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December 30, 2016

2017 Predictions for the connected car - What to look out for? - Part 1

The connected car domain is evolving fast and furious, the estimates are staggering in terms of the number of connected vehicles that will be on the road in the next 3-5 years. I have been associated with this domain for the last few years and this is my 2nd attempt to predict the focus areas for 2017 - I try and pull this together as a practitioner, as someone who has been working with our clients and actively engaged across multiple projects. I hope to get better in this annual exercise, and eventually reach a stage of acceptance - till then bear with me ... These predictions are based on my experience, understanding and conversations with stakeholders in the industry. They help me synthesize my thought processes in refining our offerings and go to market strategy. 

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2017 Predictions for the connected car - What to look out for? - Part 2

In the first part of this blog here, I outlined the framework that was used to arrive at the predictions specifically the three phases (Incubate, Develop, Implement) and two different perspectives (Producer, Consumer).

Let me now explain each of the trends, and why they fit into the particular phase. Since there are 19 of them, I've kept the commentary minimal. For each of them, we will look at - what is the trend, why do I think it's in a particular phase and what is the impact. 

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December 6, 2016

DevOps - A catalyst for IOT solution development

Recently, I presented at the international SPICON 2016 - theme of "Energizing Delivery in a Digital Paradigm". I spoke about how DevOps is quintessential for IOT solution development and the feedback was very encouraging from the audience. You can find my presentation here. I have been actively evangelizing devops as a philosophy in IOT solution development.  

There is so much material on DevOps that I wouldn't want to add to it, however a slightly different take - DevOps definition is analogous to the blind men and elephant story that all of us have heard of. Enterprises who are thinking about DevOps as a magic wand to all their problems - let me implement Chef, Jenkins and Docker and voila all my problems are gone, must reconsider and reconsider really hard. You cannot be certified for DevOps, neither are there standards or checklists for implementing DevOps. I have also heard weird things such as DevOps is what Facebook, Google, Netflix does.

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September 11, 2014

The car museum just got a new addition! Read on to know more about the exhibit ...

I just made up this catchy headline for some time in the future and if you are still wondering what the exhibit is - IT'S THE DRIVER  ... Now that I have caught your attention, and internal voices clamoring on both sides, I will delve into the subject to provide my perspective. Before that a little bit about the picture below, if you observe closely the "Now" time horizon is between the second and third picture - there's enough evidence where there is assisted driving with the driver having the ability to take back control. The "Later" picture is in black and white to emphasize that futurists have been dreaming about "driverless" cars for decades.

 Then Now Later v3.png
Most of the commentary today is about the technology involved and the millions of sensors, software algorithms that shape autonomous driving. I'd like to take a slightly different yet simple approach to cars without drivers - the critics might brush it off as triviality, but in my opinion simplicity pays off always.

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August 9, 2014

Future of Digital Advertising

Leading online research firm eMarketer's report for 2013, on media time spent by US population, had forecast that, on an average, adults in US would spend close to 5.25 hours daily on online media as compared to 4.5 hours on television. This indicates a shift in consumers' attention span towards online content, despite the extensive reach of television. Advertising dollars appear to have followed the trend as depicted by IAB's internet advertisement revenue report for 2013. As per this report, the online advertising market in US is close to $43 billion. Powered by stupendous CAGR of 123% in mobile, for the last four years, the overall ad revenue has been compounding at 18% per year, over the last decade.

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April 13, 2014

Geneva Motor Show March, 2014 - Who is "calling"?

Among the headline makers this year, at Geneva Motor Show held in March,2014, was launch of CarPlay.

CarPlay, is a system for integrating iPhone5 and its higher versions to the vehicle's entertainment system. Users can then control various phone features like call, text, music and navigation, using in-vehicle controls, such as steering wheel buttons, touchscreen or SIRI from the iPhone.

So, what is the buzz about? Why there is such an anticipation building with analysts, industry honchos and customers at this launch? Haven't we been witnessing increasing footprint of telematics for the last decade or so now?

Here are some of the larger scenarios and ramifications (for both automobile and consumer electronics) being discussed by analysts in various forums:-

 1. Automobiles - A new platform for consumer electronics to expand: With a forecasted one in two new cars (about 50 million) produced being connected by 2020 globally, this presents a relatively unexplored market for the Hi-Tech/Consumer Electronics industry giants to tap into. Potentially, we are looking at millions of cars as iOS and Android platforms for customized Apps and accessories.  

(Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/sarwantsingh/2014/03/19/apple-in-cars-what-does-it-mean-for-the-car-industry-and-google/)

Earlier this year, at CES 2014, Google also announced an alliance with leading car manufacturers, that may see infotainment systems running on the open-source operating system this year.

2. Standardization of user interface: Imagine the customers of iPhone and Android smartphones, getting the same user interface and ease of navigation on their in-vehicle entertainment systems, as they are used to on their smartphones. This will translate into a big surge of Apps, services usage for the device manufacturers.

3. Battle for supremacy on multiple fronts, and competition for OEMs: We will witness contest of iOS Maps v/s Google Maps, iTunes Radio v/s other radio/entertainment services, and serious competition for telematics OEMs and suppliers of the likes of Delphi, Harmans and so on.

4. Good news for car companies: The biggest advantage for car companies is that they can focus all their R&D and spend on hardware and car mechanical design and innovation while benefiting from the shorter product release cycles of the consumer devices industry. This also gives them ability for launching quicker upgrades of in-vehicle entertainment software in the vehicles within 1 year timeframe; which is quite unlike the extensive timelines of 4 to 6 years cycle to bring innovation to market.

5. Customers are set to gain and be happy: Every time, any market sees more competition, customers are set to benefit with more feature rich products, quicker upgrades, dropping costs and increasingly better customer service and this in turn feeds into higher demands. And that is what each sector and economy needs to keep growing.

With the Hi-Tech giants descending in the auto industry with all seriousness, we can expect their next battle to be fought in our car consoles.

April 30, 2013

Automotive Telematics - What Lies Ahead

Telematics typically refers to the integrated use of Telecommunications and Informatics, also known as ICT (Information and Communication Technology). Though Telematics has found applications in a number of domains, automotive telematics still remains one of the most prominent and promising areasof its application. As per Machina Research, 'From less than 90 million connections globally in 2010 the automotive M2M market will grow to almost 1.4 billion connections by the end of 2020'.

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April 5, 2013

Enable your application for IPv6

As per data collected by Internet society, IPv6 adoption is gaining momentum, across the globe. Though IPv4 is not going away anytime soon, it is clear that IPv6 adoption is on the rise. This makes a good case for software applications, which follow client-server architecture and use TCP/IP based communication, to enable themselves to communicate over IPv6 protocol. Abundant text is already available about why IPv6 is not just about overcoming IP address space crunch and how it is a more efficient protocol than IPv6. In this blog, I explore the challenges associated with changes needed at the application level, to enable support for IPv6.

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Adopting Big Data - Challenges and Success Factors

Big Data comprises of 3-V factors; namely Volume, Velocity and Variety.  However, considering well understood benefits reaped on adopting Big Data in enterprises, one could be tempted to club another -V (Value) to the existing troika. Mckinsey Global Institute Big data study says that 'The total amount of data created and replicated in 2009 was 800 exabytes -- enough to fill a stack of DVDs reaching to the moon and back' (source: Mckinsey global institute. Big Data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity. May 2011). Though Big Data adoption is well established in industry segments like Retail, Financial and Insurance, and Manufacturing etc, there is still a need to continuously innovate and implement factors that guarantee success and enable rising returns. The primary challenge in Big Data implementation is the need to handle high voluminous data (that exist in multiple storage sources and multiple data formats ) at the speed it is received and processing to generate intelligent business insights. This leads to an even more complex problem to solve - that of management aspects, where the enterprise structure and processes will need to change in response to findings from Big Data analysis to enable the enterprise to evolve and reap business benefits.


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April 1, 2013

Off-board Telematics Services in India

India's rapid economic growth over the last decade, emergence as a leading producer and exporter of cars and a large population of mobile phone subscribers all point to a potential lucrative market for telematics (high reward, high risk). It is early times yet as compared to telematics service adoption in the West, but players have already started making the right moves to gauge adoption potential. Our recent interactions with vehicle OEMs and suppliers seem to indicate the beginnings of a rat race to building telematics platforms and innovations around services on those platforms. Make no mistake - the Indian market has already been exposed to basic telematics services like GPS-enabled navigation and vehicle tracking systems over the years, but adoption has been niche and isolated.

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