Friday, 6 February 2015


The relationship between Telcos and content providers has changed in the process to the off-net model. Telcos have begun to offer billing, collection and customer care to Internet companies that provide technology and platforms.

"The Internet has changed the digital economy in India". Earlier, VAS customers used to be charged by carriers. Now, consumers are charged by the app makers. The revenue share proportion between VAS providers and Telcos has changed dramatically. It's gone from being skewed towards the Telcos to favoring the app makers or content providers, creating a flutter among mobile phone operators, which are demanding a greater share, citing their investments in telecom networks. 

Telcos now want a share of the revenue from over-the-top (OTT) players, or app makers- Facebook, Google, Whatsapp - that use their networks to reach consumers. Telecom operators the world over have been pushing for a regulatory framework around OTT players or a mechanism for differential pricing - pay for better access to a Telco’s network. However, Internet companies globally have opposed such moves, saying that it would lean toward censorship. The Internet should be free for all, they reason, saying Telcos anyway charge consumers for using data. India's telecom regulator has said that while it continues to watch developments in this area, it has no intention of regulating OTT players as of now. 

"There has to be something more than data usage that customers are paying for, since it is in their interest too that customers experience is always optimum. In our portfolio for telecom operators and CSP’s, we have the know-how, the skills and the solutions you need to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow. We are a platform and product agnostic services company comfortable working with a wide range of vendors and technology environments. At the heart of everything we do is a drive to deliver tangible business results to our clients. 

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Thursday, 5 February 2015


At present, government bodies as well as utilities are looking forward to the adoption of new technologies to achieve business goals more readily and cost effectively. They are focusing on strong broadband networks for supporting advanced applications and communication.  The announcement of the Digital India Initiative by the government reaffirms the government’s commitment to creating an enabling platform for the delivery of education, health care, entertainment and e-commerce services to citizens. Apart from connecting rural India through broadband services, the initiative will work towards building a digital governance framework to equip local governments to ensure improved administrative ability, as well as lend transparency to administrative work.

Information and Communication Technology has played a crucial role in speeding up the flow of information from the government to citizens, transforming the way the two parties interact and communicate. Government bodies have shifted or are in the process of shifting from a traditional paper-based system to a fully automated set-up, with the aim of enhancing transparency and accountability. Telecom tools are being increasingly used in the governance process, not only to perform key functions, but also to provide information in a structured manner. The most important aspect in this regard is e-governance, an IT-enabled route to achieve good governance, as it integrates people, processes, information and technology to enhance the delivery of basic services. For utilities, IT brings resource efficiency gains by managing information flows and analyzing data. Thus, utilities involved in the water, power, piped gas, liquefied natural gas and waste disposal segments are banking on telecom for the effective delivery of services.

The telecom networks for the government and utility agencies are generally based on IP-wide area network (WAN) connections. Their triple-play service ability makes them a suitable choice for government agencies and utilities, as they provide access to voice, data and broadband on a single platform. They facilitate information flow, support the use of spatial and geospatial technologies, and facilitate the use of remote sensing satellite images for inventory and mapping of resources. They also support technologies such as geographic informationsystems (GIS). Of late, government organisations have also started deploying ISDN, IP-VPN, Ethernet WAN and multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) services, aside from IP-WAN.

Further, many web-based applications, along with audio- and videoconferencing, are now being used by organisations. Various utilities depend on technologies like optic fibre cable and radio frequency in order to connect with their end-users. With the enhanced operation complexity of the utilities, the use of IT- and software-based applications has also increased. The most commonly used applications in public sector organisations include enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). 

Organization and government bodies are planning to expand or upgrade their IT infrastructure by investing in hardware and software applications. Many organisations have recently expanded their fleet of desktops and laptops, and many others plan to add to them in the near future. With most government organisations being based on the NIC, their decision to adopt IT is not independent. However, this has its upside, since their dependence on the NIC ensures continuous support from IT experts.

URS Systems provides solutions that are tailor-made for the needs of manufacturing, distribution, retail, hospitality, and services, including customized business software for a comprehensive range of industries and vertical markets. One size does not fit all, which is why the unique “business layers” approach of URS allows our next-generationbusiness software solutions to support the smallest start-up to the largest multinational, as well as the differing complexities in industries from metal fabricators to automotive distributors to general business services firms and cross-channel retailers. Identifying the need to leverage geographic diversity on both the revenue and cost sides of your business, comprehensive, industry-insightful business software solutions from URS enable you to outpace the competition with more effective operations and world-class customer service. 

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Wednesday, 4 February 2015


Service agility is the key strategic benefit of network virtualisation. It results in an increase in revenues from new services, accelerates the time to market and provides capex and opex savings. In addition, cost optimisation is an implicit benefit of increased service agility.
Operation support systems(OSS) are emerging as key enablers for achieving service agility, operational flexibility and optimisation of costs. To increase service agility and service fulfillment, operators are focusing on OSS functions such as order management, inventory management, activation and provisioning, and planning and optimisation. Software-defined networking (SDN) trials and use cases generally target traffic control and management, with increased emphasis on service-assurance OSS functions. Currently, network functions virtualisation (NFV) and SDN trials are being conducted by service providers to deliver existing services through traditional physical networks. The existing OSS can support network virtualisation by abstracting control of the virtual infrastructure through virtual network function (VNF) managers, NFV orchestrators (NFVOs) and SDN controllers, while preserving the current OSS processes and operations.
However, for maximum benefit, service providers expect vendors to develop new, mature virtualised next-generation networks (vNGN) OSS, which will orchestrate and manage physical and virtual network resources for both existing and new services, continually reduce the complexity, development and maintenance costs of service providers’ OSS; lower the time and cost of integration through open interfaces, and hardware and software interoperability standards; provide near-real-time view and control of operations with policy-controlled automation and analytics; encompass delivery and lifecycle management of services where resource management is implicit; and potentially modernise operations to converge network and IT planning, build, and operations and maintenance.
Key milestones of OSS maturity with network virtualization
Discussions regarding OSS among service providers and vendors are still at early stages. The exploration of multiple OpenStack projects is ongoing, but OpenStack’s management of virtualised infrastructure is seen as the most applicable at present. This exemplifies the immaturity of network virtualisation technologies.
Over the next three years, service providers and vendors will continue to identify network functions that can and should be virtualised in order to realise business benefits. Service providers have recognised that greater cost reductions could be achieved in the access network than in the core network. In the following three years, service providers anticipate that vendor OSS will become advanced enough to allow the coexistence of physical and virtualised networks through OSS abstraction. 
Over the subsequent five years, service providers expect to continue the gradual progress of the development, implementation and rationalisation of their OSS, in preparation for transforming into a consolidated, slimmer vNGN-OSS architecture that addresses OSS challenges and gaps to orchestrate the management of vNGNs. As a result, towards the end of the next decade, service providers are likely to complete their migration to vNGN-OSS, which will manage the vNGNs and technologies that have emerged during the decade. However, over a long-term period, service providers would consider other possibilities, including investing based on customer engagements, so that customers part-fund the vNGN-OSS development for particular services, progressing when sufficient VNFs are available for end-to-end delivery of one or more services,  overlapping self-organising networks automation with vNGN-OSS requirements, developing a holistic service agility vNGN-OSS framework and requirements for moving towards automation. They would also include these requirements in all OSS procurement documents issued henceforth.
Service agility is the linchpin for maximising the benefits of network virtualisation
There are three phases to become an agile service provider with a vNGN-OSS:
  • Deployment of vNGN: vNGN investments should be used primarily to augment or replace the network infrastructure that is delivering existing services. The vNGN should not be implemented in a silo environment, which would lead to dual spending on two networks and operations.
  • Co-existence with vNGN: In this phase, the benefits gradually begin to match the costs. These will largely come from deferred and reduced hardware costs, and the application of existing OSS to provision, manage and assure physical and virtual network resources for existing and new services using OSS abstraction.
  • Transformation to vNGN and vNGN-OSS: Service providers clearly identify legacy systems and infrastructure, and either replace or retire them in favour of newer, lower-cost virtualised alternatives which are more readily integrated into the new vNGN and vNGN-OSS architecture. The faster this transformation is completed, the sharper the inflection point can be in the service agility trend.
Historical trends indicate that if service providers continue their “as-is” operations, costs will increase gradually but continually over the next 10 years. As a result, a holistic service agility framework for migrating to vNGNs with vNGN-OSS could curb the climbing costs for service providers, while increasing competitiveness.
Going forward, a holistic service agility framework is needed to move towards vNGNs, a framework that increases the agility of service delivery and lifecycle management, and uses increased OSS automation, which can provide near-real-time views and control of operations with policy-controlled automation and analytics.

New vNGN-OSS must be cheaper and more agile – matching the flexibility and elasticity of virtualised networks, while still capable of managing traditional networks. vNGN-OSS will also need to orchestrate and manage physical and virtual network resources for both existing and new services.
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Tuesday, 3 February 2015


Enterprise resource planning software is the ultimate legacy application. On the downside, ERP has earned a reputation for costly, time-consuming deployments and maintenance, outdated user interfaces, and general inflexibility. On the plus side, ERP is software that very often runs the business, from manufacturing to financials to sales, and it's often highly customized to serve specific company needs. The category, at least until recently, has also been synonymous with on-premises implementations, in part because of concerns that the cloud couldn't deliver the reliability, speed, and data control companies wanted from such a crucial system.
While other business application categories such as CRM and email have shifted heavily toward cloud deployments, ERP has been seen as the last to move. It's not that cloud-based ERP hasn't existed; it just hasn't enjoyed the same interest and adoption as early drivers like CRM.
That appears poised to change. Users and IT want faster deployments and less maintenance. Meanwhile, cloud use -- especially in the form of software as a service (SaaS) -- has gone from new and trendy to mundane.

Research firm Gartner predicted last year that at least 30% of service-oriented businesses will move the majority of their ERP applications to the cloud by 2018. Gartner expects that over the next decade and beyond, the ERP norm will switch from on-premises to cloud. It said that heavily customized, on-premises ERP deployments will be commonly thought of as "legacy ERP" beginning in 2016.
The good news for CIOs and their teams considering moving some or all ERP functions online: Vendors have been prepping for this shift, and there's already plenty of choice. The conventional ERP heavyweights -- Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP -- are also in on the trend. You may have noticed how much all three, each in their own way, talked up cloud across the board in 2014.
Add in cloud-from-the-start companies plus a variety of other options, and it's apparent that ERP cloud advocates will have a range of choices. Moreover, expect 2015 to bring much added functionality related to mobile and remote access (which was one of the key complaints in the survey mentioned above), social business, big data and analytics integration, and more.
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Monday, 2 February 2015


Planning for growth is key to effective IT monitoring, but it can be stymied by certain mindsets. Here's how to overcome them.

As IT professionals, planning for growth is something that is done all day almost unconsciously. Whether it’s a snippet of code, provisioning the next server, or building out a network design, we’re usually thinking: Will it handle the load? How long until I'll need a newer, faster, or bigger one? How far will this scale?

Despite this almost compulsive concern with scalability, there are still areas of IT where growth tends to be an afterthought. So, to address growth planning (or non-planning) as it pertains to monitoring by highlighting several mindsets that typically hinder this important, but often surprisingly overlooked element, and showing how to deal with each.

The fire drill mindset

This occurs when something bad has already happened either because there was either no monitoring solution in place or because the existing toolset didn’t scale far enough to detect a critical failure, and so it was missed. Regardless, the result is usually a focus on finding a tool that would have caught the problem that already occurred, and finding it fast.

However, short of a TARDIS, there’s no way to implement an IT monitoring tool that will help avoid a problem after it occurs. Furthermore, moving too quickly as a result of a crisis can mean you don’t take the time to plan for future growth, focusing instead solely on solving the current problem.

Start by quickly, but intelligently developing a short list of possible tools that will both solve the current problem and scale with your environment as it grows. Next, ask the vendors if they have free (or cheap) licenses for in-house demoing and proofs of concept.

The bargain hunter

The next common pitfall that often prevents better growth planning when implementing a monitoring tool is the bargain-hunter mindset. This usually occurs not because of a crisis, but when there is pressure to find the cheapest solution for the current environment.

How do you overcome this mindset? Consider the following scenario: If your child currently wears a size 3 shoe, you absolutely don’t want to buy a size 5 today, right? But you should also recognize that your child is going to grow. So, buying enough size 3 shoes for the next five years is not a good strategy, either.

Also, if financials really are one of the top priorities preventing you from better preparing for future growth, remember that the cheapest time to buy the right-sized solution for your current and future environment is now. Buying a solution for your current environment alone because “that’s all we need” is going to result in your spending more money later for the right-sized solution you will need in the future. Use your company’s existing business growth projections to calculate how big of a monitoring solution you need. If your company foresees 10% revenue growth each year over the next three years and then 5% each year after that, and you are willing to consider completely replacing your monitoring solution after five years, then buy a product that can scale to 40% of the size you currently need.

The dollar auction

The dollar auction mindset happens when there is already a tool in place -- a tool that wasn’t cheap and that a lot of time was spent perfecting. The problem is, it’s no longer perfect. It needs to be replaced because company growth has expanded beyond its scalability, but the idea of walking away from everything invested in it is a hard pill to swallow.

Really, this isn’t so much of a mindset that prevents preparing for future growth as it is something that's all too often overlooked as an important lesson: If only you had better planned for future growth the first time around. The reality is that if you’re experiencing this mindset, you need a new solution. However, don’t make the same mistake. This time, take scalability into account.

Whether you’re suffering from one of these mindsets or another that is preventing you from better preparing your IT monitoring for future growth, remember, scalability is key to long term success.

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Friday, 30 January 2015


It is imperative for SMBs to ensure maximum output with minimum investment. Small business need to optimally utilize their resources for enhanced productivity. With the smart phone boom, mobile applications have become a standard business tool. SMB players need to focus on adopting specific applications which cater to their business needs and enhance operational excellence.

Analyses of data on the basis of consumer behavior patterns plays a vital role for companies to understand the need of their consumer and thereby realigning their marketing strategies. SMBs should adopt mobility solutions to foster growth and enhance consumer experience.

SMB players need to utilize services such as email, messaging, CRM, social media to ensure they reach out to their consumers and potential consumers. In India, mobility drives the holistic strategy of e-commerce success stories like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Jabong. Snapdeal has witnessed a 25-fold growth in mobile based transactions and more than 50% of their sales come from mobile devices in the last year.

Another strong development for upsurge of mobile-based payments is the greater adoption of mPOS (mobile point-of-sale) solutions. Modern mPOS solutions are convenient to use, ensuring the SMBs to convert their mobile into a POS device and drive transaction volumes by accepting cards anywhere, anytime. This would help the SMBs to increase sales, add value to customer experience and take small retailers community to a cashless route.

To conclude, the SMB industry has the potential to be the largest growth driver for the economy. The players need to move beyond traditional practices and adopt solutions which would give them the required impetus to script greater success stories in the coming years.

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Thursday, 29 January 2015


The Software Defined Networking (SDN) technology is very promising and expected to help operators in reducing costs and boosting service innovation. The cost reduction factor derives naturally from centralizing the network control functions. Following the Network Function Virtualization concept, it ensures that the control function can be implemented on standard equipment (even PCs).

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is currently a widely discussed topic in the telecommunications industry. There are high expectations regarding the technology, including reducing network maintenance costs and unleashing innovation, thus opening the way to new revenue sources and better network monetization. SDN is a concept where the main principle is to separate the control plane from the data plane, and to move the controller function out from today’s routers.

To make the promises of SDN technology come true, there is a need for a platform, enabling a business application that will help opening up telecom networks. The specifications and APIs for this kind of a business application need to be defined to shape the network according to what is required and make it “smarter”. In order for the latter to happen,  a controller needs a comprehensive end-to-end view of the network and all connected services. However, the SDN concept does not define, how to provide such an end-to-end view.

One idea is to leverage the operators’ existing assets like the BSS/OSS ecosystems and prove that SDN won’t make BSS/OSS investments obsolete. IT architecture, where BSS/OSS investments can not only be saved, but even act as a significant enabler for the SDN “revolution”. This means that telecom operators will be able to provide significant added value to the SDN ecosystem.

But the real strength of this technology is in its potential to speed up innovation and open up the network. The “smartness” of the SDN controllers comes from the ability to access a complete end-to-end view of the network. Instead of implementing a completely new infrastructure for an SDN controller, the end-to-end view can be delivered by the existing BSS/OSS systems.

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