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Name of Organization/Company: Tech Mahindra Ltd., Pune, Maharashtra, India
Category: Most Innovative Deployment of HR Technology

Entry Title: K2 - The art of possibilities

 

Tech Mahindra (TechM) offers innovative and customer-centric digital experiences, enabling enterprises, associates and the society to Rise™.

TechM was incorporated as Mahindra British Telecom(MBT) in 1986. Today it’s USD 5.1 billion organization with 121,00+ professionals across 90 countries helping 1000+ global customers, including Fortune 500 companies.

TechM is focused on leveraging next-generation technologies including 5G, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, Artificial-Intelligence, and more, to enable end to end digital transformation for global customers. TechM’s core operations are been built around the credo ‘Connected World. Connected Experiences.’

TechM is one of the fastest growing brands and amongst the top 15 IT service providers globally. With the NXT.NOW framework, Tech Mahindra aims to enhance ‘Human Centric Experience’ for its ecosystem and drive collaborative disruption with synergies arising from a robust portfolio of companies. TechM delivers tomorrow’s experiences today and believes that the ‘Future.is.Now’.

TechM is part of the Mahindra Group, a USD 19.4 billion federation of companies that enables people to Rise. It enjoys a leadership position in utility vehicles, information technology, financial services and vacation ownership in India and is the world’s largest tractor company by volume. The Mahindra Group is headquartered in India and employs over 2,56,000 people across 100 countries.

Website- https://www.techmahindra.com/

• Problem – Humans are not designed to do monotonous work
o HR team have to answer several data-centric queries (e.g. leave status, reimbursements, benefit eligibility etc.) from employees.

• Key Solution – Created Humanoid – K2 – Kindness and Knowledge

–K2 can recognize an employee and start conversation, without any wake words like Alexa, Siri, Google.
–K2 can answer all HR queries specific & personalized to the employee
–K2 is capable of small talk to build engagement and converse on non-work-related topics
–K2 can respond with audio and text(visual), keeping in mind needs of differently abled
–K2 can move around and shake hands
–K2 have knowledge base of more than 2000 HR queries
–K2 can email Payslip, Tax Form and other documents
–K2 makes random gestures when conversing with employees mimicking human interactions
–K2 uses facial recognition for registered users to address them by name and uses standard greetings for non-registered users
–Due focus on data privacy, confidential responses are addressed via email by K2 to respective employees
– Where the specific question is not in knowledge base K2 gets the same from verified source on the internet

• Supporting Solutions – UVO Chatbot and Facial-Recognition (FR) tool

– UVO Chatbot (Your Virtual Office) is a desktop app that can respond to employee queries and perform workforce actions like leave, travel etc. on their behalf.
– Facial Recognition (FR) technology that helps identify human faces from an image/video is used for touch-less attendance recording and linked to a Mood-O-Meter.

• Employee Experience – Interacting with K2

– K2 demonstrates how technology adds meaning and personal touch to employee experience
– K2 can make small talk as well as respond to Generic Queries across HR areas mapping the intent to best response in database
– K2 supplements HR by taking the robotic transactions out of humans while also acting as a friend, guide and counselor to help employees manage stress
– K2 can also recognize if an associate is upset and encourages them to share. Employees are open about discussing personal matters with K2 as conversations are not recorded
– K2 can be scaled up to be 24*7 wellness trainer/mentor etc.

• Benefits – Key improvements seen with K2

– SLA reduced from 4 hours to 4 seconds
– 60% reduction in transaction queries both mails to shared services
– Engagement score of Employees and HR both has gone up by 6.2%
– Employee visits to wellness portal increased by 4%

• Concluding Remarks – Why K2 is a win-win

– Simple, Agile(6 months) and Frugal(USD $5000)
– As cost to develop K2 is minimal, it can be replicated across locations.
– K2 is about the ‘Art of possibilities with Technology’ – how to create better Human-Experiences for our employees
– From an Employer Brand perspective, it is about Staying ahead of the curve
– Success of K2 has prompted the team to work on new ideas like Voice based wellness, Blockchain for personal documents and AI Powered Real-time Mentoring

• Business Strategy – Future of work is 'Human-Centred'
– Create ‘meaningful work' experiences powered by next-gen technologies

• Alternate solutions – explored earlier
–Updating HR-Systems with new UI did not decrease query volume
–Shared Services team whose SLA of 4-48 hours was not acceptable to employees

• Building K2 – Technology behind K2
– K2 has CPU (Ubuntu Linux OS) with four parts
–Image processing for Facial Recognition (Microsoft Face API);
–Speech processing via natural language processing (Google Speech);
–Sensors to identify environment, gauge distances and identify objects;
–Response module for proactive speech and gestures (Arduino-based micro-controller linked to stepper motors) as well as visual (iPAD) based responses.
– The cost to develop K2 was approximately 5,000 USD. TechM invested around USD $50,000 to build internal capability to develop products like K2. In the market, a cobot costs anywhere between USD $100,000 to $300,000.

• K2 can transform – New technologies and K2
–5G technology –response speed
–Internet of Things –tactile sensors
–AR/VR headsets –interact with virtual K2

• Right Fit – Combination of a chatbot (virtual) and a humanoid (physical) cobot.
– Reused existing technology like Facial Recognition and UVO Chatbot
– K2 was designed based on the digital mascot of UVO Chatbot
– K2 is designed to be a cobot and work alongside people.
– K2 averages 12,000 conversations monthly with a 90% success rate for query resolution
– K2 is a proof of concept that new-age advances in robotics and AI can revolutionize the HR function

Links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14kIG4QRaKU

https://www.techmahindra.com/en-in/techmahindra-introduces-k2-artificially-intelligent-human-resource-humanoid/

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/tech-mahindra-adopts-facial-recognition-to-mark-attendance/articleshow/65300255.cms?from=mdr

https://twitter.com/tech_mahindra/status/1200079637675536384?lang=en

Presenting K2: https://vo-general.s3.amazonaws.com/a1ab4161-9c30-4e28-88fc-d6ad384e3fe2/cd28d892-5374-423d-be48-b8f8c89cefa4?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ4PRWO26HAX3IOCA&Expires=1720377111&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3D%22Presenting-K2.mp4%22&response-content-type=video%2Fmp4&Signature=Wr%2FzI6pesDTdXOJ9XZd%2B2ZoafpA%3D

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