Driving Success in the EVSE Ecosystem

Aman Sharma, Head - IT & Platforms, Exicom | Tuesday, 05 September 2023, 13:48 IST

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In an interaction with Bimlesh Prasad, Correspondent at Industry Outlook maga- zine, Aman Sharma, Head - IT & Platforms, Exicom expresses his perspectives regarding the EVSE ecosystem in the electric vehicle sector. Furthermore, he discusses how a culture emphasizing agility and adaptability within the IT team effectively balances business requirements and techno- logical progress.

Aman is an innovative leader in the EV ecosystem with over 25 years of rich and diverse experience in managing end-to-end enterprise scale applications across the globe. As a Tech leader, he always focused on scalable and robust architecture suppo- rted by futuristic technologies, which helps organization to achieve their goals within cost, time and quality parameters. His expertise spans across multiple domain which includes hybrid cloud platforms, telecom, CRM, manufacturing, e-commerce, and many other enterprise applications fostering revenue growth and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Describe EVSE eMSP/CPO role through your experience, ensuring project delivery and alignment with goals in the electric vehicle ecosystem.

In the EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) field, e-MSP (e-Mobility Service Provider) and CPO (Charge Point Operator) are pivotal in the EV sector. eMSPs focus on user convenience, access management, billing, and value-added services. CPOs handle infrastructure deployment, maintenance and operational efficiency. Their collaboration drives EV adoption and sustainability.

India's initial EV growth is remarkable, with sales surging from 4.5 lakhs in FY 2021-22 to over 12 lakhs the next year, a 170%+ annual expansion. Initiatives like Chandigarh's EV-centric plan highlight India's momentum. To sustain this growth, solutions must prioritize scalability, stability, and security (3S). Global discussions help address challenges. eMSPs require agreements with CPOs for user access, relying on OCPI communication. CPOs need integration with central systems via OCPP protocols. Correct & standard OCPP & OCPI implementation is critical for success.

Integrating standards like OCPI and ISO 15118 simplifies charging, enabling "plug and charge" for compatible vehicles. My EVSE expertise, especially in eMSP and CPO, leverages market dynamics and global standards to drive transformative growth in India's EV industry.

How company can ensure customer-centric app development with intuitive UI and utilize behavior analysis for enhanced user experience and retention?

Prioritizing a customer-centric approach in app and IT system development ensures a user experience tailored to end user needs. Crafting interfaces that address daily requirements is key, focusing on practicality over aesthetics.

Understanding user psychology is crucial. For less tech-savvy users like call center agents, a stripped-down and straightforward interface facilitates efficient task completion. We need to understand that response time is very critical for a call center agent, so reducing the number of clicks and showing the relevant data on the screen for quick resolution is the key. Any solution that resonates these key features will definitely shine among its competition.

Aligning technology with genuine user needs through customer-focused research, intuitive interfaces, and suitable technologies is vital. This resonates with users, elevates experiences, and curbs customer churn.

How does culture of agility and adaptability within your IT team can be enabled for quick responds in evolving business demands and technological advancements?

Fostering agility and adaptability in our IT team is crucial. We emphasize on aligning the right people with the right roles and identifying key positions. For enhanced UX, we hire professionals who understand customer behavior, translating designs accurately. To ensure scalable architecture, we seek visionaries who can design future-proof solutions. Customer-centricity is our mantra, valuing feedback and user satisfaction above all. Our software development approach relies on flexible architecture for seamless component integration or removal. I normally directs the team to prioritize customer complaints and support challenges. Swift resolutions are a priority.

We equip each team member with tools and guidelines, ensuring consistent response procedures. This fosters a collective commitment to customer satisfaction and adaptability. Our collaborative ethos enhances our capacity to swiftly align with evolving business demands and technology.

How to foster a DevOps culture prioritizing scalability, stability, and performance through collaboration between development and operations teams?

Fostering a DevOps culture for robust collaboration between development and operations teams is a multifaceted endeavor. Drawing from my extensive 25-year career, I've identified 4 key strategies.

  1. Harmonizing priorities with business demands is paramount. A product should align with technical benchmarks while satisfying market and user needs, striking equilibrium between delivery speed and quality.
  2. Nurturing a blame-free atmosphere encourages innovation. Rather than fixating on past errors, emphasizing improvement opportunities fosters constructive problem-solving. Collecting feedback from customers, internal teams, and social media sources provides insights for proactive issue resolution, preventing escalation.
  3. Encompassing the entire ecosystem is crucial— if we talk about eMSP platform, it’s not only comprises of OCPI, OCPP, CMS implementation but it also comprises of User management, role management, complaint management, CRM, billing, payments, analytical dashboards, and control boards. This holistic approach facilitates interdepartmental collaboration, cultivating shared responsibility.
  4. System Design flexibility matters. Modular systems and judicious use of databases, right technology selection, and identification of modules which can be developed independently for reuse ensure agility to adapt swiftly to evolving business needs.

In essence, my DevOps culture approach centers on proactive, collaborative, and adaptable strategies. It embraces continuous learning, values feedback, and aligns with evolving business demands. This cultivates an environment where development and operations collaborate seamlessly, fostering innovation, stability, and performance.

How can EV companies can ensure effective project management, collaboration, timely delivery, quality, and innovation in end-to-end product development?

In our approach to effective project management and collaboration throughout end-to-end product development, we primarily rely on the Agile methodology. We structure our work into time-bound iterations, usually two-week sprints, with daily scrum meetings to keep communication streamlined. While this might sound routine, it's the backbone of our standardized process, ensuring timely progress and adaptability. Our focus on maintaining high standards of quality and customer satisfaction involves a strategic reuse of components across projects. For instance, common functionalities like login processes or search functionalities are developed once and saved as standardized components. This practice not only ensures consistency but also expedites development.

Quality assurance is bolstered by our use of Azure DevOps, enabling automated testing. This robust framework not only identifies UI issues but also assesses stability and performance, crucial in our evolving tech landscape. To address security challenges, though we have our internal engineers to perform security testing, but it is always better to partnered with specialized vendors proficient in security testing domain. Given the evolving threat landscape, this partnership ensures our products are fortified against potential vulnerabilities. Innovation is balanced with practical implementation and sustainability through meticulous planning and integration of novel ideas within a stable framework. Continuous testing, component reusability, and expert collaborations collectively empower us to deliver innovative solutions while safeguarding quality, security, and customer satisfaction.

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