Wednesday, 31 December 2014


# US-based Amazon commits $2 billion in India’s e-commerce space
# SoftBank invests $627 million in Snapdeal, $210 millin in Ola cabs
# Flipkart gets $1.7 billion in funding, taking valuation to $7 billion
# Reliance Group exits with 12-fold increase in original investment
# Footfalls during festive season drop in shops in favour of e-commerce
# Physical retail segment demands level field, regulations vis-a-vis e-retail.


It’s still a small component of India’s Rs.38 trillion ($600 billion) overall retail trade industry. Yet, the e-commerce format with sales of Rs. 1 trillion ($16 billion) managed to create a buzz in 2014 like never before – not just with mega promotions but also with mergers, acquisitions and some crazy valuations.
Earlier in December, the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group sold its 16-percent stake in, a leading consolidator of travel products, for an eye-popping 12-fold jump in initial investment made in 2006, to value the portal at $500 million.
This was followed by a $700 million fund-raiser by Flipkart, that came over and above the $1 billion the company had raised in July – that had taken its valuation to a whopping $6 billion overnight. Flipkart also decided to merge Myntra, another leading e-retail firm, into it.
Similarly, one saw Japan’s SoftBank make a commitment in October to invest $627 million in SnapDeal, a major player again in the Indian e-commerce space, and pick a $210-million stake in Ola that offers car rentals in 19 Indian cities through its mobile platform, web site and call centres.
Not to be outdone, the US-based Amazon said it will invest $2 billion in India’s e-retail space.
Data on Internet penetration in India backs the scales of operation.
There are currently some 250 million Internet users in the country. As per various estimates, the e-commerce industry, now valued at $16 billion, is growing at 30-40 percent each year and will top $100 billion in the next five years.
To serve them, there are some one million online retailers — small and large — which sell their products through various e-commerce portals, according to a report by the commerce ministry-promoted India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF).
The year, however, did not pass without some hiccups.
Flipkart had to face much embarrassment when its “Big Billion Day” Oct 6, meant to attract online shoppers with steep discounts, crazy deals and lucky draws on a range of products, boomeranged as its website crashed and social media was abuzz with allegations of cheating against the company.
Flipkart apologized to the people for the inconvenience. But it also announced that it had got a billion hits and sold products worth $100 million (Rs.600 crore) that day including some 500,000 mobile phone handsets, an equal number of clothes and some 25,000 TV sets within minutes of starting sales at 8a.m.
This set the regular retailers thinking and fuming as well.
The Confederation of All India Traders, an umbrella body for regular retail trade industry, cried foul and urged the commerce ministry to regulate the e-retail business, look into their trade practices, which they alleged were not exactly as per rules, and create a level-playing field.
But some leading industry chambers cautioned against over-regulation and the matter died down.
Going forward, experts expect several developments in the e-retail space.
Besides logging a 40-45 percent annual growth, they feel huge investments will flow into logistics to overcome the challenges of last-mile reach. They also expect large retail chains of Reliance Industries and the Aditya Vikram Birla Group, among others, to go online.
“The coming year will be more dynamic. A lot of niche e-commerce players will emerge. We expect to see a good number of traditional businesses also leveraging this channel in both the B2B and B-2-C space.
Experts also predict some initial public offerings in the near term not just because existing investors will seek to realise value but also since the e-retail industry will need funds for infrastructure, logistics and warehousing — estimated at $500 million now and 1.9 trillion by 2017.

 “We will see more consolidations. Public issues will also happen. The industry is keenly awaiting the GST (goods and service tax) to get cleared. It will help in seamless movement of goods among states. It will give the e-commerce industry wider operations and a major push.”

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Tuesday, 30 December 2014


They're in no particular order, and most are not new -- they're just more relevant in 2015 given the long lead time for mass corporate adoption of new technologies, practices, and thinking despite what industry pundits get excited about and predict.

Continued cloud adoption, with growth in hybrid cloud

In 2015, IT organizations will continue to move IT services to third-party cloud service providers. Security will continue to be a cause for concern -- especially as the media's frenzied coverage of data breaches continues -- but integrations and service availability will rise to be two very practical concerns for enterprise cloud adoption.

The hybrid cloud, defined by analyst firm Gartner as "a combination of private, public, and community cloud services," will rise in popularity during 2015 as companies look to get the best benefits from the private cloud such as cost savings, flexibility, or scale and from public cloud such as cloud cost savings while still meeting internal or external governance requirements.

From an IT management point of view, companies will continue to seek out people with the ability to manage suppliers and cloud service delivery over the technology itself.

Increased automation

There's no escaping that people costs -- by that I mean the people who operate a corporate data center and its services -- continue to be a big part of total IT costs. The increased use of cloud services will continue to reduce people costs, but there's still a need to reduce human touch points, and the associated costs within corporate data centers and operational environments with speedier delivery and fewer human errors as benefits. In 2015, we'll see even more adoption of automation tools like Puppet and Chef by corporate IT groups under pressure to reduce costs and show business value.

The BYO epiphany and mobile pervasiveness

This is where corporate IT organizations will finally wake up to see that Shadow IT, BYOD, or BYO-anything are not being driven by consumer IT and cloud service providers, but by the IT organization's inability to meet stakeholder and user expectations across usability, cost, service, and agility.

The 10 years of "consumerization of IT" talk, with a focus on consumer gadgets, has thus been a red herring -- hiding the true root cause of customer discontent with existing IT supply. With this epiphany, corporate IT organizations will need to change quickly by placing more emphasis on how IT services are consumed and the expectations of the service experience. Additionally, improvements in and demand for anytime, anywhere, any device access to data and services will require better mobile apps, and most likely the continued use of personal devices for work purposes.

Not only will this dictate the need for better service and app design and delivery and more intelligent approaches to BYOD, but also the need to (re)consider the security implications of mobility such as data segregation issues -- with personal and business data and applications isolated from each other on the same device.

The need to manage more complex IT supplier environments

This will happen as enterprises exit outsourcing deals that have failed to deliver against expectations of service improvement, cost savings, and innovation. In 2015, the need for service integration capabilities, often called service integration and management (SIAM) or multi sourcing services integration (MSI), will come to the fore.

And this will happen not only for larger companies replacing previously outsourced scenarios across different suppliers, but also smaller organizations needing to manage a portfolio of third-party -- often cloud service -- providers. During 2015, SIAM will require companies to invest in people and skills, new or revised processes that manage third party services, and technology that enables this.

Big data insights

While there will continue to be big talk about big data, the real big data issue for 2015 will be the availability of big data people, and their big data skills, rather than big data technology itself. Companies will need big data people with analytics skills and also skills for building the new data architectures required to handle unstructured data and real-time input. Other advances will be required in areas such as product innovation, customer insights, internal decision-making, or IT service availability as the focus on large data sets continues to disrupt business and IT operations.

And finally...

Unicorn chasing will continue

Whether it's the large-scale use of cloud technologies or more DevOps strategies, enterprises in 2015 will continue their fascination with the IT operations of technology giants such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

Business leaders will also continue to ask why their IT organizations can't match these technology giants for unit costs, service levels, service experience, customer support, and agility. Thus, they'll continue to chase these unicorns, but I'm not sure that 2015, 2016, or even 2017 will be the year anyone catches them. But this won't stop business stakeholders from having elevated and probably unrealistic expectations of their IT peers.

Monday, 29 December 2014


Over the decades, agencies' application environments have evolved into daunting sets of complex and often interrelated combinations of commercial-off-the-shelf software and homegrown applications, along with terabytes of data. While these complex, siloed environments may initially inspire a "rip-and-replace" mentality, below are five simple tips that can guide government IT leaders on a path to cost-efficient and incremental IT modernization wins.

1. Know what you have in place by establishing an IT and enterprise architecture (EA) governance model. 
Modernization considerations should begin with an understanding of what's currently in place within your IT environment. As agencies continue to consolidate, document, and clean up their data centers, proper governance can ensure that IT continues to meet the needs of stakeholders well into the future. Establishing a governance framework can ensure all IT changes are coordinated and communicated, requests for duplicate services are eliminated, licensing requirements are met, and solid architecture principles are followed. It is important to evolve enterprise architecture guidelines with change in mind. Proper EA tools will help with further audit ability and historical record-keeping to understand who changed what, when, and why.

2. Prove technology fast and efficiently. 
Proving out a new technology that the agency is considering should not take long. A vendor that suggests more than six weeks for its technology to demonstrate value within the agency's environment should raise a red flag and questions. A prove-out period should to be as efficient as possible, so planning ahead is a must, as well as ensuring that you know what metrics the "prove-out" will be tracked against. As an organization gains experience in the process of managing vendor proving phases, taking on bigger projects becomes easier.

3. Start small.
A greater number of government executives have grown weary of making significant IT investments before the target solution is proven out in their own environment with their own data. Agencies should not need to spend millions of dollars to get started. Most new technologies are great at scaling, so starting small makes more sense, not only to make sure things work in the agency's environment, but to set a strong foundation to scale up from there. By starting with one small project, organizations can tackle larger and more projects as lessons are learned.

4. Leverage subject-matter expertise from vendors. 
There are many great integrators and resellers in the community, and they have important roles in the ecosystem. But vendors can also bring subject-matter experts who have been on the front lines of implementations that have and haven't been successful. These lessons learned are valuable intelligence that can help your agency adopt best practices. The key is to build a good level of trust with your vendor partners and demand integrity. Let it be known that everyone must stay committed to the success they agreed to at the start of any project.

5. Remember security.
Understanding the security requirements for every component in the agency's infrastructure is no longer just wishful thinking -- it's critical. Components with high security requirements should not be combined with low-security components. Ideally, agencies shouldn't stop at tracking network requirements; they should include storage encryption requirements, facility-location and ITAR considerations, and audit ability. Utilizing solid EA tools to plan the lifecycle of components, ensuring all elements are within current support from OEMs, will ensure a safe foundation for modernization initiatives. Weak links within an environment can have a ripple effect on cyber security.

With budget constraints and continuous change being the new norm for government IT leaders, many are taking action by embracing new and more productive ways of helping their agencies achieve their respective missions. By following these five steps, government organizations are sure to be on the path to fostering long-term value and growth.

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Friday, 26 December 2014


The telecom department plans to take mobile network by December 2016 to nearly 10 per cent of Indian villages that are still unconnected, to make the government's ambitious Digital India programme more pervasive. Of the 6,00,000 villages in the country, about 55,000 are still awaiting mobile connectivity.

These villages fall primarily under the red corridor — a vast swathe affected by left-wing extremism — and in the Northeast. 

Under the Rs 1.13 lakh crore mega Digital India initiative, the government aims to connect every nook and corner of the country with broadband Internet, and deliver services electronically through mobile phones. The TRAI had earlier in a study revealed major network gaps in the northeast region. Arunachal Pradesh had the highest coverage gap at nearly 56 per cent, followed by Meghalaya with 38 per cent, Mizoram with 32 per cent and Manipur 24 per cent.

In September this year, the Cabinet had approved spending of Rs 5,300 crore to install 6,673 telecom towers across 8,621 villages, primarily boosting telecom network along national highways in the Northeast.

"The department is setting up telecom towers in Northeast with a pecuniary budget of Rs 5,300 crore and additionally deploying 2,199 towers in left wing extremism affected areas. Setting up mobile phone network in the Naxal-affected regions is one of the long-pending demands of the home ministry, which has recently asked the telecom department to fasttrack deployment. The work would be completed by the end of September 2015 as per recent news. 

Tuesday, 23 December 2014



Indian technology firms seem to have cracked the code for success in United Kingdom’s commercial outsourcing space. This comes at the expense of American and pan-European vendors. Indian IT majors have seen their collective market share for both IT and BPO deals grow by over 6 times in less than a decade, a new report by the NASDAQ-listed Information Services Group has suggested.

“In the commercial world in particular, substantial growth is seen in the market share of India-based providers (up from 4 per cent in 2002-2005 to 25 per cent since 2010) but this has come at the expense of other foreign providers, particularly those based in the US and Europe, rather than domestic providers. United Kingdom’s enterprise IT services market was worth USD 38.5 billion in 2013. Indian IT firms generate about 27 per cent of their UK revenues from the financial services domain.

As competition within Europe rises and costs spiral, UK-based companies are increasingly viewing outsourcing as a valid means of cost reduction. While European firms were busy restructuring, offshore firms were outperforming the European firms in all key financial metrics by a factor of 6. Additionally, they used their financial strength to accelerate the pace of change.

Indianproviders, on the other hand, have wisely built on their cost and labor arbitrage advantage to get into higher value services. “There was a time when some of our larger UK-based clients would look at Indian firms for smaller projects and the American vendors for big ticket deals. But now, Indian companies are competing head-to-head on all levels with their global counterparts across applications, consulting, infrastructure and other technology areas.

However, Indian firms are yet to make significant inroads into UK’s public sector outsourcing market, which continues to be dominated by domestic vendors.

Analysts see Indian providers giving tough competition to their American counterparts not only in UK but also rest of Europe and Asia.

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Monday, 22 December 2014


2015 promises to be a banner year for IT workers. Experts weigh in on the biggest trends, technology and strategies that will make an impact on hiring and recruiting in 2015.

Every new year brings a unique set of challenges and opportunities for IT workers as existing technologies evolve and new technologies emerge. The first half of 2015 looks promising based on these six predictions from career experts.

Prediction 1: Expect Hiring Explosion in Q1 and Q2

The forecast for the first half of 2015 looks bright for IT workers. Eighty-seven percent of 2,400 CIOs say they will add more staff, whether to fill vacant roles or new positions. With that expected hiring boom, it's likely salaries will increase for existing workers, or they'll receive a bevy of new benefits.

Prediction 2: Companies Will Leverage Mobile and Social Networks to Recruit Passive Talent

"Social recruiting is yesterday's news -- all serious recruiters are already deeply networked through social channels. If Facebook unveils rumored job search function -- the so-called 'Linked-in killer' -- this could change, but for now even new anonymous job search tools aren't likely to change the landscape in favor of one network or another. The new paradigm for 2015 is using social networks and mobile tech to increase connections with passive candidates, which will also serve to drive up salaries.

Prediction 3: Increased Focus on Employee Engagement and Retention

The upward pressure on salaries and benefits will make it necessary for companies to employ better engagement and retention strategies, at least if they want to hold onto elite talent already in their ranks. "[Rising salaries and benefits] will likely lead to a lot of 'job hopping,' and, as we've seen before, to avoid this, companies are going to start emphasizing retention as well as placing a premium on potential employees who display loyalty and longevity.

Prediction 4: Emphasis on Education and Training

Education and training will be a major focus for 2015, especially for millennials. "When you invest in training your people, you're providing them with skills and tools they can not only use today, but also continue to draw upon throughout their career.

For the newer generation entering the workforce, engagement isn't just about having a ping-pong table in your office or hosting happy hours after work. "It's about knowing that as the company grows, so will they. It's about creating an environment that encourages active participation and engagement. It's about providing rewarding opportunities like being selected to serve as campus ambassadors to represent the company at their alma maters and teaching training courses that give back to the employee community.

Prediction 5: Employees Shift Focus from Full-time Work to Contracting/Freelancing

"During the last hot employment market, we saw an increase in IT contracting and we expect that trend to return. "A strong IT professional can do very well contracting -- making a higher hourly rate than they would make as a full-time employee -- and they can move from project to project every few months and take time off in between. It's a very attractive model for some employees. Employers would be smart to consider laying in some contract staff in addition to their full-time employees, especially for very hard-to-find or niche requirements.

"The global economy in general is moving to a contract or freelance workforce. It's now a $1 billion worldwide market, and projected to be $5 billion in the next five years.

"The flexibility benefits for both employees and employers are hard to beat; the ability to find exactly the talent you need for exactly the job you need them for is one of the drivers, as well as the desire for specialization without having to pay a premium long-term for a full-time employee.

Prediction 6: HR Department Turn to Big Data

Big data will play a big role in the employment landscape in 2015 as HR departments try to leverage data and translate it in ways that are meaningful to employees.

Using Big Data from employees can be helpful in determining who they should be connecting with on their career path, what skills and education might be valuable to them, what information they need and how better to improve their performance.

Friday, 19 December 2014


IT organizations will dedicate at least 25 percent of their software budget to mobile application development, deployment, and management by 2017.

“The number of enterprise applications optimized for mobility will quadruple by 2016, driven both by competitive necessity and rapidly evolving technologies that support faster and more secure enterprise appification.

The following are the other IT predictions in 2015.
ü  Difficulties linking mobile platforms to existing databases will cause 45 percent of mobile enterprise app initiatives to be delayed or go over budget in 2015.
ü  35 percent of large enterprises will leverage mobile application development platforms to develop and deploy mobile apps across their organizations in 2015.
ü  The number of enterprise applications optimized for mobility will quadruple by 2016
ü  30-40 percent of organizations deploying more than five mobile applications in 2015 will realize substantial business agility benefits by establishing an API tier in their enterprise IT architecture.
ü  Over 50 percent of large organizations will invest in enhanced enterprise mobility management (EMM) capabilities to secure apps and data in 2015.
ü By 2017, 100 percent of the line of business (LOB) apps in customer-facing roles and 75 percent of LOB apps in internally-facing roles will be built for mobile-first consumption.
ü  IT departments will require major reorganizations by 2016 to assume broker-integrate-manage as well as service orchestration functions.
ü  Competitive necessity will supersede productivity and efficiency for 50 percent of mobile enterprise app development in 2015.

ü  By the end of 2015, only 15 percent of large organizations will have adequate mobile security governance for process and policy.

Thursday, 18 December 2014


  •          Telecoms Capex investment to touch $346 bn in 2015 with flat growth
Telecom service providers are expected to invest $346 billion towards capital spending (Capex) in 2015, indicating a flat growth. In 2014, Capex in fixed line telecom operations was 41 percent of $346 billion, while 59 percent was in wireless business of operators.

  •         Telecoms to invest $1.7 trillion as Capex in networks during 2014-2020
Telecom service providers globally will invest $1.7 trillion in mobile network infrastructure during 2014-2020 and main focus will be 4G LTE networks, said GSMA.
4G accounts for 5 percent of mobile connections at present. 4G penetration as a percentage of connections is 69 percent in South Korea, 46 percent in Japan and 40 percent in the US, but 4G penetration in the developing world stands at 2 percent.

  •          Mobile industry Capex to touch $1.1 trillion during 2013-17: GSMA
In the next 5 years, mobile industry will contribute $2.6 trillion to public funding. In 2017, companies across the ecosystem will employ nearly 10 million people globally, according to a study by the GSMA. With the number of mobile subscribers standing at 3.2 billion people, nearly half of the world’s population now uses mobile communications.
It is expected that a further 700 million subscribers will be added by 2017 and the 4 billion-subscriber milestone will be reached in 2018.

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Wednesday, 17 December 2014


While financial analysis of IT provides valuable insight into operational efficiency, our analytics go beyond the budget to understand and compare IT's efficiency and effectiveness, enabling IT to demonstrate value to the business, leverage external markets and reduce costs. Helping  IT organizations identify and assess IT cost and performance levels against peers.
Understanding the key issues you are facing:
Modernization and consolidation. Modernization and consolidation projects offer the opportunity to assess financial goals, as well as control costs while staying competitive. We establish baseline costs, evaluating scenario options and continuous measurement to ensure success.

Cloud computing is impacting business operations. You need a framework to evaluate current and future-state goals. We help utilize a road map to analyze the efficiency and effectiveness of the strategy.

Virtualization. The technologies/techniques that make cloud viable are already making internal infrastructures more efficient and effective. We help identify your relative level of virtualization and provide comparative data for understanding the impact of decisions to implement it.

IT service portfolio looks at services in business terms, specifying what they are, how they are bundled and their benefits. Product-, process- and platform-neutral, it is an important communication and relationship management tool.

IT service catalog decomposes services into specific offerings, including chargeback methods, pricing, service-level options, limitations/exclusions and escalation commitments. Service portfolio and catalog comprise a steppingstone for the I&O organization to evaluate its cloud opportunities.

Networking. Enterprises have become more dependent on networks to conduct business, making stability a necessity; as spending increases, so does the difficulty of managing these networks. Our benchmarks cover wired and wireless networks in WAN, LAN, MAN, Internet, VoIP, local and long-distance voice.

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Tuesday, 16 December 2014


The Department of Telecom is working on a website that will show real-time data of radiation being emitted from each mobile tower in the country and its exposure to people, a senior official said here. 

"We are working on a web portal so that a person can see how much radiation he is exposed to," DoT Member (Technology) A K Bhargava said while speaking at an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) event. 

The Department has started working with industry body Cellular Operators Association of India to develop the portal. 

"It is in early stage and yet to see proof of concept for this project. Idea is that a person should be able see in real-time how much radiation a mobile tower in his proximity is emitting. 

UN body ITU also launched its first mobile application on cellular radiation to answer all queries and concerns of people.  They are launching a new product in this area, a mobile application providing an 'EMF Guide'.

"It offers an introduction to EMFs and their relationship with health, as well as various internationally agreed guidelines and standards designed to ensure safety in the use of mobile phones and other wireless technologies.

The government has an ambitious target to spread broadband and mobile telephony and for this it is important to address concerns among public about mobile radiation. 

India allows only 10 per cent of radiation level to be emitted from mobile towers as compared to international norms preferred in most of the countries. DoT has decided to conduct an awareness campaign to remove perception of health hazard from mobile tower radiation as there is no scientific evidence to prove any ill-effect on health at levels permitted globally. 

A World Health Organization study in 2011 had pointed out that there are possible health risks associated with electromagnetic fields which need to be properly considered and reported during the roll-out of mobile-wireless technologies if the electromagnetic radiations are beyond certain limits. 

Following protest from civil groups, India has reduced permissible level of radiation from mobile towers by 90 per cent as compared to radiation norms released by global body The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). 

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Monday, 15 December 2014


The Challenge:

Thanks to recent innovations in the mobile device industry, demand for mobile applications has soared. In fact, consumers have already downloaded billions of applications for mobile devices, and industry reports point to ongoing rapid growth in the mobile apps market.

At the same time, malware continues to infect sites at an explosive rate. The proliferation of mobile applications – and the growing threat posed by malware – mean that mobile devices and networks now face an even greater risk of becoming infected with malicious content. Once an infection occurs, the consequences can be potentially disastrous for consumers, developers, and network operators alike.

The Solution:

Mobile application developers need to secure their code and content to protect the integrity of their software and the reputation of their business. Similarly, consumers need assurances that the latest cool game or productivity application that they are downloading to their mobile device is coming from a trusted source and has not been tampered with during transit. At the same time, legitimate independent software vendors (ISVs) who typically publish multiple applications – and several versions of each application – need easy-to-use tools to track and administer their software. Robust tools, such as a Web-based management portal, can track releases and safely “recall” specific versions that become infected without impacting the rest of their published applications.

An adaptable, a versatile, easy-to-manage code signing solution that allows developers to create applications for specific mobile platform vendors and enterprises needs to be designed. For example, software development houses may use enterprise-class code signing to secure internal applications. Software testing companies can use this service as part of their certification process, either internally or as part of a requirement by their customers. Firmware development companies can use customized code signing services to help ensure their firmware’s integrity.

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Friday, 12 December 2014


Enterprises are transitioning mission-critical workloads to public cloud storage as the cloud storage industry consolidates in the backdrop. Several recommendations are outlined for CIOs to ensure business continuity and lower total cost of ownership.

  •           The cloud storage industry is failing to provide large-scale implementations to meet the increasingly sophisticated demand from customers.

  • Service providers are experimenting with pricing strategies for cloud integrated storage (CIS) that provide creative purchasing opportunities for customers.


  • Align around a single cloud storage vendor whenever practical to simplify vendor engagements and CIS infrastructure customization.
  • Compare CIS pricing with on-premises storage pricing by comparing usage charges and infrastructure savings. For example, when replacing existing on-premises storage with CIS, savings will be realized by the elimination of backup and disaster recovery applications meant for data protection.

  • Work with CIS infrastructure vendors that have a clear service and support methodology spanning the gateway vendor, intervening networks and cloud provider. Several loose partnership relationships exist today that leave uncertainty as to who is the lead vendor.

  • Define data management policies and enforcement techniques to minimize data leakage into unregulated or public domains.

Technologies such as cloud storage gateways, WAN optimization and caching algorithms, along with pricing policies and services offered by public cloud storage providers, are all vital elements for CIS. All of these technologies and approaches are rapidly evolving and thus require due diligence by organizations intent on moving into the cloud storage arena. In addition, assembling these elements requires IT organizations to engage with a vendor community that has an uneven or developing competence. Most IT organizations are accustomed to working with a storage community largely composed of established and experienced enterprise-scale vendors such as EMC, HP and IBM. This is not currently the case for public cloud storage. Instead, as organizations move to cloud storage, they must deal with little-known startup companies or large, but new, public cloud vendors. These vendors are refining their business models, customer engagement approaches and product offerings. Given this backdrop and to mitigate implementation risk, as IT organizations consider CIS, they must pay attention to trends in the cloud storage industry and their impact on the successful addition of CIS to new or existing data center environments.

Although there are many developing situations in the cloud storage market, this research examines four impacts that affect the vendor and technology selections in this vibrant industry.

Run proofs of concept. This advice may seem obvious, but because of the newness of the CIS industry, organizations should confirm acceptable system operation by at least simulating use cases in an actual CIS environment. Cloud and gateway vendors should fully support this activity and work together to prove acceptability. Customers should avoid vendors that cannot meet this requirement.

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Thursday, 11 December 2014


Once considered a supporting aspect of the consumer transaction, behind ‘product’ and ‘price’, the customer experience is now a main-stage attraction when it comes to solidifying the relationship with customers. Increasingly, stats like this one from Bain and Company illustrate the impact that poor customer service can have on future revenues.

A customer is 4 times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related vs. price or product related.

Today, the customer experience is a key strategic differentiator at many organizations. Consumers 2020 Report, customer experience is expected to become the number one key brand differentiator, overtaking both price and product by the year 2020. In today’s digital world, ‘rock star’ service means making answers and information available at your customers fingertips 24x7, every time they enter your digital channels. This report shows you how, with seven things you can do to make your digital self-service experience is more like the stairway to heaven and less like the highway to hell.


Just as the world of music has gone digital, so has the everyday life of your customers. We start the list with perhaps the most surprising piece of advice—that the secret to delivering exceptional customer service is to actually not get involved with customer requests. At least, not in person. Research into the preferences of consumers today indicates that when customers are looking for information or answers, they tend not to want to talk to people. As the results show, the customer experience of today is increasingly a digital one.


With customers increasingly choosing to self-serve, it means your organization needs to deliver a satisfying self-service experience in your digital channels. This means bringing low-complexity issues to completion swiftly. Standard FAQ pages and site search won’t cut it today, because these solutions require cumbersome navigation and searching through multiple answers. For today’s customer who expects one single answer, your self-service has to deliver one right answer on the first attempt.


Intelligently serving customers means giving them the right answer when they ask a question and, knowing what questions they are likely to have next. When your digital self-service technology can provide the one right answer and intelligently anticipate the next question on the customer’s mind, you take the digital self-service experience to a whole new level.


Knowing that there will be instances when your customers are wanting live support, it’s wise to make this live support easy to access. This means making escalation options easy to find, as part of your digital self-service experience. Doing so does a lot to inspire customer confidence in your organization because it shows that you place a high value on customer service—an increasingly important differentiating factor today.


When customers are allowed to self-serve for answers to low complexity questions without having to contact live support, significantly fewer calls will enter your live channel. However, there are instances where customers have a more complex request that legitimately requires more personal, live support.
This is the best use of your live support channel – to provide that higher level of service when it’s really needed. When your live agents are no longer required to handle mass volumes of low complexity calls, they’re free to focus on delivering true ‘rock star’ service. This elevates the value of your contact center because your agents can use a higher level of skill to impress customers and solve true problems.


The good news for organizations is that customers are very clear in their expectations of mobile customer service experience. Quite simply, they want exactly the same instant access to accurate answers when interacting with your company from a mobile device. Digital self-service is just as important in the mobile channel as anywhere else.


Organizations that will survive in the digital economy are ones that accept the fact that customers today wield tremendous power: they have high service expectations, a wide range of choice on where and how to spend their money, and they can be fickle about staying loyal to one brand.

Often, this means an organization only gets one chance to make an impression. One study found that a staggering 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with the same company again. (Source: Lee Resources)

Delivering rock star customer experience means truly embracing your customer’s ‘rock diva’ personality, and investing in technologies that do a great job of catering to their service needs in the digital channels.

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