Wednesday, December 17, 2014

HP Haven OnDemand Offers Big Data On Cloud Platform

HP has unveiled HP Haven OnDemand, an important milestone in its Big Data strategy that gives organizations of all sizes cloud-based access to key components of HP’s world class analytics platform.

HP Haven OnDemand, which runs on the HP Helion cloud, enables customers to analyze all forms of data, including business data, machine data, and unstructured, human information. Developers can also leverage this innovative web service, as well as engage with a robust and growing community to create next-generation applications and services.

“Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals; we deliver critical information via a combination of innovative technology and industry expertise,” said Chris Blatchford, Director, Business Operations – Platform Group Thomson Reuters (@thomsonreuters). “For a recent hackathon event, we utilized HP’s Haven OnDemand platform to produce several innovative new applications over an incredibly short amount of time. In particular HP IDOL OnDemand’s intuitive interface and wide array of API’s allowed our developers to ‘think big’ and realize their vision.”

HP also announced that it will embed its unique Haven assets deeper into the HP Software application portfolio with new offerings that leverage Big Data analytics to help businesses transform their IT operations, power information governance and compliance, and achieve greater levels of information security.

Empowering the Entire Enterprise with Data Discovery and Next-Gen Applications. HP Haven is a powerful platform that allows organizations to put data and insights at the core of their business, transforming every aspect of an enterprise, from the data center to mobile, customer-facing applications at the edge. With HP Haven OnDemand, customers, partners, and developers can tap into key components of the HP Haven Enterprise platform to gain blazing fast insights, rapid time to value and analytic functionality on all types of data, within minutes.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Five Key Trends that Indian Organizations Should Look Out for in 2015!

The launch of several initiatives by the new Government, changing sentiments around corruption and an intense regulatory push made 2014 a watershed year for India. Corporate India seemingly followed suit, propagating good governance but at the same time, struggling to stay compliant. The general disposition of industry leaders’ points toward increased awareness around risks related fraud, bribery & corruption; but there is still immense ground to cover. Arpinder Singh, Partner and National Leader, Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services, EY India lists five key trends that organizations should look out for in 2015 as they move toward a more transparent and ethical way of doing business.

Corporate India to overpower ethical dilemmas

The introduction of several regulatory changes such as the Companies Act 2013, revised SEBI guidelines, Lokpal Bill have demonstrated the government’s commitment to weave a more ethical business fabric. These changes, which can be attributed to a more globalised environment, have been strategically outlined for enhancing the state of corporate governance. Throughout the last year, organizations have been inducted into the new norms, made efforts to imbibe sound governance practices in their corporate DNA, including roadmaps to compliance. Given the legal implications that could arise out of flouting rules, companies have been assessing the moral standards of their employees and laying down expected behaviour in form of comprehensive codes of ethics/conduct. A recent survey conducted by EY’s Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services practice on the public perception on anti-bribery and corruption revealed that a strong majority, 87% stated their willingness to blow the whistle if they witness some unethical activity. However, 94% of the respondents still believe that greater enforceability is required. We can expect to witness greater regulatory enforcement in 2015, with the government coming down heavily on companies not complying with the regulations (may also amount to penalties being levied).

Protecting the portfolio

PEs and VCs have continued to bet big on Indian entrepreneurial ventures, anticipating bigger return on investments. So while the ‘India innovation’ story is still going strong, some investors did end up burning their fingers in recent deals. This has made them more cautious than ever before. In 2015, it is expected that PEs will closely monitor their investments through increased due diligence – not just before but also post investment. Their approach to gauge the feasibility and sustainability of the venture will go beyond just weighing the business plan – and they will evaluate the credibility and depth of the ‘new age’ entrepreneurs. This will enable building a strong ethical foundation so the venture continues to progress as it achieves scalability.

Issues around rising NPAs in corporate loans

The financial services sector has been under intense regulatory and media scrutiny with the rapid increase in Non-Performing Assets (NPA) in 2014. Questions have been raised around the reasons behind these mounting cases – are they business decisions which went askew; were there any mala fide intentions; and is the lending and monitoring business conducted with integrity? The general sentiment with bankers seems to focus on enhancing internal controls around NPA reporting and monitoring. In 2015, it will be prudent to invest more resources to proactively handle stressed accounts through independent borrower checks, leverage technology & data analytics to catch early warning signals, develop internal skill sets on credit assessment and evaluation etc. These will play an instrumental role in easing the banker’s life.

Government impetus on transparency

For this first time in 18 years, India fared better as compared to China in the Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International. Moving up by 10 places, it stands at 85 in the 2014 rankings which is a marked improvement in perception. Changes undertaken in the regulatory framework such as the Public-Interest Litigation (PIL), Right to Information Act (RTI, Companies Act 20`3 and the Jan Lokpal Act reflects the sentiment shift from the India Shining story to ‘Ache Din’. On the back of these changes, the government has also undertaken multiple initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, ’Invest in India’, ‘Digital India’, opening up of foreign investment in new sectors and amendments in labour laws. These initiatives are game-changers from the perspective of delivery of pro-citizen good governance which is a synchronised and coordinated engagement of the entire government. In the coming year, the government’s propaganda toward driving transparency within corporate India through pending anti-corruption bills (Prevention of Bribery Bill, updating of the Anti-Corruption Bill, Whistle-blowers' Protection Bill etc.) will see precedence. We expect to see an increase in the enforcement of anti-bribery and anti-corruption regulations with stringent measures.

Increased litigation and disputes

India has emerged as a strategic and cut throat market. To create a level playing field, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has stepped in with an agenda to sustain competitiveness but at the same time, reduce instances of companies abusing their dominant positions. It is also opening up to arbitration being a cost-effective and swift mechanism for dispute settlement. There has been an increasing rise in institutional arbitration compared to ad hoc arbitrations; inclusion of arbitration clause will also continue to be an essential part of contracts to expedite resolutions. Going forward, litigations and disputes are expected to see an increase with organizations vying for a bigger slice of the market pie in their respective sectors. The use of e-Discovery will be critical in litigations as costs will need to be managed prudently. The introduction of electronically stored information in legal procedures will bring a new era of litigation, one which would not have businesses cut corners.

India Sees Highest Use of Connected Devices for Educational and Professional Purposes

Juniper Networks , a industry player in network innovation, today unveiled its first ever Global Bandwidth Index Report, which explores differences between how people use mobile Internet connectivity in their day-to-day lives at work and at home and what they hope to achieve using their connected devices in the future.

Juniper Networks commissioned the independent firm Wakefield Research to survey 5,500 adults in developed markets, comprising Australia, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, which are typically moving quickly to implement high bandwidth Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks capable of delivering mobile services up to 100 times faster than older networks. Wakefield also sampled consumers in emerging markets, comprising Brazil, China, India and South Africa, where networks tend to be slower and less reliable.

The study reveals that twice as many people in developing countries regularly use connected devices for educational purposes as compared to those in developed markets. In India, for example, 45 percent of people surveyed say connectivity has fundamentally changed how they access textbooks, complete coursework or use teaching tools, compared with just 7 percent in Japan.

Further, access to the Internet plays a crucial role in the professional environment of an individual in India, as 69 percent of the respondents indicated poor and / or lack of connectivity had an impact on their professional opportunities. The study also reveals that 55 percent of respondents have experienced a significant improvement in their earning power due to connectivity in India.

The Global Bandwidth Index Report also yielded the following key findings for India:

Emerging Satisfaction

Consumers in developing markets are significantly more satisfied with their networks than their counterparts in developed countries, a surprising result given that network speed and reliability tend to be slower and less reliable in the developing world.

* Respondents in the study gave India an “A+” grade (A being the highest and F, the lowest) in the matter of connectivity satisfaction, while the U.K. and Japan received an “F” grade.

* 58 percent of respondents in India are satisfied with the current Internet connection. That being said, the majority (63 percent) of the respondents feel that speed still keeps them from fully utilizing the mobile connectivity capabilities.

* 48 percent of the respondents state security concerns as a reason for mobile connectivity capability utilization being low.

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.