SPi Global – pioneering the data intelligence market
Data intelligence saw its first usage in the mid-19th century and later became a common phenomenon in the industry after the introduction of Data Warehouses in the 1980s. These Warehouses later helped in developing what is now known as Big Data, which increased profits, detected fraud, and minimized losses – paving the way to the advent of specialized technology firms.
SPi Global, established in 1980, is a leading content technology and content solutions enterprise that provides data services and subject matter expertise (SME) to multiple industries like healthcare, and life sciences, media and retail, research, scientific, education, technical and medical publishing, and digital learning. It also delves deeply into the secondary data aggregator market including FinTech, Legal, Risk, and Corporates.
In the beginning, the company provided data entry services to Fortune 500 companies. Years later, it expanded its suite of services to include journal editorial and content production – into what has become SPi Global’s core business. Keen on leveraging the combination of deep domain expertise and suite of proprietary technology platforms, the company bring forth cutting-edge innovation for the extraction, enrichment, and transformation of structured and unstructured content and information assets.
Headquartered in the Philippines with 19 delivery centers strategically spread across six countries including United States, Vietnam, Nicaragua, and China, SPi Global’s India operations is its largest, with an employee count of more than 6,500 content and technology experts. Breaking ground in the southern region of India in 2003 with a 300-seater facility set-up, the company now operates out of 6 delivery centers in Chennai, Pondicherry, and Noida.
Enriching Partnerships: Value Creation, Innovation, Automation
SPi Global’s tenure in the content and information industry is proof of its strong ability to adapt to the needs of its growing and ever demanding customer-base. As an industry game-changer, resilience and thought-leadership will always be key.
SPi’s multi-site strategy leverages cost efficiency and talent competency in developing customized content technology solutions for the world’s leading information companies, providing services at scale through onshore, near shore or offshore teams. As a content technology partner, constant enhancement of processes, systems, technology, and teams enrich client relationships and engagements. Reskilling and upskilling employees, upgrading technology platforms, and focusing on operational excellence keep the business viable.
Over the years, the publishing and content markets have been in a continuous state of change resulting from technological innovations, and the shift from print to digital publishing transformed the firm’s business quickly. These industry disruptions will continue to occur at faster rates and being the market-leader means preceding the disruption.
Combining Content Expertise with Technology Development
SPi’s technology platforms and tools and its suite of services continue to evolve, expand and improve through the years — responding to the needs of the market, and driven by the company’s domain and content experts. Its clients can always expect something new and better. The past couple of years has seen the deployment not only of new tools, but the strengthening and integration of disparate tools into intelligent platforms.
- Content Extraction & Intelligence Suite harnesses machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to decipher both structured and unstructured content from different enterprise repositories and prepares the data for analysis and search.
- SPiCE™ is a state-of-the-art proprietary document structuring and editing application that sits within the CEIS framework. SPiCE™ uses NLP-based techniques and pattern-recognition technology to identify key elements within an author’s manuscript and structures them according to the customized rules of the client.
- The Email Classification Service (ECS) was built to extract, evaluate, normalize, classify and monitor research email data traffic of financial services firms. The NLP-based platform integrates regulatory compliance requirements with actionable insights to facilitate data-driven decision-making of buy-side firms.
- RoboReader™ is a breakthrough technology that uses Machine Learning (ML) techniques in automating proofreading and pagination QC processes.
The Road Ahead: Maintaining momentum
To remain relevant in the market, SPi Global keeps a close watch on industry trends and builds solutions around emerging technologies. The company also broadens its reach through acquisitions of firms which are uniquely in synergy with its solutions and technology capabilities. Its significant presence in India is growing through organic and inorganic expansions.
The management’s goal is to triple the company turnover in the next four years. India, being the fastest-growing economy in the world and rapidly moving towards digital transformation, remains an ideal location for expansion. The company also sees that the diverse and advanced skills that India’s talent pool offers can contribute to value-adding initiatives for its client’s businesses.
Initially, the firm concentrated operations with three facilities in Chennai and another in Pondicherry. In early 2018, the firm made a tactical move to penetrate the northern region with the opening of a 500-FTE delivery center in Noida. Along with its recent acquisition of Scope e-Knowledge Center, SPi Global increased its range of expertise, and at the same time, opened more employment opportunities in the country.
As the company moves away from a rules-based approach to more cognitive methodologies in enabling automation and decision-making, the company’s culture of innovation drives development of new solutions applying sophisticated technology models in AI, ML/NLP. Aside from a well-structured R&D and technology team that spearheads process re-engineering and technology development, the firm has put in place an ideation program, called Infinity Awards, to surface employees’ ideas on new revenue lines and process improvement for operational efficiencies and cost savings.
“The paradigm shift to technology has made the company more agile. Over the last two years, we have seen the deployment of more sophisticated solutions around AI, ML, and RPA, owing largely to the prevalent start-up mentality among our teams. We believe in the value of entrepreneurship within SPi and invest in and build businesses around technology projects that can bring more value to our engagements with clients, and potentially open us up to newer markets.”
Giving back to its host communities is important to SPi Global’s culture. It has a global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program launched in 2012 to promote the spirit of volunteerism among employees. In 2018, the company launched a more sustainable approach to serving its host communities during the annual CSR Day. Believing that technology is the future, the company is committed to supporting CSR programs focused on giving the less privileged access to IT and enhance learning experiences of primary, secondary and K-12 students.
Committed to youth welfare and education, SPi Global has partnerships with learning institutions in all its global locations. In India, it helped build 57 smart classrooms in public schools in Pondicherry in partnership with the ministry of education. Employee volunteers also help conduct training sessions for marginalized groups at the SPi Global NDLM Center in rural Pondicherry, in partnership with NASSCOM.
SPi Global has also co-sponsored the building of homes, multi-purpose hall, and computer learning centers for underprivileged communities in the Philippines. Other initiatives across its locations include building libraries in public schools in remote provinces, providing training and care for students with special needs, and, enhancing IT and software skills of teachers and vocational learners, among others.
To date, SPi Global’s CSR program has generated a total of 237,454.23 volunteer hours, improving the lives of more than 65,000 beneficiaries in different parts of the world.
SPi Global has been widely recognized in its industry by international and local award-giving bodies, having been cited for operational excellence, quality of service, employment practices, innovation and technology initiatives, and CSR.
- Global Outsourcing Leader, International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) in the Global Outsourcing 100 list
- Outsourcing Professional Award for Best Business Process Outsourcing Team, National Outsourcing Association in the UK (NOA)
- European Outsourcing Association ( EOA) multiple recognitions for CSR initiatives
- Black Book of Outsourcing
- Awarded multiple times in the Philippines ICT International Awards, including Best Company of the Year.
- Philippines Best Employer 2018, 13th Employer Branding Awards, Employer Branding Institute – India
- 2018’s 25 Hottest AI Companies APAC by CIO Advisor
- Included in the list of 50 Smartest Companies by Silicon Review
Ratan Datta, the President and CEO of SPi Global, is an alumnus of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and a computer science graduate from Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. Ratan leads a team of almost 15,000 content and technology specialists across multiple geographies including India, the Philippines, United States, China, Vietnam, and Nicaragua. Ratan played key leadership roles in Technology and Operations at SPi Global from 2006, until he became head of Global Operations in 2010. He was appointed President of SPi’s Content business in early 2013. Under his leadership, SPi’s Content business almost tripled. It was during this time that SPi Global introduced several knowledge-based services; Semantic enrichment, Financial/Risk/Business analytics, Digital content authoring and a suite of technology solutions became mainstream offerings. Ratan has decades of experience in IT and ITeS, with focus on Content Solutions and Publishing. Prior to joining SPi Global, Ratan initiated a software consulting setup, Riksoft, through which he consulted for Blue Ripple, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the other US- and European-based organizations.