If one were to walk into the Virtusa headquarters located at Orion City on the 28th of February 2018, they would have been greeted by a row of green tents and marquees along with a several people clad in Virtusa t-shirts rushing all over. The air was one of excitement and euphoria. Walking into the main office, you would see a lineup of numerous awards, each glistening in the light.
This was Tech Month by Virtusa
Organized by Virtusa, Tech Month took the month of February, designating individual weekdays to up and coming technology trends such as AI, Machine learning, Big Data, QA, IoT, Blockchain, software architecture, UI/UX and Fintech, just to name a few. Each of the days also had their own dedicated competition where Virtusa employees would develop applications and solutions related to each day.
The last day, which was the 28th of February was the day it all came together. Called the Tech Day, this was a culmination of all the days in the Tech Month. As such, the entire day was about celebrating technology and awarding the best of the best
Kicking things off was something different
A musical act by a group of talented musicians from Virtusa itself. They helped set the mood for the rest of the day’s proceedings. Following the lighting of the oil lamp, and a flashback showcasing what happened on each of the days for Tech Month, Tech Day by Virtusa officially kicked off.
Thushera Kawdawatta was up first to share his experience about Tech Month by Virtusa. The reason for Tech Month to provide a platform, to learn, collaborate and innovate so that you can take what you have and know, and elevate it to the next level. Even though you have the skills, you have to know how to apply it and make the best use of it. The best way to prepare for tomorrow, is to start by doing your best today, Thushara said.
Following Thushera’s speech was an award ceremony
The awards here were for Virtusa employees who had taken part in the various competitions that had taken place throughout Februar for Virtusa Tech Month 2018. The awards ranged from Fastest Coder, to Best Coder, Best Multi language coder, best white paper etc. Each award was followed by a loud wave of applause as the virtusans showed their support for the winners.
The world is changing
Chandika Mendis, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Technology, Virtusa was up on stage next to share his experience about Tech Month. He thanked all those who organized Tech Month by Virtusa. The world is changing really fast, Chandika said. Chandika used Sophia the robot as one of his examples.
In case you didn’t know. Sophia is a humanoid robot who has been gaining popularity in the International scene due to technological advancements in robotics and also the fact that Sophia became the first robot to receive citizenship of any country. All this goes to show how technology is changing. Chandika went on to explain how they are making use of chatbots and artificial intelligence, which can be used to improve employee productivity.
More awards were handed out
Chandika’s speech was then followed by more awards being handed out. Once that was done, we took the liberty of exploring exactly what Tech Day by Virtusa had to offer. Remember those green tents that we spoke about? Well, those were now being set up as exhibitor stalls. What for, you ask? Well, these stalls would be used to exhibit the innovations, technologies in use and also some of the cool projects that the various departments and teams at Virtusa were working on. We went on and took a look at some of the stalls and what technologies they had to offer.
Getting familiar with Virtusa and Tech Day 2018
For example, the RPA team is working on improving the quality of life of employees by using Machine learning and Artificial intelligence. As such they are automating daily mundane tasks so that people don’t have to waste time carrying them out. The team caters to a large Investment banking client and it hell bent on automating their client’s processes.
When compared to using traditional bots, the team is making use of cognitive RPA (Robotic process automation) plus an AI bot. The key difference here is that rather than waiting for feedback from a human user as a traditional bot would do, the AI bot would make the choice for you.
Getting feedback from the public
Another interesting stall we came across was from the EIM or Enterprise Information Management stall. Here, the team is working on social media sentiment analysis. By means of a keyword or hashtag used in social media platforms such as Twitter, they can gain an insight into the general views regarding an event or occurrence. They are leveraging the power of Microsoft Azure. The algorithm checks data for grammar or spelling mistakes via a cognitive service.
From there, it will suggest the most appropriate word. Once the data has been cleaned, it goes through an analytic process and then appears on a dashboard. The dashboard can then show if people have a negative, neutral or positive look at the event based on the text they have entered. Another project that the team is working on is to capture phone sensor data and send it to Microsoft Azure. This data would be the movement of the phone. Once the data is captured, it can be used with wearables to record the location of the smartphone. If there is a sudden shift in the movement of the phone (say when someone falls), an emergency alert can be generated.
Making everything better from the inside
The Global Technology Office or simply GTO is a team that develops internal tools to improve what Virtusa does. As such, the team has a list of products, each developed by Virtusa alone, that deals with measuring code quality, robotic process automation, end to end tractability, and gamification. Despite the tools being developed for internal use, there is also a business model for external use as well if a company wishes to make use of these tools for their benefit as well.
The Application Support Management Innovation Hub deals primarily with application support. But they take it a step further. Rather than waiting for a problem to appear, they can actually predict a pending crash or error in an application. From there, depending on the discretion of the client, the team can either inform the client about the problem or proceed to fix it themselves. Because the team makes use of RPA, the entire process is automated.
Salesforce was another cool team we saw. The team here is actually using a combination of Salesforce along with an IoT device. Their example is one such IoT device that is used to measure humidity and temperature. The device was kept inside a cooler and the temperature and humidity was recorded. If the parameters for these two values falls outside the given range, an alert would be generated.
The entire purpose of this is for device management. So if the device you’re using breaks down or requires maintenance, rather than lodging a complaint and waiting for the device to be repaired, the entire process would happen automatically. Using Salesforce, the team could also monitor the usage of the device and then provide helpful recommendations to the customer when he/she goes for their next purchase.
Making smarter decisions
The EAG or Enterprise Application Groups deals only with Virtusa and its internal matters. The team gathers all data from the company and feeds it to their powerful dashboard and analytical tools so that important decisions and forecasts can be made by the company’s directors and other people in power.
The Customer Experience Management (CEM) team was all about improving the experience for customers using the latest technologies and Trends. In this case, the customers would be Virtusa’s own employees as well. The team is primarily responsible for handling and maintaining the company’s Intranet.
Apart from this, they also have a Robot called kAinos. It uses a number of technologies such as Azure Face API, Bing Speech API, Microsoft TTS for voice analysis and recognition, Arudino boards for sensors and actuation and servo motors for movements. We got the chance to interact with kAinos and had a literal handshake with it. Pretty cool indeed.
Wrapping up Tech Day 2018 by Virtusa
Once we had gone over the stalls and what they had to offer, it was time for the last award at Tech Day by Virtusa to be handed out. This was for the Most Innovative stall. By no surprise, the award went to the CEM stall who went up to collect the award and certificates amidt tumultuous applause and extremely happy faces. With all that done, the folks at Virtusa were encouraged to stick around and enjoy some live music courtesy of the V-Band who kicked off things in the morning. With that, Tech Day 2018 by Virtusa came to an end.