Wipro eyes new opportunities with $1B investment in AI

The Indian IT consulting firm launches its ai360 platform, alongside a three-year $1 billion plan that includes training its 250,000 employees on the fundamentals of artificial intelligence.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor
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Getty Images/Weiquan Lin

Wipro is setting aside $1 billion to build up its capabilities and tap new opportunities powered by artificial intelligence (AI). 

Spread across three years, the investment will include training all of the Indian IT consulting firm's 250,000 employees on the fundamentals of AI, and its responsible use. This process will be carried out over the next 12 months, with "more customized" training for employees in AI-specific roles to be provided on an ongoing basis. A curriculum will also be developed to map out the AI journey for different roles. 

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These plans will be necessary to harness "a new era of value, productivity, and commercial opportunities" through AI and generative AI, Wipro said in a statement. The company's goals include advancing its AI, data and analytics foundation, research, and FullStride Cloud platform. 

Wipro will look to build new consulting capabilities to guide clients in leveraging AI, it said. In addition, its investment arm Wipro Ventures will launch a seed accelerator scheme to identify generative AI startups and provide them with the necessary training to be enterprise-ready. Investments in AI startups will also be intensified. 

At the core of Wipro's AI initiatives is a new platform, known as Wipro ai360, which the vendor is touting as the catalyst to integrate AI into "every platform, every tool, and every solution" it uses internally, and that will also be offered to customers. 

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The platform builds on Wipro's "decades-long" investments in AI and is supported by a team of more than 30,000 that includes data scientists, data architects, and visualization and design specialists. These professionals will work across Wipro's four global business lines centered on cloud, engineering, consulting, and business and technology transformation. 

The company's innovation facility Lab45 also will play a key role in supporting Wipro ai360 with skillsets, training, and research.

"Especially with the emergence of generative AI, we expect a fundamental shift up ahead, for all industries," said Wipro CEO and Managing Director Thierry Delaporte. "New business models, new ways of working, and new challenges, too.

"This is exactly why Wipro's ai360 ecosystem places responsible AI operations at the heart of all our AI work. It's meant to empower our talent pool and be ubiquitous across all our operations and processes, as well as our solutioning for clients."

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The Indian IT giant joins other major players in economic powerhouses China and the U.S. that are making big bets on AI amid the emergence of generative AI. China's Alibaba Cloud, for instance, introduced a partnership program to drive the development of AI applications for verticals, including finance and petrochemicals. 

Its large language model, Tongyi Qianwen, was launched in April and is expected to be integrated with all of Alibaba's own business applications, including e-commerce, search, navigation, entertainment, enterprise communication, and intelligence voice assistance

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella early this year also said the US software vendor will "incorporate AI in every layer of the stack", and pointed to AI as the "next big platform wave". 

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