Big data

SAP Leonardo allows rapid, scalable transformation

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SAP announced the creation of a digital ecosystem with the SAP Leonardo portfolio, exclusively for India. SAP Leonardo is a digital innovation system for rapid, scalable transformation. It includes analytics, blockchain, machine learning, IoT, Big Data, data intelligence and SAP cloud platform using design thinking services. Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP, says, “SAP Leonardo will unlock the full potential of the intelligent enterprise.”

img_20161202_031418Deb Deep Sengupta, President and MD, SAP India Subcontinent, said, there are four traits that set the top 100 global companies from the rest, and have a digital mindset. These traits are:

* The companies are focused on true transformation.
* The companies invest in bimodal architecture.
* The companies transform customers facing function first.
* The companies are talent driven.

The mantra for achieving digitization is by intelligently connecting people, things and businesses to drive the outcome. Sengupta cited examples of Jio, Tata Group and Trenitalia, Italy. He added: “IoT sensors report issues in real-time for Trenitalia. The maintenance costs are down 8-10 percent using this process. SAP is also driving the IoT revolution. We plan to invest Euro 2 billion in IoT till 2020.”

Sengupta outlined the the architecture for doing digital today, from S/4 HANA to SAP Leonardo, on to SAP IoT Connect 365, and on to the Intelligent Edge.

SAP Leonardo delivers new capabilities
Neeraj Athalye, Head – S/4HANA I GST Adoption I Leonardo, SAP Indian Subcontinent, said: “Leonardo is a digital innovation system. The innovation needs to result in tangible benefits. A company also needs to integrate.”

SAP Leonardo delivers new capabilities in machine learning, IoT, Big Data, and analytics. It is open, extendable and ready to be woven into every facet of your business. SAP Leonardo also allows for rapid implementation and seamless scaling the existing SAP platform and application portfolio.

There are all the ingredients to make an innovative business process. Customers solve all common problems. All of the components have been added to the accelerator. An accelerator can be used to redirect maintenance needs, optimizing inventory levels, and ensure consistent temperatures with pre-set tolerances.

SAP IoT Connect 365
SAP IoT Connect 365 is a managed, cloud-based service that simplifies IoT connectivity for enterprises, government and people. The solution makes it easy for enterprises to connect their IoT devices and gateways over cellular networks, through a web GUI or a web service API. A part of the Leonardo technical services, this solution was first launched at SAPPHIRE, and represents tremendous opportunity for mobile operators.

Through SAP IoT Connect 365, SAP provides full connectivity management ranging from provisioning and activating SIM cards to defining usage thresholds for devices or groups of devices to streamline their data consumption. By using a neutral SIM card, enterprises will be able to forego lock-ins to a single mobile operator and benefit from the use of the radio network of operators that will be capable of giving the best price/performance for their needs.

What sets this solution apart is the simple business model, ease of integration, better management of connection costs and a mobile data service that leverages technologies to their best possible use. The solution has a number of customers in trial and one of the first ones to use it is a global automotive customer that is utilizing the SAP IoT Connect 365 to connect their test fleets.

SAP IoT Connect 365, delivers choice and flexibility to enterprises, laying the foundation for a well-connected, cost-efficient, and secure environment.

Athalye added: “We make the enterprises connect their devices over the cellular network. Data must be encrypted and secure. We follow all of the global norms of data security. Data does not understand boundaries and should be governed. SAP has stringent norms for data center approvals.

“Our core is also GST compliant. Customers are filing their GST returns as per the Indian norms. On-premise ERP, digital compliance and GSTN are integrated. In fact, every SAP customer is GST compliant.”

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StanChart redefining banking with connected thinking

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Standard Chartered Bank is developing the power of the interconnected strategy. StanChart is also redefining banking with connected thinking. Digital is combining with technology to trigger different touch points. Standard Chartered Bank also opened its new Global Business Services (GBC) center in Bangalore, early this month.

Kwan Chee Sun, Head, Standard Chartered Global Services, India, said that the fourth industrial revolution — the digital age — blurs the lines between digital, biological, etc. The bulk of the increase will happen in the technology space. He referred to Smile To Pay, a service offered by KFC and AliPay started in China.

Gorriz
Dr. Michael Gorriz, Group CIO, said that Standard Chartered had been discussing the future of banking for ages. How will StanChart look like 10 years down the road?

He said: “Five years ago, smartphones became pervasive and changed the face of banking. Banking is about basic services — store, lend and borrow money. We are now experiencing a world of digitised money. Technology has broken down the barriers. In future, digital will be dominant in bank-customer relations. Data and analytics will help banks to serve customers better in the future. We are now investing US$ 3 billion in improving our global footprint.

“We partner with fintech companies and incorporate them into our atmosphere. We have also built up an accelerator lab. Currently, we have a challenge with legacy systems. In the future, we would like an adaptive landscape. Investment in APIs is critical.”

Trends in banking
Designed for SMEs, Standard Chartered’s Straight2Bank (S2B) is a fully-integrated Internet banking platform that allows you to perform all your transaction and information.

Talking about technology trends in banking, he said: “The Straight2Bank app has an interface for commercial and corporate customers. Digital payments are engrained into the interface. There will be data-driven business models. Big Data can help us gaining insights into the real needs of customers. Next, fraud detection is important for us. Also, blockchain is helpful in bringing transparency into banking.”

Gorriz noted that StanChart currently operates in 68 countries. The learnings among the different markets are exchanged quickly. StanChart supports over 9 million customers today in retail banking.

James Dolphin, CIO, Retail, Private Banking and Wealth Management, said that banks create and convey trust, adding: “Cavalier people generally write the best software. We are now competing for software engineering talent.” He added that banks had been mistrustful to open source for a very long time. That scenario was changing.

Dolphin noted that the current scenario of software development resembled the waterfall vs. agile development of software. Digital product owners tell the team what needs to be done. The team of engineers have two weeks to change their minds, if needed. “We are now looking at areas where the engineers and software developers can run speed, or, be on a run-on condition. Our engineers should have the ability to create something very quickly.”

In a presentation made via video, Tom Siebel, CEO, C3 IoT, said that IoT is about the sensoring of value chains. Smart, connected products are today transforming companies. The C3 IoT platform allows the company to collect and analyze data.

Focus on data
Shameek Kundu, chief data officer, Standard Chartered Bank, during a chat, said: “Data will be very important. We are working on expanding the credit transaction data. We are also working toward building a safer infrastructure for the bank. In Singapore, we have combined geospatial infrastructure with real-time offers. This exercise is building on the data asset.”

Regarding the smaller traders, he said: “We can bring small manufacturers into our stream. Having access to good data will help us in expanding credit. Technology can play a big role in all of this. Our strengths are the advantage of investing in technology and improving on our footprint.”

As for blockchain, he noted: “Blockchain is a way to build trust. We have invested in Ripple, and worked with AIG. Our priority remains to upgrading on services and technology to serve customers.” Standard Chartered Bank made a strategic investment in Ripple, a leading distributed ledger company, last September. The investment will accelerate the Bank’s digitisation agenda in distributed ledger technology as it explores new ways of adding value to its clients and the industry.

He continued: “We actually went open source in banking. As the customers’ needs evolve, there will be a need to invest in technology. We recognize that we have to work at the customers’ requirements and then, meeting them. Technology companies are also building specific solutions to support for our services.”

SAP India launches ‘code unnati’ for digital literacy

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SAP India recently collaborated with ITC and L&T Public Charitable Trust to launch ‘code unnati’ a multi-year, collaborative, digital literacy and software skills development initiative in India.

code unnati has six partners – NASSCOM Foundation, HOPE Foundation, Pratham InfoTech Foundation, Agasatya International Foundation, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, and UNDP India.The initiative aims to achieve the UN’s sustainable goals of: no poverty, quality education, decent work and economic growth, and partnerships for the goals.

In the pilot phase till next year, the initiative will focus on the rural areas of Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, as well as the urban disadvantaged demographies in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Vizag and Hyderabad.

Innovations through collaboration – Making of a digital literate society
There was a panel discussion, titled ‘Innovations through collaboration – Making of a digital literate society’. Shrikant Sinha, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said that the collaborations themselves need to be scaled up.

Dr. Madhav Chavan, founder, Pratham Foundation, said that optimum results have to be defined. He urged for digital literacy to go mobile.

Clement Chauvet, chief-skills and business development, UNDP India, noted that by using Project Disha, UNDP has managed to put 1 million girls/women to have some opportunity in life. He added that there is a need to bridge the information gap. There is also a need to ensure that the recepients were digitally literate as well. There should be a practical, blended element to spread literacy.

Ms Gayatri Mishra Oleti, senior deputy GM and head Operations, L&T Public Charitable Trust, said there are many ITC applications and all had benefitted. The question is: how do we reach out to the last mile people?There is a need to partner with the local governments.

Dr. Asheesh Ambasta, exective VP and head of Social Investments, ITC Ltd, said that multi-stakeholder partnerships are of importance. According to him, the learning with multiple partners is how do you align them with the set of project priorities? There is a need to identify roles for each partner, and set up a mechanism to review the program regularly.

Krishnan Chatterjee, head of marketing, SAP Indian Sub-continent, added that there is something empowering about technology. It can reduce inefficiencies and waste. He cited the example of Kolkata’s Maatir Manush, a program where they photograph 3-5 million farmers regarding crop queries.

img_20161202_031418Deb Deep Dasgupta, president and MD, SAP Indian Sub-continent, said that digital India promises that India will go on to become the world’s third-largest digital economy by 2025-30. However, lot of work needs to be done as only 10 percent of the Indian population is digitally literate.

He said that code unnati is India’s first-ever corporate-citizen initiative. These are:
a) Provide employable software IT skills for youth and women
b) Digital literacy for all
c) Provide employment to at least 50 percent of the youth trained
d) Digtal enablement of the Gram Panchayats.

How digital empowerment will make India more inclusive
There was a second panel discussion on ‘How digital empowerment will make India more inclusive.’

CT Sadanandan, VP Corporate Services & CSR, Tata Communications, said that awareness and the availability of an infrastructure should be present. Stakeholders at corporate India can make a difference.

Ms Kabi Sharman, India head, Pyxera Global, said corporate skills and knowledge are not being shared by the NGOs. There is also a need to understand people’s lives better by interacting with the local population.

Ajith Basu, Agasathya International Foundation, pointed out two key questions, namely, who are we going to teach, and how can we enable a child to learn! The idea is to inspire learning. There must be more collaborative learning.

Ian Correa, board member, HOPE Foundation, said there is a need to focus on the journey itself. And, if possible, to acquire special skills. The poor people of India require opportunities. Together, we can plug the gaps.

Mahantesh GK, CEO, Samarthanam Trust for Disabled, said the acceptance of being disabled is itself key. Technology and opportunity go together. Digital revolution has already brought massive progress. More needs to be done.

‘Graying’ of salary budgets for India!

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India continues to remain cautiously optimistic on business performance as far as the business outlook is concerned. The graying of salary increases in India is a reflection on how India Inc. is coming of age. The macro question remains: if this represents a blip or a trend! These are among the findings of the 21st Annual India Salary Increase Survey by AON Hewitt.

The survey projects a drop in pay increases to an average of 9.5 percent across industries. While the inequity of pay remains a concern, the key reasons cited by the various employees across 1,000+ firms for voluntary attrition are role stagnation and limited growth opportunities.

aon2For almost a decade, manufacturing firms in India are budgeting higher salary Increases than services firms. A lower base and higher expectations has driven this behavior. Although, with increasing pressures on margins and improved salary base, the difference in the budgets has been gradually declining since 2013. Along with high performance – high potential and hot skills remuneration are now gaining acceptance.

The gradual slowing of pay increases and higher emphasis on productivity and performance indicates the ‘graying’ of salary budgets for India. Some industries are impacted more than others – and AON Hewitt sees faster moderation of pay increases in industries such as technology, telecom, consumer etc.

Inspite of lower salary increase budgets, top performers will continue to get lucrative hikes as companies focus on performance and criticality. While attrition was contained at a broader level, key talent attrition takes a hit. Differentiated people and pay practices slowly taking the edge away from compensation for Key Talent Management.

Projections for 2017 include salary increase projections across consumer Internet companies, life sciences, professional services, chemicals, entertainment media, automotive/vehicle manufacturing, and consumer products.

The study, the largest and the most comprehensive of its kind in India, analysed data across 1,000+ companies.

Anandorup Ghose, partner at Aon Hewitt India, said: “Political changes and economic headwinds have had an impact on business performance. However, the trend this year reflects a gradual slowing of pay increases and higher emphasis on productivity and performance – quite literally a ‘graying’ of salary budgets for India.

“The last year has shown organizations take a strong view towards performance differentiation and not only have bell curves become sharper, the pay differentiation between top and average performers has also increased.”

MasterCard, CAIT launch digital payments program in India

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The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and MasterCard have announced a 90-day ‘Digital Apnao Vyapar Bhadao’ campaign to accelerate the adoption of digital payments among traders in India.

masterIn this campaign, CAIT and MasterCard will organize 500 camps across 50 cities in India over the next 90 days. It aims to on-board 5 lakh merchants and traders by bringing together financial institutions and other payments facilitators under one roof.

The camps will follow a three-step process of completing KYC documents, opening merchant accounts and helping them adopt the right digital payments solutions for their businesses.

Ravi Aurora, senior VP, Global Policy Affairs and Community Relations, MasterCard, said that the stress is on trade, As of now, around 10,000+ merchants have been asking for PoS devices daily. There is a need for more incentives across SMEs and consumers, so that they do not go back to cash-based commerce.

This step is in line with the Indian government’s multiple objectives of combating tax evasion, drive electronification, and prevent circulation of counterfeit currency. As of now, India has 1.5 million PoS locations and 0.2 million ATM locations. MasterCard is committed to a ‘less-cash society.’

Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general, CAIT, said that digital payments are very important for traders. It is also a pre-condition to embrace GST. He added that the first camp will be held today, Feb. 7, in Nagpur, followed by other cities, including, the metros.

SAP consumerizing enterprise biz apps

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The recently-held SAP Spotlight Tour in Surajkund, India, emphasized heavily on the consumerization of enterprise business applications.

As we all know, all enterprises have applications that they have to manage. They also have data residing on the cloud as well as in the premises. Now, the SAP digital boardroom has been changing data into insights, said N. Sekhar, VP Engineering, SAP Labs India. There was a demonstration of SAP’s innovations regarding how customers can shop.

img_20161202_031320Sonam Wangchuk, founder, Students Educational & Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL), spoke about how students in the far flung area of Ladakh are enjoying playing with the sun, earth, fire and ice.

Three years ago, SECMOL came up with the idea of the ice stupa artificial glaciers. A pilot ice stupa stores approximately 1.5 million liters of water, and is used to water about 5,000 trees.

Now, SECMOL is said to be using siphon technology at the Lhonak lake, that resultantly, also helps water overflow to some other lakes. The ice stupa technology has since gone to Switzerland, near St. Moritz.

Deb Deep Sengupta, president and MD, SAP India Subcontinent, said the organization had img_20161202_031418now completed 20 years in India. “We are digitally enabling businesses to embrace a cloud mindset,” he added. “Technology is now driving innovation, efficiency and growth.”

On day 2, there was a session titled ‘Impacting one billion lives’. Dr. Ramesh Nimmagadda, managing trustee, Ramesh Nimmagadda Cancer Foundation (RNCF) said there have been disruptions in healthcare. There is a constant growing need to collect data, and then see what best can be done using that data.

According to him, the connected healthcare was growing in importance. RNCF has developed a data collection software. The next step would involve predictive analysis. “We must go digital. There is also a need to develop simple and cheap systems.”

img_20161203_155950Rajandeep Singh, co-founder, Kivi Technologies added that writing electronic medical records (EMR) would become much easier over the next two to three years. There is also a need to develop techniques to get different data to ‘talk’ to each other. Cloud is definitely the way forward.

Intel now sampling 14nm Stratix 10 FPGAs to customers

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Intel has begun sampling 14nm Stratix 10 FPGAs to customers. The Stratix 10 is the 14nm FPGA that was built as a result of Intel and Altera’s foundry agreement in 2013. Stratix 10 is the industry’s highest performance, highest capacity FPGA ever built.

stratix-10How is the Intel 14nm FPGA superior to that of Xilinx? According to a spokesman, Stratix 10 FPGAs provides a first to node advantage for Intel, in that Stratix 10 are the first true 14nm FPGAs, delivering the performance and density advantage of a true process shrink.

How are memory and programmable solutions delivering new classes of products for the data center and the IoT ?

IoT is said to be bringing online billions of new smart and connected devices that are generating a tremendous amount of data. This data must be processed, analyzed and acted upon in real time within the cloud and data centers.

FPGAs, like Stratix 10, are built to support this demand by delivering high-performance, multi-function acceleration to the data center. Microsoft and their use of FPGAs to power Azure and to accelerate Bing are great examples of this acceleration today.

Broadcom did announce 5G a couple of years ago. Is Intel’s 5G any different?

According to Intel, FPGAs will be a key enabler in driving 5G deployments. “As we are in the early stages of 5G where standards are being finalized, the flexibility of FPGAs are invaluable to developers of wireless infrastructure, as the FPGA can be re-programmed as standards are adopted and finalized,” he added.

What is Intel doing in memory and programmable solutions that will make it different?

5G represents a significant shift for the industry, and requires an unprecedented integration of wireless connectivity, computing intelligence, and distributed cloud resources. It will fundamentally transform our lives, bringing us a society that is smarter and more connected.

To realize this potential for the IoT and enable richer experiences throughout daily life, wireless networks must transform to become more powerful, agile and intelligent. Intel is transforming the wireless networks and infrastructure to lay the path to 5G. FPGAs like Stratix 10 and memory are key enabling technologies for Intel.

If you look at some of Stratix 10’s capabilities vs. the prior generation, which companies like Microsoft are using to power its data centers, you get a clear picture of how developers of high-end networking gear, communications infrastructure and data centers will benefit from these high-performance, multi-function accelerators.
* 2X higher performance.
* 5X higher capacity.
* 8X higher TFLOPS.
* Integrated of high-bandwidth memory (HBM2).
* Integrated ARM A53 quad core processor.