GlobalLogic bets on horizontal software development to ride the Industry 4.0 wave

GlobalLogic bets on horizontal software development to ride the Industry 4.0 wave
29 Sep, 2020

Like most civic administration agencies, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation in Maharashtra found itself faced with a vexing problem during the nationwide lockdown. It had to ensure that citizens under its jurisdiction had access to daily essentials -- vegetables, fruits and groceries -- from authorised and registered vendors designated for their particular locality. 

To address the problem, it turned to GlobalLogic, which built an application that enabled the municipal corporation to reduce unnecessary footfalls at local shops. 

For San Jose, California headquartered product development services firm GlobalLogic, which employs more than 8,000 people in India out of a global workforce of 16,000-plus, building such applications for clients is an everyday routine.

Most recently, the company, which was founded in 2000 by four IIT alumnus, also developed contactless solutions for living and working with the pandemic for a global managed infrastructure security solutions provider. The client needed features such as contactless visitor management, contactless employee entry and touchless elevator systems. The Bluetooth based solution was deployed by a few real estate players in the US.

“The requirements drifted from requiring IoT enabled solutions to ‘I am good with IoT, first make sure the solutions are contactless,’ this was a strong horizontal solution that saw applications in many other industries,” GlobalLogic vice president -- engineering Rohit Madhok told TechCircle.

“Our view of industry has shifted from a verticalized to a hybrid view with horizontal eyes… This is due to the fact that a lot of vertical industries are now fundamentally becoming software companies,” he said.

Globallogic specialises in outsourced research and development (R&D) and engineering services for a host of multinationals, including Swedish automobiles maker Volvo, multimedia and creativity software maker Adobe, Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer Panasonic, semiconductor major Qualcomm and consumer electronics maker Samsung. The company delivers software engineering for cloud platforms, embedded software, Internet of Things, mobile applications, and security.

The company last reported revenues at $550 million for the financial year 2018. It aims to achieve $1 billion in revenues by 2020. Although the company did not disclose revenues for 2019, it said revenues have been growing at 20% year on year.

Tapping into growing SME needs

For the company, small and medium enterprises (SME), which have started to rapidly invest in digitization, are an important market.

 A 2019 report by London based market research firm Technavio estimated that research and development outsourcing services would grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 8% between 2019 and 2023. This will further accelerate on account of the pandemic with SMEs being compelled to move up their digital transformation journeys with the help of software development. 

Most SMEs generally have access to regional talent pools and limited operational reach. Technology services providers such as GlobalLogic, HCL and Wipro enable SMEs to overcome those limitations through their outsourced software development capabilities. 

Read: SMBs to make up 30% of Rs 63,000 cr public cloud market in 5 years: NASSCOM

GlobalLogic currently has employees in over 14 countries, with over 1,500 product releases on an average per year. The company has close to 280 active clients, over 70 private label customer labs and 26 product engineering centres globally.

In April this year, the company acquired German software engineering services firm Meelogic Consulting, which has deep expertise in healthcare, automotive and other key industries. The acquisition was a part of the company’s ongoing strategy to strengthen its reach in the DACH region (Austria, Germany, Switzerland) as well as a move to strengthen its position in its high-growth verticals of medical technology and automotives. 

Prior to Meelogic, GlobalLogic has acquired two design and engineering firms in 2019 -- Assign Group in Sweden and Charlotte, North Carolina based Skookum.

Industry 4.0

The prevailing environment has also led to clients accelerating towards industry 4.0, mainly through automation and smart production methods. Globallogic also provides clients with basic consulting to check the feasibility of implementing solutions related to industry 4.0.  

As an example, Madhok cited how GlobalLogic was able to take autonomous driving further by installing technology that can make cars self-sustaining vehicles.

“The car monitors its own health parameters, understands when the owner has the maximum downtime for using the car and self-drives itself to get serviced and comes back on its own,” he said.

Another example of industry 4.0 is how the company utilises AI based solutions such as AI chatbots with IoT sensors to allow for factories and industries to get fully automated, Madhok added.

A study on the growth of automation by Gurgaon based market consulting firm Maier+Vidorno this year found that the Indian industrial automation market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12% by 2023 and reach $4.43 billion, and as of 2018 was third in the world in terms of implementation of robotic automation.

GlobalLogic is also in the early stages of blockchain deployment for a large US based agricultural consortium.

“Between the end farmer, end consumer, distributors, retailers and wholesalers, we are now working on making the entire system completely paperless, which also gels well with the current pandemic satiation,” said Madhok. GlobalLogic is working with the consortium to move towards a distributed ledger accounting system away from legacy systems and is also exploring moving from currency transactions to cryptocurrency.

In terms of AI, the company built adaptive learning solutions for students for a 230-year old UK based publishing house Pearson in July 2019.

Also read: Enterprises see AI as critical but less than one-fifth leverage it: Wipro

“Imagine one professor teaching 50-60 (students) a single subject, but is able to provide each student with personalised adaptive communication for the entire one hour session,” Madhok said. The solution, built on an AI/ML engine, learns the student’s levels of IQ, EQ, learning speed and different educational backgrounds and customises the teaching methods accordingly.   

As Globallogic takes a horizontal approach to software development, all of the solutions built in one vertical are utilised by the engineers and development teams to find use cases in other industries and domains. Over the past few months, since the Covid-19 pandemic, the needs of a few clients have also changed. An example is the retail industry which saw footfalls drop and demands change towards more software and off-physical store needs. “The pandemic has also forced companies to think of their businesses from a long term perspective for 10-15 years and not 3-5 years or on a quarterly basis and we see that as a big shift,” Madhok said.  

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