Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Intel may announce management overhaul today: reports

New York
The Economic Times
Intel is expected to announce a management shake-up on Monday that will see its core chip business-head Patrick Gelsinger leave the company after 30 years, says a media report.

Attributing to people briefed on the company, The New York Times said, Intel is expected to reveal a sweeping management change on Monday.

Among other changes, the chipmaker would announce that Pat Gelsinger, the senior vice president in charge of Intel's enterprise group, is leaving the company after 30 years performing a variety of roles, the report said citing these people.

Another media report, The Wall Street Journal, said 48-year-old Gelsinger would run computer-storage giant EMC's storage-products operations and some smaller software units, effective immediately.

As Gelsinger departs, Sean Maloney, Intel's head of sales and marketing, would take on an even larger role at the company, the NYT said citing the same people.

All of Intel's major chip businesses, including its PC, graphics and server chips would fall under Maloney, while Dadi Perlmutter, the head of Intel's laptop chips, would now oversee engineering for all the chip divisions.

Maloney, Intel's sales chief, is also considered to be one of the possible successor to Intel CEO Paul Otellini.

Canon to provide multifunction printers to HP

The Economic Times
Japan's Canon Inc said on Monday that together with Hewlett-Packard they have agreed to jointly market and distribute multifunction office systems.

Canon, which already supplies laser beam printers to HP on an original equipment manufacturer basis, will start providing advanced multifunctional printers to the US company later this year.

Software to help diagnose cardiac infections

The Times of India (Kolkata edition)
A teachable software, designed to mimic the human brain, may help diagnose cardiac infections in a non-invasive manner, suggests a new research. Endocarditis — an infection involving the valves and sometimes chambers of the heart — can be a problem in patients with implants. It is a serious condition and can be deadly. The mortality rate can be as high as one in five, even with aggressive treatment and removal of the device.

UK woos investment from India in IT sector

Writankar Mukherjee, Kolkata
The Economic Times (Kolkata edition)
At a time when the global economy is showing signs of bottoming out, the UK government is going all out to attract Indian investment in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector. At least 50 Indian ICT companies have shown interest to either set up operations or expand their existing base in the UK, said UK Trade and Investment sector champion (digital technology and content) Dave Gorshkov.

Talking to ET during his visit to Kolkata on Monday, Gorshkov said UK is pitching hard to the Indian companies about its £17-billion worth of annual government ICT tenders.

“The recession has not impacted UK’s spending on IT. In fact, it has gone up by £1-billion since the government is seeing the benefits of e-governance. Equally large opportunities exist in the private sector,” he said.

“India’s leading IT companies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL and Mastek already work on a significant number of e-governance projects in the UK. National Health Services has the largest IT budget in UK, estimated to be £9-billion alone. We expect such lucrative opportunities will attract several of the Indian companies,” said Gorshkov.

While the US is the largest contributor for FDI in the UK, India currently figures at the second position. “Even in the ICT sector, India is at the second slot for FDI inflows in UK. Some of the big Indian players are already present, but we now want to attract the tier II companies,” Gorshkov said.

Gorshkov said the UK government is also trying to encourage foreign ICT companies to create jobs in the UK. “However, some companies need to outsource jobs to locations like India to be commercially viable. Still, the government tries to ensure that the higher value, senior management and supervisory roles’ positions remain with UK citizens,” he said.

However, Gorshkov added that the cost of talent has also rationalised in the UK due to recession. “As a result, salaries of engineering human resource in the UK is now as attractive as in India. We expect this will also drive local employment in UK by the Indian companies,” he said.

State beats southern peers in IT infra projects

Subrahmanyan Viswanath, Bangalore
Deccan Herald
Recession may have put paid to big-ticket ambitions of global corporations. The economic slowdown, sending majority of them into cost-cutting mode reining in their IT spends. However, closer home, though, global developments have not, in anyway, dented investments in IT & ITeS infrastructure projects by private developers, across southern states of India. And given it’s iconic status as Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore, in particular, & Karnataka, in general, as ever, lead from the front.

Being the most proactive State, and most sought after IT destinations, Karnataka, and Bangalore, have bagged most number of IT & ITeS infrastructure project investments compared to their equally successfully striding southern peers.

According to Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) quarterly update, prepared by ICRA Management Consultancy Services Limited accessed by Deccan Herald, of the 204 IT & ITeS infrastructure projects in Southern India, Karnataka lead with total of 57 projects, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 46, Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry combine 88 and Kerala 13.

While among total 204 projects, 37 percent of these investments are under execution, 30 percent of projects have been completed and 28 percent under planning stage. In Karnataka, from among 57 projects, 16 are under execution, 26 in planning stage, 11 completed as of July 2009. Though investments run into several thousand crore, they have not been declared. What’s more heartening is the State’s plans to push projects into Tier-II cities are bearing results with few lined up in the districts of Mysore & Mandya as well, sources said.

Proposals in play
Those under execution are: Supreme Build Cap’s Rs 222 crore Global Tech Park at Deverabisanahalli. IBC Knowledge Park’s Rs 82.2 crore STP on Bannerghatta Road. Jaypee Group’s Rs 20 crore STP at Electronic City. The Rs 375 crore IT Pritech Park-II at Bellandur by Primal Projects. Bhoruka Group’s Rs 250 crore Bhoruka Tech Park at Whitefield. Upkar Software Facilities Software Development Centre on Hosur Road.

Fortune Builders & Developers STP. Harita Projects IT Park at Electronic City. Tata Group’s Project at Mahadevpura. Immaculate Holdings Immaculate Grands IT Park. Fortuna’s Tech Park at Electronic City. Kaushtubha Project’s IT Park at Devanam Plaza, Bangalore. Pallonji Group’s IT Park at S P Infocity, Mysore. Adarsh Prime Project’s IT Park in Bangalore. Ashtha Infrastructure’s IT Park at Electronic City and India Builders Corp’s Knowledge Park-Tower.

Those proposed are: Sri IT Park. Vaswani Group’s IT Park. Sunil Mantri’s Mantri Axis. Gulf Oil Corporation’s IT Park at Yelahanka. Harita Project’s, Salarpuria Project’s IT Park at Koorgalli. Nova Hamlet Ltd’s Software Park at Mysore. Abharana Infotech’s IT Park at Hebbagodi. SR Constructions IT Park at Mysore. Kalyani Developer’s at Koorgalli. Kruthi Computer Services’ STP at Mysore. Alliance Infrastructure’s STP, Pathak Constructions Pratham Tech Park at Mettagalli. Adarsh Prime Project’s Adarsh IT Park at Whitefield. Team 4ce Friendly Consortium’s IT Park at Mandya and Sita Lodge’s IT park at Bandapur.

New entrepreneurs shifting from IT-Related projects: TIE

Bhaskar Hazarika, New Delhi
Financial Chronicle
First generation entrepreneurs are now shifting the focus from IT development products to retail, media, education, healthcare and bio-technology. Out of every 10 upcoming entrepreneurs seeking seed funding for projects, six to seven are not associated with IT development or products.

Elaborating on this trend, Saurabh Srivastava, chairman emeritus of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), Delhi said that entrepreneurship had matured in India and there was a paradigm shift from traditional IT development to other verticals. ’“Entrepreneurship is changing in India as we see a lot of ideas in the other business segments. Today, retail, biotech, clean tech, education and media are evolving fields”, he said.

TiE helps in funding entrepreneurs through initial investment and also guides them to get funding from venture capitals. “The first generation of entrepreneurs brought in IT-related products and service innovations to the table since the Indian IT industry offered a lot of scope for them. But today, entrepreneurs are diversifying into other business verticals,” Srivastava said.

With the global credit crunch there has been scarcity of seed funding in the US. However, India continues to be an optimistic destination for venture capitalists. Srivastava said the downturn had not impacted the availability of seed funding much. “Financing and entrepreneurs grow hand in hand. Usually, a slowdown is the best time for investing in entrepreneurs. Unlike earlier, today venture capitalists are looking at investing in other business verticals. Entrepreneurship is converting job seekers into job creators,” he added.

Indian scientist invents fastest disk encryption system

An Indian scientist has claimed to have developed the fastest internationally known method to encrypt hard disk of a computer so that data remains secure even from attack by hackers.

The new algorithm developed by Palash Sarkar, a professor at the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata, is reportedly 30 to 40% faster than the previous ones.

From a practical point of view, the requirement is actually to achieve both speed and security. Otherwise, encryption and decryption may take so much time that softwares which run on computers become unacceptably slow, Sarkar said.

“And, in the current state of the art, this work provides the fastest known algorithm for disk encryption,” Sarkar claimed.

The results of the research will appear in October 2009 issue of the ‘IEEE Transactions on Information Theory’, one of the top research journals in the field of transmission, processing and utilization of information.

Asked how he claims his algorithm to be the ‘fastest’, he replied, “One has to see this in the context of the anonymous and strict review process of the journal ‘IEEE Transactions on Information Theory’.

The reviewers allowed this claim to stand because I could scientifically justify it in the paper. A hollow claim would have been struck down by the reviewers, he added.

The claim of speed improvement in the new scheme is based on hardware implementation carried out by a group of Mexico-based scientists led by Dr Debrup Chakraborty.

“The software implementation of the algorithm is expected to give more speedups compared to that of other methods,” Chakraborty said in an email interview.

Chakraborty and his colleagues have been working on several aspects of disk encryption since past few years at the Center for Advanced Studies and Research of the National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico.

The details of the new algorithm involve techniques of computer science, abstract algebra and discrete probability theory, Sarkar said.

Polaris ties up with HK firm for foray into CHINA, MACAU

Shyamala Seetharamanan, Chennai
Financial Chronicle The Times of India The Hindu
Polaris Software Lab announced its tie up with PCCW Solutions on Monday to jointly market the former’s banking and insurance solutions in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China. The move is part of Polaris’ strategy to explore new markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

PCCW Solutions is a subsidiary of Hong-Kong-based telecommunications company PCCW. The two companies will leverage Polaris’ flagship product Intellect Universal Global Banking (GUB) 10.0. The partnership will integrate presales and sales operations and solution architects of the two companies to cater to the Chinese market.

Polaris has identified China, Russia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe as the growth markets for the Intellect suite of products, said Arun Jain, chairman and CEO of Polaris. The company entered Vietnam, Chile and Egypt last year. The roadmap for this fiscal includes entry into new markets and setting up of sales forces to aggressively market all of the group’s products such as banking, HR and insurance solutions, he said in a recent interview.

“We will keep looking for newer markets in South and West Asia and Africa and the minimum criterion for choosing a country would be whether it can contribute at least $10 million revenue over three years. We will be spending between Rs 15 crore and Rs 20 crore to enter the new countries this year,” he added.

The strategy is an extension of Polaris’ three-point growth engine, which includes expansion of services offered to tier I organisations; tapping tier II and tier III banks and financial institutions in developed markets, and entering new markets to gain leadership position in the respective countries.

Polaris reported about 79-per-cent increase in net profit to Rs 130.71 crore for the year ended March 31, 2009.

Elitecore eyes RS 100 crore acquisition in network security

Vinay Umarji, Mumbai/Ahmedabad
Business Standard
In a bid to become a $ 50 million within two years, Elitecore Technologies is mulling to take the inorganic route. The Ahmedabad-based company is looking at Rs 100 crore acquisition in the US or European markets in the network security segment. As an option, the company is also open to technology acquisition from innovators in the country.

"We face a tough competition in the network security segment. Yet, recently we became the only Indian company in network security to feature in Gartner's report titled 'Magic Quadrant for SMB Multifunction Firewalls', along with the likes of CISCO, McAfee and Symantec. However, we would want to grow as quickly as possible and are looking at the inorganic route to do so," said Hemal Patel, chief executive officer of Elitecore Technologies Ltd.

While the company is pushing for revenue of $ 15 million (Rs 72 crore approx.) for the financial year 2009-10, by 2011-12, Elitecore intends to peg a turnover of $ 50 million in the network security segment. "We are primarily looking at a $ 20 million (Rs 100 crore approx.) acquisition of competition in the US or European markets since players there carry a larger footprints and will help us to grow large in a very short time. The good thing is that big companies don't see us as competition, which may help us in future acquisitions. We are also looking at technology acquisition from innovators in network security across the country," said Patel.

Talking further about the technology acquisition, Patel added, "We will create a platform for innovators to showcase their products and if we find a product suitable for our channel, we will either offer the innovator to be our OEM and earn royalties or allow to be acquired and be part of the company."

Meanwhile, the company will be simultaneously investing about $ 2 million (Rs 10 crore approx.) per annum on R&D to boost its network security offering and reach its $ 50 million turnover target earlier. Of the $ 15 million (Rs 72 crore approx.) revenue that Elitecore is targeting for financial year 2009-10, it expects to earn around $ 10 million of it from SMBs and the rest from large enterprises.

IBM logs on to SEWA

The Times of India
Thirty-eight-year-old Kensuke Kobayashi from Japan, an IT architect, is busy developing a user friendly computer application for members of Self Employed Women's Association (Sewa) and will help connect its rural members on a regular basis for their day-to-day needs by creating a database.

Kobayashi is among a group of IBM employees from Brazil, Canada, Ireland and Germany who have voluntarily opted to work in Ahmedabad for a month on various economic and social problems like improving the livelihood of rural tribal community, security of self-employed women, using technology to connect remote locations to centralized information hubs related to disaster warnings, weather reports and others. They all are part of IBM Corporate Services Corp (CSC) launched in year 2008.

Vice-president, Sales India /Sales Asia, IBM India Private Limited, Vanitha Narayanan told TOI, "CSC is a corporate version of the peace corps- where IBM addresses core societal, education and environmental challenges by placing employees in developing countries." She added, "IBM professionals voluntarily travel to developing countries where they will work with local bodies and agencies for capacity building and skill enhancement. Only 100 candidates out of 5,000 were chosen after a rigorous selection process."

Over a period of four months, about 40 global IBMers will partner with nine NGOs in Ahmedabad and Mumbai such as SEWA, IndiCorps, Tribal Development Department of Gujarat, Friends of Women's World Banking, India, Pratham, among others to work on diverse social projects.

Director of SEWA Reema Nanavaty said, "SEWA has over 1.1 million members who have 31,000 micro enterprises in diverse sector. We needed a user friendly and cost-effective technology to increase our operational efficiency. Technical input from IBM will help us develop a multiple marketing strategy for our 'RUDI Ben' project which will generate more employment opportunities for rural women and also improve their livelihood."

SMES take the MES route

Payal Agrawal
The Economic Times (Delhi edition)
In an increasingly competitive scenario with rapidly fluctuating customer demands, process flexibility and production scheduling is gaining significance for manufacturing industries, particularly the auto components sector.

The Indian automotive components manufacturing industry, largely composed of Tier II and Tier III firms, include original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other components manufacturers from the SME sector. The main problem here is to meet the fluctuating demands of automobile assemblers and fabricators who cater to both the domestic and the export markets. According to Milind Naik, Proprietor, Threa Dwell India, an auto components manufacturing company, “There is a lot of fluctuation in customer demands. In this scenario, automotive component manufacturers, particularly SMEs, need to think along production scheduling lines.”

It is equally essential for SMEs to deploy a system, which can track orders and the production status on a real-time basis. A seamless link has to be established between the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and the manufacturing facility to meet these fluctuating demands. Says Vijay Bhatt, Director, Panorama Automotive Industries, “Demands in this sector have become more dynamic, and often vary in terms of lot size and component specifications. Accommodating these demands requires extensive process flexibility and production scheduling.”

In general, manufacturers, especially SMEs, do not have the technical support to assess such abrupt demand patterns. This has prevented them from achieving sustainable production. According to Manoj Kumar Gala, MD, Precise Auto Ancillaries, “Customer demands in the auto components manufacturing sector have a very fluctuating nature. This has been a hindrance for auto components manufacturers, specially the SMEs in the domain.”

However, industry insiders are of the view that IT solutions and Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software can be implemented to resolve the issues. “IT solutions such as Manufacturing Execution System (MES) have proved essential to achieve sustainable production in manufacturing industries. SMEs in the domain should make efforts for large-scale implementation of MES,” opined Alok Sharma, CEO, Forge India.

MES is an IT-enabled solution, which manages the overall shop floor operations, and automatically reports production information and online enquiries to the production floor data centre on real-time basis. Some of the industrial tasks that SMEs can perform using MES include order processing, receipt generation, production scheduling, quality control, shipping and maintenance.

As a whole, MES instructs, begins, responds to, and reports on shop floor operations from the beginning of production until the product is finally manufactured. There are several core areas in the auto components manufacturing domain, which must receive greater focus to achieve sustainable production. With the application of MES, SMEs in the sector can successfully target these areas.

Production Scheduling

With the globalisation of auto industry, customer demands have become more versatile in terms of lot size, material and dimensional specifications, and delivery timelines. Production scheduling is a critical shop floor activity and SMEs in the auto components sector must optimise this function for greater benefits. Using MES, information can be delivered to the shop floor facility on a real-time basis, which will improve the production schedule by optimising all the manufacturing phases.

“We have implemented MES, which, along with our ERP setup, enables bidirectional information flow across the supply chain, thus integrating manufacturers and distributors in a seamless manner,” said Sharma.

This would help SMEs quickly take required actions to reschedule the production plan, thus minimising the Work in Process (WIP) and unscheduled downtimes.

A Framework for seamless integration

(The Economic Times, Delhi edition)
Abicor Binzel Production (India) is an SME providing welding solutions such as automotive welding accessories and robotic peripheral systems for fabricating automobile bodies in India. The company planned to expand its operations in the country. However, it faced some challenges with respect to demand and supply, inventory planning and scheduling. Tracking the quality of automobile welding systems and reporting financial results were other pressing problems.

Earlier, the company had implemented solutions like Tally for finance and Excel for demand and supply planning and other sales activities. However, due to the lack of coordination between financial activities and plantfloor operations, it was difficult to maintain multiple spreadsheets and aggregate the results in monthly or quarterly reports. This resulted in the submission of error-filled financial information. It was also difficult to comply with Indian taxation requirements. Moreover, the manual mode of demand and supply planning made the administration of inventory activities difficult.

Abicor needed a business solution to consolidate its financial operations and achieve quality consistency. Other requirements were to facilitate manufacturing processes and demand and supply planning, and manage the growing business more professionally.

Formulating a solution

Tectura, a worldwide business consultancy, provided a solution called Tectura Solution Framework (TSF). TSF, in alignment with Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step Methodology, provided for pre-analysis of Abicor’s business processes, identification of critical processes and evaluated the company’s current status. It also provided predefined templates for data and system migration, by which the data was exported from different legacy systems and imported to Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Tectura provided Abicor Binzel a scalable, flexible and ready-to-use solution spanning its entire range of industrial operations. These operations include procurement, production, inventory management, supply chain planning, sales and marketing, finance and accounting, and business analytics.

LG to re-enter laptop biz with mini notebooks by year end

New Delhi
The Economic Times Financial Chronicle The Hindu Business Line The Financial Express Business Standard The Times of India

Korean electronics giant LG will re-enter the laptop business in India with plans to launch mini notebooks by the end of this year.

The company had earlier this year in February stopped selling laptops in India due to financial non-viability.

"Notebooks hardly generate profit as big amount of purchase comes only from corporates...We had pulled out but we are thinking of starting again by launching netbooks (mini laptops) and other product line," LG Electronics India Managing Director Moon Bum Shin said.

The company will position the product in the premium segment and is looking at introducing it in the market this year.

"For notebook as compared to HP our base is small. So rather than push the material (volume) we are going to come up with premium marketing, which we are working on," he said.

The company had stopped selling its laptops in India in February this year. It was earlier selling models such as LG P1 Express Dual and LG M1 Express Dual with 15.4 inch wide-screen and 15 inch TFT respectively.

Cypress eyes cheaper solar photovoltaics

The Economic Times (Bangalore edition)
Cypress Semiconductor, a leading technology company, has placed large bets on the solar photovoltaic market in India with the aim of bringing affordable solutions to the end consumer.

Cypress forayed into the Indian solar photovoltaic market during end of 2008 and has few of its technologies already being implemented by a few enterprises.

Rajeev Mehtani, senior VP, Cypress Semiconductor, India said, “We are working in our development centres in Chennai and Bangalore to develop solutions for efficient use of solar energy and make it more affordable to the end users in India.” Some of these examples from Cypress include the intelligent Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) based charge controllers for solar street and home lighting ensuring a 15% reduction in costs or the LED solar lanterns which operates at lower cost. The above solution are based on Cypress’ programmable system-on-chip (PSoC) device technology.

Meanwhile, the company has introduced the PSoC creator, which automates the entire process of designing a chip. Cypress has working with few of its partners in India to develop these solar photovoltaic solutions. Mehtani said, “We are currently working with several companies in India enabling them to develop their own intelligent charge controllers based on Cypress’s Power PSoC technology. We also have customers that have developed dimmable solar LED lanterns using Cypress’s Programmable System-on-Chip (PSoC) products.” Solar photovoltaic market has become an important area of focus for Cypress and it has working with solar installation and product companies to requirements of the end consumers.