Dallas Startup Aims to Help Companies Speed Digital Transformation by Making AI and ML Accessible to Everyone

The company’s six patent-pending frameworks are at the heart of its success, helping clients increase revenue, efficiency, and usable information.

How do you modify software solutions on the fly to meet changing demands? Qentelli’s solution uses AI-powered frameworks and machine learning to help companies uncover the power of data they hold.

One of the Dallas-based startup’s key goals is the democratization of AI and ML, “bringing it to everyone and not limited to technical folks,” says Prasanna Singaraju, Qentelli co-founder and chief technology officer.  A soon-to-be-launched new artificial intelligence platform will help them get there. 

Tech Transformer

Prasanna Singaruju

“Today, I could give you hundreds of examples of how organizations still work in a siloed fashion and without any feedback mechanism,” Singaraju says. It’s a problem with far-reaching implications, he adds. The company’s six patent-pending frameworks are at the heart of the company’s success, helping clients increase revenue, efficiency, and usable information. There’s a tectonic shift to view everything through the digital lens,” so our products are enabling a digital future,” he says.

“We believe digital process automation is the ‘secret sauce’ for a lot of organizations to realize significant improvements in productivity.” Case in point? Empowering one of the world’s largest quick-service restaurants to increase its mobile commerce revenue by 23 percent in one year.

So far in 2021, Qentelli doubled in size, both in revenue and number of employees. The six-year-old startup recently debuted on Deloitte’s North America Technology Fast 500, coming in at 194th overall and eighth in Texas and was rated a top 100 fastest-growing private company in the region. As one of Fortune’s “Best Places to Work,” their work-from-home game is next level, offering employees virtual yoga, mental health sessions, and stand-up comedy shows.

Meet the innovator

Prasanna Singaraju was featured in Dallas Innovates’ Future 50 in Dallas-Fort Worth in the 2021 edition of our annual magazine. We talk with the DCO about innovation, the impact of COVID-19, and plans for the future. Here’s a takeaway:

On Qentelli’s core business:

Qentelli is a technology company helping organizations transform their core business using technology.

We accelerate such transformational engagements through the adoption of mainstream technologies such as Agile, DevOps, Automation; cutting-edge technologies such as Machine Learning, Deep Learning; and our home-grown AI-powered frameworks.

At the root of Qentelli’s success is the innovation of six patent-pending Home-grown AI-powered frameworks, which allow clients to realize significant improvements; increased revenue, customer satisfaction – more quickly.

What’s new for company so far in 2021?

We are on track to double the company this year both in terms of revenues and total employees. Every goal from our strategy is being met and has placed us in a unique position in the market, we are in the Digital Innovation space – which is very exciting, and we believe the future of digital is now.

We have always had dedicated innovation teams working on technologies that were considered experimental and theoretical until 2020. But now, they are becoming essential and thus, we are ready to face the new demand more than ever before. Our innovation team is on the verge of launching a brand-new Artificial intelligence platform which will democratize the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning by bringing it to everyone and not limited to technical folks.

While we continue to grow organically at a very healthy rate, our goal is to pursue inorganic growth through acquisitions and strategic partnerships where necessary. The target segments for this will be areas that complement our own services, innovation driven companies and companies that can accelerate digital. We are actively pursuing an acquisition, funded partly by our balance sheet and the rest by our bankers. This will be our first inorganic growth opportunity, so we are excited to acquire and integrate companies that add to our technology depth and service offerings.

On the biggest developments from 2020:

One of our most notable developments started a year ago: the addition of new AI and ML algorithms in our home-grown accelerators. There’s an abstract idea of the Software Development Lifecycle feedback loop (basically measuring end-to-end moving pieces of software development lifecycle) in the industry. Today, I could give you hundreds of examples of how organizations still work in a siloed fashion and without any feedback mechanism.

We identified this as a problem with far-reaching implications, began identifying the root cause and what we realized is the lack of real-time data to aid business decisions. What is an exciting achievement for us is to have a suite of in-house frameworks that measures, automates, and provides intelligent feedback about the engineering life cycle. This uncovers a lot of gaps for organizations to improve and accelerate their digital journey. We are seeing tremendous response with many of our clients investing in these frameworks and providing very crucial feedback so we can continuously improve.

I am extremely proud that within five years of inception, we have built our suite of AI-powered frameworks that help organizations uncover the power of data they hold.

A few examples of client success using our innovative approaches are:

  • One of the world’s largest quick-service restaurants with a presence in 100+ countries increased their M-commerce revenue by 23 percent in year 1 with our Quality Engineering, DevOps services, and Value Stream Visualization framework, TED.
  • A global network of young chief executives was trying to gather insights on its core application (a CEO-only network portal). Using our AI-powered Big Data solution, we were able to get actionable insights from the data in real-time that helped to map out the end-user patterns and behavior interacting with the core application. With this, Qentelli helped re-design the platform, keeping customer experience at the center and resulted in an increase of 40 percent in member engagement directly contributing to the top-line.
  • One of the world’s top media conglomerates engaged with us to improve their engineering processes. Qentelli helped them in achieving a 55 percent increase in their Engineering Release Productivity, thereby leading to faster time to market.

Apart from this, 2020 has been the year of awards for our company. I have been recently named as Gold Winner in the Technology Executive of the Year category by Best in Biz Awards 2020. The list of judges includes some of the top names in technology and business journalism across the globe. I am very proud of this award but I am prouder for the recent awards we, as a company, won.

  • Second Fastest growing technology company in North Texas by Tech Titans in their Fast Tech 2020 list.
  • One of the Top 100 Fortune Best Small and Medium Workplaces™ 2020 by ‘Great Place to Work’.
  • One of the Dallas 100 Fastest-Growing small private companies in North Texas by The Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship at SMU Cox School of Business. The Dallas 100 annually gauges the fastest growing of privately held companies in North Texas.

On how the company plans to change the future:

Organizations are in rush to create sustainable digital transformation programs. This means three things: Speed, Continuous Improvement, and Quality. We are achieving all of these for our clients with our Home-grown AI-infused frameworks.

The exciting change our frameworks bring is to measure the specific gaps in the transformation journey and achieve hyper-automation of manual and repetitive processes. This will lead to high-quality and faster time to market for our clients, making their employees (tired of manual and intensive processes) and their customers (repetitively annoyed by flawed digital products) happier. And as we are already seeing the tectonic shift to view everything through the digital lens now, so our products are enabling a digital future.

On responding to the pandemic’s challenges:

The pandemic put us to test in many ways. Overnight, we had to transform from being a high-touch, in-person company both with employees and with clients into a full remote workforce. While the transition itself was not as hard from a technology standpoint – being a digital first organization, the hard part was in adapting to the new normal while ensuring the momentum we built would not suffer. It was important to instill job security and higher motivation for employees and ensure communication with clients was higher than ever.

We still needed facetime with customers and employees – not knowing how long the “new normal” was going to last. We raised our creative game, started virtual whiskey and wine tastings with our clients, virtual happy hours with employees and clients, a live concert held virtually and all our town halls are now held bi-monthly. We changed the way we interacted with employees and clients often switching to daily touchpoints in several cases to make sure everyone was doing well. Our communication frequency and methods have changed, the way we connect with people has changed, the way we celebrate has changed – What hasn’t changed is how we approach solving problems.

Now, is this mode permanent? We hope not – but we do know that will continue to be engaged at a higher frequency than pre-pandemic virtually or physically and will always put people at the heart of everything we do.

Operationally, a financial safety net was needed in the face of uncertainty. So, we adjusted our banking relationships to give us the financial safety net and put on our creative hats. With several customers hit by the adversity, we protected our existing business and value delivery by innovatively restructuring contracts into Win-Wins and leveraged the global workforce to attract new customers. The results were magnificent!

  • 10% new jobs created,
  • 90% client and employee satisfaction and
  • an industry low < 3% attrition in the year.

On building a resilient team:

Thanks to the People-Centric Culture we have built over the five years, this entire culture supported us during these difficult times with no or limited face time with teams.

Leadership established a single layer of open and constant communication with all the employees. At times, we felt the risk of over-communicating but the rise in productivity of the workforce confirmed that being proactive with employees and clients is the best strategy during a crisis. This gives them an overall picture of the ongoing crisis and specific action plans.

Qentelli believes that the workforce is the secret to success, and empowering them in a way that matters will be our biggest differentiator since employees are our IP and they take the brand Qentelli to our business partners. We have always stressed the importance of a Culture of Innovation, which is fueled by employee empowerment and an acute focus on employees’ welfare to achieve success by providing a conducive work environment.

In addition to the immediate actions mentioned above, Qentelli’s leadership team ensured regular check-ins with all employees using virtual tools. We put together a comprehensive plan for promoting employee welfare. This includes regular All-Hands Meet, Virtual Informal Catchups, Online Stand-Up Comedy shows, Online Yoga and Mental Health Sessions, and a Rewards & Recognition Program. Even during the pandemic, Qentelli completed its annual performance appraisal cycle & gave a pay raise to all eligible employees who have been part of the system since Dec 2019.

We started, Q-Connect, where teams interact with the Leadership in an informal and virtual setup with the aim of understanding Qentelli’s State of the Union & the road ahead.

On what’s next for the company:

Genesis of the name Qentelli comes from Quality – Engineering and Intelligence.

We believe Digital Process Automation is the secret sauce for a lot of organizations to realize significant improvements in productivity by trimming/curtailing the manual-intensive processes thereby freeing the teams so they can focus on innovation.

Firstly, Qentelli is investing tremendously to bring the various moving pieces of an organization on the same level so we can react and respond with even more rigor should we find ourselves facing more disruptive events such as Covid19 in the future.

Secondly, we have an active sales pipeline with prospective clients from various verticals ready to explore how to embrace change and deliver with certainty i.e., ready to accelerate DevOps journey.

Third and finally, the interest from our existing clientele to explore next-gen technologies involving Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning to define their new future.

We have our fundamentals in place to power the next phase of growth. We have the right talent who are passionate about technologies and innovation to serve the rapidly growing need for Digital Transformation. We are sure the future is going to be bold and digital and we are well-prepared to help our clients create a new digital strategy that is enabled by a new generation of technologies.

A version of this story was originally published in Dallas Innovates 2021: The Resilience Issue.

Read it online

Our fourth annual magazine, Dallas Innovates 2021: The Resilience Issue, highlights Dallas-Fort Worth as a hub for innovation. The collective strength of the innovation ecosystem and intellectual capital in Dallas-Fort Worth is a force to be reckoned with.

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