Welcome to my blog

Welcome and thank you for visiting my blog....

This is where I will pen my thoughts on Enterprise Mobility and other wireless technologies based on my learning’s/ experience over the course of my IT career.

The wireless world has been a very exciting place to be over the last few years. We have seen the introduction of ground breaking products and technologies have reached a never-before-seen level of maturity. The rate of enterprise adaptation to wireless technology is only accelerating day by day.

This is a personal blog and will focus on my thoughts and perspectives on wireless technology. Please feel free to share your opinions and viewpoints so that it can be discussed and debated. Though I would like to, I won't be able to post to this blog each day. Will try my best to write whenever I get time.

I hope that you will return often to this blog. Thanks again.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Innovative VAS for Telecom industry

Innovative solutions a key to success for Telecom industry

By Purushottam Darshankar

India has become one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world. The other side to this growth is that ARPU’s (Average Revenue per User) have been correspondingly declining year on year. The average industry ARPU has fallen from Rs. 375 for Sept ’05 quarter to Rs. 347 for June 2006 quarter. (Source: Report by Internet and Mobile Association of India)
This is where the role of new Value added service (VAS) comes into picture. Indian operators are facing cutthroat competition and with the call rates in India being one of the cheapest in the world, the margins are very low. Therefore they are looking at VAS as the next wave for growth to maintain their profit margins.
As rightly said by Telecom expert ,” If telecom industry does not take command of change and Innovation, then there will be no future for telecom industry. The ubiquitous services that delivers personalized and location aware data would be a key to retain loyal customers for telecom operators “
Telco’s can follow different business models to generate revenues by hosting m-commerce platform, LBS (Location Based Services) platform for enterprise as well as consumer market.

State of mobility in Indian financial services

State of mobility in Indian financial services and why industry is bullish on mobility

By Purushottam Darshankar

In India, financial institutions, especially commercial banks such as ICICI, HDFC have long been early adaptors of mobile technology. Early on, they adapted mobile SMS (short message service) messages and short code services, but recently have been quick to integrate line of business applications into their operations.
ICICI Bank, India’s second largest bank has launched iMobile, a mobile banking platform on mobile phones. iMobile facilitates internet banking transactions on mobiles phones. Customers can now transfer funds to ICICI and Non ICICI Bank accounts just with the click of their mobile. The application covers Savings bank, Demat, Credit Card and Loan accounts. Customers can also pay their utility bills and insurance premium through this facility.
Mobile banking is generally a extension of a bank’s online banking web presence that provides a unique opportunity to user to use their device as banking instruments. However mobile payments and mobile wallet are far more sophisticated and requires many additional components to be successful. In Mobile payment and mobile wallet they act as your credit card or cash. The mobile wallet is combination of NFC (Near field communication) and data services that creates additional services for consumers.
Japan is the only country in world which has well adapted to mobile banking system with 30 million handsets equipped with NFC capabilities. India has long way to go and financial institutes need to build a trust in Indian consumers.
The insurance world in India is dramatically different with lot of new players emerging and insurance agents are centered on serving customers who have damaged properties or experience the automobile accidents. The key differentiator for insurance company is the relationship with customer and how well the insurer services their customers. In India insurance industry has been considered as laggard in area of mobility and other emerging technologies. The reason is mainly due to storage of insurance information housed in legacy systems known as dreaded mainframe.The tools used in their day-to-day life in insurance industry have been paper forms, pen, and cameras. However, mobile device are capable of combining all those manual functions into one converged solution that has online and offline capability. The user can still be able manage his day-to-day functions at accident sites that do not fall under network coverage area. The data captures in electronic format can be synchronized with back end system once the network coverage is available. Not only it allows the insurance company to quickly settle claims but eliminates the paper based processing so common in industry today. The claim adjuster can process claims an average of six times faster than when using traditional paper based processing system.

Mobility advantage- supply chain’s potential in retail boom

Mobility advantage to maximize your supply chain’s potential in retail boom

By Purushottam Darshankar

India has witnesses a big boom in retail industry and KPMG’s associate director Kaushika Madhavan says, "All new entrants are planning rapid expansion and such a scale of ramp-up requires scalable processes and systems, which retailers are yet to develop. So we would witness mistakes being made as Indian retail evolves. Ability to learn from mistakes will be a critical success factor.” and he further adds “The fact is that most retailers in India still don't have a stronghold on operations -- be it merchandising, supply chain management or procurement." In today’s competitive world, the customer’s expectations are more demanding in terms of the level of service they require and the speed at which they expect it to be provided.
One way of making supply chain performance efficient is to make manufacturer responsible for distributor’s inventory levels. Distributors will benefit with this, by reducing requisition-to-order costs, improving fill rates, decreasing stock outs and decreased inventory costs. Manufactures will benefit from reduction in ordering errors, better forecasting, and more efficient promotion planning.
The inventory solution can be possible by virtually connecting the two businesses together through internet. This can be done either by distributor reporting the sales data to the manufacturer or by providing access to point-of-sale data for purpose of determining inventory levels.
Use of bar code scanning technology can be very useful in implementing the inventory solution. There are many devices in market today that combines Windows Mobile platform with bar code scanner to manage the physical inventory. The user experience is much easier as the user has to simply run into a store room and take what they need. The scanned data can be uploaded to backend server in batch at the end of day or in real time using data capabilities (GPRS, EDGE or PDSN) available in hardware.
The key to a successful inventory solution implementation is to understand a workflow that is going to work best both for consumer and distributor.
Alternatively, the mobility solution can be of much importance to transportations and logistics needs of most modern businesses. One of primary services expected by the transportation and logistics customers is timely status updates within the supply chain. Unlike the supply chain of past, heavy inventory is discouraged as cost is involved in moving the products and storing inventory in warehouse or on store shelves. The only time the product makes money is when the end user purchases it.
Due to lean business methodology of today, many enterprises prefer a flowing supply chain that moves product to store or retail outlets via Just-In-Time (JIT) shipping. Faster the product can be delivered to customer, the less it will impact the bottomline. The biggest issue the enterprise face with JIT shipping is the chance that there will be a breakdown in supply chain due to delays in transportation, inclement weather etc. This can be very costly in terms of revenues, but also in terms of customer loyalty.
Many Indian enterprises have started using the SMS (short message service) based solutions along with GPS (Global positioning system)/LBS (Location Based service) technology as means to provide the status data. The future of the industry is web based “push” technology systems that makes use of GIS (Geographical information system) and GPS technology to update the end user with the status as they happen.
The supply chain of future will depend upon the technology that is as mobile as the inventory that is being monitored and tracked.

Mobility as a Strategy for Indian Enterprises

Leverage the Mobile technology for a competitive advantage

by Purushottam Darshankar

India economy has witnessed an impressive growth of around nine percent for last three years, with sectors like manufacturing, banking, telecom, biotechnology and retail showing strong potential with higher growth rates. This article focuses on how most of these sectors can leverage the mobile technology to improve their productivity and operational efficiency.
India has become one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world and has opted for the use of both GSM (Airtel, Vodafone, Idea etc.) and CDMA (Reliance, Tata Indicom) technologies in the mobile sector. The next generation networks (NGN) built around the Internet Protocol (IP) is used for delivering multiple services (voice, data, and all sorts of media such as video) at cheap cost.
Mobile devices on the other hand have become more intelligent. Instead of communicating through legacy circuit-switched carrier systems, new devices are IP address-carrying members of the Internet and often have Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity.

Endless possibilities for improving the enterprise

The possibilities of improving the productivity, operational efficiency and reduce cost through mobile technology are seemingly endless. Additionally, increased sale of mobile devices have led to lower prices and the development of more intuitive software.
One of the most basic, and often most utilized, changes that enterprise mobility can facilitate is converting paper-based forms to forms-based applications. The working lifestyle of employees has become increasingly mobile as enterprise implements more services and support programs. As the world has become increasingly mobile, enterprise mobility has been steadily creeping from luxury towards necessity.
By using hand held devices such as PDAs and smartphones to digitally input the data into enterprise back end systems, enterprise sees a reduction in recording errors and data collection time. In the end, this conversion process allows for more accurate business transactions and increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Real-time, Web based applications to access enterprise data have also made a tremendous mark on the enterprise mobility world. Providing easily accessible enterprise information and services from smartphones and PDAs, mobile technology has led to increased performance in enterprise intelligence, customer relationship management, business process automation, point-of-sale systems, and host of other enterprise needs.
While enterprise mobility provides the potential for growth in both productivity and efficiency, what most CIO’s and corporate executives are looking for is the ever-vital return on investment. So let’s get down to business and see what enterprises have achieved using enterprise mobility.
Atlas Air, global provider of air cargo charter services, has reduced its wireless communication costs by 10% through the use of MobileAware technology in a wireless crew scheduling and notification system. (Source: MobileAware Press release)
Emery Forwarding , a package delivery company realized nearly 151% return on investment when they deployed event notification system , a mobile solution that allowed customers to sign for packages electronically via Pocket PC. The application updates the back end enterprise data in real-time and sent an e-mail to the customer upon receipt of the package. (Source: Microsoft enterprise case study)
Ray & Berndtson, one of the world's largest executive search firms, needed a low-cost platform for the company's mobile workforce to access corporate Email and other data and provide superior customer service. "Faced with an expensive laptop upgrade, we turned to Pocket PCs and Synchrologic's Mobile Suite to help us cut 50% out of our capital budget, contributing almost a half million dollars to the bottom line...and giving our users a better tool to do their job," states Rick Rawlings, IS Director, Ray & Berndtson (Source: MobileInfo news release)

These are just few examples of how enterprise mobility solutions had a significant impact on ROI. This is right time to make mobility a reality for Indian enterprises.