Thursday, December 17, 2015

Polycom & Microsoft Jointly Provide UCC Platforms & Integration for NATO’s Program

A changing world dynamic has caused an increasing need for NATO to have best-in-class business communication solutions for its new Brussels, Belgium headquarters that are both easy to use and always connected. Building on a relationship that has lasted more than six years, Polycom (Nasdaq: PLCM) announced this week that it has been selected by NATO to be the primary unified communications provider of the organisation’s Active Network Infrastructure (ANWI) project within its extensive high-tech new headquarters located in Brussels, Belgium.

As part of NATO’s “new ways of working” business capability designed to modernise virtual collaboration across multiple networks, the Polycom RealPresence Platform will represent the first hybrid Video Collaboration (VTC), Voice and Data deployment by NATO.  This implementation will extend NATO’s reach to employees, military commands and deployed units, taking this far beyond the traditional and capability to secure collaborative communications no matter what the condition or location is. Polycom will play an important role in the ANWI project, building a viable UC&C service that can be widely used across the NATO organisation to support decision making, collaboration and coordination.

“We see Polycom as a great relationship,” said Steven Janis, Project Manager of the new NATO Headquarters. “There is a great importance to us in the way Polycom integrates smoothly with other communications platforms, such as Microsoft, and the ins-and-outs of the nucleus of our UC&C platforms which help take our communications into the next century.”

In addition to the RealPresence Platform solution being deployed throughout NATO’s networks, Polycom will also equip the facility with 2,500 of its industry-leading Polycom VVX business media voice end points for use with Skype For Business.  This new infrastructure and operations is all about return on investment, saving resources, expanding applications and maintaining advantages for NATO. While the initial deployment at NATO’s new headquarters will be focused on generalised services, the Polycom RealPresence Platform offers the scalability to increase to a more comprehensive UCC infrastructure that will help power the organisation’s “new ways of working” approach.

“Polycom is honoured to have been selected to partner with NATO to outfit its new headquarters in Brussels with industry-leading unified communications and collaboration technology,” said Sean Berg, Vice President, Public Sector at Polycom. “Communications are integral to any organisation. However it plays an absolutely essential role in not only NATO’s initiatives, but the security and well-being of millions of citizens around the world. Polycom is proud to play a critical role in providing a superior user experience while ensuring NATO’s communication is never compromised.” 

Mindtree's Insurance Loss Control Platform Will Automate & Offer Key Insights

Mindtree, a leading digital transformation and technology services company, today announced the launch of its Loss Control Platform, a cloud based solution for transforming the underwriting and risk assessment process for insurers and risk management companies. The solution will enable insurance companies to reduce business exposure due to more optimized risk selection and lower claim incidences.

The Loss Control Platform is designed for the end-to-end life cycle of loss inspection and control. This comprehensive solution covers request management, assignment, risk assessment, tracking and publishing. It enables seamless collaboration among risk managers, risk engineers, underwriters, claims handlers, customers and other stakeholders.

Gaurav Johri, Senior Vice President and Head, Platforms Solutions Group said, “Loss control processes are manual and time consuming. Absence of automation and inconsistent assessment methods used by risk teams are inefficient to support the high level of agility required to handle todays’ more complex environments. Our solution automates the loss control processes, provides automated insights during risk assessment and reduces cycle time up to 30%.”

The solution is built using flexible secured architecture and responsive design to deliver on-the-go services such as risk assessment, progress tracking and risk grading. The architecture extends loss control services to new user groups, locations, and external vendors. The Loss Control Platform uses robust controls, data security and data isolations specific to region, location and line of business.

Girish Joshi, Program Director, Loss Control Platform said, “Our solution offers a unified common workbench for insurers, brokers, managing general agents and risk management companies. It offers process configuration and flexibility to design templates, questionnaires and service level agreements for any line of business and generates automated recommendations for improving underwriting discipline.”

The solution is part of a broader set of cloud-based offerings of the Platforms Solutions Group that help accelerate  digital transformation and core systems modernization.

Niranjan Thirumale Steps Up as New MD R&D of VMware India

VMware, Inc., a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, today announced key changes to its RnD leadership team in India with the appointment of Niranjan Thirumale as Vice President and Managing Site Director, RnD, India. Niranjan Thirumale succeeds Niranjan Maka, who has moved to the company’s headquarters at Palo Alto, California to head VMware’s global RnD sites.

Niranjan Thirumale joins VMware from EMC, where he last served as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the EMC India Center of Excellence (CoE). At EMC, he led innovation across the products, solutions and services portfolio.

A seasoned industry veteran with over 20 years of experience, Niranjan has previously held senior leadership roles with NetApp and IBM.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from IIT-Madras, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the State University of New York, Stony Brook.

“India is a large location in our global RnD presence” said Niranjan Maka, vice president, Global Sites (RnD), VMware. “Niranjan’s appointment brings in a strong industry leader to strengthen VMware’s leadership in India as we grow in scale and capabilities. He will lead the India RnD teams and VMware aims to capitalize on the opportunities the Mobile-Cloud era offers us, in addition to the rich ecosystem of partners and the extended technology community in India.”

Earlier this year, VMware inaugurated its 438,000-square foot facility in South Bangalore –a total investment of US$120 million, representing the company’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological innovation and evolving the business structure to serve customers locally and globally. VMware has over 3,300 employees in India. 

Micromax's Make in India Initiative Includes Rs 300 Cr Investment & Set Up 3 New Manufacturing Plants

Handset maker Micromax will invest Rs 300 crore over the next few months as it sets up three new manufacturing units in India to ramp up domestic production and reduce dependence on imports from China.

The new plants will be set up in Rajasthan, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and will become operational over the course of next year.

"We have been allotted 20 acres land in Telangana and the civil structure is almost ready. Similarly, in Rajasthan, we have got 25 acres land and construction will start in a few days. Tirupati will also start soon," Micromax co-founder Rajesh Agarwal the media.

He added that once all the units are functional, the company will have a capacity of about 4 million units.

"We will be able to provide employment to some 3,000-3,500 people in each factory... This is more than 'Make in India', it's about making India a hub for electronic manufacturing as our electronics (import) bills will overshoot our crude bills in the next few years given the heavy demand," he said.

Agarwal added that Micromax will invest about Rs 100 crore on each of the new projects.

Currently, the company has an assembly unit in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand that produces about one million units. This accounts for about 30-35 per cent of its requirement and the remaining are imported from China.

"The intent is to manufacture in India. We see that as an industry by 2017, we will start making batteries and other components here in India. It will only mature in the future and I am sure we can export to other markets from India as well," he said.

Global handset makers like Samsung and domestic players like Spice have assembly units in India. International players like Xiaomi, Gionee and Asus have announced assembly units in partnership with electronics major Foxconn in Andhra Pradesh in the recent past.

Handset makers are looking to tap the multi-billion dollar opportunity in India, which is one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world.

"The Fast Track Task Force has a target to cross 500 million mobile phone manufacturing, employment to 15 lakh plus and a component industry of 50,000 crores besides other terms of reference by 2019-2020. 

"We are witnessing strong green shoots already. Manufacturing value will grow 95% in 2015-16 compared to 2014-15. We are confident of achieving, in fact crossing the target set out for 2019-2020 by that time," Indian Cellular Association (ICA) National President Pankaj Mohindroo said.

Domestic brands, particularly Micromax and Lava, will play a leading role in spearheading this task of nation building, he said.

ICA also expects global giants like Foxconn to play an equally significant role, he added.

In December last year, government had set up a joint task force, which included industry representatives from Samsung, Microsoft and Lava, to rejuvenate nation's mobile phone manufacturing ecosystem with a view to achieve production of 500 million units of mobile handsets by 2019.

Lava is also looking to bring the entire manufacturing ecosystem to India. It is investing Rs 2,615 crore over the next seven years to set up two manufacturing units in units in India.

"Our plan is to expand exporting to other countries next year and hopefully, by 2019, we will export to China itself," Lava International CMD Hari Om Rai had said.

The Indian handset industry is poised to overtake the US as the second-largest market in next few years. 

According to research firm IDC, smartphone shipments in India grew 21.4 per cent in the July-September 2015 quarter to 28.3 million units, buoyed by a three-fold jump in demand for 4G-enabled devices.

Samsung was the largest player with 24 per cent share of the smartphone market, followed by Micromax (16.7 per cent), Intex (10.8 per cent), Lenovo Group (Lenovo and Motorola at 9.5 per cent) and Lava (4.7 per cent.) 


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

By 2017 30,000 SMBs in Rajasthan will Adopt FORTI & Microsoft Cloud

Federation of  Rajasthan Trade & Industry (FORTI), an apex chamber in Rajasthan, and Microsoft have come together to enable 30,000 small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the state to adopt technology. With support from BB Professionals, one of Microsoft’s leading partners, the adoption of modern technologies will make businesses more profitable and productive by connecting them better with suppliers, distributors, government agencies and increasing their reach to customers across India.

Rajasthan is home to thousands of SMBs and with a huge cultural heritage, the state is home to businesses across verticals. This provides a window of opportunity for Microsoft to equip them with requisite technology to advance their business. A recent study by Zinnov states that SMBs can enhance their performance by 75% due to technology adoption.  Keeping the needs of the SMBs in mind, Microsoft is working closely with its partners to advice and guide SMBs in the state through their cloud journeys. BB Professionals, a leading partner of Microsoft, has registered 30% year-on-year growth in its business, riding on high adoption of Microsoft Office 365, Azure and CRM amongst its customers. It aims to extend this success to more SMBs in the state. 

Vijay Goel, General Secretary, Federation of Rajasthan Trade & Industry (FORTI) said,“Technology, in todays business scenario, is a not a luxury – but a prerequisite. Technology enables businesses to transform and scale up at a minimum cost and accelerate growth. To this end, it is crucial to make technology more accessible for faster adoption. We are excited to partner with Microsoft to drive the next wave of growth for organizations in Rajasthan.”

Speaking at the event, Suresh Agarwal, President, Federation of Rajasthan Trade & Industry (FORTI) said, “We are living in a technology enabled world and it is important for organizations of all sizes and sectors to adopt technology if they wish to succeed.  Our association with Microsoft is the first major step in this direction. The need for this transformation has prompted us to work closely with Microsoft and we are happy that they are supporting our members in their business journey. “

Ashim Bhasin, Managing Director, BB Professionals said, “Rajasthan, with its cultural heritage, is amassed with small and medium businesses.  With the right technology products and solutions in place, SMBs have the potential to witness exponential growth. It is extremely humbling and encouraging to be associated with industry bodies, such as FORTI. This is will provide us with not just right set of customers, but also an opportunity to showcase the power of modern technology and encourage its adoption. We look forward to working closely with SMBs in the state and help them drive efficiency and business growth with Microsoft’s offerings.”

Meetul Patel, General Manager – SMS&P, Microsoft India, said, “Technology is a key factor for businesses to succeed; it opens up new avenues of growth for Small Businesses around the world and India. With the recently launched Windows 10 on PC and phone, devices like the Lumia 950 and our cloud-based services, SMBs can access new markets, engage with customers more efficiently, and manage their costs better. Microsoft, in association with FORTI and with the commitment of our partners like BB Professionals aims to enable SMBs in Rajasthan to be profitable with technology helping them accelerate their business.”

Microsoft Office 365 helps SMBs collaborate, communicate, and connect better in their ecosystem and expand to more markets and customers. The combination of online applications and always-on customer support gives SMBs the desired competitive edge and helps open newer business opportunities. This initiative will not only help SMBs expand their business, but also help the country progress toward the “Make in India” vision of transforming itself into a global leader.

As per a study by global consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) states that SMBs that embraced IT solutions grew faster than the ones that lagged in terms of IT adoption. The study also shows that SMBs that decided to take the IT plunge created more new jobs and more revenue growth over the past three years compared to SMBs that trailed in this regard. The BCG study, ‘Ahead of the Curve: Lessons on Technology and Growth from Small Business Leaders’ found that if more SMBs in India adopt the latest IT tools, there is potential for this sector to grow revenues by $56 billion and create as many as 1.1 million new jobs.

Amit Kumar Garg Takes Charge as New CFO of NIIT Technologies

NIIT Technologies Limited, a leading global IT solutions organization has announced the appointment of Amit Kumar Garg as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Company. He will be leading the global finance function for NIIT Technologies and takes over from Amit Roy who was appointed as Chief Financial Officer in the interim.

Amit Garg brings over 20 years of extensive experience having worked as Director-Finance in Fidelity International and American Express Financial Centre in India. He started his professional career in India with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Audit & Business Advisory Services. Prior to taking up the appointment with NIIT Technologies he was the Regional Finance Director and CFO at Intertek India, the South Asian arm of the leading international provider of quality and safety services, and served on the board of the entity.

Speaking on the appointment, Arvind Thakur, CEO n Joint MD, NIIT Technologies said, “We welcome Amit Garg to our leadership team. With his strong background and relevant experience I look forward to his contribution in elevating our business performance. I am grateful to Amit Roy for his exemplary support in the interim as we searched to identify the right leader”.

Amit Garg has extensive experience in Corporate Finance, Corporate Restructuring, Cash Management, Compliance, and Controllership, as well as in driving value creation through operations optimization and managing strategic initiatives.

“I’m excited about joining NIIT Technologies which is delivering value to its stakeholders. The IT & Services industry is poised for exciting times and I look forward to contributing in delivering sustainable profitable growth for the company” said Amit Kumar Garg, Chief Financial Officer, NIIT Technologies Ltd.

Amit is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge.

Avoid Late Night Trips to the Print Shop with New HP Printers

HP Inc. has introduced new wireless HP DeskJet Ink Advantage printers that bring affordable, high-quality printing to the home, eliminating the need for any late-night trips to the print shop.

“Parents often have to deal with last-minute scrambles when their children ask to print their homework late at night,” said Parikshet Singh Tomar, Country Category Leader, Printing Systems, HP Inc., India. “The new wireless HP DeskJet Ink Advantage printers bring the convenience of affordable, high-quality printing home, enabling parents to easily connect from their mobile device and print their children’s assignments in outstanding quality.”

Parents can also save more on printing cost with Original HP Ink Advantage cartridges, without worrying about complicated refilling, frequent maintenance and wasting ink. Each Original HP Ink cartridge is rigorously tested to ensure sharp output consistently and reliably, reducing the need to reprints which can undermine productivity and increase printing costs. With HP support, service and quality, users can be assured of hassle-free ink replacements and full HP printer warranty benefits when they use Original HP Inks.

The new wireless HP DeskJet Ink Advantage printers feature a new, sleek design and convenient mobile printing that fit seamlessly with today’s lifestyles.

The HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 4535 All-in-One printer makes low cost, high quality printing a reality at home. It features a clean, minimalist design that is accentuated by the seamless integration of the scanner lid and input tray. The output area also takes the shape of a smile with a long, curved opening across the front for users to easily collect their print jobs. Designed for the connected household, this space-saving printer features an easy way to print from a smartphone or tablet and lab-quality photos, creative projects, hobbies and documents.

The HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 4675 All-in-One brings mobile convenience for the home office, featuring HP’s mobile out-of-box experience as well as a hidden output arm that automatically extends when users send a print job from their mobile device or PC. This printer also includes a 5.5cm touch-enabled display and fast print speeds.

The HP OfficeJet 3830 All-in-One Printer comes in the form of a bowl versus the conventional box form factor. It delivers wireless-enabled, quality printing for everyday documents; convenient multipage faxing, scanning, and copying; easy mobile setup and easy mobile printing from tablets and smartphones. With the HP All-in-One Printer Remote mobile app, users can also manage printing tasks and scan directly from their mobile device.

Juniper Networks Helps Support Liberal Arts Education at Ashoka Varsity

Juniper Networks, the industry leader in network innovation, has announced that Ashoka University has selected Juniper Networks to provide the network infrastructure to support its ambitious goal of growing tenfold in the next five years. The university, which is breaking the mold of higher education in India by aiming to be a world-class liberal arts college, is also setting a new benchmark with cutting-edge network technology to accelerate learning and strengthen collaboration.

Ashoka University was founded by a group of successful professionals, entrepreneurs and academics who are focused on developing education programs that help students think critically, communicate effectively and become self-aware and socially responsible. In keeping with its world-class ambitions, Ashoka University is building world-class facilities at its 10-hectare campus at the Rajiv Gandhi Education City in Sonipat, 20 kilometers from Delhi.

The new, privately-endowed institution deployed a complete campus network infrastructure running on Juniper Networks Junos operating system. The combination of Juniper’s switching, routing and security platforms, tightly integrated under the same management system, will greatly simplify the task of scaling the campus network over multiple phases as Ashoka University goes through its planned tenfold growth in students over the next five years.