Thursday, March 13, 2014
What next for the internet?’ asks the Institution of Engineering and Technology on the 25th anniversary of the worldwide web
To mark the ‘silver jubilee’ of the web, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is drawing attention to the huge contribution the internet has made to society while calling for a global debate about how we develop the web and improve digital skills to make sure it continues to create opportunities and enhance people’s lives over the next 25 years.
Dr Mike Short CBE from the Institution of Engineering and Technology said: “In a recent US survey, 76 per cent of people believed the web has been a positive force for society. This is encouraging and, given that we have really only scratched the surface with what the web can do, the potential for it to further improve our daily lives is still considerable.
“But we now need an agreed vision for the web for the next decade – and on how we will address critical challenges such as security, capacity and capability. We must also do more to create the necessary digital skills to enable the Web to achieve its full potential. Currently, the UK is facing a well-documented shortage of these technological skills.”
The wish-list for the internet over the next few years includes:
* A wider range of content in a greater number of languages
* Trusted e-learning resources
* Greater inclusion of, and accessibility for, groups currently not engaged with the internet such as large parts of the developing world, the older generation and those with visual and audio impairments
* Further innovation in web technologies, for example language and format conversion
* New thinking about how we operate commercially in a digital world, with a broader choice of ecommerce and payment options
* Global governance and standards for data privacy and security, including techniques such as human factors and user-based design to improve user confidence and adoption.
The internet has revolutionised business practices and created all sorts of new opportunities for communication and interaction – first with email and more recently with social media. We can expect to see social media transcending individual platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to bring together contacts across all platforms in the ongoing bid to create web technologies that allow people to communicate more widely, more easily and more often.
It won’t only be people who benefit from searching the web for information. Computers will be able to analyse the web to find data from a range of sources, linking data and identifying patterns. So in the future a faulty product or health scare could be addressed by machines scanning the web to find all available data to better prevent and prepare for future incidents.
Finally, improved usability depends on a web infrastructure that allows us to connect to the web on demand - any time, any place – without having to worry about how the connection is made. To overhaul the existing infrastructure to provide universal high-speed broadband coverage is prohibitively expensive. Instead, availability could be achieved by bringing together technical standards, embedding greater intelligence in the network architecture and introducing more proactive and innovative regulation to allow individual devices or appliances to find connectivity on demand.
TE Connectivity (TEL) and Alcatel-Lucent, world leaders in electronic connectivity, have developed a solution allowing mobile operators to reduce the time, materials and power required to connect customers in high-capacity locations such as sports stadiums, train stations and business parks. The solution delivers the first of its kind common digital interface between the Alcatel-Lucent mobile Ultra-Broadband access portfolio and the TE FlexWave, digital Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS). It will be available for commercial deployment during the second quarter of 2014.
DAS networks deliver enhanced coverage and capacity to subscribers in high-traffic locations. With the ability to support multiple service providers across multiple technologies and multiple frequency bands – the TE FlexWave (Prism & Spectrum) digital DAS products enable huge efficiencies for operators. However, even with the efficiencies of TE’s DAS, the DAS still needs to connect to the macro network, which previously required each operator’s base station to be equipped with RF processing and attenuation panels.
The Alcatel-Lucent and TE pre-integrated solution removes the need for RF processing and attenuation panels on site which reduces physical equipment by more than 50% and cost of materials by 40%. Additional cost savings will also be achieved by using less power (equipment consumption & cooling), space and fiber utilization, resulting in operational improvements and meeting sustainability demands. By deploying the new solution in large, high-traffic shared-operator venues, mobile operators will be able to meet demand for coverage and capacity while lowering their cost of ownership.
* Alcatel-Lucent and TE Connectivity are teaming up to save costs and power for operators deploying bandwidth in a private shared-operator location owned by a third party – such as sports stadiums or hotel complexes or wherever DAS may already be supplying multi-vendor coverage.
* Pre-integrated solution cuts the time and space required to deliver mobile ultra-broadband connectivity at these locations.
* Interoperability has been developed at the Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) between the Alcatel-Lucent lightRadio Baseband Unit (BBU) and TE Digital DAS.
* Alcatel-Lucent will provide a CPRI interface that plugs directly into the FlexWave universal host.
* This is the first solution of its type. TE’s digital DAS is a patented technology – the only DAS that can accept a direct baseband interface along with legacy RF services over a single DAS network.
* This solution allows customers to migrate their existing ALU and TE solutions to CPRI and support legacy services and can be applied to existing FlexWave deployments.
Arbor Networks, Inc., a leading provider of DDoS and advanced threat protection solutions for enterprise and service provider networks, announced today that they provided 7x24 Enhanced Event-Based Technical and Threat Mitigation Support for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic web properties for Rostelecom, Russia’s largest service provider.
“This is the third Olympic Games that Arbor has played a role in ensuring the availability of its Web properties. This was a significant undertaking that went extremely well because of our excellent working relationship with Rostelecom and their teams,” said Arbor Networks President Matthew Moynahan. “This was a true team effort on both sides, and great validation of the importance of having multi-layered DDoS protection.”
“There was a huge amount of work done by Arbor consulting engineers and developers during preparation phase of the Event, and as a result we were able to implement new features to mitigate advanced DDoS attacks and to increase our mitigation capacity twice,” said Rostelecom’s Head of Network Security Muslim Medzhlumov. “Due to the collaboration we have with Arbor, we were able to deliver continuous services to all of our customers during the Sochi Olympic Games.”
Multi-Layered DDoS Protection
Rostelecom was able to protect Sochi Olympic web properties with best-practices DDoS defense in a single integrated solution that delivers mitigation from the data center to the cloud. Arbor’s products and services help protect against the full spectrum of DDoS attacks, including volumetric, application-layer, state-exhaustion (e.g. targeting firewall/IPS), blended and multi-vector attacks.
Arbor’s Security Engineering & Response Team (ASERT) was proactively monitoring botnets and malware families via ATLAS, a globally scoped threat intelligence service developed in conjunction with nearly 300 service provider customers who share anonymous traffic data with Arbor. ATLAS gives Arbor security researchers unique insight into 80TB/sec of global Internet traffic, helping them to identify threats and develop protections before they impact customer networks. Additionally, Arbor’s Technical Assistance Center (ATAC) and Arbor CloudSM Security Operations Center provided 7x24 around the clock enhanced remote threat and technical support for Rostelecom.
World Leader in DDoS Mitigation
Arbor Networks’ customers include many of the world's service providers and largest enterprise networks in use today. According to a December 2013 report from Infonetics Research titled, DDoS Prevention Appliance Market Outlook, Arbor Networks was cited as top supplier of DDoS prevention solutions overall as well as in the Carrier, Enterprise and Mobile market segments.
Mahindra Comviva, the global leader in providing mobility solutions has announced the launch of its mobiquity Wallet, a cutting-edge digital wallet platform. This is amongst the first of its kind fully integrated digital wallet platform that supports NFC, QR codes and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It will offer security, ease of use and rich features to the customers of banks, telecom operators and retailers across the globe. The platform will bring in agility to develop an ecosystem and increase revenues from existing customers and simultaneously boost customer acquisitions.
Mahindra Comviva’s mobiquity Wallet is a secure, easy to use and feature-rich digital wallet solution that works on multiple connected devices. It offers support for personalization, multiple value-added services and payment methods to enrich consumers’ path to purchase. To the wallet provider and their partners, it offers a robust and flexible platform, combining innovations in payments with attention to human factor, behavior-centered experience design and cutting edge digital technology.
Speaking on the occasion, Srinivas Nidugondi, Senior VP & Head of Mobile Financial Solutions, Mahindra Comviva said “Consumer needs are constantly evolving and we are proud to launch a digital wallet solution that focuses on consumer experience and purchase journey for payments. mobiquity Wallet aims to deliver a connected experience to the consumers and is designed to support a large and complex ecosystem.”
mobiquity Wallet leverages enabling technologies such as NFC, QR code and BLE for enhancing user experience by offering context aware payments. It bundles location based promotions, automated coupon redemption and loyalty card selection during checkout enabling single click payments. It can support integration into a merchant’s existing mobile application or web portal through checkout or allow in-app shopping by simply integrating into the merchant’s ERP.
“Our mobiquity Wallet will allow businesses to re-engage and connect directly with their consumers, drive growth, and deepen their brand image by staying relevant to the change in markets and behaviours’,” added Srinivas.
The solution will enable businesses and their partners to fully leverage the potential of social media and data analytics for word of mouth advertising and one-on-one marketing. It will also help realize the full potential in a customer’s path to purchase, from discovery & payments to inducements & loyalty.
Mahindra Comviva’s award-winning mobiquity platform is a widely deployed solution that is scalable, flexible and feature-rich. Its ability to seamlessly integrate with third party systems fosters an open eco-system. With over 120 deployments, Mahindra Comviva has garnered extensive experience of deploying large scale mobile payment projects with numerous integrations to banking systems and other ecosystem partners. Mahindra Comviva is among the top 3 mobile financial technology providers across the globe processing over US$20 billion in payment flows, handling millions of transactions every day and serving 700+ million consumers globally.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Avaya has announced new and enhanced Customer Experience Management solutions to help businesses eliminate the fragmented, high-effort service that jeopardizes customer loyalty and revenue growth. From a single software platform, new capabilities increase reach and bring every aspect of the customer experience into a seamless, dynamic stream with greater, real-time visibility into interactions and contextual information. The end result is a transformed customer experience built one interaction at a time.
According to a recent Avaya survey, 93% of business managers recognize that not providing a holistic, personalized, proactive customer experience has potential consequences which can include lost customers, missed sales opportunities and lower revenue, and reduced loyalty.
Avaya Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions help deliver that holistic, proactive experience by enabling companies to centralize and orchestrate all mobile, web and contact center interactions that occur throughout a customer care cycle. Companies can now easily design and manage interactive proactive outreach and self-service applications over SMS and email along with existing mobile, phone, video, and other touch points from a single platform. By doing so, companies have greater visibility, insights, and control across mobile, web and the contact center and enable a consistent, omni-channel customer experience that’s missing from many customer service strategies today.
Squeakee a pioneer in location - aware technology has today announced OffersOn availability on the iOS platform. OffersOn is an optimized location - aware online search for discovering location based offers and discounts around a user’s identified vicinity.
Understanding the Indian consumers buying behavior Abrar Shaikh, Founder and CEO of Squeakee ignited the location promotion revolution for brands and local merchants in India through its proprietary location-aware technology. With its availability on the iOS platform, OffersOn aims to reach a larger audience. Squeakee also launched OffersOn on the Android platform, a few weeks back which got a lot of attention from the users. As of today, the OffersOn app on Android has about 1000 plus downloads. The response received towards this app has been great, as this number has been achieved in a very short time without any marketing support since the date of its launch on January 29, 2014.
Delighted on this new development, Abrar Shaikh, Founder and CEO of Squeakee said “With the launch of OffersOn on the iOS platform, we are now available on most of the platforms, for instance: desktop, mobile site, Android and iOS, which will ensure our users can avail of this service through multiple platforms. For a start-up like ours, where we are constantly trying to create a dent in this ecosystem, by bridging the gap between the organized and unorganized sector, it is a great achievement to be present across platforms. Now, users can avail the best offers and discounts across categories in their vicinity using this unique and beneficial app.”
Abrar further added “For a country like ours, there is a common mentality about the Indian retail consumers' "can't touch, won't buy". OffersOn is trying to bring a change with the introduction of L- commerce. With L-commerce, users can view products online, check for great discounts and then immediately visit the store closest to them offering the best deal and purchase the product on the spot, not having to wait for 24 hours before having the product in their hands. For users downloading this app, ‘Offers’ will be always be ‘On.’”
With a number of sales and promotions happening around the city, people often are confused where they can avail of the best discounts. OffersOn will help its users to find the best discounts at the closest proximity thus, also becoming the missing link between the merchants and consumers on maps.
Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips has announced in Mumbai that Indian company Servion Global Solutions would establish its Australian headquarters in Melbourne.
Rich-Phillips said Servion had more than 600 customers in over 60 countries and was an international expert in providing customer interaction management solutions for organisations globally.
“Victoria welcomes the decision of Servion to set up its Australian headquarters in Melbourne, which is further recognition that our capital is a globally-competitive centre for information and communication technologies,” Rich-Phillips said.
“The Victorian Government has been working closely with Servion for several months to ensure that they chose Melbourne as the launching pad for its activities in Australasia.
“Information provided by the Victorian Government Business Office in India about the commercial environment in Victoria, including details of our tax system, rental rates and employment conditions, enabled Servion to develop a compelling business case for Melbourne.
“Investment facilitation for ICT companies is a key priority for the Victorian Coalition Government, as it builds on Victoria’s positive business environment and attracts both new investment and re-investment opportunities into the State.
“The Victorian Coalition Government actively provides specialist advice to potential investors on development approvals, statutory approvals coordination, site location, infrastructure and utility requirements and the investment climate.”
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
It’s going to be a breathtaking display of aerobatics and showcasing of aircraft, including the largest passenger aircraft Airbus-380, at the fourth edition of Indian Aviation Show-2014 which is set to take off on March 12. The five-day air jamboree will focus on enhancing air connectivity.
In the show one of the star attractions include: The latest 787 Dreamliner acquired by Air-India from Boeing is being flown from Delhi to Begumpet for the show.
The mega air show being organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) will be inaugurated by Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh. Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan will be chief guest.
Briefing the media here on Monday, Asok Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, said that big deals were expected to be signed during the event.
He said aerobatics display would be conducted twice daily by Mark Jefferies air shows and display aerobatics from the United Kingdom. The latest 787 Dreamliner acquired by Air-India from Boeing is being flown from Delhi to Begumpet for the show.
As many as 18 aircraft, including business jets, helicopters, commercial aircraft, cargo aircraft, motor gliders and aircraft machinery would be showcased by more than 250 exhibitors. Major international players like Bombardier, Rolls Royce, Dassault, Embraer, Gulfstream, Piaggio and Russian helicopters will have a big role at the show. The United States is the partner while France is the guest country.
CEOs of leading companies would interact with the Minister and discuss ways to make air connectivity sustainable. A video conference with American companies would be held, while a special session on helicopters would focus on promoting heli-tourism and emergency medical services. Also, a job fair would be conducted to counsel final year students in aeronautical engineering on career prospects.
Asok said there would be an ‘aviation theatre’ to screen films on all the five days of the show. An Airbus release said an Emirates Airline A-380 would be on display for the first three days of the show to demonstrate the readiness of India and airports like Hyderabad for A-380 operations.
FICCI representative Vivek Kodikal said the air show was open only for business visitors on the first three days. Entry ticket is priced Rs. 700 each. The general public would be allowed on March 15 and 16 and each ticket is priced at Rs. 300.
Convergys has acquired tream, a leading global BPO service provider with a workforce of over 40,000 employees spread across approximately 56 service centers in 22 countries, including India.
Hanumant Talwar - MD and country manager, Convergys India and UK stated that the acquisition of $820 million in cash of Stream Global Services by Cincinnati, Ohio-based Convergys would create a global customer management services company with combined revenues of about $3 billion.
Stream is a business process outsourcing service provider, specializing in customer relationship management solutions including sales, customer care, technical and back office support for Fortune 1000 companies. A provider of choice to some of the world's leading technology, computing, telecommunications, retail, entertainment/media and financial services companies. Once the transaction is complete, Convergys expects to have approximately 125,000 employees serving clients in 35 languages from over 135 contact centers in 25 countries.
Brian J. Delaney, COO, Convergys, said: "This acquisition combines two financially and operationally strong companies, with similar structures, enabling a smooth integration". This entity will have a highly skilled multilingual workforce of over 40,000 employees (including 900 in Mumbai, India) capable of supporting over 47 languages increasing from 35 with a presence in 31 countries with more than 150 centers. He further added that through this integration, Stream's customers will benefit from Convergys' scale, as well as capabilities such as analytics and home agent.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Boeing and its research partners Wipro Ltd., HCL Technologies Ltd. and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) announced the successful development of wireless and network technologies that can be applied to future airplane development through their joint Aerospace Network Research Consortium (ANRC).
ANRC researchers developed wireless system antennas that can be etched onto an airplane's interior panels and sensors that harvest energy from the airplane environment. These technologies have the potential to reduce wiring, batteries and weight, which would reduce fuel and power use.
Other research led to the development of a wireless system called a "data mule," which can collect messages from cell phones in rural Indian villages to transmit them to people in cities.
Prat Kumar, president of Boeing India, said research and technology development are the backbone of a complex industry like aviation and support the evolution of future technologies in other areas. "We are very pleased to collaborate with Indian partners on this truly innovative work through the ANRC, which demonstrates the mutual benefit of partnership between Boeing and India," Kumar said.
"Boeing's collaboration with Indian companies and researchers to develop wireless technologies at ANRC will make our future airplanes more competitive and support new engineering capabilities in India," said Mike Sinnett, vice president of product development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
"The ANRC is delivering on its mission to conduct world-class research on networking technologies for aerospace," said Narayan Shenoy, general manager, Product Engineering Services, Wipro Ltd. "We are excited to see the results of proof-of-concepts and are keen to scale-up the application of research findings across multiple industries."
"By leveraging ANRC's unique collaborative model and HCL's R&D experience in aerospace and defense with IPs in wireless networking and cognitive radio technology, HCL is contributing to the development of next generation aerospace systems and networks," said GH Rao, president, Engineering and R&D Services, HCL Technologies.
Already wobbling under low margins, currency fluctuations and an undermining economy, the IT Industry faces a trust deficit in the form of unlimited accountability, unfavorable payment terms, unreasonable legal frameworks, fall clause, obscure SLAs and lack of clarity in e-Governance projects in India.
Deliberating on the above to provide the much needed impetus to the IT industry, the Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT) in partnership with Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), with Accenture as its knowledge partner, organized a sensitization workshop on Model RFPs (Request for Proposal), prepared by DeitY for selection on consultants, system integrators and PPP operators for e-Governance projects. This workshop was inaugurated by M N Vidyashankar, Addl. Chief Secretary (Retd.), Govt. of Karnataka. The workshop saw the participation of southern states in the form of their IT Secretaries and IT departments and heads of leading technology companies.
Commenting on the occasion, M N Vidyashankar said, “Karnataka being the only state to have an integrated e-procurement based on deliverables and outcomes has the potential to lead the country in e-governance. Such workshops help in arriving at cohesive solutions that enable improvements in procurement processes and complimented MAIT for leading these.
At the workshop, heads from IT majors opined their experiences in e-Governance and raised challenges faced by the industry in executing such projects. They suggested policy altercations which if implemented would foster an equitable partnership between industry, government and the beneficiaries of e-Governance projects.
Speaking on the occasion, Venkat Kedlaya, Southern Region Chairman, MAIT, said, “This workshop threw light on how decision making is a challenge in our country - efficiency and transparency is our clarion call to e-Governance projects and MAIT will be rolling out a ‘White Paper’ detailing concrete actionables for streamlining IT projects.”
D K Das, National Business Head, Government Industrial Solutions, Tata Consultancy Services, commented, “Ease of payment terms, rationalization of legal terms and Service Level Agreement (SLA) can boost confidence thereby enabling Tier 1 firms to actively participate in e-Governance projects in India.”
Industry experts also opined that the government should invest quality time during the evaluation of e-Governance projects. Vivek Sharma, General Manager & Business Head - Government and Defense Vertical,Wipro, said that “RFPs are often one-sided”.He further added that “two-way accountability would co-create better linkages and synergies in e-Governance and procurement”.
RamendraVerma, Partner, Health& Public Services, National Delivery Lead, Accenture,commented that “payment terms should be reasonable so as to help companies meet their cash flow requirements. The industry and government both stand to benefit if payment processes are streamlined.”
MAIT, with the given maturity of industry, urged the government to respond to the changing dynamics. C T Bhadran, Chairman, System Integration, MAIT, mentioned that “The terms of RFP should be practical and reasonable, yet adhering to the legal framework. The scope of the project in the RFP should be elucidated so as to ensure that companies know what they are getting into”
Through these initiatives, MAIT intends to reach out to all states through their IT secretaries, state e-government mission teams and other government procuring organizations.
SAP AG has announced that with a team of technology partners, including BMMsoft, HP, Intel, NetApp and Red Hat, it has generated a new world record for the world’s largest data warehouse using the SAP HANA platform and SAP IQ software. This independently audited 12.1PB data warehouse has been recognized by Guinness World Records, and is four times larger than the prior record. The announcement was made during a press conference held March 5 in Palo Alto, Calif.
“Setting a new world record with the combination of SAP HANA and SAP IQ was a ‘moonshot’ challenge I had laid out for our engineering team,” said Vishal Sikka, member of the Executive Board of SAP AG, Products & Innovation. “Our goal was to set new limits in bringing Big Data together with fast, ad hoc and scalable analytics. SAP has shown the ability of our platform to achieve such an incredible result, demonstrating a cost-effective and high-performance approach toward solving extreme problems in Big Data and analytics.”
This new world record demonstrates the ability of SAP HANA and SAP IQ to efficiently handle extreme-scale enterprise data warehouse and Big Data analytics. SAP and its partners had previously set a world record for loading and indexing Big Data at 34.3 Terabytes per hour.
A team of engineers from SAP, BMMsoft, HP, Intel, NetApp, and Red Hat, built the data warehouse using SAP HANA and SAP IQ 16, with BMMsoft Federated EDMT running on HP DL580 servers using Intel Xeon E7-4870 processors under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and NetApp FAS6290 and E5460 storage. The development and testing of the 12.1PB data warehouse was conducted by the team at the SAP/Intel Petascale lab in Santa Clara, Calif., and audited by InfoSizing, an independent Transaction Processing Council certified auditor.
SAP makes it simpler and more cost-effective to exploit the value of massive amounts of data at the speed of business, helping to transform companies through new insights that were previously impossible or impractical.