Wednesday, August 13, 2014

BJP Adopts SAP Tech to Listen, Understand and Engage with Indian Citizens

In order to deliver the government’s vision of transforming India into a superpower by empowering, connecting and binding Indian citizens, Dr Arvind Gupta - National Head - Information and Technology, Bharatiya Janata Party elaborated the need to focus on leveraging Information Technology to build Smarter Cities in India. Dr. Gupta emphasized his views during an address on Urban Matters at the SAP Forum for Public Services in New Delhi, August 13, 2014

 The recently concluded General Elections 2014 was a clear example of how India’s leading political party and the winner, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leveraged SAP Social Media Analytics to help uncover and extract emotions, behaviors and sentiments of Indian citizens to gain insights and engage with the citizens for their successful campaign.  

 “Today, citizens want effective delivery of services, improved governance and transparency in the functioning of big, complex and constantly changing cities,” said Dr Arvind Gupta - National Head - Information and Technology, Bharatiya Janata Party “To ensure better government-citizen connect and community collaboration BJP is working towards building a “Digital India” where innovation, research and technology will play a major role.”

BJP has started a social media campaign where volunteers and citizens can collaborate and contribute. This unique platform was also leveraged during the General Election 2014 for aggregating the top news and political content across the web every day. Dr. Gupta also believes that the power of real time analytics can bring the required transformation in handling a range of urban issues from Smart Utilities and Traffic Management. 

 “Challenged by rapid urbanization and rising population density, Indian cities need new models for sustainable growth, risk mitigation, resource management and financial restraint,” said Mathew Thomas, Vice President – Strategic Industries, SAP India. “Our government’s vision echoes SAP's interest in helping build a strong foundation for inclusive, effective and transparent government.” he added.    

Kotak Stock Trader Now On Windows For Mobile Phones

Kotak Securities announces the launch of its mobile stock trading application - Kotak Stock Trader (KST) on the Windows mobile platform. This is in an addition to the app already available on other operating systems like IOS, BB, Android and J2ME applications. KST enables Windows mobile phone users to place trades, check portfolio and account details, stream market updates on the go, amongst several other features. KST mobile app is free to download.

B Gopkumar, Executive Vice President & Head Broking, Kotak Securities said, “We are delighted to launch KST mobile trading app on the Windows platform. This is yet another endeavour to delight our customers with best in class products and services. KST for Windows is designed for a seamless anytime anywhere trading experience just as it is available on other mobile platforms.”

Non-customers too can get streaming data, access quotes, view charts and watchlists. Kotak Securities has over 1.5 lakh customers who use KST mobile trading app, of which 40% are guest users

Salient Features:
 * Only Kotak Securities offers a guest login for non-customers. Kotak App’s guest version allows non-Kotak Securities’ customers to register and use the app to gather real-time information on markets. However, to make a trade or place an order, one has to open an account with Kotak Securities
* The app provides real time Streaming Quotes.
* Trades placed through the Mobile App can be viewed, modified or cancelled through other trading platforms offered by Kotak Securities (KEATPro X, Website, Xtralite, Call-and-Trade) and vice-versa
* Double Security feature while executing transaction  

Bhopal’s Deployment of Project CityApp a Milestone for SAP

SAP SE today announced that India’s Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC), with a vision to improve quality of life through better administration and citizen services, has implemented solutions from SAP to automate and centralize public service offerings. Available in Hindi, the solutions will help BMC manage and streamline day-to-day functions, including issuing marriage certificates, birth and death registrations, city infrastructure development and open space management, including roads, parking, traffic signals, community halls and schools. The solutions will also streamline permits, health services, water supply, lake conservation and tax collection, among other services. Bhopal’s project is a milestone for the SAP Urban Matters program, premised on the idea that improving livability, simplifying government and nurturing local economies are key foundations for a city’s long-term success. The announcement was made at the SAP Forum Delhi, being held on August 13 in Delhi, India.
 “Our vision is to make our services accessible to every citizen in the language they speak and understand,” said Tejaswi Naik, Commissioner, Bhopal Municipal Corporation. “With the adoption of this technology, we are quickly transforming into one of India’s first Municipal Corporations to formulate, promote and leverage technology at a grassroots level for the benefit of citizens in general and, specifically, the underprivileged.” 
 In a first for SAP in the wider Asia-Pacific region, BMC plans to deliver citizen services through project “CityApp.” Project “CityApp” aims to develop an SAP mobile app that will provide an easy access point for city services and will help citizens navigate through city services, stay informed and engage with their neighbors. Envisioned to be available on multiple leading mobile platforms, project “CityApp” is intended to simplify citizens’ day-to-day interaction with the corporation on the mobile platform of their choice.
 “This is an exciting time for India and the wider region,” said Vivek Puthucode, vice president, Public Services in Asia Pacific Japan, SAP. “From transportation to healthcare, innovations in technology and citizen engagement are poised to transform our cities and improve lives.”
 With many new challenges facing urban areas today, the SAP Urban Matters initiative helps governments at all levels improve the lives of people by delivering smarter, more effective services. The program addresses and supports the fundamentals of good government by empowering public officials to be more productive, increasing community engagement and openness, driving innovation around government service delivery and improving urban resilience to help public safety and security. 
 “Across India, local governments are turning to innovative technologies to help them address the challenges of urbanization as well as rising citizen expectations for smarter economies and sustainable growth,” said Mathew Thomas, vice president, Strategic Industries in India, SAP. “We aim to help local governing bodies like BMC to accelerate innovation and connect directly with people and communities to deliver efficient governance.” 
 Implemented in partnership with Deloitte, the solutions portfolio chosen by BMC includes the SAP ERP application, the SAP Enterprise Portal component, SAP for Public Sector solutions and SAP Mobile Platform. The software will provide BMC the right mix of technology solutions needed to automate and centralize end-to-end public service offerings in the city and achieve seamless integration of their citizen-facing services and back-office functions.   

A Futuristic Vision Of Smart City Urbanization In India

 By Anuj Puri, Chairman & Country Head, JLL India

Across the world, the stride of migration from rural urban areas is increasing. By 2050, about 70% of the population will be living in cities, and India is no exception. India will need about 500 new cities to accommodate the rapid influx of population into its urban regions.

Interestingly, urbanization in India has for the longest time been viewed as a by-product of failed regional planning. Though this is inevitable, and will only change when the benefits of urbanization overtake the costs involved, it is an opportunity for achieving faster growth.

With increasing urbanization and the load on the land in rural areas, the Indian government has now realized the need for cities that can cope with the inherent challenges of urban living and also be magnets for investment to catalyse the local economies. The announcement of ‘100 smart cities’ falls in line with this vision.

A 'smart city' is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability. It is a city with information technology as its principal infrastructure and the very basis for providing essential services to its residents. There are many technological platforms involved, including but not limited to automated sensor networks and data centres. Though this may sound futuristic, it is now likely to become a reality as the ‘smart cities’ movement unfolds in India.

A smart city offers a superior way of life to its denizens, and one wherein economic development and activity is sustainable and rationally incremental by virtue of being based on success-oriented market drivers such as supply and demand. They literally benefit everybody, including denizens, businesses, the government and moreover the environment.

Origins Of The 'Smart City' Concept
The concept of smart cities originated at the time when the entire world was facing one of the worst economic crises. In 2008, IBM began work on a 'smarter cities' concept as part of its Smarter Planet initiative. By the beginning of 2009, the concept had captivated the imagination of various nations across the globe.
Countries like South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and China began to invest heavily into research and the formation of smart cities. Today, there are a number of excellent precedents that India can emulate for its own smart cities programme:

·         Smart City Vienna in Austria
·         Aarhus Smart City in Denmark
·         Amsterdam Smart City
·         Cairo Smart Village in Egypt
·         Dubai Smart City and Dubai Internet City in the UAE
·         Smart City Lyon in France
·         Smart City Málaga in Spain
·         Malta Smart City
·         The Songdo International Business District near Seoul, South Korea
·         Yokohama Smart City in Japan
·         Verona Smart City in Italy

Smart Cities In India
In India, the cities that have ongoing or proposed smart cities include Kochi in Kerala, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Manesar in Delhi NCR, Khushkera in Rajasthan, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Ponneri in Tamil Nadu and Tumkur in Karnataka. Many of these cities will include special investment regions or special economic zones with modified regulations and tax structures aimed at making is easier and more attractive for foreign companies to invest in them.

This is an essential factor for success for smart cities in India, because much of the funding for these projects will have to come from private developers and from abroad.

The smart city concept is not without challenges, especially in a country like India. For instance, the success of such a city depends on its residents, entrepreneurs and visitors to the city becoming actively involved in energy saving and implementation of new technologies. There are many ways to make residential, commercial and public spaces sustainable by ways of technology, but a high percentage of the total energy use is still in the hands of end users and their behaviour. Also, there is the time factor – such cities can potentially take anything between 20-30 years to build.

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