Tag: tata

Microsoft does car deal with Tata

It appears that while tech companies are trying to make alliances with car companies, Microsoft has spied an opportunity in India.

Vole India has signed a deal with Tata Motors for a strategic collaboration on the technology front to make driving a more personalised experiences for customers.

The first car showcasing the vision of the enhanced driving experiences will be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor show on March 7, it said.

“Using IoT (internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning technologies, we will provide vehicle owners in India and across the world a safe, productive and fun driving experience,” Anant Maheshwari, President at Microsoft India, said.

Tata Motors CEO Guenter Butschek said at a press conference that he saw the tie-up creating new revenue opportunities for the company as car buyers increasingly look for value-added services.

If Microsoft’s deal works with Tata, then it will be putting its products under the bonnet of an outfit which has a sales track to millions of Indian car drivers.

Microsoft makes further bid to capture the Cloud

Mega-corporation Microsoft is attempting to persuade the world and its canine friend to accept its view of cloud computing.

And today it claimed that cloud computing is changing the manufacturing industry, based on a survey of 152 business and IT decision makers in diverse sectors including aerospace, high tech, automotive, electronics and makers of industrial kit.

You won’t be surprised to learn that 48.3 percent of the people it surveyed thought lowered costs was the most important reason for switching to the cloud. That was followed by 47.7 percent of people who wanted better collaboration across different countries. And 38.4 percent thought cloud could help them respond faster to business needs.

And as sure as there can be sunshine on a rainy day, Microsoft believes that it has the answer with a concept called the Reference Architecture Framework for Discrete Manufacturers (DIRA Framework). Its current partners include Apriso, Camstar Systems, Iconics, Rockwell Automation, Siemens and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.

Perhaps IBM, HP and the rest of those jumping on the cloud computing bandwagon will beg to differ that Microsoft has the best answer, while corporations, no doubt, will think hard and long before shunting their manufacturing systems into the tender and loving paws of the Vole.

Indian services industry pulls out of Japan

Given the Japanese radiation crisis deepening at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Indian IT organisations Infosys, Wipro, HCL Technologies, MindTree, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and L&T Infotech are taking no chances as they call back employees from Japan.

Infosys had started the process of bringing back its employees three days ago. It has about 350 employees in couple of offices in Japan, one of them in Tokyo.

Sources close to Infosys said: “Initially, it wasn’t clear if the employees are coming back or not but given the crisis, management has decided to bring back all the employees and started the process of booking tickets.”

Wipro Technologies has offices in Yokohoma and Okinawa. The Indian IT services group has decided to bring back its employees to India and made an arrangement for a chartered flight with Air India.

Saurabh Govil, senior vice president, Wipro HR said: “Wipro is making arrangements for its onsite employees’ travel, including seats on a chartered Air India flight. We will facilitate their working from home or temporarily relocate to safer parts of Japan. Extensive business continuity measures have been put in place so that our customer operations are not impacted.”

HCL Technologies has given an open option to all its employees in Japan – Indian or Non-Indian – to relocate to another location or go on leave. HCL has 400 employees in Japan, Indians making up 50 percent of the total number.

An insider said: “Either the employees may take leave or may also work from China, Singapore or India, but on Japan’s timings.”

MindTree has asked its employees to move their families immediately and will keep a close look on the situation before deciding on bringing back the employees.

L&T Infotech has hired Kingfisher Airlines to operate a special flight on March 17 to bring back its 185 employees and their families back to India.

Johnny Foreigner warned off UK libel tourism

Justice secretary Ken Clarke has let loose dramatic plans to revise Britain’s positively draconian libel laws. 

As it stands, published material must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that it is in the right and explain how it is not libellous and damaging. Corporations and the moneyed are able to send legal teams in to threaten court action if they take a disliking to something – even the way it is phrased.

Many publications that are not nationals feel like they must back down as the court costs could potentially bankrupt them.

It has seen what Clarke calls “libel tourism”, which is when companies or individuals fight to dispute a case in the UK’s courts to exploit the system and warn off anyone from opinion, essentially if someone with enough money doesn’t like it, they can bring in a legal team.

The draft bill will offer statutory defences of of “truth” and “honest opinion,” says the BBC. Clarke reckons that the whole business of libel action, injunctions and superinjunctions is seedy indeed, having a “chilling effect” on debate and journalism.

“The right to speak freely and debate issues without fear of censure is a vital cornerstone of a democratic society,” he said. 

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg agreed, adding that the current laws are outdated and made it a piece of cake for the wealthy to “stifle fair criticism”.

“We cannot continue to tolerate a culture in which scientists, journalists and bloggers are afraid to tackle issues of public importance for fear of being sued,” Clegg added. 

Labour’s shadow justice minister Rob Flello did warn that the bill will need to be looked over with a fine tooth comb, suggesting that it’s going to be difficult to bring laws up to date with new media. 

Hoorah! Tala! and Goodbye! to the old lot – it’s good news for  British journalism.

See Also Intel’s Guide to the European Press.

Child Support Agency computer system gets worse

Blighty’s much ridiculed Child Support Agency’s computer system is causing costs at the outfit to skyrocket.

Part of the problem is that more than 100,000 cases have been deemed too difficult for the computer system to handle.

According to Computing, the CS2 cannot manage cases workflows correctly and some are getting stuck in the system. This has caused delays in payments being made.

To fix the problem CSA instigated a process to remove cases from CS2 and transfer them to an outsourced clerical system. While this means that people get processed the cost of dealing with cases doubles.

According to the Current Bun, a “senior government source” claimed that the “the computer systems are in chaos”.

A CSA spokesman said that the situation was not that bad. While the costs for a case in the clerical system is far higher, the CSA has plans to “introduce a replacement system.”

This would be the replacement system which is being designed by the maker of small city cars, Tata. That system is not expected to come online until 2012, which is just in time for the end of the world so we will not know if it worked or not.

Infosys, Wipro, TCS want to hire fired ex-employees

Once fired, now eligible to be hired. That’s the case for ex-employees of Indian Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) major player Infosys. Sources close to the Infosys BPO claims that the company management is asking the present employees to refer the experienced ex-employees who were fired during the recession.

A source speaking to TechEye on the condition of anonymity says: “We have been asked to bring our friends to the company which is normal in employee referral programs. But, what is interesting here is we have been asked to bring back the ex-employees who left the company during the recession phase.”

This aggressive hiring strategy is nothing this year as during the end of every year, companies do go for referral hiring. The exception here seems to be the lucrative incentives that human resource management is offering employees for bringing the ex-employees.

During the recession, Indian BPOs including Infosys sent a considerable of employees their pink slips.

Mostly, this practice of offering almost 100 percent increase in referral incentives is practiced by Indian majors. The other companies adopting the same policy are Wipro BPO and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

More than 200,000 employees lost jobs during that period which most of the companies rubbished, creating doubt and uncertainty in the minds of many BPO employees in India.

Now, with business getting back on track, these companies are on a hiring spree.

What will be interesting to see is if these companies manage to build the trust that they have lost during the recession by firing the ones who were in need of jobs.

Intel HPC powers Imperial College and dominates Top500

Today we took to Soho Square for a briefing on High Performance Computing (HPC) from Intel. It showed off bits and bobs we’ve already reported on, such as its Knights Ferry platform, and had some interesting case studies from Imperial College London and Cancer Research UK.

HPC systems are “absolutely vital,” says Imperial College, in the work that they do. Same goes for Cancer Research UK – to understand the structure of DNA, which must be carefully analysed to further understand the nature of tumours, can’t be done easily without some serious cores to help.

The HPC Cancer Research UK uses is a 512 core machine in the basement but the power under the bonnet means medical simulations are a breeze. For example – it can accurately simulate and analyse a human genome in the space of just one day. Or an entire person in a week. 

Cancer Research UK told us that it is a ‘typical’ user of HPC. Local compute power will be needed in institutions across the world, particularly in biology, which technologically is just now catching up to engineering and chemistry.

Every single department at Imperial uses HPC at some point. They’re excellent for theoretical experiments which are costly to perform, for example using high temperatures or simulating a wind tunnel. It’s an SGI Ice, cx2, 3124 core, 7 terabytes of memory, 32.14 teraflops and is 439 in the Top 500 list.

Intel believes the HPC market, already established, is going to explode – as the demo machine at the briefing sounded as it was about to – and it’s in a good position. Intel’s main focus is on general purpose HPC, with a smooth integration between hardware and software such as its Parallel Studio XE, recently launched. The idea is that scientists, financiers or indeed anyone who requires some serious power will be able to use an Intel-powered HPC machine and have it do the complex equations for them – not necessarily because customers are not capable, but it removes another step between the user and the result. 

Sean McGuire believes compared to competitor offerings, Intel’s general purpose HPC offerings are the go-to because of their software integration. Unnamed rivals, we’re thinking AMD and Nvidia, may have powerful systems and lucrative contracts but they’re a risky investment. Built from the ground up, according to Intel, you can’t be sure the system will be fitted to customer needs until after it’s built.

Which leads to a question asked by TechEye. We asked Intel how it is doing in the Indian market and it said, very well. Intel is apparently very popular in India where a war between AMD and Spintel was predicted by Gartner. You just need to look at the Top500 and see that Intel dominates with about 80 percent of the chart, we’re told. India’s Tata is a big customer.

We never did find out what Robert Maskell meant when he compared a tube of Pringles to HPC, but we have his card and we’ll do some digging. Maskell says he can’t think of a single instance where HPC has not touched on something in the modern world. We would suggest: walks in the park and Pringles, but guess we’re wrong on the latter.

*EyeSee Talking briefly on GDDR5, Intel suggested we can expect a huge announcement in about six months.

*EyeSee II Here’s an update on the Pringles:

Indian outsourcer hit by hackers

Indian outsourcer Tata has restored its website tcs.com after hackers changed the  domain name and then tried to flog it.

Tata is India’s largest software company and found that hackers had changed the IP address of its website from 216.15.200.140 to 205.178.152.154.

It is believed they did this by breaking into the registrar account.

The changed domain ID, 205.178.152.154, shows the ISP name as Network Solutions which is the registrar of tcs.com.

According to a report from plugged.in, the hackers had put up the domain name ‘tcs.com’ for sale and even provided their e-mail id as  ‘abed_uk@hotmail.com’.

The case is deeply embarrassing for Tata as it shows up chronic weaknesses in the outfit’s security.