By Vanshika Sharma
With a greater emphasis on producing unique designed services, there is a shifting trend toward in-house design departments, which is being accelerated by technology usage.
Tata Elxsi is trying to take the lead by attempting to perfect the blend of design and technology.
“I think the main benefit to our businesses is that we are focusing on growth areas. Five years ago, the focal points in Tata Elxsi were very diverse and focused on three to four areas. Through technology, we help our clients deliver better quality in a new way. We also work closely with our engineering colleagues. From a design point of view, we are operating at the interface between their end customer and effectively consuming that content. We developed the whole series of software platforms, and one of the biggest trends is that as a company, we are rolling some of these platforms across industries,” Nick Talbot, Global Design and Innovation Head at Tata Elxsi, told ETCIO.
To build the quality work for the clients, the company is educating and upskilling workers to optimize current technologies. As a result, each member from the multiple teams is motivated to enhance their skills to grasp the core technologies movement.
“For example, within the design team, we have the initiative to use much more simulation. So, rather than taking the time to build physical prototypes of the products that we design, we are training many more of our people to use digital tools. So that is not just 3D modeling, it is digital twins, it is understanding how a product is going to perform before. We have even built a physical prototype to be faster in the process. Not only does that make our people feel that they are being upskilled because they are, but it also means they are faster and better in the way that we deliver work to clients,” he added.
According to Talbot, the biggest change for the company is the internal working system. Quality control, for example, is crucial for delivering value to customers with the background processes and methodologies. To put this into effect, it has been centralized across the business and enables each employee to access quality implications.
“Like, every single individual has the access to the typical processes that need to be followed, and I do not mean from a bureaucratic point of view, I mean from a project point of view. Previously, that was done on a more Ad hoc basis. So, that is centralized, and then is cascaded to all our colleagues, where they have access to all that information,” he added.
Finding the crux of the problem
“It is not just about the technology, but also giving the experience of the whole product,”’ said Talbot.
One of the hurdles faced by the company is to deliver the right amount of technology at the right level of complexity which saves wastage of money and resources. So, in a bit of an industry term, the idea is to have a minimum viable product, certainly no less, but not too much more than they need.
“That’s where the user research comes into play. The part of the job as a designer, and this is also our mantra, is to humanize technology. So, you can throw as much technology as you want at end customers, either through a brand or direct to that consumer, but unless you understand their lives and unless you deeply understand what is going to keep them engaged with your brand from a technology,” he continued.
Therefore, the data collected is a rich source of information to define what kind of technologies are required at the minimum level. “In many cases, what we see is products that have got features those consumers never use. Sometimes, they do not even know that they are there,” Talbot explained pointing out that Tata Elxsi is assisting businesses in developing and locating the appropriate quantity of technology that is in demand by users.
In addition, he said, “From an end-customer point of view, the digital world allows us access to everybody. So, in a sense, it is the democratization of everything from retail, gaming, socializing, digital healthcare. So, using some of the technologies that we developed in-house, like data analytics and artificial intelligence, we are seeing the new-age digital experience to be more personalized and ever more targeted.”
Expansion of augmented reality and virtual reality team
One of the other initiatives that the company has taken forward in the past year is to expand and build upon the augmented reality and virtual reality teams as they continue to use cutting-edge tools to begin product development.
“As an example, in the broader automotive business, virtual reality is utilized to do product reviews. So, we built our digital twins, which we can enhance, and then a client, even if they may be thousands of miles away, we will be able to review the kind of design work we are doing using a VR headset. So, all these technologies are developing very rapidly, and we need to focus on keeping up with that.”
The new focus
Tata Elxsi is looking at every aspect of life for future growth. The goal is not only to deploy technology but to focus on how they can assist people to manage their lives in a more efficient and waste-free manner in a multi-channel world.
Additionally, “As it is new, the move to the metaverse could provide some interesting new experiences, new ways of working, and certainly new business models. To stay relevant to our customers, I do think that the idea of the metaverse will work. Some people are calling it internet version V2 and it will not happen this year or next year, but at some point, I think this idea of more people interacting in a fully virtual world leads us to think about some interesting ideas on what might be or what it should be. It is a rich area of engagement,” Talbot said.