Ninestars & Piql announce their strategic partnership

Bangalore, June 6, 2018 – Building on the brand’s DNA of innovation and furthering its commitment to be the leading end-to-end provider of Digitization, Ninestars has announced a partnership with Piql, a high-performance unique storage solution provider.

Ninestars, a global leader in Digitization and Media monitoring services, today announced a new partnership with digital and physical storage solution provider Piql that will provide secure availability of digital content. Integrating Piql’s digital and physical storage solutions within its suite of Digitization and Digital services for the newspaper and publishing industry, Ninestars will be able to offer end-to-end digitization and storage solutions for its customers to help them become truly digital institutions.

Co-founder and Managing Director of Ninestars, Gokul Krishnan said, “Our first priority are our customers, and we are always looking for ways to improve our customer services. This partnership with Piql, will help us extend our reach and allow us to provide advanced end-to-end Digitization capabilities for our customers.” The companies will collaborate to deliver unique Digitization and storage solution reducing intricacy, optimizing operational agility, and improving security.

Piql, the leading provider of data archiving solutions, offers organizations with the most reliable, secure archive on an eternal data carrier (piqlFilm). “We are excited to offer our products to publishers and Newspapers, and thrilled to be partnered with Ninestars. By keeping data offline on a future-proof storage medium, we aim to preserve the cultural heritage of the world.” said Rune Bjerkestrand, Managing Director of Piql.

This flagship offline-online solution allows for 500+ years of complete security, reduced storage cost, guaranteed authenticity and future accessibility. Piql also offers storage in the Arctic World Archive—a safe and secure location to preserve digital memory, in a world where few places are safe from natural and man-made disasters.

This natural partnership will benefit clients of both companies, expanding the services available to offer a complete preservation solution for the publishing and newspaper industry.

About Piql

Headquartered in Drammen (Norway), Piql offers Digital Storage, Vault Storage, Restoration, and other related services through an extensive network of trusted partners.With an ambition to reshape digital preservation with a holistic approach, Piql’s solutions are designed for maintaining the integrity of customers’ data whilst ensuring they can be reproduced at some point in the future.

 

About Ninestars

Founded in 1999, Ninestars is an IP-driven Digital transformation industry leader. Ninestars helps Media, Publishing, Communication & PR, Government, BFSI and other allied industries to redefine consumer experiences, strengthen their digital core, embrace digital transformation, and realize the full potential of their content.

Leveraging its two decades of expertise & technology, Ninestars has been able to take leadership positions in Digitization, Media Intelligence, and Digital space. With a top-notch R&D division, Ninestars has brought about path-breaking solutions resulting in filing of six patents.

Ninestars becomes the first Indian company to achieve PRISM International PRIVACY+ certificate.

Bangalore, Feb 18, 2019 – Ninestars, a global leader in digital content transformation solutions, today announced that it has attained the PRIVACY+ certification by Professional Records & Information Services Management (PRISM) International. Ninestars is the first Indian company to be accredited with the PRIVACY+ certificate and only the second in Asia. The certification further demonstrates Ninestars’ commitment to security and privacy of customer data, a critical requirement more now than ever.

Owned and administered by PRISM International, PRIVACY+ is an international certification program allowing participants to demonstrate their commitment to ensuring the privacy of customer data. Only 34 organizations worldwide have achieved this certification.

Regarding the achievement of PRIVACY+ Certification and becoming the first Indian company to do so, the managing director of Ninestars, Gokul Krishnan said, “Protecting the data of our partners is our top priority and achieving this certificate solidifies our commitment of protecting the physical storage and handling of hard-copy records of our clients. With this certificate, we want our stakeholders around the world to both understand and embrace, our commitment to security.”

“Commenting on the achievement for the company’s press release, PRISM International CEO Bob Johnson said, “By achieving PRIVACY+ Certification, Ninestars has demonstrated extraordinary operational excellence and joins an elite global network of information management firms.”

Johnson added, “Ninestars recognizes that consumers benefit by third-party validation of service provider compliance. Under the current climate for data protection, customers’ liability is too great to be validating vendor qualifications without rigorous, audited verification.”

Ninestars has obtained PRIVACY+ Certification by complying with Data Privacy and Record Management requirements (as specified by PRISM) and by adhering to its prerequisite of obtaining SSAE 18 SOC 2 report by a certified CPA Auditor. To complete the certification, Ninestars underwent a thorough, company-wide audit, which reviewed company policies, procedures, employment records, equipment, and security. The audit examined critical areas of data security including building facility access, vendor screening, and employee background checks and drug testing.

About PRISM

PRISM International®, a division of the International Secure Information Governance and Management Association™ (i-SIGMA™), is the global body for companies providing any form of records information management services.

It serves as the educational and oversight authority for service provides offering Record Management services, and it is in that capacity that it offers its PRIVACY+ Certification program. PRIVACY+ verifies the integrity of service providers data security and financial systems, as well as their alignment with applicable regulatory. Know more here: https://prismintl.org

About Ninestars

Ninestars is a content technology company that helps organizations transform content to its true digital value. From digitization to data augmentation and analysis, our solutions are differentiated by smart technology – automation, AI, cloud-based platforms, and data science – all tuned for high performance in content-intensive businesses. Know more here: http://ninestars.in

By consistently focusing and evaluating itself against the most relevant, global standards & certification (ISO 9001:2015, ISO 2700:2013, CMMI Dev, SSAE 18 & PRIVACY+), Ninestars strives to help our clients achieve more efficient operations, improved performance, greater reach, and increased impact.

Accelerators for Digital Transformation

For the past couple of years we have seen organizations battling with change when it comes to digital revelations. We all have come to a stage where it is fairly obvious that accepting new technologies is not the challenge but the real struggle lies in incorporating that in your organizational DNA. This is highly proven when we see companies who started early and thus are now reaping the benefits.

So the real question looming is that what an organization can do to accelerate digital transformation in their workplaces. A few months ago Gartner specified 3 scale accelerators, which can catalyze digital transformations,

Digital Dexterity
Focusing on network effect technologies
Commercialized Digital Platforms
Let’s have a closer look at all of them,

Digital Dexterity:

Today’s business landscape calls for quick decision making, optimization of capacities, rapid change etc. all of which can only come by building a high performance digital workplace.

Digital dexterity essentially means building a flexible and agile workforce, which is motivated to put in extra efforts for your organization. Digital dexterity can be built by encouraging employee autonomy and taking efforts in creating a consumerized work environment. By providing employees with freedom rather than a controlled relationship, you get a motivated workforce, which voluntarily adds to the effectiveness of the business. Digital dexterity does not stand for a technical strategy but a long-term organizational plan and thus requires collaboration and coordination of all the departments. This will also facilitate employee’s voices being heard and quality contributions.

If you want to build an agile workforce you need to have a dynamic approach towards the way business is done. Creating a roadmap towards goals and keeping room for reassessment when those are achieved is important. This will exhibit increased adaptability. Last but definitely not the least, you need to drive your decision making based on data and have fixed metrics for what you need to know at all times. Keeping a track of these will ensure you fail fast and bounce back faster.

Building on network effects:

History proves that network effect technologies have come in to disrupt and as they have built on provided tremendous opportunities for growth. Digital transformation cannot be achieved if an organization is unable to exploit these network effect technologies as they come and creating value streams around them. The network effect technologies doing rounds, which an organization needs to look for, are, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, APIs, Edge Computing, etc.

The more tightly woven business processes you build around these network effect technologies the more you have to gain from it. IoT is making the impossible possible now by connecting things which were never considered a source of information. Gaining insights from inanimate objects real time is pushing the business product portfolios to the extremes. Combining this with AI and machine learning, business functions are getting a human nature leading to various iterative functions getting automated. If we observe the companies, which have successfully built on network effects, we can say that this is just the beginning for them as they are investing in tomorrow. Trends like Edge Computing, which have pushed the ‘Cloud’ on a backseat are already creating new revenue streams for organizations like DELL.

The CIO’s and CDO’s need to scan through their resource kitty and take calls on getting the right people and systems onboard to make the best of these network effects if they want their enterprises to transform on a digital note.

Commercialized Digital Platforms

Digital platforms serve as a tool to transform the customer experiences, operational processes, and the business models of enterprises. Digital platform uses are not limited just for launching products or services but is now serving as a tool of connecting to customers in moments and providing with high-level customer experience. It is essential for companies to not look at investment in IT as costs but look at it as investment because if you want to initiate digital transformation for your company you need to put your money in digital.

We are living in the Experience economy and creating unique experiences for your customers via these platforms at any given time is going to earn you loyalty. Incorporating high end algorithms and AI with your digital platforms can enable your systems to learn with iterative approach and assist in making everything data-enabled and ensure higher level of accuracy in serving personalized solutions to your customers.

Source: Gartner

Your insights are important to us! Do you have any comments, ideas or questions that you would like to share with us? Please feel free to send us a message. We would love to hear from you! Get in touch with us and see what we can do for your business!

Centre Stage – Executive in the spotlight

This series has been especially developed to give you greater insight into our leadership team, introduce you to the people who lead our organization, understand their vision, and know what makes them tick.

Chinni Krishnan, our COO, shares his thoughts with us on where our company is headed. In his capacity as the Chief Operating Officer, Chinni Krishnan leads the 1500 plus on site team of Ninestars. He oversees all aspects of strategic planning, asset management, and long-term growth strategy. Mr. Chinni acts as a liaison between Ninestars and our clients for quality assurance. He also champions the revenue driven initiatives. What he loves most about Ninestars is its “human capital.” Chinni’s focus is to make the staff feel valuable. He works to help them meet and surpass their organizational goals

Q. What are your responsibilities as a COO of Ninestars?

A. My primary responsibility as a COO of Ninestars is to develop and implement a strategic plan for rapid scaling of operational capacity. We do it through automation, process improvements while maintaining high quality standards, rapid response times, reliability, and cost effective operations.

Q. What is it like managing operations for a company like Ninestars given that we deliver different types of services (Digitization, Media Monitoring, etc.)?

A. Fundamentally, operations involve planning, organizing, coordinating, and controlling all aspects of project lifecycle. What we do differ from project to project and from vertical to vertical and is highly customized as each requirement is unique.

In Digitization, we deal with sensitive source material such as fragile old hard copies, microfilms, out of prints books and rare manuscripts that require specialized techniques to make them ‘digital ready’. Even though, the deliverables may not be time critical but they need careful attention as they are mostly considered heritage that is worth preserving for posterity. We ensure that Global digitization and metadata standards are adhered to in every project that we undertake.

In Media Monitoring, time is of the essence. We extract millions of pieces of content, categorize them, analyze, and tag them for delivery based on client specification and standards. We use technology-driven processes and rely on sophisticated statistical methods to ensure accuracy of the output with a quick turnaround time. For this, we have specialized offshore and near-shore team working 24/7, 365 days.

Q. What is an example of a successful implementation you have made towards efficiency?

A. One significant example would be process enhancements that helped us build adequate capacity to exceed customer’s expectations. For instance, for a European customer, we had to digitize at a whopping rate of 50000 pages per day to accommodate their requirement. In order to efficiently digitize yet meet all required standards we implemented highly automated cloud-based solution. This helped improved the productivity to such an extent that we were able to achieve the target ahead of schedule. I believe efficiency is a continuous process and we bring in innovative methods and fine-tune the process continually.

Q. How do you encourage your team to focus on improvement?

A. Teamwork fosters a cooperative atmosphere where employees have a positive attitude and feel they are part of a team and invest more time and energy into their job. As a COO, I instill a “we’re in this together” spirit among the team by sharing important company information, newsworthy updates from client meetings, or providing updates of recent meetings. This ensures that the team is aligned towards the same goal.

One of my primary roles is to assess whether the team has the resources necessary to meet our customers’ expectations. I work to make sure that they understand the requirement in its entirety. I also evaluate ideas by their importance, feasibility, and positive impact. On a regular basis, I track and measure progress with our team.

I try to promote teamwork by recognizing employees who are willing to help others. When employees trust each other and rely upon each other to accomplish tasks more efficiently, they are more likely to be engaged at work and less likely to quit.

Q. How do you deal with cost-reduction and time-savings?

A. Cost cutting measures are usually the most dreaded topic in most management meetings.

I would first look at achieving efficiency before trying to cut cost, as they both work hand in hand. Efficiency is the extent to which time, effort, or cost is well used for the intended purpose. Savings can only be achieved if there is a harmony between process efficiency and time management.

Firstly, I find out the actual cost drivers impacting the process then try to identity the inefficiencies such as wasted time and resources, and then gradually and effectively, create a new strategy to reduce these to bare minimum. My main aim is to limit the organizational inefficiencies and bring it down to zero.

Q. What is the single biggest problem that you see in operations departments, either external or your own?

A. External, mainly the cost and Internal would be attrition.

Q. You have a reputation for customer service. Where does that come from?

A. I always ensure that we provide high quality services and never compromise quality for cost. Customers like to know that they will receive only premium products and services from Ninestars.

Honesty and transparency are two qualities that can deeply impact a business. Being transparent means being upfront with all customers about fees, procedures, service stipulations and more. An organization can keep its customers involved by creating forums through which they can voice their opinions about our services.

Q. What are your short term and long-term goals for Ninestars operations?

A. Short Term – Identify the performance blockers in the organization and try to equip the team suitably to improve productivity, accuracy, and performance standards.

Long Term – Building a world-class team to deliver value added services to all our customers. One example of it would be the creation of 200 FTE capacity in Sofia, Bulgaria to deliver analytics services to our customers. This center can handle up to 50 languages including European.

Q.What qualities do you think make a good COO? What innate qualities have helped you succeed?

A. A good COO should fill in leadership gaps, fix big issues, and execute core strategy in concert with senior leadership. Most importantly, a COO needs to be an effective communicator and collaborator.

Meeting with people at every level and asking the right questions has helped me identify issues that are performance blockers. By talking to people at various levels of the organization, I have gained insight into decision-making processes. I’m transparent and open. I always solicit feedback, and have an open-door policy.

Q. What are some valuable attributes entry-level workers should spend more time developing?

A.

  • Develop the determination to work harder than most and make sure things get done.
  • Shoulder responsibilities and be accountable.
  • To be the greatest achiever, stay focused on the goals and be consistent in your efforts.
  • The most important attributes to cultivate is honesty and integrity.
  • Develop the passion that will help you succeed.
  • Work to communicate and pay attention to the communicators.
  • Trust yourself, you’re already one step closer to success.

Your insights are important to us! Do you have any comments, ideas or questions that you would like to share with us? Please feel free to send us a message. We would love to hear from you! Get in touch with us and see what we can do for your business!

Strategies for Data-driven Organizations

Time and again, it has been said that, to survive in today’s business environment companies should target their efforts in becoming data driven. A vast majority or organizations have actually taken cognizance of this and are striving to become conscious data-driven enterprise. Although many organizations think of themselves as data-driven, many lack the level of integration and change in organizational culture that is a requisite in organizations. This is the primary reason why companies are nowadays struggling with data overload & inefficiency in using the data accessible to them.

You have data, now what?

The trend of investment in big data and analytics has been swelling up with private equity and venture capitalists flooding the money in. But, just accessibility to data is not enough, the data acquired has to be put to use by constructive decision-making. Thus, there has to be effective strategy making at the other end of the spectrum for all the data driven organizations to exploit the potential that the data actually holds. While creative channels for acquiring data are in abundance now there is a need for quality sorting and getting crunched insights even when the data is from disparate sources.

Consider this as a long-term organizational goal to be 100% data intensive but in order to achieve that goal you need to ensure that you have the following ready,

You have connected all your complex data sources
You have the ability to share data swiftly via various dashboards, storyboards, applications etc.
You have data warehousing abilities (this is critical as the mass of data you will have to store in near future is only going to increase).
Analytical tools are in alignment with your managerial strength.
Capacity to crunch data and provide business intelligence at ease.
If you do haven’t ticked these boxes then every time you take a step forward to utilize the data for more you will be restricted by one thing or the other. If you have ticked the above boxes then congratulations, you are on the right path on using your data well but in order to do more it’s essential that you do more with data.

Strategizing with data

Effective strategizing with the data can transform the way business is done and speed up the problem finding and problem solving processes for companies. McKinsey & Company tells us that companies that have adopted data-driven strategies enjoy 5 percent higher productivity and 6 percent higher profits than their competitors. This proves that strategy making based on data can give an immense boost to your organizational performance. Now let’s have a look at what all can be done on an enterprise level to capitalize on the data.

1. Smashing the Silos:
After you have sourced the data from various channels, it so happens that there is departmentalization of the data, which leads to creation of data silos. This restricts an organization’s capacity to make the most of this data. To inhibit this from happening it’s essential that we break down these silos. For doing this, it’s essential that all the data sharing platforms are integrated and all teams have access to all types of data at any given time. For example, if the marketing team has access to sales insights, it will assist them in coming up with better marketing content to push the product portfolio. Similarly if the operations team has access to marketing & sales insights then it can implement production schedules by understanding which products are in demand more which in turn can help save on the inventory pile up and guarantee the product being at the right place at the right time. All of the raw and unstructured data has tremendous consumer behavioral insights which if considered while creating the business strategy of a company the results obtained would be tremendous.

2. Creating Analytical Models:
With the uncertainty of business outcomes at an all-time high, managers need to work with analytics models that can forecast and optimize these outcomes to the fullest. Once you have identified a business opportunity you need to build a model around it so as to increase the performance levels of that venture. Creating models based on a hypothesis and statistically reviewing it helps managers understand the crux of the data faster and assists in gaining actionable insights, which then enhance their decision-making ability. Clarity of thought acts as a byproduct here but doing any modeling exercise requires extensive investment in terms of time and can put practicality at risk. Thus, executives need to understand which model can serve them the most with the least amount of complexity.

3. Leveraging Capabilities:
Achieving and maintaining a level of balance between your human capital and technical capabilities is paramount. Only when you have achieved this can you then leverage the potential they carry. It is not pragmatic to bring expensive data driving systems onboard when you haven’t got the human resource with the right skill set to drive it. One of the primary goals can thus be working towards building a stable bench of analytics professional within your company, which can be backed with continuous training and development to maintain the efficiency. Creating platforms, which can be easily accessed by the employees to draw and use data, is essential. It calls for an advanced backend infrastructure and improved front-end capabilities like report generation and visualization. Once the above is done and your data strategy is aligned with the business strategy then the opportunities for value creation are endless.

4. Agility + Security + Quality:
Failure in creating a feeling of data drive in your organization and a poor data governance structure can turn out to be catastrophic for any enterprise. To protect your company from this it’s imminent that 1) there is a clear definition of business outcomes known to all and 2) clarity in terms of accountability i.e. there should be no miscommunication in understanding the ownership of work. Integrating business workflows with employees accompanied with a strong compliant data governance structure will only certify higher efficiency for any organization. The right amount of vigilance also keeps quality of work in check and maintains discipline.

Conscious efforts in incorporating good data driven practices in your organizational culture will serve the organization in the long run and increase the adaptability to any changes in the near future.

Your insights are critically important to us! Do you have any comments, ideas or questions that you would like to share with us? Please feel free to send us a message. We would love to hear from you! Get in touch with us and see what we can do for your business!