The Path Ahead: Enhancing Your Business by Incorporating Emerging Technologies

Evidenced by Gartner's finding that 89% of Board Directors say digital is embedded in all business growth strategies, we are currently in an era where innovation opportunities seem boundless, and the artificial intelligence revolution continues to grow in every field. The rapid advancement of technology, in such a disruptive manner, is paving the way for the emergence of new job sectors, new needs, and new challenges.

Transforming or expanding well-established systems, business processes, and infrastructures, which have been in place for years, is not always straightforward. Gartner also found that only 35% of board directors report that they have achieved or are on track to achieving digital transformation goals.

In this context, the ability to adapt our processes and architectures modularly and expand them swiftly plays a crucial role in future-proofing success, as well as keeping up with the increasingly significant importance of user experience. While staying updated on technologies is essential, merging these developments with real-life scenarios to create value and ensuring that this generated value keeps pace with evolving agendas are equally important.

Therefore, we will discuss the impacts and potentialities of next-generation and disruptive technologies in three distinct domains relevant to innovative enterprises: sustainability, e-commerce and business infrastructure.

Stay Ahead in Sustainability: Innovative Technologies Shaping the Future of Environmental Preservation

A priority of innovation is sustainability as the importance of efforts in this area is only growing. We are currently in a phase where organizations are closely monitoring and should continue to do so, their activities in this field. While Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations are being evaluated on three different dimensions, each of these aspects is becoming more detailed, partly driven by the regulations established and published by each country in this field. Sustainability agendas, which need to be constantly assessed and have measurable impacts, hold great importance in various aspects such as production, procurement, sales, quality/maintenance, and human resources processes.

SAP, being at the core of these processes, holds a prominent and highly impactful position. It offers great flexibility both in terms of managing reporting and improving processes from a sustainability perspective. In this rapidly evolving agenda, there are two projects in particular that we are currently executing in a fast and implementable manner.

Firstly, as NTT DATA, we have developed e-solutions in various fields in Turkey, which not only work on SAP but also integrate with SAP, utilizing disruptive technologies to make significant contributions to the environment. Over the past 12 months, 25 of our clients that use our solutions, have collectively saved 1000 metric tons of paper. This achievement translates into significant environmental benefits such as the conservation of 3960 metric tons of wood, the saving of 28 billion BTU of energy, the prevention of 8910 cubic meters of carbon dioxide emissions, and the conservation of 89 million liters of water.

Taking rapid actions in scenarios like this, which have never been more critical, is not as challenging as once thought, and it can be developed in a highly flexible manner.

Secondly, it is important to establish mechanisms for tracking carbon emissions and feeding our strategies and decisions in this area. Again, NTT DATA Turkey has implemented Sun Textile, which has been identified as a leading project in the region, to work in direct integration with SAP data with the Microsoft Sustainability Manager. Additionally, it enables tracking of subcontractors and suppliers in outsourcing scenarios. Carbon emissions from subcontractors and suppliers are calculated based on relevant production loads, and KPIs are defined to monitor actions in the coming periods. Within this solution, not only have general sustainability practices but also best practices specific to the textile sector been made ready to use.

With Microsoft Power Pages and Power Apps, both internal and external stakeholders can access data, goals, and reports in real-time through extension applications on both web and mobile platforms. This solution, where SAP and Microsoft products and services are intensively at the forefront, offers a variety of adaptable and expandable solutions in every industry and business process.

Drive E-Commerce Success: Building Solutions to Optimize Returns Management

The e-commerce sector, which is steadily increasing its market share in global trade and is always open to new strategies, presents a significant opportunity to provide a high level of experience due to the rapid development of next-generation technologies. We are currently in an era where artificial intelligence plays a crucial role in e-commerce. It can be used to optimize areas of inefficiency and customer frustration to improve the overall workflow and customer experience. One area we have worked on is the efficient management of the return process, a significant challenge both from a customer satisfaction and supplier perspective.

Following the release of OpenAI, we quickly initiated a project in Turkey and the MENA region to develop the "Intelligent Return Cockpit" product. The main objective of this product is to manage the return process more efficiently on e-commerce platforms and reduce return rates as much as possible. We achieved this by intervening at the point just before the customer places an order to measure the compatibility of the items in the cart with the respective customer.

The suitability of each item in the cart is evaluated by taking into account the customer's past preferences, supplier ratings, feedback on the changes and developments in the reviews of the relevant product/products in the last three months, six months, and one year, as well as evaluations of the delivery company that carried out the delivery. Furthermore, compatibility checks are performed among the items in the cart over hundreds of parameters, such as whether the products are alternatives or complementary to each other, in order to determine a compatibility score.

Based on the resulting compatibility scores, various incentives, campaigns, or promotions can be offered to the customer just before placing an order. The key here is to provide customers with recommendations for products they are likely to return, offering them different or better alternatives. Another gain is reducing return rates from a sustainability perspective, as it minimizes carbon emissions as much as possible. It can be integrated with campaign and promotion engines and can also be integrated with CRM systems to evaluate metrics in after-sales services, adding significant value.

We have developed this product to work in integration with both SAP Hybris and Microsoft Dynamics solutions. Additionally, the use of big data management and OpenAI's GPT model adds flexibility to the processes to more reliably meet the need to reduce returns and increase customer satisfaction.

The New Era of Business Infrastructure: Harnessing the Power of OpenAI for SAP Innovation

SAP is known to elevate business processes and countless global companies have experienced its benefits for many years. Now, with emerging technologies frequently dominating the agenda, the most pressing question is how these technologies can be applied and implemented within the SAP ecosystem.

The range of business processes that SAP touches is extensive so it can be challenging to determine which processes or segments to prioritize for digital transformation. OpenAI can support the decision-making process and contribute effectively to the leveling of business infrastructure. Some of the key areas with potential for digital transformation through emerging technologies include:

  • Managing procurement, approvals, or company procedure authorizations conversationally through tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, etc.
  • Centralizing document management and documentation.
  • Managing annual or periodic company and employee performance target recommendations in both vertical and horizontal organizations.
  • Performing forecasting scenarios on time series data. This can be widely applied in production, sales, financial processes, and modules.
  • Rapidly conducting content editing, tagging, and classification scenarios through pre-trained AI models, ensuring data integrity in analytics and reporting areas.
  • Generating alternatives and providing route tracking and recommendations in processes such as delivery management and route optimization. Predicting emissions ahead of delivery based on route information.
  • Creating an in-house memory and providing services through interfaces that are conversational and trained on models. Building a digital employee memory in areas such as business processes, workflows, organizational structures, hierarchy, business models, and production.
  • Generating new datasets and possible formulas from past data using Generative AI features. This is highly useful, especially in scenarios involving different quality outputs of certain mixtures before production begins.
  • Supporting optimization scenarios in warehouses or shelf management through forecasting. If needed, reach out to relevant responsible parties conversationally in these processes.
  • Real-time assessment in error management and system monitoring processes, resulting in problem classification, directing to solutions, and other support processes.

Defining, detailing, developing, and transforming the above scenarios using innovative technology to garner tangible results requires serious consultancy. The consultancy needed can be process-related, technical, or entirely strategic. Organizations that excel are not limited to developing their competencies vertically in one area but also horizontally across various technologies, processes, or platforms. The reason for this is their ability to see the big picture end-to-end, in part due to the insights provided by AI and other emerging technologies.

All of these three aspects are part of an innovation journey as set goals are never achieved overnight. Establishing the right strategies and making the right decisions require experience and agility. We continue to invest in all areas to apply these cultural and behavioral gains within organizations and to lead our customers to success as quickly as possible.

Embracing Change: The NTT DATA Innovation CoLab Program

At NTT DATA, we are keeping an eye on the road ahead and demonstrating our commitment to emerging technologies through various projects. For instance, we have opened up our long-standing internal innovation program at NTT DATA Turkey and the MENA region to our business partners and customers who are on an innovation journey. The NTT DATA Innovation CoLab program itself is a journey where there is no concept of right or wrong; there is only your current situation and the path you want to take. With Innovation CoLab, we produce together, develop together, and win together in alignment with the following pillars:

  • We chart the company's technology roadmap.
  • We identify the company's process and technology report card.
  • We generate and develop ideas.
  • We develop together, sell together, and win together.

Within the scope of Innovation CoLab, we take our clients from end to end, collaborating with synchronicity at every stage. We start by examining the company's current status and all technology details. Then we address emerging technologies and changing conditions. From there we can generate and develop ideas. We provide in-depth consultancy with our innovation engineers and solution architects, using literature research methods that are globally accepted and conducted periodically based on the needs.

After generating our ideas, we again evaluate the investment decision for the relevant idea. At this point, we assess what is lacking and how NTT DATA can meet those gaps and provide the required expertise. For example, there may be a need for technology support, software engineers, or perhaps a network in sales and marketing channels.

Together, we find all the answers enterprises need to benefit from emerging technologies. If we both believe in the idea and it represents a solution that can create value in the market, we start developing it together, sell it together, and win together! Multiply the potential of emerging technologies with the Innovation CoLab.

Baris Arslan

Emerging Technologies Principal, Professional Services