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Archive for February, 2009

Five Issues to consider when looking at Cloud Computing

Posted by vishalsinghal on February 24, 2009

Just yesterday, I was speaking to a few people who have been suffering from IT infrastructural issues. Some of them said that they are considering outsourcing their IT processes. I recently read five issues from Chris of Microsoft, which he believe will be front and center for business customers as they prepare for this evolution:

VALUE: What exactly am I getting for my money with my on-premise investments and cloud-based options? Lowering costs is a huge driver of IT decision-making, this year more than ever. But businesses should ensure that solutions that promise to save them money up front don’t end up leaving them shortchanged in the long run with reduced functionality, security vulnerabilities, limited support options, compatibility issues and lost productivity. In 2009, I believe that enterprises will get even smarter about due diligence that goes beyond the “low cost” headline.

DUE DIGILANCE. Where are the limitations and the opportunities for businesses looking to embrace the cloud for collaboration functionality? Industry analysts have been consistent in their guidance to enterprises here — look before you leap. Know what you gain and what trade-offs you might have to make — irrespective of whether your decision is to stick with on-premise, migrate completely to the cloud or adopt a hybrid model. In 2009, pragmatism will be the order of the day as enterprises strip away the hype, roll up their sleeves and get into the nitty-gritty of service-level agreements and uptime guarantees, data retention and privacy practices, support and maintenance, and customization options in order to make informed decisions about where the cloud represents the best option and where on-premise software fits the bill.

TIMING: When does it make sense for a business to squeeze the trigger and shift portions of their productivity software and collaboration capabilities to the cloud? And when is it the right decision to keep some assets behind their corporate firewall? There is no one-approach-fits-all answer. Timing will be dictated by business priorities, and those are unique to each business. Companies that have lighter requirements around application feature sets or integration with other line-of-business applications may be on a faster migration path to cloud-based services. For others, the decision will be to migrate more selectively, based on their current software investments, requirements around service level agreements and Quality of Service, and in some instances, simply a desire to wait until the cloud “matures.”

THE RIGHT TOOLS. What do my employees really need? Who can get by with a “light” web-based email solution and whose work requires rich, full-featured functionality that is best delivered on the client? The needs of the “road warrior” sales manager, the millennial-generation student intern, the IT manager overseeing compliance, and the paralegal handling confidential corporate documents are all going to vary. Businesses will need to carefully consider these vastly different scenarios and get serious about how to segment their users.

TRUST. Why am I choosing a particular vendor? What are that vendor’s unique enterprise strengths and weaknesses? Does the vendor have a long-term road map so you know you’re betting on the right long-term strategy for your business? Do they have a history of delivering world-class enterprise solutions? Trust, by its very definition, remains an elusive thing to define, and yet, anecdotal evidence suggests that the issue of trust around the cloud has been one of the toughest barriers to broad adoption by businesses. All vendors with a stake in the cloud can (and should) help the industry cross this barrier by demonstrating a higher level of transparency in their interactions with customers — whether those discussions are around security of the vendor’s cloud infrastructure, privacy policies, SLAs or data retention practices.The year ahead promises to be a great year of discovery in which businesses large and small will compile their collective learnings on all of the above and look for ways to connect software and services in powerful ways for end-users.

Chris Capossela is a Senior Vice President in Microsoft’s Information Worker Product Management Group

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Attending India’s first Word Camp

Posted by vishalsinghal on February 21, 2009

Right now, I am in Adobe Inda office in Alps Hall of theirs, attending India’s first wordpress camp. Somehow unable to upload the picture. Main attractions of this event are two people i.e. Matt Mullenweg, the starter of wordpress and Om Malik the Gigaom founder who will both be presenting their tips and tricks on wordpress and general blogging.

I am pretty excited to hear these people in reality as I regularly blog on my personal blog which you are currently reading and my pofessional blog http://cellstrat.wordpress.com Will post pictures soon.

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iAccelerator program of IIM Ahmedabad

Posted by vishalsinghal on February 20, 2009

2009 edition of the iAccelerator program has been announced at the Center for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship at IIM Ahmedabad [http://ciieindia.org] this summer.

iAccelerator is a startup bootcamp modeled loosley after
YCombinator.com. From May 1 through Sept 1 participants live and work
near the IIM campus in Ahmedabad. iAccelerator organisors will invest upto 5 Lakh in the companies they work with and provide guidance, training and connections to help establish them in exchange for equity in the company which they will negotiate before the program begins.

They are looking for teams of bright, enthusiastic and committed
individuals with a vision for solving problems, earning money, and
making the world better by developing world class software applications for the internet or mobile platforms.

If you’re interested please visit their website http://iAccelerator.org.
Feel free to mail Freeman for further queries [freeman@pobox.com]

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New blog on life being heaven

Posted by vishalsinghal on February 14, 2009

I just coaxed my friend miss…to start her first blog. She started http://lifeisheaven.wordpress.com which I think soon will be a famous one and only one from her school “Queen’s College,” in Indore. Even she was amazed to see that not a single person is a blogger from her school. Atleast one school names Daly college has some posts on it. Now she will be representing her’s and hopefully will be a professional blogger by the time she graduates from her school. I feel she has good talent for writing although she hates reading, I am told. But, still I feel she will  be a good one in the blogging world.

Please book mark her blog and post comments and motivate her to be a good writer.

Rest later…until then best of luck to her in her endeavors in blogging…

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Start-up or not to start-up a new venture

Posted by vishalsinghal on February 14, 2009

Whether to leave or not to leave the comfort zone. This is an post about about a guy I met in a long distance train from Delhi. He is an IIT-Delhi graduate of 2008 batch now working with a company (name not to be disclosed) in Gurgaon. He says, if he keeps working in this company where he is getting a comfortable salary to live a happy life until he is single; he will be slogging all through his life. However, his father in central India owns a big nation wide business manufacturing incense sticks. So if he joins same he can lead a luxurious comfortable life but that will not give him full satisfaction.

He wants to own a start-up venture on a good idea he already has and has been working on , on drawing board stage since a long time but is in dellima that he will be on road out of his curently comfortable life and may not be able to make it big.

In my view, I feel, he should give atleast 2 years to his start-up and see for atleast an year when he will be able to make out if his start-up is going to work or not. If not, then go back to his father’s business as that will always be a cushion to fall back on…Readers are requested to give their take on this. Atleast he will be satisfied that he tried and did not let his idea go untried.

He only mentioned, money-settlement and satisfaction don’t come cheap and easily, which shows he is quiet experienced already but still in delima. In my case, satisfaction comes first, then settlement in life and then money i.e. if I love my work, I am satisfied (with quality of work which is mobile field these days; location of work i.e. where ever I am at any point of time, these days and intellectual interactions whic h I am having mostly all the time with top management of companies and institutions any where in the world).  If I am satisfied, in some time, I will have enough money to have settlement (mix of professional and personal to lead a comfortable life) and lastly Money, which I feel is required in abundance to have live a luxurious life and I am quiet sure that it will be there in an year’s time.

Thus, to start-up a venture, one must leave his comfort zone to try their dreams atleast once to be satisfied atleast mentally…

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Sense of relief that accompanied terminations in ongoing recession

Posted by vishalsinghal on February 10, 2009

Quiet a few recently laid off executives expressed the sense of relief that accompanied their terminations. But that’s just one of the feelings that often includes anger, disbelief and grief. Self-care is particularly important during this time, with many experts saying that a short, temporary “quiet period” helps replenish positive energy and calibrate focus.

These executives identified two specific sources of their relief: no longer stressing over job insecurity, and a new opportunity to find their passion and reinvent themselves.

Many executives have been in careers of default, starting as a young employee in a company and then moving up as skill sets and experience develops. Not many children dream about growing up to be the senior vice president of a large corporation so some executives find their layoff to be liberating.

A layoff can act as an intervention, prying us off an unfulfilling path and allowing time for self-exploration, and sometimes, a new direction. But all employment transitions are not equal; many have to recover from the pain quickly and find the next job.

You Lost Your Job: What’s Next?, experts from ExecuNet (an HR consulting company) outline the steps to get started:

Accept the loss and then move forward. “You can’t allow yourself to mire. That is deadly,” says Andy Borkin, president of Bridgewater, NJ-based Strategic Advancement Inc. “You’re just using up precious severance or unemployment pay. This is a full-time effort, to first get stability psychologically. If there is anger, you need to work through it because it can affect your search.”

Make a plan. Michael Jeans, president of Boston-based New Directions Inc., says he suggests that his clients take a step back and look at their careers from both a long-term and a holistic perspective. Ask yourself what you want your life to look like in five, 10 and 15 years. “Apply a strategy to what you want from your career,” says Jeans. “The holistic dimension is not about the job or career, but how it fits into your life.” It’s about regaining balance with everything you have in your life.

Don’t stop with your résumé. “Building your brand goes way beyond your résumé,” says Meg Montford, an executive career coach with Kansas City, Mo.-based Abilities Enhanced. “This process is something you should be doing throughout the life of your career.” She suggests giving presentations to professional and industry groups, and writing white papers and blogs to establish yourself as an expert in your industry.

Notify your network. Nicholas “Coach Nick” Papadopoulos, executive coach with New York City-based Sky’s The Limit Corp. suggests starting with a blast email to let your network know what’s happening and then make calls every day to schedule meetings. “The majority of jobs are found through networking and the people you know,” says Papadopoulos. “You have to be aggressive about leveraging your network.”

(Source: News – letter of Robyn Greenspan, Editor-in-Chief, ExecuNet)

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Lessons for Start-ups by Successful Start-ups

Posted by vishalsinghal on February 9, 2009

Recently, I attended an event “Surviving & Winning in a Downturn” organized by one of the Special Interest Groups of  TiE-Delhi . Quiet a few good speakers presented their views on the internet penetration, businesses and surviving strategies for the same in India in current recession. However, lot of questions were also raised by audience on startups like if it is the right time to start a venture? Whether it’s the right time to start a venture? and the like. Thus, in the end Mr. Sanjeev (CEO of Naukri.com), summarised the takeaways from the whole session with following points mainly for the start-ups:

  1. Assess your situation – there are no general solutions for start-up problems.
  2. Assume right from start that you cannot raise any money through venture capitalists or angel funding investors.
  3. Find the right market and make it happen.
  4. Best time to start ventures are times of recessions.
  5. Think! Do you have a clear value proposition:
  • Who will pay me, how much money, for what?
  • What unsolved problem am I solving?
  • Am I uniqely qualified to solve it?
  • Don’t get misled by jargons, flavour of the month, fashion.

     6.     Get revenue now, not next year.

    7.     Get your peple right – especially in sales.

    8.     Make sales calls your self – lead from the front.

    9.     Know your customers well.

    10.  Focus, niche, go deep and narrow – it’s bettr to be number one for someone then to be number five for  everybody.

    11.   Prioritise break-even over traction and growth.

    12.   Over communicate with your team.

     13.  You are the glue for your start-up in a downturn.

     14.   Does competition really get hurt more than you in a downturn?

All the above points are quiet valid and if followed properly, can do wonders.

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