IBM Study – Setting the Pace of Innovation in Africa (Infographic)

Image Credit:  IBM Center for Applied Insights

Image Credit: IBM Center for Applied Insights

IBM Study:  Innovating in Africa

Learn from IT leaders ahead of the pack

On January 27, 2014, IBM announced the results of a new study entitled Setting the pace in Africa: How IT leaders deliver on the potential of emerging technologies, which found that while nearly 87 percent of African IT leaders rank new technologies such as analytics, cloud, mobile and social media as being critical to business success, only 53% are pushing forward with adoption.  Africa’s IT and business climate is changing rapidly and the booming technological and consumer revolution is underway. But for all the new opportunities there also are some leadership challenges, skills shortfalls and security risks that threaten to slow tech-driven progress. However, pace-setting IT leaders are tackling these challenges and positioning their organizations for competitive advantage.

What’s holding businesses back – and giving Pacesetters the lead:

  • STRATEGIC BUSINESS LEADERSHIP FOR IT:  African Pacesetters do more to tangibly demonstrate the value of emerging technology.  They are 30 percent more likely than their peers to link IT investments to business outcomes.
  • IT SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: Half of African businesses are still addressing IT skill deficits and not yet developing skills to transform the business.  BUT – Pacesetters are 80 percent more likely than their peers to cultivate IT skills to meet future business needs.
  • INFORMATION SECURITY: The majority of African companies cite security of emerging technologies as a top-of-mind issue.  BUT – Pacesetters are 30 percent more likely to create a risk-aware culture, employ new security technologies and bolster security skills and expertise.

Learn more

(The study was by the IBM Center for Applied Insights in collaboration with the IBM Center for CIO Leadership.)



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

Viraj Profiles Ltd. Relies on IBM’s Smarter Computing to enhance IT infrastructure

ibm-262x174IBM today announced Viraj Profiles Ltd., a leading stainless steel long products manufacturer from Maharashtra, India, has implemented IBM’s Smarter Computing solutions to improve their overall IT efficiency.

Viraj Profiles Ltd. has over seven manufacturing facilities across Maharashtra with annual capacity of 348,000 tonnes. To keep up with its growth while integrating its branches and their internal businesses, Viraj needed a robust and scalable IT infrastructure. Viraj had previously deployed Fujitsu x86 servers, which was hampering their performance subsequent to the growth and increase in number of users on their Disaster Recovery site.

Viraj Profiles Ltd. turned to IBM to help them deploy IBM Power System while migrating from Fujitsu x86 to unix on the AIX platform. The IBM Power7 System uses P700 and P710 servers along with Storwize V7000 storage to give a complete solution to businesses to manage their workload and create a robust environment to run their business. The integrated combination of the POWER architecture and PowerVM makes possible far higher consolidation ratios and virtualization solutions. IBM is also providing training on the AIX platform that will help Viraj implement the solution faster.

IBM is working with many SMBs who are struggling to adopt smarter computing solutions due to lack of in-house skills and expertise to design and maintain hardware-based systems. IBM is addressing these issues with new Power Systems solutions that don’t require specialized skills and offer the latest technologies in virtualization and automation to speed private and hybrid cloud creation.

Read the complete article on | Posted by Khalid Raza

London most preferred holiday destination for Indians: Study

IMG_4489Majority of people in India plan to take a vacation this month and many of them desire to visit London for holidays, a study has said.

An analysis of 2.50 lakh online conversations has found that international destinations received the most buzz (32 per cent) on all social media platforms and London emerged as the most talked about city for spending holidays.

According to the study by IBM, about 59 per cent of people in India are “looking forward” to taking vacation this month.

While destinations with beaches and palaces were on top of the list for vacations, Goa came out as the most desired place for a holiday followed by Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, on the domestic front.

The study found that as much as 33 per cent of social media conversations tracked revolved around travel and hospitality such as flying, driving and vacations with family and friends, among others.

“Measuring social sentiment has the potential to enable the travel industry to design travel offers and services tailored to what travellers are telling us,” IBM India & South Asia Global Business Services Partner Lata Iyer said.

Read the complete article on | Posted by Khalid Raza

IBM’s cognitive computing: The next wave applications that are as intutive & capable as human beings

IBM WatsonIn a few months from now, or at least sometime next year, a few IBM partners will release a series of software products that will be unlike anything people have encountered so far. Instead of doing a task for you through a software program, these products will prepare you instead to do that task yourself. You could ask the computer about your health, a home purchase, or a travel plan. You don’t need visits from sales executives for product briefings. The computer will gently guide you to make the right choice at the right time.

Currently, these products are being built around Watson, the famous IBM computer that won the Jeopardy championship. To be precise, it is built around a more compact and powerful machine than the Jeopardy champion. IBM threw open this machine to programmers on the cloud three weeks ago to build products and services in a few industries to begin with. IBM has applications from 200 potential partners, including a few from India, focused initially on healthcare, financial services and travel. “We are trying to build an ecosystem of partners around Watson,” says Jay Subrahmonia, vice-president of development and delivery, Watson Solutions at IBM.

IBM calls it cognitive computing, to distinguish it from the more common term, artificial intelligence. It is purportedly the next wave of computing, infinitely more powerful and long-lasting than any other computing wave we have seen. It changes the way we interact with computers, the reason we use computers, and also the way we program computers. It is a big business opportunity as well. Just the global healthcare market for such systems is projected to increase from $201 million now to $239 billion by 2019, according to the market research firm WinterGreen Research.

Read the complete article on |Posted by Khalid Raza

Bharat Light Partners IBM to Boost India Wind Farm Output

IBMSmartPlanet_140x100Draper Fisher Jurvetson-backed Bharat Light & Power Pvt. and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) are combining efforts to boost the electricity output of wind farms in India, seeking to expand capacity fivefold.

Under a 10-year agreement, IBM’s technology will raise the profitability of Bharat Light projects by better managing wind-farm data, said Balki Iyer, chief development officer of the renewable developer founded by the former country head of General Electric Co. (GE), Tejpreet S. Chopra.

Clean-energy utilities such as Bharat Light and Morgan Stanley-backed Continuum Wind Energy Pte are sparking a shift in India’s wind industry by focusing on maximizing generation as they compete against fossil-fuel plants to deliver power. India, fighting blackouts that restrain its growth, is trying to cut dependence on imported fossil fuels and double clean energy capacity to about 59 gigawatts by 2017.

“These projects are usually located in very remote parts of India and the level of intelligence dispatched from the field is low,” Iyer said today in a phone interview. The collaboration with IBM will allow Bharat Light to generate power at levels “way beyond” what wind farms, often managed by turbine suppliers in India, currently can do, he said.

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Posted by Khalid Raza


SSN course in Business Analytics

ideaAccording to a report by the International Data Corporation in 2012, the digital universe occupied 2,837 exabytes (billions of gigabytes) in 2012, and by 2020, it is set to reach a towering 40,026 exabytes.

In this era of booming digital data which impacts every aspect of a business, it has become a necessity for students to have the exposure and training to meet the growing demand for professionals in the area of Business Analytics.

SSN Institutions, in a bid to prepare students for this fast growing sector, has come out with a six-month residential certificate course, Post Graduate Certificate Programme in Business Analytics (PGCBA). The first course in the recently launched SSN School of Advanced Career Education (SACE), the programme is set to begin in January 2014.

“There will be a huge requirement for qualified data analysts to manage the data and draw business insights,” says Dr. Shashikant V. Albal, Director, SSN School of Advanced Software Engineering. “As per Gartner’s research, more than 4.4 million jobs in the area of Big Data analytics will be created by 2015.”

The focus of the course being business intelligence, descriptive analytics, predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics and big data handling, Dr. Shashikant hopes to provide all the tools to students to enable them to take up various jobs in this domain. The faculty consists of academicians as well as practicing professionals.

Tie-up with IBM

The highlight of this course is the tie-up of SSN Institutions with IBM for the business analytics laboratory. “In the lab, IBM will provide IBM SPSS, IBM Cognos, IBM InfoSphere and IBM Rational Software tools to ensure that the next generation professionals are equipped with the knowledge and skills for smarter business outcomes,” explains Dr. Shashikant. Sudhir Shastri, Technical Head- Software, IBM India, says the practicals have been carefully planned to provide real life project experience. The course has a Programme Advisory Council comprising senior executives in leading organisations in business analytics.

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Posted by Khalid Raza

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.

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Posted by Khalid Raza