IBM to use Big Data for managing Bangalore’s water supply

IBM has tied up with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board to create systems for managing increasingly complex water distribution system. Technology giant IBM today said it has tied up with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to create systems for monitoring and managing increasingly complex water distribution systems using ‘Big Data and Analytics’.

Working closely with BWSSB, IBM created a command centre to monitor the water flow in 284 of 784 bulk flow meters in the city to give a single view of the functioning of all the bulk flow meters, amount of water transmitted, water supplied to individual parts of the distribution system, among others.

“IBM worked closely with BWSSB to create an operational dashboard, based on IBM Intelligent Operations Centre (IOC), which serves as a ‘command centre’ for monitoring, administering and managing the city’s water supply networks,” the company said in a statement.

The IOC-based solution, developed by IBM India Software Lab, contains GIS (Geo Information System) for Bangalore to enable a real-time view of flow meters, along with the ability to zoom in and out and pan and click on a specific flow meter, it added.

When an asset (GLR or flow meter) is selected, a user can have a view of the key performance indicators (KPIs) like latest flow rate, total flow in 24 hours and the average total flow over past seven days, as well as geographical location and time of last update, IBM said.

“Around 45 per cent of the water supplied by the BWSSB goes unaccounted and implementing this solution helps minimise unaccounted for water by detecting large changes in water flow, through real-time monitoring,” BWSSB (New Initiatives and Design Cell) Executive Engineer P N Ravindra said.
BWSSB is responsible for water distribution and sewage management in Bangalore.

Bangalore’s massive population growth from a mere 5.4 million in 2000 to over 10 million and counting today has put tremendous strain on the city’s water supply and distribution systems, IBM said..

The main sources of water (Cauvery and Arkavathi rivers) are not just sufficient to meet the water demand in the city to a permissible per capita norms, it added.

This leads to a big challenge in equitable distribution of available water across the divisions/subdivisions, which IBM’s solutions will provide to the authorities.

Read the complete article on economictimes.com | Posted by Khalid Raza

IBM To Open Watson to Indian Startup Ecosystem

IBM will open its powerful cognitive computing system, Watson, to startups in India and the world soon. IBM Watson

Watson is the artificial intelligence computing system that rose to fame in 2011 when it beat the best of human competitors in the complex quiz show Jeopardy! in the US. The computer uses natural language processing capabilities, machine learning , and the vast quantities of data fed into it to directly and precisely answer questions posed in everyday human diction in seconds.

Speaking to TOI in Bangalore , Manoj Saxena general manager for Watson solutions at IBM, said, “We are opening up Watson for other people to write applications and sell the apps as their own. We want to build an ecosystem around Watson. IBM’s India Software Lab has initiated talks with some startups. India has a huge developer community, so our initial focus will be the US and India.” Last year, IBM established a Watson software and services team in its Bangalore facility, the first such outside the US.

Read the complete article on Times on India.

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- Posted by Khalid Raza

In Campus Recruitment, IBM India Hires More Women than Men for IT

by Sujit John & Shilpa Phadnis, The Times of India

BANGALORE: In a landmark for the IT industry, maybe for most industries, IBM India has this year hired more women than men during its campus recruitment. This is significant because it’s happened in an industry where mass recruitment is the norm.

Of the campus recruitments done by IBM India till June, 52% were women — a quantum leap from the 38% in 2011 and 32% in 2010. IBM doesn’t disclose the numbers it hires, but large IT companies in India have hired over 30,000 people in recent years. Of these, about 70% have been campus hires.

Of the 265 engineers SAP Labs India hired this year, 42% are women, up from 34% last year. For Cisco India, the figure is 22% this year, down from last year’s 25%, but significantly higher than 16% in 2010.

The significant jump in the number of women hired by leading IT firms is remarkable especially because, as IBM’s recruitment leader for India Vardanahalli A Rangarajan notes, the average admission of women across engineering colleges in India is just 18%. Most companies have been working with placement cells in colleges to achieve these high numbers.

IBM says a major reason is awareness about facilities offered to women employees. “Our flexible work policies, the workfrom-home option, the ability to customize working hours are big attractions,” says Kalpana Veeraraghavan, diversity manager in IBM India.

Rangarajan says IBM has many women role models, including CEO Virginia Rometty.

SAP Labs targets the few women’s engineering colleges, including the Cummins Engineering College, Pune, and Meenakshi Engineering College, Chennai. It also conducts an online recruitment test for women across all engineering colleges on International Women’s Day. “It’s for women doing computer science and with a CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) of about 8. This year, 3,000 took the test. We flew in over 200 women to Bangalore for the final interviews, and selected 45,” says Anil Warrier, director for staffing, SAP Labs.

For the past five years, Cisco has been organizing every year a programme called Girls in Technology, where about 100 engineering graduates are invited to the company’s campus in Bangalore and exposed to the labs, work environment and culture.

Protima Achaya, Cisco’s lead for scaling services staffing in Asia-Pacific and Japan, says flexible workhours and excellent creche facilities are big attractions . “The number of women who join Cisco after this programme has been increasing every year. Such recruits tend to stay on for long,” she adds.

Accenture doesn’t disclose its women recruitment numbers. However, a spokesperson told TOI: “We have exclusive campus engagement programmes for women. We have Diversity Zones, a campus event which talks about several aspects of working at Accenture. Students get an opportunity to interact with senior women leadership and young achievers, who share their experiences about working at Accenture and how they are able to manage the work-life balance.”
At HCL Technologies, the overall percentage of women is almost 25, but the campus recruitment percentage is only 12. However, Srimathi Shivashankar , AVP for diversity and sustainability, says the percentage has been steadily rising and HCL has women-focused recruitment drives.

It’s increasingly acknowledged that diversity at the workplace is not only good in itself, but also has a profound influence on the operations of an organization. “Numerous studies show that increasing gender equality enhances productivity and economic growth. The best ideas flourish in a diverse environment, and companies benefit from accessing female talent,” Shivashankar says.

Adds IBM’s Kalpana Veeraraghavan : “When you mirror external reality at the workplace, employees feel more at home, and they behave more naturally. And that environment enables us to access a lot more talent.” At IBM, the overall percentage of women still remains about 28%, but the most recent initiatives suggest that the number could quickly rise to the ideal 50%.

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