Friday, June 8, 2018

Commvault and Alibaba Cloud Join Forces to Accelerate Worldwide Digital Transformations

Commvault, a global leader in enterprise backup, recovery, archive and the cloud, and Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, jointly announced today to leverage each other’s technology and market advantages to deliver advanced, innovative and scalable hybrid cloud data management solutions to help customers and partners across the globe accelerate digital transformations.

Alibaba Cloud is among the world’s top 3 IaaS providers according to Gartner, China’s largest provider of public cloud services and the number four player globally in the IaaS market by revenue in 2017 according to IDC. Commvault’s partnership with Alibaba Cloud allows businesses to make their move to the cloud with greater ease and security. 

With IDG highlighting big data/analytics, mobile and cloud as the leading business revenue drivers, and 49 percent of global enterprises citing data availability and visibility as responsible for significantly improved business performance[1], data is a critical asset to information-driven businesses. However, complex regulations and the fast pace of changing business needs threaten the success of enterprises embarking on their digital transformation journey.

The strategic partnership between Commvault and Alibaba Cloud will directly address these challenges through the joint delivery of:

·  Integrated features on a single unified platform: Businesses will be empowered with reliable and scalable computing and data processing capabilities with Alibaba Cloud, securely managed and accessed on Commvault’s unified data management platform.

·  Advanced centralized support: Alibaba Cloud customers from all over the world can rely on advanced technical support at all stages of their cloud migration journey, powered by Commvault’s best in class data experts from engineering and customer support teams.

·  Innovative, personalized offerings: The partnership agreement will serve as a platform for knowledge-transfer, including customer and partner evaluations and feedback, enabling Commvault and Alibaba Cloud to continue developing innovative offerings and upgrades that support rapidly evolving business requirements in today’s digital landscape.

Dajiang Han, Head of Global Alliance, Alibaba Cloud Global said, “We are excited to enter this strategic partnership with Commvault and concertedly empower our customers through advanced cloud computing and data management capabilities. Digital transformation is the new benchmark for companies amidst an increasingly competitive landscape, and data is at the core of this journey. As cloud continues to serve as the backbone of today’s digital economy, Alibaba Cloud and Commvault are committed to deliver innovative technologies to address the ever-growing challenges in data storage, processing, management and protection."

“The strategic combination of Commvault’s leadership in backup & recovery and moving data to, from and between clouds and Alibaba Cloud’s strengths will provide customers with scalable and secure cloud solutions, while supporting the acceleration of digital transformations across the globe,” said Owen Taraniuk, Vice President of Worldwide Partnerships and Market Development, Commvault. “Commvault’s partnership with Alibaba Cloud continues building on our unwavering commitment to delivering cloud-optimized solutions so that our customers can leverage the power and benefits of a multi-cloud strategy for modernized data protection and disaster recovery.”  

InterraIT Roundtable Discuss Reducing the Gap Between Desirables and Deliverables

How to tackle enterprise risk and convert it into an opportunity was the subject of a Councilsme roundtable conference hosted by InterraIT at its Noida offices.  Panelists at the event discussed various aspects of managing risk in an enterprise setting including international trade, IPR and trademarks, cyber security, and “trust management,” a major human resources initiative by InterraIT.

Drawn from senior management at prestigious firms such as Ernst & Young, Yes Bank, O P Khaitan& Co, Premier Shiled Group, IIFL and KPMG, participants agreed that enterprise risk management (ERM) is a method that can help organizations manage activities with a view to minimizing risk in the pursuit of business opportunities.

Asoke Laha, founder and chairman of InterraIT, who also serves as vice chairman of Councilsme, described the role his firm plays in managing risk, assuring quality control, and data protection. He said risk management is vital to minimizing financial exposure in times of economic turmoil.

InterraIT CTO, Souvanik Sarkar made an insightful presentation on aspects of IT security. This is an issue that’s become the sine qua non in the management of enterprise-level risk.

In an inaugural speech, Councilsme chairman Vinod Madhok outlined the objectives of the roundtable and the agenda of the discussion. Moderator for the event was Dr S M Dewan, whose experience of two decades in the field includes several board-level appointments. Professor Aman Agarwal of the Indian Institute of Finance concluded the discussions with an excellent summary of the issues presented.

Atos is Awarded Major Application Management Contracts by Siemens to Drive Digital Transformation Program

Atos, a global leader in digital transformation has been awarded two major outsourcing contracts by Siemens, a global engineering leader, to drive Siemens’ digital transformation program. The first contract will cover multiple activities spanning Application Management services and Technical Production Support in SAP, Microsoft and Business Intelligence for multiple divisions of Siemens, while the second contract will cover Application Management services for Siemens regions in Europe, APAC and Latin America. Both contracts, with a total value above €200 million, will run for a duration of 5 years commencing Q4 2018. Most of those contracts represent new business for Atos.

Driving an ambitious IT transformation program, Siemens launched a tender to identify and select providers which offer cutting-edge technologies, digital expertise and industry knowledge, while meeting Siemens’ important selection criteria. In this context, Atos has been selected as provider for:

Technical Production Support: Onsite technical production support services for 30,000 users across multiple divisions of Siemens mainly in Germany and USA.

SAP in Siemens Divisions: Application Management and Project Services for Siemens enterprise divisions in Germany.

Microsoft / Enterprise Content Management: Application Management Services for Enterprise content management and Business applications in Non-SAP technologies globally.

HR systems: Application management for SAP and Non-SAP based HR systems in Germany.

Business Intelligence: Application management for regional BI systems globally, in liaison with another supplier.

The global agreement stipulates specific business volumes for each activity over a five-year term. As part of this contract and subject to receiving the respective approvals for the antitrust filing in Germany, Atos will take over Siemens employees along with the services.

In addition to this contract, Atos has been selected as a partner for Application Management services in Siemens Regions in Europe, APAC and Latin America, with the task of transforming these into an industrialized best in class global delivery model with end-to-end and business KPIs.

Atos will Drive the Application Management Transformation in the Regions 

“Following an intensive competitive review we have decided in favor of Atos, therefore expanding our thriving existing partnership,” said Dr. Helmuth Ludwig, Siemens Global Head of Information Technology. “Atos has been convincing, particularly with regard to our important selection criteria, including statements on employment conditions and locations, cost efficiency and prospects based on its market positioning. We look forward to working together with Atos on building a Collaborative Global IT business. ”

“We are glad to have been awarded these major outsourcing contracts and to have been selected by Siemens as their trusted partner to drive their Application Management Services transformation program. As always, we are 100% committed to delivering excellent user satisfaction. With this contract, we are strengthening our unique partnership, through which we support the end-to-end digital transformation of Siemens itself, as well as Siemens’ and Atos’ customers.” said Eric Grall, Atos Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Global Operations.

Tata Motors Rolls Out Special Offer across its Range to Celebrate 150 Years of the Tata Group

Commemorating 150 years of the Tata Group, the Tata Motors passenger vehicles business is extending a special, limited period offer, till June 25. Reflecting on this group-wide celebration, this attractive offer will include benefits that are worth up to Rs 1 Lakh provision of insurance at Re 1, and a special exchange bonus* amongst many other exciting deals, thus making it an exciting proposition for the first-time-car buyers, this monsoon.

Commenting on the occasion, S.N Barman, Vice President – Sales, Marketing & Customer Support, PVBU, Tata Motors said, “Throughout the years, Tata Motors has continuously striven to meet the customers’ expectations and offer them with a joyous experience while purchasing a car. On the blissful occasion of the 150th anniversary of our Group, we wish to strengthen the bond of happiness amongst our customers through many beneficial offers this month.”

The Company is offering these benefits on the entire range of passenger vehicles, including the blockbuster TIAGO and its LEVEL NEX compact SUV – the NEXON. Tata Motors Passenger Vehicle Business in the domestic market ended FY18 with a growth of 22%, compared to industry growth of 7%. The growth momentum continues in FY19 with a strong sales performance with an increase of 61% is sales, recorded in May 2018. With Turnaround 2.0, the Company strives towards a Sustainable Win in PVs by driving volumes and increasing market share. 

Pernod Ricard India Launches Martell VS Single Distillery in India

Pernod Ricard India introduces Martell VS Single Distillery to the Indian marketing replacing Martell VS. In comparison to Martell VS, it is more smooth & fruity, and less spicy. The innovative Martell VS Distillery design reinvents the traditional cognac ‘montre’ in a bold new contemporary look. The new launch

Martell VS Single Distillery is crafted from spirits drawn from a single distillation source for a richer, more intense expression of the Martell distillation style. Its taste delivers an easy, smooth and fruity blend, with plum, apricot & candied lemon aromas which is luscious, round & sweet on the palate. Martell VS Single Distillery is also the perfect cognac for cocktails.

Martell VS Single Distillery is available across 5 Star Hotels, premium restaurants & liquor stores across cities.

Spectrum Allocation to PSU Sector BSNL Shortly, Says Aruna Sundararajan

The Telecom Ministry is likely to allocate 2,100 MHz spectrum to public sector undertaking Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) shortly.

“We are looking at it very positively. We can expect the decision on the issue very soon,” Aruna Sundararajan, Telecom Secretary and Chairman of the Telecom Commission told the media. As per the sources in the ministry, the application is in the final stages and the decision is expected to be out in a couple of months.

Last year, BSNL had sought spectrum in the 2,100 MHz band for all circles, except Rajasthan, where the company is looking for spectrum in the 800 MHz band.

The total tab, BSNL reckoned, would be about Rs 9,600 crore. BSNL expects to pay half of this amount through equity route (by issuing additional shares to the government) if allowed, and the rest through revenue generated from business, she added.

Many BSNL senior officials, on condition of anonymity, have expressed unhappiness over the delay of allocation of spectrum.

The secretary, however declined of upping the talent pool at the state-run telecom services provider. “I personally believe that BSNL has outstanding human resources. The main thing is that they need to continue to invest in the new technologies,” she said on hiring plans for BSNL.

UN India, Niti Aayog Unveils Investor Forum for Women Entrepreneurs

The United Nations (UN) India, in partnership with Niti Aayog on Thursday launched an investor consortium that aims to strengthen women’s entrepreneurship.

The consortium is expected to bring together key ecosystem stakeholders, including venture capitalists and impact investors, international donors and funding agencies, private sector partners, various state governments of India and UN agencies, to work with women entrepreneurs on funding of startups, job creation and financial inclusion.  Women entrepreneurs are identified through key partners including Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), UN Women and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“It has been led by Niti Aayog which invited a consortium of interested parties to come in and suggest the viable models to bring investors and women entrepreneurs who may already have a successful business or want to start a business and upscale it to a mid-size business,” said Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in India.

The platform is designed to assist women entrepreneurs in the various issues they face while building an enterprise. 

“Niti Aayog gives this platform that UN had been planning to launch, an outreach on a pan-India basis,” said Anna Roy, Joint Secretary of Financial Services, Niti Aayog.  Afanasiev also said that the global agency is keen to tie up with the state governments to bring more expertise to the platform.

The Karnataka government in 2017 launched Elevate 100 programme, in which state provided grants to the entrepreneurs, with special focus on women entrepreneurs.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Wooplr Eyes 1 Million Social Sellers Across 600 Indian Towns and Cities Driving $1 Billion in Sales by 2022

Wooplr Technologies Pvt. Ltd. has unveiled their social commerce platform to the media for the first time. The eco-system brings together social sellers, brands, and consumers through a proprietary, cutting-edge technology platform. Wooplr is the first Indian start-up to disrupt the country’s e-commerce space by pioneering the social commerce revolution. The platform envisions to be India’s first social commerce unicorn business empowering 1 Million social sellers by 2022. As a result, building the World’s largest social distribution network for retail.

Wooplr has already created a pan-India network of 30,000 social sellers who speak over 20 languages and reach out to over 10 million customers spread across 250 towns and cities primarily from the Tier-II/III regions. Wooplr allows anyone to open up their online store in under a minute, add products from their catalog and start selling on social platforms like Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube. The social sellers earn a profit on every sale made on their store, while Wooplr takes care of all the background work like shipping, payments, returns and customer service.

Wooplr’s social sellers get to choose from 1 lakh products from over 300 brands. The platform claims to have a staggering growth rate of 20% month on month owing to the diverse range of social sellers that find the platform quite useful and easy to use & scale. Wooplr expects the network to drive sales worth $50Mn by the end of the current financial year.

The hinterlands of India are joining the Internet Party. As India forges ahead to be the world’s fastest-growing economy, there is a new emerging class of cities/towns with millions of aspirational consumers and an increasing purchasing power vying for attention on the national stage. This paradigm shift will mean that e-commerce companies will increasingly aim to provide personalized experiences based on customer specific needs - something that the social sellers already do by themselves.

Arjun Zacharia, Co-founder & CEO, Wooplr said, “Wooplr pioneered the concept of social selling being able to spot this market shift early on. The platform brings social sellers and brands together to provide customized shopping experiences to consumers. We have created a scalable model to reach out to the new high potential hotspots at a time when most e-commerce companies have focussed primarily on the SEC-A cities. Our fast-growing distribution network is immediately valuable to Indian or International brands looking for a compelling launchpad, and an alternative to marketing dollar spends. Wooplr makes the process of driving sales for brands as easy as plug and play and at zero cost. Rising consumerism, smartphone adoption and vernacular content consumption in Tier II & III cities allow Wooplr’s social sellers to reach consumers where traditional media and other digital marketing channels can’t.”

According to Rahul Chandra, Managing Director, Helion Ventures, “Wooplr’s business model ensures scale and sustainability without Burning throughs hundreds of millions of dollars. The brands that sell on Wooplr are sold with a personalized touch with respect for their creativity and quality. We are amazed at how social networks based sales have led us to discovering customers from even Tier 2/3 cities in India for these brands. Wooplr’s influencers provide the bridge between these brands and millions of customers.”

Industry reports indicate that the future of e-commerce will be powered by the confluence of the following factors - easy access to high-speed internet, smartphone adoption in non-metros and rise of the vernacular shopper.

“Fundamentally we believe that social selling will be the big growth wave in India. The last ten years of e-commerce has brought in 100Mn shoppers online; social commerce will bring in another 200Mn shoppers for whom the shopping behavior will be discovery-driven rather than being led solely on search. Unique distribution models to reach out to the first-time internet/smartphone users in India will be the key. Wooplr has already secured a headstart, and we are confident that the platform will continue gaining excellent market traction in the following months” said Dhruv Kapoor, Managing Director, Sistema Asia Capital Advisory.

“In a country like India, our greatest asset is the human capital. There also lies the biggest challenge - creation of jobs! There are millions of youth and home makers who have passion and the means to become entrepreneurs, and Wooplr as a platform empowers them to do it.  Even in an established ecommerce market like China where Taobao and Alibaba exist, social commerce platforms like Yunjiweidian and pinduoduo have disrupted e-commerce by giving a platform to social sellers. Wooplr will create such 1 million Entrepreneurs by 2022 and that is exactly what an economy like India needs.” says Ankit Nagori, co-founder CureFit

“Trust is the currency social sellers have from their network. Through online and offline conversations, they reach out to new customers organically. We have managed to build an ecosystem that challenges existing industry standards concerning the cost of customer acquisition. In fact, Wooplr is the first and only e-commerce platform that offers zero cost of customer acquisition” says Ankit Sabharwal, Co-founder & CPO, Wooplr.

Wooplr, with their platform, has genuinely re-ignited the next e-commerce revolution in India. 

Cross-Tab and Blueocean MI Merge to Form Course5 to Drive Digital Transformation for Businesses

The Cross-Tab Group which includes the companies Blueocean Market Intelligence, Cross-Tab, and Borderless Access, had a major restructuring with two of its three companies, Blueocean Market Intelligence and Cross-Tab, merged to form a powerful new entity, Course5.

The new company combines the deep expertise and resources of both companies across data analytics, artificial intelligence, and market research domains, to create huge synergies for innovation, business-focused solutions, and operations. The third company of the Cross-Tab Group, Borderless Access, is demerged and will operate as an independent entity.

Course5 will drive digital transformation for business organizations through Analytics, Insights, and Artificial Intelligence. The company will unveil its advanced new suite of solutions and services that can empower companies with future ready analytics, AI driven solutions, and faster insights for decision making. Across market intelligence, digital analytics, market research transformation, and Artificial Intelligence, Course5 is building solutions that are taking organizations to a smarter future. The company serves leading global clients including Microsoft, Lenovo, Colgate Palmolive, WPP Group, and Adelphi.

Ashwin Mittal, CEO, Cross-Tab group said on this occasion, “The opportunities ahead of us are massive – the business world is drowning in oceans of data, information, and technology. Through smart solutions and our proprietary AI technology, we are bringing in a new paradigm of decision making to assist our clients in preparing for a new digital future. Our name reflects our mission – we are going to enable our customers to chart a course beyond the four points of the compass, North, South, East, and West to the fifth direction which is the future. The industries of data, analytics, and market research are going to be completely disrupted through the AI wave and will emerge as more powerful partners to businesses worldwide.”

One of the exciting new products deployed for clients is called Course5 Discovery. Course5 Discovery empowers decision makers to get answers and insights near instantly with great ease through a personalized Voice & Chat Assistant available on their smartphones and tablets. These interactive assistants, powered by advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and deep learning capabilities would smartly discover the insights by identifying relevant data and performing analytics modelling in a matter of seconds and communicate them in a natural conversational manner to the business user.

Purina Introduces its Flagship Pet Nutrition Brand Pro Plan in India

Purina a leading pet care company has expanded its portfolio in India by introducing its flagship and billionaire brand PRO PLAN in the super-premium pet food segment. PRO PLAN, a three decade old brand is developed by PURINA vets, food scientists and nutritionists and offers highly nutritious products for different life stages and breed sizes of dogs.

One of the highlights in the India portfolio is PRO PLAN PUPPY with colostrum (found in their mother’s milk), a ground breaking innovation which is proven to enhance immune response and a stronger response to vaccine in puppies.             

The Indian pet food category represents a huge potential with estimated 19 million pets and is expected to double in value over the next five years. There is an increasing awareness about pet nutrition largely driven by increasing digitization making it easier to gain knowledge across the country.

Commenting on the launch, Varindra Sewak, Managing Director, PURINA PetCare India Pvt. Ltd, said, “We are very pleased to bring PURINA PRO PLAN to our discerning Indian consumers. We successfully launched PURINA SUPERCOAT in Specialist Channel earlier this year and now we launch PRO PLAN with the proposition of “nutrition that performs” to target the super-premium segment. The product roll out is in line with our endeavor to offer our consumers with the best nutrition across key price segments.”

Purina PetCare believes that pets and people are better together and is committed to helping pets live longer, happier and healthier lives through proper nutrition and care. For almost 120 years, Purina has been one of the pioneers in providing nutritious and palatable products made to the highest standards of quality and safety. 

Purina scientists also led a 14 year study on the lifespan of dogs established that dogs fed to a lean body condition had a median life span which is 15% longer and were considerably healthier than their littermates. This reiterates the need for the right pet food for puppies and their holistic well-being.

Tata Motors Now Signs MoU for Deployment of 1000 Electric Vehicles in Madhya Pradesh

Tata Motors Limited, with EESL, has handed over two Tigor Electric Vehicles (EVs) to the Madhya Pradesh Government through the hands of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who graced the occasion with his presence.

This development comes to light closely after Tata Motors signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Government of Maharashtra for deployment of 1000 Electric Vehicles (EV) across its range of passenger and commercial vehicles in the state.

With Tigor EV, Tata Motors has marked the beginning of their journey in boosting e-mobility and will soon offer a full range of electric vehicles to Indian customers. The company’s collaborative working operations are dedicated towards boosting the adoption of EVs along with building a sustainable future for India.

Tata Motors is committed to the Government’s vision for electric vehicles by 2030 and will work in a collaborative manner to facilitate faster adoption of electric vehicles and to build a sustainable future for India.

Synechron Launches eBook for UX Design for Enterprise Apps in India

Synechron, the global financial services consulting and technology services provider, has  announced the launch of its newest eBook, UX Design for Enterprise Apps. The eBook serves as an instructive reference guide to help firms institutionalize best practices, benchmark their User Experience (UX) Maturity, and innovate their digital and design initiatives.

UX is becoming one of the top priorities for banking and insurance institutions as they face changing user expectations and demands, which have changed drastically over the last decade due to the Digital Revolution. Clients are demanding more intuitive usability, on-demand services, and personalized experiences with just a click. While all firms strive to be on the leading edge of innovation, simplicity is key for great UX, while still delivering streamlined, interactive and intuitive user experiences to transform the approach to client interactions. Given this, it has never been more important within the Financial Services and Insurance industries to design highly useable, data-driven systems that are responsive to a new set of user’s needs and expectations.

As a leader in Digital User Experience Design for Banking Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI), Synechron provides instructive advice and insight on how to craft a successful and strategic approach to UX in its newest eBook, which focuses on:

What separates UI from UX – and how to move from uniformed design to more strategic design initiatives informed by design thinking, research, iterative design, and more.

User Experience Design (UX, UXD, or XD) – best practices for bringing the human aspect to technology and design through a blend of creative, behavioral, and analytical skills.

Design Trends and Innovations – front-end visual and engineering approaches to achieve strong aesthetic, optimized speed and throughput, and to overcome challenges related to legacy infrastructure. The Role of the UX Designer – to create a design solution that aligns with a user’s mental model and context of use, and effectively delivers business objectives with technical feasibility. 

A UX Maturity Assessment – allowing readers to benchmark their UX maturity against a core set of criteria to measure their applications’ effectiveness, identify gaps, and elevate User Experience. 

Through the eBook, firms can gain valuable strategies to help increase efficiency and productivity, enhance adoption rates, improve brand loyalty, speed time-to-market, and reduce total cost through design.   

“Today, UX is a key differentiator for banks and financial institutions. To remain competitive and keep up with the evolving needs of changing and increasingly digital client demands, it is critical for institutions to have an effective user experience and design strategy,” said Ashish Nangla, Senior Director at Synechron. “To do this, they must have a deep understanding of end user requirements and their different needs in varying contexts. We have created this guide to assess their UX maturity and compile key factors to begin on the path to success.”

Amazon Launches Solar Energy Initiative in India; Installs Solar Energy Systems in 2 Fulfillment Centres in India

Amazon India has announced a new initiative to generate clean energy through installation of solar panels on the rooftops of its fulfillment centres and sortation sites in India. Currently, Amazon India has already installed close to 1600-kilo watts (kW) of solar power panels at its 2 fulfillment centres in Delhi and Hyderabad.

The company plans to further deploy large-scale solar panel systems on rooftops of an additional 5 fulfillment centres and 2 sortation sites located in Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai while further expanding existing capacity in Delhi. With this deployment, by the end of 2018, Amazon India will be able to generate solar energy close to 8,000 kW. Installations at these fulfillment and sort centres would cover an area of approximately 1 million square feet, reduce CO2 emission by around 9000 tons a year and provide energy to support the building’s annual energy needs.

Akhil Saxena, Vice President, Customer Fulfillment, Amazon India, said, “At Amazon, we are putting our scale and our inventive culture to work on sustainability and protecting the environment. We are committed to and invested in this work because it’s a triple win – it’s good for business, good for the planet, and good for our customers and communities. The installation of the solar panels at fulfillment centres in Hyderabad and Delhi reinstates this commitment and by the end of 2018, we plan to expand this installation to an additional 7 Amazon Operations sites in India. The investment in solar energy systems in India is in line with Amazon’s vision to deploy solar systems on 50 fulfillment and sortation centers globally by 2020.”

Amazon India has also extended this commitment to protect the environment, to the communities around its fulfillment centres. It has set up solar energy systems in 4 Amazon Cares Community and Resource Centres in Haryana, which provide solar power to support the community programs in these centres all year round. The company has also donated solar energy systems to 19 government schools and 1 mini-planetarium in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra. This infrastructure supports the needs of children in schools and others from the local communities in 24 villages benefitting more than 2500 people across Haryana and Maharashtra. 

Other recent environment-friendly projects include the rejuvenation of the Mahadevpura Lake in Bengaluru where Amazon India has teamed up with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and United Way Bengaluru to construct a sewage treatment plant designed to clean up to 1 million litres per day. In the coming weeks, Amazon India will plant more than 10,000 saplings around its fulfillment centres in addition to rolling out an environmental awareness campaign for its associates across its more than 200 operations sites across the country.

Altiray Launches AI Powered Next-Gen 3i Infotech's ‘Conversational Services’

3i Infotech Limited, a global Information Technology company unveiled its latest service offering, ‘Conversational Banking’ at the recently concluded American Banker event in Colorado Springs, US. Voice & chat which are central to conversational banking and advanced analytics such as channel interaction analytics and voice mining are integrated in this solution to increase cross-selling and minimize channel attrition leading to a friction-less omnichannel experience. Conversational Banking is a part of Altiray’s ‘Omnichannel Solution - Conversational Services’ and is powered by Artificial Intelligence. The solution provides a 360 degree and holistic approach to converse with customers and enhance their experience.

The voice-led omnichannel solution finds easy application across various industries like banking, insurance and healthcare. It demonstrates how a customer initiates simple or complex transactions, like applying for a loan, applying for insurance, checking account balance or renewing policies etc., using voice interaction and if necessary continue through other digital channels like bot, mobile and portal. It converses with customers, understands requirements, captures requisite data and pre populates forms where possible, and uses social media like LinkedIn or bank aggregators as source.

Speaking on their Next-gen offering, Mohua Sengupta, EVP and Global Head of Services, 3i Infotech said, “Following the recent rebranding of our services business unit to Altiray, we are pleased to announce one more innovative offering from our stable, which is poised to be a game-changer in the industry. This further reinforces our commitment to help enterprises in their digital transformation journey. What this service provides, essentially, is to allow banks to have seamless interactions with their customers. We have also forayed into Conversational Insurance and Healthcare to extend these benefits to insurers and healthcare providers.”

“In an environment where Voice is the next UI of choice, we want to be the leaders driving the change. There are reports that by 2022 almost 40% of consumers will use voice assistants, compared to 24% today and another 31% will use a voice device instead of visiting a branch or store, compared to 20% today; hence this is a market that’s burgeoning and waiting to be tapped”, she further added.

The key features of Omnichannel Conversational Services include Security, Dialoguing, Persistence and Open API. Here, there is no device dependency. The approach to the conversational services, is to use Q&A to answer generic queries; use cognitive services to answer intelligently; interface with the right backend system through APIs to get responses; create NLP based responses and present to chat client; and handoff to human interactions at appropriate time during conversations.

Infosys Hires 4,000 Locals in the United States of America: Salil Parekh

Infosys, India’s second-largest information technology (IT) services firm, said it has hired 4,000 locals in the US as part of its plans to hire 10,000 locals.

The company’s CEO Salil Parekh, who addressed Morgan Stanley’s Twentieth Annual India Summit, said Infosys has hired 800 graduates from the college campuses so far this year and another 1,000 will be recruited this year and next year. This will help the company to control its costs as well as maintain high margins, he said.

As part of its localisation strategy in the US, Infosys has set up a 50-acre campus in Indiana, where it will be training and reskill its employees. Similarly, the company has identified locations in Europe, Australia and NZ markets. 

Parekh also said stricter work visa norms across various markets like the US and Australia will not constrain its business growth as they would be focusing on hiring locals and training workforce in these geographies.

According to a presentation made by Parekh, the US hubs will focus on five things -- access local talent pools, talent refactoring infrastructure, access academia and partner ecosystems, send value chain to clients, studios for agile and rapid prototyping.
Three-year roadmap.

“We have set a three-year roadmap to achieve our objective of stabilisation in FY19, build momentum in FY20 and accelerate in FY21,” Parekh stated during his interaction at Morgan Stanley summit.

Parekh, who took over as the CEO and MD of Infosys in January this year, said the company will be focusing on the agile digital market for growing its business. The market opportunity for digital business is estimated to be $160 billion to $200 billion.

Infosys will invest in enhancing digital capabilities, infusing aAI and automation across projects and also re-skilling talent on these new-age technologies, he said. Parekh said the company’s digital revenues stood at $2.79 billion in FY18, which was about 25.5% of its total revenues.

Kalpana Kumari, an Aakashian, Secures Rank 1 in NEET 2018; Scores 691 Marks Out of 720

The Central Board of Secondary Education declared the results of NEET 2018 on 4th June, 2018.  The entrance exam, which was held on 6th May 2018, serves a gateway to the top notch medical colleges in the country.

Aakashians created history again with Kalpana Kumari (Classroom student of Aakash Institute), capturing Rank 1 in NEET 2018. Kalpana is a 2 year classroom program student of the institute.

Congratulating the toppers, on their impressive result, Aakash Chaudhry, Director - Aakash Educational Services Private Limited, said, "We are ecstatic to announce that from our classroom program students, Kalpana Kumari captured Rank 1 with 691 marks in NEET 2018 followed by Himanshu Sharma who captured Rank 3 with 690 marks, Aarosh Dhamija who captured Rank 4 with 686 marks, Madhvan Gupta who captured Rank 9 with 680 marks and Ramneek Kaur Mahal who captured Rank 10 with 680 marks.

From our Distance learning program, Rohan Purohit captured Rank 2 with 690 marks and Varun Muppidi captured Rank 6 with 685 marks. The impressive feat achieved by our students in NEET 2018 is a result of their immense hard work, unwavering determination and willingness to succeed. We are delighted that 7 students from Aakash have secured ranks within Top 10 Ranks in NEET 2018. 

Heartiest congratulations to all the students who have performed well in the examination. We wish them success in their future endeavours."

Indian Government Approves Rs 10,000 Crore for ISRO Launch of 40 Rockets

The Union government today approved the continuation of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III programmes, together costing more than Rs 10,000 crore, in a move that will help ISRO launch light and heavy-weight satellites.

The operationalisation of PSLV, ISRO's most-trusted workhorse, has made India self-reliant in launching satellites for earth observation, disaster management, navigation and space sciences.For heavy satellites, India is helped by the French, which launches its satellites from Kourou in French Guinea in South America.

The cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also gave its nod for funding 30 PSLV operational flights under the programme.

The PSLV programme is expected to meet the launch requirements of satellites for earth observation, navigation and space sciences and will also ensure the continuity of production by the Indian industry.

The fund requirement is Rs 6,131 crore and includes the cost of 30 PSLV vehicles, essential facility augmentation, programme management and launch campaign.

The PSLV Continuation Programme (Phase 6) will meet the demand for launch of satellites at a frequency of up to eight launches per year, with maximum participation from the Indian industry.All operational flights would be completed during the period 2019-2024, the government said in a statement.

PSLV continuation programme was initially sanctioned in 2008, and four phases have been completed and the fifth phase is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2019-20. The phase-6 approval will cater to the launch of satellite missions from the third quarter of 2019-20 to first quarter of 2023-24.

With the recent successful launch of PSLV-C41 on April 12, PSLV has completed three developmental and 43 operational flights and the last 41 flights have been successful.
The cabinet also approved funding for the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III Continuation Programme (Phase-1), consisting of 10 GSLV (Mk-III) flights, at an estimated cost of Rs 4,338 crore.

The GSLV Mk-III Continuation Programme (Phase1) is the first phase of operational flights that will enable the launch of four-tonne class of communication satellites.

The operationalisation of GSLV Mk-III will make India self-reliant in launching four-tonne class of communication satellites, sustain and strengthen the space infrastructure and reduce the dependence on procured launches from foreign countries.

The cabinet was also apprised of a memorandum of understanding signed between India and Oman in February in Muscat for peaceful use of the outer space.

The MoU shall enable cooperation in areas such as space science, technology and applications including remote-sensing of the Earth, satellite-based navigation, space science, planetary exploration, use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system and application of space technology.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Qlik Enters Strategic Partnership with United Nations for Joint Analytics Initiatives

Qlik, a leader in data analytics, today announced the expansion of its existing strategic partnership with the United Nations to deliver critical and actionable analytics insights to positively effect global sustainability and humanitarian efforts. The United Nations, through the Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT), is standardized on Qlik’s visual analytics platform to create applications that advance United Nations’ missions. The partnership has grown over the last five years under the Qlik Corporate Social Responsibility program, and is being highlighted through Qlik’s presence at the UN Science, Technology and Innovation Forum. The STI Forum brings relevant stakeholders together to share in sustainability technology and explore collaboration efforts to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“Meaningful progress towards our Sustainable Development Goals requires that we continually leverage innovation,” said Salem Avan, Director, Global Services Division, Office of Information & Communications Technology. “The STI Forum brings together key stakeholders who share in our mission to demonstrate how to best further the UN’s impact through their innovations.”

The United Nations has a clearly stated mission outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: “We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path.”

The UN is enabling these transformative steps globally through OICT, driving constant analysis of various Sustainable Development Goals through Qlik applications. This allows OICT to clearly present and share indicators from the massive amounts of available data, identifying and tracking improvements on a wide range of barriers to population well-being.

Through a partnership with Qlik, Secretariat Self-Service Data Visualization Platform
initiated in 2015 and renewed in 2017, OICT has built a self-service visualization platform that enables non-IT staff in all departments and offices within the UN Secretariat (including Regional Commissions, offices away from Headquarters and Field missions) to develop and publish dashboards for internal collaboration and formal/informal reporting. To date there are more than 100 apps published and in use within the platform on topics ranging from administrative topics (budget tracking and procurement) to substantive ones (gender equality, peacekeeping troop deployments, capacity development projects, global crime statistics.)

Secretariat Management Dashboards
Complementing the self-service dashboard effort, OICT worked with senior managers to develop standardized dashboards for reports in key administrative areas within the Secretariat. In March 2017, OICT released a series of management dashboards used by senior management and key focal points in areas such as budget & finance, HR, ICT, procurement, travel, and real estate management. There are currently 20 management dashboards used daily to provide up-to-date and readily accessible management reports.

Security Council Highlights App
The Security Council Affairs Division within the Department of Political Affairs (DPA/SCAD) publishes an annual report detailing the UN security council meetings held during the past year, with details such as adopted resolutions, presidential statements, and decisions. Starting in 2015, Qlik has been used to provide the official report which is now available online. Starting in 2017, Qlik is also used to publish Monthly Security Council statistics which are publicly available.

The UN Comtrade Analytics App

The United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade) contains detailed goods, imports and exports statistics from 1962 to the present, reported by statistical authorities of close to 200 countries and areas. UN Comtrade is considered the most comprehensive trade database available with more than 3 billion records. Qlik is used to visualize the trade statistics data and make it easier to report.

Advanced Analytics
OICT is working on several advanced analytics initiatives through Qlik to provide easier ways for staff and senior management to get answers and gain data insight, including:
•             Using natural language text to query Qlik dashboards and display relevant charts “on the fly.”
•             Using public data on conflict country GDP data to calculate the cost of conflict and visualize the results within Qlik.
•             Using management data (travel compliance, budget expenditure etc.) to build prediction models visualized in Qlik.

“Unlocking the power of the UN’s vast and varied data sources through analytics is vital in the effort to effect real and sustainable global change,” said Mike Capone, CEO at Qlik. “We’re proud of our partnership and sharing in the UN’s goal of making the world a more sustainable and prosperous one. We look forward to continuing the expansion of our effort to bring essential insights to those on the front lines of global UN transformation initiatives.” Launches India’s only Family Investment Feature, India’s first goal-based financial planning portal launched a one-of-its-kind “family” feature that enables family members to co-invest toward common goals such as retirement, kids’ education, home buying and many more.

One of the key learnings that the founding team of Happyness Factory brought in from their 13 years of helping families plan their finances is: goals of a family are best achieved when everyone’s on it together. Accordingly, the “family” feature was conceived as the first and only one in the country that allows members of a family to co-invest for common goals.

Take for instance, a goal like higher education costing Rs 40 lakhs today. An investor who wishes to build a corpus for her son’s higher education in 10 years would have to aim for Rs 86 lakhs, assuming inflation at 8%. This requires a monthly investment of approximately Rs 33,000 in equity funds. If the wife opts to allocate Rs 15,000, the husband can put in the remaining Rs 18,000 required for meeting the goal.

Moreover, once investments are in place, each member of the family can track progress toward the goal and view how their individual contributions are helping to reach the goal.
Children too can join their parents to contribute to goals like their higher education and marriage. Children above the age of 18 can be added to the primary contributor’s “family”. Up to 4 persons can invest for shared goals.

Without this feature, the common practice was for spouses to split goals and invest separately for those. So, the wife may invest for the kids’ education while the husband focuses on building a corpus for their house, retirement, etc.

No wonder then that the feature has been well appreciated by users and the results that followed have been phenomenal. In the words of Milin Shah, Head of Product Development and Planning at Happyness Factory, “This is not just because financial objectives are met in 100% of cases but also because of the emotional connect it brings as people identify and agree on goals as a family. This approach works well in the Indian context because family values run deep in our society.”

Huawei Empowers the Digital Transformation with Innovative ICT Solutions Released at Huawei Solutions Day 2018

Huawei Solutions Day 2018, the first of the 3-city Huawei enterprise summit, was held in Bangalore witnessed a gathering of industry leaders, cloud-data service providers and analysts from across industries. Under the theme of "Leading New ICT — The Road to Digital India”, the Solutions Day was a platform to discuss how Indian industry can advance digital transformation and unlock opportunities to grow the digital economy. On this occasion, Huawei also launched its latest solutions the All-flash Storage Oceanstor F V5 and Private Cloud Solution FusionCloud 6.3 which enable digital upgrade with "agility and intelligence" at the core, leading to a better connected enterprise.

Speaking on the occasion, Derek Hao, President, Huawei India Enterprise Business Group said, “Enterprise digitisation has become a key goal across organizations. In line with its “Platform + Ecosystem” strategy, Huawei is committed to provide a one-stop platform that is open, flexible, secure and agile for enterprises to achieve digital transformation. An increasing number of industry-leading enterprises around the world have chosen Huawei as their partner in digital transformation. To date, 197 of the Fortune Global 500 companies and 45 of the top 100 enterprises have chosen Huawei as their digital transformation partner, a testimony to the strength of our strategy and solutions.” 

The digital integration of India will increase demand for ICT to facilitate industry digitization and high-quality economic growth. For companies to harness the full potential of the digital economy, they need to adopt an agile, efficient, intelligent and secure ICT ecosystem that facilitates digital transformation opportunities arising across industries in e-commerce, social networking, mobile gaming, mobile payment, and travel domains in a thriving digital economy. Enterprises need to adopt the latest ICT technology to improve working efficiency, create business innovations, and provide better customer service.

Leveraging cloud computing and Big Data technologies, Huawei’s latest FusionCloud Private Cloud Solution provides resource pooling and full-stack cloud service capabilities, meeting requirements of customers in various industries, and suitable for scenarios such as unified infrastructure, hosting clouds, and hybrid clouds.  

FusionCloud helps enterprises cope with business challenges, move services to clouds, and promote digital transformation. By the end of December 2017, Huawei has offered cloud computing services for more than 4,000 customers in over 144 countries and regions, covering government and public utilities, carrier, energy, finance, transportation, manufacturing, media, healthcare, education, and many other industries.

Huawei also released the All-flash Storage OceanStor F V5. Adopting Huawei's lightning-fast rock-solid flash architecture and with built-in cloud and intelligence capabilities, the new offerings will bring customers to a new age of data storage.

Huawei released the All-flash Storage OceanStor F V5

Featuring high performance, flash storage plays an important role in business integration acceleration and data value mining of enterprises. With the rapid growth of data volume, enterprises have attached more and more importance to data security and reliability. The newly released All-flash Array of Huawei are specifically designed for mission-critical applications, ensuring high service availability and performance and allowing customers to further unleash the potential of flash. The new offerings demonstrate Huawei's commitment to making data more secure, operations more efficient, and guaranteeing business continuity, all while bringing down costs for enterprises.

Purpose built for flash, Huawei's new OceanStor F V5 All-flash storage systems adopt Huawei's proprietary SSDs, delivering up to 6 million IOPS with 1 ms latency, meeting the highest performance requirements of enterprises' core services. The gateway-free active-active technology built inside ensures 99.9999% availability. By integrating capabilities of managing flash, NAS, and heterogeneous storage systems, this system is capable of supporting various services in private cloud environments.

Radeon FreeSync Technology Brings Smooth Gaming to Samsung QLED TVs

AMD and Samsung have announced support for Radeon FreeSync technology in the new Samsung QLED 55” to 82” TV range, bringing the ultimate, ultrawide 4K gaming experience to an entirely new format – big screen TVs.  Samsung is the first company to utilize industry-leading Radeon FreeSync adaptive refresh technology for stutter-free gaming inside a consumer television set. With High Dynamic Range (HDR) support up to 1000nits and stunning picture quality, Samsung’s QLED displays allow gamers to experience strikingly high refresh rates and low latency on TVs at a variety of price points and screen sizes ranging from 55” to 82” creating a single display for all their home entertainment needs.

Over the past three years, Radeon FreeSync technology has driven widespread adoption and become the industry’s most selected solution for smooth gaming. Earlier this year, AMD expanded the ecosystem by propelling tear-free gameplay beyond the PC with the launch of support for FreeSync technology in Microsoft’s Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles in early March. With more than 250 compatible displays offered by more than 20 partners, this is more than double the availability of competing technology.

“Whether you’re a console or PC gamer, playing on a PC display or your living room TV, Radeon FreeSync technology powers exceptional stutter-free gaming experiences,” said Scott Herkelman, vice president and general manager, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. “We launched FreeSync technology with a mission to end frame tearing and dropped frames, as well as improve the experience for gamers around the world. With Samsung’s FreeSync technology QLED TVs, extra smooth gameplay visuals have never been so accessible, and never in such a large and appealing format.”

“From the beginning, Samsung has embraced Radeon FreeSync technology and the commitment from AMD to deliver technologies based on open standards that enhance the gaming experience,” said Chu Jongsuk, senior vice president at Samsung. “Our users demand the absolute best in visual quality, and that extends to smooth gaming low latency. We're thrilled to bring the power of Radeon FreeSync technology to Samsung TVs for players around the world.”

“AMD and Microsoft have a long history of innovation, collaborating on hardware and software to bring gamers the best possible experiences,” said Matthew Lapsen, general manager, Xbox Console Marketing. “With FreeSync technology support for our Xbox One platform, AMD and Microsoft brought a critical gaming technology to a broader base of gamers. We’re offering a whole new caliber of smooth-looking gameplay to players on Xbox One S and Xbox One X.”

FreeSync technology for Samsung’s 2018 QLED TV range is available today for the QLED 55” – 82” models and the NU8000 / NU8500 55” – 82” Series. This will be delivered as part of an automatic Gamer Mode update.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Microsoft to Buy Coding Site GitHub for $7.5 Billion

Microsoft Corp said it would buy privately held coding website GitHub Inc for $7.5 billion in an all-stock deal to expand its clout among software developers.

GitHub supplies coding tools for developers and calls itself the world’s largest code host with more than 28 million developers using its platform.

“Microsoft is a developer-first company, and by joining forces with GitHub we strengthen our commitment to developer freedom, openness and innovation,” said Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said in a statement.

Microsoft’s Nat Friedman will take over as the Chief Executive of San Francisco-headquartered GitHub, whose current CEO Chris Wanstrath will become a Microsoft technical fellow. Microsoft last year shut down CodePlex, its own rival for GitHub, saying the latter was the dominant location for open source sharing and that most such projects had already migrated there.

Abhishek Shevade wins Bangalore Round of Ultimate Bartender Championship by Monkey Shoulder

Monkey Shoulder, a scotch for the new generation of whisky aficionados, brings the 2018 season of ‘Ultimate Bartender Championship’ to India.  This competition is on a  journey across the country challenging bartending ‘skills that pay the bills.’

The India leg of the championship which began in Mumbai, moved to Bangalore from Pune, and Goa, will be followed by Hyderabad, Kolkata, Gurgaon, Delhi and Chandigarh. The contest was hosted by the Monkey Shoulder India Brand Ambassador, Pankaj Balachandran over a daylong session on bartending skills of ingredient knowledge, mixing, pouring, and nosing and stock taking. The participants were tested on their unique techniques, insights, speed and skills behind the bar. This year, the competition has 550 contestants from the various parts of India competing for a spot to go to the most sought after and top notch Global industry event, The Athens Bar Show. The winner also takes home a very exclusive ride with a fully curated and customised 500 CC Bike.

Abhishek Shevade won the Bangalore round of the Ultimate Bartender Championship by Monkey Shoulder held at Big Brewsky, Surjapur Road, today. The competition brought together the most talented bartenders of the city with a showcase of their prowess and art of bartending. Commenting on his win Abhishek said, “ It feels great to win from amongst the best bartenders of Bangalore. I am looking forward to going for the India Grand Finale in New Delhi. This competition is one of the best I have seen. I would like to thank Monkey Shoulder for giving us such a great experience and chance to go to one of the biggest bar shows in the world.” 

Abhishek Shevade, Kishan K and Vedant Mehra will go for the India Grand finale on 28 June 2018 at New Delhi. The national winner of the grand finale will gain a coveted place in the world’s most prestigious Industry event, Athens Bar Show with an all expenses paid trip and a customized 500 CC Motorcycle.

Commenting on this championship, Pankaj Balachandran, Brand Ambassador Monkey Shoulder said, "We are committed to empowering our friends in the bartender community to deliver memorable consumer experiences. A high energy industry event, it promises to lift all bartending parameters that make it an epic competition. Monkey Shoulder is 100% malt made for mixing. This competition resonate the Monkey shoulder values of versatility and free spirited smoothness which has made it a preferred drink with bartenders around the world.”

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