Server Market in Asia/Pacific almost breaches US$10bn mark in 2013

Server revenues in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region grew a modest 1.3% to total US$9,985 million in 2013, coming in just short of the magical US$10 billion mark.

The modest growth in 2013 was in sharp contrast to the heady 17% growth recorded in 2010 and 2011, fuelled by massive infrastructure buildout by Web 2.0 and cloud service providers in the PRC.  Despite the sharp deceleration in growth in 2013 compared to the previous years, server market in APEJ continued to outperform other regional markets on a worldwide basis.

The PRC, which has increasingly become the bellwether and cornerstone of the APEJ server market since 2008, grew at a much more anemic pace in 2013.  The Web 2.0 and public cloud services providers such as Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba building hyper-scale datacenters, who were responsible for driving the heady demand for servers in the PRC for the past several years, took a breather in 2013 that impacted the spending growth.

Server Market Competitive Landscape Rapidly Changing
The combined revenue share of the top three vendors – HP, IBM and Dell in APEJ has steadily declined from an all time high of 82.4% in 2010 to 70.7% in 2013.  The biggest gains have been made by the Chinese vendors – Inspur and Huawei, on the back of blistering growth in their home market.  Inspur surged past Oracle to take the number 4 spot in revenue market share rankings in 2013, while Huawei’s astounding growth underpinned its entry into the list of top 5 vendor rankings in APEJ.


Worldwide server revenue declined 4.5% in 2013

In the fourth quarter of 2013, worldwide server shipments grew 3.2 percent year over year, while revenue declined 6.6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012. In all of 2013, worldwide server shipments grew 2.1 percent, and server revenue declined 4.5 percent.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, the regions with the highest growth rates in terms of unit shipments were Asia/Pacific (16.3 percent), Japan (7.5 percent) and North America (relatively flat at 0.01 percent). All regions declined in vendor revenue except Asia/Pacific, which grew by 0.6 percent year over year.

HP led the worldwide server market in revenue terms in the fourth quarter of 2013. The company ended the year with $3.8 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter, for a total share of 28.1 percent worldwide. This was up 6.0 percent compared with the same quarter in 2012.

Of the top five global vendors, only HP and Cisco showed growth for the quarter. IBM had the largest decline with a decrease of 28.9 percent.

In server shipments, HP remained the worldwide leader for the fourth quarter of 2013 (see Table 2) with a year-over-year shipment increase of 8.7 percent.

Of the top five vendors in server shipments worldwide, all but Dell and IBM had shipment increases for the period. Huawei exhibited the strongest year-over-year increase with growth of 187.9 percent.

The results for the quarter were centered around x86 server demand, which increased in shipments by 3.8 percent and revenue by 4.3 percent for the fourth quarter of 2013.

Full-Year 2013 Server Market Results
The year of 2013 demonstrated growth in shipments with an increase of 2.1 percent, but revenue declined 4.5 percent with varying geographic results. x86 servers continued to produce some growth as the predominant platform used for large-scale data center build-outs, particularly in North America. Emerging regions like Asia/Pacific and Latin America also added to the growth for the year.

x86 blade servers posted a revenue increase of 0.8 percent and a shipment decrease of 2.6 percent for the year. HP was the 2013 leader in x86 blade server shipments with 40.3 percent market share; Cisco was in second place with 15.9 percent of the market.

The outlook for 2014 suggests that modest growth will continue. These increases will continue to be buffered in the enterprise by the use of x86 server virtualization to consolidate physical machines as they are replaced.

EMEA 4Q13 Results
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), both server shipments and revenue declined in the fourth quarter of 2013. Server revenue totaled $3.6 billion in the quarter, a decline of 6.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012 (see Table 3). Server shipments totaled 613,000 units in the final quarter of 2013, a decrease of 2.5 percent from the same period of the previous year (see Table 4). Server shipments in 2013 declined 5.6 percent to total 2.3 million units, and server revenue dropped 6.3 percent to total $12.4 billion in 2013.

All regions in EMEA showed year-over-year server revenue declines; the greatest weakness was in Eastern Europe, with a 14.1 percent year-over-year decrease. Western Europe declined 4.9 percent, while the Middle East and Africa saw a 6.8 percent drop in revenue.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, x86 server revenue increased 1.4 percent, while RISC/Itanium Unix revenue declined 20.1 percent. Revenue in the Other CPU segment decreased 35.7 percent. Platform migrations continued to impact non-x86-based systems.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, both HP and IBM showed revenue declines. HP’s decline was lower than the market average as it improved its execution and gained market share year over year. IBM had a weak quarter due to its product life cycles, and the revenue decline of 26.4 percent in the quarter made it lose 7 percentage points of share compared with the same quarter in 2012. Dell continued to focus on achieving server growth and — along with Oracle — had the strongest year-over-year revenue increase.

Worldwide PC shipments dips 7% in Q4 2013

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 82.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 6.9 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2012, according to research. This is the seventh consecutive quarter of shipment decline.

HP and Lenovo have been virtually neck and neck for the top global position in the PC market throughout 2013. Lenovo took the lead in the fourth quarter, as it did last quarter, accounting for 18.1 percent of global PC shipments. Lenovo’s victory over the top position became apparent in 4Q13. Lenovo showed strong growth in all regions, except Asia/Pacific, where China continued to be a problematic country for the company. HP experienced a shipments decline of 7.2 percent in the fourth quarter. U.S. and Latin America were two regions where HP could not increase its shipments, and it experienced a steeper decline compared with the regional average.

Dell continued to maintain the third position and accounted for 11.8 percent of the market. With the completion of the leveraged buyout, Dell has redefined its strategic focus onto its PC and device businesses. Dell’s focus is now beyond its traditional strength in the professional PC market; its focus is now also on consumer PCs, particularly in emerging markets.

Acer and Asus’s ranking remained unchanged compared with a year ago. Both companies have more focus on tablets, and their fourth-quarter results clearly proved their strategic focus. Ms. Kitagawa said Acer has established a strong position in the Chromebook market, while Asus has built a solid reputation as a tablet vendor. PCs are still strategic products for both companies, but share gain is not the top priority for them.

In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 15.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 7.5 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2012 (see Table 2). Despite a 10.3 percent decline in shipments, HP continued to be the No. 1 vendor in the U.S., as it accounted for 26.5 percent of shipments.

PC shipments in EMEA totaled 25.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 6.7 percent decline from the same period last year. However, the decline was less steep than the last seven quarters. All areas of the region — Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa — showed a shipment decline. Shipments in Eastern Europe were driven by the professional segment, as companies had to finalize IT spending for the year. Consumers replaced PCs only on a needed basis, as many new form factors had limited availability or were priced about the average vs. traditional notebooks. Tablets, especially Android-based, were a popular holiday present and average selling prices (ASPs) for them continued to decline and attract consumer spending.

PC shipments in Asia/Pacific totaled 26.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 9.8 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2012. Buyers did not place a priority on PC purchases, preferring to spend on alternative devices such as smartphones. Some continued to delay their purchases of a PC as their requirements, such as entertainment and information access, can be addressed by other devices, such as tablets.

For the year, PC shipments were 315.9 million units, a 10 percent decline from 2012. This is the worst decline in PC market history, equal to the shipment level in 2009. Lenovo took over the top spot in the global PC market, accounting for 16.9 percent of the market. HP moved into the second spot after experiencing shipment decline of 9.3 percent.

Nexus of Forces will drive more than 26% of total enterprise software

Enterprise software buying is increasingly shaped by the Nexus of Forces, according to research. Technology providers must realize that the disruptive forces of cloud, information, mobile and social will reach mainstream status in 2014 and create new technology requirements, drive new purchasing and establish new competitive realities.

While the use of collaboration technologies, data analytics, mobile devices and software as a service (SaaS) has been in effect for more than a decade, their adoption and popularity have increased significantly over the last few years. Vendors’ offerings continue to improve, and usage benefits are becoming more tangible. It is expected that new revenue generation and growth rates derived from the Nexus of Forces’ impact on enterprise software markets will far outpace overall market growth through 2017.

Cloud-Based Services

Cloud and SaaS popularity and adoption have continued to increase since 2008. Buyers are under pressure to mitigate operational costs, evaluating less-capital-intensive alternatives and more modern software. In addition, annual increases in technical support and maintenance fees and business disruption because of upgrades from suite vendors are prompting IT managers to evaluate other options and vendor choices.

Cloud-based offerings need to be tailored to specific needs and requirements. First-time purchases are commonly characterized by short time frames, limited computing requirements, and line-of-business or departmental buying. More comprehensive and mature usage of cloud-based offerings is more strategic and frequently represented by long-term projects to transform technology access/use with oversight and funding from IT management.

Information, Analytics and Content
While business intelligence (BI) and analytics have been a top CIO priority for years, recent purchasing patterns show that spending with CIOs is in more of a “wait and see” mode. Most net new spending is currently driven from outside the IT department. BI, analytics and data analysis are well-established for most large companies in traditional subject areas, such as finance and sales, but there is still extensive growth potential for diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive projects.

The emerging data-as-a-service trend is anticipated to significantly grow the market for BI and analytic platforms. Today, the business model is largely “build” driven. Organizations license software capabilities to build analytic applications. However, organizations increasingly will subscribe to industry-specific data services that bundle a narrow set of data with BI and analytic capabilities embedded.

Enterprise content management (ECM) can be viewed as both a business-IT strategy as well as a set of software technologies. As an IT strategy, ECM helps organizations take control of their content and, in so doing, boost effectiveness, encourage collaboration and make information easier to share. As software technologies, ECM consists of applications for content life cycle management that interoperate, but that can also be sold and used separately.

Mobile and social forces are frequently leveraged for new ECM projects with purchasing from line-of-
business managers and marketing/sales groups. New strategic and sophisticated ECM initiatives are being funded at the CxO level to focus on information governance and regulatory compliance requirements.

Emphasis over the next few years will be on providing enterprise-class support for mobile data and applications, rising on top of the existing enterprise mobile architectures. This will be driven by key technologies, such as enterprise mobile management systems (EMMSs), mobile containers, enterprise application stores and mobile collaboration.

Tablet and mobile users are demanding mobile device applications that exploit the capabilities of these devices and that can integrate into existing corporate systems. This trend is pushing the application software market in a new direction, and a mobile application product strategy has become a strategic imperative for all application vendors.

Social and Collaboration
The promise of the converging social, mobile, cloud and information forces is directly relevant to delivering successful collaboration and social software initiatives.

For many organizations, first-time internal usage of social and collaboration software is primarily focused on individual and small-group communication and sharing. For organizations that are looking to move from an initial or trial phase to a richer experience and more sophisticated stage of usage, emphasis shifts to focusing on collaboration in the context of work activities. This includes enterprise-level commitments for collective intelligence, community building, knowledge sharing and virtual teaming as key drivers of expanding and enhancing usage. IT managers need to work with their users so that social and collaboration software blends naturally with the tasks they need to carry out every day.

Cyberattack fear could leave cos exposed to security risks

Recent publicity about cyberattacks and data security breaches has increased IT risk awareness among CIOs, chief information security officers (CISOs) and senior business executives. Surveys found that fear of attack is causing security professionals to shift focus away from disciplines such as enterprise risk management and risk-based information security to technical security. This shift in focus is driven by fear, uncertainty and doubt, which often leads to reactionary and highly emotional decision making.

IT risk management programs and approaches differ by industry and by company, according to the unique business needs and requirements that an IT organization must support. The spectrum of IT risk management program activities enables one or more of the following five functions:

  1. Technical security
  2. Risk-based information security
  3. IT operations risk — formalized risk management across multiple disciplines, such as security, privacy, business continuity management (BCM) and compliance
  4. Operational risk — IT operations risk plus business operational risk, supply chain risk and more
  5. Enterprise risk management — operational, credit and market-risk-centralized function with executive and board-level visibility

Organizations that either shift away from risk-based disciplines or simply fail to adopt them will find themselves at the mercy of the fear-uncertainty-doubt trap. The survey results showed movement away from these disciplines, with only six percent focused on enterprise risk management in 2013 versus 12 percent in 2012.  As IT risk profiles and postures change in the future, an inevitable shift in focus back to these risk-based disciplines will need to occur. If not, IT organizations may find that more-critical, emerging risks will remain undetected, and the company as a whole will be left unprepared.

While this can lead to negative management behaviors, it can also lead to positive budget impacts for an IT risk management program. In the short term, this can be a benefit to the program through the ability to add staff and resources to an area that is typically cost-constrained. In fact, 39 percent of this year’s survey respondents have been allocated funds totaling more than seven percent of the total IT budget. That compares with only 23 percent of survey respondents receiving a similar amount in 2011.
However, the added budget resources are not a given for future years. Unless there is a strong IT risk management program in place to support the future need for similar levels of budget allocation, the resources will soon evaporate. Determining the IT risk management program’s current level of maturity, as well as the desired state of maturity, is a great first step to building a strong program. Gartner recommends that CIOs, CISOs and senior business executives assess the current maturity of their IT risk management program, and create a strategic road map for risk management to ensure continued funding.
At the management levels, IT risk management governance is weakening. Compared with earlier 2012 surveys on the use of IT risk management steering committees, many companies are shifting away from formal risk management governance structures. Overall, in 2013, 53 percent of survey participants reported using either informal IT risk management steering committees or none at all. This compares with 39 percent in 2012.

Mr. Wheeler said that regular communication about emerging IT risks with board members and business leaders will result in better decision making and, ultimately, more desirable business outcomes.

Survey participants also indicated that progress is slowing to link IT risk indicators and corporate performance indicators. Not only did activity supporting the formal mapping of key risk indicators (KRIs) to key performance indicators (KPIs) decline by seven percent from 2012 to 2013, but mapping also ceased altogether for 17 percent of survey respondents in 2013, versus eight percent in 2012. Again, this shift in activity could very well be a result of the FUD-based, emotion-driven approaches.

Govt IT Spending in India on pace to reach $6.4bn In 2013

Government IT spending in India will reach $6.4 bn US Dollars (USD) in 2013, a 7 percent increase over 2012, according to research.

This forecast includes spending by government (government is composed of state and regional government and central government agencies.) on internal IT (including personnel), hardware, software, external IT services and telecommunications.

Internal services will achieve the highest growth rate amongst the spending categories – forecast to be 12.8 percent in 2013. Internal services refer to salaries and benefits paid to the information services staff of an organization.

The information services staff includes all company employees that plan, develop, implement and maintain information systems. Software will achieve a growth rate of 10.5$ in 2013 to reach $709 million USD in 2013, up from $642 million in 2012, led by growth in vertical specific software (software applications that are unique to a vertical industry. These are stand-alone applications that are not modules or extensions of horizontal applications).

After years of exporting IT outsourcing (ITO) and business process outsourcing (BPO) expertise across multiple verticals globally; many large ICT companies in India are now increasingly looking inwards and targeting the Indian government ICT market. The ICT industry will benefit from various eGovernment projects, which are part of the National eGovernance Plan, with investments in 31 Mission Mode Projects like Unique Identification Authority (UIDAI), which is delivering ‘Aadhaar’ numbers (a target of covering over 600 Million citizens by 2014). UIDAI aims to work with various partners in setting up infrastructure for authenticating and confirming digital identities for several purposes such as for Aadhar enabled payment systems.

Further information on government sector IT spending is available in the Gartner report, Forecast: Enterprise IT Spending for the Government and Education Markets, Worldwide, 2011-2017, 3Q13 Update and the vertical industries forecast, “Forecast: Enterprise IT Spending by Vertical Industry Market, Worldwide, 2011-2017, 3Q13 Update” The forecasts provide total enterprise IT spending, including internal spending and multiple lines of detail for spending on hardware, software, IT services, and telecommunications for vertical industries and 43 countries within seven geographies.

Internet users expected to grow by 180 million by 2020

After a hectic day of power packed presentations and discussions, day two of India Retail Forum 2013 (IRF) being held at Renaissance Hotel, Mumbai, began with a much needed session on the 24/7 mantra of retail success. One of the senior most Art Of Living practitioners and teacher Ms. Rajita Kulkarni guided the audience through a session on “Transformational Leadership for Excellence”- a unique program to provide tools to enhance skills that foster greater energy, clarity of mind and a passionate commitment to personal and team excellence.

The debate then moved on to ways to grow beyond the four walls where retailers discussed how success gets noticed when you are able to scale your venture and how to do it through a profitable model.  The audience got to understand from the leaders who have witnessed and overcome the challenges.

The key take away from this session is that while growth beyond a certain limit can be hectic, the focus on sustainability and profitability, aligning with the environmental intricacies and adherence to basic principles of financial accounting is the key to a long term growth of the retail ventures.

Atul Ahuja, Vice President – Retail, Apollo Pharmacy started with an interesting remark that “Retail has become more about logistics than conventional retailing. Having sensed this earlier, we almost outsourced the backend supply chain and focused on the fundamental driver – How to break-even the new stores as soon as possible. The flip side of the strategy is that the focus on new stores often undermines the operational and profitability improvements of the existing stores. Hence the revised strategy is to create a new division whose only focus is to open a new store and break-even in the first year. Making sure that learning from mistakes are back-fed into the system has also been instrumental to the growth”.  He also added that, “the focus of the firm should be on Return-On-Capital-Expended (ROCE) rather than profitability as a better level of control for growth”.

Focus on Unit Economics, Return Metrics and Scale are the critical things that will make a business profitable was a strategy identified by Mr. Deepesh Garg, MD, O3 Capital.

Vikram Bhatt, Director, Enrich Salons & Academy shared an insight that one needs to aim for speedy and focused transition for breaking even.  For example, opening two stores in a city does not justify set up cost, rather taking a clustered approach helps improve the returns of scale. With optimize training, infrastructure costs, the asset beta improves very fast. He also stressed on aligning the promotional campaigns with the preferences of the locality around each store.

Devang Sampat, Head – Operations & Strategy, Cinepolis opined that in order to expand beyond the four walls, you need to first understand your four walls and gain control over them. It is crucial to think about and seek clarity about what business you are in, how you make profit, how do you want to grow. He shared that for Cinepolis it was important to decide whether they are in movie-selling business or pop-corn-selling business to propel the entry and growth in India. They took a long time to enter India, but entered with full conviction on what their ultimate goal was. One of the key strategies for Cinepolis is to evaluate how much space the city has for a new multiplex before they jump in.

When asked to define the flagship store, the panel almost unanimously emphasized that the flagship stores are aimed at brand-building and creating aspirational value that gets propagated to tier 2 cities and rural markets. Having said that, the panel also noted that it is important that the flagship store achieves a break-even point and is not seen mere as a cost center by the management. The money spent on flagship stores should be construed as the advertising and marketing expenses.

The power packed session on E-commerce brought together industry players from varied fields who discussed and educated the audience about e-commerce and how to grow the online retail ecosystem- the 24/7 mantra of retail success.

Harminder Sahni, MD, Wazir Advisors started the panel discussion with highlighting the issues which have been tailgating ecommerce since 1998, summarizing the online retail industry, mentioning that it has been an exciting ride for online retailers as well as people watching the industry from far as consumers and offline retailers. Though a lot of players are coming in, the number is still not sufficient enough. Many large players in the offline retail are not coming online, whether through the multi-brand route or the specialty or marketplace route. The major talk with respect to online retail has been with respect to the ecosystem. Ecosystem does not mean only technology or logistics or customer services, but also policy, availability of talent and professional tools to manage businesses.

Latif Nathani, MD, eBay India, shared couple of very interesting facts for eBay: 120 million customers, presence in 100 countries, in their 9 years in India they have 5 million registered buyers, 4306 business hubs, over 45000 sellers. On being asked where India stood in the global ecommerce scenario, he mentioned that there is a big difference in the way ecommerce has evolved in India when we compare it to, say, the US evolution story. In the US, people were already comfortable buying through catalogs, and switching to online was not a big cultural change for them. The ecommerce cycle in India is being compressed and cultural changes like reliance on touch-n-feel buying or credit card acceptability would take time to get incorporated. So a big hurdle is not only trust but comfort of the customer too. He shared that their strategy is to not own the inventory but provide the platform and marketplace for sellers to find consumers for their products.

What were the challenges in the ecommerce ecosystem? Richa Kar, Founder,, responded by presenting the customer perspective of online shopping. is an online lingerie store, and they faced a big hurdle of consumer behaviour when they started – lingerie buying online was unheard of. But since offline buying was an uncomfortable experience, people were waiting for a better experience, and they are now finding it online. caters to a long tail category of lingerie and innerwear, where offline retail has a limitation of choice. Her challenge is to find out how long it will take to get woman users online, same day delivery, reverse pickup, how to keep merchandise fresh in a category where there is no innovation. Also, hiring from the offline retail industry was an issue as people were not comfortable with the frequently changing promotions and merchandize.

Rajiv Prakash, Founder, NEXT IN, talked about the customer acquisition cost and his views on the issue. He compared the online acquisition cost to the offline one, stating that the online sphere had an advantage as it was like “clay which can be molded anyway you want it.” The marketplace concept of e-tailing was an important stage of the ecommerce industry, and the main face of e-tailing was now Choice of Selection. Infrastructure issues were not that big, as these can easily be tackled by new entrants, in fact, this was a big business opportunity which people are now utilizing.

Manmohan Agarwal, Co-Founder & CEO,, commented that the achievement of the online retail industry has been phenomenal. Issues like customer and retailer mind-set were being addresses continuously and successfully. The next real growth now would be from Tier 4-6 cities, and the challenge would be how to reach them, both from connectivity and logistics perspective. Time poverty of consumers is increasing and the industry should not worry too much about customer acquisition costs. Any customer acquisition is actually for the industry, not just for a particular retailer, and costs of acquisition would drop significantly by 2015 with increased participation by already comfortable audience. Also, online retail can reach Tier 4-6 areas much better than offline channel, giving it a bigger advantage.

The need is to better understand your target segment, and present your value proposition.

The session on understanding the 80:20 principle and how you can your turn fad customers to loyal customers was moderated by T P Pratap, CEO, QwikCilver.

Pratap highlighted that prepaid service to customers is like a barometer of customer trust on a particular brand. The formal Indian Loyalty program industry is about 2000 Crores, of which about 70 % is oriented towards corporates. In US retail sector, prepaid business is a $150 billion industry. Consumers pay in advance for a service and therefore ecosystem is very important and technology plays a very important role in this.

Vinay Bhatia, CCA & VP – Marketing & Loyalty, Shoppers Stop discussed on how the loyalty program for customers has increased the business. He mentioned, “We have done a few basic things correctly. Prepaid card business is one of those. Citizen loyalty customer program yields 70% of our revenues and a lot more can be done in this segment. Cell phone segment is the potential future opportunity to get into the prepaid business. In India, festive based gifting is still a prevailing practice and it will continue for times to come”.

Nihar Ranjan Ghosh, ED – Human Resources, Retail, Spencer’s discussed how do employees operating at the store level make an impact in improving overall sales in a prepaid segment. Mr. Ranjan added, “It is very important to realize that customers have chosen us over others to receive a service by prepaying for the service. You might have the best technology that can be leveraged to cater to the needs of the regular customer. However when you have a prepaid customer, you are forced as a retailer to give the customer a stellar service. The customer has given up the right of choice and so expects a lot more for this “sacrifice” that they have made”.

The session concluded by highlighting that prepaid programs need to be driven from the top. The potential is huge as it has a potential 80% of the revenues can come in from 20% of the size of prepaid business. The secret is having a commitment, which is driven from the top and this belief has to be percolated to the entire organization. Everybody including the last in line front line guy will need to live by this concept.

In a session on International Leadership Guru Speak by Carol Talbot an NLP expert, master trainer and bestselling author, UAE, during the fast paced, high energy interactive session urged the retailers to discover the secrets of YOUR inner leader. What most organizations need are people who can face fear with courage, getting results is the most important. Alignment between your values & results can be like rocket fuel. Carol further highlighted what you think inside offers results on the outside. One should focus on what one wants and say it the way one wants.

The day moved ahead with a session on what every CEO should know about new-age marketing tools and it not being an optional anymore. New media and the use of new media as a marketing tool is becoming more and more relevant every day. Consumers are now leading conversations that can define brand. As the industry value chain is becoming more and more digital, it is essentially to understand the major drivers to a successful new media strategy.

Ms. Asha Sekhar, General Manager – Integrated Marketing Communication, Coca – Cola India started the conversation by emphasizing the importance of ‘listening to customers’ and using the information to drive targeted marketing effort. Coke Studio in India is the result of one such measure. By listening to their customers Coca – Cola found that there is an increasing appetite for alternative music among teenagers. So Coca – Cola not only engaged customers in Coke Studio’s fusion music but also allowed them to download content related to Coke Studio. Ten million downloads of Coke Studio content has been reported which re-establishes the power of social media as an effective tool for branding building.

Rahul Singh, Founder & CEO, The Beer Café claimed “Beer is a social product”. While a debate can be easily conducted on the social impact of beer, the beer and beach study described by Rahul was very pertinent for marketing. The value that the same customer on the same beach derives from the same beer served in two different outlets – one a resort and the other a shack, is quite different. Hence customers do not have a problem in paying different prices for the same product. The bigger question is beer being beer (i.e., an item which cannot be promoted or advertised on conventional media), how do people like Rahul promote their products and services? Rahul claimed that social media being a grey area for governmental policies provides a good platform to spread the awareness of their brand and reach out to customers with offers and promotions.

The subject of discussion shifted to discounts and the promotion of discounts through social media. Almost all the panelists agreed that no retailer in India can survive without providing discounts. The discounts offered online are higher in magnitude as the associated operational costs are much low as compared to brick and mortar. At the same time the panelists agreed that any discount offer should be properly crafted so that it does not alter the value perception of the product in the minds of the customer.

Social media is not only about positive impact and brand awareness; it can equally multiply negative impact by spreading negative news in hours. In such scenarios the solution is not to step out of social media but to be candid about the event and use honest communication through social media to retain customer trust.

One of the objectives of marketing is to create brand ambassadors. Perhaps employees are starting point of creating great brand ambassadors. Social media can play a big part in engaging and empowering employees to be brand ambassadors and influence customers. Perhaps a topic for next year’s IRF!

The session on developing the right strategy for taking your brand to the pinnacle of retail success, emphasized on bringing the strategy and branding into context.

Sandeep Ahuja, MD, VLCC, mentioned “branding in the 80s was very different – branding was created by day to day functioning.  Now branding requires various other attributes. VLCC was built by consistency of communication across various channels as a slimming company. The communication was building the sales and brand was built automatically”.

Sukanya Dutta, MD, Swarovski India says, “We start with an image & try to keep the image consistently”, Swarovski deems customer mind space as self-indulgence, feeling beautiful, bright in image but not in bright jewellery, we don’t talk of price, it is just beautiful things. In premium, you tend to take a position. There are no doors only open displays”.

Ram Iyer, Executive VP – Retail, Vodafone shared interesting insight into difference between Vodafone stores in big cities and mini stores in small towns. Lal dukan use to have branding in English & was intimidating for customers, so they changed the language, now sales person speaks local dialect.

Dharmendra Manwani, CEO, Jean Claude Biguine shared his mantra for successful branding and differentiated between advertising, PR and branding. He said trust comes from delivering on time and value system and purpose. Internal communication is important and it leads to value system.

The session on retail impressions: International brands perspective in India showcased the “Top 3 challenges” that international brands face when they operate in India.

Vineet Gautam, Country Head, Bestseller – Jack & Jones, mentioned that the consumption is low and the per customer buying power is lower. Due to this, the consumers don’t switch through their wardrobe as quickly as the consumers do in other markets.

Scarcity and availability of premium retail space is a big concern. This coupled with high cost of retail space creates an economic disparity in terms of buying power for the consumer. He is convinced the e-commerce is the future growth opportunity since it negates the high costs of real estate and allows for a farther reach than a traditional shop, says Rajesh Jain, Director & CEO, Lacoste.

Manish Kapoor, COO, French Connection mentioned that the challenge is in scaling up the business to ensure the business is sustainable and the promise of the large consumer base comes true. While doing so it’s very important to ensure that your brand credentials are kept up and you don’t dilute it during the initial stage.

PC sales in India records new high

The overall India PC shipments for Q2 2013 stood at 3.53 million units i.e. a substantial year-on-year growth of 24.0% over Q2 2012 and a quarter-on-quarter surge of about 30.2 % over Q1 2013.

On the other hand, the consumer market in Q2 witnessed a marginal growth over Q1 2013.

In terms of vendor share, HP recorded its highest ever quarterly market share with an exceptional 34.1% share in Q2 2013. Delivering an outstanding performance, HP stayed dominant across all segments in commercial and  consumer PC business in India.

Dell took the second place with a share of 11.0% in Q2 2013.  Acer took third spot with market share of 10.4%. Acer continues to thrive in government and education projects spread across the country. The vendor executed large deals in the states of Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, which fuelled their growth in the commercial PC market in Q2.

Q3 has historically witnessed strong consumer buying in lieu of forthcoming festive season in various parts of the country. This is also well aided by the back-to-school/college season and related campaigns undertaken by vendors and partners across different regions. IDC expects 2013 to be no different.

NASSCOM helps persons with disabilities find dream jobs

Enhancing employment opportunities for persons with disabilities is one of the main concerns of the disability sector in India. NASSCOM Foundation has been promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the IT-BPM industry for several years.

Continuing its efforts, NASSCOM Foundation in association with Kalasalingam University, Srivilliputtur, organized a recruitment drive for the first batch of B.Tech., Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering B.Tech. graduates with hearing impairment from  the university.

As many as 63 candidates from the batch participated in this drive which was supported by companies like Sutherland Global,CGI and Integra Solutions.

Kalasalingam University, Srivilliputtur had started this innovative six-year B.Tech program for hearing impaired students to enable them to go for well-equipped and relevant jobs in the industry. It represents the Asia’s first effort to educate the hearing impaired within a technical university, training them to be at par with other engineering graduates.

Commenting on the occasion, Rita Soni, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation said “We have been sensitizing the industry for inclusion of persons with disabilities and have seen encouraging responses, not on the basis of compassion but on the basis of competence of the candidates. Kalasalingam University’s targeted initiative, uniquely supports inclusion with relevant technology and more time for students with hearing impairment. We are thrilled to have this partnership!”


90% cos underestimate volume of malicious software

Most companies greatly underestimate the number of new malicious programs appearing daily, and only 6% recognize the true scale of the threat, according to the 2013 Global Corporate IT Security Risks survey conducted by analytical authority B2B International and Kaspersky Lab in spring this year. According to Kaspersky Lab, nearly 200,000 new malware samples appear around the world each day. Asked to estimate this figure, 90% of global participants in the survey named a lower figure; 4% guessed too high and only 6% gave an accurate estimate.

The highest levels of malware awareness were found among respondents in the Middle East, where 24% of companies gave accurate estimates. At 4%, the lowest levels of malware literacy were found in Russia. In other regions, including North and South America, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific, the percentage of companies with accurate estimates ranged from 5% – 7%.

Remarkably, the results of this same survey revealed that an average 66% of companies had experienced at least one attack involving malware in the previous 12 months. The companies most frequently targeted in those attacks were located in South America (72%), Russia (71%), North America (70%), Asia-Pacific (68%) and Western Europe (63%) — in other words, the regions demonstrating relatively low levels of education about the number of new malicious programs emerging daily.

While a company’s ability to accurately assess daily malware volumes is not necessarily an indicator of preparedness to counter cyber-attacks, it’s reasonable to suggest that better informed organizations are more capable of assessing risk and making the most suitable choices when it comes to protecting IT infrastructure – such as implementing Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business. The product includes targeted, developed features that work not only to protect a company’s IT infrastructure, but to manage it as well.

Kapil Sibal launches e-Gov Appstore

Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India, launched the pilot e-Gov application store. This e-Gov Appstore has been designed, developed and hosted by DeitY through NIC. The Appstore will being functional efficiencies in the government and enable citizen to receive services in more streamlined manner. Inclusion of IT is governance aims to reduce uncertainty and improve transparency” said Sibal on the occasion.

The e-Gov Appstore aims to be a National level common repository of productized applications, components and web services that can be used by various of government agencies/departments at Centre and in the States. This will enable acceleration of delivery of e-services as envisaged under NeGP and optimise the ICT spending of the government.

Core and common applications that have high demand and are replicable across the central and state levels would be available on the e-Gov Appstore, which shall be hosted on the National Cloud.

Currently 20 Applications, 8 Components and 1 Web Services are hosted. These applications are sourced from 8 distinct States / UTs and provide a gamut of G2C/G2B services. Going ahead, the applications will be productized and made available on the e-Gov Appstore for use

The present version of the e-Gov Appstore has the following features: (1) Sharing of applications (2) Search for applications (3) Provides basic information about an application on selection (4) Allows users to provide feedback and rate an application (5) Has two level approval process for contributing applications (6) Allows authenticated users to download application for consumption

This e-Gov Appstore will be augmented to include applications and components developed by various departments and agencies at Centre and States and by private players; and a complete eco-system will be established (including mechanism for funding, charge back, contract management, SLAs) and will become a part of the GI Cloud initiative under Government of India.

Worldwide devices to reach 2.4bn units in 2013

Worldwide devices (the combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones) are on pace to total 2.4 billion units in 2013, a 9 percent increase from 2012, according to research.

Device shipments are forecast to continue to grow, reaching more than 2.9 billion units in 2017, but the mix of these devices will significantly change over the forecast period.

The proliferation of lower-priced tablets and their growing capability is accelerating the shift from PCs to tablets.
As a result, the traditional PC market of notebooks and desk-based units is expected to decline 7.6 percent in 2013 This is not a temporary trend induced by a more austere economic environment; it is a reflection of a long-term change in user behavior. Beginning in 2013, ultramobiles will help offset this decline, so that sales of traditional PCs and ultramobiles combined show a 3.5 percent decline in 2013.

Worldwide tablet shipments are forecast to total 197 million units in 2013, a 69.8 percent increase from 2012 shipments of 116 million units.
In the shares of operating systems (OSs) in device sales, the shift to mobile and the fight for the third ecosystem becomes more evident. Android continues to be the dominant OS in the device market, buoyed by strong growth in the smartphone market. Competition for the second spot will be between Apple’s iOS/Mac OS and Microsoft Windows.

Tablets are not the only device type that is seeing aggressive price erosion. Smartphones are also becoming more affordable, driving adoption in emerging markets and the prepay segment in mature markets. Of the 1.875 billion mobile phones to be sold in 2013, 1 billion units will be smartphones, compared with 675 million units in 2012.

Worldwide IT spending to reach $3.8trn in 2013

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.8 trn in 2013, a 4.1 percent increase from 2012 spending of $3.6 trn, according to a recent survey. Currency effects are less pronounced this quarter with growth in constant dollars forecast at 4 percent for 2013.

Worldwide devices spending (which includes PCs, tablets, mobile phones and printers) is forecast to reach $718 billion in 2013, up 7.9 percent from 2012. Despite flat spending on PCs and a modest decline in spending on printers, a short-term boost to spending on premium mobile phones has driven an upward revision in the devices sector growth for 2013 from the previous forecast of 6.3 percent

The outlook for 2013 for data center systems spending is forecast to grow 3.7 percent in 2013, down 0.7 percent from the previous forecast. This reduction is largely due to cuts to the near-term forecast for spending on external storage and the enterprise in the economically troubled EMEA region.

Worldwide enterprise software spending is forecast to total $297 billion in 2013, a 6.4 percent increase from 2012. Although the growth for this segment remains unchanged from the previous forecast, this belies significant changes at a market level, as stronger growth expectations for database management systems (DBMS), data integration tools and supply chain management compensate for lower growth expectations for IT operations management and operating systems software.

While the outlook for IT services remains relatively unchanged since last quarter, continued hesitation among buyers is fostering hypercompetition and cost pressure in mature IT outsourcing (ITO) segments and reallocation of budget away from new projects in consulting and implementation.

The global telecom services market continues to be the largest IT spending market and will remain roughly flat over the new several years, with declining spending on voice services counterbalanced by strong growth in spending on mobile data services.

Kapil Sibal release National IPv6 Deployment Roadmap Version – II

The ‘National IPv6 Deployment Roadmap Version – II, a document containing policy guidelines for IPv6 transition prepared by NT Cell, Department of Telecom (DoT), was released by Union Minister for Communications & IT,  Kapil Sibal here today.


Sibal said that Internet is an important tool to connect not only people but people and devices. The explosive growth of mobile subscribers and exponential growth of data has made it imperative to transit to IPv6 to move to smart knowledge society.


He emphasized that IPv6 is a limitless highway and the challenge is to bridge the gap between IPv4 and IPv6. He further added that Internet of Things (IoT) offers an immense opportunity for India whereby products & services based on IPv6 can be manufactured here and exported globally.


He said that IPv6 based innovative applications in areas like rural emergency healthcare tele-education, smart metering, smart grid, smart building, smart city etc. have tremendous potential to boost the socio-economic development of the country.


R. Chandrashekhar, Secretary (T), DoT underlined the need for a planned and gradual transition. The Roadmap will pave the way for bridging the digital divide as it is vital for achieving the broadband growth. R.K. Bhatnagar, Member (Technology) presented an overview of IPv6 scenario in the country.


He further briefed about proposed India IPv6 Centre of Innovation to be set up by DoT for facilitating IPv6 transition in the country as per the Roadmap. Latif Ladid, President, IPv6 Forum, in his congratulatory message received through e-mail said that IPv6 would make the Indian digital space smart and fertile leading to a better like for everyone.

Outsourcing of global software testing to grow $50bn by 2020: NASSCOM

The worldwide software testing outsourcing market is expected to grow from $30 Billion in 2010 to $50 Billion in 2020 and India is expected to be the biggest beneficiary of this growth according to a NASSCOM report. The ‘skills gap’ is a problem that pervades the IT industry (don’t hyperlink since report had US data only).

The heavy investment in critical business applications that keep large corporations moving is at risk because engineering qualifications today bear little resemblance to the needs of the market. With India becoming a hub for Testing-as-a-Service, Testing skills shortage likelihood as demand increases exponentially; is bound to improve employability of trained Testers. Additionally, COBOL which is one of the oldest programming languages, continues to play a pivotal role in running many of the world’s businesses and public services. But sadly, COBOL seems to be missing from curriculums in Engineering and MCA institutes these days. In response, Micro Focus (LSE: MCRO.L), the leading provider of enterprise application modernization, testing, and management solutions, today announced the launch of its Academic Program to support academic institutes, business organizations and students in building the next generation of skilled software testing professionals and COBOL developers. The company has also launched the Borland Scholar Program, aimed to create India as a hub for World-Class Software Testing Professionals. Micro Focus is reaching out to over 200 colleges to promote the integration of the subject in their university curriculum. With 91 of Global Fortune 100 Companies using Micro Focus Solutions, the program provide students a Competitive Edge in the IT Industry by enabling them to be pre-qualified on widely used Software Testing Tools from Borland. The program is designed keeping in mind the Engineering Student populace in the country. The focus is to train the students on the latest technologies and business models. The company aims to roll out 10000 industry standard professionals to support the growing testing market in India. Considering the present growth and potential in the software testing industry, the opportunities for software testers are enormous. The program will enable the education, enablement and development of the COBOL language and software testing professionals within universities in India and across the globe. The Micro Focus Academic program and the Borland Scholar Program, offer universities free software licenses from Micro Focus for non-commercial use in their labs, for teaching or research purposes.

The programs will support new and existing university IT programs to meet the demands of today’s business organizations, facilitate greater collaboration between businesses and academic communities and provide an interface through which existing students can connect with prospective employers seeking these skills.

In addition to using this interface to build an employment focused academic community, it will also be used to host competitions, encouraging students to test their coding skills and rewarding successful students with prizes and the possibility of an internship.

This program is an effort to Partner with Academia to complement their efforts of enriching Technical Education in India. Micro Focus aims to bridge the skill-gap in the industry by empowering Engineering students through hands-on training, to be pre-qualified on industry-relevant skills, before they step out of Campus.



National Cyber Security Policy in the offing: IT Secretary

In a bid to secure the digital environment, the Government is working on creating an overarching architectural framework and will soon come out with the National Cyber Security Policy, J Satyanarayana, Secretary, Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Communications & IT, Government of India, announced here today.


Speaking at a workshop on ‘Role of Corporates in Securing the Digital Environment’, organized by FICCI in association with the Ministry of Communications & IT,  Satyanarayana said in both the initiatives, the corporate sector would have a significant role to play through the PPP mode.


While acknowledging that it was not known how secure the digital environment was, he said, “There is always an element of vulnerability. The situation is dynamic and we are continuously assessing the threats.”


Satyanarayana said that for digital certification both security and trust were needed. “E-Praman, one of the initiatives of DeitY, will help establish the identity of the people, and help in building trust and securing the user’s identity in cyber space,” he added.


T A Khan, Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA), DeitY, Government of India, stated, “When it comes to digital signature, we need to not only authenticate the identity of the user of the signature but also the transaction and must ensure the integrity of both.”


Some of the initiatives under taken by the Department for digital signature were online filing of income tax returns, e-procurement and e-tendering. DeitY has initiated Research and Development activities in the area of e-commerce on mobile platform.

Time stamping services and synchronization will soon be activated which will help in protecting against threats which could result in an undetected change to the clock that takes it outside its calibration, said  Khan.

Ms. Debjani Ghosh, Chairman, Information Technology Committee, FICCI, pointed out that by 2015, India needs to secure 40% internet penetration which means 500 million people must be connected to internet.

Sivarama Krishnan, Executive Director , PwC, said that digital signatures reduce nearly 50% of time spent by organizations in closing wet signature requirements. Business to Consumers (B2C) transactions are expected to witness a fillip in online transactions due to electronic signatures.



Mobility is reshaping consumer gadget spending and behavior

Household adoption and spending on consumer technology products is shifting faster than expected in favor of gadgets and services that are portable or mobile and those that that deliver networking capabilities and entertainment, according to a recent survey. The major change is that mobility is now reshaping mainstream consumer behavior in fundamental ways, the way people organize their lives and the spaces they live in.

The average household spending by users of media tablets, e-readers, laptops and digital cameras has fallen even as household penetration of these devices has increased. Falling prices and increased technology performance are primary drivers of increasing adoption and multiple purchases.

According to the survey, legacy products such as TVs and desktop computers have the highest mean years between upgrades, at four-and-a-half years and four years, respectively, while newer product classes such as tablets and e-readers have yet to be replaced by the majority of respondents. Replacement and upgrades of fixed devices such as desktop PCs and game consoles will be deferred or abandoned as consumers find they can do most of what they want on more recently purchased portable devices anywhere they want when they want. The things they can’t do will either get postponed to a later time or be forgotten about altogether as consumers reorganize tasks and activities to the devices and services they prefer to use.

PC and game console vendors can address attrition of desktop PC replacements by focusing product road maps and consumer branding initiatives on upgrade paths to portable devices or, alternatively, on home media hubs that provide storage and remote retrieval to the personal cloud.

The shift to wireless access and portable devices represents both a threat and an opportunity to technology vendors. Some static device ownership paradigms such as desktop computers and television sets remain stable while others, such as TV-related boxes and home networking equipment, increase. Consumers’ shift to more mobile devices and applications provides opportunities for equipment to deliver Internet access and content as well as to accelerate the development of mobile solutions and portable extensions to traditionally fixed products and services.

Most IT leaders have invested in big data

After a few years of experimentation and early adopter successes, 2013 will be the year of larger scale adoption of big data technologies. According to a worldwide survey of IT leaders, 42% of respondents stated they had invested in big data technology, or were planning to do so within a year.

Organizations are undertaking their big data initiatives in a rapidly shifting technological landscape with disruptive forces that produce and demand new data types and new kinds of information processing. They turn to big data technology for two reasons: necessity and conviction. Organizations are becoming aware that big data initiatives are critical because they have identified obvious or potential business opportunities that cannot be met with traditional data sources, technologies or practices. In addition, media hype is often backed with rousing use cases.

Despite challenges, it is expected that by 2015, 20 percent of Global 1000 organizations will have established a strategic focus on “information infrastructure” equal to that of application management.

In anticipation of big data opportunities, organizations across industries are provisionally collecting and storing a burgeoning amount of operational, public, commercial and social data. Yet in most industries — especially government, manufacturing and education — combining these sources with existing underutilized “dark data” such as emails, multimedia and other enterprise content often represents the most immediate opportunity to transform businesses.

By integrating and analyzing a variety of data sources, not just individually, organizations can achieve the most extraordinary business insights, process optimization and, of course, decision making. Although most of the big data hype is about handling the sheer size and speed of data available, our research shows that the ultimate wins will be from those making sense of the broadening range of data sources.

Rogue clouds prevalent in nearly 90% of Indian Businesses

Indian organizations are widely migrating to the cloud to gain competitive advantages around speed, agility and flexibility, according to Symantec Corp’s. recent Avoiding the Hidden Costs of Cloud 2013 Survey. In fact, nearly all the surveyed large and small businesses in the country are at least discussing cloud. However, increasing complexity and the proliferation of “rogue clouds” – prevalent in about 90 percent of Indian businesses, according to the survey – is resulting in escalating costs related to cloud. Rogue clouds are defined as business groups implementing public cloud applications that are not managed by or integrated into the company’s IT infrastructure. Other key survey findings showed enterprises and SMBs are experiencing escalating costs tied to complex backup and recovery, and inefficient cloud storage.

According to the survey, rogue cloud deployments are one of the cost pitfalls. It is a surprisingly common problem, found in 89 percent of Indian enterprises and 92 per cent of Indian SMBs within the last year.

Among Indian enterprises who reported rogue cloud issues, 57 percent experienced the exposure of confidential information, and more than a third faced account takeover issues, defacement of Web properties, or stolen goods or services. The survey found that top rogue cloud issues for Indian SMBs include security, data protection and loss of confidential information. The challenge is escalating, with nearly half (48 percent) of Indian SMBs indicating that rogue cloud deployments are becoming more frequent.

The most commonly cited reasons by Indian businesses for undertaking rogue cloud projects were to save time and money.

Cloud Backup and Recovery Issues

Cloud is complicating backup and recovery. First, most Indian organizations use three or more solutions to back-up their physical, virtual and cloud data—leading to increased IT inefficiencies, risk and training costs. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds organizations have lost cloud data (60 percent of enterprises and 70 percent of SMBs), and most (80 percent) have experienced recovery failures.

Finally, most see cloud recovery as a slow, tedious process; 85 percent estimate it would take three or more days to recover from a catastrophic loss of data in the cloud.

Inefficient Cloud Storage

Theoretically, cloud storage has the advantages of being quick to deploy, paying for only what is used and offering easy adjustment of capacity, all of which provide for high storage utilization rates. In practice, however, global cloud storage utilization is actually extremely low at just 17 percent. It’s even worse for SMBs, at just seven per cent. This is resulting in organizations paying for six times as much storage as they need. The problem is exacerbated because almost half of enterprises in India (48 percent) admit that little to none of their data is deduplicated, and 34 percent of SMBs indicate that half or more of their data is duplicate, all of which is leading organizations to pay for storage they don’t require.

Compliance and eDiscovery Concerns

With growing regulatory and internal compliance frameworks, the survey revealed that two-thirds of Indian enterprises are concerned about not only meeting compliance requirements, but also proving it. However, nearly half (47 percent) have been fined for privacy violations in the cloud within the past 12 months. Organizations are performing equally poorly on the eDiscovery front: three-quarters of those who have received requests (76 percent) missed deadlines for delivering the requested information, potentially leading to fines or compromised legal positions. What’s worse, 34 percent never found the requested information.

Data in Transit Issues

Organizations have all sorts of assets in the cloud – such as web properties, online businesses or web applications – that require SSL certificates to protect the data in transit whether it is personal or financial information, business transactions and other online interactions. The survey showed companies found managing many SSL certificates to be highly complex: Just 48 percent rate cloud SSL certificate management as easy and only 40 percent are certain their cloud-partner’s certificates are in compliance with corporate standards.

Hidden Costs Are Easily Avoided

The survey shows ignoring these hidden costs will have a serious impact on business. However, these issues are easily mitigated with careful planning, implementation and management:

  • Focus policies on information and people, not technologies or platforms
  • Educate, monitor and enforce policies
  • Embrace tools that are platform agnostic
  • Deduplicate data in the cloud

Symantec’s Avoiding the Hidden Costs of Cloud 2013 Survey

Symantec’s 2013 Cloud Survey is a result of research conducted by ReRez in September-October 2012. The full study represents 3,236 organizations from 29 countries. Responses came from companies with a range of five to more than 5,000 employees. Of those responses, 1,358 came from SMBs and 1,878 came from enterprises

Kapil Sibal launches National Internet Registry

Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology launched the portal of National Internet Registry (NIR) here . Speaking on the occasion  Sibal pointed out that unless this platform is inclusive, we will not be able to empower the people. He underlined that the internet is an exceptionally powerful tool and nothing in this country should be done to emasculate the medium.

National internet Registry (NIR) is an entity which coordinates the allocation of Internet Protocol addresses with other Internet resource management function at a national level in the country.

NIXI was recognized by APNIC in March 2012 to become the NIR for the country after successful demo of the indigenous software and systems developed for the allocation and management of Internet resources.

NIR functions under the overall umbrella of Regional Internet Registry(RIR) which is Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) based in Brisbane, Australia. The NIR has been named as Indian Registry for Internet Names and Numbers (IRINN). Collective efforts of NIXI and ISPAI have led to the formation of IRINN in the country.

It is a major milestone towards setting up of Critical Internet Resource management function in the country. Setting up of NIR under NIXI will not only reduce cost in procuring IP address but will also facilitate faster access to information for cyber crime investigators and Government authorities.

Creation of NIR will help encourage/promote activities related to research, education and training covering the areas of Internet Resources and its proliferation. NIXI is a not for profit organization set up under section 25 of the companies Act 1956 for peering of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to the NIXI node for the purpose of routing the domestic traffic within the country.

NIXI also operates the .IN Registry for managing the .IN Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs). Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) is a regional Internet registry which coordinates the Internet Protocol address allocations and other Internet resource management is the Asia-Pacific region.



IT stocks scale 52 week high

Infosys, Wipro, TCS & Hcl Tech hit 52 week high today. Bolstered by solid latest economic data from US, investors have shown buying interest in IT stocks. Reports that came out on Wednesday suggested economic activity picking up after it stagnated in the last 3 months of 2012 in US.  Private employers added 198,000 jobs in February which was higher than expected, according to latest data. Construction activity picked up where payroll rose.

S&P BSE IT was trading up 1.5% compared to marginal fall of 0.08% in Sensex at 1240hrs. Advance decline ratio in the IT sector was in favour of the bulls, 8 stocks advanced as compared to a fall in 2 while.
Infosys Ltd. stock is currently trading at Rs. 3000 up by Rs.34. The stock touched a high of Rs.3007.05 and a low of Rs.2976 on BSE. Total traded quantity at the counter stood at 0.65lakh

HCL Technologies Ltd. stock is currently trading at Rs. 722 up by Rs.16.25. The stock touched a high of Rs.773 and a low of Rs.756 on BSE. Total traded quantity at the counter stood at 0.57 lakh.

Wipro Ltd. stock is currently trading at Rs.452 up by Rs.8.15. The stock touched a high of Rs.453.55 and a low of Rs.442.10 on BSE. Total traded quantity at the counter stood at 2.63 lakh.

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. stock is up 2.1% currently trading at Rs.1590.50 up by Rs.32.70. The stock touched a high of Rs.1595.35 and a low of Rs.1553 on BSE. Total traded quantity at the counter stood at 2.37 lakh.

Kapil Sibal launches Electronics Project Proposal System

Union Minister for Communications and IT, Kapil Sibal held a round table discussion with Academia, Industry and R&D organizations, here yesterday. The round table was held in order to have broad consensus and opinion on the proposed ICT&E R&D and Innovation Framework prepared by DeitY.

During this event, the Minister also launched the `Electronics Project Proposal System (e-PPS), developed by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, through the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). The e-PPS system will initially operate on a pilot basis.

The Electronic Project Proposal System (e-PPS) is a web-based system that encompasses the complete life-cycle of funding of R&D projects, beginning with online submission of project proposals for funds, to monitoring and management of funded projects. It supports the processes for

• Online submission of project proposals

• Evaluation of proposals by experts

• Project recommendations

• Project Monitoring

e-PPS replaces the existing manual system of project funding wherein the Project Investigators (PI) submit hard copies of R&D proposals, which are presented to a Working Group and based on the recommendations of the Working Group the proposals are further processed in DeitY.

It is a One-Go Dash-Board to see the projects from initiation to completion. It reduces the total processing time of proposals and aids easy dissemination of project information.

Global public cloud services market to attain $131 bn worth stature in 2013

The public cloud services market is likely to grow 18.5 per cent in 2013 to USD 131 billion globally. The figures showed a noteworthy jump from the earlier USD 111 billion in 2012.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), including cloud computing, storage and print services, is anticipated as the fastest-growing segment of the market. The market has taken a jump to grow 47.3 per cent in 2013 to USD 9 billion from earlier USD 6.1 billion in 2012.

Cloud services market has grasped a strong hold in the several regions of the world; including North America as the largest region in the cloud services market, followed by Western Europe as the second largest market.

Not only this, cloud services market is also gradually getting strong hold in Asia/Pacific (led by Indonesia and India), Greater China and Latin America (led by Argentina, Mexico and Brazil) markets.

Indian PC market showed growth of 3.5% in CY 2012

The overall India PC shipments for CY 2012 stood at 11.0 million units resulting into an year-on-year growth of 3.5% over CY 2011. Despite a drag on overall IT spending, the growth in the India PC market was driven by special projects like ELCOT and spurt in consumer demand for Notebooks. The consumer PC market recorded an impressive growth driven by growing shift in end-user demand towards Portable PCs, which grew at a striking 20.2% in CY 2012 over CY 2011. This is reflected in the improved retail footfalls, particularly among large format retailers (LFRs), which continue to act as a catalyst in driving consumer demand. On the other hand, the commercial PC business outside special projects like ELCOT, witnessed continued instability as the commercial desktops crumbled to a 3 year low in the second half of 2012.

In terms of vendor share, Lenovo claimed the top spot with a 15.9% market share in CY 2012 supported by fulfilments for the ELCOT project in the state of Tamil Nadu. HP gained the second spot with a shipment share of 15.2% followed by Acer at 13.2% for CY 2012. There is a continued visible shift in end-user demand from Desktops to Portable computing devices and this trend is expected to be seen in the coming quarters too. Driven by demand from Portable PCs, the Indian PC market is expected to register a double digit growth in CY 2013 despite downward pressures driven by longer refresh cycles seen in the recent periods. This trend of longer refresh cycle could be due to lower levels of usage of laptops as some of the activities are accomplished using tablets as seen in IDCs recent end-user research. With forthcoming elections in 10 states, there is a possibility of such special projects being repeated in few of the larger states, which may drive the PC market upwards


Indian PC Market shows resilience

The overall India PC shipments for CY 2012 stood at 11.0 million units resulting into an year-on-year growth of 3.5% over CY 2011. Despite a drag on overall IT spending, the growth in the India PC market was driven by special projects like ELCOT and spurt in consumer demand for Notebooks.

The consumer PC market recorded an impressive growth driven by growing shift in end-user demand towards Portable PCs, which grew at a striking 20.2% in CY 2012 over CY 2011.  This is reflected in the improved retail footfalls, particularly among large format retailers (LFRs), which continue to act as a catalyst in driving consumer demand.

On the other hand, the commercial PC business outside special projects like ELCOT, witnessed continued instability as the commercial desktops crumbled to a 3 year low in the second half of 2012.

In terms of vendor share, Lenovo claimed the top spot with a 15.9% market share in CY 2012 supported by fulfilments for the ELCOT project in the state of Tamil Nadu. HP gained the second spot with a shipment share of 15.2% followed by Acer at 13.2% for CY 2012.

There is a continued visible shift in end-user demand from Desktops to Portable computing devices and this trend is expected to be seen in the coming quarters too. Driven by demand from Portable PCs, the Indian PC market is expected to register a double digit growth in CY 2013 despite downward pressures driven by longer refresh cycles seen in the recent periods. This trend of longer refresh cycle could be due to lower levels of usage of laptops as some of the activities are accomplished using tablets as seen in IDCs recent end-user research. With forthcoming elections in 10 states, there is a possibility of such special projects being repeated in few of the larger states, which may drive the PC market upwards.

25% of distributed denial of services attacks in 2013 likely to be application-based

Twenty-five percent of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that occur in 2013 will be application-based, according to research. During such incidents, attackers send out targeted commands to applications to tax the central processing unit (CPU) and memory and make the application unavailable.

Some of the top 2013 criminal trends and potential safeguards and solutions for firms at risk of attack.


High-bandwidth DDoS attacks are becoming the new norm and will continue wreaking havoc on unprepared enterprises in 2013

A new class of damaging DDoS attacks was launched against U.S. banks in the second half of 2012, sometimes adding up to 70 Gbps of noisy network traffic blasting at the banks through their Internet pipes. Until this recent spate of attacks, most network-level DDoS attacks consumed only five Gbps of bandwidth, but more recent levels made it impossible for bank customers and others using the same pipes to get to their websites.


Hackers use DDoS attacks to distract security staff so that they can steal sensitive information or money from accounts

Enterprises subject to DDoS attacks should take steps to mitigate potential damage from these attacks. There should be greater cooperation with industry associations to share intelligence that can be acted on collectively and quickly, as well as enterprise investments in fraud prevention technology and the strengthening of organizational processes.


People continue to be the weakest link in the security chain, as criminal social engineering ploys reach new levels of deviousness in 2013

In 2012, several different fraud scams that took social engineering tactics to new heights of deviousness have been reported, including criminals approaching people in person as law enforcement or bank officers to help them through account migration that then comprised their bank accounts.

Deploying layered fraud prevention and identity-proofing techniques would help stop the social engineering attacks from succeeding. In particular, fraud prevention systems that provide user or account behavioral profiling and entity link analysis are useful in these cases. Call center call analytics and fraud prevention software can be deployed to help catch fraudsters committing crimes via social engineering or by using stolen identities. Customers should also be educated on best security practices to help them avoid phishing attacks and social engineering ploys.

PC market in W.Europe declined 11.7%

PC shipments in Western Europe totaled 15.3mn units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a decline of 11.7% compared with the same period in 2011. In 2012, PC shipments reached 58mn units, a decrease of 8.4% from 2011.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, all PC segments in Western Europe declined. Mobile and desktop PC shipments declined 12.1% and 10.9% in the fourth quarter of 2012, respectively. The decrease in the professional PC market was less severe due to replacement purchases and fell 4.9%, while the consumer PC market declined 17.6% year-on-year.

HP lost share in the mobile and home PC segments in Western Europe, but remained the market leader in the desktop and professional PC markets with nearly 10% market share ahead of its nearest rival. HP’s new leadership has undertaken a number of initiatives to reignite its business. In the fourth quarter of 2012, Acer, Lenovo and Asus reached 11% market share.

Acer, which held the No. 2 spot in the overall PC sales market in Western Europe, dropped to third place behind Asus in the home PC segment, with shipments declining 25% from the fourth quarter of 2011. Lenovo’s strong focus to increase market share helped it become the No. 2 PC vendor in the professional PC market with a 4% increase in the fourth quarter of 2012. Lenovo also grew 65% in the consumer PC market in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Asus saw its Western Europe PC shipments decline in the fourth quarter of 2012, indicating that its pricing had moved upwards to higher price points because of the midrange-to-high-end Windows 8 system. Dell dropped to fifth place, with shipments in the consumer PC market nearly halved from the fourth quarter of 2011. Dell also felt the pressure from HP and Lenovo in the professional PC segment, where both vendors focused on gaining share over increasing their profit protection.

PC shipments in the U.K. totaled 3.1mn units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a slight decrease of 0.7% compared with the same period in 2011. In 2012, the PC market declined 3% totaling 11.7mn units, after a fall of 13% in 2011.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, HP extended its lead and remained in the No. 1 position, with strong growth in both consumer and professional PC markets. Dell’s consumer PC market continued to shrink, but in common with most of the top five vendors, saw an upturn in the professional PC market, where Lenovo took the lead with a 45% increase in the fourth quarter of 2012. Lenovo’s strong performance in the professional PC market helped to close the gap with Dell during the same quarter.

PC shipments in France totaled 2.5mn units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a decrease of 13.6% compared with the same period in 2011. In 2012, PC shipments reached 10mn units, a 6.4% decline from 2011. This is the second consecutive year that the PC market in France has declined.

The launch of Windows 8 had no impact on PC demand, and the holiday season saw retailers clear out their Windows 7 notebook inventories and drive their volumes of low-end notebooks. Both consumer and professional PC markets continued to decline, with the consumer PC market experiencing the sharpest fall of 19.5% in the fourth quarter of 2012. Ultrabook sales remained low. The Ultraportable segment accounted for 11% of all mobile PCs shipped in France during the quarter.

Shipments of mobile PCs in France decreased 12.5% in the fourth quarter of 2012, while desktop PCs declined 15.5% year-on-year.

Asus maintained the No. 2 position, gaining 3.1%age points in market share in the fourth quarter of 2012 and clearly positioned itself as a strong consumer PC vendor in the French PC market. HP remained the No. 1 PC vendor in France, thanks to its good performance in the professional PC segment, but it faces challenges in the consumer PC market.

Acer lost the No. 3 position to Dell, exhibiting the steepest year-on-year decline, mainly due to slow netbook sales and inventory build-up from the previous quarter. The vendor is also going through a period of readjusting its strategy. Lenovo showed continued growth, thanks to its expansion in the consumer PC market.

PC shipments in Germany totaled 3.4mn units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a decrease of 11.9% compared with the same period in 2011 . In 2012, 1mn fewer PCs were shipped than in 2011, which resulted in the PC market in Germany declining 8% from 2011.

Mobile PC shipments declined 15% in the fourth quarter of 2012, while desktop PC volumes decreased 6% year on year. Consumer and professional PC demand declined 13% and 11%.

This ongoing trend will have a profound impact on the current and potential installed base for PCs.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, Lenovo moved to the No. 1 position in the German PC market with above market performance in all segments, and it experienced 36% growth in the home PC market. HP rose to the second spot, while Acer moved to third place. HP performed above the market average in both the home and professional PC markets, but the gap with Lenovo is widening rapidly.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, both Acer and Asus lost market share, and both vendors saw PC shipment declines of around 30% in the consumer PC market. Fujitsu returned to the top five PC vendor rankings in Germany, narrowly beating Dell. Fujitsu saw strong growth in the desktop market, where it returned to second place, behind HP.



IT stocks lead after Nasscom predicts robust growth

IT sector gained in the intra-day trade in the market after the industry body Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) forecasted strong growth for the sector in 2013-14. Nasscom predicted that Indian IT industry is set to grow 12-14% to $87bn in the period. TCS, Infosys and Satyam all added more than 1% in today’s trade.
BSE IT was up 1.2% at 2:55pm on BSE Wednesday. Advance-Decline ratio was in favour of the bulls as 7 stocks advanced while 3 declines as 0 remained unchanged. On S&P CNX IT was bullish too as 12 stocks advanced against a decline seen in 7 stocks and 1 remained unchanged.

HCL Technologies Ltd is up 4.3%, and currently trading at Rs. 707.15 up by Rs.28.75. It touched a high of Rs.712.80 and a low of Rs.680 in the intraday trade at BSE on Thursday. Total traded quantity at the counter stood at 1.02 lakh.

Infosys Ltd. is currently trading at Rs.2786.85 up by Rs.32.20 or 1.17%. It touched a high of Rs.71.40 and a low of Rs.67 in the intraday trade at BSE on Thursday. Total traded quantity at the counter stood at4.68 lakh.
Satyam Computer Services Ltd. is currently trading at Rs.117.25 up by Rs.1.10 or 1%. It touched a high of Rs.118.55 and a low of Rs.116 in the intraday trade at BSE on Thursday. Total traded quantity at the counter stood at 1.23lakh.
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.(TCS) came almost touched 52 week high today. The stock is currently trading at Rs.1434.35 up by Rs.26.10 or 1.85%. It touched a high of Rs.71.40 and a low of Rs.67 in the intraday trade at BSE on Thursday. Total traded quantity at the counter stood at4.68 lakh.
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.(TCS) came almost touched 52 week high today. The stock is currently trading at Rs.1434.35 up by Rs.26.10 or 1.85%. It touched a high of Rs.71.40 and a low of Rs.67 in the intraday trade at BSE on Thursday. Total traded quantity at the counter stood at4.68 lakh.

FY14 to be positive year from industry perspective: NASSCOM

NASSCOM has reportedly said that FY14  to be positive year from industry perspective.

NASSCOM is expecting IT industry’s FY14 revenue at $12-15bn, according to reports.

IT sector exports grew 10.2%, says NASSCOM

Top Priorities for IT Investments for CIOs in FY 2013-14

According to recent market research, CIOs in India are expected to increase their IT investments at anaverage of 20% in FY2013-14 as compared to FY2012-13. Manufacturing, Telecom, Retail, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical will be the keyverticals in terms of IT investments in FY2013-14.  Manufacturing sector is expected to witness a rise of 29% in absolute IT budget for 2013- 14,followed by Telecom and Retail with an approximate increase of 26% and 18%respectively

IT outsourcing by Indian CIOs’ is on the rise as 59% of IT staff is outsourced to third party service providers currently. This phenomena is increasing the demand penetration of third partysystem integrators.

On the other hand, Modern IT is slowly getting embraced by the Indian enterprises as enterprises show preference towards investing in some form of modern ITsolutions including cloud, big data and mobility. Business Analytical tools (including Big Data), Virtualization & Cloud, Mobility, Application Software & solutions and Consolidation of legacy investments & process excellence,would take on priority in FY2013-14.  Business Intelligence & Big Datais of highest priority for over 60% CIOs while Virtualization and Cloud Computing excites over 50% of the Indian CIOs

Business Analytics: CIOs continue to invest in business analytics with high uptake of Big Data within Manufacturing, Energy & Utility, Media & Marketing verticals

Virtualization & Cloud: CIOs show increased preference towards virtualization and cloud (both private & public) based on criticality of use case

Enterprise Mobility: 50% CIOs consider mobilityindispensable and find it very relevant for customer facing roles and consumer applications

Application Software: Expanding ERP capabilities is high onthe CIO agenda. CRM and SCM to maintain demand in FY2013-14

Consolidation of Solutions: CIOs are also planning on integrationof existing enterprise application software, ERP solutions, and BI tools to derive business benefits from legacy IT investments

Indian Manufacturing & Natural Resources industry may spend Rs408bn on IT in 2013

Indian manufacturers and natural resources companies may spend 408bn rupees on IT products and services in 2013, an increase of 9.1% over 2012 revenue of 374bn rupees. The forecast includes spending by manufacturers and natural resource companies on internal IT (including personnel), hardware, software, external IT services and telecommunications.

The telecommunications category remains the biggest spending category overall in the manufacturing and natural resources industry, and it is forecast to reach 132bn rupees in 2013. Meanwhile, software is achieving the highest growth rate amongst the top level IT spending categories – forecast to exceed 15 percent in 2013, with especially strong growth forecast for enterprise resource planning (ERP)/supply chain management (SCM)/customer relationship management (CRM), desktop software, and manufacturing-specific applications. A very high demand is anticipated for consulting services as manufacturers plan for these implementations, forecasting growth of over 22 percent in 2013 alone

Federated Single Sign-On May Be A Predominant SSO Technology

A well-executed single sign-on (SSO) strategy reduces password-related support incidents and provides users with improved convenience and more-efficient authentication processes. A sound SSO strategy will give users fewer reasons to write down passwords. However, one password providing access to all in-scope systems can lead to compromised access to those systems.

Mobile devices can pose further challenges for SSO. The following step should be used to appropriately scope the target solution set.

  • Assess the Current Environment and Pain Points: The first step is to scope the problem space by identifying the user population and use cases that require a solution, and to inventory the target systems, their architectures and the anticipated lifetimes.
  • User population: Identify whether a solution set should cover employees, contractors, external business partners or consumers/constituents.
  • Use cases and applications: Identify the logical location of users and the target systems that must be accessed — for example, internal users accessing internally managed applications and software as a service (SaaS) applications, or external consumers and business partners accessing internally managed applications. Identify the applications and use cases that are currently used the most and generating the most calls to the help desk for authentication-related issues.
  • Applications and their architectures: Determine the application architecture for each application deemed to be in scope for an SSO initiative.
  • Evaluate Anticipated Changes to In-Scope Applications: It’s important to determine whether the applications used today will still be in scope over the next few years. If an application will be retired or replaced or have its user base significantly reduced within one to two years, then it can possibly be removed from consideration and, therefore, reduce the problem space. Approaching commercial application vendors to ask whether there are any plans to provide authentication options that can leverage the enterprise standards is also a good idea. A matrix with the inventory results should be drawn up to help identify common architecture and use case patterns.
  • Leverage Currently Owned Services or Solutions to Reduce the In-Scope Applications: Identifying existing tools that could help reduce the problem is essential. Their use may be isolated to one business unit or application set when they could be more broadly deployed. Sometimes reduced sign-on (RSO), enabled by an established password synchronization tool or authentication to a common LDAP-accessible directory, will provide good-enough reduction in the problem space. When multiple directories are used for authentication, directory synchronization or virtual directories may be brought to bear to join disparate identity sources and to expose one standardized view of identity to multiple applications or authentication services, such as a WAM tool. This can provide RSO or SSO, depending on the configuration.
  • Select Solutions to Resolve the Remaining Requirements: Application designs are moving toward Web architectures. As soon as currently owned directories, Kerberos and password synchronization tools have been leveraged, it is likely that tool or service selection will be based on the need to support SSO to Web-architected applications. Furthermore, SaaS adoption has been driving the need for federated Web SSO. Therefore, the solutions that support these needs should be presented first, with less prevalently needed solutions following.

Enterprises need to be more customer centric: netCore

NetCore solutions, emphasised enterprises to be more customer centric and deeper in their engagement, in their southern workshop hosted in Bangalore on Thursday, January 24, 2012 at The Pride Hotel, Bangalore.The overwhelming engagement during the workshop stands as evidence of the fact that organizations are now willing to focus on nurturing customer relationships and reap benefits of the customer-marketer bond forever.

The hands-on workshop deep-dived into the intricacies involved in the entire customer life cycle; basically covering customer acquisition, data analysis, seeking and implementing feedback and eventually, customer retention.  The session educated keen new-age Marketers and Analysts on what they should do and shouldn’t do. It emphasized on offering a value proposition by means of behavioral targeting, thus explaining the limitless possibilities that arise out of a critical examination of consumer behavior.

Additionally, the workshop also focused on the ill-effects of employing unethical means to increase one’s subscriber database by means of purchasing data or using data that has been referred by a third party. And since expanding the consumer base is the most significant need for any marketer, information on how this could be done ethically was discussed as well. The session advocated innovative means of gathering and analyzing subscriber data to arrive at valuable insights.

With the number of Internet  and mobile internet users hitting the 100 million and 80 million mark respectively, today’s organizations are focusing on their Digital Marketing efforts more than ever in order to keep pace with the ever changing consumer dynamics. A recent Hubspot research has revealed that as many as 78% of internet users conduct product research online. This makes it critical for organizations to stay on top of the consumer’s mind by investing time in building and nurturing strong relationships with them.

NetCore COO Kalpit Jain firmly believes that organizations should strive towards gathering consumer preferences through various online mediums and use this information to make customized offers to their consumers.

The several economic downturns during the past decade have made businesses realize that the only factor that enables sustainability during such dire times is the trust that a brand has been able to instill amongst its consumers through its actions. And one can blindly say that there is no better way than Email Marketing to connect with consumers and still maintain control over the conversations.

IT Sector outlook stable despite subdued revenue growth

The Outlook on Indian IT services companies for 2013 remain stable on the likelihood that their credit profile will remain stable during the year. Strong liquidity underlines the credit stability of the sector in 2013 when revenue growth is likely to be muted and margin stressed.

Revenue growth in 2013 is likely to be at levels witnessed in 2012 due to lower ticket deals rather than mega deals. Multiple sourcing and increased competitiveness can lead to increased volatility in revenue growth for a few IT companies.

Overall, India Ratings expects EBITDA margins to decline moderately during 2013. Wage inflation is likely to be the most important pressure point for Indian IT services companies with a large offshore workforce in India in 2013.

The trend towards shorter contract lengths will also lead to higher customer attrition rates apart from impacting margins due to higher client acquisition costs in the year. Nevertheless, an increase in resource utilisation levels and gains in higher value-added consulting segments are likely to contribute positively to the margins.

However, the possible negative impact of subdued revenue growth and stressed margins will be offset by the continued strong liquidity position of IT companies, which is supported by their high cash balances, nil-to-low debt levels and positive cash flow from operations.

The ratings of individual issuers in the sector could be negatively impacted by key event risks such as debt-funded acquisitions, large dividend pay-outs or share buy-backs which either deplete liquidity or increase financial leverage. Any materially adverse regulatory developments that try to limit the ability of the US- or Europe-based companies to offshore/outsource contracts could also impact the sector’s outlook negatively.



NASSCOM announces flagship India Leadership Forum 2013

National Association of Software and Services Company (NASSCOM) today, announced the dates for its annual three-day flagship event – NASSCOM India Leadership Forum [NILF] from February 13-15, 2013, to be held at the Grand Hyatt, Mumbai. The core theme for NILF this year is ‘Imagineering the Future: Disruptive Innovation for Sensible Growth’ where the ‘Imagineers’ will delve on opportunities to adapt, change and steer the organization and leaders across the globe towards sensible growth. The platform promises to bring yet another exciting, thought provoking and insightful panel of speakers from across the globe, to share their perspective on various industry related issues.


Elaborating on what NILF 2013 holds for the industry,Som Mittal, President, NASSCOM, said, “In its 21 years, NILF has recognized and rewarded the evolution and growth of the IT-BPM industry in India. This year’s theme of Imagineering the Future reflects the industry sentiment, and will focus on how future leaders will have to activate emotional and intuitive intelligence to access and transform the future. With technology stalwarts from across the world participating at NILF, the forum will provide strategic thrust and direction to local and global companies, enabling them to drive the industry’s growth and development. While we have crossed the UDS 100 billion mark in the last 2 decades, the next wave of growth has to come from a smart combination of soft skills and unconventional business ideas.”


This year’s NILF is also going to serve as a platform to a new campaign – the Indian Grandmaster Series. The objective of this Series is to project the Indian thought leaders, including the country’s home-grown management and industry thinkers. Including special ‘break-away’ sessions, such as the Leader2Leader, the Master Class and the power roundtables, the Grandmaster Series aims to discuss and explain the nuances of business, technology, management, leadership and more.


Additionally, NASSCOM will release its Strategic Review for 2013, which will include key findings of the Indian IT-BPO sector performance for FY2012-13. The year 2012-13 characterizes a landmark year as aggregate revenue for the Indian IT-BPO sector crossed USD 100 billion. The Indian IT-BPO sector continues to be one of the largest employers in the country directly employing ~2.8 million professionals, with over 230,000 jobs being added in FY2012. Despite challenges in the global market conditions, India sustained its growth trajectory. Some of the pivotal factors that have been contributing to this growth include new business models, organizational efficiencies, services around disruptive technologies such as cloud, mobility, analytics, and social media, flexible product portfolios, as well as verticalized solutions.


The 2013 Leadership Forum is expected to host 45+ sessions, with more than 150 speakers, and close to 30 country representations at the conference.

NASSCOM announces February as women safety month

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) today highlighted various measures undertaken by the IT-BPM industry to enhance awareness on the safety of its women workforce. NASSCOM along with leading BPM players highlighted the various best-practices and support systems that are in place to ensure this.

Announcing the measures, Som Mittal, President, NASSCOM said, “The contribution of women to the growth of our industry has been immense and it is our constant endeavor to provide a safe and secure working environment for all our employees. I must compliment the courage and commitment of our women employees that despite the heightened security concerns, we did not see any decline in attendance, productivity and applicants to jobs in this industry”. He further added, “The industry follows robust practices and has further enhanced its awareness programs for employees to make them aware of these practices. The NASSCOM Best Practices compendium on women security being released today showcases the comprehensive practices adopted by the industry that can be adopted by other industry sectors.”

Vikram Talwar, Chairman, NASSCOM BPM Forum said, “It is important to reiterate that it is the fundamental right of every woman to work and it is the responsibility of the entire ecosystem to ensure that there is a conducive environment created for the same. It is time for all the stakeholders – Industry, Organizations, Governments and law enforcement agencies to work towards this. The industry will continue to enhance and strengthen its own initiatives; however it cannot take over the role of the government and enforcement officials”.

Further, to enhance the level of awareness on safety and security, NASSCOM announced February as the Women Safety Month in the NCR region, wherein industry and NASSCOM will organize a series of events and activities to educate engage and empower its workforce. Over 50 different activities will be organized across companies in the region.

NASSCOM also announced the AppFame contest, wherein corporate, developers and students will be encouraged to build technology applications for women safety. The shortlisted applications will be showcased for adoption to NASSCOM members and other stakeholders.

The Indian IT-BPM sector is one of the largest employers in India and with over 800,000 women employed across levels and has been driving the agenda of gender diversity across large and small companies.

Business Intelligence and analytics need to scale up to support robust growth in data sources

Business intelligence (BI) and analytics need to scale up to support the robust growth in data sources. Business intelligence leaders must embrace a broadening range of information assets to help their organizations.

The three key predictions for BI teams to consider when planning for the future:

65 percent of packaged analytic applications with advanced analytics will come embedded with Hadoop.Organizations realize the strength that Hadoop-powered analysis brings to big data programs, particularly for analyzing poorly structured data, text, behavior analysis and time-based queries. While IT organizations conduct trials over the next few years, especially with Hadoop-enabled database management system (DBMS) products and appliances, application providers will go one step further and embed purpose-built, Hadoop-based analysis functions within packaged applications. The trend is most noticeable so far with cloud-based packaged application offerings, and this will continue.

70 percent of leading BI vendors will have incorporated natural-language and spoken-word capabilities. BI/analytics vendors continue to be slow in providing language- and voice-enabled applications. In their rush to port their applications to mobile and tablet devices, BI vendors have tended to focus only on adapting their traditional BI point-and-click and drag-and-drop user interfaces to touch-based interfaces. Over the next few years, BI vendors are expected to start playing a quick game of catch-up with the virtual personal assistant market. Initially, BI vendors will enable basic voice commands for their standard interfaces, followed by natural language processing of spoken or text input into SQL queries. Ultimately, “personal analytic assistants” will emerge that understand user context, offer two-way dialogue, and (ideally) maintain a conversational thread.

More than 30 percent of analytics projects will deliver insights based on structured and unstructured data. Business analytics have largely been focused on tools, technologies and approaches for accessing, managing, storing, modeling and optimizing for analysis of structured data. This is changing as organizations strive to gain insights from new and diverse data sources. The potential business value of harnessing and acting upon insights from these new and previously untapped sources of data, coupled with the significant market hype around big data, has fueled new product development to deal with a data variety across existing information management stack vendors and has spurred the entry of a flood of new approaches for relating, correlating, managing, storing and finding insights in varied data.

Indian Insurance Cos. to spend Rs101 bn on IT In 2013

Indian insurance companies will spend Rs101 bn on IT products and services in 2013, an increase of more than 9% over 2012 revenue of Rs92.5 bn. This forecast includes spending by insurers on internal IT (including personnel), hardware, software, external IT services and telecommunications.

IT services has overtaken telecommunications to become the biggest spending segment, and is forecast to reach Rs30.6 bn in 2013, up from 27 bn in 2012. IT services is achieving the highest growth rate amongst the top level IT spending segments – forecast to exceed 13 percent in 2013, with growth of 23.4 percent forecast for business process outsourcing services. Consulting is also a high growth segment at over 18.2 percent in 2013.

NASSCOM welcomes clarifications from CBDT

NASSCOM welcomes the clarifications from the CBDT to make available the eligible deductions for the Software Industry and hope the assessments and past denials are suitably resolved taking in to cognizance the clarifications issued. While this is a positive step, it is important that the implementation is carried on efficiently. We urge that benefits denied in the past be reviewed in light of this move, and there be swift closure of cases for the Industry to benefit from this.

NASSCOM announces corporate awards for excellence in Diversity and Inclusion

National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) organized the NASSCOM Diversity & Inclusion Summit 2013 at the Leela Palace, Bengaluru. With ‘From Case studies to Pervasive Inclusions- Making Diversity Work’ as the core theme, the summit witnessed thought leaders, CEOs, policy makers, and HR heads and professionals sharing insights into the global Inclusivity best practices used world over.

NASSCOM also announced the winners of the NASSCOM Corporate Awards for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion to recognize and honor companies that have adopted and implemented policies and practices to promote inclusion as well as enabled employees to contribute towards the success of their enterprise across all levels.

Worldwide mobile advertising revenue is forecast to reach $11.4 bn in 2013

Worldwide mobile advertising revenue is forecast to reach $11.4 bn in 2013, up from $9.6 billion in 2013. Worldwide revenue will reach $24.5 billion in 2016 with mobile advertising revenue creating new opportunities for app developers, ad networks, mobile platform providers, specialty agencies and even communications service providers in certain regions.

Geographical regions will also evolve at a different pace and in different directions. Historically, the atypically large adoption of handsets for digital content consumption in Japan and South Korea has given the Asia/Pacific region an early lead in mobile advertising worldwide. Looking forward, the high-growth economies of China and India are expected to contribute increasingly to mobile advertising growth, as their expanding middle classes present attractive markets for global and local brands.

However, North America and Western Europe will close the gap on Asia/Pacific as the mobile channel gets more and more integrated with 360-degree advertising campaigns, eating up budgets historically allocated to print and radio. Consumer multitasking will drive preference for multiplatform approaches, which will blur the lines between channels and make it difficult to eliminate category overlap. In the rest of the world — Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and Africa — mobile advertising growth will be aligned with technology adoption and the stabilization of emerging economies, but will mostly be driven by large markets such as Russia, Brazil and Mexico.

Different types of mobile advertising are evolving at a different pace and in different directions. Mobile search — including paid positioning on maps and various forms of augmented reality, all of which can be informed by location — will contribute to drive mobile ad spending across the forecast period, although it will diminish in strength as the period progresses.  Mobile display ad spending are expected to grow and take over from mobile search. It will initially remain divided between in-app and mobile Web (in-browser) placements — reflecting consumer usage — although after several years of in-app dominance, Web display spending will take over in-app display from 2015.

The rapidly growing share of time that consumers spend on mobile devices is generating ad inventory at a pace considerably faster than most advertisers can shift their spending to the medium. This creates a surplus condition that is driving down unit ad prices which in turn has led to a situation in which a significant portion of mobile ad inventory is taken up by app developers paying for ads to promote their apps and get them more downloads, a category known as “paid discovery.”

While the revenue basis of paid-for app store downloads provides some economic justification for this category, for many developers the outlay for ads is close to their maximum ad income or even exceeds it.
This creates a circumstance, reminiscent of the early days of Web advertising, in which cyclical advertising arrangements among websites produced an inflated picture of revenue that may ultimately prove to be a bubble.

Enterprises realize on average only 43% of technology’s business potential

Enterprises realize on average only 43% of technology’s business potential, according to a recent global survey. That number has to grow for IT to remain relevant in an increasingly digital world.

Over the last 18 months, digital technologies — including mobile, analytics, big data, social and cloud — have reached a tipping point with business executives. There is no choice but to increase technology’s potential in the enterprise, and this means evolving IT’s strategies, priorities and plans beyond tending to the usual concerns as their 2013 CIO IT budgets are expected to be essentially flat for fifth straight year.

The survey showed that CIO IT budgets have been flat to negative ever since the dot-com bust of 2002. For 2013, CIO IT budgets are projected to be slightly down, with a weighted global average decline of 0.5 percent.

Digital technologies dominate CIO technology priorities for 2013. The top 10 global technology priorities revealed by the survey reflect a greater emphasis on externally oriented digital technologies, as opposed to traditional IT/operationally oriented systems.

CIOs see these technologies as disrupting business fundamentally over the next 10 years. When asked which digital technologies would be most disruptive, 70 percent of CIOs cited mobile technologies, followed by big data/analytics at 55 percent, social media at 54 percent and public cloud at 51 percent. The disruptiveness of each of these technologies is real, but CIOs see their greatest disruptive power coming in combination, rather than in isolation.

As needs and opportunities evolve, more CIOs will find themselves leading in areas outside of traditional IT. In addition to their tending role, they are starting to assume responsibility for hunting for digital opportunities and harvesting value. Sixty-seven percent of CIOs surveyed have significant leadership responsibilities outside of IT, with only 33 percent having no other such responsibilities. This situation contrasts sharply with 2008, when almost half of CIOs had no responsibilities outside of IT. Almost a fifth of CIOs now act as their enterprise’s chief digital officer (CDO), leading digital commerce and channels. Although this nascent role varies in scope and style, it normally includes championing the digital vision for the business — that is, ensuring that the business is evolving optimally in the new digital context.

Women lag behind men in internet use

Women dominate as computer professionals, though there exists a huge gap in the women’s access of the internet to internet in the developing world and Africa, said chipmaker Intel with inputs from the United Nations and US State Department.

Report suggested that there is lot more that needs to be done to boost women’s and girl’s lagging online access.

The reports said that women are 25 per cent less likely to have an online access in the developing countries than in the developed world and called on policymakers and technology companies to take steps to boost digital literacy to minimize the gap.

Even in the developed world, there is a gap between men and women in their internet usage habits. According to Intel’s report, increased access would not only improve women’s lives but also boost the global economy.

Information Technology: Result Expectations

IT is expected to have a softer than usual Q3 from a revenue growth perspective, due to holiday season in various end client verticals (esp. Manufacturing, Hi-tech), business impact of hurricane sandy in the US and continued weak spending from BFSI and telecom verticals. The Tier-1 IT players are expected to register growth in the range of 1% to 3% and Tier-2 IT players registering growth of -1.5% to 2% on an organic basis in dollar terms. Cross currencies are expected to support the above mentioned dollar revenues by 30-50bps and pricing is expected to be largely flat. Rupee appreciation of 1.7% qoq would impact in the form of lower reported rupee revenues.

Wipro IT services business is expected to deliver performance in-line with its guidance of 1.3%-3.2% posting 2%qoq growth in Q3 FY13. Due to incremental integration of HGS acquisition as well as that of Comviva, Tech M revenues are expected to grow 8.6% qoq in dollar terms.

OPM performance is also expected to be weak (declining 10-140bps qoq) broadly due to lower volumes (holidays) and rupee appreciation. Companies like Wipro, HCLT and Mindtree are expected to be further impacted by scheduled wage hikes/promotions during the quarter. Integration of lower margin acquired companies into Tech M is additionally expected to impact its OPM performance during Q3 FY13.

Wipro is anticipated to guide for 1.5-3% qoq dollar revenue growth in Q4 FY13 for its IT services business.

Commentary/guidance by Indian IT players as well as few global IT MNCs with respect to decision making, project start/ramp-ups, competitive pressures and overall demand environment has become increasingly cautious. This is more pronounced in industries like BFSI, telecom – verticals that form a substantial chunk of Indian IT services revenues.

Worldwide IT spending to reach $3.7 Trillion in 2013

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2013, a 4.2% increase from 2012 spending of $3.6 trillion, research says. The 2013 outlook for IT spending growth in U.S. dollars has been revised upward from 3.8% in the 3Q12 forecast.

Much of this spending increase is the result from projected gains in the value of foreign currencies versus the dollar. When measured in constant dollars, 2013 spending growth is forecast to be 3.9%.

Worldwide devices spending which includes PCs, tablets, mobile phones and printers, is forecast to reach $666 billion in 2013, up 6.3% from 2012.

The long-term forecast for worldwide spending on devices has been reduced as well, with growth from 2012 through 2016 now expected to average 4.5% annually in current U.S. dollars (down from 6.4%) and 5.1% annually in constant dollars (down from 7.4%).

These reductions reflect a sharp reduction in the forecast growth in spending on PCs and tablets that is only partially offset by marginal increases in forecast growth in spending on mobile phones and printers.

Worldwide enterprise software spending is forecast to total $296 billion in 2013, a 6.4% increase from 2012. This segment will be driven by key markets such as security, storage management and customer relationship management; however, beginning in 2014, markets aligned to big data and other information management initiatives, such as enterprise content management, data integration tools, and data quality tools will begin to see increased levels of investment.

The global telecom services market continues to be the largest IT spending market. It is expected that growth will be predominately flat over the next several years as revenue from mobile data services compensates for the declines in total spending for both the fixed and mobile voice services markets. By 2016, mobile data will represent 33% of the total telecom services market, up from 22% in 2012.

The Technology Sector In 2013

As the year 2012 draws to a close, the Indian IT industry has made significant progress during the last decades. According to The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOMM) India has captured a sizeable share of 58% in 2011 which was up from 51% in 2009 in global technology sourcing and business services market.

The year 2012 was marked by slowdown in global economy resulting in weak growth prospects of several world economies including India. The recovery process of Indian economy which began after the financial crisis of 2008 as reflected in the performance of FY11 again took a pause in FY12. Yet the IT-ITeS sector not only showed resilience amidst the slowdown but also marked a new milestone of crossing US$ 100 bn revenues in FY12.

Infosys Co-Chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan reported that it expects 2013 will be a much better year for the IT sector.

While Hexaware also reported that it is expecting the coming year to be “more muted”, report says. Mindtree is expecting to grow slower than the industry average of 11-14%.

Key industry predictions for IT firms in coming years

Social networking, mobile communications, the cloud and information are pressuring enterprises worldwide to make fundamental changes in business processes and that industry decision-makers should understand and respond to this Nexus of Forces that are changing their world and develop strategies to address the requirements of a fast-changing business environment. The top industry predictions for coming years include:

  • Automakers will have announced concrete plans for upcoming automobile launches that will offer autonomous vehicle technology.
  • Nontraditional money creation and exchange will enable 125 million more people to participate in the mainstream global economy.
  • Patients will be harmed or placed at risk by a medical device security breach.
  • National governments will require institutions to surrender student records for a redesigned, cost-cutting curriculum based on big data analysis.
  • Natural-language processing (NLP) use among large healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs) in English-speaking countries will quintuple, fueled by documentation, coding, quality reporting and research.
  • To avoid becoming simply transaction factories, successful payer organizations will turn to information integration as their competitive differentiator.
  • Pay-as-you-drive insurance will rise significantly to account for 10 percent of overall annual auto insurance premiums.
  • More than 50 percent of the media sold to advertisers by agencies will be priced based on performance.
  • Less than 2 percent of consumers globally will adopt Near Field Communication (NFC)-based mobile payments.
  • More than 50% of government shared-service organizations that provide cloud services by 2015 will discontinue or downscale them.
  • 50% of Tier 1 consumer goods manufacturers will invest in technology startups to maintain access to emerging business-to-consumer (B2C) technology.
  • At least 25% of discrete manufacturers will adopt 3D printing to produce parts for products they sell or service.
  • Enterprise software spend will increase by 25 percent from current figures as a consequence of the proliferation of smart operational technology (OT).





Worldwide ECB disk storage market up 3.6% in Q3FY12

Worldwide external controller-based (ECB) disk storage vendor revenue totaled US$5.3bn in the third quarter of 2012, a 3.6 percent increase from revenue of US$5.1bn in the third quarter of 2011. The third quarter of 2012 was the 12th consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth.

While not as robust as in the past, the network-attached storage (NAS) segment grew 10.9%. The block-access segment composed of storage area network (SAN) and direct-attached storage (DAS) increased only 1.6 percent in third quarter 2012. The block-access SAN/DAS market segment represented 76.2% of the total ECB disk storage market in the third quarter of 2012. The NAS segment gained 1.5 points of share to represent 23.1% of the total ECB disk storage market in the third quarter of 2012.

Four vendors — Hitachi/Hitachi Data Systems, Fujitsu, EMC and NetApp — outgrew the market in the third quarter of 2012. Hitachi/Hitachi Data Systems’ high-end VSP offering exhibited particular strength, while its midrange platforms achieved positive year-over-year growth for the first time in 2012. Fujitsu continued to emphasize its high-end and midrange Eternus brand storage platforms, gaining share in Europe, as well as in Japan. Even in a down market, EMC’s broad ECB disk storage portfolio enabled it to realize the greatest year-over-year market share gain. Recovering from a poor performance in the second quarter of 2012, NetApp showed signs of regaining its footing as market traction for its Cluster-Mode Data ONTAP and FlexPod offerings increased

Dell, HP, IBM and Oracle face difficulties beyond global macroeconomic issues. Lack of significant presence in the high-growth NAS market segment, in conjunction with the abrupt Compellent Storage Center and EqualLogic PS Series revenue shortfall, the latter apparently due to changing go-to-market strategies resulting from executive leadership changes, contributed to Dell’s third quarter 2012 annual revenue drop-off.

Beyond the turmoil surrounding HP’s board of directors and associated corporate activities, HP faces additional headwinds. Over 43 percent of its ECB disk storage revenue comes from the weakest region: EMEA. In spite of the impressive 72 percent year-over-year increase in 3PAR StoreServ revenue, it alone is unable to offset the drag of legacy P9000 XP, P6000 EVA, P4000 SAN and P2000 MSA products, which collectively deteriorated 24.5% in the third quarter of 2012 compared with the third quarter of 2011.

Considering the breadth and competiveness of its ECB disk storage portfolio, IBM’s third quarter 2012 annual revenue decline is attributed in part to faulty field operation strategy and execution, as well as to the fall off in DS8000 series which is closely aligned with System z and Power System server sales, and midrange DS5000/3000 and N series revenue.

Despite continued R&D investment by Oracle in its discrete ZFS Storage Appliance and Pillar Axiom storage platforms, users remain skeptical of Oracle’s long-range commitment its ECB disk storage business.

Rebounding from the March 2011 tsunami disaster, vendor revenue in Japan increased 11.2%, followed by North America, Asia/Pacific and Latin America with only 5.7, 4.8, and 1% year-over-year growth in the third quarter 2012. Displaying broad economic uncertainty, EMEA declined 2.2 percent.


Worldwide Semiconductor sales up 4.5%; to reach US$311bn in 2013

Worldwide semiconductor revenue is projected to total US$311bn in 2013, a 4.5% increase from 2012 revenue. Due to economic headwinds and an inventory correction, the fourth quarter projections have been revised down from the previous quarter’s forecast of US$330bn.

Growth predictions for 2012 have been reduced with semiconductor revenue expected to total US$298bn, down 3% from 2011. Third quarter forecast had put revenue at US$309bn for 2012, which would have meant an increase of 0.6% from 2011.

The semiconductor market was further depressed when DRAM prices failed to rebound in 2012. It is expected that the DRAM market will not recover until the second half of 2013, when lower supply growth is expected to pull the market into a period of undersupply. This should prove a turning point for the semiconductor industry; memory is expected to lead the recovery with 15.3% growth and total semiconductor revenue is projected to reach US$342bn in 2014, an increase of 9.9% from 2013.

The “Apple effect” is expected to remain pronounced in 2013, helping drive strong NAND and application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) revenue growth of 17.2% and 9.4%, respectively. ASICs will also benefit from the new generation of video game consoles being introduced in late 2012 and 2013.

PC production will decline 2.5% in 2012. In 2013, total PC production is expected to remain weak; however, ultramobile PCs will grow strongly off a small base. The challenging economic environment has contributed to PC life cycle extension, in addition to users extending the life of their PCs as they adopt tablets.

Mobile phone production growth in 2012 and 2013 is predicted to soften overall as the tough economy reduces short-term demand for phones. However, the forecast for utility/basic smartphones has been increased, largely at the expense of traditional phones. In particular, adoption of Android-based entry-level smartphones in emerging regions continues to accelerate and will be a key growth driver. Worldwide smartphone unit production growth in 2013 is forecast to be 33%.

Media tablet production is also forecast to grow in 2013, rising 38.5% to 207.1 million units, up from the third quarter forecast of 169.8 million units. The success of the Amazon Kindle Fire, Google Nexus 7 and Apple iPad Mini illustrate the large opportunity for smaller tablets at the right price, while the white-box tablet market is stronger than anticipated, boosting the overall forecast.

Best practices for moving to a culture of extreme collaboration

CIOs and business managers will fail in their efforts to improve business performance outcomes through business process management (BPM) if they cannot overcome major barriers to cross-functional communication and collaboration. Business leaders can avoid this failure by embracing extreme collaboration (XC), a new operating model and an extreme style of collaboration.

XC is enabled by combing four nexus forces into a pattern that can dramatically innovate the way people behave, communicate, work together and maintain relationships — often across wide organizational and geographic boundaries — to collectively deliver breakthrough process performance.


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