Tag Archives: Telecom

Tata Communications to up data centre size, spend $200 million #Press #Media #HinduBusinessLine

Global communications and enterprise service provider Tata Communications said the company expects to lead the data centre business in India with around 26 per cent market share right now.

According to the company, it tops the data centre market right now and it is growing at around 22 per cent year on year. The company plans to invest more than $200 million towards doubling capacity in India from five-lakh square feet to 10-lakh square feet over a period of three years.

The data centre business is primarily driven by the market trends such as social media, mobility and cloud.

“Therefore, the amount of data that needs to be stored is a huge challenge and also opportunity for companies like us to handle those data. We expect this market will grow significantly over the next five years and one of fastest growing sectors because of data explosion,” Rangu Salgame, Chief Executive Officer – Growth Ventures, Tata Communications, told BusinessLine.

New data centre

Looking at such opportunities, the company on Wednesday opened a new data centre here, which is 12th in India and 44th in the world. The company now has two data centres in New Delhi, three in Mumbai, two each in Bangalore and Chennai and one each in Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata.

Globally, it has data centres in places such as Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, Paris and London, Salgame said.

As part of its global expansion initiative, the company recently also entered into strategic partnerships with NEXTDC in Australia, Interxion in Germany and Austria, as well as Pacific Link Telecom in Malaysia.

However, while the market for data centres has already grown big globally, India still needs more investments from companies such as Tata Communications.

Though, there is no data available on the market size right, analysts said the data centre market is growing well at around 12-15 per cent year-on-year.

Other players

“Lot of enterprises are now transferring their data on cloud and ‘on premise’ data centres are now falling over last two years because of such reasons. And, that is fuelling the growth of data centre business,” Naveen Mishra, Research Director, at Gartner India, said. He said because of such reasons, not only Tata Communications, other players such as Sify, Wipro and Netmagic Solutions are also growing.

Therefore, Tata Communications has to work hard on getting better businesses from its clients. “It had earlier launched InstaCompute, which only received a marginal success. This time around it needs to be aggressive in partnering with various Independent service providers, which will ensure its success,” Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst and Group CEO at Greyhound Research, said.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Airtel chops IBM contract in half, comes full circle with its IT strategy #Press #Media #ZDNet

Recently Bharti Airtel signed a new deal with IBM for its IT needs that sent shockwaves through the IT industry and signaled a whole new era, not just for the Indian telecom giant, but in how relationships between telecom and IT may play out from here onwards.

Airtel did renew its contract with IBM, first signed in 2004 for roughly US$1 billion over ten years—but it did so while chopping the deal size in half, or US$500 million, according to reports.Apparently, the big beneficiaries are other IT Indian players such as HCL Technologies, Wipro, TCS and Tech Mahindra, who apparently will get the other 50 percent chunk.

There are several reasons for this—which if you peek under the covers, reveals a paradigm shift in the way that Airtel is thinking of itself and its business. The 2004, 10-year deal with IBM was forged through a revenue sharing agreement. That was then, in the early days of the telecom boom, when Airtel had a 4 million subscriber base, and it needed to do whatever it could—which included offering attractive inducements to technology partners to help it to scale up—to grow rapidly. This is now, when its base has grown 50 times to 200 million, too large to justify the revenue sharing model anymore.

“The declining Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), rising customer expectations coupled with tough economic situation in the country has forced operators to look beyond ‘subscriber base’ theory to become ‘customer obsessed’ to improve bottom-line growth,” said Manish Bahl, vice president and country manager for India, Forrester Research.

These days, the whole mindset at large tech-dependent companies like Airtel has changed. Airtel still wants someone like IBM to handle its tech needs, but today, those are more focused and in areas like Analytics and Big Data which is what the new deal is all about. For everything else, “with the evolution of India’s IT industry, Airtel now has the option of hiring readymade, trained talent from the marketplace. And they have two reasons to do that now—lower cost and more control,” says Peter Bendor-Samuel, chief executive and founder of outsourcing advisory Everest Group.

Plus, as Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst & CEO, Greyhound Research observes, more and more “strategic outsourcing deals are increasingly being replaced by cloud and/or managed services delivery methods to leverage the cost and delivery benefits.”

Also, back in the day, Airtel was legendary for pioneering an unusual and ground-breaking agreement regarding its equipment networks, where Airtel would pay for network capacity and not the infrastructure, thereby mitigating its capex spends in a deviously efficient way. This approach—dubbed the dollar per Erlang model—meant that Bharti didn’t have to muck about trying to figure out when and how much infrastructure to add on but only paid for traffic coming out of the tower boxes leaving capacity utilization headaches to the network folk.

That too is now being deep-sixed at Airtel thanks to a new era in telecom where saturation points are being reached and where the focus is now on retaining quality customers rather than pell-mell growth. Moreover, Airtel’s rivals Vodafone and Idea Cellular have been able to do this in-house and ramp up and down efficiency and utilization as it see fits, allowing it to decrease the margin difference between themselves and the industry leader. Now, Airtel wants to make sure that this gap doesn’t narrow further.

Source: ZDNet

Yahoo! India clicks into Marissa’s turnaround plan #Press #Media #HBL

Gurmit Singh, who took over as the Managing Director of Yahoo! India earlier this year, has a tough job in hand. At a time when rivals such as Google and Facebook are catching the imagination of Internet users, Gurmit Singh has to ensure that Yahoo!, which was once the darling of netizens, stays relevant.

The stakes are high as India’s Internet user base, currently at about 150 million, is growing rapidly and Yahoo! has a lot of catching up to do.

Three key things

Thankfully for Gurmit Singh, Yahoo!’s global CEO Marissa Mayer has undertaken a transformational path that’s focussed on three things — people, products and revenue. “We would like to say the journey is like a marathon – it’s not something which you run and catch up. It needs to be divided into smaller parts, let’s say sprints. So, it’s a marathon with small sprints,” he.

The first sprint which Yahoo! wanted to win was to recruit the best people. A number of changes was done internally to have a start-up culture mixed with fun.

“The plan has paid off – today, the number of applicants to Yahoo! has gone up multi-fold. The attrition rate is at all-time low. Also, 10 per cent of Yahoo! employees, globally, have come back. That gives you a sense of confidence that you are in the right direction,” says Gurmit Singh.

Real challenge

But the real challenge for Yahoo! has been to get the right product mix. While 10-15 years ago it reigned the Internet world with products such as Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger, the advent of players such as Google and WhatsApp has taken the sheen away. The company is now trying to reinvent itself to bring products that catch users’ attention. Some launches such as the Yahoo! Weather App and Yahoo! News Digest have got some traction.

For example, in India, there are 8.1 million monthly unique users on Yahoo! Cricket for mobile and is growing at 52 per cent annually. The Yahoo! Homepage is a trusted partner to about 28 million monthly users in India with close to three million people visiting the homepage daily for news, searching, watching video, emailing and checking weather.

The company has also launched Yahoo! Screen, which is a video content site, in a bid to take on the likes of YouTube. Yahoo! may also look at the possibility of producing its own video content like serials or movies in India.

“Yahoo! is a technology company, which is interested in making daily habits of users interesting, entertaining and inspiring. That is where all the energy is around. All the new products which are developed, whether its personalised experience, all are around daily habits,” says Gurmit Singh.

More tie-ups

To reach its products to a larger base, Yahoo! is tying up with content partners and telecom companies.

For example, it has tie-ups with service providers such as Tata DoCoMo, MTS and Tikona to offer co-branded homepage. Mobile is a huge focus area for the company with nearly 50 per cent of the Yahoo! India users on the mobile platforms.

In terms of new users, Yahoo!’s mobile user base is growing 25 per cent annually. The new apps we are launching start on mobile devices and go to other screens. Yahoo! Cricket is a very good example,” says Gurmit Singh.

So how is this all playing out in terms of revenue? Yahoo!’s main source of revenue is from digital advertising, a space dominated by Google. While Gurmit Singh would not share India revenues, he says the shift in advertisers’ attitude in favour of Yahoo! is beginning to happen.

“What we do is to organise vertical-wise events. We do our own research and we have an insight’s team which does independent research on those verticals. We share with them (advertisers) the research findings and tell them these are the things we are doing globally and you could also get inspired from,” he says.

Analysts reckon that Yahoo! has indeed re-invented itself on various levels but more needs to be done. “The recent launch of their mobile applications really wasn’t impressive. The functionality was not up to the mark and the design lacked user engagement, which I believe now Yahoo! has addressed.

Focus on integration

“It’s good to see Yahoo! focussing on integration. Their recent acquisition of FlickR and now the video streaming service RayV Inc, shows that it’s important for them to integrate such services under one umbrella and provide to their users a dynamic experience,” says Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst at Greyhound Research.

The strategy seems to be paying off because the first quarter this year was globally the best quarter for Yahoo! after 2010. Gurmit Singh would be hoping that Indian operations add to that performance over the next one year.

“Yahoo! needs to re-invent themselves to step up their growth in India. Once the acquisition cycle is done with, they need to up their game by becoming more market facing and broaden their Enterprise offerings,” says Gogia.

Source: Hindu Business Line

The Social CIO #Press #Media

Enterprise technology decision makers are increasingly leveraging social network and technologies to foster growth in their organisations.

Social technologies are playing a major role in fostering growth among organisations and enterprise technology decision makers are leveraging social networks in numerous innovative ways. There are some key verticals like BFSI, telecom, retail and hospitality which is using social technologies to reach out to their customers. Interacting with the customers on a regular basis allows enterprises to know their requirements and this helps in coming up with offers or products that are liked by the customers.

According to Atul Nigam, CIO, Micromax India, “Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkden allows us to reach our customers and get to know what are their requirements. CIOs can play a major role in providing apt business analytics to identify a specific trend and that helps in coming up with offers/promotions which customers can relate to. Our company has seen tremendous growth in the last five to six years and for us to sustain this growth rate, we need to know our customers better and social technologies plays an integral role in identifying this.”

Enterprise technology decision makers are leveraging social technologies to provide analytical insights about consumers. This in turn is helping enterprises to be more customer-friendly and focussed in their approach.

According to Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst and CEO, Greyhound Research, IT organizations are struggling to deal with the invasion of multiple consumer-driven social technologies inside corporate firewalls. Employees continue to use these tools — with or without IT’s knowledge and approval — to help them improve their performance and do their work more efficiently. Employee adoption is catalysing many companies in Asia Pacific to proactively use (or at least plan to use) social tools as part of their IT setup, giving users the choice to adopt new tools to improve productivity and hence improve employee satisfaction.

CIOs across verticals agree that social analytics can play a key role in enhancing customer experience.

According to KK Chaudhary, CIO, Lanco Infratech, “I vouch for social analytics and I have witnessed many of my peers helping out their marketing team in getting to know different aspects of customer behaviour. Although, we are into power and do not need to interact with our customers via social medium, but I feel there are many verticals where one needs to interact directly to the customers and social technologies helps a lot of achieving this feat. At Lanco, we use internal social tool which helps in connecting with the employees and also makes them updated with the new developments in the organisation.”

Source: CIO & Leader

Business Intelligence and Analytics in 2013 #Media #Press #ChannelWorld

Enterprise solution providers are keen to explore the colossal business opportunities in business intelligence and analytics this year. Channelworld’s State of the MArt 2013 survey findings are a clear indicator. More than 78 percent of respondents (channel partners) expect IT spend to grow in areas of BI and analytics in 2013. This statistic is similar to mobility and only second to security among the most preferred technologies in terms of IT spends by Indian organizations.

According to IDC, worldwide revenues for business analytics market in 2011 grew 14.1 percent year-on-year. Of the three primary segments, data warehousing platform software segment grew the fastest in 2011 at 15.2 percent year-on-year, followed by the analytic applications segment at 13.3 percent. BI and analytic tools segment grew 13.2 percent.

“There’s a lot of unstructured data in terms of volume and velocity. The variety directly impacts businesses. The need to sort data has become vital as the pressure on businesses mount amidst diminishing margins in such a competitive world,” says Sanchit Vir Gogia. Hence the need for BI and analytics becomes imperative, he adds.

What’s new for Partners?

Mumbai-based AGS Sundyne Technologies has been deploying customized BI solutions across retail and telecom for the past couple of years. “The installation of POS software included an entire managed services project with POS infrastructure at a leading retail conglomerate. Hence the BI solution was developed by our team as an interface over existing OEM softwares to help the customer stay ahead of competition,” says Sandeep Gandhi, MD, AGS Sundyne Technologies.

BI and analytics contributes between five and ten percent of overall revenues, AGS Sundyne will target IT/ITeS and Government in 2013 for these technologies. “The contribution is not much as of now but it is a good margin domain,” says Gandhi.

VDA Infosolutions, an EMC partner, is engaged in putting a business plan in place to explore data analytics with Greenplum (now EMC) portfolio. “We expect tier-1 organizations to look seriously at data analytics solutions apart from cloud,” says Ashutosh Deuskar, Director, VDA Infosolutions.

Coimbatore-based eCAPS Computers too has identified BI and analytics as a new focus technology for the new year. The saturation of hardware/software services market and dwindling margins is the key reason, says Partheeban, Director, eCAPS Computers, to look at BI as a new area. The lower end of the market has become highly competitive as there will be no or minimal buying of entry level solutions for next three to five years,
he adds.

“As we are focused on datacenter deployments around servers and storage, analytics makes perfect business sense as the data growth needs to be stored effectively and intelligently at the enterprise end,” says Deuskar.

Beyond traditional analytics and warehouse tools, businesses are feeling the impact of social analytics, which does not mean the twitters and facebooks of the world. “The fork in the road is happening. Many traditional systems integrators already deploy BI and enterprise data warehousing tools. Social analytics using traditional toolset of BI to understand newer data types at customer end is a great opportunity to look forward for partners.” says Gogia.

eCAPS is in talks with potential BI vendors. “The plan is to deep sell BI and analytics to the existing customers and then educate the new customers,” says Partheeban.

“We will be upgrading existing technical manpower for our foray into analytics and also recruit few resources,” adds Deuskar of VDA.

The Early Adopters

“Analytics is aggressively for any customer facing industry which demands customer loyalty. Retail is an important segment as large format players are positioning their footprint in India,” says Gogia.

“IT governance is becoming a crucial issue for organizations which involves IT asset management, IT accounting, and extends tofunctions like procurement details. These IT-enabled services need to be effectively enhanced by proper use of BI tools,” says Gandhi.

BFSI and IT/ITeS are the early adopters of analytics for VDA Infosolutions. “We are in talks with at least four customers in the western region,” says Deuskar.

Customer segment analysis and network analysis across telecom is picking up as price becomes important as a value added service offering. Use of analytics is popular across BFSI and especially network analysis for insurance sector.

BI and analytics are moving to mobile devices but at a slow pace says Gogia. “In terms of priority for enterprises to introduce cross platforms, BI is not first as volume for its usage is not very huge. CRM and ERP are the first ones,” he reasons.

“This will be a huge market in the coming years. But the earlier we explore this trend the better it is for us,” says Deuskar.

Source: http://www.channelworld.in/features/perfect-analysis