Big data

DVC provides fantastic opportunity: NetApp

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NetApp has introduced the Data Visionary Engineering Center (DVC) in Bangalore. Paul van Linden, manager, EMEA and APAC EBC Program, said that as of now, there are four DVCs: in Sunnyvale and RTP North Carolina, USA, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and now, Bangalore.

Having a DVC does make a difference. Linden said: “Partners are hugely important. In a 2017 APBM survey, 86 percent said their purchase size increased due to visit. 30 percent said that NetApp is a trusted advisor. 42 percent said that their sales cycle had reduced (by up to 9 percent). And, 79 percent said that they discovered additional products (gone up by 15 percent).” He added, “We provide proven business acceleration.”

On the question of why have a DVC in Bangalore, he said: “Global customers have some very unique requirements. Eg., they would like to have detailed conversations with coders. This (DVC) is a fantastic opportunity.”
NetApp
Anil Valluri, president, Sales, India and SAARC, said: “It is a recognition of two things – one, the vibrancy of the market, and two, the huge amount of engineering talent in India. There are a lot of services being launched by the government. There is a growing market, with a lot of cutting-edge technology. We can tell people how to embrace digital transformation.

“The global SIs architecture centers are here. They can come here, and use technologies. It is a recognition of the potential of the Indian market. We can also serve as the knowledge center.”

Deepak Vishweswaraiah, MD and SVP, Data Fabric and Manageability Group, noted: “The whole digital transformation is not unique to NetApp. We are helping customers to progress on their data journey visions. Customers need to find new ways to do business. They have to find newer customers and newer ways to do business.

“We are also introducing the NetApp Cloud Volumes for Google Cloud Platform (GCP). We are now delivering data services with all the world’s largest hyper-scalers, such as Azure, AWS and Google Cloud Platform.

“We have modernized the IT architecture with Cloud Connected Flash. Powerful AI and high-performance applications with the world’s fastest enterprise all-flash array, the AFF A800 end-to-end NVMe.

“The NetApp ONTAP 9.4 storage OS improves performance, efficiency and data protection, also providing the industry’s first enterprise 30TB SSDs. It enables GDPR compliance and secures the data. New, intelligent cloud services further reduce TCO. The Active IQ provides insights for higher operational efficiency.

“We have also announced the NetApp Cloud Insights – Hybrid Cloud ITIM, delivered via SaaS. It improves customer satisfaction, pro-actively prevents failures, and optimizes to reduce cost. We have automated the tamper-proof retention of critical financial data.

“We are now accelerating our data visionary footprint in India. We have the largest R&D teams for NetApp in India.”

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Xilinx’s vision for adaptable, intelligent world!

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PengVictor Peng, president and CEO of Xilinx Inc. unveiled his vision and strategy to enable the “adaptable, intelligent world.” Xilinx moves beyond the FPGA to deliver a completely new category of highly flexible and adaptive processors and platforms that will allow for rapid innovation across a wide array of technologies.

Peng’s strategy involves three key points:
* Emphasis on data center acceleration.
* Accelerating growth in core markets.
* Introducing the Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform (ACAP).

Let’s find out what’s the new innovation around data center acceleration.

Peng said: ” In a data center, there are three areas that need to be in acceleration — compute, storage, and network. Xilinx already provides FPGA-based acceleration solutions for storage and network. A recent major trend is compute. Many data center users would like to use compute resource for a broad set of applications in the emerging era of Big Data and artificial intelligence, like video transcoding, database, data compression, search, AI inference, genomics, machine vision, etc.

“These applications are not fit for the CPU architecture. So, markets need to have an application-specific acceleration solution.”

Next, how is Xilinx looking to accelerating growth in core markets? Peng added: “In the core market, it is not direct-related acceleration. All Core markets that Xilinx has highlighted are important for our current and future businesses. Xilinx keeps investing in these areas as well. Of course, these applications will use cloud/data center for their businesses. Xilinx Acceleration solution also helps them to provide adaptable compute acceleration platform.

Lastly, what is the Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform (ACAP), and the range of applications and workloads for ACAP!

Peng noted, “ACAP will cover a broad set of applications in the emerging era of big data and artificial intelligence, like video transcoding, database, data compression, search, AI inference, genomics, machine vision, etc.”

As for the outlook for the global semiconductor industry in 2018, Xilinx declined to comment. However, some analysts would have an opinion.

Global semicon industry poised to grow 21 percent in 2018: Malcolm Penn

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According to Malcolm Penn, CEO, Future Horizons, UK, the global semiconductor industry will see 21.1 percent growth and is likely to reach $499.973 billion in 2018! “Year 2018 will see a continuation of the growth with our official forecast at 21 percent,” said Penn. There will be further double digit growth, barring economic collapse. This recovery has nowhere near yet run its course.

In 2017, the global semiconductor industry grew 22 percent hitting $413 billion ($415 billion upside).

Capex drivers
stratix-10The 2018 capex drivers include node migration from 16nm/14nm To 10nm/7nm logic nodes, 3D NAND, where Samsung alone will spend a staggering $14 billion, following $26 billion total In 2017, including 3D NAND, DRAM ($7 billion) and foundry ($5 billion).

China remains a hotbed of activity in fab equipment spending, with multinational and domestic chipmakers building new fabs. EUV lithography is moving closer to production. Traditional lithography with multiple patterning will dominate front-end equipment makers demand. 200mm fab capacity will remain tight in 2018, prompting the need for 200mm equipment, but 200mm tools will be hard to find.

Entering 2018
Entering 2018, a global financial crisis is unlikely. However, China debt and new borrowing is worryingly high. Any slowdown in China growth likely to impact elsewhere.

There is also a potential risk of 2007-09 Eurozone crisis. Big economy with slow growth/high public debt loses market confidence and/or needs bail out too big for Germany to stomach. Middle East conflicts could easily cause oil prices to soar, leading to recession in developed economies.

Further, central banks could trigger downturn. There can also be UK/EU/Global Brexit peripheral economic damage and fallout. No deal is better than a bad deal political brinkmanship. Forecast rests on assumption that major policy mishaps are avoided, and there are positive ongoing economic relationship between UK/EU. There is no significant increase/change in global economic barriers.

Tech trends
As for technology trends, Moore’s Law is still shrinking, and the hype’s exploding. There is still more hype than substance even in technical conferences. In logic devices, silicon area is ceasing to be the prime cost setter. Advances in design (using variance tools) and production (using metrology) mean that yields now so good that it can be worth using a larger die to remove a few process steps.

The ‘X nm’ or ‘node Y’ designations are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Many IC designs are so interconnect limited that smallest transistors are only needed in critical areas of speed or power. Intel pulled away a little due to better metallisation process. Samsung and TSMC are fast followers, but definitely need some divergence in processes again – so they are no longer clones of each other.

The exception is GlobalFoundries. As the smallest company, they need to focus on a single process. Others, including China, don’t spend enough on process R&D. Intel’s 10nm node is the first logic process to exceed the 100 million transistors per sq mm mark. There is still a 12-layer metallisation process, plus Fin and contacted gate. The industry seems to have stalled at 12-layers of metal. Is it impossible to reach layers higher than this, without actually reducing density?

Intel used cobalt for the first two layers of metallisation where all the short inter-gate connections are made. Cobalt provides a more reliable and repeatable conductivity in short interconnects where resistance of the contact dominates, not interconnect length. Another cobalt advantage is that it reduces electromigration. Instead of FEOL (front end of line), BEOL (back end of line) expertise will be the future semiconductor company key differentiator.

EUV (extreme ultraviolet lithography) is now cost effective. There will be new techniques with immersion being used at 10/12nm and beyond. Most layers will stay with 193nm immersion lithography, wherever possible.
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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.”

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.”