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December 2009

Vol 02 | Issue 02 | Rs.50

Green Tech does it Sell

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TIME TO ACT

CLOUD COMPUTING

DLP tools can put a stop to rampant data breaches – if you take timely measures

NISE director L S Subramanian details the concepts and the characteristics

VENDOR SPEAK Neeraj Singh from Dell Computer shares the company’s partner strategy to tap into SMBs

Most vendors tout environment-friendly initiatives, but does Green increase the inflow of money for partners?

Com-IT 2009 Catch some interesting glimpses from TAIT’s third annual expo and conference


editorial

The Idea of Green I

sanjay.gupta@9dot9.in

IT is creating a storm of its own because of the alarming levels of e-waste and high power consumption in data centres.

t’s difficult to encapsulate the idea of green in less than 400 words, but let me try. The idea of green is to live responsibly on the only planet that’s liveable. So that our future generations do not find themselves perched on an environmental disaster brought on by the destruction of forests and species; pollution of air, water and soil; depletion of natural resources, emission of greenhouse gases and accretion of waste. And so on... Green is an idea whose time should have long come – because whatever little ‘green’ is left on Earth seems set to be gone for ever. If you don’t believe me, just look at the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (at www.ipcc.ch) or consider the clamour of 192 countries at the just-concluded Copenhagen summit. Environmentalists and ‘greens’ are already labelling Copenhagen as Nopenhagen (whereas it was initially touted as Hopenhagen). Where does IT stand in all this cacophony? Right in the middle, I would say. On the one hand, IT is being used extensively to design or speed up alternative solutions to meet the world’s sustainability challenges. But on the other, IT is creating a storm of its own because of the alarming levels of e-waste and high power consumption in data centres. As per an estimate by the International Association of Electronics Recyclers, 3 BILLION units of consumer electronics products (including IT) will have been discarded in the decade 2001-2010. Arguably, only a tiny portion will be recycled.

Fortunately, many vendors have responded with ‘green’ products – those that use recycled components, use fewer or no hazardous substances, or cut down power consumption. They have also initiated take-back plans to dispose of used equipment in an environment-friendly manner. At the same time, there are allegations that most rich nations are simply ‘dumping’ their e-waste to be disposed of manually (a hazardous practice) in poor countries. And that many old products are merely tagged ‘green.’ Can the vendors and channel partners make businesses and consumers more aware of such issues? Will it negatively impact their sales or can they profitably yet responsibly pitch green products to customers (with real benefits rather than bogus claims)? Wouldn’t it make sense to make and sell products that last longer than just a few months? What are the trade-offs of promoting green habits and thinking? Do let me know what you think.

SANJAY GUPTA Editor Digit Channel Connect

sounding board sounding board

The following are some of the key channel issues highlighted by Ketan Patel, President, TAIT, Mumbai’s premier channel association, during his keynote at its recent COM-IT 2009 annual event: n Partners often find it difficult to differentiate various IT products to their customers. n Product life-cycles are getting shorter and shorter. n Profit margins are getting increasingly marginalised. n Large format retail stores have begun to eat into their sales. n While the economy is reviving, liquidity crunch is still there. n IT is getting increasingly commoditised.

Write to the Editor E-mail: editor@digitchannelconnect.com Snail Mail: The Editor, Digit Channel Connect, K-40, Connaught Place, New Delhi 110 001

n Last year no or little money was spent by vendors on channel development programmes. n Channel members must get more pricing support from vendors.

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contents

18 GreenTech

Vol 02 issue 02 | December 2009

does it Sell

Managing Director: Dr Pramath Raj Sinha Printer & Publisher: Kanak Ghosh

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Editorial Editor: Sanjay Gupta Sr. Correspondents: Charu Khera (Delhi), Soma Tah (Mumbai) Design Sr. Creative Director: Jayan K Narayanan Art Director: Binesh Sreedharan Associate Art Director: Anil VK Manager Design: Chander Shekhar Sr. Visualisers: PC Anoop, Santosh Kushwaha Sr. Designers: Prasanth TR & Anil T Photographer: Jiten Gandhi Brand Communication Product Manager: Ankur Agarwal Sales & Marketing VP Sales & Marketing: Navin Chand Singh National Manager - Events and Special Projects: Mahantesh Godi (09880436623) Business Manager (Engagement Platforms) Arvind Ambo (09819904050) National Manager - Channels: Krishnadas Kurup (09322971866) Asst. Brand Manager: Arpita Ganguli Co-ordinator - MIS & Scheduling: Aatish Mohite Bangalore & Chennai: Vinodh K (09740714817) Delhi: Pranav Saran (09312685289) Kolkata: Jayanta Bhattacharya (09331829284) Mumbai: Sachin Mhashilkar (09920348755)

Most vendors tout environmentfriendly initiatives for their products, but does Green increase the inflow of money for channel partners?

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SPECIAL REPORT

VENDOR SPEAK “We are aiming to be the Vendor of Choice for partners”

TIME TO ACT

NEERAJ SINGH, Head-Commercial Channel Operations, Dell India

The right set of Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tools can put a stop to the rampant data breach incidences among businesses and help them take a proactive approach to protecting business-critical data

techno touch

Strategies to Reduce your Information Security Risk

TAIT COM-IT 2009

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In order to secure customer interactions from threats, companies need to have multiple defensive walls in addition to following secure operational procedures

guest expression

The Future of Computing is the Cloud Cloud computing is not as hazy as it may sound. One just needs to look for parallels in other spheres of business and focus on the technology’s essential characteristics

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By L S Subramanian, Director, NISE

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Catch some interesting glimpses from the third annual expo of Mumbai’s premier channel association

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Production & Logistics Sr. GM Operations: Shivshankar M Hiremath Production Executive: Vilas Mhatre Logistics: MP Singh, Mohd. Ansari, Shashi Shekhar Singh Channel champs Sr Co-ordinator - Events: Rakesh Sequeira Events Executives: Pramod Jadhav, Johnson Noronha Audience Dev. Executive: Aparna Bobhate, Shilpa Surve OFFICE ADDRESS

regulars Editorial.......................................................... 03 TRENDS.............................................................. 06 Analyst Speak................................................. 40

advertisers index Canon.......................... Cover On Cover, Inside False Cover Neoteric................................................ Inside Front Cover EMC................................................................Back Cover Interface................................................Inside Back Cover Priya Ltd..........................................................................5 Rashi Peripherals.............................................................7 Supertron........................................................................9 MicroWorld...................................................................13 Gigabyte.......................................................................15 Jupiter..........................................................................21 Neoteric-McAfee...........................................................29 Quick Heal....................................................................33 HP................................................................................39

Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt Ltd., KPT House, Plot 41/13, Sector 30, Vashi, Navi Mumbai - 400 703 Phone: 40789666 Fax: 022-40789540, 022-40789640 Printed and published by Kanak Ghosh for Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt Ltd. C/O KPT House, Plot 41/13, Sector 30, Vashi (Near Sanpada Railway Station), Navi Mumbai 400703 Editor: Anuradha Das Mathur C/O KPT House, Plot 41/13, Sector 30, Vashi (Near Sanpada Railway Station), Navi Mumbai 400703 Printed at Silverpoint Press Pvt. Ltd, TTC Ind. Area, Plot No. : A - 403, MIDC, Mahape, Navi Mumbai - 400709

cover illustration

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design : prasanth t r


trends trends

Canon displaces HP as top seller of laser printers

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anon India has announced its leaderof laser printers, which have grown over 112 ship in the laser printer category in percent over same period last year.” India. As per an IDC report (for the VP Sajeevan, Assistant Director, Consumer third quarter of 2009), Canon holds the Systems Product Division (CSP), Canon India number one position in the single-function said, “At Canon, we spared no efforts to reach laser printer category – with a market share out to the key markets and consumers. Our at 41 percent. focus has always been to educate our partIt further stated that over the last 18 ners and customers about Canon’s product months, Canon’s laser printer business has range and technological advancement. We steadily grown and expanded its reach across are elated with this kind of response from the nation with its 18 products. Canon’s focus our nationwide consumers and partners, who on this category resulted in the growth in this have helped us, take lead in the laser segment. category from 13 percent in We attribute this success to all 2008 to 41 percent in 2009. the efforts that has gone into Alok Bharadwaj, Senior Vice developing Canon’s Consumer President, Canon India remarked Systems Product division as saying, “We are delighted to a strong player in the market. announce our market leadership Various campaigns like Print in the laser printer category. At City and City Specific campaign, Canon, we have been constantly our technically advanced prodworking towards achieving this ucts has today culminated into leadership with the help of our the 41 percent market share in product, service and marketing the laser printer category. We propositions. We are glad to finally aim at sustaining momentum be the number one brand in this to make each of our product consistently growing category categories equally strong in the with 41 percent market share. market.” This year we had largely focused Canon claims that with its Alok Bharadwaj, on initiatives that would help us to sustained efforts, it has created Senior VP, Canon India penetrate into tier-2 & 3 markets. a customer base of 350,000 for We have penetrated to 340 towns in India, which laser printers only, as of September 2009. has successfully resulted into this milestone. Canon aims at keeping up the pace and Technology has always been one of our key reaching out to its target customers to gain highlights that ensure brand loyalty among our further grounds in the Indian IT peripheral customers. Such achievements encourage us to market. To announce this achievement, perform better and capture larger market share.” Canon is launching a mass media campaign 2009 has particularly been quite tough across print, online, radio and outdoor along on IT and IT peripherals industry in India on with an industry campaign where 1,250 account of the impact of global slowdown. partners across 171 towns will receive a Overall, the laser printer industry shrank 24 letter from Canon along with flowers and percent in the first nine months, as per IDC. chocolates to celebrate this achievement at Alok further added, “Canon is the only brand the same time. n

HP launches Photosmart Premium 309G all-in-one printer DCC News Network P has launched the Photosmart Premium 309G all-in-one printer in India. As per the company, Photosmart is easy-to-use and sleek. This black, touch-enabled printer from HP is expected to make printing intuitive and effortless for the home consumers at an affordable price of Rs 13,350. HP claims that right from accessing photos from online albums at Snapfish and connecting to the Web via preloaded HP apps (with or without PC) and direct printing from iPhone, with a 3.45 inch touch-screen, the Photosmart will gratify craving for individuality and creativeness. The printer offers TouchSmart control panel with 3.45-inch touch screen. It has built-in Bluetooth, allows users to access and print photos from Snapfish without turning on the PC It is wireless and also offers 50 percent paper savings. Furthermore, it has HP Auto Sense feature that ensures that goof proof photos are printed on the right side of the paper. It has an auto-engaging photo tray that takes up to 5x7-inch photo papers and switches automatically between photo and document printing. n

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Jerome Rodriguez is the new MD for Socomec UPS

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ocomec UPS India, a part of France-based Socomec Group, has appointed Jerome Rodriguez as its MD. As per the company, the appointment of Rodriguez will strengthen its position in the country’s UPS business segment. Rodriguez will head the company in a strategic path of success focusing on the SME (small and medium enterprises) and SOHO (small office/home office) markets, which will be instrumental in driving not only the growth of the company but also the Indian UPS industry as well. He plans to take Socomec UPS

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India gradually to be amongst the top three in the UPS business segment across India. Towards this focus, initially he is to permeate the prospective areas of the Indian market with its new range of ‘ITYS’ and ‘NeTYS RT’ UPS systems - developed based on online double conversion technology - and ‘ASYS’ and ‘STATYS’ range of Static Transfer Switches, used to enable redundant power supply to all types of applications. He possesses an engineering degree from ENSAM Superior Engineering College (Paris). n


trends Logitech and Digit Channel Connect partner VCMDWA for Comp-Ex 2010 DCC News Network their latest product offerings at Comp-Ex 2010. idarbha Computer and Media Dealers’ “Name the brand and you will see it at Welfare Association (VCMDWA Nagpur) Comp-Ex 2010. AMD, APC, Apple, Asus, will be holding its 18th consecutive BenQ, Cisco, Compaq, Dell, Digi-Link, D-Link, annual IT mega event - Comp-Ex - from January Emerson, Epson, Gigabyte, HCL, Hitachi, HP, 14 to 18, 2010 at Ladies Club Lawns, Civil Lines, IBM, Kingston, Lenovo, LG, Linksys, Logitech, Nagpur. Logitech has been announced as the Microsoft, Microtek, Motorola, NEC, Panasonic, official sponsor of the event and 9dot9 Media Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Tech-Com, Toshiba, through Digit Channel Connect (DCC) is the Transcend, TVSE, Valrack, Viewsonic, Wep, official national IT media partner. Western Digital, Wipro, Xerox, Zebronics and During the recently held Zenith are some of the vendors who general body meeting, the are sure to participate at this year association has received expo,” claimed Ugemuge. tremendous response to This year, Comp-Ex 2010 would stall booking, with about 40 house more than 25 pavilions and percent bookings within the close to 90 stalls, cafeteria and a first 30 minutes. “In fact, there helpdesk. “Comp-Ex 2010 will was a draw of lots for some witness visitors from all segments prominent stall locations, like large national corporates, MNCs, explained Prashant Ugemuge, software companies, BPOs, small President, VCMDWA who and medium business enterprises, further said that this year central and state govt establishComp-Ex will be held for ments, education, small office home five-days, unlike traditionally Prashant Ugemuge, President, office (SOHO), professionals and home a four-day event. “In the past, VCMDWA users. In all, more than 2 lakh footfalls many vendors and visitors are anticipated,” said Ugemuge. have requested for an extension of Comp-Ex He further added that stall bookings are by at least one day. It was therefore decided to now open and will be done on first-come firsthave Comp-Ex 2010, a five day event,” added served basis. (For further details, see the website Ugemuge. www.vcmdwa.org). As per the association, all major global IT playPresent at the GBM were Prashant Ugemuge, ers will have their presence at Comp-Ex, either President; Reeta Budhay, Secretary; Rajesh directly, or through their channel partners. Saboo, Joint Secretary; Prashant Bulbule, Apart from IT, leaders from telecom and office Treasurer and Executive Members Virendra automation industry are expected to showcase Patrikar and Vinay Dharmadhikari. n

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Printer, copier, MFP market declines 16% DCC News Network he combined printer, copier and multifunctional product (MFP) market in India (totalled nearly 0.6 million units in the third quarter of 2009), witnessed a 15.7 percent decline over the third quarter of 2008, according to Gartner. “Though the market declined year on year, there was a growth of 10 percent as compared to the second quarter in 2009. Sentiments are improving in India and the Indian printer market has seen positive response, with consumers and businesses again starting to spend on print devices,” said Vishal Tripathi, Principal Research Analyst at Gartner. Many top-tier vendors experienced significant shipment declines in the third quarter of 2008. Shipment declines by vendors such as Xerox with a 58 percent decrease, followed by Panasonic with 39 percent, HP at 32 percent, Brother with 28 percent, and Samsung Electronics with 21 percent decline primarily contributed to overall decline of the market which could not be offset with Epson and Canon’s growth. In the Indian printer, copier and MFP market, with the exception of Canon and Epson, three of the top-five vendors recorded a decline in the third quarter of 2009. For the first time Canon replaced HP from its No 1 position in the Indian page printer market with a market share of 38.7 percent as compared to 36.2 percent of HP. n

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ViewSonic introduces two new green LED monitors DCC News Network iewSonic has launched two new products in the line of its LED monitors - a 15.6-inch LED monitor (VA1601w) and 19-inch LED called VX1932wm. As per the company, the monitors are environmentallyfriendly and reduce energy consumption. The VX1932wm-LED monitor provides DCR at 10,000,000:1. The WLED Backlight technology automatically detects image signal and intelligently controls backlight brightness, as a result of this property its widescreen display makes the black, true black in a dark scene and the white, whiter in a bright environment. The perfect picture quality eliminates image distortion by maintaining correct image proportions for both widescreen and native 4:3 content. It automatically adjusts the gray level and for this reason it enhances the LCD monitor’s gray

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level performance range. Abiding by the green products, the monitor boasts its eco-friendly mercury-free WLED backlight. The VA1601w-LED LCD Monitor features a 15.6-inch of viewable area designed with the wide screen format. The monitor features LED backlight technology consuming less power and lowering the total carbon footprint. The LED is mercury free and much better for the environment, as the monitor consumes less than 1watt in standby mode and moderately not more than 10watts in normal operation. Characteristically, the

wide screen content or 4:3 content can be watched without being stretched with the automatic 4:3 pull down built into the monitor. “ViewSonic’s mission has always been to bring in latest technologies into Indian shore with shortest possible time to market. This time, we want to lead the eco friendly drive with our ‘Go Green, Go LED’ mission. We would like to draw every ones’ attention to be ecosensitive in our work place and contribute in a small way in saving the planet through this Green technology,” said Gautam Ghosh, Country Manager, ViewSonic India. n


trends Gigabyte launches Nvidia GeForce GT240 series graphics cards

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igabyte Technology has announced the launch of GeForceTM GT240 series graphics cards - GV-N240D5-512I and GV-N240D3-1GI in India. With 40nm process, GV-N240D5-512I and GV-N240D31GI provide good performance while using less power. As per the company, even during hardcore overclocking, the graphics cards can run in low operating temperatures. Using GDDR5 memory, GV-N240D5-512I even promises high-speed gaming experience. Both GV-N240D5-512I and GV-N240D3-1GI are supported by Gigabyte large fan sinks, which

allow cool air to flow freely to and guarantee quick heat dissipation. GV-N240D5-512I and GV-N240D3-1GI both supports DirectX 10.1 and shader model 4.1, through which users can enjoy 3D gaming visual experience. Also, both support Windows 7 OS, which enables users to have a more interactive and efficient GPU-accelerated environment. Along with Nvidia CUDA and PhysX technology, gamers will see real-time 3D physical effects and character interactions. In order to provide entertaining experience, the GV-N240D5-512I and GV-N240D3-1GI feature

native HDMI output, delivering fully integrated support for deep colour and 7.1 digital surround sound. In addition, Gigabyte GV-N240 series are featured on golden plated HDMI connector to fulfil users’ high definition audio and video needs simply through one cable. GV-N240D3-1GI implements Gigabyte ultradurable 2 boards that guarantee cooling, low power loss, and longer product life. Lower RDS (on) MOSFETs have lower power consumption during the switching process, resulting in less heat generated by the GPU. The products are available at Avnet (India), Ingram Micro, Redington (India) and Neoteric Infomatique and GV-N240D5-512I is priced at Rs 8,000 and GV-N240D3-1GI is priced at Rs 8,400. n

Consumers join hands with Microsoft to fight software piracy DCC News Network icrosoft India has announced the launch of new consumer-led education and enforcement initiative to reduce the menace of piracy in the country, basis the voluntarily submitted consumer reports on piracy. Aptly calling the initiative the ‘Consumer Action Day’, the move aims to protect consumers from the risks and perils of pirated/counterfeit software and to educate, enable and empower consumers to fight and reject piracy by reporting instances of software piracy and counterfeiting by the resellers and instances where they have been the victim of piracy. Over the last few months, Microsoft has received numerous complaints of serious nature from alert consumers who had unknowingly purchased unlicensed/counterfeit software and found it riddled with viruses or malware. Consumers who are victims of piracy or

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those who are aware of pirated products, which have been sold to them by fraudulent means can register a complaint with Microsoft by logging into www.microsoft. com/piracy or can write to piracy@microsoft.com . Furthermore, online resources like http://www.microsoft.com/howtotell/ provide detailed information and examples of unlicensed/counterfeit software to help consumers identify if their software is original, while Microsoft Genuine Advantage (WGA) and Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) will help consumers validate whether their software is original or not. Microsoft has taken these steps to help consumers who have provided full support, information and evidence to Microsoft’s anti-piracy team. Additionally, basis these complaints, Microsoft sent several caution notices to those resellers identified by the

customers, and initiated few civil legal actions on the errant resellers based on the consumer reports. Microsoft also undertook police led criminal market sweeps against channel pirates in the known hot beds of piracy in the country that included Lamington Road and Fort Area in Mumbai, Lalbagh in Lucknow and Krishna Nagar in New Delhi. These legal activities led to interim injunction from the courts and search and seizure of pirated software coupled with spot arrests of the pirates by the police, software piracy being a criminal offence. Vipul Sant, Director - Original Software Initiative, Microsoft remarked, “Software piracy is a problem that plagues the entire economy. It is time for collective action and we are encouraged by the consumers who have come forward to highlight their grievances before us.” n

Amkette launches wireless keyboard with optical trackball DCC News Network mkette has announced the launch of its wireless optical trackball keyboard. The device has been ergonomics designed and with 2.4GHz wireless technology for precise keyboard and trackball commands, the WF-301 works up to a distance of 10mtrs. The full-siz e unit is Windows 2000/XP/ Vista/7 as well as MAC OS X and Linux compatible. A space-saving trackball allows easy 360-degree navigation for gamers in the family. Offering low profile keys and multimedia controls, the wireless keyboard is ideal for

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professionals in different sectors like BFSI, Art and Direction, Media centres, etc. “The WF 301 keyboard provides the ultimate convenience for not only general usage, but also for anyone operating in an office,” commented Rajiv Bapna, Director, Amkette who further added that this lightweight and stylish keyboard offers mobility and comfor t wherever user s type. The dif ferent hotkeys give users quick access to some of the most common tasks such as e-mail access, volume control, and launching web browser at the push of a button.

The keyboard even features a power saving circuit, which switches the keyboard off automatically if not in use for four minutes. Full function optical trackball features scroll wheel and two sets of right and left buttons for ease of operation while holding the keyboard in hands. It further uses 2.4GHz Radio Frequency (RF) communications technology, which allows the keyboard to easily operate through the closed doors of home entertainment center, walls and other obstacles. The technology even offers secure encryption. The keyboards have 10 multimedia hot keys and are conveniently located at the top of the unit and pave the way for easy access to the Internet, Windows Media Player, etc. n


trends Cos to spend more on private clouds than public ones through 2012: Gartner DCC News Network espite the economies of scale offered by public cloud providers, private cloud services will prevail for the foreseeable future while public cloud offerings mature, according to Gartner, Inc. Through 2012, IT organisations will spend more money on private cloud computing investments than on offerings from public cloud providers. Gartner defines public cloud computing as a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to external customers using Internet tewchnologies. Private cloud computing is defined as a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to internal customers using Internet technologies. “The hype of cloud computing is that existing IT architectures and processes can be simply replaced by the cloud. The reality of the future IT organisation, however, is somewhat a combination. Larger enterprises will continue to have

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an IT organisation that manages and deploys IT resources internally, some of which will be private clouds. IT organisations will also take on IT service sourcing responsibility, determining when to leverage external providers, when to deploy internally, and when to leverage both for specific services,” said Tom Bittman, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner. Private cloud services will be a stepping stone to future public cloud services and, over time, will span both private and public cloud resources in a hybrid manner. For many large enterprises, private cloud services will therefore be required for many years, perhaps decades, as public cloud offerings mature. Gartner analysts said appropriate investments in private cloud computing will also make it easier for enterprises to gradually use public cloud services in the future. For services destined to be cloud at some point, enterprises should evaluate the return on investment from

developing private cloud services, while waiting for external offerings to mature. “Many of the investments in private cloud computing will prepare the enterprise for public cloud computing. These investments are not just technology changes — they are also process, cultural and business interface changes,” said Bittman who further added, “Making these changes sooner rather than later will help enterprises to take better cloud sourcing decisions and potentially make for an easier transition to public cloud computing.” As per the report, enterprises also need to be aware that some IT services are destined for the cloud computing style and others are destined for more integration and intimacy with the business. Once it is established that a particular service is destined for cloud computing, then a decision needs to be made as to whether it makes more business senses to wait for a mature cloud service to appear or to develop private cloud services sooner. “Each cloud service will have a different road map for the future — some should be focused on tighter integration, intimacy customization and differentiation for the business,” Bittman said. n

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trends

Rashi launches Channel Business Forum-V in 52 towns DCC News Network

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ashi Peripherals has announced the commencement of Channel Business Forum –V (CBF) to be held across the country starting with Shillong and Aizwal simultaneously from 7 December 2009 onwards. CBF, now in its 5th year, is a Rashi initiative to help partners take informed decisions. Together, with the vendor partners like Altec Lansing, AMD, Asus, Netgear, Logitech and SanDisk,

Rashi will share information, knowledge, and practical experiences. Announcing the CBF – V open, Suresh Pansari, Director, Rashi Peripherals, said, “This year, there has seen some improvements in the IT market and we have managed to grow at a decent pace. Our consistent endeavours to train and update our partners have played a key role in enhancing growth prospects. The focus of our team has always been on developing new markets, setting new trends in these markets, and providing partners an opportunity to up sell good quality products. Through CBF – V, we will be reaching out to partners, in the D & E-class regions to help them formulate appropriate business strategies enabling faster and profitable growth.” CBF – V will travel across 52 towns in the D and E category, where Rashi does not have branch offices, covering more Suresh Pansari, MD, Rashi Peripherals, with the new promo for CBF than 26 states spanning 78

days. This is an attempt by Rashi to develop future IT markets of India, providing learning experience to all participants unlike a usual road show. As per the company, the event format is designed in a manner so as to bring out a mirror view of what partners actually think about brands, products, technologies and business strategies adopted in the Indian IT market. Unlike the usual format of presentations and product displays, the entire session would be based on two ways interaction followed by a live poll on various issues to understand partner’s perception of technology and products very much on the lines of KBC (Kaun Banega Karorepati). For this, Rashi has imported polling gadgets from US. The phase 1 of CBF – V will begin from Shillong and Aizwal and cover the entire north east and east regions. The rest of regions will be covered in January and February 2010 reaching most of the D and E-class towns across the country. Some of the towns that will be covered are Tinsukhia, Dimapur, Mandi, Pathankhot, Satna, Bardhamman, Durg, Villuppuram and Kakinada to name a few. n

Dell launches Inspiron One 19 PC

Seagate launches Pulsar SSD

DCC News Network ell has launched Inspiron One 19 all-in-one home PC. As per Dell, the new PC is easy to set up by just plugging in the power cord with everything built into a single flat panel display to let users surf the net, watch movies, organise the family photo album and music library, chat or e-mail. Inspiron One 19 has built-in Wi-Fi, Webcam, disk storage, DVD drive, power adapter and high-definition widescreen colour display. It has 18.5inch display, sleek design as well as glossy black frame and includes a built-in stand for upright viewing. “The Inspiron One 19 is a perfect fit for the lifestyles of many different people. It will fit almost anywhere in the home, apartment or a university dorm room,” said Girish Mehta, Consumer Marketing Director, Dell India. “And the Inspiron One 19 performs as well as it looks so it can handle the common tasks we all use at home every day.” It further has Intel Pentium Dual Core/Core2Duo processors with integrated graphics, up to 4GB dualchannel DDR2 memory, up to 640GB hard drive storage, tray-load 16x DVD+/-RW optical drive, integrated networking and available 802.11 b/g wireless connectivity, integrated audio with dual 2-watt side speakers, built-in 8-in-1 media card reader and standard 1.3MP webcam and integrated microphone. The Inspiron One 19 is available for purchase immediately from select retail par tners in India starting at Rs 29,900. n

DCC News Network eagate has introduced the Seagate Pulsar drive, the first product in its new enterprise solid state drive (SSD) family. Designed for enterprise blade and general server applications, the Pulsar drive uses single-level cell (SLC) technology, delivers up to 200GB capacity, and is built in a 2.5-inch small form factor with a SATA interface. “Seagate is optimistic about the enterprise SSD opportunity and views the product category as enabling expansion of the overall storage market for both SSDs and HDDs,” said Dave Mosley, Seagate Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing, and Product Line Management. “Our strategy is to provide our customers with the exact storage device they need for any application, regardless of the component technology used. We are delivering on that strategy with the Pulsar drive, and users can expect additional products in the future from Seagate using a variety of solid state and rotating media components.” As per the company, the Pulsar SSD delivers performance, reliability, and endurance to match the application environments of enterprise blade and general servers. It achieves a peak performance of up to 30,000 read IOPS and 25,000 write IOPS, 240MB/s sequential read and 200 MB/s sequential write. Its SLC-based design optimises reliability and endurance and helps provide a .44 percent AFR rating with a five-year limited warranty. n

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trends

Progress Software expands India operations DCC News Network

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rogress Software India, a subsidiary of Progress Software Corporation - a software provider of infrastructure software products that enables enterprises to be operationally responsive, has inaugurated its new facility in Hyderabad at iLabs Campus, Madhapur by Peter Sliwkowski, Member of the Executive Team, Progress software. Progress Software India is organised around Centres of Expertise (COE) for technology horizontals that specialise in a specific technology working on multiple product lines and leveraging the shared expertise, insights and scale. Progress Software India plans to grow by about 50 percent in the next two years with over $10mn that have been invested in the Hyderabad facility over the last five years. Commenting on the occasion, Ramesh

Loganathan, MD & VP – Products, Progress Software India said, “In the five years since inception, Progress Software India has grown from being an off-shore resource center to now being organised in a COE model. This model, unique in the offshore product development space, has delivered high levels of efficiency and innovation to the Progress product portfolio.” Peter Sliwkowski, Member of the Executive Team, Progress Software Corporation said, “Our India development centre intends to take the lead in the technology space to increasingly play a strategic and critical role in the overall Progress product engineering. Progress Software India is now driving the new product definition and development towards integrating the tools in the Progress product portfolio.” n

Cyberstar appoints regional sub-distributors for Lexmark products in India DCC News Network yberstar Infocom has appointed regional peripheral with all print, scan, copy and sub-distributors across India to promote fax. This product has been well received in Lexmark products lines. As per Cyberstar, the market and Cyberstar had received good the newly appointed sub-distributors are excited response from its customers after experiencing about the product range of Lexmark and they the product. Having created the benchmark intend taking Lexmark on to for the Lexmark products, it the next level. will support the sub-distribAs a national distributor, utors penetrate the market Cyberstar is in charge of smoothly. pan India sales of Lexmark, “Our association with and the regional distribuCyberstar will enhance tors will be responsible for our support activities for the sales of their respective Lexmark in organising regions. “After a rigorous events, dealer programs and look out for sub-distributors appealing partner scheme, for Lexmark, we are happy we look forward to a long to have zeroed down on a standing relation,” says capable few who will work another proud distribuclosely with us to make a tor Vidhyadhar, Managing difference to the brand”, says Director, Vipra Sales and Raj Rathi, Managing Director Services, Pune. Raj Rathi, MD, Cyberstar Infocom of Cyberstar Infocom. The other sub-distributors Ketan C Patel, CEO, Creative are Jain Infosys, Sunflower Peripherals & Distributions, Mumbai said, “We Electronics, The Computer Store1, Lynx are excited to be partnering with Cyberstar in Technologies and Techno India in Guwahati, promoting Lexmark’s range of products in our Texas in Cochin, Office Solutions in Delhi, Quad region, we are sure to receive handful expertise 360 Degrees in Gurgaon, Modern Computers support from Cyberstar.” in Ludhiana, Help line in Hyderabad, Lalani Recently, Cyberstar launched Lexmark allInfoTech in Kolkata and Fine Electronics in in-one X5650, which is a multi-functional Coimbatore. n

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Sandip Naik, Head of Channel Sales, AMD India

AMD, Rashi and Asus partner to launch Black Box Premium DCC News Network MD, Rashi Peripherals and Asus have jointly introduced an exciting combo offer, the Black Box Premium specially designed for system builders. The Black Box combo pack offers combination of PC components, which consists of AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Processor and Asus Graphic Card based on ATI’s Radeon HD 4650 and an Asus Motherboard based on the 740G chipset. This offer comes with assured gifts like multimedia Ruby ROM DVD with demo games and AMD Utility software pack for consumers. In addition, the channel partner will receive an AMD branded T-shirt, along with a scratch card, which entitles the channel partner to scratch and win exciting prizes such as keyboards, UPS and monitors. The Black Box premium combo offer will be available across 20 cities in India and is distributed through Rashi Peripherals through 200 partners at a price point of Rs 12, 800. The special offer is valid till December 25th. Sandip Naik, Head of Channel Sales, AMD India said, “AMD platforms offer good gaming experience and visual experience that is demanded by consumers today. The combo pack consists of power packed processor, graphic card and motherboard and is aligned with our objective to provide great computing experience and adding value for consumers. It’s a great opportunity for consumers who can benefit from the quality of the components in a single package.” n

A


trends

Cisco ‘Network On Wheels’ drives into Mumbai DCC News Network

products and solutions designed ground-up isco has shared its plans to tap the comfor the SMB market, and the NOW Van primercial segment in the West and also marily features technology of interest to this showcased the refreshed ‘Network On segment. In Maharashtra and the extended Wheels’ (NOW) Van in Mumbai. Western region of India, Cisco aims to reach Cisco’s strategy, of which the NOW Van is out to fast-growing sectors like IT, educaan integral part, is focused on helping organition, stock-broking, automotive and textiles, sations solve business problems with easy-toamongst others. use solutions that are designed to provide the The ‘Network on Wheels’ van is a 25 basis of a small businesses network. Patrick foot mobile showcase equipped with SMB Mathias, Vice President, Sales - West, Cisco customised Cisco networking solutions India & SAARC said, “Cisco’s including technologies such as NOW Van is fast becoming an Security, Wireless and Unified easily-recognisable technology IP Communications aimed at showcase for SMBs across India, helping Indian SMBs leverage having covered a number of key the power of networking techcities and towns on its way. It is nology for business growth. The amongst our largest marketing mobile van will visit strategic initiatives in India and is a key industrial locations across key pillar of our SMB strategy. Our tier-I, II and III cities and host commitment to the SMB sector live demonstrations for more is that our solutions will be for than 100 customers per city in them, an effective driver for the country. The Cisco NOW increased business efficiencies, Van will demonstrate for SMBs and as Maharashtra continues Patrick Mathias, VP - Sales exciting interactive technology at the forefront of India’s con- (West), Cisco India & SAARC solutions designed to enhance tinuing industrial and financial their competitive advantage, revolution, we believe that SMBs within this maximise productivity and ROI, enhance cusregion would be able to utilise technology as tomer care and loyalty, increase user satisfaca stepping-stone to greater success.” tion and reduce operation costs - ultimately According to industry sources, there exist driving business growth. over 6 million SMBs in India, with a large During the first phase of the program, percentage of these businesses on the threshthe NOW Van successfully reached out to over old of globalisation. Cisco offers a range of 3,500 SMBs across the country. n

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Genius launches winter scheme for its partners DCC News Network enius has rolled out ‘Chill Out this winter’ offer on all its SKUs for the Genius Volume Partners (GVPs) across the country. The scheme will get over on December 31, 2009. The company has f loated two different slabs for tier A and upcountry GVPs. Under the scheme, Genius authorised GVPs in both the geographies can avail the benefits by generating an invoice of certain value. If the GVP partner in the tier-A city generates invoice value of Rs 4,00,000, then he gets a Nokia Music Express 5800 mobile phone worth Rs 18,000. If the invoice value is Rs 7,00,000, then he gets Onkyo Home Theatre worth Rs 40,000 and if the invoice amount is more than Rs 10,00,000, then the partner gets gold vouchers worth Rs 60,000. Similarly for the upcountry markets, if the GVP generates an invoice of Rs 1,00,000, then he gets a Philips DVD Player 5.1 channel worth Rs 3,999. If the partner generates an invoice of Rs 2,00,000, then he gets Genius Handy Cam DV 53 5MP worth Rs 8,995 and if the value of the invoice is Rs 3,00,000, then the partner gets Nokia Music Express 5800 mobile phone worth Rs 18,000.

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Quick Heal among winners of Emerging India 2009 awards DCC News Network uick Heal Technologies has announced that it has won India’s SME sector awards - ‘Emerging India Awards 2009’, jointly organised by ICICI Bank and CNBC TV18 to honour India’s most globally competitive SMEs. The award was presented by Home Minister P Chidambaram and collected by the company’s MD & CEO, Kailash Katkar, and CTO, Sanjay Katkar. “We are honoured to receive this award. It is highly satisfying that our efforts to put Indian anti-virus software on the global map have been recognised. This award has strengthened our commitment to satisfy our customers in every way and be the leaders on the path of innovation,” said Kailash Katkar. CNBC-TV18 and ICICI Bank ‘Emerging India Awards’ is India’s foremost initiative

Q

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powered by the capability of shaping the future of Indian SMEs and has been acknowledged as India’s biggest business award by the Limca Book of Records. The awards are powered by CRISIL, a credit rating agency that managed the evaluation process. SMEs are often hailed as being the drivers of economic growth. ‘Emerging India Awards’ recognizes and rewards India’s competitive SMEs whose business practices are at par with global giants. “This award is a reflection of hard work and dedication of each and every employee of Quick Heal. This award also goes to all our customers, channel partners and dealers who believed in our product and provided us their valuable feedback and support, which has helped us become what we are today,” said Sanjay Katkar. n

Sandeep Ramani, Country Manager, OBM Sales Division, KYE Systems

“It is extremely important to build a strong reward program for the channel partners. We recognise the need to reward our performing partners and we are confident that schemes like this will go a long way in motivating partners to perform even better,” commented Sandeep Ramani, Country Manager, OBM Sales Division, KYE Systems. n


trends

Microsoft launches new range of hardware products DCC News Network icrosoft Hardware has introduced a new range of computer peripherals for the Indian market. As per the company, the new product range will help consumers redefine their computing experience through ergonomics, style and functionality. The new product range, called ‘Life In India’, comprises Wired Keyboard 200, Optical Mouse 200, and the LifeChat LX 1000. In addition to the this range, Microsoft is also introducing a range of computer peripherals including the Wireless Desktop 3000, the Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000 and the LifeCam Cinema. The Wireless Desktop 3000 and Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000, both incorporate Bluetrack technology that enables users to combines the power of optical with the precision of laser, allowing users to mouse on virtually any surface—from a granite countertop to an airport bench to the living-room carpet. The products were created basis on consumer insights from a survey across cities. The survey was conducted by Quantum Market Research who assessed the behav-

M

iour, needs and aspirations of Indian users that and found that consumers in India need ‘dust resistant peripherals’ that are also ‘spill resistant’ and can work better in excessive ‘heat’. The survey also found that consumers in small cities are gravitating to using multi-media keyboards and are also increasingly partial to optical mice in comparison to roller-ball mice. There Senior executives at the launch of Microsoft hardware range ‘Life In India’ range incorporates Indian is also a growing realisation about the consumer insights for the first time to offer health hazards of using non-ergonomically great value combined with ergonomic design designed products, in smaller cities as well. and enhanced comfort. At the other end of the Introducing the new range of computer spectrum, we have products that are more aspiperipherals, Jamieson Yu, Director, Hardware rational and high-end that includes webcam. – APAC and GCR, Entertainment and Devices The widescreen capture format in the LifeCam Division, Microsoft Operations, said, “Microsoft Cinema Webcam is perfect for uploading and believes that it’s important to focus on the sharing videos. Consumer reactions to these complete work experience to have a truly products have been extremely encouraging and successful ergonomic design. And we believe that we believe we’ve hit the ‘sweet-spot’ in terms of today’s products are a great testimony to this.” integrating relevant features with style, funcAdding to his thoughts was Jaspreet Bindra, tionality, design and value. This is what we call Regional Director, Entertainment and Devices Digital Therapy.” n Division, Microsoft Corporation India, “The

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cover story Green Tech

Green Tech does it Sell

?

Most vendors tout environment-friendly initiatives for their products, but does Green increase the inflow of money for channel partners? CHARU KHERA

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cover story Green Tech

W

hen it comes to IT products, some of the key concerns are their high power consumption, use of hazardous chemical materials, and emission of heat. Realising this, most vendors today have adopted or are in the process of adopting Green standards and practices. Industry watchers believe that the key reasons for vendors launching Green products are the soaring fuel/electricity bills, climate change as well as the recent financial crisis. DCC spoke to various partners who claimed that some of the key Green products that sell the most are Philips Eco TV, Schneider Wiser Home Control, HP DC 7800 desktop and Apple Macbook, among others. Caviar Green hard disc drive (HDD) by Western Digital is another hot selling product in the Green category. Deepak Vidhani of Delhi-based Infotech Solutions who deals in Western Digital products said that most often these Green hard drives are not available from the vendor’s end. “The availability of these Green drives is low. Western Digital claims that these drives use less power and support quieter, cooler-running desktop PCs and external storage devices. When we try and educate consumers about this Green hard disc drive, most prefer it over a normal HDD. Moreover, the price difference is not huge, which acts as a positive factor.” Milind Diwanji of Ahmedabad-based Pace Computer Consultant who deals in Green products offered by manufacturers like HP and Dell believes that Green is still in the infancy stage in India and vendors should educate users about the benefits of Green. “While selling Green products, partners should highlight cost v/s benefits to customers in the right perspective,” adds Diwanji saying that with Green being a new fad and a lot to attention paid on global climate change, partners can definitely earn more margins by deploying products based on Green technologies. “This margin can be earned over the next two years and then Green might become more of a commodity.” Further explaining some of the key features that consumers look out for in a Green product Diwanji said, “Definitely the highlight is on plastic recyclable products considering it is not bio-degradable waste. Also, most vendors toady offer power-efficient products that consume less power

resulting in lower cost of ownership for the equipment, in most cases over a period three years.” For Ajay Sawant, Managing Director of Delhi-based Orient Technologies, Green IT is not merely a technology, rather a social cause. “While propagating Green to customers, channel should itself try and follow Green principles. It is more to do with what environment we would leave for our next generation. Global warming is no more hype today and it is better understood as a harsh reality.” He further believes that every partner should participate in positioning Green products and technologies to customers. While most partners that DCC spoke to seemed optimistic about Green products, there were many who had their doubts. Rajiv Sethi of Liberty Automation Systems, Mumbai believes that Green cacophony is not worth the hype. “It is a tragedy that we are using Green to destroy planet earth,” comments Sethi. He further added that no one is getting anywhere near the real thing. “Yes, it is possible, logical and easy to make organisations sustainable. But what most IT vendors are doing is only take a Green tag to make customers sentimental into purchasing their wares. For example, some vendors have launched air-conditioners that operate at 24 degree Celsius instead of 22 degree,” he claimed. Sethi deals in HP products and was of view that merely calling products ‘Green’ does not make them saleable. “If at all HP wants to follow Green initiatives, the company must encourage refilling printer cartridges and toners. Another factor that can help the vendor is by manufacturing printers that are compatible only to handmade, recycled paper.” Sharing further insights as to what vendors, partners as well as each individual consumer should do to protect the environment, as opposed to what is actually done, Sethi said, “Enterprises should encourage designing buildings that house servers to be intrinsically cool, thus bringing down the need for airconditioning. Whereas now-a-days, most building are made of glass that necessitates greater air-conditioning requirements. Moreover, consumers too should buy computers as well as electronic equipments that do not get obsolete for minimum 10 years. On the contrary, however, vendors as well as many partners encourage customers

to change computers only in a span of two years.” He further believes that the ‘Green’ suggestions by vendors are motivated not to save planet earth, but to increase their sales and accelerate the destruction of the environment.

Vendors too getting Greener

While selling Green products, partners should highlight cost v/s benefits to customers in the right perspective.” Milind Diwanji, CEO, Pace Computer Consultant, Ahmedabad

Intel, the world’s largest processor manufacturer, has reduced its lead usage by 95 percent across all product lines.

While it may be true that some vendors are merely using Green to push their products in the market and make more money, many have opted for Green initiatives within their own organisation. For example, Panasonic’s consumer business division has launched a Green initiative called ‘Eco Caravan’ to educate consumers about using energy efficient products and making them aware of issues such as global warming and energy conservation. The company even launched plasma screens with eco quizzes on issues such as water, recycle, energy, and global warming. Following the steps, Fujitsu claims it will reduce its global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 15 million tonnes by 2012. As per the company, the Green Policy Innovation is expected to help its customers, and the public in general, substantially diminish their environmental footprint. Another vendor going out of the way to go Green is D-Link. It was one of the first few to contribute to Green IT in the networking technology space by launching Green Ethernet switches in the Indian market. With all its environment-friendly initiatives, Intel, the world’s largest processor manufacturer, has reduced its lead usage by 95 percent across all product lines. As per reports, vendors like HCL, HP, and IBM have witnessed an increase in demand for their power efficient Green products. One of the latest products to flaunt the green tag is a laptop from Asus that uses bamboo in its casing. As per the company, the notebook uses a power saving feature called ‘super hybrid engine’. Ajay Mishra of Ludhianabased Jayant Technologies believes that these laptops sell like hot cakes. “The effort to use renewable materials in these laptops is most often appreciated by consumers. The product is very feature-rich and sports a 12.1-inch screen, Intel Core 2 Duo microprocessor and Microsoft’s Windows Vista OS.” Xerox, too, has announced an environment-friendly paper. As per the company, the paper uses less wood pulp, water and chemicals to manufac-

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cover story Green Tech ture. Xerox says that the paper comes from a mill using hydroelectricity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent compared to other mills. The company has also launched Green World Alliance programme, a reuse and recycling program for printer cartridges and toners. Another vendor in the green league is Canon, which claims to use several technologies that help cut down on carbon emissions and promote energy efficiency. “Two-sided printing (duplexing) technology reduces paper usage by almost 50 percent; compact product design from Canon and resized boxes improve shipping efficiency and can help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The Nature Stone brand uses biodegradable stone packaging, reducing the need for paper and other raw materials. At Canon, chemicals such as lead, hexavalent chromium, mercury and cadmium are banned for use in any product and process in an effort to reduce the organisation’s environmental footprint,” explains Puneet Datta, Senior Marketing Manager, Canon BIS.

Some popular green technologies Green data centres are clearly a hit among Indian enterprises. As per reports, companies that had invested in Green data centres experienced best of results during the peak of the slowdown. Various top organisations like Hitachi, Netmagic Solutions and HCC have employed Green solutions in their own data centres. Moreover, a huge amount of investment in Green data centers has been done by government agencies such as Banks and PSUs (BHEL, NIC, etc). “Businesses today have started to realise that the data centre contributes significantly to the power bill and we see a lot of them moving towards Green data centres. This is where technology vendors who have advocated Green over the years and have designed products and technology around these will have a clear

Key Benefits of Green Solutions n Energy

efficient less power n Environment friendly, ie are recyclable n Help reduce carbon emissions n Low total cost of ownership n Better return on investment (RoI) n Emit less radiation n Consume

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advantage,” explained Vivekanand Venugopal, Vice President & General Manager, India, Hitachi Data Systems. The company is focused on delivering Green data storage technology that infuses eco-friendly innovation across the entire portfolio of products. Sharing similar thoughts, Jitendra Gupta, Country Manager, India & SAARC, Extreme Networks, said, “Most IT products consume high energy, be it in the enterprise networks or data centres. But most enterprises have realised the importance of Green and are advocating the importance of environmental issues and global warming.” Extreme Networks has joined the Green Grid consortium, which is dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centres and business computing ecosystems. Another biggest boost to Green came from server virtualisation. With the need of enterprises to reduce the number of servers in the data centre and to optimise IT spending, they are opting for virtualisation, which helps organisations achieve greater RoI. Some of the key organisations that have recently implemented virtualisation include Jet Airways, Maruti Suzuki, and Perfetti Van Melle India. A popular Green trend that has caught the fancy of companies as a result of the recent slowdown is Cloud Computing. Today, a lot of organisations have hosted their non-critical applications on the web. Unified communications technologies, too, play a central role in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions by allowing people to interact in the comfort of their offices rather than travel long distances to meet each other. No wonder vendors such as Cisco and Polycom are pushing video-conferencing solutions – which are finding many takers among enterprises.

Growth opportunities By 2014, Gartner predicts that the strategies of at least two-thirds of organisations worldwide will exploit or risk-mitigate environmental sustainability. This will give immense opportunity to several IT vendors who have been embracing various Green initiatives. Recently, as per an IBM CIO study, titled ‘The New Voice of the CIO’, 59 percent of the Indian CIOs surveyed ranked Green IT very high on their visionary plans. Gartner further believes that vendors that develop a strategic assessment and good positioning in Green IT will unleash

DECember 2009

While propagating Green to customers, channel should itself try and follow Green principles. It is more to do with what environment we would leave for our next generation.” Ajay Sawant, Managing Director, Orient Technologies, Delhi

their innovative potential, resulting in a faster time to market and more agility in addressing the various requirements of emerging and mature markets. While globally as well as in India, vendors are focussing increasingly on Green, for the channel community, the mantra is 'Go Green and Get Green', ie, by ensuring that customers buy Green products, partners can also reap green bucks. “I see the trend maturing in 2010, especially as a result of increased publicity expected from vendors for driving this change. Channel community should also jointly work with regional associations for promoting the Green initiative at a local level,” says Diwanji. Sawant of Orient Technologies believes that most customers today demand low energy-consuming and recyclable products and the demand for Green products would certainly grow manifold in years to come. “Factors such as people getting worried of the affects of global warming, and electricity getting costlier and a rare resource, have pushed the demand for Green products in the Indian market. In addition, Government has been increasingly driving carbon foot print initiative. Green IT should not only be considered as business revenue but way to propagate a healthy world for our generations to come,” he says.

The Road ahead

Green as a factor is propagated by vendors not to save planet earth, but to increase their sales and accelerate the destruction of the environment” Rajiv Sethi, Director, Liberty Automation Systems, Mumbai

Though a big challenge associated with Green is the initial acquisition or deployment cost, vendors and most analysts are optimistic. SMBs are the expected to be the toughest target for vendors. However, explaining the RoI benefits can help make an impact on SMBs. Climate Savers Computing Initiative, the global program driven by major IT companies, including CSC, Dell, Google, HP, Intel, Lenovo, and Microsoft, has launched its India chapter. The programme promotes adoption of smart technologies in everyday business and personal computing. There are many more examples like these that prove that India, too, is going the Green way. Whichever way you look at it, there is no denying that Green is here to stay and with competition soaring in the channel community, the tide would certainly turn in favour of those who have already invested in Green. As the concern over climate change looms large, Green is expected to assume even greater significance. charu.khera@9dot9.in


vendor speak Dell

“We are aiming to be the Vendor of Choice for partners” —Neeraj Singh, Head-Commercial Channel Operations, Dell India

In an exclusive interaction with Charu Khera, Singh shares the strategy that the company follows to tap into the SMB sector. Excerpts:

DCC: Dell has been very selective with partner tie-ups and has remained silent on the channel front for a very long time post entering the Indian market. Any particular reasons for the same?

Yes, we have been selective in appointing partners as we are looking for partners with a certain skill-set. In the commercial space, as almost all our business happens on a backto-back basis, our priority is to have partners with strong end-customer engagements. Typically these are the partners who have strong capabilities in sizing and proposing solutions around servers and storage opportunities. So, strong end-customer engagements and technical background are the key pre-requisites that we look for while appointing new partners. We have been very focused in our approach in acquiring the right set of partners and in setting up the right ecosystem for them to do business with us smoothly and profitably. Today, we can proudly say that our PartnerDirect programme has all the elements a partner would look for while choosing to work with a vendor. DCC: How many channel partners does the company currently have? Do you plan to expand this number in 2010?

We have about 300 partners working actively with us in the commercial space (SMB, Large Enterprises, Govt, Healthcare and Education). We do not want to be over-distributed and

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though we will add some more partners in 2010, the right skill-sets will be the important criterion, not quantity for the sake of it. DCC: What are your key channel focus areas?

We are clearly aiming to be the ‘Vendor of Choice’ for partners we are engaged with. To that end, following three key priorities have been identified: Manage conflict (between Dell direct as well as amongst partners); listen and invest in programmes that make sense to partner community; and help partners become more profitable. DCC: Dell has often stressed on serving SMBs, which are quite sensitive about pricing. How do you see partners doing business in this sector without sacrificing their profit margins?

It is a known fact that SMBs are at the forefront of the India growth story. The way things are shaping up, most SMBs today are looking at things beyond pricing. SMBs are looking at partnering with a vendor who can help them along their growth trajectory, not tie them up with a proprietary technology that will end up sucking a lot of resources later on, in managing that IT infrastructure. That is where our key message of ‘Simplify IT’ becomes even more relevant. Over a period of time, we have devised systems and processes within the organisation that help our customers run IT faster, run IT better and grow IT smarter.

DECember 2009

DCC: Today a majority of vendors are tapping into the SMB sector. What differentiates Dell?

In the commercial space, as almost all our business happens on a back-to-back basis, our priority is to have partners with strong end-customer engagements.” Our first priority has been to upgrade our partners’ product and solutions understanding from a Dell standpoint.

Our first priority has been to upgrade our partners’ product and solutions understanding from a Dell standpoint and to ensure that the correct solution is pitched to their customers. We have had classroom as well as online training and certification courses for our partners. Secondly, we have aligned with our OEM partners and have arranged training on some of the specialised courses for our partners. Virtualisation has been one such concept where both end-customers and partners have shown a lot of interest. Finally, we have had joint marketing programmes with some of our partners with the aim of generating fresh leads together. DCC: How do you see the concept of offering customised solutions to the SMBs? Do you see partner support helping you here?

We have had extremely good response from our SMB customers who are delighted to have customised solutions from Dell rather than getting something off-the-shelf. With our strengths in customising solutions for our customers, we have been able to offer our partners and customers a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) to a large extent. Partners can and do add a lot of value as not everything can be done in-house and we do partner with some system integrators in order to give customers the complete solution. n charu.khera@9dot9.in


channel bonding Confed-ITA to hold US-style mega sale

AIT appoints new office bearers

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onfed-ITA plans to conduct a mega summit that would officially announce the sale in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry names of new representatives is scheduled on January 1, 2010 with possible for February 2010 at Yercaud, Munnar. tie-up with various vendors. This event According to Prasad, every year the leadwould be conducted on the same lines ership is rotated among various regions as Black Friday and Cyber wit hin Tamil Nadu and Monday in the US. Po n d i c h e r r y to m a ke t h e “We have all heard about elections more inclusive and the Black Friday following representative. Thanksgiving Day, which is the This year, t he President beginning of the Christmas would be elected from Salem, shopping season. Cyber Monday Erode or Namakkal region; VP is the term that applies to the from Dindugal or Madurai; Monday after Thanksgiving Secretary from Trichy, Karur, when consumers return to or Cholamandlam; while work to take advantage of shopTreasurer will be chosen ping online. Following the same from Nagercoil, Tuticorin or format, we would be conducting Thirunelveli. There will be a mega event wherein a host of P N Prasad, President, Confed-ITA two Joint Secretaries - one vendors would offer consumers as well as chanfrom Coimbatore, Tiruppur or Ooty and nel players good deals at very reasonable prices,” the other from Vellore, Puducherry, or said PN Prasad, President, Confed-ITA. Chennai. Currently Prasad of Puducherry In a separate development, Confed-ITA is the President, Balakrishnan of Erode is has announced that region-wise nominaVP, Muthuswamy of Madurai is Secretary tion for all posts from constituent associaand Vinod from Trichy is Treasurer. n charu.khera@9dot9.in tions has already started coming in. The

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a n ga l o r e - b a s e d A s s o c i a t i o n o f Information technology (AIT) recently announced the names of its newly elected committee members at its 12th AGM. Providing details of the new representatives, Jayessh Mehta, Immediate Past President, AIT, said, “This year, Sridhar has been elected as the new President. Ketan Shah will be the new Vice President; Nalin Patel, the new Secretary; Satya Prasad, Treasurer; and Srinivasan, the new Joint Secretary. As part of the new executive committee, the association has appointed Shanbhag, Dinesh Dhanapati, Rajkumar, Anantram, Deepak and Mohan.” The new committee has taken charge and will hold these posts till November Jayessh Mehta 2011. The immediate past team consisted Jayessh Mehta as President, Satya Prasad as Vice President, Nalin Patel as Treasurer, Sridhar as Secretary and Madhu as Joint Secretary. n

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special report DLP

ACT

Time to

The right set of Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tools can put a stop to the rampant data breach incidences among businesses and help them take a proactive approach to protecting business-critical data Soma Tah

D

ata security is one of the most challenging technology issues faced by an organization these days, and a single incidence of data loss can have far-reaching consequences on the business as a whole. The impact of confidential data loss can be of two types – direct and indirect. While one can calculate the costs of ensuing litigations, external audits, an increased regulatory oversight and repairing of the damages caused to the

DIGIT CHANNEL CONNECT

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DECember 2009

internal systems, there are far more intimidating consequences as well. It can even tarnish the company’s reputation and cause a subsequent loss of potential business opportunities. That is why businesses are increasingly looking out for DLP tools that can help them protect their businesscritical data.

Causes of data loss The major causes for data loss have been traced to unaware users, disgruntled

insiders taking the confidential information out of the organization, and external attacks from cybercriminals. “Some of the data leakage problems can be attributed to a lack of corporate policy or inadequate communication of corporate policies to employees,” said Sumit Mukhija, National Sales Manager-Data Centre, Cisco India & SAARC. Confidential information within the company’s internal emails are also a major data leakage concern of the business. The increasing number of mobile workers and higher use of mobile devices is making Indian enterprises more vulnerable to increasing incidents of theft or loss of laptops and other handheld mobile devices. A recent Symantec study on the mounting risk of data loss in Indian enterprises has identified compliance and regulatory mandates (52 per cent), and pressure from international clients (25 per cent) as the two major drivers of DLP adoption in India.

Preventive measures Businesses need to understand what kind of sensitive data they have and also do a risk evaluation of what can happen if that data is exposed or gets in the wrong hands. “While the origin and


special report DLP Factors Driving DLP n Increasing cases of Data Loss/ Theft n Regulatory and compliance mandates (59%) n Information as the new “Dollar” n Need for “Business Continuity” n Pressure from international clients (24%) Source: IDC

What a DLP solution can offer n Find, classify, and control the use of sensitive data throughout the organisation. n Identify and analyze data at all control points, including at the endpoint, at rest, at the message server, and on the network. n Reduce the risk of high-profile losses of personally identifiable information and protected health information (PHI). n Prevent the inadvertent or malicious disclosure of sensitive information. n Address government and industry information protection regulations and ensure compliance. n Prevent violations of general corporate security and behavioral policies.

tor this data and manage information appropriately”, said Vishal Dhupar, MD, Symantec India. The challenge for data loss prevention is identifying, tracking, and securing all confidential data, be it at rest, in motion, or in use. Depending on the specific business requirements for different organizations, DLP solutions can be configured to monitor your data usage at the endpoint, and can also keep track of the data that is copied, pasted, printed, faxed or transferred over email, IM, P2P, FTP or HTTP. Besides aligning DLP with other security layers, vendors are also trying to add innovative features so that organizations can get maximum value out of it. “The next generation of DLP is an identity-aware solution where DLP’s content-aware active policy management, supervision, and enforcement capabilities are combined with Identity and Access Management (IAM) features. This approach would proactively monitor for and prevent malicious behavior from insiders, thereby facilitating proactive monitoring and control of the actions that authorized users can do. This will simplify IAM provisioning in the long term and will facilitate new capabilities to support data classification and policy enforcement,” said Vipul Kumra, Technology Consultant, CA India.

Some of the data leakage problems can be attributed to a lack of corporate policy or inadequate communication of corporate policies to employees Sumit Mukhija, National Sales Manager-Data Centre, Cisco India & SAARC

Source: IDC

Cashing in on opportunities storage of data are important to know, it’s also critical to understand who uses this data. Based on an understanding of this data flow, enterprises must then draw out comprehensive policies for the entire IT environment which will help them allocate specific data only to chosen set of touch points in the enterprise. It’s also important for enterprises to employ a well-defined DLP strategy and clearly mark out all those touch points where a data leak/breach can be expected,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, Senior Analyst, Springboard Research. “DLP must be incorporated into an organization’s overall business processes so that it’s viewed as a business necessity, aligned with strategic goals, compliance requirements and risk management. The solution should offer comprehensive coverage of confidential data across the endpoint, network, and storage systems - whether users are on or off the network – with an integrated policy platform. This will help them discover and identify confidential data, moni-

The prime concerns driving the data loss prevention efforts are regulatory compliance, protection of intellectual property, maintaining company goodwill and the other associated costs to repair the damages caused by the breaches. Several global and Indian regulation policies demand companies to have compliant policies and practices to safeguard their data. “It will be really helpful for the partners to take the discussion to the level of the CIOs and give them a comprehensive picture through a lot of proofs of concept which can show them how it works and the value they can derive from deploying DLP solutions,” advised Amit Nath, Country Manager, Trend Micro India & SAARC. However the technical skill set required implementing such solution is still in the building up stage. “For the OEMs and the partners the major challenge is to understand the physical significance of the ‘Chinese wall’ problem. Sooner or later the government would announce a comprehen-

Partners should give CIOs a comprehensive picture of DLP through a lot of proofs of concept which can show them how it works and the value they can derive from deploying DLP solutions. Amit Nath, Country Manager, Trend Micro India & SAARC

sive policy making it mandatory for all to comply and produce audit reports. The vendors and system integrators should therefore be prepared to offer the right kind of DLP solutions that discover and tag sensitive information and generate meaningful audit trail,” said Ramkrishna G, Technical Head of Sanvei Overseas.

Issues in mid-market In reality, however, the adoption of DLP technologies has remained significantly low in India, especially among mid-size businesses. This can be attributed to various reasons such as low levels of awareness coupled with the low availability of DLP tools and also restrained IT budgets. “Mid market companies have a data security perception that is limited to centralized information resources with mostly structured data. DLP is a bit too expensive for these companies to really care about protecting the unorganized data distributed across several clients,” said Ramkrishna. Vertical-wise, considerably high demand is expected from the BFSI, IT/ ITeS, Telecom and Government sectors because of the sheer size and nature of data in these organisations. The complexity of managing their towering data volumes containing customer data as well as their confidential business processes, and the need to ensure compliances with different regulatory mandates will be the main drivers of growth in these segments. However, the next phase of growth lies in the emerging SMB/SME customers, and partners with the specific skill sets needed to cater to these segments will have immense opportunities accordingly. The costs of implementation, software costs and the ongoing management and administration costs have become the major deterrents to a large scale DLP adoption across relatively smaller organizations. Most of the silo solutions are very complex, tough to deploy and take away significant amount of resources. Hence organizations are likely to look at solutions that are simple, easy to deploy, flexible and are aligned to their core security infrastructure and at the same time which will ensure a tangible ROI and business continuity. Partners that can serve these customers stand to benefit in the next several years. n soma.tah@9dot9.in

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techno touch touch security techno security

Strategies to Reduce Your

Information Security Risk In order to secure customer interactions from threats, companies need to have multiple defensive walls in addition to following secure operational procedures

T

he headlines are full of stories about organizations that have somehow compromised the security of the information used in their business operations. Naturally, you wonder if your contact center is at risk of being hit as a disturbing fact emerges. It is not attacks from outside

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hackers that are the biggest technology security concern today, rather the risk comes from the actions of your employees – both intentional and inadvertent. Failing to properly secure the information in your contact center creates the risk of experiencing significant negative consequences. These may

include lost revenue opportunities, legal penalties for non-compliance or a negative reflection on your management ability. With all that is at stake, what should you do to mitigate this risk in your contact center operation? While no system is 100 percent reliable, the SANS Institute recommends implementing five layers of technology protection to ensure the maximum possible level of data security. Proper operational procedures can also help manage your risk of data loss due to theft or carelessness. To determine what changes, if any, are required in your operational practices, you need to explore questions regarding your technology infrastructure, employment practices and information handling guidelines. You can then use this information to create comprehensive operational and information handling guidelines to greatly minimize your risk exposure. Companies from every vertical industry are becoming more aware of the need to carefully monitor information security levels and so security scans and audits are becoming a


techno touch security regular practice. Intended to identify all possible risks within a specific software application, scans and audits are a critical, unbiased way to help you determine whether or not your technology solutions meet industry standards for secure system and information management and to what extent changes need to be made to secure your environment. Working closely with your technology vendors, the goal of the information security audit is a simple one – to ensure you achieve the highest level of security available working within the framework of your business environment. With careful preparation and ongoing evaluation, you can keep your contact centres out of the information security headlines.

Introduction Failing to properly secure the information in your contact center exposes you to potentially significant negative consequences. These may include lost revenue opportunities as your operation halts while trying to determine how a security breach occurred and how much information was taken, legal punishment if the loss is due to failure to comply with industry regulations (e.g., Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (1998), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) (1999), Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) (2003)) and a negative reflection on your management ability if the appropriate preventive measures were not in place.

The threat You must have seen a lot of headlines announcing security breaches at contact centres and wondered if your contact center is at risk. Are you doing enough to protect the highly sensitive information your contact center staff deals with every day? As you read the details of these and other incidents, a disturbing fact emerges. It is not attacks from outside hackers that are the biggest technology security concern today. Instead, the risk comes from the actions of your employees – both intentional thefts motivated by a desire for revenge or personal gain and carelessness that exposes your information to loss or inadvertent theft. Some of the world’s largest financial institutions have fallen victim to internal hackers. But the risk isn’t limited to

financial institutions – every business that has a database of customer information needs to be vigilant against deliberate attacks and reckless or even simply unthinking behavior that puts your information at risk. With all that is at stake, what should you do to mitigate this risk in your contact center operation?

Protection through technology

Companies from every vertical industry are becoming more aware of the need to carefully monitor their information security. As a result, security scans and audits are becoming a routine practice.

your security exposure and maximize operational effectiveness. This layer includes forensics tools such as audit tracking which can help to quickly identify when an attack or security breach occurs and what exactly was compromised. It also provides valuable feedback for the development of future protection plans. You should also have an established disaster recovery plan and redundancy systems in place. In addition to protecting your information, these tools and plans assist with regulatory compliance, providing reporting data specific to the level required by government regulations such as Graham-Leach-Bliley, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Sarbanes Oxley and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). The fourth defensive wall deals with protecting your systems from people within. Defensive Wall 4 focuses on safely supporting authorized users. In this layer, all systems are typically fire-

While no system is 100 percent reliable, the SANS Institute recommends five layers of technology protection or “defensive walls,” that proactive contact centers can implement to ensure the maximum possible level of data security. The necessity and applicability of each of these layers of technology protection will depend on an assessment of the nature of the potential threats and the business risks to the contact center. The first three and the last defensive wall revolve around your information technology (IT) systems, architectures and business process tools. Defensive Wall 1 is a networkbased, external-facing layer designed to block attacks from outside hackers. Using firewalls, managed security services and intrusion detection software, you can safeguard such web transactions as electronic bill payments. This is the only layer visible to the general public. Defensive Wall 2 is designed to block attacks at the host-based level. This layer uses personal firewalls, spyware removal and quarantine software to protect internal systems and devices such Aries Kiosk as PCs, servers and workstations. Defensive Wall 2 provides a level of protection in the event that a hacker manages to get through Defensive Wall 1. Defensive Wall 3 adds another tier of protection, guarding Multiport Serial Card against any exploitation of security vulnerabilities within the application layer or operating system. It requires configuration management, application Authorized distributors security testing, vulnerability Kolkata :- Pushpam management and penetration Contact : Shantanu Das 9331267018. email : pushpamkolkata@Pushpam. com testing. A crucial component of Nashik :- Vertex Systems Indore :- Magnum Computers Ph.: 91-731-2516003, 91-731-2527504 Contact : Tushar Rahane : 942252166, this layer is the constant scanContact : Mr. Prithvi Wadhwani 9826038677. Sujit Kulkarni : 9422252165. email : saitech@sancharnet.in email : sujit@vertexindia.com ning of all internal systems and Hydrabad :- Distinct Solutions Chennai :- Computer Planet applications. Ph:- Landline:040-66339273/74-66382374, Contact – Vinod 98409 52976 Mr. Manish(M)9391012215), Mr.Sushant,9346769245. Sanjay – 98847 84929 – Direct – 43227474. Defensive Wall 5 consists of E-mail: distsol@gmail.com, sushant.gchembram@gmail.com email : complan@vsnl.net tools you can use to minimize

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techno touch security walled and guarded as entities unto themselves. This is where you define who has access to what databases and systems. A crucial element of this layer is the encryption of data and files. But securing the data is not enough. At level 4, discretionary access control must also be implemented to ensure that your users only have access to the specific applications, databases and various system objects for which they have been approved. As an example of this access control, an agent handling billing inquiries would have access to customer billing history or account information, while an agent in customer service will only have access to limited customer information, such as name, address and service type. (For more information on these regulations, as well as others that may affect the contact center industry, please refer to the SANS website at www.sans.org.) Unfortunately, even with all these measures in place, you are still vulnerable to theft or loss from within – either through the deliberate removal of information by someone who has been granted access to a particular server or through the loss of critical data due to carelessness or ignorance of proper information protection practices. And so you must turn to operational procedures to mitigate these highly unpredictable risks.

Protection through operational procedures

Conducting a security audit

Proper operational procedures can help manage your risk of data loss due to theft or carelessness. To determine what changes, if any, are required in your operational practices, ask yourself the following questions: 1. How are background checks of contact center agents conducted? Are references contacted? Are names checked against criminal databases? 2. How many defense walls will be implemented? 3. Are laptops used and, if so, what type of information is stored on them? If an executive leaves a laptop behind at an airport, what security features have been built in so that no one else can access the confidential information? 4. Do contact center employees sign affidavits saying they will not access customer information for personal use? 5. What system is in place for disabling network access when employees are

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terminated? What formal processes are in place for handling employee grievances and monitoring employee satisfaction? 6. Is there a list of all contact center employees who have access to sensitive information? How often is the list updated? How often should security checks be conducted? 7. How are passwords set up and how often are they required to be changed? What level of encryption is used? 8. What safeguards are in place with respect to documents (physical and electronic) which leave the building with employees? Is there a check in/ check out process for data files? 9. Do you outsource any transactions? If so, how are vendors screened? Can they provide background checks for any of their employees accessing your systems? Do they comply with industry standards for authentication? Do they have any vulnerability that matches the FBI lists of the Top 20 systems issues? 10. Do you have published guidelines for information handling that specifically address practices such as using publicly accessible computers or downloading sensitive data and removing it from your business locations? Exploring questions such as these and using the answers to document and then adhere to comprehensive operational and information handling guidelines can greatly minimize your risk of data loss due to theft or carelessness. Companies from every vertical industry are becoming more aware of the need to carefully monitor their information security. As a result, security scans and audits are becoming a routine practice. Aspect Software regularly receives security scan review requests from our customers. These scans originate from various verticals, with the highest concentration coming from the financial services sector. Security scans and audits are intended to identify all possible risks within a specific software application. They are a critical, unbiased way to help you determine whether or not your solutions meet industry standards for secure system and information management. They provide you with a view into how secure your software applications are and to what extent changes need to be made within your network or within the solutions themselves to fully secure your overall environment.

DECember 2009

The most common security scan/audit targets are: Operating systems Databases Third party components Network access User authentication systems Physical environment Your company structure and the type of business you are engaged in will, to some degree, determine the strength of your focus in each of the areas. The security audits that Aspect regularly engages in with customers focus primarily on the operating system, databases and third party components. n Operating system audits focus on identifying missing operating system patches, security patches or undefined ports. They also focus on identifying unsecured access points such as open ports, unprotected user accounts and unprotected files. n Database audits seek to identify missing database patches, unsecured database tables, unencrypted data elements and unsecured user accounts. n Third Party Component audits focus on identifying unsecured versions of third party applications. n n n n n n

Factors to consider for solutions Solutions provided by Aspect Software and other contact center vendors must provide the security and flexibility you need on the product level and at the support level. Factors to consider as you evaluate your contact center vendors and their solutions include the abilities to: n Comply with your internal security policies. n Integrate with your existing security systems, for example, your authentication systems. n Follow your standard practices for network and user access restrictions. n Restrict the usage of administrative accounts and utilize highly secure password encryption. n Customize login security banners to provide tailored warnings about the systems and the information for which access is requested. n Support your existing infrastructure for your networking and distributed application management. n Support the latest (typically the most secure) third party product versions n Provide a highly secure remote support access method. As you are well aware, remote support access provides the quickest possible diagnosis and problem resolution. However, it is critical that this support access occurs in a way that maintains the integrity of your network and system security. Solutions should use a current industry security architecture such as Site-to-Site IPSec VPN Tunnel. Additionally, your vendor should be willing to work with you to identify any customized support practices needed to ensure the remote support access solution works within your corporate guidelines. n Courtesy: Aspect Software Inc


guest expression guest expression Cloud Computing Cloud Computing

frog India and its 1.2 billion people into world-class computing for e-governance and business by building the cloud computing infrastructure needed for the country. There will be multiple data centers, complete with security, 24/7 monitoring, expert staff, redundancy and real time back-up of systems and data across multiple sites that even most large corporations cannot afford to build for their own use. If one of the data centers was catastrophically destroyed, the customers of cloud computing would probably not even notice. Existing data centers can be made cloud computing ready with a minimal investment and can offer reliable and affordable computing.

The Future of Computing is the

Cloud

Cloud computing is not as hazy as it may sound. One just needs to look for parallels in other spheres of business and focus on the technology’s essential characteristics L S Subramanian

N

IST & Cloud Security Alliance define cloud computing as a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. Another way to describe services offered in the cloud is to liken them to that of a utility. Just as enterprises pay for the electricity, gas and water they use, they now have the option of paying for IT services on a consumption basis. The arrival of cloud computing where software and hardware is pooled centrally and made available over the internet - has parallels with the early

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use of electrical power. When industry first started using electricity, each business had to build a generating plant. This model was replaced with large centralized power stations with electricity distributed using the National Grid network - providing customers with “on-demand” power without any investment or maintenance costs and billing based on only what was used. Cloud Computing is not a technology that is on the way or in “beta testing” or similar to the dot com boom, bust and resurrection. Cloud computing uses tried and tested software that is just delivered in a new way. It is already empowering thousands of small and medium-sized and large enterprises in the world while saving them money, increasing productivity and allowing them to get on with running their business instead of their IT operations. There is a huge opportunity to leap-

Animoto – Videos in the cloud Let’s consider the example of Animoto videos. Animoto served 25,000 videos to 250,000 users in three days, signing up 20,000 new users per hour at peak and generating 450 videos in an hour at peak. Animoto is a company that doesn’t own any server hardware. Their entire server infrastructure is hosted by Amazon. Animoto is an example of the power of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in the cloud. Their business model depends upon the rapid provisioning of servers as their customer base grows. They needed their operating expenses to line up directly with customer use. If Animoto followed the traditional capital purchasing cycle, two things would have been different. First, they would have been required to seek funding from something like a venture capitalist, diluting their ownership of the company. Second, they could not have scaled to meet customer demand. Since they were using IaaS, they were able to rapidly scale as the customer demand increased.

Revenue Models The emergence of cloud computing could also usher in a paradigm shift in the revenue models of IT firms, requiring them to shift to a pay-peruse model from their current model of annual or bi-annual contracts. Also they move from a capex IT budget to an opex IT budget. This model in cloud computing removes the technology and the investment risk for companies, giving them a pay-for-


guest expression Cloud Computing use model which is a preferable, clear, variable cost structure.

A Disruptive Technology Cloud computing is a disruptive technology and will change the very paradigm of computing as we know it today. Businesses of any size can benefit from state-of-the art IT without enduring any infrastructure or maintenance costs. They only pay for the service on a per-person, per-month basis. This is all done without the business needing its own server, telephone system or maintenance contract. Whether the business is a two-man band or a company with 200 employees in different offices, the technology can be rapidly deployed. When documents, e-mails, contacts and other business critical data are switched from an “on-premise” server inside your office to the cloud it makes them accessible from any PC, laptop or mobile device anywhere in the world. The cloud computing provider handles the communications and IT while the business leaders get on with the business of running their business. This is done by providing a holistic solution which links an employee’s work PC, laptop, netbook, landline telephone and mobile together. This is what we call “unified communications” - the seamless blend of real time communication (mobile, voice, video and instant messaging) with non-real

Cloud Computing Service Models n Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Capability to provision processing, storage, networks and other fundamental computing resources, offering the customer the ability to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. n Platform as a Service (PaaS): Capability to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure customer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages and tools supported by the provider. n Software as a Service (SaaS): Capability to use the provider’s applications running on cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through a thin client interface such as a web browser (eg, web-based e-mail).

time communications (e-mail and voicemail). All businesses will need to embrace cloud computing as it will make them more efficient and more productive while enriching their working relationships. Businesses already using cloud computing quickly ask themselves how their competitors can cope without enjoying the many benefits that this new technology brings.

Cloud Computing Models Cloud computing deployment models are of four types: Private cloud - Operated solely for an organization; may be managed by the organization or a third party; may exist on-premise or off-premise. Community cloud - Shared by several organizations; it supports a specific community that has shared mission or interest; may be managed by the organizations or a third party, may reside on-premise or off-premise. Public cloud – Made available to the general public or a large industry group; Owned by an organization selling cloud services Hybrid cloud - A composition of two or more clouds (private, community or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load balancing between clouds).

Drivers of Cloud Computing Here are some of the drivers of cloud computing: n Cloud computing enables budgetstrapped small companies to achieve high-quality solutions with limited capital. n The cost of entry is low; some compare it to a developing country that implements wireless networks without ever building a landline telephone infrastructure. n When needed, businesses can tap “clouds” of computing power, without regard to where the cloud is physically and without the complexities of managing it. n As a result, small and midsize organizations gain better redundancy and continuity than they usually have for internally managed applications. n Cloud computing thrives in entrepreneurial environments where leapfrogging the competition is a daily motivator. Innovators need tools that fit their fast pace, work anywhere

Cloud Computing is not a technology that is on the way or in “beta testing” or similar to the dot com boom, bust and resurrection. Cloud computing uses tried and tested software that is just delivered in a new way.

There is a huge opportunity to leapfrog India and its 1.2 billion people into world-class computing for e-governance and business by building the cloud computing infrastructure needed for the country.

mentality, collaborative instincts, and intolerance of budgetary barriers. n Cloud computing minimizes or eliminates the ongoing costs of traditional on-premises applications, such as software maintenance and upgrades. n Cloud-based services are typically priced modestly, so a business can ramp up quickly—an approach that may be ideal for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and fast-growing businesses. n Cloud-based applications can be easily scaled upward as a company grows. Likewise, a company can readily scale back on its cloud applications if necessary when business conditions turn sour. n Cloud computing sets the stage for corporate innovation. Freed from lengthy implementation projects, moribund legacy applications, and armies of consultants, IT personnel can turn cloud computing into competitive advantage for the business.

Advantages of cloud computing n Low start-up costs make cloud computing especially attractive to businesses and entrepreneurs. n Low cost for sporadic use. Some SAAS applications online are free. Similarly, some cloud-based business services, such as Google Apps, need not be purchased for one-time or infrequent computing. n Ease of management. No need to worry about keeping licenses current or purchasing additional hardware. n Scalability. High-growth companies can easily expand the number of users and locations at modest cost. n Device and location independence. The way you access a cloud could be your desktop. It could be someone else’s computer. It could be a smart phone. n Rapid innovation. Because vendors are able to roll out new features incrementally, they can respond to user needs more rapidly.

Cloud Computing Essential Characteristics On-demand self-service - The cloud provider should have the ability to automatically provision computing capabilities, such as server and network storage, as needed without requiring human interaction with each service’s provider Broad network access - The cloud n e t wo r k s h o u l d b e a c c e s s i b l e

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guest expression Cloud Computing anywhere, by almost any device (e.g., smart phone, laptop, mobile devices, PDA). Resource pooling- The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple customers using a multitenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to demand. There is a sense of location independence. The customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources. However, he/she may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, region or data center). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, network bandwidth and virtual machines. Rapid elasticity - Capabilities can be rapidly and elastically provisioned, in many cases automatically, to scale out quickly and rapidly released to scale in quickly. To the customer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be purchased in any quantity at any time. Measured service - Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and customer of the utilized service.

Risks and Security Concerns Some examples of cloud computing risks for the enterprise that need to be managed include: n Enterprises need to be particular in choosing a provider. Reputation, history and sustainability should all be factors to consider. Sustainability is of particular importance to ensure that services will be available and data can be tracked. n  The cloud provider often takes responsibility for information handling, which is a critical part of the business. Failure to perform to agreedupon service levels can impact not only confidentiality but also availability, severely affecting business operations. n  The dynamic nature of cloud computing may result in confusion as to where information actually resides. When information retrieval is required, this may create delays. n  Third-party access to sensitive information creates a risk of compromise

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to confidential information. In cloud computing, this can pose a significant threat to ensuring the protection of intellectual property (IP) and trade secrets. n Public clouds allow high-availability systems to be developed at service levels often impossible to create in private networks, except at extraordinary costs. The downside to this availability is the potential for co-mingling of information assets with other cloud customers, including competitors. Compliance to regulations and laws in different geographic regions can be a challenge for enterprises. At this time there is little legal precedent regarding liability in the cloud. It is critical to obtain proper legal advice to ensure that the contract specifies the areas where the cloud provider is responsible and liable for ramifications arising from potential issues. n Due to the dynamic nature of the cloud, information may not immediately be located in the event of a disaster. Business continuity and disaster recovery plans must be well documented and tested. The cloud provider must understand the role it plays in terms of backups, incident response and recovery. Recovery time objectives should be stated in the contract.

Business Benefits of Cloud Computing Some of the key business benefits offered by the cloud include: Cost containment—the cloud offers enterprises the option of scalability without the serious financial commitments required for infrastructure purchase and maintenance. There is little to no upfront capital expenditure with cloud services. Services and storage are available on demand and are priced as a pay-as-you-go service. Additionally, the cloud model could assist with cost savings in terms of wasted resources. Saving on unused server space allows enterprises to contain costs in terms of existing technology requirements and experiment with new technologies and services without a large investment. Immediacy—Many early adopters of cloud computing have cited the ability to provision and utilize a service in a single day. This compares to traditional IT projects that may require weeks or months to order, configure and operationalise the necessary resources. This has a fundamental impact on the agility of a business

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Existing data centers can be made cloud computing ready with a minimal investment and can offer reliable and affordable computing. Businesses of any size can benefit from state-of-the art IT without enduring any infrastructure or maintenance costs. They only pay for the service on a per-person, per-month basis

and the reduction of costs associated with time delays. Availability—Cloud providers have the infrastructure and bandwidth to accommodate business requirements for high speed access, storage and applications. As these providers often have redundant paths, the opportunity for load balancing exists to ensure that systems are not overloaded and services delayed. While availability can be promised, customers should take care to ensure that they have provisions in place for service interruptions. Scalability—With unconstrained capacity, cloud services offer increased flexibility and scalability for evolving IT needs. Provisioning and implementation are done on demand, allowing for traffic spikes and reducing the time to implement new services. Efficiency—Reallocating information management operational activities to the cloud offers businesses a unique opportunity to focus efforts on innovation and research and development. This allows for business and product growth and may be even more beneficial than the financial advantages offered by the cloud. Resiliency—Cloud providers have mirrored solutions that can be utilized in a disaster scenario as well as for load-balancing traffic. Whether there is a natural disaster requiring a site in a different geographic area or just heavy traffic, cloud providers say they will have the resiliency and capacity to ensure sustainability through an unexpected event. The premise of the cloud is that by outsourcing portions of information management and IT operations, enterprise workers will be free to improve processes, increase productivity and innovate while the cloud provider handles operational activity smarter, faster and cheaper. Assuming this to be the case, significant changes to the existing business processes will likely be required to take advantage of the opportunities that cloud services offer. But there’s no denying the fact that for a country like India, cloud computing is the way to go. n (This article has been adapted from a keynote given by the author at the Synergies 2009 Conference organized alongside the COM-IT 2009 Expo by Trade Association of Information Technology (TAIT) in Mumbai recently.) L S Subramanian is Director of NISE, a technology consulting firm based in Mumbai.


events TAIT

Distinguished speakers at Synergies 2009

Ketan Patel, President, TAIT, delivering his keynote

COM-IT 2009: Synergies The third annual expo of Mumbai’s premier channel association was abuzz with brandbuilding, networking and knowledge-sharing among vendors and partners SOMA TAH

T

Mobile ‘exhibits’ such as Microsoft’s generated curiosity among visitors

rade Association of Information Technology (TAIT) recently hosted their annual exposition COM-IT at MMRDA Exhibition Grounds in BKC, Mumbai from December 10 to 13. The event was set on track by the TAIT President inaugurating the two day long conference named “Synergies 2009” in the presence of a line-up of dignitaries from the industry - Rakesh Bakshi from Microsoft, Rajesh Gupta from Intel, Mohit Anand from Belkin, Kensaku Konishi from Canon, Mukesh

Innovation came naturally to exhibitors - look at that gate!

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Gupta from AOC, Patrick Mathias from Cisco, Wei Wei Yin from Kingston to name a few. Speaking on the inauguration, Ketan Patel, President, TAIT promised to provide a common business and networking platform to the vendors and the channels through COM-IT, which would also bring them close to their potential customers. Reiterating the business value the vendors can get by working closely with the channel, he also voiced the traders’ concerns and some of the key issues that the channel face in their day-to-day dealings with the vendors. The association has been holding this event for the last three consecutive years at Mumbai and this time they have tried to put a little more order in the exhibition by offloading the hosting and event

Inside the Cisco Network On Wheels Van

DECEmber 2009

management responsibilities to a professional agency. TAIT had also broadened up the exhibitors profile and increased the number of stalls this time. There were 85 participants showcasing products and services from a bunch IT products and services vendors, distributors and the partners’ community. While a number of vendors participated in COM-IT for the first time this year, at least 30- 40 per cent of the vendors continued to exhibit their products for the second and third time consecutively. Being a premier traders’ body in Mumbai TAIT has been able to pull brands like

Brightly lit stalls such as Kodak’s made a shining statement


events TAIT

IT managers and senior executives attending the conference

on Show Acer, Amkette, AOC, APC, Asus, AVG, Belkin, Canon, Chirag PC, Cisco, K7, Dell, eScan, HiLink, HP, Intel, Intex, Iomega, Kingston, Kodak, Lenovo, Lexmark, Microsoft Software, Novanet, Quick Heal, Ricoh, Apple, Sony, Tata Indicom, Techlink, Terranet, Thin PC, Toshiba, TP Link, Trend Micro, Tucano, TVSE, Verbatim, Vestronics, Virgin, and WeP. The vendors have made the fullest use of the platform to spread brand awareness, identify new customers, and to communicate their new initiatives taken in their respective fields. TAIT also gave away ‘nano stalls’ on a heavily discounted price to the start-ups and the members with smaller business interests which helped them to promote and sell their products. The whole idea is to give visitors a feel of the new innovative technology and also an option to have a unique technology shopping experience simultaneously. The turnout and trade enquiries were comparatively low on the first two days, but the trade enquiries started picking up slowly when a good number of executives and decision makers from the corporate sector turned up on the third day. A conspicuously large number of students and home users also thronged the expo premises during the weekends.

Belkin kept the decibel levels high with its glitzy shows

The stalls attracted people from various backgrounds

To motivate the participants and acknowledge their efforts to put over their messages across the target customers, TAIT also awarded the best participants in three categories – the best pavilion went to Cisco, the best stall went to Iomega and the best technology display award was bestowed on Galiakotwala Technologies for their GPS products. However, the association has put its best efforts to make the exhibition worthy for participants and has also set a new benchmark for the next one.

Synergies 2009 conference Like the previous year, TAIT had also organized a two-day conference sessions on the exhibition premises. But sorry to say, the highly touted ‘Synergies 2009’ turned out to be damp squib, even though TAIT having been able to rope in some of the eminent professionals and speakers from the industry to talk on some really relevant and topical business topics. The second half of first day’s session and the first half of the second day’s sessions were solely targeted towards the top rung executives such as CEO, CIO and CTOs to make them aware of the new technology solutions available in the market. There were also some useful ‘gyan’ sessions, which can help them get a competitive advantage in business. In the second half of the second day’s session, there were presentations and panel discussions on the technology trends and in the year 2010 and some of the future business opportunities lying ahead. On the second day’s session, C Kajwadkar, Chief Architect & VP – Netmagic Solutions spoke at length

Business discussions happening at the Quick Heal stall

on why businesses should embrace the concept of Disaster Recovery as a service, and how they can get more simplicity, reliability, and cost savings from it. Citing the example of bullock cart unable to keep pace with racing horse, Subramaniam Vutha, Advocate, highlighted the gaps between technology and law and also discussed some recommended actions for the CIOs and CTOs in at the end of his presentation which will help them keep away from legal hassles. In an interactive presentation, Nikhil Bhimra, Trainer-Professional Insights, showed the audiences how they can increase their productivity by some simple personal organising techniques and can efficiently manage time by planning and scheduling their work. There was a presentation on the emerging technologies trends in 2010 by Devendran Pandian, Channel Platform Manager-Intel. At the end, there was a panel discussion on the new business opportunities and some of the new and innovative ways to keep the business profitable in the times to come. The panel comprised of one speaker each from the SI, Retail, Distributor and Vendor communities. n soma.tah@9dot9.in

Visitors at the expansive Intel stall

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opinion Widening Horizons

“Support from Canon is indeed unique and matchless” With his individual relationship with Canon going back over two decades, M Prasad Rao associated his company, Laser Systems Ltd, with Canon in August 1998. Here Rao shares this eventful journey in an interview with DCC. DCC: Please give us a brief background about your company and about your association with Canon as a partner.

We star ted our company (Laser Systems Limited) in the year 1991 in Kakinada, a small coastal town in Andhra Pradesh, in a humble way with the sole aim of providing quality service to our valued customers. It was a single-man army at its inception but today our organization has 150 employees catering to the needs of customers in Andhra Pradesh operating from strategic locations – Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Tirupati. Currently we are a Rs 30-crore company with ISO 9000-2001 certification providing end to end solutions for IT infrastructure from Power (Hardware, Software, Networking) to Printing. We are associated with APC – UPS, Cisco-Networking, HP-PCs and Servers, Oracle – Software and Canon – Multifunctional Products and Digital Photo Copiers. My association with Canon goes back more than two decades. Prior to setting up my own company, I was with Chowgules Industries Limited (Canon distributor) for India as a Service Manager for Canon Photo Copiers. I was trained at Singapore by Canon in 1989. This has strengthened my bonds with Canon. Keeping this experience at hand, we have associated ourselves with Canon India from August 1998. I feel proud to say that our association with Canon India for over a decade has not only been encouraging but also rewarding.

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DCC: How has the relationship with Canon helped you in your business in terms of more revenues, profits and expansion?

It is rightly said ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. Our business journey with Canon has actually gained momentum, yielding rich dividends. Our relation with Canon, a dynamic organization, has strengthened our zeal and in turn led to vast expansion in size as well as in revenue generation. DCC: What are your business goals in the next one or two years?

Our goal is to secure the most coveted position of being ranked as one of the top-most partners of Canon. We would like to have our presence felt across segments and verticals to boost our business for Canon products in entire south India. We are also planning to introduce print on demand for specific customers. This will ensure 30 to 40 per cent growth in our Canon business. DCC: Can you comment on the business and technical support you have received so far from Canon?

Business and Technical support from Canon is indeed unique and matchless. They are ever ready to extend their cooperation and leave no stone unturned to support their partners. The strength of Canon lies in its technology which is the driving force for the organization. The products are ecofriendly, user friendly and branded as the best. Hence Canon and its products are widening the horizons of business.

DECember 2009

DCC: How has Canon responded to any issues in customer service or technical aspects of any products?

Canon, one of the giants in technology, provides adequate support, right encouragement by rewarding the talents, which is worth mentioning. The partner policies of Canon are flexible and adaptable, ensuring higher margins.

I feel proud to mention the truth that Canon products or technology is flawless. Therefore, it leaves no room or scope for any complaint from customers. However, the technical centre of Canon situated at Gurgaon is competent enough to tackle flaws (which are rare) if any. DCC: How would you differentiate Canon with other principals that you have done business with or with other vendors in the IT space?

Canon, one of the giants in technology, provides adequate support, right encouragement by rewarding the talents, which is worth mentioning. The partner policies of Canon are flexible and adaptable, ensuring higher margins. Deserving partners are brought to limelight by providing them the necessary motivation and encouragement. It would not be out of place to mention that we feel at home while interacting with the senior management of Canon. DCC: What are your management mantras to achieve success?

Visionary leadership coupled with prompt service, customer care, and marketing quality products by associating ourselves with trend setters…Canon is our secret of success in business. The need of the hour is passion for service and the urge to scale greater heights will surely pave the way for not only expanding business but also retaining top levels in this competitive world. n


analyst speak IT Spending in Retail of opportunity for IT vendors as retailers turn to technology to address the challenging economic scenario,” said Nilotpal Chakravarti, Senior Research Analyst at Springboard Research. “Many retailers are eschewing curtailing their long-term IT projects, while they remain cautious with short-term IT spending and new investments,” he added.

Inventory management is key focus area

India’s Retail Sector Set to Go Ahead with Long-Term IT Investments: Springboard Despite the slowdown expected for 2009, retail spending will grow significantly to reach $1.4 billion by the year 2012, says a recent report by the research firm

T

he IT market in the Indian retail sector will grow at an estimated Compounded A n n u a l G r ow t h Ra t e (CAGR) of 23% during 2008-2012, reaching $1.4 billion by 2012, says the latest research from Springboard Research, an IT market research firm. According to the report, titled “IT in the Indian Retail Industry: Emerging Trends and Market Opportunities”, market growth for 2009, however, is expected to slow down to 22% from the

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43% growth seen in 2008, due to the downturn in the Indian and the global economy. In terms of core IT categories, software is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 28% for the period under review, while hardware will grow at 19%. Findings of this report are based on Springboard’s interviews with leading IT vendors operating in the retail sector and 152 CIOs from both large and mid-sized retail companies across India. “Although the recession has affected retailers’ profitability, it opens a window

Nearly half of the CIOs in the retail sector interviewed by Springboard indicated large format stores/hypermarkets as the top business opportunity in the sector, while competition is named as the biggest business challenge by a majority of the CIOs. Inventory management emerged as the top strategic IT focus areas for the CIOs interviewed, followed by Supply Chain Management (SCM). Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) topped the list of business applications in terms of actual deployments in the last 24 months. According to Springboard’s data, POS is the top preferred store solution that Indian retailers have deployed in their stores. As compared to western markets, self-checkout terminals and self-service kiosks are still in the nascent stage.

Vendors must get pricing right Springboard’s interviews with the CIOs revealed that a large number of retailers mentioned price as a key determinant in external IT vendor selection, while strong service and support came in the second place on the list of priorities. Other influencers like vendor reputation, existing relationship, etc. rank much lower in the priority hierarchy. Springboard also found that local IT vendors have a sizeable foothold in the retail space because they provide lowcost, industry-specific solutions. According to Springboard’s data, SAP, Microsoft and Oracle hold the largest market share in the Indian retail sector, while HCL is the leading local vendor in the retail space. IBM is also named as among the leading vendors in this space. “Best-of-class retail solutions like RFID, intelligent shelves, and kiosks still remain out of reach for the Indian market because of their high cost. IT vendors should look to address this gap by rationalizing costs, along with clearly defining ROI benefits for clients,” said Chakravarti. n


Digit Channel Connect Dec.'09 Issue