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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

May - 2009 - issue > Technology

Enterprise Digital Assistants: The 7th Sense

Ramesh Sundararaman
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Ramesh Sundararaman
All characters in this article including Mr. Kam Dham, Mr. Vig Gyani, Ms. AajTech Consulting, and Ms. Past Group are fictional and any resemblance to anyone or anything is purely coincidental.

As I was quickly browsing through my notes from the last couple of meetings with the senior management team at Past Group of Hotels, I could not resist thinking about the comment made by their Chief Discount Officer, Mr. Kam Dham during our last meeting.

Just to introduce myself, my name is Vig Gyani and I am the CEO of AajTech Consulting – A leader in IT consulting business. Past Group of Hotels is a leading budget hotel chain with many branches across the country and it has recently hired my firm to recommend technology based solutions that would enhance their business performance and operations efficiency. During last week’s meeting, Mr. Dham commented about the tough economic conditions, the wafer-thin margin in hospitality business and the problems faced by him. However, he skirted my request for specific issues at Past Group – possibly because he did not want to share details that might offend his colleagues.
As engagement manager for this consulting assignment, I need to follow up with him, learn more about his problems, and determine how these could be addressed using cutting-edge technology and solutions.

The next day, I reached Mr. Dham’s office for the half an hour appointment I had secured with him. As I sat in the visitor’s lounge waiting for Mr. Dham, I could see hotel staff pensively looking at their desktops or talking animatedly over the house phones. I could also see a few of the staff, holding in their hands scribbling pads and papers, almost always in a hurry, walking from one end of the hotel to the other end. I understand from Mr. Dham’s secretary that he is a young, energetic individual who has recently joined Past Group with a vision of taking it to great heights in near future.
As I entered Mr. Dham’s office, even before I could introduce myself, he commented “I see dead people – People who are lifeless, stuck to their desks clinging on to their old desktops and wired phones, relying on stale information, unaware of happenings in real time, and unable to perform their duties effectively.” That remark of his was striking and reflected his dissatisfaction with the state of affairs. I decided to dig deeper and asked him, “Dead people, where do you see them”? He shot back, “Everywhere, here in my office as well as in very many firms that I know of, including our suppliers and customers.”


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