Side Saddle Sari
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.
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…