Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for June 2010

Commuters: IBM Feels Your Pain

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You really can’t make this stuff up.

Here I am, the next to my last day in Bangalore, which has some of the worst traffic in the world (at least, in terms of what *I* have seen…a guy from Oracle here assured me it was much worse in Bangkok and Sri Lanka), and suddenly the IBM Commuter Pain Study results get released.

The headline: The daily commute in some of the world’s most economically important international cities is longer and more grueling than before imagined, reflecting the failure of transportation infrastructure to keep pace with economic activity.

This is the first time we’ve done such a study on a global basis (earlier versions looked only at U.S. traffic).

IBM surveyed 8,192 motorists in 20 cities on six continents, the majority of whom say that traffic has gotten worse in the past three years.

The congestion in many of today’s developing cities is a relatively recent phenomenon, having paralleled the rapid economic growth of those cities during the past decade or two.

By contrast, the traffic in places like New York, Los Angeles or London developed gradually over many decades, giving officials more time and resources to address the problem. 

For example, the middle class in China is growing rapidly, with the number of new cars registered in Beijing in the first four months of 2010 rising 23.8% to 248,000, according to the Beijing municipal taxation office.

Beijing’s total investments in its subway system are projected to be more than 331.2 billion yuan by 2015 as the city expands the system to more than double its current size, according to Beijing Infrastructure Investment Co., Ltd. 

The city plans to invest 80 billion yuan in 2010 in building its transportation infrastructure. 

The study did offer a number of bright spots.

Forty-eight percent of drivers surveyed in Beijing reported that traffic has improved in the past three years – the high for the survey – reflecting substantial initiatives to improve the transportation network in that city. 

In addition, the commute for drivers in Stockholm, Sweden seems to be, if not pleasant, then largely pain-free. Only 14% of Stockholm drivers surveyed said that roadway traffic negatively affected work or school performance.

Overall, though, the study paints a picture of metropolitan-area commuters in many cities struggling to get to and from work each day.

For example, 57% of all respondents say that roadway traffic has negatively affected their health, but that percentage is 96% in New Delhi and 95% in Beijing.

29% overall say that roadway traffic has negatively affected work or school performance, but that percentage rises to 84% in Beijing, 62% in New Delhi, and 56% in Mexico City.

Moscow was notable for the duration of its traffic jams. Drivers there reported an average delay of two-and-a-half hours when asked to report the length of the worst traffic jam they experienced in the past three years.

A Top 10 List You DON’T Want To Be On

IBM compiled the results of the survey into an Index that ranks the emotional and economic toll of commuting in each city on a scale of one to 100, with 100 being the most onerous.

The Index reveals a tremendous disparity in the pain of the daily commute from city to city. Stockholm had the least painful commute of the cities studied, followed by Melbourne and Houston (which tied) and New York City. Here’s how the cities stack up:

The index is comprised of 10 issues:

  1. Commuting time
  2. Time stuck in traffic, agreement that:
  3. Price of gas is already too high
  4. Traffic has gotten worse
  5. Start-stop time is a problem
  6. Driving causes stress
  7. Driving causes anger
  8. Traffic affects work
  9. Traffic so bad driving stopped
  10. Decided not to make trip due to traffic.

Drum roll, please (or, with due deference to Bangalorians, a nice long honk of the horn), here are the Top 20 winners (err, losers):

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Calgon, Take Me Away: The IBM Commuter Pain Index lists the world’s most onerous cities for traffic.

  1. Beijing: 99
  2. Mexico City: 99
  3. Johannesburg: 97
  4. Moscow: 84
  5. New Delhi: 81
  6. Sao Palo: 75
  7. Milan: 52
  8. Buenos Aires: 50
  9. Madrid: 48
  10. London: 36
  11. Paris: 36
  12. Toronto: 32
  13. Amsterdam: 25
  14. Los Angeles: 25
  15. Berlin: 24
  16. Montreal: 23
  17. New York: 19
  18. Houston: 17
  19. Melbourne: 17
  20. Stockholm: 15

"Traditional solutions — building more roads — will not be enough to overcome the growth of traffic in these rapidly developing cities, so multiple solutions need to be deployed simultaneously to avoid a failure of the transportation networks," said Naveen Lamba, IBM’s global industry lead for intelligent transportation.

"New techniques are required that empower transportation officials to better understand and proactively manage the flow of traffic."

IBM Global Commuter Pain Survey: Major Findings

Analysis of the survey results indicated a number of key findings related to how traffic impacts commuters:

  • 49% of drivers in the 20 cities think that roadway traffic has gotten worse in the last three years, and 18% think it has gotten a lot worse.  Five percent say traffic has improved substantially, with only Beijing (16%) and New Delhi (17%) reaching double digit scores.  There are seven trouble spots based on the bottom two box scores (ranking traffic as "somewhat" or "a lot worse"):  Johannesburg (80%), Moscow (64%), Toronto (64%), Mexico City (62%), Sao Paulo (61%), Milan (59%) and Buenos Aires (57%).
  • 87% of the respondents have been stuck in roadway traffic in the last three years.  The average delay is one hour. The "best" cities are Melbourne, Stockholm and Buenos Aires, where 25% or more say they have never been stuck in traffic. On the other end of the spectrum, the average reported delay in Moscow is 2.5 hours, where more than 40% say they have been stuck in traffic for more than three hours.
  • 31% of respondents said that during the past three years traffic has been so bad that they turned around and went home. The percentage in Beijing, however, is 69%, the high for the survey; and only 15% in Berlin, representing the low.
  • If commuting time could be reduced, 16% of respondents worldwide would choose to work more. In New Delhi, 40% said they would work more, the high for the survey; while 5% in Madrid would work more, representing the low.

The Commuter Pain Survey was conducted by IBM to better understand consumer thinking toward traffic congestion as the issue reaches crisis proportions nationwide and higher levels of auto emissions stir environmental concerns.

These events are impacting communities around the world, where governments, citizens and private sector organizations are looking beyond traditional remedies like additional roads and greater access to public transportation to reverse the negative impacts of increased road congestion.

IBM is actively working in the area of Smarter Transportation using a worldwide team of scientists, industry experts and IT services professionals to research, test and deploy new traffic information management capabilities in cities around the world.

Findings from the Commuter Pain Survey will be used to assess citizen concerns about traffic and commuter issues; expand solutions like automated tolling, real-time traffic prediction, congestion charging, and intelligent route planning; and serve as a basis for pioneering innovative new approaches to traffic mitigation.

As for me, I’m about to head back into the Bangalore traffic fray once more, but this time with some comfort that traffic is a LOT worse in other parts of India and the rest of the world, and with some hope that IBM smarter transportation folks are going to be working on this horrible plight.

Written by turbotodd

June 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Mobile India

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My time in Bangalore is about to come to an abrupt halt, and I’m most sad about that.

Though I’m happy to be heading back home to Austin (for a few days, anyhow), I’m most sad to be leaving behind the new friends I’ve made here and the great experiences I’ve had.

But I definitely hope to come back soon.  There’s so much to see and do here, and I was here to (mostly) work.

However, my short weekend road trip out of Bangalore was certainly an eye-opening experience (see the previous post), but not as much for the reasons as you might think. 

In fact, I did a little “stand up” (although I did it sitting down in the cab ride between IBM’s offices and our hotel) explaining a few observations about the state of India’s mobile market:

There are already well over 500M mobile users in India, and I’ve had some tell me that there are more mobile phones in India than there are people.

That would certainly seem to be the case based on all the mobile advertising I’ve seen while in south India these past two weeks.

And I’m not talking about advertising on mobile devices. 

I’m talking about advertising every where else about mobile devices: Aircel, Airtel, Vodafone, and all the rest, they seem to advertise on every free surface and building one can imagine (some even without roofs!)

All those rupees aren’t being spent without good reason, and there are probably close to another 1B folks who still need to get a mobile phone here or who these mobile companies want to convince to switch brands.

Put another way, by 2014, there will be more people online in India via mobile devices than are currently online via the Web across the whole of Europe in 2010!

Of course, this fast start is even before India finished its first 3G spectrum auction earlier this year.

According to Daily Wireless, nine cellular firms participated in more than 180 rounds of bidding over 34 days, which was expected to earn the India government 509.6B rupees (around U.S. $11B). 

Specifically, they sold three bandwidth slots for 3G services in each of 17 telecom service areas, and four in each of the remaining five areas.

Most of the aforementioned 500M users today are on 2G services, so when 3G kicks in some of these markets starting as early as September 1st of this year, mobile marketing madness watch out!

Even at that, I’ve been most impressed with the mobile coverage I’ve had throughout my two weeks here.  Even in the most rural areas (including Bandipur National Park), I’ve been able to get a strong mobile signal.

If that’s any indicator of the progress to come in the Indian mobile market, you won’t be needing any of those Verizon “Can you hear me now” commercials running in Mumbai or New Delhi anytime soon!

Written by turbotodd

June 30, 2010 at 9:11 am

The New Rupee

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There’s a new Rupee coming to town.

Or, at least, to your computer keyboard.

Noted Indian tech blogger Amit Agarwal pointed out in this post recently that the Indian Rupee will soon have a unique sign that will be recognized around the globe, much like the U.S. dollar or the British pound.

According to Agarwal’s post, the Indian government shortlisted five designs following a crowd-sourcing contest to choose the new Rupee symbol.

You can see the five final designs below.

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The Indian Finance Ministry initiated this competition in February 2009, and it’s believed that these new signs will be easy to write and were designed to appeal to both the India and international communities.

I did a one person straw poll here at the IBM Bangalore office, and we vote for option 3.

You can get more backstory in the following clip from NDTV:

Written by turbotodd

June 29, 2010 at 6:07 am

Escape from Bandipur

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My colleague Michael and I had to stay over the weekend in India so we decided to partner with our Bangalore associate, Rahul, and head out of town for a south Indian adventure.

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words…I wish I could show you some, but I lost my camera somewhere between Bangalore and Bandipur.

So I will simply have to try and describe my journey instead in the most colorful language possible.

First, the driving. 

I just thought that driving in Bangalore was crazy. Actually, compared to driving the back roads and highways of southern India, Bangalore driving seems tame by comparison.

Imagine you’re driving on the worst Texas backroads as fast as you possibly can get away with while using all three lanes (including the center line, which in rural India most assuredly counts as its own lane) in a neverending game of chicken. 

Every near miss with another passing car or bus coming from the other direction is a victory.

Then, the sun goes down, and now you get to play some more — only with head- and taillights that get turned on at the drivers’ whim.  That’s when things really get interesting.

Of course, if there were only other vehicles to concern ones self with it would be no big deal.

But there are lots of other moving parts to this traffic machine, including oxen and oxcarts, scooters, motorbikes, inanimate objects next to the road , and yes, lots of Indian folks.

It took me a couple hundred kilometers before I stopped flinching and tensing up at every seeming close call we had while passing (and I’m being generous by calling it passing…it was more like zooming).

Our driver made the experience even more terrifyingly hilarious when he would glance back to inspect my face for fright. 

When he would find it, he would grin a huge smile.  "No," I wanted to yell at him. "Don’t look at me! Watch the —-ed road!"

I’ve experienced some crazy things in my life, but that drive south through India was way up there on the crazy list.

During our drive, we visited several sights, including an elephant camp (where elephants were nowhere to be found), and the Namdroling Tibetan monestary. 

At Namdroling, Tibetan prayer flags wove in the winds around the campus, and we had the opportunity to witness a Tibetan Buddhist prayer ceremony, complete with Tibetan temple horns that make quite a haunting sound.

We arrived at our ultimate destination, the Bandipur National Wildlife Park, early Saturday evening, and after a campfire dinner we skipped the very late U.S./Ghana World Cup match for some slumber.

On Sunday morning, we set out in the jeep for our short safari with our two guides into the 5,000+ acre park.  One of the guides spoke to a colleague who informed him Bengal tiger had apparently been spotted on the road the night before (a rare sighting).

Our first find was a pack of wild dogs, but those dogs didn’t want much to do with us, nor we with them.

We also saw the rare sight of a stunning peacock spreading its plume.

But when it came to elephants, the cupboard seemed to be mostly bare.

Until we finally saw a single one off in the distance, and then not too long after, stumbled onto another, larger group down the road. 

When a whole pack of pachyderms emerged even further down the road, into the road, our guide slipped the jeep into neutral and we scooted down the hill with the engine off so as not to scare them away.

All told, there were about eight of them, but they didn’t fully reveal their herd until they’d been somewhat reassured we weren’t after their baby elephant, which couldn’t have been more than a handful feet tall.

But, at one point, I thought we were in serious trouble.  Our driver/guide was bold, and perhaps a bit reckless. 

He pulled only a few feet away from the herd, and the alpha male elephant was none too pleased.  The gargantuan elephant gave out a loud warning roar, then stomped his right foot back, not unlike a bull about to charge his matador.  He was not happy about these strangers coming so close to his brood.

Jeep vs. Alpha Male Elephant: My odds were on the elephant, but I have to hand it to the guide, he stood his ground and we stayed, even after that bull elephant gave every sign he had no problem charging us. 

The standoff continued, and finally after the alpha male concluded we were no threat to him and the herd did the pack reveal the baby. 

And all the fear of about being stampeded by eight elephants inevitably dissipated as we saw junior step out from beneath its mother’s legs.  He or she was like a mini-Dumbo (without the flying ears), the cutest little elephant you ever did see, live or in the movies.

It dawdled along under the protection of mom and pop, and it’s bigger baby brother chortled along with his mini-tusks sticking out for all the world to see.

It was quite something.

So, we came south to the wildlife park for a wildlife experience, and boy did we get our money’s worth. 

I just wish I had a few pictures to spare you some of these words.  But the mental pictures will certainly be permanently sketched in my own mind for the rest of my life.

Written by turbotodd

June 28, 2010 at 4:25 am

Students To IBM: Think Local, Act Global

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On the topic of globalization…last week, IBM released results of a first-of-a-kind survey that I’ve been wanting to blog about and share (but am just now getting the bandwidth to get around to).

The survey was part of the IBM 2010 Global CEO Study, but this particular component I want to tell you about was getting into the heads of university students around the globe. 

Think about some of the key current topics: BP oil spill, increased focus and investment in green energy, challenges of a global workforce, physical infrastructure challenges in a time of increased budget deficits, and so on.

Then think about the university students’ reactions and results from the study: They are extremely concerned with issues around globalization and sustainability.

However, only four out of 10 believe that their education had prepared them to address these issues.

Ouch.

Creativity Is Key

It also revealed that both students and CEOs believe that creativity is the most important emerging competency of future leaders.  It also revealed clear confidence about the ability of information technologies to address looming issues in business or society.

I’m certainly seeing that here while in Bangalore, the IT hub of India. 

The study also revealed a decidedly optimistic new ethos, one based on an integrated view of globalization, sustainability, and belief in technology as a path towards solutions for both emerging and existing problems.

Almost 50 percent of students indicated that organizations should optimize their operations by globalizing, rather than localizing, to meet their strategic objectives.

Generation Gap, Data Driven

However, they also described a gap in this generation’s training to cope with issues that will arise in an increasingly interconnected and complex world – which is where their strong belief in IT as a gap bridger came into play.

Students surveyed indicated that they will lean more heavily on data analysis — over gut instinct or existing "best practices" — to reach their strategic and operational goals as business leaders in their own right.

And as fact-based decisions begin to prevail, they may need to pioneer an entirely new management style — one that continually enriches personal experience and education with new sources of insight based on a new ability deal with the explosion of real-time information. 

The study also revealed broad-based confidence that increased access to information, analysis, and the resulting insight can reduce uncertainty about the future.

Clearly, the students’ experience regarding globalization is different. 

Growing up more connected globally, students see the shocks and threats, but are more prone to view globalization as an opportunity to solve increasingly global problems.

They are strongly committed to a global view of shared responsibility for both environmental issues and societal prosperity.

Students, for the most part, shared their views, and even agreed on very specific courses of action: embodying creative leadership, reinventing customer relationships and building more dexterous operating models.

Nevertheless, for all the areas of agreement between students and CEOs, twice as many students selected globalization and environmental issues as one of the top three factors to impact organizations and expected major consequences to business and society from a scarcity of resources.

Bold positions like these came about because students clearly saw that globalization provides an opportunity for organizations to create new value.

Compared to all other regions, the views of students and CEOs on sustainability diverged most sharply in North America.

Students there were almost three times as likely as CEOs to expect scarcity of natural resources to have a significant impact. They were more than twice as likely to select environmental issues as a top external force.

And 60 percent more students than CEOs in this region anticipated that customer expectations for social responsibility will increase significantly. 

The Digital Deluge

Given that today’s students grew up in a digital age, intuitively understanding that economies, societies, governments and organizations are made up of interconnecting networks, it may not be surprising that seven in 10 students experienced the new economic environment as significantly more complex today, compared to six in 10 CEOs. 

But they saw far less volatility and uncertainty, in part because they were confident that access to more information could be put to better use, analyzed for patterns and predictive insights to solve the hardest problems in business or society.

Students who saw significantly more complexity, or interconnectedness in the environment, were 50 percent more likely to expect significant impact from the information explosion and 22 percent more likely to believe that a focus on analyzing information for insight would be key to organizations’ success in the future.

Views about the impact of the information explosion were fairly uniform across regions, except in China where students were 67 percent more likely to see a large impact than CEOs in China. Students in China were also far more likely to approach decision-making analytically, relying on facts more than instinct, or even experience.

Global Thinking, Local Views

Students’ attitudes toward globalization were reflected in their expectations of leadership as well.

Like CEOs, students selected creativity as the top emerging leadership quality for the successful enterprise of the future. But among the nine leadership traits CEOs and students were asked to select, students placed a higher emphasis on only two qualities -– global thinking and a focus on sustainability.

In China, 76 percent of students value global thinking as a top leadership quality, more than students anywhere else. Yet, only 38 percent of students in China believe their education has prepared them for global citizenship, which is lower than students in any other region.

Only 17 percent of students in Japan, less than any other region, believe their education has prepared them well to benefit from the growth of emerging markets.

Understanding these and other sharp differences emerging by geography is increasingly important as economies and societies become more closely linked.

Students will confront these differences as they increasingly become the future leaders of business and organizations.

It’s a set of results both heartening and yet eye-opening. 

If you’d like to read the full results and learn more, visit the IBM Future Leaders site.

Written by turbotodd

June 23, 2010 at 10:02 am

More From Bangalore

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I’ve had a few days now in Bangalore, and I promised some more first impressions.

My friend Michael commented in the previous post enough about all the work stuff, what about the important stuff like beer and food?

Well, I can assure you, Michael, that India represents well on both fronts.  I’ve had cuisine from both north and south India – both are delicious, though quite different. 

The south Indian cuisine focuses more on rice as a staple (which makes sense…it’s in the south!), and emerges largely from the four states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka (where Bangalore is situated), Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.  I’ve especially enjoyed the dosa.

From the north, you get the more spicy, meat-oriented dishes (your curries, kebabs, etc.). 

I pretty much like it all, and prefer to wash it all down with a nice, big Kingfisher beer, particularly at the end of a long day of training and workshops, which is predominantly what I’m here for.

As to the traffic, I’m getting better at playing Bangalore Frogger. 

The last few days we’ve gone out to lunch just across the street from the IBM Commerce@Mantri location and we’ve had to run a gauntlet of tuk-tuks, taxis, trucks, vans, motorcycles, scooters, and people to get across the street.

Once upon a time, I was a New York City bike messenger, and I think crossing the street in Bangalore may, in fact, be even more dangerous than that.  It comes down to timing the crossing just perfectly.  So far, so good.

As for work, this is my first time meeting our team in Bangalore face-to-face.  Our team here is whip smart and highly motivated.  I’m looking forward to learning more from them over the next 10 days and to also learning more about their country and diverse culture.

In the meantime, enjoy this first person video of traffic in Bangalore (this was light traffic, as it was taken on a Sunday!)

 

Turbo Goes For A Sunday Drive in Bangalore

Written by turbotodd

June 23, 2010 at 9:25 am

Side Saddle Sari

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Good morning from Bangalore.  Or Bengaluru, as it was officially renamed in 2005.

Better known as the “Silicon Valley” of India, it’s hard to believe I’ve not found myself visiting here before. 

I’ll share more impressions as I soak up the ambience of Karnataka state, but my initial impressions is “Wow” and “Holy traffic jam, Batman!”

I’ve traveled around the globe with IBM, but I have to say, nothing can quite prepare one for that first cab ride through Bangalore traffic on a Monday morning. 

Most amusing to me were the odd signs that suggest folks stay in their lanes.  To which, I asked myself, what lanes?

Bangalore traffic is like one big neverending Frogger game, although I’d take Frogger any day of the week – it has lanes! 

The vehicles are as great in their diversity as the languages and cultures are of the India sub-continent.  I especially like the little ‘”Tut tuts” (that’s what our cab driver called them), which remind me of the little vehicles meter maids in the U.S. used to drive. 

Only with much louder exhausts.

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Another day in Bangalore traffic…please yield to the cows.

 

Then there’s all the guys riding their scooters and motorcycles, many with their ladies riding side saddle in their colorful saris. 

Talk about balance.  Which is a good thing, because it seems most of the helmets are worn by the men!

I’ll share some other impressions about my India experience as the next two weeks wears on, but in the meantime I thought I’d set the stage for my extended visit here by providing some background about IBM in India.

India in general, and Bangalore in particular, has become a critically important hub for information technology around the globe. 

So, a little history: IBM has been present in India since it’s re-entry into the country in 1992, and since that time has expanded its operations considerably.

We now have regional headquarters in Bangalore and offices in 14 cities, including regional offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai.

In 2005, IBM announced the acquisition of Network Solutions Ltd., a leading infrastructure services company in India.  This strategic investment has helped IBM augment its networking and managed services portfolio of offerings in India and broaden it’s reach across the country.

Some other key investments that IBM has made in India that are worthy of note:

IBM Innovation Center for Business Partners: (One among 10 facilities worldwide) Independent Software Vendors are encouraged to port their solutions on IBM platforms at this Center and develop Web based applications for Indian customers.

Linux Solution Center, Bangalore: (One among 7 facilities worldwide) The center supports Business Partners and Independent Service vendors across the ASEAN / South Asia region.

IBM Linux Competency Center, Bangalore: (One among only 4 facilities in Asia) This center develops standards and embedded software for open source, undertaking high-end research in the area for IBM Worldwide.

Software Innovation Center, Gurgaon: This state-of-the-art center combines IBM’s global experience and technology expertise to deliver smarter IT solutions for Indian organizations and also the government through the e-Governance Centre.

India Software Lab at Bangalore and Pune: The Software Lab in India develops, enhances and supports key IBM Software products & technologies in collaboration with other IBM labs world wide.  The Center for Advanced Studies at Bangalore was established at the India Software Labs to allow universities access to IBM’s leading-edge product development and the supporting infrastructure, while IBM has the opportunity to work with academic leaders and researchers on research projects.

High Performance On Demand Lab in India, Bangalore – This specialized software and services lab in India to drive automation and virtualization into the increasingly complex IT infrastructures supporting the emerging economy of India. This is the first of its kind lab for IBM in India, bringing specific high-value skills to help clients in India and the surrounding region to enhance and optimise their IT resources to support the growth of their businesses.

Engineering & Technology Services Center, Bangalore: This center provides technology design services for advanced chips, cards and systems to companies in India and across Asia.

India Research Laboratory, Delhi: (One among 8 facilities worldwide) IBM’s India Research Laboratory (IRL) focuses on areas critical to expanding the country’s technological infrastructure. It also has significant initiatives in Services and Sciences, Information Management, User Interaction Technologies, e-Commerce, Life Sciences, Distributed Computing and Software Engineering.

Currently, IRL researchers are working on several projects like bioinformatics, text mining, speech recognition for Indian languages, natural language processing, grid computing, and autonomic computing, among others.

Services Innovation and Research Center, Bangalore: will be an extended arm of IBM’s India Research Lab (IRL), headquartered in New Delhi. The Services Innovation and Research Center (SIRC) was launched as an initiative that will work in close collaboration with IBM’s Global Services group to develop innovative technologies and solutions that improve operational and delivery capabilities.

Global Delivery Centers at Bangalore, Pune, Gurgaon and Kolkata. These centers deliver "best-of-breed" technology solutions to IBM customers worldwide covering middleware, enterprise and web technologies, data warehousing across functional and industry areas.

Global Business Solution Center in Bangalore — IBM further expanded its global consulting delivery capabilities with the establishment of this first-of-a-kind center, which will allow IBM’s more than 60,000 consultants to collaborate and deploy reusable tools and assets in 55 key business areas.

Business Transformation Outsourcing Centers at Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. These centers handles business transformation outsourcing needs of IBM customers worldwide. Some key areas of competence of this center are Customer Contact Centers, Receivables Management, Telemarketing, Transaction Processing and Finance and Accounting.

That’s it for now from the IBM Mantri location here in Bangalore. 

More soon as my jetlag recedes…

Written by turbotodd

June 21, 2010 at 7:18 am

IBM @ Pebble Beach

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I’ve been a little lost between all the World Cup games and the NBA Finals (Game 7 tonight!), but I would be remiss in my golf fandom not to mention that the U.S. Open kicks off at Pebble Beach today out in California.

IBM has been a longtime partner with the U.S.G.A. and the U.S. Open, and this year the partnership continues in the digital realm with some exciting new social media capabilities.

Of course, the home course is the official U.S. Open Website, which is designed and hosted by IBM.  This year, IBM players will be helping to integrate a Mixx Channel into the U.S. Open home page.

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The 2010 U.S. Open Website, built and hosted by IBM on behalf of the U.S.G.A.

This will help bring fans (I’m very jealous of all you fans onsite!) attending the tournament into the coverage.  Fans who visit the “Experience Tent” at Pebble Beach will be able to provide their own real-time commentary on their Twitter accounts, and the chatter will also appear live on the U.S. Open Mixx channel.

Of course, we won’t forget our basic blocking and tackling….err, chipping and putting.

There will also be some improvements to the traditional golf leaderboard, including an overview map to enable viewers to ge a birds’-eye view of action on the course. 

For the non color-blind, there will also be a heat-mapping feature with green, red, and gray indicators to let fans know how hard each part of the course is plahing, with colors differing based on turned in score averages per hole.

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The U.S.G.A. U.S. Open Interactive Play Tracker gives avid golf fans a nice bird’s-eye overview of who’s hot and who’s not at this year’s U.S. Open.

The Website will also feature some HD Live Streaming (including to the iPhone and other mobile browsers), and a U.S. Open Facebook fan page will also share the news.

To all mi amigos from the IBM team onsite at Pebble Beach, be sure to give me a shout out if you all need any help out there!

Fore!

Written by turbotodd

June 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm

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The Massive New IBM Mass Lab

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Anybody see that Brazil v. North Korea game in the World Cup yesterday?  Do those Brazilians play some of the most beautiful soccer in the world or what?  Wow.  Beautiful game, indeed.

As for the Celtics and the Lakers…well, with respect to this particular blog post, I’ll be staying neutral after last evening’s tidings (I have lots of friends in LA and Boston).

But here’s the net: IBM’s stepping up its own game in the great state of Massachusetts with the announcement this morning that we’ve cut the ribbon on the IBM Mass Lab, which is now IBM’s largest software development lab in North America.

The IBM Mass Lab is a campus comprised of sites in Littleton and Westford, Massachusetts, and brings together 3,400 of IBM’s leading experts to design and develop solutions to respond to our customers’ computing challenges.

The IBM Mass Lab is creating software that manages some of the world’s most complex process and infrastructure problems such as modernizing and automating the world’s physical infrastructures — from railroads, water management, food traceability and healthcare modernization.

Much of the demand for software is being created by the need to automate and modernize virtually every system today such as electronic medical records, fraud detection and energy management through smart grids.

IBM employees at the Mass Lab will also advance new technologies focused on collaboration, social networking, cloud computing and analytics.

Additionally, developers at the IBM Mass Lab are creating software for the new era of enterprise mobile computing fostering more effective collaboration and integration to support an increasingly global and mobile workforce. The explosion and sophistication of devices have generated a mountain of data, countless transactions, and increased complexity leading to a convergence of IT and mobility.

"The IBM Mass Lab helps demonstrate to the world that Massachusetts is a global leader in the innovation economy," said Deval Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, of the announcement. "The IBM solutions developed right here in Massachusetts are helping to advance the Commonwealth’s economic prosperity, and quality of life for citizens around the globe."

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IBM Mass Lab, Littleton Campus

IBM Mass Lab Positioned for Growth

While it’s the largest in North America, the IBM Mass Lab is one of 70 IBM Software Labs around the globe.

With more square footage than Boston’s Fenway Park or the TD Garden, the IBM Mass Lab will foster collaboration among employees while leaving space for organic growth and future acquisitions.

Since 2003, IBM has acquired fourteen Massachusetts-based companies to broaden its software portfolio including Rational Software, Cognos, Ascential Software Corporation, and most recently Ounce Labs and Guardium Corporation.

IBM has partnered with more than 100 Venture Capital backed, small technology companies in Massachusetts, and has more than 1,600 business partners in New England.

"IBM views Massachusetts as an innovation hotbed," said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software. "IBM is committed to nurturing the human talent and economic strengths of the growing Massachusetts tech hub. The IBM Mass Lab is a critical component of our growth strategy for the state of Massachusetts."

IBM selected the towns of Littleton and Westford for its combined campus due to the proximity of its geographically dispersed employee population and burgeoning high-tech belt along I-495.

IBM’s Massachusetts presence also includes IBM Research in Cambridge, Mass., and the IBM Innovation Center in Waltham, Mass., celebrating its 15th year of helping local companies enable their skills and applications around IBM products.

The IBM Mass Lab can accommodate 59,000 square feet of Lab server space and contains 31 miles of copper and fibre-optic wiring for data networking, virtualization and power monitoring.

There’s over two petabytes of data in the Mass Lab that allows the IBM engineers to harness an exceptional level of computing power and storage to develop software on the latest hardware technology.

The IBM Mass Lab also includes an Executive Briefing Center where IBM clients from around the globe can meet with subject matter experts from the Mass Lab to learn more about IBM Software.

About IBM in Massachusetts
IBM is a truly global company and for 96 years (since 1914) IBM has been a key economic contributor to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Currently, IBM is the second largest technology employer in Massachusetts.

IBM engineers in Massachusetts have developed ground-breaking and innovative technologies to the marketplace that have changed the way people work and collaborate.  Since 1995, IBM employees in Massachusetts were awarded 2,950 patents.

In 2010, IBM received a Gold award from MassEcon for its economic contributions to the Central Massachusetts region.

MassHighTech listed IBM as the largest IT consulting firms in New England in 2010, and the largest software developer in New England for 2009.

In 2009, the Boston Globe named IBM #1 on its National 25 list of publically held companies based outside Massachusetts with a major presence in the state, ranked by competitive performance. Also last year, the Boston Business Journal named IBM one of the top 25 charitable contributors in the state, and MassHighTech honored IBM for its leadership in TechCitizenship.

To all my IBM colleagues and friends in the Bay State, congratulations on this exciting announcement.  Keep the clam chowder warm!

Written by turbotodd

June 16, 2010 at 1:54 pm

IBM To Acquire Coremetrics

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IBM announced its intent to acquire Coremetrics, a web analytics and marketing optimization firm headquartered in San Mateo, California, for an undisclosed sum.  Coremetrics solutions help companies measure and improve the effectiveness of online marketing programs. 

Companies are faced with an increasingly complex set of digital outlets to interact with customers, ranging from websites and mobile applications to e-mail and aggregator sites.  Businesses must continuously focus on enhancing the customer experience and respond quickly to the changing landscape to differentiate themselves in the global marketplace.

Results from the IBM 2010 CEO Study showed:

  • 88% of CEOs will focus on getting closer to their customers in next 5 years

  • 82% of CEOs want to better understand customer needs

  • 85% of CEOs require more visibility into their businesses

70 percent of a consumer’s first interaction with a product or service takes place online. 

IBM and Coremetrics will combine to deliver broader cross-channel marketing and customer experience solutions to help marketing professionals achieve business agility.

The combined capabilities of IBM and Coremetrics will help clients gain enhanced customer insights through cross-channel analytics and metrics to measure marketing effectiveness and enable proactive response.

The expanded portfolio will enrich the customer experience by delivering targeted interactions with cross-channel intelligent offers and recommendations and enable organizations to automate and optimize marketing efforts.

Coremetrics’ solutions are delivered in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, and their technology provides the insight and tools to target customers with relevant content or products. 

Coremetrics will become part of the IBM Software Application and Integration Middleware unit.

Written by turbotodd

June 15, 2010 at 1:56 pm

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