Thursday, December 11, 2014

Intel Hosts IEC 2014 for Accelerating New Ideas Among Indians

Intel India hosted its first ever two-day Intel India Innovation Conclave in Bengaluru to reiterate its commitment towards accelerating new ideas esp among youth in the country and as part of its valedictory session announced the winners of the Intel India Embedded Challenge 2014 (Intel IEC 2014).

The Intel India Innovation Conclave offers a collaborative platform to enhance synergy amongst Government policy makers, academia and industry; to share knowledge and promote innovation which is a key imperative to foster national competitiveness and growth. This year’s conclave included discussions and deliberations on the importance of innovation and its role in nation building. The Intel IEC 2014, set within the framework of the Conclave helped stimulate an environment of exciting innovation as it showcased 40 new ideas from young innovators through prototype demos displayed over two days. These projects have potential to evolve into useful business models in the near future.

The focus of Intel India Embedded Challenge is on designing embedded solutions around a wide range of application areas.  As a part of the Intel Higher Education Program, this competition enables and mentors young innovations to scale up their level of thinking and creativity. Moreover, Intel IEC offers a strong mentorship platform where Intel technologists volunteer their time and expertise to mentor each team to develop and prototype their innovation using hardware platforms provided by Intel. The participants in this contest get to architect, design and develop novel embedded applications in areas such as – Consumer Electronics, Digital Security Surveillance, Medical, Education, Storage and In-Vehicle Infotainment amongst others.

The winners of Intel IEC 2014 were felicitated and awarded at the concluding session held today. A special jury comprising of Intel executives, Government representatives and academia shortlisted 6 best projects out of the 40 prototypes at display. These 40 working models were selected from 650 innovative ideas submitted by students and working professionals from across India. Intel IEC awards cash prizes of Rs 15,00,000 to the winners, including two Grand Prizes of Rs 5,00,000 each and a Jury Popular Choice Award and a Woman Innovator of the Year Award.

The winners of Intel IEC 2014 were chosen on the basis of achieving the engineering goals, clarity and lateral thinking, project viability and the success of their prototype. The Contest showcased a range of exciting project ideas, designed and developed on the Intel Atom and Intel Galileo platforms across multiple application areas.

Speaking on the occasion Kumud Srinivasan, President, Intel India said, “Intel India is committed towards advancing innovation & entrepreneurship, accelerating digital access and empowering communities in the country. The Intel India Innovation Conclave further reinforces that commitment. And it was truly gratifying to see the key collaborators in this journey come together through this novel platform and collaborating on this endeavor. I am also very excited to see a wide display of bright innovations from young engineering students and professionals at this event.  A platform like this truly celebrates the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship; I congratulate the winners and the participants for their exemplary contributions.”

Since 2010, the Contest has reached out to over 12000 young engineering students and professionals, over 2000 innovation proposals were submitted and over 100 innovations were prototyped till date.

Avaya & Google Collaborate on Business Contact Center Solutions

Avaya has announced it is working with Google on innovative contact center solutions for businesses. The collaboration combines Avaya’s expertise in customer engagement technologies with Google’s expertise in Web applications and Chromebooks to enable greater simplicity, flexibility and cost efficiency in contact center operations.

The initial project enables simple set-up of new agents and supervisors in any location, ideal for managing peak or seasonal demands, as well as supporting business continuity, mobile and remote agent strategies. Customer service agents will be able to access the Avaya contact center agent desktop with Chromebooks through a WebRTC-enabled interface. The Avaya Agent for Chrome solution eliminates the need to download thick clients on individual agent endpoints, providing significant management efficiencies and a highly cost-effective means to enable fast access to the full suite of technologies needed for real-time responsiveness to customers.

MeadWestvaco (MWV), a packaging orders and logistics company serving customers in 100 countries from 153 locations, will simplify their customer care operations by deploying the Avaya Agent for Chrome. They expect the solution to contribute to topline growth through increased business continuity, more efficient operations and higher customer satisfaction through first contact resolution

The project is one of the latest efforts by Avaya to leverage the WebRTC standard and drive a 21st Century approach to communications and collaboration. In addition, as part of Avaya’s strategy to adopt next generation business tools, the company plans to integrate Google Apps for Work in a number of areas to help speed collaboration and enable greater access to key materials shared by Avaya teams. 

Google uses Avaya technology internally both to power its global telephony infrastructure as well as to drive its contact center operations.  

“Contact centers are highly dynamic, business critical, functional areas. The flexibility to quickly and cost effectively equip customer service representatives during peak periods such as the holiday seasons, new product launches and marketing campaigns can make a significant difference in capturing revenue and improving customer satisfaction. Our work with Google will allow companies to gain that flexibility and cost efficiency using our leading contact center capabilities delivered via our channel and service provider partners and accessible through Chromebooks,” said Joe Manuele, vice president, SI/SP, Alliances, and Cloud GTM, Avaya. 

9th Annual Information Security Summit Sees Over 500 Participants

Data Security Council of India (DSCI) announced the inauguration of the NASSCOM – DSCI 9th Annual Information Security Summit (AISS 2014) in Mumbai on December 10-11, 2014. Mr. R. Chandrashekhar inaugurated the Summit.

The summit is one of the key security event in the country where “India Meets for Security”. The Summit is one of biggest annual events on information security that witnesses large participation from government, industry, solution providers and user community, from India and abroad every year.  It is one of the flagship events of DSCI and NASSCOM where solution providers discuss the changing threat scenarios, their response to new attack vectors and modus operandi of attackers.  Leaders of organizations in different verticals like banking, telecom, insurance, IT-BPM, health, education, e-governance attend in large numbers, to find how challenges in their respective sectors can be addressed through new approaches and technologies. More than 500 participants are expected to attend the Summit. This year the attendees will immerse themselves in discussions around various policy and business-critical issues, gaining in-depth knowledge and hands-on advice from leading information security and privacy experts. 

R. Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM said during the inauguration “NASSCOM has been the strongest proponent of global free trade in India, but it is equally realizes the importance of ensuring customer data security. Data Security is fast becoming a key ask of all the companies the industry works with across geographies. Hence, it is imperative that we as an industry understand the needs of our customers and the countries they operate in, to create standards which are globally relevant. NASSCOM and DSCI have been working with concerned authorities across the globe on issues facing the industry to map out conducive solutions.”

Dr. Kamlesh Bajaj, CEO, DSCI during his address said on the occasion “This year we have seen a CEO step down as a result of a major information security breach – a first in the industry. It is hoped that this will make security a Board-level agenda, and that information security will not be kept within the remit of the CISO only. The threat landscape is getting worse, with expanding APTs, their non-detection for long periods, even after deploying newer technology solutions.” For companies to grow, go-to-market pressures using Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) technologies, are immense. Organizations need to keep pace with the security strategies, technologies and solutions as they emerge”.

This year the summit is focusing  on: BigData, BitCoin, Critical Sector Malware, Cyber Insurance, Data Security, DDoS, Digital Forensic, Global Cyberspace, Industrialization of Internet, IOT, IPv6 & 4G, Mass Surveillance, Net Neutrality, Privacy & Innovation, SMAC, Cyber espionage, Real-time and Embedded Software, 3D Printing, Embedded sensors, Wearables, Driverless vehicles and much more. 

The program is spread over three days, during which a number of workshops and roundtables around specific themes will be held to promote security approaches and solutions.  

Monday, December 8, 2014

Modi’s Smart City Projects Gets Rs 1,00,000 Cr From Qatar Prince

PM Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘smart cities’ project is attracting foreign investments. Prince of Qatar Sheikh Dr. Hamad Bin Nasser A A Al-Thani , member of ruling family along with his Indian partner Mitesh Sharma is all set to invest approx Rs. 1,00,000 crores in coming years. This will be the first of its kind project in India.

The focus of this huge investment is on ten smart-city projects in a first phase, whereas, the partners have shown interest in investing in various other areas well – power, solar energy, infrastructure development, healthcare and education. They would be laying the first foundation key stone ceremony in the next three months (most probably in February-March, 2015) and if things go well, they might think of investing more.

Mitesh Sharma, a young Indian entrepreneur is handling all investment proposals in India. He is identifying various project areas and locations to be worked on. He has already met many senior officials in India. However, conclusive decisions over investments will be taken by Sheikh Dr. Hamad.

The partners had met Andhra Pradesh’s CM Chandra Babu Naidu and Uttar Pradesh’s CM Akhilesh Yadav separately while the Excellency was in India last week. On the behalf of NRS, sheikh Dr. Hamad and Mitesh have already signed a MOU in AP for a smart city project. Investments worth Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 60,000 crore will be made in Uttar Pradesh & Andhra Pradesh respectively. 38,000 crores will be diversified in sectors like power and natural gas. Moreover, the team is already working on huge investment plans for various other projects.

“The partnership between Sheikh Dr. Hamad Bin Nasser A A Al-Thani and Mitesh Sharma, is the first of its kind in India. His Excellency Sheikh Hamad is a prince of Qatar. Mitesh is a young entrepreneur who has also partnered with us in Doha. They will be working out together on these plans. Mitesh will be identifying the project areas and Sheikh will be taking decisions over investments. Mitesh is putting constant efforts and developing new ideas about developments in India.” – Qatar Office.

Cisco & IL&FS Collaborate to Develop Indian Smart Cities

Cisco and ILFS Technologies Ltd (ITL), a technology solutions company of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS), announced a strategic collaboration to utilize the Internet of Everything to develop digital solutions for India’s infrastructure and smart cities. Prem Saigal, Chairman, ITL, and Dinesh Malkani, President, Cisco India & SAARC, made the announcement along with Anil Menon, Cisco Deputy Chief Globalisation Officer and President, Smart+Connected Communities, and Durga Prasad, CEO, ITL.

The collaboration between Cisco and ITL will focus on bringing together the best-in-class, complementary capabilities of both companies. Cisco's vision of the Internet of Everything, which is the intelligent connection of people, processes, data, and things, is already revolutionizing the way our cities operate, creating a more dynamic digital economy and also bringing new, richer experiences to citizens. IL&FS’s deep expertise in infrastructure development in India along with ITL’s excellent technology services capabilities strongly complements Cisco® IoE architecture and robust vertical solutions.

The Digital India program of the government is focused on the digital empowerment of citizens, where infrastructure would be offered as a utility to every citizen, governance and services would be on demand, and citizens would be digitally empowered. The Digital India program aims to enable broadband in villages, universal phone connectivity, public Internet access points, public Wi-Fi in schools and universities, digital inclusion, electronic delivery of governance and services, and job creation.

Cisco's vision of Smart+Connected Communities, which enables the transformation of physical communities into connected communities, has been embraced by more than 90 global greenfield and brownfield projects and includes the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor in India, where Cisco is developing the ICT master plan for four pilot cities in the US$90 billion flagship public sector infrastructure project.

By 2050 India will add 404 million people to its cities, according to the United Nations, while today at 857 million people, India has the largest rural population in the world. Cisco and ITL will collaborate to enable the delivery of cost-effective and efficient citizen services to urban and rural communities. The collaboration will focus on developing IoE based digital solutions for smart cities, smart villages and the infrastructure sector. Cisco and ITL will pursue joint go-to-market opportunities in India and other countries as required.

The 'Intelligent Urbanization: Roadmap for India' report released by CII and Cisco in 2010 estimated that by 2020, India might have 68 cities with a population greater than 1 million. In 2013, CII and Cisco released a report titled ‘Smart City in Indian Context' which stated that India faced a shortage of 600,000 doctors, 1 million nurses and 1.2 million teachers in government schools.

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index™, 2013 – 2018, in India by 2018 there will be 1.5 billion networked devices, including 515 million smartphones, 177.1 million connected TVs and 62.1 million tablets. The Internet of Everything collaboration between Cisco and ITL will help the infrastructure sector and smart cities take advantage of the tidal wave of data generated in India and derive more value and greater insights from their existing networks. According to Cisco, the Internet of Everything total value at stake in India is $511 billion over the next 10 years, out of which the public sector value at stake is $116 billion, which includes creating smart cities and citizen services such as health and education.

Cisco and ITL recognize the unprecedented value to be created in the way in which many services, such as outdoor lighting, parking, mobility services, beacons, kiosks, location-based services, sensor-based water defences, physical infrastructure monitoring and controls, and smart energy grid services, are digitized. The joint digital solutions will use intelligent networks to transform the way cities and communities are designed, built and renewed as well as enable digitally empowered citizens through the availability of government services in real time, online and on mobile platforms. Cisco and ITL will embrace IoE strategies in existing solutions and radical new solutions to digitize the infrastructure sector, smart cities and smart villages in India.

Some of the solutions that will be jointly developed will focus on urban services and smart city infrastructure solutions such as traffic and transportation, public safety and security, command and control services, e-governance and a broader set of next generation urban services such as parking, lighting, traffic and citizen engagement services built on top of Cisco’s City Infrastructure Management. These solutions will help citizens access, in real time, infrastructure services such as traffic, parking, lighting, and water, as well as city operators to improve city infrastructure operations through sharing information in real time across agencies and systems.

Prem Saigal, Chairman, ITL, said, “We are pleased to collaborate with Cisco on the Internet of Everything to develop world-class solutions for India’s infrastructure sector and smart cities. We believe that ITL’s deep expertise in this space combined with Cisco’s Internet of Everything vision can help digitize India’s infrastructure sector and smart cities. There is a transformational opportunity to create world class infrastructure, build smart cities and digitally empower our citizens.”

Durga Prasad, CEO, ITL said, “In a digital India, there will be a transformation in the delivery of citizen services. Our collaboration with Cisco will bring the power of the Internet of Everything to greenfield and brownfield cities, communities and rural communities in India. Together we can enable digital solutions for the most essential citizen services such as healthcare and education.” 

Karnataka Launches First Unified Mobile Governance Platform for citizens

Karnataka has become the first state in India to launch Unified Mobile Governance Platform for citizens. President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the mobile governance platform.

Called Mobile One the e-governance project in Karnataka is being labelled as the first of its kind in the country and brings a whole range of government services that are currently spread across hundreds of government websites into one common easily accessible location. The Mobile One service will also bring under one virtual roof some 1000 private services.

A Mobile One app will be the gateway to the government services for mobile phone users while users of ordinary phones will be able access services through SMSes or calls to the toll free 161 number. Services like exam results, train, bus bookings and cab bookings, payments of bills for electricity, telephones, and tax payments will be accessible through the Mobile One service.

The Mobile One e-governance project is being positioned by the Congress government in Karnataka as a flagship achievement of its 18 month tenure. The efforts to provide time bound and online services for government departments called the Sakala scheme had originally been launched by the BJP government during its tenure from 2008-2013.

As many as 600 government services was made time bound under the Sakala scheme and officials were liable for failing to deliver services with the prescribed limit for each service.
Launched by Karnataka government's Centre for e-Governance has over 4,500 services.Services include G2C, B2C and G2B.

This anytime, anywhere, anyhow service will be available 24x7x365 days at any location in the State on any mobile device.

The service can be accessed even on simple low end phones through integrated voice response (IVR), SMS or Mobile web.

An ambitious project of the e-governance department of the government of Karnataka to bundle over 600 government services – like application and issuance of birth and death certificates, property registration etc – into one seamless web location, that is accessible over mobile phones is set to be launched here on Monday afternoon by President Pranab Mukherjee.

State Mobile One Service To Be Unveiled By Prez Mukherjee

The state government will facilitate governance at your fingertips from Monday . Around 4,000 services, public and private, can be accessed on your handheld phones with its initiative. Titled Karnataka Mobile One (M-One), the scheme is said to be the first of its kind in the country .

Here, citizens can access 632 government-tocitizen services and over 3,500 business-to-consumer services at their finger tips by downloading an app or dialing 161.The scheme is scheduled to be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday. 

Launched by the e-governance department, a portfolio held by chief minister Siddaramaiah himself, services offered include applying for passport and paying incometax and utility bills. 

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