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HCL's DRYiCE Division Is Building AI Solutions To Usher In Digital Transformation

As business enters the "Consumer Centric" era, solution providers need to enable enterprises to aggregate service catalogs across their IT environments, says DRYiCE's Clayton Ching

As enterprises look to the channel to help drive their digital transformation initiatives, artificial intelligence enabled by cloud is paving the way for them to reap the benefits of Consumer Centric service delivery practices.

HCL Technologies is looking to drive that transformation through its DRYiCE division, which delivers AI-based solutions to simplify IT and digital operations, Clayton Ching, the AI-developer's global head of product management, told attendees of the NexGen Cloud conference in Anaheim, Calif. on Tuesday.

The emergence of "technophile customers" is forcing technology providers to step up their games, Ching said, as those sophisticated buyers look to the advent of smart machines to transform their business operations.

[Related: Analyst Highlights Where SMB-Focused Solution Providers Are Making Money Today]

"Those are the conversations we're having with our customers," Ching said in a session at the event hosted by The Channel Company.

In the early part of the decade, the industry shifted from a "technology-centric" focus based on ITIL V2 practices to a "business-centric" one based on ITIL V3. Everything became a service, but those services were largely siloed, Ching told NexGen attendees.

Now IT practices are shifting again to "consumer centric" practices, where the service catalog "is the center of the business universe," Ching said.

Enterprises are combining their service catalogs, unifying once-disparate systems in their environments, from travel to HR to health care. "These things need to come together," Ching said.

That process yields a portal in some ways reminiscent of Amazon—when customers interact with the e-commerce giant, they don’t experience the many separate systems working in the back end, but one aggregated catalog delivered through a single interface.

"We think that's really the next-gen," Ching added, "where it becomes an Anything-as-a-Service delivery model." And orchestrating that XaaS ecosystem cannot be done without the cloud, he added.

But there are challenges.

One is finding the right tools from a vendor landscape where many are available, often doing the same things.

"The problem is a lot of tools, especially in the services management game, are grossly inefficient," Ching said. "A lot of them were built in the technology centric world, the legacy world back when everything was called e-business."

Business that have achieved the latest transformation are enjoying far-better customer satisfaction ratings, he said.

Danny Perry, chief operations officer at ITCubed, a managed services provider based in Houston, Tex., said Ching's presentation planted the seeds for thinking about what his firm needs to embrace going forward.

"You're trying to create this Everything-as-a-Service," Perry told CRN. "And if you're not doing that, you're going to become legacy yourself."

Even though his company caters to businesses, Ching made a good case for looking at managed services through a consumer focus, Perry said.

The session motivated him to "explore how do we transform all aspects of our business into as-a-service because that's the direction its going, from a consultancy perspective or a products and services perspective," Perry said.

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