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Published Samples Asheesh Pandia 1112


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Corporate Communications, Media Relations, Brand Management, Brand Manager, Employee Communications, Corporate Affairs, External Communications, Communications Manager, Company Spokesperson, PR Manager, Analyst Relations Manager

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Published Samples Asheesh Pandia 1112

  1. 1. guestarticleTele-mimetics,Tele-trends and Focusfor Inspiration!Most telecom markets remain overall pulsating with focus on higher speeds, better interactivity, andcustomer experience. What is needed is for telecom players ‘to find their best identity in the valuechain’ and position their brand accordingly.O because that would be unfair indeed, theories suddenly start making practical sense. In a way, it is more like ver the last quarter, I had cross-industrial learning,been very fortunate to interview and redevelopment and collaboration or,discuss one-on-one with some of the rather, Biognosis and ‘Bio-mimetics’.‘who’s who’ of Canadian Telecom Some may want to research thoseIndustry. What is most interesting terms in entirety to get greater insight.behind the success of many of these The biggest challenges thatleaders and their organizations’ Canada had faced since inceptionoutstanding performance was the were essentially the huge geography,extremely simple but fundamentally weather conditions and the diverselyprofound marketing wisdom. I could growing consumer demography, foreasily compare their thought-patterns instance. As a result, the networkwith the likes of Al Ries and Jack infrastructure maintenanceTrout, the marketing Gurus and investments went beyond and out offounders of ‘Positioning’ theory. proportion and, hence, the anatomy Most of these interviews were of basic marketing strategies todayremarkably insightful not only in ASHEESH PANDIA seems starkly different. And, then,terms of where the Canadian or Global there remain similarities too in termsTelecom Industry is headed to but also of trends, especially in the Socialin that how just about any geography Media era.could relate to the other from the According to Gautam Nath, one ofcause and effect perspective of micro the best Canadian marketingand mega trends and, eventually, in For the most part, knowledge-banks today, who I had theone way or the other, can possibly Indian telecom has been opportunity to meet recently, “Multi-utilize the end takeaways towards their Cultural marketing dynamics is thecollaborative industrial betterment. doing really well rela- most sought-after horizon here inFrom a marketing standpoint, this at tively barring the Canada at the moment” . I feelfirst seems tough to assimilate though, Spectrum Refarming essentially the rise in multi-culturallet alone to be compared any further. marketing shares a similar pattern toMore so because, we speak of one of struggle cited above. But that of the ongoing ‘Rural Penetration’the most dynamic and, particularly the option of taking a pursuit in India. And, yet again,now, evermore stirred-up industrial considering that Canada wants thesegments and also when the diversity look at the external and largest pipelines at the lowest cost,is hugely evident, among widely distant trends could also which definitely would demand moredifferent geographies. guarantee significant funds, access to global capital market However, if we refer from the through more relaxed and freestandpoint of ‘inspiration’, similar to a betterment for the ‘high- competition and more incumbents isCase study and not simply ‘adaptation’, ly innovative’ kinds. desirable not much unlike how it had64 |EPC&I|SEPTEMBER 2011
  2. 2. always been in India regardless of the of the former, it could be far morecompetition because population and casual for the consumer to bethe market size is awesome. Mobile broadband traffic flirtatious and shop around. On a global level too, most telecom volumes will see a 2600 Another common challenge acrossmarkets remain overall pulsating with economies is to maintain and strive tofocus on higher speeds, better percent increase in the increase the dirt-cheap margins. And,interactivity, and customer experience. next five years, say Nokia that is where the opportunities forRealistically, it is easy to understand telecom consulting and marketingthat the Churn Management is Siemens Networks’ own organizations and analys ts lie.definitely a very important issue still figures. The Nokia Subscriber base might have beenfor the most part because acquiring a Siemens numbers are sustained or grown, but the revenuesnew customer is much more pricey seem to dip gradually.and unpredictable than retaining the astounding — a 1000- With respect to the extremely low-existing customer base. The latter, fold mobile data traffic margins, it is not difficult to gauge thehowever, could also be equally increase by the year situation when you find analysts usedemanding and complex, but more Price-Earnings (P/E) and Price-to-often than not, cost-effective to both 2020. Sales (Price/Sales) Ratios as measuresthe consumer and the service provider. of valuation; for, some companies have The new generation of consumers little or no profits to speak ofis definitely not as loyal as it used to be unfortunately, especially at this the Wireline-only era. Moreover, And, now, all of a sudden, inadequate‘brand loyalty’ itself cannot be Spectrum poses another big challengecompared at any given moment in India which DoT, the telecombetween a telecom service provider regulatory body, proposes to addressand a financial institution. In the case with ‘Refarming’ the 900 megahertz
  3. 3. guestarticle(MHz) spectrum when operators’ applications. By July, the figure hadlicenses come up for renewal between crossed the 250,000 milestone.2014 and 2025, by including it in the What we see around Distimo and Germany-basedSpectrum Bill in its recommendation. today is everyone doing research2guidance forecast that the Telecom providers are, of course, number of apps on Android Marketnot equally fond of such a everything, everyone would surpass Apple by the thirdrecommendation by DoT because selling everything. But, quarter of 2011, with some 425,000there are reasons to believe that it the biggest brands in the apps. Similarly, in terms of Consumerwould not be appropriate at this point Electronics and Mobile Broadbandwhen you have to be moving all the world are the ones that Traffic, iSuppli reckons globalsubscribers to a brand new network, as do ‘only their thing’ that SmartPhone shipments will double bya consequence, while they are on a 2015 and account for more than half offully functional one already. Let alone reflect them directly and all mobile phones sold.the obvious interruption in current uniquely. At the same time, mobileservice and big investments that will broadband traffic volumes will see abe needed to carry out this change in 2600 percent increase in the next fiveany case, at any given point in time. Positioning’. years, say Nokia Siemens Networks’ Still, we cannot deny the relative For the most part, Indian telecom own figures. The Nokia Siemensgrowth prospects that sound has been doing really well relatively numbers are astounding — a 1000-paradoxical after summing up all the barring the Spectrum Refarming fold mobile data traffic increase by theabove challenges. But, they are true for struggle cited above. But the option of year 2020.sure. I am going to mention the taking a look at the external and To the consumer, mobility is not aexploding Mobile Broadband Traffic distant trends could also guarantee privilege anymore; it is simply anbelow and the figures are mind- significant betterment for the ‘highly ‘extension of access to information’blowing. Whatever be the reason for innovative’ kinds. The face of telecom and telecom providers only need thethis increase in traffic, in the end, is changing by the hour and it is not ‘super value creation’ attitude besidestelecom service providers have both the same simple voice domain the competent technology to win thethe responsibility and the opportunity anymore. Rather, it is a more holistic game. Lack of mobility is rather ato serve the consumer well and make and all-embracing one – with the polite way of saying ‘denial-of-service’money. rising Mobile Broadband Traffic, in today’s competition. Take There is also no denying of the fact dominant Consumer Electronics and a m-Commerce, for example, which hasthat there is a huge potential for the skyrocketing Ultra-Viral Social Media. been considered as the game changer,current generation of consultants in Mobile Applications market, for especially in the developingcross-economy trend-spotting as well instance, is the most astonishing at economies. Even in the developedas for telecom service providers to this moment . Back in March of 2009, ones, it is not yet ubiquitous, probablybootstrap themselves. Most of all, ‘to about 2,300 applications were because of the security-related,find their best identity in the value available on the Android Market, technological and psychologicalchain’ and ‘to be able to innovate according to T-Mobile CTO, Cole challenges. But, once the ice is brokenlightening fast’ have been the top Brodman. And, in May 2011 alone, and it is made easily accessible, there’spriorities of the best players so far and, during the Google I/O, Google no dearth of the wonders thatagain, trend-watching gives the best announced that Android Market listed efficiently run m-Commerce could for thought in terms of both 200,000 applications and had already So, for the winners, it must not just beinnovation and the correct ‘Brand clocked 4.5 billion installed the ‘Next Thing’. Rather, it ought to be EPC&I A MONTHLY MAGAZINE ON ENGINEERING, PROCUREMENT, CONSTRUCTIONS & INFRASTRUCTURE TO BOOK YOUR AD, CONTACT: TEL: 09892313338 / 09820131960 EMAIL: MKTGEPCI@GMAIL.COM / EPCANDI@GMAIL.COM66 |EPC&I|SEPTEMBER 2011
  4. 4. guestarticlea current service provisioning mandate targeted on their main focus, andtop on their priority list to keep ahead ‘focus’ is the key to positioning. The The author is a distinguished Brand Management and Corporateof the rat-race. Narrower and Unique it is, the better Communications consultant with over a Coming back to the trends and for any brand. decade of cross-industrial exposure and haspatterns that Indian telecom Forget about the competition for a been extensively published and exclusivelyproviders can bank upon, first of all, moment. Let us first understand what featured in some of the best internationalfocusing on that one particular we want to achieve, get clarity, publications. He currently provides branding‘differentiating’ Brand Identity, that prioritize our things and then jump in and communication consultation to severalmakes any brand unique – it is just the warfare fully armed. This is one of MNCs, especially on elevating and differenti-too important. What we see around the key findings you instantly get a feel ating their brands and creating more focusedtoday is everyone doing everything, of when you look at a market such as and better perceptions. He writes indepen-everyone selling everything. But, the Canada’s. Each brand has an identity dently for various publications across Asia- Pacific, US/Canada and is a proactive mem-biggest brands in the world are the and a unique personality and that’s ber at many Professional Canadianones that do ‘only their thing’ that where the learning is. And, in Communities and Non-Profit Organizations.reflect them directly and uniquely. abundance!When you talk about a particularproduct or service, it is only thatbrand that comes to the consumer’s 1 Source: and vice-versa. 2 Special Thanks to the Source Cited here: Mr. Ofer Glanz, the Founder of Barak Many of the top executives and Strategic Consulting for his exceptionally interesting insights at ‘Innovate’ that I amtelecom professionals advocaterestricting the number of players to citing here with gratitude. –Asheesh Pandia4-6. The reason behind that is both 3 Citing Source: and plausible. However,from the perspective of brand 4 Citing Source: and positioning, more broadband-traffic-increase-2600-5-years/intellectual bandwidth should be
  5. 5. PLUS Bharat Goenka Conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award /08 india’s first IT magazine for sme business VOLUME 02 | ISSUE 09 | NOVEMBER 2011 | RS. 20/- SME BIZ /45 TREND SETTER /54 SME BIZ /52 D-Link: Owners pride and TCS: TCS Ahead of the NEC: NEC India to Neighbors Envy Curve intensify business in SME SegmentUTM EMBARKED ON ASTEADYGROWTH The UTM market is making steady progress in the Indian market as its appeal increases among enterprises of all sizes and across verticals. /30 01
  6. 6. COVER STORY UTM MARKETUTM EMBARKED ON ASTEADYGROWTHThe UTM market is making steady progress in the Indian market as itsappeal increases among enterprises of all sizes and across verticals.BY SANJAY MOHAPATRAsanjay@smechannels.comS ecuring enterprise systems is a top for deployment and maintenance. Gradually such for customers, which combined with new features, priority, especially in a connected deployments became more common, and the have spurred market growth. here is also a trend world. A fundamental truth for term Uniied hreat Management (UTM) became for service providers to ofer UTM-as-a-service organizations worldwide is that mainstream when analyst irm IDC used it in a from their datacenters, but it is still early. protecting their mission-critical 2005 publication on threat management. “Security consolidation via UTMs representsapplications, sensitive electronic data, and under- he term has since been used to refer to uniied, not just a better security and convenience butlying computing infrastructure is a challenging multi-use security threat management devices. It also opportunities—an opportunity to reduceand never-ending task—a grim scenario wherein helps enterprises reduce the number of vendors, network traic, an opportunity to ease integrationIT and security personnel will always have their manage the ugrade cycle of diferent products and of VoIP and Web 2.0 applications, and an oppor-hands full. simpliies trouble shooting. According to IDC, a tunity to boost IT productivity,” says Shubhomoy With increasing connectivity, a company’s UTM typically comprises a irewall, antivirus and Biswas, Country Director – India & SAARC,vulnerability and risk of security compromises intrusion prevention and detection. SonicWALL.increase manifold. More signiicantly, a shit in With increasing proliferation of connectivity, thehackers’ motivation and the growth in corporate threats and complexities in security management The Market in Indiaespionage have increased the security threat to have grown tremendously. he scope and expanse he UTM market for appliances in 2009 stood atenterprises. herefore, it is not only large enter- of UTM oferings have also kept pace by providing $42.25 million and is poised to keep growing at aprises but even the SMBs that is scurrying for very high-end and sophisticated capabilities. his steady CAGR of 35-40% over the next 3-4 years.cover with robust security products. eliminates the need for systems administrators to he market is slated to cross $100 million by 2012. Earlier security deployments meant point maintain multiple security programs over time. According to a report by research irm IDC insolutions for a variety of requirements such as herefore sophisticated versions of UTMs can October 2008, UTM products, which passed theirewalls, intrusion detection systems, VPNs, ofer much more with capabilities that can manage $1 billion mark in market size in 2007, will makeanti-spam gateways, etc. However monitoring, URL iltering, spam blocking, spyware protection, up 33.6 percent of the total network securitymanaging and scaling them as the enterprise content management, data leakage protection. market by 2012.grows becomes a huge challenge for the technol- Oten these devices ofer centralized monitoring IDC has identiied the UTM market segmentogy department. Over the years, vendors have and management of security deployments across as the fastest growing segment of the broaderstarted clubbing their oferings in order to dif- locations and incident logging. hese multi- network security market globally, and expectsferentiate their products and also to make it easy function security products provide many beneits UTM to represent approximately 30 percent of30 SME CHANNELS NOVEMBER 2011
  8. 8. COVER STORY UTM MARKETment. It further expanded its capabilities for theSRX series with the new AppTrack sotware. “TAKING AN END-TO-ENDBuilding on Juniper’s recently announced AppSe- SECURITY APPROACHcure suite of applications, AppTrack sotware HELPS INFORMATIONprovides tight services integration that enablesapplication-level visibility and improved data SECURITY MANAGERSlows and adds application identiication infor- BUILD REASONABLEmation to the IPS session log. Juniper AppTrack is CONFIDENCE ON THEIRpart of the AppSecure suite of applications, whichprovides business logic denial-of-services preven- SECURITY STRATEGY ANDtion for the the SRX series. DEPLOYMENTS.” Astaro is a relatively new entrant in the Indian BIPIN KUMAR AMIN, PRINCIPLE CONSUL-network security market. he company is still TANT, BORDERLESS NETWORKS, SECRITY,relatively small and is poised for much higher CISCO,growth than other vendors. In the last two years,the company has already built a foundation forexplosive growth in its UTM business. However, automatic updates, patches, and 24x7 technical customers to have higher return on investmentIndia revenue still represents a small percentage support, thus enabling organizations to elimi- and lower total cost of ownership.of its worldwide business, but it is now growing nate upfront costs, providing a predictable cost Integrated security appliances are witnessingrapidly. structure, ensuring quality of service, and the high penetration in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Future “Most of our partners have chosen our prod- freedom to re-evaluate the solution decision at demand from these markets will be strong anduct line for its capabilities and ease-of-use. Since any time. these markets will lead market growth. he lackwe are relatively a late entrant in India market, Nevales Networks closely works with its part- of skilled manpower in these cities makes deploy-our partners typically used some other network ners through regular distribution meets and ment of UTMs a simpler choice due to the inte-security product before, and now use Astaro to promotions in key channel media. “We support grated nature of these devices.realize a broad variety of networking and security our partners with regular training and product In conclusion, the UTM market is on theprojects. he margins our partners make, posi- updates to help them reach out to their customers growth track and the demand for UTM productstions our products as second to none,” says Sunil better,” says Ravishankar. will increase from all sizes of enterprises. his isSapra of Astaro. Astaro solutions are sold more Dominique MEURISSE - Executive Vice Pres- because the security threats are increasingly get-on the basis of value than price, enabling partners iden, NETASQ, says, “Everyone is looking for ting complex and the IT department is lookingto package their services well with the solutions. an integrated security solution to reduce main- for simpler management processes so that theyA service-led approach builds customer relation- tenance costs and have a more comprehensive are able to focus on innovation. At the same time,ship and improves the margins. Aastaro has a control over their network security. We foresee a as enterprises cope with business growth theysolid line up of products with Sophos next gen phenomenal growth in this sector. We at NetASQ will be increasingly looking for simpler and easyUTMs. Cisco looks at the market and customer have UTM products from SOHO to enterprise to roll out solutions, which is an advantage withrequirements from a holistic perspective and class networks¡” UTM solutions as they are easy to deploy. hereofers an End-to-End Self Defending Approach is increasing awareness and understanding inand Integrated Security. As per Bipin Phase I The Future Landscape the market about the beneits of UTM marketsUTM is deined by consolidation: he initial he future UTM solutions are likely to include in metros and smaller cities. here is likely to beintent of UTM is the consolidation of multiple one-stop solutions with features such as irewall, balanced growth from all these market segmentssecurity-related technologies into one system. VPN, anti-virus, anti-spam, IDS and IPS, content with the SMBs demonstrating the strongest appe-Initially, UTM solutions were integrated Firewalls iltering, bandwidth management, multiple load tite for UTM products.with Intrusion Detection/Intrusion Prevention balancing and gateway failover. However, Asheesh Pandia, Sr. Brand Man-Systems (IDS/IPS). Now, most UTM solutions More and more enterprises will look for agement, Communications & PR Professional,also include Anti-X (SPAM and malware) and easier management with plug and play kind of maintains, “he evolution of original irewall isVPN functionality. UTM continues to evolve with capabilities. As more enterprises look to simplify what came up as UTM in early 2000s followed byexpanding functionality. infrastructure management, they will look for all- XTM (eXtensible hreat Management) - as the Nevales Networks ofers small and medium in-one security appliances to ease their manage- threats kept on becoming more dynamic, stealthya secure environment to conduct their business ment burden. and pervasive. Today it is not just the threat parton a ‘pay-as-you-use’ model. Nevales’ platform is UTM solutions will be an integrated ofering that is being addressed by XTM but also greaterdelivered over the Internet with free 24x7 support and will be able to handle blended threats. UTM networking and management capabilities. heand is free from licensing, scalability and mainte- solutions has emerged out of the need to stem the market in India for UTM and XTM seems verynance hassles, thereby providing the best value for increasing number of attacks on corporate infor- promising despite the issue of sustainable difer-money and allowing SMBs to focus on their core mation systems via hacking/cracking, viruses, entiation amongst the various competitors. he listbusinesses. worms—mostly an outcome of blended threats of players has been ever expanding and of course Nevales’s security-as-a-service’ ofering and insider threats. herefore future demand for analysts have positioned the key vendors appropri-bundles everything into a single subscription UTM solutions will be for blended capabilities ately including Fortinet, WatchGuard, SonicWall,fee, including comprehensive security features, to thwart such threats. Such oferings will enable Cyberoam, Quick Heal and GajShield others.”40 SME CHANNELS NOVEMBER 2011
  9. 9. COVER STORY UC UCACT IN UNISON TO TAP SMEOPPORTUNIUnified Communications (UC) has always been the tool of the largeenterprises but with the market slowdown and the growth of the SMEs,it had also come to the space of the SMEs. But the fact is that the ven-dors are not able to understand the market as yet and thus have notbeen very aggressive also.BY SANJAY MOHAPATRAsanjay@smechannels.comI f one goes by the dictionary meaning of As per Frost & Sullivan study, the total size of have budget constraints and they think too much Uniied Communications (UC), it is the the UC market in India will grow more than $1 about interoperability. Secondly, the UC vendors integration of real-time communication billion by the end of 2010 and expected to grow have not been much focussed on the Indian SME services such as instant messaging (chat), manifold in coming times also. Similarly, as per market. presence information, telephony (includ- Dell’Oro Group, despite pockets of weakness Adil Doctor, Director SMB Sales (India), Avayaing IP telephony), video conferencing, call control reappearing, the uniied communications market India, says, “Since, SMEs have limited resourcesand speech recognition with non-real-time com- will expand signiicantly in 2010 as existing ven- they are gradually exploiting the beneits of Uni-munication services such as uniied messaging dors continue to invest and expand their sotware ied Communications to help increase eiciency,(integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). he oferings and Microsot begins to actively push productivity, and sales. However, SMEs or com-evolution of the UC has been gradually over a Lync. panies with up to 999 employees in the Indianperiod time. UC is not a single product, but a When the overall UC market is growing at the subcontinent beneited the most from Uniiedset of products that provides a consistent uniied CAGR of 7.9 percent, the individual components communication.”user interface and user experience across multiple of uniied communications are already witnessing According to a survey by Access Marketsdevices and media types. healthy double digit growth number. For example International (AMI) Partners, Inc. SME in India For the lay man, it is nothing but managing the audio video conferencing market is estimated market spent around US$48.8 million on uniiedcommunications and getting quick and timely to grow at 60%, e-mailing and IP telephony is communication (UC) in 2009.response. he business turnaround entirely growing at 20% and 30 percent CAGR. Majority of this includes enterprise IP tele-depends on the response of the communications. In this scenario, globally SMEs play major phony, applications like telepresence, mobility,A delayed communication or collaboration can role in the growth of UC market. But in India conferencing and collaboration are still used toincur huge amount of revenue loss. herefore, UC the market is yet to pick up because they face a a limited extent by organizations and thereforeis as critical to SMEs as it is to the large enterprises. lot of challenges. he irst and foremost is they comprise only 10 per cent of the market.28 SME CHANNELS DECEMBER 2010
  11. 11. COVER STORY UC facilitate communication across multiple branch “AS SMES HAVE LIMITED locations. It’s important that SMBs are shown RESOURCES THEY ARE how, by streamlining communication infrastruc- ture, they will be able to ind smarter ways to GRADUALL EXPLOITING Y cut travel costs maximize operational eiciency THE BENEFITS OF UNIFIED and improve business & customer strategies. COMMUNICATIONS TO HELP Conferencing and collaboration tools such as video, audio, web conferencing and instant mes- INCREASE EFFICIENCY, saging will account for a majority of the total UC PRODUCTIVITY AND , spending. SALES.” As per Minhaj with the expansion of Uniied Communications from the enterprise space into ADIL DOCTOR, DIRECTOR SMB SALES, AVAYA mid-level and smaller organizations, a growing INDIA number of SMEs are gradually exploring how Uniied Communications has the potential of Asheesh Pandia, Manager Communications, and requirements. he bouquet of UC oferings, increasing eiciency, productivity, and sales. AsSiemens Enterprise Communications (SEN currently available in the market, is so versatile uniied communications applications becomeIndia), says, “UC is precisely as relevant as ‘cost- that any organization, large, medium or small, can more prevalent in the extended workspace, morecontainment’, ROI or productivity to SMEs, as it ind technology that best suits both, its needs and organizations are realizing the associated to the large enterprises. Speciically all those budget. Interestingly, according to a NASSCOM Results documented by Sage Research dem-verticals where the resource size is bigger, travel report, approximately 50-60 per cent of IT spends onstrate a multitude of beneits - both in termsOPEX is higher or communications is process in the country is expected to come from the lour- of employee time savings and inancial savings.critical, they need UC more than others. Also, ishing SMB segment.” Organizations using uniied communicationscategories with proven needs and interest with IT/ Clearly, there is a huge market waiting out clients saved an average of 32 minutes daily perITES, BPO, Petroleum, Manufacturing, Banking there to be tapped and companies are focused on employee because presence technology enabled& Finance, Healthcare and Professional Services addressing it. However, in order to efectively tap staf to reach one another on the irst try.need UC.” this segment, it is important that vendors develop Use of sotphones resulted in an average sav- “UC clearly ofers proitability, savings, customized solutions, which ofer a cost-efective ings of $1,727 per month in cell phone and longimproved decision making, better collaboration and easy to deploy alternative. Indian SMBs are distance charges. Mobile workers also saved 40and mobility to them. Although pure IP adapta- looking at UC as a low-cost tool to communicate minutes each day, enjoyed greater business com-tion is seen more in Greenield projects so far, efectively with customers and suppliers as well as munications convenience, and generated annualoverall, we can see quantiiable growth. Adapta- productivity gains of 3.5 days per year throughtion is rising with the awareness and develop- business continuity impact.ments in security. At this rate, the 100% growth Organizations using uniied messagingdreams over next three years sound real,” he reported that employees saved 43 minutes per dayadded. from more eicient message management while In its February 2009 report, “Market Overview: mobile workers saved 55 minutes per day.Sizing Uniied Communications”, Forrester also Companies using integrated voice and Webpredicts that “companies will deploy enhanced conferencing reported a 30 percent reductionUC capabilities to about 60 per cent of employees in conferencing expenses (by making integratedin functions that will beneit most from embed- conferencing capabilities available in-house andding communications features like wireless and on-network) and an average savings of approxi-video directly into their business applications. mately $1,700 per month in travel costs basis the Minhaj Zia, National Sales Manager, Uniied Sage report.Communications, Cisco India and SAARC, Uniied business communications applicationssays, “Indian SMBs are growing and adding more not only facilitate productivity improvements forbusiness partners nationally and internationally. “UC IS PRECISEL AS Y employees wherever their work takes them, theyWith many of them also opening new branches, RELEVANT AS ‘COST- can also enhance the way in which all employeesnetworking will play an important role in keep- employees connected. According to a Frost & CONTAINMENT’, ROI More speciically for SMBs, the biggest USP ofSullivan study, currently, India leads the SAARC OR PRODUCTIVITY TO opting for UC solutions is the cost savings thatregion’s UC market in terms of total spending and SMES, AS IT IS TO THE they present in terms of travel, communications,better overall awareness of UC. India has a good etc. Many SMBs also appreciate that enhancedpotential for growth of UC applications as dem- LARGE ENTERPRISES.” geographical collaboration that comes with theonstrated by the CAGR of 7.9 per cent during the ASHEESH PANDIA, MANAGER COM- adoption of UC.period from 2008 to 2015.” MUNICATIONS, SIEMENS ENTERPRISE For example, CoStar has made a signiicant He added, “he SMB-potential for UC is tre- COMMUNICATIONS (SEN INDIA) investment in a broadcast-quality video confer-mendous as UC oferings span across budgets encing system from Polycom to connect 3,00030 SME CHANNELS DECEMBER 2010
  12. 12. COVER STORY UCCoStar workers in the US and abroad. hey’veworked hard to build out their network -- dealing “SMES ARE TURNINGwith bandwidth allocation, traic shaping and TO THESE SOLUTIONSend-user training -- to keep users satisied withand using the system. BECAUSE THEY CAN HELP According to CoStar’s Sergio Soto, “When we THEM IMPROVE PRODUC-irst started with video conferencing a few years TIVITY HIGHER RETURN ,ago, we simply wanted a way to reduce travel costsfor our sales team. Now we have developers and ON INVESTMENT (ROI),researchers on both coasts that use our video ENHANCE THEIR CORPO-conferencing rooms eight hours a day.” Video has RATE IMAGE, MAKE BETTERhelped them cut $4-$5M in travel costs. Neeraj Gill, Managing Director, India & DECISIONS FASTER, REDUCESAARC, Polycom, says, “SMEs have always faced COSTS, ETC”an uphill battle when competing with larger, more NEERAJ GILL, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INDIA &established companies. he challenge is even SAARC, POLYCOMmore daunting in the current economy of slowerbusiness growth, reduced sales opportunities,and sometimes lower revenues. SMEs are turn- Telepresence is gaining momentum and has a He added, “Business Octane has gone ahead ining to these solutions because they can help them huge potential in India. he SME market in India terms of innovation with its customized range ofImprove productivity, Higher return on invest- is growing tremendously. he SME segment is Immersive Telepresence Suites & Solutions for thement (ROI), Enhance their corporate image, already a heavy user for virtual collaboration SME segment that will help these enterprises ben-Make better decisions faster, Reduce costs, etc. technologies. he Immersive Telepresence Suites eit from a faster ROI. We had recently introducedCompany-wide Communications,Vendor/Sup- available in the marketplace are majorly suitable CollaboratorPOWERMAXTM an afordableplier Relationships ,Employee Training/Distance for large enterprises given the inancial band- immersive telepresence collaboration suite thatLearning etc are few more points for which SMEs width and quantum of usage in such enterprises. ofers media-rich, immersive dynamic telepres-need the UC solutions.” However, these factors difer for the SME seg- ence experience. he customized suite creates a he other vendor of UC is NEC, which is ment where the demand will be driven by such meeting experience over telepresence which is aspresent in India since 2006 and among other innovations that can replicate in the most efective efective as meeting face-to-face with distant par-products, the company has a strong foothold on manner as possible the experience of immersive ticipants with high deinition studio quality videoUC space. Ravinder Raina, Country Head – Pri- telepresence at reduced costs to vindicate the and high deinition stereo spatial audio, togethervate Network Solutions, NEC India, says, “In the investments being made.” with near actual physical sizing and natural eyepost recession scenario, Uniied Communications contact.”is fast emerging as a business necessity. Large he company has advanced video collabora-organizations and SMBs have become optimistic tion solution: AltraCOLLABORATOR that alsoabout uniied communications and use it for caters to the SME segment; it is a customizableintegrating communication tools with real-time collaboration solution to be retroitted in existingbusiness processes. Over the years, uniied com- video meeting rooms.munications has helped in easing communication Sanjay Manchanda, Director-Microsot Busi-hassles and now, even SMEs have started to realize ness Division, Microsot India, says, “In today’sthese advantages.” fast evolving competitive global market, SMBs He added, “Uniied Communications has come need cost-efective technologies that allow lex-a long way from a simple uniied messaging inbox ibility and adds value to their organization. As anfor email, voice and faxes, to enhanced mobility, initial step towards adopting a UC solution, SMBsmulti-modal mashups of various forms of com- are increasingly turning to Sotware + Servicesmunications. hough, the market for UC tech- solutions to meet the needs of their businesses.nologies is still at its infancy. Currently, the UC Keeping these changing trends and requirementsmarket in India stands at $549 mn, while $321mn “INDIAN SMBS ARE in mind, Microsot announced the launch ofcomes from enterprise telephony that includes GROWING AND ADDING Microsot Online Services last year in India that17% share of contact center applications, 11% will help fulil the communication and collabora-email and messaging, 10% tele-presence and con- MORE BUSINESS PART- tion needs of these small businesses. his suiteferencing while 1% comes from mobility, which is NERS NATIONALL AND Y combines services such as email, ability to chat,still a long way to go.” INTERNATIONALL .” Y work together simultaneously on documents, Similarly, Business Octane is another player have a meeting online and maintain a commonwho contributes large to UC space through its MINHAJ ZIA, NATIONAL SALES calendar at a cost-efective price with lexible pay-large presence in the telepresence space. MANAGER, UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS, ment options” Sanjay Bansal, Chairman of the Board & Man- CISCO INDIA AND SAARC he online services of the company ensures reli-aging Director, Business Octane, says, “Immersive able email communication, work and collaborate32 SME CHANNELS DECEMBER 2010
  13. 13. COVER STORY UC Small businesses. “BUSINESS OCTANE HAS Adil says, “Looking at the current trends, IP GONE AHEAD IN TERMS based systems like SIP; IP PBX and telephony sys- tems are gaining ground. Avaya ofers a platform OF INNOVATION WITH ITS speciically tailored for SME needs, such as Avaya CUSTOMIZED RANGE OF IP Oice.” IMMERSIVE TELEPRESENCE Avaya IP Oice is simple yet sophisticated platform which can also scale to provide UC & SUITES & SOLUTIONS FOR CC features. SMB customer can start small and THE SME SEGMENT THAT add application later as they grow. He adds, “Avaya WILL HELP THESE ENTER- is the worldwide leader in the SME market, with leadership in both revenue and line share. With PRISES BENEFIT FROM A Avaya IP Oice 6.1, the company accelerates uni- FASTER ROI. ied communications and contact center technol- SANJAY BANSAL, CHAIRMAN OF THE ogies in the SME market, helping SMEs compete BOARD & MANAGING DIRECTOR, BUSINESS more efectively, but in a cost-conscious manner.” OCTANE As per Sanjay, Business Octane’s immersive telepresence collaboration suites and customized collaboration solution are equipped with a userfaster with a common library of all documents at Similarly, Cisco also takes SMBs very seriously. interface that allows for simple and elegant use ofone location, engage and ask for opinions using Cisco’s SMB division customizes networking all the functionalities. All the immersive telepres-media-rich presentations and option to switch solutions. hese products and solutions are under ence collaboration suites and speciic advancedvideo and audio with multiple parties and ind the umbrella solution-packs of Cisco Small Busi- video collaboration solution incorporate a newthe right colleague quickly and chat on messenger, ness Pro, Cisco Smart Business Communication revolutionary user interface SimpliUSE+ thataudio or video. System, backed by a host of service & support, and incorporates TeleconnectWIZARD for connect- From the vendors perspective, Siemens is very inancing ofers. ing multiple locations with extreme ease of usagefocused on the SME space. As Asheesh says, “We Channel presence and technical support. Cisco and without any external help. In addition, Busi-highly focussed on it with a comprehensive port- qualiies businesses with less than 100 PCs as ness Octane’s Immersive Telepresence empowersfolio of exclusive UC oferings for this segment. users to collaborate seamlessly with other com-SEN has a track record of consistent product and munication applications. Meeting participantssolution innovation for small and medium busi- whether on audio, desktops, and video confer-nesses. Moreover, our marketing and service/sup- encing sites can seamlessly collaborate with theport are aligned rightly to get us an edge on SME company’s immersive telepresence” As per him, the return on investment with our SEN provides platforms that best suit smaller immersive telepresence suites is so compulsivebusiness - be it integrating uniied communi- that companies can start reaping returns on theircations functionality into Microsot Outlook, investment within 3 to 6 months.launching conferencing from desktop or using On the other hand, Polycom is farming up aexisting infrastructure, such as analogue tele- strategy speciically aimed at the SME segment.phones or entry phones. SEN communications As a part of this strategy Polycom has recentlysystems and platforms support small businesses appointed a global head for the SME segment. hewith up to 500 employees. SEN OpenScape Oice company provides a wide-range of desktop, wire-is the industry’s irst UC application designed less and multimedia communication solutions forspeciically for small- and medium-sized busi- “OVER THE YEARS, small and medium enterprises. For example, Poly-nesses, HiPath 1100 is designed to give high- com SoundPoint IP family of phones leverages theperformance telephony to small/medium sized UNIFIED COMMUNICA- capabilities of SIP-based VoIP networks to deliverbusinesses with up to 140 users and HiPath 3000 TIONS HAS HELPED IN breakthrough voice quality and advanced featuresis our lexible uniied communications plat- EASING COMMUNICA- that make calls more eicient and productive.form that scales from 20 to 500 users. he latest Polycom SoundStation Conference Phones areOpenScape Oice MX is an all-in-one, uniied TION HASSLES AND the industry standard for clear productive confer-communications appliance built upon reliable, NOW, EVEN SMES HAVE ence, serviceable, and manageable OpenSmart STARTED TO REALIZE Similarly, Polycom’s recently introduced QDXarchitecture with network connectivity that sup- 6000 is the irst videoconferencing product of itsports upto 150 users. Among Siemens Enterprise THESE ADVANTAGES.” kind to address the cost-conscious SME segmentCommunications other oferings are OpenScape RAVINDER RAINA, COUNTRY HEAD that at the same time seeks ease of use and highOice Contact Center, Network Infrastructure – PRIVATE NETWORK SOLUTIONS, NEC quality.& Security portfolio and a whole range of voice/ INDIA However, the biggest challenge the SMEsdata/video products and solutions. today face isn’t so much relevant to cost, but the34 SME CHANNELS DECEMBER 2010
  14. 14. COVER STORY UCcomplexity of IT. he interoperability is no morerelevant now as most the vendors have addressedthe issue with open standards based solutions.he lack of awareness and value perception is “UC SEEKS TO BREAKone of the key roadblocks to SME IT adoption. DOWN THE COMMUNI-And, these challenges can only be mitigated bythe aggressive engagement of partners to play a CATIONS SILOS IN THEconsultative role to the customers. Some partners ENTERPRISE AND ADD COL-have already understood the value proposition LABORATION FUNCTIONS.some are not. For example GoIP Global Servicesis one of the channel partners of multi brands SHIV SHARMA, DIRECTOR - STRATEGY &and understand the market very well. hey must ALLIANCE, GO IP GLOBAL SERVICEShave gone through gruelling sessions and haveacquired the knowledge hard way. Shiv Sharma, Director - Strategy & Alliance,Go IP Global Services, says, “Uniied Com- to help SMB customers in each sub-vertical, partner program that focus on their empower-munications (UC) has emerged as an impor- which will help them plan, design and operate ment in terms of knowledge - trainings & certi-tant milestone in the evolution of enterprise business critical networks more eiciently. ication, engagement - partner communication,communications. UC seeks to break down the he Company has also launched a small busi- presence & messaging - marketing and brandingcommunications silos in the enterprise and add ness partner proitability program. Cisco also support, references and rewards & recognition.collaboration functions. Using a diferent tool makes available a lot of product literature and On global level, the company has programs likefor each communications mode (phone, fax, and support material to partners to support their sales ‘Go Forward’ that are meant for channel empow-email) hinders productivity, wastes time, and eforts. In fact Cisco has a separate division called erment and recognition.causes frustration. Business users no longer want the Sales and Marketing Support Organisation Polycom is also working on a strategy to reachto juggle multiple devices and phone numbers, (SMSO) that takes care of the marketing collateral bigger number of SME throughout the country formultiple message stores, and multiple directories needs of the channel partners. which they are appointing more channel partners.when instead they can access multimedia com- Similarly, Avaya in India has been moving hey have 3 distributors and more than 50 chan-munication and collaboration tools in a single towards a High-Touch, channel centric (HTCC) nel partners spread across India. he companyinterface on the desktop. UC breaks down barri- sales model. hey now have two national level dis- will soon appoint some more channel partners toers and integrates communication and collabora- tributors in Redington and Bharti Teletech help- reach out the wide spread SMEs in India. By irsttion tools, making them more easily accessible ing the company reach out to the SMEs across the quarter of 2011, Polycom will launch “Polycomand saving signiicant time and resources.” country. hese distributors further sell to a large Choice Programme” for its channel partners, He adds, “UC solutions, such as Microsot Lync set of System Integration (SI) partners, across which will encompass certiication, growth andServer 2010 typically combine several traditional geographies in India & SAARC. deining the channel partners.communications functions (including presence, he company has a fantastic Channel Partner NEC’s channel network for PNS (Private Net-instant messaging, real-time voice and video Program called “Avaya Connect”, which helps SI work Solutions) is pretty strong including thecommunications and uniied messaging) into partners take advantage of enhanced technical names like Enkay Technologies, Syntel and Intel-an integrated, uniied solution. UC can improve and marketing beneits. his in turn helps them licon. Very recently they have tied-up with Avayaproductivity, accelerate information transfer, and build capability on Avaya Technologies and serve Global Connect Networks as its national distribu-reduce costs. UC solutions, such as Lync Server customers better. tor for the PNS solutions.2010 and Microsot Exchange Uniied Messaging, he company is gung ho about 2011 and has acan also replace traditional PBX and messaging slew of marketing initiatives in the pipeline, one Finally…systems in remote oice locations.” of which is already rolled out. hat is the 6 city he entire assortment of opinion says that most Cisco’s SMB market strategy involves help- Experience roadshows to showcase the integrated of the vendors are ready with SME solutions anding customers create a sustainable competitive product roadmap and Avaya technologies to the they have addressed the pricing and interopera-advantage, improve their operational eiciencies, customers and partner community. bility issues with due care. he only thing they areincrease their employees’ productivity, and ulti- he company is investing heavily in the chan- struggling waiting is the educating the customersmately boost their returns and proitability. he nel partners, by way of partner enablement, about the utility and R0I of the UC solutions. hisstrategy includes focusing on new customised Demo Gear, Ex-Stock product availability, Solu- is surely a challenge and the large vendors shouldSMB products/solutions and inancing schemes tion bundles, Toll free Support line for Pre-sales take the foot forward by engaging the customerslike the Easy Lease program, and the 0% inance & Post-sales, Partners Rewards & Rebates. Avaya in various platforms explaining them about theofering for SMBs. To increase awareness of its has ambitious plans on marketing online, print, beneits, which will include aggressively engag-products and programs among these businesses, road shows for SMB partners who are certiied ing with the partners. Another trend - hostedCisco will continue to invest heavily in partner and invested in Avaya. communication services or cloud services - isenablement and innovative marketing initiatives SEN’s indirect channel structure is extensive also picking up in the market which is very muchsuch as the Network on Wheels and the Sales and and so is its reach. he company has over a hun- relevant to the SME market and it is waited to beMarketing Services Organisation. dred partners with pan-India presence, including seen how the things are panning out. But the sen- Cisco is developing domain speciic solutions tier II cities. he company has also an excellent timent is UC is high with the SMEs.36 SME CHANNELS DECEMBER 2010
  15. 15. TRENDZ ASHEESH PANDIA BRAND MANAGEMENT AND CORPORATE COMMU- NICATIONS CONSULTANT TELE-MIMETICS, TELE- TRENDS AND FOCUS FOR INSPIRATION! On a global level too, most telecom markets remain overall pulsating with focus on higher speeds, better interactivity and customer experience. OVER THE LAST quarter I had been very keting strategies today seems starkly different. And tunities for telecom consulting and marketing fortunate to interview and discuss one-on-one then there remain similarities too in terms of trends organizations and analysts lie. Subscriber base with some of the ‘who’s who’ of Canadian Telecom especially in the Social Media era. According to Mr. might have been sustained or grown but the rev- Industry. What’s most interesting behind the suc- Gautam Nath, one of the best Canadian marketing enues seem to dip gradually. With respect to the cess of many of these leaders and their organiza- knowledge-banks today, who I had the opportu- extremely low-margins, it’s not difficult to gauge tions’ outstanding performance was the extremely nity to meet recently, “Multi-Cultural marketing the situation when you find analysts use Price- simple but fundamentally a profound marketing dynamics is the most sought-after horizon here in Earnings (P/E) and Price-to-Sales (Price/Sales) wisdom. I could easily compare their thought- Canada at the moment” . I feel essentially the rise in Ratios as measures of valuation; for some com- patterns with the likes of Al Ries and Jack Trout, Multi-Cultural Marketing shares a similar pattern panies have little or no profits to speak of unfor- the marketing Gurus and founders of positioning to that of the ongoing ‘Rural Penetration pursuit’ tunately, especially at this time. And now, all of a theory. Most of these interviews were remarkably in India. And yet again, considering that Canada sudden, inadequate Spectrum poses another big insightful not only in terms of where the Cana- wants the largest pipelines at the lowest cost which challenge in India which DoT, the telecom regu- dian or Global Telecom Industry is headed to but definitely would demand more funds, access to latory body, proposes to address with Refarming also in that how just about any geography could global capital market through more relaxed and the 900 megahertz (MHz) spectrum when opera- relate to the other from the cause and effect per- free competition and more incumbents is desirable tors’ licenses come up for renewal between 2014 spective of micro & mega trends and eventually, in not much unlike how it had always been in India and 2025 by including it in the Spectrum Bill in one way or the other, can possibly utilize the end regardless of the competition because population its recommendation. Telecom providers are of takeaways towards their collaborative industrial and the market size is awesome. course not equally fond of such a recommenda- betterment. From marketing standpoint this at On a global level too, most telecom markets tion by DoT because there are reasons to believe first seems tough to assimilate though, let alone remain overall pulsating with focus on higher that it would not be appropriate at this point when to be compared any further. More so, because we speeds, better interactivity and customer experi- you have to be moving all the subscribers to a speak of one of the most dynamic and particularly ence. Realistically, it is easy to understand that the brand new network as a consequence while they now, evermore stirred-up industrial segments and Churn Management is definitely a very important are on a fully functional one, already. Let alone the also when the diversity is hugely evident, among issue still for the most part because acquiring a obvious interruption in current service and big widely different geographies. However, if we refer new customer is much more pricey and unpre- investments that will be needed to carry out this from the standpoint of ‘inspiration’, similar to a dictable than retaining the existing customer change in any case, at any given point in time. Case-study, and not simply ‘adaptation’ because base. The latter, however, could also be equally Still, we cannot deny the relative growth pros- that would be unfair indeed; theories suddenly demanding and complex but more often than pects that sound paradoxical after summing up start making practical sense. In a way, it’s more not cost-effective to both the consumer and the all the above challenges but they are true for sure. like cross-industrial learning, redevelopment service provider. The new generation of consum- I am going to mention the exploding Mobile and collaboration or rather Biognosis and ‘Bio- ers is definitely not as loyal as it used to be in the Broadband Traffic below and the figures are mimetics’. Some may want to research those terms Wireline-only era. Moreover, ‘Brand Loyalty’ itself mind-blowing. Whatever be the reason for this in entirety to get greater insight. The biggest chal- cannot be compared at any given moment among increase in traffic, in the end, telecom service lenges that Canada had faced since inception were a telecom service provider and a financial insti- providers have both the responsibility and the essentially the huge geography, weather conditions tution, in the case of the former; it could be far opportunity to serve the consumer well and make and the diversely growing consumer demography, more casual for the consumer to be flirtatious and money. There is also no denying of the fact that for instance. As a result, the network infrastructure shop around. Another common challenge across there is a huge potential for the current generation maintenance investments went beyond and out of economies is to maintain & strive to increase the of consultants in cross-economy trend-spotting as proportion and hence, the anatomy of basic mar- dirt-cheap margins and that’s where the oppor- well as for telecom service providers to bootstrap 40 SME CHANNELS OCTOBER 2011Trendz-Asheesh Pandia of Tele-mimetics.indd 40 10/23/2011 11:56:56 PM
  16. 16. TRENDS themselves. Most of all, ‘to find their best identity Market would surpass Apple by the third quarter of on their priority list to keep ahead of the rat-race. in the value chain’ and ‘to be able to innovate light- 2011, with some 425,000 apps. Similarly in terms Coming back to the trends and patterns that ening fast’ have been the top priorities of the best of Consumer Electronics and Mobile Broadband Indian telecom providers can bank upon. First of players so far and again trend-watching gives the Traffic, iSuppli reckons global SmartPhone ship- all, focusing on that One Particular ‘Differentiat- best food for thought in terms of both innovation ments will double by 2015 and account for more ing’ Brand Identity, that makes any brand unique and the correct ‘Brand Positioning’. than half of all mobile phones sold. At the same – it is just too important. What we see around For the most part, Indian telecom has been time, mobile broadband traffic volumes will see a today is everyone doing everything, everyone sell- doing really well relatively barring the Spectrum 2600% increase in the next five years, say Nokia Sie- ing everything but the biggest brands in the world Refarming struggle cited above; but the option mens Networks’ own figures. The Nokia Siemens are the ones that do ‘only their thing’ that reflects of taking a look at the external and distant trends numbers are astounding — a 1000-fold mobile data them directly and uniquely; when you talk about could also guarantee significant betterment for traffic increase by the year 2020. a particular product or service, it’s only that brand the ‘highly innovative’ kinds. The face of telecom is To consumer, mobility is not a privilege any- that comes to the consumer’s mind and vice-versa. changing by the hour and it is not the same simple more; it’s simply an ‘extension of access to infor- Many of the top executives and telecom profes- voice domain anymore rather a more holistic mation’ and telecom providers only need the sionals advocate restricting the number of players and all-embracing one – with the rising Mobile ‘super value creation’ attitude besides the compe- to 4 to 6 and the reason behind that is both intel- Broadband Traffic, dominant Consumer Electron- tent technology to win the game. Lack of mobility ligent and plausible. However, from the perspec- ics and a skyrocketing Ultra-Viral Social Media. is rather a polite way of saying ‘denial-of-service’ tive of brand management and positioning, more Mobile Applications market for instance is the in today’s competition. Take m-Commerce, for intellectual bandwidth should be targeted on their most astonishing at this moment . Back in March example, which has been considered as the game- main focus and ‘focus’ is the key to positioning. of 2009, about 2,300 applications were available on changer especially in the developing economies. The Narrower and Unique it is, the better for the Android Market, according to T-Mobile CTO Even in the developed ones, it is not yet ubiqui- any brand. Forget about the competition for a Cole Brodman. And in May, 2011 alone, during tous maybe because of the security-related, tech- moment, let’s first understand what we want to the Google I/O, Google announced that Android nological and psychological challenges but once achieve, get clarity, prioritize our things and then Market listed 200,000 applications and had already the ice is broken and it is made easily accessible, jump in the warfare fully armed. This is one of the clocked 4.5 Billion installed applications. By July, there’s no dearth of the wonders that efficiently key findings you instantly get a feel of when you the figure had crossed the 250,000 milestone. run m-Commerce could do. So for the winners, look at a market such as Canada’s. Each brand has Distimo and Germany-based research2guidance it must not just be the ‘Next Thing’. It rather ought an identity and a ‘unique personality’ and that’s forecast that the number of apps on Android to be a current service provisioning mandate top where the learning is. And in abundance! SME CHANNELS 41 OCTOBER 2011Trendz-Asheesh Pandia of Tele-mimetics.indd 41 10/23/2011 11:56:59 PM
  17. 17. FEATURE CONVERGENCE CONVERGENCE OF TECHNOLOGIES TO PREVAIL As technology progresses and customers seeks to satisfy different needs in one transaction, has led to technology combinations or to put it simply, Convergence. Today, it has become a mainstream phenomenon and the market is embracing the growing convergence technology market. BY KARMA NEGI L ately, we are hearing a lot about convergence. Technologies are converging to bring together a myriad of devices to ease usability and increase effectiveness for the end-user. The form-factors are becoming more compact and portable with providing better processing, efficient storage and easy access capabilities. Today, integration, convergence, whatever you call it, is happening all around us from computing to smart phones and tabs. Datacenters are employing such technologies as they are running out of space and power. With Convergence, they can use the same device for multiple applications by implementing Virtualization and Cloud techniques. Recently IBM announced a new family of data center building blocks called PureSystems with the aim to offer integrated systems. Or take Ora- cle’s Exadata, which has been in the market for quite some time now, and is a complete package of storage, servers, networking and software, which the company says is secure, scalable and redundant. Then there is the HP’s converged cloud solutions. The list is endless. A precursor to most application developments today, the network industry too renders many convergence products like IP Surveillance with 42 SME CHANNELS JULY 2012Convergence.indd 42 19/07/12 9:57 AM
  18. 18. CONVERGENCE FEATURE SME CHANNELS 43 JULY 2012Convergence.indd 43 19/07/12 9:57 AM
  19. 19. FEATURE CONVERGENCE TO BE SUCCESSFUL “IN FACT COST “WITH IN THE OF TECHNOLOGY VIRTUALIZATION CONVERGENCE ADOPTION HAS BEEN AND CLOUD MARKET, ONE MUST JUST GOING DOWN TECHNIQUES, THE UNDERSTAND ONLY. THE LIFE SPAN DEFECTIVE DEVICE THE VARIOUS OF DEVICE TOO HAS CAN BE MOVED BOTTLENECKS OF SHORTENED AND OFFLINE BY HAVING IMPLEMENTING SUCH USERS KNOW THAT.” THE APPLICATION SOLUTIONS NOW SUBIR BHATNAGAR, VP & INSTANCES MOVED AND THE IMPACT GLOBAL HEAD – SOLUTIONS, AGC TO A DIFFERENT AND TURN IT WOULD NETWORKS LTD DEVICE TO MINIMIZE MAKE IN THE NEXT DOWNTIME.” COUPLE OF YEARS.” SRIDHARAN MANI, CEO SUBHASHINI RAMAKRISHNAN, AND DIRECTOR, AMERICAN CTO, DAX NETWORKS MEGATRENDS INDIA. in-built storage and centralized monitoring facili- over, with its role in socio-economic development, making things simpler by making management ties, Network Attached Storage with Surveillance it needs to be observed not only from the technical uncomplicated with consolidation and centraliza- Station, Web Server, Multimedia Station, FTP standpoint but also from that of a ‘developmental’ tion of data or services. Consolidation and cen- Server, etc. one,” he explains. tralization widely contribute to lower TCO and Storage consolidation, also called storage con- Delving more into the meaning of convergence save power thereby increasing ROI. vergence is a method of centralizing data storage Subir Bhatnagar, VP & Global Head (Solutions), Subhashini Ramakrishnan, CTO, Dax Net- among multiple servers/devices.Scanner, copier AGC Networks Ltd, says that there are three works, informs, “Apart from the fact that con- and printer are becoming MFD while multiple critical aspects of experiencing technology—the vergence may influence consumers to accept point security products are becoming Unified equipment or device, applications stored in serv- new technologies, it definitely delivers higher Threat management (UTM) box. ers, network to access these applications. “While efficiency while reducing TCO. To be successful in “As collaboration becomes social, as user the servers are used for running these applica- the convergence market, one must understand the experience goes mobile, and as computing infra- tions, storage devices or systems are used to store various bottlenecks of implementing such solu- structure and platforms migrate to the cloud, the information and data related to these applications. tions now and the impact, and the turn it would convergence of these technologies will create the What convergence does he says is sync up all the make in the next couple of years.” next big wave in the IT industry,” says Salil Godika, three aspects and attempts to deliver a seamless “Convergence helps customers to reduce their CSO and CMO, Happiest Minds Technologies. experience which is also known as virtualization.” TCO on infrastructure management and support. So, does convergence encompass the merging The convergence market is large and growing Helps to implement solutions such as DR2Cloud of technologies, devices and networks? “No,” says as the customer today looks for business specific and have multiple applications running on same Asheesh Pandia, Global Brand Manager, Tyco needs with minimal customization and provi- device and easy to scale up and scale down based International, ON Canada, “Boiling ‘Convergence’ sion for future scalability in terms of technology on demand,” says Sridharan Mani, CEO and down to a simple, one-line definition is difficult and space. Being able to manage a business with Director, American Megatrends India. because it is not only about merging technologies, centralized control and management is a basic “As devices are reduced there will be reduc- devices and networks but it ultimately encom- requirement. tion in power, less carbon emission and hence a passes user experience as well.” Commenting on the size of the market Bhat- greener planet. Turing off devices, instances, pro- “New dimensions of simplicity, integration and nagar informs, “A report quoted the market size cessor cores during off-peak demand time helps to automation are what convergence means to the to be around $35 billion across the globe with a save power and energy,” he adds. users, and eventually, true convergence would predicted growth of minimum 12%. But the way Pandia sees Convergence as all about making mean that customer’s device doesn’t define him convergence is being adopted by enterprises and things simpler, leaner and greener. With smaller anymore. To understand convergence as a process demanded by users I am sure the growth rate can storage footprint, lower cooling, lower power and and way for development is important because it exceed anything around 20%.” simplified management, convergence reduces is a continuous and dynamic phenomenon. More- Vendors agree that convergence does help in TCO to a great extent he affirms. 44 SME CHANNELS JULY 2012Convergence.indd 44 19/07/12 9:57 AM
  20. 20. FEATURE CONVERGENCE “THE MARKET “‘CONVERGENCE’ “AS COLLABORATION IS COMPETITIVE IS NOT ONLY BECOMES SOCIAL, ENOUGH NOT ABOUT MERGING USER EXPERIENCE TO ALLOW ANY TECHNOLOGIES, GOES MOBILE, VENDOR TAKE ANY DEVICES AND COMPUTING UNREASONABLE NETWORKS BUT INFRASTRUCTURE STAND. COMPETITIVE IT ULTIMATELY AND PLATFORMS UPGRADE PROGRAMS ENCOMPASSES USER MIGRATE TO CLOUD, ARE AVAILABLE EXPERIENCE AS THE CONVERGENCE FROM MOST BRANDS WELL.” OF THESE TO HELP CUSTOMER ASHEESH PANDIA, GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES WILL SWITCH FROM ONE BRAND MANAGER, TYCO CREATE THE NEXT VENDOR TO ANOTHER INTERNATIONAL, ON CANADA BIG WAVE IN THE IT WITH LEAST IMPACT.” INDUSTRY.” SUNIL PILLAI, CO-FOUNDER AND SALIL GODIKA, CSO AND CMO, MD, IVALUE INFOSOLUTIONS. HAPPIEST MINDS TECHNOLOGIES. Hence over the years, the reliability of IT hard- hardware side, though they may deny following to eliminate the fear of high cost of technology ware has improved tremendously. Therefore, Pillai such practices. But things might be changing. shift or upgrade. In fact cost of technology adop- explains, most of the issues faced today are on the “Vendors have started to address the lock-in con- tion has been just going down only. The life span soft side like setting and configuration. Hardware cerns of the end user already and they are coming of device too has shortened and users know that,” failure is rare and hence manageable through up with investment protection plans,” says Pandia informs Bhatnagar. replacement process due to low incidence. “Although the focus has to be more on the ‘service’ Coming to challenges, the opinions differ all “In case of critical applications or devices, part of it, both buy-back and time or technology- across the board. While for Ramakrishnan with provision for high availability must be kept in proofing packages will soon be seen more often the ease in use and accessibility for the user comes mind. Most products used in such environments as vendors re-align their product and service the concern for security and availability. As long as have built-in redundancy and 99.99% uptime strategies.” this is kept in mind one is ready to go. Also, proper features,” reminds Ramakrishnan. “Care must be Allaying the vendor lock-in issue Sunil Pillai, management of applications across the WAN can taken at the architecture design level to handle Co-founder and MD, iValue InfoSolutions, help mitigate convergence challenges she says. adequate redundancy. It is advisable to practice remarks, “IT has come a long way over the years. For Mani the business continuity is critical. For and have a disaster recovery plan in place. In fact It’s rare to see offerings only form a single vendor him the biggest challenge would be to ensure that many convergence products have multiple func- for most requirements. Also the market is com- downtime is zero and RPO is minimum. tions to serve as both primary/secondary devices petitive enough not to allow any vendor take And for Pandia overwhelming demand for new individually.” any unreasonable stand. Competitive upgrade policy frameworks, bandwidth, investment and As per Mani, “Ideally, the device would employ programs are available from most brands to help standards for seamless integration are some of the techniques to avoid single point of failure with customer switch from one vendor to another with key challenges. Besides, both organizations and redundancies built-in. If not the case, the down- least impact.” regulators are faced with the vertical and horizon- time will definitely increase. With virtualiza- He further adds that buying criteria should tal integration challenges. “In terms of regulatory tion and cloud techniques, the defective device focus on relevance of the offering to address ecosystem, a competitive market would allow can be moved offline by having the application business and IT challenge. Brand and vendor convergence to expand the most,” he opines. instances moved to a different device to minimize should come after relevance in decision making downtime.” criteria. Finally… With the consolidation of different devices cus- Today, most agree, that neither technology So convergence is not a loose term any more. It tomers more often go for products of more than makers nor connectivity providers are married to is real and happening. The IT industry is already one vendor but there is always the lingering fear of a particular vendor. They all are following a multi seeing the benefits of convergence but the fact vendor lock-in among the end customers. association approach to maximize their market of the matter is that the manageability is not yet The market is replete with vendors accused capitalization. “A lot in both enterprises and con- tested though said to be worry freed. So time will of vendor lock-in both on the software and the sumers is shifting from Capex to Opex model, just tell how it stands in long run. 46 SME CHANNELS JULY 2012Convergence.indd 46 19/07/12 9:57 AM