Monday, July 28, 2014

Hackathons for Good at NASSCOM HR Summit 2014

NASSCOM Foundation organized a panel discussion on ‘Finding Talent, Finding solutions: Hackathon, your new and progressive HR strategy’ at the recently concluded NASSCOM HR Summit, at Chennai.  The goal for the session was to establish Hackathons as an integrator of HR practices and how they are poised to change the traditional landscape of hiring, nurturing talent, promoting innovation, and incubating leaders and as a tool for doing social good.

Technology has always been an enabler to efficient HR practices, but with Hackathons, it is expanding its role to create a platform that cuts across Talent Acquisition, Learning and Development (L&D) and Employee Engagement among other HR functions for the technology companies.

The panel discussion featured Gaurav Ahluwalia, Managing Director and Head - Human Resources, J. P. Morgan, Hari Vasudev, VP & Head, Yahoo India R&D and Kumar Sachidanandam, Senior Director - Innovation Group, Cognizant and was moderated by Rita Soni, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation.  The panelists collectively concurred to the increased relevance of Hackathons within the larger HR policy of an organization and suggested on how the Hackathons may work as a vital integrator of multiple HR practices while contributing towards society.

Of late, NASSCOM Foundation has been actively involved in Hackathons like JP Morgan Chase’s Code for Good challenge and Code for India’s twin city Hackathon. Both combined, saw over 430 coders from India and the US participate. The Foundation understands that apart from being a great HR tool, Hackathons can be driven towards finding new and innovative solutions to real world problems like natural disasters, traffic issues, environmental protection or any other cause the coders and developers can identify with or feel passionate about. 

Rita Soni, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, stated “With representation from a leading IT services company, a financial services company and an Internet corporation, it was amazing to see a panel, so diverse in their lines of business and thought processes, talk in unison, for the adoption of Hackathons as a main stream HR tool and synergizing the vast coding potential in India towards solving social issues”

NASSCOM HR Summit 2014, titled ‘Change, Change, Change – Reimagining HR’ saw HR teams participate from across the 1600+ strong NASSCOM member community. This provided with the best possible setting to promote Hackathons as a paradigm shift in how the new age HR domain may evolve, to be in sync with the ways of the Gen Y.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Avail High Speed Broadband Of 60 Mbps From ACT

ACT (Atria Convergence Technologies Pvt Ltd), the fourth largest internet service provider in the wired broadband category has launched its new broadbrand brand, ACT Fibernet.

Fibernet, a unified brand has symnetric data tansmission that is the same speed for download and upload. The company has reached a mark of half a billion customers and Bala, Group CEO of the ACT group is confident that the company can reach a million mark with their existing market.

Bala said: "Just as the company has evolved, our brand must evolve and reflect the impact of our technological advancement and the value it brings to more than half a million subscribers. ACT plans to invest a substantial amount of money to reach the milestone of one million subscribers in the next 18 months."

With the launch the company which has a strong presence over Southern India, are providing offers with immediate effectiveness. Fibernet has been launched 60mbps for Rs. 1999 with a download limit of 100GB. The existing offers has been upgraded and the existing customers will be upgraded to the new plans without any extra cost. 

3D Printing To Revolutionise Rapid Tool Applications

Altem Technologies, a strategic vision partner of Stratasys Ltd - a world leading manufacturer of 3D printers and 3D production systems for office-based rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing solutions, today showcased “Trends and applications in 3D Printing” in a seminar at My Fortune Hotel in Bangalore .

The event focused on how professional 3D Printers could be used in RAPID TOOLING applications like Injection Molding, Blow Molding, Investment Casting and Jigs & Fixtures among others. Recent developments in 3D Printing and Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) technologies are redefining the design & manufacturing processes across all the segments. The event highlighted how 3D Printing offers a fast and affordable way to produce injection molded prototypes.

Over 250 engineers from the Research, manufacturing and academic segment who work on rapid prototyping and tooling attended the event and witnessed how 3D printing revolutionizing this field. 3D Printing enthusiasts working in aerospace, automobile and R&D sectors were also present at the seminar and explored how best they can use 3D printing in their area of work.

3D printed Injection Mold tools are suitable for small production series but since tools cost is low, they are commercially viable also when only a few parts are needed. The Stratasys Polyjet-based 3D printed injection molding tool (PIMT) can be built very cheaply and rapidly, and are typically ready to inject in a matter of a few hours. PIMTs can be used to inject polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, ABS, and thermoplastic elastomers. PIMTs are printed using Objet ABS-like material which is a tough and heat resistant polymer. 

Speaking on the event, Ido Eylon, GM (South Asia) – Stratasys Ltd said, “3D Printing is an extremely valuable tool in the injection molding industry worldwide. It can help shorten the overall product development cycle and is more cost effective when only a few parts are needed. PIMTs (3D printed injection molding tool) can be built really cheaply and fast, ready to inject in a few hours.”

Prasad Rodagi, Founder Director – Altem Technologies (P) Ltd., said, “Altem Technologies is pleased to host a seminar of this nature, which will benefit manufacturers and eventually bring in a paradigm shift in the way tooling and manufacturing is done. Altem Technologies’ endeavor is to bring in an industrial revolution in the field of 3D printing in the country by innovating new ideas and solutions to enable manufacturers and product designers to realize their product faster and in an economical manner. The wide applications of this technology can soon be seen in various fields such as consumer goods, electronics, engineering, medical equipment, automobile, architecture, education, aerospace, defence, and design and art.”

Mindtree & ING Vysya Partner For Retail Banking App

Mindtree, a global technology services company, today announced that it has been selected by ING Vysya, a premier private sector bank, as a strategic digital partner for its next generation mobility program. As part of this program Mindtree will help ING Vysya deliver multi-channel and multi-platform banking experience to its customers while creating a digital roadmap designed to help the bank penetrate untapped markets with a simple yet differentiated service.

The first phase of the engagement saw Mindtree conceptualize, design and develop a retail banking hybrid mobile application to drive efficiency and engagement across multiple channels including Android, Windows, BlackBerry, J2ME and Website based platforms. This application provides a comprehensive retail banking experience to customers. It brings exclusive features, such as multi balance meter, shopping and deals, gift cards and cheque scan making it more engaging and relevant to customers.

Aniruddha Paul, CIO, ING Vysya said, ”Our digital roadmap will help us level the playing field with our larger competitors by creating innovative and path breaking solutions for our customers. We are glad to select Mindtree as one of our key Digital Partner. Their domain and technology expertise with a clear strategic intent is critical in our journey towards mobility. We see large opportunities in developing these kind of applications for the rest of our business.”

Gaurav Johri, Senior Vice President and Head of Banking Financial Services and Insurance, Mindtree said, “ING Vysya has been our strategic client for over 9 years. It is imperative for banks to have a well thought digital strategy blueprint to enable rapid go-to-market and also provide superior customer experience. We are excited to partner with ING Vysya in its journey to be the industry leader in digital banking.”

Patent Soon For World’s First Automatic Fresh Tea Brewing Machine

Signaling, perhaps, the first ever touch of technology to the age old art of tea brewing, beverages major, D’lecta Café has announced the unveiling of the world’s first ever automatic tea brewing machine. The company has already filed the technology for patent and plans to make the machine available in the domestic market in the forthcoming week.

Tea vending machines that are currently available in the market merely dispense pre-mix tea comprising of instant tea powder, sugar and powdered milk. The quality of such tea are often sub standard and have a sugar content of as much as sixty two percent. The new machine, meanwhile, does not mix tea, but brews it through the use of a patented technology*. Tea leaves of choice are infused in the machine to maximize flavor, smoothness and aroma of the final brew and dispense a cup of refreshing hot tea. The tea can be had black, green or white. Adding milk and/or sugar is as per preference, and has been provisioned separately on extended trays attached to the machine. Creamers made of evaporated cow milk, and aseptically packed, are used in place of powdered milk. The new tea vending unit will dispense a cup of freshly brewed connoisseur tea within thirty seconds, and can dispense up to 400 cups a day.

“Unlike coffee making, which has been seeing automation and technological advancements on an ongoing basis, tea brewing has largely remained a manual process. This is because tea brewing is a delicate process. But with the introduction of D’lecta Tea Brewing Unit, connoisseurs will be able to enjoy their tea of choice without going through the labourous process of manual brewing,” says Deepak Jain, Founder & Managing Director, Dlecta Foods Pvt Ltd.

This automatic fresh-tea vending unit is a first of its kind that will brew tea at the press of a button. It’s capable of dispensing a choice of beverages including the classic Assam tea, masala tea and green tea besides also offering black coffee, premixed coffee, café mocha, hot chocolate and soups. The machine has been designed, developed and patented* by Dlecta Foods which has recently forayed into the consumer markets with its dairy based products after successfully operating in the B2B segment for over 12 years.

“The machine has been ergonomically designed for elegance and space efficiency with arrangements to neatly accommodate consumables like paper cups, tea bags, coffee sachets, sugar and stirrers. The machine itself is easy to clean from the exteriors and comes with special hygiene features. The machine prompts for self-rinse if a selected option has been dormant for over 15 minutes and will also do an all rinse at the end of the day. All wet contact parts are made of stainless steel for longer life and easy cleaning,” adds Jain.

The machine is aimed at catering to the needs of the urban Indian offices and workspaces. The machine fulfils the typical needs of tea and coffee consumers by factoring in health, taste and convenience. The machine also proves to be economical by delivering 100 ml hot cup of freshly brewed tea for just Rs.5.50/-. The tea vending units are targeted at the Out of Home (OOH) segment and will be offered to offices and hotels on lease with a comprehensive AMC by the company.

“Another highlight of D’lecta Tea Brewing solutions is the company branded dairy creamer that has been introduced as replacement for milk powder. Branded as ‘Milke’, these are 10 gram serving of evaporated milk and are ideally suited for one cup of tea or coffee. Made from pure cow milk D’lecta Milke has only 23% sugar content and comes in aseptic packaging making it simpler, tastier and healthier option. Our tea brewing unit will revolutionize tea consumption pattern in India,” concludes Devendra Garg, Executive Director, Dlecta Foods Pvt Ltd.

NetIQ Brings Out Latest Versions Of Sentinel 7.2

NetIQ today announced the latest versions of its NetIQ Sentinel Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and NetIQ Change Guardian privileged user activity monitoring solutions. As organizations begin to integrate more sources of identity data into their overall security and breach prevention strategies, these solutions comprehensively monitor privileged user activity to reduce the risk of data breach in an increasingly perimeter-less IT environment.  

The shift away from a legacy, “perimeter-first” security approach renders most traditional ways of protecting devices, infrastructure and technology obsolete.  Security teams increasingly need visibility into user activity and the context of those activities to determine if the behavior they are exhibiting is normal and appropriate or the result of breach. Now, customers using NetIQ Sentinel 7.2 will benefit from new threat intelligence feeds that help customers protect their networks and sensitive data from today’s most widely used botnets, including SpyEye and Zeus. Also new in NetIQ Sentinel 7.2 is greater NetFlow traffic analysis to help customers quickly detect malware, bad actors and investigate suspicious network traffic.

Today, the greatest exposure and risk to today’s organizations are privileged users, including non-human privileged accounts. Data compromise occurs as a result of privileged identities and accounts that are either intentionally or inadvertently used in inappropriate or nefarious ways. New features in Change Guardian 4.1 offer customers deeper integration with Active Directory (AD) identity stores and expanded file integrity monitoring (FIM) capabilities, allowing IT teams to more quickly detect threats and respond to audits faster and at a lower cost of ownership.

“NetIQ Sentinel and NetIQ Change Guardian collectively monitor the people, identities, accounts and interactions with data that ultimately predict a threat or identify a breach,” said Renee Bradshaw, Senior Solution Manager at NetIQ. “This is foundational to an Identity-Powered Security strategy. By integrating identity data to identify connections between privileged users and potentially suspicious behaviors, these solutions help security organizations cut through event noise and avoid fighting a battle on the last lines of defense – at the data level – when sensitive company data has most likely already been compromised or stolen.”

Sentinel 7.2 and Change Guardian 4.1 are generally available today worldwide and offered on a subscription or perpetual license basis. For more information please visit

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

HR Emerges As Strategic Business Partner

To assess the effect of the continuously changing business environment on hiring trends and the outlook for FY2015, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) organized the two-day annual HR Summit 2014 at ITC Grand Chola, in Chennai. On the side-lines, NASSCOM also announced the findings of a recently conducted HR survey. The survey was aimed at identifying the HR priorities of the industry, defining its operational metrics and showcase technology as a key differentiator for the segment. Echoing the upbeat mood of the industry NASSCOM today also announced the annual rankings of top 20 IT-BPM employers in India, for Financial Year 2013-14. Tata Consultancy Services has emerged as the largest recruiter over the last year, followed by Infosys and Cognizant Technology Solutions.

According to the survey, driven by the improving global economic climate and gradual rise in the technology spend, the Indian IT-BPM industry will increase its net hiring by approximately 6 per cent over last year. With a renewed focus on skills over building capacity, SMEs are expected to drive hiring with 7-8 per cent growth in headcount.

Industry is now focusing more on lateral hiring as there is a higher demand for niche technology skills and domain-specific capabilities. Digital skills that pan across analytics, cloud, mobile and analytics are the key skills in demand by the industry.

R. Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM expressed “The future of the industry is in its talent with niche skills as they can match their capabilities with the strategic goals of their potential employer. The industry is also putting in place multiple solutions to address niche skill set requirements and is actively engaging with employees to build a strong entrepreneurial culture. NASSCOM through the Sector Skill Council has published detailed job roles for the industry and the skills and competencies required in these role”.

BVR Mohan Reddy, Vice Chairman, NASSCOM said “The role of HR leaders is rapidly changing as technology disruptions are creating new opportunities for the industry. HR is gaining more prominence as a ‘strategic business partner’ for the industry with HR transforming to meet new and dynamic business priorities while preparing for the future and developing next level of leadership”.

Technology for HR function will prove to be a boon as technology solutions are expected to bring in clarity in HR processes resulting in increased employee satisfaction. It is expected that for half of the firms, more than 50% of HR processes will be automated. Digital technology will play a significant role to improve the talent hunting process resulting in finding right candidate in reasonable time span. This will witness a rapid shift to non-traditional hiring methods such as online job portals, social media and referrals. New digital channels specifically online portals, social and digital media, like Facebook and LinkedIn are driving recruitment processes.

Addressing Industry challenges: Skill gap
With industry focus shifting towards digital skills, NASSCOM recommends a ‘Multiple Engagement Solution’

Multiple Engagement Solution:
* Leadership training: Manage the required change in leadership mindset for managing projects and teams for digital solutions and develop a leadership program, which includes new KPIs. Also, build a strong HR communication and training process to help in leadership transition
* National level Hackathon/Codefest: Conduct regional and country level competitions for technologists on digital solutions to promote knowledge, awareness and skill development
* Collaboration with industry external partners: Collaborate with User Experience (UX), Design Thinking and Data Research firms to develop skills and solutions utilizing digital services and concepts
* Collaboration with Universities: Define trainings, skillset requirements for digital technologies and communicate to technology and business schools. Collaborate with universities to define right training to educate the future workforce