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Tele-mimetics, Tele-trends and Focus for Inspiration!


Most telecom markets remain overall pulsating with focus on higher speeds, better interactivity, and customer experience. What is needed is for telecom players to find their best identity in the value chain and position their brand accordingly.

ver the last quarter, I had been very fortunate to interview and discuss one-on-one with some of the whos who of Canadian Telecom Industry. What is most interesting behind the success of many of these leaders and their organizations outstanding performance was the extremely simple but fundamentally profound marketing wisdom. I could easily compare their thought-patterns with the likes of Al Ries and Jack Trout, the marketing Gurus and founders of Positioning theory. Most of these interviews were remarkably insightful not only in terms of where the Canadian or Global Telecom Industry is headed to but also in that how just about any geography could relate to the other from the cause and effect perspective of micro and mega trends and, eventually, in one way or the other, can possibly utilize the end takeaways towards their collaborative industrial betterment. From a marketing standpoint, this at first seems tough to assimilate though, let alone to be compared any further. More so because, we speak of one of the most dynamic and, particularly now, evermore stirred-up industrial segments and also when the diversity is hugely evident, among widely different geographies. However, if we refer from the standpoint of inspiration, similar to a Case study and not simply adaptation,
64 |EPC&I|SEPTEMBER 2011

ASHEESH PANDIA

For the most part, Indian telecom has been doing really well relatively barring the Spectrum Refarming struggle cited above. But the option of taking a look at the external and distant trends could also guarantee significant betterment for the highly innovative kinds.

because that would be unfair indeed, theories suddenly start making practical sense. In a way, it is more like cross-industrial learning, redevelopment and collaboration or, rather, Biognosis and Bio-mimetics. Some may want to research those terms in entirety to get greater insight. The biggest challenges that Canada had faced since inception were essentially the huge geography, weather conditions and the diversely growing consumer demography, for instance. As a result, the network infrastructure maintenance investments went beyond and out of proportion and, hence, the anatomy of basic marketing strategies today seems starkly different. And, then, there remain similarities too in terms of trends, especially in the Social Media era. According to Gautam Nath, one of the best Canadian marketing knowledge-banks today, who I had the opportunity to meet recently, MultiCultural marketing dynamics is the most sought-after horizon here in Canada at the moment . I feel essentially the rise in multi-cultural marketing shares a similar pattern to that of the ongoing Rural Penetration pursuit in India. And, yet again, considering that Canada wants the largest pipelines at the lowest cost, which definitely would demand more funds, access to global capital market through more relaxed and free competition and more incumbents is desirable not much unlike how it had

always been in India regardless of the competition because population and the market size is awesome. On a global level too, most telecom markets remain overall pulsating with focus on higher speeds, better interactivity, and customer experience. Realistically, it is easy to understand that the Churn Management is definitely a very important issue still for the most part because acquiring a new customer is much more pricey and unpredictable than retaining the existing customer base. The latter, however, could also be equally demanding and complex, but more often than not, cost-effective to both the consumer and the service provider. The new generation of consumers is definitely not as loyal as it used to be in the Wireline-only era. Moreover, brand loyalty itself cannot be compared at any given moment between a telecom service provider and a financial institution. In the case

Mobile broadband traffic volumes will see a 2600 percent increase in the next five years, say Nokia Siemens Networks own figures. The Nokia Siemens numbers are astounding a 1000fold mobile data traffic increase by the year 2020.

of the former, it could be far more casual for the consumer to be flirtatious and shop around. Another common challenge across economies is to maintain and strive to increase the dirt-cheap margins. And, that is where the opportunities for telecom consulting and marketing organizations and analys ts lie. Subscriber base might have been sustained or grown, but the revenues seem to dip gradually. With respect to the extremely lowmargins, it is not difficult to gauge the situation when you find analysts use Price-Earnings (P/E) and Price-toSales (Price/Sales) Ratios as measures of valuation; for, some companies have little or no profits to speak of unfortunately, especially at this time. And, now, all of a sudden, inadequate Spectrum poses another big challenge in India which DoT, the telecom regulatory body, proposes to address with Refarming the 900 megahertz

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(MHz) spectrum when operators licenses come up for renewal between 2014 and 2025, by including it in the Spectrum Bill in its recommendation. Telecom providers are, of course, not equally fond of such a recommendation by DoT because there are reasons to believe that it would not be appropriate at this point when you have to be moving all the subscribers to a brand new network, as a consequence, while they are on a fully functional one already. Let alone the obvious interruption in current service and big investments that will be needed to carry out this change in any case, at any given point in time. Still, we cannot deny the relative growth prospects that sound paradoxical after summing up all the above challenges. But, they are true for sure. I am going to mention the exploding Mobile Broadband Traffic below and the figures are mindblowing. Whatever be the reason for this increase in traffic, in the end, telecom service providers have both the responsibility and the opportunity to serve the consumer well and make money. There is also no denying of the fact that there is a huge potential for the current generation of consultants in cross-economy trend-spotting as well as for telecom service providers to bootstrap themselves. Most of all, to find their best identity in the value chain and to be able to innovate lightening fast have been the top priorities of the best players so far and, again, trend-watching gives the best food for thought in terms of both innovation and the correct Brand

What we see around today is everyone doing everything, everyone selling everything. But, the biggest brands in the world are the ones that do only their thing that reflect them directly and uniquely.
Positioning. For the most part, Indian telecom has been doing really well relatively barring the Spectrum Refarming struggle cited above. But the option of taking a look at the external and distant trends could also guarantee significant betterment for the highly innovative kinds. The face of telecom is changing by the hour and it is not the same simple voice domain anymore. Rather, it is a more holistic and all-embracing one with the rising Mobile Broadband Traffic, dominant Consumer Electronics and a skyrocketing Ultra-Viral Social Media. Mobile Applications market, for instance, is the most astonishing at this moment . Back in March of 2009, about 2,300 applications were available on the Android Market, according to T-Mobile CTO, Cole Brodman. And, in May 2011 alone, during the Google I/O, Google announced that Android Market listed 200,000 applications and had already clocked 4.5 billion installed

applications. By July, the figure had crossed the 250,000 milestone. Distimo and Germany-based research2guidance forecast that the number of apps on Android Market would surpass Apple by the third quarter of 2011, with some 425,000 apps. Similarly, in terms of Consumer Electronics and Mobile Broadband Traffic, iSuppli reckons global SmartPhone shipments will double by 2015 and account for more than half of all mobile phones sold. At the same time, mobile broadband traffic volumes will see a 2600 percent increase in the next five years, say Nokia Siemens Networks own figures. The Nokia Siemens numbers are astounding a 1000fold mobile data traffic increase by the year 2020. To the consumer, mobility is not a privilege anymore; it is simply an extension of access to information and telecom providers only need the super value creation attitude besides the competent technology to win the game. Lack of mobility is rather a polite way of saying denial-of-service in todays competition. Take m-Commerce, for example, which has been considered as the game changer, especially in the developing economies. Even in the developed ones, it is not yet ubiquitous, probably because of the security-related, technological and psychological challenges. But, once the ice is broken and it is made easily accessible, theres no dearth of the wonders that efficiently run m-Commerce could do. So, for the winners, it must not just be the Next Thing. Rather, it ought to be

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a current service provisioning mandate top on their priority list to keep ahead of the rat-race. Coming back to the trends and patterns that Indian telecom providers can bank upon, first of all, focusing on that one particular differentiating Brand Identity, that makes any brand unique it is just too important. What we see around today is everyone doing everything, everyone selling everything. But, the biggest brands in the world are the ones that do only their thing that reflect them directly and uniquely. When you talk about a particular product or service, it is only that brand that comes to the consumers mind and vice-versa. Many of the top executives and telecom professionals advocate restricting the number of players to 4-6. The reason behind that is both intelligent and plausible. However, from the perspective of brand management and positioning, more intellectual bandwidth should be targeted on their main focus, and focus is the key to positioning. The Narrower and Unique it is, the better for any brand. Forget about the competition for a moment. Let us first understand what we want to achieve, get clarity, prioritize our things and then jump in the warfare fully armed. This is one of the key findings you instantly get a feel of when you look at a market such as Canadas. Each brand has an identity and a unique personality and thats where the learning is. And, in abundance!
The author is a distinguished Brand Management and Corporate Communications consultant with over a decade of cross-industrial exposure and has been extensively published and exclusively featured in some of the best international publications. He currently provides branding and communication consultation to several MNCs, especially on elevating and differentiating their brands and creating more focused and better perceptions. He writes independently for various publications across AsiaPacific, US/Canada and is a proactive member at many Professional Canadian Communities and Non-Profit Organizations.

1 Source: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=3853327&trk=anet_ug_hm 2 Special Thanks to the Source Cited here: Mr. Ofer Glanz, the Founder of Barak Strategic Consulting for his exceptionally interesting insights at Innovate that I am citing here with gratitude. Asheesh Pandia 3 Citing Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_Market 4 Citing Source: http://paulpapadimitriou.com/commentary/2011/09/20/mobilebroadband-traffic-increase-2600-5-years/

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indias rst IT magazine for sme business


VOLUME 02 | ISSUE 09 | NOVEMBER 2011 | RS. 20/-

SME BIZ

/45

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D-Link: Owners pride and Neighbors Envy

TCS: TCS Ahead of the Curve

NEC: NEC India to intensify business in SME Segment

UTM EMBARKED ON A

STEADY GROWTH
The UTM market is making steady progress in the Indian market as its appeal increases among enterprises of all sizes and across verticals. /30
01

COVER STORY

UTM MARKET

UTM EMBARKED ON A

STEADY
GROWTH
The UTM market is making steady progress in the Indian market as its appeal increases among enterprises of all sizes and across verticals.
BY SANJAY MOHAPATRA
sanjay@smechannels.com

ecuring enterprise systems is a top priority, especially in a connected world. A fundamental truth for organizations worldwide is that protecting their mission-critical applications, sensitive electronic data, and underlying computing infrastructure is a challenging and never-ending taska grim scenario wherein IT and security personnel will always have their hands full. With increasing connectivity, a companys vulnerability and risk of security compromises increase manifold. More signiicantly, a shit in hackers motivation and the growth in corporate espionage have increased the security threat to enterprises. herefore, it is not only large enterprises but even the SMBs that is scurrying for cover with robust security products. Earlier security deployments meant point solutions for a variety of requirements such as irewalls, intrusion detection systems, VPNs, anti-spam gateways, etc. However monitoring, managing and scaling them as the enterprise grows becomes a huge challenge for the technology department. Over the years, vendors have started clubbing their oferings in order to differentiate their products and also to make it easy

for deployment and maintenance. Gradually such deployments became more common, and the term Uniied hreat Management (UTM) became mainstream when analyst irm IDC used it in a 2005 publication on threat management. he term has since been used to refer to uniied, multi-use security threat management devices. It helps enterprises reduce the number of vendors, manage the ugrade cycle of diferent products and simpliies trouble shooting. According to IDC, a UTM typically comprises a irewall, antivirus and intrusion prevention and detection. With increasing proliferation of connectivity, the threats and complexities in security management have grown tremendously. he scope and expanse of UTM oferings have also kept pace by providing very high-end and sophisticated capabilities. his eliminates the need for systems administrators to maintain multiple security programs over time. herefore sophisticated versions of UTMs can ofer much more with capabilities that can manage URL iltering, spam blocking, spyware protection, content management, data leakage protection. Oten these devices ofer centralized monitoring and management of security deployments across locations and incident logging. hese multifunction security products provide many beneits

for customers, which combined with new features, have spurred market growth. here is also a trend for service providers to ofer UTM-as-a-service from their datacenters, but it is still early. Security consolidation via UTMs represents not just a better security and convenience but also opportunitiesan opportunity to reduce network traic, an opportunity to ease integration of VoIP and Web 2.0 applications, and an opportunity to boost IT productivity, says Shubhomoy Biswas, Country Director India & SAARC, SonicWALL.

The Market in India


he UTM market for appliances in 2009 stood at $42.25 million and is poised to keep growing at a steady CAGR of 35-40% over the next 3-4 years. he market is slated to cross $100 million by 2012. According to a report by research irm IDC in October 2008, UTM products, which passed the $1 billion mark in market size in 2007, will make up 33.6 percent of the total network security market by 2012. IDC has identiied the UTM market segment as the fastest growing segment of the broader network security market globally, and expects UTM to represent approximately 30 percent of

30 SME CHANNELS
NOVEMBER 2011

UTM MARKET

COVER STORY

THE UTM MARKET IS SLATED TO CROSS $100 MILLION BY 2012 AND IS EXPECTED TO GROW 35% OVER NEXT TWO YEARS.

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NOVEMBER 2011

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UTM MARKET

ment. It further expanded its capabilities for the SRX series with the new AppTrack sotware. Building on Junipers recently announced AppSecure suite of applications, AppTrack sotware provides tight services integration that enables application-level visibility and improved data lows and adds application identiication information to the IPS session log. Juniper AppTrack is part of the AppSecure suite of applications, which provides business logic denial-of-services prevention for the the SRX series. Astaro is a relatively new entrant in the Indian network security market. he company is still relatively small and is poised for much higher growth than other vendors. In the last two years, the company has already built a foundation for explosive growth in its UTM business. However, India revenue still represents a small percentage of its worldwide business, but it is now growing rapidly. Most of our partners have chosen our product line for its capabilities and ease-of-use. Since we are relatively a late entrant in India market, our partners typically used some other network security product before, and now use Astaro to realize a broad variety of networking and security projects. he margins our partners make, positions our products as second to none, says Sunil Sapra of Astaro. Astaro solutions are sold more on the basis of value than price, enabling partners to package their services well with the solutions. A service-led approach builds customer relationship and improves the margins. Aastaro has a solid line up of products with Sophos next gen UTMs. Cisco looks at the market and customer requirements from a holistic perspective and ofers an End-to-End Self Defending Approach and Integrated Security. As per Bipin Phase I UTM is deined by consolidation: he initial intent of UTM is the consolidation of multiple security-related technologies into one system. Initially, UTM solutions were integrated Firewalls with Intrusion Detection/Intrusion Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS). Now, most UTM solutions also include Anti-X (SPAM and malware) and VPN functionality. UTM continues to evolve with expanding functionality. Nevales Networks ofers small and medium a secure environment to conduct their business on a pay-as-you-use model. Nevales platform is delivered over the Internet with free 24x7 support and is free from licensing, scalability and maintenance hassles, thereby providing the best value for money and allowing SMBs to focus on their core businesses. Nevaless security-as-a-service ofering bundles everything into a single subscription fee, including comprehensive security features,

TAKING AN END-TO-END SECURITY APPROACH HELPS INFORMATION SECURITY MANAGERS BUILD REASONABLE CONFIDENCE ON THEIR SECURITY STRATEGY AND DEPLOYMENTS.
BIPIN KUMAR AMIN, PRINCIPLE CONSULTANT, BORDERLESS NETWORKS, SECRITY, CISCO, automatic updates, patches, and 24x7 technical support, thus enabling organizations to eliminate upfront costs, providing a predictable cost structure, ensuring quality of service, and the freedom to re-evaluate the solution decision at any time. Nevales Networks closely works with its partners through regular distribution meets and promotions in key channel media. We support our partners with regular training and product updates to help them reach out to their customers better, says Ravishankar. Dominique MEURISSE - Executive Vice Presiden, NETASQ, says, Everyone is looking for an integrated security solution to reduce maintenance costs and have a more comprehensive control over their network security. We foresee a phenomenal growth in this sector. We at NetASQ have UTM products from SOHO to enterprise class networks customers to have higher return on investment and lower total cost of ownership. Integrated security appliances are witnessing high penetration in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Future demand from these markets will be strong and these markets will lead market growth. he lack of skilled manpower in these cities makes deployment of UTMs a simpler choice due to the integrated nature of these devices. In conclusion, the UTM market is on the growth track and the demand for UTM products will increase from all sizes of enterprises. his is because the security threats are increasingly getting complex and the IT department is looking for simpler management processes so that they are able to focus on innovation. At the same time, as enterprises cope with business growth they will be increasingly looking for simpler and easy to roll out solutions, which is an advantage with UTM solutions as they are easy to deploy. here is increasing awareness and understanding in the market about the beneits of UTM markets in metros and smaller cities. here is likely to be balanced growth from all these market segments with the SMBs demonstrating the strongest appetite for UTM products. However, Asheesh Pandia, Sr. Brand Management, Communications & PR Professional, maintains, he evolution of original irewall is what came up as UTM in early 2000s followed by XTM (eXtensible hreat Management) - as the threats kept on becoming more dynamic, stealthy and pervasive. Today it is not just the threat part that is being addressed by XTM but also greater networking and management capabilities. he market in India for UTM and XTM seems very promising despite the issue of sustainable diferentiation amongst the various competitors. he list of players has been ever expanding and of course analysts have positioned the key vendors appropriately including Fortinet, WatchGuard, SonicWall, Cyberoam, Quick Heal and GajShield others.

The Future Landscape


he future UTM solutions are likely to include one-stop solutions with features such as irewall, VPN, anti-virus, anti-spam, IDS and IPS, content iltering, bandwidth management, multiple load balancing and gateway failover. More and more enterprises will look for easier management with plug and play kind of capabilities. As more enterprises look to simplify infrastructure management, they will look for allin-one security appliances to ease their management burden. UTM solutions will be an integrated ofering and will be able to handle blended threats. UTM solutions has emerged out of the need to stem the increasing number of attacks on corporate information systems via hacking/cracking, viruses, wormsmostly an outcome of blended threats and insider threats. herefore future demand for UTM solutions will be for blended capabilities to thwart such threats. Such oferings will enable

40 SME CHANNELS
NOVEMBER 2011

COVER STORY

UC

UC OPPORTUNI
ACT IN UNISON TO TAP SME
Unied Communications (UC) has always been the tool of the large enterprises but with the market slowdown and the growth of the SMEs, it had also come to the space of the SMEs. But the fact is that the vendors are not able to understand the market as yet and thus have not been very aggressive also.
BY SANJAY MOHAPATRA
sanjay@smechannels.com

f one goes by the dictionary meaning of Uniied Communications (UC), it is the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as uniied messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). he evolution of the UC has been gradually over a period time. UC is not a single product, but a set of products that provides a consistent uniied user interface and user experience across multiple devices and media types. For the lay man, it is nothing but managing communications and getting quick and timely response. he business turnaround entirely depends on the response of the communications. A delayed communication or collaboration can incur huge amount of revenue loss. herefore, UC is as critical to SMEs as it is to the large enterprises.

As per Frost & Sullivan study, the total size of the UC market in India will grow more than $1 billion by the end of 2010 and expected to grow manifold in coming times also. Similarly, as per DellOro Group, despite pockets of weakness reappearing, the uniied communications market will expand signiicantly in 2010 as existing vendors continue to invest and expand their sotware oferings and Microsot begins to actively push Lync. When the overall UC market is growing at the CAGR of 7.9 percent, the individual components of uniied communications are already witnessing healthy double digit growth number. For example the audio video conferencing market is estimated to grow at 60%, e-mailing and IP telephony is growing at 20% and 30 percent CAGR. In this scenario, globally SMEs play major role in the growth of UC market. But in India the market is yet to pick up because they face a lot of challenges. he irst and foremost is they

have budget constraints and they think too much about interoperability. Secondly, the UC vendors have not been much focussed on the Indian SME market. Adil Doctor, Director SMB Sales (India), Avaya India, says, Since, SMEs have limited resources they are gradually exploiting the beneits of Uniied Communications to help increase eiciency, productivity, and sales. However, SMEs or companies with up to 999 employees in the Indian subcontinent beneited the most from Uniied communication. According to a survey by Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc. SME in India market spent around US$48.8 million on uniied communication (UC) in 2009. Majority of this includes enterprise IP telephony, applications like telepresence, mobility, conferencing and collaboration are still used to a limited extent by organizations and therefore comprise only 10 per cent of the market.

28 SME CHANNELS
DECEMBER 2010

UC

COVER STORY

NITY
AS PER FROST & SULLIVAN STUDY, THE TOTAL SIZE OF THE UC MARKET IN INDIA WILL GROW MORE THAN $1 BILLION BY THE END OF 2010.

SME CHANNELS 29
DECEMBER 2010

COVER STORY

UC

AS SMES HAVE LIMITED RESOURCES THEY ARE GRADUALL EXPLOITING Y THE BENEFITS OF UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS TO HELP INCREASE EFFICIENCY , PRODUCTIVITY AND , SALES.
ADIL DOCTOR, DIRECTOR SMB SALES, AVAYA INDIA Asheesh Pandia, Manager Communications, Siemens Enterprise Communications (SEN India), says, UC is precisely as relevant as costcontainment, ROI or productivity to SMEs, as it is to the large enterprises. Speciically all those verticals where the resource size is bigger, travel OPEX is higher or communications is process critical, they need UC more than others. Also, categories with proven needs and interest with IT/ ITES, BPO, Petroleum, Manufacturing, Banking & Finance, Healthcare and Professional Services need UC. UC clearly ofers proitability, savings, improved decision making, better collaboration and mobility to them. Although pure IP adaptation is seen more in Greenield projects so far, overall, we can see quantiiable growth. Adaptation is rising with the awareness and developments in security. At this rate, the 100% growth dreams over next three years sound real, he added. In its February 2009 report, Market Overview: Sizing Uniied Communications, Forrester also predicts that companies will deploy enhanced UC capabilities to about 60 per cent of employees in functions that will beneit most from embedding communications features like wireless and video directly into their business applications. Minhaj Zia, National Sales Manager, Uniied Communications, Cisco India and SAARC, says, Indian SMBs are growing and adding more business partners nationally and internationally. With many of them also opening new branches, networking will play an important role in keeping employees connected. According to a Frost & Sullivan study, currently, India leads the SAARC regions UC market in terms of total spending and better overall awareness of UC. India has a good potential for growth of UC applications as demonstrated by the CAGR of 7.9 per cent during the period from 2008 to 2015. He added, he SMB-potential for UC is tremendous as UC oferings span across budgets and requirements. he bouquet of UC oferings, currently available in the market, is so versatile that any organization, large, medium or small, can ind technology that best suits both, its needs and budget. Interestingly, according to a NASSCOM report, approximately 50-60 per cent of IT spends in the country is expected to come from the lourishing SMB segment. Clearly, there is a huge market waiting out there to be tapped and companies are focused on addressing it. However, in order to efectively tap this segment, it is important that vendors develop customized solutions, which ofer a cost-efective and easy to deploy alternative. Indian SMBs are looking at UC as a low-cost tool to communicate efectively with customers and suppliers as well as

UC IS PRECISEL AS Y RELEVANT AS COSTCONTAINMENT, ROI OR PRODUCTIVITY TO SMES, AS IT IS TO THE LARGE ENTERPRISES.


ASHEESH PANDIA, MANAGER COMMUNICATIONS, SIEMENS ENTERPRISE COMMUNICATIONS (SEN INDIA)

facilitate communication across multiple branch locations. Its important that SMBs are shown how, by streamlining communication infrastructure, they will be able to ind smarter ways to cut travel costs maximize operational eiciency and improve business & customer strategies. Conferencing and collaboration tools such as video, audio, web conferencing and instant messaging will account for a majority of the total UC spending. As per Minhaj with the expansion of Uniied Communications from the enterprise space into mid-level and smaller organizations, a growing number of SMEs are gradually exploring how Uniied Communications has the potential of increasing eiciency, productivity, and sales. As uniied communications applications become more prevalent in the extended workspace, more organizations are realizing the associated beneits. Results documented by Sage Research demonstrate a multitude of beneits - both in terms of employee time savings and inancial savings. Organizations using uniied communications clients saved an average of 32 minutes daily per employee because presence technology enabled staf to reach one another on the irst try. Use of sotphones resulted in an average savings of $1,727 per month in cell phone and long distance charges. Mobile workers also saved 40 minutes each day, enjoyed greater business communications convenience, and generated annual productivity gains of 3.5 days per year through business continuity impact. Organizations using uniied messaging reported that employees saved 43 minutes per day from more eicient message management while mobile workers saved 55 minutes per day. Companies using integrated voice and Web conferencing reported a 30 percent reduction in conferencing expenses (by making integrated conferencing capabilities available in-house and on-network) and an average savings of approximately $1,700 per month in travel costs basis the Sage report. Uniied business communications applications not only facilitate productivity improvements for employees wherever their work takes them, they can also enhance the way in which all employees communicate. More speciically for SMBs, the biggest USP of opting for UC solutions is the cost savings that they present in terms of travel, communications, etc. Many SMBs also appreciate that enhanced geographical collaboration that comes with the adoption of UC. For example, CoStar has made a signiicant investment in a broadcast-quality video conferencing system from Polycom to connect 3,000

30 SME CHANNELS
DECEMBER 2010

COVER STORY

UC

CoStar workers in the US and abroad. heyve worked hard to build out their network -- dealing with bandwidth allocation, traic shaping and end-user training -- to keep users satisied with and using the system. According to CoStars Sergio Soto, When we irst started with video conferencing a few years ago, we simply wanted a way to reduce travel costs for our sales team. Now we have developers and researchers on both coasts that use our video conferencing rooms eight hours a day. Video has helped them cut $4-$5M in travel costs. Neeraj Gill, Managing Director, India & SAARC, Polycom, says, SMEs have always faced an uphill battle when competing with larger, more established companies. he challenge is even more daunting in the current economy of slower business growth, reduced sales opportunities, and sometimes lower revenues. SMEs are turning to these solutions because they can help them Improve productivity, Higher return on investment (ROI), Enhance their corporate image, Make better decisions faster, Reduce costs, etc. Company-wide Communications,Vendor/Supplier Relationships ,Employee Training/Distance Learning etc are few more points for which SMEs need the UC solutions. he other vendor of UC is NEC, which is present in India since 2006 and among other products, the company has a strong foothold on UC space. Ravinder Raina, Country Head Private Network Solutions, NEC India, says, In the post recession scenario, Uniied Communications is fast emerging as a business necessity. Large organizations and SMBs have become optimistic about uniied communications and use it for integrating communication tools with real-time business processes. Over the years, uniied communications has helped in easing communication hassles and now, even SMEs have started to realize these advantages. He added, Uniied Communications has come a long way from a simple uniied messaging inbox for email, voice and faxes, to enhanced mobility, multi-modal mashups of various forms of communications. hough, the market for UC technologies is still at its infancy. Currently, the UC market in India stands at $549 mn, while $321mn comes from enterprise telephony that includes 17% share of contact center applications, 11% email and messaging, 10% tele-presence and conferencing while 1% comes from mobility, which is still a long way to go. Similarly, Business Octane is another player who contributes large to UC space through its large presence in the telepresence space. Sanjay Bansal, Chairman of the Board & Managing Director, Business Octane, says, Immersive

SMES ARE TURNING TO THESE SOLUTIONS BECAUSE THEY CAN HELP THEM IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY HIGHER RETURN , ON INVESTMENT (ROI), ENHANCE THEIR CORPORATE IMAGE, MAKE BETTER DECISIONS FASTER, REDUCE COSTS, ETC
NEERAJ GILL, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INDIA & SAARC, POLYCOM

Telepresence is gaining momentum and has a huge potential in India. he SME market in India is growing tremendously. he SME segment is already a heavy user for virtual collaboration technologies. he Immersive Telepresence Suites available in the marketplace are majorly suitable for large enterprises given the inancial bandwidth and quantum of usage in such enterprises. However, these factors difer for the SME segment where the demand will be driven by such innovations that can replicate in the most efective manner as possible the experience of immersive telepresence at reduced costs to vindicate the investments being made.

INDIAN SMBS ARE GROWING AND ADDING MORE BUSINESS PARTNERS NATIONALL AND Y INTERNATIONALL . Y
MINHAJ ZIA, NATIONAL SALES MANAGER, UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS, CISCO INDIA AND SAARC

He added, Business Octane has gone ahead in terms of innovation with its customized range of Immersive Telepresence Suites & Solutions for the SME segment that will help these enterprises beneit from a faster ROI. We had recently introduced CollaboratorPOWERMAXTM an afordable immersive telepresence collaboration suite that ofers media-rich, immersive dynamic telepresence experience. he customized suite creates a meeting experience over telepresence which is as efective as meeting face-to-face with distant participants with high deinition studio quality video and high deinition stereo spatial audio, together with near actual physical sizing and natural eye contact. he company has advanced video collaboration solution: AltraCOLLABORATOR that also caters to the SME segment; it is a customizable collaboration solution to be retroitted in existing video meeting rooms. Sanjay Manchanda, Director-Microsot Business Division, Microsot India, says, In todays fast evolving competitive global market, SMBs need cost-efective technologies that allow lexibility and adds value to their organization. As an initial step towards adopting a UC solution, SMBs are increasingly turning to Sotware + Services solutions to meet the needs of their businesses. Keeping these changing trends and requirements in mind, Microsot announced the launch of Microsot Online Services last year in India that will help fulil the communication and collaboration needs of these small businesses. his suite combines services such as email, ability to chat, work together simultaneously on documents, have a meeting online and maintain a common calendar at a cost-efective price with lexible payment options he online services of the company ensures reliable email communication, work and collaborate

32 SME CHANNELS
DECEMBER 2010

COVER STORY

UC

BUSINESS OCTANE HAS GONE AHEAD IN TERMS OF INNOVATION WITH ITS CUSTOMIZED RANGE OF IMMERSIVE TELEPRESENCE SUITES & SOLUTIONS FOR THE SME SEGMENT THAT WILL HELP THESE ENTERPRISES BENEFIT FROM A FASTER ROI.
SANJAY BANSAL, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD & MANAGING DIRECTOR, BUSINESS OCTANE

faster with a common library of all documents at one location, engage and ask for opinions using media-rich presentations and option to switch video and audio with multiple parties and ind the right colleague quickly and chat on messenger, audio or video. From the vendors perspective, Siemens is very focused on the SME space. As Asheesh says, We highly focussed on it with a comprehensive portfolio of exclusive UC oferings for this segment. SEN has a track record of consistent product and solution innovation for small and medium businesses. Moreover, our marketing and service/support are aligned rightly to get us an edge on SME space. SEN provides platforms that best suit smaller business - be it integrating uniied communications functionality into Microsot Outlook, launching conferencing from desktop or using existing infrastructure, such as analogue telephones or entry phones. SEN communications systems and platforms support small businesses with up to 500 employees. SEN OpenScape Oice is the industrys irst UC application designed speciically for small- and medium-sized businesses, HiPath 1100 is designed to give highperformance telephony to small/medium sized businesses with up to 140 users and HiPath 3000 is our lexible uniied communications platform that scales from 20 to 500 users. he latest OpenScape Oice MX is an all-in-one, uniied communications appliance built upon reliable, secure, serviceable, and manageable OpenSmart architecture with network connectivity that supports upto 150 users. Among Siemens Enterprise Communications other oferings are OpenScape Oice Contact Center, Network Infrastructure & Security portfolio and a whole range of voice/ data/video products and solutions.

Similarly, Cisco also takes SMBs very seriously. Ciscos SMB division customizes networking solutions. hese products and solutions are under the umbrella solution-packs of Cisco Small Business Pro, Cisco Smart Business Communication System, backed by a host of service & support, and inancing ofers. Channel presence and technical support. Cisco qualiies businesses with less than 100 PCs as

OVER THE YEARS, UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS HAS HELPED IN EASING COMMUNICATION HASSLES AND NOW, EVEN SMES HAVE STARTED TO REALIZE THESE ADVANTAGES.
RAVINDER RAINA, COUNTRY HEAD PRIVATE NETWORK SOLUTIONS, NEC INDIA

Small businesses. Adil says, Looking at the current trends, IP based systems like SIP; IP PBX and telephony systems are gaining ground. Avaya ofers a platform speciically tailored for SME needs, such as Avaya IP Oice. Avaya IP Oice is simple yet sophisticated platform which can also scale to provide UC & CC features. SMB customer can start small and add application later as they grow. He adds, Avaya is the worldwide leader in the SME market, with leadership in both revenue and line share. With Avaya IP Oice 6.1, the company accelerates uniied communications and contact center technologies in the SME market, helping SMEs compete more efectively, but in a cost-conscious manner. As per Sanjay, Business Octanes immersive telepresence collaboration suites and customized collaboration solution are equipped with a user interface that allows for simple and elegant use of all the functionalities. All the immersive telepresence collaboration suites and speciic advanced video collaboration solution incorporate a new revolutionary user interface SimpliUSE+ that incorporates TeleconnectWIZARD for connecting multiple locations with extreme ease of usage and without any external help. In addition, Business Octanes Immersive Telepresence empowers users to collaborate seamlessly with other communication applications. Meeting participants whether on audio, desktops, and video conferencing sites can seamlessly collaborate with the companys immersive telepresence suites. As per him, the return on investment with our immersive telepresence suites is so compulsive that companies can start reaping returns on their investment within 3 to 6 months. On the other hand, Polycom is farming up a strategy speciically aimed at the SME segment. As a part of this strategy Polycom has recently appointed a global head for the SME segment. he company provides a wide-range of desktop, wireless and multimedia communication solutions for small and medium enterprises. For example, Polycom SoundPoint IP family of phones leverages the capabilities of SIP-based VoIP networks to deliver breakthrough voice quality and advanced features that make calls more eicient and productive. Polycom SoundStation Conference Phones are the industry standard for clear productive conference calls. Similarly, Polycoms recently introduced QDX 6000 is the irst videoconferencing product of its kind to address the cost-conscious SME segment that at the same time seeks ease of use and high quality. However, the biggest challenge the SMEs today face isnt so much relevant to cost, but the

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COVER STORY

UC

complexity of IT. he interoperability is no more relevant now as most the vendors have addressed the issue with open standards based solutions. he lack of awareness and value perception is one of the key roadblocks to SME IT adoption. And, these challenges can only be mitigated by the aggressive engagement of partners to play a consultative role to the customers. Some partners have already understood the value proposition some are not. For example GoIP Global Services is one of the channel partners of multi brands and understand the market very well. hey must have gone through gruelling sessions and have acquired the knowledge hard way. Shiv Sharma, Director - Strategy & Alliance, Go IP Global Services, says, Uniied Communications (UC) has emerged as an important milestone in the evolution of enterprise communications. UC seeks to break down the communications silos in the enterprise and add collaboration functions. Using a diferent tool for each communications mode (phone, fax, and email) hinders productivity, wastes time, and causes frustration. Business users no longer want to juggle multiple devices and phone numbers, multiple message stores, and multiple directories when instead they can access multimedia communication and collaboration tools in a single interface on the desktop. UC breaks down barriers and integrates communication and collaboration tools, making them more easily accessible and saving signiicant time and resources. He adds, UC solutions, such as Microsot Lync Server 2010 typically combine several traditional communications functions (including presence, instant messaging, real-time voice and video communications and uniied messaging) into an integrated, uniied solution. UC can improve productivity, accelerate information transfer, and reduce costs. UC solutions, such as Lync Server 2010 and Microsot Exchange Uniied Messaging, can also replace traditional PBX and messaging systems in remote oice locations. Ciscos SMB market strategy involves helping customers create a sustainable competitive advantage, improve their operational eiciencies, increase their employees productivity, and ultimately boost their returns and proitability. he strategy includes focusing on new customised SMB products/solutions and inancing schemes like the Easy Lease program, and the 0% inance ofering for SMBs. To increase awareness of its products and programs among these businesses, Cisco will continue to invest heavily in partner enablement and innovative marketing initiatives such as the Network on Wheels and the Sales and Marketing Services Organisation. Cisco is developing domain speciic solutions

UC SEEKS TO BREAK DOWN THE COMMUNICATIONS SILOS IN THE ENTERPRISE AND ADD COL LABORATION FUNCTIONS.
SHIV SHARMA, DIRECTOR - STRATEGY & ALLIANCE, GO IP GLOBAL SERVICES

to help SMB customers in each sub-vertical, which will help them plan, design and operate business critical networks more eiciently. he Company has also launched a small business partner proitability program. Cisco also makes available a lot of product literature and support material to partners to support their sales eforts. In fact Cisco has a separate division called the Sales and Marketing Support Organisation (SMSO) that takes care of the marketing collateral needs of the channel partners. Similarly, Avaya in India has been moving towards a High-Touch, channel centric (HTCC) sales model. hey now have two national level distributors in Redington and Bharti Teletech helping the company reach out to the SMEs across the country. hese distributors further sell to a large set of System Integration (SI) partners, across geographies in India & SAARC. he company has a fantastic Channel Partner Program called Avaya Connect, which helps SI partners take advantage of enhanced technical and marketing beneits. his in turn helps them build capability on Avaya Technologies and serve customers better. he company is gung ho about 2011 and has a slew of marketing initiatives in the pipeline, one of which is already rolled out. hat is the 6 city Experience roadshows to showcase the integrated product roadmap and Avaya technologies to the customers and partner community. he company is investing heavily in the channel partners, by way of partner enablement, Demo Gear, Ex-Stock product availability, Solution bundles, Toll free Support line for Pre-sales & Post-sales, Partners Rewards & Rebates. Avaya has ambitious plans on marketing online, print, road shows for SMB partners who are certiied and invested in Avaya. SENs indirect channel structure is extensive and so is its reach. he company has over a hundred partners with pan-India presence, including tier II cities. he company has also an excellent

partner program that focus on their empowerment in terms of knowledge - trainings & certiication, engagement - partner communication, presence & messaging - marketing and branding support, references and rewards & recognition. On global level, the company has programs like Go Forward that are meant for channel empowerment and recognition. Polycom is also working on a strategy to reach bigger number of SME throughout the country for which they are appointing more channel partners. hey have 3 distributors and more than 50 channel partners spread across India. he company will soon appoint some more channel partners to reach out the wide spread SMEs in India. By irst quarter of 2011, Polycom will launch Polycom Choice Programme for its channel partners, which will encompass certiication, growth and deining the channel partners. NECs channel network for PNS (Private Network Solutions) is pretty strong including the names like Enkay Technologies, Syntel and Intellicon. Very recently they have tied-up with Avaya Global Connect Networks as its national distributor for the PNS solutions.

Finally
he entire assortment of opinion says that most of the vendors are ready with SME solutions and they have addressed the pricing and interoperability issues with due care. he only thing they are struggling waiting is the educating the customers about the utility and R0I of the UC solutions. his is surely a challenge and the large vendors should take the foot forward by engaging the customers in various platforms explaining them about the beneits, which will include aggressively engaging with the partners. Another trend - hosted communication services or cloud services - is also picking up in the market which is very much relevant to the SME market and it is waited to be seen how the things are panning out. But the sentiment is UC is high with the SMEs.

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TRENDZ

ASHEESH PANDIA BRAND MANAGEMENT AND CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT

TELE-MIMETICS, TELETRENDS AND FOCUS FOR INSPIRATION!


On a global level too, most telecom markets remain overall pulsating with focus on higher speeds, better interactivity and customer experience.
OVER THE LAST quarter I had been very fortunate to interview and discuss one-on-one with some of the whos who of Canadian Telecom Industry. Whats most interesting behind the success of many of these leaders and their organizations outstanding performance was the extremely simple but fundamentally a profound marketing wisdom. I could easily compare their thoughtpatterns with the likes of Al Ries and Jack Trout, the marketing Gurus and founders of positioning theory. Most of these interviews were remarkably insightful not only in terms of where the Canadian or Global Telecom Industry is headed to but also in that how just about any geography could relate to the other from the cause and effect perspective of micro & mega trends and eventually, in one way or the other, can possibly utilize the end takeaways towards their collaborative industrial betterment. From marketing standpoint this at first seems tough to assimilate though, let alone to be compared any further. More so, because we speak of one of the most dynamic and particularly now, evermore stirred-up industrial segments and also when the diversity is hugely evident, among widely different geographies. However, if we refer from the standpoint of inspiration, similar to a Case-study, and not simply adaptation because that would be unfair indeed; theories suddenly start making practical sense. In a way, its more like cross-industrial learning, redevelopment and collaboration or rather Biognosis and Biomimetics. Some may want to research those terms in entirety to get greater insight. The biggest challenges that Canada had faced since inception were essentially the huge geography, weather conditions and the diversely growing consumer demography, for instance. As a result, the network infrastructure maintenance investments went beyond and out of proportion and hence, the anatomy of basic marketing strategies today seems starkly different. And then there remain similarities too in terms of trends especially in the Social Media era. According to Mr. Gautam Nath, one of the best Canadian marketing knowledge-banks today, who I had the opportunity to meet recently, Multi-Cultural marketing dynamics is the most sought-after horizon here in Canada at the moment . I feel essentially the rise in Multi-Cultural Marketing shares a similar pattern to that of the ongoing Rural Penetration pursuit in India. And yet again, considering that Canada wants the largest pipelines at the lowest cost which definitely would demand more funds, access to global capital market through more relaxed and free competition and more incumbents is desirable not much unlike how it had always been in India regardless of the competition because population and the market size is awesome. On a global level too, most telecom markets remain overall pulsating with focus on higher speeds, better interactivity and customer experience. Realistically, it is easy to understand that the Churn Management is definitely a very important issue still for the most part because acquiring a new customer is much more pricey and unpredictable than retaining the existing customer base. The latter, however, could also be equally demanding and complex but more often than not cost-effective to both the consumer and the service provider. The new generation of consumers is definitely not as loyal as it used to be in the Wireline-only era. Moreover, Brand Loyalty itself cannot be compared at any given moment among a telecom service provider and a financial institution, in the case of the former; it could be far more casual for the consumer to be flirtatious and shop around. Another common challenge across economies is to maintain & strive to increase the dirt-cheap margins and thats where the opportunities for telecom consulting and marketing organizations and analysts lie. Subscriber base might have been sustained or grown but the revenues seem to dip gradually. With respect to the extremely low-margins, its not difficult to gauge the situation when you find analysts use PriceEarnings (P/E) and Price-to-Sales (Price/Sales) Ratios as measures of valuation; for some companies have little or no profits to speak of unfortunately, especially at this time. And now, all of a sudden, inadequate Spectrum poses another big challenge in India which DoT, the telecom regulatory body, proposes to address with Refarming the 900 megahertz (MHz) spectrum when operators licenses come up for renewal between 2014 and 2025 by including it in the Spectrum Bill in its recommendation. Telecom providers are of course not equally fond of such a recommendation by DoT because there are reasons to believe that it would not be appropriate at this point when you have to be moving all the subscribers to a brand new network as a consequence while they are on a fully functional one, already. Let alone the obvious interruption in current service and big investments that will be needed to carry out this change in any case, at any given point in time. Still, we cannot deny the relative growth prospects that sound paradoxical after summing up all the above challenges but they are true for sure. I am going to mention the exploding Mobile Broadband Traffic below and the figures are mind-blowing. Whatever be the reason for this increase in traffic, in the end, telecom service providers have both the responsibility and the opportunity to serve the consumer well and make money. There is also no denying of the fact that there is a huge potential for the current generation of consultants in cross-economy trend-spotting as well as for telecom service providers to bootstrap

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OCTOBER 2011

TRENDS

themselves. Most of all, to find their best identity in the value chain and to be able to innovate lightening fast have been the top priorities of the best players so far and again trend-watching gives the best food for thought in terms of both innovation and the correct Brand Positioning. For the most part, Indian telecom has been doing really well relatively barring the Spectrum Refarming struggle cited above; but the option of taking a look at the external and distant trends could also guarantee significant betterment for the highly innovative kinds. The face of telecom is changing by the hour and it is not the same simple voice domain anymore rather a more holistic and all-embracing one with the rising Mobile Broadband Traffic, dominant Consumer Electronics and a skyrocketing Ultra-Viral Social Media. Mobile Applications market for instance is the most astonishing at this moment . Back in March of 2009, about 2,300 applications were available on the Android Market, according to T-Mobile CTO Cole Brodman. And in May, 2011 alone, during the Google I/O, Google announced that Android Market listed 200,000 applications and had already clocked 4.5 Billion installed applications. By July, the figure had crossed the 250,000 milestone. Distimo and Germany-based research2guidance forecast that the number of apps on Android

Market would surpass Apple by the third quarter of 2011, with some 425,000 apps. Similarly in terms of Consumer Electronics and Mobile Broadband Traffic, iSuppli reckons global SmartPhone shipments will double by 2015 and account for more than half of all mobile phones sold. At the same time, mobile broadband traffic volumes will see a 2600% increase in the next five years, say Nokia Siemens Networks own figures. The Nokia Siemens numbers are astounding a 1000-fold mobile data traffic increase by the year 2020. To consumer, mobility is not a privilege anymore; its simply an extension of access to information and telecom providers only need the super value creation attitude besides the competent technology to win the game. Lack of mobility is rather a polite way of saying denial-of-service in todays competition. Take m-Commerce, for example, which has been considered as the gamechanger especially in the developing economies. Even in the developed ones, it is not yet ubiquitous maybe because of the security-related, technological and psychological challenges but once the ice is broken and it is made easily accessible, theres no dearth of the wonders that efficiently run m-Commerce could do. So for the winners, it must not just be the Next Thing. It rather ought to be a current service provisioning mandate top

on their priority list to keep ahead of the rat-race. Coming back to the trends and patterns that Indian telecom providers can bank upon. First of all, focusing on that One Particular Differentiating Brand Identity, that makes any brand unique it is just too important. What we see around today is everyone doing everything, everyone selling everything but the biggest brands in the world are the ones that do only their thing that reflects them directly and uniquely; when you talk about a particular product or service, its only that brand that comes to the consumers mind and vice-versa. Many of the top executives and telecom professionals advocate restricting the number of players to 4 to 6 and the reason behind that is both intelligent and plausible. However, from the perspective of brand management and positioning, more intellectual bandwidth should be targeted on their main focus and focus is the key to positioning. The Narrower and Unique it is, the better for any brand. Forget about the competition for a moment, lets first understand what we want to achieve, get clarity, prioritize our things and then jump in the warfare fully armed. This is one of the key findings you instantly get a feel of when you look at a market such as Canadas. Each brand has an identity and a unique personality and thats where the learning is. And in abundance!

SME CHANNELS 41
OCTOBER 2011

FEATURE

CONVERGENCE

CONVERGENCE OF TECHNOLOGIES TO PREVAIL


As technology progresses and customers seeks to satisfy different needs in one transaction, has led to technology combinations or to put it simply, Convergence. Today, it has become a mainstream phenomenon and the market is embracing the growing convergence technology market.

BY KARMA NEGI

karma@smechannels.com

ately, we are hearing a lot about convergence. Technologies are converging to bring together a myriad of devices to ease usability and increase effectiveness for the end-user. The form-factors are becoming more compact and portable with providing better processing, efficient storage and easy access

capabilities. Today, integration, convergence, whatever you call it, is happening all around us from computing to smart phones and tabs. Datacenters are employing such technologies as they are running out of space and power. With Convergence, they can use the same device for multiple applications by implementing Virtualization and Cloud techniques. Recently IBM announced a new family of data center building blocks called PureSystems with the aim to offer integrated systems. Or take Oracles Exadata, which has been in the market for quite some time now, and is a complete package of storage, servers, networking and software, which the company says is secure, scalable and redundant. Then there is the HPs converged cloud solutions. The list is endless. A precursor to most application developments today, the network industry too renders many convergence products like IP Surveillance with

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CONVERGENCE

TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THE CONVERGENCE MARKET, ONE MUST UNDERSTAND THE VARIOUS BOTTLENECKS OF IMPLEMENTING SUCH SOLUTIONS NOW AND THE IMPACT AND TURN IT WOULD MAKE IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS.
SUBHASHINI RAMAKRISHNAN, CTO, DAX NETWORKS

IN FACT COST OF TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION HAS BEEN JUST GOING DOWN ONLY. THE LIFE SPAN OF DEVICE TOO HAS SHORTENED AND USERS KNOW THAT.
SUBIR BHATNAGAR, VP & GLOBAL HEAD SOLUTIONS, AGC NETWORKS LTD

WITH VIRTUALIZATION AND CLOUD TECHNIQUES, THE DEFECTIVE DEVICE CAN BE MOVED OFFLINE BY HAVING THE APPLICATION INSTANCES MOVED TO A DIFFERENT DEVICE TO MINIMIZE DOWNTIME.
SRIDHARAN MANI, CEO AND DIRECTOR, AMERICAN MEGATRENDS INDIA.

in-built storage and centralized monitoring facilities, Network Attached Storage with Surveillance Station, Web Server, Multimedia Station, FTP Server, etc. Storage consolidation, also called storage convergence is a method of centralizing data storage among multiple servers/devices.Scanner, copier and printer are becoming MFD while multiple point security products are becoming Unified Threat management (UTM) box. As collaboration becomes social, as user experience goes mobile, and as computing infrastructure and platforms migrate to the cloud, the convergence of these technologies will create the next big wave in the IT industry, says Salil Godika, CSO and CMO, Happiest Minds Technologies. So, does convergence encompass the merging of technologies, devices and networks? No, says Asheesh Pandia, Global Brand Manager, Tyco International, ON Canada, Boiling Convergence down to a simple, one-line definition is difficult because it is not only about merging technologies, devices and networks but it ultimately encompasses user experience as well. New dimensions of simplicity, integration and automation are what convergence means to the users, and eventually, true convergence would mean that customers device doesnt define him anymore. To understand convergence as a process and way for development is important because it is a continuous and dynamic phenomenon. More-

over, with its role in socio-economic development, it needs to be observed not only from the technical standpoint but also from that of a developmental one, he explains. Delving more into the meaning of convergence Subir Bhatnagar, VP & Global Head (Solutions), AGC Networks Ltd, says that there are three critical aspects of experiencing technologythe equipment or device, applications stored in servers, network to access these applications. While the servers are used for running these applications, storage devices or systems are used to store information and data related to these applications. What convergence does he says is sync up all the three aspects and attempts to deliver a seamless experience which is also known as virtualization. The convergence market is large and growing as the customer today looks for business specific needs with minimal customization and provision for future scalability in terms of technology and space. Being able to manage a business with centralized control and management is a basic requirement. Commenting on the size of the market Bhatnagar informs, A report quoted the market size to be around $35 billion across the globe with a predicted growth of minimum 12%. But the way convergence is being adopted by enterprises and demanded by users I am sure the growth rate can exceed anything around 20%. Vendors agree that convergence does help in

making things simpler by making management uncomplicated with consolidation and centralization of data or services. Consolidation and centralization widely contribute to lower TCO and save power thereby increasing ROI. Subhashini Ramakrishnan, CTO, Dax Networks, informs, Apart from the fact that convergence may influence consumers to accept new technologies, it definitely delivers higher efficiency while reducing TCO. To be successful in the convergence market, one must understand the various bottlenecks of implementing such solutions now and the impact, and the turn it would make in the next couple of years. Convergence helps customers to reduce their TCO on infrastructure management and support. Helps to implement solutions such as DR2Cloud and have multiple applications running on same device and easy to scale up and scale down based on demand, says Sridharan Mani, CEO and Director, American Megatrends India. As devices are reduced there will be reduction in power, less carbon emission and hence a greener planet. Turing off devices, instances, processor cores during off-peak demand time helps to save power and energy, he adds. Pandia sees Convergence as all about making things simpler, leaner and greener. With smaller storage footprint, lower cooling, lower power and simplified management, convergence reduces TCO to a great extent he affirms.

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FEATURE

CONVERGENCE

THE MARKET IS COMPETITIVE ENOUGH NOT TO ALLOW ANY VENDOR TAKE ANY UNREASONABLE STAND. COMPETITIVE UPGRADE PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE FROM MOST BRANDS TO HELP CUSTOMER SWITCH FROM ONE VENDOR TO ANOTHER WITH LEAST IMPACT.
SUNIL PILLAI, CO-FOUNDER AND MD, IVALUE INFOSOLUTIONS.

CONVERGENCE IS NOT ONLY ABOUT MERGING TECHNOLOGIES, DEVICES AND NETWORKS BUT IT ULTIMATELY ENCOMPASSES USER EXPERIENCE AS WELL.
ASHEESH PANDIA, GLOBAL BRAND MANAGER, TYCO INTERNATIONAL, ON CANADA

AS COLLABORATION BECOMES SOCIAL, USER EXPERIENCE GOES MOBILE, COMPUTING INFRASTRUCTURE AND PLATFORMS MIGRATE TO CLOUD, THE CONVERGENCE OF THESE TECHNOLOGIES WILL CREATE THE NEXT BIG WAVE IN THE IT INDUSTRY.
SALIL GODIKA, CSO AND CMO, HAPPIEST MINDS TECHNOLOGIES.

Hence over the years, the reliability of IT hardware has improved tremendously. Therefore, Pillai explains, most of the issues faced today are on the soft side like setting and configuration. Hardware failure is rare and hence manageable through replacement process due to low incidence. In case of critical applications or devices, provision for high availability must be kept in mind. Most products used in such environments have built-in redundancy and 99.99% uptime features, reminds Ramakrishnan. Care must be taken at the architecture design level to handle adequate redundancy. It is advisable to practice and have a disaster recovery plan in place. In fact many convergence products have multiple functions to serve as both primary/secondary devices individually. As per Mani, Ideally, the device would employ techniques to avoid single point of failure with redundancies built-in. If not the case, the downtime will definitely increase. With virtualization and cloud techniques, the defective device can be moved offline by having the application instances moved to a different device to minimize downtime. With the consolidation of different devices customers more often go for products of more than one vendor but there is always the lingering fear of vendor lock-in among the end customers. The market is replete with vendors accused of vendor lock-in both on the software and the

hardware side, though they may deny following such practices. But things might be changing. Vendors have started to address the lock-in concerns of the end user already and they are coming up with investment protection plans, says Pandia Although the focus has to be more on the service part of it, both buy-back and time or technologyproofing packages will soon be seen more often as vendors re-align their product and service strategies. Allaying the vendor lock-in issue Sunil Pillai, Co-founder and MD, iValue InfoSolutions, remarks, IT has come a long way over the years. Its rare to see offerings only form a single vendor for most requirements. Also the market is competitive enough not to allow any vendor take any unreasonable stand. Competitive upgrade programs are available from most brands to help customer switch from one vendor to another with least impact. He further adds that buying criteria should focus on relevance of the offering to address business and IT challenge. Brand and vendor should come after relevance in decision making criteria. Today, most agree, that neither technology makers nor connectivity providers are married to a particular vendor. They all are following a multi association approach to maximize their market capitalization. A lot in both enterprises and consumers is shifting from Capex to Opex model, just

to eliminate the fear of high cost of technology shift or upgrade. In fact cost of technology adoption has been just going down only. The life span of device too has shortened and users know that, informs Bhatnagar. Coming to challenges, the opinions differ all across the board. While for Ramakrishnan with the ease in use and accessibility for the user comes the concern for security and availability. As long as this is kept in mind one is ready to go. Also, proper management of applications across the WAN can help mitigate convergence challenges she says. For Mani the business continuity is critical. For him the biggest challenge would be to ensure that downtime is zero and RPO is minimum. And for Pandia overwhelming demand for new policy frameworks, bandwidth, investment and standards for seamless integration are some of the key challenges. Besides, both organizations and regulators are faced with the vertical and horizontal integration challenges. In terms of regulatory ecosystem, a competitive market would allow convergence to expand the most, he opines.

Finally
So convergence is not a loose term any more. It is real and happening. The IT industry is already seeing the benefits of convergence but the fact of the matter is that the manageability is not yet tested though said to be worry freed. So time will tell how it stands in long run.

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CONTENTS
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10

June 2012

www.varindia.com

Your Security Our Affair!


The security and surveillance sector is fast altering with the strengthening economy and technology as well as market shift. Although globally, the growth is expected to be at around 12 per cent which is significantly lower mainly due to the wide stretch of Eurozone debt crisis. India and Gulf, for instance, are growing at more than twice that rate. VARINDIA speaks to the Indian System Integrators about their perception of the market and the challenges they face.
he significance of Security & Surveillance (S&S) systems has changed over the years. Security today has become a major concern for most individuals / organizations, given the increase in the number of crime rates in recent times. This is precisely where technology plays a major role in curbing such gruesome incidences and also in tracking crucial evidences. The recent increase in terrorist acts has significantly influenced the way one considers the need for adequate levels of security. As a result, electronic security apparatus is creating a niche for them in the market. As a result, there has been an increase in the need for integrated security solutions, both for products and services.

IP-based surveillance is steadily catching up

Traditionally controlled by analogue-

Organization: A leading International Airport in India Location: Cannot specify due to confidentiality factors and security concerns Challenges: There were no integrated and comprehensive baggage handling solutions. The baggage screening system was solely dependent on standalone baggage scanners and manual intervention. Solution: HCL Infosystems helped in setting up five-stage screening system having Automated tomography and CT machines in the Hold Baggage Screening (HBS) Solution. Benefits: The integrated baggage screening solution provided for minimum manual intervention. Rejected / suspected baggage images get transferred to separate level workstations automatically. Computed tomography-based technology is used, which gives 3D images of bags scanned giving minimum false alarms. Worked handin-hand with the infrastructure/construction company, in accordance with their project plan, as SECURITY and INFRA construction/ development is interlinked.

Case Study Transportation

based surveillance systems, the Indian market is now shifting towards digitized, i.e. IP-based surveillance systems. Earlier, surveillance systems were restricted to a closed circuit where images are seen from a centrally monitored station. However, with the advancement in technology, the images can now be viewed from anywhere in the world. This has increased the scope for the use of security and surveillance across the world, with the Indian market not left far behind. IP video surveillance is a key business tool for ensuring smooth operations, general security, preventing loss and controls mischievous activity. It is steadily emerging as one of the most compelling investment areas, creating a whole new market for networking resellers and integrators. The current technology trend in the surveillance space and some of the recent market reports suggest that IP video surveillance equipment market globally was estimated to be at over $800 million in 2010-11 and over $45 million in India alone. As per the industry estimates, the market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 30.2% approximately over the next five years and is likely to be worth over $3 billion by 2015 globally. Sharing manufacturers views, Asheesh Pandia, Global Brand Manager, Tyco International, Canada, said that manufacturers are realizing that though the image quality is very important, it is not only about pixels but there is much more to it. Similarly, there has been progress with regard to evolution of smart storage, and maturity and convergence among interoperability standards as well. With evolving processors, intelligent video analytics is reaching out to fresh, unprecedented dimensions and in turn it is helping manage and employ silos of raw video content. The emergence of Cloud, Mobile Apps and I/SaaS (Infrastructure/Surveillance as a Service) is also bound to be pumping the security and surveillance market. Forecasts suggest considerable impact on the storage market with over 70% of network security camera shipments comprising of megapixel

Asheesh Pandia

Global Brand Manager Tyco International, Canada

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June 2012

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