IBM Expands Big Data Portfolio in India with New Predictive Intelligence Software

IBM-Expands-Big-data-Portfolio-in-India-with-New-Predictive-Intelligence-Software_394x296IBM has announced the launch of IT Operations Analytics in India, a new category of software which leverages both cognitive computing and predictive analytics to help companies more easily predict and respond to opportunities and challenges hidden in data. The new software will help a company predict future outcomes, search and discover, and optimize its IT infrastructure by unlocking insights within the data generated by systems, files, databases and servers.

Today, organizations are increasingly faced with managing a complex IT system of servers, networks and applications. Combined with the proliferation of mobile and cloud computing environments, these systems can generate more than 1.3 terabytes of data per day, including log files, software error alerts, IT service tickets and network configuration updates. This can result in more than one million “events” or system alerts per day, some of which are critical to performance and others that are irrelevant, which can bog down systems administrators.

“IBM has a rich heritage of innovation in applying analytics to numerous areas and industries. Now, we are extending that expertise to IT Operations data,” said Omkar Nimbalkar, Director, Cloud, Smarter Infrastructure & Security Software, India Software Labs, IBM India. “By applying cognitive intelligence to clients’ IT infrastructure, they’re now able to gain valuable insights from Big Data, instead of just focusing on how to cope with its volume. This access to real-time knowledge can help predict and prevent IT downtime, improve productivity and generate cost savings, and is something no other vendor can provide,” he said.

Read the complete article on Computerworld.in

Posted by Khalid Raza

IBM Analytics Helps Mother Teresa Women’s University

BigDataCubeIBM has announced that Mother Teresa Women’s University is using IBM analytics solution to promote academic success by training its management students on predictive analysis and reporting solutions.

The use of analytics – or Big Data – has changed the realm of technology. Big Data today is requiring new skills and knowledge and new kinds of decision-making in every role and every profession.

The three-month long course, designed by IBM for the university, enables educators to teach effectively, helps management students gain critical analytical skills, and supports more accurate and insightful institutional research and decision-making.

Mother Teresa Women’s University, a public university established in 1984, offers consultancy services, and promotes research studies for women. The university is using IBM’s analytical software, SPSS (Statistical Products and Service Solutions), to train its management students on predictive analysis and reporting solutions to promote academic success.

IBM SPSS is a comprehensive, easy-to-use set of data and predictive analytics tools for users, analysts and programmers. The software offers flexible, affordable options colleges and universities can us to easily integrate statistical analysis, data and text mining and survey research instruction into the classroom. Read the complete article on Indiainfoline.com.

- Posted by Khalid Raza

Announcing IBM Alumni India LinkedIn Group

The Greater IBM Connection and the IBM India team are pleased to announce the launch of the new India LinkedIn group of our community. We’re starting this group as a way for our community of Greater IBMers to interact and network with community members in India.

To do this, we’ve partnered with an IBM social business team in India, led by Khalid Raza.

To join the India group sub-community: 

  • You must first join the global Greater IBM Connection community here.
  • Then request to join the India Alumni group here.
  • Note: You must provide accurate information about your IBM employment on your profile so that your membership can be approved for both groups.

Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to you joining today!

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– Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

India News: IBM Power Systems Solution Reduces Nakoda Ltd.’s IT Costs by 20%

NEW DELHI: IBM has announced that Nakoda Limited, one of India’s fastest growing companies located in the region of Gujarat, has implemented an integrated IBM Smarter Computing solution. The move, which displaced existing competitive server systems, was designed to help the company standardize and streamline business operations running on SAP and increase operational efficiencies while maintaining both high product quality and attractive pricing. After implementing the IBM solution, Nakoda was able to reduce its IT costs by up to 20% in one year.nakoda

The business of the BSE-listed Nakoda Limited is diverse – spanning from manufacturing of raw materials for the textile industry to wind farm equipment. Having grown its profit/revenues three fold in the last four years, Nakoda Limited found its existing infrastructure increasingly difficult to manage. It was too complex and costly, and not capable of meeting business needs. Equally, multiple applications needed separate user sign-on, and managing user authentication was major drains on IT help desk resources, as well as a security risk.

“We realize that to keep up with the changes in today’s business environment we needed an integrated IT platform to make it easier for us to centrally plan, control and optimize workloads, while keeping data accuracy and integrity up-to date,” said Devendra Jain, Joint Managing Director, Nakoda Limited. “IBM’s performance and its market leadership in Power Systems convinced us to replace our existing servers.

The integrated smarter computing solution based on IBM Power Systems built with IBM BladeCenter servers, IBM System Storage DS5020 and Tivoli Storage Manager enables faster deployment of mission critical applications, while keeping operating costs under control. New SAP applications and consolidation of the infrastructure have contributed to significant savings. Also, as a result, raw materials price changes that took several days to reflect are now adjusted on the same day.

The implementation of the solution was done with the help of IBM’s Advanced Business Partner Innovative Telecom and Software.

“Nakoda chose IBM’s Power Systems as it offers better performance and support for the SAP implementation. The Power architecture coupled with the AIX operating system is the most robust solution for a mission critical application like SAP and with superior TCO benefits and RAS features that ensures round-the-clock operation with minimal downtime”, said Viswanath Ramaswamy, Director – Power Systems, IBM India South Asia. “Interestingly, this win along with the recent IBM announcement of the most powerful enterprise Power Systems to date, a new high-end disk storage system and key software updates for IBM’s newest mainframe computer may open several new opportunities within the textile sector in India”.

As part of IBM’s geographic expansion plans, which is one of IBM’s core growth strategies, IBM is expanding into untapped markets around the world where there is a significant opportunity for growth. Gujarat is an important region for IBM where the company works with key clients such as Nakoda Limited, Nawanagar Co-op Bank, Amul, Surat District Co-operative Bank, Atul Limited and Micro Inks Limited. IBM is also present in Ahmedabad and Surat where it has been focused on meeting the growing needs of its clients, providing advanced integrated solutions, technologies and services to aid their business growth.

from lightreading.in

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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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IBM India’s Chief Technologist on Smarter Cities Innovations

More than 400 CIOs and other company executives recently attended IBM’s Smarter Cities event in the Capital Region of India.  They worked with city planners on ways to apply technology to solve some of the worst problems in population centers.  To mark the event, the Center for CIO Leadership interviewed Dr. Manish Gupta, IBM’s Chief Technologist for India and Asia and Director of the research laboratory developing new technology for governments and companies around the globe.  Read the interview here:

Dr. Manish Gupta is the director of IBM’s India research laboratory as well as IBM’s Chief Technologist for India and South Asia.The laboratory’s researchers work in tandem with IBM consultants to help CIOs and other executives resolve challenges in business and government.

Center for CIO Leadership: Dr. Gupta, could you tell us about some of the real-world challenges you are helping CIOs solve?

Dr. Manish Gupta

Dr. Gupta, IBM India

Dr. Manish Gupta: We have worked with the CIOs of several of India’s major banks on one very common challenge: each line of business has its own copy of the database of customers. When you are trying to unify this information, it is particularly challenging in a country like India because of the lack of standardization of how we write our names, and more so our addresses. With our colleagues at the India Software Lab, we have made a significant difference in the quality of data.

In another example, as we talked to various CIOs, we learned that often the infrastructure – particularly the data warehouses – that is necessary to do analytics isn’t as sophisticated as in other parts of the world. So what we have done is come up with a lightweight solution which we call “Edge Analytics” that allows these clients to derive very interesting insights simply from the analysis of information at the edge of interaction with their own customers. It could be over the Web channel because a lot of these banks offer Internet banking. While customers are conducting transactions on the Web, the bank can analyze some of their recent transactions and, with those insights, offer the customers additional opportunities to drive more revenue.

Center for CIO Leadership: We hear from CIOs around the world that this ability to better understand what  individual customers need — and what kind of products and services they’re looking for –  is key to the company staying competitive in today’s world. Can you give us an example  of the customer insights you’re uncovering?

Dr. Gupta: One example, which is now part of IBM’s Managed CRM services offering from Global Process Services, is called “Voice of the Customer Analytics.” It works like this: when a customer calls the company’s contact center or sends and email to a service representative or has a live Web chat with an agent, Voice of the Customer Analytics evaluate all these interactions. And it does things like sentiment mining to see whether these customers are happy with, or dissatisfied with, certain products and services. The analytics also identifies common issues that different customers might be complaining about.

This technology also is able to link the unstructured information from emails and call center notes and transcripts with the structured information about the customer in the company’s databases. And link these two sources together to gain additional insight about a customer’s behavior.

In a pilot of this technology with a car company, we were able to find out whether particular customers who are dissatisfied are also thinking about buying a different car. If they are, it is particularly important for the contact center agents to turn the customer’s attitude around before he leaves the company and buys elsewhere. This kind of customer “churn” – when a customer changes car brands – is extremely expensive long term to an automotive manufacturer. We’re suggesting proactive action these companies can take to retain their customers’ loyalty.

We’re also piloting an idea called the “multi-channel next-best action” where we help the contact center agent ask the right set of questions and guide the customer toward certain promotions and offers that the customer is likely to find attractive and accept. Our pilot showed very promising results.

Center for CIO Leadership: You mentioned the challenge of linking unstructured data and structured data, which is something we hear about quite a bit with the volumes of information available to CIOs. They wonder how best to process all that data and make sense out of it. How might your research help resolve some of those challenges with “big data”?

Dr. Gupta: You’re absolutely right, the volume of information that our CIOs are dealing with is growing enormously. At IBM, we describe big data in terms of the “three V’s”: the growing volume of data; the velocity of data; and the variety of data. Interestingly, our researchers identified a “fourth V” and that is the veracity or reliability of the data.

Often, a lot of the information our CIOs are dealing with is highly uncertain, highly noisy. For example, often the information that is posted on social media sites is either ambiguous or downright misleading. And the even the company’s own customer information tends to be very noisy.

So we are coming up with effective techniques to both cleanse the data and to drive robust insights from potentially noisy data. We are working closely with the IBM product groups to bring these capabilities into our products and deliver real value to our clients.

Center for CIO Leadership: Your research team is very involved in the IBM Smarter Cities initiative and IBM’s Chairman, Sam Palmisano, just hosted a global event in Gurgaon. Could you describe some of the innovations you’re working on to make cities a better place to live and work?

Dr. Gupta: We recently had massive power blackouts in India. We are developing technologies that help with real-time situation awareness and management and we believe we can help avoid some of these kinds of grid blackouts in the future.

We’re working with the University of Brunei to help flatten the peaks in demand for electrical power and spread the load to other times when the demand is lower, to make the overall power system significantly more efficient and cost effective. We developed a special kind of “plug” that goes in-between your electrical device — like an air conditioner or water heater – and the socket. That plug senses peaks and imbalances in grid demand and automatically senses when to turn on your device.

Center for CIO Leadership: So you’re figuring out how to balance power consumption in densely populated cities. How about balancing out the traffic flow?

Dr. Gupta: Our researchers and people at the India Software Lab have been involved in working with the Land Transportation Authority of Singapore, which has one of the most advanced systems for traffic prediction. We’re complementing their work by leveraging mobile data to sense traffic congestion.

And one of our researchers came up with the idea of simply analyzing the sound that is coming from the road. By matching the sound signal to the signature of the kind of sound that is generated in free-flowing traffic versus medium-flowing traffic versus stuck traffic, we can correctly classify the traffic flow with more than 95% accuracy.

But of course we are going beyond that. We have a project underway to look at different sources of input from mobile phones and from social media feeds that people might be posting on Twitter about the state of traffic and doing analysis from these different sources and fusing all of that data together to come up with better insights about the state of traffic.

Wherever people are using Smart phones, we can analyze GPS data, and we can also look at call detail records and cell phone tower handoffs to understand the location of people. And then you can combine that with other sources to get insights about where people are at a given point in time. We’re able to provide city officials with very interesting insights about mobility patterns. Where are people living in the city? Where are people going to work? What are the spots where there is potential congestion during certain hours in a day? And how do you now design things like your public transportation? How do you design more effective bus routes or a more effective metro train route to effectively provide better public transportation options that meet the real needs of the residents of the city?

Center for CIO Leadership: It sounds like a very clever idea to use people’s cell phones, and also the sound of traffic, to help ease congestion. No doubt there will be thousands of commuters very thankful for this effort that you’re involved in. What other projects are helping make life better?

Dr.Gupta: We have a very exciting pilot planned in Saudi Arabia to apply our Spoken Web technology to help Hajj pilgrims access the Web through voice commands. Spoken Web makes it possible for people who don’t have Internet access to use the Web. Anyone with access to a mobile or land line phone can listen to information on the Web. This technology is particularly useful for people who live in remote locations and people who cannot read and write. We’re also using Spoken Web to help farmers in Africa access crop information. And we’re working on a Spoken Web pilot in India to provide better information to some of the farmers about diseases that might affect their livestock.

We also have begun work with the University of Brunei and Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources in Brunei to model the crops. We can use this detailed weather forecasting, for instance, to decide which are the right places to grow the rice crop, based on the kind of precipitation in those locations. And also come up with better advisories of certain diseases that might be actively driven by certain weather conditions.

We can also apply these detailed weather forecasts to predict the output of solar and wind farms during a given window of time. Once you are able to better predict that output based on the weather conditions, you can do better planning in terms of how much of that renewable energy output are you going to be able to put back into the grid.

In our work, we found it interesting that Brunei is the very first and the only country in the world to have a high- resolution weather forecast of the entire country. So we can come up with fairly precise forecasts of the temperature, precipitation, wind velocity and so on for very small geographical areas. We’re building hydrological models to see how we can predict flooding when it rains and help Brunei officials plan for disaster management.

Center for CIO Leadership: We’ve all seen television coverage of the incredible damage caused by floods and tsunamis around the world. It must be very rewarding to help lessen the devastation.

Dr. Gupta: Oh absolutely. When we are able to apply our expertise, come up with effective solutions and solve some of these real-world problems, it’s an extremely satisfying feeling.

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More:

Center for CIO Leadership

Get your (electronic) copy of the 2011 IBM Global CIO Study, The Essential CIO

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Executive Exchange – Insights for Smarter Leadership

Case study from the Institute for Business Value (IBV) – AzkoNobel, Balancing IT Efficiency with Customer Agility