Envoy Global’s Mahi Inampudi on how digital transformation impacts immigration

11 Oct 2019

Mahi Inampudi. Image: Envoy Global

Though immigration remains a hugely paper-driven industry, increasing numbers of firms are looking to digitise their work visa processing, as Envoy Global’s Mahi Inampudi explains.

Mahi Inampudi is the chief technical officer and chief product officer of Envoy Global, a company that builds enterprise software to process the paperwork for sponsoring and managing work visas in the US and overseas.

Here, he discusses the unique challenges of keeping pace with evolving immigration policy while simultaneously dealing with how relatively paper-driven the industry remains.

‘Though we all seem comfortable to talk to machines and seek advice, there still are many industries that are left behind in paper-driven processes’

Tell me about your own role and your responsibilities in driving tech strategy?

I help the product and technology teams to build the world’s best immigration software. Our goal at Envoy is to make it easier for employers and their employees to pursue job opportunities across the globe. Our technology helps people navigate the stressful, confusing and inefficient immigration and visa application process.

In my role, I actively engage and listen to customer feedback and understand where technology can be advanced to deliver the most delightful experience within Envoy’s platform.

Are you spearheading any major product/IT initiatives you can tell us about?

We’re currently working on building and launching Envoy’s 4.0 platform and integrating HR technology into Envoy’s platform as well. This includes using advanced data analytics for our customers while also being compliant with data security laws.

How big is your team? Do you outsource where possible?

My team includes 35 people in Chicago and 15 people overseas. We do not outsource due to the quick pace we move at in terms of time to market and the domain complexity involved. Additionally, with constantly evolving immigration policies, it’s easier to keep our work in house.

What are your thoughts on digital transformation and how are you addressing it?

Though we all seem comfortable to talk to machines and seek advice, there still are many industries that are left behind in paper-driven processes. For example, US immigration processes. It is exciting to see the industry put in a focused effort to digitise our workspace and processes.

Envoy’s business premise started with digital transformation over 20 years ago. At times, we deal with large boxes of paper coming in from our customers’ incumbent law firms for onboarding. Though painful, our customers see the value of not just digitising their corporate immigration program with our platform, but also look deeper into the data we provide for insights. In return, this often allows the companies immigration program to be more strategic.

What big tech trends do you believe are changing the world and your industry specifically?

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and robotic process automation. The fact that there is intelligence baked into most of the devices we interact with today speaks to the impact AI already has. We are probably in the early stages of the AI evolution in terms of the impact AI has on our lives. Though immigration is still mostly a paper-driven industry, the recent technology releases from the government agencies as well as private sector have been exciting.

As government agencies and law firms embrace technology advancements, the immigration space has the potential to look very different in the future.

In terms of security, what are your thoughts on how we can better protect data?

My advice would be to treat your customer data as your personal data. When you do that, where you store data and who has access to customer data automatically improves. Additionally, data protection regulations like GDPR and CCPA are going to tremendously help enforce the best practices as we move forward.

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