Results tagged “applications”

How To Help Businesses 'Sweat Their Assets' Leveraging A.I.



Kodak: From Blue Chip to Bankrupt [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwfwr8eYP50]

Ah, the benefits of hindsight. Let me begin this blog by giving you three examples of companies that reacted differently to technology disruption and, in some cases, paid the price for it.

Imagine if you could have gone back in time to warn the executives of Eastman Kodak Co. that they might be better off leaving the photography business altogether, earlier than they did. They wouldn't have taken you seriously - even after numerous strategies failed to save the company's traditional line of business. The Eastman Kodak brand was synonymous with photography. The truth is that when a business is built on a legacy technology that is categorically different from the market's new standard, even perfect foresight (in this case, the demise of film or CDs) would not have solved the core problem that digital replacement is fundamentally less profitable.

Mobile Apps

If there's money to be had in a particular activity, you can be sure that thieves and criminals aren't far behind. One of the reasons we hear horror stories about cyber-crime is because the Internet is largely unregulated. I've often heard it compared to America's Wild West. No law and order gives way to swashbuckling criminals with bold schemes.

Perhaps the most troubling yet is ransomware - a type of malware that infects a computer in such a way that it restricts a user's access to his own machine. Can you imagine the panic if your computer has been locked and all your important files have been encrypted? Then comes a demand in the form of an on-screen alert - a ransom that must be paid to restore access. This is typically in the range of US$ 100 to US$ 300 dollars, and is sometimes demanded in virtual currency, such as Bitcoin! Infections caused by ransomwares can be devastating, and recovery can be a difficult process that may require the services of a reputable data recovery specialist. That specialist might charge more for his services than the actual ransom!

How Our Hackathon Can Help Cities

Participants-at-EdgeVerve-Hackathon-2014
Participants at EdgeVerve Hackathon 2014

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of observing at EdgeVerve's recent (and incredibly successful) hackathon. The experience taught me one thing - our urban centers have bright futures!

The theme: "Technology Solutions for our Cities." The participants: 50 teams that we hand-selected from an entry pool of more than 350. All the teams that applied were talented so we had the advantage of being able to choose the very best of the best. During the second-to-the-last weekend of 2014, we hosted these 50 teams at EdgeVerve's headquarters in Electronics City in Bangalore. So from the very start of the 24-hour-long event, from Saturday morning to Sunday morning, we were in the middle of the one the world's largest cities with the event's mandate to come up with solutions to make such an urban core a better place in which to live and to do business.

Hackathons and the Road to Success

Participants-at-EdgeVerve-Hackathon-2014
Participants at EdgeVerve Hackathon 2014

"If only I could bottle that..." These are famous first words. And the rest of the sentences are usually just as well known: "... I'd be millionaire" or "...I'd be famous."

The problem was that until very recently it was difficult to bottle something as intangible as ingenuity. In the old days, an executive would hope to hire the right people, create the right corporate culture, and hope that a healthy amount of innovation grew out of such a mix. But that was yesterday.

Apps: Are They Secure?



Mobile banking apps are also prone to hacking [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdO9CQqOuP8]

During my recent coast to coast sojourn in North America, during which I had the good fortune of meeting many of our customers, there was one theme that stood out in all discussions--security of mobile apps. The concern was more around B2C applications, given the increasing penetration of the Android operating system. With its open model and multiple OS versions, Android, in recent times, has shown increasing vulnerability to malware, Trojans, etc. Even iOS is not completely free from these vulnerabilities, although the perception is that a highly controlled and closed ecosystem makes it less susceptible.

Take for instance, the recent hacking of the mobile app of a leading coffee retailer, where it was discovered that the user IDs and passwords were stored in a flat file. The CIO of the company commented that even if someone accesses the app login credential the only thing the person could do is buy coffee. I think this ignores a very important fact--that people may use that very same user ID and password on multiple sites. Keeping the login sequence on a mobile app simple has been the prevailing paradigm so far, in order to not compromise with user experience and increase the app adoption.


Need a Lyft? Mobile-based ride sharing program expands [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2iriSELzmY]

I hear anecdotes, now and then, of enterprises that spend an inordinate amount of time and manpower developing apps rather than keeping their websites as technologically up-to-date as possible. Then I hear a snippet in the news about Uber and I know exactly why they're spending so much time on apps.

Uber, you see, is a wonderfully helpful app that does away with the pain and grief of trying to find a taxi in a congested city. Those of us who live in such places know that it used to be dreadful during rush hour to find an open car. But now, because of an app like Uber, you're connected to available cabs in your vicinity. Better still is that their drivers can bid on your trip - a bright spot among my daily frustrations of living in the urban jungle.

The Secret Is In The Computing Platform


Amazon CEO Bezos Introduces Smartphone [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz5WnBpf8XU]

This week, as another tech giant (Amazon) unveiled their own smartphone, I recall something Steve Ballmer used to tell his Microsoft colleagues about this hyper-competitive sector. Jump on the back of the big bear and don't let go, he'd say. He was referencing IBM as the big enterprise that Microsoft would jump on the back of in the 1980s. Getting on the back of a tech giant and not letting go is pretty interesting advice, I'd say. It's just as pertinent today even though many of the players have changed. And with the unveiling of an Amazon smartphone, that business advice from the 1980s is essentially turned on its head.

Amazon, you see, is already a big bear and wanting to get bigger. By launching its own mobile device, Amazon is essentially shaking off any enterprises that have been riding on its back. Amazon, with its own platform, has a clear and direct route to its consumers and will be further along in its strategy to sell everything to everyone. Consider that Microsoft, which has long been the dominant desktop platform, and Nokia, once the world's most popular mobile phone, together are but bit players in the current smartphone market. In some ways, I think that because the current market doesn't really care about legacy, Amazon might be all the more successful launching its own mobile platform.

Is your Apps Ecosystem an Elephantine Challenge?

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In the wild, elephants play a critical role - come floods or drought.  When there is excessive rainfall,  elephant-paths create drainage trenches for the gushing waters. During dry summers, these same elephants dig up much-needed waterholes in dry riverbeds. Those leading the technology organization, for global enterprises, often subscribe to this "elephant philosophy"; Even as they maintain a vast and varied portfolio of applications, running seamlessly, they look to create 'trenches' to divert technology support exactly into those areas that business needs it most.  On the other hand, when the application environment is fragmented - not unlike a drought situation - they seek to dig-up 'common reservoirs of resources'  to leverage savings.

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