the all the humdrums on your private vehicle with a sole aim of spending some quality time with them. You stop near a place to grab a quick breakfast and your eyes suddenly catch the glimpse of the big “NO-PARKING” board. You circle around the entire area wasting your fuel and time as well only to be disappointed. The frustration level goes high and the energy level starts depleting, thus ruining your entire holiday experience. We all must have confronted such millions of episodes possibly every time we decide to drive with our peers, family or alone. Drivers mostly are not so lucky when it comes to parking, especially in urban areas where traffic congestion is caused mostly by them when trying to find a space for parking. Because of the time wasted for parking, drivers become frustrated and tend to violate the parking laws. Everywhere we can see parking disputes and violations creating horrors in the streets. This equally creates disturbance for traffic police who monitor no-parking zones, standing and traffic violations. Added to this, small and big local shops’ earnings get affected with the availability and non-availability of parking. However, the arrival of smart and connected technology products has forced the technology vanguards to reshape nearly everything that has brought in some serious impediments into our lives. In parallel, the phrase “internet of things” has arisen to reflect the growing number of smart, connected products and highlight the new opportunities” has driven many intuitive brains and companies to actively take part in connected and smart revolution.
Unleashing some of the new opportunities provided by IoT platforms and social media, Ascendum, headquartered in Ohio, United States, with its offshore development center in the heart of India's "Silicon Valley," Bangalore, engages itself in providing greater visibility of parking places to reduce traffic congestion, carbon footprint, and build strong partnerships between people and businesses. Ascendum together with Streetline Inc. provides parking analytics and solutions that help to manage and monitor the parking infrastructure. The company has developed widgets that can be embedded with any website to show the parking spots in the nearby locations. This integration indicates parking availability by turning sensor data into actionable information, and enabling intelligent decision-making using that data. Ascendum makes sure that the widget brings in better visibility to thousands of small businesses and customers searching for parking and local commerce. Sharing an example of how radically IoT is reshaping our lives, Uday Kumar, Vice President Sales at Ascendum Solutions, quotes, “When you are driving in a particular area, you start getting messages about products, shops and delicacies that interest you a lot along with proper guidance with regards to parking availability. Through your social media profile, IoT addresses questions like, “How to sell”, “Where to get this particular product?’ indirectly resulting in huge productivity gains and growth across the economy. This is one out of many promises being delivered by IoT”.

Integrating IoT into businesses
The staggering statistics of IoT by IDC have revealed that the global IoT market would hit $7.1 trillion by 2020 and Ascendum being one of the early adopters of IoT has already begun to integrate IoT into businesses to effectively connect smart applications/devices with human lives. As most of the devices communicate with each other, their communication generates huge amount of data. Businesses need this data or information to derive insights which can help them solve business quagmires effectively. Ascendum’s strong penchant towards cutting edge applications in the IoT space and expertise to build right combination of Strategy, People, Processes, Technology, and Infrastructure has successfully turned the company into one of the vanguards of technology who focus on helping companies get insights from information acquired by devices or machines. “We at Ascendum consider ourselves to be very fortunate and visionary enough to embrace and accept Internet of Things as a major business enabler”, says Kris Nair, President and CEO, Ascendum. Ascendum is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Vora Group - a Cincinnati based, privately held equity group that specializes in building innovative IT companies worldwide.Built over 21 years, the Vora Group has an impeccable reputation for its integrity, quality, business savvy, and speed of execution.

Reaching out to Customers in the Right way
When a retail company grows in size, no matter what kind of infrastructure, operations or technology the company has, its agility starts getting compromised due to inadequate strategies to influence customers. These predicaments hinder marketing operations of the company and impact customer retention big time. Ascendum takes aid of its retailing solutions to help retailers use marketing powers effectively to reach out to their customers with real-time offers. Ascendum’s retailing solutions platform - ZINGO embeds into mobile apps and kiosks, thereby generating real-time offers when consumers are ready to buy. It functions by drilling down the customer’s buying habits, likes and dislikes with information gathered from their social graph. “Thus it helps to create personalized, digital shopping experiences that are irresistible to your brand's loyal followers”, adds Uday.

Delivering Social Intelligence to Enable Smarter Decisions
Across the world, there are about 1.5 billion conversations an hour on social media platforms. Social media users share million pieces of content, information, videos and images every second. Organizations have started to analyze the data sourced from the social media platforms to know how its customers think, want and behave. By identifying their interest and channeling the data, organizations want to gain competitive advantage and incorporate huge value. However, they grapple to understand how they can get the right information that will help them get ahead of the competition. When armed with Zakta - a social intelligence platform, an organization can extract insights, understanding and interests that can create huge productivity. Zakta combines the power of the web, social media, content, curation, collaboration tools and organizational architecture to help make sense of it all. “The promise of Zakta is to get qualitative information and embark on deep learning technology which involves a lot of intelligence acquired from smart and semantic technology”, adds Kris. Zakta further integrates email, important documents and other informative platforms used by an employee to enable a 360-degree view of the information related to the employee.

Making a Difference
Standing strong upon the cornerstone of two simple yet powerful words, “Rise Together”, Ascendum’s approach to transform businesses is infallible. The company’s strength lies in its substantial and well-maintained partnerships with Client Companies, customers and seasoned team members. “Our customers’ contributions have helped us to build and expand our business and with our collective efforts we make the difference in this competitive landscape”, says Kris. Through a progression of investment, the company has planned to build Center of Excellence in Bangalore and Cincinnati with the aim to set up end-to-end infrastructure and design rapid prototypes for smart cities, manufacturing and healthcare divisions. The company intends to spend $2 Million in this year to bolster and develop its IoT practices and offerings. While relentlessly working towards achieving quality, creativity and speed, Ascendum has successfully reaped extensive benefits for its customers and allowed faster innovations. The organization anticipates tremendous change across all Fortune 500 companies and expects them to incorporate and build new technology to direct the change in a productive way. Ascendum has already invested significantly to train people from local communities and give them a chance to contribute immensely to the burgeoning IoT sector. Helping companies rise to new heights, the company continues to meet the specific business needs/challenges of customers and deliver exceptional results.