What is in News ?
Article : Kunal Thakur
Future of E-Commerce Founder and CEO of Amazon.com said, "I believe we can still be a footnote in the history of ecommerce". This indicates how much growth potential e-commerce has when the makers of worldâ€™s largest e-commerce site believe that they can be a footnote in history. With increasing internet reach, e-commerce is bound to grow at a rapid rate supplemented by the innovations springing up by the hour. In India, there were around 16 million broadband internet subscribers by the end of 2010, out of which 7.4 million are using online shopping. There has been 30% YoY increase in internet adoption in India, which suggests as to how fast e-commerce can expand. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS Latest developments have primarily been centred around giving the consumer a superlative experience and alternative payment techniques/channels.PayPal revolutionised the concept of purchasing on the internet not long back. Payments are increasingly moving from cash based to cashless transactions and possibilities are being explored to even make â€œcustomer not presentâ€? transactions a reality. There has been an increasing shift from brick and mortars shops to click shops for practically all kinds of purchases. As Andy Grove
allowing other consumers and friends to have discussions around a recent purchase. This enables merchants to do target marketing, engage in interactive dialogues with the customers.
(chairman, Intel) quoted "In five years' time all companies will be Internet companies or they won't be companies at all", the importance of e-commerce can be gauged. Daily coupons concepts where consumers get details about the daily deals in the area and social element in e-commerce are the recent hot areas. Taking social networking a step further, websites such as www.swipely.com publish the purchases of their users online in a Twitter-style display,
FORESIGHT Reports suggest that ecommerce market would grow by 47% in 2011 to reach around Rs 46520 crores. In India, majority of ecommerce transaction are constituted by online travel (around 77%) but other areas too are catching up fast, like digital downloads and financial sector. As per Ebay India, every minute one product is being sold. Around 38.3% of the traffic is people in the age group of 15-24 years which drives the point that the young are getting a hang of online purchases and it is here to stay.
Few innovative ideas in the pipeline are: Live Link Video allows the merchants to develop videos in which users can click on the hyperlink hot spots to get product information or to be able to buy the product highlighted within the video directly. FlipSeek is already coming up with this. (Sample video link in Resources section) StoreFront Widget from PayPal, will allow users to embed PayPal virtual storefronts into blogs, sites social profiles etc. Blog, site or profile shoppers can select products from the widget, add to shopping cart and then checkout using PayPal.
Social M-Payments: Turning the mobile phone into a wallet is not a distant reality now. In latest developments by ProPay, the platform will store the secure info in digital secure vault. The payment information does not reside on the customer's smartphone or on the merchant's system in any way. A token is assigned to the customer, which is used to clear payments after his details have been stored.
ProPay also has launched ProPay JAK card which attaches to the phone and enables card swipes in real time if network is present. Many companies especially in the online travel market have even got about changing their business models to exploit the opportunities. When internet was a new thing, many thought it was just a fad and they could not be more wrong. My take is the same for ecommerce. It won’t be long before every daily need starts being addressed by online methods. From buying groceries online or getting a prepaid online fuel account and getting fuel from any station of an oil company all cashless, it could all be the “e”way, for the future is not just around the corner, future is here. To conclude I would quote Jack Welch, "Any company, old or new, that does not see this technology as important as breathing could be on its last breath.”
Article : Indu Potula & Montu Adani
Cloud Computing, SAAS-emerging trends in IT industry The word cloud computing is in air today and is creating buzz in various industries. What exactly is this cloud computing? It is a platform where the software resources and applications, which are located on a server, are shared among various users. These users are connected to the server through the internet cloud, hence the name cloud computing. In a traditional business model, a company owns a separate data server for each business and it continues to add new servers as business expands. But most of the times the capacity of these servers is underutilized. The advent of cloud computing model eliminated the problem of maintaining multiple servers. Moreover, user can access the applications without actually worrying about the maintenance of infrastructure associated with it. Some of the companies that offer cloud computing are Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google. Cloud computing is of three parts •Infrastructure as a service •Platform as a service •Software as a service This article is focused on the emerging trend of Software as a service in IT industry.In traditional business model, the onus of maintaining IT infrastructure lies with the company. But here, software applications, which are shared on a server, can be accessed with a subscription fee. It also eliminates the purchase and maintenance of hardware.
Strategy for Software Industry: Every wave of technology innovation is perceived as “opportunities for small & medium enterprises (SMEs)” and “paradigm-shift for large enterprises”. Large Firms: We come out with conglomerate strategy here. These large firms have enough capacity to make handsome investment in data centres and create their own cloud computing. The applications and tasks that should be shifted to cloud computing initially are •Applications with less critical data •Applications which do not require much customization •Applications which do not follow specific workflow, unique to the company •Applications which are not of competitive advantage •Applications which are minimally effected by network delays.
Data Server Division
Very large organizations which do not want any security, speed and sensitivity among others problems may be a customer base for software division.
Small & Medium enterprises: These organizations do not have huge cash flows to invest in capital intensive data serves. These firms should hire space on the data servers provided by third firms and enjoy the benefits of the cloud computing there by concentrating only on their core competencies.
The Indian IT industry: The Indian IT industry is mostly dependent on the work outsourced by various national and international companies. If cloud computing is widely available, the IT companies might be on the verge of losing their projects. As some of their work is mission critical and requires customization according to its customers, they might not lose critical projects. But they might lose projects which are less critical. In order to avoid this, they must start providing cloud computing applications to its clients through cooperative strategy. They should join hands to develop and deploy data centres and incorporate industry wide cooperative body like Nasscom.
Article : Kamalesh Chaudhary
Social CRM Customer relationship management (CRM) is all about maintaining interactions with customers, interaction or relation which helps to win new business. Scope of CRM is beyond the word relation. The overall goals of CRM are to find, attract, and win new clients, nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former clients back into the fold, and reduce the costs of marketing and client service. IT has redefined CRM practices and now it involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processesâ€”principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service, and technical support. Recent developments in IT space have brought the new versions of On-premises CRM in the form of Ondemand CRM and Social CRM applications. On demand CRM outsmart and out-execute competition with solutions that are easy to use, provide fast ROI. Social CRM applications empower sales users to be more effective and productive by leveraging the knowledge and experience of the broader community. Use of social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, customer reviews in Amazon etc.) by customers has increased the power of customers to make purchase decisions that are informed by other parties sometimes outside of the control of the seller or seller's network. In response, CRM philosophy and strategy has shifted to encompass social networks and user communities, podcasting, and personalization in addition to internally generated marketing, advertising and webpage design.
Continued entry into social networking remains pivotal to a brandâ€™s ongoing relevance, and social CRM provides a strategy for preserving the corporate image, re-training and aligning customer management workforce, recreating the relevant service benchmarks and identifying profit channels from within social networks. By refocusing customer management strategy to recognize social media as a pivotal avenue for engaging and influencing customers, rather than as a required bandage for staying relevant, one can establish oneself as a haven for young employees looking to navigate the blurring line between technology and human interaction.
Few would argue with the conventional wisdom that beating disgruntled customers to the punch is paramount for effective social CRM—an organization undoubtedly benefits from your ability to pre-emptively address customer complaints and concerns via new media. But truly owning the message goes beyond a proactive effort to control outcry, and a successful social media strategy must assure that all corporate communication improves the brand and engages your target audience. Hence Social CRM even becomes more critical to organisation.
Social CRM has its own challenge as mentioned below and technology has to find a way to overcome them •How to accurately measure social CRM success •How to preserve organisation culture •How does IT system “speak the language” of the social consumer •How to address workflow uncertainty within the social universe Even though shortcomings within the call centre system are often used as rationale for investment into social CRM techniques, dialogue rarely includes the return implications social media will have on traditional customer service. As customer engagement efforts increasingly shift into the virtual world of social networks, the landscape of the call centre must greatly change, and successful organizations are implementing strategies to minimize the impact of this transition. In addition to the challenge of assuring staff and resources are aligned with anticipated workflow, IT must also assure teams are constantly prepared to best convey the company culture in all customer interactions.
IT Initiative : Gurpreet Bhalla & Mrinal Dutt
Technology for Sharing Community-Generated Video We may have got accustomed to have broadband connections and might think that ICT would pave the path of educating the rural part of India but the fact remains that the current penetration of the broadband remains at abysmally low levels. The way out is to mix and match technologies that the rural parts are comfortable with and then link it with the current technologies that makes the system scalable and candidate for a large scale adoption. Figure illustrates the end-to-end system. On the far left is a fleet of digital camcorders serving as the eyes and ears (or input devices) of the system. They are shared among the participants who contribute content into the system and they may be constantly on the go. The resulting tapes are funnelled to the nearby hubs for digitizing and uploading into the local databases, which communicate with each other and synchronize their content. On the far right, shared TVs and DVD players economically serve as the output devices of the system.
IT Initiative ...
In this arrangement, an approach exploiting practical, cheap, and well-understood "light-tech" metaphors (such as TVs, DVD players, camcorders, the postal system, and cell phones) at the fringe, while concentrating the "higher-tech" elements (those employed in a hub, such as elements of a distributed database, significant storage, digitizers, DVD-burning robots, conventional Internet connectivity, and a suite of other software tools) inside the hybrid "network." This two-tier system makes an Internet-like system accessible to the underprivileged, so that anyone can contribute content to the "network," and anyone can consume content made available on the "network.â€œ We, a few participants at IIM Indore are using the content burned on DVDâ€™s to be used as medium for education in one of the EGS schools we have been
mentoring. The content is being provided by the foundation known as Digital Study Hall (DSH) which uses technology for the benefit of the society and mix and match of the not so sophisticated technologies and the high tech ones makes it possible for one and all to benefit out of it.
The setup is running at EGS located at Rao for around 2 months now. We provided them with an initial training for two weeks and they have learned to use it very easily. The feedback from the teacher and the students has been very encouraging and we frequently monitor their progress. The second installation at Kanyashala, Pigdambar is complete and the training sessions are scheduled to start soon .We are also in the process of identifying the location of the third school .
IT Initiative: IZZI Deals
IZZI Deals is a different take on the online deals industry. Instead of focusing on bombarding users daily with ridiculously high discounts, it is focused on enabling better merchant-customer interaction. It identified two main problems to fix: •deal spam •poor customer loyalty to merchants It is building a recommendation system that will recommend only a few deals to each user based on his/her profile, preferences and past behaviour. It will also enable merchants to create highly exclusive, private deals for loyal customers. Private deals are deals created only for loyal customers and not offered to other users. For example, a customer who has visited a restaurant thrice in the past year will get a special invitation from the restaurant for its exclusive new year’s party. Non-regular customers won’t be invited.IZZI Deals has our mantra of ‘deals made easy'. That's why it has done away with the hassles of online payment for deals and offered a simple SMS-based option to avail great deals. Website: www.izzideals.com
After completing his MBA from IIM Indore in 2010, Rahul was itching to start his own venture. In Jan, 2011, he finally scratched his itch by founding Izna Systems, the parent company of IZZI Deals. After dabbling with several ideas, he launched IZZI Deals. He handles the Strategy, Operations and Product Design. Apart from brainstorming new ideas and conceptualizing wacky business plans, he enjoys being a complete foodie and playing tennis!. Rahul Chidgopkar Founder & CEO IZZI Deals