Indian IT companies deploy hitech technologies at home and abroad

Once described as employers of software’s drudge workers despite their impressive business numbers, India’s IT companies, especially the top tier ones and some India offices of MNCs, are breaking the innovation glass ceiling. Cost arbitrage on plain vanilla coding is still there but India’s big tech players now also have products that offer unique solutions involving high-end software and robotics. ET looks at some of these technologies, deployed both at home and abroad.


ONGOING PROJECTSCloud Bank: Marcus, the online-only bank of Goldman Sachs, runs on Finacle, the core banking software of Infosys. The software is hosted on cloud. Traditionally, banks host their applications on servers at their premises. Finacle allows Marcus, which doesn’t have a physical branch, to run its operations entirely on the internet. This allows the bank to lend cheaper but also scale its offerings at low costs.


Nice Price: Walmart runs a unit called CIA — competitive intelligence and analytics — out of its Bengaluru labs to help track and change prices to keep up with competitors globally. The lab has built algorithms that tracks prices of similar products on various retailer sites online and give insights on category sales. This allows Walmart to make price changes in real time.


Trial, Less Error: TCS is working with drug companies such as J&J-unit Janssen to make clinical trials more efficient and accountable. The company has created an Advanced Drug Discovery Platform, which allows drugmakers to efficiently enrol, monitor and track patients in clinical trials. The TCS platform allows pharma firms to have a digital trail on how a drug has performed during trials, crucial since errors can impact approval chances.


Coding Water: Cognizant is working with seed company Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) to create a digital tool that will track water usage and set precise irrigation plans — without having to install a costly irrigation management system. The solution uses local weather data and also satellite-linked probes that measures moisture in the soil and updates farmers on their smart devices on adjusting irrigation plans. Over 300 farmers in Europe have begun using the tool, sold through Monsanto-arm Aquatek.


Used Car, Best Tech: Wipro worked with Mahindra FirstChoice Wheels, a certified used car company, to launch a connected car platform to turn a normal car into a ‘smart car’. It allows a car owner to interact with the vehicle and stay connected to it via a mobile app. The device, connected to the onboard diagnostics port of the car, allows users to prevent theft, track vehicle maintenance and get driving analytics in one dashboard. The solution brings new features in used cars for those who might not otherwise have been able to afford them.


COMPLETED PROJECTSSafe & Gyro: Larsen & Toubro Technology Services has designed and built a motion-activated screwdriver, which allows a user to operate it with one-hand only, an important safety requirement when drilling in dangerous situations. The gyro-screwdriver senses movements in a user’s wrist to control the motor’s direction, helping electricians.


Pump Primed: Cognizant and Grundfos, a global maker of pumps and water management equipment, has built a tool that allows technicians to remotely repair malfunctioning pumps using augmented reality. Data is transmitted from the sensors in the pump through an augmented reality solution using Microsoft HoloLens to superimpose a computer-generated image. The technician can diagnose maintenance issues and suggest solutions through a chatbot, enabling non-experts at remote facilities to handle complex repairs on their own.


Robo Wired: Infosys devised a solution for an overhead conductor manufacturer to apply a specialised coating on live electric wires that would extend their life and remove the need for expensive replacement, also reducing manpower costs. The company designed and developed two robots that would travel along the overhead conductor, cleaning and then coating it.


Dr Net: Wipro has helped a US healthcare provider create a Connected Health platform leveraging the internet-ofthings to facilitate electronic delivery of renal dialysis treatment at a patient’s home. There is a huge demand for dialysis at home in most countries as patients seek to reduce hospital visits. The platform allows important health parameters such as weight, blood pressure and the dialysis result to be sent to doctors over the internet. The system also allows doctors to prescribe medicines and other alerts to patients.


Piping Tech: Larsen & Toubro Technology Services has created a battery-operated welding robot to help build and maintain offshore oil pipelines, for a leading manufacturer of specialised pipeline and welding machines. LTTS has built capability not just in software, but also hardware.