Sunday, March 19, 2017

IIT Stuart B School Launches Online MBA Program in India

Highly motivated working professionals in India will soon be able to earn a Global MBA from a US university, without quitting their jobs. Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business in Chicago, Illinois, USA is launching a Global MBA program in ‘Business Innovation’ for working professionals. Keeping in mind the convenience of Indian students, this program will be a 2-year, part-time course delivered online using interactive technology that provides a rigorous high-quality learning experience. The course aims to prepare working professionals globally for the next phase in business innovation in the age of Big Data and technological transformation.
The Illinois Tech program is designed with a focus on business innovation to prepare experienced, mid-career professionals for leadership and management positions in India and abroad. The program will enable international students to take classes online in a live, interactive session once a week, using Blackboard Collaborate technology.
The technology will also facilitate student-to-student interaction; projects in global, virtual teams; the flexibility to appear for exams from anywhere. The program also offers an opportunity for students to participate in a short international immersion experience in Chicago.
Dr. M. Krishna Erramilli, program director, associate dean & professor of marketing, said, “India is a growing global hub in the business of technology and Big Data. Through this course, we aim to enhance the skills of working professionals, providing a global perspective, broadening their thinking, giving them experience with strategic innovation methods, and empowering them to recognize and seize new opportunities. The program also comes as an advantage to every Indian student who cannot afford education in an international university as we are offering this course at an affordable cost. Also, online format of the course will further reduce the cost of travel and accommodation, benefiting the student at large.”
Commenting on the launch, Dr. Alan W Cramb, president, Illinois Institute of Technology said, “Our University pioneered asynchronous delivery of advanced courses in computer science and engineering to working professionals in India’s “Silicon Valley” 20 years ago. We have seen how students and their employers have benefited. We are delighted to be able to extend these benefits to in–career professionals, who wish to pursue an MBA, and their employers. “
The mission of Stuart Business School is to provide courses designed to enhance real world and socially responsible perspectives. The Illinois Tech Online MBA for Global Professionals in Business Innovation has a unique focus on management challenges in technology-intensive organizations, financial modeling, Big Data analytics, design thinking, innovation, and sustainability. These topics are incorporated through the multi-disciplinary components of strategically competitive leadership to globally diverse in-career students.

Bangaloreans Witnessed Mercedes-Benz’s Unique Customer Engagement Initiative

India’s largest luxury car manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz organized its unique customer engagement initiative, Luxe Drive, in the ‘City of Gardens – Bangalore’ over the weekend. The patrons who were present got a comprehensive brand experience, based on the three pillars of Adrenaline, Gourmet and Lifestyle during these two days of the event. The event became a runaway success and patrons enjoyed the luxurious brand experience that blends the thrill of driving with lifestyle combined with gourmet. The event was held at Nice Ring Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka.
The patrons enjoyed the best of luxury and brand experience made available by Mercedes-Benz India. Renowned Chef Ranveer Brar ensured the guests enjoyed delectable platter prepared by him. The fashion workshop conducted by Genesis Luxury created buzz among patrons as they showcased globally renowned lifestyle brands at the event. Patrons also received an opportunity to drive the fascinating range of Mercedes-Benz vehicles on the specially designed tracks. This drive showcased the technological prowess and luxury quotient of the cars.

Speaking on the occasion,  Roland Folger, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, “The garden and IT city of Bangalore is a gateway of Southern prosperity and it is a quintessential market for us at Mercedes-Benz. Customer engagement programmes like Luxe Drive are essential to engage with our potential customer base and we do this by providing them an indulgent brand experience synonymous with the Three Pointed Star. Such customer oriented activities help us in creating and strengthening our brand’s resonance with our patrons and prospective customers. At Luxe Drive, we inform, engage and intrigue our audience by providing the best experience of gourmet, adrenaline and lifestyle. We are confident of bringing more such customized engagement programs in the future, and continue to fascinate our valuable patrons with memorable experiences.”

Mercedes-Benz introduced many interesting activities this year like the Blind Fold Photography Workshop and Live Musical Performances to enthrall the patrons. The blind fold photography workshop celebrates the diversity of human conditions; a visually

Luxe Drive had in store something for everyone, right from the tiny toddlers who can enjoy themselves in the fun-filled zone specially created for them, to the ardent brand enthusiasts who could pick some exclusive and trendy Mercedes-Benz merchandise. This time AMG Lifestyle Collection was also on display in addition to the regular merchandise, adding even more excitement. The Mercedes Trophy zone had exclusive Mercedes Trophy goodies on display that kept the participants and families engaged throughout. The Mercedes-Benz pre-owned car sales team also organized a free car evaluation where in a special trade-in opportunity was provided along with personalized finance options.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dubai Chamber to Open First India Office in Mumbai During 2017

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry plans to open its first Indian office in Mumbai later this year. Senior officials from Dubai Chamber led by Chairman Majid Saif Al Ghurair and UAE Ambassador Ahmed Al Banna met Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis to discuss on approaches to strengthen business and partnerships between Dubai and Mumbai.

The Dubai Chamber confirmed that Chief Minister Fadnavis supported the opening of their office in Mumbai. They have also invited the Chief Minister and Indian business delegation to visit Dubai.

The visiting Dubai Chamber delegation also hosted discussions with Private Sector Focus Group on the new ways India and UAE can enhance economic cooperation. Of all new companies that registered with Dubai Chamber last year, 29% were Indian, bringing the total number of Indian members to over 36,000.

“We see a host of opportunities for business synergies between Dubai and Mumbai and the presence of the Ambassador Ahmed Al Banna shows the commitment of UAE to India. We had lively discussions, which raised many important subjects regarding doing business in Mumbai,” said Chairman of Dubai Chamber Majid Saif Al Ghurair.

 “We have a strong commitment and will be encouraging Dubai companies to open up business in Mumbai and to strengthen public-private partnerships.”

The Dubai Chamber delegation is visiting Mumbai and Ahmedabad, as part of its Global Business Forum series roadshow.

The delegation includes dignitaries and senior businessmen from the UAE visiting stakeholders in the public and private sector in Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The delegation will also meet up with the Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani and discuss new ways to enhance economic cooperation between Dubai and Gujarat.

Established in 1965, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a non-profit public entity, whose mission is to represent, support and protect the interests of the business community in Dubai by creating a favourable business environment, supporting the development of business, and by promoting Dubai as an international business hub.

Dubai Chamber Applauds Indian Government’s Ease of Doing Business Initiative

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has commended the strengthening of trade and commerce relationship between India and Dubai, crediting this growing relationship to the ease of doing business initiative by the Government at the Centre.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first Indian PM to visit the Gulf nation and this followed by two visits of the crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed last year and in January 2017 to preside over the Republic Day celebrations has strengthened the ties between India and Dubai, said Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Majid Saif Al Ghurair.

Dubai Chamber has placed a strategic focus on strengthening the Emirate’s ties with India. The country is a major part of our expansion strategy and we are excited to be opening our representative office in India later this year,” Majid Saif Al Ghurair said while addressing a delegation of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

“India offers plenty of exciting trade and investment opportunities which businesses in the UAE stand to benefit from. The country is pushing ahead with plans to expand its infrastructure, develop cluster cities, and boost foreign investment in various sectors.”

Dubai Chamber and Dubai-headquartered DP World, which has operations in India, said that relationships between India and Dubai have taken a completely different turn after the PM Modi’s visit in August 2015, followed by the crown Prince of Abu Dhabi’s visits.

“Partnership between India and Dubai is growing stronger by the day and the government is making all efforts to give assistance to business on both sides,” said Anil Singh, Chairman / Senior Vice President and Managing Director - Subcontinent  UAE - India Business Council / DP World.

“Bureaucracy is major challenge faced by businesses operating in India; however, we believe that doors have been opened up for investments to increase in both countries. We also believe that the ease of doing business has been a major push and it will grow with openness and constant dialogues.”

Recently, DP World Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem had announced investments of $1 billion in India’s ports, logistics and free trade zone, in addition to its current large portfolio.

Bihar Government & Megasoft Signs MoU to Enhance IT Services with Cloud Technologies

Megasoft Limited, a leading technology company, announced today, the award of cloud-enabled solution and services contract by the Bihar State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd. (BELTRON). The state Government of Bihar, through BELTRON, plans to establish state-of-the-art cloud computing facility for use by its various e-Governance programs and other IT-driven initiatives.

The cloud-enabled State Data Centre (SDC) named ‘Bihar Cloud’ is one of the important elements for supporting initiatives of National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). The primary purpose of the cloud computing solution is to establish a viable ‘Private’ cloud environment for use by the various e-Governance applications of Bihar.

Megasoft, acclaimed for its sophisticated cloud deployments, will provide state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology solution and services to address various needs of multiple line departments within the state that come under the purview of Bihar Cloud. While the solution is focused primarily on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), other services such as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) will complement and be deployed on top of the basic IaaS services.

Rahul Singh, Managing Director, BELTRON said, “In the past, applications and websites of state departments were hosted on different servers. In such a scenario, introduction of a new application or website required all other applications and websites to be brought down. With ‘Bihar Cloud’, sufficient space will be allocated to various state Government departments based on their requirements. The unique feature of this project is that the cloud-based implementation will also further strengthen the security aspect of all the applications. The inauguration of the solution is planned shortly”.

G V Kumar, CEO and Managing Director of Megasoft said, “Virtualization and the cloud mean much more than mere consolidation. Our Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution will not only ease BELTRON’s infrastructure management efforts but also provide them the ability to automatically scale-up or scale-down services hosted in the cloud, based on user demand. By addressing the systems and information technology needs from a holistic perspective, our delivery model will ensure that BELTRON implements ‘Bihar Cloud’ in the most effective manner”.

Megasoft cloud-enabled solution is agnostic to the underlying hardware, storage, network and operating system. Besides enabling end customers to automatically provision services via a web portal it provides service assurance for maintenance and operations activities performed by the users.

Indian CIOs are Prioritizing Digitalization over Conventional Technologies

CIOs in India are prioritizing digitalization and rivaling global top performers when it comes to their commitment to digital business, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner’s annual global survey of CIOs found that average IT budgets in India are expected to grow 10.7 percent in 2017, nearly five times faster than the overall global average of a 2.2 percent increase. However, India is struggling with significant IT talent gaps.

The 2017, Gartner CIO Survey gathered data from 2,598 CIO respondents in 93 countries and all major industries, representing approximately $9.4 trillion in revenue and public-sector budgets, and $292 billion in IT spending. Sixty five Indian CIOs responded to the 2017 Gartner CIO Survey.

“India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and Indian CEOs are looking to their CIOs to deliver on the promise of digitalization,” said Partha Iyengar, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “Indian CIOs are being given the budgets to invest in digitalization and the game-changing technologies that support it, but IT organizations remain immature in some respects and lack key resources. How Indian CIOs deal with the challenges caused by rapid business change and opportunities will help determine the future success of their enterprises.”

When asked how much their company's revenue will grow in 2017, the Indian CIOs surveyed reported that they expected average revenue growth of 12.6 percent. This is much higher than the global average of a 4 percent rise in company revenue among respondents.

The rapid growth in the IT budget poses an extra challenge for Indian CIOs, who will have to be even more creative than their peers elsewhere in finding the skills they need to pursue digital transformation. On the one hand, leaders have committed to using digital technology for business advantage, but skills and resources topped the list of worries at 21 percent.

“Indian CIOs have the money to spend, but the availability of talent and skills necessary to implement key projects remains a significant challenge,” said Iyengar. “The lack of business analytics skills is a global concern, and one that Indian CIOs feel keenly with 35 percent of respondents listing it as a top talent concern. Twenty-five percent of Indian respondents list overall lack of skills as a top-three talent gap, compared with 12 percent of overall respondents. A quarter of Indian CIOs also reported a talent gap in digital business and marketing while 19 percent cited lack of specific technical skills.”

“Indian companies have committed to digital business as resolutely as the world's top-performing enterprises,” said Iyengar. “Like their top-performing counterparts, Indian CIOs list digital business and growth or market share as their enterprises' top strategic business priorities through 2017. In fact, Indian CIOs say it even more emphatically with 37 percent listing digital business as a top priority compared to 28 percent of global top performers and 21 percent of all respondents.”

These business priorities have altered the focus of Indian IT organizations. Indian CIOs mirror global top performers when asked what their IT organizations emphasize. For example, almost 9 out of 10 Indian CIOs stress support for digital business over optimizing IT costs, and almost 80 percent say they emphasize innovation over daily operations.

The commitment Indian CIOs have made to digitalization, involves trade-offs and risks. Today, digitalization accounts for 23 percent of the total IT budget in Indian IT organizations which is more than typical performers (18 percent) but still significantly below top performers (33 percent). Indian CIOs plan to accelerate their funding of digitalization by 2018 to 35 percent of total IT budget compared to a predicted 43 percent among top performers.

“The strong emphasis on digitalization by Indian CIOs comes at the expense of more conventional technologies. Infrastructure, data centers, information security and networking rank much lower among Indian CIOs than even the top performers,” said Iyengar. “This is likely an indication of the fact that Indian CIOs have focused on establishing the foundational capabilities over the past decade or so, and they are now concentrating on addressing the competitive challenges by aggressively investing in digital business.”

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Microsoft Teams Now Available for Office 365 Customers Globally in 19 Languages

Microsoft Corp. has announced the general availability of Microsoft Teams, the company’s new chat-based workspace in Office 365. The new tool for team collaboration is now available to Office 365 business customers in 181 markets and 19 languages.

Customers worldwide are choosing Microsoft Teams to enable collaboration within their organizations.  Since announcing the preview in November, more than 50,000 organizations have started using Microsoft Teams, including Alaska Airlines, ConocoPhillips, Deloitte, Expedia, J.B. Hunt, J. Walter Thompson, Hendrick Motorsports, Sage, Trek Bicycle and Three UK.

“In a world where information is abundant and human time and attention remain scarce, we aspire to help people and groups of people be more productive, wherever they are,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.“Office 365 is the broadest platform and universal toolkit for creation, collaboration and communication. Today we are adding a new tool to Office 365 with Microsoft Teams, a chat-based workspace designed to empower the art of teams.”

Office 365 is designed to meet the unique workstyle of every group with purpose-built, integrated applications: Outlook for enterprise-grade email; SharePoint for intelligent content management; Yammer for networking across the organization; Skype for Business as the backbone for enterprise voice and video; and now, Microsoft Teams.

According to Laurie Koch, vice president of global customer service at Trek Bicycle, Microsoft Teams is already streamlining the company’s work by providing assets and tasks in context: “Across Trek’s global teams, the integrated collection of Office 365 apps serves up a common toolset to collaboratively drive the business forward. We see Microsoft Teams as the project hub of Office 365 where everybody knows where to find the latest documents, notes and tasks, all in line with team conversations for complete context. Teams is quickly becoming a key part of Trek’s get-things-done-fast culture.”

Microsoft has introduced more than 100 new features to Teams since November, including: an enhanced meeting experience, with scheduling capabilities; mobile audio calling, with video calling on Android now and coming soon to iOS and Windows Phone; email integration; and new security and compliance capabilities. The company has also delivered new features to make Microsoft Teams accessible, such as support for screen readers, high contrast and keyboard-only navigation. Guest access capabilities and deeper integration with Outlook, and a richer developer platform are targeted for June of this year.