View Full Version : India InfoTech
April 21st, 2012, 05:06 AM
Source : http://yourstory.in/2012/04/what-do-indians-do-online/
April 24th, 2012, 04:21 PM
New Delhi: As many as 30 countries are expected to participate in the World IT forum (WITFOR), which is being held in India for the first time.
"WITFOR is an important international event that places the host country on an international platform to showcase its achievements. So far, India has hosted only regional ICT and e-Governance international events," Department of Electronics and IT said in a statement.
IT and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal will inaugurate the event here on Tuesday.
"The Forum will bring together senior bureaucrats and technologists from South Korea, Canada, Nigeria, Kenya, Malaysia, Estonia, Moldova and Secretaries to the Government of India, both from the Centre and states," the statement said.
The event is being seen as a global platform for policy makers and industry in India to learn from other countries but as an avenues for further cooperation and business development, it added.
May 4th, 2012, 06:06 PM
‘Intellectual property initiatives will drive prices in the future.'N. CHANDRASEKARAN, CEO AND MD, TCS (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/article3384427.ece?homepage=true)
No change in forecast for industry: New Nasscom chief
When asked to do a SWOT analysis for Tata Consultancy Services, its CEO and Managing Director, Mr N Chandrasekaran, said that “there was only strength and opportunity. I feel there are only two quadrants in SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threat).”
His reply only shows the high confidence with which the $10-billion software major has entered this fiscal, while some of its competitors are nervous about how the year is going to be. “If you are looking for any negative comment, you will not get it. Things are very positive for us,” Mr Chandrasekaran told Business line in an interview at the company's Cathedral Road office in Chennai.
During the 30-minute chat, Mr Chandrasekaran dwelt on various issues such as visas, product differentiation and the competition.
Excerpts from the interview:
You reported good financial numbers last fiscal. Will you sustain the momentum this year, too?
Yes, it was a very good year. Overall, the situation looks better as we enter the first quarter of this year, compared with when we entered fourth quarter of last year. That's because the momentum is there in all markets and we see the easing up of discretionary spend, which was a bit of a concern in January.
Where will the growth come from?
We will see growth coming from all areas, including retail, consumer products, telecom, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, and banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI). New technologies such as mobility, cloud and digital will be another stream what will drive growth.
Will you see any major changes in geographical spread?
The traditional markets of the US, Continental Europe and the UK will continue to do well. We see a lot of traction in emerging markets, including India, Latin America, Egypt and Middle East.
You look very positive...
Yes. We look at the deals that we had closed and what our customers tell us. As I have said in the recent past, we are going to have a global environment that is somewhat unpredictable. So, we have to assume that we are operating under that environment. But the data we have; the deal signings; the traction with customers and the order pipeline, all of that, I feel, tell us that we are more confident today than in the past.
What is the key focus this year?
We need to get more revenue from the non-linear segment. This means more than revenue, getting non-linear platforms industrialised, getting it strong, getting a number of customers on it. We have the banking products; technology platforms for HR, procurement, analytics and insurance. We are looking at a couple of more areas to invest. We also have a small and medium platform.
Are there budget delays?
By and large, we do not see that, because customers working with us are positive. There will be always in individual cases where they may delay the projects. We do not see any pattern.
Is pricing an issue?
Pricing is likely to be stable from where it is today. Last year also, we said the same thing. On a yearly basis, we delivered a 1.3 per cent growth due to price. I believe the pricing improvement has to largely come from specialised services and non-linear offerings (various products).
Could you give examples?
For example, you create a solution, which is based on intellectual property. Then we can command better prices. Those kinds of initiatives are what will drive price improvement in the near term. The normal business model will not work.
Looking at deal sizes, has a lot changed in the last one year?
Anything to do with large outsourcing of infrastructure or application or analytics models could lead to deals large in size. For deals that are specific projects, where we need to build a particular application on a mobile, the size will be smaller. Previously, the discretionary spending was very soft. We are seeing demand in both.
Is issue of visas a concern?
It has been of concern for some time. Nothing has changed now. As unemployment continues to be a worry in countries outside, visas will continue to be a concern. We already have a model.
We use a combination of local recruitment and better visa planning. But the good thing is that we were able to execute engagements.
Does this mean that there will be work offshore?
There will be specific cases but cannot make general statements.
How is business in Japan?
Yes, it is very tough. We have made investments there and created a joint venture with Mitsubishi for onsite development.
Definitely, our interest is to penetrate that market and we are making lot of investments there.
Is it the same with China?
Yes, both Japan and China are tough markets.
Are the issues similar in both the countries?
Japan is a very established market with big companies having big operations there. It is just the language and cultural barrier. China is a growing market. But the cost structure and mobility offers a different challenge. China has a high attrition while Japan does not have. While there is big opportunities in both the market but they are tough. However, we are bullish on both the markets.
How do you differentiate?
Differentiation comes in terms of solution, opportunity and domain knowledge. If you are implementing big solutions around security, corporate taxes, trade finance or wealth management, we have our solutions.
We have built our solutions on value propositioning around that. Sometimes the execution makes the difference. Sometimes, the track record with the client or intellectual property brings the differentiation. You cannot make a generic point that this is my differentiation against so-and-so in this industry, in this client and in this opportunity.
Could you do a quick SWOT on TCS?
We have an excellent platform, a great team and a wonderful set of customers. We have the momentum. In terms of challenges, we need to maintain and continue to scale effectively in a way that we continue to be agile.
We have made significant bets on non-linear and are in the process of creating future business models that are either cloud-based, outcome based or service-based and define the way the IT services are delivered in future. We need to make that shift. It is not a one year journey but a few years' journey.
May 9th, 2012, 09:45 PM
Cognizant raises investment in real estate infra by $200 m
Chennai, May 9:
Cognizant Technology Solutions has increased its real estate infrastructure expansion in India by nearly $200 million.
The US-based company, which has large offshore presence in India, has revised its investment plan to a total of $700 million in real estate from 2011 through 2015.
This is to expand its campuses in India by an additional 10.5 million sq ft.
This expanded programme includes expenditure on land acquisition, facilities construction and furnishings to build new company-owned IT development and delivery centres in regions primarily designated as Special Economic Zones in India.
In February 2011, the company announced $500 million of investment in its India infrastructure expansion through the end of 2014. However, at the beginning of calendar 2012, the company decided to expand its planning horizon for the India real estate programme to 2015 and beyond, said a company spokesperson.
Cash and Capex
For the first quarter ended March 2012, Cognizant finished with $2.5 billion of cash and short-term investments.
It spent around $60.5 million for capital expenditures during the quarter.
“During 2012, we expect our capital expenditure to total approximately $370 million,” Ms Karen McLoughlin, Chief Financial Officer, Cognizant, told analysts while discussing the company's financial results.
Cognizant ended the March quarter with around 1,40,500 employees globally.
Of this, nearly 105,000 are in employed in its India centres.
May 10th, 2012, 05:42 AM
227 Indian students selected for Google summer of code 2012 (http://google-opensource.blogspot.in/2012/05/google-summer-of-code-2012-by-numbers.html)
May 12th, 2012, 04:39 AM
Betting big on Big Data? (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/features/eworld/article3388050.ece?ref=wl_features)
Big data is just that – big, and a big opportunity, as well. It may be the first time that the IT industry has finally named a new concept crisply, aptly and lucidly. But, as with all things IT, it still needs explaining.
For instance, what was missing in data-warehousing and business intelligence (BI) that is now possible with Big Data?
Wikipedia, as always, puts it best: big data consists of data sets that grow so large that they become awkward to work with using on-hand database management tools. Difficulties include capture, storage, search, sharing, analytics, and visualizing. This trend continues because of the benefits of working with larger and larger data sets allowing analysts to "spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime.”
Fifteen years ago, when we were trying to understand what BI can do for us, this was the most quoted example: “Arranging beer cans next to baby diaper stands during weekends in a super market helped increase the sales of both!”
How could that be? These two items seem so unrelated. BI tools helped the retailer discover that on weekends, fathers of young children stopped by to pick up diapers. These are the ones that picked up beer for the weekend as well.
Now, look at what Big Data can do in today's context. In his widely quoted book, “Outliers” the author Malcolm Gladwell, explains why crime in a certain state in the US went down at a point in time. It is so easy to point at policy, better policing, or increasing value systems for this change. Gladwell spots an unlikely event that happened a decade and a half earlier – abortion was made legal in that state at the time. He infers that in a majority of cases, children are born out of wedlock to parents in the lower stratum of society who can ill afford children in that age group. This would typically result in these children growing up to be young adults with fewer opportunities than life should offer them, thus forcing them into a life of crime.
Look at the data needed to process this thought: current demographics of not only young adults but those who were teenagers about 15 years prior to this study, crime rates in the state across all these years, not to mention a study of the police force across all these years and the impact of all policy changes in this period: a study of the latter two would be necessary to just eliminate them as causes.
This is where Big Data comes in. And, interestingly, this is where Cloud Computing comes in too.
Where are you going to process and store such data? How will you process this data? Whatever you are, a single researcher, an institution of intellectual academics or a private market research organisation, few can justify such investment into IT storage and computing at that scale. You have to keep in mind that single data set can contain a few dozen terabytes to many petabytes of data, this being the current range of big data sizes. Cloud Computing that allows you to buy compute power and storage space on a per-use basis, is the panacea.
Now, more than ever, other data points are becoming more relevant as compared to just analyzing available datasets such as sales or crime reports.
Earlier, we thought of data in terms of size. But now, of the Four Vs, Volume (or size), is only one. The rate at which data changes, or is updated, is its Velocity. The same kind of data could vary from time to time causing Variability. And of course, different data sets, giving rise to Variety.
A very common impact on analysis is social behaviour such as Facebook ‘likes', status message and tweets. These datasets are huge and the velocity at which the data is increasing makes it difficult to store and analyse. The whole idea of big data is to use all the possible dimensions for analysis.
And that gives us the answer to our first question: Big Data is big NOW, because of what Cloud Computing offers. A state's meteorology department could have gone into big data with its own investments and that could well have been 3 years ago rather than now. But a researcher with a small budget or a start-up aiming to offer analytic services need not sink all that money before it discovers it is failing. As always, the theme for cloud computing remains the same: If you are failing, it helps you fail fast. And if you succeed, it is because of the cloud that you succeed!
May 12th, 2012, 04:57 AM
Software majors manage to keep staff cost flat (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/info-tech/article3405117.ece)
June 21st, 2012, 06:14 PM
NEW DELHI: IT firms Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Satyam said they have set up a Center of Excellence (CoE) for BMC Software at their Hinjewadi facility in Pune.
At this facility, the companies will showcase complete product integration where customers will get firsthand experience of real-life use cases, a company statement said.
"This CoE will help create a platform to build propositions and pre-integrated service offerings for our enterprise and telecom customers," Tech mahindra President (IT services) L Ravichandran said.
The CoE will develop solutions leveraging BMC's business service management (BSM) portfolio and cloud lifecycle management solutions, the statement said.
"This center will enable co-innovation and delivery of joint offerings," it added.
Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Satyam along with BMC Software are already providing service assurance and platform based managed IT services to several customers.
"Through our joint offerings, we have been able to transform large enterprises and telecom customers and we look forward to a growing partnership in the future," BMC Software President (Enterprise Service Management) Paul Avenant said.
June 29th, 2012, 09:43 AM
I found some enouraging news about the Indian government's push to have chip companies build chip fabs in India:
India Department of Electronics & Information Technology Selects Accenture To Review Semiconductor Fabrication Proposals (http://eon.businesswire.com/news/eon/20120605005600/en)
NEW DELHI--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The Government of India Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) has selected Accenture (NYSE: ACN) to review investment proposals from global technology providers and investors interested in building semiconductor fabrication units (fabs) in India.
Semiconductor fabrication is an essential requirement for the domestic manufacture of electronics, and the government has set a goal of attracting investments of between $7 billion and $10 billion. The government is seeking companies that can offer technology expertise and investment for setting up semiconductor wafer fabrication units in the country.
“With an investment scope of billions of U.S. dollars, this strategic project holds considerable promise for Indian manufacturing,” said Managing Director Krishna Giri, who leads Accenture’s Health & Public Services business in India. “By bringing together investors, manufacturers and the government of India, this initiative will help build the critical collaboration that is needed to bridge the gap in domestic semiconductor production.”
A high-level government committee has recommended supporting investors interested in establishing semiconductor wafer fabs to manufacture chips in India to increase capacity for India’s growing domestic demand. India has emerged as a key center for chip design, as the country’s current electronics hardware production capacity represents 1.31 percent of global capacity. At current growth levels, domestic production of semiconductors can only meet demand of $104 billion of a demand projected to reach $400 billion by 2020.
As part of a management consulting engagement, Accenture will work in two phases to help the government assess companies interested in building semiconductor fabs in India. The first phase includes the development of a template for business proposals as well as a project appraisal template and a letter of intent detailing terms and conditions. Accenture will then conduct a detailed assessment of the business proposals received by DeitY. The due diligence process could include site visits, interaction with suppliers, market surveys and feasibility studies.
“Accenture’s deep understanding of the semiconductor industry, as well as the creation of high-performance teams, will help us support the government’s objectives,” Giri said. “We look forward to working closely with the government on this landmark initiative. Over time, the electronic hardware industry has the potential to become a significant contributor to India’s GDP, much like the software industry is today.”
Dr. Ajay Kumar, joint secretary of India’s Department of Electronics & Information Technology said, “We believe that this initiative will help create an ecosystem for electronics system design and manufacturing in the country.”
Another article gives a little more detail:
DeitY selects Accenture as consultant to evaluate chip fab proposal (http://www.eeherald.com/section/news/nws2012060601.html)
Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has awarded consutant firm Accenture a contract to evaluate India semiconductor fab proposal. Accenture to review investment proposals from chip fabrication companies interested in building semiconductor fabs in India.
"With an investment scope of billions of U.S. dollars, this strategic project holds considerable promise for Indian manufacturing," said Managing Director Krishna Giri, who leads Accenture's Health & Public Services business in India. "By bringing together investors, manufacturers and the government of India, this initiative will help build the critical collaboration that is needed to bridge the gap in domestic semiconductor production."
"Over time, the electronic hardware industry has the potential to become a significant contributor to India's GDP, much like the software industry is today." Adds Krishna Giri.
What's challenging for Accenture is to evaluate the investor, where the company not only has to fill the present gap but also adopts to fast changing semiconductor chip-manufacturing technology, where the trend is not just "Moore's Law" but is "More than Moore" concept.
'More than Moore' includes exploring new materials such Graphene, 3D fabrication, Maskless Lithography, putting digital, analog, RF, sensor, and even passive component in one device and a host of such other things.
Similar to case how ARM has taken care of processor IP design of many chip companies. In semiconductor manufacturing domain too, there are pure IP players emerging to support R&D part of semiconductor manufacturing. Good examples are IMEC and CEA-LETI. Both have host of chip making technology IPs.
Earlier the chipmakers dependent only on internal R&D in reducing chip integration geometries and other innovations. The trend now is clearly buying the IP from outside R&D companies.
Whoever is fab investor in India, either can have strong internal R&D or inseparable relationship with semiconductor R&D IP provider and also both. Interestingly software is playing important and increasing role in both material research, and manufacturing. The investor must have direct and indirect capabilities in EDA/design software.
July 11th, 2012, 11:05 AM
PTI | Jul 9, 2012, 03.33PM IST
NEW DELHI: As more firms in India embrace cloud computing, there is an increasing need to have a dedicated policy for defining the standards for procurement and usage of the technology, especially by government agencies, says a report by industry body CII.
Cloud computing allows storage of data and access to software on a pay-per-use model, helping companies to cut costs as they do not have to invest in infrastructure.
Major cloud service providers include Google, Amazon and Microsoft, who store the data of clients on servers across the globe.
While companies are adopting the new technology, the report titled 'The Indian Cloud Revolution' by CII, KPMG and Amarchand Mangaldas & Shroff suggests that cloud-based services can be leveraged by the government to launch e-governance initiatives quicker at lower overhead costs.
"A common cloud platform will also enable local governments and other public agencies to adopt e-governance for better citizen services, without requiring the setting up of significant IT infrastructure," it added.
However, cloud computing also represents a "new set of opportunities and challenges for law enforcement agencies" as jurisdiction over data in the cloud has been a cause of concern for regulators globally.
"In order to reap benefits of the cloud, the government needs plan its cloud adoption efforts...the Indian government should come up with a policy giving direction to its agencies to adopt cloud as well as to the cloud service providers inclined towards providing services to government," it said.
The government also needs to establish a nodal agency, which would define the standards for procurement and usage of cloud technologies by government agencies, the report added.
The report suggested that the policy should reconcile the most suitable mechanism to enable law enforcement agencies' to collect and analyse personal and electronic data as per the existing laws.
The manner of access, format of storing and providing information, retention period, content regulation and regular reporting should also be considered within such policy, it added.
The Indian government has set-up committee to recommend framework for cloud computing services under chairmanship of Infosys' Executive Co-Chairman S Gopalakrishnan.
"The committee will suggest a framework to promote cloud computing service in and from the country," Indian Computer Emergency Response Team Director Gulshan Rai, also member of the committee, told PTI.
July 12th, 2012, 06:01 PM
Infosys promotes 20,000 people; utilization, retention high at TCS (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/careers/job-trends/Infosys-promotes-20000-people-utilization-retention-high-at-TCS/articleshow/14852147.cms)
Infosys has promoted another 4,000 people taking the total number of promotions this year to 20,000, effective July 1, 2012. This is about over 13% of the company's total strength of 1,51,151 as on June 30.
"We have done the promotions and progressions as we talked last time, we have done 20,000 across the corporations," Infosys CEO S D Shibulal said.
The company had earlier said it would review the wage hike decision depending on the company performance. However, with lower-than-expected earnings and forecast, in dollar term, the company will not lift its freeze on salary hike any time soon.
Infosys and its subsidiaries added 9,236 (gross) people in the first quarter of FY'13, while the net addition during the period stood at 1,157 employees. The rate of attrition during the quarter was marginally higher at 14.9% against 14.7% in the January-March quarter of 2011-12.
"Typically, attrition in the first quarter (of a fiscal) goes up because people tend to go for higher studies. About 30% of our attrition was due to this reason," Shibulal said.
Meanwhile the country's lead tech player Tata Consultancy Services has continued to hire to support business growth. With campus trainees joining the company from the beginning of July-September quarter, lateral hiring accounted for 75% of total hiring in Q1. There was a total gross addition of 13,831 people (net addition of 4,962), taking the total employee strength of 243,545 on a consolidated basis.
The utilization rate (excluding trainees) was at 81.3% and that including trainees was 72.3%. The attrition rate (last twelve months-LTM) was 12.0%.
"We have been able to effectively increase our retention rate in the first quarter to over 88% and increase our utilization rates further. The on-boarding of current year's trainees has begun," said Ajoy Mukherjee, executive vice-president and global head, human resources.
TCS has a target to hire 50,000 people this year while Infosys will hire 35,000 people, which includes 13,000 jobs for its BPO operations.
July 20th, 2012, 10:00 AM
Infosys to set up big facility for Apple (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Infosys-to-set-up-big-facility-for-Apple/articleshow/15051197.cms)
There will be a lot more of India in Apple products soon. The $108-billion maker of iPhones and iPads is scaling up sharply the work it outsources to Infosys Technologies.
The Bangalore-based IT giant has rented a 1.40-lakh-sqft office space near its headquarters in Electronics City to house employees who would work exclusively for Apple. Sources in the real estate industry who did not want to be named said the building would have the capacity to house 1,400 people. The centre will be operational by the end of the year.
It was previously reported that Apple CIO Neil O'Connor had met the Infosys top brass in Bangalore in January, leading to speculation that Apple was looking at outsourcing more to Indian companies. When contacted, Infosys said in an emailed response: "We are unable to participate in your story."
Infosys had a role in developing apps for iCloud Helped develop applications for Apple Retail Store 2.0. It has also helped in the design of frameworks for the iOS.
Apple outsources application development and maintenance work to the extent of Rs 490 crore to Indian IT services providers. It is said to account for $50 million (Rs 275 crore) of Infosys' annual revenue of $7 billion.
Assuming that the new space that Infosys is taking for Apple will house a new set of employees , it would mean that Apple would be giving an additional business of at least $65 million (Rs 357 crore) every year to Infosys, considering that each Infosys employee accounts for an average annual revenue of $47,000. Infosys has about 1.5 lakh employees.
Former employees of Infosys who had worked on the Apple account said the current work is being executed by employees across Bangalore, Mangalore, Bhubaneswar and Thiruvananthapuram . The ultra-secretive Apple does not disclose the nature of work it does with third parties. But the former Infosys employees said Infosys played a role in developing applications for iCloud — a service that allows users to access music, calendar, documents and email via the cloud and which automatically syncs with your Mac, iPad and iPhone.
Infosys has also worked on developing applications for Apple Retail Store 2.0 launched last year, where iPad displays took the place of paper placards in Apple stores. The iPad offered an interactive way to explore the features and prices of the products being advertised, and it even had a call button to summon an Apple representative to the product for assistance.
Infosys has also helped in the design of frameworks for the iOS, the operating platform for Apple devices that provides interfaces needed to write software for the platform. Many Infosys employees are trained on Cocoa, Apple's native objective-oriented application programming interface.
Apple, with revenues of $108 billion in 2011, is the largest publicly traded company in the world by market capitalization, thanks to the phenomenal success of the iPhone and iPad. The market cap briefly touched $600 billion in April this year and currently is around $571 billion .
In 2006, the company had moved to establish a 3,000-people strong technical support centre in Bangalore. But it withdrew within months following a massive backlash from Apple fans around the world who felt India would not be able to deliver the quality of support they expected. However, it looks like the quality of Indian IT outsourcing work has been too good to resist.
August 17th, 2012, 11:42 AM
Oracle paying $2M to settle SEC charges on India (http://www.statesman.com/business/technology/oracle-paying-2m-to-settle-sec-charges-on-2437031.html)
WASHINGTON — Software maker Oracle Corp. has agreed to pay $2 million to settle federal civil charges of failing to prevent secret payments in its sales operations in India.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement Thursday. The SEC said Oracle violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by allowing its Indian subsidiary to secretly set aside money that went to phony local vendors. Oracle ran the risk of the secret funds being used for bribes, the SEC said.
The agency said the violations occurred from 2005 to 2007. It said the subsidiary sold software licenses and services to the Indian government and kept some of the sale proceeds off Oracle's books.
Oracle, based in Redwood Shores, Calif., neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in the settlement.
It said it fired the employees involved in the alleged violations after conducting an investigation. It informed the government and cooperated with the SEC's inquiry.
"Oracle has established policies, programs and controls to deter and detect inappropriate conduct that have been recognized among the best in our industry," company spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said. "We will continue to maintain a high standard of compliance and accountability for our business around the world."
August 17th, 2012, 11:44 AM
India's TCS to buy tech startup for $34 million (http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/16/us-tataconsultancy-india-idINBRE87F0FB20120816)
(Reuters) - Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS.NS), India's top software services exporter, said it agreed to buy Computational Research Laboratories (CRL), a start-up group company, for 1.88 billion rupees ($33.7 million).
TCS, which is a part of India's diversified Tata group, said the deal to acquire CRL, also owned by the Tatas, would boost its cloud computing services.
August 17th, 2012, 03:26 PM
Top Tech Leaders Discuss Enterprise Technology Issues at CIO&Leader Conference (http://www.itnewsonline.com/showbwstory.php?storyid=7930)
New Delhi, Delhi, India : The 13th Annual CIO&Leader Conference was attended by 125 top CIOs and tech decision makers from across India and the SAARC region at the prestigious Indian School of Business in Hyderabad earlier this week. Pre-eminent international speakers and renowned faculty delivered high quality keynotes and the conference was supported by more than 20 leading technology companies. 9.9 Media launched its Leadership Institute on the occasion.
The conference, organised by CIO&Leader – an acclaimed magazine for CIOs - was co-chaired by Anuradha Das Mathur – Founder and Director, 9.9 Media, Dr. Pramath Raj Sinha - Founder and MD, 9.9 Media, and Harvey Koeppel – Head - Centre for CIO Leadership.
‘Track Technology, Build Business and Shape Self’ – the magazine’s tagline suggested the overall learning theme. CIOs found great value in sessions by Dishan Kamdar – Associate Dean, ISB, Hyderabad, Jeff Sampler – Fellow of strategy and Technology, Oxford University, Harvey Koeppel– Head - Centre for CIO Leadership and Hari Mundra – Advisor, Wockhardt, Former Director HUL and Deputy MD, Essar Oil.
The conference saw leading CIOs such as Prashun Dutta of Tata Power, Sandeep Phanasgaonkar of Reliance Capital, Chandrasekaran N of Ashok Leyland, Amrita Gangotra of Airtel, Annie Mathew of Mother Dairy, Vijay Sethi of Hero Honda participate and share their experiences. Popular emerging themes included: the importance of collaboration, the revenue-focused CIO, the importance of Big Data and Analytics and the criticality of enterprise security. The delegates heard in rapt attention as Prof Dishan Kamdar spoke about the art of negotiating and Prof Sampler spoke about the CIO’s understanding of the overall business vision. Harvey Koeppel in his remark about conference said, “The 13th annual CIO&Leader Conference held at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad on August 11th - 13th was truly a world-class event. The thoughtful agenda, topical content and compelling speakers provided participants with insights and related experiences of significant value to all. The mix of academic thought leadership, practical perspectives shared by industry executives and latest technology trends presented by sponsors created a perfect context for networking and establishing new relationships with more than 100 top CIOs and IT executives. I would recommend this event to anyone interested in advancing their role as CIO and IT leader, and in enhancing their contribution to their enterprise and to their industry..."
This apex conference for CIOs upped the bar, yet again, in terms of offering the right mix of learning and fun – with the Drumberries and an enthralling performance by the award-winning qawwal Ehsaan Bharati.
On the occasion, Anuradha Das Mathur said, ‘we betted on 3 themes for CIOs this time – collaboration, innovation and negotiating skills as business leaders and these were reflected in our agenda. The CIO community’s response suggests we hit the nail on the head. On our part too, at 9.9 Media, we must continuously innovate to stay ahead in offering exponential value to our readers and delegates.’
9.9 Media is one of India’s most diversified media companies that integrates its print, online, research and event platforms to serve highly-targeted communities such as Owner-Managers/Entrepreneurs, CIOs, CTOs, CISOs, CFOs, Manufacturing & Logistics professionals, IT professionals, Channel partners, Gamers, Personal technology enthusiasts and those leading institutes of higher education. Some of its leading brands include The CTO Forum, Digit, Industry 2.0, Logistics 2.0, Digit Channel Connect, SKOAR!, thinkdigit.com, consumermate.com and now the latest additions, CFO India and Edu. The 9.9 School of Convergence is focused on developing talent in journalism. 9.9 Media was founded by five professionals: Kanak Ghosh, Asheesh Gupta, Vikas Gupta, Anuradha Das Mathur and Pramath Raj Sinha. Its investors include Helion Venture Partners and TVS Capital Funds Ltd.
August 18th, 2012, 01:58 PM
'Cloud' could be 'Over Hyped', but Private Cloud Sees Action in India (http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/internet/3376614/cloud-could-be-over-hyped-but-private-cloud-sees-action-in-india/)
A recent report from Gartner found that cloud computing is a hyped-up term. The research firm believes that the overall cloud computing industry is past its peak of inflated expectations.
However, industry watchers in India believe that private cloud is seeing a lot of action. Public cloud however still seems to a hyped-up technology because security is still a big concern with it.
"In India, private cloud is seeing good action and it cannot be called a hyped term. There is a lot of uptake as far as private cloud is concerned. In future as well, private cloud will see many developments around I," believes Mohd. Arifuddin, AVP -- Sales -- Technology Solutions at Hyderabad based Locuz Solutions. However, he adds this is not a case with public cloud. The enterprises are still hesitant to port their data into public cloud because of the security and performance issues.
Praveen Dwarkanath, Co-Founder of Bangalore based MN World Enterprises agrees. "There are always apprehensions about public cloud. Although cloud computing has been there for decades in forms of mailing services like hotmail, the term 'cloud computing' is over hyped by people." he says.
"Private cloud will see more action than public cloud as partners needed to follow a proper route starting from internal cloud to private cloud then finally moving the client into public cloud. Customers in India are not well educated about cloud computing, hence they will always have security as a concern," Dwarkanath adds.
CIO India's Cloud Computing Survey 2012 establishes the fact that security is a major issue among the Indian enterprises. The survey of all major CIOs in India reveals that the increase in number of online breaches have made organizations more security aware but not cautious. The survey states that Indian CIOs are not prepared for the Cloud.
However, the survey also affirms advantages of private cloud. CIOs of Indian companies believe that private cloud is a way to built in better scalability and leveraging existing assets and increasing efficiency. It is largely preferred by Indian companies as it is a way to reduce total cost of ownership while improve peak application performance.
August 19th, 2012, 07:23 PM
IT cos hiring youth to lead emerging technologies (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-08-18/software-services/33261056_1_mobile-solutions-hcl-technologies-infosys-technologies)
BANGALORE: IT companies looking at emerging technologies like social media, mobility, analytics and cloud computing (SMAC) are turning to younger people to lead these areas.
The younger professionals tend to be more tuned to these technologies and more easily adapt to them.
"The candidates we find for these positions are in their mid to late thirties and come with 11-12 years of industry experience," says Prasad Medhury, partner at executive search firm Amrop India.
Naresh Nagarajan, senior VP and head of ecosystem business incubation in HCL Technologies, says the company's mobility team is headed by a 30-year-old and its advanced analytics is headed by someone who is 32.
HCL Technologies is planning to make SMAC a $1 billion business in the next five years.
Procuring talent for these new technologies is tough. The turnaround time is slower as the technologies themselves are relatively new, and the talent pool is limited.
For this reason, many of those who are hired for these positions do not come with a background in these areas, notes Medhury.
"Cloud capability doesn't exist as yet," says Deepak Jain, global head of work force planning and development in Wipro Technologies. Wipro, he says, is hiring domain consultants and architects who understand the virtualisation engine and demonstrate integration capabilities. "You need professionals who have launched web solutions to understand what it means to design cloud solutions. Unlike mobile solutions, where it's easier to find a Windows or iOS programmer, people who design cloud solutions come with a combination of storage or platform skills; the rest is imparted through hands-on lab experience," he says.
Infosys Technologies is focussing on a mix of incubation and focussed talent sourcing for cloud, mobility and product development. "These are futuristic technologies therefore this initiative. We also look at start-ups as one of the hiring grounds. This is important as new hires from such organisations bring in a keen sense to explore and create new things," says Nandita Gurjar, group HR head at Infosys.
Venkat Shastry, office managing director in executive search firm KornFerry Bangalore, however feels that in some cases you may need leaders who are fairly senior. "Though you need people with web-scale kind of skills, services companies are hiring talent to create IP-based offerings and therefore need core technology experts or those with a digital legacy. Such people needn't be very young," he says.
September 28th, 2012, 03:41 PM
ayant D Shete, president of Computer and Media Dealers Association (CMDA), has more than 320 members in IT hardware business from Pune and PCMC in CMDA. IT hardware market in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad together is valued at Rs 4,000 crore and is growing at the rate of 8 to 10 per cent annually. CMDA controls more than 90 per cent of the IT market in the region. He speaks with Vasumita S Adarsh on trends in IT hardware market and how it is poised to grow in future. Edited excerpts:
What are the main objectives and functions of CMDA?
The main objective is to bring credibility for our members and ensure that business is ethically conducted. All dealers in IT consumables, vendors, distributors and service providers can become our members. We have a stringent verification process and dealers need to have conducted business in the city for at least two years. Around 320 IT dealers are our members currently from both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. Our members control almost 90 per cent of the Pune, PCMC IT hardware market.
We also form a huge support network for our dealers, helping them get easy credit, conducting a number of business improvement programmes for them, besides other activities such as cultural, social and health-related. Annually, we conduct at least 25 such events, to promote more communication amongst members and ensure fair and credible business practices are followed.
We also conduct several awareness programmes from a social angle to help end-users. Programmes such as e-waste collection and recycling, tree plantation, etc. are conducted.
October 12th, 2012, 09:12 PM
October 19th, 2012, 05:35 PM
TCS beats the estimates. But HCL is the one to watch; might change the pecking order similar to cognizant.
December 1st, 2012, 03:12 AM
Cross-posting from Chennai IT thread. Courtesy: karkal
An app by Indians(Chennai) is No. 1 grosser on the Apple iPad (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/personal-tech/computing/An-app-by-Indians-is-No-1-grosser-on-the-Apple-iPad/articleshow/17388467.cms)
Magzter, an online magazine store developed by two Chennai-based entrepreneurs Girish Ramdas and Vijayakumar Radhakrishnan, has become the top grosser on the Apple iPad. :cheers::cheers:
Since last Thursday, Magzter has overtaken international favourites and long standing grossers like Angry Birds, NY Times for iPad, Clash of Clans and Frontline Commando. On Tuesday, Clash of Clans had briefly recovered its No. 1 spot, but when TOI last looked at the list of top grossers on the iPad, Magzter was back at the top. The iPad has over 700,000 apps. :banana::banana:
"Even in the number of daily downloads, Magzter has crossed other reading apps like Flipboard, Pulse and Zite," Ramdas, CEO of Magzter, said. It has 4.5 million users globally, many of them in the US, the market that the company is most focused on.
Magzter has more than 1,500 magazines in its store. About 400 of them are Indian magazines. "We have readers from all over the world who buy magazine subscriptions every day. Cross border selling is helping the digital magazine industry by generating more global readers," Radhakrishnan, president of Magzter said.
The app was launched 17 months ago, but received massive traction over the past 45 days thanks to some Facebook sharing features that were added to the app. "Now, if you like the cover of a magazine, you can share it on Facebook, and if your friends like it, they can click to come to our store to buy it. This has had a major viral effect," Ramdas said.
Magzter's popularity is also because of the ease with which publishers can use it to publish replica versions of the magazine or even to create highly interactive magazines. "We give complete control to publishers and they get to decide what they want to give to their readers," Radhakrishnan said. Magazine prices are also heavily discounted, by as much as 50% in many cases, which also adds to Magzter's allure.
Another big advantage of Magzter, compared to some of its other online newsstand competitors, is that you can buy a magazine on one platform, say Apple's iOS, and read it on another one of your devices that runs on the Android or Windows 8 platform.
Ramdas graduated from the College of Engineering, Guindy, in Chennai. He ran an IT services company in Chennai called Dot Com Infoway and then started a magazine called Galatta Media focused on south Indian films. He later created an iPhone and iPad app for the magazine, which gave him the idea to create a global online magazine newsstand.
December 3rd, 2012, 10:59 PM
Texas Instruments firing staff in India, plans to cut 300 to 500 jobs as part of global restructuring (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/jobs/texas-instruments-firing-staff-in-india-plans-to-cut-300-to-500-jobs-as-part-of-global-restructuring/articleshow/17470180.cms)
BANGALORE: Chip designer Texas Instruments (TI), the first global corporation to identify India's technology prowess by setting up a development centre in the 1980s, is shedding a few hundred employees in India as part of a global restructuring. This marks another chapter in the company's history and also the story of India's IT industry.
Several employees in the Dallas-headquartered firm's Indian operations that ET spoke to said between 300 and 500 engineers were being shed as part of the global cull that will see it reduce focus on making chips used in mobile phones and tablets to concentrate on more profitable areas.
"Texas Instrument has cut down an entire business unit. These are experienced developers with 2-5 years experience and some senior managers as well," one employee told ET.
"The numbers could reach around 500 since the company is terminating the entire business unit," another employee said. Both employees requested anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
The lay offs are a first in India for the company, which set up its first development centre in Bangalore in 1985 and employs about 1,500 engineers in the country.
A TI spokesperson acknowledged that employees were being let go, but declined to share numbers. Globally, the company has announced plans to lay off some 1700 employees, or 5% of its workforce. It hopes to make annualised savings of about $450 million by the end of 2013.
Texas Instruments firing staff in India
"This decision is consistent with TI's previously outlined intentions to focus its OMAP processors and wireless connectivity solutions on a broader set of embedded applications with long life cycles, instead of its historical focus on the mobile market where large customers are increasingly developing their own custom chips," said Narahari KS, director of communications at the Indian arm, in an emailed statement.
The global restructuring will reduce TI's focus on chips used in mobile phones, an area where faces stiff competition from rival Qualcomm. Also, as large phone-makers such as Samsung have started designing and making their own chips, TI management decided to re-focus its research focus to more relevant areas.
TI, which credits itself for the first ever cellphone made in India, also was the first MNC to install a satellite dish in Bangalore back in the early 1980s to export software from India.
With about $14 billion (Rs 77,000 crore) in revenues, TI is the third largest manufacturer of semiconductors worldwide after Intel and Samsung and second largest supplier of processors for mobile phones after Qualcomm.
Narahari said that the global decision will have some impact on Indian employees as well but said that there will be opportunities for some employees to get re-deployed to other divisions within the company.
December 3rd, 2012, 11:03 PM
Ramco ERP to serve ADC Energy via cloud (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/ramco-erp-to-serve-adc-energy-via-cloud/article4160990.ece)
Chennai, Dec. 3:
Chennai-based Ramco Systems will provide its full ERP suite to ADC Energy Systems, Dubai.
Ramco Systems has announced on the NSE that the deal with ADC Energy for ERP on cloud will provide the latter full-suite ERP including finance, project management, real estate, inventory, procurement and subcontracting, sales and CRM, and HCM and payroll.
There will be specific focus on the engineering, procurement and construction vertical. Ramco ERP will interface with MS SharePoint and Primavera.
Ramco Systems will address the requirement of ADC Energy across the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The Dubai-based company is a provider of engineering and construction solutions for industrial and commercial cooling, heating and energy systems.
The ERP suite will enable ADC Energy track and monitor projects, resources, inventory and financials and comply with changing regulatory requirements.
ADC Energy is also focussing on grain milling and the food business sector, and is set to handle large grain storage terminals. It is also engaged in cement and mineral and mining applications.
Ramco Systems provides enterprise solutions on cloud, mobile and tablets.
December 3rd, 2012, 11:41 PM
CCI gives approval for restructuring of two TCS entities (http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/cci-gives-approval-for-restructuringtwo-tcs-entities_790178.html)
The Competition Commission has approved the restructuring of the two subsidiaries of country's largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services. The restructuring pertains to two entities -- e-Serve and TEIL.
The Competition Commission has approved the restructuring of the two subsidiaries of country's largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services. The restructuring pertains to two entities -- e-Serve and TEIL.
Also read: TCS wins multi-million, multi-year contract from UK Home office
"It is observed that the proposed combination is a group restructuring exercise and the ultimate control over the activities of e-Serve and TEIL would continue to be exercised by TCS, both prior to as well as pursuant to the proposed combination," the Commission said in order dated November 22.
The proposed combination is, therefore, not likely to have any adverse competitive effect in India, the Commission said. TCS, e-Serve and TEIL are into the business of providing IT, ITeS and Business Process Outsourcing services. The combination process would consist of two parts -- amalgamation of e-Serve into TCS and the demerger of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) undertaking of TEIL into TCS.
TEIL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TCS. TCS holds 96.26 per cent stake in TEIL through e-Serve. The Commission said TEIL SEZ includes the business of TEIL -- that primarily is providing information technology and information technology-enabled services carried out at SEZ locations in Chennai, Kolkata and Gurgaon.
TCS along with TCS e-Serve Ltd and TCS e-Serve International Ltd had jointly filed an application seeking approval on November 12. The notice was submitted following a composite scheme of amalgamation after being cleared by their respective boards on October 19.
December 3rd, 2012, 11:47 PM
IT industry may miss Nasscom’s 11-14% growth forecast (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/info-tech/it-industry-may-miss-nasscoms-1114-growth-forecast/article4151172.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy)
Hyderabad, Nov. 30:
Slowdown in key markets such as the US and Europe could mean that information technology services firms may not meet the projected 11-14 per cent growth this year. While industry body Nasscom insists that its growth forecast will be achieved, many IT honchos say that will be a tough call.
“I don’t think the Nasscom's growth projection will be met this year because of the economic situation beginning this year. I think it will be in high-single digit,” Sandeep Aurora, Director (Marketing and Sales, South Asia) of Intel, said.
Market watchers say Infosys, which caused a flutter early this year with poor earnings numbers, could well still be the bellwether for the impending slowdown could upset the IT applecart.
“Very unlikely we will achieve the lower end of the projections when the situation is so uncertain,” said R. V. Ramanan, Executive Director and President (Global Delivery), Hexaware Technologies.
While the big IT firms including TCS, HCL, Cognizant and Mahindra Satyam could still outpace the Nasscom estimated growth levels, overall, the industry is expected to grow at a rate lower than that projected by Nasscom.
“Given the lack of major orders, the industry will only be able to grow 10-11 per cent,” A. K. Prabhakar, Senior Vice-President (Equity Research), Anand Rathi, said.
In a recent interaction with Business Line, Phaneesh Murthy, President and Chief Executive Officer of iGATE, had said the market was still uncertain. “I think the industry will grow at single-digit rate this year and not as projected by Nasscom,” he said. On the other hand, B.V.R. Mohan Reddy, Executive Council member of Nasscom and Infotech Managing Director, feels that 11 per cent growth is achievable. This is echoed by Datamatics Chairman Lalit S. Kanodia as well.
Analysts said that despite lower growth, the Indian IT industry is better off than most other markets.
Still a positive
Sid Pai, partner in research and consulting firm Information Services Group, said that since the overall growth in the worldwide outsourcing industry is in single digit, even a low double-digit growth performance by the Indian industry will be a positive.
Harish HV, Partner at Grant Thornton, said that while tough macroeconomic conditions could make the Nasscom projections difficult to achieve, Indian IT firms may still scrape through if the situation in Europe improves.
(With inputs from T. E. Rajasimhan in Chennai, S. Ronendra Singh in New Delhi, Rajesh Kurup in Mumbai, and Venkatesh Ganesh in Bangalore.)
December 5th, 2012, 09:05 AM
Indu Nandakumar & Akanksha Prasad, ET Bureau Nov 29, 2012, 07.08AM IST
BANGALORE: Indian enterprises are cautious about their information technology (IT) budgets for 2013, which they do not see rising much, but are keen to spend on emerging technologies such as mobility, data analytics and cloud computing to improve their core businesses.
At least 10 chief information officers (CIOs), including those from Future Group that owns the Big Bazaar retail chain, India's largest carmaker Maruti, the Manipal Group and Honda Motor, said their IT spends in 2013 would remain mostly unchanged from this year.
Others like Marico see a marginal rise. "We do not plan to trim IT budgets in 2013. In fact, we may see an increase," said Milind Sarwate, group chief financial officer at consumer goods company Marico, which owns brands like Parachute and Saffola.
"In the coming year, our focus area will be (data) analytics," Sarwate added.
Typically, enterprises spend between 2 per cent and 5 per cent of sales on IT.
"We will make investments in technology that is beneficial to our customers," said Parakh Dave, CIO of Future Group.
Earlier this year, the group, founded by the Mumbai-based Biyani family, invested in a large IT automation project to improve the efficiency with which it delivers merchandise to its retail outlets spread over 17 million square feet across 90 cities and 67 towns.
Market watchers also see technology spend continuing to grow in 2013, but at a slower pace compared with 2012. Gartner estimates the Indian IT services market to touch $10.2 billion (Rs 56,814 crore) in 2013, a 12 per cent increase from 2012, when it grew at a much faster pace of 18 per cent.
Unlike in the past, when IT was counted as a support service, companies are increasingly looking at IT spending as a means of improving their core operations.
Bangalore-based Manipal Health Enterprises, which runs the Manipal Hospitals chain, said it plans to develop software applications running on mobile devices to track bed utilisation and medical history of patients.
"With proper IT planning and automation, we hope to increase bed utilisation and patients-per-doctor ratio," said Nankishore Dhomne, IT head at Manipal.
Some CIOs are going the extra mile to trim their organisations' operational budget and divert the excess into technology and IT innovation. For instance, Maruti, which spends Rs 100-150 crore on IT, is building a technology-based learning project that will train its employees across manufacturing plants and warehouses. Rajesh Uppal, IT head at Maruti, said the technology budget for 2013 will remain unchanged, but will also depend on the carmaker's business requirements.
In the financial services sector, priority is on mobile banking as hundreds of thousands of Indians graduate from computers to smartphones to meet their banking requirements. CVG Prasad, CIO at ING Vysya, said the Bangalore-based bank will spend on building alternate delivery channels.
"Mobile banking has been our latest drive. As the bank's data continues to grow, we are taking the first steps to address that through virtualising the data centre and deploying necessary technology to analyse it," he said.
The local unit of carmaker Honda said it is putting in place a mobile-based sales force automation system to take out redundancies in the existing model.
Welspun Group, with interests in textiles and solar power, said it is looking at ways to use the power of social media to better engage with its former employees, customers and business partners, according to human resources director Mukund Prasad, who is also the group CIO with business transformation responsibilities.
Last year, the conglomerate took a major step toward strategic outsourcing, which included IT infrastructure, application development and business process consulting. Welspun was also among the early movers in adopting a private cloud.
Experts tracking the sector say Indian CIOs are increasingly concerned about bringing down costs, just as their counterparts in developed economies.
Enterprises in the US and Europe are tight-fisted about spending on technology, but are increasingly channeling IT budgets towards emerging technology areas such as data analytics and mobility, where they see a direct payoff benefit for their core business. Global IT spending grew at just about 3 per cent in 2012 to $3.6 trillion and is expected to grow at a similar pace in 2013.
"For the first time, Indian CIOs are no longer buying technology as it is. They are now asking vendors to define the business case as they want rewards for every buck spent," said Milan Sheth, partner, advisory services, and technology sector leader at Ernst & Young.
"On the traditional IT hardware and infrastructure side, it is business as usual for most companies but phenomenal innovations are happening at both small and large organisations on analytics and cloud computing fronts."
December 13th, 2012, 12:27 AM
Technology investors betting big on cloud computing startups on hope of strong returns (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/emerging-businesses/startups/technology-investors-betting-big-on-cloud-computing-startups-on-hope-of-strong-returns/articleshow/17577711.cms)
Technology investors are raising the tempo of investments in cloud computing startups buoyed by strong returns and growing customer demand for software as a service.
This week, venture funds closed two more deals in the sector with Norwest Venture Partners putting in $6 million (about Rs 32.6 crore) in first-round funding for Attune Technologies. The Chennai-based startup uses cloud technology for scheduling, billing and management of patient data with a base of 2 million patient records.
Angel investment network Mumbai Angels has made a seed investment of under Rs 5 crore in Pune-based startup MaxiMojo, which provides cloud-based distribution and revenue management solutions for hotels.
"Savvy investors are racing to get ahead of the next wave and pick up great opportunities in the cloud and enterprise software space before valuations rise and competition for deals heats up," says Ravi Gururaj, vice-president for cloud platforms group at Citrix Systems, a global technology firm. His startup venture, VMLogix, was acquired by Citrix in 2010.
The attractiveness of cloud-based applications across sectors from hospitality to healthcare is driven by ease of use and lower cost. The startups offer products where information is stored and processed on computers 'in the cloud', or the web, instead of local servers. This data can then be remotely accessed through a personal computer, cellphone or any other device, with users typically paying for the service when they use it.
"I can push a few buttons on my phone and access files from my office server remotely from anywhere," says Sahil Parikh, founder of Synage Software.
Technology investors betting big on cloud computing startups on hope of strong returns
LARGE IT COS CLOUDI-FYING APPLICATIONS
In India, the cloud market is estimated to grow over 10-fold to $4.5 billion by 2015, from $400 million now, according to a report by technology firm EMC and consulting firm Zinnov. Industry experts feel this is leading to a surge of new startups that offer niche services to large enterprises which earlier required huge budgets to automate operations.
"Large IT companies in India are cloudi-fying their applications, instead of deploying core banking application based on traditional licences-based model, they are offering cloud-based applications as a service to customers," says Nitin Khanapurkar, partner, management consulting for information technology and services, at auditing firm KPMG.
Entrepreneurs quick to spot this growing opportunity have responded with a slew of new ventures. One such is Chennai-based OrangeScape, which provides cloud solutions to firms like drugmaker AstraZenecaBSE -1.73 %, consumer-goods company UnileverBSE -2.65 % and automaker Ford.
It has raised $1 million from the Indian Angel Network. These startups, which need little capital, are growing faster and are more profitable compared to traditional enterprise technology ventures. "Cloud computing startups are being valued at around 5-8 times their revenues as the technology requires less manpower and needs a smaller amount of capital to set up," says Parikh.
December 15th, 2012, 04:19 PM
IBM ties-up with Vedanta for power biz resource planning (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/info-tech/ibm-tiesup-with-vedanta-for-power-biz-resource-planning/article4188114.ece)
IBM on Tuesday announced that Vedanta, a globally diversified natural resources group, has tied up with IBM to create an IT infrastructure for the resource planning system of their power business. IBM, leveraging its BladeCenter and System X storage portfolio will help Vedanta to enhance its overall management system and reduce costs.
The IBM implementation has been done at their centre in Jharsuguda in Odisha. The solution stack offered to Vedanta in Odisha includes BladeCenter Chasis, blade server and disk storage. The solution will augment the hardware infrastructure of Vedanta, while also reducing the total cost of ownership, according to IBM officials.
“While we have worked with other vendors, we are seeing strong benefits from working with IBM technology. This has helped us in reducing data centre costs of power and server footprint, while facilitating ease of management,” said Subrata Banerjee, CIO, Vedanta Aluminum Ltd.
Vivek Malhotra, Regional Territory Executive, IBM General Business, India/ South Asia said: “Odisha is an important region for IBM, and the company is focussed on growing its presence in the region to help businesses transform themselves and succeed in a dynamic environment.”
Vedanta is primarily engaged in the copper, zinc, silver, aluminum, iron ore as well as power businesses and works across the economies of India, Zambia, Namibia, Africa, Liberia, Ireland and Australia, among others.
IBM has a major programme of geo expansion in place across India to increase its presence in smaller, rapidly developing cities as these regions play an increasingly important role in the country's economic growth. As part of the outreach strategy, IBM has an office in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, to reach out to local businesses with advanced technology solutions that will enable their growth.
December 16th, 2012, 09:23 PM
Dilip Vellodi's Sutherland Global Services: Outsourcing even before BPOs existed (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-company/corporate-trends/dilip-vellodis-sutherland-global-services-outsourcing-even-before-bpos-existed/articleshow/17642736.cms)
Vellodi began his career as a consultant to Merck, and then later joined Xerox, best known for its office copiers and printers, at its US offices after an MBA from Rutgers and an undergraduate degree from Loyola College, Chennai.
Unlike other pioneers of the business process outsourcing industry, Dilip Vellodi of Sutherland Global Services, which last week agreed to buy a healthcare-focused BPO of Chennai-based Apollo HospitalsBSE 0.19 %, is relatively unknown.
Vellodi set up Rochester, New York-based Sutherland in 1986, much before words like "outsourcing" and "BPO" crept into our daily lexicon. He continues to be its chairman and CEO. His BPO pipped bigger rival Genpact — founded by another pioneer of the BPO industry, Pramod Bhasin — to buy Apollo Health Street for Rs 1,000 crore.
With an estimated $750 million (about Rs 4,082 crore now) of sales, privately-held Sutherland employs about 30,000 people in 11 countries, and is rivaled in revenue size only by Genpact among standalone third-party service providers.
Vellodi began his career as a consultant to MerckBSE -1.24 %, and then later joined Xerox, best known for its office copiers and printers, at its US offices after an MBA from Rutgers and an undergraduate degree from Loyola College, Chennai.
In the early 1980s, Vellodi was part of a team at Xerox that was given the task of fighting the onslaught from the Japanese by creating alternative channels for products below a certain price to remain competitive. The market development group — which Vellodi was part of — analysed customer, industry and market data.
"It involved thinking different from what was normal in those days," said Vellodi. When he was 29, after some eight years in Xerox, Vellodi decided to start his own venture. "It(Sutherland) was started with a spark of an idea," he said. "While at Xerox, I laid out a path to myself that before 30, I was going to start something on my own or move within the corporate world. So, I left before 30 and started Sutherland."
One of the firm's early customers was Digital Equipment Corporation, which created the internet search engine, Altavista, and had its own range of highend servers. Sutherland provided Digital with the full range of customer lifecycle management services — lead generation, acquiring customers, and providing support.
"Our process consulting was very focused around driving productivity around customer lifecycle, and everything was built around it," said Vellodi, a first generation entrepreneur.
From the technology firms, which were the early adopters, Sutherland added customers from the telecom sector, which was being deregulated at that time, financial services, government and healthcare.
"Sutherland's business model is fundamentally different because it does not want to be another big BPO provider," said Ravi Aron, associate professor at John Hopkins Carey Business School and senior fellow at MackBSE 1.99 % Center for Technology Innovation, Wharton. Aron has studied offshoring models and how industries like healthcare and finance can be transformed by IT and communications.
If the choice was between higher volumes and end-to-end process at lower volumes, Sutherland would always opt for the latter, said Aron. "There are some interesting ways in which he (Vellodi) looks at opportunity. His philosophy was 'give me end-to-end processes where I can use predictive analysis and business intelligence'."
Unlike most providers in the BPO industry, which aggressively acquired companies especially during the boom years, Sutherland has done only three acquisitions — Apollo Health Street, Adventity (a financial research and analytics firm it acquired for Rs 250 crore) and a small acquisition of a finance and accounting practice of another BPO.
Fred Harman, managing partner at Oak Investment Partners, a private equity firm which holds a minority stake in Sutherland, said when they wanted to expand delivery to the Philippines, the initial plan was to buy a company.
But when acquisitions were too expensive, "Dilip (Vellodi) built it out organically at a fraction of the capital."
December 17th, 2012, 09:29 AM
Infosys may trim forecast again as US clients cut back
December 20th, 2012, 08:21 PM
TCS' big plans for Europe, China and Latin America (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/software-services/TCS-big-plans-for-Europe-China-and-Latin-America/articleshow/17694890.cms)
Country's largest software services exporter Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said it is looking at significantly expanding footprint in China, Japan, Latin America and Europe to tap opportunities.
"The challenge before us is to scale up our presence significantly in geographies like China, Japan, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East," TCS CEO and MD N Chandrasekaran said in an interview to Tata Group website.
There are plenty of opportunities in all these markets and TCS aims to address them, he said, adding that with presence in 44 countries, the software services major has the "right global footprint".
On business coming from Europe, he said it is expected to grow faster as customers are beginning to spend more. "The budgets are looking good; we are winning lots of transformation deals in Europe," he said.
In 2011-12, revenue from North America constituted 53.31 per cent of company's total revenues, while UK and Europe accounted for 25.32 per cent, followed by India (8.60 per cent), Asia Pacific (7.56 per cent), Middle East and Africa (2.13 per cent) and Latin America (3.08 per cent).
On banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) vertical, which contributed 43.08 per cent to the revenues in 2011-12, Chandrasekaran said the vertical is "beginning to pick up momentum".
"We were particularly happy with the BFSI sectors in the second quarter. Not only have we delivered 4.6 per cent growth in rupee terms in the segment sequentially, but we have also closed four deals, including one from insurance," he said.
Chandrasekaran added that TCS is seeing a "lot of opportunities" in retail, consumer products and pharmaceutical segments as well.
Telecom, media and entertainment accounted for 12.69 per cent of the company's Rs 48,893.83 crore revenue in 2011-12, while retail and consumer packaged goods contributed 12.18 per cent and manufacturing 7.77 per cent of sales.
Chandrasekaran said evolution and fast adoption of technologies like cloud, analytics, big data and mobility also hold a lot of promise.
"Every industry process framework is being redefined and re-imagined by the impact of these technologies. Their use is not limited to just the enterprise; they are impacting our personal and social lives," he said.
This trend is throwing up huge opportunities as companies want to optimise investments in current technology, drive growth by using digital technologies and platforms, comply with new regulations, and control new risks more effectively, he added.
Shares of the company today closed at Rs 1,248.40 apiece, up 1.27 per cent from its previous close on the BSE.
January 5th, 2013, 01:29 AM
Indians should be able to use computers in their own language: F C Kohli, Former CEO - TCS (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/features/corporate-dossier/indians-should-be-able-to-use-computers-in-their-own-language-f-c-kohli-former-ceo--tcs/articleshow/17872510.cms)
The domestic market accounts for only 15% of the software industry's $100 billion annual turnover.
The country has too few computers. This is because there are no computers in Indian languages
F C Kohli
When we started, the Indian software industry was primarily focused on exports and 40 years later, it still continues to be so. The domestic market accounts for only 15% of the software industry's $100 billion annual turnover. The country has too few computers. This is because there are no computers in Indian languages. China has computers in mandarin, but India, for historical reasons, has stuck with English. The computer is but a tool and Indians should be able to use this tool in their own language. You express your ideas best that way. Innovative thinking comes in your own language. After all these years of speaking in English, I still dream in my own language.
Some people tell me everyone will eventually learn English, we should just wait. That will take 100 years. We need to solve this problem now and TCSBSE 1.50 % is working on it, with our educational institutions and the Government. In 12 months, the Indian language computer should be out and it will drive domestic software development in the future. In five years, I estimate the Indian software industry will have a turnover of $300 billion and half of that will be from domestic sales.
Right now, India does not have a hardware industry. But we will have to develop one, once the computer reaches the masses. Using technology, I can go and make the small shopkeeper more efficient that a supermarket mall. A computer can handle a shop's supply chain management, from purchases to inventory control. It can bring down costs and collect customer data. In the USA, local shops don't necessarily close if Wal Mart comes to town. We need both.
Technology drives technical education and I believe we need to produce more micro-electronic engineers. We've got the IITs to move on this and last year, we produced 1,200. Now this has to be transferred to other colleges, so that the number grows. After all, IT is both software and hardware. I remember the early days in TCS, when we got projects from Burroughs, but didn't have a`Burroughs computer to do the work on, because imports were difficult.
The Indian IT industry is still young and the growth process is not going to stop anytime soon. It will certainly become more sophisticated. There will be new players, niche players, specializing in different applications. We are still doing a lot of lowend work for the global market, though we are also into some high-level development. The domestic market will also throw up low-end work. If you can't find growth avenues despite all this, it is a managerial problem. I remember once telling the Tata Sons Board that TCS has been doubling its turnover every two years and it would continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The limit is your imagination.
The author was the first CEO of TCS (As told to Dibeyendu Ganguly)
January 5th, 2013, 06:54 PM
Nasscom's new strategy for Indian IT (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/enterprise-it/strategy/Nasscoms-new-strategy-for-Indian-IT/articleshow/17893309.cms)
With Europe in recession and the US likely to slow down, IT industry body Nasscom has prepared a strategy for Indian IT to expand in under-penetrated but growth markets like Latin America, China, Canada, Japan, Africa and the Middle East.
Nasscom is in dialogue with its counterparts in these countries and also in touch with various government authorities through India's external affairs ministry to understand what needs to be done to remove bottlenecks and improve trade interactions. The lobbying body is also taking special delegations to these regions and working on country/market reports and case studies to increase awareness about the business potential of these markets among its member companies. Nasscom president Som Mittal told TOI, "We have progressed quite a lot with our plans and it is currently in the implementation stage. It is important for enterprises to enter under-penetrated markets and also to intensify their focus on geographies that offer sizable expansion opportunities."
Currently, the US and UK account for 78% of the country's IT exports, 12% comes from the rest of Europe, and just 10% comes from the rest of the world. China accounts for just 2% and Japan 1%. Nasscom is trying to change the mindsets of some of these countries about India and outsourcing to India. These Chinese and Japanese markets are slowly opening up to Indian companies. Some companies are establishing country desks there. "Some are entering into local business tie-ups like the one TCS has with Mitsubishi in Japan and with Bank of China and Hua Xia Bank in China," said Mittal.
China's domestic market is largely driven by the government, which also influences over 150,000 state-owned enterprises with huge IT budgets. Therefore the opportunity is very large.
Krishnakumar Natarajan, vice president of Nasscom and CEO of Mindtree, said, "China and Japan have the potential to replace UK as the second largest IT export destination for India.''
Africa consists of 54 countries with a population of over 1 billion. Research firm IDC estimates Africa's IT market will reach $26.53 billion in 2014. ICT is high on the agenda for many governments in the region including Egypt, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Malawi.
Mittal said Africa has a "reaching out" issue. "It also faces talent shortage. We are working with various agencies in the region to explore business/investment opportunities, joint ventures/partnerships between African and Indian companies," he said.
January 19th, 2013, 11:53 AM
K R Rajeev, TNN Jan 4, 2013, 02.10AM IST
KOZHIKODE: Malayalam is all set to get a hi-tech makeover. The users in the state will soon be able to type in the language on android phones and tablets, run a grammar-spelling check and get English and other texts translated into Malayalam at the click of a button. They can even convert Malayalam speech to text and text to speech across a range of digital platforms.
The language technology section (LTS) of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) is working on a project to bring Malayalam on par with English and other global languages in terms of tech orientation. The State Institute of Languages (SIL) has teamed up with it to develop a spelling and grammar check system for Malayalam. SIL director Dr M R Thamban said the comprehensive Malayalam spelling and grammar checking system would be unveiled on November 1, 2013, followed by the machine translation system and speech to text facility next year. "Around 500 languages are today facing an immediate danger of being lost forever due to their failure to change with the times. It is vital that Malayalam should get a proper tech orientation," he said.
The LTS has already developed prototypes of a machine translation system christened AnglaMT, which is expected to give a boost to e-governance activities. On the handwriting recognition front, it is in the process of upgrading the newly developed Lekhitha system on Android platforms.
"Besides helping people break the language barrier in interacting with computers, currently monopolized by English, it will also help in introducing a host of modern language tools for Malayalam," CDAC assistant director and language technology group head G K Bhadran. Meanwhile, informal developer collectives like Swathanthra Malayalam Computing (SMC) have also come up with several language tools and solutions. IT columnist G K Adarsh said the government's linguistic computing initiatives should take the free software collectives onboard. "There are many initiatives undertaken by CDAC, CDIT and language computation groups in various universitiesalong with grassroot-level collectives in this field.
The government should take steps to ensure proper coordination to popularize products and avoid duplication," he said.
January 21st, 2013, 06:21 PM
Indian IT's $50 billion opportunity (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/software-services/Indian-ITs-50-billion-opportunity/articleshow/18111653.cms)
In 2013, software outsourcing deals worth nearly $50 billion ( 2.7 lakh crore) - about half the size of India's information technology industry- are coming up for renewal. Indian service providers are salivating at the prospect and sharpening their knives; the former for obvious reasons and the latter to undercut rivals in what is expected to be a fierce fight for contracts.
While price discounting is nothing new, the coming battle is expected to be particularly brutal because some of the restraints that kept rivalries under control have slipped away. Underlying all of the factors is the shape that the Indian software services sector is in entering 2013 after leaving behind one of the most forgettable years in its history.
"How and in what situation somebody becomes irrational very much depends on the situation someone is in," said N Chandrasekaran, CEO of India's largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services during an earnings call last week. TCS, which has set the pace for industry growth, has been among the most optimistic about the sector's prospects and is clearly in the best shape among Indian information technology companies.
The top four Indian IT services companies - TCS, Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies - have all announced results for the October-December quarter.
Corporations demanding outcomes
The numbers of the top four IT services companies are being read as indicators that the phase of slow growth may be coming to an end. But this does not mean there is a turnaround. In the year to March 2013, India's software exports are expected to barely grow by double digits while the industry copes with fundamental technological and business model transformation. The old certainties of linear growth - where revenue is directly proportional to the number of employees - are going away and corporations are demanding outcomes rather than mere effort.
Analysts cite HCL Technologies recently winning a contract worth several millions dollars from Deutsche Bank as an example of aggressive discounting. Although it is not clear how much discounting happened, executives aware of the deal negotiations described the pricing offered as being "significantly" lower. Once a major client of Infosys, Deutsche Bank now brings in business well in excess of $50 million for HCL.
As large outsourcing contracts from Procter & Gamble, Bank of America, American Express and UnileverBSE -0.62 %, first signed during 2002-03, come up for renewal this year, competition is expected to heat up further. Deep pricing discounts and even paying money upfront are becoming commonplace, with associated negative implications for margins, senior industry executives said.
"There is fierce competition in the market. And this is between two sets of players - rational and irrational," said TK Kurien, CEO at Wipro, India's third-largest software exporter. In an interview, Kurien observed, without identifying any competitor by name, that some of those he would have counted in the "rational" pack earlier have now moved to the other side.
Analysts believe that Infosys which has traditionally been extremely profit-margin conscious, is now beginning to show increased flexibility on pricing and greater willingness to take on deals which it earlier would have shunned. Infosys, which has been outpaced by competitors for about two years, has been under pressure to grow faster.
Over the last two quarters, the company has indicated that it has adjusted its tactics to meet the demands of growth as an important priority. "Infosys' recent flexibility on pricing and deal structures have been led by a desire to protect turf in a slowing market with enhanced competition," wrote veteran IT analyst Kawaljeet Saluja of Kotak Institutional Equities in a report analysing Infosys' results for the December quarter, when it surprised the Street with unexpectedly strong performance. "A deal win for Infosys means a deal loss for another vendor, who may not necessarily get their share of business and can drive a competitive response."
January 22nd, 2013, 01:15 AM
India's $100-billion low-cost IT business model 'maxed out', must invest in proprietary software: Constellation Research (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/ites/indias-100-billion-low-cost-it-business-model-maxed-out-must-invest-in-proprietary-software-constellation-research/articleshow/18124063.cms)
"According to the study, the current business model of Indian IT services have "maxed out" amid clients' changing preferences, thanks to commoditisation of services, vendor consolidation, erosion of offshore cost advantage and intense competition from global multinational corporations.
"Indian players no longer have a sizable advantage in cost structures as most Western competitors have built massive resource bases in India. Meanwhile, Indian players have had to invest in onshore capabilities local to their customers, thus increasing labour costs," noted the study that surveyed Indian IT firms as well as over 50 corporations who are large buyers of technology services. "It is high time for Indian IT services firms to walk their decade-old talk of 'moving up the value chain'."
February 5th, 2013, 11:09 AM
TCS, Cognizant widen lead over peers (http://www.livemint.com/Industry/VFc7BB12n8xsqpk4OAi16O/TCS-Cognizant-widen-lead-over-peers.html)
TCS’s revenue in calendar years 2012 over 2011 increased $1.4 billion and Cognizant expects revenue to rise by $1.2 billion, trumping Infosys Ltd’s incremental revenue of $406 million and Wipro Ltd’s $382 million. Incremental revenue, a measure of market share growth, has evolved as the new benchmark for the Indian IT sector, with profit margins—the keenly tracked metric until now—eroding as firms push aggressively to gain a bigger share of their clients’ outsourcing budgets.
TCS’s revenue over the last four years has nearly doubled, with its incremental revenue well above $1 billion consistently in the last three years, according to data compiled by Mint.
Cognizant, too, has made strides in terms of incremental revenue, consistently outpacing Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies Ltd, and staying above $1 billion in the past two years. The US-headquartered firm has forecast incremental revenue of $1.22 billion for 2012, just marginally below TCS’s. Cognizant will report results on 7 February.
For Infosys, incremental revenue has dropped from over $1 billion in 2010 and 2011.
At the end of 2008, during the height of the global recession, TCS had a 9.1% slice of the domestic IT services pie, the highest among the top five Indian service providers, data from IT industry lobby Nasscom show.
Four years on, TCS has increased its market share to 10.1%, as have Cognizant (from 3.7% to 6.4%) and HCL (from 2.8% to 4%). Analysts see Cognizant outpacing other Indian service providers, including TCS, this year in terms of revenue growth.
February 5th, 2013, 11:14 AM
Top Indian IT firms to triple direct hiring in US by 2016: Gartner (http://www.livemint.com/Industry/V7pgdSKsNSLMMPDW9zFmGI/Top-Indian-IT-firms-to-triple-direct-hiring-in-US-by-2016-G.html)
India’s top software service companies will triple direct hiring in the US by 2016 while also significantly increasing their presence in European markets, technology researcher Gartner Inc. said in a report
“We estimate that top Indian information technology companies’ onsite recruitment currently in the US to be about 18,000, and we expect this to triple in the next three years,” said Partha Iyengar, vice-president and regional research director-India for Gartner India Research and Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd.
On-site or onshore hiring refers to Indian IT companies recruiting people directly in the clients’ countries, as different from deploying people hired in India to clients’ offices abroad.
By 2014, IT hiring in large western markets will predominantly be done by Asian-headquartered companies enjoying double-digit growth, Gartner said. These companies can take advantage of the opportunity to expand into these key markets, but will need to increase their onshore presence in part through local IT hiring, it added.
Onshore hiring in western European countries is likely to be dictated by protectionist policies expected to be adopted by those nations, Gartner said, adding European Union directives will drive legislation to protect local jobs, reducing offshoring by 20% through 2016.
The US and Europe account for about 80% of the market for India’s top information technology (IT) firms. With western countries keen to protect local jobs amid a continuing slowdown, Indian firms are increasingly hiring people directly in the clients’ countries.
Non-European Union organizations must establish a local footprint to avoid being squeezed out but should consider low-cost regions to improve attractiveness, Iyengar said.
As for predictions five years ago that Indian IT companies will expand recruitments in China, Iyengar said hiring in the neighbouring country has grown only by one-sixth the expected size. He blamed this on Indian companies underestimated the challenges of attracting and retaining Chinese employees.
Big data—the analysis of large chunks of information or data sets too complex to be processed by traditional methods—is expected to be next growth driver for the IT industry, said Naveen Mishra, a principal research analyst at Gartner.
But while big data will require the employment of 4.4 million people globally by 2015, only one-third of those jobs will be filled because of a lack of skills, he said.
Big data spending is expected to exceed $130 billion by 2015, according to Gartner.
February 7th, 2013, 02:11 AM
HCL Infosystems launches new tablets (http://www.thehindu.com/business/companies/hcl-infosystems-launches-new-tablets/article4382889.ece)
HCL Info's new brand ambassador cricketer Ummukt Chand at the launch of the latest range of tablets in New Delhi on Tuesday.
HCL Infosystems, on Tuesday, launched three new tablets — U2, V1 and Y3 — priced between Rs.5, 999 and Rs.11, 999. With the new range of tablets, the company is targeting students as well as young professionals.
As of now, the tablets are available in select cities and will be available across the country from this month onwards.
“The tablet market in India has seen tremendous growth. From 350,000 units in 2011 to three million devices last year, the segment is expected to see sales touching six million units this year. The segment is growing at 100 per cent and it’s a great market to be in,” Gautam Advani, Global Head (Mobility Business Unit), told reporters here.
HCL already has a portfolio of over five tablets in the market, many of which are targeted at the education segment.
HCL ME V1 is an Android-based seven-inch ‘phablet’ with features such as voice calling, 3G data usage through USB data card, 2MP back and 0.3MP front camera.
Y3 is a dual SIM tablet with a seven-inch screen, 3.2MP back and 0.3MP front camera and FM radio. It also allows 3G voice and video calling.
The tablets will be supported by an integrated back-up service, HCL Touch, a 24-7 one touch service facility. \
The company roped in cricketer Unmukt Chand as the brand ambassador for its ‘HCL ME’ tablet range. He was the captain of India’s Under-19 cricket World Cup 2012 winning team.
As a part of the agreement, Mr. Chand would endorse HCL Infosystems’ tablets and feature in upcoming multimedia ad campaigns, he added.
February 12th, 2013, 02:01 AM
Nielsen increases TCS contract size to $2.5 billion (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/software/nielsen-increases-tcs-contract-size-to-2-5-billion/articleshow/18456973.cms):banana::banana::banana:
12 FEB, 2013, 05.03AM IST, REUTERS
Nielsen Holdings NV, best known for its TV ratings, increased the size of its contract with India's top software services exporter, Tata Consultancy Services LtdBSE -0.62 %, to $2.5 billion from $1 billion.
Nielsen also extended the contract by 3 years to 2020. The media research company and TCSBSE -0.62 % signed a 10-year contract in 2007 under which the Indian company was to provide IT and business services.
February 12th, 2013, 10:40 AM
India’s IT-BPM sector to add $12-15 bn revenue in FY14: Nasscom (http://www.livemint.com/Industry/NHzD2MTGMt6E88HoUyhl3H/Indias-ITBPM-sector-to-add-1215-bn-revenue-in-FY14-Nass.html)
India’s information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry will add $12-15 billion in revenue in fiscal 2014, with exports growing at 12-14% and domestic business at 13-15%, Nasscom said on Tuesday.
“The Indian IT-BPM industry has demonstrated resilience and agility in the past year. Technology has today become an integral part enabler for growth across all sectors and the industry is continuously evolving and innovating to emerge as a strategic partner to its customers,” said N. Chandrasekaran, chairman, Nasscom.
“The thrust is IP (intellectual property)-led solutions over multiple platforms that has the customer at the centre of every module and is transformative in nature,” added Chandrasekaran, also the chief executive and managing director of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, India’s largest software exporter.
February 15th, 2013, 08:42 AM
10 electronics manufacturing clusters likely to come up in India by year-end (http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/10-electronics-manufacturing-clusters-likely-to-come-up-in-india-by-yearend/article4415691.ece?mod=igoogle_news_gadget)
New policy will enable country to become a hub for global ESDM industry: official
At least 10 electronics manufacturing clusters are likely to materialise in the country within the year, a senior official of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology has said.
Addressing the inaugural session of the ninth Vision Summit of the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) here on Thursday, Ajay Kumar, Joint Secretary of the department, said that elements of the National Policy on Electronics, which was approved by the Union Cabinet last October, would enable India to become a hub for the global Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) industry.
Dr. Kumar said the government had notified the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS), which is applicable to 29 categories of electronic products. The scheme provides for a 25 per cent subsidy on capital investments in new ventures and a 50 per cent grant for common facilities for units located in an area. “By the end of the year, we expect to approve M-SIPS incentives for investment proposals worth Rs. 25,000 crore,” Dr. Kumar said. He pointed out that benefits of M-SIPS were available for period of 10 years after the initial investment.
He said that proposals for establishing electronic manufacturing clusters had come from States such as Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam), Haryana (Rohtak) and Rajasthan (Bhiwadi). Moreover, proposals for IT Investment Regions at Bangalore, Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar were being processed.
Urging the industry to take advantage of the preference for electronic goods produced within the country, Dr. Kumar said desktops, laptops, inkjet printers and tablets had already been put on the ‘notified’ list. This would require producers to source a certain proportion of the value of inputs from within the country.
He said expressions of interest had been invited for developing a “completely indigenous” Conditional Access System for set-top boxes used with cable TV networks.
Referring to the establishment of a semiconductor wafer fabrication unit, for which the government had floated expressions of interest from global companies, Dr. Kumar said an empowered committee was likely to identify the partner by March.
The committee was also examining the crucial issue of the quantum of incentives that would be necessary to attract investments into the project that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, said an industry source.
Satya Gupta, Chairman, IESA, said the industry was planning to establish technology incubation centres.
He said the IESA, in association with the governments of Karnataka and Odisha, had commissioned detailed project reports to identify brownfield and greenfield clusters.
“We envisage brownfield clusters at Electronics City, Whitefield, and Peenya in Bangalore,” he said. Sites for greenfield clusters, which would require 100 acres apiece, had not been identified, he said.
The Karnataka government, Dr. Gupta said, was supporting the industry in developing innovation as well as incubation centres. While the innovation centres would help start-ups develop prototypes, the latter would help in the development of chips with access to tools, intellectual property. “This would help start-ups by lowering their costs,” he said.
The summit concludes on Friday.
February 15th, 2013, 08:48 AM
Mahindra Satyam acquires 51% stake in Brazilian co (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/software/mahindra-satyam-acquires-51-stake-in-brazilian-co/articleshow/18512077.cms)
IT firm Mahindra SatyamBSE -2.50 % today said it has acquired 51 per cent majority stake in Brazilian SAP consulting services provider, Complex IT.
This acquisition will focus on developing solutions for the rapidly expanding enterprise solutions market within Brazil, Mahindra Satyam said in a statement.
However, it did not disclose the financial details of the deal.
Brazil is the second fastest growing geography globally for enterprise solutions provider, SAP. The current spend on IT by companies in Brazil is approximately USD 70 billion, with USD 36 billion being spent on services and software.
Mahindra Satyam and Complex will go to market with proprietary solutions for large manufacturing, financial and consumer services companies in the market, the Indian IT major added.
"This combination of Complex and Mahindra Satyam strengthens our commitment to the Brazilian market, which is one of the fastest growing Enterprise solutions markets," Mahindra Satyam Global Head (Latin America and Strategic Accounts) Arvind Malhotra said.
COmplex IT's turnover last year stood at USD 50 million and it has 500 employees.
As Brazil gears up to host FIFA 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, it would only provide an increased impetus to an already rapidly growing IT services market, he said.
"The relationship with Mahindra Satyam will mean enhanced career opportunities for our team, and increased quality of services to our customers and partners," Complex IT Chairman and CEO Antonio Rossi said.
February 15th, 2013, 02:18 PM
Indian chip industry body broadens remit (http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4407050/Indian-chip-industry-body-broadens-remit)
The Indian Semiconductor Association (ISA) has changed its name to the Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association.
The name change was announced during the opening of the annual ISA Vision Summit in Bangalore along with a new charter that is intended to address electronic system design and manufacturing.
The charter represents a broader spectrum and includes not only semiconductor companies but a larger ecosystem of companies and organizations involved in the design and manufacture of electronic products.
The body was formed in 2005 as the ISA and has over 175 members – both domestic and multinational. The ISA has worked closely with the Indian government both at the national and the state level.
The name change comes as the Indian government is preparing to announce a decision on bids to develop a 300-mm wafer fab on the sub-continent!
February 16th, 2013, 06:29 PM
Capgemini to hire 28,000 in India by 2015: CEO (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/interviews/capgemini-to-hire-28000-in-india-by-2015-ceo/articleshow/18527582.cms)
Paris-headquartered IT company Capgemini already has a third of its employees working in India. It's now reviving its offshore consulting play, as also strengthening its traditional offshoring capabilities here. The $13.5-billion Capgemini began its operations in India in 1998 offering consulting services, but later focused on IT services. Capgemini India CEO Aruna Jayanthi talks about that and more in an interview to TOI.
With more emphasis on offshore delivery, how are you growing your India headcount?
We have 42,000 people today (out of the global strength of 1.2 lakh) and we want to increase it to 70,000 by 2015. We recently hired Natarajan Radhakrishnan (who was instrumental in setting up the Cognizant consulting practice) to spearhead our consulting practice from an offshore global delivery perspective. I spend a lot of time on HR related activities, identifying the skill gaps in the ecosystem. I believe there is enough technical talent. For hiring technical talent, engineering colleges are not the only places to go to any more. There is enough talent with strong reasoning, math and analytical skills if you expand the category. The challenge is in getting people who have a strong understanding of business and how technology facilitates business.
The European economy is in something of a rut. Yet you are betting big on it. Why?
Because Europe is coming of age compared to what it was in the last 2-3 years. We are focusing on France, Germany, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries by leveraging on our existing relationships. We have set up what is called the topline initiatives, which are growthfocused teams that would work in areas like big data, analytics, mobility and independent software testing. Earlier, the bulk of system testing was done by internal IT teams. Now, testing is so critical that clients want to outsource testing to specialized players. Every time you make a small change, you have to test the entire portfolio independently. We are increasingly booking contracts for testing.
What are the growth drivers?
The biggest driver is focusing on how to improve customer experience. It's all about how customers' business is changing in the light of social media, mobility and analytics. Customer experience is driving a new wave of investment in marketing, and supply chain.
February 18th, 2013, 05:08 AM
VA Shiva Ayyadurai (Tamil:சிவா அய்யாதுரை) (born 2 December 1963 in Mumbai, India) is an American scientist and entrepreneur.
As a high school student in 1978, he developed an electronic mail system, which he called "EMAIL" and copyrighted in 1982. That name's resemblance to the generic term "email" and the claims he later made for the program have led to controversy over Ayyadurai's place in the history of computer technology.
In 1979, as a 14-year-old high school student at Livingston High School in New Jersey, Ayyadurai began his work on an email system for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Based on this work, Ayyadurai won a Westinghouse Science Talent Search award for high school seniors in 1981. In 1982, he copyrighted his software, called “EMAIL”, as well as the program's user documentation. Two years later, he copyrighted "EMS", which included EMAIL and other programs.
A November 2011 Time Techland interview by Doug Aamouth entitled "The Man Who Invented Email" argued that Ayyadurai's program represented the birth of email "as we currently know it". In that interview, Ayyadurai recalled that Les Michelson, the former particle scientist at Brookhaven National Labs who assigned Ayyadurai the project, had the idea of creating an electronic mail system that uses the header conventions of a hardcopy memorandum. Ayyadurai recalled Michelson as saying: “Your job is to convert that into an electronic format. Nobody’s done that before." :cheers:
In February 2012, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History announced that Ayyadurai had donated "a trove of documents and code" related to EMAIL. :cheers: The museum cited the program as one of the first to include the now common "subject and body fields, inboxes, outboxes, cc, bcc, attachments, and others. He based these elements directly off of the interoffice mail memos the doctors had been using for years, in hopes of convincing people to actually use the newfangled technology."
February 26th, 2013, 05:17 PM
Indian startup pledges to provide chips for tablets (http://www.eetimes.com/design/eda-design/4407764/Indian-startup-pledges-to-provide-chips-for-tablets)
Dreamchip Electronics Pte Ltd. (Visakhaptnam, India), a fabless semiconductor company founded in 2012, has announced plans to provide a family of processor SoCs for tablet computers in 2014.
The company has said it is planning to produce three variants based on a proprietary multicore 32-bit RISC-plus-DSP processor architecture. The three variants of the architecture – named Siddhi, Vani and Sandesh – are each being optimized for a different form of tablet.
Siddhi is designed to power a student's e-reader tablet and is optimized for low-cost, large volume applications. Siddhi-powered tablets are expected to replace printed text books. Vani is targeted at a multimedia tablet for students. Sandesh is the high-end SoC optimized for use in citizen-centric e-governance and e-commerce tablets.
Dreamchip, which also provides SoC design services, is working with Sankhya Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (Chennai, India) to create design flows for SoC design and verification using Sankhya's Teraptor software as a high-level starting point for system modeling and synthesis.
The SoCs are designed to help Indian electronics manufacturers address the needs of both rural and urban users and the chips will be produced with reference tablet designs and embedded software supporting to different Indian languages.
"Following the encouraging response from prospective customers Dreamchip Electronics is initially targeting the large and fast-growing Indian market. Dreamchip plans to offer the SoCs globally at a later stage," said Gopi Kumar Bulusu, founder director at Dreamchip, in a statement.
Prototyping platforms for all three variants will be available by 3Q13 on the Teraptor and selected customers are expected to be offered FPGA kits in 1Q14 and test chip SoCs in 3Q14, the company said.
March 14th, 2013, 07:01 PM
FSS Technologies to raise $200 million to fuel global expansion plans (http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/fss-technologies-to-raise-200-million-to-fuel-global-expansion-plans-113031400662_1.html)
Financial Software and Systems (FSS), a Rs 600 crore payment systems company, is close to raising $200 million through the private equity and debt route to fuel its expansion plans. The Chennai-based privately held company which offers a bouquet of services in the areas of electronic payment, financial transaction processing solutions and services, had earlier raised three rounds of private equity infusion from funds managed by Carlyle, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Jacob Ballas Capital India. While the debt fund-raise of Rs 750 crore is understood to have been finalised, the equity infusion from a private equity fund is expected to be in by first quarter of next financial year.
Nagaraj V Mylandla, Founder & MD, FSS confirmed to Business Standard, that the Rs 750 crore debt has been wrapped and details of the same will be shared shortly. "We have been pretty much low on debt for the past many years and this is the first time around we have raised this quantum of debt. Over the past, we have infused total equity of Rs 550 crore and going forward, we are talking to private equity funds for an infusion of Rs 250 crore in tranches and we should be able to finalise the first infusion by June of 2013," Mylandla said.
Of the Rs 1,000 crore which will be raised, Rs 500 crore will be towards switch and ATM deployment, while Rs 250 crore be for merchant-related services through POS, mobile, internet, financial inclusion, MPOS and micro ATM including Aadhar-related payments and the rest Rs 250 crore will be for FSS IP-related product developmentôenhancement of and expenditure towards expansion in the overseas market. FSS had earlier raised two rounds of equity infusion from global private equity fund Carlyle and subsequently another $60 million from NEA and Jacob Ballas, giving an exit to Carlyle. The promoter's and employees currently hold 60 per cent, while the PE funds hold the rest 40 per cent. It is learnt that the new investor will come on board through fresh issue of equity shares. FSS, which reported revenues of Rs 405 crore for last fiscal is looking to touch revenues of Rs 580 crore by end of Fy13 and is targeting to scale this up to Rs 720 crore for FY14. FSS has established a global footprint in Australia, Canada, Europe, West A
sia, Singapore and the United States and current derives 20 per cent of its revenues from global operations, and which is expected to be shored up to 30 per cent over two years.
The private equity interest in the banking and financial services segment, which is usually among the top three segments, has been lagging during the end of last calendar year. "Global uncertainties, a slowdown in the Indian economy and a lack of enabling policy framework in Q3 and Q4 '12 are some of the main reasons for PE firms being cautious in investing in India. While the Banking Amendment Bill was passed recently, bills such as FDI in insurance are still pending. We believe that guidelines for the new banking licences and positive measures such as deferment of the GAAR will help usher in positive sentiment. This enthusiasm has been observed with the recent spurt in the country's stock markets which is one of the indicators demonstrating the improving sentiments of investors. We think that while PE investments in BFSI or any other sector may not see a lot of action in the near future, there will be signs of improvement in the coming quarters," said Manoj K Kashyap, Leader, Financial Services, PwC India.
March 15th, 2013, 05:44 PM
Infosys partners India Post for online services (http://www.thehindu.com/business/infosys-partners-india-post-for-online-services/article4512809.ece?mod=igoogle_news_gadget)
Infosys has partnered India Post for developing a service delivery platform that will allow more than 1.30 lakh rural post offices to offer online services.
The platform will also connect and manage more than 1.30 lakh handheld devices used by rural postal workers for distribution of social benefits under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and process Electronic Money Orders, Infosys said in a statement.
With this agreement, Infosys will facilitate India Post’s Rural Systems Integration (RSI) programme, which will increase adoption of the department’s services and enhance the reach of postal services to the country’s rural population.
As part of an earlier agreement, Infosys is also partnering India Post to transform its financial services operations and end-user experience under the Financial Services System Integration programme.
“We are very happy to partner with Infosys on one of the largest transformational journeys India Post has ever undertaken. We are confident that Infosys will help make the Rural Systems Integration project a success,” India Post said.
March 16th, 2013, 08:58 AM
C-DAC develops standard font for Marathi language (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-03-11/pune/37622645_1_marathi-language-script-technology-dac)
Swati Shinde Gole, TNN Mar 11, 2013, 04.50AM IST
PUNE: Now, all state websites, government publications and e-governance services will have a standard font for Marathi language.
The state government had commissioned a project for the Centre for development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to develop a standardised Marathi font. The font, named 'Yashomudra', aims to bring uniformity across all state departments. It will be released on May 1, i.e. the state's foundation day.
The Graphics and Intelligence based Script Technology (GIST) group of C-DAC has been working on this font since 2009 when the state government issued a government resolution (GR) on use of Marathi language in its notices and services to citizens. The GR had specific instructions on use of Marathi language and the chief minister and the GIST group coined the thought of having a standard Marathi font for the state government.
Mahesh Kulkarni, who is heading the GIST group at C-DAC, said, "At present, there are several fonts available, but there is no uniformity. Also, the state government thought the need to have its official font which could be used in all its websites, online and offline documentation, e-governance services."
C-DAC officials said that a standard font will reduce chances of discrepancies as some characters in the Devnagri script are written differently in Marathi and Hindi. Kulkarni said that for some characters the shapes of letters differ if different fonts are used. "This may create discrepancies in reading. A standard font will reduce it."
Kulkarni said that the font will be an open source application, which means that users can freely download it on their computers, iPads, tablets as well as cell phones. The font will also have styles including bold and italics.
Kulkarni said that it is not mandatory for users to use this font. "However, it is recommended that the font is used widely and largely so that the basic aim of bringing uniformity across the state is achieved. At government level, the font will be consciously used."
The font was named 'Yashomudra' after Yashwantrao Chavan, the first chief minister of Maharashtra, as this year is also being celebrated as the 100th birth centenary of the leader. "The font was to be released on Marathi day celebrated on February 27. However, we are still doing the testing for the font and hence we will now release it on May 1, the Maharashtra day," Kulkarni said.
March 18th, 2013, 02:22 PM
ST linked to Indian wafer fab bid (http://www.eetimes.com/design/eda-design/4410035/ST-linked-to-Indian-wafer-fab-bid)
Europe's largest chipmaker STMicroelectronics has been linked to Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (HSMC) as being part of one of two consortia in discussions with the Indian government over a proposal to set up one or more wafer fabs in India.
The most recent initiative to stimulate the start of Indian chip manufacturing was launched by the Indian government nearly two years ago. One consortium, which includes IBM, Jaypee Group and Tower Semiconductor Ltd., is known to have been involved in the process. The Indian government has reportedly said that two projects are left in the running and STMicroelectronics (Geneva Switzerland) has been linked to HSMC in a report from Indian publication LiveMint referencing sources familiar with the tender process.
A decision from the Indian government was originally expected by the end of 2012 but that was later pushed back to the end of the first quarter of 2013.
HSMC was originally formed in about 2007 with a plan to create two wafer fabs in India. It signed a memorandum of understanding with Infineon Technologies AG (Munich, Germany) to license a 130-nm CMOS digital manufacturing process as well as processes for RF and embedded flash. The plan failed to materialize and HSMC has been mainly quiescent since then.
HSMC has has offices in San Jose, Calif., and Delhi, India. It is led by chairman and CEO Devendra Verma, who has experience as a technology executive and venture capitalist. ST could be a source of manufacturing process technology for a newly-created Indian enterprise. This is an activity it has engaged in with chipmakers in Russia.
HSMC declined to comment on whether it was involved with ST in plans to create an Indian wafer fab. ST declined to comment on whether it was involved with HSMC in such plans.
March 25th, 2013, 03:01 PM
TCS wins $43 million contract from Norway Post (http://www.thehindu.com/business/companies/tcs-wins-43-million-contract-from-norway-post/article4547074.ece?mod=igoogle_news_gadget)
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and global outsourcing services firm Capgemini have been awarded contracts worth $43 million (about Rs. 233 crore) each from Norway Post to operate and manage its applications.
The 6-year deal encompasses delivery of a wide range of services across Norway Post’s core portfolio of 55 applications. It delivers over 36 million packages and 2.2 billion letters annually.
“Apart from being selected to deliver application services across core postal value chains, TCS has also been entrusted to coordinate and drive the overall transition and transformation programme across multiple vendors,” TCS said in a release.
Through this initiative, Norway Post is implementing a structured multi-sourcing model to drive efficiency and support, and integrate business strategy, it added.
Norway Post in a statement said it has chosen Capgemini and TCS to operate and manage most of its applications.
“The estimated value to each of the suppliers Capgemini and TCS during the contract period is around 250 million Norwegian Krone (KOR),” it added.
Capgemini has 103 Nordic customers and around 4,500 employees in the Nordic region.
TCS’s Nordic operations (an operating area cutting across Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland) comprise over 5,000 professionals and offers services to leading Nordic companies such as Nokia, Ericsson, TDC, ABB, Telenor, NETS and SAS.
April 2nd, 2013, 02:23 PM
INDIA : Electronics and Information Technology : Annual Report 2012-13 (http://deity.gov.in/sites/upload_files/dit/files/Annual%20Report%202012-13.pdf)
Export revenues (excluding hardware) are estimated to gross USD 75.8 billion in FY2013
April 24th, 2013, 05:32 PM
Tech Mahindra acquires Sweden-based lab (http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/tech-mahindra-acquires-swedenbased-lab/article4650873.ece?mod=igoogle_news_gadget)
IT and telecom solutions provider Tech Mahindra has acquired a Sweden-based Type Approval Lab for undisclosed amount which will help it strengthen lab presence in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions.
The lab was part of Sony Mobile Communication’s internal test function and now will help Tech Mahindra establish its first European test lab with multi-million dollar infrastructure, Tech Mahindra said in a release on Wednesday.
The company, however, did not disclose financial details.
This acquisition will prove to be a key milestone for the European expansion plan and reinforces further company’s commitment to be a key player in this space, the release said.
This is the third acquisition the IT firm has made in the last eight months.
The company acquired 100 per cent stake in telecom BPO player Hutchison Global Services for $87 million (about Rs 470 crore) in the first week of September 2012. Three weeks later, the company said that it had picked up 51 per cent stake in Bharti Enterprises’ promoted Comviva Technologies.
“The Lund facility will now provide us a strategic Lab presence for EMEA region and for our customers looking to launch their products in EU and rest of the world,” the Chief Technical Officer of CanvasM Technology, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tech Mahindra, Sirisha Voruganti said, adding that, “We look forward to the exciting test engineering competencies and consulting abilities the lab resources will bring to Tech Mahindra’s customers.”
This acquisition is in line with Tech Mahindra’s plans to lead the test space and the increased focus on Nordics region, it said.
The company along with CanvasM Technology has labs in India and the US certifying more than 800 plus devices, Tech Mahindra said.
April 27th, 2013, 04:24 PM
Tata Tech to buy U.S. firm Cambric Corporation (http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/tata-tech-to-buy-us-firm-cambric-corporation/article4657885.ece)
Tata Technologies (TTL) has signed definitive agreements to acquire U.S.-based Cambric Corporation, an engineering services company, for $32.5 million (around Rs.177 crore).
Tata Technologies provides engineering services and manufacturing enterprise IT. “The acquisition will strengthen Tata Technologies’ global footprint and domain capabilities to provide high-end engineering services to a diverse set of existing and new clients, especially in Europe,” Patrick McGoldrick, Managing Director and CEO, Tata Technologies, told a press conference.
He said the acquisition would be completed in the next few weeks. “We have undergone the formal process for a cultural fit,” he said.
Tata Technologies focuses on the manufacturing industry. It serves clients in 25 countries through six global delivery centres in Detroit (U.S.), Coventry (U.K.), Stuttgart (Germany), Bangkok (Thailand) and Pune and Bangalore.
The largest shareholder in TTL is Tata Motors with 71 per cent of equity followed by Tata Capital 12 per cent and employees and directors 12 per cent. International Tata Group entities hold 5 per cent.
Cambric has a significant presence in Eastern Europe with three development centres in Romania. Its customers include leading global players in heavy machinery, agricultural, off-highway and automotive companies. It had revenues of $25 million in 2012 with majority revenues from construction and heavy equipment sector. The acquisition will also give Cambric access to the Asia Pacific region. Mr. McGoldrick said TTL at present had around 6,200 employees and Cambric around 450. “We have an ambitious plan to increase our headcount to 20,000 people by 2017,’’ he said, adding “now we will have to see how best to scale up in Romania”.
April 27th, 2013, 04:28 PM
Total connectivity (http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/total-connectivity/article4653829.ece)
Soon enough the world will just be a click away anywhere in Technopark. Park authorities have unveiled plans for an ‘Open i space and data farm’ in a bid to ensure Wi-Fi connectivity across the entire campus, apart from setting up a high speed data centre. For the uninitiated, Wi-Fi is a networking technology that allows electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, smart phones and digital cameras to exchange data wirelessly over a computer network. “The Wi-Fi plan has been in the works for a while now, in continuation of our overall plan to ensure Technopark retains its status as the premier IT destination and also in a bid to make certain Technopark maintain its standing as the greenest IT park in the country,” says M. Vasudevan, Senior Manager, Business Development at Technopark. “At present Wi-Fi is available only within individual companies [most companies on campus do have Wi-Fi connectivity, but it is only accessible to their employees]. We plan to set up 8GB connectivity outside the four walls of the companies, especially in common areas such as food courts, Park Centre, the guest house, Technopark club house… It does not require much effort on our part and hopefully it should be up and running within the next six months, may be even less,” adds Vasudevan. The techies themselves seem quite thrilled at the prospect. Nadam R. Bhadran, a network engineer with E-Team Informatica at Technopark says: “I think it’s high time for WiFi connectivity on campus. Actually, I feel that it should have been done years ago! Having Wi-Fi in an area like the food court, for example, will be very helpful. It means that if we have to deal with an urgent task, we don’t need to chuck our food and rush back to our office computers as we usually do now. With our laptops or smart phones we can simply sit wherever and finish off the work.” Techie Vineesh P., who works at IBS, agrees and adds: “Who will not want to have unlimited access to Wi-Fi? I think it will be especially beneficial to our clients who come from across the world to Technopark, most of who expect – and demand – high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity wherever they go. Right now we can only give them access to our office networks and that too on a restricted basis. Most of them would have 2G and 3G smart phones and would be connected to the net. However, working with Wi-Fi is any day better than working with a limited GPRS connection. Of course, you don’t have to pay the roaming bills too.”
As thrilled as they are about having Wi-Fi on campus, the techies are also a bit concerned about the feasibility of such a project considering the vast area that it has to cover and the fact that there are 40,000-plus potential users on campus. “It would have to have an exceptionally huge bandwidth,” says Nadam, a tad sceptically. They say that there could also be potential threats to security with unrestricted access to Wi-Fi.
“With such open connections where hundreds of people can connect on at the same time, it’s very difficult to keep track of who is viewing adult content, doing unauthorised downloads, checking out pirate software sites, and so on. It can open the door to potential hackers too,” says Rajesh G., a system administrator at Toonz, who has to monitor the company’s in-house network as a part of his daily routine.
Then they say there’s also the question of it being a productivity nightmare from a human resources perspective. “As of now social networking sites are not accessible on most office computers to ensure maximum productivity. I am sure everyone will utilise the Wi-Fi to log on to the same!” says Vineesh. Vasudevan, however, says that there is no cause for undue worry. “We will have mechanisms in place to avoid such issues. We will have active auditing, monitoring and filtering systems in place with firewalls, security codes and the like. Also we plan to restrict access to the network with passwords,” he explains. Guess it’s time to get clicking.
April 27th, 2013, 04:30 PM
India’s requests for Web censorship increase (http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/indias-requests-for-web-censorship-increase/article4658617.ece)
The Indian government nearly doubled its requests to Google for removal of content in the second half of 2012 as compared to the first six months, the seventh transparency report from the Internet giant has noted.
The report, published on April 25, noted that governments around the world are seeking censorship on the Web more than ever before. Between July and December 2012, Google had received more than 2,285 government requests to delete 24,149 pieces of information. In the first half of 2012, Google received 1,811 requests to remove 18,070 pieces of information.
The number of requests in the second half of 2012 went up by over 90 per cent compared to the first half of the year.
The Indian government was among 20 countries to request for the removal of the controversial film Innocence of Muslims from YouTube. (The video though listed is not available for streaming in India).
In its bi-annual report, Google said that during the “period of disturbance in the North-East region” last year, it received five requests from the Computer Emergency Response Team to remove content from Google+, a Blogger post, 64 YouTube videos, and 1,759 comments associated with some YouTube videos, that cited laws covering disruption of public order and ethnic offence laws.
“In response, Google removed a video for violating YouTube Community guidelines, and restricted 47 YouTube videos from local view, in addition to removing 12 YouTube comments and disabling local access to three Blogger blog posts that violated local laws,” the report said.
Google did not comply with all the requests it received. The report noted: “We received a request from a city Cyber Crime Investigation Cell to remove current depictions of disputed borders of Jammu and Kashmir in five Google Maps domains other than maps.google.co.in. We did not change our depiction of the borders in response to this request.”
The report noted that there was a spike in requests from the Brazilian and the Russian governments. In Brazil, the requests coincided with the municipal elections where the government noted that several content had to be removed because they were violating the electoral code.
In Russia, the requests for removal of content followed the enactment of a new Internet blacklist law that allowed authorities to take down content without trial.
The latest edition of the transparency report — available at www.google.com/transparencyreport (http://www.google.com/transparencyreport) — also seeks to better classify the requests for removal of data with the introduction of new and pertinent categories like “bullying”, “hate speech” and “geographic dispute”.
April 28th, 2013, 03:42 PM
Nokia, Harvard's India alumni team up to create apps (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-04-27/telecom/38861402_1_nokia-india-nokia-lumia-gerard-rego)
BANGALORE: Nokia India, in collaboration with AppCampus of Finland, and the members of Harvard Business School (HBS) Alumni Angels India, has launched an initiative called Appcelerate-India that seeks to boost mobile app development on the Nokia Lumia and Windows platforms.
AppCampus, an accelerator that supports next generation mobile development in Finland, and HBS Alumni Angels will invest $500,000 in this initiative to provide grants, seed funding, mentoring and incubation resources to discover disruptive applications.
Speaking at a press conference here, Gerard Rego, director of developer experience in Nokia India, said the aim was to support Indian app developers to drive path-breaking innovation on Nokia's platform. "We believe this will open up countless opportunities to shape the mobile app ecosystem here," he said.
Apps are what drive smartphone sales, and Nokia is the weakest in that space now. As of February, there were 130,000 apps on Windows 8, the platform Nokia uses for its smartphones. On the other hand, Apple and Android had about 700,000 apps each in October last year. Clearly, Nokia has a lot of catching up to do.
Ravi Gururaj, co-founder of HBS Alumni Angels India, said the Appcelerate idea was to provide small companies the four essential C's to accelerate business -- cash, coaching, customers and capital. Pekka Sivonen, head of App-Campus, said such collaboration, tailored for the Indian market, helped to reach developers and start-ups locally and "helped them evolve into the next Big Thing."
April 28th, 2013, 03:46 PM
Delhi high court to government: Explain how minors open website accounts (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-04-26/social-media/38842012_1_rashtriya-swabhimaan-aandolan-50-million-indian-users-social-networking-websites)
NEW DELHI: How do minors in India access social networking sites and are allowed opening an account even though Indian laws don't permit it? The Delhi high court on Thursday posed this query at the central government and gave it 10 days to file an affidavit.
The HC also questioned two US-based entities â€” Facebook Inc and Google Inc â€” asking them also to respond. It was hearing a plea by former BJP ideologue K N Govindacharya seeking among others, strict guidelines to curb exposure of minors to online sexual predators.
It also seeks an order for recovery of taxes from the websites on their income from operations in India.
A bench of Justices B D Ahmed and Vibhu Bakhru asked Sumeet Pushkarna, the counsel for the Centre, to make the government's stand clear on the issue through an affidavit within 10 days and posted the matter for May 13.
"How can children below 18 years have an agreement with any of the social network sites, including Facebook? The Union of India is directed to file an affidavit on the issue within 10 days," the bench said. It added that "Both Facebook Inc and Google Inc are US-based entities and are hereby impleaded as respondents. Notices should be issued to the newly added parties."
The bench passed the order after hearing the argument of Govindacharya's counsel Veerag Gupta that minors are getting into an agreement with the social networking sites to open an account which is against the Indian Majority Act, the Indian Contract Act and also the Information and Technology Act.
Due to non-verification of users, more than eight crore Facebook users across the world were found to be "fake", which the website admitted before the US authority, Gupta told the HC blaming the Centre for failing to take any action against the foreign companies which have extensive Indian operations.
Govindacharya, at present a patron of Rashtriya Swabhimaan Aandolan, filed public interest litigation (PIL), seeking directions to Centre and the two software giants to "ensure proper accounting compliances as per RBI guidelines".
"Facebook gross revenue for previous year was $37 billion approximately but they are not paying due taxes to Indian government," the petition argued seeking a direction to ensure safety of the data of 50 million Indian users, which was transferred "to the USA and is being used for commercial gains in violation of the right to privacy".
The PIL urges the HC to "Issue a writ of Mandamus ...to ensure verification of all existing users and future new members of social networking websites with instructions not to do agreements with children below 18 years."
Arguing that lack of monitoring makes minors vulnerable the PIL further seeks creation of a national register of persons indulging in sexual offences and heinous crimes and stopping such persons from joining social networking websites.
The petition, which listed the alleged violations of various terms by the websites, also sought a direction to the Centre to ensure that government officers "do not use social networking websites through government computers" as they may pose threat to sensitive data and national computer network.
"As per telecommunication minister's statement in Parliament, the government lost $4 billion every year due to cyber crimes and approximately 90 million government websites were hacked in last three years," it pointed out.
April 29th, 2013, 04:43 PM
Infosys partners with IPsoft to automate IT services (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/software-services/Infosys-partners-with-IPsoft-to-automate-IT-services/articleshow/19780919.cms)BANGALORE: In a move that signals a significant step towards automation in the IT services outsourcing business, Infosys has struck a partnership with IPsoft, the New York-based company founded by Indian American Chetan Dube that provides tools that free engineers from mundane, repetitive tasks.The most fascinating and influential aspect of IPsoft's technology is that it includes the element of machine learning -- or artificial intelligence as some call it -- so that companies don't have to employ an army of people to write the complicated scripts that traditional automation tools require. The system learns from doing, thus making the process of automation itself automated.These elements have helped build 220 customers for IPsoft worldwide, including Cisco, Canon, Pepsico, British Telecom, Gap, ING, Autodesk, and Pfizer.Infosys will use the technology to automate parts of its infrastructure management and network management services - the areas that IPsoft's platform is particularly strong in. It will also work with IPsoft to adapt the technology to application maintenance and business process outsourcing services, and over time, look at adapting it to automate even parts of its application development business."What robotics did for the auto assembly line, we are now doing for the IT engineering line," said Chandrashekar Kakal, global head of Infosys's business IT services, the segment that constituted 63% of the company's $7.4 billion revenues last year. He said customers to whom the technology had been demonstrated were excited. Kakal will establish a centre of excellence at Infosys's Mysore campus to do R&D, establish proofs of concepts and train engineers on IPsoft's platform. Initially, some 200 employees will be trained and that number could go up to 4,000 before long.Speaking to TOI on the phone from New York, Chetan Dube too referred to the automotive example and said, "History repeats itself." He said the IT industry was on the precipice of a transformation unlike any before. He said complexities in networks and applications had grown so much that traditional systems were unable to handle them. "Chief information officers are under increasing pressure from business units to ensure availability of IT resources, and ensure consistency of business outcomes, without any variance. Human processes have variance built into their DNA. Our automated systems ensure absolute consistency, and are self-healing and self-governing," he said.Dube grew up in Delhi, did an electrical engineering degree from IIT-Delhi in 1989, and then moved to the US. He was an assistant professor in mathematics at New York University before he founded IPsoft in 1998. Dube called Infosys an "ideal partner" because they shared the same vision. He said IPsoft was in talks with some of the other leading Indian IT companies for similar partnerships but declined to name them. However, indications are that the others include Wipro and Cognizant.Automation possibilities are very high -- upto 80-90% -- in what are called Level 0 and Level 1 tasks, things like password resets, database failures. If a database goes down because it's full, the manual process would involve a human being expanding the capacity or purging some data to create space. IPsoft's platform will automatically do these tasks; it will also figure out why the failure happened, and prevent future failures by, say, automatically purging data that it understands to be least relevant.Higher level tasks can also be automated, but to lesser degrees. Dube said his platform reduced the average time to resolution of problems by 60%. For Infosys, such automation fits well into its new vision to grow revenues without adding employees to the same degree. This is necessary for it to sustain its high margin strategy, something it regards critical for long-term sustainability. For the industry, revenues have been till now directly correlated with the number of people employed, and Infosys, which already has over 1.56 lakh employees, feels it would be difficult to keep expanding this number for much longer, without running into an HR and talent management nightmare.But that's not the only reason why IT outsourcing companies may need partnerships with the likes of IPsoft. Offshoring of IT to countries like India began because Indian engineers were substantially cheaper than engineers in developed markets. Now, the automated systems are proving to be cheaper than Indian engineers. Writing about automation companies like IPsoft and Blue Prism, a British startup, The Economist magazine in January reported (quoting a study by research firm HfS - Horses for Sources) that Blue Prism's robots cost at most $15,000 a year, compared to an offshore IT worker who costs $30,000 and an onshore one who costs $80,000.The magazine then quotes HfS to say, "One telecoms company replaced 45 offshore employees, costing a total of $1.35m a year, with ten of Blue Prism's software robots, costing $100,000. The telecoms firm then spent its savings of $1.25m on hiring 12 new people to do more innovative work locally at its headquarters."
April 29th, 2013, 04:47 PM
Tech freshers' pay caught in 4-year time warp (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/tech-freshers-pay-caught-in-4year-time-warp/1109016/)
India's $108-billion IT industry is among the country's largest organised private sector employers, but the bottom of the sector's pyramid appears to have little to cheer about. While the overall wage hike in the IT sector has dropped to single digits of late, the salaries of freshers, who are typically engineering graduates and form the largest chunk of recruits, has remained stagnant in the past three to four years. Experts say this trend is likely to prolong as firms navigate a difficult business environment.
Staffing companies point out that in the current market, on average, a fresher in the software services industry draws a salary in the range of R2.75-3.5 lakh per annum when compared to R2.75-3.3 lakh offered during 2008-09. Thanks to increasing margin pressure, demand-supply imbalance, declining business volumes and rising training costs, pay packages at the entry level have not seen an upward swing in the recent past. This is at a time when prices in the country have grown by more than 8% in each of these years.
TV Mohandas Pai, chairman, Manipal Global Education and former director at Infosys, opined that the freshers' salary is likely to remain at the same level for some more years due to the demand-supply mismatch. "The hiring numbers by IT companies has come down due to their slowing growth but the number of graduating engineers has been increasing," he said.
The IT industry absorbs around 250,000 engineering graduates every year but the annual output is around 600,000 students, giving them lesser bargaining power in a market-driven economy.
The sector employs around three million people with close to 60% in the fresher category or well below two years of experience.
"Since the economic downturn in 2008, business cycles globally have been volatile and IT companies are still unable to get a clear visibility into the future trend. There is pressure on their top and bottom line growth. Hence, IT organisations are taking a cautious approach on salary hikes across levels. Also, entry-level talent is much commoditised and is mostly a volume-based approach. Hence, people from this segment have not been able to negotiate a premium," said E Balaji, MD and CEO at HR consultancy Randstad India, adding that companies are looking at utilising their bench strength and just-in-time hiring, which is likely to keep freshers' salaries at current levels.
April 30th, 2013, 03:48 PM
Moving from under Microsoft’s cloud (http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/moving-from-under-microsofts-cloud/article4661079.ece)
Microsoft Office 365 is nothing like any previous Microsoft product. Office 365 is a leap into the cloud by the company that has been better known for its products that brought office work processes to personal computers. Starting June, students in engineering colleges across the country will find themselves logging on to this product — a free offering from Microsoft — courtesy an order from the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) that has drawn flak from advocates of software freedom. This writer found that Office 365 runs seamlessly on web browsers running on the Windows, Mac and Linux-based operating systems. Microsoft’s bundled package of infrastructure, storage and software in Office 365 appears to be well done. However, Office 365’s emulation of services offered by Internet search giant Google indicate a desperate attempt to stay relevant in the age of the cloud. Google has been running its own online office suite of spreadsheets, documents and slideshows — Google Docs — since 2007.
What does it offer?
Microsoft Office 365 is an extension of SkyDrive, in which Microsoft offered free storage of about 7GB for registered users. SkyDrive integrated into Office 365 has a close semblance to Google Drive, which is accessible to anyone with a Google account.
The web applications for Office suite and mail access uses Microsoft’s online mail server Exchange Online, which is configured with Microsoft’s mail client, Outlook. This is obviously an attempt by Microsoft to gain ground vis-à-vis Google, which is the widely acknowledged past-master in this field. Office 365 also has even an intranet-sharing platform, Newsfeed, with an appearance that closely resembles Google Plus.
The difference is in how users get to use these services. Google allows users to register as an individual and access these services on a ‘freemium’ basis — an account with an initial capacity is free, for more capacity, users need to pay. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s package is available on a freemium basis only for a ‘beginner’s education plan’. The ‘A2’ education plan, which offers storage, mail, intranet sites and a web-based office suite, come at zero cost only for registered educational institutions.
The recent controversy about the AICTE offering about 7.5 million Office 365 accounts in Indian technical education institutions is based on the A2 plan, which Microsoft is offering free of cost. But then, what is the catch?
While Google Drive allows users to upload, edit and download documents in both proprietary and open formats, Microsoft Office 365 allows users to upload and edit proprietary and open formats, but only allows the option of downloading the files in Microsoft’s proprietary formats — .docx for documents, .pptx for slideshows and .xlsx for spreadsheets.
In the case of the AICTE-Microsoft deal, when 7.5 million users are given an option to use a service that allows users to work online on Office 365 and to save their work only in a proprietary format for offline use, it is presumed that the offline tools to be used are Microsoft’s Office suite, which come with an annual license fee of Rs. 4,200 for the home edition.
It is obvious that the proprietary formats from Microsoft Office cannot be edited using Free software office suites such as Libre Office, without losing some formatting at the least. Also, while Office 365 runs on web browsers operating on non-Windows operating systems such as Ubuntu, offline usage would require the use of the Windows platform.
More than just mail
The pressing need for Indian institutions is not mail and cloud storage access, but to implement online college management systems and tools to enable online learning.
One such project, cited worldwide as an example of successful implementation of a school management system, is Sampoorna.
About 15,000 schools, 7 million students and three lakh teachers in Kerala are part of the Sampoorna school management network, which is powered by Free and Open Source software, Fedena. “Cumbersome processes such as preparation of transfer certificates, copying of admission registers, generating reports related to students, parents, teachers and non-teaching staff, preparation of scholarship lists, progress reports, examination databases, promotion list and timetable-preparation have all been made easy using this software,” claims the page on the Fedena website.
Apart from using a tool like Fedena for institution management, there are many other cloud-based services that can be offered using Free and Open Source software, to improve the use of information technology in teaching and learning.
Modular Object Oriented Learning Environment or MOODLE is a learning management system that is Free software, and can help institutions implement online courses, conduct online quizzes, and provide forums for students to discuss and share ideas.
In India, many institutions, including many in Bangalore, have implemented MOODLE-based cloud solutions, which has resulted in the reduction of paper work. It has also enabled institutions to implement better usage of IT tools in their pedagogy.
Apparently, the AICTE failed to take this broader view when settling for Office 365 as its chosen platform for use in Indian institutions.
To be fair, Indian free software activists too have jumped the gun while assessing Microsoft Office 365. Some of their comments have been way over the top; AICTE, rather than Microsoft, ought to have been the object of their ire.
May 9th, 2013, 01:37 AM
IT slowdown & consumption: Fewer jobs and smaller pay hikes force techies to cut back spends
May 10th, 2013, 04:24 PM
BANGALORE: Pune has surpassed Bangalore as a hub for high-end engineering design and product development work done out of MNC firms' R&D outposts.
Some 12% of product teams based in Pune are doing highvalue product development work compared to 8% in Bangalore , said IT advisory firm Zinnov in its Maturity Benchamarking Study that surveyed 220 product teams across 30 MNC R&D firms in the country.
Product teams based out of Pune no longer play second fiddle to their global teams, supporting them with coding, testing and quality assurance. They have moved up the maturity curve managing the product pipeline, customer interface and channel partnerships.
This has resulted in greater mindshare at the headquarters and hence, they are able to drive high-value work from India. With over 350 MNC R&D centres, Bangalore remains a hotbed of activity in the country . But Pune has emerged as an attractive destination for product development leveraging on its skilled workforce in executing product design and engineering capabilities.
"R&D centres set up in the last 3-5 years have brought products at higher maturity as they see India as a destination for core product development. Bangalore had a headstart in engineering support while Pune has leveraged on its talent pool to recalibrate its strengths towards product capabilities early on," said Preeti Anand, engagement manager in Zinnov . Currently, Pune has over 110 MNC R&D centres employing 24,000 people.
Shantanu Ghosh, MD of Indian product operations in software security firm Symantec, said Pune had the positives of Bangalore in terms of the ecosystems and talent pool. "But there is a shift in the mindset to component ownership rather than offering support R&D services ," he added.
Take medical devices manufacturer Varian Medical Systems for instance. It entered India through the acquisition of Pune-based Cedera in 2007, to initially provide customer support to its global centres in Palo Alto, Helsinki and Switzerland . It later went on do complex work like asset tracking for software application and remote deployment of software for managing cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers, and medical oncology practices. It also provides tubes and digital detectors for X-ray imaging used in medical, scientific, and industrial applications. "Each R&D team has a mission statement and value proposition in areas like business intelligence , technology and infrastructure connectivity," said Niraj Kumar, engineering manager in Varian.
In the recent past, a lot of companies have set up their R&D centres in Pune. Nasdaq-listed product company PTC's R&D centre in Pune contributes to its core product development . Software firm Pitney Bowes opened a second R&D centre in the country in Pune to do work on its digital mailbox solution Volly. Global manufacturing & technology company Emerson set up its export engineering center in the city for software design. Other firms like Allscripts, Faurecia, Tomtom , Fiat and Fairchild Semiconductor too have flocked to the city recently.