Info-tech

Infy’s Nia wants to build on scale after a chequered past

K Giriprakash Bengaluru | Updated on March 02, 2020 Published on March 02, 2020

Infosys’ AI-platform Nia has seen several ups and downs since its launch during the tenure of Vishal Sikka as CEO but has gained traction after the leadership team was strengthened.

Infosys’ subsidiary EdgeVerve, which runs Nia, is now looking at simplifying the entire AI pipeline – from managing data, building AI models, testing and training models, managing the models, to giving enterprise-scale and security.

“While Infosys Nia started as a bootstrapped AI product, we accelerated our evolution through some strategic acquisitions like Skytree to build capabilities on Machine Learning. In addition to being an AI platform with capabilities across data management, Cognitive Search and others, Infosys Nia also powers applied AI products like Nia Document AI, Nia AIOps etc,” Atul Soneja, SVP, Global Head, Edge Products and Infosys Nia told BusinessLine.

Nia which competes with TCS’ Ignio and Wipro’s HOLMES, did not have a smooth run initially especially after Sikka left. “It is quite natural because after Sikka left, there was a period of uncertainty which caused some concern over the consumer base,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, the chief analyst, founder and CEO of Greyhound Research.

Soneja said that Nia has evolved over a period of time. Part of the EdgeVerve Systems, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Infosys, Nia was launched five years ago with a vision to simplify the AI journey for an enterprise to enable digital transformation. “Most organisations face many challenges with their AI adoption and are unable to move beyond AI experimentation to production and eventually scale across the enterprise to achieve real benefits,” pointed out Soneja.

According to analysts, large IT companies are focusing more on their AI-enabled platforms to take this product to clients to increase their clients’ processes and hence are marketing them separately from their other services. Nia has been built on the Infosys’ first-generation AI platform, Mana, and its Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solution, AssistEdge. Together, both these products have created more than 50 clients and 150 plus deployments across different sectors.

“Initially, Nia was an over-engineered product and nearly got into trouble with SAP SE which had a similar sounding analytics solution, Hana,” says an analyst. SAP filed a case against Infosys and had a district court in Frankfurt to issue an injection against Infosys from selling Mana in Europe. The issue was settled out of court after Infosys changed the name to Nia.

Since then Infosys Nia, built on open-source technology, has been able to build on its success. It continues to be a vendor-agnostic, hybrid, poly-cloud capable platform that offers Ai capabilities, Soneja said.

Soneja said a leading Communications Service Provider adopted Infosys Nia to drive their enterprise-wide AI strategy to enhance speed-to-market and also improve operational efficiencies. Citing a case study, Soneja said a Japanese client has seen 9X improvement in employee productivity with 90 per cent cost savings per contract review.

EdgeVerve now wants to follow a two-pronged strategy for Infosys Nia. First, to broaden the AI platform capabilities and simplifying AI consumption via its current product offerings like Nia AIOps to bring the power of AI to IT operations and Nia DocAI to get intelligence and insights out of the unstructured data lying in documents across the enterprise. Apart from our AI-infused Business applications, Infosys Nia also powers our Automation platform AssistEdge lending its cognitive abilities.

Published on March 02, 2020
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