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Why & How Zensar won the ‘Agile Community of the year 2015’ Award?

10 Jul

Many Congratulation to Zensar for winning the coveted “Agile Community of the year 2015” at India Agile Awards 2015.

India Agile Awards 2015 recognized companies and practitioners who have created Agile programs that defines the future of product development, services and support. Executives leading IT at these companies was recognized among their peers at the India Agile Awards ceremony which took place at India Agile Week at Vivanta by Taj, Bengaluru on Friday, 19 June 2015.

As an Agile community builder and chair of India Agile Week, held every year in June across 5 cities in India at the same week, I was really looking forward to who finally wins the coveted trophy…and man Zensar won it hands down and how.

Aile comunity of the year1

Click here to see MORE Event Pics

THE BEGINNING

The journey of the Zensar Agile community has its roots in the past. It all started with an initiative to deliver service in an unorthodox way. Soon this initiative gained pace and started to grow across organization. The only thing not in place was a centralized knowledge repository, resulting in iterative reinvention of wheels, lack of proper agile communication, setting up of challenge registers, initiating best practices for process & services. Which was not only hampering deliverables but also causing trouble for clients & in turn for us. Soon the problem started to scale with points like associate fallouts; lack of best practices etc. adding to the woes in turn causing traction in growth across businesses.

With the objective of overcoming the shortfalls a core group was constituted. The core group took cognizance of situation and figured out immediate shortfalls to address variety in service offerings of agile methodology stack, best practices for process and services using various tools were the key points missing. On the way to answer this riddle, people came along & soon the group got transformed in to a community.

Community took the onus to provide answers to several unattained question from the past viz. lack of platform for agile initiatives, best practice implementation, business development in agile, establishing agile delivery, branding and networking for agile, agile training & certifications.

awards

TARGET

The whole initiative was started with the vision of achieving core objectives of competency building in agile across organization, while standardization of process and services. The specified goal can only be achieved by providing answers to underlying but much more trivial questions like:
a. Defining enterprise wide agile service definition & quality metrics.
b. Forming a centralized knowledge repository.
c. Agile evolution of all associates.
d. Proactive enhancement of agile offerings with superior coverage of Agile stack for new business accusations.
e. Indigenous development of agile assessment tools with bespoke consulting services.

 

AGILE INITIATIVE AT ZENSAR

As the organization started to grow in agile, new challenges started to surface. To overcome the coming challenges a core group of enthusiastic agile practitioner was formed. The role of this group was to find answers for the present challenges & proactively prepare a process to tackle new challenges from the learning of the past. Soon a challenge register was constituted based on the past experiences which proved to be the first step towards our goals.
As many of the associate in the organization were unaware of agile and its terminology, an AGILE gallery walk was organized. The sole purpose of this event is to increase the understanding of associates about agile and its processes. More than 500 associates availed the benefit making agile gallery walk a success. Which paved the way to the formation of agile community. With community getting formed the first thing to come on board was setting a platform not only on ground but also in virtual world. Setting up a community page on Zensar internal portal and having a common DL list where people can send their queries and seek answers to them, enabled a 24*7 connectivity for all . Community provided a platform to encourage new minds towards taking up certifications & trainings.
Community undertook several events like monthly scrum masters meetings, internal and external seminars on various current and upcoming topics in agile.
The community gradually started to seek answers to present challenges and is helping in develop a strong knowledge base.

RESOURCE ESTIMATE

The best part of agile initiative is that it is fuelled by people’s passion and not by material stuffs. As everything in terms of technology was already there in place, the only requirement was that of like-minded peoples. This got resolved because of community.

Most of activities are done voluntarily by the people who are sharing the interest of learning new in agile.

Apart from inevitable expenses incurred while conducting gallery walks and seminars coming approx. INR 10,000 and Books worth INR 5000.

REASONS WHY ZENSAR AGILE COMMUNITY WON:

  1. Exponential growth of community not only in term of size but also in term of intellectual property with measurable outcomes. Translating into increased businesses in the tune of $35million.
  2. The community till date has trained 800+ associates, 75 + scrum masters are also associated with it.
  3. Community helped in setting up agile project guidelines, challenge register & best practices for various methodologies under Agile stack.
  4. Several audits on the lines of maturity, delivery, best practice implementation undertaken by the community helped in improving customer satisfaction index.
  5. Increased happy customers with delivery excellence.
  6. The initiative helped in garnering interest across organization and especially in support functions.
  7. Agile communities various efforts on conducting seminars, training & certifications helped in achieving improved deliverables in terms of quality, timely delivery & helped improve team collaboration.
  8. The community is associated with several external communities like Indian Enthusiastic Scrum Community, Spin Etc.
  9. Indigenous assessment tool was created from inputs and experiences gathered from within the organization.

Nominees for the “Agile community of the year 2015” were-

agile community nominations

Dr Ganesh Natarajan, Vice Chairman and CEO, Zensar Technologies said, “The Zensar Agile community represents the confluence of expertise, capabilities and enterprise focused on setting new standards for delivering excellence to customers. This award bears testimony to the hard work put in by the team towards creating new business opportunities and helping customers achieve definite business outcomes with continuous innovation.”

Prameela Kalive, Executive Vice President, Strategic Services and Location Head (Pune) said, “It is an honour to win this industry wide recognition. The Agile community in Zensar started small, but today it has grown to a group of 800+ associates who have created an Agile centre of excellence for our customers. We are constantly focused on building capabilities and exploring new ways of offering better solutions aimed at providing high delivery standards to our customers. This award is an affirmation of our business transformation approach with technology expertise leading the way.”

Additionally, three teams from Zensar also qualified at the Agile Olympiad, an initiative of India Agile Week (IAW 2015) and UNICOM to run India’s most prestigious Corporate Quiz on Agile Methodology.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-zensar-won-agile-community-year-2015-award-nitesh-naveen?published=t

http://www.zensar.com/zensar-media/press-releases/2441-zensar-wins-the-coveted-agile-community-of-the-year-2015-award-at-the-india-agile-awards-2015#ixzz3fSu2rUV7

 

Will you be the Agile Champion of 2015?

17 Apr

Agile Olympiad is an initiative of India Agile Week (IAW 2015) June 12-17 and UNICOM Agile Thoughtleaders to run India’s most prestigious Corporate Quiz on Agile Methodology. This contest also gets participation from several other countries, making it a global contest.

Every year hundreds of Agile Enthusiasts participate and enjoy this experience and bring laurels to themselves as well as to their companies, whose contribution in building an Agile champion cannot be denied.

Visit our website to learn about Agile Olympiad‘s past winners

What makes this corporate contest unique is that almost every company, that is running an Agile project, encourage their employees to participate. Participants then form a team within the organization to do group preparation on the topics provided by the Olympiad committee. Several HR’s of reputed organization have confirmed to me that they have found this active learning more effective than any training they have given on Agile. This sounds as music to our ears as UNICOM’s core belief is to Develop professionals into a global though leader and minimize the learning cost via maximizing the skills gained.

Additional bonus to the contestants is to attend India Agile Week conference @ their city. India Agile Week runs across 6 cities every year in 2nd week of June. In this conference, we share the best practices followed by Indian companies where they are innovating to run Agile suiting their culture and employees temperaments. While other Agile conferences suggest their delegates to change themselves, India Agile Week encourages them to focus on innovation. Our patrons understand this difference and join us all over India to share their stories and learn from their peers.

To view Conference website visit our home page: Click Here

Our Sincere thanks to Tathagat Varma, Founder ThoughtLeadership for agreeing to host the Finals of Agile Olympiad 2015. His work for Agile Olympaid 2014 finale can be seen here:

These are my thoughts. Please do write to me if you think you shall like to participate or join the Olympiad committee.

 

UNICOM Tech Alert: 6 Tech Skills That Will Be Outdated in The Near Future

17 Dec

skills outdated

While we have seen an upsurge in demand for skills around emerging technologies and processes, some of the traditional tech skills, once in demand, are slowly moving towards oblivion. Nitesh Naveen, CEO, UNICOM Learning, which works closely with over 300 IT companies globally, discusses some such tech skills and why the industry doesn’t need them anymore.

IT vendor management: Till recently roles such as IT vendor management were high in demand and most probably still are. However, with larger and increasing use of open source and cloud based products, the role of the product vendor has diminished. Even traditional IT services like staff augmentation or system integration activities are being done over cloud.

Data centre admin: Most of the large enterprises, owning their own data centres, are considering moving to cloud. However, regulatory and security concerns exist which is deterring them to switchover. In a couple of years, cloud security will cease to be a deterrent, and the only roadblock shall be regulations. But the ecosystem will soon develop to find a solution to comply with the regulations. Data centre admin, as a function, will then become redundant.

Windows XP admin/help desk: Many IT professionals, from engineers to help desk support workers to system administrators, have significant XP experience. Unfortunately, this may no longer be a useful attribute. Windows XP still holds the #2 spot for desktop operating market share (just after Windows 7), but its fate is sealed. Microsoft ended the XP license sales more than two years ago and plans to cease supporting it in less than a year.

Software support: The transformation of computing from desktop to mobile, especially the transition of software and services into cloud, is limiting opportunities for traditional/packaged software support. Today, you need to know how to manage software services and software configurations in cloud computing.

Manual testing: Currently, India has over 100,000 manual testers. With advancement in automation techniques and reduction in the cost of release and build management, most of the manual testing is getting automated. UNICOM is seeing a trend where companies are asking to up-skill their manual testers into business assurance roles.

Programmer: If you are a true blue programmer, who loved coding and only coding, then you are in for trouble. With most of the companies going to adopt Agile and DevOps practices, the role of a programmer is silently moving towards core software engineering. This means that the role that needed only to code will transform into a role where you will work with the user to develop software that they want.

Source: http://content.timesjobs.com/6-tech-skills-will-outdated-near-future/

 

Unicom Learning’s Plan and Invitation

22 Aug

Greetings from UNICOM Learning – India’s largest Professional conference organising company and leading player in knowledge share!!!

Last month we went back to our drawing board to plan for next year’s conference on Cloud, Big Data, Social, Media, IoT, Testing, Agile, UXUI Design, NextGen Programming and DevOps. We involved our past delegates and speakers and have been getting several suggestions since then.

Now we want to involve you to join our [1] Advisory Board [2] Conference Speaker Identification Committee [3] Core-Committee member, as we understand that we share same passion in knowledge sharing, developing professionals, creating global executives and enriching organizations. None of these roles have monetary incentives. However there are several benefits and goodwill to collect from IT community. 🙂

Following are some of our forthcoming initiative which should interest you.

[1] India Business Development Summit: A must attend event for Sr Managers, Pre-sales Consultants, Sales &Marketing Executives, and CMOs.

 Dates & Cities  Program Agenda
 22 Aug 2014 – Mumbai  Click Here
 27 Aug 2014 – Delhi  Click Here
 28 Aug 2014 – Bangalore  Click Here
 

[2] Business Development Champions League: Contest to identify India’s most knowledgeable Sales & Marketing Executive

 Dates & Cities  Program Agenda
 1st Round (online) – 12 Aug 2014  Click Here
 Semi Finals (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore)  Click Here
 Finals(28 Aug 2014 Bangalore)  Click Here
 

[3] India Mobility Week: This conference will share the latest happening in the world of enterprise mobility

 Dates & Cities  Program Agenda
 18 Sept 2014- Delhi  Click Here
 20 Sept 2014- Pune  Click Here
 

[4] Emerging Technology Summit: A 2 day Conference where you get to know all that is emerging in Technology.

 Dates & Cities  Program Agenda
 25,26 Sept 2014 – Bangalore  Click Here
 

[5] Technology Olympiad: Contest to identify India’s most knowledgeable techie.

 Dates & Cities  Program Agenda
 1st Round (online) – 03 Sept 2014  Click Here
 Semi Finals (25 Sept 2014 – Bangalore)  Click Here
 Finals(25 Sept 2014 – Bangalore)  Click Here
 

[6] India Internet of Things: Learn how technology shall connect lives. India’s first conference and expo on IoT

 Dates & Cities  Program Agenda
 28 Oct 2014 – Bangalore  Click Here
 29 Oct 2014 – Delhi  Click Here
 30 Oct 2014 – Mumbai  Click Here
 

[7] Big Data Australia: Learn Big Data story implementations

 Dates & Cities  Program Agenda
 13 Aug 2014 – Sydney  Click Here
 15 Aug 2014 – Melbourne  Click Here
 

Internet of Things Set to Shake up Corporate Security: Gartner

17 May
Gartner predicts that IoT (internet of things) security requirements will “reshape and expand” over half of all global enterprise IT security programmes by 2020.

IoT devices are smart and programmable devices that can be remotely controlled and linked to other devices, ranging from utility smart meters and kitchen fridges to vehicle telematics.

“The IoT is redrawing the lines of IT responsibilities for organisations,” said Earl Perkins, an analyst at Gartner. “IoT objects possess the ability to change the state of the environment around them, or even their own state. So securing the IoT expands the responsibility of the traditional IT security practice, as every new identifying, sensing and communicating device is added.”

Gartner says that although traditional IT infrastructure is capable of many IoT security tasks, it says functions that are delivered as purpose-built platforms using embedded technology, sensors and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications for specific business use, signal a change in the traditional concept of IT and the concept of securing IT.

Perkins said: “Real-time, event-driven applications and non-standard protocols will require changes to application testing, vulnerability assessments, identity and access management (IAM) and other areas.

“And handling network scale, data transfer methods and memory usage differences will also require changes. Governance, management and operations of security functions will need to change to accommodate expanded responsibilities,” said Perkins.

He said this was similar to the ways that bring your own device (BYOD), mobile and cloud computing have required changes – “but on a much larger scale and in greater breadth”, when it came to IoT.

Gartner says CISOs (certified information security officers) should not automatically assume that existing security technologies and services must be replaced when it comes to IoT. Instead, Gartner says they should evaluate the potential of integrating new security solutions with old ones.

Many traditional security product and service providers, said Gartner, are already expanding their existing portfolios to incorporate basic support for embedded systems and M2M communications, including support for communications protocols, application security and IAM requirements that are specific to the IoT.

“At this time, there is no ‘guide to securing the IoT’ available that provides CISOs with a framework for incorporating IoT principles across all industries and use cases,” said Perkins.

Gartner says CISOs should “start small” and develop initial security projects based on specific IoT interactions within specific business use cases. CISOs can then build on these use case experiences to develop common security deployment scenarios, core architectural foundations and competency centres for the future.

 

Source:  http://www.computerworld.in/news/internet-of-things-set-to-shake-up-corporate-security-says-gartner

 

Mahindra REVA Makes the Connected Car a Reality with M2M Connectivity from Vodafone

17 May
Since its foundation in 1994, electric automotive specialist Mahindra REVA – a part of the $15.9 billion Mahindra Group based in India – has grown to become a world leading pioneer in electric vehicle technologies and manufacturing. Recently the company was named by ‘Fast Company’ magazine as being in the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies in the world. Today the company licenses out its electric vehicle technologies, helps to develop zero-emissions mobility solutions and has a large deployed fleet of electric cars across 24 countries.

Enabling customer support for its electric vehicles spread over the world can be a costly and challenging task for a niche player in the automotive market. Telematics-enabled remote diagnostics promises to reduce the cost of fault-diagnostics, improve vehicle uptime for customers and also enable customers to ‘stay connected’ with the car, and through that with the OEM brand. Mahindra REVA has been developing its telematics platform with a strategic focus to address these needs.

“‘Connected Cars’ are at the frontier of innovation in the car industry – they bring automotive, infotainment and communication technologies together to provide a great new experience for customers,” says Gopal, General Manager – Mobility Solutions and Business Development for Mahindra REVA.

The Need

Having set out its strategy, there was still a lot of work for Mahindra REVA to do. Even in an era of ubiquitous communication, cars have so far remained relatively untouched by the rapid advancements in communication and information technologies. Delivering the data reliably, securely and with the desired performance over mobile networks under diverse conditions and also managing the connectivity of large numbers of vehicles as volumes grow required a partner with expertise in M2M communications.

“M2M is a really exciting area right now,” says Gopal. “It has the ability to transform cars into intelligent devices that exchange real-time information and open up a range of groundbreaking new services for customers – especially the ability to monitor and control the car functions remotely.”

So when Gopal and his team started their search for an M2M partner they had three main criteria. First, they wanted to find a company that understood the strategy and vision for M2M and the possibilities that it can open up.

Second, they wanted to make sure that the partner could provide reliable connections across India. “There is little point introducing this kind of concept if it’s going to be let down by connectivity,” says Gopal.

Last, they also preferred a M2M partner with a global footprint to ease the launch of the car in other international markets.

The Solution

After researching the market, Mahindra REVA quickly realised that Vodafone would be the perfect partner for its new venture. According to Gopal, it was an easy decision to make. “Vodafone was the only network provider we spoke to that demonstrated that it had a long term vision and roadmap for M2M,” he confirms. “Vodafone has its own dedicated M2M service platform in India – something which is unique – and because Vodafone is such a strong global operator we could also see that we were going to get both the domestic and international network coverage that we wanted.”

After this selection process Vodafone advanced the project almost from its outset.

“We started working with Vodafone in 2011, two years before the official launch of the car,” Gopal explains. “Vodafone supplied us with the connections we needed for our tests, effectively linking the cars to a range of applications that we were in the process of developing.”

At this point, there was a big impetus to find out whether the service was going to be robust and reliable.

“We worked very closely with Vodafone throughout the development period, particularly when it came to testing the connectivity and the overall performance of the network,” says Gopal. “For example, we had some initial issues with connections in a factory in a remote area. Because Vodafone owns its own network, and has its own in-house team of M2M specialists, the problem was fixed straight away.

“Overall it was a great example of collaborative working between two companies with a similar vision of global innovation,” Gopal continues. “Indeed, this is the first and only project of its kind in India where a telecom service provider and an automotive manufacturer have joined hands to bring a major advance in technology to market.”

The Impact

Mahindra REVA’s connected car – the Mahindra e2o – first launched in India in March 2013. There are already 350 e2o’s on the road, all connected to a range of applications and services via the Vodafone network. This means owners are able to access various features and functions of their vehicle remotely using a smartphone app or from a dedicated webpage. By doing so they can check the state of charge in the battery of their car, control its air-conditioning, lock or unlock doors, find the nearest charging station and more. The e2o also provides the owner with automatic SMS text alerts on a variety of safety and security checks, such as a door left unlocked, or a parking brake not applied.

In addition, Mahindra REVA’s service team is also using the remote connectivity to track potential maintenance issues in real time and proactively warn drivers when they may need to book in for repairs or a service.

According to Gopal, this is all part of a package that is really pleasing customers. “The reaction we’ve had from people that have bought or driven the vehicles so far has been very positive,” says Gopal. “Many of the features we have introduced are ‘firsts’ for the Indian market – such as the remote diagnostics and a charging station locator. They are proving to be a real hit with technology-savvy customers that want their car to fit with their connected and busy lifestyle.”

Looking to the Future

Over the next few years Mahindra REVA forecasts that sales of the e2o will reach over 30,000. In fact it has built a new factory in Bangalore that’s capable of producing 30,000 of the cars a year.

This faith in the e2o’s future is partly because of the success of the initial launch in India, but also because the company sees great potential for expansion overseas.

“We’ve already had great success over the past decade, particularly in places like Europe where there is a very strong demand for solutions that address carbon emissions and the need for greener cities,” says Gopal. ”With this product we now have the potential to penetrate even further, offering customers the zero-emission solutions they crave, but with a lot of added features that completely revolutionise the driver experience.”

According to Gopal, this plan for international expansion is just one more reason why Mahindra REVA’s partnership with Vodafone is proving to be such a continuing strategic success.

“We knew from the outset that this was going to be a global product, so we needed a global partner that would help us to get this right,” Gopal says. “With Vodafone we can roll out this service to other territories using one network, one management platform and one provider. It gives us every confidence for the future, and helps us to keep one step ahead of our competitors.”

Source : http://www.connectedenterprise.in/case-study/mahindra-reva-makes-connected-car-reality-m2m-connectivity-vodafone#front