Archive for the ‘Information Technology’ Category

Is technology making us dumber or smarter? Yes

01 Aug

Unicom Seminars
The smartphone in your hand enables you to record a video, edit it and send it around the world. With your phone, you can navigate in cities, buy a car, track your vital signs and accomplish thousands of other tasks. And so?

Each of those activities used to demand learning specific skills and acquiring the necessary resources to do them. Making a film? First, get a movie camera and the supporting technologies (film, lights, editing equipment). Second, learn how to use them and hire a crew. Third, shoot the movie. Fourth, develop and edit the film. Fifth, make copies and distribute them.
Now all of those tasks are solved by technology. We need no longer learn the intricate details when the smartphone programmers have taken care of so much. But filmmakers are now freer to focus on their craft, and it is easier than ever to become a filmmaker. Historically, technology has made us individually dumber and individually smarter – and collectively smarter. Technology has made us able to do more while understanding less about what we are doing, and has increased our dependence on others.
These are not recent trends, but part of the history of technology since the first humans began to farm. In recent decades, three major changes have accelerated the process, starting with the increasing pace of humans specializing in particular skills. In addition, we outsource more skills to technological tools, like a movie-making app on a smartphone, that relieve us of the challenge of learning large amounts of technical knowledge. And many more people have access to technology than in the past, allowing them to use these tools much more readily.

Specialized knowledgeSpecialization enables us to become very good at some activities, but that investment in learning – for example, how to be an ER nurse or computer coder – comes at the expense of other skills like how to grow your own food or build your own shelter.
Summits in India
As Adam Smith noted in his 1776 “Wealth of Nations,” specialization enables people to become more efficient and productive at one set of tasks, but with a trade-off of increased dependence on others for additional needs. In theory, everyone benefits.

Specialization has moral and pragmatic consequences. Skilled workers are more likely to be employed and earn more than their unskilled counterparts. One reason the United States won World War II was that draft boards kept some trained workers, engineers and scientists working on the home front instead of sending them to fight. A skilled machine tool operator or oil-rig roustabout contributed more to winning the war by staying at home and sticking to a specialized role than by heading to the front with a rifle. It also meant other men (and some women) donned uniforms and had a much greater chance of dying.

Making machines for the rest of usIncorporating human skills into a machine – called “blackboxing” because it makes the operations invisible to the user – allows more people to, for example, take a blood pressure measurement without investing the time, resources and effort into learning the skills previously needed to use a blood pressure cuff. Putting the expertise in the machine lowers the barriers to entry for doing something because the person does not need to know as much. For example, contrast learning to drive a car with a manual versus an automatic transmission.
Mass production of blackboxed technologies enables their widespread use. Smartphones and automated blood pressure monitors would be far less effective if only thousands instead of tens of millions of people could use them. Less happily, producing tens of millions of automatic rifles like AK-47s means individuals can kill far more people far more easily compared with more primitive weapons like knives.

More practically, we depend on others to do what we cannot do at all or as well. City dwellers in particular depend on vast, mostly invisible structures to provide their power, remove their waste and ensure food and tens of thousands of other items are available.

Overreliance on technology is dangerousA major downside of increased dependence on technologies is the increased consequences if those technologies break or disappear. Lewis Dartnell’s “The Knowledge” offers a delightful (and frightening) exploration of how survivors of a humanity-devastating apocaplyse could salvage and maintain 21st-century technologies.
How do people survive and prosper in this world of increasing dependence and change? It’s impossible to be truly self-reliant, but it is possible to learn more about the technologies we use, to learn basic skills of repairing and fixing them (hint: always check the connections and read the manual) and to find people who know more about particular topics. In this way the Internet’s vast wealth of information can not only increase our dependence but also decrease it (of course, skepticism about online information is never a bad idea). Thinking about what happens if something goes wrong can be a useful exercise in planning or a descent into obsessive worrying.

Individually, we depend more on our technologies than ever before – but we can do more than ever before. Collectively, technology has made us smarter, more capable and more productive. What technology has not done is make us wiser.


India Testing Awards 2015: Interview with Test Leader of the Year Award Winner Renu Rajani

22 Mar

“My company carried my award story on our Talent front page for a week and also Capgemini’s Facebook page. I felt like I was Ms Universe in Testing World”- says Renu Rajani, Vice President at Capgemini (Testing Global Service Line) and the winner of Test Leader of the Year Award-2015.


Renu Rajani, won the ‘Test Leader of the Year Award’ at the India Testing Awards 2015. The award recognizes practitioners and companies who have created Testing programs that define the future of product development, services and support. The felicitation ceremony was part of the ‘World Conference Next Gen Testing’ that witnessed participation from senior executives across global IT companies. 

Over a quick meeting, Unicom team spoke to Renu to find out more about her achievement:

Test Leader of the Year 2015-Renu Rajani

Test Leader of the Year 2015-Renu Rajani


1. What was your approach in filling up the application form?

The award application form has sections on –

  • Background – Objective/Challenge.  The applicant should describe the challenges/ objectives that inspired the Testing Methodology and the key accomplishments relating to the same.  In this section, I focused on testing transformation challenges handled by me in an innovative/unique manner.
  • Top-3 Testing Projects – Here specific experiences from 3 projects where I made a difference. In describing each of my project, I was specific on the outcome I was trying to accomplish with specific method/approach and how I specifically kept in mind customer needs.
  • Testing mindset, philosophy and demonstrable Action on these projects here I specifically listed execution plan, challenges encountered, results and feedback from across stakeholders.
  • Recommendations from Industry – Your leaders may want to nominate you and in such case might want to put recommendations.  Ensure these are fair and unbiased and reflection of your work. In todays social media world, one can use some of the recommendations provided online by your senior industry network contacts over platforms such as LinkedIN and these do carry good weight if coming from a credible source.
  • Measurable Impact – I include specific examples, facts and data points on impact (quantitative and qualitative) my projects, approach/method have created.
  • Why Me – In this section make a compelling reason for you to be awarded.  The justifications should be around impact you have created, thought leadership you bring to the table that is acknowledged by industry, etc.
  • List of Team members groomed by you – this is yet another way to demonstrate the impact.  How have people groomed under you have benefitted the industry and what do they think of you? What does industry think of people groomed under you.  Again, if you have worked at your social media presence, that could speak for itself!

Finally, The award is an acknowledgement of one’s work in the Testing field.  More than preparation or credentials stated in the application, it is the thought leadership of the individual and how his/her work is showcased to the external world, which play an essential role in the voting process. The application response is a reflection of how someone has established him/herself in the field over the career span.


2. Please share the first thought when you realized that you have won the award?

I felt like I was Ms Universe in Testing World and that I had duty to serve as thought leader and role model to the testing universe. Being active in diversity and women leadership initiatives for last many years and having nurtured women careers in testing, I also felt the award being conferred to a woman held even more significance and role modeling for women in IT.


3. What was the significance of winning this award to you/your organisation?

This award acknowledges my professional thought leadership, evangelism in testing space, as well as reinforces Capgemini’s positioning in Testing Community and marketplace.


Renu Rajani

Renu Rajani


4. How did your friends, relatives and colleagues respond to your win. Do you remember any particular comment from your colleagues or company that you would like to share?

My entire team felt it was a great acknowledgement of my work. My manager Govindarajan Muthukrishnan was too pleased.  In my mind the award as much belonged to him as he offered me tremendous platform in terms of my roles that gave me opportunity to demonstrate transformational leadership in testing space.  My company carried my award story on our Talent front page for a week, as well as on Capgemini Facebook page under #betheyou hashtag.  I really did mind myself on the top of the world!


Capgemini Expert Connect is the platform that provides tremendous visibility to global empanelled experts like myself who are brand ambassadors for our companies thought leadership.  The Expert connect platform and Architecture community also widely carried my award news.


5. Please describe your experience of the day the award was held?

On the day award ceremony was held, it was day-2 of the conference event and I was a speaker as well in the event. I had just returned from my international travel, in barely few hours of landing went to the event for my session .  The hotel had trophies displayed without names.  Names of 15 nominees for this award were on the Unicom portal and all were requested to stay in the evening to hear the verdict! I was tired on the day due to travel and was about to leave for the day and when organizers learnt I was leaving for the day, they could not have told me I was the winner of the award.  They gently requested I better wait for 2 hours for the evening ceremony.  I stayed thinking I would congratulate the winners, only to figure out that KPMG and jury had selected me as “Testing Leader of the Year 2015”.  Like I said, when I stood with the trophy, I felt on the top of the world


6. What do you think differentiated you from rest of the nominees? 

One’s Point of View and thought leadership in the field, healthy networks within the industry and visibility of work on social media is important. One has to be an acknowledged thought leader and evangelist for bagging such recognitions.

For my candidature, the application scored the highest with a score of 9/10 points. The jury remarks read:  ‘Overall strength in various aspects of testing including from actual implementation to evangelism with everything in between. Good social media influence’.


7. What message you have for those reading your interview?

2015 has seen focus on Digital with testing Agile/DevOps/Continuous Integration mode becoming mainstay.  The market shifts have new demands on our talent to continue to upgrade and up-skill ourselves to stay relevant in this changing marketplace.

Testing & QA profession leverages the best of individuals’ multi-faceted – business, technical, process, soft skills, domain and industry skills.  Be proud to belong to this profession and value it continues to offer to the industry.




Interview of Swapnil Saurav Winner at Manager’s Olympiad 2015

18 Mar

“When 100s of managers in the room come and congratulate you, naturally you feel on top of the world”- Says Swapnil Saurav, Manager- Value Engineering Team at JDA Software in Hyderabad and the Winner of Manager’s Olympiad Contest-2015

Swapnil Saurav was the winner at Manager’s Olympiad 2015, an annual contest that is held every year and attended by thousands of Managers in India. After his success as a winner on 8th October,2015 among 980 participants,  we caught up with Swapnil and interviewed him to find out more about his process behind his winning the contest.  We also gained an insight on what influenced him and what advise he would give to the managers in India to be a part of Manager’s Olympiad Contest.

Winner Swapnil Saurav

Winner Swapnil Saurav

1. Did you need to prepare for the contest? If yes, how did you prepare?

A: Yes, I knew I will have to compete with best minds in India hence I prepared hard for the Olympiad. I looked at all the project management related topics on the internet. I had downloaded study material on my laptop and phone and I prepared hard for 2 weeks. I was preparing for my PMP hence the PMP training also helped me.

2. Imagine the moment when contest’s finals was starting and you were amongst the top 4 finalists. Were you intimidated by the competition?

Not really. I was happy to be in the semis and that in itself was satisfying and felt rewarded. When I met the other participants at the event and found them experienced and very knowledgeable, I knew I was in a great company. I didn’t even expect to clear the semifinals round and I was happy to make good friends at the event. And as they say, it just happened.

3. Please share the first thought when you realised that you have won Manager’s Olympiad.

It was totally an unbelievable feeling. Although optimistic, because I had prepared myself, it took me time to realize that I have won the Managers’ Olympiad. When 100s of managers in the room come and congratulate you, naturally you feel on top of the world.

4. How did your friends, relatives and colleagues respond to your win. Do you remember any particular comment from your colleagues or company that you will like to share?

I was very happy informing each one of them as they had supported and encouraged me all along. They congratulated me and were happy for me. One of my colleague joked that “now that you are the winner of Managers Olympiad, I will not argue with you in any discussion”. Though that never happened but it did help me to gain more respect in my team and gain more visibility in the company.

5. Quite a few managers wish to participate again in Manager’s Olympiad. Will they have to compete with you – winner of 2015? 🙂

Yes.. they have to beat me to win the title from me  😉

6. Please describe your experience of the day the contest was held?

It looked normal day till the results came in  J  When the results of round 1 was announced and I had to make a call whether to travel to Bangalore or not, I was wondering if it would be a worthwhile to travel to another city on a weekday. Keeping aside the winning part of the contest, the learning I got there was amazing. It was a busy day but a day well spent. They UNICOM team was simply amazing and they made sure that everything went smooth without any glitch.

7. What do you think differentiated you from rest of the participants? What do you think they should have had in breakfast to win?

I really don’t think there was big of a difference between me and the others. I think luck was on my side on that particular day. What to eat in the breakfast? No I am not letting out the secret  😉

8. Do you think companies should encourage their managers to participate at the prestigious Manager’s Olympiad 2016 due in April in Bangalore?

Off course yes. This event is one of its kind in India. The event provides an opportunity for managers to come a platform, discuss their challenges, share their  learning and best practices and learn about new technologies and methodologies.

9. Should cost of participation ne borne by individuals or by their companies?

It is a prestigious event and participation also includes access to the conference where experts discusses the problem faced in the industry. There is lot of opportunities for participants to learn. I think company should support their associates. My company supported me financially including my travel from Hyderabad and that was decided before I won the contest.

10. What message you have for those reading your interview and undecided about participating at the contest?

Just go for it. Its not about winning but about learning new things. We are so busy with our everyday work that we don’t get time to learn. Manager’s Olympiad provide a great opportunity to learn from experts, get to know the new stuffs and it provides a great opportunity for networking.

So what are you waiting for? If you would like to take part in this contest, don’t forget that our  Entries is now open!

For more details: Click Here


Interview with the Winner of India Quality League 2015 – Mrinal Chatterjee and Dipan Lahiri

15 Mar

Mrinal Chatterjee and Dipan Lahiri – Pre Sales and Test Manager, TechMahindra was the winner at India Quality League 2015, an annual contest that is held every year and attended by thousands of participants in India. After their success as a winner on 24th Febraury,2015 among 1020 participants,  we caught up with Mrinal and Dipan, interviewed them to find out more about their process behind his winning the contest.  We also gained an insight on what influenced him and what advise he would give to the Participants in India to be a part of India Quality League 2016.

India Quality League 2015 - Winner

India Quality League 2015 – Winner


1. Did you need to prepare for the contest? If yes, how did you prepare?

Mrinal & Dipan:

The topics for the contest were already published, so it was a good heads-up for us. We surely did have to pull up our training references for some of the specific topics, for others it was very much our day to day working topics, so we were confident that would make through the initial rounds J


2. Imagine the moment when contest’s finals was starting and you were amongst the top 4 finalists. Were you intimidated by the competition?

Mrinal & Dipan:

When we made through the semis and were announced as finalists, we were initially thrilled and were determined to give it whatever it takes. Post-lunch, when we were actually seated sharing the podium with peers from some of the industry’s biggies, it was then we realized it’s not going to be easy J However, our team – The Dark Horses had the perfect mix as I (Mrinal) was aggressively optimistic and my partner – Dipan was compose and practical


3. Please share the first thought when you realized that you have won India Quality League.

Mrinal & Dipan:

Towards the final round, when we already knew that we were steering far ahead of our peers in points, I (Mrinal) remember texting back to my folks that we are winning it J however we waited with bated breath, restraining our excitement for the winner announcement. And when it was announced that Team – The Dark Horses from Tech Mahindra is the winner of the India Quality League, our joy knew no bound J


4. How did your friends, relatives and colleagues respond to your win. Do you remember any particular comment from your colleagues or company that you will like to share?

Mrinal & Dipan:

Surely, it was a prestigious win and achievement for us, as we had won the Gold for Tech Mahindra, against stiff competition from industry’s biggies. Back home (at TechM), we were flooded with kudos and appreciation mails; and it was something we had dreamt of. Our winning news was also captured in our pan-company corporate newsletter and it was indeed a cherish able moment for us.


5. Quite a few wish to participate again in India Quality League. Will they have to compete with you – winner of 2015? 🙂

Mrinal & Dipan:

Ah, we wouldn’t mind a chance to win it again 😉


6. Please describe your experience of the day the contest was held?

Mrinal & Dipan:

We had a highly professional and competitive experience at the UNICOM WBE Summit 2015. The UNICOM team showed perfect professionalism of conducting the contest efficiently amidst rightly placed speaker tracks. From contest participation to our opportunity of meeting and networking with industry peer groups, it was indeed a wonderful experience.


7. What do you think differentiated you from rest of the participants? What do you think they should have had in breakfast to win?

Mrinal & Dipan:

We believe it was 90% knowledge, 9% confidence and 1% luck, which resulted in our 100% Win.


8. Do you think companies should encourage to participate at the prestigious India Quality League 2016 due in March in Bangalore?

Mrinal & Dipan:

The IQL is a good forum to learn and represent one’s company. So both the employee and the employer stand a chance to win, be it knowledge or laurels.


9. Should cost of participation be borne by individuals or by their companies?

Mrinal & Dipan:

Since it’s a corporate event, it should be borne by the representing company.


10. What message you have for those reading your interview and undecided about participating at the contest?

Mrinal & Dipan:

We will recommend participating the IQL or any of UNICOM events, as you manage to pull off a great competition, by bring in industry leaders in the arena and a fair chance to win it all.


So what are you waiting for? If you would like to take part in this contest, don’t forget that our  Entries is now open!

For more details: Click Here




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 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.



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.



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.


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.


  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.



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.



Attitude that we will do all the innovations ourselves needs to change!!

20 Nov

By Nitesh Naveen, Co-founder & CEO – Unicom Seminars India
20 Nov 2015

Innovation has been a buzz word ever since it was coined. Innovation can be viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulated needs, or existing market needs. This is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments and society. The term innovation can be defined as something original and, as a consequence, new, that “breaks into” the market or society.

UNICOM Seminars brought in Innovation by developing a team and process that enabled us to build a capability of getting “U” number of people (we think ‘X’ has been overdone with and love the Letter “U” as it is all about you and Unicom) under one roof on any particular day at 10% of the existing cost. “U” depends on the objective (Why, when, etc.) and $$$$$ in hand. 🙂

We realised that we can do multiple businesses with this capability. We chose IT industry as our first home because we knew it better. We decided to run Knowledge share Summits, Trainings and Showcase events as our initial ‘Value to Market’ strategy. So from what started as building an Unfair Advantage (reference: Lean Start Up) has now resulted in defining UNICOM as B2B2C platform in the area of knowledge share and customer reach for IT Industry.

We now work closely with Marketing department of few IT companies (product, services and consulting) and help them to reach out to their customers. We also work closely with L&D teams helping them to develop future thought leaders of the world. We are building communities of highly passionate professionals about whom you will read or hear in months to come. We have still not reached the million dollar mark, but have created a platform that can help us cross it next year.

In 2014, we experimented and found success in getting the “U” in 9 countries across 5 product lines. We chose to silently build this capability, sensing that we need to keep a low profile till we raise the entry barrier in our highly lucrative business, a lip smacking $100bn industry. This innovation in Marketing was possible because the corporate Marketing team was open to use innovations outside their company. The usual chase to reach the target keeps them focussed and they were culturally open to absorb innovations thanks to the cut throat competition in their function.

In all the 9 countries where we ran events – India, USA, UK, Singapore, South Africa, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland and Netherlands – we noticed that innovations are now largely carried out by smaller companies esp. in the start-up phase. This was hardly surprising. However what was surprising to see was very few Big companies were involving those ‘outside their office” innovations in their innovation basket. I spoke to few CIOs/CTOs of IT Product and Services team and realised that they want their employees to do those innovations themselves, file for the patent themselves or consider their innovation plan to be superior than ‘others’. Good thing was that they were talking about innovation. Bad thing was that they were having little idea about the ground realities, thanks to their companies who have allowed only their sales team to talk to their customers. Worse thing was that they think they completely know what their customer wants and what their competitors are doing, little realising that their competitor’s face is changing faster than they think.
India’s celebrated Retail king and promoter of Big Bazaar retail chain, Mr Kishore Biyani, used to compete with RPG, Reliance, Tatas and Birlas of the world and had a team of strategists working out ways to tackle international retail biggies. He is now competing with year old start-ups who are using technology to change the buyer’s behaviour. In Australia, the likes of Coles and Myers are going through similar phase. This story is similar in most of the countries where we entered in 2014. Companies that had ears and eyes close to the ground, like Target and Walmart adopted the market ready innovations provided by start-ups and are looking competitive enough to face the next disruption in retail.


Biggest adopter of ‘Ready to Market’ Innovation is Healthcare sector. This was surprising to me as it is also the most regulated industry. However their evolution is a case study for other industries to imbibe.


One of the industries I find to be vulnerable is Indian IT Services Industry. They are competing on cost as revealed by Mr Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys (was that a revelation??) and in my opinion are trying to rely on their execution capability to replicate an innovation done by others. While being a fast second mover is a good and safe bet for IT Services companies, it can sometimes be too late when business brings a disruptive competitor/technology/change. Would it not work to the best of their advantage to promote strategic Tech start-ups by inviting them to work closely with their innovation team, helping them to grow and thereby provide more and better service to their client base? While IT services in India are working with few start-ups, won’t they be real leaders (like their US counterparts) when they adopt at least 100 start-ups each aligning to their business profile. Do they have money to do this? I think they have plenty. Do they have vision to do this? I hope they do have.

Just imagine how our world would change if each of the top 5 IT services company in India (TCS, CTS, Infosys, Wipro & Tech Mahindra) adopts atleast 100 tech start-up each. Now tell me why they are not doing? Can’t we show the world that we can take initiative in not only adopting villages & toilets but also start-ups?


IT biggies recognize India’s champions at UNICOM’s Technology Olympiad

01 Oct


Bangalore : Over 500 companies from across India participated in the Tech-Olympiad organised by UNICOM Learning, a knowledge sharing forum in partnership with IBM in Bangalore. Companies like CISCO, SIEMENS, HP, KPMG, DELL, TITAN, GE HEALTH CARE and many more participated in the Olympiad and the selected teams represented their companies in the finals held on 25th of September at ‘The Atria’, Palace Road, Bangalore.

Mr. Sachin Malik and Nishant Pundir from Dronacharya College of Engineering, New Delhi emerged as the winner at the Students Technology Olympiad and grabbed the gold medal and also Mr. Harsh Kumar and Arun B from GE Healthcare Bangalore were announced as winners of the Technology Olympiad for Professionals.

Discussing the importance of such contests Mr. Nitesh Naveen, Co-Founder, Director & CEO of Unicom said, “Such events encourage and develop interest in emerging technologies among young professionals and provide excellent networking opportunities and encourage students for further education in the field of engineering and prepares them for future in science and technology.”

“With Unicom’s constant support, we aim to bring technology awareness to as many people as we can. Platforms like these are big opportunities for youngsters to get a recognition and stand out among the crowd” said Sugandha Shri Kanteshwaram, Program Director, Mobility & Emerging Technologies IBM. She also congratulated the winners on receiving the most prestigious and deserving award!!

The Students Technology Olympiad is an initiative taken by UNICOM with support from IBM in order to find India’s most knowledgeable student in the field of emerging technologies. 1000 colleges participated in the students Olympiad which aims to provide a global recognition to students and was supported by various technological institutes. The first round of the Olympiad was online Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) based quiz followed by the finals. Each participating team had two members taking part in the tech- quiz. Some of the topics covered in the Technology Olympiads were Social, Mobility, Analytics, Cloud, Big Data, Programming, Testing and IoT.

Technology Olympiad for Professionals was another big contest that UNICOM India’s Biggest Conference Organizing Company organized backed by IBM to find India’s most knowledgeable professional in the field of Emerging Technologies. The winners were selected after three rounds of stringent selection process by the jury constituting of industry experts. The final day of the conference had multiple MNCs participating from all over India. Both the semi-finals and finals, were complete pen and paper based MCQ rounds.



The Internet of Things: Coming to a Network Near You

17 May
When people talk about the Internet of Things (IoT), the most common examples are smart cars, IP-addressable washing machines and Internet-connected refrigerators. But IoT is coming to the enterprise as well, and CIOs should already be thinking about the ways it will shake up the corporate network.“Products and services which were previously outside their (CIOs’) domain will increasingly be under their jurisdiction,” says Daniel Castro, senior analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a US-based research and educational institute.

So, what are these devices?

Castro says that companies increasingly will be operating in “smart buildings” with advanced HVAC systems that are connected to the rest of the corporate network.

Many utility companies will be deploying Web-connected smart meters at customers’ facilities to allow for remote monitoring.

Companies are tying their physical security to their network security, so that data from security cameras and authentication readers are coming under the purview of enterprise IT. Most of the retailers already use RFID and other tracking technologies to manage supply chain logistics, says IDC’s Michael Fauscette. IoT is therefore a natural next step.

Then there’s operational technology (OT), where enterprise assets such as manufacturing equipment, fleet trucks, rail cars, even patient monitoring equipment in hospitals become networked devices, says Hung LeHong, research vice president at Gartner.

“Those types of assets are becoming Internet-enabled,” LeHong says. And even though they are managed by field operations or hospital services, they could become end-points on the corporate network.

Other examples of OT might include companies deploying vending machines that are connected to the Internet, so that they can be automatically restocked when certain items run low.

Another key area where IoT is making an appearance is what Gartner calls the digital supply chain. That’s when a company’s end-products, such as consumer electronics or large machinery, are Internet-enabled so that the manufacturer can keep track of maintenance schedules and other such aspects.
Besides, IoT is also showing up in consumer offerings such as home automation and smart grid. IT executives in industries such as gas and electric utilities will need to stay abreast of developments such as how smart meters and other types of data-generating solutions will affect IT and the corporate network.

And finally, IoT is emerging in so-called smart cities, where all kinds of devices and assets such as traffic lights, parking meters and garbage truck fleets are gradually being connected to the Internet. Municipal government IT executives will need to be aware of how these assets tie in to the network.

IT and OT Convergence

What will likely happen is a convergence of OT and IT. “As these machines go onto the corporate network, CIOs need to start talking together about what the future will look like when traditional IT and OT overlap on the network,” LeHong says.

“Who is responsible for providing security, for example,” LeHong asks. “There are existing IT skill sets that are very developed, but are at the same time, new or not a prime focus for the operations guy. There can be some synergies.”

IT executives will need to prepare themselves for situations such as when an IP-based vending machine is creating software replenishment orders for out-of-stock items using an ERP application, he believes.

“When it creates the replenishment order, does the vending machine need a user license for the ERP application?” LeHong asks. “CIOs need to get an understanding of this. Even if they are not going to own the vending machines, they need to worry about things like these. That’s what we mean by convergence. OT and IT need to discuss things like governance, security, software licensing and maintenance.”

In terms of networking technology and strategies at enterprises, IoT will have a significant impact. According to a report on IoT trends published by Gartner in 2012, things will be connected, but not necessarily in the ways most familiar to companies today. “Wi-Fi, 3G/4G cellular and Bluetooth are the wireless connectivity technologies we are most familiar with. However, they will not be the only way things connect to the Internet,” the report says.

These network technologies and protocols consume lots of power and are designed for higher-bandwidth applications, the firm says, but many things (for example, a temperature/humidity sensor in a remote agricultural setting) will require low bandwidth, long range and very low power consumption.

Looking ahead to the next few years, growth of the IoT will probably be greatest in areas such as inventory tracking and supply chain management, says Castro from ITIF. But given the way technology is developing, it’s likely that the IoT will be pervasive in many aspects of business.