Posts tagged ‘IBM’

03/04/2015

IBM forges mobile app partnership with China Telecom | Reuters

International Business Machines (IBM) (IBM.N) has struck a deal with China Telecom Corp Ltd (0728.HK) to offer and manage corporate-grade mobile apps, the latest in a string of tie-ups with Chinese firms.

A worker is pictured behind a logo at the IBM stand on the CeBIT computer fair in Hanover February 26, 2011. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

Under the agreement, state-owned China Telecom will host on its servers IBM’sMobileFirst service, which helps corporations manage apps for Apple Inc‘s (AAPL.O) iPhone and iPad devices.

The two companies have not yet disclosed any customers but will seek out everything from large, state-owned enterprises in sectors like banking and insurance to private startups, Nancy Thomas, a Beijing-based managing partner of global business services, said in a telephone interview.

IBM’s strategy has been to deepen its presence and win favor in China through partnerships with local firms despite political headwinds.

Citing cybersecurity concerns, the Chinese government recently announced regulations that encourage state-affiliated companies to procure more tech products from domestic suppliers and shun international vendors. Western business lobbies say this is an unfair tactic to protect Chinese companies or spur technology transfer.

IBM Chief Executive Virginia Rometty said in a speech before business and political elite in Beijing last week that the company would share its technology and help Chinese companies to continue doing business in the country.

Thomas, the Beijing-based executive, said IBM intended to collaborate closely with China Telecom, the largest cloud provider in China and the largest fixed-line carrier.

“When we think about technology sharing, that is the first foundation we’ll be working on when we’re bringing MobileFirst to China Telecom’s cloud,” Thomas said.

MobileFirst is the result of a collaboration between IBM and Apple. IBM has released dozens of iPhone and iPad apps that for instance help shipping companies manage freight or provide records on-the-go for medical doctors.

via IBM forges mobile app partnership with China Telecom | Reuters.

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02/04/2015

India’s IT plans suffer from power cuts, congestion – and monkeys | Reuters

As India launches an $18 billion plan to spread the information revolution to its provinces, the problems it faces are a holdover from the past – electricity shortages, badly planned, jam-packed cities, and monkeys.

The clash between the old world and the new is sharply in focus in the crowded 3,000-year-old holy city of Varanasi, where many devout Hindus come to die in the belief that doing so will give them salvation. Varanasi is also home to hundreds of macaque monkeys that live in its temples and are fed and venerated by devotees.

But the monkeys also feast on the fibre-optic cables that are strung along the banks of the Ganges river.

“We cannot move the temples from here. We cannot modify anything here, everything is built up. The monkeys, they destroy all the wires and eat all the wires,” said communications engineer A.P. Srivastava.

Srivastava, who oversees the expansion of new connections in the local district, said his team had to replace the riverside cables when the monkeys chewed them up less than two months after they were installed.

He said his team is now looking for alternatives, but there are few to be found. The city of over 2 million people is impossibly crowded and laying underground cable is out of the question. Chasing away or trapping the monkeys will outrage residents and temple-goers.

Varanasi is part of the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist leader who came to power last May.

A shortage of electricity is further complicating efforts to set up stable Wi-Fi in public places – daily power cuts can last for hours during the sweltering summer in Varanasi and across much of India.

Modi’s government has pledged to lay 700,000 kms (434,960 miles) of broadband cable to connect India’s 250,000 village clusters within three years, build 100 new “Smart Cities” by 2020 and shift more public services like education and health to electronic platforms to improve access and accountability.

via India’s IT plans suffer from power cuts, congestion – and monkeys | Reuters.

22/10/2014

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Gets a Toehold in China – Businessweek

In its quest to dominate the social media industry worldwide, Facebook (FB) has long hankered after China, where the company been been banned since 2009. Facebook may have just gained a foothold to help it infiltrate the Chinese market: the appointment of Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to the board of one of China’s top business schools, the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management.

Tsinghua University in Beijing

Tsinghua University announced Zuckerberg’s appointment on Monday to the school’s board, a meeting ground of sorts for Western corporate higher-ups and Chinese officials. In addition to Zuckerberg and top brass from IBM (IBM) , Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), and other multinationals, it includes Chinese government officials and entrepreneurs tasked with advising Tsinghua SEM’s development.

To the business school, Zuckerberg is an impressive name to add to a cadre of corporate superpowers. To Zuckerberg, who will fly to Beijing this week to attend the school’s annual board meeting, the appointment could provide an additional way for Facebook to make its case for reentering China, analysts say.

via Facebook’s Zuckerberg Gets a Toehold in China – Businessweek.

20/09/2014

Huawei: The great disrupter’s new targets | The Economist

“THE last time there were so many people down by here, the Rolling Stones were in town.” So declared one of those attending an unusual gathering this week in a vast auditorium along the shores of Shanghai’s Huangpu River. The music was blaring, the coloured lights flashing and the ceiling shimmering, but this was not another rock concert. Astonishingly, the enthusiastic throngs—10,000 squeezed into the venue and another 13,000 joined in via streaming video—had gathered for a technology conference.

The gig was organised by Huawei, a Chinese maker of telecoms equipment, which used the occasion to unveil a new business strategy. As they strode across the stage in front of a video screen nearly as wide as a football pitch, Huawei’s bosses declared their aim of making their firm the world’s leading information-technology (IT) company. In the first stage of this, Huawei plans to increase its sales of servers, storage and other data-centre equipment by a factor of ten by 2020. Last year such products brought in only about $1 billion of Huawei’s total revenues of $39 billion.

It is an audacious goal. It pits Huawei against such titans as IBM, Cisco and HP—innovative giants with deep customer relationships and comprehensive offerings that Huawei cannot yet match. Then again, a decade or so ago Huawei faced a similar challenge in telecoms equipment and has grown to become one of the world’s dominant vendors. It has also become big in smartphones. Evan Zeng of Gartner, a consulting firm, says Huawei starts with an edge in China’s fast-growing market, where state-owned firms favour domestic suppliers. That said, it has some strong local rivals, notably Lenovo and ZTE.

Bryan Wang of Forrester Research, another consulting firm, says Huawei is taking on this daunting challenge because the telecoms-equipment market has become saturated and is set to grow only sluggishly. The IT business is also crowded. But it is a far bigger market than telecoms equipment, and Huawei, since it has such a small share of it, has enormous scope for growth.

In an attempt to keep the company nimble, Huawei recently introduced a system in which three of its bosses take turns, six months at a time, at being the chief executive. Guo Ping, who is in charge at the moment, argues that the telecoms operators that are now his firm’s main customers are embracing cloud computing, so it makes sense for Huawei to make sure it can provide all the gear they need to do so.

Second, Mr Guo argues, the long-predicted convergence of the telecoms and IT businesses is finally happening. The switching of telecoms and internet traffic will no longer require so much of the costly, specialist hardware that Huawei now makes. Increasingly, the job will be done by software, which will run on cheaper, standard IT equipment—what is known as “software-defined networking”. Huawei is seeking to get ahead of this disruption of its core business by being a disrupter itself.

There are good reasons to think Huawei may be up to the challenge. As a privately-held company, “its managers don’t have quarterly pressure, and can invest for the long term,” notes Mark Gibbs of SAP, a German software firm that works closely with Huawei. Ryan Ding, Huawei’s head of product development, recalls that his firm stuck with its efforts to penetrate the markets for routers and LAN switches—two important bits of telecoms gear—despite losing money on each for more than a decade. Likewise, this year it is pumping $600m, or more than half of its entire revenues from IT products, into researching future ones.

Huawei is a proven innovator entering a bloated industry, ripe for change. Its bosses speak clearly and compellingly about what innovation is for: not to win Nobel prizes, or plaudits in the media for the “coolness” of its products, but to create value for customers. To this end, Huawei stations armies of engineers at 28 “joint innovation centres” at customers’ sites around the world. “My guys don’t just ask the customer what he wants: they go to the field site together, do the installation together, and figure out together how to increase efficiencies,” boasts Mr Ding.

The American and European giants of IT have been put on notice. Mr Wang of Forrester says Huawei has already shown it can deliver a potent combination of price, service and customisation. That is why he feels sure it will disrupt the IT business just as it did with telecoms.

via Huawei: The great disrupter’s new targets | The Economist.

02/04/2014

India’s Greatest Hits: A List of Foreign Firms Grappling With the Government – India Real Time – WSJ

When India’s top court Wednesday ordered Samsung Electronics Co.005930.SE +1.34%’s chairman to appear in person to face criminal charges, it was par for the legal course here.

Judges and other authorities in India have been cracking down on international firms in recent years, making some executives wary of investing in Asia’s third-largest economy.

Many of the best-known global names that have made the biggest bets on India are facing massive tax claims and other actions.

Here is a short list of some of the international companies – which together have invested billions in India – and are now stuck in high-profile battles with authorities:

*Samsung Electronics Co.– India’s Supreme Court ordered Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee to come to India within six weeks to face criminal charges in the city of Ghaziabad or risk arrest. The order was in connection to a four-year-old case in which an Indian supplier claims a Samsung subsidiary failed to pay bills totaling more than $1 million. Samsung said its chairman has nothing to do with the case in which it claims Samsung is the victim of fraud.

*Vodafone Group PLC–The British telecommunications giant has been struggling for years to avoid paying a $2 billion-plus tax bill connected to its 2007 purchase of a 67% stake in the Indian operations of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.0013.HK +0.48% Vodafone fought the government in court and won In 2012. Soon after, however, New Delhi retroactively changed its laws to allow it to tax the transaction. Vodafone maintains that it does not owe the money and says it is in discussions with the government.

*Nokia Corp.—Indian tax authorities say the Finnish phone company claimed a wrongful exemption on exports and owes billions of dollars in allegedly unpaid taxes. NokiaNOK1V.HE +1.19% denies it owes the tax bill, but the Supreme Court of India said the company has to pay the taxes before its Indian assets can be transferred to Microsoft Corp.MSFT +1.04% as part of its $7.5 billion acquisition of Nokia’s businesses.

*Google Inc.–Internet giant GoogleGOOG +1.80% is being investigated for allegedly anti-competitive policies related to its advertising and search businesses. Last month, India’s antitrust body imposed a 10 million rupee penalty on the Internet search leader, to punish it for failing to cooperate with its probe. Google said last week that it is compliant with Indian law and cooperating with the investigation.

International Business Machines Corp.IBM +1.03%—India last year asked IBM to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in back taxes left over from alleged underreported income. IBM said it is challenging the tax bill.

*Sahara Group—The property-to-media conglomerate is not a foreign firm, but still a telling tale for any international executive thinking of ignoring Indian courts. The group’s flamboyant founder, Subrata Roy, was jailed after failing to show up at hearings connected to a case where his group is accused of allegedly failing to return money to bond holders. Sahara said it is trying to raise the money to pay back investors and has asked that its chairman be released to help it come up with the money

via India’s Greatest Hits: A List of Foreign Firms Grappling With the Government – India Real Time – WSJ.

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02/03/2014

India Wants to Build Its Own Chips to Satisfy Electronics Demand – Businessweek

India’s IT services companies are tops in outsourcing, with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS:IN) and Infosys (INFY) competing globally with IBM (IBM) and Accenture (ACN). The cities of Bangalore and Hyderabad are well established as research centers for such multinationals as Microsoft (MSFT), General Electric (GE), and Intel (INTC).

Pedestrians pass in front of smartphone wholesale outlets at Gaffar Market in New Delhi on April 9, 2013

But when it comes to hardware, India is behind. In 2013 it imported $33.5 billion worth of electronics, from semiconductors to smartphones. That’s more than it spent on any imports except oil and gold. With India’s large and growing middle class buying more digital devices, the reliance on imported semiconductors and other hardware is likely to increase. By next year, according to market analysts Frost & Sullivan, such imports will top $42 billion. “Our manufacturing has not kept pace with our consumption,” says PVG Menon, president of the Indian Electronic & Semiconductor Association. India does some assembly of TVs, mobile phones, computers, and set-top boxes.

The government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is trying to address this technology gap. The Indian cabinet on Feb. 14 approved plans for two semiconductor manufacturing projects, requiring an investment of $10.2 billion, with IBM, Geneva-based STMicroelectronics (STM:FP), and Israel’s Tower Semiconductor (TSEM:IT) taking part.

via India Wants to Build Its Own Chips to Satisfy Electronics Demand – Businessweek.

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12/02/2014

IBM’s CEO visits China for trust-building talks with govt leaders: sources | Reuters

A slide in IBM Corp’s (IBM.N) sales in China amid a broad backlash against claims of U.S. government spying has triggered a rare visit to Beijing by Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty.

Visitors walk past the IBM booth at the 9th China International Software Product & Information Service Expo in Nanjing, Jiangsu province September 6, 2013.REUTERS/China Daily

The head of the world’s biggest technology services company arrives in China’s capital on Wednesday for three days of meetings with government leaders, according to people familiar with her visit. The visit comes as U.S. firms like IBM and Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) seek to restore trust with Chinese regulators and reverse slumping sales.

Beijing has encouraged state-owned companies to buy China-branded products since last year’s revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of spying. That has undercut business at some U.S.-based multinationals operating in the world’s second-biggest economy.

via IBM’s CEO visits China for trust-building talks with govt leaders: sources | Reuters.

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31/01/2014

Lenovo to buy Google’s Motorola in China’s largest tech deal | Reuters

Lenovo Group said on Wednesday it agreed to buy Google Inc\’s Motorola handset division for $2.91 billion, in what is China\’s largest-ever tech deal as Lenovo buys its way into a heavily competitive U.S. handset market dominated by Apple Inc.

The logo of Lenovo is seen on a computer monitor during a news conference in Hong Kong May 27, 2010. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

It is Lenovo\’s second major deal on U.S. soil in a week as the Chinese electronics company angles to get a foothold in major global computing markets. Lenovo last week said it would buy IBM\’s low-end server business for $2.3 billion.

The deal ends Google\’s short-lived foray into making consumer mobile devices and marks a pullback from its largest-ever acquisition. Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola in 2012. Under this deal the search giant will keep the majority of Motorola\’s mobile patents, considered its prize assets.

via Lenovo to buy Google’s Motorola in China’s largest tech deal | Reuters.

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20/11/2013

Indian women in business: has the glass ceiling been shattered? – The New Silk Road, Stephenson Harwood

From: The New Silk Road, Nov 13 to Jan 14; Stephenson Harwood

http://f.datasrvr.com/fr1/413/26346/NSRissue17-interactivePDF-v15.pdf

India is a country of acute contrasts; and perhaps nowhere is the divide more pronounced than in the status of women. In terms of the big milestones, the country has a reputation for leapfrogging others – Indira Gandhi became the world’s second ever female prime minister way back in 1966 (pipped to post by Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka), and women have since served in multiple senior political roles.

They’ve also stormed ahead in the professions (notably medicine and law) and in the international corporate world. One might cite Indra Nooyi, who beat all comers to secure the top job at Pepsi-Co; ot her aptly named Padmasree Warrior, chief technology and strategy officer at Cisco Systems. Meanwhile, a generation of newly-empowered and highly-educated young women are going out to work in larger numbers than before.

Set against these achievements, however, is the increasingly troubling situation facing Indian women more broadly. A recent Reuters Trustlaw investigation – examining a wide variety of measures from male-to-female pay disparity, through female foeticide, to deaths in dowry disputes – ranked India  as the worst country in the G20 to be born female.

Assushma Kapoor, South Asia deputy director for UN Women sums up: “There are two Indias: one where we can see more equality and prosperity for women, but another where the vast majority of women are living with no choice, voice, or rights.”

Although more than two decades of economic liberalisation has opened up opportunities in progressive cities such as New Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore, large parts of the country – particularly in the north – remain entrenched in feudalism. The upshot, according to The Economist, is that just 29 per cent of Indian women are currently in the workforce, compared with two-thirds of women in China.If deep-rooted changes in social attitudes are needed, who better to lead them than India’s companies? The willingness with which multinational companies (especially in the IT sector) have embraced the female graduates of India’s management schools is surely indicative of their quality. As well as Vanitha Narayan of IBM (profiled overleaf) the managing directors of both CapGemini India and Hewlett-Packard India are women. Female representation at the top of the banking profession is also much higher in India than many other countries.

The sectors in which women are currently thriving at senior levels – FMCG, retail, IT and retail banking – tend to be consumer-centric, says headhunter Ronesh Puri of Executive Access: reflecting the fact that household buying decisions are usually made by women and companies feel the need to ‘connect’. In more labour-intensive industries like mining, oil and gas, and aviation, women are still under-represented – as they are in the west – though that is beginning to change.

Indeed, demand for female directors at Indian companies across the board is growing at an estimated rate of about 10 per cent each year. That’s partly the result of new legislation mandating at least one board for certain classes of companies. But it’s also a response to the growing body of research suggesting a link between business growth and profitability, and gender diversity.Many women in corporate India might protest that there’s a long way to go. But the same is true in virtually every other developed nation. And one thing India is not short of is distinguished role models. Here we profile four inspirational women, who’ve made their mark across very different sectors.

Shubhalakshmi Panse

Chairman and managing director, Allahabad Bank

When Shubhalakshmi Panse’s became the first woman to lead India’s oldest bank last year, it marked the culmination of a near 40-year career at the financial coal-face. It almost never happened. Panse, 59, was pursuing a doctorate in embryology at Pune University when she stumbled across a recruitment advert from the state-owned Bank of Maharashtra. She took the qualifying exams “just for fun”. Having successfully climbed the professional ladder, Panse made the most of a sabbatical in the US in the early 1990s, completing a three-year MBA in twelve months flat before returning to India. The sizeable challenge she was hired to tackle at Allahabad Bank was to turn round the struggling institution in a year, ahead of her retirement next January. Panse admits “networking” isn’t her forte. She credits her success to her work ethic (“my commitment has always been 200 per cent”); and her parents. “We were raised as independent individuals. My mother would say ‘you can do it’.

Ishita Swarup

Founder, Orion Dialog and 99.labels.com

Ishita Swarup knew from an early age that she wanted to do “something of my own” rather than get stuck in “the cog in the wheel syndrome”. After completing her MBA, she joined Cadbury’s Indian brand management team, but stayed in the corporate cocoon just three years before starting the online phone marketing firm, Orion Dialog, in 1994 aged 27. The firm, which numbered Citibank among early clients, caught the rising tide of business process outsourcing. In 2004, Swarup exited in style: selling out to Aegis BPO (part of the Essar group). Still, she’s had much a choppier time with her second big venture, the ecommerce outfit 99.labels.com. Launched in 2009, the site was India’s first ‘flash sales’ shopping portal. But a proliferation of ‘me too’ competition and profitability concerns have dogged the firm and, in May, a big investor pulled out. Swarup hasn’t given up. She’s rejigging the business model and looking for new backers. “Seeing a venture take shape from idea to reality, and then taking it to a growth level, motivates me,” she says. “Making mistakes is part of that process.”

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Founder, Biocon

India’s wealthiest self-made woman started Biocon aged 25 in 1978, out of the garage of a rented house with the bare minimum of capital because she could not get financial backing. The decision to strike out on her own – becoming India’s first biotech entrepreneur – was taken almost by default. She had hoped to get a job at Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries, but was shocked to hear that male colleagues wouldn’t accept her. “That’s when the hard fact hit me. There is a gender bias.” Biocon began life as an enzyme specialist, before moving whole sale into the lucrative bio-pharma sector in the late 1990s, ahead of the great ‘off patent’ bonanza. IN 2004, Mazumdar-Shaw too the company public, Now 60 and worth US$625 million, according to Forbes, she lives in an estate outside Bangalore. “You could be in California”, she said last year. “Then you step outside and see poverty. That’s not a nice feeling.” She has pledged to five away three-quarters of her wealth.

Vanitha Narayanan

Managing director, IBM India

In contrast, one woman who has thrived on corporate life is Vanitha Narayanan, an IBM ‘lifer’ who became responsible this year for all Big Blue’s operations in India and South Asia – one of the company’s fastest-growing regions. With 150,000 people on the payroll, IBM is the largest multinational employer in India. Naraythan, a graduate of the University of Madras, cheerfully admits that, apart from a brief stint in a department store, “IBM is my only job”. She joined the company’s US telecoms group as a trainee after taking an MBA at the University of Houston, and made her name working with just one client, the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. “It helped me lay a foundation – you respect the industry of your client, and sometimes the client is your best teacher.” That certainly proved true in her case. She went on to become a global vice-president of IBM’s telecom solutions, and in 2006 moved to China to run the Asia Pacific Unit. At 54, Narayanan is modest about her achievements, preferring the word “influence” to power. “She’s no pushover,” says a colleague. “But she can build trust very easily”.

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